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Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD
What a great country we are! Where else do we have immigrants from around the world who stood in line for years or risked their lives to be part of the U.S. and also mobs of people who want to overthrow the government that brought the world individual liberty, due process under the law, and the right to peacefully protest? These violent mobs are burning down Black-owned small businesses in the name of improving Black lives. The most liberal city in America, blessed with a socialist congressperson, boasts an angry horde chanting the Iranian mullahs’ favorite saying, “death to America” as they vandalized private property.
While Black lives are clearly as precious as anyone else’s, supporters should beware. Black Lives Matter’s co-founder describes herself as a “trained Marxist” and its manifesto rejects private ownership, individuality and the traditional family.
Only in America can we have an internationally acclaimed, Princeton and Harvard law school-educated, over-paid hospital administrator, wife of a former two-term Black president, who lives in a lily white neighborhood in a $12 million, 7,000 square foot, 29 acre beachfront estate, cast herself the poster child for aggrieved Black victims of evil white people? Obviously, Mrs. Obama has nothing in common with the hapless Black folks caught in the crabs-in-the-barrel, anti-education mentality that drives them to quit school, or worse, commit crimes and run from the police and wonder why things do not end well. This privileged person relishes in telling a story of someone who cut in front of her in line, concluding it was fueled by racism. No, it was a rude person who likely always cuts in line. This screed is a well-known tactic among radicals: create an enemy and demonize him at every opportunity.
It is vexing to see privileged people emphasizing their tribal identities (e.g., race, gender, sexual preference) and embracing critical race theory that preaches that American government and culture is racist (sexist, homophobic), that oppressed people can never overcome the racism (sexism, homophobia), and that even people who are not racist are racist because they like America. Thus, America must be reformed into a Marxist utopia. Fact alert: Thomas More’s Utopia, written in 1516, was political satire. “Utopia,” derived from the Greek, literally means “nowhere.”
In the march to a collectivist society, we’ve entered the phase of erasing history. Despots through the ages have airbrushed their enemies out of photographs and history books. Mobs and woke politicians initially toppled statues of offensive historical figures. Now, no historical figure is safe: the mayor of Washington DC wants to take down or “contextualize” the Washington monument and the Jefferson Memorial.
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 presciently depicted an American society where books (representing history and culture) are outlawed and burned. First, our statues, next our books. As George Orwell wrote in 1984, “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered… History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” A submissive, compliant populace drugged by government largesse or simple apathy is a recipe for a massive societal shift. Censorship by the news media and taking down websites and social media posts are the polite 21st century version of exiling the enemies of the state.
Generally, 2020 was going well with high employment rates, rising salaries, and racial harmony. Along came coronavirus. Those who want to fundamentally change America knew fear was an effective tool to drive us to acquiesce to unreasonable government demands. Some governors confined us in our homes indefinitely, unable to attend funerals or religious services to have our moral principles reinforced. Wearing masks that prevent flashing a friendly smile to strangers of all colors while strolling down the street fosters distrust.
By the time more was known about the new virus’s low probability of death for the average person and about the uselessness of lockdowns, we were raw and susceptible to emotional manipulation. The drumbeat of social justice über alles is pounded into our psyches. In what sane world would anyone swallow the leftist swill that looting is justified as reparations for slavery?
How does labeling some Americans the “oppressors” and others the “oppressed” based on skin color advance societal harmony? How does having employers force Caucasians to take classes to learn that they are racists and how to repent for their “white privilege” engender warm feelings?
Instead of whining about the past, advocates for improving Black lives should march through the Black-on-Black violence-ravaged sections of Chicago and let people know that success – while not easy – is possible. And all liberty lovers must wake up from our fear-induced stupor and actively protect our freedoms and reject mob rule while treating our fellow man with respect.
Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist and immediate past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She is a graduate of Stanford, UCSF Medical School and UC Berkeley Law School.
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By Dr. Glenn Mollette
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author and is read in all 50 states.
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By Dr. Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD
The COVID-19 lockdown has its benefits: a chapter a day of the unabridged version of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago,” a study in fear and redefined “normal” values, among many other lessons.
Lately I’ve seen face coverings stenciled with “I can’t breathe.” The beauty of the statement is its dual meaning. It can be a nod to George Floyd, an arrestee who apparently suffocated at the hands of a rogue law enforcement officer or it can be a statement of the wearer’s condition behind the mask. More generally, it can be a statement about the suffocation of society as a whole.
