Volume 73, no. 9 September 2017
After a century of standing there in peace, statues erected c. 1920 by Democrats to commemorate Southern heroes of the Civil War are triggering violence across the land. President Trump was severely criticized for harshly condemning all the violent agitators, somehow implying a “moral equivalence” between “white supremacists” or “Nazis” and “protesters” in Charlottesville, Va. The former had a permit for a rally opposing the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee; the latter arrived without a permit, masked and armed with baseball bats. The police were allegedly ordered to stand down; one woman was killed and others injured by a car driven by an alleged “Nazi sympathizer.”
Memorials to men who owned slaves or fought for the Confederacy are being removed in many places. Even Washington and Jefferson’s images on Mount Rushmore are threatened.
Slavery was undeniably a blight on American history. Our Founders compromised with the evil, even if not slave-owners themselves. Slavery was the Law of the Land, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court (like ObamaCare and abortion now).
While white Europeans held slaves (at least in the Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, and Dutch colonies in the New World), white Christians abolished this evil practice, which had been widespread throughout human history. It was legal in Saudi Arabia until 1962 and in Mauritania until 1981.
But delayed outrage over this long-dead “peculiar institution” does not explain vandalizing a statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore, St. Joan of Arc in New Orleans, or St. Junipero Serra in Mission Hills, Calif.
History of Iconoclasm
“Iconoclast” is Greek for “image smasher.” The term originated when a Byzantine emperor tried to ban the use of religious icons as idolatrous. He failed. But the Reformation-era iconoclasm erased a huge part of medieval history, including at least 90% of Christian art in England. Tombs with prayers for the dead were torn up. Judging “every image to be an idol,” Edward VI’s Christian Taliban also broke secular 13th century carvings of kings, writes Rod Dreher (http://tinyurl.com/y7wtuukr).
Iconoclasm is generally accompanied or followed by violence. In their attack on the Catholic faith, Jacobins perpetrated the first known genocide in Western civilization, the massacre of 170,000 in the Vendée, including children, for protecting priests who refused to swear allegiance to the Revolution. A 2014 docudrama The Hidden Rebellion portrays history unknown to 90% in France.
Mao’s Red Guards tried to wipe out traditional Chinese culture. The Taliban used a truckload of dynamite to blow up the world’s largest standing Buddhas (http://tinyurl.com/7zj2vsj).
What Is the Real Target?
The purpose of iconoclasm is to obliterate cultural memory. Dreher suggests that current iconoclasts are targeting what leftist academics term “whiteness.” This includes European civilization, which entails Christianity, and the “American creed.” The latter’s set of assumptions, once commonly held by Americans of all races, ethnicities, and faiths, includes liberty, equality under the law, equality of opportunity (if not of results), individualism, populism, and free-market economics. These ideas are attributed to Protestant England and the Enlightenment (Dreher, op. cit.), although they bring success to all who embrace them.
Attacking its history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further the cause of demeaning and discrediting America, writes Walter Williams (http://tinyurl.com/y99xvj6l).
What starts with defacing statues will not end there (http://tinyurl.com/y9lhduz3). As George Orwell wrote in 1984: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, and every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
The rewriting of history by Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Ceausescu, the Taliban, and ISIS ended in the enslavement and death of millions of innocents, writes Ileana Johnson (http://tinyurl.com/ybeylwdj).
In Berkeley, about 4,000 Antifa agitators shut down a “No to Marxism” rally and prayer vigil held by some 400 Christians, throwing bottles, attacking reporters, and chanting, “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all!” (http://tinyurl.com/y73bhr59).
What Would Replace Western Civilization?
The “Antifa” two-flag banner (red for communism, black for anarchy) comes from Antifascistische Aktion, which was started by the German Communist Party in 1932. Antifa also uses a red variant of the Gadsden flag, featuring a black clenched fist, a coiled snake, and the words “We will tread.”
The only other creedal nations have been communist, Dreher writes. When the coercive state failed, they came apart on ethnic lines. Militant racial consciousness is the logical endpoint of the identity politics being used to divide and conquer us.
Meanwhile, there’s a not-so-new creed. The German city of Trier, considered conservative and Catholic, has accepted a gift from Communist China for the bicentennial of the birth of its most famous son: a 6.3-meter tall statue of Karl Marx, which will stand near the town’s 2nd-century Roman gates.
- In 1923, the Nazi and Communist parties attempted a joint takeover in Germany. Adolf Hitler was one of the leaders of the failed putsch in Munich, for which he was imprisoned. He wrote Mein Kampf from his prison cell (Viktor Suvorov, The Chief Culprit).
- In Mein Kampf, Hitler expressed both his support for Lincoln’s war and his unwavering opposition to the cause of states’ rights and political decentralization, and vowed to eliminate them in Germany, notes Ilana Mercer (http://tinyurl.com/y8d94sxh).
