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.
> Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every
conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know
we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.
> HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was
NOT the senior citizens who took:
> The melody out of music,
> The pride out of appearance,
> The courtesy out of driving,
> The romance out of love,
> The commitment out of marriage,
> The responsibility out of parenthood,
> The togetherness out of the family,
> The learning out of education,
> The service out of patriotism,
> The Golden Rule from rulers,
> The nativity scene out of cities,
> The civility out of behavior,
> The refinement out of language,
> The dedication out of employment,
> The prudence out of spending,
> The ambition out of achievement or
> God out of government and school.
> And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and
tolerance from personal relationships
> And interactions with others!!
> And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism,
> And remember those who have fought and died for our country.
> Does anyone under the age of 50 know the lyrics to the Star
> What about the last verse of My Country 'tis of Thee?
> "Our father 's God to thee,
> Author of liberty,
> To Thee we sing.
> Long may our land be bright,
> With freedom's Holy light.
> Protect us by Thy might,
> Great God our King."
> Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and
> Pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with
> Their hand over their hearts!
> YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!
> I'm the life of the party...... Even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
> I'm very good at opening childproof caps.... With a hammer.
> I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
> I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're
> I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place,
> I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.
> I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
> I'm a walking storeroom of facts..... I've just
> Lost the key to the storeroom door.
> Yes, I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am
> Having the time of my life!
> Now if I could only remember who sent this to me,
> I wouldn't send it back to them, but I would send
> It to many more too!
> Spread the laughter
> Share the cheer
> Let's be happy
> While we're here.
SATURDAY, February 26,2011
Those of us old enough will
never forget Kate Smith! (Look for Reagan in the clip)
"If we ever forget that we're
one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - R. Reagan
In early1940,Kate Smith,
a fiercely patriotic American, and the biggest star
on radio, was deeply worried
about her country.
She askedIrving Berlinif he could give her a song
that would reignite the spirit of American
patriotism and faith. He said he had a song that he had
written in 1917, but never used it.
He said she could have
She sat at the piano & played it and realized how good it
was. She called Mr.Berlinand told him that she
couldn't take this from him for nothing. So, they agreed that any money
that would be made off the song would be donated to theBoy Scouts of
Thanks to Kate Smith and Irving Berlin, the Scouts
have received millions of dollars in royalties.
This clip is from the movie "You're in the Army Now". You
will see afamiliar facein this-one that we are all
very proud of.
Frank Sinatrasaid that when Kate Smith,
whom he considered the greatest singer of his age, first sang
thissong on the radio(there was no TV), a million
guys got 'dust' in their eyes and had to wipe the tears the 'dust'
Libya and President Obama. Does the
name "Nero" come to mind? Of course I don't
know what "black-ops" or "special-ops" activities are taking place...if any. What I do know is
that we are beginning to witness another genocide by another homicidal
maniac; we are not acting as the world's great beacon of democracy
should act, and we are talking about that good-for-nothing
What would I do, you ask? We have American citizens in harm's way
right now in Libya. We need no other reason to station an
aircraft carrier off Libya's coast, deposit a regiment of Marines in
Tripoli, neutralize the pro-government armed forces with or without
firing a shot (their option), and give Gadhafi an offer he can't
refuse. Also, transport another regiment of American forces to
the Libyan oil fields to help the insurgents protect the Libyan
peoples' family jewels.
"Reckless", you say. "Craven Idiot", I say. Can
you hear me know?
THURSDAY, February 24,2011
Finally, the strangle-hold that
organized Labor has had on its members, on local and State
budgets and on our democratic processes is being addressed...amidst
great wailing and gnashing of teeth. Of course, much of that
wailing is coming directly from the Democratic Party, which has for
decades been a wholly-owned subsidiary of these unions, especially the
Teachers' Unions. I believe in and support collective bargaining
for workers, involving
salary and working conditions...but not involving efforts at perpetual
job guarantees, gross over-reaching, reducing or eliminating the
ability of workers to choose whether or not to join unions while
retaining their jobs, and any ability of workers in areas of safety and
health to hold the public hostage by their union activities, including
strikes. The tactics now being employed in Madison, Wisconsin and
in other States are becoming reminiscent of the goon squads employed by
both labor and management in the first half of the 20th century.
That should not be tolerated. And the democratic process, as
played out in the November 2010 elections throughout the nation, should
be defended and implemented.
A big part of States' and
Federal Government's budget problems are directly related to
runaway entitlement programs, including the most recent -
ObamaCare. Please see my many commentaries on Health Care
delivery throughout this web site and dating from the mid-1970's.
See also the excellent article by Charles Krauthammer entitled:
"Obama's Louis XV Budget", in The Day (theday.com), Monday, Feb. 21,
2011, pA5. Folks, now is the time for all of us to become very
active participants in this process we call democracy. Get involved!
A very important recent international development has been the
near-simultaneous realization by the leaders of England, France and
Germany that their long passive tolerance of "multiculturalism" in their
countries is producing a Fifth Column of dangerous elements. It
took them too long. It may also become a danger in this
country. Witness the policies of the Army, no less, as reflected in the
case of Major Hassan (see Major
Hassan, 'Star Officer', by Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ Wednesday,
Feb. 16, 2011,pA17). See also "David
Cameron'sWarning", WSJ Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011,pA16.
While Female", NYTimes Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011, pWK1. The most
recent case of assault involving Laura Logan has produced a substantial
number of similar cases not previously reported. What to do with
women who strongly desire to serve in areas of special danger to them
as women, including in combat assignments? My opinion:
select them carefully; train them well; let them serve as "buddies" of
the men around them in service. And above all, excise from our
own services and societies all tolerance for sexual assault...now the
most pervasive danger to our sisters, wives and mothers in service of
THESE ARE TRULY "TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, February 21 through 23,2011
and heart warming view. Considering what is going on in
elsewhere at this point I am not so sure it is still as clear. It
true that we pull together when we are under attack, but I am not so
sure that we understand that what has made us great is what we are
rapidly giving away (our freedom)...
From a Romanian Newspaper :
We rarely get a chance to see another country's
editorial about the USA
this excerpt from a Romanian Newspaper. The article was written
Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title 'C'ntarea Americii,
meaning 'Ode To America ') in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentulzilei
'The Daily Event' or 'News of the Day'.
