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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

SUNDAY and MONDAY, January 30 and 31, 2011

I listened attentively for over 1/2 hour, waiting for something substantive.  Then I tuned out. Pick your own conclusion: "ALL HAT, NO CATTLE"; "WHERE'S THE BEEF"; "A  KABUKI DANCE".
And then, there is the following...  GS

Opinion: Gingrich’s take on Obama’s vision

By Yahoo! News yahoo! News – Thu Jan 27, 2:00 pm ET
By Newt Gingrich

When I first heard that President Obama was using "winning the future" as the theme of his state of the union I thought it was ironically funny.

I wrote a book, "Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America" in 2005. I used the title "Winning the Future" to make the case that the future was not automatically ours, that we Americans were not winning the future with our current policies and that we would have to make real changes to win.
[ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to Yahoo! Politics ]

My book was also a warning to Republicans.  It was a serious critique of the Republican failure to thoroughly rethink and replace failing government policies and institutions. I was suggesting the Republican Congress, after a decade of power, and the Republican administration were not being bold enough, creative enough or conservative enough.

They didn't listen and suffered the consequences in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

I looked forward to the State of the Union address to see how President Obama would build on this theme of winning. Winning implies a real contest. Winning implies losing is possible.

As you can imagine my conservative vision of winning the future by replacing failing, left wing bureaucracies with conservative, free market alternatives was radically different than President Obama's.

After telling us government is failing (with a cute story about three different departments dealing with salmon) he then proposed more power and more money for the very institutions he has just suggested were ineffective and inefficient.

However, what was most depressing about President Obama's State of the Union address was not its big government liberalism, its clever maneuvering to keep all the big government of the last two years, or its failure to admit how much liberalism had failed to create jobs.

What really saddened me about the President's State of the Union address was its shallowness and lack of serious dialogue.

For three years we have been in the worst economy since the great depression. Millions of Americans are suffering from unemployment. We just learned that first time applications for unemployment benefits jumped by 51,000 last week.  Housing prices are continuing to struggle.

What has the president learned from these three years of failure? What should we change to get back to job creation? Why should we expect more spending by failing bureaucracies (President Obama's version of investment) to work?

The world is becoming more dangerous. The Bush strategies did not stop the dangerous North Korean and Iranian regimes from pursuing nuclear weapons.  Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda are still killing innocents in brutal terrorist attacks. The Obama strategies have been no more successful than the Bush strategies.  What has the president learned from the failure of "engagement"?

The United States continues to send $400 billion plus overseas even though we have huge energy reserves here at home. Instead of proposing immediate steps to use American energy to create American jobs, the president repeated his fantasy of jobs in the future created through bureaucratic spending on technologies that are currently unavailable.

What serious plans does the president have to control spending and balance the budget?  Freezing spending at its current unprecedented high levels will barely make a dent in the projected deficit.  The deficit is now almost twice as large as the entire government was in 1983 when I proposed a freeze on spending to President Ronald Reagan.

Sadly, there is no Obama plan for winning the future.

There is an Obama plan for protecting big government, for pouring more money into broken bureaucracies, for borrowing several trillion more from the Chinese dictatorship.

President Obama is on a path to lose the future while pretending to change things.

The Republican House of Representatives should aggressively move forward and propose a scale of change to genuinely win the future.

Let the American people see the contrast and let the American people decide if they want big government, high taxes, economic decay and dangerous cuts in defense.

I believe the American people want to genuinely win the future and will prefer a future of smaller government, more entrepreneurship, more genuine investment within a free market, more replacement of failing policies and institutions and a lot more honesty about the real change we need.

Let the debate begin.

Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-1999 and is a potential Republican presidential candidate.

SATURDAY, January 29, 2011

So I said to him, "Barack, I know Abe Lincoln, and you ain't Abe Lincoln."

For those who study history --- you recall that despite Obama's continuous attempts to quote Lincoln as a Democrat --- President Lincoln was a Republican President!

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.  
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.  
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

......Abraham Lincoln

FRIDAY, January 28, 2011

Assault victim disputes account by superintendent

Publication: The Day
Published 01/28/2011 12:00 AM     Updated 01/27/2011 09:43 PM

As the "alleged" victim of the assault on State Street in New London on Sunday evening, Jan. 16, I would like to correct a couple of assertions made by Nicholas A. Fischer, superintendent of schools, in a commentary, "Day's coverage of State Street assault unfair to our city youth," published Jan. 25.

It's true that I was struck by one of the youths but several others were also attempting to assault me. By the time I made it from the center of State Street (where I was struck) to the sidewalk in front of Hanafin's I was surrounded by several youths who were taunting me to come out in the street. They were yelling, "Come into the street, take it to the street."

They were alternately charging towards me and jumping back trying to get close enough to take a punch. Only when I made it inside of Hanifan's and took out my cell phone did the kids run off but not before one of them grabbed the door and violently slammed it trying to break the glass.

As I described in a Day online post shortly after the attack:

"What was amazing to me about this incident was just how brazen these kids were to be doing this in front of a bar full of witnesses. And how violent and wild they were. Really, like a pack of rabid dogs. It was very bizarre and surreal - to the point I wasn't all that much afraid of them. Later I realized I should have been very afraid."

I did not hear anyone in this group attempting to stop the assailant, as Mr. Fischer states, but I do know that several of them were attempting to continue with a physical assault. So, in fact, several arrests would have been appropriate.

Mr. Fischer also cites a Day editorial that gives, in his view, the false impression that a "roving group of kids was responsible for the assault." That is actually true. It was absolutely a roving group that is responsible for the attack. Clearly, as a group, they were creating havoc in downtown New London.

Moments before I was assaulted (by the group) they were throwing ice at the front door of Tony D's restaurant before being chased away by bar patrons. The NLPD was already responding to that 911 call before receiving my call. Another 911 call came in while my report was being taken reporting youths smashing bottles near the middle school.

I hope Mr. Fischer reconsiders the facts of this story so he can more effectively be part of the solution to this youth problem in New London.

Bill Dumas is a musician and documentary film producer who lives in Pasadena, Calif., but has roots in eastern Connecticut and visits the region regularly.


[No comments accompanied this oped.]

THURSDAY, January 27, 2011

Day's coverage of State Street assault unfair to our city youth

Publication: The Day
Published 01/26/2011 12:00 AM     Updated 01/26/2011 02:03 AM

My wife, Karen, and I love living in New London, and walking, shopping and eating downtown. We regularly attend events at the Garde. Because I have direct, personal knowledge of the youth in New London, recent events have not changed our behavior.

I have deep concerns, however, with the most recent news reporting and subsequent editorial by The Day concerning an assault on Jan. 16. I believe that the choice of words used in both have unnecessarily hurt the city and the youth who live here.

When William Dumas, 54, was allegedly assaulted on that Sunday evening, New London police acted quickly and carried out a thorough and professional investigation. The alleged perpetrator, a juvenile, was arrested after valuable testimony was gained from others at the scene.

There appears no question that Mr. Dumas was struck. However, the investigation revealed that only one person hit him and that, in fact, the other young people questioned by our police department attempted to get the assailant to stop. Further, I have learned that those same young people immediately identified the assailant to the police in the assailant's presence.

The Day's report of the assault and subsequent editorial, "It has to stop," are excellent examples of how words matter. The news story indicated in the second and third paragraphs that a group was involved in the assault. It is only in a later paragraph that the story states that the investigation had revealed that only one youth committed the assault.

The subsequent editorial, Jan. 19, is just as troubling in that it gives the impression that a roving group of kids was responsible for the assault. After a review of the police reports, it is clear that not only was there no roving gang, several of the youths told the assailant to stop and thereafter acted as good citizens in identifying the assailant to the police.

Thanks to the quick work of the police and the young people of New London, as well as video evidence, the lone perpetrator is now in detention and will serve time. The young people who exhorted the assailant to stop and identified him need to be thanked, not vilified in the press and by the readers who left nasty comments below both articles.

