George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London,
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.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, January 30
and 31, 2004
The saying goes: "You can't beat something with nothing".
Now that the Democrats have stopped attacking each other, are beating on
President Bush and this administration on issues, and are providing plausible
faces to go along with the diatribes, we are reminded of some issues
that have been bothering Bush fans also.
9/11, Iraq and the U.S. Intelligence community. What's going
on here, apart from the usual turf wars, CYA, and evident over-emphasis
on technology at the expense of operatives on the ground? The recent
report by David Kay, although in no way damning of the administration,
provides no reason for confidence - at a time when Americans need confidence
that someone is monitoring the shadows. Now, maybe great work is
being done "hush-hush". And maybe not. President Bush cannot
expect us to simply trust him on this. We need facts regarding
past and present problems, whether by him or by an independent investigation.
On this, he is getting vulnerable.
The budget. Some of us still believe that we can "grow out
of the deficit". The economy seem pointed in that direction.
But what's this about the new estimated cost of the recent Medicare Act
changes: 30% more that presented to us two months ago?? And this
on top of a grandiose project for space exploration? We need facts,
not "Hail Mary's". On this, the President is getting vulnerable.
Our continued bleeding in Iraq. Now, maybe our military is
on the cusp of delivering Osama bin laden out of another hole in the ground.
And maybe not. What has been evident for months is that Secretary
Rumsfeld's refusal until recently to substantially increase our military
presence on the ground sufficient to the tasks at hand has resulted in
more deaths - of Americans and of Iraqis - than necessary. As Congress
is now pressing for a larger standing Military, the Pentagon...certainly
following their boss's lead, is opposing this. Can it be that a lot
of top brass, having bet the farm on technology, present and future, to
the detriment of the grunt on the ground, are unwilling to make a needed
course correction as we stumble along in the Sunni triangle? We need
facts; and President Bush is becoming vulnerable on this.
Joblessness; environmental degradation to the benefit of corporate
America; a tax structure that allows corporate America to go year
after year without paying anywhere near its fair share... President
Bush is becoming vulnerable on all these issues - and this from a Bush
admirer. I hope that someone is listening and preparing responsive
replies to all these questions. Or Americans will look elsewhere
THURSDAY, January 29, 2004
It's time again for pointing out some good articles on important
On current front-runner Senator John Kerry, "Conduct Unbecoming",
by Stephen Sherman, (WSJ, within the last few days). In no way damning,
but some insight into the development of character.
On the topic of yesterday's Rapid Response, "Bush not conservative
enough for some in GOP", by David Kirkpatrick (The Day, Sunday,
January 25, 2004, Nation, pA4). One quote: "'Bush Sr. jumped over
the line and we had to whack him,' said Grover G. Norquist, president of
Americans for Tax Reform and a strategist of the conservative movement".
On the topic of prosecutorial over-reaching (and occasional misconduct),
we should remind ourselves that ours sustem of Justice is not trial by
newspaper or by TV, and not trial by cafeteria, but trial by jury
- a group of dispassionate people that actually see and hear the evidence
and who can evaluate the credibility of that evidence and of the parties
and witnesses. So, let's turn to a commercial whenever the "news"
turns to the matters of Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart.
See "Justice Tries to Give Herself A Black Eye", by Holman W. Jenkins,
Jr., (WSJ Wednesday January 28, 2004, Opinion, pA17)
On former General Wesley Clark, see "General Malaise", by
Peggy Noonan (WSJ Tuesday January 27, 2004, Opinion, pA14).
On the same page, the continuing tragedy of Public Education receives
some more attention. See "Teacher Liberation", in the Wall
Street Journal Review and Outlook. What about merit pay, more open
teacher certification, student and teacher accountability, and parental
choice? "The largest problem is that unions and the politicians
who carry their water have successfully kept these reforms from taking
hold on anything but the most modest scale". So listen up, parents
and children: it's time for the non-voting 50% of our population to wake
up and throw the bums out. You would never tolerate this situation
in the Medical Profession. Why tolerate it in what passes for the
Education Profession? (See other offerings on this subject on this
WEDNESDAY, January 28, 2004
The Democrats have a new mantra: "ANYBODY BUT BUSH!" I
even had a friend, ordinarily clear-headed and prudent, tell me yesterday
that, for him, that meant even Al Sharpton. Wow. Now
how is it that George W. Bush is creating so much anger in liberal Democrats?
(And this is only about liberal Democrats so far, not moderate Democrats
or left-leaning Independents or liberal Republicans). I think I know
why. Ultra-liberals are now facing the same prospect that Scrooge
faced with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future: that most
of their positions and actions and sacred cows embraced over the last fourty
years have been Wrong. And George W. Bush is showing them the error
of their ways. "Tell a person a lie, and you will irritate him.
Tell him the truth, and you will infuriate him."
Yet this development cannot be ignored; it is a powerful sentiment,
equated with a similar sentiment held by many Americans regarding Bill
Clinton in the later years of his Presidency. President Bush would
be well advised to consider addressing effectively some of the Democrats'
legitimate complaints: chronic joblessness for too many; unnecessary environmental
insensitivity; the actuality of rampant greed on our business class; the
cancer in our foreign relations called Israel / Palestine. Whether
to do the right thing, or merely to co-opt the Democrats in these areas,
such an effort this year would be worth the possible back-lash from his
"base", reportedly fundamentalist Conservatives. Would they be so
brain-dead as to prefer the likes of any of the liberal Democrats in contention
while they "punish" President GWB as they reportedly "punished" former
President GHWB for his perceived heresies? Anyway, President Bush
ignores this development at his peril.
MONDAY and TUESDAY, January 26 and
As promised throughout this section, and at risk of repetition, we must
keep addressing the distortions and wrong-headedness coming out
of the current great liberal road show and its media hangers-on
regarding American foreign policy post-9/11. The over-riding
responsibility of the Federal Government is national defense and security.
Given the threat posed by world-wide Terrorism and its supporters, our
only effective defense is pre-emptive self-defense. Support and encouragement
from other nations would be nice and would be helpful, but all we require
is respect - for our power and our willingness to use it, if not for our
ideals on behalf of the sane world. And...after Afganistan and Iraq,
the world is a safer place, as developments in Libya, in Kashmir and even
in North Korea will attest. Americans realize that. Even our
cynical and self-serving "allies" in Old Europe know this in their private
moments. Or is France, with its one aircraft carrier, or Germany
with its armed forces still deployed to fight World War 2 going to do the
job for us? And then there is the U.N... Vice President
Dick Cheney articulated these realities very well at a meeting of over
1000 world political, business and religious leaders yesterday in Davos,
Switzerland (NYTimes, Sunday, January 25, 2004, pA1).
Still, liberal Democrats continue to set up the straw man of WMD's as the
main or only reason for this country's actions in the last year.
The ploy becomes more and more transparent as Americans begin to consider
the specter of an internationalist, pacifist Democratic administration.
again, the definition of a liberal is "the first person to leave the room
when the fight starts.
SUNDAY, January 25, 2004
More regarding Governor John Rowland. Please see my offerings
on January 11 and January 23.
Now comes an article in The
Day entitled "Rowland case could lead to strengthening of ethics
laws" (Saturday, January 24, 2004, pA1). Precisely as predicted,
this is the real issue before the State of Connecticut, a state of ambiguity
regarding what does and does not pass muster in the inevitable relationships
between public officials and the rest of us. This is what must come out
of the whole mess as regards the State. As for the Governor, the
current ambiguity is all the more reason for assuring fairness and due
process in dealing with the State's top office holder duly elected by the
citizens. Even the State Constitution offers no guidance regarding what
impeachable offenses are...not even a comment about "high crimes and misdemeanors".
Thus, what we expect from the special committee charged with the subject
of possible impeachment is thoroughness, fairness and statesman-like action,
not partisan posturing.
SATURDAY, January 24, 2004
As if on cue, right on the heels of January 22 comes a story from Amhurst,
Massachusetts about a high school that is allowing (even encouraging) their
teenage girls to stage a production of The Vagina Monologues.
