Georgetown University Pro-Family Group Gets Back Money Wrongly Given to LGBT Organizations

A pro-family student organization at Georgetown University has received its donations back after an investigation of faculty and others who the group accused of misappropriating funds contributed to it.

The group, Love Saxa, said that Georgetown officials had taken private donations intended for it and deposited them into other student organizations’ accounts.

The organizations who received those funds hold views contrary to the Love Saxa mission. The money was reportedly deposited into LGBT-affiliated student groups’ accounts.

During the fall 2017 semester, some students at Georgetown were angered by Love Saxa’s pro-family messaging and called on the university to withdraw recognition of the group as an affiliate of the school.

After a thorough vetting of the club and its leaders by the university, Love Saxa remains an officially recognized student organization on campus.

Love Saxa’s views on marriage and family align with official Catholic teachings, and Georgetown has long been recognized as one of the most prestigious Catholic and Jesuit universities in the United States.

Proponents of the club agree that a student organization on a Catholic campus should be able to support Christian views on marriage without being threatened with having its organizational recognition revoked.

The group’s unusual name stems from Georgetown’s college chant “Hoya Saxa,” which translates as “what rocks.” Love Saxa means “love rocks.”

In a letter addressed to Georgetown’s president, John J. DeGioia, Love Saxa and its legal advocate, the Alliance Defending Freedom, called on the university to investigate the funding misappropriation matter, restore the donations, and hold the individuals responsible accountable.

There were three specific incidences of misappropriations of funds cited in the letter, written by Tyson Langhofer, director of the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Academic Freedom. The Alliance Defending Freedom is a nonprofit focused on advocating, training, and funding on the issues of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

One example, from November 2017, cited an individual who sent a check for $50 to Love Saxa. The president of the student organization, Amelia Irvine, deposited the check with Georgetown officials. Yet, Love Saxa never received the funds.

To the contrary, the donor received a receipt from Georgetown showing that the donation had been credited to the LGBTQ Resource Center reserve.

The other two examples of misappropriations of funds showed the money being appropriated to similar LGBTQ resources and organizations.

“In light of the sustained mistreatment of Love Saxa throughout this academic year, now is the time for transparency and accountability,” Langhofer wrote. “While we desire to resolve this matter amicably, Georgetown needs to demonstrate its commitment to integrity through its actions.”

Asked about the matter, a Georgetown university spokesperson sent the following statement to the Daily Signal:

All gifts to Love Saxa have been identified and deposited to Love Saxa’s account. When the university receives a gift designated by a donor for a student group with access to benefits, the gifts are allocated with a designated worktag that ensures they reach the intended recipient.

Because a fall 2017 gift was the first donation of its kind to Love Saxa, no established path existed.

As always in these cases, we corrected the mistakes, have developed a path to ensure that funds are routed properly in the future, and have communicated to the student group and the donors that the gifts have been properly allocated.

COMMENTARY BY

Chrissy Clark

Chrissy Clark is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Prayer Shirts Get under the Collar of Secularists

Most Americans have probably never heard of Beloit, Ohio. But this month, they’re starting to hear from them. It may a small town (less than 1,000 people at most), but it’s mighty. And in the face of the bullies at the Freedom from Religious Foundation (FFRF), that’s all that matters.

As usual, the anti-Christian activists are always on the prowl for rural areas, where they think locals can be easily intimidated on issues of faith. But the atheists at FFRF made a mistake when it picked on Beloit. As usual, the Wisconsin group is terrified of the prayers of a few believers, so it fired off a letter to the superintendent of West Branch ordering the school to stop praying before sporting events — or else. School officials were upset at the thought of ending a tradition that had gone on for years, but they agreed, admitting they couldn’t afford a lawsuit.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. The community has started rallying to the side of the students, who are fighting back by selling more than 4,000 “Prayer Matters” shirts (in a town of 900 people)! “They don’t know us, have never attended a West Branch sporting event, or even stepped foot in our community,” one mom said. “Yet they believe they can tell us to stop [praying]. That just doesn’t seem right.

At Friday’s home basketball game, fans everywhere could be seen wearing the message that atheists so desperately wants to silence. “Everybody’s really coming together in support of the prayer issue,” local pastor John Ryser told Fox News’s Caleb Parke. “[Now], we’re having more conversations about prayer and about the gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ, than we’ve ever had before.” As for the prayers, students took over, asking fans to have a moment of silence after the National Anthem.

What activists meant for evil, God meant for good. As we speak, our friends at First Liberty Institute are on the ground, investigating. If there’s a way to restore the religious freedom of these students, their attorneys will find it. For now, we’re cheering on the hundreds of families across that small, northeast town who know that no earthly power can stop God’s people — not from taking a stand and certainly not from praying!


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

The Ties That Blind: More Hypocrisy on White House Access

EEOC Clutch in Car Parts Dispute

The Ties That Blind: More Hypocrisy on White House Access

Stop the presses. Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has just uncovered the scandal of the century: A conservative administration is consulting with conservative experts! Apparently, this is news to the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, who is outraged that a president would dare to take advice from ideologically-compatible groups. (No one is quite sure where Cummings was from 2009-2016, when Barack Obama should have put half of the Left’s interest groups on the official government payroll.)

