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
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, February 28
and 29, 2004
The story is told of the situation in London, England during the early
days of the "London Blitz" in 1940, when savage nightly bombings
by the Germans required sudden visits by the populace to the nearest bomb
shelters, where they had to wait out the destruction going on overhead.
In those early days, the accompanying anxiety sometimes led to outbursts
of terror and near-riots. Until, that is, that someone figured
out how to avoid such reaction: every 15 minutes someone made the announcement
that "Ladies and Gentlemen, the news is...there is no news." That
little device kept everyone settled down.
Well, if you have been reading the offerings on this Rapid Response
section regularly, there are times when "the news is...there is no news."
That is, I'm up-to-date in my reactions to recent events. But, not
to worry: there will be more soon.
FRIDAY, February 27, 2004
Marriage. The only reason for discussing this here again is
to make reference to a "pro - con" pair of articles regarding the merits
of a U.S.constitutional amendment, as recommended by the President.
Please see "Marriage and Democracy", Editorial, and "Let States
Decide", by John Yoo in the Opinion section, both in today's WSJ, pA8.
This next could be entitled: "GM Fiddles While The World Burns".
A secret Pentagon report recently published by the British weekly The Observer
warns that "climate change may lead to global catastrophe costing millions
of lives and is a far greater threat than terrorism", with these effects
possibly occurring within this decade. But today we read in the
WSJ that "Car Makers Split Over Timing of Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles" (Marketplace,
pB1). HELLO!!! And, on a related topic, we have
a chance to disagree (not an uncommon occurrence) with an editorial in
today's WSJ: "Is Free Trade Immoral?" Free trade is not immoral,
but unfettered laissez faire commerce is immoral. There
are certain immutable facts: lies from Government; and greed from Business.
Here's a topic about which I know a little bit more than about economics.
and Patients Air Grievances", by Laura Landro, WSJ Thursday, February
26, 2004, Health and Family, pD4. Since becoming a physician in 1957,
I have never done anything for patients, but rather with patients.
Ours is a co-equal relationship, with individual rights and responsibilities.
It is also a "mutual admiration society", or it will not proceed.
So the recommendations embodied in this article, all very desirable, have
always been S.O.P. in my medical practice. "FOR YOUR HEALTH
CARE, CHOOSE...DON'T SETTLE."
THURSDAY, February 26, 2004
Today, I saw "The Passion of the Christ". Excellent...and
TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, February
24 and 25, 2004
This is a busy news cycle.
On the issue of Marriage: a) Heavyweight: "After more than
two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience,
a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental
institution of civilization". President George W. Bush.
b) Lightweight: "All Americans should be concerned when a president
who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the
United States at the start of his re-election campaign." Senator
John Kerry. Also, it is curious to see Democrats and fellow -travellers
expressing concern about states' rights. Isn't their's the party
of big centralized government? And haven't we addressed the really
big questions of our society through Federal law: slavery, women's suffrage,
equal educational and other rights, even abortion? The President
did say, correctly I believe, that he has no objection to "civil unions".
Anything that tends to stabilize the actions of a small minority of our
population from more irresponsible to more lasting relationships should
Regarding Governor Rowland, The Day editorial today has it right
when it notes that "It's not about the hot tub" but about the entire
culture of Connecticut politics that needs reforming, at long last.
News Flash! The National Education Association objects to
the hyperbole of being called a "terrorist organization". I
would, too. But Education Secretary Rod Paige insisted correctly
the the union uses "obstructionist scare tactics." Has anybody heard
of the principle called "the best interests of the child"?
Jobs. There's a problem ripe for solution...or for demagoguery.
Senators Kerry and Edwards continue to espouse what can only be termed
an insular, protectionist stance. This approach is put in perspective
by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. in his Opinion article entitled "Jobs, Jobs,
Jobs, (Fibs, Fibs, Fibs)", in today's Wall Street Journal (pA15).
