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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for April, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombing.

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Of course, the biggest news in April has been the assault on the Boston marathon on April 15. Two bombs exploded, almost simultaneously, and killed four people, including an eight-year-old boy, and wounded seriously somewhere between 170 to 200 people, many of them with the loss of their extremities. The chaos and devastation was horrendous, although the action of first responders (state and local police, medical staff, firefighters, and bystanders) was remarkable, heroic, and clearly saved many lives. This was followed up by outstanding action by the police and the FBI that identified the perpetrators: 26 year old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, both born in Chechnya. The older brother had lived here for at least five years as a permanent resident and the younger one, also for five years, had become a US citizen one year ago. Both are Muslims. The older brother was much more observant. In January, 2012 he went back to Russia and then on to Dagestan where his father lives. He remained in Russia for six months and then returned to the United States in July 2012. Whether he or his younger brother had any direct contact with al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, is presently unknown. However, the Russian foreign service had warned the United States twice that Tamerlan was a security risk. The FBI had interrogated him once and cleared him.
The older brother was killed on April 18th and the younger brother, Dzhokhar was captured after a gun battle on April 19th. He is seriously wounded but not critically, and it is hoped that he will ultimately provide information about their motives in the bombing, and the possibility that others were involved with them both in the United States and in Chechnya. One thing we do know: the war on terror goes on and on.

Oh, and what about our immigration policy? Should we be more careful who we let in to the United States? And how does this catastrophe in Boston affect the “new” immigration bill in Congress?

North Korea Flexes It’s Military Muscle

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

For the past two months, the unpredictable new dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un,  began threatening to turn Seoul, South Korea, into a “sea of fire.” Also, to threaten to fire missiles into Japan, Guam, Hawaii, and the United States mainland. This caused our administration that seems to favor appeasement to “beef-up” our antimissile defenses reversing some of the reductions slated to be instituted. In addition, the United States sent bombers into the Asian theater, delivering a direct message to South Korea and Japan that we will defend them vigorously. Nevertheless, Obama, who seems to favor withdrawal from the world scene in order to “fix” the structure of the United States in his image, might be seen as an unreliable protector by our allies. Recently, the rants out of North Korea have diminished. Let’s see what Obama will give away in order to keep Kim Jong-un quiet.

A New Import–Export Arms Treaty.

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

The U.S. Administration (and many other governments around the world) have been fiddling in the United Nations with a crazy arms treaty ––– an attempt to regulate the import and export of arms around the world. Fortunately, on March 29, 2013 a two-week negotiating conference failed to reach any agreement, possibly scuttling the treaty. One can only hope so. The treaty is going to the United Nations General Assembly for a vote. Our “enlightened” ambassador will likely vote FOR the treaty––– despite the opposition of Congress. Well, what’s wrong with the treaty?

1. The treaty will guarantee the rights of importers, many of whom are dictators, to buy arms while reducing the possibility of armed rebellion by their own oppressed people. And it’s the importers, not the exporters, that arm terrorists and world-wide criminals.
2. The treaty is based on the premise that only governments have an inherent right to own guns. And, of course, that is directly opposite to the Second Amendment of our Constitution and a major source of conflict between the Obama Administration and conservatives, both Republicans and Democrats.

Thus, if the U.N. approves this treaty, we need to prepare ourselves for a long political battle in which, we can only hope, that the Senate refuses to pass this treaty that runs directly counter to American law.

Immigration

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

There is a rousing debate on immigration in Congress, with the so-called “Gang of Eight” (four Republicans and four Democrats) who have cobbled together another failed program. And as a topper to the bill that creates this program, the bill has about 875 pages and no one has read it all!! And no one knows its relationship to the thousands of rules and regulations relating to previous immigration bills! So, let’s push aside all the political claptrap. There MUST be border security before citizenship is given to the millions of aliens in the country. Otherwise, if amnesty is given to illegal aliens already here, and the borders are NOT secured, millions more will come! Isn’t this crystal-clear? What more do the Democrats and some addled Republicans need to help explain this to them? If one observes the congressional and administration response to this, and the idiocy on spending us in to bankruptcy, and so much more, one might be convinced that they are ALL deaf, dumb, and blind!

The Deficit, Taxes, and Budgets

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

As I alluded to already, federal spending must be curtailed. Okay. Where are federal dollars spent? According to the White House office of Management and Budget, the following figures illustrate where the funds go:
–––23% –– Medicare, Medicaid, and other healthcare.
–––22% –– Social Security
(45%! And no one, except Rep. Paul Ryan has addressed how the “entitlements” can be reformed –– but that’s another post at another time).
–––19% –– national defense
–––19% –– federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment compensation, food and housing assistance, veterans benefits and other federal income security programs.
––– 6% –– net interest
––– 3% –– transportation
––– 1% –– K-12 education
––– 7% –– all other spending
And, although tax increases and tax revenues are at an all time high, deficits continue and and increase as the debt limit is coming up in June or July! Why can’t we keep spending at 2012 levels for five years? Think of the reduction in the national debt that could occur without the real need to abolish any critical programs –– just budget more carefully and discontinue all the multiple duplications in programs.

At last, on April 9, presented 60 days late, in came the president’s budget for fiscal 2012. It’s a disaster. It increases taxes by 1.1 trillion dollars; it underfunds defense; it doubles down on ObamaCare; it doesn’t balance; and does not have any relevance to our present financial dilemma ––– an enormous debt threatening to throw us, as a nation, into bankruptcy!


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