Published Articles

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Out of the shadows, a little-known but powerful organization has stepped out this new millennial year advocating a more accommodating stance with the communist regime of Fidel Castro.

This new age of reconciliation is being ushered in by this organization in a comprehensive report that, among other things, advocates accommodation instead of confrontation with the totalitarian regime of Fidel Castro.(1) The report suggests easing the embargo, military-to-military "confidence-building" measures, and the lifting of the travel ban for American tourists who want to visit Cuba, the Workers' Paradise of the Caribbean.

A strong case against these ill-conceived proposals and the fallacies of their arguments have been made by at least two scholars, by Everett E. Briggs in "Cuba: Not the Time to Change U.S. Policy"(2) and by University of Miami professor Jaime Suchlicki in "American Tourists would boost Castro."(3)

Suffice to say, these ill-conceived proposals, rather than opening Cuba to "democracy," would instead help to fortify Castro and his successors. Rather than establishing a transition to a constitutional republic, these proposals would make it easier for...

Thursday, February 8, 2001

A prominent member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has refuted key details of a study published recently by the Violence Policy Center, in which researchers concluded that women were not safer if they used a handgun for self-defense.

The VPC report,, called "A Deadly Myth: Women, Handguns and Self-Defense," published Jan. 31, said that in the early 1980s, gun manufacturers began to target women with "the false message" that "the greatest threat posed to a woman was an attack by a stranger, and the best form of protection a woman could rely upon was a handgun."

"For all of the promises made on behalf of the self-defense handgun, using a handgun to kill in self-defense is a rare event," the report said. "Looking at both men and women, over the past 20 years, on average only 2 percent of the homicides committed with handguns in the United States were deemed justifiable or self-defense homicides by civilians.

"In 1998, for every time a woman used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 101 women were murdered with a handgun," the report said, citing FBI figures.

But Miguel A. Faria Jr., editor-in-chief of Medical Sentinel...

Monday, January 29, 2001

Immediately after taking the oath of office, President George W. Bush issued four executive memoranda. One of them established a 60-day freeze on the regulations hastily issued by President Bill Clinton before leaving office. The freeze on administrative rules and regulations needs to be extended and converted into a veritable machine of executive repeals not only of regulations but also of actual executive orders.

Normally, executive orders are published in the Federal Register, and, if Congress does not challenge them, they become administrative laws. Some 50,000 pages of such administrative decrees have been published annually in this Register during the Clinton years. Most of them were not challenged and became de facto federal mandates.

The Clinton administration not only increased the number of them, but also abused this prerogative intended to assist the Executive Branch of government in implementing the laws passed by Congress. Under President Clinton, more than any other president, the Executive arrogated to itself, in effect, congressional lawmaking powers.

By mid-December 2000, President Clinton had issued 347 executive orders,...

Keyword(s): Executive Orders, politics

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

The Jan. 12 article describing how business owners are demanding action because of the recent string of armed robberies expresses our frustration as Macon residents.

Undercover agents will be placed at businesses, but the reality is that police cannot be everywhere all of the time. Moreover, the courts have ruled they need not protect individuals; they only owe a duty to protect the community at large (Bowers v. DeVito, 1982).

In 1967, Orlando, Florida, was afflicted with a rash of assaults and rapes. Women were terrified. As a result, the police wisely sponsored a highly publicized gun training and safety course for women.

The criminals quickly got the message, and within a year, there was a 90 percent reduction of rapes and, along with it, a general reduction of crime in the area.

The mechanics of how this worked have been described by Professors Wright and Rossi, who found in the 1970s that felons are more fearful of being shot by civilians than of being apprehended by police. Their work has been substantiated by Profs. John Lott and Gary Kleck in the1990s. Professor Kleck found that ordinary citizens use firearms for self-protection 2.5 million...

Friday, January 12, 2001

Every doctor knows that a gagging patient is a sick patient. But apparently the American Medical Association believes gagging medical research is just dandy when it serves the AMA agenda at the expense of public health.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently "gagged" authors of articles submitted to JAMA from speaking to the media or issuing a press release until after the article is printed in the journal. The best argument for this action is that new medical knowledge might better serve the public if initially released through a bona fide journal so that doctors could allay and diffuse widespread excessive public hopes and worries. In reality, however, JAMA actually breaks its own rule by pre-releasing articles to the media days or sometimes weeks before physicians receive and have time to read them.

The JAMA editors say they want this control so that articles will be "accurate." But let's take a look at the selection process. The supposed "independent" peer reviewers who approve articles are hand-picked AMA loyalists. They might be able to judge whether the findings pass the "sniff test," but don't have the means, time or charge...