~An Ode to America ~
are Americans so united? They would not resemble one another even if
you painted them all one color! They speak all the languages of
world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations and religious
9/ll, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a
hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White
Army, or the Secret Service that they are only a bunch of losers.
Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed
the streets nearby to gape about.
Instead the Americans volunteered to donate blood and
to give a helping hand.
the first moments of panic, they raised their flag over the smoking
ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of the national
flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every
on every car a government official or the president was passing.
every occasion, they started singing: 'God Bless America !'
watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours listening to
the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a
wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey
player, who gave his life fighting with the terrorists and prevented
the plane from hitting a target that could have killed other hundreds
or thousands of people.
on earth were they able to respond united as one human being?
Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some
turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone
millions and millions of dollars were put into collection aimed at
rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit, which no money can
What on earth unites the Americans in such a way? Their
history? Their economic Power? Money? I tried
for hours to find an
answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases with the risk of sounding
commonplace, I thought things over, I reached but only one
conclusion... Only freedom can work such miracles.
SUNDAY, February 20,2011
More about the arrogance of the
"Revisionist in Chief".
self-serving revision of history
By DAN SENOR and ROMAN MARTINEZ Special to The
Publication: The Day
Published 02/20/2011 12:00 AM
Updated 02/20/2011 04:54 AM
Donald Rumsfeld's memoir repeatedly distorts or
ignores the facts as reported by others involved in the key Iraq
What went wrong in Iraq? According to Donald
Rumsfeld's memoir, U.S. difficulties stemmed not from the Pentagon's
failure to plan for the war's aftermath - or Rumsfeld's unwillingness
as defense secretary to provide enough troops to secure Iraqis after
the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Rumsfeld pins most of the blame on the Coalition
Provisional Authority (CPA) for its alleged mishandling of Iraq's
political transition in 2003-04, which "stoked nationalist resentments"
and "fanned the embers of what would become the Iraqi insurgency."
We were Defense Department officials through the
early phases of the war and worked for the CPA in Baghdad. We have
defended many of the difficult decisions Rumsfeld made and respect his
service to our country. But his book paints an inaccurate and unfair
history of U.S. policymaking concerning Iraq's political transition.
Rumsfeld's basic theme is that the CPA erred by
failing to grant Iraqis "the right to govern themselves" early in the
U.S.-led occupation. Rumsfeld claims that he favored a "swift
transition" of power to an "Iraqi transitional government" and that the
Bush administration formally endorsed this strategy when it approved
the Pentagon's plan for an Iraqi Interim Authority in March 2003. He
writes that the head of the CPA, L. Paul Bremer, unilaterally decided
not to implement this plan.
But Rumsfeld's own contemporaneous memos undermine
this notion. The 26 "Principles for Iraq - Policy Guidelines" that
Rumsfeld gave Bremer in May 2003 said nothing about handing real power
To the contrary, Rumsfeld's instructions endorsed the
top-down approach his book condemns. The CPA should "assert authority
over the country," he wrote, and should "not accept or tolerate
self-appointed (Iraqi ) 'leaders.'"
There should be "clarity that the Coalition is in
charge, with no conflicting signals to the Iraqi people," Rumsfeld
wrote. He directed Bremer to take a "hands-on" approach to Iraq's
"political reconstruction," noting that "the Coalition will
consistently steer the process to achieve the stated objectives" and
should "not 'let a thousand flowers bloom.'" The "transition from
despotism to a democracy will not happen easily or fast," he concluded,
noting that "(rushing) elections could lead to tyranny of the majority."
If Rumsfeld's goal was to quickly empower an Iraqi
government, this was a strange way to communicate that objective.
Rumsfeld also claims that the Bush administration
decided, before the war, to hand over power to an unelected sovereign
In fact, shortly after the end of major combat
operations, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith testified before
a House committee on May 15, 2003, that the administration planned for
the CPA to govern Iraq. The CPA would establish an Iraqi Interim
Authority (IIA), Feith explained, whose most important responsibility
would be to design the process by which Iraqis would create a new Iraqi
government after drafting a new constitution and holding elections.
The president and his top advisers explicitly decided
not to make the IIA a fully empowered Iraqi government. As one
declassified Pentagon memo explained, the IIA would "take
responsibility" for overseeing certain government offices and
ministries - but only as determined by the CPA. And Pentagon officials
envisioned that the CPA would retain an absolute veto over any IIA
decision. The IIA would lack independent authority to control Iraq's
security forces, run Iraq's oil sector, appropriate Iraqi funds or
Rumsfeld claims that it was "startling news" when
Bremer wrote on The Post op-ed page in September 2003 that a fully
empowered sovereign Iraqi government would take power only after
elections were held under a new and democratic constitution.
But Bremer had confirmed this exact sequence of
events repeatedly in the summer of 2003, in private memos to the
president and Rumsfeld, public speeches and the CPA strategic plan that
he shared with Rumsfeld for comments in early July. Rumsfeld criticizes
the plan now, but he agreed with it at the time: "You're on the mark,"
he wrote to Bremer in September 2003. "I agree with your memo and will
send it to (the president) and members of the (National Security
Rumsfeld now argues that a speedy handover to a
sovereign Iraqi government would have prevented the (largely Sunni)
insurgency from taking hold. But a sovereign Iraqi government
established in the spring or summer of 2003 would have empowered the
Shiite leaders of the Iraqi opposition movement in exile before the war
(most notably, Ahmed Chalabi and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme
Council for the Islamic Republic of Iraq). Chalabi has said that such a
government would have invited the radical and violent cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr to become a member. These figures unflinchingly advocated
policies such as aggressive de-Baathification and the use of sectarian
Shiite militia groups that antagonized Sunnis after Saddam Hussein's
A government led by these figures would have deeply
alienated Sunnis, who harbored fears about the Shiite exile leadership,
its ties to neighboring Iran and its desire for payback after decades
of dictatorship. It likely would have made the Sunni insurgency worse.
Without basic security for ordinary Iraqis, it was
extraordinarily difficult to achieve lasting progress in Iraq,
especially with respect to a political transition that required
negotiation and compromise among competing factions. Establishing
public safety was what we failed to do during Rumsfeld's tenure. Only
after he resigned and President Bush deployed more troops and a
traditional counterinsurgency approach did things begin to turn around.
