Published Articles

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Inheritance and estate taxes (collectively referred to as the “death tax”) are the taxes one must pay to the government to be able to inherit property or money following the death of loved ones. With inheritance taxes, the beneficiary pays the tax before taking possession of the money or property. With the estate tax, the tax is levied on the decedent’s assets before the beneficiaries may receive their inheritance. Either way, the State (the government) takes its share: The bigger the legacy, the larger the government’s slice of the pie! Despite the alleged fairness, these inordinate taxes are government money-grabbing wealth redistribution schemes fueled by the politics of envy and promoted by progressive politicians usually of the Democratic persuasion. Inordinate estate tax rates are a measure of the level of socialism afflicting a given society. This is so because demagogic politicians pander to the dark side of human nature, eliciting envy to pander to the resentful, eyeing the money they can grab, seeing the votes they can buy, muscling the power they can exert over the masses, and enjoying the perks they can obtain for themselves. It is sold supposedly to the people as a...

Keyword(s): economics, taxation, taxes

Sunday, November 8, 2015

If Gerald Posner’s book, Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (1993), convinced me that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and acted alone, Reclaiming History — The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (2007) removed any possible lingering doubts that I may have had, even subconsciously. Take for instance, the troubling Silvia Odio incident that was not satisfactorily explained in Posner’s book, Bugliosi (photo, left) analyzes it carefully, as he did with all contentious “anomalies” in the JFK assassination, and formulates a more plausible alternative scenario than those propounded by conspiracy theorists.

Presumably three men, two Cuban-Americans and Lee Harvey Oswald (or someone who looked like Oswald), visited the Cuban exiled sisters, Sylvia and Annie Odio, at their home in Dallas on or about September 25, 1963, shortly before Oswald traveled to Mexico. Unlike Posner, Bugliosi believed Odio to be a credible witness and assumes the visit took place as she described. The Odio sisters' father was an anti-communist rebel incarcerated in a Cuban prison since 1962 for anti-Castro activities. According to Sylvia Odio, Oswald...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Source: The Telegraph

I am reproducing this table on cancer survival rates throughout the world in its original form, rather than formatting it to fit the page better. My purpose is to show clearly which nation is at the top in this crucial field. Other aspects of health are affected by many factors, only some of which are within the grasp of health care. But our chances of surviving cancer are very closely related to the care we receive.

Look at the table. Now tell me why, if the American health-care system is “broken,” we have the best cancer-survival statistics for most forms of men’s and women’s cancer. And then tell me why so many “progressives” urge us to emulate the health-care systems of European nations with lower cancer-survival figures. Does this make sense? Is this about improving our health or controlling our people?

But perhaps you prefer a graph.

If the American health-care system is “broken,” what would you call these systems? What is worse than “broken”? Dilapidated? Decrepit? Rattletrap? Moribund? Yet the American Left has nothing but praise for these systems.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

"A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!' " — William F. Buckley, Jr.

In the context of my article on this subject,[1] I have been asked if there is also a classical versus modern conservatism paradigm similar to the classical versus modern liberalism, and was invited to write an article about the subject.

In response, let’s say that in such a context, there is no such classification of classical versus modern conservatism, as there is with liberalism; although there are various alleged forms of conservatism that, like liberalism, varies somewhat from country to country and can be defined and characterized in general terms. Conservatism is the political philosophy that seeks to preserve traditional social and religious institutions of Western culture and civilization deemed desirable, if not sacrosanct, and seeking to maintain stability, law, and order, while at the same time limiting the power of government, as to preserve the natural rights — i.e., life, liberty and property — of the individual, as to allow him freely to pursue happiness without impinging on the rights or property of others....

Thursday, October 1, 2015

In a recent op-ed entitled, “The ‘Enlightenment’ keeps on winning,” James A. Haught, an editor emeritus of a West Virginia newspaper, asserts in his latest column that since the advent of the Enlightenment, for three centuries, liberals have scored a string of historical victories over conservatives, and he “hopes the progressive pattern keeps rolling forever.”

Haught writes: “Around three centuries ago, major thinkers began advocating democracy, human rights and personal freedoms. Their period became known as the Enlightenment. It launched the long-running liberals-versus-conservatives conflict still driving much of today’s politics.” After scantily listing the contributions of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704; photo, right), Baron Montesquieu (1689-1755) and even Voltaire, he goes on to characterize our Founders: “Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, etc. were brilliant radicals who absorbed the Enlightenment ideas and incorporated them into the first modern democracy.”

Yes, our Founding Fathers were brilliant men, sons of the Enlightenment, but as to being called “radicals” that is subject to debate, as is the...