And now Senator Edward Kennedy has proposed a "U.S. Workers Protection
Act of 2004" which reportedly "would deny federal contracts to companies
using overseas labor to do work previously done in the United States" (The
Day, today, pD5). This sounds suspiciously like the promises of another
political age: "a chicken in every pot; a car in every garage". In
this country we have a permanent loss of manufacturing jobs and a serious
shortage of skilled workers in information and other technologies and in
health care. Isn't there a solution here, what has worked in every
decade since the first Industrial Revolution: RE-TRAINING? This
should be the WPA and CCC of this part of the 21st century. Everything
else is demagoguery. Will affected American workers and their unions
recognize this and demand it? Or will they simply reflexively pull
the Democratic lever, in true Pavlovian fashion? We'll see.
Finally, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan may have decided
that he needs a rest. On the same day he is reported to have
proposed that 1) the Social Security funds of the "baby boomers" should
be used to reduce the Federal deficit; and 2) that Congress should consider
increasing the retirement age and offering less generous increases in Social
Security benefits. Chairman Greenspan, where shall we send your mail?
MONDAY, February 23, 2004
Senator John Kerry. There's less there than meets the eye.
The other day he was dismissive of the efforts of Senator John Edwards,
an attractive candidate if you don't mind his positions. Then he
challenges President Bush to discuss their respective roles in the 1960's
and early 1970's. (Please see Rapid Response, February 5, above).
Also see the following articles:
And then there is "Don Quixote...the Sequel". Ralph Nader
is right about much of what he says. Too bad he's from Venus, and
the country is from Mars.
"John Kerry's Feet Firmly Planted In His Shifting Sands", by Jeff
Jacoby, The Day, Friday, February 20, 2004, Commentary, pA9)
"Back On Top, Weary Kerry Falls Into Bad Habits", by Ron Fournier
(AP), The Day, Sunday, February 22, 2004, Nation, pA4.
"Blunt and Influential, Kerry's Wife is an X Factor", by David M.
Halbfinger, The New York Times Sunday, February 22, 2004, p3.
SUNDAY, February 22, 2004
Medical Malpractice. Now there's a subject to which you
do not want to give a "rapid response". However, since I have been
writing on this and related subjects since the first "medical mal-practice
crisis" in the mid-1970's, I feel less constrained. (Please see
the other offerings on this web site under the categories "Health
Law", "Medical Mal-Practice Sweepstakes",
and "Medical Errors"). In addition,
the good set of articles embodied in today's Perspective section of The
Day (the day.com., pC1) on this subject are a springboard from which to
proceed. Specific reference should be made to The Day Editorial ("Don't
Rush Into A Quick Fix") and to the article by John Peter Bigos, M.D.
(pC3). All of the proposals in these two articles will have to be
made part of any effective solution to the problem facing health care professionals
and their patients. Also laudable is the absence in these two offerings
of the hyped importance of "caps on pain and suffering". That is
a much smaller part of the problem; and a $250,000 cap would be inadequate
for the needs of both patient and representing attorneys, anyway.
As a physician and also as an attorney for many years, I have had numerous
occasions to participate in medical mal-practice cases...as an expert witness
and as co-counsel, for both plaintiffs and for defendants. From this
experience, the following are some observations to be added to the above
proposals. If the current level of debate on the subject reminds
one of the three blind men charged with describing an elephant from three
distinctly different vantage-points, the following may be considered the
view from inside the belly of the beast.
In all of this discussion, nothing will change until the patients and
potential patients decide that it is really their ox that is getting gored,
and that they demand change. Lawyers have a lot of clout with
the legislatures. Both plaintiffs' and defendants' lawyers are doing well
under the existing system, the former as entrepreneurs and the latter working
by the clock. The medical profession has little clout. The insurance
industry is doing just fine, thank you. Only you, the people, can
solve this problem as you push your legislators - kicking and screaming
- toward the solution. Does this sound a great deal like what I have
been advising since the mid-1970's. You bet!
A potential case begins long before any mal-occurrence or mal-practice.
It begins with a gradual erosion in the doctor-patient relationship that
leads to discontent and ultimate anger on the part of the parties.
All should avoid that...or one or both parties should end the relationship
long before that occurs.
The three attributes of a physician that are most important to a patient
are ability, affability and availability...in reverse order!
The following is difficult but important: any bad outcome, whether
mal-occurrence or possible mal-practice, warrants a prompt explanation
given to the patient, with every effort made - without charge - to ameliorate
the situation. And this should be done without threat of loss of
insurance coverage by the insurance company alleging interference with
its ability to defend a possible case.
Alternatives to filing a court case, at least voluntarily at the
outset, should be presentation before a medical mal-practice screening
panel, such as exists in some states, and such as has existed in Connecticut
Law since the late 1970's...without any use made of it at all.
Also, mediation and/or arbitration should be embraced by both patients
and physicians as means to faster and more equitable resolutions.
If decision is made to file a case, the filing attorney should be required
to file - not only a Certificate of Good Faith Belief, as is
now the law - but a certificate based upon the discoverable expert opinion
of an appropriate physician who will also be required to testify at trial...which
is not now the case.
Both plaintiff and defendant should be placed under time-constraints,
supported by timely access to court, to develop their cases and to go to
trial. Delays averaging 3-5 years are now Justice delayed and denied
Greater scrutiny should be placed by the Judge on the scientifically -
based expert opinions offered by both sides. "Schlock" medicine
and its purveyors should be barred, and should be sanctioned where egregious.
That also means that health care professionals should consider it their
duty to the public to be available as expert witnesses, except where clear
conflict of interest exists. This would be much better for all than
the continuing "conspiracy of silence" still practised and tolerated by
some in the profession.
Judges should clearly instruct juries regarding the difference between
"mal-occurrence" and "mal-practice", even apart from the "battle of
experts", and should not tolerate sympathy awards not supported by the
facts and the law.
Health care professionals should take mistakes as experiences to
learn from. They should consider the insurance they pay for as part
of their obligation to "do no harm". They should not take the
accusation of mal-practice as a personal affront. If they believe it to
be unfounded, they should defend themselves vigorously...and should also
file counter - suits when appropriate.
Mal-practice Insurance companies should be required to reveal all
their financial practices that impact on the premiums they charge for levels
of coverage, subject to modification by State action. And they should
be required by State law to market medical mal-practice insurance if they
write any other kind of insurance in the State. The justification
for this intrusion in private industry is the central role that they play
in the protection of the health and welfare of the society (under police
powers and other theories).
The public should be very careful about their health care, both
preventive and interventional. The excuse of "not knowing" no longer
is tenable. "For your health care, choose, don't settle".
And don't expect a medical national lottery to put Humpty-Dumpty
back together again. Remember: of the cases that are actually filed,
over 70% are won by the defendant physician after the expenditure of vast
quantities of time, money and emotion by all involved. Furthermore,
resort to some of the alternatives noted above...and even including
an administrative mechanism like Workers' Compensation...could distribute
a great deal more justice than is now seeing the light of day.
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, February 20
and 21, 2004
Today, a local news flash. In a surprising offering by
Potter in The Day today entitled "Allegiance is private, even in
public service", we are presented with a new Pledge: "The Pledge
of the 'Me' Generation". It has to do with the role of the Pledge
of Allegiance, and evidently also the Star Spangled Banner, in the private
and public lives of American citizens. In this article he states
personally that "military service doesn't necessarily equate with patriotism
or allegiance". He takes to task the National Anthem as "a war song
about rockets' red glare and ...." He questions its reference to
our "sweet land of liberty...", listing past, current and imagined inequities
that exist in this nation, while making no reference to the vast
inequities that afflict every area and nation in the world as a part of
the human condition. But the most telling parts are embodied in comments
like the folliwing:
"There are no laws demanding allegiance to America".
