From History

The Hand of God

Recently, I have a renewed inspiration to sculpt again, something that I have been doing off and on since I was in high school. I never had any formal training in sculpting and believe it is just a DNA thing passed down from my Father and Grandfather.
I finished a piece that just came back from the foundry. I would like to share it with you.  I call it the Hand of God. The idea of it comes from a sculptor I have long admired, Auguste Rodin, the undisputed Father of Modern Sculpture.  He sculpted over a 100 years ago in Paris, France.  This piece is not a copy of his work by the same name. Frankly, without any intended malice or envy, I think my Hand of God is better! (So how come I am not rich, famous, or undisputed anything?) But certain aspects are taken from Rodin.  The size is larger than life, which is what Rodin started doing after he was accused of using his hand and making a plaster cast of it.  I did use his idea and the name, The Hand of God, for my sculpting, and I did use my hand but as a model, not a plaster cast, and it is, as Auguste recommends, larger than life-size.  Rodin’s sculpting had what looks like the hand is holding an embracing couple, while mine holds the globe of the world, a bit of reflective difference in Rodin and my Weltanschauung (world view.) I recently learned from Legalzoom that one could copyright works of art, so I did just that. If you copy it, I hope to collect a small fortune from you for copyright infringement. I seem to be on a sculpting kick and have several other projects in the works, all based on the hand motif. Hands are one of the real challenges that many artists often avoid because of the complexities and technical difficulties of making it look like a human hand. I hope to have a small exhibit at the Santa Paula Museum of Art in the near future, and you can judge for yourself.


Auguste Rodin   The Hand of God  

Rodin Museum, Paris, France

Gösta Iwasiuk

Gösta Iwasiuk  Hand of God, Santa Paula, California

 

 

 


 

 [GI1]

A THREAT TO OUR EXISTENCE

History has shown us indubitably that vaccination is the best weapon we have against most infectious diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, influenza, tetanus, hepatitis, pertussis, chickenpox, diphtheria, meningitis, and more to the point, Covid -19.  The argument that “I am healthy, exercise every day, and eat right,” is not valid as that does not provide even a shred of protection for any infection, especially not Covid-19.  The argument that having had Covid-19 should exempt you from vaccination is also flawed.  Firstly there is very little data on immunity after infection. Fully one-third of people who had Covid-19 generated no antibody response. The immunity from the disease is variable and not as reliable as vaccine immunity. Another study out of Israel gives reason to have more doubts about the quality of that immunity. The breakthrough events, defined as getting infected again after either having had the disease or getting vaccinated, occur at twice the rate in natural immunity as in vaccine acquired immunity. This suggests that even though an individual has had the disease, immunization is still required, in opposition to the opinion of what one US Senator says.

Herd immunity is acquired by a population when there is no more of a reservoir for the virus to infect, and therefore the virus cannot multiply and cannot mutate. The risk of mutation is a major reason to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the next, possibly more lethal virus that may or may not be susceptible to the vaccines. That level of immunity is said to be a minimum of 80%.  Current worldwide immunity is at 35%, not even halfway there. 
There are many reasons why worldwide immunity is so low. The poor nations do not have the infrastructure and funds. The wealthy nations have pushback from the people that are anti-vaxxers for a variety of reasons: lack of education, fear, religious objection, genuine medical contraindication to the vaccine, and just plain stubborn ignorance.
There are efforts to get the poorer nations to meet their needs through private and public actions. Vaccine hesitancy is another major obstacle.  China, through mandates that only an autocratic government is able to muster, has reached the goal of herd immunity and is beginning to relax its mandated programs. It is now focusing on segments of the population that need more attention, such as those that were missed in the first round or need a booster. 

To date, there are 21 countries that are in the process of various levels of mandates from rigorous, such as no vaccination no job, or the unvaccinated are simply shut out of their economy, including denial of hospital admission, to more lenient attitudes such as a vaccine passport or frequent testing.  That list should give you a hint as to the conviction all these nations have of the need and urgency to do this! These countries all, by and large, are democracies and have public health agencies that have found it necessary, despite all the effort to do this on a voluntary basis, to implement methods that require a more aggressive demand for compliance:
Australia                 Indonesia               Russia          
Britain                     Italy                       Saudi Arabia
Canada                   Kazakhstan          Sri Lanka
Costa Rica              Lebanon               Switzerland
Fiji                           Malta                    Turkey
France                    Micronesia            Turkmenistan
Hungary                 Netherlands          United States

It has become obvious that mandates will be necessary for most countries to achieve the herd immunity we need. I realize that this will bring much resistance and even potential violence. But this has been necessary for past situations, even in our Democracy. A threat to our existence is a powerful motivator. When we are threatened by annihilation from another country, for example, we will arm ourselves and shoot (to kill) the enemy. This is not the first time we have done this! People that refuse to participate (known as draft dodgers) are put in jail. When existence is at stake (and 700,000 deaths are getting very close to the level of an existential threat), we have in the past restricted civil rights, even imprisoned innocent people, with no due process whom we judged to be a threat. 

To demonstrate what fear of a perceived threat can do, if you have not done so, I would suggest you visit Manzanar in central California, one of the prison camps for Americans of Japanese descent during WWII (120,000)– two-thirds of whom were born and raised in the United States of America!

AFGHANISTAN

As George Santayana, the philosopher, and my role model for writing said, “Those that do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it!” I do believe we made a mistake and forgot our past and now are doomed. To recount what I know about Afghanistan, I need to tell you a little of my own history. It starts with my first girlfriend, who lived next door to me in a huge mental asylum of some 7000 inmates. Before you jump to any conclusions, both our fathers were doctors at that institution. As part of their compensation, we lived on the grounds of this 200-acre compound.  There was the entire gamut of mental diseases hospitalized there, from harmless demented old men and women who just existed until they faded away, to dangerous schizophrenic mass murderers. My desire since age six was to be a doctor like my father, so I followed my father around, saw unbelievable events from violent people getting lobotomized (cutting the brain connections from the front part of the brain to the rest of the brain that made them into vegetables) to suicides who jumped off a tall structure right in front of my house, reminiscent of the recent events in Kabul.

It was a very disturbing but exciting time for me. My relationship with Leila, confounded by her younger brother, Merrill, who delighted in surfacing from behind couches where we were doing what teenagers do, soon ended because her father found a better job in Dayton, Ohio, and the family moved just as we were getting friendly.  Although our families continued our friendship, and Leila went to the University of Indiana in Bloomington’s School of Music, where she was already an accomplished pianist, and eventually would go professional.  We continued our relationship despite the distances between Peoria, where I went to Bradley University and she to IU.

What was the Afghani connection? Leila’s father, an Afghan, was sent by his government to study medicine in Germany during World War II.  Although Afghanistan remained neutral in World War II, Germany and Afghanistan were allies.  Her father became a surgeon.  He was specifically groomed to become the personal physician of the King of Afghanistan, Mohammad Zahir Shah. Mir Nisam, her father, met and married a Jewish girl in Germany, not a good time to marry into a Jewish family.  But because he had diplomatic immunity, he was able to leave Germany with his new bride and her brother to his homeland and his job as the physician of the King.  His wife had to learn new customs, a new culinary style, new dress fashion, and a new language. The King, who was educated in France, established a Constitutional Monarchy. He imported many modern concepts of government but eventually ran into troubles with civil unrest, Mir Nisam MD decided to leave the country.  The King was treasonably deposed by his brother-in-law and left for Italy.

In our early school years, my sister and I would have access to the Afgan court clothing from both parents of Leila.  We had great fun playing dress-up with real vestments of the Afghani court. Leila and I met once more when I went to Med. School at UCLA, and she continued in graduate studies of music at USC.  But as is common with high school romances, we lost touch. I do remember the one dish that her mother taught me to make, Afgan rice, which remains a standard dish for our family celebrations, especially at Thanks Giving.  

