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Category Archives: Science

The Present Day Significance of Wilhelm Tell

Previous generations knew of the legendary Swiss hero Wilhelm Tell. His story was read and plays about him were staged in high schools, particularly because in him one could find traits of the American character, as it used to be. To the people of today, he needs an introduction.[1]
In 1300, what is now Switzerland was a land of the Austrian king of the Germans. As the chronicles tell it, the king appointed a particularly brutal man, Albrecht Gessler, as administrator. Gessler raised a pole in a market square, placed his hat atop it, and ordered all who came byto salute it. Wilhelm Tell, a famous crossbow sharpshooter, going somewhere with his son, did pass by, but refused to salute. Rather than execute him outright, Gessler gave Tell the choice of being executed together with his son, or be spared if he would shoot an apple off his son’s head. Tell split the apple with an arrow, but Gessler moved to put, or rather burry, him in a dungeon. Tell managed to escape and spearheaded a revolt which led to the overthrow of the Austrian rule and the birth of the Swiss Confederation.
The Wilhelm Tell story becomes relevant in the analysis of a contemporary social phenomenon, the sex change operations. In a previous article, I discussed the matter of sex change operations from the viewpoint of the cost and who has to cover it.[2](a) It was emphasized there that the manner in which the case is presented is scientifically incorrect. Whether evidenced by examination at birth or in the womb, the sex is determined at conception, together with all characteristics which define the individual as a unique human being.[3] The determination is genetic and immutable. The surgical mutilation for creating a physical appearance at variance with the genetic makeup is meaningless. As long as the genetic makeup is not changed, there is no sex change.[2](a)
It is noteworthy that the preferred nomenclature has replaced sex by gender.[4] Rigorously speaking, gender is a grammatical concept; in most languages it is unconnected to sex. Thus, in French love is masculine and hate is feminine. In Russian, war is feminine and peace is masculine. In Romanian, shoulder is masculine, hand is feminine, and elbow is of the third gender (mixed or ambigender). The German takes the cake, as the noun for brother is masculine, the one for sister is feminine, but the nouns for little brother and little sister are both neuter. The English language is peculiar, as it does not really have genders for nouns; nor does it really have flexion, so gender has become a synonym for sex, possibly with a fuzzier meaning.
Accordingly, one talks now of gender reassignment (GR),[5] a phrase in a class with Lenin’s democratic centralism, that is, nonsense. (Who assigns gender in the first place, anyway?)
As we feared, the costs to society of these exercises have greatly increased. Thus, in the years since, Medicare began paying both for “reassignment” surgery (GRS) and hormonal treatment (HT) for transgender people.[6] Costs were also foisted on taxpayers by courts: Iowa’s Supreme Court ordered the state to include GRS coverage in its medicaid program.[7] Judges have continued to order that states provide GRS-HT to persons in penal custody.[8] The societal burden is compounded by indirect costs, including the proliferation of advocacy organization, like the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Transgender Law Center,[6],[8] et al, which even in the unlikely case that they don’t have any access to public funds, consume the earth’s and society’s resources. At the international level, there is a World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).[9] New occupations, like transgender-affirming therapist,[10] have appeared, proving that enough money flows into that line of business to allow people to make careers out of it.
The condition which these interventions address is gender dysphoria (GD), where dysphoria is a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction with something. It is, therefore a mental (psychological or psychiatric) condition.[11]
A report that there is a hard science explanation for gender dysphoria has been published.[12]: Whereas most men bear XY chromosomes and most women carry XX chromosomes, some people have XXY chromosomes, and some have XX chromosomes in some cells and XY in others, rare, true hermaphrodites.
The claim that XXY chromosomes determine GD in men could be valid only if based on a genetic analysis of a sufficient number of GR subjects, comparing the incidence of the XXY chromosome with that in the general population. The article[12] has no references, but a cursory literature search does not reveal GD being associated with XXY chromosomes.[13] It is noted that XXY males can have a normal sex life, but may be infertile. Testosterone is administered to enhance virility.[13] In the case of coexisting XX and XY, a determination may be made whether male or female characteristics predominate, then the unwanted body parts may be excised.[14](b)
All these cases are disorders of sex development (DSD)[14](a). Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, DSD is an abnormal condition.[15] Its treatment has as goal to restore the natural condition of the organism. Gender dysphoria is not a DSD and the current approach to its treatment is to change the natural order of the organism. The attempt to conflate the two[12] is unscientific.
GD is one of at least twenty four conditions which manifest dysphoria.[11] It is the only one, however, for which the accepted treatment of the mental condition is the modification of the body and the alteration of social and legal norms to comply with a distorted mental perception.[2](a) Indeed, patients with multiple personality are not issued multiple drivers’ licenses, the substance withdrawal syndrome is not treated by hooking the patient back on drugs, a patient believing he is Napoleon is not provided with a mini army and generals, and social and legal norms are not altered to eliminate “the internal turmoil”[9] of the sufferer of the antisocial personality disorder.
The strongest argument claimed for GRS is that the GD sufferers show a sizable suicidal tendency. Half of transgender youth think of suicide and up to 32% have attempted suicide. Accepting that there are finite health resources for an almost infinite number of health needs, the cost of a suicide is much higher than the cost of GRS-HT.[9]
The argument has a profound deficiency of logic. The question is not whether the condition should or should not be treated, but whether GRS is the proper treatment. The factual data are also incorrect. Among the conditions manifesting dysphoria, suicidal tendencies are rather common: Suicidal thoughts is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms of heroin, two thirds of girls suffering from antisocial personality disorder have considered suicide and one third attempted it, more than 70% of multiple personality sufferers have attempted suicide, and so on.[16] Furthermore, it has been indicated that suicidal tendencies reappear within ten years following GRS.[17](a) Also, the authority cited[9] as recommending “sex change” surgery, WPATH, seems an advocacy group for the procedure, rather than a scientific body.[18]
The cost of health care as the allocation of finite resources to competing needs[9] has been discussed before.[2](b) Along these lines, it must be noted that, historically, resource allocation for GRS-HT came together (one might argue it was correlated) with the reduction in screening tests (PSA) for prostate cancer, on the absurd argument that the test gives occasionally “false positive results,” creating anxiety in patients. More recently, the same advice (reduce the number of tests) with the same ridiculous rationalization (there are some false positive results) was offered concerning mammograms for women![19] Anyone who has conducted research and measurements knows that a good test should be calibrated in that manner if the consequence of a false negative result is significant. The patient’s anxiety dissipates when more elaborate tests prove he is healthy. (My urologist on Long Island, NY, was livid about these directives.) In the ten years since, there was an increase in the incidence in prostate cancer, which “chronologically followed new recommendations in the USPSTF guidelines for PSA-based prostate cancer screening.”[19](a) We may expect that in ten years or so, an increase in breast cancer cases will be observed. We should add that 0.005% to 0.014% of males exhibit GD[11](b) and only the fraction that attempt suicide was given. The absence of the number of those who succeed, suggests that the paper[9]. is propaganda, rather than science. Considering next that all males, those that undergo GRS included, are subject to prostate cancer, it follows that spending on GRS-HT over the PSA tests has increased the number of deaths. These data should sober up all those who think the increase in government control on dispensing health care is a good idea. On the contrary, a move toward private distribution and personal decision on treatment and provider choice, and an approach to payment with a choice of direct payment or through insurance, should be sought.[2]
As a further note, it has been reported that that among side effects of GRS-HT for both sexes is an increase in cancers and cardiovascular diseases.[20]
What is unquestionable, is that the mental condition (having a perception of reality at variance with the reality itself) is not cured, not even addressed by GRS-HT. Would someone accept a surgeon with such a mental condition to operate on him? I wouldn’t. Likewise, allowing such a person in the military, where the soldier has the lives of others (in the army and in the country at large) literally in his hands, makes no sense. (Remember Private Manning?) Moreover, having the cost of the permanent treatment of such individuals competing with funds for buying bullets is wrong.
It was observed that the distorted perception of oneself is typically encountered in children, who often put themselves in fairy tales.[2](a) As they grow, from infancy, children are pretty much taught their identity. It may be shocking, but it is not surprising, therefore, that indoctrination into transgenderism has been applied to children, although the claimed rationale for it has been debunked.[17] The approach has tragical effects. Thus, a divorced couple in Texas split custody of their little boy. The mother has decided he should be a girl, at the recommendation of a gender-transition therapist. (We can assume that the initial decision was the mother’s, otherwise the therapist could not come into the picture; once consulted, it is only natural that he tried to bring business to himself.) The child is thoroughly confused: when a therapist asked him to choose his name, he wrote down Luna, chosen by his mother, when he was with her, but James, when he was with his father.[10] This finding in itself should eliminate from consideration dysphoria, which is “strong, persistent feelings of identification with another gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned gender and sex; in order to qualify for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, these feelings must cause significant distress or impairment.”[11](b) Instead, other people have seen that the child shows no sign of distress, but is balanced and satisfied when he is with his father and treated as a boy. The mother, though, has filed suit, asking the court to terminate the father’s parental rights and also require him to pay for the transgender medical alterations.[10] Her motives can only be guessed, but a compulsion to hurt her former husband cannot be excluded. There have been parents who in that situation killed their children from such a compulsion.
Of the many other cases, three will be mentioned here. The first is that of a mother of triplet boys who desperately wanted a girl. She cross-dressed one of the boys for two years, insisting that it was his idea. As the boy was two years old when this started, the claim should be rejected outright. Anyway, she sued to deny consent and custody to the father.[21](a) In a second example, a well known actress stated that her son, age three, had told her: “I am not a boy,” From that moment, she raised the child as her second daughter.[21](b) Many a parent heard a child a that age stating that he is an eagle, a wizard, or who knows what. One just helps the child grow out of the fantasy. Instead, the actress thought it “cool” to destroy the biological identity of a human being; the fact that the child was adopted, might have helped. The third example comes from Britain; the methods used are the same as here: As revealed by a whistle-blower, seventeen pupils in a school are in the process of “changing gender.” Most of them are autistic, which means that vulnerable children are tricked and groomed into believing they are of the wrong sex. The parents are kept deliberately in the dark. It is noted that of the youngsters referred to the one and only gender identity clinic in UK (we can guess who runs and controls it) one third, that is, 150, showed moderate to severe autistic traits.[22]
Willful mutilation of children has long been known. In past centuries, some children were prepared in this manner to be used as beggars. Also, boys with beautiful voices were castrated to earn money for their families as soprano singers. In our times, children are mutilated in such manner for political correctness, although in some cases mental derangement of parents also plays a role.
Also historically new is the power that people who make a living out of transgenderism, under the guise of “experts,” are allowed to wield. In this aspect, the current mutilation epidemic conforms with the historic experience: there is profit in the enterprise. The problem is that unlike physics, chemistry, and other hard sciences, psychology and related fields are soft sciences and can be distorted into pseudosciences. Before accepting the opinion of such “experts”, one should find out the fraction of the cases they intervened in, for which they recommended that the natural, genetic, definition be not altered. (I would guess, zero is the likely answer.) Besides, logically all those who profit from the process should be disqualified for conflict of interest. Instead, the structures of power are currently biased in the favor of transgenderists. Thus, when there is disagreement, the parent who wants to mutilate a child is too often given preference over the parent who wants to preserve the child’s identity, in which the appearance conforms with the genetic script, rather than a mental construct.[21] When both parents want to preserve the child, too often the power of decision is given to interest-conflicted “experts,” the parents being kept in the dark[22] or overridden by the power of state, a process in which judges often play a nefarious role.[21]
The cavalier attitude toward mutilation of children can be contrasted with the premises of the (attempted) ethical justification for GRS, which starts from the assumption that “those seeking GRS are of legal adult age, competent, and seeking the treatment voluntarily.”[9] There is a case in Germany, in which a court awarded damages for a sex assignment operation without consent.[23] Unfortunately, recognition by law of the right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy seems to exist only in Malta, where non-consensual modification of sex is outlawed.[24]
Lately, people marginally involved, or even spectators to the game of people pretending to be somebody or something else are forced to participate in it. Assertion of freedom of speech in dissent is not allowed. For example, a teacher in Indiana who taught orchestra at a high school called students by their last names. He had to resign, because the school policy was to call transgender students by their preferred first names.[25] In a system which protects the rights of all, opposing opinions should be, at least, acceptable. As things are now, even noncommittal neutrality is punishable. More reports of teachers similarly fired have been published, in the U.S. and in the UK.[26]
Harsher forms of persecution have been reported. Thus, a Canadian man, passed out leaflets revealing that a candidate for Parliament was in fact a man, who had “transitioned” to woman two years before. The provincial Human Rights Tribunal found him guilty of the crime of “misgendering.” The judge admitted that the accused’s religious freedom was infringed upon, but said he should hold his belief to himself(!)[27] In other words, one’s right to actuate his fantasies overrides another’s religious freedom. The Canadians are just a step ahead of us.
In another development, transgenders (boys claiming to be girls) participate in girls’ sport competitions. Thus, two transgenders entered a scholastic track competition in Connecticut and won the first two places. Seventeen other states allow such mixed participation.[28](a) Moreover, the International Olympic Committee has published guidelines regulating the participation of transgenders in the Games. Notably, to participate as a woman a man needs not undergo GRS, only to declare female gender identity and maintain a testosterone level under a prescribed level for 12 months before, and throughout the competition. The declaration cannot be changed for sporting purposes (meaning that it can, for other purposes) for a minimum of four years.[29] This type of rules invites abuses, especially considering the commercial nature of Olympics at present and the possible financial gain for successful participants. The rules are also punishing the honest, biologically female, competitors. The “principles” established in the Canadian case just mentioned, will even prevent them from knowing that the “gal” who beat them was a guy.
The same yearning for celebrity and income may push some boys who don’t hope to succeed in sport as males, to “transition” to women, with no dysphoria involved.
The imposition of such nonsense by the government seems to gather speed. Thus, a bill already tried without success in 2017, has been introduced in the US House of Representatives as H.R.5Equality Act. (It is customary to affix lofty names to measures imposing the dictatorship of the government.) Among many dreadful things, this would force men claiming to be women into women’s teams, locker rooms, and showers. It was sponsored by every Democrat and two Republicans.[30](a) At state level, absurdities of this kind have already been implemented.[30]b)
In anticipation, a federal judge in Illinois (confirmed in 2014) told the plaintiffs complaining that their school had allowed a transgender (biological male) to use the girls’ locker rooms, restrooms, and showers, that there is no constitutional right to “visual bodily privacy.”[31] The school had instituted the policy after being threatened by Obama Administration’s Education Department with loss of funding. The Trump administration rescinded the policy, but the school didn’t.
In another case, a female high school student from Pennsylvania entered the school girls’ locker room and found an individual in ladies’ underwear, through which the male complements appeared clearly. She ran out and later filed a formal complaint that her civil rights were violated.[32] If the monstrosity labeled H.R.5.[30] becomes law, girls like her will have no recourse. We must do everything to stop it. We are no longer dealing with dictatorial measures, but with the imposition of a totalitarian form of government.

It seems at first hard to rationalize this push to force people to accept that clear manifestations of psychological disorder are normal, and to adjust or hide their reason and common sense which say otherwise. The task become easier if we consider the analogy with the case of Wilhelm Tell.[33]
Gessler’s goal in imposing the “obedience to the hat” was to break the resistance and moral fiber of the Swiss people. Saluting the hat was a sign of resignation to the state of serfdom. Today’s insistence that people accept nonsense and insanity as normalcy has the same ultimate goal. Will our contemporaries react like the Swiss in 1307, or swallow meekly whatever will be imposed on them? The matters being in an advanced state, people need to gather their courage and act now. We can all take heart from the dignity of Bill Whatcott, the Canadian man convicted of the crime of “misgendering” a politician, who went to the sentencing wearing a shirt with a bible passage, Genesis 5:2, the basis for his actions,[27] or of Prof Jordan B. Peterson of the University of Toronto, who fights for the freedom of speech against the gender police at his university and in the provincial legislature.[34] One of the girls beaten on the track by the boys claiming to be girls in Connecticut has also protested.[28](b) The cases of the young ladies who sued were mentioned above. We must all join those in this fight.
The most urgent matter is to assure that the minimum ethical requirements[9] for “gender reassignment” are fulfilled: the patients are of legal adult age, competent, and seeking the treatment voluntarily.
Next, the policy of secrecy should be replaced by full disclosure. If, for example, one pays to see a game between two women’s teams, the information about the genetic (i.e., true) sex of players should be disclosed. Ditto for choosing one’s physician, and so on.
At the same time, we should obtain that gender dysphoria be treated as a psychiatric condition, which it is, with the goal of curing the mental ailment, rather than mutilating a body and distorting the society’s fabric.

References

[1] (a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tell ; (b) ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht_Gessler
[2] D. Fărcaşiu, Four Commentaries on Healthcare http://www.ForRestoration.com, 09/22/2012. (a) 4. Sex-Change Surgery and The Case For Personalized Medical Insurance; (b) 2. Health Care as a Problem of Allocation of Money.
[3] * ** Your destiny from day one, Nature, 2002, 418, 14 (07/04/2002)
[4] It seems that this word switch originated with John Money, the grandfather of “sex change” operations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Money
[5] https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-gender-reassignment-surgery/
[6] National Center for Transgender Equality, Know Your Rights. Medicare https://transequality.org/know-your-rights/medicare
[7] G. Aviles, Iowa Supreme Court rules that Medicaid can cover sex reassignment surgery, AP. 03/08/2019,
https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/iowa-supreme-court-rules-medicaid-can-cover-sex-reassignment-surgery-n981166
[8] K. Phillips, A convicted killer became the first U.S. inmate to get state-funded gender-reassignment surgery, Washington Post 01/10/2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/10/a-transgender-inmate-became-first-to-get-state-funded-surgery-advocates-say-fight-is-far-from-over/?utm_term=.fb42f68d5ce2
[9] J. J. Go, Should Gender Reassignment Surgery be Publicly Funded? J. Bioethical Inquiry, 2018, 15 (4), 527; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11673-018-9881-6
[10] S. Pointer, Father Desperately Battling for Custody of 6-Year Old After Mother Claims Child Is Transgender, The Western Journal, 11/28/2018
https://www.westernjournal.com/usnews/culture/?ff_source=facebook&ff_medium=conservativetribune&ff_campaign=manualpost&ff_content=2018-12-07
[11] (a) Dysphoria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysphoria ;
(b) Gender dysphoria: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/gender-dysphoria ;
(c) https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria
[12] P. Ubel, Is Sex Reassignment Surgery a Basic Human Right? Forbes, 10/4/2012 https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterubel/2012/10/04/is-sex-reassignment-surgery-a-basic-human-right/#5c4a05872491
[13] For example: (a) *** Klinefelter syndrome, NIH, U.S. Natl Library of Medicine, https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/klinefelter-syndrome#statistics ; (b) Sex Chromosome Abnormalities, https://www2.palomar.edu/anthro/abnormal/abnormal_5.htm ; (c) Mayo Clinic, Klinefelter syndrome, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/klinefelter-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353949 ; (d) https://www.medicinenet.com/klinefelter_syndrome/article.htm#language_development
[14] (a) S. Lehrman, When a Person Is Neither XX nor XY: A Q&A with Geneticist Eric Vilain, Scientific American, 05/30/2007; https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/q-a-mixed-sex-biology/
(b) M. Z. Iqbal et al, True Hermaphrodite: A Case Report, APSP J Case Rep. 2011 May-Aug; 2(2), 16; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418019/
[15] L. Sax, How Common is Intersex? Journal of Sex Research, Aug 1, 2002, https://www.leonardsax.com/how-common-is-intersex-a-response-to-anne-fausto-sterling/
[16] (a) K. Nenn, Kicking Heroin: Overcoming Suicidal Tendencies, Behavioral Health, Detox, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, 09/25/2015, https://www.rehabs.com/blog/kicking-heroin-overcoming-suicidal-tendencies/ ; (b) W.H.J. Martens, Suicidal Behavior as Essential Diagnostic Feature of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathology 2001, 34, 274–275, https://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/49323 : (c) C.A. Ross, G.R. Norton, Suicide and parasuicide in multiple personality disorder, Psychiatry, 1989 52(3):365, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2772094
[17] (a) R. T. Anderson, Sex Reassignment Doesn’t Work. Here Is The Evidence, https://www.heritage.org/gender/commentary/sex-reassignment-doesnt-work-here-the-evidence (b) P. McHugh, Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution. A drastic physical change doesn’t address underlying psycho-social troubles, WSJ, 05/13/2016, and previous papers. http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120 ; c) L. Sax, Politicizing Pediatrics: How the AAP’s Transgender Guidelines Undermine Trust in Medical Authority, 03/13/2019, https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2019/03/50118/
[18] https://www.wpath.org
[19] (a) Serban Negoita et al, Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, part II: Recent changes in prostate cancer trends and disease characteristics, Cancer, 124 (13), 05/22/2018, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cncr.31549 ; (b) Harvard Medical School, New mammography screening guidelines, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/new-mammography-screening-guideline
[20] (a) M. Satari, Breast Cancer in Male-to-Female Transgender Patients: A Case for caution, Clin. Breast Cancr, 2015, 15(1), e67 https://www.clinical-breast-cancer.com/article/S1526-8209(14)00194-3/pdf (b) Millicent Odunze, Sex Reassignment Surgery Questions and Answers. https://www.verywellhealth.com/sex-reassignment-surgery-2710288
[21] (a) Margot Cleveland, LGBT Activists Teaching Judges To Yank Kids From Parents Who Won’t Transgender Them, The Federalist, 02/12/2019, http://thefederalist.com/2019/02/12/lgbt-activists-teaching-judges-yank-kids-parents-wont-transgender/?fbclid=IwAR3wGY2BRrlG5mXi206HaP9QmPjRlwvh2XexlBfZQGQeayqYAG8qOIypLhg ;
(b) https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/charlize-theron-confirms-daughter-jackson-192733613.html
[22] S. Manning, School has seventeen children changing gender as teacher says vulnerable pupils are being ‘tricked’ into believing they are the wrong sex, Daily Mail, 11/18/2019 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6401593/Whistleblower-teacher-makes-shocking-claim-autistic.html
[23] * ** Gender Warrior Wins Case Against Surgeon, https://www.dw.com/en/gender-warrior-wins-case-against-surgeon/a-3111505
[24] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_reassignment_therapy
[25] E. Rosenberg and M. Balingit, A teacher refused to use transgender students’ names. His resignation was just approved, Washington Post, 06/11/2018; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2018/06/11/a-teacher-refused-to-use-transgender-students-names-his-resignation-was-just-approved/?utm_term=.0251b72998d0
[26] (a) G. Moomaw, Virginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student’s new pronouns, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/7/2018 https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/virginia-high-school-teacher-fired-for-refusing-to-usetransgender/ article_65be1826-50b2-5d38-be58-47d9b9480917.html
(b) M. Oppenheim, Teacher suspended for referring to a transgender pupil as a girl rather than a boy, The Independent, 11/14/2017 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/teacher-transgender-student-girl-accident-call-trans-wrong-gender-joshua-sutcliffe-a8054146.html
[27] P. D’Abrosca, Canadian Man Fined $55k for ‘Misgendering’ Transgender Female, 04/07/2019; https://bigleaguepolitics.com/canadian-man-fined-55k-for-misgendering-transgender-female/
[28] (a) Transgender high school athletes spark controversy, debate in Connecticut, AP, 02/25/2019,
https://www.foxnews.com/sports/transgender-high-school-athletes-spark-controversy-debate-in-connecticut
(b) W. T. Huston, Female Athlete Speaks Out Against Transgender Equality Act, 04/21/2019, https://www.breitbart.com/sports/2019/04/21/female-athlete-speaks-out-against-transgender-equality-act/
[29]C.Zeigler, Exclusive: Read the Olympics’ new transgender guidelines that will not mandate surgery, 01/21/2016, https://www.outsports.com/2016/1/21/10812404/transgender-ioc-policy-new-olympics
[30] (a) H.R.5. — 116th Congress (2019-2020), Equality Act , https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5/text
See also: https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/10/democrats-equality-act-transgender-girls-sports/
(b) B. Vannozzi, NJ poised to be among states with most comprehensive transgender civil rights, NJTVNews, 05/30/2018
https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/nj-poised-to-be-among-states-with-most-comprehensive-transgender-civil-rights/
[31] S. Warren, Judge Warns: No Right to ‘Visual Bodily Privacy’ for High School Girls, CBNNews, 04/08/2019
https://www.teaparty.org/transgender-rights-judge-warns-girls-no-right-visual-bodily-privacy-355876/ Also:
https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/april/judge-warns-no-right-to-visual-bodily-privacy-for-high-school-girls
[32] J. Hamil, Student Claims Civil Rights Violation by Transgender Student in Locker Room, 3/14/2019, https://wnep.com/2019/03/14/student-claims-civil-rights-violation-by-transgender-student-in-locker-room/
[33] The Wilhelm Tell story as allegory of forced acquiescence to falsehood has been noted before.
[34] S. Ventureyra, Canada’s Boldest Professor Defies the Gender Police, Crisis Magazine 12/5/2016

Carbon Footprint and Carbon Cycle

Earth’s energy budget consists of energy received from the sun and energy emitted by earth into space. Part of the latter occurs by reflection, part by absorption and re-emission. The re-emitted light being of lower frequency than the incident light, a fraction of it is absorbed by some of the atmospheric gasses transparent to the incident radiation, like water, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, etc., in proportion to their concentrations in the atmosphere. This phenomenon is called greenhouse effect.[1] As a result of the whole process, the earth, including the atmosphere, is energetically at a steady state. The measured parameter used to characterize the state is temperature. If the concentration of any of the active (‘greenhouse”) gasses changes, a new steady state is achieved.
Because the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased since the beginning of industrial revolution, particularly since 1930, it was concluded that the earth must have warmed up as well (global warming) and that man-made CO2 must be responsible for it.[2] (There are, however, scientists questioning whether the earth has warmed up outside the normal historic fluctuations.[3]) This concentration increase being tied to the combustion of fossil fuels, it was concluded that the use of those fuels threatens the survival of civilization and even of mankind.[4] A new criterion has been introduced, by which all human activity is to be judged: carbon footprint (CFp), measured as the quantity of carbon dioxide emitted in performing that activity.[5] The index was assigned a moral value as well, whence the countries having a higher CFp are to be shamed and required to pay compensations to those with lower CFp and to international organizations. It is the contention of this paper that the analysis behind this conclusion is at least incomplete.
An examination of earth history over the last 650,000 years has shown that the surface temperature of the earth has fluctuated significantly, with ice ages alternating with inter-glacial periods.[6] Life on earth has not perished in the extreme temperature intervals. During this time, the variations in concentration of atmospheric CO2 paralleled the temperature changes, so it was concluded that the latter are induced by the former. Studying the same data, however, other researchers reached different conclusions. Indeed, the long-range CO2 and temperature versus time diagram shows that each CO2 peak lags behind the corresponding temperature peak by centuries, so if there is a cause-effect relationship it is in reverse.[6][7]
Analyzing the consequences of extreme temperatures on earth in our epoch, researchers have found that cold kills more people than heat.[8] Still other scientists have found that the increase in the CO2 concentration had no deleterious effects upon global climate or temperature, but rather has increased the growth of plants, especially trees, as expected.[9] Moreover, during the Paleocene-Eocene period, when the earth saw a sharp increase in carbon dioxide and temperature (not necessarily in that order), there was an increase in mammalian abundance and no reduction in terrestrial flora and fauna.[10]
At the same time it has been found that some government agencies have over time altered the data to fit the man-made global warming narrative.[11]
The natural factors altering the climate are many, for example tectonic activity, growth of the Himalayas, volcanic activity, and in longest range, millennial fluctuations of the earth’s orbit and the increase in solar’s output by 7% per billion years.[12] On the other hand, some researchers have argued that alteration of the climate by man, making it warmer, started more than five thousand years ago, with agriculture, particularly rice growing (methane-forming). In modern times, improvement of cultivation methods has reduced agriculture as source of “greenhouse” gases and replaced it with burning of carbon-based fuels.[13] Cosmically, the earth might have been in a period of cooling, so the man-made heating and the cosmic cooling balance each other, or in the short-term the man-made heating might prevail over the cosmic cooling and the ice age should manifest itself later, when all carbon fuels have been burned.[13]
Irrespective of the scientific controversy and sometimes trying to stifle scientific skepticism by political means, the thesis that carbon dioxide generation by advanced economies is the cause of climate change, with catastrophic consequences for life on earth, continues to be a favored cause of politicians like Al Gore[14] and Barack Obama,[15] of the UN,[16] of Vatican,[17] and of many groups and organizations, some created ad-hoc.[18] The reason can be pursuit of financial gain[19] or of power, the quest for relevance, or in the case of the Vatican the desire to reclaim on incidental and temporal matters a moral authority that on matters fundamental and eternal it has squandered. The main solution proposed is the elimination of organic fuels, particularly coal.[18] The criticism of the man-made global warming model has been attacked on grounds as preposterous as the notion that science works by majority vote, the credentials of the critical authors or the source of funds for their research,[20] a fact which exposes the scientific illiteracy of their critics.
As the system is extremely complex and the data, when stripped of ideology, less than conclusive, a scientifically rigorous treatment has to consider each possibility and seek a solution or remediation..Moreover, efforts either to alter the climate or to preserve it must be considered together with the needs and resources of humans inhabiting the earth, beginning with the use and sources of energy, especially in light of a study which concluded that to achieve a goal of stabilizing the temperature through the reduction of greenhouse gases, the emission of the latter should be cut to zero, which would certainly finish off civilization.[21]
As the first case, let’s assume that the earth temperature is rising. A graded, smart approach would be much better than just banning productive activities. For example, methane’s global warming potential is 34 or 86 times (depending upon the time frame used in evaluation) greater than that of carbon dioxide.[22] Rice growing is an important source of methane. Rather than pay money to UN kleptocrats as penance for its successful economic system, the U.S. should subsidize research to develop rice varieties that grow on dry land, like other cereals. This improvement would also address the predicted world fresh water shortage that poses a significant danger to the world.[23] We should also consider whether all swamps are important, or some of them might be replaced by cleaner bodies of water, with less fermentation to methane.[24]
Technological improvements could also allow the capture of methane from processes which generate it as a side-product,[24] thus allowing its use as a fuel. (Progress has been made in methane fuel production from municipal wastes.)[25]
The natural causes of the earth’s warming must also be addressed. Thus, red algae blooming in the arctic snow play a crucial role in decreasing the latter’s reflectivity (albedo) and thus warm the planet.[26] Research on suppressing those organisms is a task that scientists should undertake and governments support.
The possible temperature increase, whether due to human or solar activity, can be prevented by reducing the incoming solar energy through the placement of reflecting particles in the stratosphere, as originally proposed by the physicist Edward Teller, the originator of geoengineering. This approach is perfectly feasible in practice.[21] Thus, from scientific viewpoint, the problem of catastrophic global warming has been solved. The approach has been criticized on grounds such as: there will be less sun for solar power; people will then be less amenable to control CO2 emissions or even to understand the moral imperative for it; it will conflict with present treaties; it might involve private, for profit, companies (!). Typically, the critics assume that the particle screens could be made only of sulfuric acid aerosols, like from Mount Pinatubo’s eruption.[27]
It remains, therefore, only to address the other effects, on plants, animals, landscape, etc., of a slightly increased concentration of CO2 from the current 410 ppm. This need not be catastrophic for life on earth, considering that in the paleocene-eocene period (v. supra[10]) it was higher than 760 ppm.[28] Some of the carbonate rocks, however, will be probably dissolved, binding a part of the atmospheric CO2.
Various proposals of CO2 removal have been advanced, for instance trapping in underground reservoirs. This idea is dangerous, because sipping out is possible (especially during earthquakes). Release from a natural underground reservoir killed 2000 people in Cameroon in 1986.[29] Chemical capture with sodium hydroxide (neutralization) was also proposed.[27](b), but it makes no sense, because the energy needed to manufacture sodium hydroxide has an equivalent of CO2 greater than that which can be captured.
The analyses of the effects of carbon combustion on environment and life on earth are usually flawed, however, because they disregard carbon cycling in nature:

O2 + carbon materials ⇒ [oxidation] ⇒ carbon dioxide (CO2) ⇒ [capture] ⇒ carbon materials + O2,