"That is not to say I don't appreciate what America has to offer.
I do, and I want more of it".
"And allegiance surely isn't a pre-requisite for public service".
Mr. Potter then ends with an endorsement of a comment made by a friend:
"The pledge is like your oath as a citizen. It's a pledge to uphold
the rights and benefits that come with being an American".
And where, Mr. Potter and other advocates of "me, me, me...", is
the place for reciprocal responsibilities? That, in a nutshell,
is the central problem of this society over the last 30 years. In
this instance, I agree that recitation of the Pledge or singing of the
Anthem should not be mandatory for any individual, whether in school or
at public meetings. But it should continue to be the norm; it should
be expected; and failure to do so should be accompanied by appropriate
social consequences in a society that long ago decided and fought for the
kind of country the vast majority of Americans want. That isn't
prejudice or coercion. It follows actions that in a social order should
have consequences. Actually, the only thing about this statement
that surprises me is its author.
THURSDAY, February 19, 2004
Now, let's see if I have this right. The Democratic Party platform
for this year, to be inferred from the pronouncements of spokesmen
like its Chairman and Senators John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, is as follows:
Do I have it straight now? Thanks. I needed that.
"Anybody But Bush". Al Sharpton, call your office!
The "No Child Left Behind" law is bad educational and legal policy.
Rather, we should continue to pour billions of dollars into that black
hole called "Public Education" in this country, controlled by a monopoly
of mediocrities and hypocrites.
Job losses are always a bad thing, not only for the individuals affected,
but also for the nation. Rather, let us revoke NAFTA and GATT, assume
an isolationist position, trigger a world depression, but allow second
and third generation steel-workers, miners, manufacturing types and all
farmers to continue to stay in the same jobs despite the modern irrelevancy
of some of those jobs - through an endless cascade of corporate and public
welfare schemes. Better that, than to identify problems that won't
go away and re-train the affected parts of our work force for jobs that
America does need.
Do as much as possible centrally through the Federal government, no matter
how inefficiently it is done, how much in taxes are assessed and wasted,
and how much it stifles the engine of America called Business.
Protect every newt and sparrow, every tree and blade of grass, and bring
every flowing stream to the quality of Evian (which is "naive" spelled
backwards), with no regard for the concepts of "conservation" which seek
to balance rational use with preservation. Who cares if that leads,
among other things, to perpetual reliance on Mid-East oil...at least until
that reliance leads to World War III.
And let's do nothing unilaterally, certainly not without the approval of
that super-power, the United Nations...and especially not national self-defense.
Rather let's wait, within our bastion of individual rights without comparable
responsibilities, until this country is hit once or twice more as on 9/11
or worse - and then turns markedly to the right in ways none of us want.
SUNDAY through WEDNESDAY, February
15 through 18, 2004
If nothing else, the current Democratic Primary follies have revealed
the Democratic game plan: defeat George W. Bush at all cost, with
any willing candidate, and especially with any methods including distortions,
innuendo, demagoguery, defamation...Their main thrust has been to attack
the President's truthfulness and personal integrity, so as to conjure up
a "credibility gap" that no sitting President could survive.
Despite the available facts, in March of this year as well as now, and
despite oral and written testimony by the likes of Colin Powell, Donald
Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condelezza Rice, David Kay and many others,
people like Senators Kerry and Kennedy have accused the President - without
facts - of actions which, if true, would constitute "high crimes and mis-demeanors"
warranting impeachment. This they have been able to do because...well,
they are politicians.
Well, it's not a very effective defense for a person accused of lying
to say merely that "he's a liar, too." The President must aggressively
prove to and convince the American public that he did not lie and did not
mis-represent anything he dealt with during the last three years.
