Archive: June 20, 2022

Differential Diagnosis

Differential Diagnosis

None of us live long enough to understand long history. Most of us are reactive rather than proactive. Every once in a while, as a direct result of not understanding history, we get our just comeuppance. If we are lucky, maybe we are only embarrassed or suffer a minor reversal for our hubris. Sometimes, we aren’t so lucky and things we love like the ideas, places, and people that are so important to us get injured or worse.

Let’s start with the premise that people and countries hold many of the same attributes in common. Like you and me, countries live and breathe. They have their histories, inclinations, proclivities, and tendencies. Countries aspire to be long-lived, successful and have their own traditions, morals, aspirations, and especially pride. Nations seek their place in the pantheon of the most admired or sadly, sometimes the most feared. Our own country is a relative newcomer to the game. We’ve gone so far, so fast. It’s difficult to be a patriot today and also still must be critical of that country you love so very much. But, here I am.

I feel this in my bones. Our nation has a terrible malaise that is slowly sapping its strength, vitality, and vigor. It feels almost like a biblical prophecy coming true. Despite over 10 trillion dollars of stimulus pumped into our country’s veins, you get the feeling that economic recovery is far from assured and that the sands of our hourglass or running through so very fast. Decisions of questionable value have been made that are at the root of our fiscal anxiety. Like the ancient Hades ferryman Charon, we may yet have to pay him yet again to get to the other side of the river one day. We are sick and the patient has been told he has cancer. Some of us are so entitled, that we think we can wish that away. If only, it was that easy. The real world has different answers for us!

In medicine, you hear the term Differential Diagnosis used when the best medical minds try to figure out the root cause of an ailment to be able to arrive at the correct treatment protocol. In cancer, frequently the best treatment is the radical approach of surgery. Let’s spend some time today discussing what ails our country and what our prognosis might be as surgery just might be in our future. Our lives continue to hang in the balance and we dare not make yet another mistake as we spend our precious capital that cannot be readily replaced. Capital is a country’s lifeblood. And, we are hemorrhaging that capital so fast, that a tourniquet is required or we will bleed to death before we can even get to a possible cure for our problems. In emergency medicine, triage is always the first concern. America is at that juncture as I write this. The patient does not know how close they are to a very bad outcome.

There are three possibilities facing us today:

1. The President’s course of action is correct and things will get better.
2. The President’s course of action is wrong and we become unstable or worse.
3. The populace loses confidence in our leadership and becomes freighted or angry enough to revolt.

In talking with people, I find a lot of folks are frequently ignorant of current events. While those that do know their history, people who are engaged but still don’t know what can be done to remedy where we are searching for answers. Did you know that Martial Law has been imposed at least 68 times in our country? Consider this Perfect Storm Scenario:

  • Inflation devalues your income and savings enough to where you are seriously impacted in your daily living and future prospects
  • Supply chain issues prevent you from living your normal lifestyle or worse, your family goes hungry or without essential items necessary for normal everyday living
  • Medical supplies are rationed and you can’t get antibiotics, infusion therapies, or other vital medicines including insulin
  • Gasoline and Diesel become so scarce that they become rationed
  • You find access to your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and even credit cards are restricted

Our country is perilously close to one or more of these or other actions being taken. Think I’m crazy? If I told you pre-pandemic that baby formula would be hard to come by or that you might not be able to afford to put gas in your car; would you have believed me then? Occam’s Razor—the simplest explanation is normally correct. We are in trouble! Our trendline is moving downward. Need more proof? Did you know that more than $7 trillion has been lost in the stock market so far this year? While money is made and money is lost, what’s happening at the moment is something new. When added to so many other negative metrics, the smart money is beginning to think we are not in a normal economy. When you have Jamie Dimon and Elon Musk agreeing on the 2023 financial forecast…we may be in deep trouble!

  • Jamie Dimon says ‘brace yourself’ for an economic hurricane caused by the Fed and Ukraine war’
  • Elon Musk says ‘If history is any guide, not many will make it past the next recession’

Not comforting at all, I’d think you agree. There is an additional dynamic that injects the issue of uncertainty. People are simply tired of bad news. History teaches us that they will shoot the messenger that continually brings them that bad news. Arguably, there is no good news the administration can trumpet. When you cannot feed your baby, you realize that your children are going to school not to be educated, but indoctrinated, you can’t afford the gas to take the children to Disney World (forget that it is nearly ground zero for Wokeness) and government officials gleefully tell you that you don’t need your guns. All this is happening with the backdrop of stores all over our country being ransacked and at the same time shortages of everything are becoming everyday occurrences! In my view, our stability and anxiety are truly threatened.