Afghanistan was like a fairy tale to me, hearing all the court intrigue and the history of this far away land, the different foods, and different customs my family learned from the Nisams. Leila being half Afghani and half German, was a striking beauty with some of the Asiatic Persian and European features melded into one person.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan has turned into, pardon my profanity, the “shithole” of the world.  How did that happen? It was Hitler that claimed that Persia, Iran, Afghanistan were Aryian.  Few people know how Persia changed its name to Iran. Hitler personally convinced Shah Pahlavi to rename Persia, Iran, for Indo-Arian.  In Hitler’s construct of world history, the Aryian migrations of 50,000 years ago gave rise to the early cities of Afghanistan. Alexander the Great and later Genghis Khan would rule Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah Durrani, the first of the  Pashtun kings, marked the origin of modern Afghanistan in the 18th Century. The last King of Afghanistan, born of the aristocracy that had ruled Afghanistan for two centuries, Mohammed Zahir Shah, educated in France, took the throne in 1933 until his brother-in-law ousted him in 1973, who in turn was ousted by the Soviets that ruled for ten years. The Russians had bad experiences in Afghanistan. With Carter’s undercover support and later the Reagan administration’s help, the Mujahideen, Afghan warlords, chased out the Russians. But the various factions squabbled among themselves and could not find common ground.  One faction, the Taliban, won out. They ruled the country from 1996 until 2001. The Taliban is a hardline radical Islamic group who support strict Sharia Law of public execution by beheadings and stoning, including cutting off hands or feet for theft and petty crimes. Men are required to grow beards, women have to wear all-covering burkas, television, photography, music, and cinema are forbidden, girls are banned from going to school. Teachers that taught in girl schools were executed in the streets. The Taliban destroyed the historical monuments of the Bamiyan Buddha statues, 6th-century carvings. They massacred thousands of Afghans and denied food to 160,000 starving civilians, all in all cruel and uncivilized people.  

When the Taliban was ousted in 2001 King Mohammad Zahir Shah had a brief return after 29 years of exile. He was named “the Father of the Nation” in Afghanistan’s Constitution. There was even talk of his returning the monarchy to the country, but it was not to be. Hamid Karzai, a fellow Pashtun tribesman, and the country’s President at the time, announced the King’s passing on July 23, 2007.  

In 2001 the US, in response to 9/11 and the unwillingness or inability of the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden sent in special forces who toppled the Taliban in just two months.  It was Barack Obama who increased the troop deployment in the Afghan state to 100,000 troops. In 2010 Julian Assange complicated things further by a massive leak of secret files known as the WikiLeaks with out-of-context information on the Afgan war. On May 2, 2011, a small team of US special forces located bin Laden in Pakistan and killed him. By 2014 Obama decided to end the combat troops and left 13,000 as support troops. That same year a new leader, Ashraf Ghani took over from Hamid Karzai.  Trump took office in 2016 with the plan of further drawing down the troops from 5,000 starting in 2020.  There were only 2500 troops by this year, 2021. All the while, the Taliban was gaining strength.  It was clear to everyone that the Taliban had to be involved in the governance of Afghanistan because without them, no government could survive for very long. Meetings with high-level Taliban, including former leaders whom we had captured and imprisoned, were now set free to take part in the negotiations. Secretary Pompeo made it clear to the Taliban that no harm should come to any Americans or Afghans that helped us during this drawdown, and indeed as agreed, no casualties occurred.   

It was Biden and his team that changed the rules. I am certain that this would have played out differently under the Trump team. With Biden’s fanatic need to destroy anything that had Trump’s mark on it, he erased the restraints that Trump had placed on the Taliban. But we also showed the world and the Afghan army what a weak country we had become in such a short time.  We could not control our own cities’ violence as Seattle and Portland were burning and Chicago and New York were exploding in a hail of bullets. We were defunding the police. Our military leaders were vastly more interested in “Wokeism” and teaching CRT than protecting us, our allies, and strategic planning to keep the world safe. Our Congress was more involved in dismantling carbon-based energy and going from energy independence to begging the Middle East and Russia to give us more of precious oil. The final straw that convinced them of our weakness was how our last few weeks of the withdrawal were executed; amateurish, feeble, and incompetent are what the rest of the world, both allies and enemies, think, despite what Biden says. It is not how a major world power deals with a disorganized, uncivilized, uneducated band of 70,000 hillbillys with cell phones (aka the Taliban).  The writing was on the wall that America was no longer capable of supporting the legitimate Afghan government anymore. There was general agreement that 20 years of military support was long enough. Four presidents have tried to disengage, but to shut down our airbases and pull out the military first before evacuating civilians both American citizens and the Afghans that helped us, as well as our weapons, tanks, and helicopters has to go down as one of the more stupid military moves in all of history going back to the stone age. No wonder the Afghan military threw away their weapons, went into hiding, or fled the country any way they could, including in our Black Hawk Helicopters. The Taliban saw their chance to act out their most barbaric behaviors with what they recognized as a weak leader in the Whitehouse and a country that had lost its moral compass. It took them less than ten days to overrun the country with none of the restraining threats the Trump administration had promised. The Taliban, we see now, are the same people that came to power in 1996. They are older now, and their sons are with them, and not much different.  There are, however, various factions within the Taliban.  The real religious fanatics have not yet gotten to Kabul.  They are centered in Kandahar and are working their way to Kabul.  We may see much more humanitarian abuses once they get there. But from what we have seen so far, the Taliban is just as crazy as it was in 1996. What they have shown us has not been a new Taliban. They are the ones that surround the Hamid Karzai airport and beat, shoot, and otherwise prevent Americans and Afghans from getting to the planes that would evacuate them in diametrical opposition to their own interest. So much for the picture that our deluded President paints.

We froze assets the Taliban and the former Afghan government had in the US, billions of dollars!  There are 30,000,000 inhabitants of Afghanistan.  The economy has been destroyed, with no people earning a living, no income for anyone.  The Taliban has no means to feed the people.  How long are they going to withstand 30,000,000 demanding food, energy sources, health care, and a livelihood? Where are the smart Taliban leaders? It does not appear the Taliban has thought this through!

Afghanistan is a mess that will haunt us for decades.  Political blunders, weak leaders, stupid decisions, idiotic events, religious fervor, zealotry, mental illness, corruption, lack of coordination, and the pathologic hatred between the Trump and Biden teams which did not allow for a coordinated transfer of power.  Also, our country’s recent display of weakness, inability to control crime, inability to control our borders, inability to control the pandemic, misguided political agendas, inconsistent economics, upward spiraling inflation, continued problems with unemployment despite companies with the inability to find workers to fill their jobs.  If you think these are not all interrelated, you are living in a fairytale. This has all played a major role in needlessly creating a disaster with potentially thousands of murders. It will take years to sort out who is the most guilty in this human tragedy. But I have my theories.

Where Does the Buck Stop?

How predictable the left is.  In the face of clear errors of omission and commission, that border on incompetence or worse, our President is being defended, supported, and even urged on by the blind left.  It was the Afghan army’s lack of will to fight in the face of the Afghan mortality rate that in one year was greater than all of the US mortality in 20 years! It is highly unlikely the Afghan soldier would rather just get killed than fight. It was the Afghan political leadership that left before they too would be murdered. How cowardly of them. The left says it was Trump’s negotiations with the Taliban over a year ago, really?

Biden issued over 60 executive orders in his first 100 days, more than any other President, most of them an effort to destroy Trump policies: the wall, the Keystone pipeline, the fracking, multiple regulatory policies that deal with the environment,  energy, immigration, equity, economy, etc. How did he miss the Afghan withdrawal? He reversed everything else, including dismantling a system designed to protect American citizens trapped abroad — just months before the Taliban took over Afghanistan, stranding thousands of Americans in the Central Asian country.  Ahh! He must have been honor-bound to comply with a deal made by Trump, even after the Taliban ignored all of Trump’s conditions and spit on the documents. After pointing the finger at everyone but himself, Biden’s plagiarizing Truman’s line, “The Buck stops here!” doesn’t quite cover it. It does, however, point to Biden’s affinity to use other people’s words to cover his own failures. Although a good soundbite, his finger-pointing clearly points to the fact that Buck barely pauses here. Ultimately Biden has multiple other places where he claims the Buck actually does stop.