Still, Cummings is so sure that voters will be shocked that he’s filed an official complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for soliciting input on a legal document from a conservative legal group: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Insisting that a “whistleblower” inside HHS has exposed some shameful collaboration, he fired off a letter to HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan warning that he may investigate. In particular, he’s worried about ADF’s advice on President’s Trump’s latest guidance that makes it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood. As is sometimes the practice of government agencies, they sought outside counsel from a likeminded individuals and group. There’s nothing immoral, controversial or unusual about it.

Even so, Cummings, whose previous president spent eight years doing the bidding of George Soros and other far-Left lobbyists, is raising a stink about ADF’s involvement, saying it points to a sinister plot of conservatives to infiltrate the government. “The documents provided by the whistleblower raise serious concerns about whether the Trump administration is now taking orders from an extreme right-wing interest group that is trying to deny American citizens the ability to exercise their right to obtain family planning services from the provider of their choice, which is guaranteed by federal statute.”

If it weren’t so astounded, ADF might have been amused. After all, they fired back, it’s “common practice for constitutional attorneys to be consulted regarding constitutional matters.” What should be common practice, the group went on, “is refusing to award Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars to scandal-ridden Medicaid providers. HHS’s recent guidance brings the agency back into conformity with decades of federal court precedent and empowers state legislatures to allocate Medicaid funding to women’s health providers not entangled in alleged fraud and abuse.” If you’re looking for the real outrage, that’s it.

The conservative movement’s influence on a conservative administration isn’t a smoking gun – or even a Nerf one. America just emerged from eight years of liberals trading influence from the highest posts in government. Perhaps Cummings has forgotten the suspicious ties of the Obama administration that at best tested the law (and at worst broke it). Over his two terms, investigations uncovered plenty of evidence of wrongdoing from the underground networks between the White House and radical groups. There was the IRS official who leaked confidential donor information to the Human Rights Campaign to smear conservatives. (Disclosing those names, incidentally, was a felony.) Or the shady ties from Google to the Obama State Department, where Hillary Clinton’s emails “show that Jared Cohen, head of Google Jigsaw, has been acting as a secret agent for the state department, turning the world’s most powerful tech company into a private arm of the U.S. intelligence services.”

What about George Soros’s potentially criminal ties to USAID money, where it helped fund aggressive State Department tactics in places like Hungary or Macdeonia? Then there’s the question of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and its obvious collusion with the Obama Department of Justice and FBI to drive conservative organizations underground – until enough people complained about the partnership. Or the SPLC’s influence at the Defense Department, where trainings were tailor-made for the group’s “extremist hate list” until DOD was exposed and forced to sever ties?

Planned Parenthood’s power in the Obama administration was obvious from the president’s top-level hires (in – irony alert — HHS) to Cecile Richards’s regular meetings and fundraisers with the First Family. LGBT activists were so embedded in the Obama administration that their sex-ed and “anti-bullying” campaigns became part of the official White House education curriculum, despite evidence that both were doing more harm to kids than good. Where was Cummings’s indignation then?

The story here is that there is no story. This isn’t about impropriety on the part of ADF or HHS. It’s about liberals like Cummings identifying the groups that help shape the conservative agenda — and trying to silence them. The merits of Trump’s policy on Planned Parenthood and state sovereignty were obvious long before ADF’s involvement. Local legislators should have the authority to carry out the will of voters in their states – especially when it comes to taxpayer dollars. There are plenty of organizations who can provide safer and more comprehensive health care than a group currently under FBI investigation. Surely, Americans can find a better recipient of their hard-earned money than Planned Parenthood, a group more concerned with destroying innocent lives than caring for them. At the very least, they should have the freedom to try.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

Prayer Shirts Get under the Collar of Secularists

EEOC Clutch in Car Parts Dispute

The Death of Europe

There is nothing Geller Report readers have not long known. But what is new is that these warnings are coming from new and and usually silent (on this issue) organs.

THE DEATH OF EUROPE?

By The Catholic Reporter, February 12, 2018:

In 1973, Jean Raspail, a well-traveled and cultured Frenchman, published Le Camp des saints (The Camp of the Saints), a dystopian novel envisioning a Muslim armada invading a culturally incapacitated Europe. Fifty years later, Europe is being invaded by an armada not of warships, but of rickety wooden and plastic boats, operated by human traffickers, bringing tens of thousands of immigrants from the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa. These victims of war and profound economic hardship are creating social chaos throughout Europe. Social, educational, employment and housing services have become overextended, vicious crimes including rape are on the rise, and incidents of terrorism have increased.

This mass immigration has been encouraged by political elites in every Western nation in the name of human rights. Critics of immigration, even the mildest, find themselves being attacked in the press, by the established political class and by activists as racists and xenophobes. As a consequence, honest debate about immigration has become politically toxic.

More is at stake than the breakdown of social services, law and order, or employment or educational opportunities for these immigrants. The most serious question is whether these immigrants, coming from vastly different societies, are able to integrate into Western culture.

Any answer to this question rests ultimately on the more profound question, “What is Western culture?” Tragically, core Western values based on Judeo-Christian principles, the rule of law, equality of opportunity, rational discourse, religious liberty and scientific progress have been replaced by a culture of guilt in which the West is defined as racist, imperialist and oppressive. This culture of guilt is most pronounced in Germany, still grappling with its history of Nazism and genocide.

