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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, 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 campaigns, 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 military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list


THURSDAY and FRIDAY, May 30 and 31, 2013

Public Education inNew London, Ct.
"Res Ipsa Loquitur".

GS

New London board acted courageously - The Day


WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2013

Adam, please post this in its entirety with my introduction:
BENGHAZI. 
THERE GOES "PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY" , OUT THE WINDOW.    
One of the most damaging traits among some people in organiztions is "loyalty" in the face of responsibility.  Another clear and toxic example of that was President George W. Bush's "loyalty" toward the incompetent Donald Rumsfeld.

GS

Here is  an informative explanation of the Benghazi incident, Cross Border Authority and Presidential responsibility:

From a retired Navy Captain who lives in Hawaii: CBA (Cross Border Authority)
---------------
The Benghazi debacle boils down to a single key factor - the granting or withholding of "cross-border authority."  This opinion is informed by my experience as a Navy SEAL officer who took a NavSpecWar Detachment to Beirut.

Once the alarm is sent - in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi - dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany.  Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis.  However, there is one thing they can't do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.
 
That is the clear "red line" in this type of a crisis situation.   No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory.  Because of this, only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation's border without that nation's permission.  For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace.
 
On the other side of the CBA coin: in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi, all the President of the United States "(POTUS)" has to do is not grant cross-border authority.  If he does not, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks.   Ships can loiter on station, but airplanes fall out of the sky, so they must be redirected to an air base (Sigonella, in Sicily) to await the POTUS decision on granting CBA.  If the decision to grant CBA never comes, the besieged diplomatic outpost in Benghazi can rely only on assets already "in country" in Libya - such as the Tripoli quick reaction force and the Predator drones.  These assets can be put into action on the independent authority of the acting ambassador or CIA station chief in Tripoli.  They are already "in country," so CBA rules do not apply to them.
 
How might this process have played out in the White House?   If, at the 5:00 p.m.  Oval Office meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta and Vice President Biden, President Obama said about Benghazi: "I think we should not go the military action route," meaning that no CBA will be granted, then that is it.  Case closed.
 
Another possibility is that the president might have said: "We should do what we can to help them .  but no military intervention from outside of Libya." Those words then constitute "standing orders" all the way down the chain of command, via Panetta and General Dempsey to General Ham and the subordinate commanders who are already gearing up to rescue the besieged outpost.   When that meeting took place, it may have seemed as if the consulate attack was over, so President Obama might have thought the situation would stabilize on its own from that point forward.  If he then goes upstairs to the family quarters, or otherwise makes himself "unavailable," then his last standing orders will continue to stand until he changes them, even if he goes to sleep until the morning of September 12.
 
Nobody in the chain of command below President Obama can countermand his "standing orders" not to send outside military forces into Libyan air space.  Nobody.  Not Leon Panetta, not Hillary Clinton, not General Dempsey, and not General Ham in Stuttgart, Germany, who is in charge of the forces staging in Sigonella.
 
Perhaps the president left "no outside military intervention, no cross-border authority" standing orders, and then made himself scarce to those below him seeking further guidance, clarification, or modified orders.  Or perhaps he was in the Situation Room watching the Predator videos in live time for all seven hours.  We don't yet know where the president was hour by hour.
 
But this is 100 percent sure: Panetta and Dempsey would have executed a rescue mission order if the president had given those orders.   And like the former SEALs in Benghazi, General Ham and all of the troops under him would have been straining forward in their harnesses, ready to go into battle to save American lives.
 
The execute orders would be given verbally to General Ham at AFRICOM in Stuttgart, but they would immediately be backed up in official message traffic for the official record.  That is why cross-border authority is the King Arthur's Sword for understanding Benghazi.  The POTUS and only the POTUS can pull out that sword.
 
