George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in
this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military
a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed
by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge that to
"the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
SUNDAY, January 31, 2010
VERY IMPORTANT. Now we can see how Wall Street and their minions
in Washington have replaced the tobacco industry in their ability to
LIE, CHEAT, AND STEAL.
Bailouts created more risk in system
– The government's response to the financial meltdown has made it more
likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an
independent watchdog at the Treasury Department
problems that led to the last crisis have not yet been addressed, and
in some cases have grown worse, says Neil Barofsky, the special
inspector general for the trouble asset relief program, or TARP. The
quarterly report to Congress was released Sunday.
if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in
2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same
winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car," Barofsky wrote.
Congress passed $700 billion financial bailout, the remaining
institutions considered "too big to fail" have grown larger and failed
to restrain the lavish pay for their executives, Barofsky wrote. He
said the banks still have an incentive to take on risk because they
know the government will save them rather than bring down the financial
Barofsky also said his office is
investigating 77 cases of possible criminal and civil fraud, including
crimes of tax evasion, insider trading, mortgage lending and payment
collection, false statements and public corruption.
One case concerns apparent self-dealing
by one of the private
fund managers Treasury picked to buy bad assets from banks at
discounted prices. A portfolio manager
at the firm apparently sold a bond out of a private fund, then
repurchased it at a higher price for a government-backed fund. A rating
agency had just downgraded the bond, so it likely was worth less, not
more, when the government fund bought it. The company is not being
named pending the outcome of Barofsky's investigation.
Barofsky renewed a call for Treasury to
enact clearer walls so that such apparent conflicts are less likely.
Treasury said it welcomed Barofsky's
oversight but resisted the call to erect new barriers against conflicts of interest.
The new rules "would be detrimental to the program," Treasury
spokeswoman Meg Reilly said in a statement. The existing compliance
rules "are a rigorous and effective method of protecting taxpayers,"
Much of Barofsky's report focused on
the government's growing role in the housing market, which he said has
increased the risk of another housing bubble.
the past year, the federal government has spent hundreds of billions
propping up the housing market. About 90 percent of home loans are
backed by government controlled entities, mainly Fannie Mae, Freddie
Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.
The Federal Reserve is spending $1.25 trillion
to hold down mortgage rates, and millions of homeowners have refinanced
at lower rates.
government has stepped in where the private players have gone away,"
Barofsky said in an interview. "If we take government resources and
replace that market without addressing the serious (underlying)
concerns, there really is a risk of" artificially pushing up home
prices in the coming years.
The report warned
that these supports mean the government "has done more than simply
support the mortgage market, in many ways it has become the mortgage
market, with the taxpayer shouldering the risk that had once been borne
by the private investor."
echoed concerns raised by housing experts in recent months, as home
sales and prices rebounded. They warn that the primary reason for the
turnaround last year has been billions of dollars in federal spending
to lower mortgage rates and prop up demand.
that spigot of cash is turned off, they caution, the market will be
vulnerable to a dramatic turn for the worse. Daniel Alpert, managing
partner of investment
bank Westwood Capital, wrote in a report that national home prices
are bound to fall 8 to 10 percent below the lows of last spring.
lion's share of the remaining decline will occur in markets that saw
sizable bubbles but have not yet retrenched," he wrote.
Officials from the Obama administration
counter that massive federal intervention
has helped the housing market stabilize and prevented more dire
report also disclosed that, while the Obama administration has pledged
to spend $75 billion to prevent foreclosures, only a tiny fraction —
just over $15 million — has been spent so far. Under the Making Home
Affordable program, only about 66,500 borrowers, or 7 percent of those
who signed up, had completed the process as of December.
He said the key to preventing future
crises is to reform Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac, create and improve loan underwriting and
supervision of banks. He stopped short of endorsing specific proposals
for overhauling financial regulation,
but said many of the proposals would go far to improving the system.
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, January 29
through 30, 2010
NEW LONDON, CT. - GARDEN SPOT OF THE WORLD.
