George A. Sprecace M.D., J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London, P.C.
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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.

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list


Today is time to catch up on some recent very informative articles on issues of the day.

By this time, you have discovered a pattern here, relating to the Wall Street Journal, the best and most balanced newspaper published today.  At least it is a good antidote for addiction to the New York Times.



Like everything else in this election season , the Medicare Bill is being hotly debated by Republicans and Democrats.  In danger of being lost in the debate are the critical issues:

So, let's do the possible, the rational.  The Medicare Bill under current review should be passed; and it will be signed by the President.  A lot of people will benefit.


MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27 through 29, 2003

More on Iraq.  The President gave a clear outline yesterday in his press conference regarding why were are there, what our goals are, what the problems are, and why there are no alternatives consistent with our national security.  Of course, that has not stopped most of the Democrats from their constant carping while offering no clear alternative.  No alternative, that is, except the one clearly articulated by the internationalist Wesley Clark, most recently in an interview today on the Today Show with Katie Coric.  Even a cursory reading of his book reveals him to have long favored our giving up our national security and even some of our sovereignty to that bastion of accomplishment, the United Nations.  At least he provides a clear choice: national security and national sovereignty versus major reliance on a discredited institution.  As noted in a recent offering in these pages,  more must be done, and soon, by this administration in Iraq if it wishes another term.  But the whole situation reminds me of the choice that faced England and Prime Minister Chamberlain before WW2.  Rather than going down that dead end, the Daily News editorial yesterday probably voiced the predominant opinion in the country today:
"Take Off Gloves In Bloody Iraq".



And then there is the matter of Justice, occasionally divorced from Law.  An example of that disconnect has reached its 20th anniversary this month: "Mashantucket Pequot Indian Land Claim Settlement Act of 1983".   Anyone living on another planet - or at least not in Connecticut - may be unaware of this Federal action, which ended up creating the largest gambling casino in the world (Foxwoods), soon joined by another casino nearly as large nearby(Mohegan)...and by Indian casinos scattered all over the country.  For the history of this occurrence, the book by Jeff Benedict (Without Reservation) is required reading.  It reads like a Tom Clancy thriller...and it's all true.  For the latest update on the pros and cons in the continuing controversies, today's series of articles and the editorial in The Day are excellent (in Perspective, Section C, p1-4).  For a broader historical view of the saga of Indians and white men in America, and for its relevance to today's hyphenated America, please see my offering on this web site entitled: Christopher Columbus and the "Indians"...Facts and Deductions (in The Involved Citizen, Miscellaneous).  I have nothing to add at this time, except "Happy Anniversary".


FRIDAY and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24 and 25, 2003

Has anyone noticed what has happened to our System of Justice, of Law and Order?

In the criminal justice system, where the mental intent (mens rea) must be proved, and the criminal act performed or conspired in (actus reus) must also be proved:

In Civil Law cases: Justice should be blind-folded; but it should not be blind, deaf and dumb.  The entire system needs reforms, before cynicism regarding the Rule of Law leads to contempt and general lawlessness.  There are already many signs of that, at all levels of our society.  Once again, as stated in an earlier offering here, it is the People, informed and involved, energized and politicized, who must make this happen - or it will simply not happen.  In a democracy, the People always get what they deserve.



Today, my wife and I had our hearing checked.  My diagnosis: she doesn't hear.  Her diagnosis: I don't listen.


MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 through 22, 2003

The common message to be derived from today's group of insights is reminiscent of what the people of California have just done: the people must take important matters into their own hands and out of the hands of our often-cowering representatives.  For, whether we look at politics or at the passage of laws or sometimes even at the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court,  our "leaders"do not lead us; rather they follow the lead of public opinion, or of the most vocal or most connected or most wealthy or most demagogic of its expressions.

To run for elected public office is a great experience for any American, win or lose.  (I have run four times, and won three times).  But it is also a large, even massive undertaking.  But getting and being "political"  is not.  Again, California!  Get informed!  Get involved!  Get political!  Get effective!  Do it for yourself...and for the sake of this country, whose "democracy" is coming under siege.  It works!