- A campaign of “extermination” and “repopulation” was carried out—by Gen. William T. Sherman against the defeated South, to punish “treason,” instill absolute “loyalty” to the government, and to forge a new nation with blood and iron. He wrote: “Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless to occupy it, but the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people will cripple their military resources.” He attributed the war to the “false political doctrine…that any and every people has a right to self-government.” Rather, he wrote that the government had the right “to take their lives, their homes, their lands, their everything….” Indeed, “Many, many people, with less pertinacity than the South, have been wiped out of national existence.” The atrocities included the burning of the home of the writer William G. Simms, with his library of 10,000 volumes, including irreplaceable sources on the American Revolution, and 50 original paintings (http://tinyurl.com/ya3ftp8l).
- Marxist history professor Eric Foner, who spent many years at Columbia University, called on Mikhail Gorbachev, in a 1991 article in The Nation, to suppress the secessionist movements in the Baltic states and Georgia with the same ruthlessness that Lincoln used against the South (http://tinyurl.com/ybm5x9t3).
A Counterfactual Scenario
If slavery had outlived Lincoln, it could not have survived Gladstone, suggests Philip Jenkins (Chronicles, July 2017). Had the Confederacy won its independence, it would have effectively been a dependency of Great Britain, though not a formal possession. Within a decade or two, the CSA would likely have been under insurmountable pressure to end slavery. Lack of a market for slave-produced cotton would have made slavery unsustainable, as in Brazil in the 1880s. Phased abolition could have averted the horrendous casualties and property destruction of war, and avoided “the appalling grievances and hatred that so poisoned race relations in the South in the century after 1865.”
John D. Gaston, M.D.: R.I.P.
Dr. John Gaston, founder of Simply Family Medicine in Fayetteville, Ark., died unexpectedly on Aug 15. The inspiring talk he gave at our 2016 Orlando meeting is available at http://tinyurl.com/y8p2ra8v. Dr. Gaston served in the U.S. Army and Air Force for 18 years, including 11 years of active duty. His clinic served uninsured patients throughout northwest Arkansas.
[The South] “receives without reserve the amendment that has already been made to the Constitution for the extinction of slavery. That has been an event that has been long sought, though in a different way, and by none has it been more earnestly desired than by the citizens of Virginia.”
Robert E. Lee, 1866, letter to Lord Acton
Organized Medicine Responds to Charlottesville
At a recent meeting of its Board of Regents, the American College of Physicians (ACP) adopted a new policy statement recognizing “hate crimes” as a public health issue: “It is imperative that physicians, and all people, speak out against hate and hate crimes and against those who foster or perpetrate it, as was seen in the tragic events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia,” said ACP president Jack Ende, M.D. “We must seek policies of inclusion and non-discrimination” (http://tinyurl.com/y8y66vrw).
The Virginia chapter of ACP expressed “sorrow and horror at the violence perpetrated by Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists in Charlottesville.”
Audiey Kao, editor-in-chief of the AMA Journal of Ethics, writes: “In the wake of the hateful violence in Charlottesville…, millions of Americans are struggling to make sense out of such senselessness. I don’t know why racists and bigots are present in certain families….” (http://tinyurl.com/yc9438rg).
White racism is evidently the only diagnosis. ACP favors antidiscrimination (including on the basis of gender and gender identity) and hate crime [undefined] laws.
The Role of Education
A Pew Research Center annual survey shows the development of a deep partisan divide on higher education. Colleges have a negative effect on the country’s direction, in the opinion of 53% of Republicans (up from 37% in 2015), 65% of conservative Republicans, and 19% of Democrats (http://tinyurl.com/y9gxxcrf).
Walter Williams notes that one-third of college graduates are doing a job historically done by high-school graduates, and students are poorly prepared for college. Only 25% of students taking the ACT in 2012 met readiness benchmarks in all areas. More than a third of students showed no improvement in critical thinking skills after 4 years of college (http://tinyurl.com/yb8748nz).
What do students learn in college? “The American campus is no longer a place of learning,” writes Ileana Johnson, “it is a place of indoctrination, of fear.” Marxist indoctrination occurs blatantly or subtly in every subject. “Antifa, BLM [Black Lives Matter], and other fascist and race-baiters learned revisionist history in school.” With funds from well-placed billionaires, they are “echoing the actions of the Bolsheviks, Taliban, and ISIS, who have destroyed priceless artifacts of history” (http://tinyurl.com/yap52v7v).
A “de-civilization agenda” is desecrating every bit of our history, writes Daniel Horowitz (http://tinyurl.com/yc8h5wjz). The Marxist “long march through the institutions” is virtually complete, states Charles Sasser, creating chaos, which is the “mother of socialism” (http://tinyurl.com/yd5f3x83).
Oct 5-7. 74th annual meeting, Tucson, AZ.
Oct. 3-6, 2018. 75th annual meeting, Indianapolis, IN.
Doctor Expelled for Telling the Truth
Four other Boston hospitals have piled on, after urologist Paul Church, M.D., was removed from the staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) for asking the hospital to stop promoting unhealthy lifestyles (AAPS News, January 2016), despite his exemplary 28-year history of patient care. All major Boston hospitals participate in annual Gay Pride week and heavily promote LGBT events. It was considered “unprofessional” and “bad medicine” to pass along statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the risks of “gay” behavior. Hospitals spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on sham peer review proceedings, deploying teams of lawyers against the one they allowed Dr. Church. The only issue was failure to agree with the hospitals’ unconditional support for the LGBT agenda. He tells his story at http://tinyurl.com/yd6zxyds.
Censorship by Corporations
Internet giants (including Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube) are increasingly accused of blocking views that their owners dislike. YouTube cut off Ron Paul’s advertising; hundreds of sites are reportedly being “demonetized.” Facebook blocked virtually all sharing of Natural News posts to 2.2 million fans after a news story linked to a White House petition on vaccine safety (http://tinyurl.com/ydaehnjv).
The big technology companies have largely escaped the suspicion and resentment that is usually directed at fast-growing, influential corporations, writes Robert Tracinski (http://tinyurl.com/ydcyz5bj). This is partly because of “market-friendly Silicon Valley progressivism,” which means being the Left’s enforcers against heretics in the culture wars, in exchange for the Left’s not looking too closely at schemes for market dominance or tax avoidance.
But then Google’s New America Foundation fired its Open Markets team, after it praised the European Union’s decision to fine Google for antitrust violations. So even the Left is concerned about Google’s becoming a “government of itself,” writes Zephyr Teachout (http://tinyurl.com/yb6pbm22). Its business model involves an implicit bargain to allow mining of our intimate data—if we can trust it won’t be abused for political purposes.
AAPS Files in “Surprise Billing” Case
In its recent filing in AAPS v. Brown, which challenges California’s AB 72 on “surprise billing,” AAPS writes: “By any measure, handing off regulatory power to a private entity is ‘legislative delegation in its most obnoxious form’…. Allowing private insurance companies to regulate reimbursement rates with the authority of government is unconstitutional” (quoting Justice Alito).
The impetus for passing the Act was the formidable lobbying power of insurance companies to obtain for themselves the right to fix market prices. By authorizing them to set fees for out-of-network physicians, it gives insurers the leverage to drive them out of business. The rate mechanism imposed by AB 72 imposes confiscatory wage controls on physicians, and transfers property from them to other private entities (insurers), thereby violating the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Patients, especially minorities, face harm because of decreased access to physicians who can no longer afford to serve them (http://tinyurl.com/y9stb8qw).
!Tip of the Month: Some States have better medical boards than others, and a loss or suspension of one’s medical license in one State does not automatically make it impossible to obtain or defend a medical license in other States. Physicians ordinarily have rights of due process in each State where they have a medical license, although it can become cost-prohibitive to defend a medical license in numerous States. Beware of obtaining a medical license through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC), however, because it requires automatic suspension or revocation of a medical license in every IMLC-member State once any IMLC-member State suspends or revokes a license. Moreover, the domino effect under the IMLC causes a separate report to the National Practitioner Data Bank by each of the affected States.
Canadian Ban on Private Care Challenged
Litigation brought by British Columbia orthopaedic surgeon Brian Day will go forward, despite governments “using unlimited tax dollars in defence of their right to subjugate sick patients.” B.C. lawyers even argue against allowing their own reports to be used as evidence of the need for private care. While patients suffer and even die on waiting lists, government blocks 180 orthopaedic surgeons from accessing operating rooms in public hospitals. It’s “the Canadian way.” Dr. Day hopes to extend the victory of Dr. Jacques Chaoulli (http://tinyurl.com/yadzqejb), in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that in Quebec “access to a waiting list is not access to care” (http://tinyurl.com/yav3v4q6).
A Victory for Parental Consent
Vaccinations are not “medical treatment” within the meaning of Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-120(c). Therefore, the statute does not authorize the Commissioner of Children and Families to vaccinate children temporarily placed in her custody over the parents’ religious objection. So ruled the Connecticut Supreme Court, reversing the lower court in the case In re Elianah T.-T. (No. 19902, 2017 Conn. LEXIS 239, at *17-18 (Aug. 1, 2017)).
- Denied the right to work as a midwife in Sweden because she refuses to perform abortions, Ellinor Grimmark is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe holds that a person may not be discriminated against in any manner because of failure to participate in abortion. A Swedish court agreed with a “discrimination ombudsman” that Grimmark’s rights had been violated, but determined that the right to an abortion had greater weight. The court required her to pay the government’s legal costs of about $106,000. The European Advocacy arm of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is aiding Grimmark (http://tinyurl.com/y9f7locn).
