In Part I of this article, Politics or Science, we made some preliminary observations regarding the Harvard School of Public Health study published in the February 2002 issue of the Journal of Trauma.(1)
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) has been lauding the study as "the most comprehensive study ever conducted on impact of gun availability." In its press release, the organization further states, "The elevated rate of violent death among children in high gun ownership states cannot be explained by differences in state levels of poverty, education, or urbanization."(2)
The authors of the study assert in their abstract, "A statistically significant association exists between gun availability and the rates of unintentional firearm deaths, homicides, and suicides. The elevated rates of suicide and homicide among children living in states with more guns is not entirely explained by a state's poverty, education, or urbanization and is driven by lethal firearm violence, not by lethal nonfirearm violence."(1)
Now we will be examining the factors that Miller et al. claim were "not entirely" responsible for the high rates of unintentional firearm injury, homicide,...
"There is a worrying trend in academic medicine which equates statistics with science, and sophistication in quantitative procedure with research excellence. The corollary of this trend is a tendency to look for answers to medical problems from people with expertise in mathematical manipulation and information technology, rather than from people with an understanding of disease and its causes.
"Epidemiology [is a] main culprit, because statistical malpractice typically occurs when complex analytical techniques are combined with large data sets. The mystique of mathematics blended with the bewildering intricacies of big numbers makes a potent cocktail. ..."
Bruce G. Charlton, M.D.
University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1996
Once again, Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) and the Violence Policy Center (VPC), two strident gun control organizations, have entered the gun and violence debate with renewed vigor.
You already know about AGS using the 9-11 tragedy to push its gun control agenda using the disingenuous cliché of "closing the gun show loophole."(1)
Needless to say, AGS continues to...
We had no choice but to punish the perpetrators and collaborators of the heinous 9-11 terrorist attack that left nearly 3,000 innocent Americans crying out for justice. It was an unprovoked attack, correctly an act of war, and the U.S. had good cause under the Just War doctrine (i.e., the Judeo-Christian principle establishing the right to defend oneself against an aggressor) to retaliate and to punish the guilty and discourage future acts of terrorism. Such dastardly barbarity should not go unpunished. And so the American people with good reason have rallied behind their president, George W. Bush.
And yet, disappointingly, President Bush did not seek the expected congressional declaration of war as required by the U.S. Constitution. Instead, our commander in chief sought permission and approval from the United Nations. Dragging its feet, the U.N. Security Council finally passed Resolution 1373, authorizing America to fight the "war on terrorism."
While in our constitutional republic, the president of the United States serves as commander in chief of U.S. armed forces, the legal vehicle for commencing and waging war is the Congress. The U.S. Constitution under...
In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush proposed the formation of a USA Freedom Corps, calling for every American "to commit at least two years 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime to the service of your neighbors and your nation."
This will require 80 hours per year for every adult American. On Jan. 29, 2002, at another function, Bush further explained the concept and gave a pitch for the "volunteer" program that will require $560 million from taxpayers by 2003.
Doug Fiedor, who publishes an e-mail newsletter, "A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia," described what happened when he tried to connect with the "volunteer" organization:
"So, I went to the new Freedom Corps web site and tried to see how difficult it would be to sign up. A couple clicks down into it I found Citizen Corps and clicked on 'join.' That was when my security software warned me that the certificates didn't match and I was actually entering a FEMA web site."
Mr. Fiedor went on to describe his cybervoyage through the bureaucratic maze:
Because it is a bureaucracy, there is a USA Freedom Corps Blueprint (handbook) on the web...
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russell Feingold (D-WI) and the media have promoted their campaign finance "reform" bill (McCain-Feingold [S. 27] and Shays-Meehan [H.R. 2356]) as the solution to a "broken system" riddled with "too much money in politics." They also say that big, powerful, moneyed interests have a pervasive, vested interest in government that is detrimental to the public good.
In 1997, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) spoke candidly to Time magazine regarding McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation. The Democrat admitted, "What we have is two important values in direct conflict: freedom of speech and our desire for healthy campaigns in a healthy democracy. You can't have both."
Unfortunately, Rep. Gephardt sided against freedom of speech. He voted for the House version of campaign finance reform legislation in 1999. Moreover, he proposed a constitutional amendment to permit campaign finance reform to abridge freedom of speech.
