Perhaps there is some hope for this country after all. Independent thinkers and rugged individuals throughout this land can rejoice – the tyranny of the nanny state just may be peeled back a little bit over the next few years.
Champions of the rule of law should also feel bolstered. There needs to be a house cleaning at the Department of Justice, and there will be bills to pay at the Internal Revenus Service as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But this is also a time for grace – we do not need to tar and feather the Clintons, just put them in jail.
The damage to the media may be the hardest to repair. The organizations that we depend on to bring us information will have to be fundamentally transformed after this campaign. The outright lies told by much of the ‘mainstream media’, particularly the Washington Post, are an embarrassment to our country, and should be taught as examples of unethical practices in journalism schools for generations to come.
And in medicine this should give further encouragement to those fighting against the bureaucratization of clinical care. It is time to put caring for patients back into the spotlight instead of meaningless paperwork and administrative calisthenics.
Hopefully this catharsis after eight years of incompetent governance will lead to a new way forward where we no longer discriminate against people based on race and gender, but be able to recognize dangerous ideologies for what they are.
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, Sara Latham <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> What do you think of this?
> Solid plan to add to increased turnout to counter Bernie whackos.
*From:* Gary HIRSHBERG [mailto:GHIRSHBERG@Stonyfield.com]
*Sent:* Friday, March 18, 2016 3:39 PM
*Cc:* Jake Sullivan <email@example.com>
*Subject:* Thanks for whatever role you might have had in this...
Since we have now consolidated the groups re: registering dc’d voters and have their guarantees of 11-13% inc turnout for HRC should we consider looking to another sure-fire bid for hard vote count? Remember POTUS take on fickle AA and Latinos that may not show esp if bad weather. Got this proposal from Priorities USA.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Jesse Ferguson <firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Wed, May 6, 2015 at 5:26 PM
> Subject: Priorities USA
> To: HRCRR <email@example.com>, Dennis Cheng <
> firstname.lastname@example.org>, Marc Elias <email@example.com>, Robby
> Mook <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Charlie Baker <
> Charlie.Baker@deweysquare.com>, Jennifer Palmieri <
> email@example.com>, Kristina Schake <firstname.lastname@example.org
>We have identified a previously untapped group
>that will help insure Democratic majorities for
>years to come. While we have long relied on the
>vote of dead citizens still on the election rolls,
>we now would like to propose a campaign to go after
>the 'near dead'. These include not only elderly
>people but also chronically sick patients, many of
>whom are currently not voting. Many of these
>citizens are too mentally impaired to have an
>informed vote, making them ideal candidates for
>Our current proposal involves financial
>incentives to family members to provide us
>the names of the 'near dead', and then make
>sure that those people do not go to the polls.
>This will include additional financial
>incentives to keep these people out of the
>hospital, and not report their deaths to
>authorities. This will not only allow our
>representatives to vote in place of these
>citizens in perpetuity, but will also save
>considerable money for the health system.
>In this way the program will easily pay for
>itself in the long run, with the Medicare
>savings alone possibly running into the
>billions of dollars.
>As far as mobilizing our volunteers to the
>polls to vote in place of the 'near dead',
>this can easily be done as an extension of
>our current system for voting for the already
>deceased. Our system of vans and union
>volunteers may need to be supplemented with
>buses, but we anticipate that the costs of
>this expansion will be low, and definitely
>can be offset by fewer outreach efforts for
>the living, whose votes will become less and
>less important over time.
During a recent discussion the old adage about a frog and boiling water arose. People know the story so well it has become stale. It has lost its effectiveness as a metaphor because as soon as you start talking about the frog and the pot their eyes glaze over. The most interesting part is, like a lot of things in life, what we think we know to be a solid fact often isn’t true. Even heated slowly, at a certain point, if the frog can get out, it will. The problem is that our current science does not allow us to ask the frog how it feels about its environment, and given that we don’t even know what the hell human consciousness is all about, it is difficult to speculate on the level of self-awareness of our amphibian compatriots.