As a community, we have undergone, and continue to endure, the aftermath of the October murder of Matthew Chew. His family and friends continue to grieve. The families and friends of the accused young men in prison are still reeling from this heinous crime. At this time it is especially important that the reporters and editors at The Day pay attention to how events are described as well as to all the facts. Failing to do so just continues our youths' perception that the only time this newspaper cares about them is when some do something wrong.

I challenge The Day to seek out opportunities to highlight all that our young people are doing to make this a better community. Good news about our young people must be news, also. We are at a point of great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people, young and old, in New London. Let's do it together.

Nicholas A. Fischer is the New London superintendent of schools.
Editor's note: The Day stands by its coverage of the incident.



DRRTones Posted - January 26, 2011 09:11 PM

Maybe nobody got attacked and it was all just a bad dream!



Jarhead Posted - January 26, 2011 07:35 PM

Dr. Fischer, I am afraid you just made yourself look like a disillusioned fool, bent on protecting your own image of a rosy New London school system. Good luck, I wonder what will happen when you yourself encounter the negative stereotype of a youth sauntering across the street, then throwing an obscene gesture at you while you wait to proceed on your way. Or perhaps you will congratulate the young person as they steal from your car or vandalize school property for being industrious or artistic. I would suggest you pay a bit more attention to reality, Sir.



Twobars Posted - January 26, 2011 03:37 PM

Are you kidding me is the first thought that came to mind. It was the second time I had the thought. The first was when there was a quote from Mr Fischer stating that the problem was educational not safety. This does not give me much comfort in that committee if that is the thought. Because Mr Fischer is looking for more money in the next budget, especially after he's hired 20 more administrative personal in the school system. His remarks were also insulting to the victim. The kids that turned in the assailant were protecting their own buts from the police and their family. Don't *** on my hand and tell me it's raining Mr. Fischer. This was a crime with a gang of young adults and to say it any other way is a lie and just as self-serving as the kids who supposedly did their civic? duty. You should be admonished by the BOE for the way you are handling this.



Gary G. 06320 Posted - January 26, 2011 01:41 PM

I believed completely that Dr. Chris Clouet was the worst administrator that could ever be. But Dr. Fischer has proven my beliefs to incorrect. I must say that as bad as Clouet was Dr. Fischer is far worse. How can he be so out of touch with what is happening in New London and the part that the school students play in it all?



K.Robert Posted - January 26, 2011 12:50 PM

Again, one can not conclude from the victim's account that ALL of the group acted irresponsibly, however, the taunting and attempts at counting coup by several of the teens are not indicative of reasonable, civil behavior. Reparing the image of our school system is the duty of the superintendent and I applaud him for his attempt. Perhaps we should hear from the teens involved-- perhaps they should be apologizing to their classmates for casting them all in a bad light. Turning the light off and keeping us all in the dark and depending upon Mr. Fischer's version of the facts, however, is not an option that we should consider at this time.

I believe both the Editorial and Dr. Sprecache's commentary that ran in the Day have merit and look at the potential crisis-- obviously the Superintendant feels that a crisis looms or is here, as he sits on the Safe Cities Committee-



FF4NewLondon Posted - January 26, 2011 12:39 PM

Nick Fischer has to go. This piece only hurt him in this city.



K.Robert Posted - January 26, 2011 12:26 PM

I appreciate the Superintendent of Schools for voicing his concerns about how things may be incorrectly reported. Perhpas the theme of his piece, which to many readers appears to be a bit of professional ***, should have been how the ACTIONS of certain groups of city youth impact negatively on the perception that residents and visitors have of our fair city in general and students who attend his school system in particular.

I suppose that Mr. Fischer is sharing some insight and knowledge into the investigation gained by his position as Superintendent as a way of making his case, since any interviews with these minors were made by ( according to the initial reports by The Day) the School Resource officer in the presence of their parents. Not sure what authority the Super has to review said reports, although he may have some review responsibility.Not certain that sharing this information with others should be part of his authority, however, that is not what is in question here.The facts appear to be challenged .

I attach the initial remarks made by Mr. Dumas, the "alleged" victim - who made them in this forum shortly after the events were reported.


bdprod Posted - January 18, 2011 03:08 AM

I'm the victim described in this article. I'll fill in some of the details some of you were speculating or wondering about. As for race, I'm a white male, middle-aged and a very fit. The youths were black teens, 6-8 in number and around 14-16 years old.

I parked my car across from Hannafin's (Garde side.) As I was locking the car I saw a group of rowdy teens up the street in front of the Garde and another group walking past Hannafin's. I started to cross the street and realized this could be a bad situation especially when one kid started crossing the street from the Garde side in a long diagonal route towards Hannafin's.

I was walking confidently towards Hannafin's when the kid crossing the street from the Garde sneaked up behind me and hit me hard on the back/side of my head. He must have had something in his hand that he hit me with. I think he was surprised I didn't go down. He started backing away from me as I walked towards him and I yelled, "What the hell are you doing!" He was mouthing off and backing up and then I noticed the group of kids past Hannafin's were coming back towards us and the ones from up the street were approaching from the right.

The kid that hit me ran down the street and a few were collecting around the front of Hannafin's. They started taunting me as I started crossing the sidewalk towards the door. They were saying, "Come into the street!" "Take it to the street!" I turned to the one with the biggest mouth as they were alternating charging towards me and then backing off hoping I would go after them or maybe get close enough for a punch. I faced the apparent "leader" and said, "Yeah, you're real tough when have your little army with you."

Then the kid who hit came running back up the street and now there were several of them coming towards me. I quickly took the final steps to the door, turned and pulled out my cell phone. One of them yelled, "He's calling the cops!" Then the kid who hit me charged the door, opened it slightly and slamming it very hard, then ran off with the rest of them. That's when everyone in Hannafin's was alerted there was a problem.

What was amazing to me about this incident was just how brazen these kids were to be doing this in front of a bar full of witnesses. And how violent and wild they were. Really, like a pack of rabid dogs. It was very bizarre and surreal - to the point I wasn't all that much afraid of them. Later I realized I should have been very afraid.

They had, moments earlier, been chased away from Tony D's where they were throwing ice at the door. That's when the first 911 call came in. I made a 911 call and then flagged down a police car that was up by the Garde. The officer was investigating the Tony D's call and was just getting radioed about my call when he drove down to Hannafin's.

While I was explaining what happened a radio call came in that they had a group of kids they were questioning a couple blocks away. The officer asked me to get in the squad car to go take a look at the gang. There were three girls with them which threw me because I never saw any girls among them. The kid who hit me (as I later realized) had taken off his hat so I didn't recognize him at that moment. With their now meek demeanor as they were cornered by three police cars they hardly resembled the crazed punks they were minutes earlier.

It wasn't until I was dropped off back a Hannafin's and another officer came to take my statement and then left, did I find out from the bartender that there is a security camera outside the front door. I called the NLPD on the business line and told the shift supervisor about the camera. Very quickly sent another officer to look at the video footage. Then several more officers (and a couple plain clothed detectives or so they seemed) came to view the video.

Also, a couple Coast Guard cadets who saw me get hit gave statements and they provided more details than I could about physical descriptions. I was then asked to view the video and it was obvious the kids detained on Washington St. were indeed the attackers.

I was impressed with how quickly the NLPD locked down the situation. Not sure why they didn't know Hannafin's had a security camera. And the staff at Hannafin's was very helpful. Kept the ice for my head coming all night and free stout to dull the pain! If I had medical insurance I would have gone to the emergency room just to make sure the injury wasn't worse than it felt.

All in all it was well worth a few lumps on the head to get these freaks off the street even if for a short while. Also, very thankful I didn't walk to Hannafin's from the Bean & Leaf because I would have encountered the gang on desolate Washington St. and I wouldn't have had the safety net of Hannafin's at arm's reach. And I wouldn't have had the confidence to keep my cool during the ordeal. Could have been much, much worse. These mini hoods were out for blood.

Be careful out there everyone, and carry a big stick!