He is not telling us the truth that he had no other options, but clearly, the one our President took was not the correct one.  It is a repeat of the disgrace of Saigon. This is a repeat lesson of how not to do it!

This is the greatest National Defeat since 9/11.  It is a stain on our Nation’s honor and will affect us for decades.  What do you think our enemies like China and Russia are thinking?  We have a doddering old weakling in the Whitehouse.  That was exactly what the Japanese leadership thought and acted on the morning of December 7, 1941.  What about the nations that depend on us? Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Japan, and others who are left with an ally they clearly cannot trust anymore.  It will spill over into other aspects of international negotiations as well.  Trade with other nations will now be looked at with a perspective of a weak inferior nation that does not have the clout to deal from a position of strength.  Cybersecurity will be at greater risk given our weakened position.  The greatest concern is terrorism. 

The Taliban won and now have a new base from which to attack us. Al Qaeda was not supposed to be given a venue in Afghanistan by Trump’s deal.  They are there already.  And they are not knitting doilies. They are ruthless medieval minds, and I do mean evil, who have plans for us! Unfortunately, this world is the good guys against the bad guys.  And if the bad guys have more guns, they will subjugate us sooner or later. I am dismayed by the silence from the women in power in this country.  Where is Kamala, Liz Chaney, AOC, Cori Bush, etc.? Women are being raped, forced into so-called “Islamic marriages” (aka sex slaves), and denied education, a profession, a job.  They cannot dress like the rest of the women of this world. There are reports that women who are not in a Burka are shot in the streets of Kabul. Where is the “Me Too” movement when you need them? Girls who go to school will be evicted or worse – shot in the head as Malala Yousafzai found out. These people have medieval minds with whom you cannot discuss or change them. Radical Islam is indeed radical. They openly tell us what they believe and will do. They reject modernity and do all they can to take Islam back to the middle ages. They have announced they will return Afghanistan to Sharia Law. If you want an evening of horror, read what Sharia Law is. They consider it their duty to convert the infidels (us), and if they can’t, to kill them. We should not be surprised as we have similar medieval thinking in nearly half of our own population who will not accept evidence, logic, science to get the lifesaving Covid vaccine, and they are US-educated, unlike the Taliban. Luckily these brainiacs do not have power over us (yet).  If they did, I suspect they would be just like the Taliban.

Biden is left to try to rectify his bungling with really no one to step up to help him. But I think he really is not capable of dealing with this alone.  We are stuck with a lame duck with no one in the wings to save thousands of people from slaughter.

A Conundrum Hidden in a Puzzle

One summer evening, I had brought my 90-year-old mother up to our house for a jacuzzi.  It is not easy to get a 90-year-old woman to step down into a hot tub at 104  ̊F.  Furthermore, not very wise.  She fainted after a few minutes, and I had the daunting task of lifting her out with the help of my wife.  Luckily lying down and out of the hot water, she recovered quickly.  I expected her to be limp and quiet for a while, but instead, she started talking animatedly about the past, family secrets I had never heard before. 

I was unsure if these things were from her imagination due to the brief period of unconsciousness or if these were true, until now, long after she died at age 99.  What finally convinced me that her stories were likely true? 

I recently decided to have my DNA checked to research my ancestry.  I spat into the glass test tube, labeled it, and sent it off.  Two months later, the results came back, confirming a 24% European Jewish ancestry.  That would fit with my mother’s story that night. 

The story starts in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Europe was in turmoil, and the Habsburg Crown was anticipating war.  My father was not yet born.  Stephan Iwasiuk was a railroad official who would be needed to supervise troop movement in the central part of the empire.  He had to leave his home in Bucharest and move to Graz for several months.  He left his wife, Katerina, and his first child Josephine, still an infant.  His wife decided to rent out a spare bedroom for much-needed financial help.  A Jewish portrait painter and musician who was en route to Jerusalem from the north of Bucharest, rented the room.    When Stephan returned from Graz, Katerina was with child, a rather inconvenient situation! Naturally, the artist had to move out of his rented room and moved on, reportedly to Jerusalem.

My father was born on December 31, 1905.  Stephan accepted him as his son.  They named him Vladimir, which means “Peace in the Land,” very much like the German name “Friedrich.” “Friede means peace, and Reich means “Land.”  Vladimir had two half-sisters who held his birth status against him. “You are not the same as us,” they said! They made sure that later my mother knew the shame that Vladimir brought on them. Nevertheless, Vladimir was a smart and talented child.  His adoptive father, Stephan, took him to Graz, and for a while, Vladimir was educated in German-speaking schools.  As a student, he excelled in everything especially artistic talents. He got himself into some trouble copying an Austro-Hungarian paper monetary note so precisely that he was accused of attempting forgery, but exonerated because it was only the front of the banknote.  

Vladimir was an independent student.  He knew the lessons taught in school before the teacher presented them.  He went to class only to see if the teacher taught them correctly,  eventually going to medical school and getting his M.D. degree.

 

                                                         Photo of my father’s family ca. 1916 in Graz, taken in the middle of World War I

                        From left to right: Vladimir, Katerina, sisters Josephine and Helen, Stephan, unknown woman possibly Stephan’s sister.

So who was my grandfather? I know he was an artist. I know he was Jewish. I know he came from north of Bucharest, either what is now Moldavia or the Czech Republic. I am less sure of his name but as a child, I overheard the name “Korngold” on several occasions from my parents, but I am not certain of that. I know that the Korngold family also had their roots in Austro-Hungary, somewhere north of Bucharest. My biological grandfather reportedly left for Jerusalem and presumably died there. There are several cemeteries there, one of which is devoted to only Jews. It is directly behind the “Temple Mount” and the “Wailing Wall.” I spent a day combing through the graves there looking for the name “Korngold” but alas did not find it. 

Now for the mystery.  All my research lacks clarity, and I could not produce the smoking gun. BUT what piqued my interest was the resemblance of the most famous of the Korngold family to people in my family and me. Coincidence? You be the judge. If there is any relation, it would be Eric’s father, brother, cousin, or another close relative who traveled to Bucharest and rented a room.

I have a strong interest in classical music.  In my research of various composers, I came upon a photo of Eric Wolfgang Korngold as an adolescent.  He was born in Austro-Hungary in 1897. His father and his uncle were musicians. If there were any Korngold’s that were also painters is not known to me.  Eric Wolfgang, being Jewish, left Vienna in 1935 with the evolving power of the Nazis.  He came to the U.S. and composed for the movie industry.  Before coming to the U.S., his most famous work is an opera, Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City), premiering in Cologne in 1920 with Otto Klemperer conducting. His most well-known movie scores are The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938 Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland) and The Sea Wolf (1941 Edward G. Robinson).

In the photos below, I want you to focus on the prominent eyebrows, the protruding ears, the noticeable philtrum ( the vertical groove between the nose and upper lip), the oval face, the shape of the nose and its junction with the forehead, the rounded chin, and the hairline.  I added Vladimir, even though he does not support resemblance, at age 38 for reference and the stereotypical Jewish appearance. Keep in mind that phenotype (the outward appearance) serves as a surrogate for genotype, meaning DNA, and DNA does not lie! (see my essay by that name on my website gusiwasiuk.com).

Eric Wolfgang Korngold

Gösta Iwasiuk ca age 16

Gregory my nephew age 22

 

Gregory my nephew age 13

 

 

Split face view Eric Wolfgang Korngold and Gösta Iwasiuk

Split face view Eric Wolfgang Korngold and Gösta Iwasiuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                   Vladimir Iwasiuk above age 38 below age 11

 

 

 

RUDOLF VIRCHOW

Most of you will not be familiar with the name.  He influenced the course of health care, medicine, science, anthropology, biology, and politics.  He was a personality of immense intellect and achievements who deserves our knowing who he was.

