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
MONDAY through THURSDAY, September
27 through 30, 2004
The debates are coming! So, what can we expect that
will be new and different, especially given the sanitized rules that will
apply? Not much that is new or different. In the first debate
tomorrow, Senator Kerry will say that this was the wrong war at the
wrong time. President Bush will say, although not so eloquently as
he said recently at the U.N., that this was an action that had to be taken,
given the then-existing intelligence, and even in hind-sight. (See
Speech A Study Of Conviction", by Cal Thomas, in The Day, Saturday,
Sept. 25, 2004, Commentary, pA7). Kerry will say that we have no
allies. Bush will prove that that is patently wrong. (See "Who
Said America Is Short On Allies?", by George Melloan, WSJ, Tuesday,
Sept. 28, 2004, Opinion, pA23). Kerry will say that Bush's actions
are inflaming the Muslim world. President Bush will say (I hope)
that the world - and right now primarily the USA is in a struggle against
terrorists and anarchists who have little to do with Islam but who are
merely using that great religion as a screen. And he will say (I
hope) that the struggle over the next years will be between democratic
countries and Islam on one side...and those terrorists on the other side.
That is already occurring in the two largest Muslim democracies in the
world: Indonesia and Bangladesh. (See "Islamists vs Democracy",
by Maneeza Hossain, WSJ Monday, Sept. 27, 2004, Opinion, pA18). Neither
candidate will mention Israel unless pulled into it. But then (I
hope) both candidates will clearly point to the cynical anti-semitism
of the UN, the rabid anti-semitism of the Palestinian (and Arab-supporting)
power base, the self-delusion of the Arab world regarding the permanency
of the State of Israel, and also some self-defeating actions of the current
leadership in Israel and their settler-supporters. (See "Anti-Semitism
and the United Nations meet at long last", by Jeff Jacoby, The Day,
Monday, June 28, 2004, Commentary, pA7). That's my prediction.
But make sure to tune in, anyway.
SUNDAY, September 26, 2004
Why am I not surprised? The Day (theday.com) in today's
edition has already endorsed John Kerry. After some conclusory statements,
all highly disputed, the editors basically admit to their position: "Anybody
but Bush", thus dismissing anything that he does between now and November
2 regarding the extremely fluid situation in Iraq. This, by a good
newspaper that has been both heading and heeling to port since their current
Editor and Publisher came aboard. And what is their first argument?
America's worldwide "relationships". With reference to de Tocqueville,
he would not be surprised by, and would have admired this America's goals
and actions following 9/11, policies and actions entirely consistent with
the spirit of the 1800's decades of danger and decision. Lincoln,
too, did the right thing when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation,
a very unpopular action at the time, in the midst of a Civil War that his
side seemed to be losing. "The U.S. and its allies should have waited
while United Nations inspectors continued to search for weapons."
Waited for what? More cynicism, hypocracy, fraud and irrelevance?
"John Kerry has only begun to define himself to the American people."
Right. What he needs is four more years to do so. Meanwhile,
Americans need to give President Bush and our troops in the field a clear
endorsement to the current policies and actions, in order to leave no doubt
in the minds of friend or foe. That's how we will materially improve
America's security at home and abroad. Not by ruminating in the "newspaper
of record", the N.Y.Times today, about "What If America Just Pulled
Out?" (by Roger Cohen, Section 4 - wk p1). And not by issuing
a premature and worried endorsement of "Anybody but Bush".
SATURDAY, September 25, 2004
Interesting. In the Friday, Sept. 17 "rapid response", I began the
comment on the U.N. with "Who Cares". In the Thursday, Sept.23
edition of the WSJ, Victor Davis Hanson offered an article entitled "The
U.N.? Who Cares..." (Opinion, A14). True to form for articles
published in that newspaper, the author marshalls his case like a medical
research paper. "Our skepticism has turned, at last, to indifference".
John Kerry is desperate, as well as confused. Now that he
can no longer mount a credible case about the economy after four hurricanes
have garbled the national numbers for the foreseeable future, he has left
his time-warp in Viet Nam and is concentrating on Iraq. But the war
was justified and necessary, not "grotesque". The handling of the
post-war can justly be criticized, as I have been doing for fifteen months.