But people can tell us what they think and feel, and at a certain point in a deteriorating environment, hopefully before a critical maximum is reached, a revelation will occur, and people will try to escape.
In zoology we can study the critical thermal minima and maxima of different species, and we find that some are more cold or heat resistant than others. Red flat bark beetles (Cucujus clavipes puniceus) essentially have antifreeze in their tissues and can survive in temperatures as low as -58°C with their larvae able to survive to around -100°C. In the oceans Pompeii worms (Alvinella pompejana) can survive in water over 80°C, and on land the Sahara desert ant (Cataglyphis bicolor) thrives to a critical thermal maximum of 53.6°C.
But the king of resistance is the tardigrade (Hypsibius dujardini), also called the water bear. This little sucker can survive to almost absolute zero and up to 150°C. Considering it is less than 1 mm in length, it takes electron microscopy to reveal the cuddliness of this bear.
There are critical minimum and maximum points of governance, as well, but they are different for different people. Some people could thrive alone, with little to no supervision after a sufficient childhood learning period. Others require leadership and structure just to be able to survive. There are examples of people who were raised in the wild, without parents to teach them and with minimal human contact.
At the other end of the spectrum, theoretically everyone has a maximum point of governance, the point beyond which even the most law-abiding and submissive types will crack and rebel, but these thresholds are vastly different based on upbringing, environment, and political leanings. Call this the critical governance maximum (CGM).
Actually, the psychology of obedience to authority has been examined in a number of fascinating studies, and as with most things in life, the story is complicated. Probably the most famous research was done by Milgram in the 1960s and 1970s. In these classic experiments volunteer ‘Teachers’ were ordered to deliver electric shocks of increasing voltage to ‘Learners’ to ostensively try to improve memory tasks. In reality the shocks were fake, and the experiment was to see how far the ‘Teachers’ could be pushed. The disturbing finding of the study was just how compelling the authority figures could be – all of the volunteers delivered what were thought to be very painful shocks and two thirds were willing to go all the way to a dangerous 450V shock when told to do so. These studies have broken through to the popular culture – so much so, in fact, that the “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” rerun on while I was writing this post highlighted Milgram’s experiments as a motivation for the killer. D’Onofrio made that show, but I have to say that I like Jeff Goldblum as well…
The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) also delved into this territory, randomizing college student volunteers to be guards or prisoners in a mock prison in the basement of the Psychology Department. This experiment is often cited as an example of the abuse of power, but the reactions of the ‘prisoners’ are as interesting as the role-play of the ‘guards’. Despite being student volunteers paid for the study, the participants internalized their roles. The guards became brutal and on just the second day the prisoners revolted.
One of the main findings of these studies was an understanding of what led people in power to abuse that power. Arendt’s book about the trial of Adolph Eichmann, published in 1963, introduced the idea of the banality of evil. She had been struck by the fact that Eichmann did not come off as a monster during his trial, but as an almost disinterested bureaucrat. Later writings of Milgram from 1974, largely influenced by Arendt, attributed the actions of the ‘Teachers’ in his studies not to any prior sadistic tendencies or motivations, but to the subjects taking on the role assigned to them in the studies. He described this as an ‘agentic state‘, where
the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view themselves as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes, and they therefore no longer see themselves as responsible for their actions
Zimbardo’s conclusions from the SPE also supported this idea. He thought that the guards’ brutality derived from the role that they were put in, not from personal characteristics of the volunteers. He argues that almost anyone, given the right situational influences, can be made to abandon moral scruples and cooperate in violence and oppression, a problem he termed the Lucifer effect.
The findings of Milgram and Zimbardo dominated social theory for decades, although they were not universally accepted. Some critics have felt that these theories excuse horrific war crimes by the Nazis, and also the abuses at Abu Ghraib, particularly by lower level officers and enlisted men because they could claim that they were “only following orders”.