No kidding, folks. Located at the two - hour midpoint
between New York City and Boston, whether by auto or by train, this
historic maritime community located where Long Island Sound meets the
Atlantic Ocean is
eminently liveable, especially for single persons and for
couples who are beyond their child - rearing years. As described by Professor
John Renne, an expert on transportation and urban planning who was
recently invited to New London to address these topics: "It's beautiful here...you have the water
and restaurants, great architecture and an arts scene". (See "New London Development Goals Need To Be
Clearly Defined, Planner Suggests", by Kathleen Edgecomb, in The
Day Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, pA1). We also have three colleges
(Connecticut College, the Coast Guard Academy and Mitchell College) as
well as General Dynamics - Electric Boat Company and Pfizer
Pharmaceutical Global Research and Development Center. So, "come on
During his presentation, Dr. Renne posed this challenge to the city: "What is the 'there' you're trying to get
I tried to answer that question with my own question: "What if we're
where we want to be, except for lower taxes, more residents and more
visitors?" I also stressed that any planning and development in
Downtown New London be coordinated with the same activities regarding
Fort Trumbull, too important an asset to neglect.
MONDAY through THURSDAY, January
25 through 28, 2010
THE STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE
The first such message, by George Washington, lasted 12 minutes.
This one did not, despite blowing through several logical closing
But I digress. At first, I found myself mesmerized by such good
theater: well presented, attractive, satisfying...like a Chinese
meal. Soon, and as with a Chinese meal, I found myself hungry
More analogies: WHERE'S THE BEEF? ALL HAT; NO CATTLE.
No surprises here, including the 80 Joke in the Box standing
The most nearly substantive comment, really a quip, was a request for
suggestions from the Republican side of the room. He should be
taken up seriously, promptly and publicly on that. Republicans
will not be able to beat something with nothing next November.
Just one question: were his quips also beamed on the teleprompter ?
Bottom Line: I'm hopeful. But then...I'm always hopeful.
SUNDAY, January 24, 2010
Consider this a STATE OF THE
PAKISTAN. There should be a
finite limit to our support for a divided nation whose controlling Army
either ignores or denies our urgent requests for help in eliminating
the current sanctuary that country allows for our enemies in
Afghanistan. And what's this about our planning to give "unarmed"
Predator drones to that country? Are you mad? Have you
already forgotten "Nuclear Khan" who sold nuclear secrets to our
INDIA. Enough with this animosity between you and Pakistan.
What is the perceived terrible danger between the two of you?
Each a nuclear power, your greatest danger is individually to
yourselves. We should predicate any support to these two nations
on their efforts at peace between them.
AFGHANISTAN. If we can't or
won't destroy the opium industry in that area and convert the
people's efforts to sustainable legal agriculture, then encourage the
tribalism that has ruled there for hundreds of years, instead of
"democracy"; only get the tribes to be on our side - with aid, graft,
whatever. Right now, our end-game is not achievable, regardless
of the number of "surge" American lives we put on the line.
IRAN. Regardless of what we say, this Administration acts as if
we have decided that Iran will be a nuclear nation...given our
impotence and the aid and policies of Russia toward Iran. If that
is the game, we will soon be in another Cold War, with MAD again as an
international policy. However, before we accept that, read "The Dead Hand" by David E. Hoffman
(Doubleday, 2009). In reality, it's amazing how the world dodged
IRAQ. It's time to extract ourselves from that country,
conditioned on America's continuing right to pre-emptive self-defense
anywhere in the world - regardless of the niceties of international
diplomacy. The people of Iraq have tasted democracy. It's
their choice now.
ISRAEL. Did you know that we have a famous deportee from this
country. His name is John Mitchell, special envoy to the Middle
East. Come home, John.
You'll never accomplish anything while Israeli people seek an "Israel
of the Bible", and while the chronically agitated Arab nations play
into their hands by denying Israel's "right to exist".
THE ARAB NATIONS. We must extract ourselves from the oil fields
of that area...by increasing America's quest for native oil and natural
gas, by making the coal industry clean up its act instead of allowing
them to continue to destroy mountaintops and the surrounding valleys
and estuaries, and by short-term rationing if necessary. Anything
to enable us to have bargaining power with Saudi Arabia and the other
foreign oil producers to promote our national and international
goals. So far, we have no such leverage.
