Politics Over Science (An Exposé)

The political war against Hydroxychloroquine — that has likely cost thousands of lives.

Former Obama chief of staff and Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. …it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before.”

Well, outside of war, America has had few national crises worse than this COVID-19 pandemic. And unfortunately, few have provided a greater opportunity for those who crave power to vastly expand it.

The pandemic has now resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 Americans and economically impacted nearly every family and small business. As bad as this has been, there is another enormous issue for the American people: The failure of those we rely on and entrust to prevent such catastrophes — or at least mitigate their damage. And perhaps even more alarming is the possibility that this failure is not due to incompetence — but intent.

I believe this saga to be one of the greatest medical scandals in American history. Perhaps like the New York state nursing home scandal, this saga will eventually receive the national media attention it deserves but until then it remains largely ignored.

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Politics Over Science (An Exposé)

The political war against Hydroxychloroquine — that has likely cost thousands of lives.

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 11: The Birth of Science and Rise of the Arts

(Part 11 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

Why did science (along with capitalism) originate in Europe and not somewhere else? Certainly there were brilliant people in other cultures. The answer has everything to do with the people’s image of God.

For over a century, secular intellectuals have quickly and enthusiastically “credited” Christianity for Western colonialism. They maintain that fundamentalist Christian imperialistic societies embarked on a worldwide mission to destroy peaceful, indigenous cultures wherever they traveled. However, these same intellectuals are not so quick to credit Christianity with the wealth generated for these explorations by capitalism; or that it also led to many other human advancements like scientific discoveries and achievements in the arts.

Even today it would be out of character for these “enlightened” intellectuals to acknowledge that not only has there never been a separation between science and (Christian) religion, it was actually the Christian scholastics who were the authors of true science. Secularists contend that science developed in spite of the superstitious medieval beliefs they associate with Christianity — not because of it.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 11: The Birth of Science and Rise of the Arts

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 10: The Growth of Capitalism

(Part 10 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

Until the dawn of capitalism in Christian Europe, all previous (dominant) cultures had “command” economies: Markets and labor are “commanded” or coerced rather than allowed to function freely and voluntarily.

Before the dawn of capitalism, much of ancient wealth took the form of buildings —monuments really— like the pyramids in Egypt, the Parthenon in Greece and others.  Although impressive, these structures had no productive value and were built mostly by slave labor.

Similar to people living in command economies, those living under the constant threat of marauders or arbitrary confiscation also live with the perpetual risk that their wealth will be forcibly taken at any time so most of their efforts are focused on just keeping and protecting wealth, not productively investing it for growth.

Command economies never produce much wealth. They ignore the most basic of all economic facts that “all wealth derives from production.”1  (For wealth to be created something must be mined, hunted, fished, grown, made or manufactured.)

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 10: The Growth of Capitalism

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 9 – The Dawn and Moral Foundations of Capitalism

(Part 9 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

Thomas Aquinas was born during the same time period that Genghis Khan was ravaging western Asia. Aquinas became one of the most important figures in the development of Western Civilization, especially in reconciling the brilliant (but pagan) philosophy of the ancient Greeks with historical Christian theology.

In his landmark book, Summa Theologica, Aquinas brought together Biblical revelation with human reason; in particular the philosophy of Aristotle, whom he considered the greatest of the newly rediscovered Greek philosophers. Recall that most of the works of the ancient Greeks had only been recently found mostly through cooperation with the Islamic world from about the mid-12th to the mid-13th centuries.

Aquinas is considered one of Western Civilization’s greatest philosophers for proclaiming that reason was a gift from God instilled in humans to be used to understand, explain and enjoy His creation.
Both Augustine and Aquinas applied reason to God’s Word. Aquinas argued that faith must precede reason which had to be used with humility — the understanding that our intelligence and knowledge as humans is limited.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 9 – The Dawn and Moral Foundations of Capitalism

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 8 – The Impact of the Crusaders and Mongols on the Islamic World

(Part 8 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

While the European continent was finally beginning to settle down in the 11th century, nothing was settled in the Islamic world. Muslim expansion was militant and continuous. Muslim Arabs waged war against the coastal areas of France and Italy and occupied Sicily.

Jerusalem was originally captured by caliph Umar from the Christians in the 7th century who weren’t significantly impacted for a few centuries. But by the 11th century the zealous Fatimid caliph, Hakim, was persecuting Christians and “despoiled” the Holy Sepulcher (the church built by Emperor Constantine’s mother in 330 A.D.). The Holy Sepulcher commemorated the hill of crucifixion and Christ’s burial tomb. Hakim had the 700 year-old church destroyed right down to the bedrock.

