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
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, June 28
through 30, 2010
better to be paralyzed from the neck down, than to be paralyzed from
the neck up...
Krauthammer is on Fox News. He is an M.D. and a lawyer and is paralyzed
from the neck down. A friend went to hear Charles Krauthammer.
He listened with 25 others in a closed room. What he says
here, is NOT 2nd-hand but 1st. The ramifications are staggering
for us, our children and their children.
Monday was a profound evening, Dr. Charles Krauthammer spoke to the
Center for the American Experiment. He is a brilliant
intellectual, seasoned & articulate. He is forthright and
careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal
insults. He is NOT a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments
and views. He is a fiscal conservative, and has received a
Pulitzer Prize for writing. He is a frequent contributor to Fox
News and writes weekly for the Washington Post.
entire room was held spellbound during his talk. I have
summarized his comments, as we are living in uncharted waters
economically and internationally.
Dems at my table agreed with everything he said! If you feel like
forwarding this to those who are open minded and have not drunk the
Kool-Aid, feel free.
Summary of his comments:
1. Mr. Obama
is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be
underestimated. He is a cool customer who doesn't show his
emotions. It's very hard to know what's behind the mask.
The taking down of the Clinton dynasty was an amazing
accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit
them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time.
Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton.
He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with
your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he
SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!
Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to
Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change
everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can't be
straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along.
He has a
heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income
redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He
would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada .
three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL
HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the
auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus.
The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth.
Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary
is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add
46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs
will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with
massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada . God forbid!
5. He has
surrounded himself with mostly far-left academic types. No one
around him has ever even run a candy store. But they are going to
try and run the auto, financial, banking and other industries.
This obviously can't work in the long run. Obama is not a
socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing
short of revolution. He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the
hard left. Again, watch what he does, not what he says.
doesn't really see himself as President of the United States , but more
as a ruler over the world. He sees himself above it all, trying
to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas.
He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. His apology tour
in Germany and England was a prime example of how he sees America , as
an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble
nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President
ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies!
7. He is
now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will
not come due until after he is reelected in 2012. He would like
to blame all problems on Bush from the past, and hopefully his
successor in the future. He has a huge ego, and Dr. Krauthammer
believes he is a narcissist.
Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong.
Republicans are pining for another Reagan, but there will never
be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim
Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in
February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is
brilliant, but has baggage.. Sarah Palin is sincere and
intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and
info if she is to be a serious candidate in the future.. We need
to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal
responsibility, strong national defense, and state's rights.
current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We are
spending trillions that we don't have. This could lead to
hyperinflation, depression or worse. No country has ever spent
themselves into prosperity. The media is giving Obama, Reid and
Pelosi a pass because they love their agenda. But eventually the
bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn't
work, nor will the stimulus package. These were trillion-dollar
payoffs to Obama's allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left,
so he can get support for #4 above.
election was over in mid-September when Lehman brothers failed, fear
and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was
grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are
in pain, and the mantra of change caused people to act emotionally.
Any Dem would have won this election; it was surprising it was as
close as it was.
2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept
back into power. If it's under 8%, the Dems continue to roll. If
it's between 8-10%, it will be a dogfight. It will all be about
the economy. I hope this gets you
really thinking about what's happening in Washington and Congress.
There is a left-wing revolution going on, according to
Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal
resistance. The work will be hard, but we're right on most issues
and can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.
SUNDAY, June 27, 2010
From time to time, the best that i can do is to refer the
reader to important articles addressing vital issues. This is one
of those times. The articles all appear in the NYTimes Sunday,
June 27, 2010.
In each case, the truth is being distorted and blocked by the same type
of "dissembling miscreants" who kept the public confused for decades
while millions of smokers inhaled to their deaths. But this time,
given the wealth and availability of verifiable information on the Web
and through other media, it will rightly be said of us...by our
children and grandchildren...that "we
knew or should have known". Is that the legacy we want to
be remembered by?
- If you think that Israel can do
no wrong, read "War, Timeout,
War, Time...", by Thomas L. Friedman (Opinion, Week, p10).
- If you don't know that "blood
diamonds" are now replaced by "blood phones", read "Death by Gadget", by Nicholas D.