*** I tend to give more weight to Mr. Dumas's recounting of the facts than I do Mr. Fischer in this instance, and would have expected a tome on this issue to be more reality - based.



annec Posted - January 26, 2011 11:59 AM

Are you kidding me? This editorial is even scarier than the original crime. New London is in serious trouble with you as Superintendent of Schools. Go back and read Bill's firsthand account of the attack in the comments section of this article:



David Irons Posted - January 26, 2011 10:12 AM

There is much blame to go around for this situation. We can not lay it all at the feet of Mr. Fischer and the schools at the youth involved. But they too must share in the blame.

There is no question that the schools could be doing better by our young people. And the youth also must be held accountable for their own actions. Whether only one person struck the victim or all did, the one who did so was emboldened by the presence of a group. I doubt he would have done this if alone. And those who pointed the finger of blame at just one individual were not doing a civil service, they were looking out for themselves. I refuse to put them on a pedestal for doing so, even if it was the right thing to do. Their motive was self serving, not doing what is right.

Parents too must share in this blame. While I am the first to say that parents can not possibly monitor children 24/7 nor can they know who all of those their children are hanging out with, they have a responsibility to instill the right values in their children. Had this been done, I believe much of this violence would not be happening.

The NLPD seems to do a good job from my perspective. But I'm sure there is still more that they too could be doing to improve the situation.

A number of groups have formed to work on the problem. Perhaps too many. Maybe they should look to consolidate. At the least they must make sure they communicate what they are doing and their objectives with each other.

I won't overlook nor let off the hook the media, including The Day in this comment. Media has long made use of headlines and reporting to exaggerate situations. Unfortunately this seems to be what sells newspapers. And in today's environment of declining readership, media is looking to improve its bottom line and retain readers and subscriptions. But they leave themselves open to criticism by doing so.



Roberto Domingo Posted - January 26, 2011 09:09 AM

Dr. Fischer started out well as did Dr. Clouet. The difference is that Dr. Clouet was able to keep the curtin drawn on who and what he really was for longer. In a very short time the people of New London see just how out of touch he is with reality and with what is going on in New London. The schools are a mess and the young people are out of control. To pretend that this is not the truth is just foolishness.



J Ryan Posted - January 26, 2011 08:26 AM

Dr. Fischer, once again you have made some ill timed remarks, I can only guess you are trying to curry favor with certain groups within the city, who lke you are trying to pretend that there is not a problem with youth violence in New London. This is not to say that every child in New London is a hoodlum but there are a percentage that are and it is larger than it should be for a city New London's size. Three years ago, there were at least 25 arrests of New London youth involved in video taping beat downs which were gang inspired and related. In the incident with Mr. Dumas, he himself stated that he was hit by more than one indivudual and in reality should it matter if he was accosted by a group of 5 or 10 and only hit by one? Yourr editorial did a disservice to the New London police department, the administrators at the hiigh school and junior high school and the law abiding citiczens who live in the city. You are out of your element Maybe the city council will offer you a buy out before your teachers and administrators revolt.



DRRTones Posted - January 26, 2011 07:40 AM

This comment has been removed for violation of policy.



Emily Kendall Posted - January 26, 2011 07:03 AM

Mr. Fischer would be justified in his opinion piece had this been an isolated incident. The facts are quite different. The middle schools and high school in New London turn the thugs out into our streets each day after school, these thugs throw trash all over the neighborhoods, these thugs curse at the residents that dare ask them to pick up the trash they throw on the streets. These same thugs walk in the middle of the streets blocking traffic and terrorizing the residents. The latest violent acts are just the tip of the iceberg here in New London. Remember a young man was brutally murdered by New London teens because they were bored. As others have stated in the comment section of articles the staff and aministration of the NLPS have these young people in a captive audience setting 180 days a year. No one can minimize the potential impact of this time. Yet we have thugs running our streets each day after school. The school grounds are llittered with trash and the language of these kids on school grounds and at school events if unchecked. Please explain all that away Mr. Fischer. Mr. Fischer you are out of touch.

MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, January 24 through 26, 2011

Teens who break law need to know there are consequences

Publication: The Day
Published 01/24/2011 12:00 AMUpdated 01/24/2011 05:21 AM

New London
is a fine small New England city dating to 1646, with a civic life reflecting involvement in all of America's major historical periods.

Its current role, besides being "a garden spot of the world" in which to live and to contribute, is the home of three institutions of higher learning; General Dynamics/Electric Boat Co., which continues since World War I to produce most of this country's submarine force; and a vibrant arts and cultural center for the region.

New London
is also an urban center, with a substantial minority population that it has taken pains since the mid-1960s to integrate into its civic and political structure, with a great deal of success.

But now comes something new: not the occasional vandalism, drug use and minor criminality that are constantly overblown by our neighbors in the 'burbs; but random violence, severe and unexpected.

The recent murder of a young man on Huntington Street, by a group of young people who were "bored," according to the arrest warrant, and the mugging of a pedestrian on State Street, has greatly elevated the perceived threat level for all in this community and beyond.

Leaders afraid to offend

The response to date has been too muted, as if designed not to "offend." The victims were greatly "offended." The accused are well beyond the age of reason and well into life activities reserved in the past for mature adults. They are not children. And if they have not yet learned from their parents and teachers and spiritual leaders that actions have consequences - sometimes severe - they must learn now.

And yet, some leaders of the community continue to draw the wrong conclusions and to espouse the wrong messages. They continue to lead their flock in the wrong direction and away from individual responsibility and self-improvement.

Drawing from The Day's recent front-page article by Kathleen Edgecomb titled "Chew case casts shadow on MLK Day," published Jan. 18, some quotations made at the recent Martin Luther King Memorial activities include:
The news story also reported that Rev. Hyslop said the community not only failed Mr. Chew, who was murdered walking home from his job, but it has also failed the six accused teenagers.

Wrong. The parents are failing their children. The schools are failing their students. And the community leaders have been failing their communities for a long time.

Corrective action

What we need are immediate remedial actions and long-term deliberations. The latter will be the purview of the large committee developed by the City Council.

The former should be in the form of effective prosecution of the accused, identification and disbanding of youth gangs connected with any illegal actions, consideration to implementing loitering and curfew ordinances, neighborhood watches and reports, surveillance cameras throughout the downtown areas and, especially, remedial actions by the school system to offer and to demand engagement by its charges.

Actions must have consequences. These are not "children." And they must learn that they will be either educated and productive members of a color-blind community or they are outlaws. That is their choice. And that is the responsibility of all of us.

George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D., is a former member and president of the New London Board of Education and a former member of the City Council.


SHORETHING Posted - January 25, 2011 09:51 PM

The Day is censoring.



Tony Cabral Posted - January 25, 2011 07:23 AM

Except for the a garden spot of the world comment,the only garden spot in New London I know of are the south,Ocean,Montauk and Pequot Avenue neighborhoods Doc, Dr. Sprecace has told it like it is.

It all really is about bad parenting and bad schools when you come right down to it and the reason New London schools are bad is because too many New London parents don't care about their child's education.The nonchalant uninterested attitude a kid has in any school is learned at home.I lived in New London for several years.When it came time for me to decide if my kids would attend New London High School, on several ocassions I intentionally would count 10 kids to the group walking home from New London High School and remembered how many were carrying books or book bags.The average was three and almost always girls. Needless to say I did not want them in that atmosphere.



Darwy Posted - January 25, 2011 06:16 AM

"Our children need people they can look up to who look like them."

What, the residents of New London are aliens? They've got 4 arms and 6 legs?

We're all human. We all look like each other. A positive role model is a positive role model IS A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL. Race should NOT be a factor at all!



concerned waterford citizen Posted - January 25, 2011 12:38 AM

To Rev Hyslop, mom always taught me to lock up to Jesus and from what I gather I look nothing like him



aparent Posted - January 24, 2011 06:36 PM

It's all GW Bush's fault. (somehow I bet there is someone out there who does believe just that)



Dan G. Posted - January 24, 2011 03:29 PM

Mr. Sprecace, I think you've done a good job here, telling it the way it should be told. I would say, however, that the schools aren't failing our children, but that our politicians and lawyers are failing our schools. Students have so many rights in school, that teachers can't discipline students so that a teachable atmosphere can be achieved. Ask most teachers and they say that they would run the schools in a completely different way. The problem is that we live in a litigeous society. Schools cave in, to avoid a lawsuit. You should know this, you sat ona BOE.



tag57 Posted - January 24, 2011 01:08 PM

Thank you Dr. Sprecace for a wonderful article.