In fact, detailed examination of both Milgram’s experiments and the SPE do not entirely support their own conclusions. Milgram found substantial resistance by some subjects in his studies to carrying out shocks, and he did not publish his results until he had gone through many revisions of the experiment. The events divulged showed that while some ‘teachers’ resisted strongly and refused to carry out more severe shocks, other participants seemed to enjoy subjecting the ‘learners’ to pain, carrying out the shocks with zeal and even joking about the process. Milgram himself admitted that his study was as “as much art as science.”
The SPE had similar aspects which seemed to contradict the ultimate conclusions. Some of the guards were much easier on the prisoners than others, while the most sadistic guard, nicknamed ‘John Wayne’, seemed to take great pleasure in coming up with creative ways to punish the prisoners.
These reexaminations as well as more recent works in social identity theory have begun to challenge the idea that people will passively conform to authority. Current theories identify an in-group, or “tribe”, that people associate with, and instead of passive obedience, what is observed is an engaged followership. The authors of the BBC Prison Study (BPS) say:
people’s willingness to accede to the requests of others is predicated upon social identification with them, and an associated sense that they are legitimate representatives (emphasis mine) of shared group goals, values, and aspirations.
A main idea that has emerged from the BPS is that individuals need to come to identify with their group and its leadership before acting in a tyrannical way. Haslam and Reicher say that in order to carry out evil acts, people need to be able to justify their actions as ‘good’ in some way, a process that is easy for some people – those who may have more antisocial or sadistic tendencies – but more difficult for others. Peoples’ own identities converge with their group identity.
This new theory also better explains the fact that while some Nazi concentration camp guards took to their tasks eagerly and energetically, others were hesitant and only acted under direct orders. They had actually convinced themselves that they were acting for ‘the greater good’. This has been noted not only in holocaust memoirs by prisoners such as Frankl, but also in the Nazi’s own notes, where they categorized guards as cooperative or difficult.
So now we have discussed social identity theory and what drives people in power to tyrannical acts as well as what drives those under them to obey or resist authority. Besides being of general interest, what does this have to do with anything – specifically, why are we talking about this here?
The analogies to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) system should be clear. First of all, this program has been put into place through long and convoluted arguments that MOC is ‘good’ for physicians. Despite the assertions of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), for whom this program represents a major conflict of interest, there has been no general outcry by patients for this program, and despite some political posturing there has been no real proposal for Congress to put such a system in place. There is also no proof that this program serves any purpose for the benefit of patients, while the evidence of the harm of this time- consuming, expensive, and demoralizing system is clear. In fact, the only ‘benefit’ of the system seems to be the great financial benefit to the non-practicing physicians and bureaucrats who run the system – this is cronyism at it’s worst.
We can therefore say that this system is not ‘good’ for patients or physicians, but represents an ‘evil’. Only through self-serving justifications have our ‘leaders’ deluded themselves that this cronyism is for the ‘greater good’, and convinced us that it is a necessary evil.
So, if this system is so obviously bad and corrupt, why have doctors accepted this program and are only now starting to object to it?
Like the frog in the warming water we have only now realized that it is getting hot and we are trying to get out. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats have devised a pot so tall, steep, and slippery that we are finding it difficult to escape. For years we have obeyed authority, partially because this is the role that we have been placed in, partially because this is how we have been trained to act through years of having to follow authority without question, and partially because we have accepted our physician leaders as part of our in-group, acting in the group’s self-interest.
It is only recently that we are recognizing that our ‘leaders’ are no longer part of our in-group, but represent their own new group of non-practicing robber barons. Practicing physicians do not get high six figure salaries, reimbursement for spousal travel, and chauffeur driven limousines for little or no work. Practicing physicians do not get to commit tax fraud with impunity. Practicing physicians do not get to lose millions of dollars, and then demand money from their colleagues to cover up their incompetence.