Otherwise, true or false, the accusation will stick. The interview
with Tim Russert was a good start; but it was only a start. And he
must do it himself, not through surrogates or web sites or television
ads. The people want to believe him. But doubts have been effectively
cast, by means which in any arena other than the political arena would
be actionable in court. Mr. President, that's your mission, if you
choose to accept it. Otherwise, you will lose this election.
SATURDAY, February 14, 2004
Just when I was looking forward to a relaxing St. Valentine's Day, the
As stated earlier in this section, there is a great difference between
contractual agreements among two individuals of the same sex and their
respective employers regarding dependent rights and other benefits...and
any formal recognition given by society to "same-sex marriages".
Ours is a society which fought two wars to gain our independence for ourselves
and then for all slaves; a society that recognizes its existence "under
God" in various formal ways; and a society which reserves the formal recognition
and the blessings of marriage to two people of opposite sex, for the main
purpose of child bearing and child rearing in order to guarantee and perpetuate
the stability and future of that society. Tolerance and understanding
of homosexuals must stop at this bright line.
In a battle, military or political, playing "defense" is a sucker's
game. But that is exactly what this Bush Administration
seems bent on doing, in a variety of areas: In Iraq, by refusing
so far to deploy adequate military strength (especially personnel) to protect
our own forces and the Iraqi people; in its Education initiative,
wherein we read today that "Special ed students now must take standard
test" and have these predictable results counted with all the other school
results; in the issue of job losses in the country, many probably
permanent, where President Bush seems to be allowing Senator Kerry to "eat
his lunch" regarding a national program of job re-training originally proposed
by the President in his State of the Union message; on the issue of
military service, where the President wastes a perfectly tenable position
for his actions in 1968, versus the less ambiguous situation regarding
Viet Nam in 1966 and earlier; in the area of involvement with American
business...where his Vice President has in effect been re-named "Dick
Halliburton". Wake up, Mr. President. This is your election
to lose. And a loss would place this country in very poor hands
FRIDAY, February 13, 2004
For a practising Roman Catholic whose first twelve years of school education
took place in Catholic schools, the child abuse scandals involving Roman
Catholic priests have produced in me a variety of reactions, some of which
have been shared on this web site. However, never has it produced
depression or immobilization. Instead, I determined to learn more
about my religion and about the organization that has embodied that religion
over the last 2000 years. As a result, I have read the following
books, which I would recommend for the same purpose to Catholics and non-Catholics
From these readings, and based upon over six decades of personal experience,
I make the following observations:
A Concise Hostory of the Catholic Church, by Thomas Bokenkotter,
Doubleday, 1977, 2004;
The Battle for the American Church, by Msgr. George A. Kelly, Doubleday,
Papal Sin, Structures of Deceit, by Garry Wills, Doubleday, 2000;
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, by Ross King, Penguin Books,
My Faith is more secure than ever;
The religion is sacred and supernatural, a super-highway through this life
and to the next, the "main event";
The organization on which Jesus Christ founded this religion is human,
and as such has been capable of the greatest good and the greatest evil;
The fact that the Church has survived and generally thrived for over 2000
years is a tribute to both that humanity and to constant Divine intervention;
The Church survived the attacks of the Romans to become a great temporal
as well as spiritual power, actually the only stable organization to get
humanity through the Dark Ages of barbarian invasions and destruction;
That experience with temporal power corrupted Church leaders and a succession
of Popes (including some terrible men) to maintain that power at almost
any cost right into the 20th century;
Despite that history, Church leaders and a succession of famous Saints
always sought to define, maintain and spread the "Good News of the Gospel",
a task in which they were very ably assisted by a devout monk named Martin
Luther who tore them violently away from some of their more egregious activities
of the time;
Throughout that history and to the present time, the human Church has placed
great store on stability and conformity, often siding with reactionary
forces to insure a minimum of change; this manifested itself in the Church's
reaction to the Renaissance, to the revolutionary spirit of the eighteenth
century, to the explosion of science and learning of the nineteenth century,
and to its halting response to the "aggiornamento" of Vatican II prompted
by Pope John XXIII and thwarted by his early death.
