Published Articles

Friday, February 23, 2018

We spend countless hours ruminating on why some people commit serious crimes, including homicide. But we spend little time considering why most people don’t.

I spent my first eight years in North Dakota, where my father was a country doctor. Pheasant hunting is big in the Dakotas, so my father bought a shotgun, a Winchester Model 12. Today it would be worth close to $1000. I believe he took it shooting once or twice — my father was too busy for hobbies.

Then we moved to San Francisco, where I grew up. In the back of my mind, I knew the gun resided in my father’s closet. But the thought of entering his closet without his permission never entered my mind. He died just after I turned 19. I was in pre-med at Berkeley, but even then, I hesitated before I followed my mother into the closet to clear out his things. My respect for my father extended to his closet months after his death.

I was bullied in junior high, and I had trouble fitting in socially in high school. I recall being quite angry at some students and teachers. But the thought of getting my father’s shotgun and killing them never occurred to me. No, that expression is too weak — it never remotely...

Keyword(s): gun control, gun violence, guns

Friday, February 23, 2018

In the wake of the terrible Parkland, Florida, high school shooting on Valentine’s Day, a reader/commenter issued a challenge to me not just to criticize but also to provide “constructive criticism” regarding gun violence. He was responding to my article published the day before the tragic incident. 

Some of the queries have validity and to make sure we are plainly understood, I will quote verbatim each of the four statements before I answer them. 

The reader wrote, “FYI, this is my third search result Google shows for “gun violence CDC.”  Although I’m not sure of the purpose of informing me of his searches — most of which lead to mainstream liberal media articles lamenting the Congressional ban on the CDC gun research — I will try to comment. The gun studies commissioned and funded by the CDC through at least the 1980s and 1990s were biased, politicized and conducted as to reach preordained conclusions. The researchers brought the restrictions upon themselves for their shoddy gun research.  I have expressed my views at length on the subject elsewhere. I also testified formally to a congressional committee investigating the issue in...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Note: After the tragic Parkland, Florida, high school mass shooting on Valentine's Day, there are lessons still to be learned about these killers seeking the limelight and celebrity status and the possible causes behind the morbid motivations that animate them. This article then is very apropos now and unfortunately not for the last time.

Che Guevara, an icon of the left, thought that socialism and egalitarianism would create a “new socialist man” dedicated to the common good without the need of material incentives to work and live. Che lived long enough to see it did not, although he persisted. Socialistic policies have instead created deranged individuals who resent the success and blame others for their failures, and at some point become killers.

It does not bode well for us as a society that we have a broken criminal justice system with revolving prison doors that panders to criminals and forgets the victims. We have the popular culture of Hollywood, which led by producers like Harvey Weinstein and actors like Kevin Spacey, glorify antiheroes. We have a mainstream liberal press that sensationalizes crime and grants celebrity status to mass killers, while...

Friday, February 16, 2018

The photo shows then-French President François Hollande bestowing Legion of Honor medals on Briton Christopher Norman and Americans Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, and Alek Skarlatos, for their heroism in subduing an extremist Muslim terrorist on the 15:17 train from Amsterdam to Paris.

The terrorist armed himself with multiple firearms including an AK-47 as well as a box cutter. He boarded the train on Aug. 21, 2015, intending to kill as many passengers as possible. But he managed to shoot only one before he was rushed by the three Americans. Norman, a 62-year-old businessman, helped to subdue the terrorist.

Stone was a medic, and though seriously injured ‒ his thumb was almost severed — saved the passenger’s life by inserting two fingers into his neck wound and stopping the bleeding. The passenger survived, and Stone recovered from his injuries.

Their courage was recognized by France by bestowing the Legion of Honor. Stone, an airman second class, was awarded the Airman’s Medal and — significantly — the Purple Heart, signifying that he had been wounded in combat. Skarlatos, a National Guard specialist, received the Soldier’s Medal. Sadler, a...

Keyword(s): terrorism

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

California representatives discuss secession from the United States, apparently seriously. — News report

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill making California “sanctuary state,” where U.S. immigration laws will be flouted. — News report

California State Senator Ricardo Lara announces that opponents of Trump’s immigration policies will “…fight in the streets.” [Emphasis added.] — News report

San Bernardino joins San Francisco and Los Angeles as a “sanctuary” city that refuses to help Immigration deport illegal immigrants, despite the 2015 attack by two extremist Muslim immigrants that left 14 dead and 22 injured. — News report

San Francisco remains a “sanctuary” city, despite the murder of Kathryn Steinle by a five-time deportee released from jail in defiance of an Immigration hold. — News report

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills making purchase of guns or ammunition harder for law-abiding citizens, but removing the extra penalty for using a gun in a violent crime. — News report

California Democrats look at politics the way children look at a buffet — a place to bypass the veggies and load up on desserts. The long-term effects of...