Rev Hyslop, please don't make stupid comments like "Our children need people they can look up to who look like them". REALLY??? Are you kidding me? That is not only a stupid statement, it's another excuse.

Schools make excuses for kids that act out - grade schools give hugs and offer counseling because they don't want to "hurt" anyone. Everyone must be politically correct so we don't "hurt" anyones feelings. It's ridiculous. Bottom lining it is let's face it, there are parents who are rotten at their job - who raise children with no morals or integrity and who really don't care what happens to them. You know, someone else will take care of it -not my problem syndrome. There are so many good kids out there who don't steal, rape or murder. Kids from all walks of life - kids who have had it hard - but end up becoming successful because one or both of their parents or another adult in their lives have taken responsibility for raising and mentoring them. Coming from a poor or divorced family doesn't give you the right to murder or harrass people on the street or anywhere for that matter.

Parents wake up and smell the coffee. YOU are responsible for your kids. YOU are responsible for them growing up to be respectful, law abiding citizens. Stop trying to blame everything under the sun on someone or something else. Parents you need to be accountable and stop the madness. This problem is not going away - it's only going to get worse - God help us all.



Me0818 Posted - January 24, 2011 01:07 PM

Dr. Sprecace, you are most articulate. Thanks for saying what needs to be said. Unfortunately, ALL of this will stay in the blogs and never been seen in print media, where it would get the most circulation. And soon, the blogs will likely be shut down and labeled racist. Unfortunate. The only way through a problem is to acknowledge it first. Black leaders have done their youth a disservice by NOT speaking out against these atrocities. They deserve more.



STATELAX Posted - January 24, 2011 12:56 PM

A responsible opinion! Very refreshing considering that "The Day" likes to find any and everyone, including their own staff, to make excuses for those who the article is written about. Parental guidance and family structure that emphasizes love, learning, goals, morality and personal character makes for stronger, law abiding individuals when they are adults (for a majority of the time)...Thank you Mom and Dad, I would not be the person I am today without these principles...



RickM1373 Posted - January 24, 2011 12:23 PM

Censor_This, they do have a plan, sign parental rights over to their parents or grandparents



Rlee Posted - January 24, 2011 12:06 PM

"The former should be in the form of effective prosecution of the accused"

Good idea.

"identification and disbanding of youth gangs connected with any illegal actions"

Obviously, they should be put in separate cells.

"consideration to implementing loitering and curfew ordinances"

Not necessary. Police can already investigate youth gangs that are roaming streets late at night as suspicious.

"neighborhood watches and reports"

Good idea.

"surveillance cameras throughout the downtown areas"

The crimes were both caught on camera already. Should the city install roving cameras downtown to surveil individuals and groups?- No. Not without specific warrants. Why not install cameras on every street, not just downtown?- doesn't everyone deserve equal protection? Property owners, including the city, have a right to monitor their property for activity; but the city has no authority to set up a surveillance system "downtown", or anywhere else in the city.

"and, especially, remedial actions by the school system to offer and to demand engagement by its charges"

I don't even know what this means.



--Robert Posted - January 24, 2011 12:00 PM

I said it before and I'll say it again: A big problem, maybe the biggest problem, with the culture that spawned these young murderers and thugs, is that there isn't anyone capable of holding anyone accountable, in some families.

In 1994, kids a lot like the ones we are talking about (maybe older, maybe younger) were giving birth to this generation of kids. Think these were responsible parents, able to provide a loving supportive home?

Do you think these kids are listening to messages about birth control? Do you think they are hearing family-planning and safe-sex messages? Or do you think they are too cool for that, and in 2028 there will be a new generation of murderous 17 year old thugs?

Sorry if the facts of the situation sting a bit for some of those involved. I know that everyone's situation is different. I know that some parents try very hard.

But people with attitudes like this are growing up on the streets around me. They have assaulted and murdered people I know. These actions are unacceptable and we must talk about it to prevent this dysfunction from spreading further throughout our society.



Dogfish Posted - January 24, 2011 11:50 AM

Censor_This & Bigmouth: 1000% RIGHT! Thank you for taking the time to spell it out.



Censor_This Posted - January 24, 2011 11:24 AM

It is both amusing and disgusting to read the "Reverend" Hyslop's inane comment about this criminal scum,"Our children need people they can look up to who look like them."

The conclusion I draw from that is apparently he feels that he, Rep. Hewitt, and the Rev. Watts are not good role models. I would have to agree with him, especially since they are clearly more interested in making pathetic excuses for these budding sociopaths than protecting society. Hopefully New London voters will wake up this Fall and give the good Reverend his walking papers.

Perhaps it is not fair to lump the invisible Rep. Hewitt with the Reverends, since, as always seem to be the case in time of crisis, Mr. Hewitt has disappeared. Perhaps The Day could send a reporter to the casinos to seek him out, that is where I most often run into him.

While I agree with most of Dr. Sprecace's column, I must disagree that the schools failed these monsters. While they are far from perfect, the New London schools offer all children the opportunity to learn. As the parent of a successful student in the NL schools, I see the difference between those who do well and those who are headed for failure. It is the family, or lack of one, that is the primary difference. Watch the kids leave New London High some afternoon. Many carry a bulging back pack or book bag, while many others dance home empty handed. Any parent with a lick of sense or who gave a darn would pick up on that immediately.

The real problem is the social programs that encourage and enable teenagers to have kids they cannot support or raise. It is time to cut those programs off. You get pregnant at 15, you and the baby daddy better have a plan, otherwise you and the baby are going to starve. Tough, yeah, but in the end it will lessen the sum of human misery. If the two evil sociopaths who stabbed Matthew Chew had been left to starve as babies, an innocent man would be alive today. Or perhaps, had their parents had to struggle to survive, instead of having free food and housing handed to them as a reward for misbehavior, they might have demanded more from their offspring.

We must cease rewarding bad behavior. We must also cease making excuses for it. It is a basic tenant of Christianity that we have free will; the Rev. Hyslop ought to be familiar with that fact. Those six young men made their choice freely. They chose to brutally murder a young man who they did not know, who presented no danger to them, who was helpless to defend himself. If we lived in a rational society they would be promptly executed, just as we would swiftly put down a rabid animal.



NLG Posted - January 24, 2011 10:06 AM


Of course it race related. What have you been reading for the last year. Choose not to be part of the problem. I suggest we remove there spare time and utilize the convicted, when the town (city) needs them. Violators of all colors can do this:

1. Wear a florescent green and orange striped vest (Never to be removed while on duty) and shovel city property sidewalks, park walkways, and senior housing areas. Motorized scooters have difficult time getting around to doctors offices and supermartkets

2. Mop floors in school gyms. Kids are sliding all over the floors during gym and recreation events.

3. Riverside park, Bates wood, and all city property in and out of neighborhoods could use a huge clean up.

4. AT NIGHT- Thursday to Monday- Clean firehouses, clean fire, police and city owned and leased vehicles. They should be supervised by the employed workers and custodians.

Just my opinion and I am sure someone else has more creative ideas



D Posted - January 24, 2011 09:16 AM

This is great, but does not quite hit the nail squarely on the head. For too many years we have made excuses for people, created programs designed to circumvent an existing system deemed "unfair" and to provide work around's, quotas, etc.

Recently, the Day and others supported yet another equity work around in Fire Department hiring...

Here is the truth, there are no short cuts in life. The day and usefulness (if it ever was useful) of affirmative action is passed. We need one set of standards. We should make no exceptions, if you go to school, you must pass, you must conform to the rules and if you cannot or will not you fail. Teach this lesson early, unless and until we stop giving folks a free ride, a second chance...extra help they will continue to expect it. The end result is a group of teens who think they are above the law, above the rules of society. Even still people are making excuses for the teens involved in these crimes...