So now we see that the ABMS and the ABIM are no longer our legitimate representatives. It is time for all physicians to refuse to participate in MOC. We must lobby our legislatures to pass bills such as in Oklahoma, giving us the right to work free from the MOC tyranny. For all of those who argue that we have no choice because the hospitals and insurance companies require it, we must stand collectively. We have more power than you might think – the medical system in this country cannot operate without us. There is no need to succumb to weakness and ignorance. Support the NBPAS, and do not send another cent to the ABIM, or any of the other ABMS bureaucracies.
For those of you close to recertification you may have to give in to keep your job, because the system has a lot of momentum, and many hospitals and insurance companies have not yet seen the light. But for all of you who are years away – please, please do not send any more money to these corrupt organizations. The only way to kill this monster is to starve it of its food – no more money.
The New Masculism – Political polarization and the rise of Donald Trump
There has been much consternation about the state of current politics, and the media seems quite lost when trying to come up with explanations for the situation we find ourselves in.
I believe that we are seeing the emergence of a new masculism. Men are rediscovering what it means to be a man. The man that has been created by our culture over the past half century is a weak, sniveling caricature of a man that satisfies no one but is above all nonthreatening. Think of the pajama boy from the Obamacare commercials. Historical conditions have led to the emergence of what Clint Eastwood recently called “the pussy generation”, but we now may be seeing the reemergence of a more traditional male archetype embodied in the candidacy of Donald Trump.
Please forgive the consequent oversimplifications as a necessary device for the sake of conciseness. If I paint with a broad brush it is only to get us through one hundred years of history in short order. I have no conceit to try to explain this history, only to examine how historical events have affected the culture in a ‘big-picture’ sense.
It’s a generational thing. Ideas and archetypes swing back and forth through history, not so much as a pendulum but more of a spiral progressing through time. Think of it as the helix of history. The archetypal male has gone through significant changes over the past one hundred years, and likely this is just a continuation of a progression that goes back for millennia.
For convenience and familiarity for the modern reader we will start near the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Certainly these ideas could be traced back further, but I suspect we would see repetitions on a theme. World War I was “the war to end all wars”. The carnage of infantrymen under the new technologies of the machine gun, the tank, and chemical weapons left all who experienced this with a severe distaste for war. In America men came home from war as heroes, and it was a time of celebration. Unfortunately, this era did not last very long. In the United States, but also in Europe, the optimism of the 1920’s gave way to the Great Depression. No need to get bogged down into a lengthy discussion about the possible causes of the Great Depression, but whether you are a Keynesian and think the government should have spent more or a monetarist and think the Federal Reserve should have dropped interest rates and pumped money into the banks, everyone can probably agree that there was a lot of debt, a lot of uncertainty, and a lack of trust and loss of confidence led to the spiraling conditions from recession to depression.
Now we have large-scale unemployment, which is incredibly emasculating. A large number of men have gone from being war heroes to now not being able to provide for their families. This leads to desperation that is manifested in a variety of ways around the world. Stalin solidified totalitarian power in Russia, Hitler rose in Germany on a wave of fascism and nationalism, and Roosevelt gave us the New Deal and the rise of welfare statism. On all fronts governments took over the power vacuum created by the loss of self-reliant families.
Here I would like to point out that I said self-reliant families. While my main point here is to talk about the traditional roles of men, these males have of course been accompanied by females, and they have been described with traditional female roles. One can also trace the progression of these female roles over time, and the interactions of the male and female roles in society are precisely what have led to the current state of politics. Modern feminism likes to ascribe all sorts of misnomers to traditional roles, but one of the biggest myths is that women were submissive in their positions, slaves to their husbands and fathers. While women certainly were oppressed in many aspects of public life that does not necessarily mean that they were subservient or weak. True feminine power is wielded best without the trappings of masculinity, and I would posit that feminine power is in fact weakened by attempts of women to take on masculine roles. The most successful self-reliant families rely on both the women and the men to combine their considerable powers for the betterment of the unit.
While history indeed provides an obscure lens, we should not believe that it represents Alhazen’s camera obscura in which our view of the past is inverted completely. Rather allow me to take some liberties for the sake of argument, given that I am not a historian and have not undertaken a detailed study of the conditions of the average woman one hundred years ago. Let me just assert that throughout history there have been examples of strong women who belie the portrait painted by the modern feminist movement.