WESTERN EUROPE. Why are our troops still there? Or is it
only to boost the economies of our "allies", despite their recurring
anti-American positions. Bring them home; we need them here, for
our defense and for our economy.
EASTERN EUROPE. We must make clear to Russia that none of the
former Soviet Block countries are available as bargaining chips between
us and Russia. That includes Ukraine and Georgia. They must
continue to be under America's direct protection.
RUSSIA. That country and that people are "genetically" different
from Americans, Orientals and not Occidentals in historical and current
outlook. They will never be "allies". We should deal with
them as such. And that includes only actually verifiable nuclear
draw-down. It's unfortunate, but true.
GREAT BRITAIN. Always an ally, despite being currently in a fog
regarding its self-interest vis a vis the Muslim world. Allow
Muslim residents in England to be ruled under Sharia law? You're
out of your minds.
SOUTH AMERICA. What happened to the Monroe Doctrine? That
does not mean supporting despots against poor people and necessary land
reform. It does mean putting a leash on Chavez, most directly by
reducing our dependence on his oil.
CHINA. Despite unfortunately having become our landlord, that
government cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over American and
international trade through unilateral actions including their monetary
policies. We should forget about lecturing them on "human rights"
- until we solve our own human rights problem: Abortion. And we
should consider revamping our own manufacturing sector - thereby
addressing our jobless problem - while starting again to "Buy
American". America's current problems are the direct result of
that "great sucking sound" that Ross Perot warned about, together with
decades of Americans' "effuent society". The point is this: "He
who seeks equity must do equity".
GLOBAL WARMING. Green is good. But we cannot hobble
ourselves with excessive restraints on our industries while the actions
of the rest of the world - particularly the Third World - negate all of
our efforts. As Abraham Lincoln put it a long time ago: You canot make a weak man strong by making a
strong man weak".
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. Take your head out of the books.
Look around you and smell the decaying American flowers. And
forget the cancerous concept of "entitlement", both for the people and
for the Washington Nomenclatura. None of us can do more
sustainably than to reap what we sow. WAKE UP!
SATURDAY, January 23, 2010
NOT NEW...JUST TIMELESS...
REAGAN...MISS THIS GUY YET?
"Socialism only works in two places : Heaven where they don't need it
and hell where they already have it." -Ronald Reagan
'Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.' - Ronald Reagan
'The most terrifying words in the English language are : I'm from the
government and I'm here to help.'-Ronald Reagan
'The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant;
it's just that they know so much that isn't so.' -Ronald Reagan
'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the
U.S. was too strong.'- Ronald Reagan
'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have
looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress..' -Ronald
'The taxpayer : That's someone who works for the federal government but
doesn't have to take the civil service examination.'- Ronald Reagan
'Government is like a baby : An alimentary canal with a big appetite at
one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.'- Ronald Reagan
'The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a
government program.' - Ronald Reagan
'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession.. I
have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.'-
'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short
phrases : If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if
it stops moving, subsidize it' - Ronald Reagan
'Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many
rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.'-
'No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as
formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.'-
'If we ever forget that we're one nation under GOD, then we will be a
nation gone under.'-Ronald Reagan
FRIDAY, January 22, 2010
It could be accurately noted, before the recent evidence of global
warming, that Catholic - Jewish
relations and problem-solving were proceeding at a "glacial pace". We will now
have to find another apt analogy.
In fact, these relations as well as progress toward an Israel-Palestine
settlement will go nowhere as long as Israel continues to work toward
its "Israel of the Bible" while
the Arab world stupidly denies Israel's right to exist at all.
Under these conditions, the U.S. must continue rightly to guarantee
Israel's survival...with no consequent ability to influence or coerce
the Israelis to be reasonable regarding the establishment of a viable
Palestinian State and an international status for Jerusalem.
If, on the other hand, the Arab world were to acknowledge the fact and
rights of its neighbor, thereby removing the constant threat to Israel,
effective U.S. and world influence could be brought to bear for a
solution to that dangerous Middle East tinderbox. In my opinion,
the Arabs do not understand that...and Israel does.