We can be 100% certain that cross-border authority was never given.  How do I know this?  Because if CBA was granted and the rescue mission execute orders were handed down, irrefutable records exist today in at least a dozen involved component commands, and probably many more.  No general or admiral will risk being hung out to dry for undertaking a mission-gone-wrong that the POTUS later disavows ordering, and instead blames on "loose cannons" or "rogue officers" exceeding their authority.  No general or admiral will order U.S.  armed forces to cross an international border on a hostile mission unless and until he is certain that the National Command Authority, in the person of the POTUS and his chain of command, has clearly and explicitly given that order: verbally at the outset, but thereafter in written orders and official messages.  If they exist, they could be produced today.
 
When it comes to granting cross-border authority, there are no presidential mumblings or musings to paraphrase or decipher.  If you hear confusion over parsed statements given as an excuse for Benghazi, then you are hearing lies. I am sure that hundreds of active-duty military officers know all about the Benghazi execute orders (or the lack thereof), and I am impatiently waiting for one of them to come forward to risk his career and pension as a whistleblower
 
Leon Panetta is falling on his sword for President Obama with his absurd-on-its-face, "the U.S.  military doesn't do risky things"-defense of his shameful no-rescue policy.  Panetta is utterly destroying his reputation.
 
General Dempsey joins Panetta on the same sword with his tacit agreement by silence.  But why?  How far does loyalty extend when it comes to covering up gross dereliction of duty by the president?
 
General Petraeus, however, has indirectly blown the whistle.  He was probably "used" in some way early in the cover-up with the purported CIA intel link to the Mohammed video, and now he feels burned.  So he conclusively said via his public affairs officer that the stand-down order did not come from the CIA.  Well - what outranks the CIA?  Only the national security team at the White House.  That means President Obama, and nobody else.  Petraeus is naming Obama without naming him.  If that is not quite as courageous as blowing a whistle, it is far better than the disgraceful behavior of Panetta and Dempsey.
 
We do not know the facts for certain, but we do know that the rescue mission stand-down issue revolves around the granting or withholding of cross-border authority, which belongs only to President Obama.  More than one hundred gung-ho Force Recon Marines were waiting on the tarmac in Sigonella, just two hours away for the launch order that never came.


TUESDAY, May 28, 2013

AH SOOO.

GS

Rand Paul’s Hilarious — Yet Revealing — Obamacare Explanation: Guess What New Injury Codes Are Included - Yahoo! News


MONDAY, May 27, 2013

PUBLIC EDUCATION
Could there be some "light at the end of the tunnel"?

GS

The repercussions of national education standards - The CT Mirror


SUNDAY, May 26, 2013

"SEZ WHO?"

It is my understanding that this is NOT Catholic doctrine.  It surfaces sporadically. 
I would rely on the words of Pope Francis; ie...you do not have to be a Catholic
or a Christian to be saved.

GS

Vatican corrects Pope: Atheists are still going to hell - Examiner.Com


SATURDAY, May 25, 2013

AHAH! And that's even before we start discussing politics. "STUPIDO. STUPIDO. STUPIDO."

GS

Researchers say Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News


WEDNESDAY through FRIDAY, May 22 through 24, 2013

RR#1

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: ALWAYS ON POINT. This holy man, originally from the Denver Diocese, bears watching. A Star.

GS

Archbishop Chaput on Religious Freedom - Zenit.Org

RR#2

Excellent.  Who is he; and in what august forum was he speaking? 
Of course, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as good without the "Shumer Smirk!"

Ladies and Gentlemen: THE VIRTUAL PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.      

GS


http://www.youtube.com/embed/_T-F_zfoDqI?feature=player_detailpage

RR#3

OBAMACARE: Another shoe: The Law of Unexpected Consequences...

GS

Some unions now angry about health care overhaul - Yahoo! News



TUESDAY, May 21, 2013

THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. ANYTHING LESS WOULD BE JUST A RE-PLAY OF "PROHIBITION".

GS

Mental health intervention is intent of bill in state Senate - The Day


MONDAY, May 20, 2013

THE ONLY THING NECESSARY FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH
IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO REMAIN SILENT".

I will not remain silent.


GS

I believe that we need to give more consideration to this than all the talk about GUNS.
 
