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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

MONDAY through THURSDAY, February 25 through 28, 2013


It's not a question for President Obama or for the  Democrats.  They win either way: either if the Republicans cave to more taxes and minimal cuts...or if the  Republicans allow the "Sequester" and get demagogued for all the terrible consequences - some real and most exaggerated.  It's all about the Democrats' "47%" and the 2014 elections. 

I am reminded of my years as a member and then as President of the New London Board of Education in the late 1960's.  Wearing that hat, I participated in calling for "elimination of Varsity Football" in case our budget would be cut by the City Council.  Then, while wearing my new hat as member of the New London City Council in the mid-1970's, I called their bluff. 

My opinion.  I would allow the "Sequester" to be enacted by operation of existing Law.  Finally the nation would get some real budget savings.  And the House and Senate Republicans would not be savaged by their conservative electorate, beginning with effective Primary challenges for the 2014 elections. 
Let's see if our fellow Republicans can muster the intellectual power and intestinal fortitude to get this one right, for a change.


SUNDAY, February 24, 2013

As an American and as a Christian, I am very proud of my Jewish older brother.


Please take a moment to digest this provocative article by a Jewish Rabbi

from Teaneck, N.J.  It is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful

explanation of how our nation is changing.  The article appeared in The

Israel National News, and is directed to Jewish readership.  70% of American

Jews vote as Democrats.  The Rabbi has some interesting comments in that



Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun

in Teaneck, New Jersey.


Perspective of a rabbi

The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that

Americans voted for the status quo - for the incumbent President and for a

divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence,

economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.  And fewer people voted.


But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile

explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering

classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that

devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor

did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor

did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due

to the business cycle.


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


That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost

because the conservative virtues - the traditional American virtues - of

liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to

moral greatness - no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.


The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete

against free stuff.


Every businessman knows this; that is why the "loss leader" or the giveaway

is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama's America is one in which free

stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly

recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of

millions; those who - courtesy of Obama - receive two full years of

unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for

work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their

windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free stuff is



The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the

secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of

winning an election in which "47% of the people" start off against him

because they pay no taxes and just receive money - "free stuff" - from the

government.  Almost half of the population has no skin in the game - they don't

care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care

that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children

and from the Chinese.  They just want the free stuff that comes their way at

someone else's expense.  In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error

for any Republican and does not bode well for the future.


It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such

overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people

vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who

will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.


That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion

that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to

be an informed voter, because most other voters - the clear majority - are

unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.

That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their

hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a

second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to

portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over

a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while

starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.


During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai

Stevenson: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!"

Stevenson called back: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

Truer words were never spoken.


Obama could get away with saying that "Romney wants the rich to play by a

different set of rules" - without ever defining what those different rules

were; with saying that the "rich should pay their fair share" - without ever

defining what a "fair share" is; with saying that Romney wants the poor,

elderly and sick to "fend for themselves" - without even acknowledging that all

these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only

papered over by deficit spending.


Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney

victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their

abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to

Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and

unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.

He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between

governments and unions - in which politicians ply the unions with public

money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes,

in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions

provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.


Obama also knows that the electorate has changed - that whites will soon be

a minority in America (they're already a minority in California) and that the new

immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the

traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th

centuries. It is a different world, and a different America. Obama is part of that

different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.


Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells,

and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such

diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his "negative ads"

were simple facts, never personal abuse - facts about high unemployment,

lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of

leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not

embrace the devil's bargain of making unsustainable promises.


It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan - people of

substance, depth and ideas - to compete with the shallow populism and

platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy - of

class warfare - never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual

groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.

If an Obama could not be defeated - with his record and his vision of

America, in which free stuff seduces voters - it is hard to envision any

change in the future.  The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a

European-socialist economy - those very economies that are collapsing

today in Europe - is paved.


For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results

demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a

president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to

Israel. They voted to secure Obama's future at America's expense and at

Israel's expense - in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide


A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable
that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely
thwart any Israeli initiative. The US will preach the importance of negotiations
up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon - and then state that
the world must learn to live with this new reality. But this election should be a
wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring
haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American empire began to decline
in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This
election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy
and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.  The
takers outnumber the

givers, and that will only increase in years to come.  The "Occupy" riots across

this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead -

years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want

to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow

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

SATURDAY, February 23, 2013



As sequestration looms, Americans say to cut basically nothing | The Ticket - Yahoo! News

FRIDAY, February 22, 2013

Russia. "Catch me what I means?"


So many nyets: Why the chasm between US, Russia is so hard to bridge - Yahoo! News

THURSDAY, February 21, 2013

So far as Catholics, and those who are influenced by them, are concerned, the discussion should be about the Church's stand against Contraception.


How Obamacare Will Limit Abortion Access in 21 of the United States - Yahoo! News

MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, February 18 through 20, 2013



Chance for serious deficit reduction

SUNDAY, February 17, 2013

Another shoe drops


Malloy's budget will put the state's hospitals in critical condition

TUESDAY through
SATURDAY, February 12 through 16, 2013

Today, two topics come to mind.