By the late 11th century, Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, who had been threatened by the (Muslim) Seljuk Turks appealed to the West (Rome) for help. In 1095 Pope Urban II exhorted the church council at Clermont, France to go to Jerusalem to take back the tomb of Christ from Islamic control.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 8 – The Impact of the Crusaders and Mongols on the Islamic World

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 7: The Christian Transformation of Europe

(Part 7 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

Charlemagne’s empire didn’t last long after his death in 814 as a new wave of pagan barbarians waged war against Christendom in the 9th century. Among the most well-known were the Magyars (migrants from central Asia), called Hungarians in Latin. They settled in the middle Danube region around 900.

Other barbaric Germanic tribes originating in Scandinavia called the Vikings (a.k.a. the Norsemen or Danes) burst out in virtually all directions. They went as far as Kiev (Russia) in 864, founded Iceland in 874 and even reached North America around 1000. They remained and settled in places like England and Normandy (France).

Gradually, most of this second wave of barbaric tribes were also assimilated into the Christian faith and became ‘civilized’ and were accepted into local villages.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 7: The Christian Transformation of Europe

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 6: A Tale of Two Cultures – Muhammad in Arabia and Charlemagne in Europe

(Part 6 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

It is widely known in Judeo-Christian teachings that Abraham (with his wife, Sarah)  was the father of Isaac (who, in turn, was the father of Jacob who fathered twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of Israel). Many don’t realize that Abraham is the ancestral father of the Islamic world as well.

14 years before Isaac was born, an aging Abraham didn’t trust that God would ever give him a son with elderly Sarah, so he fathered a boy with Sarah’s servant, Hagar. An angel told Hagar to name her son, Ishmael, and said to her: (Gen. 16:12. “…his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward[b] all his brothers.”

God didn’t want the birth of his nation of Israel created by an extramarital relationship. He told Abraham (Gen. 17:16) that it was Sarah who had to be “the mother of nations,” not Hagar — completely leaving Ishmael out of this legacy. But after hearing Abraham’s pleas to bless his son, Ishmael, God said (Gen. 17:20), “I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.”

It clearly happened. Both Jewish and Muslim histories agrees that Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 6: A Tale of Two Cultures – Muhammad in Arabia and Charlemagne in Europe

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 5: The Barbarians

(Part 5 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

At the same time the Roman Empire ruled the greater Mediterranean region, in North America the metropolis of  Teotihuacan (named much later by the Aztecs) near modern day Mexico City was the largest city in the Western Hemisphere before the 15th century. It is most widely identified by its iconic pyramids: Its Pyramid of the Sun is the third tallest in the world; a wonder at 216′ tall.

The culture lasted for as many as seven centuries but no one knows how it started, how it came to great power and why it collapsed. There are no records. It has no lasting legacy. Even its name: “Teotihuacan” was given by the Aztecs (“City of the Gods”) seven centuries after its collapse so we don’t even know what this thriving culture called itself.1

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 5: The Barbarians

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 4: Rome’s Impact and the Ascension of Christianity

(Part 4 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

No one knew it was year One in Rome when it arrived. In fact, it wasn’t even considered to be year One until over 500 years later when a sixth-century monk convinced the pope that the birth year of Christ was the greatest in history and that all years prior to that should be “B.C.” or before Christ and those after should be “Anno Domini” or A.D. meaning “year of our lord.”1

At its peak, the Roman Empire covered enormous territory. Virtually all lands west of Persia were part of the empire including Egypt, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria and (now the nations of) Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, and England.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 4: Rome’s Impact and the Ascension of Christianity

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 3: Christianity’s Surprising Growth during the Bloody Roman Persecutions

(Part 3 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

In the first century, the Israelites were a relatively small ethnic group held captive by the Romans but in possession of one of the keys for unlocking humanity’s advancement. Their Jewish Bible contained the “secrets” for progress but was largely unknown beyond a tiny region in the Middle East.

For the Jews, the way in which their Bible was introduced to the word was the unlikeliest of situations: It was the followers of a man they did not believe was the long-awaited messiah who ultimately took their sacred scriptures to the world.