- ADF has been designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Google et al. could use such a designation to make groups stigmatized in this way vanish from the internet virtually overnight (http://tinyurl.com/y7vevvp4).
- Canadian nurse Mary Jean Martin has been forced to resign for refusing to participate in euthanasia. Medical workers must sign an oath of allegiance to comply with all laws, including the new euthanasia laws (http://tinyurl.com/ycdoojwj).
Opioid Crisis. On Jun 30, my office was thrown into turmoil by a crisis created by the N.Y. State Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. I had to take a mandatory course on opioid prescribing, and file the form attesting that I had done so, by Jul 1. I applied for an exemption based on the fact that I had not ever prescribed an opioid in 31 years of practice, and advertise that I never intend to do so on my website. I keep my DEA license only because I occasionally prescribe an anticonvulsant that requires it. My exemption was denied on Jun 26, but I never received notification. Failure to take this course every 3 years can result in license revocation. I had to stop everything and complete this ridiculous 3-hour course, which took 6 hours because of a poor internet connection. N.Y. is constantly imposing absurd new mandates on physicians; one must comply or give up some aspect of practicing medicine.
Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., Lake View, NY
The “Bundling” Tradeoff. It is convenient for patients to get one bill for complicated care from an Accountable Care Organization. In return, patients must place their trust in the ingredients of secret ACO cartel contracts between payers and multiple “providers” who have many conflicts of interest.
Lee Beecher, M.D., Maple Grove, MN
The Bleeding Edge of Political-Corporate Control. Doctors are sensing that their professional societies betrayed them by buying into the managed-care model. Doctors wanted to control the money but failed to recognize that the ACO’s “insurance reserves” are doctors’ future pay. “Value pay” is the other side of the split-fee coin, the equivalent of a bribe for offering less care. The irony of the single-payer solution is that it will predictably be run by the government-protected corporate HMO cartel system already in place.
Robert W. Geist, M.D., North Oaks, MN
What Is a Right?. A right is guaranteed, supplied and defended by a higher power. The founding fathers, forcibly seceding from a toxic aristocracy, believed that individuals had rights that were either intrinsic within each individual and/or came from a supreme power or God (http://tinyurl.com/yc8ckj8w). Previously, these were seen to come from government. Inverting individual rights by turning them into government mandates and tyranny, whether in dystopian novels such as Animal Farm by George Orwell, or the real world (as in Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Venezuela) never turns out well. The dangerous fad of population health replaces individual health, the standard of Hippocrates.
Craig M. Wax, D.O., Mullica Hill, NJ
Moments of Truth from the Left. When ACA passed, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the law would correct the “maldistribution of income” across the country—using health plans. The socialization of medicine under corporate cover was started by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) in the HMO Act of 1973, with its $375 million in development funding and a mandate on certain employers to offer HMOs. As the U.S. Supreme Court found in Pegram v. Herdrich (2000), “inducement to ration care is the very point of any HMO scheme” (http://tinyurl.com/y9zuovr4).
Twila Brase, R.N., Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom
Ask Your Doctor. HMOs keep data on the frequency of referrals by primary physicians. Too many referrals can lead to termination. Doctors also receive bonuses to incentivize withholding care. On your next visit, ask your doctor whether he got a bonus.
Gene Usawa Dorio, M.D., Santa Clarita, CA
The Great Purge. The over-arching movement to expunge from our presence and historical memory anything politically incorrect by cultural Marxist standards is not consistent with the Christian view. We admire those who performed great deeds in spite of their sins. Consider Rahab the prostitute, Moses the murderer, King David the adulterer and murderer, and Saul of Tarsus who instigated lynchings. Many hope for a change in the political climate. After all, Leningrad is again St. Petersburg.
Joseph Guarino, M.D., Reidsville, NC
The ABMS Billion Dollar Baby. Preliminary estimates show total assets of $750,000,000 for the American Board of Medical Specialties plus 24 affiliated boards. Assets of related tax-exempt organizations probably exceed $250,000,000.
Charles P. Kroll, C.P.A., @WikiMOC
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. More money is spent on administration of health care than on the entire defense budget: $800 billion. We need to teach people to manage their own money in Health Savings Accounts. Crisis insurance backup should be the only third party needed. An army of bureaucrats and third-party parasites would be out of work—a problem, but necessary.
Samuel A. Nigro, M.D., Cleveland Heights, OH
Obey or Lose Your Children. Under Bill 69 in Ontario, Canada, a parent’s failure to recognize and support a child’s gender self-identification is child abuse, and the child should be placed in protection. This regime removed children from a foster home when parents disobeyed an order to say the Easter bunny is real.
Jim Vanne, Aurora, IL