Browse Category

social

My Message for July 4, 2020

Freedom’s Call to Action

The original poem was written in 1960 and proved remarkably prescient of the .events to follow in the eventful 1960;s. It was the basis for this poem which was written in 2012, at the height if the Obama era, and has proven predictive of events up to the current civil unrest. It expresses, I think, the challenges we face today when our very freedom is stake.

The hallmark of America’s genius since July 4, 1776 has been our ability to conceive and follow as our guiding star, our God-given right  “to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” A major component of this ideal is “equal justice under the law”, which has seen a long, slow, and costly struggle, including a war which cost more American casualties than all the other wars combined. And we have come a long way since 1776. But not far enough.

Some of our fellow Americans have become impatient  — and rightfully so — with the fact that this goal has not yet been achieved. Unfortunately, in their impatience, they have attacked the wrong target. Equality before the law does not require the suspension of the law or even of  enforcement of the law. It means better laws, better standards and practices of the police, better judges, and better judgement on the part of each of us.

Racism in the sense of preference for our own kind may be an unfortunate characteristic of the human condition, but it must never be allowed to cloud our judgement of right and wrong. On the contrary, we must fight against it, as in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We can strive continuously and sincerely to expand our sense of  “our own kind” to include all Americans, and the Christian ideal of “all humankind”.

The history of the past three centuries has proven America more successful than any other civilization ever “so conceived and so dedicated”. We cannot, we must not, give up now! Those who threaten our way of life must be overcome at all costs! We have to endure our shortcomings as we seek to eliminate them. Our individual freedom is a requirement to achieve these lofty goals, but they will never be achieved by mob rule. As Americans we must be true to our heritage. It is our only hope for the advancement of human rights. America is still the shining city on the hill and a beacon of light to the world,  but only if we continue to protect it.

Happy 4th of July!.

(c) 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

Trump’s controversial rally

A lot to argue about!

By Dr. Larry Fedewa

(Washington, DC – June 21,2020) President Donald J. Trump held his first post-lockdown rally last evening in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There was controversy before, during and after the event. Criticism was not confined to the content of the speech as usual but spread over the unusual areas of the timing, location, venue, and attendance of the rally.

The earliest criticism concerned the timing of the event. A Trump rally, held in an indoor arena, was criticized as a blatant violation of the CDC current (and often changing) recommendations regarding safeguards against the “Chinese virus”, as Trump calls it. Among the most obvious violations were the lack of social distancing in the densely packed house, without compulsory masks, and held indoors (as opposed to outdoors).

After the rally, much was made of the lower attendance. Not only were there noticeable empty bleachers (which the network cameras showed frequently), but also the scheduled outdoor appearance by the President was cancelled because the only crowd out there was the ever-present (thankfully peaceful) protesters. Nevertheless, there were approximately 18,000 or more in attendance, counting the seating on the floor of the arena, out of a published capacity of 19,000. One unaccounted-for factor was the absence of the 0ver-65 crowd who tend to be among the most loyal of the Trump base.

So, what to think about all this? First of all, there is the symbolic significance of the scheduling. The President has shown in various ways that the public health contingent – which essentially scared him (and all of us) into the lock-down in the first place – is no longer calling the shots in the White House response to the pandemic.     Keep Reading

Fathers are important after all!

Two generations without fathers have taught us a lot

Hi everybody
Following up on last year’s column, “Who needs Fathers?”,
we are discussing some of the effects of fatherless families on the children. (Some further thoughts on the topics of love and parenting can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt5AYB-XHsg)
My guest on Wednesday’ broadcast will be one of my sons, Eric Fedewa, who is himself the father of four daughters. We will be talking about Father’s Day, speaking from experience.
Comments always welcome.
LJF
The Dr. Larry Show is live on Wednesdays at 7-8 pm ET) Call  646.929.0130 (EASIEST way to listen) and talk to Dr. Larry and guests on the air.
Podcasts are available at: tunein.com;
Also, 12 re-broadcasts per week are scheduled at 4 am and 11 am on:
For more writings, poems, interviews and guest editorials, see my website, DrLarryOnline.com
By Dr. Larry Fedewa
 (Washington DC, June 15,2020

 

