George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in
this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military
a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed
by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge that to
"the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
SUNDAY and MONDAY,
June 29 and 30, 2008
As my wife says: less than six months to Christmas. More
importantly, slightly over four months to the end of this interminable
- To reiterate: THE FUNDAMENTALS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE WRONG NOW.
And now Tom Friedman agrees with that assessment in today's NYTimes "Anxious
In America",WK p10).
- An endorsement of John McCain, one of many to
come in this section: "McCain Is The Clear Choice For
Change", by Benjamin Davol, The Day today, pE3.
- The Connecticut State Government has evidently
done something good for a change...addressing the pungent state of
ethics in the State. See articles by Morgan McGinley and by
State Representative Diana Urban in The Day today, pE3.
- Poor Preston, Ct. saddled with an embarassment
of riches. What to do? Tune in this week.
- Now the Pentagon's Iraq Follies, well
chronicled in the pages of this section since the Summer of 2003, begin
to emerge. See the latest Pentagon study in the NYTimes today,
pA1. What happens when military men become politicians...and
politicians value "loyalty" over logic. And, of course,
a very special Bronx Cheer for Donald
June 28, 2008
Another busy bad news week.
- The "sub-prime mortgage crisis", aka the "stupid
and greedy crisis", involves many voters and political
contributors. Thus the push to bail everybody out, especially the
politicians who allowed all of this stupid and greedy to
flourish. And what about the rest of us taxpayers who will have
to pay for the proposed bailouts? ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES; both
for those that caused the "crisis" and those accessories after the
fact. And today we learned that even massive pension funds,
charged with the most conservative and stable investment goals, have
been feeding at the trough. Senator Joseph Lieberman proposed
banning pension funds from investing in commodities entirely. But
even he and his rational idea were beaten down. So, the dismal
record of our government beats on. See George Will's review of
the record for 2007, entitled "2007: "Ready, Fire, Aim" (Newsweek,
December 31, 2007).
- America's energy problem and the related
Mid-East crisis are not being addressed honestly by the politicos,
whose only interest this year is "GOTCHA". Folks, we don't have
much time to deal with this...short of WW lll, the usual fall-back
position when avoidable national crises get bad enough.
- Bad news for everyone, especially the millions of aborted human
beings: Planned Parenthood is
reportedly doing very well (WSJ June 23, pA1). What an
abomination. We were all happy to hear this week that Americans
embrace religious tolerance. That is as it should be...except for
abortion. Slavery was the Original Sin of this country.
Abortion replaced it as America's great national stain.
- Now, to paraphrase the old motto: MY COUNTRY. MAY SHE
BE ALWAYS RIGHT. BUT, IF NOT, WE'LL WORK ON A COURSE
CORRECTION. That means Americans, not the cacophony of
ill-will from other countries. For perspective on the latter, see
"Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype", by Fouad Ajami (WSJ Monday,
June 23, pA17.
- Zimbabwe. Another abject failure...first
for all of Africa, and secondarily for the former colonial powers who
owe the African people much more than mere hand-wringing and
- Here's a dog-bites-man story: The Day (www.theday.com)
is unfurling its liberal colors again in this national election
year. Go ahead. But could you do all of us just one
favor: spare us those inane and asinine "political cartoons" of
Lukovitch. Is he somebody's brother-in-law there?
- Short and sweet: DON'T COUNT HILLARY OUT
UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS AT THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION.
That's a sobering thought. See "Hillary's Hidden Hand",
Newsweek December 31, 2007, p62. See also my section on Bill
Clinton on my web site (www.asthma-drsprecace.com)
for a review of those halcyon years.
- Tim Russert was a good man. And something
is missing from the story of his demise "while at work". Could he
not have been saved? Was he given CPR? Was there an AED
available? I don't have closure here.
- The Right to Bear Arms is an individual right,
decided for the first time since the passage of the Bill of
Rights. Exactly right, with appropriate caveats included.
Could this High Court not even get to this result without a 5-4
decision? We are told that the 2008 USSC session came to fewer
such split decisions than in 2007, when there were 24 5-4
decisions. Our body politic may be so divided. Our citizens
certainly are not. And there lies yet another serious symptom of
the disease: THE FUNDAMENTALS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE WRONG NOW.
- Two bits of good news from the Middle East: 1)
Pakistani troops attacked Taliban fighters on the Pakistan/Afghanistan
border...finally; 2) Turkey may be starting to address its Muslim
cancer in its secular governmental and civic body. And then there
is the perennial question: Are We Safer? See the
article of the same name by Reuel Marc Gerecht in the Weekly Standard,
June 30, 2008. The sub-title is: "Yes, George W.
Bush has made America more secure since 9/11".
SUNDAY through FRIDAY,
June 22 through 27, 2008
What the hell is
going on in this country?? No common sense. No
Fundamentals! Could this be the year we "throw all the bums out"? I'll dream on for a while. GS
> Subject: We Have The Oil
> This is very interesting.......
