As any of you who follow me on Facebook know, as a relative newcomer to the platform—and to social media in general—I am no fan of Mark Zuckerberg’s. In fact, for some time now, I have said that I am considering leaving Facebook, going away as quickly and quietly as I arrived a few short months ago. I am still seriously considering doing so.
Recently, the young, uber rich millennial again proved that my concerns are justified.
Mark Zuckerberg has done it again. Having spent his short life promoting social media, he has now set his sights on a new goal: to cure all human diseases.
The Rise of Chan Zuckerberg Science
In yet another self-involved, self-promoting, delusional move, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, arranged a presentation in a massive hall complete with a gigantic screen as a backdrop. After taking the stage, like a child bursting at the seams to tell a secret, the young couple smiled broadly as they looked out at the considerable audience in attendance. They then pledged a total of $3 billion to “cure all diseases in our children’s lifetime.” They are even calling the endeavor “Chan Zuckerberg Science.” I kid you not.
Even Zuckerberg had to admit at the unveiling of the . . . ahem . . . donation to yet another of his own pet projects that it “doesn’t mean no one will ever get sick.”
Really? Then what do you mean by “cure all diseases,” exactly?
The Riddle of the Billionaire Cheapskate
Perhaps the most telling thing about this latest self-promotion campaign is that Zuckerberg and Chan apparently think that $3 billion is enough to end human disease as we know it. Is it just me? Doesn’t it seem that this power couple—who are richer than rich thanks to the timely rise of social media and Zuckerberg’s astute and ruthless pursuit of its control—should be well-versed enough in Big Finance to know that $3 billion, while an awful lot to you and me, barely rises to the level of chump change when talking about managing—much less curing—human disease?
Even the notoriously liberal National Public Radio (NPR) recently admitted that $3 billion is barely a “drop in the bucket” compared to annual federal taxpayer-funded medical research and development. It is also little more than a blip on the bank account screen compared to the more generous—and far less self-promoting—routine donations of Zuckerberg’s fellow have-it-alls—which, by the way, they have been doing for generations and generations.
And yet here we are, still, suffering from and fighting that most daunting of all adversaries, human disease and disability. Just look at Hillary Clinton. Money, and power, and influence aside, she will die of Parkinson’s disease just like all of its other victims. If, Heaven forbid, she is elected president next month, she will not hold that office for long. She will not be able to, because she is dying. While she admittedly looked better than usual on last night’s debate stage, that is the nature of Parkinson’s disease. It comes and goes until, one sad day, it sticks around. Judging from her current symptoms, which include a complete collapse at the recent 9/11 Memorial Service, that day is not far enough away to allow Clinton one term in the White House—much less two. To read my thoughts on Clinton’s health, please check here and here and here. You can also check out my archived radio shows from September 7, 14, and 21 by going to our website at www.moormanmedia.com/radio-show-archives.html.
Please do not misunderstand me: All of the generous rich and not-so-rich, including Zuckerberg, who have given money have helped in the common cause of combating illness and alleviating human suffering. For that, we are eternally grateful—no one more so than we practicing physicians, who use the tools their money has purchased to improve and save lives on a daily basis.
Still, when it comes to Mark Zuckerberg, something is amiss . . .
Celebrating Parenthood by Donating to Planned Parenthood
Apparently, Zuckerberg understands all too well how not far $3 billion goes these days. In 2012 and 2013 alone, he and Chan donated almost $1 billion—each year, for a two-year total of almost $2 billion—to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a major supporter of Planned Parenthood.
Even so, Zuckerberg and Chan now claim to have been motivated to donate their latest $3 billion check out of love and concern for their baby daughter, Max. And yet they openly support Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of both legal and illegal abortions and its only professional middleman in the trafficking of the body parts of the very babies it murders. The same Planned Parenthood that is now peddling panic over the Zika virus in an effort to dupe unsuspecting women who truly want to become mothers to abort their innocent babies—babies every bit as healthy, and beautiful, and full of potential as little Max.
Hmmm . . . Am I the only one who sees a disconnect?
Big Wallet, Bigger Dreams
It gets better—or worse: Apparently, Zuckerberg and Chan were so overcome with emotion at the late 2015 birth of little Max that they pledged what is claimed to be 99% of their wealth—to the current tune of over $45 billion—over the course of their lives “to join many others in improving this world for the next generation.”