Conveniently, these statist legislators neglect to tell you that in a free society good people must associate or they perish, swallowed up because of the voracious appetite of a runaway...
Most of us who enjoy reading books concerning our world, especially those dealing with acts of courage arising from human tragedy, find a few works that have a lasting effect on our lives, not just because of the subject, but because of the way in which it is presented. Few writers can fill the reader with an overwhelming sense of emotion that normally only comes with first hand experience. I found this in Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago and Armando Valladares' Against all Hope.
A newly released book written by a very close friend of mine, Miguel Faria, called Cuba in Revolution. Escape From a Lost Paradise, now joins the ranks of these two previously mentioned works. Dr. Faria, a retired neurosurgeon and Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel, has captured the Cuban experience and much more. We not only learn of the terror of living in a communist island gulag under the control of a criminal thug, but we also are offered solutions to our own dilemma --- galloping socialism.
In the first of the book he takes us through the beginnings of the communist revolution, but through different eyes than such work is often presented, that is, from a writer who...
The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world, except perhaps in Israel and Switzerland.
The Bogeyman --- 'Easy' Gun Availability
Nevertheless, many individuals and organizations, particularly the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American public health establishment are concerned about the number of gun deaths in the U.S. --- 30,000 average deaths annually in the past decade, calling it a public health epidemic.
Moreover, public health researchers decry that violent injuries with firearms affect disproportionately older children and adolescents; tragically, up to 4000 of these deaths occur in teenagers and young adults. In 2002, suicides accounted for 16,586 deaths; homicides for about 10,801 deaths; and unintentional injuries (accidental shootings) for another 776...
From Pathology to Politics: Public Health in America. How the Public-Health Establishment Puts Us at Risk, by economists James T. Bennett and Thomas J. DiLorenzo, is a serious, eye-opening indictment of America’s public-health establishment. Bennett and DiLorenzo mark the release of the federal government’s Kerner Report of 1968 as the point when the public-health establishment (PHE), incarnated in the American Public Health Association (APHA), crossed its Rubicon and left the realm of science for the realm of politics. That report, discussing the “root causes” of poverty, was embraced by the APHA, which then boldly announced that “social policy rather than public health, per se, would henceforth become its main focus.” By the 1970s and 1980s, with the growth of government, the PHE came to have tentacles extending into virtually every government agency, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Defense, not to mention the Centers for Disease Control, state and local agencies, and the various schools of public health. The PHE became (and remains) bloated and highly politicized, more concerned with increasing its power, promoting...
This summer Bibb County Superior Court Judge Phil Brown ordered the new State Health Planning Review Board to review the open heart surgery certificate of need (CON) previously granted to Coliseum Medical Center. According to the judge, the former Board's decision was not clear in its findings and may not have followed legal requirements when it approved the CON for the hospital in September 2000.
Since the judge did not reverse the former Board's CON approval, Coliseum hospital "will continue to provide open heart surgery and angioplasty at least until the new Review Board reviews our case this fall," wrote Mike Boggs, CEO, in a memorandum to the medical staff.
With this bewildering decision, the Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG), which has opposed Coliseum's CON from the beginning, will get another opportunity to block the hospital's request to provide those often urgent, life-saving treatments for ailing patients.
CON laws were enacted in Georgia over two decades ago ostensibly to prevent duplication of services and to help control health care costs. Since that time, though, health care expenditures have more than doubled primarily because Adam...
America's Founding Fathers, our prescient, venerable predecessors, established for us a Constitutional Republic, limited government by the rule of law and with the consent of the governed. They also said, in the voice of Benjamin Franklin (1787), that our newly founded nation was and should remain a Republic, if we can keep it, if we can preserve it as a cherished legacy for posterity.
Recall the words of our first president, George Washington, who in his farewell address in 1796 advised us: "Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world."
John Adams, our second president, added in 1789 that "our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It's wholly inadequate for the government of any other [people]."
These words were echoed by our philosopher-president, the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president, Thomas Jefferson, who advised us to remain free of entangling alliances with the rest of the world. In his first inaugural address, March 4, 1801, Jefferson said:
"Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state of persuasion, religious or...