But you don't also criticize and diminish the work of the Iraq leader who
is offering his life daily to help his people and us in the most difficult
circumstances. That is beyond stupid. Senator Kerry, more and
more you remind me of Neville Chamberlain.
All right, time to lighten up, again. We are reading reports that
this summer there has been noted a substantial increase in road-kill.
The explanation has been offered that this year there is a smaller supply
of nuts available. Can it also be that most of the nuts are on the
FRIDAY, September 24, 2004
Nuclear energy, Si; nuclear weapons, No, at least for any countries
that do not yet have them. This sounds arrogant and unfair.
But the current situation is bad enough, the product of the Cold War.
Any further proliferation invites world-wide disaster, especially in view
of the irresponsible actions already taken by wanna-be countries like North
Korea and Iran in their relationships with terrorist groups. And
we can forget about the U.N. and its perennial pronouncements on the subjects,
however well-intentioned. I believe it was Josef Stalin who asked:
"How many divisions does the Pope have?" The U.S. and other willing
nations must offer to empower non-nuclear nations with the ability to have
nuclear energy, as a means also to reduce our dependence on Middle East
oil. But as far as nuclear weapons, and the steps leading to that
goal, are concerned, we should make it very clear: "You build it, we
break it!" To that end, the recent American approval of a sale
of 600 "bunker-buster" bombs to Israel is a good start. Does anyone
have any better idea on the subject? The period we are currently
in reminds me of the inaction of the world during the 1930's regarding
the illegal and war-like activities of Germany and Japan. This time,
if there is a World War III, there will not be a World War IV.
THURSDAY, September 23, 2004
On Iraq, again. Interim Prime Minister Allawi spoke
before Congress today. He was optomistic and realistic. Above
all, he reaffirmed his long-standing message to his Iraqi people that this
is their time, their war, their opportunity. Only they ultimately
can win the peace and a new future. God bless him.
If you just remember to take your anti-nausea pills before tuning in, National
Public Radio is still worth listening to, despite its head-spinning
left-ward spin. Today they interviewed Generals Jay Garner and Jack
Keane, both well-acquainted with Iraq. The generals were cautiously
optomistic, citing a great number of good things occurring in 3/4 of that
country, although never reported in the press.
Projections regarding Social Security and Medicare, out to the year
2040. The assessments are bleak...but the assessors are unimaginative.
Doesn't anyone think that seniors will continue to opt to stay in the work
force in coming decades, as they are doing today in increasing numbers,
while continuing to pay social security taxes? I never hear that
being taken into account by all the Cassandras. And so far as Medicare
is concerned...and all of health care costs, for that matter...what about
RATIONING/PRIORITIZATION of medical treatments and procedures on purely
medical grounds and regardless of ability to pay? And what
about actually implementing SELF-DETERMINATION through universal advanced
directives, a desire and intent of the vast majority of Americans, anyway?
Where are all the Big Thinkers?
Now, how about a little levity, even if it is from the left.
I hear that Jon Stewart has just come out with a new book, entitled "America".
Those who complete the book are given a Charter with which to start their
own country. How about that!
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, September
20 through 22, 2004
For anyone who needs a concise summary of the world-view, strategy and
tactics adopted by the Bush administration after 9/11 to deal with
world-wide terrorism, read President Bush's address to the U.N. General
Assembly on Tuesday. Or read an analysis of that presentation
by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post ("Bush Speech Distills His Views,
Shows Differences With Many In U.N.", in The Day, today, pA9).
Then compare that with the tripe coming from John Kerry on the subject.
To put the difference as plainly as possible: global commerce, Si; global
governance of the U.S.A., No.
Nevertheless, neither the Bush candidacy nor the electorate can long endure
the daily load of bad news, car bombings, indiscriminate loss of life,
and beheadings without our significantly evening the score while belatedly
establishing the security in Iraq which was and is our responsibility,
especially in preparation for coming Iraq elections in January, 2005.