At least they dream big. The problem is that they are neither alone in that quest nor preceded by generations of dunces who simply were not as smart, or capable, or concerned, or rich as them. With all due respect to Zuckerberg’s generosity, which is commendable, the quest to “improve the world” has been going on for centuries. It is also likely to continue for centuries after Zuckerberg and Chan—and Max and her children and grandchildren, for that matter—are long gone. If, that is, we as a society survive for that long, which is becoming increasingly uncertain.
A Tale of Two Mark Zuckerbergs:
When the Prince of Social Media becomes the King of Censorship
At the expense of looking even further into the gift horse’s mouth by throwing even more cold water on Zuckerberg’s charity, I would add a final but exceptionally important wrinkle:
Keep in mind that Zuckerberg ostensibly created Facebook so as to allow average Americans to communicate openly, free of charge, from the comfort of their homes and offices (and now tablets and cell phones), and without restrictions in the setting of an electronic community forum. Talk about great ideas that everyone could get behind. And everyone did get behind Facebook. Through hard work, ingenuity, and, we now know, more than his share of piracy and ruthlessness, Zuckerberg cornered that burgeoning market. In return, he became a multibillionaire in his twenties.
So far, so good. Zuckerberg is living The American Dream. Good for him.
But wait! There’s more . . .
Years later, Zuckerberg, now an all-grown-up liberal progressive ideologue, has a problem: It seems that regular folks, angry over the debacle of the Obama presidency, exhausted from years of America-rejecting, white-bashing, and race-baiting, and concerned for the country’s future, are actually daring to log into their Facebook accounts and make “right-wing” statements that offend Zuckerberg’s liberal progressive, safe-space-loving millennial mind. I do just that routinely.
It is the ultimate dilemma faced by any young liberal holding the keys to the communication kingdom: What to do when the free speech you created and espouse to suppot—and that made you a billionaire many times over before the age of 30—doesn’t agree with your own personal philosophy?
In Zuckerberg’s case, he simply deletes the offending communications from the site. He and his minions routinely suspend, even ban for life, users who offer one too many politically incorrect views from the right. Somehow, offensive remarks from the left—even the white-bashing, police-hating radical left—are never deemed, by the “Facebook police,” to rise to the level of removal and/or sanction.
A Case in Point
To use a concrete example among many, this is even true where the communication involves a despicable, horrifically graphic cartoon depicting a kneeling, uniformed police officer being beheaded by a hooded ISIS assassin. To this day, I regret having innocently stumbled upon the cartoon. I truly wish that I had never seen it. And I’m a 51-year-old emergency medicine physician who has seen a lot, including more than my share of human violence, carnage, blood, and gore. The cartoon is that graphic.
Demands for Facebook to remove the cartoon poured in. And yet Facebook left it up, having determined that it did not run afoul of the company’s so-called “decency standards.” It goes without saying that many of us were left wondering what would be graphic enough, and despicable enough, to warrant administrative removal from the site. We did not have to wait long. Apparently, simply saying that Black Lives Matter is not a real political movement suffices. Post deleted. User suspended if not banned.
In fact, to the extent that you and I say anything negative about the Black Lives Matter Movement—much less any of the far-left liberal agendas being shoved, hurled, and rammed through by a runaway executive branch unimpeded by an impotent Congress and a consenting Supreme Court—we do so at the risk of being censored by the likes of Zuckerberg. We “little people” in “flyover states” have no right to comment. We must remain silent while they bash us repeatedly and create an alternative world more to their liking in which we are the ignorant villains and they are whatever they wish to be, all the while living off of the fruits of our labor.
It is a typical, delusional liberal progressive millennial dream. The problem is, Zuckerberg actually believes his own garbage. In that, he is very much like another young dreamer and champion of eloquent yet empty promises who likewise does not wish us conservative Americans well: my former law school classmate Barack Obama. More on that in a bit.