Remember the 1976 movie Network? Do you recall the line ‘Go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ That my friends are where millions of us are today. The $64,000 question is what does “I’m not gonna take this anymore” mean? Is there something coming that we can’t see fully but gets many of us in motion like some frozen glacier that all of a sudden breaks free and starts moving? This is the danger.

This is where a Differential Diagnosis would be nice to have. We observe that the patient is both depressed and sometimes manic. The patient possesses Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt…FUD. At times, the patient is passive and unreactive. At other times, the patient is highly agitated and potentially dangerous. Based on observation, you believe the patient is at a breaking point and yet refuses to take his meds. The patient is non-compliant. What to do?

Bad things happen to non-compliant individuals under the care of a doctor. Why? The doctor wants to ensure the health and safety of both the patient and the people around the patient and seeks to establish a baseline of effective control. The patient is next diagnosed as anti-social. What does anti- social mean? One police department states “Antisocial behavior is defined as ‘behavior by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person.” That fits a large swath of us nervous nellies today. I know I distress a significant number of people I come in contact with! Thinking people should be highly agitated with the state of our country.

In Russia and China today, antisocial behavior will deliver you to the nearest mental asylum or prison. And, we are not exempt from extreme examples of how we treat our political prisoners either. Did you know that some non-violent prisoners from January 6th , have been held in solitary confinement while awaiting trial? Are we that far from how Russia and China in how we treat those that disagree with their governments? It’s only a question of perspective; isn’t it?

We are at a precipice at the moment. Civil disobedience is growing. The government splashes the title “White Supremacist on a wide swath of people today who are gob smacked at the assertion. And, the government considers many groups of white people a threat to society. Groups like:

  • Parents
  • Gun Owners and the NRA
  • Conservatives
  • Small Business Owners
  • Those who just happen to have a problem with the growth of government and its policies

The FBI, under the direction of the Justice Department, is surveilling these groups more and more. Democrats in Congress are demanding even more action. What are they afraid of? Isn’t it obvious? Our government is afraid of us and is using the rube of National Security to watch far too many of us. Citizens that want nothing more than to be left alone and live their lives as free citizens are frequently their target. The over-labeling of too many of us as white nationalists or white supremacists must stop. We are in the middle of what I believe is the criminalizing of thought. No one should be the government’s target simply because we actively resist popular narratives that we firmly believe are a direct threat to classic America’s existence.

Where will it end? That’s the question the Doctor is asking as he examines the patient. It is also something the government thinks about a lot! And, we must always remember that all governments exist to preserve their own power and influence.

God Bless America and especially Ukraine at this time of genocide and war that sees no end in sight.

Allan J. Feifer

Patriot

American Pie

Talking Heads, Sound Bites, and American Pie

Today we start with a classic riddle. What came first: the chicken or the egg? The answer? It depends! Today’s instant question is: How can America thrive in a world of contradictions? And, what will it take to create the conditions necessary to see us thrive once again?

We will largely stay away from politics and concentrate on the simple truths of living. Whether you live in the far artic as Inuit Indian tribes do, or are a Wyoming rancher, or a city dweller in New York City, we survive through the application of three basic institutional processes:

1. Institutional knowledge: Every organization develops over time a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Successful organizations recognize this and undertake a process for recording what works while avoiding what failed in the past.

2. Adherence to the societal rules of your organization: Let’s be realistic. You can’t be running around like a chicken with its head cut off and be successful. Your team must not work against each other or what is known to work. Organizations must reinforce successful actions and, avoid past mistakes while still encouraging innovation.

3. Support from the ground up for the organization’s leadership: There are few successful organizations that are constantly conducting internal warfare. All hierarchical organizations depend on great top-down leadership to set tone and goals that then allows for a successful buy-in by the rest of the organization. Throw away any false ideas you may harbor that everyone can do whatever they want and the organization will still achieve success.