Germans are not alone in this culture of guilt, however. In England, students are taught about the ill consequences of empire and imperialism; in France, young children are reminded of the evils of French colonialism; and in Australia, young and old alike are inundated with exhibits, textbooks and politicians who denounce the destruction of aboriginal culture by white settlers. In the United States, the study of history has become the study of black slavery, racial segregation, occupation of indigenous lands, and imperialism in the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War.

As a result, for all the talk by European and American political leaders of the need for social, economic and cultural assimilation of newly arriving immigrants from societies not sharing Western values, the political class throughout Europe, Australia and the United States derides the very culture that they are saying immigrants should assimilate into. The obvious question is: If Western culture is so bad, why expect immigrants to accept it?

Douglas Murray cogently argues in The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (2017) that Europe is in crisis and dying.

Europe in a State of Terror

The American public has a sense of the crisis in Europe through reports of Islamic jihadist terrorist acts in Belgium, France, Italy, Holland and England. Just in the summer of 2016, attacks throughout Europe were so numerous they were difficult to track. In mid-July 2016, Mahomed Lahuaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian man, drove a rented truck into a crowd in Nice, killing 86 people. The following Monday, Mohammed Riyad, a 17-year-old asylum seeker, attacked with an ax and a knife, fellow passengers on a train in Bavaria. The next day Mohamed Boufarkouch stabbed a French mother and her three daughters because of her “immodest” dress. Just a few days later, a young Iranian immigrant in Munich killed nine people in a shooting spree that began at a McDonald’s restaurant.

The bloodshed was not over, though. The day after the Munich attack, a Syrian asylum seeker exploded a bomb outside a wine bar in Ansbach, Bavaria. If terrorist attacks can be weighed beyond just numbers killed, one of the most horrible attacks occurred when shortly after the Munich attack, two 19-year-old killers—Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean—entered a church in Rouen, France during Mass and took nuns and congregation members hostage while they slit a priest’s throat. Smiling, they watched the priest bleed to death, chanting slogans that ended with “Go Away Satan.”

These attacks in a single month in July 2016 might have indicated to political leaders that multicultural assimilation was not working. Instead, while leaders condemned these atrocities and suggested that Western values were under attack, politicians emphasized that more needed to be done to provide jobs and educational opportunities to young immigrants. Following the Munich train attack, German Green Party official Renate Künast questioned why the police on the train had killed the attacker instead of shooting to injure him. As politicians have dithered since July 2016, heinous terrorist attacks have occurred in Berlin, Paris, London, Stockholm, Manchester and Barcelona, including several relying on vehicles to mow down pedestrians.

One of the problems faced by the political class was that many of the terrorists were raised in Europe. In a secularized Europe, how could anyone kill in the name of God? Take the response by some after the 2015 attack on the editorial offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left the editor and 11 others dead at the hands of two gunmen who claimed to be “avenging Allah.” The magazine had dared to print cartoons of the Prophet.

The brutal slaying of journalists rightfully shocked the French public. After all, freedom of the press and artistic freedom are central to Western democracy. Still, there were those in the press and the French government who suggested that the editors—secularists and atheists—should have been more circumspect in their insults to a religious minority in France, even though the magazine’s prior satirical depictions of the Pope had drawn little criticism. The critics implied that the editors of Charlie Hebdo shared some of the blame for what happened to them.

Making Excuses for Fanatical Killers

New Nation, an English publication, made exactly this point. The editors asserted the right of the free press, but quickly noted that the French government itself had warned the editors about insulting Muslims by publishing “crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.” New Nation quoted the Foreign Minister of France in 2012 as asking, “Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on fire?” The editors urged the public to step forward “bravely to assert that religious hatred is not journalism and the publication of the weekly is harming France’s image.” Otherwise, the editorial admonished, pay the consequences: “Fanatical journalists must be ready to face the fanatics,” they warned. The editors declared themselves for tolerance, then concluded, “But the journalists who have joined this noble profession must also think that everybody cannot be expected to be all tolerance. We firmly believe journalism is not for those who bear and spread hatred especially against rival religions. So let us not talk about free expression. Absolute such freedom will simply invite absolute violence.”

Christians in Western Europe and the United States understood the point about responsible journalism and artistic expression, but suggesting that the editors of Charlie Hebdo somehow got what they deserved is a step too far. The problem that confronted the political class and pundits trying to explain away terrorism was that innocent people were being killed just because they were Westerners. It did not help the multicultural cause that some of these terrorist attacks were perpetrated by nationals and not recent asylum seekers.

Home-Grown Hatred

Following 2017 attacks at the Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station, it turned out that three of the attackers were Belgian nationals. Some blamed the attacks on bad housing in the Molenbeek district of Brussels where these nationals had resided. Others suggested that the attacks were the result of a history of Belgian colonialism. Yves Goldstein, chief of staff of the minister-president in Belgium’s capital city, insisted that it was wrong to blame the attacks on Islam, but blamed people like himself for failing to prevent the rising radicalism among Muslim youth. Goldstein noted that friends of his who taught in the predominantly Muslim areas of Molenbeek and Schaerbeek told him that “90 percent of their students” described the terrorists as “heroes.”

Belgian Security Minister Jan Jambon reinforced this perception of Muslim support of terrorists when he reported that “a significant section of the Muslim community danced when the attacks took place.” When he came under attack by members of the parliament for his report, he replied that he had information from several Belgian security sources.

Other surveys showed that many European Muslims viewed the concept of a free press differently than might be expected by multiculturalists. Following the first publication of Mohammed cartoons in 2006, later republished in France, a British poll showed that 79 percent of British Muslims believed that the publishers of the cartoons should be prosecuted. Another 68 percent felt that anyone who insulted Islam in any way should be prosecuted. Almost 20 percent in this same poll said they respected Osama bin Laden. In 2015, following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, 27 percent of British Muslims expressed sympathy for the “motives of the attackers.” Nearly a fourth said they believed violence against people who publish images of Mohammed can be justified.

Migrants and Crime

Europe faces more than a problem of terrorism. The flood of immigrants has increased crime rates, including rapes. Government officials have tried to downplay these problems by not releasing crime reports and keeping them from the press, especially on incidents of rape. Throughout the 2000s it was an open secret that gangs of immigrant youth, specifically those from the Middle East, were attacking women and young boys. These attacks occurred in refugee camps and on the streets of European cities. Even before the floodgates were opened in Germany by Chancellor Angela Merkel, sexual assaults had become a problem.

In 2014, reports of rape by immigrants in Germany began to seep out. Victims included a 20-year-old woman in Munich who was raped by a 30-year-old Somali asylum seeker; a 55-year-old woman in Dresden raped by a 30-year-old Moroccan; a 17-year-old girl in Straubing raped by a 23-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker; a 21-year-old German woman near Stuttgart raped by two Afghanistan asylum seekers; and a 25-year-old woman in Stralsund raped by a 28-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker.

These attacks coincided with rising sexual assaults in refugee centers which were unable to provide separate accommodations for women. Women’s activist groups complained about the increase in rapes and sexual assaults, to little avail. Reports of forced prostitution in the camps also emerged. In many cases rapes and sexual assaults were covered up.

Local police deliberately covered up a rape of a 13-year-old Muslim girl in Detmold. Only an investigative report by a regional paper disclosed the case. The investigation revealed that local police had routinely covered up assaults involving immigrants. It turned out that there were countless other assaults reported in major cities across the country.

The attacks became so prevalent that Bavarian authorities began warning parents to tell their daughters to be careful in how they dress, avoiding revealing tops or blouses, short skirts or tight shorts because they might lead to misunderstandings with newly arrived immigrants. In one Bavarian town, Mering, police discouraged parents from allowing their children to go outside alone. Local women were told not to go to the train station unaccompanied.

The events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015, however, could not be suppressed for long. Gangs of immigrant men up to 2,000 in number assaulted and robbed approximately 1,200 women in the main square outside the central railway station and cathedral in Cologne. Hushed up at first by authorities, the assault spree turned out not to be an isolated event.

Other German cities, from northern cities such as Hamburg to Stuttgart in the south, experienced attacks on women. In Hamburg, police received complaints from 351 women, including 218 reports of sexual assault, on New Year’s Eve in 2015. The authorities only admitted the extent of the attacks when videos and photographic evidence from these scenes appeared on social media. German authorities, much like their counterparts in the United Kingdom and other Western European countries, did not want to identify the ethnic or national origin of the assailants.

The Response to Migrant Sex Assaults

In response to public outrage over these assaults, government authorities launched programs to educate immigrant males about how to treat women. In Norway, volunteer classes were offered to immigrants on how to treat women. The German government announced in 2016 that it was offering asylum seekers language classes and employment classes, along with trying to teach mostly Muslim immigrants, as the Washington Post put it, “the joy of sex.” The German Federal Center for Health Education created a web- site on sex education targeted at newly arrived immigrants, specifically Syrians, Iraqis and other Muslim young men, to instruct males about Western sexual norms. The sex education website, costing $136,000, provided highly graphic diagrams and images outlining everything from first-time sex to how to perform more advanced sex acts.

Meanwhile, German cities picked up the public campaign for sex education. Munich officials placed cartoons at public pools warning immigrants not to grope women in bikinis. In other Bavarian cities, classes were funded instructing immigrants on how to correctly approach German women. These efforts, however, drew protests from social justice activists who accused the programs of stereotyping immigrants and Muslims.

In 2017, German authorities announced that they were setting up “safe zones” for women to protect them from sexual assaults during the New Year’s Eve celebration. The Berlin New Year’s Eve event spokeswoman in a German national broadcast assured the public that “There will be three or four [German Red Cross] helpers who are specially trained and can look after women who feel harassed or threatened.”

While sex education efforts were being launched, albeit with criticism, to address the problem of sexual assaults, Germany and other Western European countries were experiencing rising crime rates caused by newly arrived immigrants. In Germany, the crime rates proved shocking. A German government report, picked up by the press, showed that in 2014 and 2015, 90 percent of the ten-point increase in violent crime came from refugees.

The Reality of Multiculturalism

In short, German authorities—much like the political class in other Western European nations—decided that the best way to address rising crime rates and sexual assaults was to instruct migrants about the true meaning of multiculturalism and to tell Western women to be more sensitive in how they dress, while establishing specific “rape free” zones at certain times of the year. No consideration was given to stopping the flow of immigrants or making cities entirely “rape free” zones year-round.

The ideology of multiculturalism steadily erodes the foundations of traditional European culture, already weakened by politicians, activists, pundits and academics who decry the history of the West as one of racism, xenophobia, colonialism and imperialism. Average Europeans confronted with the reality of terrorism, rising crime rates and sexual assaults are not buying into the multicultural project. They are saying, “Enough is enough.”

Grudgingly, German politicians are starting to listen. The new coalition government recently reached a tentative agreement to cap the number of refugees at 220,000 per year and strictly limit the number of family members allowed to join refugees in Germany. The negotiations were probably spurred by the shocking December 27, 2017 stabbing murder of a 15-year-old German girl allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, a teenage Afghan migrant, in a drugstore in the sleepy southwestern German town of Kandel.

Americans should not delude themselves that Europe’s disastrous experience with large-scale migration can’t happen in the U.S. Mass immigration from violent, primitive countries is taking its toll on crime victims in the U.S. as well, and as in Europe the political class is extremely reluctant to acknowledge and fix the problem. It will take determined leaders and voters to stem the tide.

RELATED ARTICLE: Refugees cost taxpayers billions to remain in U.S.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

Frederick Douglass Remains Relevant Today, Says Author

It’s been more than 120 years since his death, but abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass is still relevant to this day, experts say.

“One reason Douglass is relevant today is because he teaches us what classical liberalism has to offer to racial minorities,” said Timothy Sandefur, author of “Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man.”

The title is a reference to Douglass’ most popular lecture “Self-Made Men.” In it, Douglass wrote, “Self-made men … are the men who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any of the favoring conditions by which other men usually rise in the world and achieve great results.”

Sandefur made his remarks at a panel discussion Thursday at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

Douglass was a classical liberal, or what some would refer to as “libertarian,” in today’s terms, Sandefur said. He was an advocate for individualism, the right to bear arms, and economic freedom. The black abolitionist embraced the Constitution like few others and argued that it was an anti-slavery document.

According to Sandefur, Douglass believed that black Americans would succeed through their own efforts and once said, “If you will only untie their hands, I think they will live.”

Fox News contributor Juan Williams said black Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas both overcame great odds to achieve success and that their lives fit the story that Douglass was trying to tell.

Douglass’ legacy of abolition and his fight against human trafficking prompted Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., to name a human-trafficking prevention bill after the historic figure.

The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 aims to combat human trafficking, including forced labor and illegal commercial sex trafficking.

COMMENTARY BY

Kyle Perisic

Kyle Perisec is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Trump Budget Proposal Projects Deficit Spending for Next Decade

President Donald Trump is proposing a 10-year spending plan that never produces a balanced budget, and increases deficit spending by $7.2 trillion over the next decade.

The White House unveiled the $4.4 trillion fiscal year 2019 budget plan on Monday.

“The first message [is] you don’t have to spend it all, but if you do, this is how you spend it,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Monday.

“The second message is: We are not condemned to trillion deficits forever. There is a way out of this.”

Trump’s first budget proposal balanced the budget over 10 years. The current Trump proposal doesn’t come near to doing so.

The White House budget director noted that last year he said the longer Congress waits to make spending reforms proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2018 proposal, the more difficult it will be to balance the budget.

“We didn’t make hardly any of the reforms. We sent up $54 billion worth of savings to the Hill last year, [and] they took about $5 billion worth of it,” Mulvaney said.

“They didn’t make any of the large structural changes we proposed. I probably could have made it balanced, but you all would have rightly excoriated us for using funny numbers, because it would have taken funny numbers to do it. These are real numbers.”

The proposal does attempt to bend the trajectory to lower deficits over 10 years by $3 trillion, according to the White House.

The White House calls the proposal “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget.”

Presidential budget proposals are rarely passed by Congress. Last week, Congress approved a two-year deal to hike spending caps by $300 billion over two years, upsetting many fiscal conservatives, as it also increases spending by $153 billion more than the previous two budget deals combined.

“It’s certainly alarming to us that the budget is not balanced at any point,” Justin Bogie, senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “The budget may not matter as a policy matter, but it demonstrates the direction the White House is striving for.”

Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute at The Heritage Foundation, called the budget a “mixed bag.”

“The president’s budget makes progress by investing in the military, eliminating numerous ineffective agencies and programs, and beginning the process of welfare and entitlement reform. However, the budget fails to balance, ever, and does not sufficiently move the country away from its currently unsustainable fiscal path,” she said.

The budget proposal fully funds the national defense strategy with $716 billion. This includes a 2.6 percent pay hike for troops.

Trump’s signature campaign issue, immigration and border security, gets a boost in the proposal at a time when Congress has started to debate how to address illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.

Mulvaney said he anticipates having a deal on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and the wall.

The budget proposal asks Congress for $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement. Of that, $18 billion goes for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Also, $782 million would go to to hire 2,750 additional officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Another $2.7 billion would go to pay for an average daily detention capacity of 52,000 illegal immigrants.

Trump is asking for $17 billion to fight the opioid abuse epidemic.

The Trump administration wants Congress to dedicate $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for medical care.

Having already done away with the individual mandate, the chief financing mechanism of Obamacare, in the tax reform package that passed in late 2017, the Trump budget seeks to take another step on health care. The proposal includes the idea of $1.6 trillion in health care block grants to states, which was part of the bill sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The budget proposal also calls for numerous civil service reforms to ensure the federal government can “hire the best and fire the worst.” The proposal largely deals with reforming the hiring system, moving to a more merit-based pay system for federal workers, and making it easier to fire bad employees. Trump already signed a similar reform in place during his first year, but it only affected the Department of Veterans Affairs. This reform is aimed across government.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

New White House Budget Would Bail Out Obamacare

5 Takeaways From Trump’s New Budget Proposal

Trump Goes After Automatic Raises, ‘Worst’ Employees to ‘Drain the Swamp’

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaking during a news briefing Monday at the White House about President Donald Trump’s budget propsal for fiscal year 2019. (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom)

VIDEO: What Is Life Really Like in North Korea? One Woman’s Story

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee believed that her country was the best on the planet.