> This is amazing! Our elected leaders must be made to get off the
> dime and do something to free our country from middle east oil
> dependence. This looks very mush like it can be done and why are
> not doing something about it? I've sent this to my entire mailing
> hope it gets some of your attention. I hope you pass it on as
well. Just maybe we "The People"
> can get our elected officials to do something or replace them with
> people that will.
> Subject: Wow!
> Be prepared to be upset if you did not know of this. I was and am
> Very Upset. I did Google this myself , and sure enough the fact
> correct, but there is also a large deposit sitting under Colorado,
> Wyoming and Utah... It is an interesting read in Google...
> Just poking around the Internet recently, I simply 'Googled' the
> search 'Untapped U.S. Oil Reserves,' and the result (like the
> price of a gallon of gas - BLEW ME AWAY! Go ahead, take a minute
> see for yourself! Never mind, I'll share some of the highlights I
> 1. Ever heard of the Bakken Formation? GOOGLE it. I did, and
> again, BLEW my mind. The U.S. Geological Service issued a report
> April ('08) that only scientists and oilmen/women knew was coming,
but man was it big.
> It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how
> oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota; western
> Dakota; and extreme eastern Montana ... check THIS out:
> The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's
> Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American
> dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration
> estimates it at
> 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable...
> $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than
> 'When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically
> see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.' says Terry
> the Montana Legislature's financial analyst.
> 'This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field
> found in the past 56 years,' reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
> a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly
> referred to as the 'Bakken.' And it stretches from Northern
> through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U.S.oil
> has been considered a dead en d. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave
> searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent
> technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive
> reserves... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels.
> because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will
cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!
> That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41
> years straight.
> 2. [And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one
> should - because it's from TWO YEARS AGO, people!]
> U.S.Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World!
> Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006 Hidden 1,000 feet beneath
> the surface of the Rocky Mountains
> lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world is more
> than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush
> mandated its extraction.
> [(???) What the!??]
> They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our
> borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the
> official estimates:
> -8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
> -18-times as much oil a s Iraq
> -21-times as much oil as Kuwait
> -22-times as much oil as Iran
> -500-times as much oil as Yemen- and it's all right here in the
> Western United States.
> [HOW can this BE!? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this!? Because
> we've not D E M A N D E D Legislation to come out of Washington
> allowing its extraction, that's why!]
> James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more
> oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more
> TRILLION barrels. Untapped. That's more than all the proven oil
> reserves of crude oil
> in the world today, reports The Denver Post.
> Don't think 'Big Oil' will drop its price - even with this find?
> Think again! It's all about the competitive marketplace, an d if
> can extract it (here) for less, they can afford to sell it for
> and if they DON'T, others will. It will come down - it has to.
> [Got your attention/ire up yet? Hope so! Now, while you're
> thinking about it ... and hopefully P.O'd, do this:
> 3. Take 5-10 minutes and compose an e-mail; fax or good
> old-fashioned letter to our elected officials in Washington.. and
> their respected leaders. We'll start with them, and here's how you
> send them your e-mail/fax, DEMANDING the immediate Legislation/an
> Energy PLAN that calls for tapping into these (OUR OWN!) Reserves,
> well as allowing for the offshore drilling for OUR oil, in OUR
> offshore waters and Inter-continental shelf ... not to mention
> Technology ain't what it used to be people (ever had arthroscopic
> surgery?). They can surgically extract OUR oil, and get us on the
> to at least some measure of Energy independence.
> You don't take a little time to do this, then you should stifle
> yourself the next time you want to complain about gas prices ...
> because by doing NOTHING, you've forfeited your right to complain.
June 20 and 21, 2008
- It bothers me to denigrate substantial numbers of
youngsters of a whole generation. But the facts get
worse and worse. We know how poorly they have done in public
schools, even in subjects like Geography, History and English. We
know that they are "groupies" who depend on crowd psychology to shore
up the "self-image" that they were given little opportunity to
earn...rather than having had it bestowed on them. We were
starkly reminded, in a trio of articles that appeared in The Day
this week (www.theday.com) on highschool
alcohol and drug use, that even their restricted cognitive
capacities are often stunted. And then appear the articles
and other media reports this week about the 17 teenaged girls from
a town in Massachusetts who reportedly conspired to get pregnant, so
that they could all raise their babies together.
CALLING ALL MATURE ADULTS, OF ALL AGES. As we first learned in
typing class: "Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come
to the aid of their country."
- The little town of Preston, Ct. just doesn't
know what to do with a massive windfall (the former Norwich Hospital
property), after years of effort and input. Is this a failure of
leadership...or of followership? My guess is the former.
- With all the "focal idiopathic idiocy" that continues to spew
from Democratic types, still suffering from PTSD
following the 2000 election, regarding America's efforts in the Middle
East since 2001, no one appears to be paying attention to the rebirth
of an old and very serious challenge: Putin's Russia.