This from a school system that reportedly also rewrote Peter Pan
for its students because "it was too racist". Given the idiocy
rampant in our culture today, I no longer ask "why". But we can
reflect on the consequences. "Separate but Equal" was never and can
never be equal: not when applied to separation of the races for purposes
of education; not when exercised by mis-guided immigrants who chose to
stress their heritage to the exclusion of that of their adopted society;
not by strident blacks who teach their children that "whitey" is the enemy;
and not be females and their eunuchoid fellow travelers who preach separation
of the sexes, irrelevance of sex in institutions like marriage and child
rearing, and uniform contempt for men. Yes, there is womanhood out
there; but such females are not part of that group of respected colleagues
and life-partners. It is appalling that in places like Amhurst, Massachusetts,
young girls are being brain-washed toward that path.
Regarding the saga of Governor Rowland, have I been missing something?
Has there been new evidence, a Federal indictment, an eye witness....
If not, how else to explain the increasing number of citizens in this mainly
Democratic state that - according to polls - are calling for resignation
or impeachment...except to call it "piling on!". As
noted in an earlier offering on this subject, his fate may involve anything
ranging from a return to effective governance to jail time. But
follow the process.
Regarding the NLDC, the City of New London, the State of Connecticut
and the Fort Trumbull issue, accomplishments to date have been great.
But circumstances have changed. What is needed now is close cooperation
among all the parties, especially between NLDC and the City Council.
The funds are evaporating, the challenges of prioritization are greater,
the mission of NLDC needs redefinition, and the citizens need more accountability.
The U.S. Supreme Court has produced an important and correct decision
regarding the power of the E.P.A to over-ride the actions of states
when environmental protection is involved. After all, rivers and
the atmosphere have no state boundaries; their travels are a form of "interstate
commerce". Now let's see whether the Court rises to the need to re-define
the paramaters of Indian nation sovereignty in another case before
it during the present session.
THURSDAY, January 22, 2004
Another "day that will live in infamy". On this date in
1973, a U.S.Supreme Court that for over a decade had been making a shambles
of Federal Constitutional separation of powers and of the traditional
barrier to otherwise arbitrary judicial action in "a political question"
produced its decision in Roe v Wade. Founded in neither
Law, Medicine, Ethics or Morality, it created out of whole cloth
a right to kill an unborn human being. 40 million abortions later,
that exercise in raw arrogance continues to be fed by lies and liars, reminiscent
of the state of the Law in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and beyond, capsuled
there by the all-powerful declaration: "Recht ist Recht".
Now not only is the fertilized human ovum not considered a human being,
and not only is the "right" limited to the period before "viability" (occurring
ever earlier due to the advances of Medicine) and not only is "conception"
deemed by some not to occur until "implantation" ( to accomodate the rationale
of RU486 and "Plan B"), but pro-abortionists continue to demand the right
to kill a full-term baby in the birth canal (partial birth abortion).
What are we to make of this behavior, except to recognize that throughout
history human beings have been capable of the greatest good...and the greatest
evil. Fortunately, all those fetuses have not been as visible as
were the millions of slaves in an earlier era. And so, we have avoided
another brutal Civil War. All we can do is to continue to speak up
against this abomination, and to pray.
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, January
19 through 21, 2004
Of course, the main news today is the State of the Union Address
presented by President Bush last evening. A major part of the speech
was properly devoted to the security of this nation. Other
themes for past and future action were generally familiar. One
initiative, however, was new and drew strong positive response: job
re-training for Americans whose old jobs have disappeared...probable
forever. Regular readers on this site will remember a very similar
suggestion made about two months ago, and equating such an initiative with
the WPA and CCC efforts during the Great Depression. Meanwhile, throughout
the presentation we were treated to a pouting Senator Edward Kennedy.
He never changed his expression. What A Jerk! Today it
has been amusing listening to National Public Radio, forsaking any attempt
at balanced news reporting, and simply "qvetching". And then there
is the "over-the-top" editorial in the New York Times. What was that
we already said about "anger therapy"?
Yesterday we got a glimpse of the wisdom of Democratic middle-America.
The dreamers and angry people went for Governor Dean. The realists
came to their senses and selected Senators Kerry and Edwards. I find
Senator Edwards particularly impressive in is demeanor, if not in his message.
On to the next plateau...
SUNDAY, January 18, 2004
Now the Democrats, in the voice of Nancy Pelosi, can't wait to issue
a rebuttal to an action or speech of President Bush. Witness the
given yesterday to his yet-to-be-given State of the Union speech, scheduled
for this coming Tuesday evening. Folks, you need anger therapy.
