Published Articles

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A review of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (2004)

This book is the most comprehensive biography of Alexander Hamilton released in modern times. It tells the story well and is written in florid detail supported by a fount of scholarly research and previously undisclosed material from Hamilton's voluminous writings. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) was born in the West Indies (Nevis), descended from the laird of Grange in Scotland on his father's side of the family and from French Huguenots on his mother's side. Brought up in relative poverty, Hamilton was soon recognized as a child prodigy by Hugh Knox, a Presbyterian minister in the islands. As an extremely proficient clerk at a Counting House in St. Croix, young Alexander Hamilton's employers also appreciated his precocity and intelligence. Knox arranged for Hamilton, now age 17, to receive financial assistant from the admiring islanders, who backed Hamilton to travel to America and study on scholarship. America was then a land in revolutionary turmoil, rebelling against British rule. As a student, Hamilton soon became embroiled in the heat of politics and revolution. Hamilton studied at Kings College (later Columbia...



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

This list is admittedly a compilation of sundry and disparate political historic characters, ranging from do-gooder reformers with possibly good intentions to militant revolutionists who desired to overthrow the existing order of government, ostensibly to create a better world.

Deviousness and demagoguery are salient features in this list, which has come to include what I consider the top 10 shadiest and most devious politicians, statesmen, or revolutionaries to affect the course of history, up to the eve of the Russian Revolution. Regardless of the political category they fall in as politicians or revolutionaries, these political scoundrels, unorthodox statesmen, or misguided revolutionaries altered, or came close to altering, the course of history. These remarkable men were not established rulers or dictators for they did not reach supreme power for long. They were certainly charismatic or resourceful individuals, and because of one of those two characteristics, for a time they appealed to the masses via demagoguery, or gained temporary power via revolution, or attracted the support of the power elite because of their manifest talents and abilities. This list curiously...



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sun Shuyan, author of The Long March — The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth, was born in the 1960s, reared and schooled in communist China, as well as at Oxford, England, where she won a scholarship. Sun Shuyun is now a documentary filmmaker who "for the last decade divided her time between London and Beijing." This short biographical vignette of the author is essential because it parallels her "divided," and seemingly ambivalent, views on Mao and his legacy — viz-a-viz, the People's Republic of China (PRC). Sun Shuyun's father was a hard-line communist who bitterly resented the more moderate course China took in recent years, and upon his death was cremated in his Mao uniform with his medals. The author herself seems to have, as of yet, not completely broken and freed herself totally from her communist childhood indoctrination. Criticism of Mao and China's communist history is obliquely alluded to and only indirectly uttered from the mouths of some of the elderly survivors of the Long March who she interviews.

The book is "dedicated to the men and women of the Long March," and appropriately so, as Shuyun relies on the historic and personal accounts...

Keyword(s): China, communism, history, politics


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A review of The Giant of the French Revolution: Danton, A Life by David Lawday (2009)

Georges Danton was the "Titan of the French Revolution," but like the Girondins before him, he was too late in recognizing the need to stop the madness, the grinding of lives by the terror, and the excesses of the Revolution they had unleashed on the hapless French people and, ultimately, the world.

Danton, the man who prepared the Insurrectionary Commune for the storming of the Tuileries in the August 10, 1792 coup d'état; the man who inspired "the Miracle of Valmy" (1792), and the revolution's greatest orator and hero himself, ultimately became a victim. But Danton went to the guillotine with courage. Retrospectively, Danton had come to his senses too late to stop the terror, the terror he himself had organized in perpetrating (or acquiescing in) the atrocities committed in the unconscionable September Massacres in the tempestuous autumn of 1792. He was never forgiven for these brutalities by Madame Roland, a leader of the great Girondins, who he had fatally opposed. When Danton tried to find allies to stop the terror, there was no one to forge alliances, no counter force left...



Monday, June 16, 2014

The liberal left has devoted a great deal of energy in its war on “racism,” a rather hazy concept in modern society. Most think of racism as disliking or even hating someone based only on their race. Almost, as a reflex, one, at least in this country, associates racism with the Southern states — particularly Mississippi. While the Deep South involved itself in the so-called Jim Crow laws and other expressions of segregation policies, it was not alone in racial exclusion policies and social behaviors. One must also keep in mind that such laws were based on collectivism — that is, that a person’s position in society is determined by his race alone — no consideration was to be given to the individual person.

In my studies of the origins of totalitarianism and other dictatorial governments, I have concluded, as have many others, that there are two basic ways of viewing societies — either as collectives or as individuals. The original conservative intellectual views man from a Judeo-Christian viewpoint — that is, that people are special creations of God and each is a separate individual and should be approached and considered from this understanding. Based on this...



