Ben Carson from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 23 Jan 2019 15:23:02 -0800 Ben Carson from Creators Syndicate 3546261566921fd867a64bc4260fac0c My Voting Evolution for 04/29/2015 Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I grew up in Detroit, in an environment where one was supposed to be Democrat and where people constantly told me that Republicans were evil and racist people. As I entered my teenage years, I did not have the exposure to the political world that is more easily afforded young people via technology today. I did not develop my own train of thought regarding political parties and what politicians could help accomplish for myself, my family and my community. </p> <p>The first presidential election in which I could vote was in 1972, which saw George McGovern face off against Richard Nixon. As a student of Yale University, I found it comforting to follow my classmates and vote Democrat. While McGovern fell dramatically to Nixon, I still identified with Democrats and voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976 as he battled Gerald Ford. I decided to vote for Carter again in 1980, as he seemed like a decent person. However, he would lose in a landslide to Ronald Reagan. </p> <p>During Reagan's first term, I had just begun my neurosurgery residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. I had exposure to many patients with unfulfilled lives because they were becoming dependent on government programs, and it struck me as the wrong way to go. Almost all of my patients were on some kind of medical assistance and social welfare programs, and their lives were in shambles. <p>Updated: Wed Apr 29, 2015</p> be896b7d155f97a56f2f791612358e30 America Needs Clarity and Conviction of Purpose in the Middle East for 04/22/2015 Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>For much of the past century, America has embodied, both in word and in deed, a commitment to freedom and democracy that has improved the lives of billions of people all over the world.</p> <p>Leaders such as Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan saw the importance of a foreign policy based on American values and grounded in American leadership. They understood that smart, strategic engagement was the only way to ensure our security, champion our values and advance our interests.</p> <p>One of the most unstable and dangerous areas of the world today is the Middle East. Events that take place there have serious repercussions all across the globe that directly impact America's national security.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 22, 2015</p> e348705808e3667d991b8ec105e211d7 A Time for National Action for 04/15/2015 Wed, 15 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the National Action Network's (NAN) 17th annual national convention in New York City. NAN is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the United States. It was founded in 1991 by the Rev. Al Sharpton to "promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender." </p> <p>The convention proved to be a great stage for productive dialogue and conversation through various panels. Some of the topics discussed included housing, health care, law enforcement, corporate finance and education. I voiced my opinion on several of these issues, while also promoting the idea that the choices we make in this world have the most to do with our outcomes. Personal responsibility and self-determination &#8212; not the household into which you are born, the police force in your neighborhood or the color of your skin &#8212; are the key contributing factors of your life. </p> <p>Sharpton and I have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten. However, we have a fundamental difference of opinion regarding the best way to achieve such an end. <p>Updated: Wed Apr 15, 2015</p> 18b1ffaccb328e9803503a816b50f6ad Financial Literacy for 04/08/2015 Wed, 08 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I was a young boy, I was not familiar with the concepts of financial literacy and responsibility. I did understand that luxury and a comfortable lifestyle &#8212; two things I had no experience with &#8212; would only be obtained by making myself valuable to society. After many difficulties in early childhood, I realized that the person who had the most to do with what happened to me in life was me. </p> <p>Now, as we sit here with formidable annual budget deficits and growing national debt, it is clear that the people who should be the most concerned about our future obligations are the young members of our society who will be saddled with massive taxes if we do not change our ways.</p> <p>During my college days, students were much more involved in what was going on in the country, and there were frequent marches and protests. Outside of the misguided Occupy Wall Street movement, there has not been much heard from the younger generations about current financial issues. It is essential for the next generation of young people to be exposed to and have a greater interest in what is occurring in our country and throughout the world, because it will profoundly affect their future. Our children and young adults should make their voices heard in order to create some guilt among the people of my generation who are voraciously spending the nation's future resources.