Dear God:

Why didn't you save the school children at ?
*
Newtown, Connecticut
*
Virginia Tech 04/16/07
*
Amish Country, PA
*
Wisconsin
Columbine High School
Moses Lake , Washington 2/2/96
Bethel , Alaska 2/19/97!
Pearl, Mississippi 10/1/97
West Paducah, Kentucky 12/1/97
Stam! p, Arkansas 12/15/97
Jonesboro , Arkansas 3/24/98
Edinboro , Pennsylvania 4/24/98
Fayetteville , Tennessee 5/19/98
Springfield, Oregon 5/21/98
Richmond , Virginia 6/15/98
Littleton , Colorado 4/20/99
Taber, Alberta , Canada 5/28/99
Conyers, Georgia 5/20/99
Deming, New Mexico 11/19/99
Fort Gibson , Oklahoma 12/6/99
Santee , California 3/ 5/01 and
El Cajon , California 3/22/01?
Sincerely,
Concerned Student
-----------------------------------------------------
Reply:
Dear Concerned Student:
I am not allowed in schools.
Sincerely,
God
----------------------------------------------------------
How did this get started?...
-----------------
Let's see,
I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained
she didn't want any prayer in our schools.
And we said, OK..
------------------
Then,
someone said you better not read the Bible in school,
the Bible that says
"thou shalt! not kill,
thou shalt not steal,
and love your neighbors as yourself,"
And we said, OK...
-----------------
Dr. Benjamin Spock said
we shouldn't spank our children
when they misbehaved
because their little personalities
would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem.
And we said,
an expert should know what he's talking about
 
so we won't spank them anymore..
 
------------------
 
Then someone said
 
teachers and principals better not
 
discipline our children when they misbehave.
 
And the school administrators said
 
no faculty member in this school
 
better touch a student when they misbehave
 
because we don't want any bad publicity,
 
and we surely don't want to be sued.
 
And we accepted their reasoning...
 
------------------
 
Then someone said,
 
let's let our daughters have abortions if they want,
 
and they won't even have to tell their parents.
 
And we said, that's a grand idea...
 
------------------
 
Then some wise school board member said,
 
since boys will be boys
 
and they're going to do it anyway,
 
let's give our sons all the condoms they want,
 
so they can have all the fun they desire,
 
and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school.
 
And we said, that's another great idea...
 
------------------
 
Then some of our top elected officials said
 
it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs.
 
And we said,
 
it doesn't matter what anybody,
 
including the President,
 
does in private as long as we have jobs and the economy is good....
 
------------------
 
And someone else took that appreciation a step further
 
and published pictures of nude children
 
and then stepped further still by
 
making them available on the Internet.
 
And we said, everyone's entitled to free speech....
 
------------------
 
And the entertainment industry said,
 
let's make TV shows and movies that promote
 
profanity, violence and illicit sex...
 
And let's record music that encourages
 
rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes...
 
And we said,
 
it's just entertainment
 
and it has no adverse effect
 
and nobody takes it seriously anyway,
 
so go right ahead.
 
------------------
 
Now we're asking ourselves
 
why our children have no conscience,
 
why they don't know right from wrong,
 
! and why it doesn't bother them to
 
kill strangers, classmates or even themselves.
 
------------------
 
Undoubtedly,
 
if we thought about it long and hard enough,
 
we could figure it out.
 
I'm sure it has a great deal to do with...
 
"WE REAP WHAT WE SOW,"
 


SUNDAY, May 19, 2013

RR#1

THIS SEEMS LIKE AMERICA TODAY.
BUT I CANNOT ACCEPT IT AS THE AMERICA OF TOMORROW. 
IS THAT COCKEYED OPTIMISM...OR IS IT COMMITMENT?

GS

How Our Nation is Changing

The following article was sent to me by a friend and I must say is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful explanation of how our nation is changing.

  

"The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo - for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted.

 

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated the area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.


Romney lost because he didn't get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues - the traditional American virtues - of hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral
greatness - no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.


The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.