So where were we? Back to the thirties with strong women and strong men and suddenly the Great Depression leads to the rise of statism over the individual throughout the United States and Europe and the emasculation of a large percentage of men. During this time a generation of boys is being raised seeing their fathers in this helpless position. The tyrants prey on this powerlessness and use the desperation of the people to create repressive, totalitarian systems that would never be accepted by empowered peoples. This in time leads up to the next World War, WWII, where men again went to die by the millions in battles of opposing political systems. This time large parts of Europe and Asia were destroyed and millions of civilians were slaughtered along the way.
To the victors go the spoils, as they say, and also the opportunity to write history, so of course we accept that the Allied Powers were the good guys. The men again return from the battlefront as heroes, but this time there is a new swagger because not only have they won the war and vanquished their foes, they are no longer helpless. The war is over, and so is the depression. They set about to build a new world and raise a new generation of children, the Baby Boomers.
The Boomer men try to emulate their fathers, but they do not have the wisdom that comes from the hardship of the Great Depression and WWII. Without the knowledge of adversity, the swagger goes overboard and becomes misogyny. Unbridled masculism can have an ugly face. This ultimately leads to the feminist revolution of the 1960s. This also happens to coincide with the civil rights movement and the recognition that blacks have rights, too.
The modern feminist movement has several parts. There are women who want to be treated equally and respected, and there are the man-haters. I can completely sympathize with the first group but have no kind words for the second. The problem for political movements trying to push the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and other such laws is that the man-hater group has tended to dominate the scene. This resulted in a backlash by the misogynistic Boomers and hence the “war of the sexes” of the 1970s.
Into the 1980s we have the beginnings of the postmodern amalgamation – my term for the current state of being post-feminist movement, post-civil rights, post-genderism, and (for some) post-religion – and a new generation is being raised. I happen to be part of this generation which has been designated Generation X. Gen Xers were raised to not see color and to treat women as equals. For the most part Gen Xers have tried to please their parents and be very accepting of others. But the Gen Xers have failed miserably in one major way – with the rise of modern feminism and the confusion that has been generated by the postmodern amalgamation, this generation has forgotten what true masculinity was all about.
Thankfully I believe that the arc of history is beginning to swing in a different direction. Men are starting to wake up to the fact that they will serve no purpose in a post-gender world, but our genetics and lizard brains will not give up so easily – masculinity will reassert itself. The hope is that we have found a better way than our Boomer generation did in claiming this masculinity. It is assertively masculine without being misogynistic. We are rediscovering the ‘real’ men of previous generations. It is a slow process, but a necessary one – our civilization depends on it.
While driving to work I listened to another interview on NPR about the rising maternal death rate in this country. The interviewer, Scott Simon, clearly had an idea that he was trying to push forward, that the increasing maternal death rate was due to the cuts made by the Texas legislature.
New statistics show that there has been a rise in the maternal death rate in this country. The rise in Texas has been the highest of any state. Six hundred mothers died in one year either while giving birth or shortly afterwards. Each one of those situations was likely a tragedy, but in Texas they have put together a study group to determine what is the cause of this and how to prevent this. This group has come out with some findings and a doctor was on the radio discussing the results.
Never mind that Texas actually put together a study to try to fix this problem, and never mind the actual results of the study, because we have an agenda here. Scott Simon posed the question as to why these mothers were dying and the doctor answered. The reality, it appears, is complicated. There are a large number of factors that contribute to maternal death. Underlying illness such as heart disease and diabetes, obesity, drug problems – particularly opiates, and late access to prenatal care.
But wasn’t this due to Texas’ cut in medical spending, Mr. Simon asked? No, it is really more complicated than that, the doctor responded. But didn’t the cuts in spending have anything to do with the increased maternal deaths? Mr. Simon persisted. Access to medical care of course has a part to play in this problem, the doctor conceded. Point made. Interview done.