Kristof (Opinion, Week, p11).
- If your ear or your child's ear
is glued to a cellphone much of the day and evening, read "Are Cells The New Cigarettes?", by
Maureen Dowd (Opinion,Week, p11.
SATURDAY, June 26, 2010
There is only one way in which the
vast majority of peaceful and tolerant Muslims - followers of a
reportedly peaceful and tolerant Religion of Islam - can avoid the
takeover of their Religion by crazies and a consequent world war with
all the other Religions of the world: by
purging their own house of this scourge. What is needed is either an implosion...or
a world explosion.
> 'YOU WORRY ME! ' By Qantas Airlines Pilot -
Captain John Maniscalco
> I've been
trying to say this since 911 in New York, but you worry me.
> I wish you
didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I
love, that your colour and culture still blended with the beautiful
human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in
anymore. I notice you, and it worries me. I notice you because I can't
help it anymore.
> People from
your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and
killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now.
I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that
nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
> On September
11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in the U. S.
> They cut the
throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death
others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into
buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise
grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favourite coaches,
fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the
Muslim world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't
want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that has
destroyed the souls of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a
rational Australian, trying to protect my country and family in an
irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference
between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.
> How do I
differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Australians and the
Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our
schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the
protection of OUR democratic government, while they plot the next
attack that will slaughter these same good neighbours and children?
> The events of
September 11 in the U. S. changed the answer. It is not my
responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country,
with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all
of its faults. It is time for every Muslim in this country to determine
it for me.
> I want to
know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you
love Australia. Do you pledge allegiance to our flag? Do you proudly
display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your
many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will
protect and prosper it? Or do you pray that Allah with destroy it in
one of your Jihad's? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this
nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of
thousands of diggers who gave their lives for this country? Are you
willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice?
Do you love Australia? If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to
start letting ME know about it.
> Your Muslim
leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with
hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a
community and as a religion to protect Australia. Please, no more
benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I
worry about who you regard as innocent. No more benign overtures of
condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is
unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy. I am ONLY
interested in action. What will you do for Australia - our great
country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war?
> I want to see
Muslims waving the AUSTRALIAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you
chanting 'Allah Bless Australia' I want to see young Muslim men
enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time,
and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a
> The AFP has a
list of over 100 people they want to talk to regarding potential
terrorism. Many of these people live and socialise right now in Muslim
communities. You know them. . You know where they are. Hand them over
to the police, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort
of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive
community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets.
You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have
threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals.
> The very few
Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive
and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that
Australia proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed
more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence
directed towards them in Australia and abroad than they did with
supporting our country and denouncing 'leaders'
> like Khadafi,
Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat.
> If the true
teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all
people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements
from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the
teachings in the Koran are good, and pure, and true, when your
'leaders' are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and
intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers
of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly
and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been
demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built
upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide.
> A form whose
members are recruited from the prisons around the world.
> A form whose
members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week
in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the
world, burning effigies of our leaders, burning the Australian/American
/British flags, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members
convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against
Australia, the USA, United Kingdom, - countries of their birth. A form
whose rules are so twisted, that their travelling members refuse to
show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.
> We will NEVER
allow the attacks of Bali, September 11, or any others for that matter,
to take away that which is so precious to us: Our democratic rights,
freedoms, and fun loving way of life. I want to know where every Muslim
in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of
every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by
the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting
the very system of government that is protecting you and your family.
> I am pleading
with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbour,
my friend, as a fellow Australian. But there can be no grey areas or
ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU, to show ME,
where YOU stand. Until then. 'YOU WORRY ME! '
> I totally
agree with this sentiment. I hope you will forget all about the
'political correctness' mandate we've had rammed down our throats, and
see if this doesn't ring true in your heart and mind. For Australia,
with all the multiculturism we've been told is so important. ... .. .
why should we not, as Australians, expect that the thousands of new
people immigrating to our country will show their love for our country,
their allegiance to our country, their willingness to obey the laws of
our country, and acceptance that we are a Christian country? Just
because they are able to enjoy exercising their own religion, they
should not expect us to be ashamed of ours. They knew Australia was a
Christian country when they came here. Why are we erasing Christianity
because immigrants who are unwilling to adopt our way of life expect us
to? There is just too much insanity in the world, and we have to start
taking a stand.