 Last year’s Fathers’ Day column traced the recent history of the breakdown of the traditional family, especially the trend toward fatherless families (https://drlarryonline.com/who-needs-fathers/.) Above is a pictogram of some consequences for the children of fatherless families. (Source: National Fatherhood Initiative) Although the data are from 2017, the situation has remained critical.
Unfortunately, 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that there are currently nearly 25 million children living in fatherless homes. Equally distressing is the adult population which have fatherless family backgrounds. They constitute many of the crowds which today threaten our society, from impaired health to impaired lives – the homeless, the imprisoned, the rioters, the ill, the suicides.
The economic impact of this breakdown of the family as an American institution is enormous. The first and foremost goal of every individual American and every institution as well as our secular religion is aimed at freedom – personal freedom and social freedom. There are two aspects to freedom: freedom from and freedom for.
We work hard to attain a measure of freedom from illness, ignorance, oppression, and poverty, in order to achieve freedom for opportunities and ultimately some measure of happiness – or, as the Constitution puts it: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
How tragic it is, then, for so many of our children to grow to adulthood with all the handicaps of a broken family. They are burdened with enormous obstacles to a successful life through no fault of their own, through anti-social customs into which they were born, and which surround them as they seek to survive. And their tragedy burdens the rest of us as well who suffer from the lack of their talents and efforts and who instead must support them with our own labor and earning power.
Father’s Day is meant to be a recognition of the value of each of our fathers to us as individual and members of a family. It is also the day in which to remember those to whom fatherhood is strange and unknown. It is a day to look at our own fatherhood, at our sons and daughters, and take stock of the job we are doing.
There is an increasing number of stories about how the recent “stay-at-home” experience presented an occasion for many fathers to forge new bonds with their children, using the time away from work to get to more familiar with each of their children. Perhaps lessons were learned.
The last words of last year’s column addressed these issues as follows;
“Whatever its form, fathering nevertheless has its own requirements.
“A father must be a good husband – that means willing to support his wife emotionally as well as financially – to the best of his ability, as long as they both shall live. Some men duck out of marriage at the worst possible times, the times of greatest loss, whether sickness, finances or even death. No family can build a successful life on such a shaky foundation.
“A father must be a good father – patient with his children, willing to sacrifice for them, to love them, and to help them face their own lives as they encounter each test along the way.
“Who needs a father?
Your son needs a father to show him how to live, how to love, how to have fun, and how to die. Your daughter needs to know that there are good men in the world. Men make up half the world’s population.
“Your daughter needs to know how to tell the good ones from the bad ones. All her life she will compare the men she knows with the father who raised her.
You are that father. She needs you.”
© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Recovery, Pandemic and China

Tiananmen Square Parade 10-2019 (Notice ID’s in Arabic not Chinese script)

Important to get our priorities straight

By Dr. Larry Fedewa

(Washington DC, May 11, 2020) There appear to be two major stories contending for coverage by the press and the attention of Congress at the moment, both related to the COVID-19 pandemic: the economic recovery and the culpability of China in the escalation of the coronavirus from a potentially local tragedy to an international pandemic.

On the one hand, the USA faces an almost insurmountable challenge to restore our recently booming economy from the depths of a Depression-like crash. On the other hand is the primal need to find a culprit for all the pain, sorrow, and deprivation we — and the rest of the world — have suffered in fighting this evil scourge and to punish that source accordingly. The issue at hand is how to accommodate both needs at the same time.

This issue arises because the two factors are on a collision course. The facts are increasingly obvious. While the federal government appropriately pursues an intensive investigation of the precise sequence of events in the discovery and dissemination of this strain of coronavirus, evidence from outside sources is rapidly emerging that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) consciously, deliberately, and with malice of forethought concealed from the rest of the world its early experiences with the outbreak of the plague and then schemed to spread the virus to all parts of the world. The motivation for this policy is not clear, although the working hypothesis is that the leadership was not about to suffer a severe economic catastrophe while the rest of the world looked on from the safety of having escaped the same fate. Keep Reading

What will happen on Main Street?

 

Will there be permanent changes after COVID-19 is gone?

(Washington DC, April 19,2020 by Dr. Larry Fedewa) The total shut-down of American activity will soon be drawing to an end, one area at a time. When we look around us at the world of shutters and silence, it may be worth thinking about this sheltered lifestyle and trying to project forward toward “a new normal”, that is, what effects might this time have on the future? We will look at several areas of American life: home and family, business, recreation and entertainment, and social trends – as a small sample of a very complex topic. Keep Reading

How do we end this?

