“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
After sitting in administrative purgatory for several months, the Maryland Board of Physicians declared that my license would not be revoked but that I would now be on probation and could not speak freely lest I lose it. My medical license had been put on trial for disciplinary action because a Twitter troll sent the Board a series of tweets in which I stated, factually, that my many hundreds of my patients who caught COVID did so through a mask, since mask laws were strictly enforced in long term care where they lived. In the era of COVID, when facts get in the way of dogma, they must be repressed. Freedom of speech only goes as far as its support for Faucian gospel. I was a bad boy because I used bad words that broke that rule.
In fact, while the Board’s action threatened my career and reputation, and a factual mask comment got me in trouble, their inditement of me had nothing to do with masks! They accused me of questioning the necessity of physician vaccinations, which I am not allowed to do because apparently the AMA (to which I don’t belong and don’t agree with 99% of the time because of their unethical support of self-serving policies and their long racist history) considers such behavior unethical. Here's a copy of the Board's judgment.
Crazy thing is that I never said anything about physician vaccinations in any of my writing. In fact, myself and all the practitioners in my practice are dutifully vaccinated, and I’m often called upon to convince nurses and aides to get vaccinations. So, since they couldn’t come after directly for using bad words about masks, the Board fabricated something else, put it in fancy language, and figured that that would intimidate me enough to shut me up.
So, I did nothing wrong as a physician, and even my bad words that upset the Board were not technically illegal, yet they censored me by scaring me into submission. The ironic thing about all of it is that the day I received my “You’re a bad boy, and next time you do it you’ll get a spanking” letter from the Board, I also received notification that I had been awarded a Top Doc honor in Baltimore Magazine, meaning that my colleagues believe that I did something right as a geriatric doctor during the COVID crisis, something to which my facility directors would agree I am sure. Those of us who work tirelessly helping our patients during this humanitarian and public health crisis, those who achieve recognition of our hard work and compassion, still can be felled by the axe of censorship for using bad words. In the era of COVID, what you say is much more important that what you do.
Such is the way power is yielded during the COVID state of exception; sometimes it’s done through misinformation and fearmongering, sometimes through direct censorship, sometimes by threatening people with loss of job or arrest, sometimes from more subtle intimidation.
Lots of people who declare their allegiance to liberalism and to freedom believe that such Shut-upa-your-face tactics are necessary during these trying time, which likely will never go away. This is especially true of many young people I have encountered. They don’t like my use of bad words and the fact that I dare question THE MAN, their man! They are fine with all the top-down bullying because they believe THE MAN and they want him to act tough!
Today’s kids, they’re an odd lot. Can’t use “bad” words around them or they’ll get offended. They want to save the world, go on a trip or two, then save the world again. Everyone is ok in their book, well, every liberal with a liberal outlook, because it’s all about liberty, about freedom, about individual choice, about humanism and happiness, for their people.
But if you say a bad word, whoa, watch out, because then you’re in a different category and all their lofty ideas about freedom and choice and individuality fly out the classroom window. Especially these days if the bad word has anything positive to say about Trump or anything negative to say about Fauci. You see, as shocking as it is to me, lots of our youth believe what THE MAN is telling them, all the doom and gloom spit out by big academia and big government and big media (all financed by big business) insisting that we are in the midst of the greatest crisis in all of human history and that, in the name of liberty, we must relinquish our liberties just to stay alive.
One young student, who is a self-declared expert in political theory and in COVID by virtue of his/her news watching and book reading, told me that censorship is not an assault on liberty because being censored, being threatened, being deprived of one’s career simply by stating facts or opinion was not like being in jail. That’s the line she drew. She also felt that since her selective newspapers—which she sent me as authoritative sources—debunked certain facts that I presented (such as the fact Sweden has among the lowest rates of excess death in the world during COVID, that the rate of COVID death in people under 20 is drastically lower than two dozen other causes of death that people accept, that 150,000+ people died in long term care despite mandated mask use, to name a few) and that the TV “experts” were more factual than those of us on the front line studying COVID and living COVID with our patients since they had degrees and told her that they knew what was going on. Her depth of knowledge is more factual, in fact, than the facts, and her willingness to believe anything THE MAN says through its instruments was as good as gospel to this well-meaning youth.
After hearing my facts and sending me newspaper articles, this armchair expert then insinuated that I was a charlatan, dead wrong, and that she who has never cared for a single COVID patient (or any patient for that matter) or written anything scholarly about COVID or even understands how to interpret data let alone actually looking at the data, she’s an authority.
She’s got a what I call in Geriatrics Vengeance Club a huge ignorance gap: that’s the gap between what you think you know and what you actually know. When you want to believe something, then you can always find some junk study and some paid “experts” to back you up, a set of facts buttressed by your friends and your preconceived notions of truth in a performative validation of everything you absolutely are sure must be right. This widens the gap immensely and is common in students who think they know a lot more than they actually do.