This cannot wait until after the election. In fact, such continued
delay will likely lose the election for Mr. Bush, a loss that under such
circumstances would have been earned. So, we cannot allow the interim
Iraq government to dictate the terms of our failure there through veto
power of our military activities. And we need more troops to do the
job. 50,000 troops from Germany, South Korea, and the Balkans would
be a great help. Is anybody listening?
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, September 18
and 19, 2004
Regarding Iraq and American politics. Of course, we made mistakes
after the war. I have been commenting on that in this section for
15 months. And if allowed by the electorate in November, this administration
is prepared to address those mistakes by belatedly establishing security
in that country in preparation for the January, 2005 Iraq elections.
But meanwhile, the interim Iraq government is telling our forces not to
deal with some of the worst problems, as it tries to establish itself and
as all involved try to get an Iraqi military force up and running.
Now come some Republican Senators, as well as all Democrats, covering their
own rears with gratuitous advice for President Bush, who alone has his
re-election on the line based on events in Iraq. It all sounds normal
to me, under these circumstances.
Hold on to your hats. Foggy Bottom and related foggy thinkers
are at it again, wringing their hands over recent events in Russia.
Yes, we want a democratic Russia. But more immediately and importantly,
we should want a stable Russia. Especially in a nation which
is really more Oriental than Western in its personality, societal stability
and security always trump individual rights - and that's the way the vast
majority of the populace want it. So never mind, until world terrorism
is put back in its cage, the great ethnic and religious diversity of Russia.
President Putin has a responsibility to maintain security and defend Russia's
present borders as he attacks terrorists and their supporters pre-emptively.
Sound like another great and diverse nation currently under attack?
And let's be clear about terrorists: they are not "insurgents";
they are not "rebels" or "freedom fighters"; they are not "combatants"
under the Geneva Rules of War; they are not even "criminals". Their actions
warrant swift and summary justice within their own unique category.
Other relevant news about Islam and western culture. A gigantic
clash is not inevitable or necessary, if Muslims realize that they are
being used by world terrorism. In Indonesia, with the largest Muslim
population in the world, democratic elections are being held today.
So, what America is doing in Afganistan and in Iraq is just what it should
be doing, as the de-facto leader of the world. What is missing is
the active support of other countries that would rather practice cynical
self-interest than leadership. They will not be forgotten.
Finally, I have been trying to stay out of the Dan Rather/CBS debacle,
in spite of having read Bernard Goldberg's book entitled "Bias: A CBS
Insider Exposes How the Media Distort The News" (Regnery Publishing,
2002). But any journalist who says something along the lines of the
following deserves ridicule and retirement: "Even though I haven't
presented valid evidence, you should believe the serious charges I level
at the President of the U.S...because I say so".
FRIDAY, September 17, 2004
"Who cares?" That's a frequent reflex response that slows
me down when I occasionally hear some of the "answers" on "Jeopardy".
It has also become a reflex response whenever I read anything about the
("U.N.'s Annan Calls War In Iraq 'Illegal'", by Patrick E. Tyler,
in The Day today, World, pA2). This is not only not news, but undermines
the efforts of the new Iraq government. It is also likely another
clumsy foreign attempt to influence the American elections.
An important and fascinating insight into the connection between terrorism
and Islam (hint: the latter is being duped by the former) appeared
in yesterday's WSJ on page A1: "How Russia's Chechen Quagmire Became
Front For Radical Islam". This report should be read in
toto. It could be that we can avoid another Crusade, and that - if
the Muslems come to their senses - we will all be on the same side eliminating
the great threat of world-wide terrorism.
Point - Counter-point. Compare John Kerry's most recent exposition
of "My Economic Policy" with the piece entitled "Muddled
and Maddening" by Jagdish Bhagwati (WSJ, Monday and Wednesday of this
More on the "defective, unreasonably dangerous" product on the market:
computer software, especially Microsoft, about which I have commented several
times in this section. See the column by Walter S. Mossberg in the
WSJ, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004. Marketplace, pB1. Until some group
files a Class action suit in Product Liability against these software manufacturers,
single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck
Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh".
