Published Articles

Monday, March 1, 2004

While both the Patients' Bill of Rights legislation, allowing patients to sue HMOs in state court for unlimited damages, and tort reform, providing physicians judicial relief in medical liability, have stalled in the 107th Congress this year --- these intertwined problems of health care litigation will not disappear for long from the political landscape.

You can be sure that the political, smoldering fire of the medical liability crisis will be fanned ablaze after both the problems of terrorism and prescription drug coverage for seniors have been settled. So in anticipation of this eventuality, a recapitulation of the AMA's campaign for the implementation of tort reform in the last several years is in order to better understand where we have been and where we might be headed in the physicians' (particularly neurosurgeons') seemingly perpetual struggle for meaningful and substantive medical liability ("malpractice") tort reform.

Premiums for physicians have skyrocketed and medical liability insurers are leaving many states and abandoning their former client physicians, leaving them without coverage. Obstetricians have been particularly hard hit in this medical...



Friday, October 31, 2003

 

In "Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General" (2002), former FBI agent Edward Gazur tries to prove the impossible ­ that KGB Gen. Alexander Orlov was a true defector, a man who switched allegiances from the Soviet Union to America and repudiated international communism.

Gazur ardently believes that Orlov, who became his friend and whom he ultimately came to love as a father figure, genuinely cooperated with the FBI and the CIA. This (his own) book unfortunately proves quite the opposite.

Orlov did denounce Stalin, who had annihilated many of his compatriots in the various purges, but he was not a defector in the true sense of the word, and he did not deserve the honors or the protection this country extended to him and his family.

Orlov never fully cooperated with U.S. authorities and certainly did not help preserve the freedom and security of the country that sheltered him and his family during their many years on the run from the KGB, as well as the 15 preceding years when he hid from the FBI and CIA.

Curiously, Gazur wrote his tome after an FBI colleague brought to his attention a book entitled "Deadly Illusions" (1993) by John...



Friday, October 17, 2003

Writer's note: Difficult as it is to be critical of a friend and ally on the war on terror, Great Britain has instituted a cruel and unjust gun-control policy, a worsening evil, upon her law-abiding citizens that needs correcting. The title of this essay comes from the seemingly paradoxical unrelenting tide of thievery and burglaries that has swept Great Britain, and was so dubbed by the London Sunday Times in 1998.

Have you read about the strange case of Tony Martin and Britain's du jour gun-control injustice? In the October 2003 issue of America's 1st Freedom, Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, revealed in perfect clarity how Great Britain's stringent gun-control laws and abolishment of the right to self-defense have brought the birthplace of classical liberalism to the footsteps of tyranny.

Who are the bad guys?

Briefly, 57-year-old British farmer, Tony Martin, who lived in a remote farmhouse in England and had been terrorized several times by burglars, shot and killed such an intruder in his home. Another thief accomplice escaped.

For this act of self-defense in his own home ­ and in the same country where the great statesman Sir...



Thursday, September 25, 2003

In Part I of this review of "Democracy Delayed - The Case of Castro's Cuba" (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) , we discussed how the hapless Cuban people ­ living in a vacuum, possessed with a dearth of information coming from within and from without the island ­ have quietly turned against the communist regime and that transition to democracy could take place in Cuba, if certain conditions are met.

And yet, the critiques of his book (mostly from partisans at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), who wanted to oust him from that academic bastion of liberalism, amount to nothing but an academic purge.

Among the other criticisms, they posit that Cuba cannot be compared to Eastern Europe, and that Prof. López did not take into account the "Gorbachev Factor." These criticisms, frankly, are nonsense. López tackles both of these issues in his book in a logical and convincing manner.

One must then surmise that Prof. López's critics either didn't read the book or are basing their imputations on politics and ideology, rather than real knowledge or diligent study of the direful situation in Cuba today.

True, the Cuban people are subject...

Keyword(s): Castro, Cuba, Cuban Revolution


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

When Juan José López, PhD, a political scientist, proudly dedicated "Democracy Delayed - The Case of Castro's Cuba" (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) - his first book - to his wife Myrna and son Juan Carlos, he could not have anticipated that he would indeed need every bit of their moral and physical support.

The young scholar would need it to withstand the all-out attack leveled against his person and professional reputation at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was employed as an assistant professor. Prof. López's transgression was unforgivable for he had violated an article of faith in the leftward-leaning ivory tower of academia.

In "Democracy Delayed," López had dared to express the views that Fidel Castro's tyrannical rule in Cuba no longer enjoys popular support and that democratic transition in the Caribbean island is possible - if only the people led by the democratic opposition had the necessary material support, as well as independent sources of information, as the Eastern Europeans enjoyed in the late 1980s.

Political transformation has not taken place in Cuba, as it did in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania in...