Every businessman knows this; that is why the "loss leader" or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama's America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who - courtesy of Obama - receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.


The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which "47% of the people" start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money - "free stuff" - from the government.


Almost half of the population has no skin in the game - they don't care about high taxes, promoting businesses, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.


They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else's expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.

 

It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters - the clear majority - are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism. That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.


During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" Stevenson called back: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!" Truer words were never spoken.


Obama could get away with saying that "Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules" - without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the "rich should pay their fair share" - without ever defining what a "fair share" is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to "fend for themselves" - without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.


Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortion rights and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped back to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws. He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions - in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.


Obama also knows that the electorate has changed - that whites will soon be a minority in American (they're already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the U.S. are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a different world, and a different America.  Obama is part of that different America, he knows it and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.


Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his "negative ads" were simple facts, never personal abuse - facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil's bargain of making unsustainable promises.


It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan - people of substance, depth and ideas - to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy of class warfare - never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority
groups. If an Obama could not be defeated - with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters - it is hard to envision any change in the future.


The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy - those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe - is paved.


For the Jewish population, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel. They voted to secure Obama's future at America's expense and at Israel's expense - in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.


A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the U.S. will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more than likely thwart any Israeli initiative. The U.S. will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon - and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality.


But this election should be a wake-up call to the Jewish community. There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.


The "Occupy" riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead - years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.


If this last election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back."


The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

RR#2

A GOOD MAN!

GS



CLASS DOESN'T MAKE THE NEWS!


Green and white shirt, black tee shirt, gray pants and tennis shoes.
How many people know that he hosts a few Wounded Warrior 10 weekends at his ranch every year? Every year!
Not what you expect to see!

Dancing with a "Wounded Warrior" she has lost a leg but still dances.

I guarantee we will Never see a story or picture like this from NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post. You Are Right You Will Only See Michelle, the Kids, and Mom go on vacation 14 weekends a year.
This is what a REAL President looks and acts like.

RR#3

IS THIS HOLY MAN A BLESSING, OR WHAT?

GS

Pope warns Church against closing in on itself - Yahoo! News

RR#4

WHAT'S AN INFIDEL?

The author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry. The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. If you have a pulse you have a purpose.

- - - - -

The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races.

Last month I (R.Mathes) attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.

After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers. When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked: 'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?'

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied,

'Non-believers!'

I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.'

He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'

I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!'

The Muslim was speechless.

I continued, 'I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question:

Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?'

You could have heard a pin drop.

Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims' beliefs.

In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President.
I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized.  This is your chance to make a difference.


SATURDAY, May
18, 2013

REGARDING PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY...

Lest any visitor to this web site think that I have gone soft on the 40 year disaster
called Public Education, please visit my section entitled "Public Education Politics". 
See also the periodic offerings in this Rapid Response section. 
Let's be clear here.  Thanks to the Teachers' Unions, to their wholly owned
subsidiary - the Democratic Party - and to the blind support they have received for
decades from the people who have been most victimized by the situation - the Black
Community through their feckless "leaders", if the Medical Profession had practiced
 Medicine as the Education "profession" has practiced Education...physicians would
 rightly be in jail.  Clear enough?
Now comes a concise report published in the WSJ Monday, Aug. 29, 2013 entitled
"'No Child Left Behind' Gets Left Behind", by Eric Smith (Opinion, pA17). 
Read it and weep, especially those high school "graduates" who should not be
graduating grammar school...and who are not even prepared for "the school of hard knocks".
WHAT A SHAME.  WHAT A TRAVESTY.

GS



FRIDAY, May
17, 2013

OBAMACARE: HIGHER COST, LESS ACCESS, LOWER QUALITY. And who told you first?

GS

Obamacare: The Law of Unintended Consequences (THC) - The Motley Fool


THURSDAY, May
16, 2013

HOW LUDICROUS CAN ALL THIS GET? VERY LUDICROUS. Civil Union between a committed homosexual couple - yes. Adoption by a committed homosexual couple - yes, if in the best interests of the child.. Marriage, the foundation of civil society in bearing and raising children...ONLY BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN who have the intention of raising a child. That is not discriminatory. It is common sense and our cultural identity as human beings.