FRIDAY, June 25, 2010
I agree. I'm a firm believer in
Occam's Razor, and this may have been McChrystal's way of helping
the situation from his perspective as efficiently as possible.
It is doubtful that he had no idea what
he was getting into with this story. The degree of politicking
required to reach his rank precludes simple stupidity, in my
opinion. But, there is always the possibility that he didn't
realize that his words would be taken out of context or
sensationalized for effect. In fact, from what I heard, the
writer of the story was supposed to be on the assignment for only a few
days, but was stuck with McChrystal and his staff for much longer
because of the interruption of air traffic from the Iceland
volcano. And, for those who haven't read it, Rolling Stone is not
the most even-handed, politically-neutral publication.
reaction, knowing the behavior of the likes of Rahm Emanuel
(a la BP and the Gulf), I'd put money on the notion that
Obama was advised that if he didn't fire McChrystal he would risk being
seen as weak. But, since the Taliban and everyone else who
despises America reads our mail just by turning on the TV or
their computer, this will go down as nothing more than
self-serving for Obama.
A strong reprimand would have
accomplished everything for all parties here: the President, the
leadership of the Armed Forces, and most importantly, the
American people. But, in the continued atmosphere of
narcissism that pervades the behavior of politicians of both
parties in recent decades, the mandate of every President to put the
needs of the American people first has again been soundly
Great job, Mr. President!
WEDNESDAY through THURSDAY, June
16 through 24, 2010
ON GENERAL MC CHRYSTAL, THE WAR...AND
This is a tough one. Should the
General have been relieved of duty? Plenty of opinions on both
side of the issue.
But I have heard no one address the question: Why did he do it or allow
it to happen? Was it merely stupidity, hubris, lack of experience with
the ways of journalists...this in a man with decades of life and
Could it be that, in a situation where "civilian control of the
military" was producing a no-win killing field in which his men and
women were simply targets for the Taliban, he had to devise a means of
getting this information out to to the American public? This is
difficult to do while adhering to the almighty "chain of command" that
controls the military. Of course, he could simply have resigned
and then expressed his opinion publicly. That approach would not
have produced nearly as much attention as has this sequence of
events. I believe that the General decided to send his message as
loudly as he could.
And the message: this war in Afghanistan is being handled as badly as
was the war in Iraq by that idiot Rumsfeld and his lacky, General Tommy
Whatshisname. The similarity is that too many Americans are being
killed and maimed unnecessarily. The difference is that in Iraq
the chain of command operated well to submerge contrary opinion from
Another similarity. In both Iraq and in Afghanistan, tribal
loyalties and hostilities trump everything else. Thus, to "win
the hearts and minds" of the people, you must first get their attention
by grabbing their b****. In Afghanistan, as I have said earlier
in this section, we should first have totally destroyed their poppy
crop - with the guarantee of replacement with a legitimate cash
crop. That would have focused their "hearts and minds" while
eliminating the Taliban's main source of funding.
And what about President Obama? Did he have no other recourse
than to fire the General? I believe that he could have given
General Mc Chrystal a public dressing down while acknowledging the
problems the General was addressing. And he could have made a
course correction while sending the General back to lead his
But no. This was about two things: 1) Obama thumping his chest,
and 2) adhering to the rigid "chain of command" doctrine that keeps
proving Erma Bombeck's observation: "In
an organization, as in a cesspool, the really big pieces float to the
This was never about civilian control of the military, which was
never in question or at risk.
So, Mr. President, let's have your answer to the question ignored at
your Tarzan press conference: "Can this war
MONDAY and TUESDAY, June 14 and 15, 2010
WRITTEN BY A 15 yr. Old SCHOOL
KID IN ARIZONA
New Pledge of Allegiance
Since the Pledge of
and The Lord's Prayer
Are not allowed in most
Public schools anymore
Because the word 'God' is
A kid in Arizona wrote the
NEW School prayer:
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the
For this great nation under
Finds mention of Him very
If Scripture now the class
It violates the Bill of
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or
That's no offense; it's a freedom
The law is specific, the law is
Prayers spoken aloud are a
For praying in a public
Might offend someone with no
faith at all..