Keyword(s): Castro, Cuba, Cuban Revolution


Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Maximilien Robespierre and his fellow Jacobins never came close to attaining the utopian goal of establishing a "Republic of Virtue." In fact, they did not even come close to establishing the rule of law essential to a constitutional republic. Natural rights to life, liberty and property, which are protected in our American republic, were not respected by the French revolutionists. Forced fraternity and equality proved to be (and remain) mutually exclusive of individual liberty. What the French Revolution established was mob rule followed by the bloody dictatorship of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety (July 13, 1793 - July 27, 1794).

The French Revolution also showed the world the scissors strategy of class struggle and warfare at work. This methodology forced rapidly and inexorably radical change upon society. The engine of this struggle was fear and, ultimately, terror. In the next century, Karl Marx elaborated and expounded on that destructive methodology, borrowing from Hegel's dialectic idealism that relied more abstractly on historic analysis and cultural conflicts. Unlike Hegel's, Marx's system of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, appealed to the...



Sunday, June 1, 2003

The Ballad of Carl Drega by journalist Vin Suprynowicz is an eye-opening book that libertarians and informed conservatives will cheer. His uncompromising stance and indefatigable pursuit of freedom is sure to inflame the minds of those who worship omnipotent government.

Yet despite his passion and stridency, of which he is proud, Suprynowicz wants to ignite the spark of freedom in his readers' hearts, not trap them in polemic argument.

The book's succinct introduction sets the tone for the rest, containing a brief but masterful discussion of the true meaning of political compromise, based on Ayn Rand's 1962 essay, “Doesn't Life Require Compromise?” Our 21st-century politicians who sacrifice liberty on the altars of expediency and political correctness should study this.

The powerful section, “Live Free or Die: How Many More Carl Dregas?” is a shocking revelation of how we are losing our freedom and marching in step toward a virtual police state. People who have finally stood up for their freedom and property rights have been crushed with hardly a whimper of public protest. Why? Because the lapdog mainstream media have been complicit with government in...

Keyword(s): freedom


Sunday, June 1, 2003

Dr. Russell Blaylock’s latest magnum opus is arranged in two major sections, either one alone more than worth the book price. It is a welcome addition to his earlier work on excitotoxins.(1)

Superb chapters cover essentially every aspect of health and nutrition; brain and body protection against toxins, injury, and disease; and even defense against bioterrorism. His discussion on “protecting your brain” is an outstanding read, and his chapter on “surviving a terrorist attack” is timely indeed.

He covers causes of degenerative diseases, including the bad effects of free radicals and the benefits of certain minerals, vitamins, and other more powerful antioxidants; nutrition, genes, and genetic switches; the danger of mercury from various sources; the effect of fluoride from drinking water, toothpaste, and other sources; other toxic metals to avoid; vaccination hazards; toxic food additives; pesticides and other harmful chemicals; and causes of arteriosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, and other diseases of aging and how to prevent them.

Dr. Blaylock offers one of the best discussions on the pathophysiology of free radical formation and the damage it causes...

Keyword(s): nutrition


Saturday, May 17, 2003

"Inside the Cuban Revolution" by Julia E. Sweig, senior fellow and deputy director of the Latin American program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), is a greatly disappointing book.

For one thing, the book is too narrow in scope and breadth as well as in covering the period under study. Although the book claims to study the period between November 1956 and January 1959, the author and publisher would have been more forthcoming about the content of this book if they had titled this tome more appropriately "Inside the 26th of July Movement Underground ­ April 1957 to July 1958."

Very little detail is actually given about the period from February to April 1957 and August 1958 to January 1959, although these are crucial periods in the Revolution and the insurrection against Batista.

In fact, two of the most important events of the entire Revolution ­ and this brings us to the most serious flaw in the entire book ­ are almost completely neglected by the author, like informational black holes: the contribution of the 13th of March movement of the Revolutionary Directorate (RD) to the insurgency against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and the...

Keyword(s): Castro, Cuba, Cuban Revolution


Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The proposed Patients' Bill of Rights is presently stalled in a congressional conference committee due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Despite its appellation, a misnomer, this legislation has nothing remotely to do with extending basic traditional rights of citizenship to Americans or of providing protections against medical rationing to patients. It has much to do with providing a financial bonanza for the denizens of the sue-for-profit, litigation industry, creating chaos in medical care, and paving the way for the government to come back to "solve" anew the resurgent problems of "spiraling health care costs" and the "growing number of the uninsured" that will result.

It is not well understood that the much-maligned health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are not the product of the free market, but rather the deliberate creation of collectivist academics and statist politicians. It was Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who has been for years a champion of socialized medicine, and self-described "Keynesian" president, Richard Nixon, who hatched the HMO Act of 1973 in Washington, supposedly to control the mounting health care costs.

The road to the problem...