Please see the two articles on the subject of current Roman
Catholic-Jewish relations posted in the section under "Abortion...."
entitled 'Catholic Church".
THURSDAY, January 21, 2010
Within all of the tragedy and sorrow and anger afflicting that
benighted people, there are truths of Haiti's early and of current
history that add to the stench rising from that land. There are
few commentaries addressing such issues now, since it is easier to
dwell on the isolated individual successes than on the general failure
of assistance. This recalls the ultimate cynical statement of
Josef Stalin: " One death is a
tragedy. 20 million deaths is a statistic". But this
is the teachable moment, if anything is to be learned to benefit
inevitable future similar tragedies.
Unfortunately, there will be plenty of time for literal and policy
postmortems...if our leaders have the fortitude to engage in them.
- Haiti was born of a slave rebellion in 1804 against its French
- France punished this action from thereafter and until the 1940's
in various ways, establishing and fostering a chronic debility from
which the people of Haiti have never healed.
- As is so often the case, abject poverty did not prevent
home-grown despots from benefiting greatly from the miseries of their
- The United States has in many ways been the best friend of the
Haitian people for the last 50 years.
- America's response to the current crisis has been prompt and
- And then something happened. No Haitian leadership.
No U.N. leadership. Not even American leadership as our
government tried to implement a "whole-of-government" approach instead
of designating our Military to take charge in that vacuum.
Result: millions without food, water, or even communication...the
bedrock of crowd management...while massive stockpiles of supplies
languished for too many days within the airport - protected instead of distributed by
our substantial troop presence; Meanwhile, the Haitian
government - minus its invisible President - declared itself still in
charge; the U.N. remained headless after the tragic loss of its
headquarters personnel; a French Minister suggested that the U.S. was
trying to "take over" Haiti; and Washington evidently played "Alfonse
- This would have been the time for a Declaration of Martial Law by
the Haitian Government, together with its deferral and clear invitation
to the U.S. Military to take control of both public safety and public
needs. Am I wrong here? I think not. See also the
article posted below on this subject.
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, January
18 through 20, 2010
The election of Scott Brown to the
U.S. Senate seat held for four decades by Ted Kennedy...
FROM THE PEOPLE TO BARACK
OBAMA, NANCY PELOSI AND HARRY REID:
CAN YOU HEAR
SUNDAY, January 17, 2010
ISLAM – A PERSONAL STUDY
ISLAM. As a Christian and before the events since the late
1980’s, my knowledge of and interest in Islam and the Muslim world were
cursory at best. I am not proud of such ignorance; it’s just
fact. All of that changed on 9/11/2001…and by March of 2003 I had
begun to share my quest for insight into that part of humanity – and
America’s role in that part of the world – through the vehicle of the
section entitled “Rapid Response: Daily Commentary On News Of The Day”
on my web-site (www.asthma-drsprecace.com).
Now, hundreds of thousands of lost lives later, my studies lead me
toward a conclusion that America is engaged in the wrong struggle in
the wrong place and time and for the wrong reasons. We always
retain the right to self-defense (including pre-emptive self-defense)
and the right to pursue our vital national self-interests. But we
are wrong to try to impose our views of democracy and universal human
rights on other and very different cultures. We should offer;
and, if the offer is accepted, we should facilitate such actions.
But we should not and cannot impose such views on an alien population
by force and coercion. At the very least, it is a fool’s
errand. It greatly weakens our own nation. It is also
As suggestions for those who would pursue their own personal study, I
offer the following:
- “Islam – A Short History”, by Karen Armstrong, The Modern
Library, New York, 2000;
- “A Dangerous Delusion: We Go To War To Defend Our Interests, Not
To Encourage Democracy”, by Andrew McCarthy, National Review, Sept. 4,
- “To Beat Al Qaeda, Look To The East”, by Scott Atran, NYTimes
Sunday, December 13, 2009, Sunday Opinion, Wk p11; Ethics”.
- Point and Counterpoint Offering
#26 on my web site under Abortion,
Morality and Ethics.