The Church continues to have a hard time with changing times...and that
is both the bad news and the good news for an institution that has survived
for 2000 years and is likely to guide the world for another 2000 years.
And so, for those of us members of the Roman Catholic Faith and also of
the Roman Catholic Church, the latter is a "necessary but not sufficient"
component of our lives. Nor is it the more important component.
The Church is human; our Faith is Divine.
THURSDAY, February 12, 2004
What's going on here? The first priority for a government, home-grown
or occupying, is to provide security. As commented here on
numerous times in the past, American forces have not been able to achieve
that goal for themselves, let alone for the Iraqi people. Not
enough troops on the ground. Not enough pain applied to collaborators.
Not enough incentives for favorably disposed Iraqis to cooperate in ferreting
out the bad guys. This has been bad enough as the count of American
dead and wounded mounts. It will totally defeat our goals in and
for Iraq if we do not provide adequate protection for the new Iraq military
and police forces being formed. Witness the scores of Iraqi dead
from terrorist attacks in recent days. Are American troops protecting
police stations and staging areas? Are we offering adequate rewards, including
the offer of emigration to the U.S.A. for useful informants and their families?
Are we applying martial law and curfews in particularly troublesome areas?
And if we do not have enough troops there to get the job done, why not?
Finally, why not work to meet the demands of the Shiite majority for early
general elections to legitimize a new Iraqi government? Does this
go counter to someone's theoretical exit strategy? These
problems are reminding me more and more of recalcitrant problem-solvers
and not of refractory problems. Just what ended up producing
the prolonged tragedy of Viet Nam long after our leaders should have known
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, February
9 through 11, 2004
Shakespeare must have had political compaigns in mind: "'Tis a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
The Democratic claptrap so far certainly qualifies, especially as intoned
in the bass voice of Senator John Kerry, as he beats his military ribbon-festooned
chest. But "where's the beef"? All conclusory statements, all
inuendo, all demagoguery, no facts. By contrast, his history of inconsistencies
on many issues over the years is coming out. What is also coming
out is the fact that the Democratic Party has no viable alternative
positions suited to present-day realities. It is bankrupt of ideas.
Nevertheless, the true believers seem to think that that's all they need.
In a recent editorial in The Day (Tuesday, February 10, 2004) we read the
following regarding President Bush's interview with Tim Russert: "In response,
the president sounded patronizing occasionally, especially when he preceded
his statements by saying, 'Americans have to understand....' Mr Bush
doesn't get it at all. Americans don't have to understand;
they are under no such obligation. On the contrary, he, as president,
has to understand." Ridiculous. Americans certainly do have
an obligation to understand, and to understand far more than that which
can be gleaned from thirty-second sound bites or from demagogic tripe,
or from any single source of information. Fellow citizens,
many Democrats have always had a low regard for our intelligence.
Not even the dead can rest in peace these days. This week
we learned that a "medical examiner's report" - with no autopsy - on Dr.
Robert Atkins (of Atkins diet fame) was negligently revealed to a group
of physicians who have always been critical of his work. It seems
that, after incurring a severe head injury in a fall, and after having
been in a coma and in intensive care for days before his demise, his weight
was about 250 lbs. - allegedly a sign of obesity. We then learned,
in the back pages, that his weight upon admission to the hospital was about
190 lbs, and that he had been suffering from a viral cardiomyopathy for
many months - and not coronary artery disease as alleged by his critics.
What is all this about? It is about ethical misconduct by the physicians
involved in this story. Shame on all of you - and of course also
on the bottom-feeding media for participating in this. Of course,
shame is in short supply these days.