TUESDAY throutgh THURSDAY, September
14 through 16, 2004
Will this election compaign never end? It's not as much the
bilious gases coming out of both compaigns as it is the paralysis of
public policy and decision-making that goes with such a period in our
national life. How else to explain the fits and starts of American
action going on in Iraq, allowing the crazies to get stronger and stronger.
Since the Spring of 2003, I have been criticizing our conduct of the post-war
in this section, thanks to Donald Rumsfeld's insistence on doing the job
"on the cheap". But it has been the presidential compaign that has
prevented us from correcting the problem. Understandable...but certainly
not laudable. President Bush needs to level with the voters now
regarding our exit strategy. We are not in Iraq, post-Hussein,
to impose democracy or to guarantee democracy, but rather to offer it as
a choice to be made and won by the Iraqi people. So far, these people,
with AK-47's under every mattress, have not yet chosen nor fought to win
democracy. Thus, they may not deserve it. Our strategy should
be to establish security throughout the country now by whatever force is
necessary...as we should have done in the spring and summer of 2003, including
by imposing martial law...through the Iraq elections next January.
Then we should announce our departure within one year. At the same
time, we should substantially expand our military troop capability to be
prepared for other problems...like Iran and North Korea We have had
enough of our troops being there as target practice. Enough
with the rose-colored platitudes!
Please note that the above has no mention of John Kerry. Your
can't beat something with nothing. And, in this area of national
self-defense, he has nothing.
"Abortion Opt-Out Gaining Momentum", (by David Crary, AP.
in The Day today, Nation, pA4). A number of states have long given
legal protection to all health professionals whose morals and beliefs preclude
their participation in this stain on America's fabric. Finally, the
Federal Government is in the process (hopefully) of adopting such protections.
We are living a difficult compromise in this country regarding abortion;
but this is a "no-brainer".
Meanwhile, our fearless leaders spend their time cynically passing bogus
legislation. Examples: 1) the McCain-Feingold Election Reform
Act, passed with much fanfair, and now determined by a Federal judge
reviewing the Federal Election Commission to possess no teeth; 2) the automatic
weapons ban of last decade, and its sunset this week, a law which was
originally shot full of holes before it was allowed to pass in the first
place. Is this the best we Americans can do with our highly-vaunted
democracy? If so, our prognosis as a nation is guarded.
SUNDAY and MONDAY, September 12
and 13, 2004
For a country that prides itself on its democratic electoral process,
there seem to be too many ill-conceived ideas sprouting this time
around: eliminating the Electoral College; changing the "winner take all"
rule for State Electoral College votes (see the pending initiative before
the voters in Colorado); using poorly tested electronic voting methods
without paper backup; first passing, and then undermining the McCain-Feingold
election financing reform Act; absentee or pre-voting for convenience;
sloppy identification procedures that allow some people to vote in more
than one jurisdiction. All this on top of governmental action
distorted, if not entirely paralyzed, during the never-ending election
year (or two years...). Maybe we do need Jimmy Carter and an international
commission to monitor our election. And maybe we're losing our
SATURDAY, September 11, 2004
September 11, 2001. A day of great sadness and great rage.
The sadness will always be there, just as in the tragedy of a parent losing
a child. The rage has changed to determination that - if not "never
again" - such attacks will always have severe consequences for all involved.
Meanwhile, the Bush doctrine of pre-emption will remain alive and
well. For we have only to read the book recently published entitled
The Vulnerable", by Stephen Flynn (Harper-Collins, 2004), and to
hear his talk on the subject last evening at the Coast Guard Academy, to
know that this is one shaft of a trident against the world-wide
terrorism of this new century. A second shaft must be America's
demand that our multiple governmental agencies charged with home-land security
coordinate their efforts into an effective whole, something that does not
now exist In this regard, President Bush has taken two important
steps of designating an over-all chief of intelligence...and approving
one who has budgetary powers over all the disparate elements. The
shaft is, as Commander Flynn so aptly argues for, an entirely feasible
hardening of our homeland targets: air, land, sea and domestic (water,
energy sources, communication...). That will also require this
country to be able at all times to have knowledge of the one common denominator
in the terrorist equasion: the human beings within its borders, those entering
and those leaving. Such a capability need not seriously limit
our liberties and privacy. What will clearly abrogate those liberties
is an over-reaction by the people and the government to another tragedy,
if such safe-guards are not in place. ACLU, take note.