It is not their being poor, or their being minorities that caused this, it is that they, their parents and their grandparents were never held accountable, they don't know the meaning of the word...



Bigmouth Posted - January 24, 2011 09:09 AM

Part of the problem these kids doing and acting how they want with no consequence is that they are not first generation punks. Most of them come from parents who are also punks and so were the grandparents. It is a mindset they inherited from self indulged parents and grandparents. Each generation get a little more out of control, and the court system gets a little bit more lenient. In the old days, courts and jails were run to keep the trash off the streets. In today's thinking, the courts and jails are more concerned with rehabilitation than punishment. The courts don't want to step on some punks rights, but have no problem looking the other way as to what this is doing to the rest of the people who have to live with this nonsense all around them and their children who are decent law abiding contributing members of any town or city. It is time to take off the kid gloves and treat these misfits as they treat other. That is with no emotion and no chances. Remove the problem child, and the other children will feel safer and be able to achieve their potential without always looking over their shoulders.



John Yannacci, Sr. Posted - January 24, 2011 09:07 AM


I believe that there are many people who believe as Dr. Sprecace states. There are factors though that keep them from being open about them. Most people who write in these blogs do not use their real names because they fear repercussions from others. In America, you are no longer free to have your own opinion, you are only free to have an opinion that the main stream media and the liberals agree with. I, on the other hand, have no reason to fear any of them.



Doug Posted - January 24, 2011 08:58 AM

Good comments but I feel most fall short of what I feel may be the underlying problem. When you depend on others, (such as Government)to correct your problems you become very complacent. You continue to want others to solve problems that are within your power to solve. You also start blaming others for all your whoa's. Parents need to reclaim their respect and teach this to their children. I do not like to bring religion into the answer but if most of these young folks understood the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, I feel this would solve most of the problems out there.



DRRTones Posted - January 24, 2011 08:58 AM

I agree with most of what Dr. Sprecace stated in his column, especially the last paragraph. I also found it interesting that the community panel formed to address the problem does include a former gang leader, it doesn't include a police officer nor a victim of these thugs. Maybe the victim could convey the amount of fear (stress) they have caused, although I don't really think the thugs will care.



Gossip Posted - January 24, 2011 08:39 AM

these violent events are the consequences of cultural 'inaction', over years.

had the parent/s the ability (without liabiity) to dish out some whooopa.s.s. to the kids like we used to get, might it be different?

today we dish out the 'consequences' after careful deliberation, fact finding, investigation, lawyerspeak, and juvenile jail care often over the course of years. long past the actual event.

years ago, if the kids misbehaved, even slightly, they had to serve their behinds up, no later than the end of the day, to a good belt whippin/hand spanking by a parent or other. the message was easily connected to the bad behavior, and the learning process was effective. rapid justice, fairly dispensed (by a loving hand ;-)), and very cost effective too!

and i'm not talking child abuse either, thats an entirely different category.

argue all your selves to the death about spanking, but immediate enforcement of rules IS EFFECTIVE.



momof2kds Posted - January 24, 2011 08:31 AM

Bravo! Finally - someone who is telling it like it is! Thank you, Dr. Sprecace, for writing this. I know many who feel the same way, but have to put it in writing. We, as parents, have to be the role model for our children, and not put blame on other community members when our parenting fails.



newlondonfan Posted - January 24, 2011 08:31 AM

Enforcement is one piece. All of our youth need at least one caring adult in their lives to guide them. Be a mentor. Find out more about being a mentor on Thursday, 5-7 p.m. at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School.



itzakt Posted - January 24, 2011 08:31 AM

It is sad because there are to few people who think like Dr. Sprecace. As far as the race card goes, some of these ''reverends'' sound like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson clones.



morton Posted - January 24, 2011 08:16 AM

How refreshing.

George Sprecace for Mayor!



e pluribus unum Posted - January 24, 2011 08:04 AM

Such wise words and yet they are common sense. He is only saying what, until recent decades, any American would have said about raising kids and right and wrong.

"Political correctness" should not be taught in the schools, tippy-toeing around everything lest someone else, of a special interest group, is offended (by the truth). All cultures are NOT equal, otherwise we wouldn't have onslaughts of people trying to escape the tyrannical cultures of their birth to come here.

America is a special place but is only one generation away from becoming like too many other countries if we are not vigilant to work hard at maintaining it. With freedom comes responsibility.



John Yannacci, Sr. Posted - January 24, 2011 08:02 AM

Be careful, Dogfish, Kathleen Mitchell gets very uspet if someone uses the words, "race card." Even if it's true.



Dogfish Posted - January 24, 2011 07:04 AM

Couldn't agree more. Finally someone who makes sense.

"Our children need people they can look up to who look like them." Really? Sounds like someone's playing that old tired race card again. How embarrassing to be "represented" by someone who would make such an idiotic statement.



Kenneth R. Lewis Posted - January 24, 2011 06:35 AM

Accountability! That will not happen in New London under the present leadership and structure of the city.



WtfdPhil Posted - January 24, 2011 05:52 AM

Wow! Someone who tells it like it is.

SATURDAY and SUNDAY, January 22 and 23, 2011


Facts…and Musings – gleaned from Readings, 2010 and 2011

 George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D.

January, 2011

GS:   About 50% of health care needs are life-style related.  Until that changes, Health Care is not an entitlement or a right.

About 30% of health care costs relate to Defensive Medicine, fueled by the threat of Medical Mal-practice suits and their abuse.  Until Medical Mal-Practice reform occurs, that will not change.

Health Care delivery requires prioritization / rationing to reflect needs vs wants, this nation’s ability to afford, and common sense.  But those guide-lines and decisions must be arrived at by Society at large…and not by M.D,’s or by the government, or by default or wait lines, as occurs in most other countries.