in which carbon materials (CM) are compounds containing carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds. As a matter of fact, what is called fossil carbon was once carbon dioxide. (The alternative origin, hydrolysis of metal carbides[30] can be discounted.) It is noted that if the two steps are balanced in quantities, they are also thermally balanced, because the heat released in the first step is absorbed in the second. Paying attention only to the first step is wrong-headed. If the approach at correction is punitive, reduction of the atmospheric CO2 capture is to be penalized as well. Such penalties should hit Brazil for cutting the Amazonian forest (responsible for 20% of world’s CO2 capture) at a rate of 90 acres per hour,[31] as well as sub-Saharan Africa for overgrazing which converts green lands to deserts.[32]
Anyway, in a two-step process, one should try to improve the controlling (slower) step, in this case the second. Improving CO2 capture is also important because it would recycle the carbon currently in fossil fuels, which now are a once-through proposition. The best capture mechanism is photosynthesis in green plants. With that in mind, the earth areas covered by plants performing photosynthesis could be increased (one could even cover roofs in the cities with vegetation), but a breakthrough probably would come only from developing plants that have a better (faster) photosynthetic process. This is a task that should attract the plant biologists. Changes in plant properties have been achieved even when science was much less developed. For instance, wheat used to give less than five grains per ear in the 1600-s[33] and it now gives 20-30.[34]
If, on the other hand, the earth is naturally in a cooling period,[13] the burning of carbon materials, especially fossil fuels, might need to be accelerated. Complications will arise if this remedy is insufficient or the new ice age lasts longer than the fossil carbon. Plants capable of growing at lower temperatures would have to be developed as sources of fuel, but that might not be enough. Evaluation of the effect of covering snowfields with soot might be interesting. Much research would be necessary, perhaps achieving, at last, controlled nuclear fusion.
Dan Fărcaşiu, July 2017

References
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming
[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
[4] http://whatsyourimpact.org/effects-increased-greenhouse-gas-levels
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_footprint
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_glaciation
[7] http://www.hirhome.com/climate_change/global_warming02.htm
[8] Bjorn Lomborg, An Overheated Climate Alarm. WSJ, Apr. 6, 2016
http://www.wsj.com/articles/an-overheated-climate-alarm-1459984226?mod=trending_now_2
[9] W. Soon, S. L. Baliunas, A. B. Robinson, Z. W. Robinson, Global Warming. A Guide to the Science ;
http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/books/globalWarming/GlobalWarmingGuide.pdf
[10] (a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum ; (b) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification
[11]
https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/global-temperature-record-is-a-smoking-gun-of-collusion-and-fr
aud/

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age
[13] (a) R. Blaustein, William Ruddiman and the Rudddiman Hypothesis, Minding Nature, 2015, 8, 1;
http://www.humansandnature.org/william-ruddiman-and-the-ruddiman-hypothesis ; (b) A. Ganopolski, R.
Winkelmann, H. J. Shellnhuber, Nature, 2016, 529, 200
[14]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUO8bdrXghs&ebc=ANyPxKpwVO0ME-TtSzbIQKZvQ_It80TRv7ynUcpfzlHvg5
BnwvCFzodXAkceWE6fM4gXd9Z0fLsZkC6GHtmwcu5Olvdyjv90A&nohtml5=False

[15] https://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change Obama Archive
[16] http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/
[17] Encyclical letter Laudato Si,
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
[18] Carbon Ofsets To Alleviate Poverty, http://cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint/
[19] Larry Bell, Blood And Gore: Making A Killing On Anti-Carbon Investment Hype, Forbes, Nov. 3, 2013;
http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/11/03/blood-and-gore-making-a-killing-on-anti-carbon-investment-hype
/#558834c23750

[20] John Hinderaker, The Smearing of Willie Soon, Feb. 24, 2015;
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/02/the-smearing-of-willie-soon.php?utm_campaign=naytev&utm_con
tent=54edde4fe4b016bf9c20847d&fb_ref=Default#!

[21] David Bielo, Scientific American, Apr. 6, 2010;
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/geoengineering-and-climate-change/
[22] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-bad-of-a-greenhouse-gas-is-methane/
[23] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/freshwater-crisis-looming-shortages/
[24] http://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-gases/methane-sources
[25] https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/04/11/clean-energy-waste-management-trash-fuel
[26] Stefanie Lutz, Alexandre M. Anesio, Rob Raiswell, Arwyn Edwards, Rob J. Newton, Fiona Gill & Liane G.
Benning, Nature Communications, 2016, 7, Article No. 11968. https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms11968
[27] (a) Alan Robock, 20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2008, 64 (2)14; http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/20Reasons.pdf (b) Kirsten Jerch, inset in the same article
[28] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth’s_atmosphere
[29] http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gas-cloud-kills-cameroon-villagers
[30] Franco Cataldo,, Intl J Astrobiol, 2003, 2, (01), 51-63.
[31] http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm#.WTBZGdQrLGg
[32] https://arefiles.ucdavis.edu/uploads/filer_public/2014/06/19/overgrazing_jarvis.pdf
[33] Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, Vol. I, Harper & Row, N Y 1981, pp. 120-3
[34] Jeff Edwards, Estimating Wheat Grain Yield Potential. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, PSS-2149.
http://wheat.okstate.edu/wheat-management/grazing/pss2149estimatingwheatgrainyield.pdf

Four Commentaries on Healthcare

1. ON THE PROPOSITION TO REFORM THE HEALTH CARE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK (2008)

In 2007, Mr. Elliot Spitzer initiated a reform of health care in New York state. Stating that one in seven New Yorkers has no health insurance; he promised to provide coverage for all. Read more of this post