Edward Lucas' new book, The New Cold War", is
absolutely not bedside reading. "Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?"
- Meanwhile, our nation is beset with a national election
that promises to be the Same Ol', Same Ol', at least from the
Democratic side. See David Brooks' article this week in the
NYTimes and in The Day. See also the following. GS
Obama raps McCain on flood prevention
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer Sat Jun 21, 2:32 PM ET
MIAMI - With communities in the Midwest still under
Barack Obama on Saturday criticized Republican John McCain for opposing
federal spending on flood prevention programs and opened a new debate
in the White House race.
McCain's campaign said Obama was
confusing the facts and engaging in typical political attacks that the
Democrat rejects in his speeches.
Both candidates have visited the flood
zones in the past two weeks, since tornadoes hit and heavy rains sent
rivers surging over their banks. At least 24 people were killed, the
majority in Iowa.
Obama, an Illinois senator, canceled a
visit to eastern Iowa last week at the request of state officials and
instead went to fill sandbags in Quincy, Ill. McCain, an Arizona
senator, toured flood damage in Iowa Thursday.
"I know that Sen.
McCain felt as strongly as I did," Obama said, "feeling enormous
sympathy for the victims of the recent flooding. I'm sure they
appreciated the sentiment, but they probably would have appreciated it
even more if Sen. McCain hadn't opposed legislation to fund levees and
flood control programs, which he considers pork."
The bill that McCain opposed spent $23
billion on water projects. It passed Congress overwhelmingly and was
vetoed by President Bush
because he said it spent too much on lawmaker's pet projects. Congress
voted to override the veto, the first time of Bush's presidency.
The bill funded hundreds of projects —
such as dams, sewage plants and beach restoration — that are important
to local communities and their representatives. It also included money
for the hurricane-hit Gulf
Coast and for Florida
Everglades restoration efforts.
McCain's campaign said Obama opposed an
amendment that McCain co-sponsored to prioritize flood control
spending. The bipartisan amendment, which failed overwhelmingly on a
69-22 vote, would have made sure "lifesaving levees like those that so
tragically failed in Iowa
and Missouri are
given the highest priority and fixed first," said McCain spokesman
"It is beyond the pale that Barack Obama
would attack John McCain
for actually trying to fix the problem and change the way Washington
works," Bounds said. "Barack Obama's willingness to continue the status
quo pork-barrel politics in Washington, and then engage in political
attacks that entirely disregard the facts, once again fundamentally
shows that he's nothing more than a typical politician."
Obama's criticism of McCain came in a
speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He told the city leaders that he
would be their partner and appoint the first White House Director of
Urban Policy to help them cut through federal bureaucracies. The promise
sparked a standing ovation.
He promised money for police, higher-paid
teachers, transit, housing and broadband Internet. He said he would
create jobs by rebuilding roads, bridges and other infrastructure
projects. "That will be the cause of my presidency," he said.
And he announced a new program to offer
matching grants that encourage businesses, government and university
leaders to collaborate on regional economic clusters, such as the North Carolina Research
Triangle Park and Nashville's entertainment cluster. The
campaign said the proposal would cost $200 million a year and would be
funded by improving government efficiency.
June 19, 2008
Some more and on-going evidence that the FUNDAMENTALS in
this country are now wrong.
- Older age is being called an impediment to
national service...just as the Depression era generation and even the
boomer generation have decades of productive years ahead of
them...after having contributed greatly to the nation's welfare.
and this charge is being made by a generation of self-indulgents and by
the up - and - coming intoxicated "air-heads".
- The greedy and unprincipled bastards from Wall Street - and now
even Ed McMahon - are crying for bailouts from us
for their stupidity and misdeeds...and Congress is seriously
- Once again, Jay Leno is proven right: Democrats are
stupid; Republicans are greedy.
Witness the actions of Congress in recent years.
- Racism is alive and well...among Black leaders:
the vast majority of Blacks vote for Obama, even among avowed
Black Conservatives, because he's Black. And Blacks still demand
"Affirmative Action", aka "reverse discrimination", despite
the massive gains rightly made by intelligent and prudent Blacks.
- And the attacks by Democrats and Teachers' Unions against
Public Education continue unabated. See "Putting
Children Last", WSJ editorial, Wednesday, June 11; and "Amazing
Teacher Facts, WSJ editorial, June 14-15.
- And, whether facing vital issues in the Middle East or
in the nation or in Hollywood, there is no mood for
compromise...just warfare. This fact, and not the
difficulties facing us, most ominously herald a period of serious
decline in America unless, of course, we are again attacked. But
must it always take that to bring us together? What a waste.
June 16 through 18, 2008
worth reading and is an Accurate Account of History!
<>John Glenn (DEMOCRAT)
said this ----- It should make us all think a little:
<>There were 39 combat
related killings in Iraq in January. In the fair city of Detroit there
were 35 murders in the month of January.