GS

Archbishop Says Americans Ready to Defend Marriage Despite Law - Zenit.Org


WEDNESDAY
, May 15, 2013

TODAY, A FEW ISSUES THAT "GOT MY DANDER UP"

GS


TUESDAY, May 14, 2013

Two more good initiatives by our Holy Father.

GS

Pope Makes Appeal to Respect Life from the Moment of Conception - Zenit.Org


MONDAY, May 13, 2013

Alright: THE REST OF THE "GATSBY" MOVIE.

Having just read "The Great Gatsby", I realized that I had never before read it.
How that could have happened throughout a one year course in "American Literature"
as part of a Major in English Literature...I do not know. 
But now I know. 
The book is a masterpiece of Plot, of Characterization, of giving us the author's message
that he intended to give...and even giving us a message from the author that he did not intend.
And the movie isn't!
What I now realize is that the initial orgiastic Excess for which the movie has been panned by reviewers
is not its sin...and is even well-placed, given the fantasy life that Gatsby had initially imagined as
an ungrounded teenager and then had built around himself. 
No. The movie's sin is having made a melodrama out of its taut plot.  And its mortal sin is having
put vinyl siding on the granite buildings of its great and human characters.
So, I guess I was right originally in suggesting that the movie has no right in being named
"The Great Gatsby".  It should be called "The Great Kahuna" instead.

GS


SUNDAY
, May 12, 2013

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

NOTES FROM THE RECENT LECTURE BY DAVID TROXEL, MPH

May 10, 2013, L&M Hospital, New London, Ct.

 

·         Currently, there are over 5 million persons – and their families – living with this disease. One in three families are touched by it.  This incidence is on track to quadruple in the next few decades. 

·         The costs involved in caring for these patients exceeds those for Cancer and Heart Disease.

·         Dr. Alzheimer in 1901 had a 51 year old patient, Auguste Detca, whose self-description was “ I have lost myself”.  At autopsy, Dr. Alzheimer found “plaques and tangles” in her brain.

·         The condition is age-related.  That did not much matter in 1900, when the life expectancy  was 47 years.  Now that is over 80 years.

·         The best diagnostic test is the PET scan, wherein glucose uptake measures brain activity.  The finding here: “a damaged brain”, particularly in the Hippocampus.

·         The hallmark symptom / sign is a progressive decrease in short-term memory.  Other signs include reduced reasoning and judgment, confusion, reduced speaking and writing ability, withdrawal, and changes in mood and personality.

·         “Dementia” is an umbrella term.  AD is a form of dememtia.

·         A complete medical and neurologic workup is vital, to rule out more treatable or different  conditions and to establish the diagnosis. This includes neuropsychologic  testing.

·         “If you remember forgetting, that’s OK.  If you forget that you forgot, that’s not OK.”

·         This disease is slow and progressive.  If there is a sudden development or increase of symptoms, look for something else. 

·         Treatment Modalities: Stay active, physically and mentally; (PS: studying a language or a musical instrument can be very helpful. GS).  Remain or become socially active. Follow the Mediterranean Diet. Several medications are available, although there has not been a break-through in 10 years, the medications have side-effects and also interactions with psychotropic agents…and they are generally only modestly effective and short-term.  Be aware of and treat concurrent pain appropriately.

·         How to deal with a patient with AD.  “Here we need bar-maids and beauticians:  up-beat and good listeners”.  Treat the patient as a real person.

·         Effective Tools: Conversation. Creative Activities. Purposeful Chores; Foster Learning and Growth; Use their  Life Story. Exercise; Music; Laughter. Pets and other animals. Use the  Outdoors; Give Choices. Ask for Opinions. Celebrate Cooking and Dining. Use Old Rituals, Old Habits. Fun and Novelty.