The following are some highly abbreviated observations gleaned from the
above and from other continuing readings:
Is it any wonder, then, that the West (especially personified by that
“Great Satan”) is losing everywhere in its poorly conceived battle
against…what? This is a
war against terrorism directed against us. It cannot be a war
against Muslims or Islam, against their way of life or their
Religion. And regardless of the ambivalence toward or actual
opposition to the tools of terrorism on the part of the vast majority
of Muslims, any “free”, Western-style elections in the nations of Islam
(if that were possible) would very likely produce victory for the
proponents of “Islamism”.
- For thousands of years, the people of the Arabian Peninsula
developed within tribes, tribalism and paganism.
- In the seventh century A.D., the Prophet Muhammad offered through
Divine Revelation and personal experience a monotheistic Faith built
directly on that of his Hebrew and Christian forefathers. His was
a religion of Peace, Equality, Tolerance, Compassion and Justice.
Furthermore, these goals were to be pursued and achieved within the
daily living community and its political life, and not to be
sequestered in some austere and separate religious life.
- The first Muslim experience with Jews and some Christians was
when this new Faith of Islam was ridiculed and shunned by them in
Medina during his lifetime. The next Muslim experience with The
West and with Christianity was during the Crusades, which destroyed
Jerusalem and its inhabitants – the third most holy place for Muslims,
then and now.
- The Colonial Era produced nothing but misery and confusion for
the Islamic world…until the discovery of Oil enabled some of their own
leaders to prey upon the people. A prime example was the Royal
Family of Saudi Arabia, which in the 1930’s asserted its primacy over
the world of Islam and imposed strict tenets of Wahhabism over all
Muslims…thereby enhancing its control.
- Meanwhile, the Muslim world witnessed the secular and irreligious
West nearly destroy itself during the 20th century through two great
wars and a prolonged Cold War. The West became more and more
secular, anti-religious and decadent in the eyes of Muslims…who as
always did not compartmentalize their Faith from their community and
politics, but rather saw their Faith as being entirely woven into the
fabric of their society. And what they witnessed and had
personally experienced was not a high-minded Jeffersonian democracy,
but rather the immorality and unjust plunder of an unfettered
marketplace, totally alien to their community life and to their
Faith. Then came the TV and the Internet, not our shining moment.
- And the vast majority of Muslims are having none of it.
Although there is great debate within Islam regarding the role of
military Jihad and especially of terrorism, they are in the main
“Islamists”. What is “Islamism”? In the description of
Andrew McCarthy: “It is the belief
that Islam is not merely a religious creed but a comprehensive guide to
human existence, conformity to which is obligatory, that governs all
matters political, social, cultural, and religious, from cradle to
grave and beyond”. A far cry from Western secularism and
its “Freedom from Religion”.
is our goal in that part of the world? We had better
figure that out soon, and in conformity with the above facts on the
ground, before we as a nation bleed to
George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D.
January 17, 2010
SATURDAY, January 16, 2010
This is one of those times when, regarding a number of issues, my
well-being requires me to vent...which in Italian is more visual: SFOGARE":
literally "to let the fire out".
So here goes, in no particular order.
- The obscenities of Eugenics,
and of Dr. Mengele, are alive and well. See the article
in the NYTimes Sunday, December 13 entitled: "Building A Baby, With Few Ground Rules",
by Stephanie Saul (pA1). "Nuff said."
- The sad state of American
governance, throughout the last 35 years and worsening, recalls
the state of the American Union in the 1800's until the Civil
War. The festering wound then was Slavery. The current one is Abortion. The powers then
tried to solve the problem on a State by State basis - and
failed. Apart from the medical, legal and moral fiction that is
Roe v Wade, neither will the current seminal issue be thus
solved. The only solution that will right our seriously heeling
ship of State will be a U.S.Constitutional Amendment that applies all
of our "inalienable rights" to all of us...from conception to
grave. And it will come, hopefully before the decline and fall of
these United States.