Thursday, May 22, 2014

The author of The Long March: The Untold Story, Harrison E. Salisbury (1908-1993), was an American journalist and an eloquent writer, but he had a romantic, softspot for young, "idealistic" communist revolutionaries. This infatuation persisted even though these revolutionists ultimately showed their true colors when they attained supreme power, discarded their sense of justice, imposed communism and totalitarianism, and used terror to rule the police states they had created. Instead of the "workers paradise" they promised, Lenin followed by Stalin in the Soviet Union and Mao Tse-tung and his followers in China brought unspeakable horror to the people they claimed they had liberated. Salisbury (photo, right) was a great journalist, nevertheless he was able to wear blinders, super-imposed on rose-tinted glasses when writing about these monsters. This is true for Vladimir I. Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and the rest of the Bolsheviks in Salisbury's novelistic and best book, Black Nights, White Snow, about the Russian October Revolution of 1917, and even more so with Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese communists during the period 1934-1935 in The Long March: The Untold Story.

Fabulous...



Thursday, May 15, 2014

This interview resulted in the May 14, 2014 article, "U.S. Experts urge focus on ethics in brain research" by Kerry Sheridan, AFP Correspondent. The article was distributed through the NewsCred Smartwire, Agence France Presse.

Kerry Sheridan, Agence France-Presse (AFP): Hi Dr. Faria, I'm working on a story about calls for consideration of ethics in neuroscience research, and I was wondering if I could interview you about your thoughts on the need for ethical oversight in neuroscience?

My questions on neuroscience ethics are:
 
1. Is it possible to make sure certain ethics are adhered to in neuroscience, whether in a single country or globally?
 
2. What do you think are the greatest dangers in modern neuroscience?
 
3. This commission is calling for ethics to be considered, but has not defined any standards. Would that be harder to do? What kinds of boundaries should neuroscientists respect?
 
Thanks so much!
Best,
Kerry

Dr. Miguel Faria (Answers): I will combine your questions and answer them together as follows: Yes. This worthwhile goal is feasible, as long as neuroscientists...



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Over the years, in both commentaries and letters to the editor in my local newspaper, I have noted the naïve expression of many letter writers and liberal pundits, who glossing over the Constitutional protections guaranteed by the 4th and 5th Amendments, opine, “If you don’t have anything to hide, then you don’t have anything to fear!” When the Soviet KGB needed culprits, their motto was “Show me the man and I will show you his crime.” In other words, charges can be brought against anyone, once the State has decided to trample on the rights of any targeted citizen. In the U.S, ask David Koresh and Vicky Weaver, and all those little known Americans, such as Carl Drega, and more recently John Gerald Quinn, whose home was subjected to a “no-knock” raid (once referred to as “dynamic entries”) based solely on the suspicion there was a gun in his house, or Bruce Abramski and all those lawful American gun owners who over the years have been victimized by the ATF.

Civilian disarmament has always preceded genocide in totalitarian tyrannies. History teaches us that repressive governments that end up committing genocide and mass killings of their own populations ("democide") have...



Monday, April 14, 2014

Preliminary Note: The article that follows is a review of Mao — The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. However, I have chosen to include this Preliminary Note before the formal review for reasons that will soon become apparent to the reader. This authoritative biography and history comes in a hefty tome illustrated with many rare photographs as well as detailed Maps of specific areas discussed in the text, which actually ends on page 631. The supportive material includes an additional 85 pages of meticulously compiled Notes followed by a comprehensive Bibliography of Chinese as well as Non-Chinese Sources. There is also an Index and a List of Interviewees and Archives Consulted.

Although I have considerable experience with Amazon.com reviews, I found the early reviews of this book, with negative comments and votes in the thousands, shocking. The book was appreciated by most readers; nevertheless, it ended unjustly with a rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars because of an unfair, orchestrated, political campaign of vilification of which Mao himself would have been proud. This reminds me, frankly, of the Active Measures and Disinformation Department of the Soviet KGB,...



Monday, April 7, 2014

A week or so ago we discussed Obama's Mid-term Report Card on foreign policy. It was the opinion of most readers of GOPUSA that the sitting President received a solid "F, " failing grade. Today, we look at his job of protecting the civil liberties and personal freedom of Americans; in other words, his observance of the Bill of Rights and constitutional rights. Once again, it is not a pretty picture, but in all fairness, Obama is not solely at fault here. The Democratic Party, which he heads with Nancy Pelosi in the U.S. House of Representatives and Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate — and more than a few accommodating Republicans, particularly in the Senate — are probably as much to blame for the erosion of freedom in this country and President Obama's consequent report card grade in this area.

Promulgation of Socialism at the Expense of Economic Freedom

Profligate government spending (with record budget deficits and the  astronomical increase in the national debt) has taken place with loss of economic freedom, increased taxation, and welfarism — all hallmarks of socialism and authoritarianism. This should count in the area of loss of civil liberties because...