·         (If the patient has been religious, encourage that.  If the patient has not been spiritual, help him or her find a spiritual life.  GS)

·         Undertake legal and financial planning in timely fashion, (including Advanced Directive and Powers of Attorney for Health Affairs and for Financial Affairs – GS). Be prepared to use “Substituted Judgment” for the incompetent patient.

·         Don’t wait to tap available services outside of the family.

·         Be a “best friend”.

·         (In fact, this patient may be having a better day, day after day, than you are in caring for them: each day can be a new day, with new experiences and new “friends”…including yourself.  GS)

·         And think about your own life.  Be satisfied with yourself. Think about your anticipated care for yourself toward the end of this journey called Life. 

·         See “Best Friends Approach.com”.

A final personal note, in addition to those above (GS). 

Life is not an endurance contest.  Every stage should be lived to the fullest.  Remember Auntie Mame’s famous caution: “LIFE IS A BANQUET, AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH”.  And keep your “bucket” empty: if something is important to you and worth doing…DO IT NOW!      

George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D


SATURDAY, May 11, 2013

RR#1

NOW FOR THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR:

My review of "The Great Gatsby" movie. 

So much negativity has been piled on this movie, while it approaches
income records, that I had to see for myself. My reactions:

  1. Having set its goal as the latest incarnation of a classic novel, it went to the plate with two strikes on it from the start.  This is especially true regarding lovers of classics...and of English Majors in general.  It would have been better calling itself: "The Great Kahuna".
  2. Even as an allegory, the visuals were excessive. Of course, that is what is driving the box office, as must have been predicted.  For the story as presented in the movie is so melodramatic that it would have otherwise been laughed off the screen.  
  3. But fighting through all of that,  are there human beings, human emotions and human frailties depicted here?  Yes...if you can resist the temptation to walk out even before Gatsby comes on stage.  For a time, I thought I was faced with another "The Royal Tannenbaums", in which I could not find interest even in the dog, and when I broke my own personal record for timing of a walk-out.  
  4. There were some strong scenes of humanity and of the actors depicting that humanity well.
  5. Does it come close to deserving its title, as compared with Fitzgerald's novel?  Stay tuned.  I'm about to re-read the novel.   
Bottom Line: Is this movie worth seeing?  As the Senator / Presidential candidate famously said: "Depends".  If you go in after having read the above, I think so.  At least you'll be one of the "conoscenti" when meeting with your friends.

GS


RR#2

GOD BLESS THE "DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA".

At the turn of the 20th century, the Establishment and established citizens in this country used to moan and groan about the "great unwashed" newcomers coming through Ellis Island by the millions.  All of that worked out very well for the nation.
In this early 21st century, the challenge is much greater: the "great ignorants" are trying to take over the nation.  Meanwhile, there are those who just go around saying: "Why can't we just get along?"
Well, NO!  There are now two diametrically opposed images of this Nation: one that is consistent with our Constitution, our History, and our personal independence;  and one that is not.  Only one can survive and thrive. And it is not the socialistic Welfare State based on an ever-enlarging and acquisitive Federal Government. 
YES:  God Bless the currently divided States of America.  This battle will be fought with all the energy - and even ferocity - needed to restore the United States of America to its divinely inspired and independently motivated history and future.  In this vital effort, the following instruction is right on point:

LEAD,  FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!

GS

RR#3

"WITH ALL THIS MANURE, THERE MUST BE A PONY IN HERE SOMEWHERE"

GS

The dam bursts on Benghazi - Yahoo! News


FRIDAY, May 10, 2013

A MEDICAL DICTUM: "PISS AND PUS MUST COME OUT". SO MUST THE TRUTH.

Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference | ABC News Blogs - Yahoo!


THURSDAY, May 9, 2013

PRESIDENT OBAMA, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?

GS

US discussing giving Russia missile defense data - Yahoo! News

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?

GS

Israel warns U.S. about Russian arms sale to Syria -report - Yahoo! News


TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, May 7 and 8, 2013

WHAT A GRINCH! But right on target.