Policymakers in Washington and Baghdad did their best
to craft workable solutions under extreme circumstances. We at the CPA
certainly made our share of mistakes. We only wish Rumsfeld would
accept responsibility for his.
The writers were based in Baghdad in 2003-04 as
officials of the Defense Department and the Coalition Provisional
SUNDAY through SATURDAY, February 13 through 19,2011
EDITION OF "AROUND THE WORLD IN 80
The Far East.
China's neighbors have noticed its military ascendancy...and they are
re-arming. Good idea. The same is true of Taiwan.
Japan uses its Constitution and its 20th Century history to resist
re-arming...but the real reason is its weakened state, politically and
economically - and its guarantor, us. Meanwhile, the U.S. is
re-deploying our submarine force to meet the increasing challenge from
China in the Pacific and the Far East. Another good idea.
China...and all the other
despotic regimes that enslave its people and deny them basic democratic
rights...can never be an "ally" of the U.S. That does not mean an
inevitable war. The Chinese leaders and we are too pragmatic for
that. But our relationship must be at arms length and
contractual; and we must expect and demand that the other party abide
by the terms of the contract. That is not happening now, and that
fact is eroding America's credibility throughout the world with ally
and foe alike. Please notice that I do not use the word
"friend". Nations do not have "friends"; they have
interests. Even our European allies - and especially England -
risk eroding our relationship with them if they do not reverse their
embrace of "multiculturalism", with particular reference to
"Islam has a problem".
It surely does. And only the Muslim people can solve it.
Muslim fundamentalism is incompatible with any form of democracy...and
is thus incompatible with the expectations and needs of its youth, with
its future development and with avoidance of an otherwise inevitable
global war with the West. And that means democracy for all -
including for the 50% of their population who live in subjugation:
women. Current events in Egypt, Tunisia, and now several other
countries are hopeful signs. And America must encourage those
developments toward some form of democracy, as distinguished from our
traditional "Real Politic" of supporting despots for our own perceived
ends. For our most important goal must avoidance of a global war
with Islam. Middle East "democracy" and the ascendancy of
moderate Islam are the only hope in achieving that goal.
Shia and Sunni conflicts. We
entered war in Iraq and Afghanistan without a clear knowledge of the
central importance of those divisions to events in the Middle East. And
we seem to be no more knowledgeable of or sensitive to those facts
now. America would do well to offer honest broker mediation to
the parties. Crazy, you say? Perhaps. But our current
"finger in the dike" approach there is no better.
That brings up our presence in
Afghanistan and in Iraq. Iraq is now the less
complicated: leave the people of Iraq to their own devices now, while
maintaining a solid military presence there as a forward base for
possible future developments. In Afghanistan, we cannot offset
Taliban guns and knives with offers of butter. We need
credibility with the Afghan people: give them an offer they can't
refuse. Destroy their Opium crop for one year, with the promise
of permanent elimination if they do not accept our butter and throw off
the Taliban yoke. That would work. Otherwise, we have no
business keeping our men and women on that killing field.
At home, we have desperate
battle between two forces which have become weakened by former
and current unrealistic ideologies. The Democrats are reaching
the end results of their decades of profligacy and surrender to large
and irresponsible pressure groups including teachers' and public sector
unions, the trial bar, and Black "leaders" fomenting reverse
racism. The Republicans are trapped under the yoke of a theocracy
of the Bible on the one hand and a theocracy of unfettered "free
enterprise" on the other. Neither side can "finish the other
off"...and so they flail away. But the results of the recent
elections give some hope. Here referring to the large majority of
reasonable moderate Americans, we can repeat the words of Admiral
Yamamoto after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor: "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant".
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, February 11 and 12,2011
EGYPT: "BIRTH OF A NATION". Now: "What's It All About, Alfie?
Mubarak’s departure: What it means,
By Yahoo! News yahoo! News – Fri Feb 11, 4:51 pm ET
By Steve Clemons
Pro-democracy protesters celebrated in cities across
Egypt on Friday after forcing President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Mubarak, who had announced Thursday night in a televised speech that he
would keep his title and give some of his authority to Vice President
Omar Suleiman, suddenly handed over power to the military and left
Cairo. (Latest developments)
Mubarak's resignation, which ends three decades of
authoritarian rule, raises numerous questions about what led to his
decision, what happens next and what the transition means. Here are
What does the change in Egypt mean for the United
Mubarak's resignation and the uncertainty facing
Egypt are serious issues for American foreign policy. Mubarak's Egypt
was a longstanding American ally that cooperated with the United States
on a long list of issues, ranging from combating terrorism to assisting
U.S. military operations in the Middle East to helping secure shipping
lanes to facilitating Arab-Israeli negotiations. The tectonic shift
going on in Egypt, and in the broader Middle East, may have dramatic
effects on the future price of oil, the extent of American regional
influence, Israeli security, and a host of other key questions. With
Egypt in a state of transition, the United States might see some of its
interests suffer and some remain secure. Whatever ultimately happens in
Egypt, the process has only just begun. The fate of America's regional
influence and its diplomatic, economic and military ties to the Middle
East is a part of that process.
[ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to
Yahoo! Politics ]
Who is in charge of Egypt now?
Around 11 a.m. EST, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president
for almost 30 years, resigned. In a 30-second statement, his vice
president, Omar Suleiman, announced that the Supreme Council of the
Armed Forces would manage the state's affairs. The military now appears
to be fully in control of the country. Suleiman, Mubarak's ally, is
still part of the governing body but with potentially diminished
influence. It is a fluid situation, and how power ultimately will
shake out is unclear. The Supreme Council is made up of the heads of
the different branches of the military as well as the Minister of
Defense and the General Chief of Staff. Defense Minister Mohamed
Hussein Tantawi chaired the most recent meeting of the Council in
What happens next? How will the transition work?
What is clear is that a process will begin in which
the opposition parties will be involved, though how it will work has
not been defined. Much depends on how the Supreme Council of the Armed
Forces will structure the tasks ahead. The military already has
said it will not accept the legitimacy of the state, meaning it has no
intention of maintaining power for the long term. The Army probably
will now step back to establish a playbook by which the nation moves to
both change laws in the Constitution that have hindered democracy—and
set up a process by which new political groups get a role in
determining collectively how a fair election needs to be structured.