FRIDAY, January 21, 2011

My Lord!  GS

> Heroes of the Vietnam Generation By James Webb
> The rapidly disappearing cohort of Americans that endured the Great Depression and then fought World War II is receiving quite a send-off from the leading lights of the so-called 60s generation. Tom Brokaw has published two oral histories of "The Greatest Generation" that feature ordinary people doing their duty and suggest that such conduct was historically unique.
> Chris Matthews of "Hardball" is fond of writing columns praising the Navy service of his father while castigating his own baby boomer generation for its alleged softness and lack of struggle. William Bennett gave a startling condescending speech at the Naval Academy a few years ago comparing the heroism of the "D-Day Generation" to the drugs-and-sex nihilism of the "Woodstock Generation." And Steven Spielberg, in promoting his film "Saving Private Ryan," was careful to justify his portrayals of soldiers in action based on the supposedly unique nature of World War II.
> An irony is at work here. Lest we forget, the World War II generation now being lionized also brought us the Vietnam War, a conflict which today's most conspicuous voices by and large opposed, and in which few of them served. The "best and brightest" of the Vietnam age group once made headlines by castigating their parents for bringing about the war in which they would not fight, which has become the war they refuse to remember.
> Pundits back then invented a term for this animus: the "generation gap." Long, plaintive articles and even books were written examining its manifestations.
> Campus leaders, who claimed precocious wisdom through the magical process of reading a few controversial books, urged fellow baby boomers not to trust anyone over 30. Their elders who had survived the Depression and fought the largest war in history were looked down upon as shallow, materialistic, and out of touch.
> Those of us who grew up, on the other side of the picket line from that era's counter-culture can't help but feel a little leery of this sudden gush of appreciation for our elders from the leading lights of the old counter-culture. Then and now, the national conversation has proceeded from the dubious assumption that those who came of age during Vietnam are a unified generation in the same sense as their parents were, and thus are capable of being spoken for through these fickle elites.
> In truth, the "Vietnam generation" is a misnomer. Those who came of age during that war are permanently divided by different reactions to a whole range of counter-cultural agendas, and nothing divides them more deeply than the personal ramifications of the war itself. The sizable portion of the Vietnam age group who declined to support the counter-cultural agenda, and especially the men and women who opted to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, are quite different from their peers who for decades have claimed to speak for them. In fact, they are much like the World War II generation itself. For them, Woodstock was a side show, college protestors were spoiled brats who would have benefited from having to work a few jobs in order to pay their tuition, and Vietnam represented not an intellectual exercise in draft avoidance, or protest marches but a battlefield that was just as brutal as those their fathers faced in World War II and Korea.
> Few who served during Vietnam ever complained of a generation gap. The men who fought World War II were their heroes and role models. They honored their father's service by emulating it, and largely agreed with their father's wisdom in attempting to stop Communism's reach in Southeast Asia.
> The most accurate poll of their attitudes (Harris, 1980) showed that 91 percent were glad they'd served their country, 74 percent enjoyed their time in the service, and 89 percent agreed with the statement that "our troops were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington would not let them win." And most importantly, the castigation they received upon returning home was not from the World War II generation, but from the very elites in their age group who supposedly spoke for them.
> Nine million men served in the military during Vietnam War, three million of whom went to the Vietnam Theater. Contrary to popular mythology, two-thirds of these were volunteers, and 73 percent of those who died were volunteers. While some attention has been paid recently to the plight of our prisoners of war, most of whom were pilots; there has been little recognition of how brutal the war was for those who fought it on the ground.
> Dropped onto the enemy's terrain 12,000 miles away from home, America's citizen-soldiers performed with a tenacity and quality that may never be truly understood. Those who believe the war was fought incompletely on a tactical level should consider Hanoi's recent admission that 1.4 million of its soldiers died on the battlefield, compared to 58,000 total U.S. dead.
> Those who believe that it was a "dirty little war" where the bombs did all the work might contemplate that is was the most costly war the U.S. Marine Corps has ever fought-five times as many dead as World War I, three times as many dead as in Korea, and more total killed and wounded than in all of World War II.
> Significantly, these sacrifices were being made at a time the United States was deeply divided over our effort in Vietnam. The baby-boom generation had cracked apart along class lines as America's young men were making difficult, life-or-death choices about serving. The better academic institutions became focal points for vitriolic protest against the war, with few of their graduates going into the military. Harvard College, which had lost 691 alumni in World War II, lost a total of 12 men in Vietnam from the classes of 1962 through 1972 combined. Those classes at Princeton lost six, at MIT two. The media turned ever more hostile. And frequently the reward for a young man's having gone through the trauma of combat was to be greeted by his peers with studied indifference of outright hostility.
> What is a hero? My heroes are the young men who faced the issues of war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations to their country. Citizen-soldiers who interrupted their personal and professional lives at their most formative stage, in the timeless phrase of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, "not for fame of reward, not for place of for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it."
> Who suffered loneliness, disease, and wounds with an often-contagious élan.
> And who deserve a far better place in history than that now offered them by the so-called spokesman of our so-called generation.
> Mr. Brokaw, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Spielberg, meet my Marines. 1969 was an odd year to be in Vietnam. Second only to 1968 in terms of American casualties, it was the year made famous by Hamburger Hill, as well as the gut-wrenching Life cover story showing pictures of 242 Americans who had been killed in one average week of fighting. Back home, it was the year of Woodstock, and of numerous anti-war rallies that culminated in the Moratorium march on Washington. The My Lai massacre hit the papers and was seized upon the anti-war movement as the emblematic moment of the war. Lyndon Johnson left Washington in utter humiliation.
> Richard Nixon entered the scene, destined for an even worse fate. In the An Hoa Basin southwest of Danang, the Fifth Marine Regiment was in its third year of continuous combat operations. Combat is an unpredictable and inexact environment, but we were well led. As a rifle platoon and company commander, I served under a succession of three regimental commanders who had cut their teeth in World War II, and four different battalion commanders, three of whom had seen combat in Korea. The company commanders were typically captains on their second combat tour in Vietnam, or young first lieutenants like myself who were given companies after many months of "bush time" as platoon commanders in the Basin's tough and unforgiving environs.
> The Basin was one of the most heavily contested areas in Vietnam, its torn, cratered earth offering every sort of wartime possibility. In the mountains just to the west, not far from the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the North Vietnamese Army operated an infantry division from an area called Base Area 112. In the valleys of the Basin, main-force Viet Cong battalions whose ranks were 80 percent North Vietnamese Army regulars moved against the Americans every day.
> Local Viet Cong units sniped and harassed. Ridgelines and paddy dikes were laced with sophisticated bobby traps of every size, from a hand grenade to a 250-pound bomb. The villages sat in the rice paddies and tree lines like individual fortresses, crisscrossed with the trenches and spider holes, their homes sporting bunkers capable of surviving direct hits from large-caliber artillery shells. The Viet Cong infrastructure was intricate and permeating.
> Except for the old and the very young, villagers who did not side with the Communists had either been killed or driven out to the government controlled enclaves near Danang.
> In the rifle companies, we spent the endless months patrolling ridgelines and villages and mountains, far away from any notion of tents, barbed wire, hot food, or electricity. Luxuries were limited to what would fit inside one's pack, which after a few "humps" usually boiled down to letter-writing material, towel, soap, toothbrush, poncho liner, and a small transistor radio.
> We moved through the boiling heat with 60 pounds of weapons and gear, causing a typical Marine to drop 20 percent of his body weight while in the bush. When we stopped we dug chest-deep fighting holes and slit trenches for toilets. We slept on the ground under makeshift poncho hootches, and when it rained we usually took our hootches down because wet ponchos shined under illumination flares, making great targets. Sleep itself was fitful, never more than an hour or two at a stretch for months at a time as we mixed daytime patrolling with night-time ambushes, listening posts, foxhole duty, and radio watches.
> Ringworm, hookworm, malaria, and dysentery were common, as was trench foot when the monsoons came. Respite was rotating back to the mud-filled regimental combat base at An Hoa for four or five days, where rocket and mortar attacks were frequent and our troops manned defensive bunkers at night. Which makes it kind of hard to get excited about tales of Woodstock, or camping at the Vineyard during summer break.
> We had been told while training that Marine officers in the rifle companies had an 85 percent probability of being killed or wounded, and the experience of "Dying Delta," as our company was known, bore that out. Of the officers in the bush when I arrived, our company commander was wounded, the weapons platoon commander wounded, the first platoon commander was killed, the second platoon commander was wounded twice, and I, commanding the third platoons fared no better. Two of my original three-squad leaders were killed, and the third shot in the stomach. My platoon sergeant was severely wounded, as was my right guide. By the time I left, my platoon I had gone through six radio operators, five of them casualties.
> These figures were hardly unique; in fact, they were typical. Many other units; for instance, those who fought the hill battles around Khe Sanh, or were with the famed Walking Dead of the Ninth Marine Regiment, or were in the battle of Hue City or at Dai Do, had it far worse.
> When I remember those days and the very young men who spent them with me, I am continually amazed, for these were mostly recent civilians barley out of high school, called up from the cities and the farms to do their year in hell and he return. Visions haunt me every day, not of the nightmares of war but of the steady consistency with which my Marines faced their responsibilities, and of how uncomplaining most of them were in the face of constant danger. The salty, battle-hardened 20-year-olds teaching green 19-year-olds the intricate lessons of the hostile battlefield. The unerring skill of the young squad leaders as we moved through unfamiliar villages and weed-choked trails in the black of night. The quick certainty when a fellow Marine was wounded and needed help.
> Their willingness to risk their lives to save other Marines in peril. To this day it stuns me that their own countrymen have so completely missed the story of their service, lost in the bitter confusion of the war itself.
> Like every military unit throughout history we had occasional laggards, cowards, and complainers. But in the aggregate, these Marines were the finest people I have ever been around. It has been my privilege to keep up with many of them over the years since we all came home. One finds in them very little bitterness about the war in which they fought. The most common regret, almost to a man, is that they were not able to do more for each other and for the people they came to help.
> It would be redundant to say that I would trust my life to these men. Because I already have, in more ways than I can ever recount. I am alive today because of their quiet, unaffected heroism, such valor epitomizes the conduct of Americans at war from the first days of our existence. That the conduct of Americans at war from the first days of our existence. That the boomer elites can canonize this sort of conduct in our fathers generation conscious, continuing travesty.
> Former Secretary of the Navy James Webb was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star medals for heroism ad a Marine in Vietnam. His novels include The Emperor's General and Fields of Fire.