No human in history has had the impact of that Jewish carpenter from Nazareth whose public ministry only lasted for a few years. It was the birth, ministry, death and – for believers – the resurrection of Jesus Christ that changed the world.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 3: Christianity’s Surprising Growth during the Bloody Roman Persecutions

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 2: God, Greeks and the First Sexual Revolution

(Part 2 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

The greatest surprise for European explorers, especially those like Columbus, was the backwardness of the people they came upon. They were stunned by the tremendous technological superiority they had. It made proud, brave peoples like the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas virtually and ultimately helpless in their defenses.

Even the highly regarded civilizations of the East like China, India and the Muslim world were quite backward by comparison with 15th century Europe.

Why had Europeans (for centuries) been the only people to “possess eyeglasses, chimneys, reliable clocks, heavy cavalry, or a system of music notation?”1 Why did the Europeans blow the rest of the world away when it came to things like “metallurgy, shipbuilding and farming?”2

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 2: God, Greeks and the First Sexual Revolution

The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 1: America and Western Civilization Under Attack

(Part 1 of a multi-part series on The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization.)

Nothing in history has benefited the human race like the ascendancy and dominance of Western Civilization. In this multi-part series we’ll prove it.

Many think of Europe when Western Civilization is mentioned but Europeans got a very late start toward civility. “Half of man’s recorded history had passed before anyone in Europe could read or write.”1

When the Roman Empire officially ended in 476, the European continent was a wasteland of crumbled “roads” and barbarian marauders. How then was it possible, that this disorganized, illiterate, unconnected region would come to dominate the world over the next millennium?

This is the first of an occasional series on the unlikely miracle of Western Civilization. Much to the dismay of multiculturalists, modern civilization grew and matured in Europe due to an amazing confluence of events unquestionably directed by a very patient God.

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The Moral Triumph of Western Civilization

Part 1: America and Western Civilization Under Attack

Medicare for All – One of the worst ideas in the nation’s history

(FINAL of a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

The core belief of the Medicare for All advocates is that only a government-run, bureaucratic “Deep State” can solve the problems with medical care in America.

These socialists (after all, they are advocating adoption of one of the most socialized systems in the world) can’t even fathom that it is the unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy, and more recently the unaffordable Affordable Care Act, that have further damaged an already flawed medical payment system.

One only has to look at the Veterans Affairs (VA) system to get a glimpse of how national, government-run health care would (not) function. This authentic single-payer system has let our veterans down for years. A VA investigation in 2016 found that over 100 vets died just in Los Angeles County alone over a 9-month period while awaiting treatment. And this despite a $15 billion reform package that passed in 2014 supposedly to clean things up.

It is essential to recognized that even with all of our payment or insurance issues, actual medical care in America is second to none.

Read moreMedicare for All – One of the worst ideas in the nation’s history

Health care options for America

(Sixth in a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

Few Americans are satisfied with the current health care system. But actual medical care in America is not the problem, it’s second to none. What needs fixing is how we pay for it.

The health care payment system in the United States is clearly in need of major reform. Our challenge as a prosperous society is to compassionately provide necessary medical care to those who have difficulty affording it but also to ethically relieve those now burdened with the cost of care of others through considerably higher medical bills or insurance premiums.

One of out of every five Americans don’t pay anything for their care – but somebody does. Doctors and nurses don’t work for free. The people who pay for this care are the “neighbors” of those who got it free or subsidized. What makes this so unethical is that those “neighbors” who end up paying more than what they legitimately owe are mostly being charged extra without their knowledge.

When people don’t pay the cost of a service or product, they want all of it they can get. It’s not a criticism of them, it’s simply human nature. Demand skyrockets when something desirable is free. I’ve had ER physicians tell me they’ve often seen the same people, on Medicaid or without any insurance at all, show up in ER routinely for the most minor of injuries or ailments. Everyone should pay something even if its nominal. It would discourage frivolous use.

The better solution is to move toward a market-oriented system that still benevolently provides care for the truly needy but doesn’t allow others to abuse the system by showing up in ER every two weeks with the sniffles.

Read moreHealth care options for America

Medicare for All: Socialist destruction of American health care

(Fifth in a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

If the Democrats win the House on Tuesday, the first bill they may pass is “Medicare for All” since it already has over 120 co-sponsors. These now admitted socialists would destroy the world’s greatest health care system due to their arrogance and addiction to political power.

Nearly all previous socialist efforts to destroy the free market have started with the same premise: The current system is so bad, so troubling that government must step in to take remedial action by imposing itself into the marketplace. Phrases like “single-payer,” “universal health care” or the current favorite, “Medicare for All,” are attractive marketing phrases designed to promote expanded government power. In reality, “restricted health care,” “shared shortages,” or “inaccessible care” would be more accurate when describing such concepts.