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 08, 2015</p> f2a58b4afe7aca0a09344f7824afb0fe Education: The Future Depends on It for 04/01/2015 Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Over the past few months in cities throughout the country, we have seen harsh moments that have been characterized as "racial incidents." Whether it be Ferguson, Mo., New York City or Los Angeles, these events continue to occur in states regardless of which party dominates the political landscape. </p> <p>The three cities previously mentioned are considered Democratic strongholds, which shows us that this is a problem regardless of who is in charge. But what exactly is the problem? What are we missing, or is there something that we are not talking about enough? Can we say it is just one thing that can be summed up as police brutality? </p> <p>I think it would be ignorant to say there is just one thing that leads to situations like these. There are many things that we need to improve on as a nation. Better training for law enforcement is undoubtedly one of them. Police body cameras to record incidents would be a step in the right direction.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 01, 2015</p> 643282d79c4ff4a09cbd7e9a072fc816 The Mighty Internet for 03/18/2015 Wed, 18 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There is one place to go where you can find out anything about anyone and any moment in history. That place is called the Internet, and yes, you are using it to read this article. </p> <p>A few decades ago, it would have been considered a luxury, but now it is truly a fixture of life. We seemingly would not be able to live without it &#8212; despite the fact that the world did indeed operate without the Internet before its creation. This global system of interconnected computer networks that links billions of devices worldwide has changed the way we live our lives, for both the good and the bad. As millions of academic, business, social, government, private and public networks come together to provide and receive information, I find it rather remarkable how far we have come in the world of technology. Bravo to those who have helped us reach this place.</p> <p>I think it is worth discussing the issue of the new net neutrality rules concerning the Internet. When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to implement the new rules, which make Internet service providers treat all legal content equally, I immediately shuddered at the thought of more government control in our lives. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 18, 2015</p> 8e0316df8f4902d6bacaca7babc536a2 A Leader and a Speech We Can All Appreciate for 03/11/2015 Wed, 11 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed great leadership when delivering his speech to a joint session of Congress regarding America's potential nuclear deal with Iran. History and our past relations with Netanyahu indicate that the prime minister has earned some trust, and no matter what side of the aisle we stand on, we must stand with Israel. </p> <p>Last December, I had the magnificent opportunity to travel to Israel and visit many historical sites of spiritual importance. After speaking with many Israeli citizens and witnessing firsthand the beauty of a nation with so much pride, I could not help but think of how we as the United States have a strong Judeo-Christian heritage. Israel is one of our strongest allies, and acknowledging the history that we share is important to our identity and to the promising value system we maintain. </p> <p>The country of Iran continues to conceal aspects of its nuclear program, and thus its compliance is heavily questioned. Iran's regime and its quest for nuclear weapons is not merely a Jewish problem, but rather it poses a substantial and realistic threat to world peace. As was expressed by Netanyahu, things undoubtedly will become worse if there is a deal that gives the Iranians protection and enables them to continue flagrantly operating secret nuclear facilities (as they had been doing in Natanz and Qom) while ostensibly invested in a diplomatic process with the United States. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 11, 2015</p> 36348af78a9dcecef1f2192924278b29 Applauding an Elegant Conservative for 02/25/2015 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Recently, I was temporarily placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's watch list for extremism simply because I vocally support traditional marriage. I remember thinking: When did advocating for lifelong love between one man and one woman become a hate crime? Fortunately, the group saw the folly of its ways and apologized, removing me from the list.</p> <p>It was a small battle, a blip in the daily life of someone who has entered the political arena. And I enjoyed the support of many who rallied in the conservative media to my cause to help reverse such a silly distinction. But it wasn't that long ago when liberal extremism tried to suffocate traditional values, and there were few media voices to come to the rescue.</p> <p>There was one, though, so powerful and elegant, persistent yet graceful. Her name is Phyllis Schlafly. And for the past 90 years she has been a tireless advocate for the nuclear family, for traditional marriage and for common-sense conservatism that resists injecting government into every aspect of our lives. On Wednesday night, she will be honored at the Paul Weyrich Awards dinner that precedes the start of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 25, 2015</p> b19ce567af6fc8670fbe0614e96ec2f4 We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Not Us for 02/18/2015 Wed, 18 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The graphic pictures of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive by militants from the Islamic State, or ISIS, were chilling and raised doubts about the humanity of the Islamic terrorists capable of such barbarism. This coupled with beheadings and crucifixions gives us a better understanding of the evil we, along with the rest of the world, are facing.