But that’s not what really shocked me. The funny (actually, to me, frightening) thing to me is that these kids who want a fair and just world bereft of bad words and bad thoughts have total trust in authority, in institutions, in anyone or anything that declares a liberal agenda. They trust THE MAN!
In my day as a student our moto was to Question Authority. I mean, if someone in authority said something, you could bet they were pulling wool over our eyes and they had something to gain. As we’ll see in our next blog, our entire medical religious establishment is constructed upon the bricks of pretense and fabricated beneficence that is buttressed by deceptive studies and broadcast by doctor-priests who have much to gain from a blind acceptance of their dogma. That’s why we questioned authority; we understood the perfidy of those big organizations that claimed they just wanted to help humanity. But kids today don’t; they put their full trust in authoritative leaders and organizations as long as they wear white coats and say good words, their words.
What these students don’t know is that, at least in the medical realm, the institutions in which they have put their faith and trust, the institutions that they declaratively state speak in the name of truth and science and goodness, are largely financed by industry. Whether the CDC or FDA, Alzheimer’s Association or American Diabetes Association, or virtually every Medical School research apparatus and its faculty who conduct that research, they are funded by our nation’s pharmaceutical industry.
But don’t say that to these kids, or they’ll tell you you’re anti-science, they’ll have a newspaper article to show you, and they’ll flout their “expert” status in the realm of all things because they can quote from these big organizations, from THE MAN, and that is proof enough of their positions.
I remember a while ago an engineering student I know was telling me about her research and her mentor, and she explained a procedure done on old people with regularity to save their clotted veins. I told her that no such procedure existed, and if it did, as a geriatric doc, I’d know about it. “Mr. Andy,” she said to me. “I’m sorry to say, but you’re wrong. I think I know about this more than you.”
Yes, a student who listened to an “expert” and read some books knew more than someone actually out there in the real world.
Reality doesn’t get in the way of their crusade to be right about everything and to tolerate no opposition to their dogmatic views. I can be in a COVID unit for two years, but that same student will tell me that she knows more about COVID than I, based on stuff she read in her newspapers or that big organizations like the CDC say. Facts dissolve in the face of such undauntable confidence. I guess, kids will be kids.
But still, when it comes to liberty—an ideal to which they declare their undying support—it’s just shocking to me that they blindly accept gospel spit out by authority which is antithetical to freedom, and they are ok with censorship if that’s what such authority deems to be important.
As liberal justice Louis Brandeis told us: “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” And as liberal writer H.L. Mencken said: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.”
And yet, our young “liberals” who are so fixed on bad words and Donald Trump and perfectly fine with blindly accepting and then proselytizing everything “liberal” authorities tell them, chastising anyone who disagrees with their newspaper-proven dogma, anyone who questions authority, their authority, their right answers. And thus, with COVID, the kids just buy it all, masks and forced immunizations, endless lockdowns and suffering, the worst outcome in the world, as long as “liberal” and “scientific” authorities are telling them it’s ok. They are ok with the censorship too, as long as THE MAN censors people who say words that they don’t like, words that their authoritative institutions tell them are bad words. People like me, who are out there fighting and writing about COVID, but who don’t say words that they are ok with, we need to shutup-our-faces or lose our licenses. You see, my medical license is predicated on helping my patients and trying to establish what works and what doesn’t, not correlated to whether I’m a Top Doc. According to the Maryland Board and these kids, it’s about not saying bad words.
I had a great conversation with Doctor Eric Nepute the other day; he’s a perspicacious doctor who understands the roots of our medical system’s greed, and who from the start of COVID understood the political self-interest and divisiveness of the COVID binary, that which pits “My science” against “Your anti-science” in a very ironic way. You can find the interview at the end of my “COVID issues and books” section on this page in my blog. The kid-liberals who declare their love of humanity are ok with a lot of people dying and suffering from the quarantine, because it’s necessary and scientific. The kid-liberals who declare their love of science are ok with censoring any one in the scientific or medical community who dares to dispute the gospel of THE MAN’s scientists. The kid-liberals who declare their love of liberty are ok with governors who have made Marshall law an ok thing because, well, it’s necessary. But people like Dr. Nepute—who the kid-liberals hate—has been brave enough to keep fighting despite the enormous risk that such a struggle entails, something I’ve learned directly from my own tangle with the Board, a menacing dance that likely has not yet ended.