Where is Mubarak now, and where is he likely to go?
Earlier this morning President Mubarak's presidential
plane reportedly left for and landed in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Red Sea
resort city in the south of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. There are some
rumors at the moment that he has left the country, but that has not
been confirmed. If he has not yet left, it is very possible that
he will try to leave Egypt for a safe haven in one of the Gulf States,
Europe, or perhaps in the United States, but any nation that accepts
Mubarak will have to deal with the anger of the Egyptian public.
Mubarak also might have to worry about legal challenges and extradition.
What happened between Mubarak's speech last night and
his decision to resign today?
Totalitarian regimes don't fall very neatly and
predictably. There were 18 days of pressure that finally produced
a resignation, but there was no certainty that Mubarak would in the end
give in. Mubarak's ability to stand against the headwinds facing
him was impressive on one level. The military most likely had
some divisions between those who believed Mubarak should go and those
who remained loyal or fearful. This might have been a "soft coup"
in which Mubarak was forced by the military to announce the suspension
of his presidency. It is important that we did not hear Mubarak
resign; we heard Suleiman announce the words that Mubarak refused to
Did the White House play a role in Mubarak's decision
to step down?
Yes, the White House mattered but certainly did not
play the decisive role. The Egyptian public catalyzed the events
that brought Mubarak down. The White House defined the core
principles that it most cared about—no violence, respecting the right
of people to assemble and protest, and calling for meaningful,
inclusive transition—and these became the frame for many other key
nations and commentators. This principle-driven pressure from the
United States made a difference but was not what mattered most.
What will the relationship be between the United
States and the interim government and the civilian opposition leaders
This is unclear. The military continues to have
robust communication with the Pentagon, and the White House and
State Department are in increasing communication with representatives
of opposition leaders. The future course of this communication is
unclear — but United States can be expected to reach out at the
appropriate time to a broad array of leaders in Egypt who themselves
are committed to democratic principles. The United States will
not, however, attempt to select political winners or losers. This
would backfire and undermine America's ability to have a healthy
relationship based on mutual interests with Egypt's next government.
What will the repercussions be across the Middle East?
Egypt is a major anchor in the Arab world, in the
Islamic world, and a key nation of Africa. The effects of this
earthquake may be substantial but also hard to predict. The
governments in the region that may be most vulnerable immediately might
be Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen, but the political and government
dynamics in those countries are not the same as that in Egypt.
The dynamic we have seen unfold in the Middle East probably is not done
Will the protesters leave Tahrir Square?
Tahrir Square probably will remain a heavily
populated site for weeks to come, not because of protesters but because
of celebrations that the people there on that site changed their
history peacefully and powerfully. Some also might remain in
Tahrir Square so that the interests of the public remain visible to the
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Steve Clemons is founder and senior fellow of the
American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He is part of
a group of foreign policy experts that the White House has consulted
with concerning the situation in Egypt. He also is publisher of
The Washington Note.
THURSDAY, February 10,2011
I had not seen that statement. But
here are some related thoughts, documented and repeated many times by
me over the last 35 years, orally and in print. (See the relevant
sections of my web site, particularly the "Health Law" and "Managed Care" sections).
"Rationing" or prioritization will occur because it must occur in
a system where the demand (wants vs needs) will very soon greatly
outstrip the supply. This already exists in every health care
system in the world, but hidden in various ways.
ObamaCare is a massive Christmas tree that addresses only the
wants of the constituents and not the needs of the patients and of
Any government-run system will definitely include cost analyses
of health care treatments. "Evidence - Based Medicine", the nirvana of
government analyses, not only considers the experience of Clinical
Medicine over decades as low-level evidence and suspect, but itself
includes cost-benefit determinations. This provides the context
(pretext) for practice of Medicine by bureaucrats instead of by
Physicians are the enemy in this scenario, because they know the
truth and are willing to fight for it in behalf of their patients...but
only to a certain point.
"The first rule of service is
Survival". No physician is required or expected to destroy
himself in the process of protecting his patient. This is
especially true when only the patient - public, and not the politically
impotent physician, has the power to effect needed change.
But, to motivate the patient-public to action, he or she must
feel his own "pain". Physicians have tried for too long to shield
their patients from the pain that they themselves have been exposed to
for the last 30 years. No more. That's what allowed
ObamaCare to be passed.
Of one thing the public can be assured: if his physician is
prevented from practicing Medicine in the way he knows is needed, the
physician will leave the practice of Medicine. The first rule of
a physician is: "First, Do No Harm".
At that point, you're on your own.
SUNDAY trough WEDNESDAY, February 6 through 9,2011
ABOUT DONALD RUMSFELD: I WAS
RIGHT ALL ALONG, SEE MY RELATED POSTINGS ON RAPID RESPONSE IN THE
SUMMER OF 2003 AND THEREAFTER.
Was the Iago to Bush's Othello
Posted By Kori Schake Wednesday, February
9, 2011 FOREIGN POLICY
I had been hoping Donald Rumsfeld's memoir would fall
like the proverbial tree in the forest, allowing conservatives to focus
on the problems of today. But supportive coverage in the Wall Street
Journal suggests the former defense secretary's revisionist "slice of
history" is gaining credence and needs to be rebutted. Reading the
Rumsfeld memoir was like watching the 2003 documentary about Robert
McNamara: Both men are still so convinced they were superior that they
are incapable of understanding just how damaging they were. But there
should be no doubt that Donald Rumsfeld was the self-aggrandizing Iago
to the president's Othello in the Bush administration.
Rumsfeld criticizes the consensus-building approach
of Condoleezza Rice as national security advisor, and he's right that
the administration attempted to operate collegially long after it was
apparent that wasn't working. Yet it never occurs to him that this
could be one of his "unknown unknowns" and that the national security
advisor was carrying out the president's instructions. And he neglects
to acknowledge that approach was unsuccessful because he himself would
repudiate agreements reached, even after meetings at which the
president presided. No decision was ever final unless it was the
position taken by Rumsfeld. The Executive Steering Group (ESG) on Iraq
he maligns was established to supervise DOD implementation of agreed
policies because the White House lost confidence that Rumsfeld would
carry them out. Even in the ESG, DOD was routinely represented by
people who claimed no knowledge of agreed policy or professed
themselves powerless to implement it because Rumsfeld disagreed.