Regarding the Middle East crises and world terrorism, and to quote one of the authors listed, the following are "...required reading for everyone but the most wilfully ignorant".  (Timku Varadarajan)

  1. How We Got Here:  Please refer to the books mentioned in Rapid Response, Friday, October 10, 2003.  In addition, the excellent book written and submitted before 9/11 by Bernard Lewis, entitled What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, Perrenial - Harper Collins, 2002; "Lewis of Arabia". by T. Varadarajan, WSJ Tuesday, September 23, 2003, Opinion, pA24; "Conspiracy of Silence" - Book Review by Eric Lichtblau of "Why America Slept", by Gerald Posner (NYTimes Book Review, October 12, 2003, p26.
  2. Where We Are Now:  "The Least Bad Option", by Thomas L. Friedman, NYTimes Sunday, October 12, 2003, Op-Ed, p11 wk;  also recent articles in the WSJ by Colin Powell and by Donald Rumsfeld.
  3. Where We Are Going:  "Lessons of Terrorism", a book by Caleb Carr; "Small Wars Manual - United States Marine Corps - 1940", Sunflower University Press.
Yes, folks, we are in a war.  And our only choice is whether we want to defend ourselves on American soil or on the soil of our opponents and their supporters.  All the rest is wishful thinking, cynicism and politics.



A somewhat different message today.  The flu and pneumonia season is beginning.  Timely immunizations are the best defense, especially in view of increasing antibiotic resistance.  Both Influenza Vaccine (yearly) and Pneumovax (every 6 years) are strongly recommended for all.  In addition, receiving DT (diphtheria - tetanus) for all (every ten years as a routine) and Hepatitis B vaccines (for health care and emergency workers) should be discussed with one's personal physician.  The story regarding Smallpox vaccination or re-vaccination is unclear at this time.  Other childhood immunizations and special situation and travel recommendations should also be kept in mind.  Immunizations are the best and cheapest protection you can buy.  Please see also the offering on this web site under: "Allergy and Immunology...The Bigger Picture".



"HOW ABOUT THAT?"  You could hear Mel Allen, legendary sports announcer for the New York Yankees, repeat his trade-mark exclamation from his ultimate box seat if you were awake early this morning.   As a native of the Bronx, what else can I say?  Except that it was poetic justice for Pedro Martinez after his outrageous actions the other night.  But you've got to admire those Red Sox...a great team this year.

On the local level, in New London, CT, three issues warrant comment.


TUESDAY through THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14 through 16, 2003

Congratulations and all blessings to Pope John Paul II on this, the 25th anniversary of his papacy.  In a world beset with evil, venality, stupidity, and just plain human nature,  to continue to experience the life and work of a likely Saint in our midst is as uplifting as it gets.  Especially for this active, vital man to work through serious disability in plain sight of the world is inspiring and Christ-like.  I believe that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, news of his death is premature, and that there is more of his legacy to be created by him.

And what is his legacy?  The most traveled Pope.  The most accessible Pope.  The most ecumenical Pope, as regards other Christians and also as regards Jews.  One of the few longest-serving Popes.  One of the most consistent Popes in his insistence on 2000 years of traditional teachings in the face of World Wars and unprecedented social upheavels...a never failing compass.  A rare Pope who, by actively intervening in world politics, avoided likely nuclear war.  We as Catholics, and all others of good will, can deviate from or dispute the direction he points out for us in our efforts to save our souls.  But we can never allege ignorance of that direction.  Pope John Paul...per centi anni.



Many Muslim leaders just don't get it.  As reported in an AP story on Saturday by Patrick McDowell ("Islamic Nations Call for GIs to Leave Iraq"), the first gathering of the 57 nation Organization of the Islamic Conference since 9/11/01 could so far come nothing more insightful than that "the war against terrorism has turned into a war against Muslims".  Wrong!  Despite the overwhelming preponderance of despots and tyrants running these nations, with the accompanying enslavement of women and the general absence of anything resembling human - to say nothing of civil - rights, the United States has been willing to deal with these help them, to do business with them for their benefit and sometimes for ours.  But we will not tolerate terrorism against our soil or our citizens, either by the terrorists or by anyone supporting them in any way.  And the Bush Doctrine reserves to us the right of pre-emptive self-defense.  So, don't take it personally...just get the message!



Happy Columbus Day.  Persons of Italian-American heritage rightly take pride in this particular event yearly, notwithstanding the facts that Cristoforo Columbo, an Italian, was born in Genoa of Jewish parents and sailed under the Spanish flag as Cristobal Colon.
For those who believe that Americans make too much of this holiday, please refer to my offering elsewhere on this web site: The Involved Citizen, Miscellaneous Topics, "Christopher Columbus and the 'Indians': Facts and Deductions".