An “Orwellian” Threat to Free Speech
In his never-ending quest to stifle conservative speech, Zuckerberg earlier this summer joined with other social media outlets, including Microsoft (run by Zuckerberg’s mentor and fellow tech geek and multibillionaire Bill Gates), Twitter, and YouTube in entering into a formal agreement with the European Commission, the unelected executive branch of the European Union (EU). The purpose of the agreement is “to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally.” The agreement purports to set forth a “code of conduct” while requiring that parties crack down on what it calls “illegal hate speech.” It advocates “criminalizing” offenders and “promoting independent counter-narratives” that the EU favors. It also purports to provide a platform for the “re-education” of politically incorrect users.
The agreement has been branded “Orwellian” by Members of the European Parliament. Some characterize it as “a frightening path to totalitarianism.” Others decry it as designed to “not just curb hate speech but free speech as well.” Numerous digital freedom groups have declined to join in and have pulled out of further discussions with the Commission.
Asked about the initiative, Zuckerberg stated that he had to join so as to combat the two greatest threats plaguing the social media community: (1) the online social media radicalization of Muslims and the resulting rise of ISIS; and (2) “far-right extremism.”
“Far-right extremism.” Hmmm . . .
On our side of the pond, that could easily be construed as the speech of middle-class, white, conservative America, of those who come from backgrounds just like, and who look and sound just like, Zuckerberg himself—only we disagree with him on so much. He already deletes our posts and bans us from his site—and the conversation. Will he prosecute us next? Perhaps “re-educate” us? Why? Because he says so, that’s why. And so does the EU to which we do not belong. By so doing, they shut us down and shut us up, both inside and outside of Europe.
In joining this thinly veiled attempt to curb free speech both here and abroad, Zuckerberg gave himself away as nothing more patriotic, idealistic, and American than a self-important liberal progressive ideologue and elitist soaked in the hypocrisy of political correctness and globalism.
So much for free speech. And honesty. And the truth. Thanks, Zuckerberg.
The Inherent Threat of Chan Zuckerberg Science
What worries me is that in the event Zuckerberg gets his tentacles into the American health care system, he will do the same thing. Indeed, given his latest donation and public spectacle of an announcement, coupled with his long-expressed infatuation with both Barack Obama and Obamacare, it is more likely than not that what Zuckerberg is actually doing is paving the way to not only unfathomable future wealth for himself and Chan, but also unbelievable power as the agents of the health care rationing that we know is coming (and that in fact has already begun).
If you don’t believe me, consider this: There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of existing research institutions and charitable foundations that focus upon every human disorder and disease imaginable. Many were started, and are currently maintained, through the generous donations of the rich. Others are financed by federal and state taxpayer dollars. Many are considered tax-exempt, which in reality amounts to a taxpayer subsidy. Many are a combination of these and other structures.
Rather than simply donating to these existing institutions, Zuckerberg and Chan chose instead to donate the money to their own newly formed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, controlled by—you guessed it—Chan and Zuckerberg. Admittedly, the money is not slated to sit for long. Indeed, their most recent donation includes a $600 million commitment to fund a new research center at the University of California, San Francisco, which will be run in collaboration with UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Because as we all know, all of the major medical research takes place within 40 miles of San Francisco.
They have already named their “independent research center.” Like something out of an episode of Star Trek or Dr. Who, it will be called “Biohub.” How very fitting for a millennial technology nerd.
Biohub, no doubt, will also be controlled by Chan and Zuckerberg. But never fear: They have surrounded themselves with the best. That includes Biohub’s designated leader, Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist whose claim to fame is her research on the behavior of a tiny worm named C. elegans. That’s a relief. You know, just in case we decide to turn our attention—excuse me, I mean just in case Zuckerberg decides to turn our attention—from human diseases to worm diseases. In that case, we’re all set. Thank goodness for Biohub.
Wisecracks aside, all of this should concern you. It certainly concerns me.
He who controls the researchers and their laboratories controls the future of medicine. He also controls the people—all of the people, all of the time. Just ask any Holocaust survivor, if you can find one still alive. Though it is politically incorrect to say so, we are literally allowing folks like Obama and Zuckerberg to do exactly what Adolf Hitler did a few years before ascending to power and forcing brutal Nazi rule on its unsuspecting and apathetic—not to mention defenseless—people. Sound familiar?
There, I said it. No doubt, Zuckerberg would delete this post and ban me from the Internet were he able. Thankfully for me, the good folks at Red Nation Rising actually believe in telling the truth. But I digress.
Big Promises, Big Caveats
And what about Zuckerberg’s and Chan’s stated desire to “cure all diseases?”