What Mr. Simon did not report on was the actual findings of the study. These mothers are often on drugs, they are obese, and they do not go to the doctor. These are cultural problems, not problems with government spending. In fact, you could argue that government spending has made these cultural problems worse. Texas also has a huge problem because of the open borders situation. But no so for ‘progressives’.
When, in Animal House, Dean Wormer said “Drunk, fat, and stupid is no way to go through life son” he was telling the truth, but of course in the movie he was made fun of, and in life the ‘progressives’ have made fun of traditional culture.
What were the findings of the study? These women were basically drunk, fat, and stupid. But we can’t say that because it might upset someone’s tender sensibilities. Instead we need to blame the problem on lack of government spending. Disgusting.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about what the ultimate end point of Western civilization could be. Where are we headed and what are the forces driving us there? Clearly there has been a movement that has changed our country significantly over the past generation. This movement, or more properly identified as a mindset or an ideology, has taken over the Washington elite and has driven a stake through the heart of the Republican party.
What is it exactly that I am talking about? Part of the difficulty in discussing this ideology is that it is nebulous and insidious. It is defined more by what it isn’t than what it is. It is post-everything: post-racist, post-feminist, post-gender, post-religion. It preys on our good instincts and uses our past sins to prevent us from opposing it. Call it the postmodern amalgamation.
It is political correctness run amok. It is in the “safe spaces” where free speech is stifled in deference to tender sensibilities. It is the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education direction to campuses to assume that we live in a “rape culture”, subverting due process for the purpose of undercutting men’s rights. All of this in an attempt to do what? Make us all equal? So we are to be mixed and conjoined and transgendered into some transnational androgynous beige human being.
I’ll address the gender problem first, because it is the lesser of the problems. That is not to say that it is easy to solve, because it probably will never be solved. The bottom line is that men and women are different, but also sexuality exists on a spectrum. For those in the middle of the spectrum life can be very difficult, and I believe that we should be loving and accepting of all of our fellow human beings. I don’t care what bathroom anybody chooses to use. We should also recognize and celebrate the differences between men and women. While making life okay for the people in the middle of the spectrum, you don’t need to ostracize the people who are all-boy or all-girl.
Just as gender identity is a spectrum, gender attraction is a spectrum as well. I don’t care to whom you are attracted or to whom you want to be married, just don’t push it in my face. If more people would just mind their own business and not try telling other people how to live, we would all be better off.
As to campus rape culture: I want all victims to be heard. No one should ever be forced to have sex against their will. But all of these drunken party situations with flirtation and innuendo – give me a break. Have you ever heard the saying ‘if you play with fire you are going to get burned?’ These boyfriend-girlfriend breakup dramas and ‘we had oral sex but I didn’t want to go all the way’ mistakes are just part of life. Time to take personal responsibility. If you are drunk and stoned and in bed with someone, you have no one to blame but yourself if you end up getting fucked. These are what used to be called life lessons. But if someone drugged you or physically overpowered you, we call that ‘rape’ and there are laws for that.
But getting back to the bigger question of where this postmodern amalgamation will take us, we have to consider the survival of our Western culture. The attempts to make everybody equal are doomed to fail. Imagine a society where everybody is the same. Everyone has the same stuff and wears the same clothes. Everyone drives the same car and listens to the same music. What an incredibly boring place – a Ballardian nightmare! This would probably be where our society would be heading except that we also experiencing a clash of civilizations.
Homogenization is only possible to the extent that the parts are willing to be homogenized. For the past century, at least in the West, this has been able to happen because of a shared Judeo-Christian culture. We have, for the most part, shared an ethos of acceptance, openness, and ability to work with others. We pray for the unbelievers.
But now we have some very different civilizations threatening our way of life.