Rudolf Virchow © Photos.com/Jupiterimages

He was born on October 13, 1821, as Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow in Schivelbein, Prussia, now Poland. His parents were farmers.  Rudolf was a brilliant student.  In gymnasium (equivalent to high school) he became fluent in German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, Italian, and Dutch. He was headed for a position in the clergy, but his uncertainty about God and his self-assessment that he had a weak voice made that an untenable career. He chose medicine instead. He studied at the University of Berlin. After graduation, he did an internship at Charité Hospital, the most prestigious hospital in Berlin.  He introduced the use of the microscope to study diseases and developed a method for discovering the cause of death, the autopsy. Forensic medicine was another one of his creations, and he was often called as an expert witness in criminal cases.

In 1847 the Prussian government sent him to study a typhus epidemic in Silesia.  It was there that he came upon the principles of public health for Germany and, eventually, the rest of the world.  His theory was that medicine is the study of disease, and the enlightened government is nothing more than medicine expanded to the population.   Because of his political activism, he lost his position at Charité. He left Berlin to be the chair of pathology at the University of  Würzburg in Bavaria, the first such position in Germany. Eventually, he was invited to return to Berlin to become Charité’s director of pathology for the next 20 years.  

He realized that all cells come from other cells (Omnis cellula e cellula).  From this sprang his theory of cancer origin and how it spread.  He discovered blood cancers that he was the first to call Leukemia, coining that word and many more, such as spina bifida, embolism, thrombosis, and others.  The “Node of Virchow” is now recognized as a swelling in the left side of the neck that is the harbinger of the lethal spread of a gastrointestinal malignancy.  “Virchow’s Triad” details the causes of blood clots in vessels due to one of three causes, stasis of blood, injury of the vessel’s inner lining, and blood that is hypercoagulable.

He discovered that many animal diseases could be transmitted to humans, from which he coined the term “zoonosis.” Coronavirus is a zoonosis that is said to have originated from bats. Virchow was ahead of his time. He found the cause of Trichinosis, the tiny parasitic larval form of worms, trichinella spiralis, that resided in the muscles of pigs and by eating insufficiently cooked pork, could infect humans. Introducing meat inspections in Berlin eventually wiped out that disease in Germany.  The sewer system and water supply of Berlin were designed by him. Virchow managed to get himself elected to the German Reichstag (the Parliament) from 1880 to 1893, and often championed better sanitation, support for the poor, improvement of health care, and other issues that concerned the public good.  The Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, who acted as the head of state, often did not see eye to eye with Virchow, especially on excessive military spending.  He irritated Bismarck to such an extent that Bismarck challenged Virchow to a duel.  The rules of such a potentially lethal encounter required that the one who was challenged gets to choose the weapons.  Virchow cleverly chose Kielbasa, Polish sausage, filled with trichinella spiralis worms. Bismark refused to do battle with him based on it being undignified as well as too dangerous!

History, anthropology, and paleontology were his passionate avocations.  He accompanied Heinrich Schliemann to the site in Turkey, where he believed the city of Troy was formerly located, to help in the excavations there.  Furthermore, Virchow was convinced that no Aryan race existed, by studying over 6,000,000 school children, concluding that the people of Europe belonged to a mixture of races that could not be sufficiently identified to be separated, much less considering any group as being superior.  He is often mentioned as an opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, but that is not entirely accurate.  Virchow was just not convinced that it should be considered fully proven, but a hypothesis. 

He was offered an aristocratic title but declined this as a privilege he deemed too snooty.  He did, however, subsequently accept the title Geheimrat (Privy Councillor), a distinguished title of the highest advising official or high ranking academic professor who made outstanding contributions to science.  Having published over 2,000 papers and books, he certainly qualified for the title.

Early in 1902, Virchow jumped from a streetcar and broke his thighbone.  He never recovered from that accident and died later that year at age 80. For his liberal ideas, champion of freedom, and proponent of elected representational government by the German people, and his pronouncement that there was no such thing as a superior Arian race, his non-scientific books were burned by the Nazis, even though he had died decades before.

Critical Race Theory

What exactly is Critical Race Theory?  Critical Race Theory has several diverse foundational principles that come in a package as I see it.

  1. White Supremacy exists
  2. White Supremacy maintains power by the law and the Constitution. Since they are the problem, they need to be eliminated.
  3. Social Constructionism is more important than facts, truth, or evidence. What the society, or segments of society, interprets (constructs) to be right is right, regardless.  (This is plucked right out of the iconic Nazi philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche’s writings about truth. “There are no facts, only interpretations.” )
  4. A revolutionary program to overturn equality and replace it with equity is required. Equity and equality are different to the proponents of Critical Race Theory.
  5. Equity, social justice, diversity, and inclusion trumps evidence, equality, law, and property rights.
  6. Capitalism is racist. In order to truly be anti-racist, you must be anti-capitalist. 

The acceptance of these principles would lead to several conclusions. Equality is not equity.  They are vastly different. Equality is simply “non-discrimination,” which is in the Critical Racist definition just a cover for White Supremacy, patriarchy, and oppression. Equity aims for equal outcomes.  In Critical Race Theory that would require suspending property rights and redistributing land and wealth along racial lines just to make it equitable.  

Does that sound a bit familiar, substitute class for race, and what have you got? – Karl Marx.

Critical Race Theory is a clever rehash of Communism. Marx believed that the Capitalistic society was an imbalance of power between the owners and the workers. The only solution was a revolution where the workers would seize power and overthrow the overlord Capitalists. The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights, has to go. Capital is evil. And Capitalism equals White Supremacy. It is racist.  To achieve equity, property and wealth have to be equitably redistributed. I doubt that the black upper class and even the middle class would agree with that.

Social Science cannot ignore all the other fields of human study.  Just because a group constructs their concept of what is real, it does not mean that it is. In physics, E=mc2 and not m=Ec2 or some other construct.  In medicine, blood pressure should be around 120/80 and not higher, or you are more at risk for heart attack or stroke, no matter what the “construct” of some other group believes. No other human field of study makes up rules that go against reason.  Aristotle’s clear thoughts about logic still have a place in human thinking regardless of what Nietzsche claims about there being no facts.

We have seen this before. Property and wealth have been redistributed more than a few times.  Every single time with disastrous consequences! Nor has it has ever produced equal outcomes. The Soviet Union, China, Laos, Cuba, Valenzuela, and Vietnam through gulags, executions, starvation, show trials, and just abandonment of property to escape Communism (that was my parents’ scenario, just walking away from all they had). This social experiment has piled up the body count close to 100,000,000 people, a despicable trophy of their success! Have we not learned? Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is when you ask the same question but expect a different answer!” It looks like we have asked the question often enough, and it has been answered the same every single time. That leads me to conclude that there are a lot of insane people in this world. It fits right in with a classic Country Western song by Billy Currington, “God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy.”

Where did these “experts” come from that tell us that we must apologize for slavery, and for which we need to pay reparations? I did not own any slaves, and there is not a single person in America alive today that was a slave. What is the legal basis and precedent for having the great great great great grandchildren pay reparations for the sins of eight generations ago? Paying reparations to the Japanese that were interred in camps during the war is just a bit different. Firstly the time span between the injustice and the payments is considerably shorter. The people that were harmed were actually the ones who got paid. Slaves that lived nearly 200 years ago are long gone. And paying their distant descendants will not repair anything.