- Wall Street: unrepentent,
arrogant, reckless. See two articles in the WSJ, among
many others appearing nearly daily: 1) "SEC Aims To Ban 'Naked Access'",
Thursday, Jan. 14, pC1; 2) "Volcker Voices Views In A Vacuum", Friday,
Jan. 15, pC1. Let's see if this administration has the cojones to deal with these
- Martha Coakley is
running for the seat long held by Senator
Ted Kennedy. But she has something in her past more
telling than that terrible midnight swim. See "Martha Coakley's Convictions",
about her role in the infamous injustice called "The Amirault Case"
(WSJ Friday, Jan. 15, 2009, pA19.). Will the people of
Massachusetts finally wake up and think when they vote?
- Haiti. First, help
the people. But where is triage? Where is
authority? Where is crowd control, including information first
and foremost? I sense that no one is in charge...and no one has
the courage to take charge. Of course, only America can take
charge...but is President Obama playing Hamlet again, while reading
bravely from his teleprompters and his desk? Let Americans be
Americans...especially in times of crisis. And then let us review
how Haiti got to its failed status: its history, early and more
recent. For the early history, see an excellent letter published
by Richard Wax, PhD in The Day Saturday, Jan. 16, in Letters to the
Editor. The facts are supported by reference to Faun Brodie's
biography of Thomas Jefferson. Haiti has had a star-crossed
existence from its founding. Let's try to change that, with the
help of the recent earthquake. A first step is clearly
articulated by another excellent report, by Chuck Potter, also in the
same edition of The Day, entitled: "Keep
Race, Religion Out of Help For Haiti".
FRIDAY, January 15, 2010
Haiti. Now is the time to help,
in every way and at the most direct and personal level. In
Southeastern Connecticut, we have a long-standing vehicle through which
to channel our funds safely: The Haitian Ministry of the Diocese of
But these question must be answered: Where has all the money gone?
Where will this money go? We know who the victims of Haiti
are. But who are the perpetrators of this chronic festering wound
in our midst? We have an opportunity to re-build Haiti from
scratch and the right way...but only if these questions are answered,
Where will all the money go?
– How difficult will it be for the United States and other donors to
track the millions of dollars in earthquake aid headed to Haiti? U.S.
government auditors pulled out of the country years ago after concerns
over kidnappings and other crimes scuttled their efforts to monitor
Haiti's spending of $45 million in U.S. aid after storms there killed
Corruption, theft, violence and other
security problems and Haiti's
sheer shortage of fundamentals — reliable roads, telephone and power
lines and a sound financial system — will add to the challenges of
making sure aid is spent properly as foreign governments and charities
try not only to help Haiti recover from this week's devastating
earthquake but to pull itself out of abject poverty.
Past efforts haven't been easy. The Government Accountability
the investigative arm of Congress, faced problems on a smaller scale in
2005 and 2006 as auditors tried to review the use of roughly $45
million in aid the U.S. provided after Tropical Storm Jeanne struck
Haiti in September 2004, killing more than 2,000 people, injuring more
than 2,600 and affecting an estimated 300,000 others.
inspectors wanted to visit projects funded with the money to measure
progress. But after an initial fact-finding trip to Haiti, it was
considered too dangerous for them to go back. They could visit only
projects deemed safe as destinations. In summer 2005, many employees of
the Agency for
— which is coordinating the current U.S. response to the earthquake —
were temporarily pulled out of Haiti, according to government reports.
is one of the poorest places on Earth. Most basic public services are
lacking, people typically live on less than $2 a day, nearly half the
population is illiterate and the government has a history of
instability. The public has little opportunity to be sure that aid to
the government is used honestly and well. Nor is following the money
easy for donors, including the United States, 700 miles away and one of
the country's biggest helpers.
"It has been a
challenge, and I think it really is one of the things we have to look
at when the country has had such long-standing problems that it seems
as though we have made little dent there," said Rep. Russ Carnahan,
D-Mo., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs
Committee's subcommittee on international organizations, human
rights and oversight.
The immediate focus is search and rescue
and addressing immediate public health needs. But after that, "I think
there's going to be a number of questions that arise," Carnahan said.
