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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for March, 2012

Saving the American Dream

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Heritage Foundation vice president David Addington has identified six conservative policies that can save the American Dream. He urges Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to include them in his forthcoming 2013 budget proposal.
1.    Tighten the Budget. Congress should make thoughtful spending cuts, reducing the amount spent each year.
2.    Balance the Budget. The budget should balance in the next 10 years, ensuring our government is not spending beyond its means.
3.    Reform Entitlements. Congress should repeal Obamacare, reform spending on programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and impose caps on welfare spending.
4.    Don’t Tax Hikes. Avoiding tax hikes is critical to allowing economic growth and stemming the tide of big government.
5.    Enact Job-Creating, Pro-Growth Tax Reform. “Congress should revise the tax code to establish strong economic incentives for job-creating saving and investment by abolishing a wide range of taxes and reducing the income tax structure to a single rate, or at most two.”
6.    Protect a Strong National Defense. Weakening national defense in order to balance the budget is unacceptable. Our government must be poised to defend its citizens, and irresponsible government spending should not cause Americans’ lives to be put at risk.

––––”6 Steps To Save The American Dream.” THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION MEMBER BRIEFING. March 16, 2012

War in the Middle East

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

War is brewing in the Middle East and it looks as if it’s a no-win situation no matter whatever is done.
If Israel makes a preemptive strike against Iran to delay the development of a bomb, the price of oil will hit the economic roof;  missiles (50,000 or more) will rain down on Israel (from Hamas and Hezbollah); and any support from the United States will be questionable.
If Israel does not strike, and Iran gets the bomb, Israel will be wiped off the face of the Earth. But as they are going down, the Israelis will fire off their nukes and wipe Iran off the face of the earth as well. Maybe the 12th Imam will make everything nice in the uninhabitable, radioactive zone formerly known as the Middle East.
Of course, Iran might get the bomb, Israel might not attack, and Iran might make no attempt to destroy Israel. But Iran will certainly proceed to hold the West hostage as regards the oil supply, sending the price of oil off the economic roof, catapolting the world economy into chaos. And no one will be able to do a damn thing about it.
Welcome to the 21st century.

The Republicans

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

While the Democrats systematically change the United States into a European social democracy (or worse), The Republican candidates for President dither.  What a mess! What a gaggle of lightweights. What are they talking about? Contraception instead of Obama’s attack on religion. What are they talking about? Why, how each of their opponents is unfit to be president! What are they talking about? Certainly not how they would provide a government that could help turn the economy around. Unless they come to their senses quickly, Obama will be a shoo-in for a second term, and with it, a catastrophe for this country.

Obama’s Political Chicanery

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

I’ve been watching the president put a full court press on the Republicans, sometimes bending the truth and sometimes, it seems, lying.
To hear him, the economy is coming back and is on a great trajectory to recovery. In February, the economy added 227,000 new jobs, and the December and January it jobs numbers were revised upward to 61,000 hires. 31,000 jobs were gained in manufacture, 82,000 in business services, 44,000 in leisure and hospitality, and 61,000 in healthcare. But 13,000 jobs were lost in construction, indicating the poor state of the housing market. The share of employable adults rose to 63.9%, although it still is at a 20 year low. 428,000 more Americans are working. But unemployment stayed at a historic high of 8.3%. Long-term unemployment ––– those without jobs for more than six months was over 5 million, 42.7% of all jobless workers; and the total unemployed nationwide is about 12.5 million. Finally, the unemployment rate for Hispanics is 10.7% and 14.1% for blacks (almost twice the rate for whites). Not really a great picture. He should drop the soundbites and give the true picture to the public.

After making a mess of the contraception issue and his dustup with the Catholic Church, Obama  turned his mistake around on to the Republicans. The latter, insisted that the HHS mandate for contraceptive coverage by Catholic schools/hospitals, etc. was clearly unconstitutional (First Amendment). Now Obama insists the Republicans are waging war against women, and has sent out 1 million letters to women indicating this, and that he will fight for them!

Oh, yes. Today it was announced that by 2022, Obamacare will cost the country between $1.65 trillon and $2.75 trillion. That’s not the billions of dollars of  SAVINGS that Obama originally promised.

And his foreign policy is a mess as well. Iraq is now chaotic with civil war on the horizon.  Iran’s mullahs are licking their chops planning to make Iraq a vassal state ––– all because Obama preemptively withdrew all American forces, leaving the nascent Iraqi government to deal with the rising sectarian violence.
He did the same in Afghanistan –––– announcing that the United States would withdraw all forces in 2014! Now the Taliban and are making a real comeback ––– only needing to wait and in 2014 take over.
And Obama seems to be reluctant to stand up to Iran’s headlong flight into the development of atomic weapons. When the Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu, came to Washington, Obama said “You can trust us, we will watch your back.” And the next day, at a news conference, he seemed to back away from this. So Israel is presumably on its own, and might need to act preemptively by attacking before Iran’s nuclear capabilities are achieved

Two Examples of Fine Entertainment

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Over the past several weeks, I’ve seen and heard two memorable events in the theater.
Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester performed the high style and musical glory of the 1920’s and 30’s at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. This is the third time I’ve seen and heard this group. Raabe  and his 12 member band of superb musicians have been together for about 10 years. Raabe is a singer of great range who captures the cabaret music of Europe and the United States during the 20’s and 30’s with such songs as: “I Kiss Your Hand Madame,”  “My Little Green Kaktus,”  “Cheek to Cheek,”  “Night and Day,”  “I Got Rhythm,” and the unforgettable, “My Gorilla Has a Villa in a Zoo,”  and many more.
Raabe provides wry commentary before each song. He and the band have performed in many cities in the United States and  across the globe including Shanghai, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Vienna, Amsterdam, Rome, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo. When they return to Philadelphia, or wherever, don’t miss seeing them.

A totally different experience was Clybourne Park. It is a play about race, guilt, grief and loss. It is powerful. I saw it played at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia. It takes the 1959 play, “Raisin in the Sun,” and turns the story around telling it from the opposite angle, the angle of the people (the villains) who tried to keep blacks out of certain housing in the 1959 play. The acting is quite good. The play should not be missed. It is going to New York City next.

William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved