I always try to cover a topic thoroughly before finalizing a post. I try to include a wealth of supporting information, information that others who agree with me can use to defend their own positions, information that may open the eyes of those who disagree with me. However, the length may be too much in some instances. Recently, I was asked why not do an executive summary instead of full-length graduate thesis? So, at the end of this month, I’m doing summary of this month’s posts for those who just want the gist of the story. It’s hard for me to be brief in my writing, but I will do the best I can. If the summary for any of these piques your interest, you can read the entire post and get more.
This month, I posted on COVID, transgenderism and systemic racism.
There were three COVID posts this month:
Continue reading “COVID: C’mon Man. Let’s Be Real.”by Seek-the-truth July 10, 2021
The big story this month and June has been the delta variant. By the time of my July 10 post, two things were becoming clear regarding this variant. First, COVID was indeed once again spreading rapidly, even in highly vaccinated countries, but also that the number of deaths from COVID was not rising commensurately.
By looking at the current levels of cases and deaths in several different countries and comparing those numbers to the levels of cases and deaths from peak periods, we see near-record levels in cases today, but rising cases are coupled with substantially lower death numbers. Israel had a four-week period in June and July during which only 1 death was recorded. The UK had a comparable number of COVID cases last January and this July, but 1/12 the number of deaths this summer. Despite that delta is raging in the U.S. right now, the level of deaths in the U.S. throughout the entire month of July was lower than it was all of last year (the numbers aren’t even close). In January and February of 2021, COVID was the leading cause of death in the U.S. Today, it is the seventh leading cause of death, somewhere on par with diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
We are better off now than we have been the entirety of the pandemic, but our news media and many government leaders are not telling us the whole story. They always find one number to focus on; it could be cases, hospitalizations, deaths, or some percentage change, but they always pluck out the one number which paints the absolute worst picture and ignore any other numbers painting a different picture. However, when you look at the whole picture things are not so bad as I stated on July 10:
In summary, the variants are here, they are infecting a lot of people at this moment, but far fewer are dying than ever before, at least in those places where the vaccine has been widely distributed.
In my July 24 post, I explore the potential reasons why the correlation between cases and deaths has changed so much in the last six months. I provide evidence the vaccines still appear to effective at preventing death, but at the same time, they are not as effective at preventing spread as we had originally thought. Many of us believed the vaccine would protect us from getting infected, but many are still testing positive after vaccination, although the severity is generally much less. We can now think of the vaccine as more of a treatment and less a cure.
Amazingly, because the vaccines are not quite what some people thought and because they are not quite as effective against the variants as they are against the original strain, some want to return to masking. These folks remain panicked because they can’t get us to zero cases and deaths, but vaccines were never an ironclad guarantee against COVID. They don’t know what else to do except to return to failed policies of the past. In my July 10 post, I do a quick primer on the mask fetish and why it has been fool’s gold.
I have one bonus tid-bit on masks that I didn’t include in any of my posts. On July 19, the UK eliminated mask mandates and all COVID restrictions. COVID cases were still rapidly rising on the 19th, but two days later, on July 21, cases in the UK peaked and have since rapidly declined, heading down as quickly as they headed up. So, mask mandates are removed in the midst of the deadly delta variant onslaught and almost immediately cases rapidly decline. Go figure. This past Spring, I wrote about this same scenario with regard to Texas and Mississippi when they removed mask mandates. Intense vitriol and hyperbole was launched at the governors who dared to do so. The dire warnings didn’t pan out, but that doesn’t stop the same people from issuing the same warnings yet again. History repeats itself. The mask mandate-ers continue to say they are “following the science” but it appears they are “following the science fiction”.
Because the masks are not going to save us and vaccines do indeed have limitations, our elected and public health officials in the past month have become even more shrill. The attacks on the unvaccinated are becoming ever harsher. COVID hasn’t gone away after eighteen months and they appear to live in fear of that fact reflecting badly on them. So, they look for others to blame-mainly you, the unvaccinated. I am still a believer in the vaccines, but in my posts this month, I outline the legitimate reasons why the vaccines may not be right for some. Everyone has their own calculus for getting or not getting the vaccine. Individuals have different circumstances, so what makes sense for you may not make sense for your neighbor. We need to respect these differences and respect our freedom of choice. As I stated on July 17:
Many want simple answers; they often want to put everyone into one camp or the other: either the vaccine is wonderful and we should all have two helpings (damn it all you unvaccinated folks!) or the vaccines are dangerous and no right thinking person should get one (some people like Kamala Harris and Joe Biden vacillate between both camps depending on who the president is today). The truth is the vaccines come with risk and this one appears to be riskier than most (see this thread from Alex Berenson who is reporting on the numbers in the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System, VAERS: https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1388151972096839685), but the vaccines also save lives and the risks are still relatively low.