That's just one American city, about as deadly as the
entire war-torn country of Iraq.
<>When some claim that
President Bush shouldn't have started this war, tell them the following:
<>FDR (DEMOCRAT) led us
into World War II.
attacked us; Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000
lives were lost ...
<>an average of 112,500
finished that war and started one in Korea. North Korea never attacked
us. >From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost .. an average of 18,334
<>John F. Kennedy
(DEMOCRAT) started the Vietnam conflict in 1962.
<>Vietnam never attacked us.
turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
58,000 lives were lost ... an average of 5,800 per
went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent. Bosnia never attacked us. He
was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did
nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.
one is a fact that makes me mad as hell.
<>In the years since
terrorists attacked us, President Bush has liberated two
countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear
inspectors in Libya, Iran, and, North Korea without firing a shot, and
captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of
his own people. And the Democrats are complaining about how long the war
<>But Wait, There's more.
<>It took less time to
take Iraq than it took Janet Reno (DEMOCRAT) to take the Branch
Davidian compound. That was a 51-day
<>We've been looking
for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took
Hillary Clinton (DEMOCRAT) to find the Rose law firm
<>It took less time for
the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the
Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted
Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at
<>It took less time to
take Iraq than it took to count the votes in
is doing a GREAT JOB! The Military morale is high!
<>The biased media hopes
we are too ignorant to realize the facts.
<>But Wait .....There's
GLENN (on the Senate floor - January 26, 2004)
<>Some people still
don't understand why military personnel
<>do what they do for a
living. This exchange between
<>Senators John Glenn and
Senator Howard Metzenbaum
<>is worth reading. Not
only is it a pretty impressive
<>impromptu speech, but
it's also a good example of one
<>man's explanation of
why men and women in the armed
<>services do what they
do for a living.
<>This IS a typical,
though sad, example of what some who have never
served think of the military.
(speaking to Senator Glenn):
<>'How can you run for
Senate when you've never held a real job?'
(D-Ohio): 'I served 23 years in
the United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149
missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different
occasions. I was in the space program. It wasn't my checkbook, Howard;
it was my life on the line.. It was not a nine-to-five job,
where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to
<>'I ask you to go with
me, as I went the other day .. to a veteran's hospital
and look those men .. with their mangled
bodies ... in the eye, and tell THEM they didn't hold a job!
<>You go with me to the
Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone,
to the widows and Orphans of Ed White, Gus
Grissom and Roger Chaffee ... and you look those kids in the eye and
tell them that their DAD'S didn't
hold a job.
<>You go with me on
Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more
friends buried than I'd like to
remember, and you watch those waving flags. You stand there, and
you think about this nation, and you have the gall
to tell ME that those people didn't have a job?
<>For those who don't
remember During W.W.II, Howard
Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the
Communist Party in the USA.
<>Now he's a Senator!
<>If you can read this, thank a teacher.
you are living in the United States of America, thank a Veteran.
June 14 and 15, 2008
Today we begin with another
exchange with my friend and political critic, Jim.
Jim, I agree with the basic premise, and with the fact that this
is not good. If fact, I have come to the conclusion that THE
FUNDAMENTALS in this country are in decay and that as a consequence the
health of the entire nation is at risk.
But as a physician, I analogize this to
the case of a mentally ill patient. He or she often has serious
physical ailments as well that need attention; and he usually has his
own ideas about the diagnoses and the treatments he needs. But
beware simply agreeing with those diagnoses and demanded
treatments. What is needed in such cases is "Veterinary
Medicine"...fully objective, fact-based and non-political. That's
going to be a tough job, with a lot of disruption and misery between
now and that end. For, "The inmates have taken over the
Keep checking out my diagnoses and
treatments as offered in the Rapid Response section of my
Meanwhile, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY.
the past three decades, market-worshiping politicians and their
corporate backers have engineered the most colossal redistribution of
wealth in modern world history, a redistribution from the bottom up,
from working people to a tiny global elite.
- Writing as the father of five great kids, ages 48 through 38,
every day is Father's (and Mother's)
Day. Congratulations to all.
- The U.S. Supreme Court, by the narrowest margins
and with the most stark differences of opinions, is now on a collision
course with our Military Courts over the balance between national
security and civil rights (including those rights for aliens). In
my understanding of our American history, as distinguished from
foreign history, national security has always trumped some civil
liberties for relatively brief periods in times of crisis.
Furthermore, "terrorists", by their own description and within
common understanding, are beyond "aliens" and also beyond the scope of
the Geneva Conventions.
- Our current sustenance, as well as our seed bank for the future,
are beginning to be jeopardized by the current manipulation of
the price of oil and all of its attendant dislocations.
Whether relating to the Gulf of Mexico or the Persian Gulf, we must
soon give our "neighbors" a choice: let is reason together, with a
60/40 compromise in their favor; or we will do whatever we have to
for our national security. At home, we must apply even more
draconian methods: like rationing, regulation of Wall Street
aberrations (hedge funds, derivatives...) and the logical conversion to
nuclear energy ASAP.