In silence alone we must
God's name is prohibited by the
We're allowed to cuss and dress
And pierce our noses, tongues and
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST
To quote the Good Book makes me
We can elect a pregnant Senior
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior
It's 'inappropriate' to teach
right from wrong,
We're taught that such
'judgments' do not belong...
We can get our condoms and birth
Study witchcraft, vampires and
But the Ten Commandments are not
No word of God must reach this
It's scary here I must
When chaos reigns the school's a
So, Lord, this silent plea I
Should I be shot; My soul please
SUNDAY, June 13, 2010
Time for another episode of AROUND THE
WORLD IN 80 OPINIONS.
First, the executive summary: What
the Hell is going on??
in Foreign Policy (or
whatever it is) President Obama's administration is nearly a total
failure. (See the recent article by Charles Krauthammer
in The Day - theday.com - Saturday June 12, pA7)
- Pakistan: In another "dog
bites man story", we learn today that the Pakistani spy agency is
working closely with the Taliban and thus against us.
- Afghanistan: Just as I
predicted weeks ago in this section, the Taliban...having been given a
free hand to harvest their opium instead of viewing the ashes that we
should have produced in those fields...is now harvesting our fighting
men and women at their leisure.
- Iran: Its leaders
continue to tweak our righteous nose as they are about to join the
nuclear club, a point now finally admitted by the ever-myopic
International Atomic Energy Agency. A game changer, if there ever was
one, in the Middle East.
- Israel: Its current
leaders continue to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, thanks to
- Turkey: Beset internally
by challenges to its secular government from its large Muslim
community, its leaders see the weakness of its Western partners while
Russia and China are rising in influence. And so, its violent
reaction to the recent blockade - running debacle.
- Russia: President Obama
gave it a great deal (eg. reversal of placement of missals in Central
Europe). It gave Obama a horse-laugh.
- China: In contrast to
Russia, the Chinese don't even make a pretext of agreeing with the
U.S...on anything. They know that they have us by the Wall Street
- Europe: At least it's too
busy staying afloat economically to ridicule us for a while.
- England: Our only true
"friend" vs "interest", and Obama decides they (through BP) are "the
ass to kick". Atta Way, Mr. President.
- Canada: Thank God for
- Mexico: There is a
failed State in the making. And they have an attitude to
boot. I hope we don't bail them out again, as we did in President
- Brazil: Forget about
inter-American relations. They can read the tea leaves of
mis-managed American policy too.
- Africa: The "Dark
Continent"...darker than ever. We are losing all influence, in an
entire continent with so many people, to the ham-handedness of the old
colonial powers and to the genius and energy of the Chinese.
In Domestic Policy, more of
in Domestic Policy, the Obama Administration is nearly a total
failure. (See the recent article by Ben Davol in The Day
Sunday June 13, pE3).
- A health care "reform" Act
which is a Christmas Tree of benefits for all (except the "rich",
whoever they are) that risks bankrupting the nation over the next two
decades...while succeeding in avoiding the issues that really need
change in the delivery of health care.
- Wall Street "reform"
which will probably go nowhere when the smoke and mirrors are
- Immigration Reform,
totally ignored and replaced with rank demagoguery by all...including
the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles, who must be inhaling the "weed
smog" currently enveloping that fair city.
- The catastrophe in the Gulf of
Mexico. See the "Dirty Dozen" of poipetraters listed in this week's
- The ship of State totally adrift regarding Energy reform, thanks in part to
the rigid environmentalists.
In American Society at this
time, we have a coarsening, a weakening and a dumbing down...all at the
same time, and with no useful input from the Bully Pulpit.
And with all of this evidence of a
rapidly developing failed Presidency...and failed Federal Legislature...we
still have a lot of people who just don't get it and who want
unconstitutional legislation under the guise of "campaign reform" to
solve our problem.
- "The Dumbest Generation", a recent and heavily documented
- Two generations of lemmings
armed with electronics that guarantee not only delayed
maturation but possibly absent adult interpersonal maturation
- Teachers Unions which
have succeeded in producing a failed Teaching Profession.