It seems that promise, too, comes with a caveat. And it’s a doozy.
Zuckerberg and Chan are amazingly transparent about their agenda—which does not, in fact, seem related to curing any specific diseases, much less all of them within a lifetime (theirs, of course). Recently, they stated that their goal is “not to focus narrowly on specific ailments, such as bone cancer or Parkinson’s disease” (funny choice of disease given the current situation with Hillary Clinton), but rather to “do basic research.” As an example, they outlined a plan to create “a cell atlas that maps out all the different types of cells in the body, which could help researchers create various types of drugs.” They also espoused a goal of approaching medical and scientific research from the standpoint of employing “world-class technology.”
Right. If only we had thought about these breakthrough ideas of yours. Thanks, Zuckerberg.
Hmmm . . .
Where do I begin?
First, we already know the different types of cells in the body, and we already use that information in developing, producing, testing, and administering drugs of all types. You would think that Zuckerberg—wunderkind of social media without to my knowledge one iota of formal scientific or medical education or experience—had also, in his spare time, discovered the human cell in his parents’ garage.
Second, with all due respect to Zuckerberg’s technology experience, I am told that we already employ “world-class technology” in the medical and scientific research institutions that currently exist and that would have benefited greatly from a portion of Zuckerberg’s largesse. As a practicing emergency physician who has trained and worked at some of the country’s best healthcare institutions, I know for a fact that to the extent that it exists, we already employ “world-class technology” on the treatment side of the equation.
Third, call me paranoid and ungrateful; but Zuckerberg’s plan sounds an awful lot like that of a guy looking to develop tools upon which the pharmaceutical industry will over time become dependent, then hold them over a barrel—perhaps suspend or ban them from the “Chan Zuckerberg Cell Mapping System”—if they develop drugs that Zuckerberg himself does not like. Or if they charge too much for their drugs, making Obamacare even less affordable than it already is. (Consider what Congress just did to the CEO of Mylan, the company that makes the EpiPen.) Or if they actually try to develop medications for sick folks who are suffering and dying today rather than spending all of their time developing futuristic tools that will make Zuckerberg even richer and more powerful than he currently is.
In other words, my fear is that Zuckerberg—having inserted himself and his money into a system upon which we all depend for our health if not our life—will do to the pharmaceutical and other health care-related systems exactly what he has done in the social media arena: censor, control, and punish those who do things with which he personally disagrees. And profit—greatly—from his efforts and our suffering.
Think I’m being unfair? Consider this: Upon announcing his new initiative, Zuckerberg argued: “We spend 50 times more on health care treating people who are sick than we spend on science research.” If that doesn’t make you feel better, all of you who are out there sick and in need of care today, well, I don’t know what will. At least we can say that we were warned.
In singing his young protégé’s praises, Zuckerberg mentor and Microsoft founder and fellow multibillionaire and liberal progressive philanthropist Bill Gates gushed that through their initiative, Zuckerberg and Chan will lead the way to cure disease, and thereby to “lift millions out of poverty.”
Hmmm . . . Read the wrong way, that could sound a whole lot like redistribution. And redistribution, as it turns out, is a major goal of Obamacare.
It’s all beginning to make sense.
Zuckerberg: Kardashian or Obama?
I wish that this were a story of the conceit, self-involvement, and self-importance of the millennial super rich. I wish that I were comparing the conceit of Mark Zuckerberg to that of, say, Kim Kardashian. Or her mother Kris. Or her step-father-turned-step-mother Caitlyn (formerly Bruce Jenner).
Unfortunately, I am not. The two are quite different in an extremely important way.
While Zuckerberg and the Kardashians may have started out with the same optimism, perhaps even some of the same goals, Zuckerberg’s story is much darker and more sinister. While it may not have started out that way, it is that way now.
I am reminded of the British Lord Acton’s famous observation, made over a century ago, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Mark Zuckerberg is as clear an example of that as my former law school classmate—and Zuckerberg’s good friend—Barack Obama.
I am also reminded of the observation of the black conservative economist Thomas Sowell that what makes Obama dangerous is the fact that Obama really thinks that he can change the world. According to Sowell, that blind self-delusion makes Obama far more dangerous than a mere crooked politician.