- Three articles in The Day (www.theday.com)
once again illustrate what a real city - with
all its warts - New London, Ct. is. See Ann Baldelli's
column on the quirks of the city throughout its 400+ year
history. See the article by Daniel Moalli, M.D. regarding
Historic District designation for the Pequot Colony. And see
Morgan McGinley's column regarding the continuing saga of Fort Trumbull
and the progeny of Kelo vs City of New London (USSC). I'll have
more to say about this last soap opera in a following Rapid
- Should military veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) receive the Purple Heart, first awarded by George
Washington? I'm not so sure, yet. I don't question
the reality and impact of this disorder / injury. But it's
diagnosis is not verifiable by objective testing...and the Psychiatric
community has during the recent decades lost some of its credibility
with some of its politicized positions and "diagnoses". Let's
wait a while. The last thing we would want to do is to demean and
diminish the significance of the Purple Heart, especially in the eyes
of our veterans themselves.
- For a clear analysis of the current meaning and politically
correct usage of "multi-ethnicity", see the June 15
offering of OPUS in the Sunday Comics.
- And we end off "From the Sublime to the
Ridiculous"...Israel's long-standing method for
making peace: tossing Jewish settlements around like weed-seed
throughout the land, whether theirs or not. I have been strongly
for a modern (not Biblical) Israel for decades; and I have
been against those settlements for as long. Israelis should
continue to read the Old Testament...but should throw in a little world
history as well. "HE WHO SEEKS EQUITY MUST DO
EQUITY." And, given the continuing approach being taken
by Israel, disruptive of peace in that vital region...its long-term
survival is not a foregone conclusion. After all, even Yahweh
had to start over with the Great Flood.
June 10 through 13, 2008
- Shocking news: Tim Russert is dead, at the
age of 58. A fine journalist. A good man. A great
loss. Rest in Peace. But he would want us to continue with
the world's business.
- News Flash. "Big Powers offer Iran a "generous deal"
regarding nuclear power". Depending upon what that
deal is, this is either outrageous...or it is entirely in keeping with
the proposal I made several months in this section regarding how to
deal with any and all currently non-nuclear nations.
(You can look it up via the search engine). Executive summary: If
you don't try to make nuclear power yourself, the Nuclear Club will
give you civilian nuclear power...for free. If you do try to make
it yourself, we will give you one warning...and then will blow all
efforts up, with collateral damage as your
responsibity. Is that clear?
- Zimbabwe, Sudan and the other sites of genocide
on that continent. We are not surprised by the impotence of the
U.N. But what about the "African Union"? Shameful.
- Here is a non-news item: Obama has declined John
McCain's offer to have several combined town-meetings.
McCain is great in these settings. Obama is tongue-tied without a
script, a tele-prompter and a podium. That tells a lot about the
bona fides of each man.
- The fate of Mustangs on the Western Range.
"Greed, Greed on the Range". It would be vastly better for
Americans' bodies and souls if there were fewer cows and more
SUNDAY and MONDAY,
June 8 and 9, 2008
This is too good (BAD) to pass up. Senator Shumer, a leader of the
Democratic Party, is out of his mind on this subject - for all the
reasons stated in the letter, and more. As recently stated by John
McCain: electing McCain would in no way be a "third Bush term"; but
electing Obama and his gang of ultraliberals would be a Carter second
the Neville Chamberlain Award for 2008 Goes to . . .
The Wall Street Journal, June 7,
2008; Page A10
Sen. Charles Schumer's June
3 commentary "Russia
Part of the Answer on Iran" offers an excellent illustration of why
the Democrats are no longer a party that can be safely entrusted with
America's foreign policy.
Sen. Schumer offers three
reasons for dismantling the antinuclear missile defenses the U.S. is
constructing: (1) the weapons are "ineffective"; (2) the primary threat
they are intended to defend against -- an Iranian nuclear attack -- is
"hypothetical and remote"; and (3) they drive Vladimir Putin to
"apoplexy" because they strengthen "the relationship between Eastern
Europe and NATO," thereby mocking "Mr. Putin's dream of eventually
restoring Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe."
Sen. Schumer offers no
evidence of the missile defenses' ineffectiveness, and if they were
known to be ineffective, Mr. Putin would hardly care about them. As for
the Iranian nuclear threat, by implausibly dismissing it as "remote,"
he weakens his own case for taking action to prevent it. In fact, of
course, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad has publicly threatened
to use nuclear weapons when available to destroy Israel. This is
Most remarkable is Sen.
Schumer's suggestion that in pursuit of Russian cooperation in a
boycott of Iran, we should not only assist in the restoration of
Russian hegemony over Central Europe, but even "make Russia whole" for
the cost of sanctions by paying its government, currently basking in a
sea of oil revenues, some "$2 billion to $3 billion a year" -- a figure
Sen. Schumer observes is "about what we spend in Iraq each week."
