By: Al Cronkrite

Stories of citizens being assaulted by TSA (Transportation Security Administration) employees are common internet fare. There are numerous groping complaints, little old ladies are forced to remove their diapers and nubile young women are patted down and ogled by X-ray, knives are confiscated, liquids are poured out, shoes are removed, and time is wasted; all without noticeable results.  TSA guru, Janet Napolitano, supports the TSA in the same way police chiefs support errant policemen. When governments write the law they often consider themselves immune to it.  Policemen are seldom held accountable for their actions.  Agents of the government regularly pillage private property, harass citizens, and even commit murder, all without retribution.  

During the 1940s, when I was in high school, the older brother of one of my friends had established a dental practice in a small Northern Illinois town.  My friend described his brother’s work as a “Racket” and said he was making piles of money.  At that time I had a mouth full of fillings skillfully inserted by a neighbor who was also a relative.    My parents paid for the work which though relatively cheap was expensive in the depression days of the 1930s.  There was, however, more kindness during this era and service providers felt an obligation to provide care to everyone regardless of ability to pay.

When the government gets involved in licensing members of any profession several things eventually result.   1) License restrictions limit supply and costs go up.  2) Participants collude, and 3) become arrogant and self serving.  4) They devise methods of extracting the maximum amount of money from the public.  5) Their egos grow; they take on god-like qualities and look with disdain on customers whose urgent need of their services supports the inflated cost.

Many Americans travel to Costa Rica where they are able to pay for transportation and stay at a four star hotel with the money they save having their dental work done there.  Occasionally an unlicensed dentist learns the mechanics of the trade and establishes a lucrative practice.   Read about one here. 

 American dentists are very expensive.

With a mouthful of bad teeth and an unwillingness to be overcharged my experience with dentists has been dismal.  Several dentists maintained that fillings were not reliable and refused to put fillings in my teeth.  Reluctantly I allowed three teeth to be capped.   Because I complained about the cost of each procedure and was dubious about what I was being told dentists did not enjoy my presence.  Finally, I was shuffled off to a dentist who liked to do fillings.  His personality was as dismal as mine but he was a good mechanic.  Belying what several other dentist had told me he filled my mouth with mercury fillings.

During my last visit for a six month cleaning, I turned down an X-ray.  Past X-rays had added to the cost and had not produced anything of value.  I considered his request that I sign a release paper a form of intimidation and refused to sign it.  Though I had been a patient for several years and had contributed several thousand dollars to his coffers he dismissed me for refusing to sign.   It is my money and that of other patients that support this dentist but it is government created exclusivity and collusion that sustain blunt arrogance.

Collusion allows dentists to ration their services by presenting a universal wall that closes out the uncooperative patient.  Being ushered into a dental chair, opening the mouth and having an assistant begin a set of prescribed procedures without discussion is oppressive and leaves the patient without input.   It discourages talk about fees and allows them to avoid competition. 

Following the rude dismissal by the mercury filling expert, I visited another dentist who advertised for new patients.  I was put through the regular expensive set of procedures that go before the appearance of the Mighty One.   His dental assistant took X-rays, measured gum loss, and cleaned and inspected my teeth.  These preliminaries often cost $200 or more.  When all this was finished the dentist inspected my teeth giving his assistant coded remarks about each tooth. 

I explained to him that I was almost 83 years old and that I had one tooth that needed to be removed and that I wanted to keep the remainder of my teeth in workable condition for as long as I could.  Following a brief examination the dentist disappeared and his assistant arrived with a computer generated treatment sheet recommending several thousand dollars worth of dental work.  I was referred to a dental surgeon for the bad, loose, single rooted tooth which he claimed might break.  It was obvious he paid no attention to my brief request and when the assistant asked that I sign a form indicating receipt of his recommendations I refused.  With predictable arrogance he sent his assistant to tell me I was dismissed.  Rejected patients receive a formal letter confirming the rejection.

It is difficult to break through the wall that screens out competition and uncooperative patients because dentists collude and all present the same competitive barriers.   

Cutting a man’s hair and filling a tooth both take technical skills and similar amounts of time; the barber gets $10 to $15 while the Dentist gets $200 or more; educational status, the artificial leverage of government licensing, and collusive practices work together to support high fees.

If you have never experienced the God-like demeanor that allows doctors and dentists to dismiss a patient with a formal letter as if partaking of their service is a privilege rather than a high priced sale, you have probably never confronted one of these demigods.  Rather than seeking to provide a needed service to society at an affordable price the touchy plutocrats seek to be treated with divine deference. 

Young people who begin working at $10.00 an hour (common here in Florida) will work a week and a half (sixty hours) for what a dentist earns in an hour or less.  Many young people cannot afford dentists and live with poor dental hygiene   Senior citizens whose life span is almost complete can spend several thousand dollars on dental work that death renders useless.