SUNDAY, February 8, 2004
This morning we had a unique opportunity to see and hear President Bush
defend and articulate the reasons for his actions during the last three
years, in response to stiff questioning by Tim Russert on the NBC
program Meet The Press. In substance and in manner, the President
conducted himself as an articulate leader for difficult times, a man with
an accurate compass - instead of a moist finger held up to the wind - to
guide him. It will be interesting to see how his remarks will be
quoted and mis-quoted during the coming days and months. Americans
would be well advised to read comments such as his, as well as the recent
statements of Secretary of State Colin Powell, David Kay and CIA Director
Tenet in the unabridged original. You can be sure that the Cut
and Paste functions on the computers of many politicos and liberal
media types will be put to heavy use during this election compaign.
Supporting my take on the activities surrounding Connecticut Governor
Rowland is an article today in The Day (The Day.com) entitled: "Backroom
Government-For-Sale: A Two-Party System" (in Perspective, Section C1).
It is written by Susan Knep, President of the Federation of Connecticut
Taxpayer Organizations, Inc. and a former mayor of East Hartford. "Today,
Democrats control the state legislature, as they have for years.
During their reign, they never initiated a credible inquiry into corruption
in Connecticut's government. They also failed to develop strong ethic
and conflict-of-interest laws or to instill a system of checks and balances
to protect the taxpayers' money as evidenced by our loss of $220 million
in the Enron-CRRA debacle...The strong Ethic Laws which State Democrats
recently rejected must be resurrected and passed." Another reference
is the article, in the same edition, pC3, by Superior Court judge Robert
Satter entitled "A Word Of Caution On Impeachment". Now can
we get on with the search for facts before passing judgment and imposing
SATURDAY, February 7, 2004
When is "news" no such thing? When Common Cause has
to have a "study" that "shows how contributors can benefit". (Legal
Contributions Seen As A Source For Potential Problem, by Ted Mann,
The Day Saturday, Jan. 31, pA1). Then we have the recent news that
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is going to seek ethical
and legal reforms regarding the dealings between the State and private
parties. Where have he and the Connecticut Legislature been all these
years when patronage and cronyism have been endemic in this State?
So now they all seem to want Governor Rowland to "cop a plea" by falling
on his political sword, so that the heat will be off for reform, and everybody
can live happily ever after, as usual. Sorry. Let all the formal
investigations bear fruit. Then let's see what needs to be done,
and to whose ox.
This probably won't be the last time that I mention this. The Wall
Street Journal is an excellent newspaper for general news, and is
a veritable graduate school course in public affairs day after day on its
Opinion pages. And, except for its Review and Outlook column,
carrying its suitably biased editorials, the heading Opinion does not do
the content justice, given the factual documentation that is embodied in
each selection. Maybe I'm particularly pleased with one offering
in yesterday's edition (pA16), wherein former Senator and Presidential
candidate Bob Dole wrote an article quoting Senator Kerry on being a veteran
(Kerry's Own Words): "We do not need to divide America
over who served and how." Please see my offering in this section
on the previous day. Maybe somebody IS out there...
FRIDAY, February 6, 2004
More evidence of the "Culture of Death" becoming ever more prominent
in this country. An eleven year old girl, Carlie Brucia, is
abducted and killed, allegedly by a man with at least 13 convictions in
the last decade. How may times must the alarm bell be rung for decent
people to answer the call? This society's race to the bottom must
be stopped by the demands of the vast majority of Americans whose "tolerance"
(read also apathy, cynicism, self-centeredness) has been completely abused.
It's all related: abortion at any stage of human life; coarseness and brutality
from the entertainment media; child abuse passed off as mis-guided parenting;
abominable parenting by too many, including an army of "single parent families";
unfettered sex and sexuality promoted at any age; judicial leniency over-compensated
for by police and prosecutorial mis-conduct; a defense bar that rejects
its dual role including that as "Officer of the Court" as it strives to
get its clients off with any means including mis-leading the Court....Actions
must have consequences! This is not Democrat or Republican,
nor is it liberal or conservative - it is common sense.