Less than two decades ago
the friends of liberty throughout the world celebrated the fall of the
Iron Curtain. Is America now to assist in the reversal of that event in
a bootless endeavor to secure Russia's "cooperation" on Iran -- when by
the senator's account Russia has no independent interest in such
Aside from the removal of
Iran's nuclear weapons capacity by military means, antimissile defense
offers the only hope of staving off Mr. Ahmadenijad's nuclear
blackmail. As for Sen. Schumer's dismissal of the cost of bribing the
Russians to cooperate by comparing it to the cost of fighting the Iraq
war: What ever happened to the honorable slogan worthy of a great
nation, "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute"?
Can Be Part of the Answer on Iran
June 3, 2008; Page A19
Last month, Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran was installing an
additional 6,000 centrifuges at Iran's main nuclear enrichment complex.
The Bush administration in turn needs to use every diplomatic tool in
its arsenal to halt Tehran's development of nuclear weapons.
While the military option
can never be taken off the table, most experts admit it would be
unlikely to succeed. Because Iran has dispersed its nuclear facilities
and buried some deep underground, an air strike will at best slow down,
without preventing, its eventual creation of nuclear weapons. A
military occupation might do so, but there are less costly solutions
Those solutions begin with
understanding the fundamental instability of Iran's theocratic
dictatorship. Iran is not a homogenous country. It is home to several
major and traditionally competitive ethnic groups – Persians, Azeris,
Kurds and Arabs. The predominant Iranian culture is mild and secular,
not prone to religious fanaticism. Iranians have a great affinity for
Western goods and ideas. Satellite TV is illegal in Iran, but there are
an estimated five million satellite dishes in Iranian households. The
most popular television station is not Al Jazeera nor even CNN, but MTV.
Most importantly, Iran is
considerably younger, more educated and more middle class than its
neighbors. More than two-thirds of the population is under 30, and the
literacy rate is 79%. Women make up half of all incoming university
students. Iran's average income far exceeds its neighbors. The growing
middle class treasures economic success above political or religious
rights, and they measure the success of the current regime on an
This dynamic creates an
opportunity. Economic sanctions could cause the Iranian government to
negotiate seriously with us, and might, over time, topple the
theocracy. In fact, the mildest of economic sanctions – a boycott of
Iranian banks by U.S. and European central banks – has already produced
an economic slowdown, and unrest among Iranians.
Stronger economic sanctions
could produce more effective results. To work, these sanctions would
require the cooperation of the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia
and China. The U.S. and Britain have always backed tougher action;
Germany and France are also now on board. The Chinese may go along if
everyone else will. That leaves Russia and its prime minister, Vladimir
Putin. Thus far, it is Russia that has blocked more effective economic
There are three reasons.
First, Russia has a longstanding, close relationship with Iran and
regards itself as Iran's protector. Second, the Russian economy
benefits from its relationship with Iran by several billion dollars a
year. Third and most important is leverage. Mr. Putin is an
old-fashioned nationalist who seeks to regain the power and greatness
Russia had before the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia's relationship
with Iran is a key point of leverage over the West that he will not
To bring Putin's Russia on
board we must make it an offer it cannot refuse. The offer has three
First, we must treat Russia
as an equal partner when it comes to policy in the Caspian Sea region,
recognizing Russia's traditional role in the region. Second, we must
offer to make Russia whole if it joins in our Iranian boycott and
forgoes trade revenues with Iran. That will cost the U.S. roughly $2
billion to $3 billion a year, about what we spend in Iraq each week.
Third, we should tell Mr. Putin we will cease building the ineffective
antinuclear missile defense sites in Eastern Europe in return for him
joining the boycott.
Two years ago, under NATO
auspices, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania agreed to build an
antimissile defense site to thwart the threat of a nuclear missile
attack by Iran. The threat is hypothetical and remote, and the Bush
administration's emphasis on pursuing the antimissile system, without
Russia's cooperation, still baffles many national security experts.
It also drives Mr. Putin to
apoplexy. The antimissile system strengthens the relationship between
Eastern Europe and NATO, with real troops and equipment on the ground.
It mocks Mr. Putin's dream of eventually restoring Russian hegemony
over Eastern Europe.
Dismantling the antimissile
site, economic incentives and creation of a diplomatic partnership in
the region – in exchange for joining an economic boycott of Iran – is
an offer Mr. Putin would find hard to refuse. It is our best hope to
avoid a nuclear Iran, because a successful economic boycott would
certainly force the Iranian regime to heed Western demands more than
anything attempted so far.
Mr. Schumer is a Democratic
senator from New York.
SATURDAY, June 7, 2008
- Hillary has "suspended" her race for the
Democratic nomination. Now let's check Webster's
dictionary. "Suspend": to cease for a time from operation
or activity". For all lawyers including Hillary, words
have great specificity and power. Should we really believe her
swansong today in Washington? Or am I just too suspicious?