Where is all this White Privilege? Everything I have, I gained through hard work, sweat, and a few tears.  I never got any of this from privilege. Did I not notice all the discrimination against foreign-born Ukrainians?  Although my parents certainly got a good taste of it from the old-fashioned Socialism practiced by Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler. National Socialists, too, had their own version of it. My parent lost all they had several times. When we arrived in the promised land, we had nothing. I want to know when my reparations are coming. I do not deny that there are racist groups both white and black that operate on the fringes of society espousing supremacist ideology of either white or black flavors such as the Nazi party, the KKK, the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, etc. but none of them so far have a meaningful influence on the mainstream of American life nor the two-party system we have. Although, BLM is certainly stepping over the line.

Critical Race Theory is absolutely pseudo-scientific gobbledygook generated from individuals that have spun this “fool’s gold” fiction in their minds. They use scientific terms as if they applied and knew what they meant. It is a technique that is so well described in the book, Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal. Furthermore, they do not have any hands-on experience, nor do they or can they produce any credible evidence, including showing us where all this White Supremacy and racism is hiding. Besides they discount evidence and replace it with storytelling. Just because a few certified nut-jobs wear horned helmets, this is just a silly caricature of real proof.  These sheltered neophyte academics have never seen what real Supremacy looks like. They have never experienced Apartheid, Dachau, or Siberian Gulags. Nor do most of them even know what the Holodomor was. They should Google it for a little eye-opening education.

Humans are not built to fit the Socialistic model, proven by the millions of people that ran from East Germany and all the Soviet client states, along with Cuba, China, North Korea, and recently Venezuela.  Achievement, merit, success, striving for excellence, and the individual’s pursuit of happiness govern our behavior regardless of the color of our skin. Individual freedom, freedom to think and speak, ability to create assets through hard work and ingenuity has been the cornerstone of the American Dream and have worked very well over the last two- and one-half centuries. There have always and will always be individuals or groups that claim to be better than other groups or individuals. That does not translate to society as a whole. Systemic racism is foolish fiction. Indeed some of us that are better than others depending on what the measures are. Some of us are smarter, better at playing the piano, or telling jokes. It does not mean that they have more rights, or have more of a vote, or have to wear a yellow armband with a star on it. We are all equal under the law! Equal opportunity is the cornerstone of democracy, but equal outcome is not guaranteed. We do not have to cut down all the tall trees so that small giraffes have an equitable chance at the leaves. There are plenty of shorter trees around. Don’t be fooled by deluded university professors and brainwashed intellectuals that have created a “Bait and Switch” name for Marxism, a proven failed philosophy over and over once too often.  Critical Race Theory sounds a lot better than Neo-Communism. But even with the new laundered name, Don’t buy it!

Revolutions and Enlightenment

The American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and so many more followed the “Rebirth.” And with it came the progress of new knowledge. Louis the XIV, the Sun King, led a life at the height of opulence and glory. He lived in luxury at Versailles, surrounded by art, beauty, culture, and wealth.  Were it not for a pain in his buttocks, things would have been perfect. He had a “fistula in ano,” an abnormal connection from the inside of the rectum to the skin outside. It frequently got infected causing swelling, pain, and pus to discharge. He consulted his physician and surgeon, Charles-François Felix. Unfortunately, his learned adviser didn’t have the slightest idea what to do for this humbling and agonizing problem. So, he did what doctors often do, stall. He told Louis that he must do sitz baths for a year before he could treat him. In the meantime, he went to the Bastille, the central prison in Paris, and found 72 prisoners who had the same condition. For the next year, he experimented with different treatment options to see what worked best. Felix found that unroofing the fistula, just slicing it open worked well. Finally, the year was up, and it was time to treat the King. The King reluctantly agreed to have the surgery Felix advised, as he saw no improvement, and had no other choice. No anesthesia was available. The King assumed the undignified position for the surgeon to approach the fistula, and Felix went to work. The records at Versailles indicate that the operation was a three-hour ordeal, but the King did not scream once. He did say, “Oh, Mon Dieu” twice, roughly translated as OMG. Felix crafted a knife that had a leading blunt probe that was inserted through the fistula track, and had a sharp portion that was then used to transect the fistula, and overlying anal sphincter. It is on display at Versailles in a glass case and named the “bistouri royal.”

Louis XIV with his Queen and Confessor giving him solace just before the operation

The operation was a success, and the surgeon was well rewarded. He received 15,000 Louis d’ Or approximately $5,000,000 in today’s currency. Additionally, there was a chateau in the south of France, and the title of Baron, that came with the fee. Compare that to today’s Medicare reimbursement for a fistulotomy, the kingly sum of $436.87!

Although not in historic proper timeline order, it seems appropriate to mention David Henry Goodsall at this point. He does not come on the scene until 1900 when he was able to correctly describe the path of an anal fistula, a frequent question on surgery in-training exams.

Goodsall’s rule states that if a line is drawn through the middle of the anal ring parallel to the floor, the internal opening of the fistula will be in direct opposition to the external opening on the skin. If the external opening is posterior to that line, the internal opening will follow a curving path to the dorsal midline. The exception to the rule is, if the external opening is more than 3.75 cm from the anal verge, the path may curve to the posterior midline regardless of where it is.

Appendicitis was almost always a fatal condition, as that, too, had no known treatment, and the surgeon did not have the luxury of trying out different procedures for a year.

The very first successful removal of the appendix was done at St. George’s Hospital in London, in 1735, by a French surgeon, Claudius Amyand, on an 11-year-old boy. He described the operation, which he presented to the Royal Society.

 

 

St. George’s Hospital< Hyde Park Corner

 

Amyand had to wait for the proper credit, as many were accorded that honor erroneously, not knowing he preceded them by 150 years. Charles McBurney wrote about “the McBurney” incision in 1894, actually 1st described by another surgeon, Louis L. MacArthur.

Although the pathophysiology was not well understood at that time, it was a Harvard pathologist, Reginald Herbert Fitz, who described it accurately in 1886, 150 years later. He wrote a paper entitled: “Perforating Inflammation of the Vermiform Appendix; With Special Reference to Its Early Diagnosis and Treatment,” as the little worm-like projection from the cecum, that was the cause, and not what was thought to be a process that involved the entire cecum, called typhlitis or peri-typhlitis.

John Hunter is considered to be one of the early “Fathers of Modern Surgery.” He was a man who would not accept any idea that he himself had not thoroughly vetted. He was a scientist that depended on direct observation, trial and error, and experimentation to prove a  theory.   He

 

was considered to be a surgeon, and he felt himself a surgeon, although he saw the shortcomings of the craft of surgery. He tacitly acknowledged that surgery had its flaws, “It is like an armed savage who attempts to get that by force which a civilized man would get by stratagem,” he said. Surgery was a treatment option when other, less invasive measures failed. He was known to collect everything that moved,    and even plants, a total of 14,000 exhibits at the end of his life. One of his prize specimens was the skeleton of a giant man (7’7”), who specifically left a will which refused any part of him to be used in one of Hunter’s exhibits, but Hunter bribed one of the morticians. The skeleton is now on display at the Hunterian Museum in London. What would the legal and ethical implications of that be in our time? Hunter came by his “trade,” not through any academic route, he was an assistant to his brother who taught an anatomy course for eleven years, then assisted a surgeon for one year. Subsequently, he was an army surgeon for three years. He was appointed to be the Surgeon to King George III, (yes, that George, against whom we fought the Revolutionary War).

 

He published several scholarly books on venereal diseases, the development of human teeth, inflammation, blood, and gun-shot wounds. He was an ardent supporter of learning by doing; surgery was not something that could be taught only by reading. He died at the age of 65, on October 16, 1793, immediately after a fierce argument with his hospital’s Board of Directors, who did not want him to bring medical students to observe operations (a discussion we still have today).

 

His death mask, to the right, shows a man with determination and wisdom. He was described by one of his assistants, “as a man, warm but impatient, readily provoked, and when irritated, not easily soothed,” a character trait common to many surgeons. His house in London had two entrances, one for the family, and one on a different level, the entrance for his macabre laboratory, where he prepared many of his exhibits for display. The house became immortalized, and Hunter, himself, was thought to be the most likely inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Sir Astley Cooper

Operating on the crowned heads of the European Empires was quite rewarding. Sir Astley Cooper, a student of John Hunter, was Surgeon to George IV. His aristocratic title was bestowed on him by George IV for removing a huge mass on the King’s head.