</p> <p>These terrorists have stated their intention to annihilate Israel and to destroy the American way of life, which they consider corrupt and evil. Undoubtedly, we in America have our faults like every other country inhabited by human beings, but it requires the suspension of knowledge of accurate American history to believe, as some do, that we are the source of much of the trouble in the world. Conditions in the world have improved more dramatically since the advent of the United States than at any other time in human history. Our innovation and compassion have provided one of the highest standards of living in the world while lifting conditions in many other nations.</p> <p>Understanding that we are not evil makes it easier to identify evil elsewhere and to combat it effectively. When we accept the falsehood that everyone is equally bad, and, therefore, we have no right or obligation to interfere with atrocities occurring elsewhere in the world, we facilitate the development and growth of groups such as ISIS, which are not dissimilar to the adherents of Adolf Hitler, who also aspired to world domination. An objective analysis of American history will demonstrate that we were late in joining the efforts of others to combat evil during both World War I and World War II. Hopefully, we have learned from these mistakes that it is better to fight enemies while they are in their adolescent stages than to wait until they have fully matured and pose a much greater threat.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 18, 2015</p> 2e3075b89c067e15756db3716734d99e Vaccinations Are for the Good of the Nation for 02/11/2015 Wed, 11 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>There has been much debate recently over vaccination mandates, particularly in response to the measles outbreak currently taking place throughout the country.</p> <p>At this juncture, there have been 102 confirmed measles cases in the U.S. during 2015, with 59 of them linked to a December 2014 visit to the Disneyland theme park in Southern California. (It is important to note that 11 of the cases associated with Disneyland were detected last year and, consequently, fall within the 2014 measles count.) This large outbreak has spread to at least a half-dozen other states, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently requesting that all health care professionals "consider measles when evaluating patients with febrile rash and ask about a patient's vaccine status, recent travel history and contact with individuals who have febrile rash illness."</p> <p>One must understand that there is no specific antiviral therapy for measles and that 90 percent of those who are not vaccinated will contract measles if they are indeed exposed to the virus. This explains why Arizona health officials are monitoring more than 1,000 people after potential exposure to measles. These are pretty staggering numbers that should concern not only parents and children, but also the general populace.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 11, 2015</p> 1727d50625fadadfa68da8a32733d5d2 When Politics Defy Reality: The Real State of the Union Features Dishonesty and Deception for 01/28/2015 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama was upbeat and inspiring, particularly if a listener had no prior knowledge of his many speeches that were quite similar but bore no fruit. It almost appeared that he was living in an alternate universe that bore no resemblance to present-day America and the current global stage.</p> <p>He boasted that the economy was doing very well and that unemployment had been cut in half since he took office. Perhaps someone should educate him about the labor force participation rate, which is at its lowest point in the past 36 years and reflects the number of people who are actually working versus the number of people who are eligible to work. The unemployment rate can easily be manipulated in whichever direction one desires by including and excluding certain groups of people.</p> <p>He also boasted about the record-high stock market numbers. He failed to indicate that savings accounts and certain types of bonds, which used to be the mechanism whereby average Americans could enhance their net worth over a long period of time, were no longer appealing, and that the stock market was one of the few places where gains could be made. While the stock market has always been particularly relevant to the wealthier members of society, the influx of these smaller investors is further driving the income gap.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 28, 2015</p> a56973e815bccdb74bc61e8eb1df0d82 Choosing the Challenging Road to Reconciliation for 01/21/2015 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A few days ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York Police Department, to discuss potential ways to improve community-police relationships. He has been working with outstanding community leaders such as Pastor A.R. Bernard, and they sincerely want to achieve a highly successful outcome to a problem of trust that has spread throughout the nation.</p> <p>One of their proposals involves the establishment of police-sponsored athletic leagues throughout the city. There would be friendly competition between the teams, which would be composed of community residents and police. This would, of course, allow both sides to get a chance to know each other and form a relationship that is not adversarial.</p> <p>Most of human societal progress is accomplished through relationships. People who are traditional adversaries can rapidly become friends when they work together, get to know each other and develop positive relationships. This opens the doors to communication, and people tend to give each other the benefit of the doubt when they know them. On the other hand, when communication breaks down, as it frequently does before divorce, the two previously friendly partners often become bitter enemies.