Friday, February 9, 2018

The expression “silent coup” is borrowed from a book about the Watergate burglary, which resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The author’s thesis was that it was a “set-up” by Nixon’s enemies. I never found this notion convincing, but the idea of a silent coup remained with me.

I believe we are now in the midst of a silent coup. By “silent” the author of the Nixon book meant that the coup was out of sight of the people. On the contrary, by “silent” I mean that the current coup is now in plain sight of the people, but the people are silent. This form of silence is even more dangerous. If people are unaware of what is going on, you can’t blame them. But if they are aware, and just don’t care — then what?

The usual notion of a coup is a takeover or putsch, in which the military overthrows the civilian government. This is one type of coup, but by no means the only type:

Military historian Edward Luttwak says, “A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is used to displace the government from its control of the remainder.” Thus, armed force (either military or...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The public health establishment, supported by the medical journals, has renewed its call for the need for more gun research to be conducted by the CDC and funded by taxpayers. In other words, public health researchers want more taxpayer’ money to tell us that guns are a disease that must be eradicated. But as many critics have pointed out, including this author, gun violence does not fit the public health model of the disease-vector-host interaction. Moreover, criminals, not guns, are the causative factor for violence, and they are more amenable to study by the criminological and sociologic models of crime and violence. Let’s examine why.

First, guns and bullets are not living organisms but inanimate objects; and since they are not living organisms, they do not follow Koch's Postulates of Pathogenicity. Koch’s Postulates are the time-proven, logical, series of epidemiologic steps carried out by medical investigators to definitively prove a microorganism is pathogenic and directly responsible for causing a particular disease.

To prove those Postulates, the investigators must first find the germ growing in every patient and every diseased tissue. Second, the germ...

Sunday, February 4, 2018

“Cognitive dissonance” is the mental distress brought on by simultaneously holding conflicting strong beliefs, or by encountering information that contradicts strongly held beliefs. This stress can be reduced by changing one’s beliefs, though more commonly by denial (refusing to accept facts that contradict strongly held beliefs) or through rationalization (trying logically to justify something that is truly irrational).

Cognitive dissonance is alive and well in Hollywood, and in others among the liberal self-proclaimed intelligentsia. The glitterati have a penchant for unabashed virtue signaling when championing the cause of the downtrodden, but these are typically little more than self-serving public pronouncements.

Contrast those proclamations of support for the disadvantaged with the recent public disclosures of rampant, outrageous, even criminal acts by powerful sexual predators within the entertainment industry. Mix in the obvious complicity of the countless enablers, who clearly knew of those actions, yet chose to look the other way for fear of risk to their own careers.

Harvey Weinstein (photo, left) may have been the first to fall from grace, but...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

These are very interesting comments on schizophrenia prompted by a film. Schizophrenia is an illness that I continue to research in some depth. There is now compelling evidence that schizophrenia is a very complex syndrome that involves numerous neural pathways in the brain, far more than just dopaminergic and serotonergic systems. One of the more popular theories in recent literature is that it represents a hypoglutaminergic deficiency of certain pathways, including thalamic ones. 

After much review of research and study in this area I have concluded that most such theories are short sighted, and too focused, perhaps looking in the wrong direction. Most are based on clinical responses to certain drugs, particularly antipsychotic drugs affecting the dopaminergic or the glutamate receptor system, mainly the NMDA (M-methyl-D-Aspartame) receptors and its various subunits. 

I have written a number of papers on a newer hypothesis of neurodegenerative disease, of which schizophrenia is one. This involves what I have described as immunoexcitotoxicity — that is, an interaction between immune factors and glutamate receptors that leads to degeneration of specific...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Before I get to the meat of this commentary, I need to provide background material to the readers. Given the descent of Hollywood movies into indecency, obscenity, vulgarity and cruelty over the last three decades, and because I don’t watch the equally tawdry television or cable programs of about that period of time, my wife indulges me by watching a variety of films and documentaries on DVDs. We have a large collection of movies (that is only exceeded by my collection of books). These films are frequently old and classic movies, but we also amuse ourselves with other genres, including horror and science fiction. A preferred genre is historic or epic films.

Those movies that turn out to be exceedingly good, such as, “Julius Caesar” (1953; with James Mason playing Brutus), “The Eagle” (2011) or “Gladiator” (2000), I review, rate, and add to the list of “Classic Movies and Documentaries" on this website. The comment section where posters can leave comments about the films becomes very active from time to time, and once or twice, we have received notes of appreciation from parents for listing those exceptional movies to choose for their children.

Our search for...