Islam is very different in that unbelievers are not to be prayed for, they are to be subjugated, converted, or killed. I am not saying that your modern moderate Muslim neighbor wants to kill you, but I am saying that when it comes down to it, they are at best indifferent to you. Deep down in places many Muslims don’t want to go in their day-to-day thinking, Westerners: Christians, Jews, secularists, are just not important. They are people to be dismissed, or depending on your strain of Islam, reviled and destroyed. This is what their ‘religion’ teaches. An impartial observer would define Islam as a cult rather than a religion, but due to political correctness we are not allowed to say this. The believers of Islam are told that they are the chosen ones, and that they are better than unbelievers. Their holy books spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the problems of the unbelievers.
Islamists don’t do political correctness. The societies of most Muslim countries are deeply misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. But they have a big advantage over our supposedly more advanced Western culture. By recognizing and acknowledging the differences between people in their societies – men and women, strong and weak, smart and dumb, left or right brained – they can take advantage of their strengths. And unless we are willing to face up to reality, Islam could take over the world.
Then we have the Chinese, who are reclaiming islands in the South China Sea and building air force bases on them with impunity. Apparently Obama doesn’t think this is a big deal. But suppose that the Chinese decide to stop subsidizing our socialist spending, and then cut off shipping through the South China Sea? Are we going to have the capacity, or more importantly the will to do anything about it? The only reason they have not done so to date is that their own economy is so dependent on ours, but the more we hand over our intellectual property to them and allow them to build factories, the more self-sustaining they will get, and eventually they will not need us anymore. Meanwhile the globalists have been happy to see our own manufacturing base get regulated right out of our country.
We in the West, in an effort to achieve an impossible equality amongst everyone, have become overly taxed, overly regulated, overly governed, overly coddled. We have undercut the best and padded everyone out of personal responsibility. Even our warning labels need warning labels. The cradle-to-grave safety nets are suffocating our humanity.
My point is that while our enemies build ¸we sit by and deliberately weaken ourselves through some misguided progressive utopian fantasy. This will not end well for us. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but probably during our kids or grandkids lives.
Taxis are highly regulated in most U.S. cities. There are a large number of reasons for this, most of which are suspect. You could argue that regulated taxi fares prevent ‘gouging’ of customers (although it still happens – and I can give you personal examples), and an argument can be made that screening and registration of drivers makes customers more safe.
The big question is why does this regulation need to be done by government? The success of Uber shows that the private sector can do this job better, more efficiently, and cheaper.
The main reason that this job has been done by governments (at least until the Uber revolution has gotten around most restrictions) is that governments have taken this power for themselves and have used it to their advantage. A generous (or some would say naïve) view of this situation is that governments have benefited from the fees paid by taxi companies, and in turn have kept the system from taking advantage of people. A more cynical view is that this is an entirely corrupt system and a lot of city leaders have been on the take.
One way that taxis have been regulated is through the medallion system. A driver needs to have a medallion in order to drive and make a living. These licenses to operate used to cost small amounts: hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars. In recent years the cost of these medallions has become outrageous (a recent auction in Chicago for medallions started at $360,000, and they went for over $1 million in New York before Uber cut these prices in half).
It costs so much that the average guy who wants to run a taxi is kept out of the system, and big companies have come in that own the medallions and employ the drivers. This inhibits competition, stifles innovation, and in the long run does nothing for the people it is supposed to help. The ones getting rich off the system are the politicians and a few big companies.
So what does this have to do with MOC? The analogy should be clear. MOC is a pay-to-play system which is purely in place for the benefit of the regulatory agency (the American Board of Medical Specialties and its member associations). There is absolutely no proof that MOC benefits patients, and just as the justifications for regulating taxis, the reasons given are dubious.
Thankfully we have a remedy coming in medicine. States are passing laws which will prevent MOC from restricting the practice of medicine. The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) is our Uber.
It has been a painful morning watching the Washington talking heads. Why wont anyone say what is so obviously true to anyone paying attention? Hillary Clinton wanted to have personal control of her email so she could erase anything that would be seen negatively. She knew that using secure government servers would involve backups, audit trails, and the potential for emails to be released by leakers or, God forbid, under the Freedom of Information Act.