And why the anger? Because the President is succeeding in getting
his messages across to the vast majority of the American people, particularly
as regards national security. When James Carville acts this way,
it's quaint. But when a substantial part of our two-party system
is involved, this is becoming pathologic.
Iraq is not Iowa, and not even New York City, for that matter.
So, any possibility of tyranny by minorities will not be accepted.
They just completed the suffering of 30 years under such a regime.
Kurds must be subsumed in some type of federal structure; and the Sunnis
need adequate representation. But the Shiite majority must have
majority representation. And what's wrong with "one man, one
vote, as soon as fair elections can be held. Agreeing to that is
much more important than seeking help from a reluctant, truculent and impotent
Once again, Thomas L. Friedman strikes gold with his column today
in the New York Times entitled "War of Ideas, Part 4" (Op-Ed, pWK
11). Israel and Palestine, and maybe the rest of us, are gripped
in a death spiral, unless this kind of action - which I have been espousing
since 9/11 on this web site - is undertaken "pre-emptively" by Israel.
Only then can that beseiged nation expect to achieve lasting security,
guaranteed by the U.S. and the U.N. "He who seeks equity must do
The New York Times today must also be commended for its editorial
entitled "Fixing Democracy" (Editorials/Letters, pWK 10).
The fixes recommended are all needed. But they can only be implemented
in a bi-partisan manner. Thus, it would be helpful if this "newspaper
of record" (of the Democratic Party) convinced its partisans to call off
the dogs constantly yapping angrily at the heels of this duly elected Administration.
Debate is one thing. What we are witnessing is wholly different.
And "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". An
example that I stumbled upon last night on T.V. was a book club (Borders)
presentation by Kevin Phillips regarding his new effort entitled American
Dynasty (Viking, N.Y., 2004). As I listened to his rendering
of facts about the business and social worlds of President Bush's family
tree, I began wondering whether this was an exposition or a hatchet-job.
After deciding to read the book, I found a review of the book in today's
NYTimes Book Review (p10). The review author, Michael Oreskes, agrees
with my suspicions. The sub-title gives a hint: "Aristocracy, Fortune,
and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush". One quote from
the review: "His tone is reminiscent of the muck-rakers at the turn of
the last century." And that's the impression he gave me on T.V.
THURSDAY through SATURDAY, January
15 through 17, 2004
I'm in trouble. Already I'm sick and tired of the most recent Michael
Jackson story. And already comparisons are being made to the
O.J. Simpson trial, if that is what it can be called. The
Simpson trial was a tragedy for all concerned: especially the victims
but also the bumbling prosecution, the Justice system under the incompetent
Judge Ito, and just maybe even O.J., whose "innocence" at the end of the
trial was and is believed by nobody. By contrast, the new trial should
be a sleeper for anyone with something better to do. The only
"news" should be that the parents of these kids are not themselves being
charged for Child Abuse or as co-conspirators.
This coming Monday, Martin Luther King Day, should remind us all
that our only power and influence come from the Almighty...whatever
we might call Him. For it was only after one life-changing night,
amid great personal concern for the outcome of the Civil Rights march in
Alabama and over his own survival against death threats, did Reverend King
receive a personal call from God that enabled him from then on to risk
everything...including his life...on that mission. From that we all
learn - and for that we are all profoundly grateful.
Wow. The "Greedy Geezers" are on the march again. Today we
read that "AARP loses 45,000 members over support for drug law".
That's 45,000 out of 35 million! The rest of the membership can read
why "it's a good thing" in the January edition of AARP Bulletin, pp 16
And in The Day today we are again reminded that the least protected
group in this country are children, even after conception and after birth
("White Case Forces Change In Policy...DCF ends practice that botched investigation
into toddler's welfare", pA1). Where is the accountability? Where
is the outrage? There is more outrage expressed for a deer hunt to
thin an ever-expanding herd than there is for such occurrences.
Finally, some good news from Iraq, something that even our own "educators"
can learn from: "An Iraqi Education", by Bill Evers, (WSJ Thursday,
January 15, 2004, Opinion, pA14). His conclusion: "As the Coalition
Provisional Authority turns over civilian and military responsibilities
to the Iraqis between now and the end of June, I hope the process goes
as well in other fields as it has in education." Did you come
across that in the liberal Eastern press?