To socialists, the free market can’t be trusted because it’s just not fair the way it uses merit to produce winners and losers. It’s why government and academia are so closely ideologically aligned. Many have never worked one day of their lives dealing with free market competition. They just know they’re smarter and have better ideas better than those less intelligent simpletons who are out there actually doing the work.

Read moreMedicare for All: Socialist destruction of American health care

“Medicare for All” would destroy America’s great hospitals

(Fourth in a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

First of all, it must be stated: Everyone in the United States has access to quality medical care regardless of ability to pay in America’s great hospitals.

It is a misconception, and a common cry with the “Medicare for All” crowd that that because many in America don’t have health insurance, they aren’t able to receive medical care. As virtually any Emergency Room physician or nurse will convey, that isn’t true. In most cases, hospitals would treat these uninsured patients anyway, but they must do so because of federal law.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) was passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It states that all hospitals under the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) system, must examine and treat essentially anyone who walks into the waiting room.

As we as a nation seriously consider whether or not we want a socialized system for our medical care, many would be surprised to learn that our hospitals are not in very good financial shape. Yes, of course they see the expansions and exorbitant hospital bills and immediately assume our medical centers are overcharging for care and loaded with money. For some elite centers this may be true, but overall, hospitals are not in good financial condition and would be irreparably damaged by a single-payer, socialist, “Medicare for All” type system.

Read more“Medicare for All” would destroy America’s great hospitals

Health care in America: great medical care, poor payment system

(Third in a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

Those touting the “Medicare for All” plan are using the phrase to entice those with just a surface awareness of what Medicare actually is into blindly jumping on board the bandwagon. In fact, the phrase is extremely disingenuous (albeit politically brilliant), designed to intentionally mislead the an public. (It is not so dissimilar from the deceptively named “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”)

The goal is to seduce a mostly uninformed citizenry into supporting a concept that sounds like they’ll (1) never again have to pay anything for medical care; (2) such care will always be readily available when they want it and (3) medical care in the United States will remain top notch.

What Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters say they really want is a Canadian-style, government-, state- or bureaucratically-run health care system and not a plan similar to Medicare here in the U.S.

Read moreHealth care in America: great medical care, poor payment system

Countries with socialized medical care and the misconception of “rights”

(Second in a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

The core “moral” principle supporting the Medicare for All proposal is “health care is a right.”  This is not so. Free health care is not a human right, no more than free food, clothing or shelter are human rights. An intrinsic right can only come from a transcendent being – God.  Kings don’t have “divine rights,” they have “divinely gifted rights” – like all the rest of us do.

No human right can demand the involuntary servitude of another person – either by being forced to provide his or her medical expertise free of charge, or by having the state confiscate the private wealth of others to pay for the care of those who don’t pay. Intellectuals invoke the claim of “rights” even when they can cite no basis or reason. They just claim it, like saying everyone has the right to “affordable housing” or a “living wage.”

The two nations most prominently cited as the darling models of single-payer systems for the Medicare for All crowd are Canada and Great Britain.

Read moreCountries with socialized medical care and the misconception of “rights”

Socialism’s Rebirth in America

(First in a seven-part series: Medicare for All – Quality and Accessible Care for None)

Socialism’s origins in America began 400 years ago, when the Pilgrims made a commitment to leave the Netherlands for the New World after forming a partnership with a group of merchants from London.

Britain granted this new jointly-owned company a plantation in the Virginia Colony in 1617.  Of course, we know they missed their intended destination by hundreds of miles when they landed instead along the Massachusetts coast.

This contract was a socialist planner’s dream. It stated that each adult would acquire an equal share in the company; it meant that when they arrived in 1620 Plymouth Colony operated under the governing mandate that all production was owned by the collective. “Food for All” might have been the catchy, feel-good phrase used at the time.

This economic experiment produced disastrous, fatal results.  During the very first winter alone, half of the new colonists perished.

Finally, in 1623, America’s first experiment with socialism was mercifully scrapped. Individual, private property rights were established for both land and production giving each settler the right to keep (eat or sell) the fruits of his labors.

Today, just when we thought it was dead (yet again), socialism is experiencing a strong political rebirth in the United States. Combine this sentiment with an increasing distrust/dislike for private insurance companies along with a collective misunderstanding of what defines a “human right” and it’s no surprise “single-payer” or “universal health care” or the attractively-named “Medicare for All” is a steamroller-like political movement.

Read moreSocialism’s Rebirth in America

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