The attack on the unvaccinated folks is totally uncalled for. Folks have legitimate concerns and if our public figures want more people vaccinated, they should address those legitimate concerns. Instead, they manipulate or misinterpret the data and often outright lie to us. Then because their plans are not panning out as they had hoped, they literally call people morons or murderers in order to shift the blame from themselves, and then they scratch their heads and wonder why people don’t heed their calls for action.
In my July 17 post, I discuss natural immunity as well. I conduct my own analysis to show that natural immunity appears to be superior to artificial (vaccine) immunity. Many studies coming out now are showing the same thing. The same public figures who chastise and stir up anger towards unvaccinated folks, ignore this very significant factor. They want simple solutions and the vaccine offers them one. However, if you’ve had COVID and have the antibodies, you probably don’t need a vaccine:
There is one more factor I deliberately left for last, one that may, in fact, be the most impactful in protecting us from COVID. Interestingly it is also the one factor that gets the least amount of attention from our public figures. For some reason they pretend it isn’t a factor at all (which only adds to my suspicion and distrust of our political leaders). This is also a huge puzzlement for me
In my July 17 post, I also discuss kids and vaccinations. Our pediatrician is now recommending vaccines for ages 12 to 18, but I have a different calculus. While the doctors are telling us the vaccine is safe for kids, where is the benefit?
Dr. Benjamin is saying we can now conclude the vaccine risk is very low and should not be a factor in deciding whether or not to vaccinate kids, but the risk from COVID is equally low. Why should we vaccinate our kids against something that is virtually a non-existent threat to them? Only 335 children under 18 have died from COVID in the last year and a half. That’s fewer by half than have died from pneumonia and we aren’t vaccinating our kids from pneumonia. In fact, fewer than 1% of all deaths in children have been from COVID: https://cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/cdc-335-children-0-17-have-died-covid-0673-all-childhood-deaths. By contrast, in the last 18 months, COVID accounts for almost 10% of more of all deaths in those 40 and above.
In my July 24 post, I delve into the political aspects of COVID. Many in government pretend to be representing public health, but in reality they don’t care so much about solving the problem. I don’t believe they are actually trying to prolong COVID, but in one sense, they like having the COVID problem around because they can use it to beat up their political opponents, and if they can maintain that sense of crisis and panic for a while longer, they can use it to their advantage. During a crisis moment, they can seize powers and enact laws that in any other instance would be politically unpalatable. Worst of all, they use COVID as an opportunity to silence their critics in order to maintain their hold on power. I provide examples to back up my claims, but the essence of the argument is summed up below:
This administration, along with many of its cohorts in media, big tech, and academia, claim to be arbiters of the truth, but they are not transparent with facts and information, they are not honest, and the only way they can maintain the charade of transparency and honesty is to crackdown on the free speech of others who challenge their supremacy on the truth.
They claim crackdowns on “misinformation” are needed to protect the public. After all, who could possibly be in favor of spreading lies? However, the ones doing the censoring are almost always the most egregious liars. Authoritarian governments whose message is not popular and cannot standup under scrutiny, must censor those who provide alternative viewpoints or criticism of government policies, or they will quickly fall. In other words, the truth is dangerous to their agenda, and the agenda is what matters the most. If the administration was providing factual and honest information, there would be no need to censor; instead, they would provide a clear and cogent counter narrative to the misinformation and let the alternative voices discredit themselves. There should be no need to censor crackpots spewing wild conspiracy theories because most people see through them. It is only when there is truth in the alternatives voices that the authoritarian power structure feels threatened and uses nefarious means to discredit and censor their opponents; they cannot win the argument any other way. This administration and its cronies are corrupt to its core; they do not want the actual truth of their policies to be revealed because they cannot defend them in the light of day.
The irony today is that the COVID problem is for the most part solved. We don’t have to keep battling COVID until deaths go to zero. More than 1700 people die from heart disease every day. Almost the same number die from cancer every day. Those are public health problems and people are working on cures and treatments, but for those we don’t have constant daily battles and every twist and turn in the battle is not front-page news.
In January, COVID deaths were averaging almost 3500 per day, more deaths per day than cancer and heart attacks combined. Today, at the end of July, well into the delta surge, we are a little over 300 per day, a 90% reduction from our peak death rate. The current number is also lower, significantly lower, than the lowest number from all of 2020. The delta variant will peak soon and fade into memory. COVID will probably stick around, and probably at relatively low numbers for years to come. Let’s learn to live with it. The government has done what we needed: helped set the environment for the vaccine creation and helped distribute it. Now they can get out of the way and let us return to our normal lives. Instead, they keep moving the goalpost and set an impossible goal of zero COVID. We’ll remain in crisis mode forever if we do that. I end my July 24 post asking everyone to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are headed:
To wrap this up, let’s ask a few pointed questions. How about we look more closely at the current COVID numbers which are showing us that there are some very real limits on what vaccines can do? How about we ask ourselves if maybe there are other strategies that might work better or augment current strategies instead of continuing to double down on the remedies that have proven ineffective (i.e. masks and lockdowns)? How about we look at what has actually worked well the past eighteen months and what has not? How about we look again at Sweden which tried a totally different approach than the rest of the world but is currently doing better than the rest of the world? How about we challenge some of our earlier assumptions? How about we admit what we got wrong? How about we start with a clean slate of ideas since we are still in this mess eighteen months after its start? How about we own up to facts and maybe just learn to live with COVID since it is probably never going away?
How about we stop silencing those alternative voices and let the chips fall where they may? Only the if we have the type of transparency that candidate Joe Biden called for instead of the type of non-transparency that President Joe Biden has enacted can we hope to solve the COVID problem.
I posted twice this month on the topic of transgenderism. The second post was entitled, “It is not about Hate”, but that could have been the title of the first post as well. Folks concerned about this growing trend just want to be able to comment on this issue and offer a different perspective for people we believe are hurting themselves and we want to be able to speak without being labeled transphobic or worse.
The claim is often made that folks like me want laws changed to prevent LGBTQ folks from living out their chosen lifestyle, that we want to legislate what goes on “in the bedroom”. But our argument is generally one of “live and let live”. We don’t agree with the transgender lifestyle and we will speak out about the harm it is doing to them and to society in general, but we live in America and you have the freedom to live your life in the way you choose. We do not want to forcibly stop you from living your life. I summed up this view in my July 15 post:
I am tolerant of transgenders and I believe they should be treated respectfully. I also believe they do belong in our society and should be welcomed, in our churches, in our workplaces, and everywhere else. If afforded the opportunity, we should also “walk with them on their journey”, as Father Mike Schmitz said in a video I provided earlier. I stop at affirming their behavior.
Our unwillingness to affirm the LGBTQ lifestyle is a huge problem for many. It is why folks like me are labeled haters, intolerant, and bigots. We believe transgenders belong in our society as much as anyone else, but we will not tell them that their lifestyle is a good one, and we will not tell them it is just as valid as any other. But our critics believe we must be compelled to agree or we will be labeled by them. In my second post, I dissect an article Hey Conservatives, There’s Nothing “Delusional” About Being Trans written in the publication Vice; at one point the author says the following:
Hear that, trans people? Your feelings don’t matter, you’re sick and disturbed, and you should have no say in decisions about your body.
The author is is simply putting words in our mouths. He interprets disagreement with this lifestyle and a lack of tolerance for the behavior with a lack of empathy for the individual as I stated:
Nobody said trans people’s feelings don’t matter. It is a quantum leap to jump from “they think trans folks are confused and doing something not good for themselves” to “they think trans people’s feelings don’t matter”.
The Vice author also demands to know what is the harm? He believes the rest of us are not impacted by an individual’s choice, so why do we care so much? Why are we trying to impose our values on people who have a different set of values, values that he thinks are equally valid as our own?
I discuss the harm done to the individual which is not something we should turn a blind eye to, especially if the person is within our sphere of influence. You can live your life as you choose, but we can try to help and enlighten at the same time. I compare transgenderism to drug addiction. Do you stand idly by while a friend, a neighbor, or a loved one destroys their life with drugs?
Ask yourself what is the most compassionate thing you can do for a drug addict? I say it is to help him break his habit because of the harm it is doing him. Walk him on his journey until he comes out the other end. I wouldn’t advise someone like Blaire White to transition, but I would try to understand what they are feeling and offer alternatives to help them decide for themselves.
I also provide details of how others, beside the individual who chooses this lifestyle, are being harmed, including the following:
- Many who are not transgender are being forced onto the path they themselves have not chosen.
- Many who are not transgender are following the latest fad, choosing a path that is trendy but may be an appropriate one for them.
- Our wives, our mothers, and our daughters are being exposed to naked men in bathrooms and locker rooms.
- Many of us, including young children, are being exposed to overt sexuality in public places when it is not appropriate and unwanted.
- Young girls are putting themselves in dangerous and compromising situations and need to be protected by those who know better.
- Children are being exposed to sexuality when they are far too young for it.
- Female sports are being corrupted by transgender men who want a biological advantage.
The harm done to the truth and reasonable discourse should not be underestimated as well. There is so much that in any other era would seem outrageous to just about everyone, but today we are being asked to accept the bizarre as normal. Newer and more extreme behaviors are being added to that list every day. A simple question like: “how many genders are there?” is hard for many to define. All this adds up to what Ben Shapiro calls the “normalization of delusion”.
The irony of this discussion is that those on the other side of it, like the Vice author, are not very tolerant of opinions like mine. They preach tolerance constantly, but tolerance is a one-way street for them apparently. For example:
California is trying to shame half the country that doesn’t believe in what they believe and they are willing to use their economic clout to bully the smaller states. This is what constitutes political discourse on the Left today. California doesn’t just want to be the trend setter and stand out from the crowd. California wants everyone to join them in their stand. The goal is to make every state like California. You must stand with them or you are the problem; you are the bigot; you are the intolerant one. The fact is they can’t win any other way. These ideas are unpopular. If allowed to stand on their own, they would fade away quickly, but the Left wants to use the force of government to cram it down on you. They have to bully you; they have to make you afraid to speak up; they have to make you pretend that two plus two equals five or you will realize what a house of cards they have built.
In my July 17 post, I also explore the notion of “unlimited freedom”. People who defend the transgenderism lifestyle want no taboos and no societal criticisms whatsoever, no matter how far they stretch the bounds of sexuality. Societal norms, taboos, and the rest are not all bad. Some which have been established over the years are actually quite beneficial and keep us from harming ourselves and allow us to live together in relative harmony. The simple fact is that unlimited choices means more bad choices. Not all choices are equally good for us. Those on the other side of the argument would say: who am I to determine what choices are good and what are bad? But norms that have been established over centuries and millennia should not be overturned so quickly. The author G.K. Chesterton talked about the “democracy of the dead” meaning that those who came before should have a voice in how we do things today. We should not be so quick to overturn the knowledge they obtained the hard way. I end my July 17 post this way:
Those who advocate for unlimited sexual freedom, will eventually experience this disappointment as well, hopefully, before it is too late. Many see God’s law as inhibiting us, but in reality God’s Law or Natural Law actually free us, allow us to realize our true potential. When you dismiss these restrictions and limitations, something must fill the void, and the void these days is filled with nonsense (as I hope I have demonstrated above). Furthermore, those who dismiss the law will ultimately be disappointed and never really find their true identity, their true vocation, or their true potential. Let us pray they can eventually be freed from this prison created by “the dream of autonomy and choice without limits”
This month I continued a multi-part discussion with a liberal friend on systemic racism. My friend contends it is alive and well in America, while I say it ended fifty years ago. The second part of this discussion posted on July 17. The first was posted back in June.