First, the continuing story of governmental Health Care "reform" malpractice.
Despite the fact that physicians, although personally receiving only a relatively small portion of all health care expenditures are responsible for the vast majority of medical care orders, they continue to be treated as serfs and are expected to bear the major burden of ObamaCare miscalculations.  Their reimbursements are constantly reduced, to the current level of between 75% and 25% of their defensible professional compensation.  They are yearly threatened with draconian cuts under the SGR plan.  They are subject to payment penalties if the do not embrace untested programs like EMR, PQRS and E-RX.  They are being forced to participate in unethical schemes like Bundling and ACO's, wherein the physician becomes the guarantor of his patients' health or illness - producing an inherent conflict of interest between his patient's interests and his own.  All this, while about 50% of all health expenditures are life-style related.  Governor Christie, are you listening?
And now Nancy Nielsen, M.D., PhD, a former President of the AMA and now a Medicare official, insisted at a recent AMA meeting that physicians should actively participate in the execution of these hare-brained schemes. 
As a former AMA official, she must have participated in that group's ill-fated decades-long effort to be "at the  table" - and instead having found themselves under the table for their attempts. Now it seems that the Government wants them on the table, as the main course.  Well, we'll see you in a few years, when true reforms and market forces have finally taken place.  And that's why, after over 30 years of membership, I resigned from the AMA in disgust 20 years ago. 

Secondly, the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI could easily be due to failing health and stamina.  However, his recent final homily as Pope was a broadside against the "disarray" in the Church and thus raises other possible reasons. For he has been party to the dismantling of the "aggiornamento" (ie, bringing up to date) of Vatican ll, and the consequent disillusionment of large segments of the Laity, the "Body of the Church". And he was party, as was most of the leadership of the Church, to the decades-long Obstruction of Justice perpetrated by the clerical sinners within their own ranks.  There's your "disarray".  In fact, the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, read at all Masses on January 27, 2013, describes what would happen if a body, one but with "many parts", would see one part rise up against another part.  And we all have seen some of that in the Hierarchy's immoral and illegal  handling of the clergy sex scandals.  So, now let's see if the leadership has learned anything.  Let's see who the College of Cardinals elects as the next Pope..and whether they realize the crying need for meaningful reform in the Church: in its procedures and in a couple of its ill-conceived Magisterial tenets.  Let's see...and let's Pray.


SATURDAY through MONDAY, February 9 through 11, 2013

Robert A. Hall is an actor. He plays the coroner on CSI if you watch that show. He also is a Marine Vietnam War veteran, but does not mention that he had his legs blown off in that war.
This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States of America .

"I'm 63 and I'm Tired"
by Robert A. Hall

I'm 63
. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm tired
of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired
of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought Mc Mansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble use their own money to help them.

I'm tired
of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America provided to them. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have:

1. the economy of Zimbabwe,

2. the freedom of the press of China

3. the crime and violence of Mexico,

4. the tolerance for Christian people of Iran

5. the freedom of speech of Venezuela ..

I'm tired
of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Sharia’s law tells them to.

I'm tired
of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think
it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly in an all-knowing government.

I'm tired
of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must not complain when Saudi Arabia uses the money we pay for their oil to fund mosques and madras Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired
of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired
of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think gay people choose to be gay, but I #@*# sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from "cool" people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'm tired
of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially those who aren't working, but living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track citizenship for any Hispanic who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the kind of citizens we need.

I'm tired
of the trashing of our military by latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close.


So here's a deal for those folks. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, while the critics of our military can be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia because the girls were Christian --

then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has looted the public treasury for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about "innocent" mistakes, "stupid" mistakes or "youthful" mistakes, when all of us know they think their only mistake was getting caught.

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement who have air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I'm real tired of people, rich or poor, who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm tired, but I'm also glad to be 63, mostly because I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.  (Kudos to Mass. for rrecognizing value:  in "taxachusetts" , yet ! )

FRIDAY, February 8, 2013


The shoes continue to drop.  See two articles in recent WSJ editions.  Incidentally, twenty minutes per day with the WSJ will make you more "healthy, wealthy and wise" than hours on Facebook, My Space, Twitter and all the other e-crutches.

"Rolling Back The War On Vaccines", by Jay Winsten and Emily Serazin, Thursday Feb. 7, 2013, Opinion, pA15. Now, this is important - and a guaranteed cost saver.


THURSDAY, February 7, 2013

Looking like just another old pol.  To paraphrase Willie Sutton: "'That's where the votes are".


Malloy would spend more on education, much less on health care, social service

TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, February 5 and 6, 2013



Cyber Vulnerabilities and Protections

MONDAY, February 4, 2013

RR #1

...and he's my friend.


New honor awaits McGinley, the 'Conscience of The Day'

RR #2



I'm older than dirt

My grandson asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?'
'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.'

'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?'
'It was a place called 'at home,' I explained. ! 'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the young boy was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :
Some families NEVER owned their own home, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card..
My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).
We didn't have a television in our house until I was 19. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people...

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home.... But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers --they delivered a newspaper, six days a week. Had to get up at 6AM every morning.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?


My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it.. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the left car floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz :
Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about
Ratings at the bottom.

1.Candy cigarettes
2.Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes
3.Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Party lines on the telephone
5.Newsreels before the movie
6..TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])
8. Howdy Doody
9. 45 RPM records
11. Metal ice trays with lever
12. Blue flashbulb
13.Cork popguns
14. Studebakers
15. Wash tub wringers
If you remembered 0-3 = You're still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered
11-15 =You're older than dirt!

I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

SUNDAY, February 3, 2013

Start by ditching the word "amnesty" and substituting "total mismanagement by all".


GOP could split over immigration

SATURDAY, February 2, 2013

Saudi Arabia's Efforts to Expand Radical Islam and Support Terrorism

Their Oil Is Thicker Than Our Blood
by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld

FRIDAY, February 1, 2013



Ed Koch, mayor who became a symbol of NYC, dies - Yahoo! News

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