Published Articles

Tuesday, December 5, 2000

This book, in compelling narrative, makes is clear that the French Revolution actually began not with the clamor of the common people but with the blue-blooded aristocracy and the high clergy of the ancien régime who had been enamored with the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the views of the enlightenment (i.e., convincingly demonstrated in the Assembly of Notables convened in February 1787). Moreover, the revolution spilling into the streets of France began not in Paris but in the streets of Grenoble, the actual cradle of the revolution, with the Day of Tiles (June 10, 1788), and from there eventually spreading to the countryside with the grain riots and finally in March through April of 1789 in the concerted defiance of the hated game laws protecting birds and animals. The mobs learned to command the streets after the Réveillon Riots (April 1789) so that by July 14, 1789, they had had ample practice for the storming of the Bastille.

One gets to know with almost casual familiarity the important personages in the ancien régime, including those working behind the scene. (This has been heretofore usually the case only with the most bloodthirsty revolutionaries like...

Monday, November 13, 2000

Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton was correct when she said in Albany, New York, "I hope no one is ever in doubt again about whether their vote counts." Indeed, citizens should make their votes count, but they also have a responsibility to become informed and vigilant in exercising that civic duty.

She is quite wrong, though, when she states the premise that "we are a very different country than we were 200 years ago," and therefore she believes "strongly that in a democracy we should respect the will of the people and to me that means it's time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president." Perhaps as a response, a bipartisan, concomitant resolution has been offered for the House of Representatives in the next Congress.

First, it has been because of the wisdom of our Founders in establishing a representative Constitutional Republic, rather than a mass democracy, that this nation has been blessed with the freedom and prosperity that is the envy of the world. It's precisely because of our constitution with its checks and balances, separation of powers, provisions for limited governance (with protection...

Friday, November 10, 2000

As dramatic events unfold in Florida (i.e., tainted by mismarked ballots in Palm Beach County, miscounted votes, bureaucratic snafus, etc.) the Democrats are exploiting these "irregularities" to the core. Never mind that voter fraud by the Democrats has been widespread in South Florida for years, and Janet Reno has known about it.

Vice President Al Gore and the Democrats are threatening to use the litigation process of their benefactors, the trial lawyers, to destroy what remains of our Constitutional Republic, unless Al Gore is elected president. Yesterday, reported that Democrats want Florida officials to declare the election there invalid and are threatening to sue.

Better presidents than Al Gore would ever make were elected proudly by the Electoral College. Thomas Jefferson, who tied with Aaron Burr, was subsequently elected by one vote as the Constitution demanded, by the House of Representatives in 1800. John Quincy Adams was likewise elected president over Andrew Jackson (who received the majority of the popular vote) by the Electoral College. Andrew Jackson became president in 1828 when he beat Adams by the same constitutional...

Thursday, November 9, 2000

This would have been one amongst the books Maximilien Robespierre would have chosen as an acceptable biography of himself, according him his rightful place in history. It is disturbing that so many readers of this book expressing their views in praise this idealized biography, once again reinterpreting the career of this authoritarian despot, who systematically guillotined those who did not share his sterile, cold-as-steel view of the world. Jordan's version of Robespierre's biography is a slanted, utopian vision of the world, according to L'Incorruptible, Robespierre, judging him by his writings rather than by his well known treacherous and sanguinary deeds and the toll they took on France from 1789-1794, particularly 1793-1794.

This is accomplished because Robespierre has been judged by the author by his lofty-sounding words and "noble" ideals expressed in his writings and his expressed intention to transform the ancien régime into the Republic of Virtue. The fact that Robespierre, the Incorruptible, the "Representative of the People," helped demolish the ancien régime, through unspeakable violence only to bring misery and suffering and the blood and horror...

Wednesday, November 1, 2000

I recently read a book that should shock freedom-loving and civil-liberty-loving readers, even the libertarians, Objectivists, and Americans of other political persuasions who (thanks to Dr. Thomas Szasz) have come to be skeptical and even critical of psychiatry, particularly in the courtroom.

The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba by Charles J. Brown and Armando M. Lago (Transaction, 1992) provides irrefutable evidence and graphically documents that the totalitarian government of Cuba has used (and continues to use) psychiatry for political purposes—in this case, political repression, the crushing of dissent, and the establishment of conformity within the political structure of the island prison of communist Cuba.

The authors have carefully investigated the stories of 27 Cuban dissidents charged with political crimes (nonviolent opposition to the regime), arrested, interrogated by the State Security apparatus, and then treated horribly as psychiatric cases. In Cuba, psychiatrists must cooperate with State Security or face reprisals, arrest, and punishment by the communist government; thus there is no opposition to speak of.

A clear...

Friday, October 20, 2000

All ye faithful out there --- jubilate, celebrate! For this year, after Halloween, we get to cast our ballots into the wind. This year, after All Hallows' eve, there will be more at stake than candy, children, and trick or treat.

