Thomas Jefferson and the other American patriots who framed the U.S. Constitution were wary of government power, even of the federal government of these United States that they themselves had created in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Therefore, to further protect the personal liberties of the American people from future usurpation by the federal government, they added the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution.
Even then, James Madison (1751-1836; 4th U.S. president and master builder of the U.S. Constitution) admonished citizens, in the Federalist Papers in 1788: "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation."
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he followed a path blazed by John Locke that extended as far back as the Medieval philosopher and scholar St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and even to the Roman statesman Cicero (108-43 BC), who first enunciated the nascent philosophical tenets of the Natural rights of citizens, the basic rights to life, liberty and the acquisition of...
In Part II of this article, we discussed the issue of whether the Cuban people would be better off living in a social(ist) democracy or a constitutional republic after the fall (death) of Fidel Castro. We discussed that, in its essence, a democracy reflects the absolute rule of the majority of the people, while a republic prescribes a government of written laws.
It should also be stated that governance via democracy (i.e., the rule of the many) or oligarchy (i.e., the rule of the few) reflects the arbitrary, personal rule of men, whereas a constitutional republic prescribes the impersonal rule of law, constitutional laws.
Another inherent difference between the two forms of governance is the concept of rights. In a democracy, a government "of the majority of the people," the populace, can vote or grant entitlements to themselves or to politically favored minorities whenever they want. Wealth redistribution (socialism by any other name) takes place on a whim, and potentially at the expense of productive minorities that may be weak and vulnerable to expediency or to the political correctness of the time. In this regard, the Jews, throughout the ages, have many...
In Part I of this article, we discussed plausible scenarios that could take place in Cuba after the much-awaited death of the tyrant Fidel Castro. After the initial turmoil within the ruling communist ranks and the quiet jubilation inside and outside the island, it is my belief that communism in its autocratic and Stalinist form will utterly collapse and freedom will finally be within reach for my Cuban brethren in the Pearl of the Antilles - if they seize the moment.
But while hard-core communism ultimately will end, there are unscrupulous politicians, businessmen, and internationalists who would want to impose upon Cuba less perceptible forms of socialism, global collectivism, and saddle Cuba with economic policies that may not be most beneficial to the Cuban people.(1,2)
Cubans, while there is still time, need to become informed and vigilant that their future in freedom is not lost. They will need to do so to establish a government for Cuba that is most beneficial to the new nation. In short, they will have to implement with conviction a wise, just and frugal government in which free enterprise can flourish or those in the shadows with an internationalist bent...
A series of incidents in the last several weeks suggest that Cuban Maximum Leader Fidel Castro's physical and mental health may be in rapid decline. On June 23, 2001, Castro nearly fainted while delivering a speech in El Cotorro, near Havana. Cuban security agents had to assist him at the podium and kept him from falling to the ground. The incident was caught on camera and shown live in Cuba, and subsequently the taped incident was viewed in Miami. Last April, the Cuban tyrant lost his train of thought while delivering a speech commemorating the Bay of Pigs invasion. In that speech, he fumbled through papers, unable to locate some pieces of information. In another incident, he went blank in front of television cameras in the municipality of Las Palmas in Pinar del Rio.
Many informed authorities believe the death of Fidel Castro will rapidly precipitate the downfall of communist tyranny in the Caribbean Island. Fidel and his brother Raúl assert that communism will survive them.
What follows is Part I of a four-part article that first appeared in LaNuevaCuba.com between March and May 2001. The articles describe what may happen in Cuba once Castro is out of the...
Strong parental involvement is essential in education, public or private. And, true, public schools need to do better. But while public (government) schools have been deprecated by many education critics --- particularly because they have repeatedly shown that increasing per-pupil spending has not resulted in the expected academic return and because of persistent disciplinary and scholastic problems --- public schools, at least in Middle Georgia, have one big plus over many of our private or independent schools:
They do not require compulsory community service for graduation. Most independent schools in Middle Georgia do. In fact, students must complete 75 to 300 hours of "community service (CS)" before graduation from high school.
How, you ask, can anyone complain about having young people serve in their communities, allowing them to give of themselves to those who are less fortunate and assist our fellowmen in need? Certainly, in the short term it's an excellent public relations requirement that could preemptively disarm critics of private education. But is it really good in the long term for students and our communities?