Without these three prerequisites in play, chaos reigns. Assuming your organization (family, village, city, state, country, company) has successfully implemented these three essential tenants, you have a functioning entity that is in balance. Today, I want to talk about how organizations get off balance, specifically our country. I am reminded of my physics class in High School all so many years ago. Newton’s First Law of Motion states:

“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

The United States, right after the Second World War, was the undisputed and sole superpower in the world. We had the moral authority, the industrial might, the military power, diplomatic influence, the inventiveness, and were an economic dynamo that seemingly was unstoppable. And, then gradually, starting in the early 1970s, much like the famous song American Pie, the music gradually stopped playing throughout our great land, landing us where we are today.  I’m 65 years old. This is not the country I grew up in and that’s not a good thing. Nothing was impossible for my generation and preceding generations. We sent men to the moon more than 50 years ago. We built the Interstate Highway System, we created computers, the Internet, and the cell phone among thousands of innovations that enriched the entire world. Yes, we have our faults, but families were strong, economic opportunity was everywhere and the entire world saw all boats raised in our wake.

What went wrong? What force changed our direction? How did we lose our way? Why do we seek the destruction of our heritage, our heroes, and our country? Today, we are going to attempt to answer these key questions with the hope that we can see our mojo return before it’s too late and we completely abdicate the mantle of world leadership.

Contenders are waiting in the wings and they are not nearly as beneficent as we have been. China seeks to control its citizens like so many machines, where only the state matters. You can witness it in real- time as tens of millions of Chinese were restricted to their homes due to Covid, sometimes without food. You saw it as the government killing pets when the orders came to vacate homes by the thousands. The truly evil Chinese Social Credit System rules your life and limits your potential. You see it in the bullets to the back of the head for those that raise their voice against the oppressors. Taiwan sees China’s political ambitions, as almost all South China Sea nations also see this developing evil and are starting to band together against an ascendant China that seeks to replace the United States as the world’s leader, but not in such a benevolent manner. We dare not see that happen.

So, what exactly has so undercut our country to the point we are at today? Journalism today creates no more Huntley-Brinkley’s, no more Walter Cronkite’s, Edward R. Murrow, and others who told you the truth, even when it hurt. They were Patriotic individuals with no agenda, no slant, no desire to be thought leaders or something other than what they were supposed to be, i.e., to…deliver the news that was relevant and important to understand. We’ve lost that and, in the process, we’ve lost the trust of millions and millions of thinking individuals who are no longer able to make rational decisions based on nothing but the truth. The truth of conflicting “facts” that are anything but and, unreported but important stories has created a knowledge vacuum in our country that is an immense factor in where we are today. Talking Heads exist on all sides and deliver Sound Bite Journalism to a population that is both inpatient and untrusting (or believe everything they hear) of what they are told or read.

Negativism has become a firestorm in our country and is a cancer that is at the root of many of the problems we live with today. If we can’t trust the information we are given, not only do we birth even more mistrust, but we also create the lunatic fringes that make up their own truth in the absence of generally accepted truth. We did this to ourselves. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to fix the problems we created.

I have no idea how we can quickly return our country to a well-informed, patriotic, family-oriented, God- fearing, hard-working society. Millions and millions missed out on belonging to a traditional family unit and a society that understood what was required of them, understood implicitly how they fit in, and, trusted and even lionized their leaders. We live in an anti-truth environment that has turned how we think about ourselves on our heads. Are we ripe for a revolution? Maybe so. Like a storm that continues unabated until balance is restored, we need a great national leader to help us restore balance, direction, and trust in our country. We need this leader to guide us peacefully back on course and to forestall the possibility of a new Civil War that is closer than many of us might believe.

Just a few days ago I was bowled over by Matthew McConaughey’s speech delivered at the White House. If you haven’t heard it, you owe it to yourself to listen closely to see how a great communicator delivers sage advice and positive and reasonable reconciliation ideas on a tough subject. I don’t have to agree with everything someone says when I listen to a person who speaks authentic truth. I wish we had more communicators like him.

I wish I knew who that next leader, that healer might be. I maintain hope that regardless of the dearth of leadership today, it will happen, soon or later. We can’t lose the greatest country on earth, the greatest force for good on our planet and that bright beacon of hope so much of the world has depended on without going down fighting. For the time being, stay engaged and do what you can to live a good, uplifted life!

A famous line from Gone with the Wind delivered by Scarlett O’Hara was, “Tomorrow is Another Day.” Friends, every new day presents us with possibilities. I see small embers that only need us to fan them into the kind of fire we all need to warm and nurture our society. I believe that we are building a critical mass of heretofore unknown leaders that will lead us back to the Promised Land that so many of us ache to return to. Let’s be ready when that next great leader reveals an uplifting and doable message, a future we so desperately seek!