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 21, 2015</p> 8c531d5ff27a37d697d53cab360ccf15 Investing in a Better America: Communities Raise Productive Citizens, Government Leaves Them Dependent for 01/15/2015 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Warren Buffett became very rich and famous because he is a terrific investor. Not everyone agrees with his political stances, but his ability to achieve great return on investment is unquestioned.</p> <p>Most people are familiar with the parable in the Bible of the 10 talents. Two servants who made wise investments were praised and rewarded with even more opportunities, while the one servant who simply attempted to preserve his talent was referred to as wicked, and his one talent was taken from him.</p> <p>The point is, we have these very complex brains for a reason. Our intricate frontal lobes allow us to extract information from the past and the present, process it and project it into the future as a plan. This means we can plan, strategize and figure out ways to maximize the return on our investment. If we are observant and analytical, we also have the ability to see what is happening in our environment and take steps to change direction if we don't like it, or accelerate down the pathway if we do like what we are seeing.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 15, 2015</p> 4c920c24a8829978acdcd4681bb0c951 Dispelling the Myth of Haves and Have-Nots in America for 01/07/2015 Wed, 07 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The U.S Constitution was designed to preserve the freedom and rights of all citizens. Our Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal and that we have certain God-given rights. With documents like these, how have we arrived at the state of such discord between purported haves and have-nots in our society?</p> <p>Some will try, of course, to discount any discussion of this topic by talking about the treatment of slaves, indentured servants, Native Americans and others who historically were not treated well. I am willing to acknowledge that the same human frailties that characterized societies throughout the world found their way into America, but it is unfair to demonize a nation and its many constituents based on the shortcomings of some of its members. Those who condemn America for its past seldom talk about the tremendous good and generosity that have been demonstrated by the country that cannot be denied the title of most benign pinnacle nation in the history of the world.</p> <p>One of the reasons that I find the concept of royalty and celebrity amusing is watching people putting on airs and trying to act like someone special when they are acutely aware that, in fact, they are just like everyone else. In my opinion, either everyone is special, or no one is special. America is supposed to be a place of equality, and whether a person is homeless or a billionaire, he should be treated well and equally. There is no social class or political class that has the right to lord it over everyone else unless "we the people" confer such power upon them or allow them to confer it upon themselves without resistance.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 07, 2015</p> e0041e02110ca39efa7f33df640b66ff The Wisdom of Peace Through Strength for 12/31/2014 Wed, 31 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800 <p>It was extremely encouraging to see the United States and Sony eventually stand up to the cyberbullying of the North Koreans by allowing the movie "The Interview" to be released despite threats of retaliation.</p> <p>Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are hallmarks of American life, and we must jealously guard these values from both internal and external threats. In fact, all of the freedoms guaranteed to American citizens by our Constitution must be steadfastly preserved, or they will be eroded. Vigilance and courage are necessary every day if we are to remain a free society.</p> <p>I am proud of the president of the United States for taking a tough stand on this issue, although I am not sure that his promise of proportional retaliation is the correct answer. The response should go far beyond proportionality, and an example should be made of the perpetrators by using a host of available options to inflict punishment not be easily forgotten. If we use proportionality as our standard, future adversaries need only consider certain consequences for encroaching on our rights. If, on the other hand, they realize that they will suffer enormous consequences, I believe their adventurism would be tempered.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 31, 2014</p> 42bd928eb7f73ba1a4ffee5e96616e93 A Lesson in Optimism from Israel for 12/24/2014 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Like many other Americans, I have always had a desire to travel to Israel and visit firsthand the many historical sites of spiritual significance. I was recently afforded the opportunity to fulfill that desire and was not disappointed.</p> <p>In addition to being greatly inspired, I spoke with numerous Israeli citizens from a variety of backgrounds. One overwhelming theme in those conversations was the feeling of abandonment by the United States government. Some of the more diplomatic individuals said they felt sidelined by a U.S. government that had more important issues to deal with. Of course, they had not forgotten the times that our military and financial aid saved them from utter defeat at the hands of their numerous local enemies.