Rooted in dictatorship
Almost weekly I'm receiving solicitations for "People to People" Cultural Exchanges from physician groups or sundry other organizations travelling to communist Cuba. The latest invitation has been from none other than Mary Jean Eisenhower, the CEO of People to People International. She is the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
June 14, 2001
Mary Jean Eisenhower
Chief Executive Officer
People to People International
Dear Ms. Eisenhower,
It has come to my attention that you are travelling to communist Cuba from November 4-12, 2001. In the past you have visited and conducted missions of education, culture, and humanitarianism in over twenty-three countries. Unlike the previous countries you have visited, Cuba, under the Maximum Leader Fidel Castro, remains a collectivist, totalitarian state of the old Stalinist variety. While you are there, keep your eyes open so that you will be able to see the truth.
While you are there, you and some of your fellow participants should independently rent a taxi (probably driven by an MD or professor who is forced to do so for pressing economic reasons, despite his exalted education) to...
You may have heard about the story of the psychiatrist who was prosecuted for murder because he prescribed pain medication for several patients who ultimately died. Nevertheless, you may not have thought about the implications of this news story or about how it may affect you and your loved ones.
Yes, last year, Dr. Robert Weitzel, a physician who also happened to be a psychiatrist, was prosecuted for allegedly killing five elderly patients with the effective and legal narcotic analgesic (painkiller) morphine. His intention was to treat their pain, not to kill them; nevertheless, serious complications can arise, including death, in the best of treatment rendered by the most devoted and caring of physicians. Be that as it may, his trial and prosecution are having a cumulative, chilling effect on physicians when they are called upon to treat patients suffering from chronic pain disorders.
On the one hand, Dr. Weitzel asserts that ultimately it will be patients who will suffer because their physicians will now more than ever be afraid of prescribing the proper analgesic medications to treat their patients' pain. On the other hand, state prosecutors said that Dr....
In the early spring of 1995, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan medical liability bill (tort reform) by a significant margin (247 to 171), despite a strong opposition by the trial lawyers. This legislation was a sweeping tort reform bill that would have gone a long way towards reforming medical "malpractice" and alleviating the adversarial and litigious climate in which physicians have been practicing medicine for the last three decades. It included a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, limits on "joint and several" liability, and even a provision for "loser pays" rule that would have penalized plaintiffs for filing frivolous lawsuits.
Robert E. McAfee, M.D., then president of the American Medical Association, called it "a giant leap forward"; not surprisingly, the AMA flexed its heretofore flabby abdominal musculature claiming victory for "its decade long advocacy on behalf" of physicians.(1) But, unfortunately, it was a premature muscle flexing exercise.
Something happened on the way to the forum in the high stakes of politics. Less than two months later, the U.S. Senate, led by then-Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and outflanked by his own Sen...
I was struck one particular morning when I heard on the radio on January 15, 1999, that the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), George D. Lundberg, M.D., had been fired by the AMA for using JAMA for his own political purposes. The chickens had come home to roost, I thought.
JAMA and Medical Journalism
In 1991 when the AMA launched a major campaign against domestic violence, I joined in this campaign as a member of organized medicine, although admittedly, with significant skepticism. What I found over the next four years, particularly after I became editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia (JMAG) was that instead of providing a balanced and honest approach to socioeconomic and political issues based on facts and scientific data, as would be required by professional, objective medical journals, JAMA and other AMA literature, echoed the emotionalism, rhetoric, and political correctness (and particularly so with fashionable and trendy issues) championed by the mass media.(1) This was particularly dishonest because physicians, policy makers, and the general public place a great deal of trust and credibility in the AMA,...
The AMA is joining the gun prohibitionist movement in full force. Led by the long-time speaker of the AMA's House of Delegates, now president-elect of the AMA, organized medicine has joined the gun control movement full steam ahead. This new leader, Richard F. Corlin, M.D., will call for the AMA to increase funding to "study data on firearms injuries" at its June 20 annual meeting.(1)
The fact is that the public health establishment, incarnated in the CDC, other government agencies and the myriad of schools of public health, has been sponsoring and conducting "gun research" for nearly two decades that has been found to be biased, result-oriented, and based on what has been characterized by a number of serious investigators as junk science.(2)
The AMA, using its publication empire, has been publishing this "research" in its journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Essentially only those researchers who embraced the politically correct, preordained conclusions that "easy gun availability results in crime" and that "guns and bullets are pathogens that must be eradicated" were published. Contrary views have been censored.