Remember the Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor, some German-Americans
and Italian-Americans soon afterwards, the McCarthy era excesses in the
late 1940's and early 1950's? Such reactions are much more likely
to happen again after our home land has been directly hit. So, a
vital part of the third shaft of this trident must be cooperation by all
Americans in all of this...and more. This is our life, for decades
to come. Remember the typing class practice sentence:
NOW IS THE
TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY.
But then comes, on this day, the Editorial in The Day (theday.com, Opinion,
pA6) entitled "Keep Some Things Sacred": "An occasion which should inspire
solemn remembrance is instead being used as a political pawn to justify
debatable policies....Good leadership is never based on fear".
Right. But there is nothing more important to debate today than America's
most effective response to the great dangers that face us...right here
at home. And good leadership is based, not on fear, but on reality
- something in very short supply on the Democratic side of the debate.
My prediction for this election is that a strong majority of Americans
will vote twice: once for George W. Bush; and once against John
Kerry. Sounds good to me!
FRIDAY, September 10, 2004
What's going on in the Bush Campaign staff? Is there someone
there who is "kinder, gentler"...and stupider? About ten days
ago, President Bush was advised to "clarify"a perfectly honest and accurate
reply that he had made to one of those "gotcha" questions by Matt Lauer
regarding "winning" the war on terrorism. (See a recent offering
in this section). Now, Dick Cheney is prompted to "clarify" a perfectly
logical statement regarding another terrorist attack in America and the
results of this Presidential election. And that required Dr. Rice
to "clarify" the clarification today on the Today Show; ie. John Kerry's
stated approach to terrorist attacks, after the fact, will very likely
result in more attacks than the pre-emptive self-defense strategy of President
Bush. It's not a question of "if" but when, how many, and how large.
So, whoever you are on the staff, you are not playing lawn tennis. Wise
Talk about pre-emption. President Putin seems to be awaking
to the fact that he, too, has a dog in this fight against world-wide terrorism.
The geography of Russia should make him a valuable ally...if our State
Department doesn't re-ignite the Cold War with its mis-placed efforts to
democratize a Russian territory; ie, Chechnya. Will the right
hand please tell the left hand what's going on in American foreign policy?
The FDA. We have known for a long time that the farm
industry runs the Department of Agriculture, the airline industry has great
influence in the FAA, some Indians run the BIA (to the detriment of their
fellow Indians)...but the FDA? More and more of their positions (or
refusal to take a position) suggest that they are carrying water for the
Pharmaceutical Industry, to the detriment of us all. Of course, all
this is made possible by the venality and sometime criminality of our fearless
leaders in Congress. But this connection would go too far.
The FDA is the first and last line of defense in our health care system.
We Americans must not tolerate corruption there. Contact your "leader"
on this subject.
WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, September
8 and 9, 2004
KERRY FOR PRESIDENT...OF FRANCE
On the 7AM segment of the Today Show yesterday, Colin Powell and Madeline
Albright were interviewed as the current and immediate past Secretaries
of State. Both had something to say and had their own points of view.
But Madam Albright was placed in front of a wall of Kerry posters.
Tacky. And when she wasn't referring to apparently secret plans that
John Kerry has for solving all our national problems, she was using her
own word, "internationalize", that always gives me a queezy feeling.
Once again I say:
Former President Carter on Zell Miller...Who cares?!
More on the continuing saga of public education. I have
long said and written that the Education Profession is the only body of
people working with human beings that is allowed to do raw research on
human subjects...with terrible consequences during the last thirty years.
Now comes statistical research proof of that observation (Teaching
Isn't Guided By Research, by Paul Clopton and Bill Evers, The Day,
Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2004, Commentary, pA7). "For example, a 1998
report to the California State Board of Education examined 8,727 published
studies of mathematics education and found that only 110 met minimal validity
criteria." How is all this allowed to go on? Choice,
Great news about Viagra. Now there may be another use for
this vasodilator besides reviving organs that have been tolerized by the
constant barrage from our sex-obsessed "culture". A new medical report
finds that Viagra may prevent or offset the symptoms and serious bodily
effects of altitude sickness. But wait. There's a problem.