Just last month, a private group, the Heritage Foundation
for Haiti, urged Haiti's government to complete an audit of a $197
million emergency disaster program to respond to corruption allegations
over how the money was handled. Haiti's senate cited the allegations
when it removed Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis in November and
replaced her with Jean-Max Bellerive.
President Barack Obama
promised at least $100 million in earthquake aid. That comes on top of
substantial spending by the United States in Haiti in recent years for
economic development such as the country's textile industry,
humanitarian assistance, environmental programs, and law enforcement,
including trying to stop the use of Haiti as a pass-through point for
narcotics en route to the United States.
from earthquake relief, senators working on the next annual foreign
assistance budget have proposed at least $282 million for Haiti; the
House proposal would provide at least $165 million.
Much of the U.S. government's aid to
Haiti comes through the Agency
for International Development, which has provided at least $800
million from budget years 2004 through 2008, agency figures show.
least $700 million more was pledged to Haiti by governments,
international givers and charities at an April 2009 donors conference. Former President Bill Clinton,
a United Nations
special envoy to the country, told the U.N. Security Council
in September that he was "100 percent committed to delivering tangible
results to the U.N. and most importantly the people of Haiti."
The Haitian government relies on foreign
aid to keep itself and its economy operating.
In a December 2008 Gallup survey,
60 percent of Haitians interviewed said there had been times that year
when they didn't have enough money to buy food, and 51 percent said
there were times when they couldn't afford shelter.
about Haiti, as gathered by the U.S. government, chronicle a grim
standard of living. According to the CIA and State Department, 1 in 8
children in Haiti dies before age 5. The life expectancy is 59 to 62
typhoid and dengue fevers and other life-threatening illnesses long ago
wiped out in the industrialized world still plague Haiti.
MONDAY through THURSDAY, January
11 through 14, 2010
Cruise for Seniors
first time in history, the Democratic Congress will not allow an
increase in the social security COLA (cost
of living adjustment).
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
predicts there may not be any COLA for the next three years.
the per person monthly Medicare insurance premium
will be increased from the 2009 premium of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2010
and to $120.20 for the year 2011.
also gave themselves a $3,000.00 a month Cost of Living Adjustment!!!!!
to all seniors that you know.
them not to vote for the incumbent senators and congressmen in the 2010
and the 2012 elections.
SUNDAY, January 10, 2010
It appears that the hijackers
of Islam have also discovered the only international
body that can work to restore that noble Religion to its believers:
Christianity. In recent days, we have read reports of attacks on
Christians in Egypt, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Iraq and Israel. Only in
Israel did the Orthodox leadership condemn such actions.
This is not a time for Christians,
hopefully in unison with the universal Catholic Church, to "turn the
other cheek". The peace of the world is literally at stake.
And it appears that our true Muslim brethren are unable to recapture
their Faith from their would-be despots by themselves.
This is the time for leadership from Rome, translating into appropriate
helpful action by its Hierarchy and Laity throughout the world and into
every community. Our shock troops are already out there: God /
Yahweh / Allah.
SATURDAY, January 9, 2010
WE FIGURED HIM OUT! By Ben Stein
Why is President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized
medicine bill passed?
Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:
The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for
a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama
was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they
simply took him on faith. They ignored his anti-white writings in his
books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American
diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.
They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a
student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community
organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.
The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a
student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being
touted as a scholar.
Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack
Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country,
way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East , way
beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our
interests and our allies and our future. The American people have
already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in
theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and
in no way an effort to help all Americans.
Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically
means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk
from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can
and cannot do.
The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health
costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of
something that never was and never will be -- a bureaucracy lowering
costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society
These are perilous times.. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of
State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an
unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of
freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our
lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud if
believed to be caused by man.
Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he
delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our
opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up,
It is amazing to me, the people that still believe in him. He has
done so much to damage to this country and people are still ignorant
enough to believe him. He is an embarrassment to the American people.
They may have already ruined my country and yours.
You must, as an American, FORWARD this to all, or you will wake up one
morning and find that your freedoms no longer exist.
**Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly
Hills and Malibu . He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The
FRIDAY through FRIDAY, January 1
through 8, 2010
This cartoon was published in the
Chicago Tribune in 1934. GS
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