• Physicians Face Moral Dilemma in Conscription on War on Drugs


    America’s physicians have been conscripted as law enforcement agents in the never-ending War on Drugs, and it puts us in a moral dilemma.

    As media attention has turned to the recent national surge in prescription-opioid and heroin abuse, politicians feel compelled to be ready with “solutions.” The Obama Administration last summer announced $100 million in new funding for drug-addiction centers, and has recently announced new opioid training programs for federal government physicians. In a recent debate, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, exclaiming, “Lives are being lost,” proposed a $10 billion criminal justice initiative including increased grants to states for drug treatment centers, as well as training and equipping first responders to administer heroin overdose antidotes. As a doctor, I react to these reports with great apprehension, because public policy will inevitably impact my profession and me. READ MORE...

  • Physicians Face Moral Dilemma in Conscription on War on Drugs


    America’s physicians have been conscripted as law enforcement agents in the never-ending War on Drugs, and it puts us in a moral dilemma.

    As media attention has turned to the recent national surge in prescription-opioid and heroin abuse, politicians feel compelled to be ready with “solutions.” The Obama Administration last summer announced $100 million in new funding for drug-addiction centers, and has recently announced new opioid training programs for federal government physicians. In a recent debate, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, exclaiming, “Lives are being lost,” proposed a $10 billion criminal justice initiative including increased grants to states for drug treatment centers, as well as training and equipping first responders to administer heroin overdose antidotes. As a doctor, I react to these reports with great apprehension, because public policy will inevitably impact my profession and me. READ MORE...

  • Obama's Feckless Defense of Human Rights in Cuba


    On Jan. 8, the Associated Press reported that President Barack Obama “may travel to Cuba as early as this spring if he feels the rights situation here is improving and a presidential trip will help.”

    The Castro dictatorship’s response was immediate and severe. According to Elizardo Sanchez, the president of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, there were 2,555 political detentions in Cuba during the first two months of 2016.

    It is a familiar pattern. As we wrote last fall, the Cuban government’s response at each stage in the process of reconciliation with the United States has been a steady escalation in the arbitrary harassment, abuse, arrest and detention of Cuba’s pro-democracy dissidents. Crackdowns on political dissidents preceded both the September visit of Pope Francis and the opening of the U.S. Embassy in August. READ MORE...

  • Only One Remaining Presidential Candidate Is Serious about Repealing Obamacare


    Now that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has dropped out, the only real Obamacare opponent left in the Republican presidential race is his Senate colleague Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have zero credibility on Obamacare.

    On repealing Obamacare and replacing it with better healthcare, Cruz is the only credible candidate still standing.

    Front-runner Donald Trump promises that he would repeal Obamacare. He has also said he digs the socialized “single-payer” systems they have in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has also said he likes and would preserve Obamacare’s unpopular “pre-existing conditions” provisions, which are the centerpiece of the law and which erode the quality of coverage for the sick. Trump has even said he likes Obamacare’s individual mandate. That’s the law’s least popular provision, which is forcing millions of uninsured Americans to pay penalties. READ MORE...

  • The Lessons from El Nino


    As noted in a March 18 Reuters article by Karen Braun, the very strong El Niño event is showing signs that it is rapidly unwinding, and when it does, there could be some major changes in global temperature.

    El Niño is a periodic weakening—or even a reversal, as is the case with this one—of the easterly trade winds across the tropical Pacific. In their more common configuration, they diverge massive amounts of water away from the coast of South America, forcing a huge upwelling of cold water, which is one of the reasons that Lima, Peru, is one of the coolest tropical cities on the planet. By changing the winds, El Niños keep all the chilly water under the surface. As a result, global temperatures often show a profound peak when El Niño rages. READ MORE...

  • Time to Fess up and Walk back Our Paris Pledge


    At last December’s UN climate conference, President Obama pledged that the US would slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent between 2005 and 2025. Since then, harsh realities have conspired against him, making that target infeasible if not downright impossible. Rather than pay the rest of the world to look the other way, the president should revise, or better yet, rescind that promise.

    And now is the time to do that, before the grand signing ceremony of the Paris Climate Agreement that is scheduled for April 22, Earth Day, at the UN’s New York headquarters. Putting our name on a promise that we know we can’t keep would be a disingenuous act, painting the Paris Agreement not as a serious undertaking, but as a global publicity stunt. READ MORE...

  • Millennials Like Socialism — Until They Get Jobs


    Millennials are the only age group in America in which a majority views socialism favorably. A national Reason-Rupe survey found that 53 percent of Americans under 30 have a favorable view of socialism compared with less than a third of those over 30. Moreover, Gallup has found that an astounding 69 percent of millennials say they’d be willing to vote for a “socialist” candidate for president — among their parents’ generation, only a third would do so. Indeed, national polls and exit polls reveal about 70 to 80 percent of young Democrats are casting their ballots for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a “democratic socialist.” READ MORE...

  • Is Cruz and Trump’s Islamophobia the New McCarthyism?


    If there was any remaining doubt that the GOP will nominate an overtly anti-Muslim candidate for president, the front-runners dispelled it in their responses to this week’s horrific ISIS-inspired attacks in Belgium.

    On his Facebook page, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”

    His chief rival, Donald Trump, not only endorsed the Cruz proposal but reiterated his own intention to bring back the use of torture should he be elected. READ MORE...

  • Why Putin’s Proxy War an Abject Failure

    Vladimir Putin is having a bad week.

    Someone among the pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine that he has been supporting is likely responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 innocent civilians onboard. The grim details that have emerged since Thursday have merely added to his shame.

    Putin’s response, so far, has been to 1) ostentatiously mourn the tragic loss of life, 2) deflect attention, and 3) obfuscate.

    It isn’t working. As the evidence mounts that Putin’s proxy war has resulted in an atrocity of epic proportions, so too does Putin’s foray into Ukrainian politics appear to be a blunder of epic proportions. As Alec MacGillis observes, the shine truly has come off Putin’s supposed strategic genius. Commentators who hailed maskirovka (masked warfare) as the wave of the future may wish to reconsider. READ MORE...

  • Money Can’t Buy Public Support For Common Core

    Glenn Beck hosted an anti-Common Core extravaganza tonight. At least in my neck of the woods, the theaters that live-streamed the event were sold out weeks before. It’s easy to criticize Beck—he can sound like a conspiracy theorist, and he hopped on the Common Core pony just in time to make a lot of money and publicity from people’s frustration and ignorance.

    But he did that by actually listening to his constituency, because Beck’s audience kept demanding he pay attention to these national curriculum mandates and their accompanying federally funded tests. If politicians did that, U.S. education might be in for less of a Common Core-induced trainwreck. The polls keep showing normal people hate this central-planning solution for other people’s children straight from this country’s moneyed elite. READ MORE...