Employers must be part of the re-open strategy

By Dr. Larry Fedewa

(Washington DC — April 6, 2020) Two weeks ago, we discussed “Trump’s huge gamble”, namely, his decision to follow the action plan prescribed by the public health experts rather than attempt to mitigate the effects of coronavirus with less drastic means. To date, that strategy seems to be effective in reducing the spread of the disease to more or less manageable dimensions. The prevalence of cases seems increasingly limited to densely populated urban areas, most notably, New York City.

The economic cost, however, is already beyond any recession in recent memory, with the possibility of becoming catastrophic. The entire sequence of events is unique in American history. Never before has the country simply stopped in place 75% of the economy. The closest parallel may be the 14th century Black Death which is estimated to have reduced the population of Europe by 50% after returning several times over a span of two generations. But the resulting drastic effects on the medieval economy were not voluntary like this one. Plus, it was so long ago that few lessons can be drawn to benefit our current decisions. Keep Reading

Some possible results of “Shelter-in-place”

?

Is there any silver lining to this pandemic?

By Dr. Larry Fedewa

Washington DC, March 29, 2020 – As we ponder our suddenly isolated lives, we begin searching for some benefits which may come from it all – besides, of course, the major value if we escape catching a very unpleasant disease. Some things are happening which can easily become a trend. The most obvious is the notable increase in online shopping. This was already a trend, but it may be significantly accelerated by this crisis, as a whole new population tries shopping online for the first time. The same is true of home delivery, which is a major requirement of home shopping. What is happening now, however, is the sudden spread of delivery services for restaurants and grocery stores, which started, to be sure, before this pandemic was even thought of. Nevertheless, we are seeing a major up-tick in food delivery services.

The same can be said of distance education. Never in a hundred years would public schools have participated in the development and internet delivery of K-12 schooling on a voluntary basis. The “shelter-in-place” along with the closing of so many schools has forced their hand. Once they have experience with teacher-assisted home schooling, however, they may take steps in that direction, certainly urged on by parents, especially in rural and inner city areas. It reminds us of the grand ideas of the early pioneers of educational TV who had the same idea. While they had limited success with classroom based television, it was not enough to impact the roles and structure of the school. It will be interesting to see whether this crisis ends up affecting real changes. Keep Reading

Dr. Howell’s best books on reforming the USA’s health industry

Health care reform is already under way in the private sector

By Terry Howell, Ed.D. (February 18, 2020)

Did you realize healthcare costs went up 250% over the last 20 years while everything else went up only 50% on average? Do you know why?  What can be done? Plenty!  For anyone who is interested, and all of us should be, here are some excellent resources detailing what is going on in healthcare and why it needs to be disrupted (i.e. reformed) in a big way.

I especially like Dave Chase’s book and Ted Talk about how it is being disrupted by self-insured employers (see below). And then, of course, there is always our book, Healthcare is Killing US: The Power of Disruptive Innovation to Create a System that Cares More and Costs Less (Aaron Fausz, PhD and Terry Howell, EdD)  https://www.healthcareiskillingus.com/ 

The Good News – there are already MANY industry insiders who have figured out how to play The New Game, and they’re all willing to collaborate with you to help you win.  If you read or scan one book on how The Game is being played by the current players, make it this one:  Unaccountable:  What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Healthcare.  By Dr. Marty Makary, MD.

Other very useful resources include:

Overtreated:  Why too much medicine is making us Sicker and Poorer.  By Shannon Brownlee.  Ms. Brownlee, a founder of The Right Care Alliance, dismantles the myths surrounding our current model that result in us spending far too much and getting way too little.  She also offers practical ways to reduce overtreatment and redirect those resources to better health.

Is Healthcare is already fixed?  It is!  Check it out at The Health Rosetta by Dave Chase.  Includes a good summary TEDx Talk and the eBook The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream:  How to Deliver World-Class Healthcare to Your Employees at Half the Cost.  There Dave demonstrates how self-insured employers can change the fundamental economics to the benefit of their employees’ quality of life and pocketbooks.

This one was distilled into the longest article ever published in Newsweek.  For good reason.  America’s Bitter Pill:  Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix our Broken Healthcare System.  By Steven Brill.   It highlights the rampant abuses and profiteering in America’s largest and most dysfunctional sector of the economy.

Think drug prices are high because they’re investing so much to research miraculous new cures?  Ah, no.  Think again.  The Truth about Drug Companies:  How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It.  By Dr. Marcia Angell, MD.  Dr. Angell has unique insights after ~20yrs at the New England Journal of Medicine and had a ringside seat as drug companies gained nearly limitless influence over medical research, education and how doctors prescribe.  Hint – their behaviors were not primarily driven by what’s best for patients.

© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

The author can be reached at:

Terry-howell@sbcglobal.net

https://www.linkedin.com/in/w-terry-howell-ed-d/

 

Three issues the Dems own: Wealth Gap, Health Care, and Climate Change

There are free market solutions for these issues waiting for GOP support

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (February 11, 2020)

On most of the issues highlighting the 2020 campaign, the Republicans have a great story, especially the economy, law enforcement, foreign policy (including trade), national security, energy, and job creation. The Democrats have concentrated on three critical issues, however, which are nearly ignored by most Republicans: the wealth gap, health care, and climate change

These issues are currently owned by the Democrat candidates; they have not even been addressed directly by the Republicans. This silence is a tragic mistake because current polls show that these three issues are of critical importance to significant numbers of the American electorate. If Republican candidates continue to ignore these two issues, they will suffer in the only polls that really count – the votes in November.

Today’s topic is the wealth gap, with discussions of health care and climate change to follow in succeeding columns. I use the term, “wealth gap” in preference to “wage gap” and “income inequality” because “wealth” includes assets which are relatively long range as opposed to “wages” or “income” which may fluctuate from time to time. Keep Reading

Notes from Senate Impeachment Trial – #2

Speeches over; questions next

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 28,2020)

Some impressions as the trial completes phase one and prepares for phase two:

  1. The first take-away is the comparison between the two presentations. The House speakers were on a mission and they showed it. They were obviously playing to the television audience more than the senators. Their rhetoric was graphic, at times crude (particularly Mr. Naylor). Their tone was passionate, sometimes angry. Their body language was tense. The exception was Mr. Schiff, who proved himself an effective and articulate advocate, who appeared convinced and convincing, especially in his opening summary. In his final speech, however, some of the earlier polish seemed to have worn off as he spoke of the President in personal and insulting terms, dripping with hatred.
  2. The President’s team overall was much cooler in manner, with the exception of Mr. Sekulow, who supplied the passion, sometimes slipping into anger. White House Counsel Patrick Capilione was quietly and rationally effective, in the sharpest contrast to the House team. I found his manner more effective than Sekulow’s. Anger in the Senate chamber seemed a bit out of place.

In terms of the arguments on their merits, I, like many others, found the House case full of assumptions, presumptions and very weak. Of course, I had the same reaction to the original testimony, so my reaction was not surprising that I reacted to the trial presentation which was derived from and actually re-used large portions of the House footage.

The basic issue was the definition of “crime”. The House wants to call such terms as “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” crimes meeting the standard of the Constitution. That standard is admittedly brief – “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors”. However, the application of common sense to this description, as pointed out by the founders’ commentary, demands that “crimes” must be specific and provable. Otherwise, the charge is simply a matter of opinion and therefore indefensible. Such are the terms of the current articles approved by partisan House.

The President’s team had their moments. Particularly damning was the recitation of the case against Joseph and Hunter Biden. Three lawyers split the presentation into Overview (Sekulow), Facts (Pam Bondi) and Conclusions (Eric Herschmann). It is hard to believe that the elder Mr. Biden can continue to attract support for his presidential bid after such a graphic, detailed and public recitation of the case against him.

Also notable was the presentation of Alan Dershowitz, who spoke to the constitutional standard of impeachment. His explanation was replete with citations and quotations and delivered in such a rapid-fire style that it was like trying to get a drink from a fire hose. The prominence of the speaker, however, added a certain level of authority to the argument. In view of his status as a lifelong Democrat, it is doubtful that his performance swayed any Democrats.

Today’s defense of the President ended with a plea to the Senators from Mr. Capilione to preserve for the American people the right to vote for their president, and to vote “for what in your heart you know is right”. As one of the commentators observed, however, politicians rarely vote what is in their hearts, preferring to vote for their best political advantage – a cynical remark which is unfortunately all too often true.

The overall impression of this entire exercise appears to be a gigantic waste of time and resources because the entire body of the Senate knew the outcome before the whole drama began. Namely, they will almost all vote the party line, and nothing said in this whole charade will change more than a few votes.

The only true exceptions to this outcome will be those politicians who believe that they cannot be re-elected if they vote with the party or have already decided not to run again. This whole business has to be changed to accurately reflect the momentous responsibility involved in an impeachment vote for both the immediate present and future American generations. I don’t know how that can be accomplished, but it is imperative that this process not be allowed to destroy America’s electoral process.

 

© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.