 

Cooper has several anatomic structures named after him; the most remembered today are two ligaments: the suspensory ligaments of the breast are Cooper’s ligaments, as is the thickened periosteum, just above the superior pubic ramus, the ligament of Cooper. It is Cooper’s ligaments in the breast that cause the skin to give the “peau de orange” appearance with underlying cancer, plugging the lymphatics causing swelling of the skin, but Cooper’s ligaments tug on and create the fine dimpling of the skin that gives it that orange peel appearance. The other Cooper’s ligament provides the strong anchoring structure in the pelvis for the Mc Vay hernia repair. His contributions to surgery were diversified, from ligating the aorta for aneurysms, the study of the cerebral circulation, anatomy of the inner ear, and more practical applications, such as hernia repair, and treating breast diseases. Cooper’s published works include anatomy of hernias, breast, and thymus, as well as lectures on surgery, and treatment of fractures.

 

Sir Astley Cooper has a special place in the education of women surgeons. The fact is that women were not accepted into medical schools in that era, much less becoming surgeons. The strange story of James Barry changed that. James was actually a female who very much wanted to be a surgeon.

 

 

She dressed as a boy, and entered the medical school in Edinburgh, Scotland where she came under the influence of Sir Astley Cooper, and eventually became a very talented, capable, and accomplished surgeon. Her real name was Miranda Steuart. She continued to dress and appear as a man; she also joined the British Army and fought in the Crimean War. By that time, she had attained the rank of General, because she was an outstanding surgeon.

 

She gets the credit for performing the first successful Cesarian section, where both mother and child survived! Being from Edinburgh, which had a  reputation for hygiene concerns,  she was very meticulous about sanitation during the execution of surgery, long before Lister came up with his carbolic acid spray. She got into a knock-down-drag-out fight with a fellow army surgeon who was less interested in cleanliness. Miranda was court-martialed for behavior “unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” But she prevailed both in the fight, and the court-martial. When she died, it was discovered at her post-mortem exam that she was, in fact, a female. Also elucidated was that she had had a child, which she obviously hid from society.

 

Florence Nightingale worked with Dr. Barry in that war, but the two did not get along. There were nurse-surgeon hierarchical issues, something that remains a point of contention at times, even today.

 

Wars have always advanced the surgical sciences, because with war comes trauma, which usually requires intervention to stop the bleeding, cut off the mangled extremity which would only get infected, and eventually kill its owner, extract the bullets, dress the burns, etc. Dominique Jean Larrey was Napoleon’s surgeon, and whatever battle, whatever country Napoleon went to, Larrey was sure to follow.

 

He made the astute observation that the sooner the surgeon gets to the injured soldier, the better the outcome. With that as his leading theme, and observing how quickly the French “flying artillery” crisscrossed the battlefield, he adapted it, and “Voilá,” came up with the “flying ambulance.” It may have been a bit overstated, as it was just a horse-drawn cart, but it served its purpose, getting the fallen soldier off the battlefield, and into the surgeon’s tent. He created the rule for triage we still use today, treating the wounded according to the seriousness, and urgency, without regard for rank, or nationality, of the injured.

 

The concept of early intervention would be copied, and improved by another icon of surgery, Michael DeBakey, in the 1950s, during the Korean Conflict, where the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was set up right in the conflict zone. Only this time the horse and buggy “Flying ambulance” was replaced by a real flying machine, a helicopter, dubbed the “Angel of Mercy” by the soldiers on the battlefront.

 

 

 

Edward Jenner studied anatomy and surgery with John Hunter at St. George’s Hospital in London.     Jenner took Hunter’s advice, a well-known philosophy among the intelligentsia of the Age of Enlightenment, “ Don’t think, try!” In  1796 he noted that milkmaids that contracted “Cowpox” did not get Smallpox, a disease that wiped out one in five inhabitants in the villages in Briton.  He experimented by inoculating his gardener’s son and even his own son with pus he had collected from the pustules of infected cow’s udders.  Although the children had a mild febrile illness with skin lesions, they were immune to the lethal form of the disease.  He coined the word vaccine from the fact that it came from vaca, the Latin for cow.  Jenner has saved more lives than any individual in human history including today. It was in 1970 that the World Health  Organization declared  Smallpox eradicated, in no small part due to vaccination.

 

 

In 1822 Alexis St. Martin was shot, by accident, in the left lower chest. A Surgeon, doctor William Beaumont, was called to attend to him. Beaumont did not think that St. Martin would survive, but he did. Beaumont took the opportunity to study him, becoming the father of gastric physiology. He put bits of meat on a string, and placed it through the skin opening into the stomach, but retrieved it periodically, to see what the stomach acid did to it. Alexis attempted to escape from Beaumont, but was caught, and returned to him for further study.

 

 

 

 

Louis Pasteur was a brilliant chemist, who came up with the germ theory of diseases, that ended the popular idea of so-called spontaneous generation as a reality. Pasteur discovered the etiology of TB, rabies, as well as cholera, smallpox, anthrax, and made vaccines to block rabies, smallpox, and Anthrax. He ascertained that most bacteria were killed by the heat generated with the process of Pasteurization, a life-saving discovery that saved, perhaps millions, through the ages, and still does.

He contributed to a variety of industries, among them the fermentation of grape juice, and silk manufacturing. He recognized that virulence is variable. Less virulence allowed vaccination, while more virulence led to epidemics.

He is also responsible for giving us the understanding that many chemicals have a mirror image form, each with different characteristics. Although he was not a physician, without him, we would all be ignorant of microbiology, the cause of all bacterial and viral diseases.

The implementation of Pasteur’s discoveries, however, took a while to permeate all of the medical community. The Viennese obstetrician and surgeon, Ignaz Semmelweis, wrote a paper explaining the cause and prevention of the dreaded Puerperal Sepsis (Kindbettfiebers). He noticed that in his hospital, the Allgemeines Krankenhaus, in the city of Vienna, the service of the professors had a much higher maternal mortality than the women who were delivered by midwives. The professors would do the autopsies on the women who died, and then proceed into the delivery room, often not washing their hands, or changing clothes. Semmelweis believed in Pasteur’s work of tiny plants that cause disease, but the professors in Vienna didn’t. They laughed at Ignaz. “Tiny plants growing on your hands … Ridiculous!”

 

All he wanted was for us to wash our hands between patients! He lost his job, but continued railing against his colleagues in the newspapers, claiming that they were killing women… which indeed they were. To stop him, they had him committed to an insane asylum, where he died, a broken, discredited man, with the knowledge that he was right.

 

ROBERT KOCH 1843-1910

Robert Koch was a Surgeon during the Franco-Prussian War, and later led the battle against ignorance of the denial of microbes. Koch’s postulates helped in convincing the world of the truth of Pasteur’s theories:

  1. The bacteria must be present in every case of the disease.
  2. The bacteria must be isolated from the host with the disease, and grown in pure culture.
  3. The specific disease must be reproduced when a pure culture of the bacteria is inoculated into a healthy susceptible host.
  4. The bacteria must be recoverable from the experimentally infected host.

The above are the four famous Koch’s Postulates that prove the etiology of a disease.

 

He identified the bacteria that caused anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis. He also developed the PPD (Purified Protein Derivative), the still-used test to determine if the tubercle bacillus has infected an individual.

 He did not patent it, as he wanted it available to all for study, and disease prevention, thus giving up all royalties that could have made him a rich man. He discovered Agar, (a product of red algae), still used today to grow bacteria. He garnered the Nobel Prize in 1905 for his achievements.

