New Book Release

Congressional Malpractice: Is Access to Affordable Healthcare A Right or A Privilege?

By Leonard Zwelling, M.D., M.B.A.
Contributing Author, Marianne L. Ehrlich
Forward by Retired U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.

Published by John M. Hardy Publishing, Houston Texas
ISBN: 978-1-946182-01-2
Release date: 1 March 2018

The Latest From Dr. Leonard Zwelling:

Abortion: The Question With No Answer

It matters little what your personal beliefs are with regard to the legality of abortion. As of this moment, Roe v. Wade rules in the United States and no state can limit a woman’s right to legal and safe abortion services up to the time of fetal viability, usually set at 24 weeks of gestation.

On December 1, the Supreme Court heard a significant challenge to Roe in its having to determine the constitutionality of Mississippi’s law to limit abortion to pregnancies under 15 weeks in duration. If the Court, decides that the Mississippi law is constitutional, it would substantively overturn Roe.

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GOP: Gerrymandering Opportunities Prevail

Many Americans believe that we live in a democracy. We do not. If we did, then every vote cast would be equal to every other vote cast and that simply is not the case for a host of reasons.

First, there’s the Electoral College which magnifies the effect of voters in purple states as they really determine the outcome of the presidential election. Voting for Trump in New York and California or for Biden in Nebraska or Alabama was a meaningless activity. For those who did, their votes really didn’t count.

This phenomenon is even more critical in state and district wide races where state legislatures draw the maps of these districts and can gerrymander a current Congressman out of a job every ten years based on the need to redraw the districts after each census and the resultant redistribution of the American population.

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Risking Cancellation

In the most recent season of the superb drama The Morning Show on Apple TV, Jennifer Anniston’s character, a morning TV anchor not unlike Katie Couric, risks being cancelled on the internet because she reconnects with her disgraced former partner (Steve Carell) who plays a Matt Lauer like-lout who has sexually abused women and been ostracized for having done so. This cancel culture has to be on the minds of many in the public eye who risk criticism on social media doing what they think they should do or what they need to do for their own edification, sanity, or sense of ethics even as some deserve cancellation for heinous behavior (like Lauer).

I understand this. Cancellation (or what passed for it in the day) has happened to me twice. Both times it was awful.

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Dopesick

Half a million Americans have died of opioid overdoses in recent years. “In the 12-month period ending in April, more than 100,000 Americans died of overdoses” according to The New York Times on November 18. That’s the story of Dopesick (on Hulu), a personalization of Beth Macy’s best seller about how the opioid crisis became the huge story it still is. The evil forces that precipitated this massive fraud on the American public is remarkable because there are so many villains.

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Open

Ross Douthat is a prominent editorialist for The New York Times. He contracted Lyme Disease and now suffers from the effects of a disorder that some in medicine don’t accept—chronic Lyme Disease. The details of how the disorder is manifested clinically is less important than the fact that many of the symptoms are non-specific and it’s a brutally hard diagnosis to make and even harder to treat. In fact, as I understand it, there is no accepted treatment for this disorder and there are some in the medical establishment who doubt it exists.

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The Impact Of The 1619 Project Two Years Later

In August of 2019, The New York Times devoted one of its entire Sunday Magazine volumes to the 1619 Project. This is essentially the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. The idea behind it is that the true history of the United States began in August of 1619 when the first slave ship deposited its human cargo in Virginia and the process that led to the enslavement of what was once about 20% of the souls in the United States began.

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The Guns Of Kenosha

The United States has become a country in which a 17-year old male can bring his semi-automatic weapon into a city in which he does not live that is in the midst of a Black Lives Matter protest (that was bound to turn violent) and kill two people while wounding a third and get away with all of it.

On Friday, November 19, Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of any of the five charges against him including murder. As I understand it, the burden was on the prosecution to prove that he killed the men (this was never in doubt) and that he DID NOT do so in self-defense. The prosecution did not meet its burden.

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The True Cost Of Climate Change

Bjorn Lomborg has been writing a series of opinion pieces in The Wall Street Journal on climate change. His latest from November 11 (see above) discusses the cost of doing something about climate change and the cost of not doing something. His argument is that there is a balance between these two and the goal ought to be to optimize (i.e., minimize) the amount society spends on dealing with global warming.

He makes good sense. There’s an opportunity cost to almost everything. There’s the cost of doing and the cost of not doing. Lomborg presents a graph derived by Nobel laureate William Nordhaus that plots the delicate balance we should be striving for in spending on battling climate change vs. the amount climate change is costing us.

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Conflicts Over Testimony

At about 2 PM on Friday November 5, The New York Times web site posted that the previous decision by the University of Florida to prohibit three professors from testifying for the plaintiffs in a law suit where the state of Florida is the defendant had been reversed. The three–Daniel A. Smith, Michael McDonald and Sharon D. Wright Austin—can testify and be paid to do so, as is usually the case when academics testify in court as long as they do so on their own time. Why does this matter?

The question at hand is what happens when a state is a defendant and professors from that state’s university are testifying against the state? Are the professors caught in a conflict of interest between the people paying their salaries against whom they are testifying and their own freedom of speech?

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