She believed that Americans were evil, South Koreans were starving to death and North Koreans were better off than everybody else. Every North Korean believes this.

She discusses this at length in her new novel, “The Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story,” and spoke with The Daily Signal about her experiences as well.

As Lee explains, propagandized since birth, the people of North Korea know nothing of what life is like outside their own borders. The brutal dictatorships of Kim Jong-un and his predecessors Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung have socially engineered a system void of any freedoms whatsoever, and have positioned themselves as the sole source of information in the country.

“Three generations of Kim regime leadership brutally repressed the people, to the point where the North Korean people don’t even realize that there is something beyond North Korea,” said Olivia Enos, research associate in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. “And it’s not getting better.”

There is a complete lack of freedom of thought and belief in the North Korea Lee grew up in: no freedom of the press, no freedom of movement and no freedom of speech. Nights are pitch-black due to power outages or lack of electricity, neighbors and friends are encouraged to spy on one another and becoming pregnant by a Chinese man is punishable by death.

Life gets infinitely worse for anyone who speaks out against the regime in any way. These perceived traitors can be tortured, thrown into secret prison camps called kwanliso or publicly executed. Their families are also punished.

“Guilt by association in North Korea means that if you commit a crime, not only will you be punished, but also three generations of your family will be punished. Your parents, your grandparents, your grandchildren,” explained Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director at Human Rights Watch.

Parallels With Nazi Germany

On February 7, 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea detailing the volume and horror of the human rights abuses of the Kim regime, finding the government guilty of crimes against humanity.

A satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula that shows the bright lights of South Korea and China compared to the blackness of North Korea at night. (Photo: Flickr)

A satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula that shows the bright lights of South Korea and China compared to the blackness of North Korea at night. (Photo: Flickr)

“Even if you are a North Korean that doesn’t find themselves in a prison camp situation and you’re living a normal North Korean life—to say that ordinary North Korean people are enduring unbelievable repression of freedom is accurate,” Enos said.

The crimes against humanity in North Korea include extermination; murder; enslavement; torture; imprisonment; rape; forced abortions and other sexual violence; persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds; the forcible transfer of populations; the enforced disappearance of persons; and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.

The U.N. inquiry further details nearly 400 pages of horror stories, ranging from government officials confiscating food from those in need to women in the kwanliso prison camps who were tragically forced to drown their own babies.

“The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” according to the report. In fact, the U.N. Human Rights Council goes so far as to point out “many parallels” between North Korea and Nazi Germany.

Unlike with Nazi Germany, though, the international community cannot claim ignorance as an excuse for not intervening to stop the human rights abuses.

“Now is the time for action. We can’t say we don’t know anymore. The suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action,” Michael Kirby, the chairman of the U.N. inquiry, pleaded in the report. “Our generation must tackle this issue urgently and collectively, and indeed the world will judge us by our response.”

It raises the question: How should the world respond?

The Global Response

One of the recommendations made by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry was to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court, where Kim Jong-un and his officials would be held accountable for committing crimes against humanity.

Here in the United States, Congress can take measures as well. In early February, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) introduced the bipartisan North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act. Unlike prior legislation, this bill has an important human rights focus that came about as a response to the U.N. inquiry.

This legislation would make it so that the U.S. directly sanctions North Korea—not just for its nuclear weapons proliferation, but also for the regime’s ongoing human rights abuses, according to Enos.

This would ensure that the sanctions impact not the suffering North Koreans, but rather the regime itself.

In terms of human rights, the legislation involves studying the possibility of bringing cellular and internet communications to the people of North Korea, the State Department investigating and shedding more light on the political prison camps, and the State Department identifying severe human rights abusers in North Korea.

It is past time to hold Pyongyang’s elites responsible for their actions,” Engel said in a press release. “This bipartisan legislation would strengthen U.S. sanctions and close loopholes used by the Kim regime to profit from illicit activities.”

Lee has some ideas of her own for policy changes that could benefit North Koreans.

As it stands now, Chinese policy is to forcibly repatriate any North Korean defectors they catch, releasing the refugees back into the hands of the aggressor nation. Upon returning, the defectors face harsh punishment in the kwanliso—torture, starvation, execution—as do their families. This is the biggest problem for defectors, Lee explained.

China is the only path to South Korea, where defectors are granted automatic citizenship due to their asylum status. Throughout their escape journey to South Korea, North Koreans fear for their safety in China, the possibility of being sent back to a wretched life always looming.

“Please don’t catch them,” Lee pleaded to the Chinese government while speaking at an event Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation.

“They don’t want to stay in China; they want to come to South Korea for asylum. I don’t ask for [China] to give ID cards or citizenship, it’s too much for them. At least stop trying to catch them,” she begged.

No matter how the world chooses to combat this humanitarian crisis, North Korean defectors and policy experts alike advocate for an urgent and effective response from the international community.

Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow on Northeast Asia in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, urged the world to stand up to the Kim regime in an issue brief last year, writing that there “should be widespread international outrage against the horrors systemically perpetuated on the North Korean people by their leaders.”