Well folks, only you can solve the problem at the ballot box, election
after election and vote after informed vote: 1) VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT
OF OFFICE AT THE NEXT TWO ELECTIONS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION; AND 2) KEEP
VOTING THEM OUT OF OFFICE AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE TERMS - EFFECTIVE "TERM
YOU HEAR ME NOW?
SATURDAY, June 12, 2010
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
OF L&M SEMINAR, JUNE 11,12, 2010
N.B. Speakers’ comments in normal font.
GS comments in larger font.
HEALTH CARE REFORM AND THE QUALITY
IMPERATIVE, by Maulik Joshi, PhD.
“Physicians get it right 54% of the
not my experience).
Our transactional payment system is
We all need more information.
People generally don’t use the
information. But they are becoming more
The challenge for hospitals is a +
vs. a – profit margin. The key is
is high cost and high mortality. (?)
What is sought is more integrated
care, more “at
risk”, and more accountability; more systems analysis, more
increased integration and coordination.
“You can’t improve what you don’t
This is a management systems analysis.
What we also need is a physician (“provider”)
This always begins with the diagnosis. Then should come practice parameters,
including both clinical experience and more formal studies to arrive at
“evidence based practice”. Then there
should be a system of prioritization, dealing with needs and
“wants”. This should all be properly documented. All medical care should be coordinated,
by any willing participant and not only by “medical home”.
Clinical results should be tracked as
to outcome. Patients and family
should be involved at all stages, incorporating self-determination but
replacing physician judgment as long as the physician is on the case. And patient personal responsibility
for his or her own care should be stressed and required.
Finally, medical mal-practice reform
is critical to reducing and eliminating “defensive medicine”, which may
for up to 30% of health care costs.
NOW WHAT? By Ian Morrison, PhD.
The quest for Value for all
Higher Performance. Value.
“The Second Curve” is upon us, with
of the First Curve of health care delivery that has been our standard
Cost, Quality, Access
Our health care system is at a
The U.S. spends 2X more per
any other country…without the results.
Economists consider health care as a
good”. But we are spending too much of
GDP on it.
U.S. has more high tech, high
any other country. Why?
Why the big difference?
1) “The fallacy of “excellence”…it takes a
system for proper health care; 2) We have the most bureaucratic system
world, both public and private, with more coming…; 3) We love “new “
technology; 4) 30% of health care costs are provided in the last few
life of Medicare patients – for others it is 10-15%; 4) Deferred and
medical care by patients; 5) Primary vs Specialty Care: we have 40%-
nations have the reverse – we need more emphasis on primary care
Is this fixable?
A problem of Policy, Management, and payment system change.
I emphasized the matter of “defensive
medicine”. I challenged the
assertions regarding “quality of
care” being provided – certainly not the experience of most doctors. I emphasized something that is never
mentioned: patient responsibility for their health. I challenged the assertion that there is “little
science” behind what we do: there is a mass of clinical experience,
of value as are formal studies – but often given little credence in
regarding “evidence based Medicine”.
followed a general
review of the Health Care Reform Act, with emphasis on reforming the
system and on documenting Quality at lower cost. Meanwhile
the “rich”, physicians and China
will pay the massive bill, or so Washington hopes.
If not, Medicare and Medicaid might bankrupt
the country (not Social Security).
I emphasized the fact that the hospital and
the physicians are in the same seriously leaking boat, and that both
together. And I draw a personal line at
any effort to make physicians guarantors of their patients’
through capitation or through “bundling payments” or through emphasis
parameters” that only the patient has ultimate control over. I will not “…relax and enjoy it”.
I will rather fight than switch.
George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D.
June 12, 2010
FRIDAY, June 11, 2010
These two most recent offerings under this on-going collection should
be the last word on the subjects of Clergy Sex Abuse and of Priestly
Celibacy. But, of course, they won't. Barring new revelations,
further demands on the Pope to "confess" should be seen as self-serving
and anti-Catholic Church. And regarding Priestly Celibacy, Cardinal
Bertone strikes a responsive cord in this commentary. Priestly celibacy
is indeed voluntary: a man can become a Catholic Priest...or not. But
this should be considered a Vow which - if he breaks - should result at
least in removal from the Priesthood and possibly in excommunication.