Saturday, September 5, 2015

On Dismantling Christianity and the musings of Dr. Bill Cummings — False assumptions or deliberate misinterpretations?

When discussing politics and religion, one can expect serious disagreements, especially when they are discussed together and when the writer expresses provocative arguments that go against the grain.[1] Nevertheless, Mr. Neil M. Cullinan’s letter contains so many errors, false assumptions, and deliberate distortions that I feel compelled to correct and clarify several points.[2]

First, let’s clear up some pesky historical facts: All of the Middle East was once Christian, including Constantinople (Istanbul), which was the second capital of Christendom. Compared to the Mohammedan fire and sword conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries, the conquest of the Ottomans of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and15th centuries, and the decimation of the Hindus by the Moguls in India from the 12th through the 18th centuries, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people — the Crusades were a walk in the park, and in the end the Mamlukes exterminated the Christians (Crusaders or not) and erased the Latin kingdoms from the earth.[3,4]

Second, it...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For new readers it might be difficult to tell if Dr. Bill Cummings’ column “Is Christianity dying in America?”[1] was written with glee or with slight regret, like the puzzling smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” For those of us who have read some of his previous columns deprecating the Catholic Church, of course, it is not difficult to discern the gloating and streak of satisfaction, especially when he affirms that while it is not dying, “it’s declining for sure.”[2,3]

The persistent attacks upon the foundation of an institution in which he formerly belonged, which educated and nurtured him as a former priest, and perhaps inspired him in his eventually becoming a successful motivational speaker and business executive is a sad state of affairs. And as he points out, Cummings, who strives to be a latter-day Voltaire, is not alone in his thinly veiled rejection of his faith: Christianity and the Catholic Church are indeed in a declivity ushering the decline in Western civilization and America, the pinnacle of that civilization.[4,5]

Make no mistake about it, concomitant with the decline in Judeo-Christian values, America is in moral and economic decline,...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Following the publication of the first part of this article dealing with bioethics and infanticide,[1] I received correspondence from a former colleague, Dr. Richard L. Elliot, Director of Medical Ethics at Mercer University, contending there is little difference among medical and biomedical ethicists; that my characterization of bioethicists as utilitarian moralists (useful agents of the State) may not be accurate; and that autonomy (and personal choice) is given “high priority” by bioethicists.[2] I beg to differ on all counts.

I have served as a chief medical editor in four medical publications, the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia (1993-1995), the Medical Sentinel (1996-2003), Surgical Neurology (2004-2010), and Surgical Neurology International (SNI; 2010-present). In all four of these journals there were considerable discussions about ethics and the nuances of tenets between traditional medical ethicists who follow Hippocratic teachings and biomedical ethicists who follow utilitarian precepts, and articles to that effect were published in them, as well as in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); at...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

We must be careful not to rush to label glyphosate as excessively toxic to humans because when used properly and in proper quantities it is probably no more dangerous and toxic than other effective herbicides on the market. Unfortunately, most effective herbicides and insecticides could be classified as neurotoxic and carcinogenic because in high enough concentrations they can be toxic to biological systems. In their lengthy treatise, “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese (Mn), neurological diseases, and associated pathologies” recently published in Surgical Neurology International, Drs. Samsel and Seneff blame the widely used herbicide glyphosate for a number of ecological as well as medical disorders via Mn metabolism and a myriad of other pathophysiological mechanisms.[9] The linking of this effective herbicide to the alphabet soup list of conditions enumerated by the authors seems to be “shotgun science” — namely, multiple associations based on population-based statistics, disconnected correlations, and manipulation of numbers and conditions that create an epidemiological recipe for errors and nonvalid associations. The authors link every kind of disorder...

Friday, August 14, 2015

One of the great books of the 20th century was Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences.[1] I once had a fellow medical student tell me as I was discussing the dangers of communism that it mattered little what a person believes—ideas, she informed me, were personal and benign. Weaver shatters this dangerous idea in his scholarly book. He demonstrates that it matters very much what people think because they behave and design their lives according to the ideas they hold dear.

I have observed a very dangerous trend in a collection of ideas, some very old and some surfacing fairly recently, that if we analyze and study their history and content carefully, are destined to lead to a great deal of personal anguish, despair, misery, and even bloodshed. The newer ideas I will discuss last. First, I will consider briefly four concepts that have been responsible for the creation of more misery and mass death than any preceding set of philosophies in history. The four concepts listed in the title of this article, collectivism, secular humanism, scientific positivism and centralization of state power, are capturing the imagination of not only the intellectual elite but also millions...

Published on July 11, 2016, the lyrics to The Doves song "Pulse" remind us: “…the steady drumbeat of your “Pulse” — thump, thump, thump — is all that stands between you and eternity.”