God Bless America and especially Ukraine at this time of genocide and war that sees no end in sight.

Allan J. Feifer

Patriot

There be Monsters

There be Monsters

Hello Fellow Patriots:

Uvalde Texas and Robb Elementary School. Two more names were added to an ever-longer list of schools and places where senseless mass shootings of our children occurred. Add the four below and together you have the five worst mass shootings of children in the past 20 years:

  • Sandy Hook in Newton, Connecticut
  • Margery Stoneman in Parkland, Florida
  • Santa Fe High school in Santa Fe, Texas
  • West Nickel Mine School in Bart Township, Pennsylvania

I adhere to a policy of not mentioning the names of the animals that massacre children. The new left espouses that these children were victims of an immoral America. The crazies come out immediately after every tragedy to gain political advantage. I want to punch people like that in the nose who are spring-loaded to spout that kind of vitriol and misdirection on command for political benefit. These children were innocents, how dare anyone make political hay off their cold dead bodies. There is no logic, there is no God’s plan, and there is seemingly nothing that can change the pure unadulterated evil in the hearts of these killers. No, they are not men. Men do not do these unspeakable acts. They are Monsters and it’s high time the Monsters fear us, rather than we fear them.

We created these Monsters with concepts like toxic male masculinity and the death of community, family, and the lack of a strict moral code. These boys and their victims are casualties of a raging social war being played out each day in our country. The underlying societal problems will not be fixed anytime soon.

We are a country that wants quick fixes without pain. Mass rhetoric like “take guns away” are great sound bites, but will never happen and would not fix the problems we have if we tried. The fix needed here is going to hurt and we must have the fortitude to do what’s required. Even with the best of intentions and actions, you will never eliminate all the Monsters. But we can find and remove many of them. It will take will. It will take effort and it must include a non-political judgment by both sides that this is different, and that we must come together to keep our schools safer. It can’t be about politics, gotcha’s, and told you so’s. All problems are solvable. It takes will, a crisis that most people agree needs to be addressed, and a staunch belief that acceptable solutions can be found.

Let’s get past the most significant problem at bar: This is not about guns. It’s specifically a question of who should not have access to guns. We are a country with guns very much at our cultural center. Yes, white people have traditionally been the gun owners, but more and more, guns protect all people regardless of race. Protection that is needed in a society that has forgotten the importance of both individual and property rights. A country that cannot depend on the police to protect them when it matters the most. Guns are widely held by most of us and that is a fact that no free country will be able to change by government edict. That’s how revolutions commence!

Beyond the issue of gun ownership alone, are the detractors that think the look, as much as the function of a firearm is somehow important to the debate. Whether you are shot with a 9mm handgun round to the head or a .223 AR-15 round to the body, you are going to be just as dead or injured. So-called Assault Weapons are not some kind of all-powerful weapon that is more lethal than other firearms. That’s just the hype the detractors want those that possess little or no knowledge of firearms want you to believe.

Monsters can be barred from legal ownership of guns but will find either guns or other weapons elsewhere. With that in mind, let’s go all-in on identifying these people before they do harm and isolate them from society. It is easier to do than you might suspect. Let’s examine the facts.

Of the five Monsters who perpetrated the killings mentioned above, 4 out of 5 were under 21 and of course, all-male. They were also white. Finally, each of the five had previously been identified either by one or more of their parents, school officials, law enforcement, mental health professionals, friends, social media, or even by the individual himself seeking help for their issues. Every one of them made a pre-violence outcry for help through some observable means, even if they did not understand it themselves. Let’s stop right here and discuss the ramifications of individuals with a suspected propensity for violence and how we ignore it. Why are we not all over that? Here’s why:

In 1967 Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and ends the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will. This was a triumph for people that believed that mental illness was exactly like any other illness such as a fever, cold, or even heart disease. But it was ultimately devastating to tens of millions of people euphemistically slated to become mainstreamed going forward. These individuals make up the bulk of homeless in the US today and an astronomically high number of those that commit petty crimes and thefts and even more heartbreaking; are addicted to drugs. A huge segment of this population is largely hopeless and not likely to find a better path forward as we walk past them like so many zombies each day. Tragic.