 

Joseph Lister listened to Pasteur. He believed that the little plants do cause infectious diseases. Pasteur advised the railroad builders that if the railroad crosstie timbers were soaked in creosote, they would not rot nearly as quickly as when untreated. Lister used the phenol extracted from creosote and devised an atomizer that sprayed the phenol (carbolic acid) into the air. He used it to spray into operating rooms, and soaked his hands in carbolic acid before surgical procedures, and also dressed wounds in bandages soaked in it. Lo and behold the infections all but disappeared! That too took a while to sink in, with no help from literature. The Lancet, which was and remains a respected journal, warned the profession against these “progressive ideas”! Something they failed to do when they promoted hydroxychloroquine for Covid.

 

The above is Lister’s invention that made a vapor of the phenol that was sprayed around the operating theater.

 

 

 

 

 

I visited Lord Lister’s home on June 7, 2005, to pay my respects, about135 years after he lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife Agnes, daughter of James Syme, the innovator of the Syme amputation (cutting half the foot across the metatarsals). Lister eventually replaced Syme as Chair of Surgery.

 

 

 

Lord Lister (center with his hands clasped) surrounded by all his residents at the Old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh 1855.

 

 

 

 

 

In eighteen-forty-six, William Morton, a dentist, gave a public demonstration on the effects of Ether at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The operation was to be the removal of a neck tumor. He used a device that contained a sponge soaked with Ether. He had learned about Ether when he was a medical student at Harvard, from his chemistry professor. Much of the rest of his life was spent in trying to profit from this drug and trying to claim credit for its discovery.

 

Morton’s tombstone reads, “Science has control over pain.” Shortly after Morton’s public display, a Scottish obstetrician, James Y. Simpson, introduced Chloroform in 1847, which had a much quicker onset but was more of an explosive risk than Ether. Queen Victoria made Chloroform popular when she used it for the delivery of Prince Leopold.

 

 

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was a German physicist who was experimenting with cathode tubes, and noted that a strange and eerie glow was coming from them in the dark. He surmised that they emitted some kind of energy, that he named the X-ray. He exposed his wife’s (cleverly not his) hand to it, placed a photographic plate underneath it, and there were her bones and wedding band, the first X-ray. X-rays revolutionized diagnosis, and consequently, treatment. Without X-ray, we would literally be in the dark!

 

 

 

BERNHARD RUDOLF KONRAD von LANGENBECK 1810-1887

 

Langenbeck was a German surgeon who gained much of his surgical training courtesy of numerous wars against Denmark, Austria, Prussia, and France. After the various wars, his hospital was Charité in Berlin where he became acquainted with Rudolf Virchow, “the Father of Modern Pathology,” (whose name is memorialized in the Virchow’s Triad and also Virchow’s node). They are both honored by a building dedicated to educational purposes and a meeting place for physicians – the Langenbeck -Virchow- House in Berlin. Langenbeck invented a variety of instruments, especially retractors that still grace surgical trays in every operating room. He is perhaps best known for creating the method of training surgical residents, and is considered the “Father of the Surgical Residency.” The term “resident” derives from the fact that Langenbeck insisted that the surgeon in training would reside at the hospital 24/7. Hence he or she is a “resident.” The famous surgeons that were part of his house staff read like a Who’s Who in surgery: Billroth, Kocher, Bassini, Esmarch, Trendelenburg, and even Halsted spent a short time with him.

 

 

 

Mary Edwards Walker 1832-1919

The only woman ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor was for her services above and beyond the call of duty during the US Civil War. She was the first woman surgeon in the Union Army, and was captured by the Confederates, and treated as a spy. She was raised on the family farm in New York state. From that time on, she wore men’s clothing, as it did not restrict her ability to work alongside her brothers in the heavy labor farm work required. Her medical education was at Syracuse Medical College. She was an active surgeon during the war and participated in numerous battles including Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chattanooga, and Chickamauga.

Even when captured, she helped Confederate doctors perform amputations. During her imprisonment, she suffered neurologic damage, for which she received a military pension after the war. She lectured and was active in women’s rights movements that made her popular among feminists and female physicians. She died in 1919, one year before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution passed, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

 

Theodor Billroth 1829-1894

Langenbeck’s illustrious protégé, went on to found his own school of surgery, the Vienna School, that in-turn produced more famous surgical icons, with many firsts: Wölfler- gastroenterostomy, Czerny- vaginal hysterectomy, Mikulicz- the pyloroplasty, Eiselsberg- the founder of neurosurgery and creator of the ER, and William Halsted- the radical mastectomy.

 

 

 Billroth was an amateur musician and had mastered the violin and the piano. He had also bought the former home of Ludwig van Beethoven, and often Billroth would host musical evenings with Johannes Brahms, the composer considered by many to be Beethoven’s successor. Billroth often invited his resident, Jan Mikulicz, an accomplished pianist, to play quartets, and the like, in Beethoven’s former residence. Jan became one of the great surgeons in his own right. 

 

 

Billroth was the creator of many firsts in surgery: the 1st gastrectomy, the 1st esophagectomy, and the 1stlaryngectomy. He was an early adopter of the white coat and asepsis. His methods of reconstructions of the stomach, post resection, bear his name, the Billroth I, and the Billroth II, which confuses every beginning surgery intern. One intern  even  asked  me  whether it was Dr. Billroth I, or Dr. Billroth II, that was the more famous one.

Robert Virchow 1821-1002

Virchow, although not a surgeon, was crucial for surgeons to do their work. He was the “Father of Pathology.” He produced volumes of scientific articles in excess of 2000, introduced the microscope for use in pathology, and developed many principles of the medical sciences. Omnis cellula e cellula– all cells (come) from cells. He coined words and christened multiple diseases, such as spina bifida, amyloid degeneration, leukemia, chordoma, embolism, thrombosis, parenchyma, osteoid, and many more. He is the sole inventor of the modern autopsy, a systematic investigation into a deceased individual’s journey from birth to death. His work at Charité in Berlin influenced many surgeons, including Kocher, Langenbeck, and Bergman. He ventured into a diverse variety of fields in addition to medicine: anthropology, forensic criminology, and politics among others, vehemently disputing that Aryans can be identified as a single race, much less be superior to other races. “Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale,” he remarked. Virchow’s strong opinions inevitably led to a confrontation with the most powerful politician of the time, Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire. Robert got under Bismarck’s skin to such an extent that Bismarck challenged him to a duel. By the rules, the challenged chooses the weapons. Virchow brilliantly chose Kielbasa, Polish sausages, filled with Trichinella Spiralis, the cause of Trichinosis (also his discovery). Bismarck turned him down as the duel was undignified and furthermore Bismarck thought it too risky.

 

ANARCHY IS NOT PRETTY

WESTERN FIRES

How does global warming cause fires in straight lines along highways?  Looking at the fires in California, Oregon, and Washington, someone has to connect the dots. Rumors that ANTIFA is responsible, but maybe false but they certainly set fires in Portland and elsewhere.  These are just the ones that have been caught, but there are more arsonists out there that need to be apprehended.

So far, 28 people have died, and dozens are missing, not to mention all the pets, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and all the wildlife that have succumbed in the cruelest manner. Last night, 9/12/20, two Sheriffs, one male one female, were ambushed and shot multiple times in Los Angeles. Rioters affiliated with one of the organized groups then blocked access to the hospital with mobs shouting, “ I hope the bitch dies!”  Now that is “hate speech,” and that needs to stop! Both are still alive but in critical condition with shots to the face and head. What have we become? We are losing the battle against anarchy. I am beginning to think that we are too late to fix this.  “Burn, baby burn!” has become the reality.

I can’t be the only one that notices these “coincidences?” I don’t care if Democrats or Republicans send in the troops, but someone has to.  Are there any alternatives to this madness? The inmates are taking over the asylum. Does anyone wonder why the sane ones want to arm themselves? This is the stuff that causes dictators to take charge, as a democracy will not, or cannot, handle the truth.  If Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor Kate Brown, and Governor Jay Inslee do not act decisively and declare martial law, then the Federal Government needs to do so.