The last millennium had Albertus Magnus, (a.k.a. St. Albert "The Great") to show the Christian way. Do not despair. This new millennium we have St. Albert Gourd to pave the way. A deeply spiritual man, he will add to human insight, invoking rites of earth goddesses of Neolithic times.

Forget Greek philosophy, Aristotle, and basic truth. We have St. Albert Gourd this millennial time to tell us his own version of immanent truth. Yes, there is more to Gourd and jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween than candy, children, and trick or treat.

V.P. Dan Quayle misspelled potato and was blown to inferno. St. Albert Gourd invents, exaggerates and distorts the truth, and is still Saint Albert, albeit the Minor, no chink in armor.

The elder Albert merely wedded the great philosopher Aristotle to the basic tenets of the Mother Church. Not so this younger Albert. As he goes along (and as mere whims), a la Bill Clinton, he reconstructs reality...

Keyword(s): politics

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Although it is not yet mid-autumn (and we are already experiencing record low temperatures in certain areas of the country), presidential candidate Al Gore, you can be sure, will continue to preach about the perils of global warming, ozone depletion, and the burning of fossil fuels.

In fact, environmental and ecological concerns about the latter caused gasoline prices to rise this summer and will cause natural gas prices to rise this expectedly cold winter because of the accumulating high fuel taxes and severe environmental restrictions on the exploration, drilling, and extraction of abundant fossil fuels from our own continent.

And yet, one of the greatest threats to the environment in the Western Hemisphere, particularly the southeastern United States and the Caribbean basin, is not the internal combustion engine of our automobiles, as predicated by Vice President Al Gore in his cataclysmic "Earth in the Balance," but the obsolete nuclear power plant being constructed in Cienfuegos, Cuba.

The Juraguá nuclear plant is located only 180 miles off the U.S. coast in the seismically active area of Cuba. Fidel Castro and the Soviets chose this area in 1983...

Sunday, October 15, 2000

This biography of Robespierre, The Incorruptible, reads like a spellbinding novel, only that this book recounts more than the life of Robespierre. It graphically describes the horrors of the French Revolution and gives us vivid descriptions of all of the main participants in that orgy of blood, horror and death.

It begins with the notorious Diamond Necklace affair, which signaled the beginning of this great tragedy and sounded the clarion call of disaffection and intrigue against King Louie XVI and particularly his Queen, Marie Antoinette. When monetary and economic policy failed, this disaffection added fuel to the blaze of fire. The Ancien Régime is then consumed by the fall of the Bastille and the upheaval and conflagration of the revolution.

The French revolutionary government was not a true republic, despite its appellation, but violent democracy in action, degenerating brutally and chaotically into mob rule. The revolutionists led by Marat, Danton, Saint-Just, Hébert, Robespierre unleashed a horrible monster, a monster that, in the end, they could not control, for as Vergniaud said, "The revolution, like Saturn, is devouring its' own children."


Sunday, October 1, 2000

The Nazi War on Cancer by Robert N. Proctor is a deeply disturbing book for it describes in a good light what the author calls "the lesser-known 'flipside' of fascism-the side that gave us struggles against smoking, campaigns for cleaner food and water, for exercise and preventive medicine."

The Nazi "accomplishments" include the establishment of medical registries (that is, databases) and medical surveillance, both later used for "euthanasia," and the linkage of occupational diseases and cancer to environmental poisons. The author, professor of history of science at Penn State, also details how Nazi scientists were the first investigators to link and ultimately prove with elegant epidemiological studies that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer.

Armed with scientific proof, Nazi officials moved aggressively in an all-out campaign against cigarette smoking, and tobacco was proclaimed "an enemy of the people" (Volksfeind). As the author states early in his prologue: "The participation of doctors in Nazi racial crimes is disturbing, but it is equally disturbing that Nazi doctors and public health activists were also involved in what we today might regard as '...

Friday, September 22, 2000

In a new book, Gun Violence: The Real Costs (Oxford University Press, 2000), to be released next month, economists Philip J. Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of Georgetown University have upgraded the health costs of gun violence from the previously erroneous figure of $20 billion to $100 billion.

To reach this astonishing figure, the authors used a novel approach, "contingent valuation." By contingent valuation, Cook and Ludwig simply asked people in a telephone survey how much they were willing to pay to avoid the problem of "gun violence."

Thus, from a "nationally representative telephone survey" whereby "1,200 people were asked how much they would pay per year to reduce criminal gunshot injuries," they virtually extrapolated to the entire population.

This approach, as if it needed to be said, is as grossly unreliable as the public health use of risk analysis to prove "relative risk" in epidemiological studies. By this type of flawed methodology, public health "scientists" proved that women who wore brassieres all day are 12,500 times more likely to contract breast cancer than "flower children" women who go braless!