Beyond throwing sand in the gears of interagency
cooperation, Rumsfeld just wasn't a very good secretary of defense. The
secretary's paramount responsibility in wartime is to translate the
president's political objectives into military plans. Bush's objectives
for Iraq were clear: regime change, control of nuclear weapons. A
military plan that bypasses Iraq's cities and has no dedicated plans or
forces for WMD control is poorly aligned with those goals, and that was
nobody's job but Donald Rumsfeld's. Rumsfeld spent his time challenging
individual units assigned in the force flow -- work that majors should
be doing -- instead of concentrating on the work that only the
secretary can do.
By treating the military leadership as an impediment
rather than the chieftains of a very successful organization, he
unnecessarily alienated an important constituency for any president,
especially in wartime. Moreover, he incurred an enormous amount of risk
with the "rolling start" plan he spurred Centcom into adopting, without
giving the president a full appreciation for the costs and benefits of
that or other approaches. Military leaders typically want a wide margin
of error in campaign plans because they have a rich appreciation for
how much can go wrong, how many elements come into play in unexpected
ways. In his determination to show that agility had overcome quantity,
Rumsfeld accepted an enormous amount of risk to achieve the president's
goals. When military leaders tried to draw attention to the masked risk
or increase force levels to reduce it, they were excoriated. This does
not just apply to the Iraq war, either: Chief of staff of the Army,
Eric Shinseki, was vilified by Rumsfeld as early as August 2001 for
questioning the intellectual honestly of the QDR that would have cut
two divisions from the Army.
And let us speak of command climate. Rumsfeld defends
his constraints on the size of the force in Iraq by claiming the
military didn't ask for more. That may well be true, but this was more
than two years into Rumsfeld's tenure, in which he had promoted
officers to top positions because they shared his vision of a
transformation of warfare in which the judgment of ground combat
officers was considered "industrial age thinking." After the punitive
treatment of Shinseki and promotion to top positions of "pliant" (James
Kitfield's term) generals, the military might be forgiven for thinking
the civilian leadership didn't want to hear it. It is the civilians'
prerogative to determine what resources to commit to wars, and the
military believed they were operating within established constraints.
That doesn't excuse military leaders not asking for what they needed to
win the war, but it also doesn't exonerate Rumsfeld from creating an
environment hostile to any disagreement with his well-known views.
His "snowflakes" -- the personal queries from the
secretary that came in abundant blizzards -- were a terrible way to
manage a large organization. They give staff the impression that the
issue at hand is of paramount importance to the secretary, causing
major diversions of resources. For example, in the month before the
start of the Iraq war, Rumsfeld sent a snowflake to the director of war
plans in the Joint Staff asking why we needed a Joint Strategic
Capabilities Plan (JSCP) -- a link in flow of plans that addresses
apportionment of forces among competing demands. What the secretary was
likely demanding, in his abrasive way, was an explanation of the
function of the document. No one in either the civilian or military
chain leading to Rumsfeld could give the J-7 any idea what the
secretary actually wanted, so the staff had to divert attention from
refining the Iraq war plans to build a 60-slide briefing justifying
continued existence of the JSCP. Rumsfeld threw them out of his office
when they came to deliver it, claiming to have no idea why they were
wasting his time with the issue. Good executives establish clear
priorities for an organization; Rumsfeld ran DOD with scattershot
directives that kept everyone off balance.
His ability to cleverly redirect attention to the
failures of others does not get Donald Rumsfeld off the hook for having
served the president and the country poorly. Conservatives need to
repudiate the profligacy of aspects of the Bush administration if we
are to regain the public trust, and that is as true for the political
and military capital Donald Rumsfeld squandered as it is of the deficit
spending conservatives are already at work repairing.
Kori Schake is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and
holds the distinguished chair in international security studies at the
United States Military Academy.
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, February 4 and 5,2011
Perrin, what do you think about this? America
is almost totally dependent on fossil fuels - mainly Middle East fossil
fuels - for our economy and our "modern civilization". A
conversion to nuclear fuel (if we could ever solve the storage problem
and our inordinate fears), and to the various forms of renewable energy
would take at least a generation, if not longer. Meanwhile, to
what extent should we permit the rape of our environment for the
"short-term" solution of accessing our own fossil fuels -
abundant oil, natural gas and coal - in order to rid ourselves of
dependence on the Middle East crazies and the consequent constant
threat to our national security and economic stability? This is
one of the foundational questions of our age. It is also another
one of those questions that is being fumbled by our "leaders".
And why should we, you and I, be discussing this: just plain folk with
minimal influence on such momentous events going on around us?
Because "if not we, then who?" Are we not the WE, THE PEOPLE who
were entrusted with this country? Were we not given in our Constitution
the tools with which to inform and motivate our fellow citizens?
And do we not owe it to ourselves to "aspire to inspire...before we
expire"? That's how I have always lived my life: play my role
maximally in the process...and then observe and learn from the
outcome. I'm very comfortable with that.
answer the second question first. As I mentioned to David earlier
this week, I, you, and everyone else who observes, contemplates,
discusses, and/or attempts to deal with issues such as these are
curious, if nothing else. We are people who wonder how things can
be the way they are (good or bad), how we feel about them, and what, if
anything, we think we can or should do about them.
think it's called . . . participation in the Human Race. Even if
nothing concrete is accomplished from these discussions, isn't it
better than sitting in front of the TV all day? And, this is
coming from someone who both produces and loves TV, at least some of it.
I simply reject this notion that nuclear power is safe, notwithstanding
the fact that we have had only one plant accident as well as the fact
that the U.S. Navy has never had (or has never publicized) a nuclear
accident on any of its vessels. And, who cares if France produces
80% of its energy from nuclear? What do they do with the
waste? Burying it is not an option, at least not for me. If
it could be re-used, recycled, or anything other than simply thrown in
the garbage, I would support it. Then again, to me the idea of
using something as complicated and dangerous as nuclear power to do
something as simple as heating water reminds me of those Rube Goldberg
machines that engineering students make as a lark or to let off steam
(no pun intended) at the end of the school year. You always talk
about "risk-to-benefit" ratio. This ratio simply sucks, as far as
I reject the notion that alternative fuels are unviable because they
are "at least a generation away." Jeez Louise, they're ALWAYS a
generation away. In fact, when opponents of alternative energy
(usually the petro-chemical cultists) started using that phrase, it WAS
a generation ago; at LEAST. That was in the early 1970's.
That's almost TWO generations ago. Let's get with the
program. This is what pisses me off to no end with staunch
conservatives and business-types. They are so myopic on this
issue to the point of appearing literally mentally retarded; that, or
blinded and rendered motionless in the inertia of their greed.
can hear it now, as I have since I first became interested in this
issue about thirty years ago. "The sun doesn't always shine and
the wind doesn't always blow." Really? Thanks for that
revelation, Einstein. And, THAT'S your explanation for living in
the Stone Age of energy resource development? Uh huh; so let's
just flush all that study, entrepreneurial, and energy independence
potential down the toilet. Plus, I love the claim that "any new
invention of REAL value never comes from the government. It comes
from private innovation and a demand in the marketplace. It's
just not wanted in the market, so there's no point in continuing it ."
Can anyone identify for me a company WHOLLY-OWNED by the U.S.
Government that is in the alternative energy business? And, have
the following technologies NEVER received any taxpayer support during
ANY phase of their development and/or incorporation into the economy at
large: Aeronautical, Agricultural, Astronautical, Automotive, Nautical
(surface and sub-surface), Meteorological, Radio/Television (and all
multi-media storage and transmission technology associated with them),
Water De-salination, and innumerable other technologies that we use
every single day in this country and around the world?
guess what; I, and many other Americans (even if it's only the Western
and Southwestern THIRD of the entire nation) live in an area where
there is abundant wind for six months between October and March.
Then, when the horrible, horrible inconsistency of the wind rears its
ugly head, we have six months of sunshine during the middle months of
the year. Would tapping this scenario be a panacea? No, but
it wouldn't leave your patient stuck in the hospital, reliant on pumps,
tubes, and gauges to stay alive; as every single person who needs some
form of power to live their lives has become by our nation's criminal
(NOT tragic) forced, yes forced, reliance on Middle-East oil and fossil
fuels in general.
back to the alleged consistency of fossil fuels versus sun and wind
technology (just to name two), am I the only one who notices that when
somebody sneezes within a thousand miles of the Middle East the
stability of fossil fuel prices and/or supply is interrupted or
otherwise altered, sometimes wildly? On a sidenote, we're always
told that it takes six weeks for oil that is pumped out of Mid-East
ground to be refined and make it to the gas pump. Then why does a
crisis such as the present one in Egypt (and too many others to
remember or list here) INSTANTLY spike the price of gasoline at my
neighborhood station? You did just tell me that this gas came
from oil pumped out of that region six WEEKS AGO, right?
fuels have a lower cost/unit of energy than ALL other sources?
Really? Every single one of them? Are you sure? When
you did your math, did you incorporate the economic, social, political,
and environmental figures into your data, such as the cost of building
the monumentally huge vessels required to "cost-effectively" transport
that oil halfway around the planet? Did you also figure in all
the myriad costs of that gum-like bunker fuel that powers those
bohemoths? Speaking of which, I know you calculate dollar losses
of the thankfully decreasing number of oils spills into your figures,
but did you add in all the other obvious affects and costs of them?
with me. I'm on a roll. I also love how alternative energy
nay-sayers love to point out to electric vehicle enthusiasts that the
electricity for their cars "has to be generated SOMEwhere, usually from
a FOSSIL FUEL, ha ha ha; got'cha." Hey, you can go ahead and add
those above-mentioned costs for the electricity for the mammoth
generators and pumps that extract oil from the ground, load it onto
tankers, and cook the shit out of it once it gets to the
refineries. Don't forget to add storage costs for the extra
gasoline that you deliberately keep off the market during those rare
stable times in the Mid-East so that you can keep the price jacked
up. How's that for lowest cost/unit of energy? Lowest cost
for the producer, maybe. Not for the end-user.
canNOT be the only person on this planet who thinks of these
things. I was 14 years old in the 1970s when everyone was
bitching and moaning that recycling would bury the glass-manufacturing
business, as well as unnecessarily harm the garbage-hauling
business. I'm still laughing that someone would worry about
having not ENOUGH garbage. I remember thinking something along
the lines of: "Hey, jack-asses in the glass-making and garbage
businesses; do you think it's time to diversify to incorporate the new
business of recycling? There's gold in them thar
was 15 years old when I saw the opening credits to The Blues Brothers
and noticed that the towering flames from the oil refinery on the
screen was natural gas from the refining process. I wonder how
many homes that, and all the other refinery burn-off around the world
am aware that you cannot fully incorporate new technology like flipping
a switch. Nor do I think that drilling for oil is necessarily the
"rape of our environment", unless it is performed in a manner like the
BP debacle. This includes regulation and monitoring forms
submitted by government regulators who used to work for the same
companies they now regulate. This includes giving forms to the
regulaTEES to fill out in pencil how they want them to legally appear
by the regulaTORS. It also includes the repeated warnings by
those working in the trenches countermanded by paper-pushing executives
who don't want to cut into their massive profit margin. Look up
just the QUARTERLY net profits from the BIGGEST CORPORATION IN THE
WORLD, ExxonMobil, over the last decade or so and you'll know what I'm
talking about. I'm certainly not a communist, but
"leaders" are in name only. The only thing they lead is their own
way to their own wealth and influence. The more self-reliant
people can maintain themselves against these "leaders" (in the micro
and macro) the less power they will wield over us.
there's my take on this issue. I don't think anyone can
rationally counter any of what I said because I keep a balance.
I'm not steeped in the worship of the almighty dollar, nor am I a
disciple of the notion that the Earth is better off without humans.
this thing on?
Wow, this is really a "wake-up call", as you can see from the time of
my reply. Makes all kinds of sense.
However, if we change "would" to "will" in my sentence about taking "at
least a generation"...which was my original intent...the question
remains: are you in favor of allowing the negative impact on our
environment of a short-term (10-20 years) crash program in domestic
fossil fuels in order to solve our current and short-term serious
vulnerability to the Middle-East crazies and the oil-baron oligarchs?