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Priestly Meeting Shows Beauty of Celibacy
Cardinal Bertone Addresses Priests From 70 Countries
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- There is a beautiful aspect of
celibacy that underlines a priest's dedication to serve each and every
person as a brother or sister in Christ, says Benedict XVI's secretary
of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
The cardinal spoke about the priesthood and celibacy this afternoon at
the "Priests Today" conference, held at Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.
The Congregation for Clergy sponsored the three-hour event, in
cooperation with the Focolare Movement, the Schoenstatt Movement and
the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
Priests "are essentially brothers among brothers, in whom they
recognize the face of Christ. Brothers of every person, of men and
women, whom they must love and serve with total selflessness, without
any attachment, without seeking their own interest," explained Cardinal
"Thus is understood the present importance and beauty of celibacy. And
in you this beauty radiates that unconditional love which has always
been extremely valued by the Church, as sign and stimulus of charity
and as special source of fruitfulness in the world," he added.
The Church and humanity, the cardinal stated, "are in need of priests
of this mettle, of authentic 'prophets of a new world,' that world that
began with the coming of Christ, which is in continuous becoming, in
"At this time," Cardinal Bertone lamented, "we have had to bear the
sorrow of infidelity, on occasions grave, of some members of the
clergy, who have had an extremely negative influence on the credibility
of the Church."
For this reason, he recalled, when Benedict XVI spoke with journalists
on the flight to Portugal, he referred to "a 'persecution' that is born
within the Church herself."
"From this sorrow arises a providential awareness," added cardinal
Bertone quoting Benedict XVI's Pastoral Letter to Catholics of Ireland.
"It is necessary to live 'a period of rebirth and spiritual renewal,'
to follow 'with courage the path of conversion, purification and
reconciliation,' 'to find new ways to transmit to young people the
beauty and richness of friendship with Jesus Christ in the communion of
Thousands of priests from 70 countries took part in the half-day event
that marked the beginning of the closing ceremonies of the Year for
Priests, which ends Friday.
WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, June 9 and
More on the most important topics of
recent weeks, but this time from
Charles Krauthammer, always directly on point.
Both articles are well worth your time. GS
- "Whose Blowout Is it, Anyway?",
in The Day (www.theday.com) , Tuesday June 1, pA7;
- "Israel In A State Of
Disarmament", in The Day, Monday June 7, pA5.
TUESDAY, June 8, 2010
Dad, good stuff, as always, but I have
to disagree with you on a couple of really big points.
I think labeling West Bank settlements
"illegal" is the same as seeking "justice" and "prosecuting to the
fullest extent of the law" people who blow up car bombs outside
embassies and fly airplanes into skyscrapers.
From the moment it declared its
statehood in 1948 until 1967, and continuing to the
present, Israel has lived under the threat of extermination from
nearly all sides, the Mediterranean Sea being the only non-combatant
here. Finally, after deciding that it was most likely looking at
yet another attack, Israel took matters into its own hands in
June of '67 and successfully added what the military calls
"defense in depth" to the wafer-thin perimeter around
itself. In spite of its alliance with the U.S., there was no
guarantee that this plan would succeed because its enemies had support
from the Soviet Union. But, luckily for them, it did work
out. This garnered them additional territory part of which
(nearly unheard of in that part of the world) they relinquished
control of in following years. The notable exception is the
territory on which "illegal" settlements now rest.
To say that the West Bank is
"occupied territory" is to say that every piece of land that has
ever been fought over is "occupied territory". Israel
obviously agreed to its borders when its sovereignty was
established in 1948, which, if you look at a map from that time, was a
pretty ballsy thing to agree to. However, after numerous
conflicts, clashes, and all-out wars in only 19 years of existence by
1967, they decided they had had enough. They took the West
Bank in battle, and they hold it in "peace". As with
any conflict around the world throughout history, you want it
back, go ahead and try to take it back. They gave up an
incredibly valuable buffer zone against Egypt when they relinquished
the Sinai in 1979. Then, most recently, under the weight of
purely sensational (and usually inaccurate) media coverage
"documenting" "inhuman" treatment of the Gaza population, they
backed out of that territory.