Sorry about the delay this week in posting these "responses". Technical difficulties, now resolved.
Often, there are articles which just should not be paraphrased, but which should be read in the original.  Three of these follow:

One issue not mentioned for a while relates to the abomination of Abortion.  As noted by Ann Coulter in her recent books,  the stickiest glue that holds ultra-liberals together is their pro-abortion stance...which has resulted in the killing of over 40 million babies in the last 30 years. Nice record.  Meanwhile, an increasing majority of just plain Americans, now well exceeding 70%,  are anti-abortion, regardless of religious persuasion.  So we all hope that voters in the next election cycle will be different from many others since Roe v Wade who used a candidate's position on abortion as a litmus test for consideration.  We have been stuck with many mediocrities, at all levels of public life, as a direct result of that distortion of the political process.



Now, you didn't really think that I would have nothing to say until after the World Series, did you?  Only when the claque, from individual citizens to TV "anchor-persons" that call themselves "liberals" show signs of learning from history will I become speechless. Three devastating expose's have recently been published on the subject, thoroughly annotated to primary source material.  Two are by Ann Coulter: Treason and Slander (Crown Publishers, 2002, 2003).  The other is by Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, USAF (Ret) and is entitled: Dereliction of Duty (Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington D.C., 2003).  As Ms. Coulter states in her Conclusion, after having documented the fact conclusively: "Liberals have been wrong about everything in the last half-century".   (Also see other offerings on this web site under: The Involved Citizen; The Clinton Presidency).  There is a saying in the world of common sense: "If when you are young you are not a liberal, you have no heart.  If when you are older you are not a conservative, you have no brains".



When joking with my more elderly patients... more elderly than I, of course...I give them this advice: "before you get out of bed in the morning, do a  'Review of Systems', just as your doctor does when completing a medical history.  'Do you have headache, dizziness, blurring of vision, spots before your eyes, bleeding from your nose, ringing noises in your ears, etc., etc., etc.  If you have fewer than ten of these, you can get up.  Otherwise, stay in bed for the day...and call your doctor".  Well, with the California Recall vote just ended and the Playoff - World Series season just beginning, we Americans need to keep somewhere in mind a national "review of systems".

But all of that can wait.  Let's see if the Yankees can handle all of these underdogs.  First things first!


MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6 through 8, 2003

California Wins!  "In a democracy, the people always get what they deserve."  And in this democracy, a young and penniless foreigner can still come to America and  accomplish whatever he wants...with talent, self-confidence, and a massive amount of hard work.  Foreigners have always known this.  Young Americans, take note!



The Middle East, again.

Terrorists hit Israel, again, on the eve of Yom Kippur.  Does Israel have the right of pre-emptive self-defense, as we have asserted for America in the Bush Doctrine?  Of course; and that is precisely what Syria just experienced today.  Meanwhile, the current leadership of Israel continues to poison the waters in the entire Middle East by establishing further illegal and unwise settlements in areas which it knows are not and will not be its own.  "He who seeks equity most do equity".  And the U.S. must now "help" Israel to do the right thing.  Besides, our nation's prestige, future, resources and lives are being lost in part because of such actions.  What is this administration waiting for? Hopefully not for the strict Conservatives in this country to come around - they who are embracing Israel right or wrong, in an embrace that the Israelis may soon find too tight.

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3 and 4, 2003

California.  This is why, on the average, well over 50% of American voters fail to participate in the political processes of the greatest democracy in the world: 1) possibly the purest forms of public action, recall and referendum, are denounced by the "democrats" as forms of mob rule; and 2) character assassination is one of the "rules of the game".  Both of these tactics are being employed right now by Governor Gray Davis and his supporters in desperate attempts to save his failed administration.  Whatever the results in California (prediction: Davis out, Arnold in), we just plain citizens should work to guarantee the rights of recall and of referendum in every State of the Union - and then we should actively participate.  The "political class"in this country needs to be taught a lesson in basic civics, and soon.



"What's happening?  Is there a full moon?  Has Halloween come a month early this year? First the allegation (only that so far) that respected journalist Robert Novak participated in an illegal act by "outing a CIA agent", and for political purposes no less.  Then we learn that Rush Limbaugh has made yet another "outrageous statement" that is being called "racist"...followed by allegations that he has in the past heavily abused prescription drugs.  And Arnold certainly should have known better.  Whether these stories are distortions fed by political agendas, or whether they are true, the following is right on point.


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.  He will be remembered as having cultivated such valued lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies(don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies(adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition!

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot , spilled it in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, and his son, Reason, He is survived by Two Stepbrothers, My Rights and Ima Whiner, Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 through OCTOBER 1, 2003

The news is heating up again.


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