Now, mountain climbers may be able to "get it up", but may never get up
TUESDAY, September 7, 2004
The following is not, and is not intended to be, medical advice.
But, in view of the great and appropriate interest in former President
Clinton' s current problem, the following are my personal procedures
A blood pressure nearly always below 135/85. Medications if necessary,
No smoking, not even one at any time.
Weight within 10% of optimal.
Mild alcohol intake. Substitutes are Welch's Grape Juice and/or
dark chocolate, daily.
Cholesterol / LDL levels below 200/100. HDL, the higher the better
(mainly hereditary). Medications if necessary, long-term (ie. the
Mediterranean Diet and Life-style. More on that coming soon.
Daily physical exercise, at least including brisk walking.
Aspirin, 325 mg. daily.
Folic Acid, 1 mg daily.
Vitamin C, 500 mg. daily.
Vitamin E, 200 units daily.
Optimism / Spirituality.
And Remember: THE FIRST RULE OF SERVICE IS SURVIVAL.
MONDAY, September 6, 2004
One last word on the recent Republican National Convention.
Columnist John Foley seems to have enjoyed it as much as I did (see his
vignettes in The Day today, Region, pB1). I even had my son, David,
there as an alternate delegate from Colorado. And we all enjoyed
Zell Miller's old time religion.
Labor Day. A day's honest work has always been valued,
almost sanctified, from at least the times of the Bible. Here are
some random, personal thoughts on the subject, well known to our children.
1) "I fight poverty - I work!" 2) When you grow up, do what you
really want to do. If that also pays the bills, wonderful. If it
doesn't...do what you really want to do - and drive a bus to pay the bills.
3) There are three kinds of money: old money, new money...and enough
money. 4) For many years, a worker in no trade, craft or profession
has been able to rely merely on his early training and education (including
post-graduate and doctoral degrees) to guarantee his or her relevance and
employability in subsequent decades. We must all keep adding to our
market basket constantly with constant continuing education and re-training.
No one simply "deserves" a particular job, no matter how many of his family
members held the same job. The mantra of the marketplace is: "What
have you done for me lately?" 5) To the extent that unions create
collective bargaining strength, they are good. To the extent that
they protect seniority...and mediocrity...at the expense of meritocracy,
they are bad. 6)The trade union movement would be well advised to avoid
being taken for granted, as they and blacks are now taken for granted by
the Democratic Party. 7)Something must be done, and Now, to
provide all Americans with adequate and portable health insurance.
8)"Where Have All The Jobs Gone?" (The Day Editorial, today, Opinion,
pA6). This is a good articulation of the problem. The solution
lies in massive re-training and recruitment for an investment in America's
infrastructure and future not seen since the initiatives of Great Depression.
Things like: re-designing our cities for their current needs and uses;
resurrecting the domestic nuclear power industry as a vital alternative
to our dependence on the crazies of the Middle East; designing a massive
public works project to transfer excess water from the East and South to
the shriveling West; etc. 9) Where do we get the money for all this?
Make sure that every individual and every corporation pays his fair share
in taxes, something not at all true now; consolidate our resources in the
U.S., not all over the world, as is now the case with our Military; put
Federal Government on a fiscal diet, to the benefit of State and personal
initiative; and Grow the Economy, world-wide, with firm and fair rules
developed and enforced by our government and not by individual corporations
for their own advantage. All of this can and must be done, if America
is to avoid entering into a prolonged and fatal decline not seen in a world
power since the fall of Rome. All of that is what this Labor Day
should be about.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, September 4
and 5, 2004
It's not difficult to sympathize with President Putin of Russia
these days. The most recent example of "Islamic" terrorism there
evokes the same feelings as occurred on 9/11 here in America: sadness and
rage. Just picture a situation wherein either or both Mexico
and Canada were hostile nations harboring and supporting terrorists plying
their terrible violence in our border states with the aim of seizing those
states. That's what President Putin is faced with. What do
you think we would do? Of course, the liberals would gladly give
up Texas for a little peace. But seriously, after trying to dissuade
any foreign supporters by threat of direct action, we would invade and
pursue a scorched earth policy reminiscent of Sherman's march to the sea.