</p> <p>We must remember that Israel is a small country, about the size of New Jersey, with only 8 million people. It is surrounded by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, with several other hostile nations in proximity. Enemy forces are in control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which consists primarily of Samaria and Judea. If not for the Iron Dome missile defense system, the multitudinous rockets launched at Israel this summer from Gaza would have wreaked unimaginable damage on the tiny country. Many Israelis believe, probably correctly, that the aggressiveness of the hostile nations surrounding them is increased when the perception exists that we in the United States are not seriously committed to their protection.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 24, 2014</p> a1dea0794b07b77172fb65b821685938 Democrats' Wasteful Torture Report for 12/17/2014 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The recent release of a Senate report commissioned by Democrats regarding torture of terrorism suspects in order to obtain vital information was a waste of $40 million of taxpayer money.</p> <p>It already had been documented extensively that three suspects were waterboarded and that sleep deprivation and other such techniques were used to extract vital information from terrorists. Though the report says otherwise, that information played a part in the apprehension or annihilation of many upper-echelon terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden. The high-profile release of this information at a time when we are engaged in war with various terrorist groups demonstrates a profound lack of wisdom because this information will undoubtedly be used as an effective recruitment tool by our enemies.</p> <p>Some of the people responsible for the release of this report have publicly acknowledged that it could put members of the military and other Americans at significant risk because they could now become prized targets for revenge. It seems likely that the unwise timing of this information release was politically motivated, seeing as control of the Senate will be in Republican hands in January.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 17, 2014</p> 787dfb0895f05c90d167579a04bd32e3 The Handiwork of Agitators and Manipulators for 12/03/2014 Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800 <p>As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I became more than familiar with situations where parents experience the premature loss of a child. There are few things that can compare to the emotional devastation that accompanies such an event. This makes the varied emotional responses of Michael Brown's family more understandable as the tragic events unfolded in Ferguson, Mo. </p> <p>What is difficult to understand, though, is the benefit that the Ferguson community derives from burning and looting business establishments in their own neighborhoods, especially when unemployment is already a problem. In the meantime, the outside agitators in many cases are sitting in their hotel rooms sipping wine and watching the carnage on television.</p> <p>Hopefully, people in communities such as Ferguson, like people all over America, are beginning to awaken and realize that they should be more than pawns in the hands of manipulators who, in reality, could not care less about them.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 03, 2014</p> 3292b64225849daae9a7da78b89422af Illegal Executive Orders Reward Illegal Immigration for 11/26/2014 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Like millions of other Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.</p> <p>It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, "In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you." There are many around us already in need of help.</p> <p>According to President Obama, only those five million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." <p>Updated: Wed Nov 26, 2014</p> 68404a449bcc7f11193b836f48e9179c Stupidity Reconsidered: Election Proved Americans Aren't Fooled by Gruber and Obama for 11/19/2014 Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Jonathan Gruber set off a firestorm of controversy, at least in the conservative media, with the recent revelation of his comments about the "stupidity of the American people," which allowed the Affordable Care Act to be passed. In essence, he admitted that the bill was written in a way that would allow its purveyors to characterize it as the cure-all and salvation for a health care system that was in trouble, with no danger of their deception being discovered by a populace that is trusting and naive. He obviously never intended for his comments to make it into the public sphere and did not consider the fact that someone is always recording on their smartphone.</p> <p>What is truly disturbing is the fact that our government is willing to engage in the purposeful deception of the populace in order to thrust its secretive agenda onto an unsuspecting populace and a sycophantic mainstream media. As I have said many times before, Obamacare was never about health care; it was about government control and wealth redistribution. If there was real concern about the uninsured, it would have been much cheaper and considerably less complex to simply give all of the uninsured Cadillac health plans for life. I am a firm believer that health care reform was and is needed, and I have been advocating for it for several years. It needs to be done correctly, though, and in a way that does not create different levels of access and treatment.</p> <p>There is no question that the American people are distracted by sports and entertainment and that we confer godlike status on actors and some athletes. There is also no question that we could do more to enhance our knowledge about important issues. However, to assume that the American people are stupid and uncaring and to design programs and speeches around that assumption is arrogant, disrespectful and, frankly, very shortsighted. As has famously been said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."<p>Updated: Wed Nov 19, 2014</p>