We need not remind the kid-liberals that Donald Trump had every means at his disposal, every justification in his pocket, to declare Marshall law and take our democracy from us during COVID, but he didn’t. And yet, to the kid-liberals, he’s the villain and Governor Newsome and others like him who actually did deprive citizens of their liberties for almost two years now, they are the heroes. Because, sadly, the kid liberals don’t know what liberty, science, or humanity really is outside of their very scripted allegiance to their news sources and their political alliances and their books.
It’s worth listening to this very brief you-tube video by a Dr. Scott Jensen, whose license is also under investigation for the fifth time because he dared to speak “bad” words. In just a couple of minutes he humanizes what the loss of liberty is all about and what censorship of bad words means. Hurry and listen, because Facebook pulls down bad-word videos all the time, especially if the kids complain.
Bad words aren’t illegal. And to censor them is the most antithetical action anyone can take against science, against liberty, and against democracy. I didn’t break any law, neither did Dr. Jensen or any of the thousands of other doctors and scientists and Americans who dared to question the gospel according to Fauci, questioning the words that THE MAN has declared to be good and sacred.
Sure, defying bad laws is illegal and, in our society, illegal acts are met with retribution; I get that. But breaking the law is sometimes necessary, as those who challenged the Alien and Sedition Act knew, those who challenged the Fugitive Slave Law, those who dared question the censorship instituted during World War One, those who fought for Civil Rights. They all broke the law and ended up in jail. And yet, many of our young worshippers of THE MAN hold them in esteem, whether Rosa Parks, or Eugene Debbs, or Martin Luther King, all of whom didn’t agree with THE MAN and who landed in jail because of it. Hell, even Japanese Americans ended up in prisons during World War 2 just for being of Japanese ancestry, but that was the law, as bad as the law was. And now the law is that we have to follow the CDC guidelines and engage in scientifically absurd and harmful practices that don’t help stop the spread of COVID and cause distress and death to our patients, and real heroes are breaking those laws.
But to these kids who love THE MAN, and who think that Rosa Parks too was a hero for fighting against oppression, they don’t understand that Rosa Parks refused to bend to the same entrenched dogma spit out as necessary and factual by THE MAN of her day. As I discuss in one of my blogs, segregationists and slave-holders spoke in the same language as those who are warning us of the danger of COVID. They used the most accepted science of their day to support their claim that any relaxation of segregation would be dangerous, would unleash a torrent of horror, was against the values of America, was both legal and necessary. Rosa Parks fought against THE MAN to whom our young liberals now declare their allegiance, institutions and people willing to destroy our democracy for their own pursuit of power; these are the new heroes of young liberals, even as they feel so good about their love of liberty because they are putting Rosa Parks on a stamp. Sure, she may be on a stamp, but they are stamping out everything in which she believed and fought for.
As Abraham Lincoln said: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” That’s what I have to say about our kid-liberals these days. In COVID, despite their lofty idealist words and their self-professed goodness and smarts, they are as conservative as it gets, as reactionary, as limited in intellect and understanding, as unwilling to allow free discourse and to work hard to understand an issue as those who they profess to despise. They fold to authority because they are authority’s puppets. They have become instruments of THE MAN, the supporters of institutions that people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King fought against all those years ago.
When Giorgio Agamben wrote about the state of exception in his book of the same title, he derided the Bush administration’s use of a crisis to strip liberty from people under the veil of necessity. For this book, he became a hero of the liberals. But when he used the same argument to denounce our COVID policies, he was hunted down by those same liberals for daring to question the import of THIS necessity. This state of exception does require a confiscation of our liberties, while that one—the one under a Republican—didn’t. Our crisis is a real crisis, theirs wasn’t. Our governors must take away our liberties and declare Marshall law, but Donald Trump—who said a lot of bad words—is the real threat to our democracy, as was President Bush after 9-11.
Heck, kids will be kids. No more Question Authority. Now it’s, Question Authority that Goes Against our Authority. To this new generation of liberals, liberalism means that anything that helps the Democrats is liberal enough. Liberalism can embrace censorship as long as it’s censorship of “the other.” Liberalism is all about science as long as it’s the science that we want to be true through our magical thinking by virtue of the scientists who are from our places. Oh well, such is life. It’s impossible to convince a zealot that their facts are wrong or that he/she/they should at least look at other sides of issues. Because today’s liberals have their newspapers to pull out and prove their points, so to them, there is no other side. If their newspaper says it raining outside when it’s sunny, then hell, it’s raining, and if you dare say it’s sunny, then we better shut you up, that’s a bad word!
Luckily for our health care industry, such blind faith in authority—religious faith in fact—has prompted young and old to dismiss facts and accept the good words of our doctor-priests in their continued pursuit of fear-mongering, misinforming the public, and generating huge incomes without helping anyone become healthier or live longer. And that’s what we’ll talk about in our next blog.