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, January
12 through 14, 2004
On the political front, things are getting "curiouser and curiouser".
In Iowa, democrats are coming to realize that the candidate they
select to boost should be someone who has a chance of winning in November.
So now the race is a dead heat among Dean, Gephardt and Kerry. Many
months ago in this section I said that Dean is the Republican Party's candidate
for the Democratic nomination. Many weeks ago I took a flier and
predicted that - if the Democrats awakened from their pleasant dream in
time - their ticket would be Gephardt and Lieberman. I'll stick by
both predictions. Meanwhile, Senator Edward Kennedy seems to be
getting more and more upset. Today he bellowed that the war in Iraq
could be this country's greatest error...of all time! He also indicated
that the country and the world are no safer now, after having deposed Saddam
Hussein and having declared and implemented the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive
self-defense. Where does he get this stuff? He should
read William Safire's recent article, "Iraq War Saving Lives", (The Day,
Tuesday, January 13, Commentary, pA7), or today's news items regarding
favorable developments in Afganistan, Libya and even in North Korea.
If I were still a Democrat, I could say that the Senator is becoming an
embarrassment. Instead, more and more he reminds me of the embodiment
of today's ultra-liberals: Articulate, Arrogant, and Asinine.
As expressed earlier in this section, the Military is abusing its
National Guard, its Reserves and even its force of professional soldiers
by failing to provide sufficient troops where they are needed to fulfill
their mission with reasonably safety. Our Military is significantly
under-manned and needs to be re-deployed and expanded...very likely with
a fair draft. We know that this is an election year and that
our "Dukakis Democrats" would have a field day with such an action.
But I believe that most Americans would support such an action, properly
presented and implemented. It would also be the right thing to do.
Here's a quaint idea: "Teacher Pay Should Be Tied To Student Progress,
Group Says", by Ben Feller, AP (The Day, Wednesday, January 14,
2004, Nation, pA3). Of course, the NEA does not support this or any other
means of establishing accountability for the pandemic called Public
Education going on for the last three decades. Rather, their
attention continues to be focused on undercutting the new Federal Law on
the subject and blocking parental school choice, no matter what their constituents
(parents and children) need and want. Perhaps individual and organized
teachers and "educators" should read the recent editorial in USA Today
"Democrats Attack School Reforms At Political Peril" (Tuesday,
January 13, 2004, p14A). See also the category entitled "Public
Education Politics" in the Informed Citizen section of this web-site.
When the first word came out about this Administration's planned new
quest for the stars, I was skeptical (see above in this section).
However, President Bush has laid out "a journey, not a race" that will
provide a goal for NASA to strive for that - to paraphrase the astronaut
Sally Ride's comments on the Today show today - they have not had for 20
years, and that will be gradually funded beginning with a $10 Billion reallocation
from NASA's current budget. Now, that sounds about right as a plan
that can be intelligently debated by Americans and their leaders.
What it certainly represents is leadership by this Administration.
In the offering in this section dated January 3-7, 2004,
I commented on the continuing saga of Governor Rowland of Connecticut.
Much ink has been devoted in the press to that subject in recent days,
leading to a developing stampede calling for his resignation. In
my earlier offering, I wondered whether his stupid actions - barring
proof of an actual quid pro quo - were indeed illegal or prohibited
under existing laws and regulations. It would appear, from
the commentaries of observers more informed than I, that they were not,
and that they were part of a well-established "cozy culture of corruption".
(See "Connecticut's cozy culture of corruption", by Keith Burris, The Day,
Sunday, January 11, 2004, Voices and Views, pB3). See also the article
by Maura Casey in the same source (Perspective, pB1) entitled "If Rowland
Won't Jump, We All Have To Push Him". Referring to "so many politicians
of both parties", she notes that "Members of both parties have personally
benefited from their power and influence from campaign contributors and
benefactors, some of whom are powerful lobbyists. They are loathe
to reject them - and the system upon which those relationships are built".