In any case, one comic's story is surely apt: "Hillary announced
that she would fight on all the way to the August
convention...until they detected Bill in one of her pantsuits and in a
- And now, especially after her speech...the first of her new
campaign for the Presidency...Obama has a problem.
Should Hillary be his Vice Presidential nominee, or not? My
analysis: If he thinks he can win the Presidency without her,
he'll keep her as far away from the White House as possible. He
will choose her...and her Bill-baggage...only if he does not think that
he can win without her. Since I think that he really believes his
own Elmer Gantry rhetoric, he will decide that he can win without her...and
he will lose! How's that for a gutsy prediction?
- Meanwhile, the world is choosing sides.
Yesterday we heard from Kenya (?), whose citizens will work for Obama's
victory. Today, we hear from Kurt Beck, the new leftist Social
Democrat leader in Germany, who also chooses Obama. Let's hear
more from the foreign peanut gallery. With friends like that, how
can he lose?
- Meanwhile, with the oil market being feverishly gamed
by all sorts of parties, Russia and other oil-rich countries may be
trying to give us a dose of our own medicine. In the 1980's,
President Reagan consciously and successfully worked to bankrupt the
USSR with an arms race...luckily before we went bankrupt. See
the following statement by the new President of Russia.
Unfortunately, this time he is not blowing smoke. GS
Russia blames U.S. for global financial
By Michael Stott Sat Jun 7, 5:44
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev blamed "aggressive" United States policies
on Saturday for the global financial crisis and said Moscow's
growing economic muscle could be part of the solution.
"Failure by the biggest financial firms in the world to adequately
take risk into account, coupled with the aggressive financial policies
of the biggest economy in the world, have led not only to corporate
losses," Medvedev told Russia's
main annual event for international investors in St Petersburg.
"Most people on the planet have become poorer."
The Kremlin leader
said investment by cash-rich Russian companies abroad, promotion of
Moscow as a major financial centre and use of the ruble as a reserve
currency were part of the answer.
These could help solve problems created by what he said was a gap
between the United States' leading global economic role and "its true
The Kremlin leader said economic nationalism had played a big part
in triggering the current crisis, which he compared to the Great Depression of the
"No matter how big the American market and no matter how strong the
American financial system, they are incapable of substituting for
global commodity and financial markets," Medvedev told the St
Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Kremlin leader also attacked big bonuses paid out in the
financial world, saying regulators needed to ensure that incentives
promoted "rational behavior based on a balanced evaluation of risks and
Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, who spoke shortly after
Medvedev, appeared to reject the criticism.
He said the United States had never based its policies on "economic
egoism" and believed in free trade.
"Globalization is in the national interest," he added.
Medvedev said Russia, now in the 10th year of an economic boom
fuelled by soaring prices for its oil and gas exports, was in an ideal
position to help solve the world financial crisis since it did not
share the problems of other leading economies.
"Russia is now a global player and understands its role in
supporting the global community," the president added.
"I propose holding a representative international conference
involving the heads of the biggest financial companies and leading
financial analysts...as early as this year," the Kremlin chief said. "Such a platform
could become a permanent one."
The Kremlin has encouraged Russian companies, which are flush with
cash from high commodity and oil prices,
to invest more actively abroad but this has caused alarm in Western
nations, which are traditionally suspicious of Moscow's intentions.
Medvedev said other countries had nothing to fear from Russian
investment in their companies since it was "neither speculative nor
aggressive" but purely based on pragmatism.
Sworn in last month as president, the Russian leader said world
institutions had been unable so far to cope with the challenges from
volatility on world
markets, including soaring commodity and food prices.
With its past as a leading global wheat producer, Russia was ready
for "constructive joint action" to overcome the food problem, he said.
also help with another problem -- a lack of liquid investable assets
because of disappointment with the U.S. dollar. Russia would soon adopt
a plan to become a global financial centre and make the ruble a
regional reserve currency, Medvedev said.
The Russian leader said that recent Kremlin moves to liberalize the
domestic gas market and reduce taxes on the oil sector would help
stabilize global energy markets. Russia is the world's biggest gas
producer and its second-biggest oil exporter.
(Additional reporting by Oleg Shchedrov and Dmitry Zhdannikov;
Editing by Ibon
FRIDAY, June 2 through 6, 2008
- The following words may sound hyperbolic: outrageous;
depraved; senseless; inhuman. But they
are all apt in referring to the people who watched a man get
mauled by hit-and-run bastards on a busy
Hartford, Ct. street...and did nothing to help him directly
and immediately. I cannot suitably express my anger. And
increasingly common hit-and-run drivers should henceforth face at least
10 years in jail, and 20 years in the case of death. Let's see
how long it takes for the State Judiciary Committee to consider
- Where did I put my crying towel? Ed McMahon
buys a 6 million dollar house, with a 5 million dollar mortgage.