Wake up, America. You are losing your birthright.
THURSDAY, February 5, 2004
"Where is it written", except maybe in the most liberal state in the
Union, that two persons of the same sex have a "Constitutional right" to
be parties to Marriage? This is yet another arrogant affront
to the fabric of American society perpetrated by individuals who recognize
no external bounds to the realization of their personal desires, and to
some judges who have either a distorted understanding or a contemptuous
disregard for the separation of powers that is in our Constitution.
And by the way, what is an "advisory opinion"? Based on the Holding
in the underlying "case or controversy", it would seem that the Massachusetts
legislature could still pass legislation based upon its interpretation
of the actual case decision, and deal with later consequences later, giving
time for a State Constitutional amendment to be considered by the appropriate
body - the legislature and the people - instead of the Judiciary once again
Is it no longer enough to be a veteran? Besides surviving,
has the bar been raised to the well-earned Silver Star of Senator Kerry?
Should I be ashamed of the fact that, in 1950 while in third year of college
and anticipating being called as an Army private that year for service
in Korea, I applied to medical school one year ahead of time, was accepted,
and seven years later entered the Army Medical Corps as a Captain, serving
two years of active duty in Germany and then six years of Reserves?
Where did I go wrong? And where did President George W. Bush go wrong
in the late 1960's, when practically every thinking American - except perhaps
Robert McNamara - had come to the realization that Vietnam was a travesty?
He, too, served. Advice to Senator Kerry: don't go there. There
are a lot of voters out in the country-side with similar stories.
Here comes another "fleecing of America". The worst-kept secret
of corporate America in recent years is the fact that they have been grossly
under-funding their employee pension plan obligations in order to
inflate their bottom lines and to feather their own nests. Are those
same employees going to have to bail the crooks out as well as losing their
retirement pensions, as occurred similarly in the late 1980's with the
"Savings and Loan" debacle? Given the Democrats' evident determination
to place an ultra-liberal in candidacy for President, this is George
W. Bush's election to lose...something he can do if he does not counter
the picture of being a pawn of corporate greed and arrogance. Beware,
Mr. President. Do the right things, for the right reasons,
and you will be re-elected handily. Otherwise...
SUNDAY through WEDNESDAY, February
1 through 4, 2004
American society continues to tolerate a race to the bottom of taste,
good manners, responsibility and ethics. It began, as did a lot
of bad stuff, in the 1960's, with George Carlin's successful public media
use of some nasty words, ultimately supported by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Most recently we were treated on national TV in family viewing time to
Diane Keaton paraphrasing "feces", and to several luminaries using the
slang word for "sexual intercourse". Then there was the peek at Janet
Jackson's right breast at the Super Bowl Half-time Show, which...if you
missed it there...you could have seen fifty more times on multiple network
re-plays. These are no accidents, but rather are a concerted effort
by ultra-liberals to remove all reasonable constraints on irresponsible
public behavior. Take note. You will have something to say about
all that in November.
A regular reader of these ruminations will recall that I expressed concern
during and after the Spring Iraq offensive that the administration
of President Bush was not emphasizing enough the several justifications
for that action, especially under the rubric "pre-emptive self-defense".
The administration allowed its opponents to articulate the issue exclusively
around WMD's. Bad move, for which they are now bleeding. A
recent article by a former Director of the CIA expands on this problem
("'Kay' Sera, Sera", by R. James Woolsey, WSJ Monday, February 2,
2004, Opinion, pA18). Unless public perception on that matter is
corrected, that could be the winning issue for the Democrats in
November. In addition, having gone into Iraq, we had better get it
right before we leave.
On the continuing saga of public school vouchers, an article in
the same edition of the WSJ shows how parent-power can carry the day. ("Yes,
Virginia, There Is A Voucher", by William McGurn, pA19).