TUESDAY through THURSDAY, January 18 through 20, 2011


New London, Ct. is a fine small New England city dating back to 1648, with a civic life reflecting involvement in all of America’s major historical periods.  Its current role, besides being “a garden spot of the world” in which to live and to which to contribute, is as the home of three universities, the General Dynamics / Electric Boat that continues since World War I to produce most of this country’s submarine force, and a vibrant Arts and cultural center for the region. 

New London is also an urban center, with a substantial minority population which it has taken pains since the mid-1960’s to integrate into its civic and political structure with a great deal of success. 

But now comes something new: not the occasional vandalism, drug use and minor criminality that are constantly overblown by our neighbors in the ‘burbs; but random violence…severe and unexpected.  The recent murder of a young man on Huntington Street by a group of young people who were self-reportedly “bored”, and the mugging of a pedestrian on State Street by another group of cowards has greatly elevated the perceived threat level for all in this community and beyond. 

The response to date has been too muted, as if designed not to “offend”.  The victims were greatly “offended”.  The accused are well beyond the age of reason and well into life activities reserved in the past for mature adults.  They are not children.  And if they have not yet learned from their parents and teachers and spiritual leaders that actions have consequences – sometimes severe – they must learn now. 

And yet, some leaders of the community continue to draw the wrong conclusions and to espouse the wrong messages.  They continue to lead their flock in the wrong direction and away from responsibility and self-improvement.  Drawing from the recent front-page article by Kathleen Edgecomb quoting comments made at the recent Martin Luther King Memorial activities (, Tuesday Jan 18, 2011):
•    “We have young people who are hurting and feel helpless, in their minds”.  (Rev. Watts).
•    Connecting the Chew murder with “the hiring in the city of seven new firefighters and 20 new teachers, all of whom are white, speaker after speaker called upon the community to change things.  Rev. Hyslop said: “Our children need people they can look up to who look like them.”  “He said the community not only failed Chew, who was murdered walking home from his job, but it has also failed the six accused teenagers”. 

WRONG.  The parents are failing their children.  The schools are failing their students.  And the community leaders have been failing their communities for a long time.  

What we need are immediate remedial actions…and long-term deliberations.  The latter will be the purview of the large committee developed the City Council.  The former should be in the form of effective prosecution of the accused, identification and disbanding of youth “gangs” connected with any illegal actions, consideration to implementing loitering and curfew ordinances, Neighborhood Watches and reports, surveillance cameras throughout the downtown areas, and especially remedial actions by the school system to offer and to demand engagement by its charges.  Actions must have consequences.  These are not “children”.  And they must learn that they will be either educated and productive members of a color-blind community…or they are outlaws.  That is their choice.  And that is the responsibility of all of us.


MONDAY, January 17, 2011

Just one more word about the tragedy in Tucson.  So well expressed, as usual by Charles Krauthammer, that I have nothing to add except my total agreement.
Please read "Arizona Massacre Quickly Followed By Libelous Allegations" (in The Day, Saturday Jan 15, 2011, pA5).


SUNDAY, January 16, 2011

"PUBLIC EDUCATION POLITICS".  This is the title of an ever-expanding section on this web site that continues to chronicle the abject failure of public education in this country.  And it is not a failure of the children who are its victims, but of the "educators", its teachers' unions, its teacher union supporters, the stupid minority parents who have blindly allowed it to continue for the last four decades, and the craven Democratic politicians who have traded their souls for predictable votes.  Once again, the famous question addressed to Senator Joe McCarthy comes to mind: "Have you no shame?"

Three recent newspaper reports are must-reads for anyone concerned about the future of their children, their grandchildren, and about the future of this nation. 
A $14 Trillion national debt, $45,000. for every man, woman and child in this country, is not our main weakness.  It is the dumbing down of the last three generations of our children, with consequences that will extend far into the future.  And it is immoral.


SATURDAY, January 15, 2011

THE TIMES THEY ARE ACHANGING. Everything except our Faith in God is in a paradigm shift.
To add to this "perfect storm", and perhaps because of it, we are witnessing a dearth of strong and imaginative leadership to carry us forward.  The Lilliputiens have immobilized the few Gullivers out there. Even belief in God is ridiculed.
All of this is a prescription for endless war and insurrection. 

We in America have the best chance to survive all of this change and challenge...but only if we return to the high principles and goals articulated by our Founding Fathers in our national Founding Documents. We do not have much time to reconnect with our bedrock. And "is the light worth the candle?"  You bet. 


DAY, January 14, 2011

They might "allow it" if they were entirely subsidized for four years while they completed a crash course in high school and college / trade school to RE-TOOL their skills for other work...or maybe learn something for the first time. 
And that would be cheaper and of more value to this country than "retiring" Americans in their 30's and 40's. That's been the history of this country from the beginning, and the challenge to its citizens...until - that is - the Age of Entitlement.


Subject: New Ford Plant in Brazil, why everything is going overseas


This will make your head spin.  Everything will be built overseas soon.

Watch Toyota blame building in America for their problem.
Enjoy the video. This is fascinating. If you watch, listen to the very last

couple of sentences.
This is a short video of a new Ford plant in Brazil . One look at this 
and you will be able to understand why there will probably never be another

assembly plant built in the USA .
It will also point out why more assembly plants will go offshore.  You 
won't doubt that Ford, GM, and Chrysler are destined to go under, after 
watching this video.
They will survive, but their assembly operations in the U.S. likely won't,
whether we provide a bailout or not (listen closely at the end for the
reason why).

                 Watch the video, then pass it on!

DAY, January 13, 2011

Regarding the Arizona tragedy, President Obama set the right tone in a very helpful commentary on Wednesday evening in Tucson. 
Quite the contrary from the liberal media, focused on the destruction of Sarah Palin as a strong force in American politics.  Neither they nor the hyper-partisan Democrats and many Establishment Republicans realize that she is the very effective voice of the vast majority of Americans - Republicans, Democrats and Independents - who yearn for leadership commensurate  with their commitment to the future of this great country. 
Two excellent articles in Monday's WSJ articulate the issues brought up by the events of recent days:
As noted by Tom Brokaw on the Today show, Thursday, journalists are known for having "glass jaws": they can dish it out, but they fall down and whine when they get some back.
Meanwhile, we pray for all the victims of this sick and evil gunman.  And we will continue to "dish it out" where appropriate.


TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, January 11 and 12, 2011



Palin charges critics with 'blood libel'

Jennifer Epstein Jennifer Epstein Wed Jan 12, 7:13 am ET

Sarah Palin released a video statement Wednesday calling the rush to pin blame on conservatives for the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., a “blood libel.”

“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” she said. “They begin and end with the criminals who commit them.”

In the eight-minute video, Palin says, “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

[ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to Yahoo! Politics ]

Palin’s use of the charged phrase “blood libel” — which refers to the anti-Semitic accusation from the Middle Ages that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make matzo for Passover — touched off an immediate backlash.  (see: Full text of Sarah Palin's statement)

“The blood libel is something anti-Semites have historically used in Europe as an excuse to murder Jews — the comparison is stupid. Jews and rational people will find it objectionable,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic political consultant and devout Jew. “This will forever link her to the events in Tucson. It deepens the hole she’s already dug for herself. … It’s absolutely inappropriate.”  (see: The Arena: Palin's 'blood libel' defense fair?

It’s not certain that Palin even knew the historic context of the phrase, which was used by Glenn Reynolds in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday and has been picked up as a rallying cry by the right in their effort to pushback over the blame-casting by the left over the attemped assassination Saturday of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)

What is clear, though, is that her used of such a loaded phrase has all but overwhelmed the rest of her message.

“By using those words she failed to rise above and focus on the victims,” said former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. “It was a mistaken approach, though I don’t think offensive on religious grounds.”