“Time is running out for the North Korean people, but too many have already perished as the world turned its back,” Klingner warned.

COMMENTARY BY

Chelsea Scism

Chelsea Scism is a reporting intern for The Daily Signal and member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: @chescismlsea.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Media Fawning Over North Korean Envoy Does No Favors for an Oppressed People

Washington Post, CNN, NPR, PBS all praise murderous North Korea and its slave state leaders

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Immigration Anarchists’ Lies Debunked: It’s as Easy as Child’s Play.

So much of what has come to pass for “common knowledge” is actually an example of how the principle of “The Big Lie” can alter the public’s understanding of critical issues. Immigration has proven to be particularly vulnerable to this tactic.

Under that principle, officials intentionally concoct falsehoods and repeat them at every possible opportunity to convince the masses that the lies are the truth.  This principle was adopted by Nazi Germany in order to con the German populace into accepting the unfathomable depravity of the Third Reich.

Because humans think with words, control of language ultimately results in control of thought.  This was the underlying principle of my recent article, Language Wars, The Road to Tyranny is Paved With Language Censorship.

Today the attention span of most Americans can be measured in minutes, if not seconds, further exacerbating the susceptibility of folks to fall victim to language manipulation tactics. The tactics employed by the open-borders/immigration anarchists to further their cause are so easy to disprove that even a child could see through their warped logic.

First off, consider the game of “Musical Chairs,” which most children are familiar with.  In this game, as music plays,’ kids circle a line of chairs that alternate in the way that the chairs are facing.  When the music stops each child scrambles to sit in one of the chairs.  What makes the game challenging is that there is one fewer chair than the number of kids playing.  Consequently, one child is unable to find a chair and is removed from the game along with one chair.  Once again there is one chair fewer than the number of participating children.  The music starts again and the kids circle the remaining chairs until the music stops.  Each time one chair and one child are removed until the contest comes down to two kids and one chair.  Whichever kid manages to sit is declared the winner of the game.

If you wonder what this has to do with immigration, imagine that during the game one of the adults supervising the game opens a door and allows many more children to flood into the room, however, the number of chairs is not increased.  This way the odds of the children already playing the game will succeed in grabbing a seat has just been decreased due to the number of new players introduced into the game.

It should be expected that the children will scream that what has just happened is unfair and of course they would be right.

Now let’s imagine that we are not talking about a childhood game and that the chairs are available jobs and the children are adult workers who are desperate to find a job.  The “doors” that have been flung open are America’s borders and those entering the room (labor pool) are many foreign workers, deleteriously impacting jobs and wages across a wide spectrum of industries and skill levels.

Incredibly, many Americans cannot figure out the parallel between these two situations.  The Democrats who refused to stand for the State of the Union Address when President Trump noted how unemployment levels for American blacks and Latinos were at the lowest point in years were clearly unhappy. Could it be that they have been depending on making Americans more dependent on the “crumbs” that they offer? I use the term “crumbs” because this was the very word used by Nancy Pelosi to describe the thousand-dollar bonuses a number of companies provided to their employees because of the Trump tax cuts.

Next let’s think back to the days of “Hide and Seek” where one child covers his/her eyes and counts to ten and then attempts to find another child who went hiding when the first child closed his eyes.

Today that game is being played by illegal aliens with great success because the number of ICE agents, and the number of INS agents that preceded the creation of ICE, has always been insignificant when compared with the huge number of illegal aliens who have entered the United States without inspection or violating the terms of their lawful admissions.

Sanctuary city policies make it ever more difficult for the overwhelmed ICE agents to track down and apprehend illegal aliens, even when those aliens are engaged in criminal or terror-related activities.

Of course, the mayors of sanctuary cities and governors of sanctuary states hypocritically draw parallels between their actions and the actions of leaders of the Civil Rights movement who put their lives on the line to right the wrongs of slavery, racism, segregation and discrimination.

Although this parallel is an enormous falsehood, it has been repeated in the news media and by a long list of immigration anarchists and consequently many have fallen for this outrageous analogy. Illegal aliens are certainly protected by due process when they are charged with a crime.  But due process is not the same as Civil Rights. The entire point to Civil Rights laws is to guarantee all Americans, particularly American blacks, equal opportunities to be successful in America and be full participants in American society. Elements of this include access to quality in education, job opportunities and housing.

Illegal aliens are not supposed to work, and knowingly providing shelter for illegal aliens can be construed as harboring and shielding, elements of a felony under federal law, Title 8 U.S. Code § 1324.

Where aliens and jobs are concerned, even many categories of nonimmigrant aliens (temporary visitors) including aliens who lawfully enter under the Visa Waiver Program or with tourist visas may not work in the United States and immediately become subject to removal (deportation) if they seek gainful employment.

Prior to WWII the Labor Department was in charge of immigration.  The greatest concern, back then, was to shield American workers from foreign competition.  This is how the middle class was nurtured and grew to become the envy of the world and came to be known as the “American Dream.”

Incredibly when President Trump, in his State of the Union Address proclaimed, “American are dreamers too” the members of the Democratic Party reacted with sheer hostility, not only towards the President, but hostility and contempt for Americans.

Awhile back I wrote an article about the veiled attack on the middle class.  In that article I reported on how on April 30, 2009, Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, testified at a hearing advocating the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation, conducted by Chuck Schumer, then Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee.