And how would the tree-huggers in California and elsewhere (myself
included, to a substantial extent) feel about that? What would
John Muir say?
changing the "would" to "will", my answer is virtually the same.
The exponential increase in computing power since this "at least a
generation" claim was first leveled is just one factor making such a
claim highly dubious. Since computers are used in almost every
aspect of technology development these days, this is a significant
point. Also, since the U.S. has an even larger workforce than it
did when alternative fuel tech was initiated, this could be a huge
starter for the economy. And, I'm not talking about FDR coming to
the rescue with hiking trail employment and other make-work
programs. I'm also not talking about re-training people in their
50's and 60's who were hit in the Great Recession. There is a
tremendous number of younger people out of work and/or looking for
careers, many of whom could be part of this technological revolution,
as many were in the computer tech revolution of the 70's and 80's.
am in virtual agreement with the business community regarding the fact
that government intervention in business does little more than add
interference and inefficiency to economic development. Safety
regulation is obviously important, but even that has to be
balanced. But, don't forget my laundry list of technologies that
the government aided in one way or another during the last
century. I expect nothing to spring from government, but I'm not
willing to put total trust in the business world just because they say
there isn't a market for technology X. Believe me, if they can
make a buck on something, they will, especially if they can get help
one might say that this is proof that the alternative technology out
there doesn't work, right? Why wouldn't I take government support
for my new alternative fuel business regardless of whether it works or
not? The answer is that usually, but not always (unfortunately)
you have to invest some of your own money in the process; some of which
you may lose because you are entering new technological
territory. Then again, if the gains do come, you get to keep most
of them. But, sadly the business climate has changed to preclude
such risk these days. Far fewer businesses are willing to change
their status quo, especially in the skittish environment we have been
and will be in for the next few years.
of that is the ridiculous level and redundancy of regulation foisted on
them by multiple levels of government. Hell, in a way I don't
blame them for wanting to stay the course. If I've got a nice
business, and I'm paying my bills and putting my kids through school,
why would I want to mess that up? But, part of that is also the
lack of a risk-taking, pioneering attitude that this country once
had. But, look on the bright side; poverty is a great motivator,
as expressed by all those immigrants in the 19th and 20th Centuries who
came here and helped generate all that wealth and technology.
When China calls in its U.S. bonds, maybe we'll have that motivation
again. Sad, but possibly true.
the tree huggers, I certainly consider myself an environmentalist, but
not to the extent of the ones out here and increasingly in your part of
the country who, as I mentioned in my first reply, would probably tell
you under truth serum (if not consciously) that the Earth is better off
without humans. California had an oil spill from one of the
platforms a few miles offshore of Santa Barbara in 1969. Drilling
in this, and every other coastal area of California, has been banned
since then; 1969. Forty-two years ago.
jury is still out regarding the efficacy of shale and oil sand
drilling, which is required to tap the huge deposits of oil in the
Western U.S. and Canada. The 'fracking' technology that is used
to separate oil from its shale and sand media is far more difficult,
expensive, and possibly more environmentally detrimental than
traditional 'punch a hole in that big pool of underground Texas Tea'
drilling. Until and unless the technology exists that can ensure
that the high-pressure water injection currently used does not
contaminate fresh water for millions of people in these regions, this
should be absolutely last on our list of remedies for our energy needs.
you said years ago that "there is a difference between conservation and
preservation". Look at the Gulf Coast. As angry as I am
with BP for what they did for a quick buck, look at what the government
did. They decreed an outright ban on drilling EVERYWHERE in the
Gulf (regardless of how different the drilling depths and requirements
are throughout that region) and were enjoined by one of their own, a
Federal judge, from extending it. They then arrogantly issued the
SAME order banning drilling, and just yesterday the same Federal judge
issued a contempt order against them. That ballsy; that, or true
belief. Either way, we need to implement changes to these
draconian, totally unproportional reactions to the environmental impact
of drilling etc., before the "almighty" government permanently sticks
its nose in our business (literally and figuratively) depending on its
position on the political spectrum by either banning drilling, or
forcing it wherever THEY decree on the basis of "national security".
it's about balance. You have to look at that magic
risk-to-benefit ratio. It rarely wants to be far away from some
factor of even. That's just the way the physical world
works. And, human nature rarely wins when it tries to force the
issue too much in its favor. No free lunches, remember.
That means that as the benefit of U.S energy independence (regardless
of technology) rises precipitously (as it would if or when the Middle
East truly melts down), balance dictates that the risk must be that
much greater. And, we aren't even talking about the natural
economic hit that comes when risk to anything increases. Make hay
when the sun shines, right?
see what happens. But, unfortunately nothing will change until
enough people's backs are against the wall. That's human nature,
at least on the macro level.
THURSDAY, February 3,2011
Board members critical of Fischer's
By Kathleen Edgecomb
Publication: The Day
Published 02/03/2011 12:00 AM
Updated 02/03/2011 04:10 AM
Several New London school officials find
superintendent's reaction to assault surprising, ask for improved
New London - The recent violence on city streets is
sparking passionate debate among Board of Education members who are
worried about students who may be out of control.
Some school board members are proposing measures they
hope will help students who may be acting out. But they are also upset
over recent comments by Superintendent Nicholas A. Fischer, who
defended some of the students involved in a Jan. 16 incident in
downtown in which a man was assaulted.
While one board member wants Fischer to leave before
his contract is up in 2012, others won't go that far but say his
comments, which they did not know about ahead of time, underscore the
need for better communication.
Member Ronna Stuller said she wasn't upset as much as
surprised by Fischer's comments, in which he also disputed the victim's
account of the assault.
"A defensive response is not helpful when we have
problems,'' she said. "We need to face them, discuss them and figure
out what to do. It doesn't do anyone any good to minimize what
Helping the students
Board member William Morse will call for a report
from the superintendent at the Feb. 10 board meeting on all violent
incidents on school grounds and around the city involving students.