Riots are not peaceful demonstrations and need to stop. The hotbeds in Seattle and Portland are the source of these anarchists. They need to be controlled by preventing ingress and egress. The known sources of money for those rioters need to be charged with aiding and abetting arson and murder. Our politicians need to stop calling them “brave Americans.” This includes the Hollywood crowd that has been sending money to bail out the scum from jail, who then just slink back to their “Autonomous Zones.” Criminals need to be rounded up, quickly tried, and punished. If they committed capital offenses, they need to suffer the consequences.

This is what an insurrection looks like. But it is a small percentage of people that are creating the mayhem, some of them paid organizers.  Hopefully, it is still possible to control the situation before our state burns up. But there must be some forceful action and soon! 

WHY NOW?

I am puzzled as to why the whole racism issue has emerged NOW before our next national election.  Why do we have race riots about racial justice? Why are there lootings and burnings of buildings happening now? We had a black president for eight years, and what did he do to improve the black race situation? His numbers on black crime, black on black murder rates, black high school drop out rates, police shootings of black boys and men, fatherless families, black unemployment rates, and black illegitimacy rates are nothing to brag about and showed not one iota of improvement after eight years. Look it up! Where was the outrage for Obama’s abysmal record? Where were the protest marches of BLM?

The Democrats have finally hit on the perfect storm to destroy Trump after multiple failed attempts. A fortuitous pandemic set the background for unrest and erased all of the economic gains of the Trump administration.  Then the unfortunate killing of a black man by a white cop triggered the firestorm. The number of blacks killed by police every year is between 200 to 250, including every year of Obama’s tenure. Whites are killed by police about twice that number, despite the fact that the black crime rate is roughly five times higher than the white crime rate.  This indicates more police restraints when dealing with a black criminal, and contradicts the mob’s screaming that the unjust police are killing black people. The opposite is true.  The police treat blacks with greater deference than whites when it comes to pulling the trigger.

Why, all of a sudden, does one killing of a criminal high on Fentanyl and Amphetamines become the poster child, and now the hero, for this race riot? Not considering the details because they will not be known until the trial of the indicted white cop, and cell phone video is incomplete in explaining the preceding events. The riots do not pass the smell test. It seems like a carefully orchestrated setup. The inciting event was not the best choice for a trigger. The criminal history of George Floyd and the drug overdose does damage the story, and makes his resistance more complicated given the Amphetamines on board. Amphetamines are known to accentuate aggressiveness, increase muscle strength, and the Fentanyl obscures the now-famous T-shirt logo “I can’t breath” line if you understand the pharmacology of Fentanyl, which depresses the brain’s respiratory center. Two autopsies reported the Amphetamines and Fentanyl in his blood.

The rapidity of the deployment and the organization of the mob suggests that it was not as spontaneous as it appeared, but preorganized long before the Floyd affair, waiting for a suitable trigger. The timing is also suspicious of preplanning. I would like to know who is the financial backer of all this unrest?. Somebody is! Who is benefiting from racial division? I must admit it is a brilliant strategic move in its timing and opposition to the “Law and Order” argument.  One factor I can attribute to coincidence, but with four factors pointing to a rented mob, I come to the conclusion that this was a covert DNC production. #1instant mob #2 tenuous trigger #3  statistics dispute the main complaint  #4 highly suspicious timing

I saw a video that all of you should see: uncletom.com, produced by Larry Elder, a black radio commentator, who addresses many of these issues.  If you are liberal, you will get a different perspective than you have ever seen. If you are conservative, you will learn some history that you never knew.  It costs you $8.00 to rent, but it is worth it. Many of my questions have been answered, but my own theory as to the recent racial discontent is even more specific.

My theory of the whole issue is that when Obama was elected, there was much enthusiasm and hope from the black population that now things were going to change.  Guess what? Nothing changed!

Statistics on black vs. white police killings do not bear out the claim of police treating blacks more harshly and shooting quicker. The opposite is true. The real issues when Obama took office in 2009, were black fatherless homes were at 67%. It dropped a paltry 2% in 2017 at the end of his term.  Black unemployment increased from 7.6% to 7.8%, rather pathetic , to say the least. Pre COVID under the “racist Donald Trump,” unemployment was the lowest it has ever been, 5.4%.

Black illegitimacy in 2017 was up to 77% at the end of Obama’s term. In 1965  it was 24%. The black family was much more of a standard core family in the mid-1960s before Johnson’s “War on Poverty” with its dramatic increase in welfare.  WELFARE DID MORE DAMAGE TO THE BLACK FAMILY THAN SLAVERY DID. 

Black on black crime kills more black people each and every year than all the Ku Klux Klan killed during their entire rant of 86 years. Is that not an amazing statistic that gets absolutely no press. It is a topic the left does not want to talk about. Black on black homicides were 2500 to 3500 a year most of Obama’s tenure. Welfare removed the father figure from the family and made the family matriarchal. More black children grew up with a father during slavery than now. These are statistics Obama should be ashamed of!

Obama, who had the chance to make great strides in the real issues ignored the problem! It was a great disappointment. Obama had made it one of his campaign promises.  He stated that Dr. Martin Luther King had gotten the black race 90% to their goal, and he was going to get that last 10% needed to get to the Promised Land.  He did exactly nothing, just as all democratic run administrations, federal, state, or local since Abraham Lincoln. 

The Jim Crow laws were created by white southern Democrats and Dixiecrats to keep blacks from voting. It was the Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower who sent in the 101st Airborne Division to open the schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It was a Republican Congress led by Everett Dirksen that pushed through John F. Kennedy’s civil rights bill nullifying Jim Crow. This was unfairly credited to Lyndon B. Johnson due to the assassination of Kennedy. Furiously fighting against it were the Democrats who opposed the civil rights act through the longest Filibuster in history, led by Al Gore’s father, Albert Gore Sr., along with the Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. It was Lyndon B. Johnson who came upon a “brilliant” new game plan.  His idea was if blacks were going to vote, they might as well vote Democrat.  He was fond of using the “N” word, something the media never brought up, but was undeniable. “I’ll have them n….s voting Democrat for 200 years,” he said – something that is still coming true.

Now with a new election, the left sees a chance to take over just as they have taken over in many major cities of the country that they have destroyed, like Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, New York, Detroit, Memphis. Los Angeles, and Houston, etc. The best way is to divide and conquer.  Race is an excellent way to divide people. And what better way than to discredit the current administration by blaming them for all the failures of government to improve racial inequality, which of course, had not been addressed by the previous administration. If you look at what Trump did with his efforts on unemployment, ridding employers of oppressive regulatory policies, and the tax reductions, he helped black people more than Obama ever did, who did nothing in his two terms, as demonstrated by all metrics: unemployment, black murder rate, black incarceration rate, high school drop out rate, black illegitimacy rate, number of fatherless families, etc. Obama actually harmed black education by cutting annual funding for black institutions of higher learning by $85,000,000 annually; something Trump reversed by restoring $100,000,000, the largest federal funding of black colleges by any president ever. It was Bidden who is responsible for creating the largest mass incarceration of black Americans through his work on the 1994 crime law, and the “Crack Law” that punishes possession of crack cocaine more severely than powder cocaine.  Whites prefer the powder and blacks the crack, which disproportionately keeps blacks in jail longer, another Biden ringer.

Democrats have harmed the progress of the black race in cities run by them, and their social welfare programs have destroyed the black core family by the most devastating blow a family can have, namely the removal of the father. Instead of ranting about racial justice, which Obama ignored, the protests should be about fatherless black families, the disproportionate high school dropout rate of black children, the disproportionately high crime rate in black communities, including the high black on black murder rate, and the unprecedented abortion rate of black women, now at 52%.  Those are the issues BLM should address, all problems that Obama and Biden could have fixed but didn’t and apparently didn’t care about.