I tried to focus much of this discussion on the term “unconscious bias”. The way in which progressives try to convince us that systemic racism persists today is via this notion. They say that racism has evolved and while it was more overt in the past, racists have gotten more devious, so devious now that their racism is no longer obvious to the naked eye. In fact, it is so hidden that even the purveyors of racism don’t know they are being racist; they’ve been conditioned to be racist by the evil system that has been established over the years. I think this is bunk. Racism is a conscious thing and those purveying are usually quite obvious about it:
The problem I have with the notion of “unconscious bias” is that those pushing it continually stretch the boundaries of what constitutes racism from the sublime to the ridiculous. Sixty years ago, people were fighting for voting rights and against separate bathrooms and water fountains and for the right to sit at the same lunch counter as everyone else. That was conscious bias; there was nothing subtle about it. Unconscious bias isn’t in the same league. In our last discussion, you raised the examples of picking a basketball team, playing “Ring around the Rosie”, or engaging in “ennie meanie minie moe”. We are supposedly falling into unconscious bias during these endeavors without even realizing the harm we are doing. Your argument is what my dad used to say is too cute by half.
I go through several examples of what constitutes racism today. As time progresses, these examples become ever more ridiculous. Anything can be twisted into some form of racism if you are of a mind to see racism behind every tree.
Those who preach diversity and tolerance in the name of ending racism, wind up becoming quite racist themselves, and just like the LGBTQ advocates they are not so tolerant of opposing views. They justify their racist actions by claiming that their attacks are on the white power structure, the oppressors. They say these attacks are needed to right the wrongs of the past, and they don’t see them as racist at all. From my perspective, their actions are blatantly racist and they are just creating new wrongs that will need to be righted some time in the future. They want to end racism by practicing more racism. Does that make any sense to you?
The main topic of the discussion that my friend originally raised was regarding education. He uses statistics to show unequal outcomes between blacks and whites; this is his proof that systemic racism still exists because without racism, results should be equal, right?
But there are other explanations other than racism that account for disparities. I argue that illegitimacy, which disproportionately impacts blacks, is a much bigger factor than racism:
The impact of illegitimacy cannot be underestimated as was acknowledged by none other than Barrack Obama in the passage above. The numbers are devastating: 3 in 4 black children are born illegitimately as opposed to 30% of whites. Illegitimate children are more likely to live in poverty, drop out of school, or commit crimes. This is the problem we need to focus on. This is the problem that is destroying our culture.
Furthermore, those who tried to right the wrong of the past and give blacks a hand up in the 60’s and 70’s via cash payments have wound up doing more harm than good:
I believe much of the increase in the black illegitimacy rate, from 24% to 77% in 60 years, stems from an increasing reliance on government. Too many believe government can solve all problems. The government can take the place of father in one capacity–by providing a welfare check, but reliance on a government check means no chance for upward mobility. People reliant on a welfare check are stuck in poverty and poverty correlates with lower quality education. Furthermore, a father is more than a meal ticket; a government check does not provide discipline nor is it a role model for kids, so reliance on a government check to replace a dad leads to higher dropout rates and higher incarceration rates.
I also quote from Dr. Thomas Sowell, noted black economist who blames Affirmative Action programs as contributing to the problem:
“They are systematically mismatched with universities and the admissions process,” Sowell said. “That is if Harvard feels that it must have X percent of blacks. And the pool is such that they can’t get X percent of blacks at the same level as the rest of the Harvard students, they’re going to take those blacks who would have succeeded in some state university and bring them to Harvard where many of them will fail.”
In my opinion, affirmative action is simply fighting racism with more racism and I ask my friend the following:
You think it is okay to use race as a factor when selecting for college, don’t you? You are in favor of Affirmative Action which uses race as a selection factor. Is that racist? If I use race as a factor for a basketball team, you say is racist, but you condone using race for college admissions and that is not racist? How do you figure? I think Affirmative Action is racist because race is disproportionally weighted more than other more significant factors. In fact, race shouldn’t have any weight in the choice. Colleges have a lot of information to sort through and yet they continue to use race as a selection factor; race has nothing to do with intelligence or the ability to do well in college, so why use it as a factor at all? What predictive value does it have? If race is not used as a factor, all have an equal chance based on their merit. That is fair and being fair is the goal. Making up for historical disparities is an unattainable goal.
Shelby Steele, another black academician is also not too sanguine about affirmative action:
There is at least a whisper of doubt over my entire generation of educated blacks–a whisper frankly, of inferiority. Are we where we are because of merit, or because of a jerrybuilt, white guilt concepts like affirmative action and “diversity”? How different, really, is diversity’s stigmatization of us as “needy victims” from segregation’s stigmatization of us as inferiors? In either case, we are put in service to the white imagination… In both cases we were a means to a white end.