GS

10 Foods to Never Eat | Healthy Living - Yahoo! Shine


MONDAY
, May 6, 2013

This can't reflect the entire "culture"...can it?  Only "Moderate Muslims" can answer this question.   The rest of us are waiting.

GS

>
> Winston Churchill 1899.
> "Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world."
> This is amazing. Even more amazing is that this hasn't been published long before now.
>
> CHURCHILL ON ISLAM
> Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899...
> The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries. He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965, at the grand old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.
>
> HERE IS THE SPEECH:
> "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.
>
> A degraded sensualist deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
>
> Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome ..."
>
> Sir Winston Churchill; (Source: The River War, first edition, Volume II, pages 248-250, London).
>


SUNDAY, May 5, 2013

RR#1

THIS "FOOD" WILL STARVE US TO DEATH.

GS

Founded by geniuses, but run by idiots...
 
More food for thought......actually, if I think about this much more I will barf!  Feel free to scream “WTF!??!?” at any time.....
 
 "If we concentrated on the really important stuff in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
By Junius P. Long
Food For Thought
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally ...you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got here is evolution, but the government stops a $15 million construction project to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote who runs the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher "cute," but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested “homes”... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
 
If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more "safe" according to the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

RR#2

How long do I have to go listing these great articles for you?
PLEASE READ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL,
now the real "Newspaper of Record'. 

By comparison, the NYTimes and the other ultra-liberal media are screeds.

 

And it also has become evident to me that  President Obama has inadequate

experience and also the wrong personal reflexes to produce a successful

Presidency.  He is on the way out...and so are we if we don't wake up.

GS


RR#3

A SOLID POINT OF VIEW.
Could it be that Sec. Kerry will be more effective that former Sec. Clinton?

GS

http://www.theday.com/article/20130505/OP04/305059956#.UYYwqJfWYBU.email

RR#4

AFGHANISTAN...MORE OF THE STORY.
But we missed a great opportunity.  And the story is not nearly over yet.

GS

http://www.theday.com/article/20130505/OP01/305059950#.UYYvmQNQot8.email

RR#5

AND THIS IS A STRATEGY? 
Turn your back to your enemy and  paint a target on that back?
Had our government followed my advice regarding opium, offered very early in the process (see earlier Rapid Responses), we would have been in good  position.

GS

http://www.theday.com/article/20130505/NWS14/305059901/1044#.UYYuj0ynRnY.email

RR#6

FASCINATING...AND VERY IMPORTANT! Middle East Tyrants: "The End Is Near".

GS

New technology propels 'old energy' boom - Yahoo! Finance


SATURDAY, May 4, 2013

MORE ON OBAMACARE. Why is this important? Because this monstrosity will produce lower quality, higher cost and less access. And as a physician for the last 56 years...and counting, I care.

GS

6 Incredible Figures That Illustrate the Uncertainty Surrounding Obamacare - The Motley Fool

FRIDAY, May 3, 2013

OBAMACARE. YET ANOTHER SHOE FALLS. Definition of a Camel: a Horse designed by committee.

GS

APNewsbreak: States fear loss of health care aid - Yahoo! News


THURSDAY, May 2, 2013

EXACTLY, ESPECIALLY THE PART ABOUT "DEFENSIVE MEDICINE", WHICH NOW CONSTITUTES AT LEAST A QUARTER OF HEALTH CARE COSTS.

GS

Don't make malpractice suits easier - The Day


WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2013

RR#1

A GOOD AND UP-TO-DATE SUMMARY OF THE ISRAEL / PALESTINE / ARAB DILEMMA. What is needed here is a "triple play", very difficult on or off the diamond.

GS

Israel: Conflict over recognition, not territory - Yahoo! News

RR#2

MORE ON ISLAM. FAR FROM MONOLITHIC. Is there Hope?

GS

Poll shows how US Muslims are like Protestants – and how they're not - Yahoo! News


MONDAY and TUESDAY, April 29 and 30, 2013

NOW...IS THAT CLEAR? GS

Many in Muslim world want sharia as law of land: survey - Yahoo! News



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