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

This biographical reference book on "the key figures in the gun control debate today" delivers arguments and counterarguments on the meaning of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Americans' right to keep and bear arms. This book puts human faces on the argumentation. The figures featured in the reference book came from different backgrounds and disciplines, law, medicine, academics, law enforcement and plain mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, etc. who have become, because of their own experience, activists in the great debate.

Ms. Bijlefeld has dealt adeptly and in a neutral manner with this debate, a debate on which the contestants often argue hotly and emotionally. She should be applauded for her efforts, for this book belongs in the hands of all of those involved in the debate, as well as politicians, teachers, journalists, and in all of the public libraries, as an invaluable source of reference. Some of the personalities featured in this book on the pro-gun side, Neal Knox, Gary Kleck, David Kopel, Don B. Kates, Sheriff Jay Printz, Suzanna Gratia Hupp, etc, contrast greatly, as can be imagined with those on the gun control camp headed by James and Sarah...

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

This slim tome can be read in one or two settings - if one can stand the poignant drama and the horror stories recounted in the pages of this book.

The Politics of Psychiatry only came to my attention because its documentation value was mentioned in two special issues of The New American magazine ( chronicling the Elián González saga (March 13, 2000 and May 22, 2000), the story of six-year-old Cuban boy who has been a point of contention between the Cuban-American community in Miami who wants him to stay in American freedom, on the one hand, and the U.S. and the communist Cuban government, which want him returned to Cuba, on the other.

The Politics of Psychiatry graphically documents that the totalitarian government of Cuba has used (and continues to use) psychiatry for political purposes - in this case, political repression, the crushing of dissent, and establishing conformity within the political structure of the island prison which communist Cuba has become.

The authors have carefully investigated the cases and personal stories of 27 Cuban dissidents who were charged with political crimes (non-violent opposition to the...

Thursday, December 14, 2000

One has to look at the vicissitudes of life in the great tragic figures of history, Cortes, Columbus, Napoleon, etc., to find precedents in the relatively obscure life of Charles Edward Stuart, "The Great Young Pretender," Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Although towards the latter part of his life he came to stoop very low, he had, as a young man, decades earlier, reached out very high unto the stars with unwavering courage and determination in his conquest of Scotland and England. His defeat at Culloden in 1746 precipitated tragically what can only be described as the genocide of the Scottish Highlanders.

What a life! The life of Bonnie Prince Charlie is a study of human nature at its extreme. Belatedly, devastatingly, he found out the cruel fact that despite his forceful, determined personality, he was not the master of his own destiny. Be that as it may, he came to be vindicated.

This is a magnificent book of a great, albeit obscure, tragic figure of history.

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), and author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995) and Medical...

Keyword(s): history

Sunday, December 10, 2000

The reader could say that this compelling tome about the breathtaking events of the French Revolution during the Reign of Terror really comprises three books in one --- three human conflict stories carefully webbed into the sinister tapestry of the French Revolution, particularly during the Reign of Terror (June 1793 to July 1794).

This sanguinary period takes us through the assassination of Jean Paul Marat, the rapid rise and fall of the Girondins, the use in full of the killing power of the guillotine by the dictates of the Revolutionary Tribunals and, ultimately, the ascendancy of the most radical Jacobins and Maximilien Robespierre, the Incorruptible.

The first part of this tome explains the events in Charlotte Corday's life, her innermost thoughts and reflections, her courage and the patriotic sentiments that consumed her and gave her strength to plan and carry out the assassination of the radical, blood-thirsty Marat, right in the belly of the beast at his residence at 30 Rue des Cordeliers on July 13, 1793! Marat had already expulsed the brave Girondin leaders from the National Convention (June 2), and he was now finalizing his plans for their arrest and...

Keyword(s): French Revolution, history

Tuesday, December 5, 2000

This book, in compelling narrative, makes is clear that the French Revolution actually began not with the clamor of the common people but with the blue-blooded aristocracy and the high clergy of the ancien régime who had been enamored with the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the views of the enlightenment (i.e., convincingly demonstrated in the Assembly of Notables convened in February 1787). Moreover, the revolution spilling into the streets of France began not in Paris but in the streets of Grenoble, the actual cradle of the revolution, with the Day of Tiles (June 10, 1788), and from there eventually spreading to the countryside with the grain riots and finally in March through April of 1789 in the concerted defiance of the hated game laws protecting birds and animals. The mobs learned to command the streets after the Réveillon Riots (April 1789) so that by July 14, 1789, they had had ample practice for the storming of the Bastille.

One gets to know with almost casual familiarity the important personages in the ancien régime, including those working behind the scene. (This has been heretofore usually the case only with the most bloodthirsty revolutionaries like...