Affirmative action is yet another well-intentioned idea that does more harm than good. Black conservatives like Steele, Sowell, and others don’t want it. Yet, at the same time, school choice, a program which has proven quite successful when tried, is resisted by so many. And then they blame disparities on systemic racism instead of the poor choices they themselves have made.
I also quote a couple of other studies which show that there is actual parity between blacks and whites in many instances. Studies show that black females are doing as well or better than their white counterparts and that the disparities in educational results are primarily between black males and white males. Again, I believe the illegitimacy rate plays a part in this difference:
High school drop out rates and incarceration rates are much higher for males (whatever ethnicity), so that I think that would partly account for why black women are holding their own against their white counterparts while black males are not. I don’t have a study to back this up, but speaking from my own experience, I would posit also that the lack of a father is more impactful on boys than girls. No doubt both are impacted, but boys need discipline more than girls and a father is generally the one to provide it. So, the lack of father leads to more poverty, higher dropout rates, and higher incarceration rates which leads to poorer outcomes in education.
Coming Up: Culture of Woke-ism
I am reading a book now by Dr. Owen Strachan regarding Christianity and Wokeness. He believes we should view Wokeness as an existential threat to Christianity. He explains the theories behind Wokeness, including Critical Race Theory (CRT), anti-racism, and Intersectionality. Many Christians believe the tautology “black lives matter” (indeed, all lives matter) and they believe anti-racism has to be a good thing (how could it not be a good thing to fight against sin?), but they also align with these movements without understanding the sinister hidden agendas that undergird them. They believe CRT should be given a fair shake and taught alongside other competing theories, but without understanding that CRT gives no quarter to any other ideology and is antithetical to the lofty principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence as well as being antithetical to Dr. King’s dream of a color-blind society which judges by the “content of our character”.
Dr. Strachan states simply: “What wokeness calls good, the Bible calls bad and what the Bible calls bad, wokeness calls good”. He goes on to say many Christians believe that the “Woke” are really good-hearted people and they should be evangelized. But this evangelization is more like a merger of Christianity with wokeness; many Christians naively believe they can make some minor adjustments to Christianity in order to bring the woke into the fold, but Strachan warns they are compromising the tenets of the faith. He says, “you end up with nice version of humanism and lose the central Christianity” and also warns “the social gospel is replacing the biblical gospel.” Andrew Klavan who interviewed Dr. Strachan recently also adds: “Christianity reformed Western Civilization and now Western Civilization is trying to transform Christianity”. Evil is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that not only opposes Christian values and Christian institutions, but also wants to infiltrate and take them over.
I am shifting my focus more towards contemporary cultural issues because our society’s shift in cultural norms is destroying lives and it is a coordinated attack on traditional values and, ultimately, on religion. Today’s “Woke” movement is a competing religion. In fact, it is a cult. It has its own rituals, its own form of sin, redemption, salvation, justice along with its own definitions of good and evil, but these are nothing like the definitions of what we Christians would recognize. In my post on American fascism https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/05/28/on-american-fascism/ I talked about how Fascism, Marxism, Communism, Progressivism, and Wokeness are basically interchangeable terms. Their first goal is to destroy; they say destruction is necessary so they can replace our Western culture with something they see as better, but they have nothing better to offer, only a theory which has failed miserably wherever it has been tried the last 100 years. They want to destroy Western Civilization in general, but Judeo-Christian values are foundational to Western values. To my fellow Christians, make no mistake our religion, our faith, our Judeo-Christian values, are under attack, and we must be aware of what is happening, so we can defend them properly.
For those of you who have read my posts on contemporary issues, I would like to share that I have also posted a novel that I wrote years back. It covers the exploits of my father’s thirty-year army career. He and I spend a lot of time discussing World War II and the Viet Nam, two topics that have been covered by many historians, but like the classic All Quiet on the Western Front which covered World War I from the front-line soldier’s perspective, I cover these wars from my dad’s perspective, first as a teenager watching WWII from the Homefront and later as a battalion commander in Viet Nam.
Although completed more than 15 years ago, I believe the story is still relevant to contemporary issues. The craziness that our world has devolved into these days had its genesis many years ago, and my father and I discussed many of these issues. I also plan to do a retrospective soon and show the connections between those issues we discussed twenty or thirty years ago to the problems of today.