And it couldn’t have happened at a worse time for conservatives.

The furious counter-attack on the right against the notion that conservatives were somehow responsible for the tragedy had been galvanized by respected figures as George F. Will and Charles Krauthammer, who each wrote compelling columns; a CBS poll released Tuesday night showed that 57 percent of Americans didn’t think that the country’s harsh political tone had played a role in the shooting; and, most important, there was mounting evidence that the gunman was a deeply disturbed young man who was not motivated by conventional political grievances.

But in her first extended response to the shooting - and just hours before President Barack Obama planned to speak at a memorial service in Tucson - Palin created a frenzy.  (see: Obama hopes for healing in Arizona)

It was chiefly because of her use of “blood libel,” but also because she used the video largely to make an unapologetic case for her brand of confrontational politics.

Though some “claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently,” Palin said, it has always been “heated.”

“When was it less heated?” she asked. “Back in those ‘calm days’ when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols?”

“In an ideal world, all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So we must condemn violence if our republic is to endure.”

Palin said that “America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week.” 
(see: Arizona to Obama: Rise above the 'vitriol')

“We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy,” she added. “We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country.”

Before posting the video, Palin had said little about the shooting. She released a brief message on Saturday afternoon expressing her condolences to the families of Giffords (who at the time was incorrectly reported to have died) and the other victims.

Her only other remarks were in a brief e-mail exchange with Fox New host Glenn Beck. “I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence,” she wrote to Beck, who read her statement on the air.

SarahPAC Treasurer Tim Crawford told POLITICO the Palin camp chose to release the video because Palin wanted to redirect media attention back to the tragedy and away from the raging political blame game. (see: House rolls out Gabrielle Giffords resolution)

“She is her best spokesperson by far,” said Crawford. “She had things she wanted to say.”

Palin warned against any efforts to limit free speech, saying, “We will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.” (see: Beck, Limbaugh respond to shooting)

She noted in the video that less than a week after the shooting “another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.” (see: Tragedy marks turning point for Palin)

That was an apparent reference to Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who has said there may be a need for revised standards for talk shows on TV and radio.

“I came up in a time that the Fairness Doctrine did not allow media outlets to say things about a candidate or a person in public office without giving that person equal time to respond,” he told NPR on Monday. “And I really believe that everybody needs to take a look at where we are pushing things and may need to take a serious step back and evaluate what’s going on here.”

Meanwhile, former Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is blasting those blaming her for inciting the Arizona shooting, saying the accused shooter went off the deep end long before the tea party movement started. (see: Angle defends herself, tea party)

In her first comments — coming three days after the shooting — Angle said in a harshly worded statement that her critics were “dangerous and ignorant.”

“Expanding the context of the attack to blame and to infringe upon the people’s constitutional liberties is both dangerous and ignorant,” she added. (see: War of words rages on)

“The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the tea party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger.”

She added, “Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts as they are known — that the shooter was obsessed with his twisted plans long before the tea party movement began.” (see: Loughner’s supremacists tie debunked)

Andy Barr and Jonathan Martin contributed to this report.

MONDAY, January 10, 2011

More than the great views...a way of life, per centi anni.  GS


SUNDAY, January 9, 2011

A lot of thoughts, mostly about this country.
Finally a comment about our foreign adventures.  Engage when our vital national interests are at stake - and only then.  That includes pre-emptive self-defense against world-wide Terrorism and its protectors.  Regarding Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, if we cannot gain the support of their people in their own interests...get out.  Regarding Iran, do whatever is necessary to see that it does not become a nuclear power. Otherwise, Israel will do it for us.  If this sounds like "America First", damned right!


SATURDAY, January 8, 2011


The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15, 2008. It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe - and possibly to the rest of the world. 
Date: Tue. 15 January 2008 14:30
I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz .. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime.
Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe ...
The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that is ONE BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world's population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1988 - Najib Mahfooz
1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 - Elias James Corey
1994 - Yaser Arafat:
1999 - Ahmed Zewai
1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad
The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world's population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:
1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World
1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin
1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger
1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel
1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Edward B. Lewis
1996- Lu RoseIacovino
TOTAL: 129!
The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims. The Jews don't hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants. There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church. There is NOT a single Jew who protests by killing people.
The Jews don't traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.
Perhaps the world's Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.
Muslims must ask 'what can they do for humankind' before they demand that humankind respects them.
Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Arab and Palestinians neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel's part, the following two sentences really say it all:
'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel ." Benjamin Netanyahu

General Eisenhower Warned Us It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect:

'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened'

Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it
'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the, 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated' while the German people looked the other way.
Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,'  it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center 'NEVER HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the United States ?

MONDAY trough FRIDAY, January 3 through 7, 2011



Keep politics out of end-of-life discussion - The Day

Published 01/02/2011 12:00 AM
Updated 01/02/2011 05:19 AM

Now that the hysteria that accompanied the health care reform debate has diminished, perhaps it is time for an adult discussion about how to handle the difficult end-of-life decisions that an increasing number of individuals and families face because of advances in medical technologies.

The issue, which in no way should be controversial but remains so, surfaced again this past week when The New York Times reported that starting this year Medicare will reimburse physicians who discuss with patients their options and preferences for end-of-life care. The discussions will be part of a patient's annual Medicare "wellness visit."

This has led to accusations in some political corners that the Obama administration is accomplishing through regulation a policy it could not obtain in the health care bill. Section 1233, adopted by the House but dropped from the final health bill, allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about end-of-life issues.

Some conservatives expressed fears such counseling would pressure elderly patients to forgo care and hasten death in the interest of reducing medical costs. Former Alaska governor, former Republican vice presidential candidate and current TV celebrity Sarah Palin notoriously referred to them as "death panels."

In reality, there were never any panels planned, never mind death panels. But the scare-mongering worked politically and it stuck. A recent poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found 30 percent of Americans 65 and older said they believe the new health care law allows a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare.

Quite the contrary - the intent of the language stripped from the bill, and the goal of the new regulation is to provide patients greater empowerment. The rights of the individual to determine his or her destiny should be a core Republican value, but apparently not as important for some as politically undermining the president.

Thankfully, the protests are fewer and less zealous than during the health care debate.

The latest regulation actually flows from legislation signed by President George W. Bush in 2008 that allowed end-of-life planning to be part of a patient's "welcome to Medicare" exam. Health care reform transformed the welcome visit into an annual wellness visit, with discussions about how the patient would want to handle a future medical crisis as part of the continuum of care.

When faced with a potentially fatal disease, the goal is to cure it. But at some point, that option may end, and the issue becomes prolonging life. A patient's priorities may then shift to other goals, such as having quality time, minimizing pain and having the opportunity to die at home surrounded by loved ones. Utilizing every medical option to squeeze out a few extras days, only to die attached to machines in a hospital, is not the end many prefer.

As uncomfortable as it may be, the time to discuss these matters is earlier, not under the stress of a crisis and not leaving it to others to guess what the patient would want.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center, which would never be accused of having a liberal agenda and consults regularly with the Vatican on medical ethics, recommends individuals create an advance directive, also known as a living will, which states the patient's wishes with respect to aggressive medical treatment.

This is not about rationing care or hastening death or euthanasia. It's about letting individuals manage a fatal illness and control how their lives will end. It makes sense that Medicare facilitates that planning.

Stop the politics.

SUNDAY, January 2, 2011

However, at the end of the day, we should all strive for the "happiness" in this New Year that I offered you all in my last Rapid Response.  But it's not an "entitlement".  Work for it.


SATURDAY, January 1, 2011

What does the "Happy" in "Happy New Year" mean?  How about personal health, a stable and loving family, a strong Faith in the eternal life to come and in the mercy of God, enough money (as opposed to "old" or "new" money), the privilege of helping those around you - friend or stranger, the insight to realize that every experience in life is an opportunity to build character and wisdom, and the patience to cope with the idiocy and evil and selfishness and the attraction to "the seven deadly sins" that are part and parcel of our "human condition?  That's what I mean when I offer you all a


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