He gets a 7 million dollar insurance settlement because of toxic mold
in that house. The house is now reportedly completely
repaired. But Ed is facing foreclosure. What am I missing
here? Do you think that maybe it's time to DOWNSIZE?
- The years-long pinata stage of Bush-bashing has
now entered a more virulent stage of demonization.
Today we heard on NPR that "people" are starting to worry and
plan about how to stop Bush from going to war with Iran just before he
leaves office in the event that McCain loses the election. Folks,
I kid you not. Therefore, CALLING ALL MATURE ADULTS FOR THE
ELECTION. You are needed to counter the crazies and the lemming
generation. We also read that Kenyans - in Kenya - are going to
mount a world-wide effort to elect Obama. Our 51st
- Zimbabwe and Mugabe: another in the continuing
series of U.N. "successes". And America is supposed to be guided
by and to place serious weight on that body. Right! The
same disconnect of logic pertains to the near abandonment by NATO, our
"allies", of efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
- Israel has today confirmed that it will attack
Iran's nuclear facilities if world efforts fail to stop that
activity. So that's news? As I have been saying for some
time, one of the reasons why we have to maintain a strong presence in
the Middle East is to prevent conditions which would prompt
Israel to act unilaterally...and then sucking us all
- Locally, the little community of Preston, Ct.,
home to the former and very valuable Norwich Hospital property,
seems to have a bad case of the shakes regarding what to do
with it. Folks, you've spent too long on this. And no
decision is a decision, often the wrong one. Get a grip!
SUNDAY, June 1, 2008
ANOTHER SOARING FLIGHT OF CONSCIOUSNESS...AND ATTITUDE.
- The Democratic Party persists in the error of
its ways: disenfranchizing large groups of voters over its pique at
undemocratic rules flouted. The Democratic Party leadership:
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid; Howard Dean...Articulate, Arrogant,
Asinine. RUN, HILLARY, RUN!
- A major national adoption advocacy group has recently come out in
favor of considering trans-racial adoptions.
It's about time, while tens of thousands of kids miss and distort
their formative years in successive foster homes. "The Best
Interests of the Child"...remember?
- As happens every time, another parade in New London, Ct.
reminded me of the greatness and spirit of its people. There they
were, in full display on Memorial Day on State Street: all shapes,
sizes, races, ages, colors and religions of New London
citizens...marching in tribute to this city and its fallen. Let's
see if the many volunteer groups in the city...and especially the City
Councilors, each elected to represent the entire city...are deserving
of these people by selflessly working together. Ann Baldelli's
column in the Sunday Day is right on target in this regard.
- Another article in that same issue (Sunday, June1) is also on
target:"For The Dying, Less Can
Be More" by Carol Mithers (pE1). My friend Peter
Moore, Ph.D and I have for some time been offering our articles on Abortion,
Morality and Ethics under the rubric Point and Counterpoint,
all available on my web site (www.asthma-drsprecace.com).
Please see the following articles on this and related subjects:
#'s 6,8,9,12, and 20. Yes, you do have ethical choices, when you
are the patient and when you are the patient's surrogate.
- The recent proposal to authorize
political appointments to the Coast Guard Academy, in
New London, Ct., is "a bad idea"...as well
articulated by Morgan McGinley in his column in The Day (Sunday, June
1, pE3). This is of a piece with efforts at dumbing-down our
educational ladder. It began nearly 50 years ago at a then
premier institute of higher learning: City College of New York.
It spread since then like wildfire through our public school system,
encouraged by new-age "educators", and by the teachers' unions and
their wholly owned subsidiary - the Democratic Party. Recent
efforts include reports that the Military is reducing its entrance
requirements, and that some colleges are eliminating reference to SAT
results in considering admissions. Add to that the
self-aggrandizing impressions and lemming-like tendencies of many of
the "Millennial Generation"...and we old geezers are just going to have
to keep active in society, for it's and our own protection.
- The Day editorial on Route 11 extension. GIVE
IT UP. For several reasons already expressed in
this section, we don't need our own "Big Dig".
- The more Obama "negatives" John McCain, the
more empty is his suit. McCain has an established track
record. To use a good Yiddish term, Obama has "GURNICHT".
- And then there are the Libertarians and Bob Barr.
They claim they are not out to be spoilers; but watch out! That's
exactly what they will be unless in November the people vote a clear
expression of preference in a new President. Think clearly,
- We read that the U.N. nuclear agency, the IAEA,
is getting "serious" with Iran. Gimme a break!
- We read that the Shiite cleric, "Al-Sadr
Wants To Convert From Firebrand To Leader" (by Amit
Paley, The Day Sunday, June 1, pE1)...and that he "has been studying
in Iran under a system that places clerics as national leaders."
That's just what the Middle East, including Israel need: more
Theocracy. That entire region needs both Freedom
of Religion and Freedom from Religion if it is to earn the
respect of the rest of the wary world...and especially of the United
States, whose self-defense is closely tied to the area.
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