The foregoing has had a profound effect on how we treat dangerous and even potentially murderous individuals. We have imbued them with artificial rights that effectively serve to dimmish the rights of others not to be victimized by the squeegee man or through aggressive panhandling on the street. Entire streets and communities are all too similar to third-world barrios with defecation everywhere, needles, trash, and filth. We do little to nothing to fix this obvious problem because we have given a superior right to the mentally diminished to live off the greater world through charity, government support, and worse, too often abandoned to their fate amid the squalor of American cities and more and more often; clean American subdivision streets. You can point to the “success” of mainstreaming only if you are a heartless individual that simply can’t see the squalor, sickness, crime, hopelessness, and worse that is part and parcel of our way of looking at these troubled but legally empowered individuals. They produce nothing as nothing is expected for society’s largess, consuming resources instead of real attempts to redeem these troubled souls. It amounts to a game played by do-gooders. And, I am not shy about calling out what should be easily seen as a national tragedy and should be seen as such, as we move on to the problem of how to deal with our Monsters. Our breeding ground for our Monsters is the privacy protections and other “rights” we give dangerous individuals.

The US supports hundreds of thousands of people engaged in servicing these people through charity, government services, NGOs, sanitation services, medical services, jails, legal aid societies, and the various other services and people required to keep dysfunctional individuals alive. “They have rights”, I can hear you say. But, what of the rights of their victims? When did the rights of those who break our laws or who choose not to be functioning members of society somehow become superior to those everyday citizens? You see it everywhere, that should no longer be in dispute. Can you see how our cities have devolved to where we are today? The absence of a functioning moral compass is an important hurdle we need to come to grips with if we are going to change things.

The issue of how we deal with mental illness is a question that must be grappled with before we can fix our problem with our Monsters. The actual process of identifying our Monsters is relatively easy. As stated earlier, we can identify those most likely to cause the kinds of actions we are trying to interdict. Profiling is an essential tool that is highly effective regardless of what libs would have you believe. The behaviors, affect, and social media presence, among several other indicators, could fairly easily help us to identify the relatively small number of potential Monsters.

We must profile those males under 21 and prioritize them for further evaluation, observation, and even removal depending on the severity of what is uncovered. We must include an appeal process and other protections, but the result must be that we are on top of who those people likely to create tomorrow’s headline and adopt an effective method of keeping them away from children, teachers, school personnel, and others. And, oh by the way, properly medicated and counseled, we might be able to eventually reintroduce healthy citizens back into society. That should be the goal and that’s an admirable one.

It is not only doable but essential that our country begin to deal with things as they are, rather than what we desire them to be. Wokeism permeates the entire social services arena. What is obvious to you and me is couched by them in some mumbo-jumbo language that deflects from the reality of a situation. Participants in the pantheon of the mental health industry may well vigorously attempt to prevent any actions they believe will stigmatize those selected for review who is ultimately considered to be a threat. It’s a question of what you value more; safety for the vast majority or protection of some theoretical rights of someone hell-bent on killing a child, or their teachers.

There is no other way to get a handle on a problem that threatens how we as a country will exist going forward. I am repulsed by solutions that attempt to deal with problems by punishing or restricting the rights of the 99.99% of us that are not potential suicidal or maniacal, instead of focusing on the Monsters in our midst that fantasize about how they will go out in a blaze of glorified evil. Our nation’s fear of calling out evil for what it is has become our new normal as we repudiate concepts of morality and religion. A nation that acts as if all our differences, no matter how deviant, are to be celebrated has gone off the rails and lost touch of reality and truth. Many things in life are demonstrably destructive to a healthy society’s goals and aspirations. Too many of our young live destructive lives that no one should accept or encourage as just another admirable facet of diversity. Yet, here we are. The quirkier, the better it seems. Oddballs are encouraged while conformity is somehow thought of as a leftover remnant of white privilege. Something to be ostracized, something to get away from as we continue to overhaul the most successful society in history. Who will stop the madness? It must be you and I. No one else will step up and stand in the breach of a society locked into a death spiral.

Evil is evil. Step one is for all of us; especially those in power to wake up and demand that we screen the crazies that would do us and society as a whole, harm. I fear that common sense has become passe in this country in favor of a 1984-style society mindset rapidly seeing the best of us going down the tubes cheered on by loser fanatics and their supporters. Today, all they want from the old guard is our successes; our assets, our property, and even our lives. Nothing that threatens their march to the sea that has as its objective, redistribution of wealth and an end to our Judeo-Christian traditions. This is what is at stake. A worthy discussion we must have before it is too late.

God Bless America and especially Ukraine at this time of genocide and war that sees no end in sight.

Allan J. Feifer

Patriot