Hillary knew exactly what she was doing when she set up her own personal server for her emails: she was trying to control the information and maintain command of the paper trail. The former Senator, then Secretary of State, wanted a place to do her dirty work without outsiders being able to get their hands on any evidence.
Never mind that this was highly illegal. Never mind that it was totally insecure and allowed access to anyone who wanted it. Classified information was exposed, and whether or not there was any intent on her part this constitutes illegal actions.
The more that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Obama administration do backbends and flips to try to cover up this massive breach of security the more disgusting this whole mess becomes.
And where is the media? Where are the investigative journalists? Everybody is just yammering along and giving Hillary a pass because they happen to side with her leftist politics.
Hillary Clinton thinks that she is so important that she is above the law. She and her rapist husband just dance along as if nothing criminal has been done because that is the way it has always been with the Clintons.
The Founding Fathers are turning in their graves as all credibility of the government is being plowed underground. Do not have any doubt that these chickens will come home to roost. I weep for the crumbling of our great nation.
These are heady days and the summer heat has brought us a swirl of estrogen in the air. Glass ceilings are being broken everywhere, and yet, as I heard this morning on NPR as I drove to work, the job is not nearly done. Women are still being held back in all aspects of modern life, through conscious and unconscious forms of discrimination which continue to plague the generations and keep women pinned down without opportunity.
But today I would like to address one of the most egregious examples of gender segregation which continues to be accepted throughout our country. You would think that over sixty years of progress should have told us that separate-but-not-equal practices as legal doctrine should not pass the smell test, yet this area of discrimination continues today almost unbounded.
So what is this abomination that we have allowed to keep around like Norma Bates’ corpse to haunt us, and why have we continued to perpetuate the myth that this constitutes fairness? I speak, of course, about the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Huh? you may ask, what is this you are talking about? You may know it better by the old and dreary name of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, Public Law No. 92‑318, 86 Stat. 235, specifically Title IX.
The law itself seems innocent enough:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
But, dear readers, as they say, the devil is in the detail.
This act has led to a system of separate-but-not-equal athletic programs throughout our high-schools and colleges. It is high time that the wall between the men’s and women’s programs be struck down and we allow this discrimination to come to an end.
There is no reason that our women should be held back and not be allowed to compete on the same playing fields as our men. As we have seen in soccer there are plenty of females who are fleet of foot and can strike a booming free kick.
Billie Jean King showed over forty years ago that women could hold their own in tennis. Haven’t we come a long way since then? Apparently not, as the sports are kept separate today. And golf – who would doubt that Annika Sörenstam could still hold her own against the men, and today’s new generation of golfers would certainly put Tiger in his place (and considering his treatment of women, why shouldn’t they?)
There is absolutely no reason that women should be kept separate from men in winter sports either – skiing, skating, luge, bobsled, biathlon. It seems downright silly in this modern age to run two parallel competitions for these things.
We could go on almost endlessly – lacrosse, basketball, even baseball – why do the women have to play softball instead? And what about the bastion of male dominance in sports, football. It is about time that we allow women to compete there.
Finally boxing. If we are to end gender discrimination once and for all, we need to have men and women duking it out. And what woman would not want to see their Ultimate Fighting Championship stars beat the living daylights out of the men?
I have a few things to say about Islam, but I would like to make clear that I am not talking about Muslims as individuals, or even Muslims in general. Muslims are people, and should be treated with all of the rights and dignities with which we treat all people. I have great respect for many of my Muslim friends.
The problem is not with Muslim people, but with Islamic ideology. Unfortunately a large amount of Islam is dedicated to telling adherents that they are the chosen ones, and that people who do not follow Islam are beneath contempt. This is what is written in the books of Islam: the Quran, Hadith, and Sira.
We are in the middle of a war with radical Islam, but many people in the West do not recognize this. Whether this is due to ignorance or deliberate blindness this disconnect must be overcome if our culture is to survive.