Free speech is the bedrock of our politics, but media manipulation is now rampant. Under the guise of fact-checking, our modern day news- papers — YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — have become the arbiters of what constitutes a worthy opinion or fact in contrast to “misinformation.” Scientists were certain that something heavier than air could not maintain flight. The misinformed Wright brothers proved them wrong.
Vladimir Lenin recognized that the media are propagandists and their information presented should be “easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.” With COVID-19, the media create irrational fear with daily charts of deaths and case numbers without corresponding recoveries. They fail to mention that many deaths were of patients with serious underlying conditions or who were already in hospice and had weeks to live and coincidentally tested positive.
The raw numbers are unaccompanied by the CDC’s instruction to classify a death as COVID-19 even if merely suspected or, in some cases, with a negative test. There is no corresponding warning with blinking lights that the tests have false positives or that the daily report of “increases” includes old tests that were not previously reported.
As Lenin noted, “ideas are much more fatal than guns.” Thus, where propaganda and media bias do not succeed, censorship will.
Currently, a vocal physician is being silenced and investigated for questioning the motives and possible over-reporting of COVID-19 as the cause of death. Censorship is our polite version of “disappearing” dissidents. We are not Communist China and cannot allow the treatment of Dr. Li Wenliang, a Wuhan ophthalmologist to be the “new normal.”
In December 2019, he courageously warned his colleagues on social media about the new SARS-like pneumonia cases but knew that he “would probably be punished.” In-deed, Chinese officials forced him to sign a letter accusing him of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order.” Fortunately for scientific advancement of our relentless search for COVID-19 treatments and mitigation, many questioned the official story about the novel coronavirus coming from a pangolin at a Wuhan wet market.
Censorship, corrupt scientific inquiry, and media bias have no place in medicine. It is not clear that lockdowns are scientifically sound. Curiously, social justice protests are allowed despite lockdowns. One epidemiological analysis concluded lockdowns in Western Europe had no effect on COVID-19 deaths. Additionally, studies show severe psychological effects of quarantines.
The five states with the most COVID-19 deaths from March through April showed a 35% to 400% increase in deaths from various non-respiratory underlying causes, including diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and cerebrovascular diseases. Some 80,000 diagnoses of five common cancers may be missed or delayed by early June because of disruptions to medical care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most reviews conclude that masks do not slow down the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (that causes COVID-19). Studies show non-medical masks do not stop aerosolized droplets less than 2.5 microns. A group of 239 scientists from multiple disciplines from 32 countries have recently agreed that SARS-CoV-2 is spread by such small droplets. They recommend improving indoor ventilation infection controls as the key protective measure. Handwashing and social distancing—but not masks—were advised. The CDC recommends masks.
Faced with a global pandemic, physicians were exploring hydroxy- chloroquine (HCQ), which had been favorably studied during the 2003 SARS epidemic, as a prophylactic or an early treatment. Numerous reports of HCQ’s efficacy on thousands of patients continue to mount. Once the media labelled it “Trump’s drug,” the fix was in.
The long-awaited randomized clinical trial showing no benefit was gleefully reported by the media. However, the media were silent when the study was found to be so corrupt that it had to be retracted. Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital’s large 3-month observational study that showed a significant reduction in mortality in hospitalized patients with HCQ and validated HCQ’s over 60-year record of safety garnered little media attention.
These (purposefully) chaotic times are an opportunity for a movement toward government control and the suppression of individuality. Lockdowns keep us apart and stifle the free exchange of ideas and social communion. As Eric Hoffer explained in True Believer, a mass movement deliberately makes the present “mean and miserable ... People whose lives are barren and insecure seem to show a greater willingness to obey than people who are self-sufficient and self-confident.” Becoming a psychological cripple is not an option.
Is this chaos a new form of plastic surgery? When the bandages (masks) are removed will you be a changed person?”
Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD, is a board-certified anesthesiologist and immediate past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She is a graduate of Stanford, UCSF Medical School and UC Berkeley Law School.
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By Dr. Glenn Mollette
What if your business fails, you file bankruptcy, divorce, get a terminal illness or do some stupid things in your life? You may have already found out how people shy away from you during life upheaval. Often, they don't know what to say or do and so they walk away or become distant. They aren't real friends. A real friend doesn't walk away. A real friend doesn't tell you what you want to hear but may tell you their thoughts without trying to wound you. They talk to you in love and in friendship.