Patients have a vested interest in having their teeth cleaned but despite the heavy padding it is a nuisance to dentists.  They maintain their upper 1% status by gluing on crowns and doing root canals.  A root canal takes about an hour of the dentist’s time and costs between $600 and $1000 (Sometimes more!).  When a crown is added fixing a single tooth might cost $2000.  My experience seems to indicate that when a dentist see $10,000 work in a person’s mouth he will take a little guff and might even negotiate but when only cleaning is involved he is quick to dismiss.

Altruism has been wrung out of medical and dental care.  The Hippocratic Oath may still be administered in some form but in practice it is as dead as Christianity in the church.    Today medical and dental professions are businesses conducted by individuals who have fulfilled educational requirements in order to harvest a bumper financial crop.   Ministering to patients is a means of making money and if there is no money to be made or if the patient cannot pay, the relationship is quickly severed.  For the patient who fails to pay, the credit rating is ruined and harassing bill collectors are marshaled.

Dentists and doctors have succumbed to the advancing brutality that has infected our culture.  It began with the Revolutionary War, advanced during the Civil War; was inflicted on the indigenous Indians, on the civilian population of the Philippines, on the Germans in WWII, on the Vietnamese, it is now ravishing the Arabs in the Middle East and is pervasive in our culture.

Brutality has driven out mercy and justice and fertilized the lawless avarice of pagan Capitalism.  John Adam said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Injustice is rampant and mercy is scarce.  Our people are religious but immoral.  As a nation we have forsaken God’s Law and opted to live under a human standard of justice.

Morality is impossible without law and justice is impossible without God’s Law. Sinful men and women cannot write just law. Those that claim to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through the redemptive work of His Son, The Christ, have drifted so far away from their God that His Laws are repugnant.  Even some who should know better delight in the heresy of Dispensationalism  denying the efficacy of God’s Law favoring law devised by the evil minds o of men.  Death by stoning sounds like cruel and unusual punishment because death by losing the lower half of a human body to an explosive device is hidden and never pictured in our deluded minds.

We live in a sanitized society; hiding grotesque brutality so we can considering ourselves civilized.    Aborted babies are seldom seen.  Pictures of the slaughter of their tiny bodies are unpopular and in some cases banned.  War is advertised as altruistic and soldiers are urged to sign up and see the world.  The returning caskets and the maimed participants are not public fare.  An aberrant press and media fail to mention that for every soldier killed nine civilians die.  The pillage and wreckage of Iraq is kept from the public.  In spite of the brief publicity around Abu Grave torture continues as a weapon.

We have lost our fear of God.  When there is no fear of God there is no active religion.     If stoning did nothing else, it might renew our fear of God    

In his lengthy indictment of the Jews Martin Luther wrote, “For every country, if it is to endure, must have these two things: power and law. The country--- must have a lord, a head, a ruler. But it must also have a law by which the ruler is guided--- For wherever sheer power prevails without the law--- there is no government, but tyranny.” (Excerpted)

God admonishes us in Proverbs, “My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you.    Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.   Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”   Chapter 7; 1-3 

As our government continues to impose tyrannical laws and procedures on the United States, patriots and Christians approach the coming election with the usual chronic insanity, repeatedly seeking the culprit as the remedy.  Though many of our older citizens have lived through many of these same charades they still participate with vigor. The human mind is easily distorted and often incapable of reaching sound conclusions.  Elections are rife with empty promises and mendacious accusations.  Popularity is manufactured by the press and voting is often controlled by the counter rather than the voter.  When the wicked process is over the winner may initiate some minor social changes but the planned shrinkage of American wealth and power continues as it has now for several decades.  

It is tragic that good men sell their souls in order to become marionettes on the stage of government.   Ron Paul maintained his stance for many years and seemed to be mostly above the evil pragmatism.  Nevertheless, he was summarily shoved aside and though he may have siphoned a few votes from the Mormon King he accomplished very little.  Powerful forces mute the policies that might remedy our downfall and the soulless empty suits we have elected value their jobs more than their character.

The transformation of our doctors and dentists from responsible contributors to the well being of our society to avaricious wealthy craftsmen is a small matter compared to the complete downfall of civilization.  It is, however, a symptom and without confrontation it continues its downward spin along with that of the nation.

Indian Christian intellectual Vishal Mangalwadi has used the clear vision of a Godly man in a newly published book entitled “The Book That Made Your World”.  He speaks to Americans in general and Christians in particular about the overweening influence of the Christian Bible on our culture.  In the Forward he writes, “It was above all, a civilization in which truth was understood to be real, where the collective pursuit of virtue shaped behavior, and the redemptive work of God in the person of Jesus Christ provided a radical and historically verifiable transforming response to the abyss of human selfishness, corruption , and sin.”  Pg.17


Unfortunately, he writes in the past tense.

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Al Cronkrite is a free-lance writer from Florida. He a is regular columnist for Ether Zone.

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Published in the September 25, 2012 issue of  Ether Zone.
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