This leads me to a conclusion different from the one expressed in her article
and in the recent editorials of The Day and of several other Connecticut
newspapers. Perhaps our worthy politicians are pushing Gov. Rowland
to "cop a plea" in order to put the whole thing to bed and avoid having
to respond to a rising public demand to enact laws and ethics regulations
that pass the laugh test. Perish the thought! If there
is one thing I hate, it is hypocracy. In my opinion, Governor Rowland
should follow his reasonable apology with complete cooperation with the
on-going Federal investigation into this whole mess. Then he will
either finish his term in a politically weakened but still effective state,
or will resign or be impeached, or will go to jail. That should be
the process, in addition to the Legislature taking the actions they should
have taken years ago. The rest is political naivete, or just plain
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, January 9 and
Talk about beating a weak horse. The Democrats seem
to think that, in the absense of any original and useful positions, attacking
the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense and its necessary application
in Afganistan and in Iraq is a winning strategy. This, despite clear
and continuing evidence that the American people have accepted this approach...with
or without "finding WMD's". Once again the ultra-liberals that are
trying to steal the Democratic Party are showing that, after 40 years of
passionately espousing losing causes, they are uneducable. It reminds
me of the term I coined many years ago to describe the South's past attitudes
toward Blacks: "Focal Idiopathic Idiocy". (See also "Peace
efforts sharpen debate over links to Bush Doctrine", by Brian Murphy,
in The Day (theday.com), Saturday, January 10, 2004, pA1)
A few days ago in this section, I suggested an approach to the Pete
Rose issue. The facts have now been provided, in the column by
George Will entitled "'Victim' Rose victimized the national pastime",
(The Day, Saturday, January 10, 2004, Perspective, pA7). Rules for
election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, either by the Baseball Writers Association
of America or by the veterans committee, include "integrity, sportsmanship
and character" as basic criteria. Sorry, Pete, you lose...unless
the more "modern situation ethics" evident in our schools, our corporations
and our politicians carry the day. I hope not. We should
at least be able to believe in Baseball.
THURSDAY, January 8, 2004
Fallujah. That area has been a serious and chronic problem
for our soldiers in Iraq. And today, after a mortar attack on a military
conpound, fanatics in that region also downed a med-evac helicopter, properly
designated, with much loss of life. I can just hear the people at
"Foggy Bottom" telling President Bush to "play nice", while our military
leaders know better. We will never be liked by the people of Iraq
- they will owe too much to us for that. But we must be respected.
With adequate forces, for a change, we should make Fallujah a concentration
camp for a time while our forces ferret out the terrorists. Now is
not the time to go soft in the head and in the belly.
"No good deed will go unpunished". President Bush's
new proposal on immigration policy, designed to replace theory
and hypocracy with reality, is predictably being criticized from all
sides. Only the Democrats have it right: nothing like a sitting President
to show them who has the options and the power. What is true, however,
is that the distinction between policy and ploy will be seen by how hard
the President fights for this worth-while initiative.
The Donald is looking for a few good slaves (although well-paid).
We do have to give this "world's greatest salesman" a great deal of credit.
Having come from modest surroundings, but armed with a good family, intelligence
and drive, Donald Trump has earned all that he has. That's what America
should be about: "the aristocracy of the able". And
a second guidance should be added here: there are three kinds of money...old
money, new money, and enough money.
Finally, a patient, one of my many great teachers in that category, recently
offered this advice from "little orphan Annie": "You're never fully
dressed without a smile". Now, that's good!
WEDNESDAY, January 3, 2004 through January 7, 2004
Sorry about the lapse. It's proving to be a busy winter.
But it has also been a busy news cycle recently.
Should Pete Rose, the baseball great and liar, be admitted into
the Baseball Hall of Fame? Easy. What criteria have been used
in the past to elect the other greats? Barring moral turpitude, have
integrity and moral fiber been part of the criteria used to date?
Of course, they should be. But no "ex post facto" rules here, please.
Talking about integrity and moral fiber, the expanding saga unfolding around
Governor Rowland seems to suggest a lack of same in this otherwise
good public servant. But have any specific laws and ethical rules
of conduct been breached? If so, he should resign. If not,
look to the rest of the State government for reasons why the actions
of which he is accused are not illegal or in violation of Ethics Commission
rules. No "ex post facto" rules here, either.
Regarding Senator Lieberman's recent suggestion that medical progress
might change the application of Roe v Wade regarding "viability"
and "legal abortion", a statement for which he was attacked by his own
fellow Democrats, we see again the totalitarian bent of today's liberals.
When neither the law nor the facts are in their favor, they just yell and
scream. This is an angry mob which is going through the several stages
of grief at the threatened demise of the Democratic Party at their hands.
They are currently stuck in the "anger" phase. Witness the rantings
also of "MoveOn.org". Are there no Democrats out there who can
save the party from its baser self?
FRIDAY, January 2, 2004
Just one day into the New Year, and "my cup runneth over".
Government "good news-bad news" department:
Why bring all this up while we are all trying to settle our jangled nerves
and expanding bellies after this holiday season? Because now is the
time to make a New Year's resolution; namely, that we will all become
Involved Citizens. The passage of the McCain-Feingold Act
and its recent support by the U.S. Supreme Court gives all of us an important
tool by partly leveling the political playing field in our efforts to remove
the crooks and clowns from public office. Get in the game!
Remember: "In a democracy, the people always get what they deserve".
"Good news": we isolated the one cow in the United States with Mad
Cow Disease. "Bad news": now three herds have been isolated,
we have lost many foreign markets to our beef exports - probably for years,
we have had warnings for years not to use renderings from "downed" cattle
as feed...in addition to the experience of Britain and Europe, and we have
failed to enforce relevant laws on the books.
"Good news": we are fixing the shuttle. "Bad news": the NASA
de-emphasis on safety in recent years was a proximate cause of the shuttle
disaster - and it may also have converted the space station into a piece
of pork. As for another trip to the moon, while the state of our
public education, our homeless, our jobless, our military establishment,
etc. continue to fester: Fuggedaboudit.
"Good news": greatly expanded use of ethanol in our gasoline, produced
by our farmers, could substantially reduce our dependence on foreign
oil. "Bad news": the oil industry and its supporters have been blocking
it at every turn through its lobbyists in Congress.
"Good news": Ephedra is being taken off the market.
"Bad news": it took thousands of related illnesses and over 100 related
deaths, which should never have occurred if the Federal government had
not caved in to the "alternative medicine" industry in 1994 by classifying
all these drugs - many ineffective and many dangerous - as "food additives",
eliminating all FDA oversight.
"Good news": we are rooting out corruption at all levels.
"Bad news": "corruption" is always reported in the past tense, and even
the definition of corruption fails to pass the laugh test. (See the goings-on
in Connecticut at present).
SUNDAY through THURSDAY, December
28, 2003 through January 1, 2004
HAPPY NEW YEAR
2003 was the year in which we were forced to establish a new
relationship between America and the world, in our own defense and
in defense of an ever-changing "coalition of the willing". World-wide
terrorism as the powerful, shadowy strategic policy of extra-national criminals
forced that posture upon us: the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense.
Anyone who says that our actions in Afganistan, in Iraq, with Libya, and
in cooperation with the Far East powers regarding North Korea have not
made the U.S. and its allies safer is either terminally stupid or is lying.
We are at war; and we will be at war for years to come. Already,
terrorists are attacking their own people and countries of origin - a sure
sign of desperation and of a strategy that has lost throughout the centuries-old
history of terrorism. (See "Lessons of Terror", by Caleb Carr).
2004 will be a year of critical decision-making for Americans.
The choices, both regarding domestic policy and regarding foreign
policy, will not be more clear. It is not that the Democrats have
nothing to offer, or that the Republicans have gotten it all right. There
is room for accomodation, if there is the will. But simply railing
against President Bush and continuing to question the validity of his Presidency
are non-starters. The Democrats must realize that: Americans
will not sublimate our nationhood to some amorphous multi-national system;
world trade is a necessity, but must be modified and made more fair before
large sections of our work force are decimated; national defense trumps
most other considerations; and some trees must be hugged...others must
be cut down. The Republicans must realize that: in dealing
with other nations, the judicious use of both carrot and stick - and above
all predictability over the long haul - are vital to effectiveness;
"world trade" should not mean "world greed" writ large, and American multi-national
businesses should be required to keep business decisions in context with
established national policy; the perception, and generally the facts, of
their environmental policies stink; and President Bush is the right man
in the right place at the right time - and he must be supported and re-elected
So, let us all hope and pray for a better year, a year with more peace
and good will. And let's get to work to make it happen.