"Obviously these students need more attention than
they are getting,'' he said, responding to the arrest in January of a
14-year-old high school freshman who randomly hit a man on a downtown
In a separate incident, six teenagers have been
charged with the random attack and murder in October of Matthew Chew, a
downtown resident who was walking home from his job at a pizza
"The board will be looking for, and not just
assurances but actual details of intervention on the high school and
middle school levels,'' Morse said. "I'd like to see if we can prevent
these attacks from happening again.''
"It's clear to me there are violence issues that need
to be addressed,'' she said. "We've had too many young people involved
She said that not all students in the school system
are dangerous, but if there are individuals showing signs of violence,
it has to be addressed.
"If we are having 15-year-olds on the streets late at
night, who seem to be threatening people, that amounts to a risk for
some of the student population," she said.
Board members also are concerned about the comments
Fischer made to the City Council in January and in an opinion piece
Sunday in The Day.
Member Barbara Major is upset that Fischer disputed
the account of the victim in the Jan. 16 incident and defended the
students who were involved but not arrested.
"Who does he think he is?'' said Major, who said she
would like the board to vote against renewing Fischer's contract for
another year in June.
"He knows more than our police chief?" she asked. "I
have no confidence in him. ... It's time to put it out there. I'm not
happy with him, but it's not personal. It's really not.''
Major said she will propose eliminating the assistant
superintendent's position to save money, appoint the current assistant
as interim superintendent and start a search for a new top
administrator. Fischer is in the second year of a three-year contract
and receives an annual evaluation from the board in June.
"I feel I'm not getting the information to be a good
board member,'' Major said.
But Major doesn't have support from the rest of the
board to oust Fischer.
Morse, Stuller and Jason Catala all said they were
surprised at the superintendent's public comments. They agree there is
room for better communication, but they are not ready to discuss
changes in the administration.
"I think he was making excuses [for the students]. At
no time in the field of education should we be making excuses. It
seemed like he sugarcoated the situation," Catala said.
He added that if a motion were made against renewing
Fischer's contract, he would listen to arguments on both sides before
deciding how he would vote.
"I somehow feel the board president has more
information than the rest of us,'' he said. "The way I feel, we need a
little more communication."
School board Chairman Alvin G. Kinsall could not be
reached for comment.
Stuller said the relationship between the
superintendent and the board is "not very functional right now."
"I have concerns,'' she said. "Part of my concern is
that the board has not asserted supervision. But I'm not sure I would
place blame for that on the superintendent."
Susan Connolly said she found Fischer's support of
the students "refreshing." She said Fischer has always been
approachable and responsive to her questions and concerns.
"I agree, however, that perhaps the board needs more
frequent updates and more reports on the day-to-day operations of the
system,'' she said.
Louise Hanrahan said the board seems to spend more
time talking about political issues than focusing on improving the
school system. She said Fischer received a good evaluation last year,
with the caveat that he needed to work on getting the community more
involved with the schools.
"We could do a lot better,'' she said. "But every
decision we make should be about students and student achievement."
WEDNESDAY, February 1 and 2,2011
of NL assault differ
Publication: The Day
02/02/2011 12:00 AM
02/02/2011 05:49 AM
It's interesting that two prominent public accounts of an assault that
occurred on a recent Sunday on State Street in downtown New London are
so different that it makes you almost wonder if the people are
describing the same incident.
there is the account from Bill Dumas, a California filmmaker and
musician, the victim, who says he was hit in the head while crossing
State Street the night of Jan. 16.
says that, after being hit, he was followed across the street by a
group of young people who had accompanied the person who assaulted him.
says he found safe refuge after stepping inside Hanafin's Irish Pub,
where he called police on his cell phone.
was amazing to me about this incident was just how brazen these kids
were to be doing this in front of a bar full of witnesses. And how
violent and wild they were. Really, like a pack of rabid dogs," Dumas
wrote in some comments he posted on theday.com, after a news story
about the incident appeared.
New London Schools Superintendent Nicholas A. Fischer, strangely,
weighed in with his own account of the incident, which he didn't
witness, appearing before the City Council and writing an opinion piece
for The Day.
told me this week he was troubled that someone referred to the city's
youth as rabid dogs.
account to city councilors and newspaper readers seems to put halos
over some of the young people who so frightened Dumas that night.
investigation revealed that only one person hit him and that, in fact,
the other young people questioned by our police department attempted to
get the assailant to stop," the superintendent wrote.
I have learned that those same young people immediately identified the
assailant to police . . . The young people who exhorted the assailant
to stop and identified him need to be thanked, not vilified in the
press . . . "
also spoke this week to Dumas who said, in no uncertain terms, that he
didn't hear anyone try to stop the assault and that when police took
him that night to a group of young people whom they later identified as
being involved, no one fingered the assailant.
also described, in an opinion piece in The Day, which followed the one
by the superintendent, the scene outside Hanafin's.
was surrounded by several youths who were taunting me to come out in
the street. They were yelling, 'Come into the street, take it to the
street.' They were alternately charging towards me and jumping back
trying to get close enough to take a punch.
when I made it inside Hanafin's and took out my cell phone did the kids
run off, but not before one of them grabbed the door and violently
slammed it, trying to break the glass."
superintendent admitted to me this week that he did see, in watching a
surveillance tape made by the bar, that Dumas was taunted and that one
youth did slam the door.
or two of the kids were taunting him, but that does not mean assaulting
him," the superintendent said.
those aren't the ones Dumas is supposed to thank for their good
can respect the superintendent's instincts here, to protect city school
students and to make the point that New London is not so crime-ridden
that people should not come downtown. I agree.
he had no business publicly interfering in something in which he is not
is the schools superintendent, not the chief of police or the mayor.
Maybe the Board of Education should remind him where his public
responsibilities begin and end.
other troubling aspect to the superintendent's surprise intervention
here is that it provides yet another example of city officials seeming
to be in denial over the problem of youth violence.
the last year, many in the city have heard troubling reports about
people being attacked by groups of young people. A well-attended
fundraiser was held for the victim of one such attack. And, of course,
Matthew Chew, a cook at a city restaurant, was apparently randomly
attacked and murdered downtown in October by a group of young people.
immediately after the Chew murder, issued a statement saying the crime
was drug-related and that there was "no threat to the public."
turns out the murder was apparently random and not drug-related.
is worrisome to see police and the schools superintendent explaining
away rather than addressing a serious problem.