The same may be said of Mark Zuckerberg. Again, the danger of Mark Zuckerberg, as with Obama, is that he actually believes his transformative garbage.
Personally, I fear that there is an endgame for Zuckerberg—and it has nothing to do with curing disease. Rather than giving away his fortune, he is leveraging it. The two are very different.
Whereas the Kardashians are all about the Kardashians and their ongoing quest for publicity and wealth, they are harmless, even laughable. Indeed, they have become the poster children for American self-absorption, self-promotion, and excess. They happily perform in the voyeuristic circus that is reality television, and we reward them with our tweets. And our likes. And our time. And our attention. And, of course, our money.
At least the Kardashians are honest about what they do. They prostitute their lives for public consumption. In return, we make them rich and allow them to live lives of excess despite the fact that since the 2003 death of the family patriarch, attorney Robert Kardashian, not one of them has done anything besides reality television and all that comes with it, including modeling and personal endorsements. Self-promotion, for the Kardashians, is a full-time gig. It also pays extremely well.
Zuckerberg is another matter altogether. You see, Zuckerberg is after something quite different. Zuckerberg, as Obama whom he so admires, is after control. Having effectively gained control over the social media conversation, Zuckerberg now seeks to control the American healthcare development and delivery systems. Or at least to police where—and upon whom—their resources are spent. As does Obama, Zuckerberg no doubt hopes thereby to control you and me.
And who is going to criticize him for whatever he does as one of the post-Obamacare powers that be in health care? He’ll just delete your post. Or ban you from his cell research thingamajig high-tech platform. You will be left with nowhere to turn. So will your doctor. Like me.
Remember what Saul Alinsky said: “Control healthcare and you control the people.”
For his part, Zuckerberg has much more in common with Obama than the Kardashians. Now that Zuckerberg—like Obama before him—has trained his well-heeled eye on your health care, you should find that very concerning, indeed.
A Final Request
Mr. Zuckerberg, while you mull over this latest step in your quest for power through money, and in all of your 32-year-old wisdom, please do us all a favor: As you are having press conference after press conference to pat yourself on the back for your charity, please do not condescend to indicate that what we in medical science lacked for all these years, in the eternal quest for better human health, was the right social media and technological and financial support. Please do not tell us that what we lacked was you. Because that would be a lie. As you will one day learn when illness or injury strikes you or someone you love, all the money in your oversized wallet cannot buy victory over the human condition.
Disease is part and parcel of that human condition. Can we combat it? Certainly! Should we strive to do so? Of course! May we expect to make astounding progress in the future? I certainly hope so—though the chances of our doing so are significantly reduced given the onerous restrictions, punishments, control, and rationing of Obamacare. That will certainly be the case if Zuckerberg is in charge.
Perhaps the most surprising thing of all is that Chan, who again is a pediatrician, has gone along with Zuckerberg’s folly. Although I do not personally know Chan, judging from their apparently blissful union, I would guess that Chan is above all else a liberal progressive ideologue just like her husband. She is also no great fan of the Hippocratic Oath; for she and her husband are most certainly on the dark path of doing harm. To so many.
Will Mark Zuckerberg lead the way in the quest to better human health? Not likely—unless there is a lot more money where that $3 billion came from and unless Zuckerberg in all of his wisdom is able, in the meantime, to deliver us from the human condition. Perhaps he should go back to his parents’ garage and get to work on that.
In the meantime, I won’t hold my breath. A rich millennial—even one who controls the conversation—can only do so much.
A Final Warning
Welcome to the real, all-grown-up Mark Zuckerberg.
Welcome to what he represents: the four-way marriage of Obamacare, Wall Street, EU globalism, and social media (and therefore the media). Theirs is the most dangerous of liaisons joining in unholy matrimony a federal government-administered healthcare system, the biggest and most ideological of Wall Street fat cats, unelected European globalists who care nothing of America or us except inasmuch as we can serve as their slaves and indentured breadwinners, and the media that controls the conversation about what they are doing to us and why.
The fact that Zuckerberg is a baby-faced boy in faded tee shirts and jeans who loves his wife and kid doesn’t change that fact.
Oh, and one more thing: You’re going to hate what they together do to you. And me. Because to Mark Zuckerberg, it never really was about us. We should have learned that by now.
Those are my thoughts. Please let me know yours.