That might or might not produce peace. But it would produce control.
That, in addition to developing his own "homeland security" department,
is likely what Putin will now do. Is this a "war of civilizations"?
No. Is it a war of conquest? No. But it surely is a war,
and a war that will likely last a generation. What's
the alternative in the short term? As Karl von Clausewitz said in
the 19th century: "war is merely politics by other means".
Sad but true. In the long term, whether now in Iraq or later throughout
despotic lands of whatever "religion", the people will have to throw off
their own yoke with politics of whatever means.
FRIDAY, September 3, 2004
President Bush's acceptance speech: good substance, form and
delivery. He proposed several needed initiatives, including re-training
of segments of our work force whose jobs have been eliminated through globalization.
And what did John Kerry have to say "at midnight"? "I'm
not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those
who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled
the nation into Iraq." Oh, yes you are, if that's all the desperate
and untrue retort that you can come up with.
THURSDAY, September 2, 2004
Wow. We were expecting "red meat", but someone must have told
Miller to "SUPER-SIZE ME!" Even when read rather than heard (which
was great), his speech was full of facts and obvious conclusions based
on the facts of John Kerry's 20 year record as a U.S. Senator. It
wasn't "hate"; it wasn't "attack"; it wasn't "hell"; and it wasn't "personal".
The truth just sounded like that to the ultra-liberals. And Dick
Cheney wasn't so bad , either.
When Matt Lauer asked the President recently, "Can we win it?" (the
war on terror?), Mr. Bush was direct and honest: "I don't think
you can win IT. (his emphasis). But I think you can create
conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in
parts of the world." By contrast, John Kerry answered the same question
later that day with one word: "Absolutely"! What hutzpa
from a man whose only revealed plan to date to deal with such problems
has been to "consult with allies" and to depend on "sanctions". Sound
familiar? So, the President did err later when he stepped back from
his statement: "We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we
did not start, but one that we will win". Senator McCain also commented
that "it didn't need cleaning up...." Wake up, folks.
In a world where "respected" and highly influential Muslim clerics (like
Qaradawi in Egypt today) keep declaring fatwas against both civilians
and soldiers aligned with America, look for honesty and committment...and
not expediency and vacillation...in our national leaders.
Saved by the Editorial. I was dreading having to comment...yet
again...on the disaster that is called Public Education, particularly
in New London, CT. I am not mean-spirited, but my comments on
the subject over several years might be construed as such (see the relevant
on this web-site). So, after being faced with the execrable results
for New London High School student testing, I was relieved to read today's
editorial in The Day (New London's Disgrace, Opinion, pA8)...although
it does not go far enough. Every grade level with such results should
be left back to repeat that year...both students and teachers. Serious
consideration should be given to closing the High School and to transferring
New London students to real schools. And the State of Connecticut
should be sued for its mis-handling of the Open Choice program, whether
representing mis-feasance or mal-feasance. We've come a long and
disgraceful way since I ran for and served on the Board of Education in
the 1960's under the banner:
"Excellence In Our Education Industry".Choice,
WEDNESDAY, September 1, 2004
Some observations, so far, on the National Republican Convention:
For those of use who sometimes complain about the RINO's, there is so much
more to complain of in the Democratic world-view that a "Big Tent"
for the Republicans does just fine.
As an original New Yorker ( the Bronx), I get all warm and fuzzy when I
hear a person like former Mayor Rudy Giuliani "tell it like it is".
What a difference a State makes (i.e., versus Massachusetts).
A memorable comment, by actor Ron Silver, regarding 9/11: "We
will never forget. We will never forgive. We will never excuse".
Another memorable comment, by the wife of a passenger who died thwarting
the plane over Pennsylvania: "His last words to me were 'we're gonna do
something'. So let us all "do something".
Most of the liberal commentators (which means most commentators)
are going to need professional physical therapy to get out of the pretzel
- positions they have gotten themselves into trying to contort the
convention stories to their ends.