What did the Palestinians do?
They hired a gang of thugs known as Hamas to represent them and
proceeded to launch (in the last few years) no less than 3,000 rockets
into Israel from Gaza. Dad, Gaza has not been under Israeli
control since 2005. The only reason why ships bound for Gaza
are being stopped and searched is (as Benjamin Netanyahu and,
shock of shocks, Joe Biden put it this week) because every
single day Israel is under attack. And, every single day
they need to be vigilant of that fact.
As long as this situation exists,
Israel has ZERO obligation to Palestinians in Gaza, or anywhere for
that matter. As long as this situation exists, Israel has ZERO
obligation to remove settlements in the West Bank. Are you
kidding me? What would you do if 3,000 rockets flew into the
American Southwest from Mexico because they said that it was "occupied"
territory from the Mexican-American War? And, should you pack up
your belongings and hand your property over to the Pequot, Mohican, and
Uncas tribes because you're occupying an "illegal" settlement? Oh
yeah, I forgot; it's okay for Americans to fight for and hold
their own borders, but not Israel. Is that double-standard in
effect because America has held its borders for nearly two
Can we allow Israel that same
opportunity so they can reach their, oh I don't know, 63rd
Characterizing Israel as a petulant
child is like punishing your kid for upsetiing you when he's
trying to tell you that he's being molested. I'm not
kidding. And, your conspiracy theory about Israel trying to
attain the Israel "of the Bible"? I think it's more like the
Israel that gets to finally breathe a collective sigh of relief
because half the world (including the UN) is no longer doing
anything it can, directly or indirectly, to either hamstring it in
any way possible, or to wipe it off the map.
George, are you listening?
MONDAY, June 7, 2010
The two most important news developments of recent days and weeks are
the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico
and the latest events surrounding
Israel and the Palestinians. At first, I started to collect good
news articles on these subjects to recommend. But there are too
many of them to cite, providing facts and analysis without becoming
partisan...a welcome departure from the S.O.P.. which probably reflects
the correctly perceived gravity of these issues.
There appear to be no heroes in the Gulf
story except for the workers who lost their lives on the rig and
those workers they left behind - on that rig and probably on all of the
other oil rigs still drilling. For they were and are as trapped
in their jobs for survival as are the coal miners of recent memory and
continuing tragedy. But there are many villains, beginning with
the compromised or incompetent government regulators and extending
through the many levels of business types who forever place profit over
safety through omission and commission. Some of these people should go to jail for
years - that is, if our carefully crafted and politically
motivated relevant laws allow for that. Even now, they talk of
months more of toxic oil escape, extending to the East Coast and
perhaps even to Europe, rather than about imploding that well...which
of course would lose it to future oil profits. Our Government in
action and inaction.
The Israel - Palestine issue is
our Gordian Knot. As such, it will require an Alesandrian blow to
solve it. It would be simple to declare "a pox on both their
houses", for they both deserve it. The Palestinians and their
Arab and Muslim supporters are just plain crazy to think that Israel
will ever disappear. We in America will defend Israel just as we
would defend any of our States...something I had an opportunity to tell
the visiting Syrian Ambassador to the U.S. recently - to his evident
distress. But Israel should not be allowed to hold us hostage to
that commitment...as has been the case for decades. As with an
errant child, we will never disown him...but we should punish him when
circumstances warrant. Israel should have been and should be
punished for its continuing illegal settlements. And Israel
should be made to provide for the well-being of the Palestinians in
Gaza who are totally under its control while providing for its own
necessary self-defense. The facts underlying the recent episode
at sea are yet not clear enough to render a judgment...notwithstanding
the immediate, hypocritical and politically motivated response of the
Turks and of much of the world. And then, as I have noted earlier
in this section, Israel may actually be keeping the pot boiling
precisely in order to hold America hostage to its goal of an Israel of
the Bible. Well, a suggestion: let's raise the ante. The
U.S. should embrace as an ultimate goal the declaration of Jerusalem as
an International City, home of three major Religions and many minor
ones. Benjamin, are you listening?
SUNDAY, June 6, 2010
...and he says it can be done. GS
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Politics Is a Noble Vocation, Says Pope
Encourages Public Service That Promotes Moral Truth
NICOSIA, Cyprus, JUNE 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Public service is a "noble
vocation," and when it is carried out faithfully, it is a means to grow
in wisdom, integrity and personal fulfillment, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today in a reflection on the role of politicians in
society and their role in promoting moral truth in society, which he
addressed to government officials and the diplomatic corps of Cyprus at
the presidential gardens in Nicosia. The Holy Father is in Cyprus until
"You as public servants know the importance of truth, integrity and
respect in your relationships with others," the Pontiff affirmed.
"Personal relationships are often the first steps toward building trust
and -- in due course -- solid bonds of friendship between individuals,
peoples and nations.
"This is an essential part of your role, both as politicians and
diplomats. In countries with delicate political situations, such honest
and open personal relationships can be the beginning of a much greater
good for entire societies and peoples.
"Let me encourage all of you, present here today, to seize the
opportunities afforded you, both personally and institutionally, to
build these relationships and, in so doing, to foster the greater good
of the concert of nations and the true good of those whom you
Benedict XVI noted the importance of "moral rectitude and impartial
respect for others and their well-being" in building a society as they
are key elements to establishing "a climate of trust in which all human
interactions, whether religious, or economic, social and cultural, or
civil and political, acquire strength and substance."
He then offered three ways to promote moral truth, "acting responsibly
on the basis of factual knowledge"; "deconstructing political
ideologies which would supplant the truth"; "base positive law upon the
ethical principles of natural law."
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 4 and 5, 2010
WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, June 2 and
"GRAND CHAMBER...OR STAR
Another example of "internationalists" run amok. As has been my
opinion from the outset of that experiment, I believe that the European Union will never achieve
the integration, similar to that of our United States, which some
seek. Those States, each with thousands of years of their own
individual history, language and culture, are simply an extension of
the tribalism inherent in
human nature since its creation - the basis of both its strengths and
its troubles. GS
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
10 European States Join Italy to Defend Crucifix
Catholic and Orthodox Join in Alliance
STRASBOURG, France, JUNE 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The "crucifix trial" in
the European Court of Human Rights has given rise to an unprecedented
intervention of 10 member States as third parties.
The European Centre for Law and Justice, which was also authorized to
become a third party in the court hearing regarding the legitimacy of
displaying crucifixes in Italian schools, reported today that ten other
States will have this amicus curiae status in the "Lautsi vs. Italy"
This case was referred to the Grand Chamber when the Italian government
appealed a decision issued by the Second Section of the court last
November, which spoke against the presence of the crucifix in
These States, all of which are supporting Italy in the desire to
overturn last November's decision, include: Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus,
Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, San-Marino, Romania, and The Russian
The third party status allows the States to submit to the court their
written and oral observations as official parties to the case.
The court's Grand Chamber will hold a public hearing on June 30, and
the final judgment on the case is expected by the end of the year.
The director of the European Centre for Law and Justice, Gregor
Puppinck, stated in a communiqué today that this is "an
important precedent in the practice of the court, because usually
member States abstain from intervening, or intervene only when the case
affects a national of their State."
"The Lautsi case is unique and unprecedented," he continued. "Ten
States are in fact explaining to the court what is the limit of its
jurisdiction; what is the limit of its ability to create new 'rights'
against the will of the member States."
"This can be seen as a kind of counter-balancing of power," he
The communiqué also noted the "tremendous importance" of the
fact that this is "an unprecedented alliance between Catholics and
Orthodox countries in the face of the liberal and secularist ideology."
"Those countries are uniting their forces to protect their religious
heritage and freedom to reaffirm that the Christian symbols have a
natural right to be displayed in public within Christian countries," it
The center pointed out that the court's role is to apply the European
Convention on Human Rights, which says nothing about "duties to
secularize education in Europe" nor about "the nature of the
relationship between the State and the church."
TUESDAY, June 1, 2010
A BULLETIN...FROM ONE OF PRESIDENT
OBAMA'S "ALLIES". GS
people have the
vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them.
This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has
it figured out.
"The danger to
America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man
like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and
undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary
common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have
such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and
far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails
America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone
to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The
Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a
fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as
those who made him their president."
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