Greenspan was “all in” on legalizing illegal aliens, creating a guest worker program for aliens and for hugely increasing the number of H-1B visas as Bill Gates, whom he quoted, recommended.

As for the impact on American workers and American cities where illegal alien workers were concerned, Greenspan said:

Some evidence suggests that unskilled illegal immigrants (almost all from Latin America) marginally suppress wage levels of native-born Americans without a high school diploma, and impose significant costs on some state and local governments.

That “marginal suppression of wages” for America’s working poor is likely a significant cause of unemployment of Americans and a record levels of homelessness of Americans.

Greenspan’s advocacy for greatly increasing the number of H-1B foreign worker included this justification:

The second bonus would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.

Greenspan actually had the unmitigated chutzpah to refer to high-tech American workers as the “privileged elite” who are being shielded from foreign competition.  As an economist Greenspan understand “supply and demand” and seeks to greatly increase the supply of compliant and exploitable foreign workers in the labor pool to drive down everyone’s wages.

The Democrats frequently equate providing a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour or $15.00 per hour with “wage equality.”  This is clearly not about wage equality but about establishing a “standard wage” which would eradicate the middle class.

The “reforming” of our immigration laws for Greenspan and his globalist cohorts is an effort to actually re-form our immigration system to speed the destruction of the middle class.

Since that hearing Greenspan has persisted in his calls for re-forming the immigration system.

Hypocrisy is usually a clear indicator of a con job.  Schumer has called for creating a federal law with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for those who trespass on critical infrastructure or national landmarks.  Yet Schumer demands that aliens who trespass on America be granted United States citizenship.

A child could see through their lies.

RELATED ARTICLE: Refugees cost taxpayers billions to remain in U.S.

Michigan Wants to Investigate Church for… Ministering!

For years, we heard that the LGBT agenda wouldn’t affect you. Now, it’s not only affecting you — it’s affecting your church.

When the pastor of Metro City Church in Michigan reached out to help teenagers struggling with their sexuality, he never dreamed the workshop would be a story on the national news. After all, he was just doing what a spiritual leader should: ministering to the hurting. But no sooner had Pastor Jeremy Schossau launched the six-week program and the harassment began. Death threats started streaming into the church office — on Facebook, Twitter, and Metro City’s phone lines. Angry activists threatened to burn the church down or shoot members of the staff all because one congregation dared to offer healing, wholeness, and hope.

The series, called “Unashamed Identity Workshop,” was advertised as a girls-only outreach for kids 12-16 years old, who struggle with thoughts that they should identify as transgender, bisexual, or gay. “Through thoughtful, relevant, and biblical counsel, we will help your girl be unashamed of her true sexual identity given to her by God at birth.” Maybe, Pastor Jeremy says in this video response to the protests (which reached a mob of hundreds outside the church over the weekend), people don’t understand what the church is doing.

“A lot of people are calling this conversion therapy,” he says. “And if you think conversion therapy is grabbing somebody and forcing them into a pastor’s office and beating them with a Bible and condemning them and spitting on them and judging them, that is wrong. We oppose that in every single way. What we are about is conversation — not conversion. We are about conversation, not condemnation… [But] we find it incredibly odd that a community that has been so vocal about tolerance… about freedom, about choice… is seemingly very anti-choice when it comes to sexuality.”

But amazingly, nothing the church says seems to matter. State legislators are so incensed at the idea that people would willingly seek help that they’re calling for an investigation into the church! “It is wildly inappropriate to offer conversation therapy classes in our communities,” state Rep Adam Zemke (D) told local reporters, despite the fact that the church offers no such therapy! “I am proud,” Zemke went on, “to sponsor a bill to prohibit these practices in Michigan.” Until then, he’s calling on state Attorney General Bill Schuette to launch an official probe under the Consumer Protection Act.

This is astonishing call — even for the Left. For liberals to attack an event at a local church (instead of a therapist’s practice or counseling nonprofit) is a radical step into totalitarianism. What’s more, it shows the raw hostility they have for any sort of religious accommodation on social issues like sexuality. A church should be the freest and most logical place to engage in these conversations. Now, the Left is trying to change even that.

“Liberals have shown their contempt for religious liberty,” FRC’s Peter Sprigg pointed out, “suing and driving out of business a Jewish ministry that helped adults achieve the same goal. If they succeed in this attack on a local church, it’s only a matter of time before they try to outlaw even the verbal expression of the truth that a person’s sexual identity can change. Even people with no personal interest in sexual orientation or gender identity counseling should be alarmed at these growing attacks on religious liberty and free speech.”

FRC’s Travis Weber agreed, warning every church that it’s only a matter of time until the Left comes for them. “This should be a wakeup call for any Christian across our country who holds to historic biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality. Those who think they can stay out of the fray and avoid conflict by publicly staying silent on this issue are mistaken. Maybe not today, but at some point, you will have to take a stand for what you believe.”


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

‘Impeach!’ Preserves Dems’ Midterm Goals

Dear America: Your News Media Absolutely Hates You

Why the 2020 Census Needs a Citizenship Question

The request set off a firestorm of protest from Democratic lawmakers, liberal activists and left-leaning journalists despite the fact that before the Obama administration removed citizenship: in 2010 it was part of the main Census. They are concerned that asking about citizenship would discourage illegal aliens from participating in the 2020 Census, leading to undercounts in states like California and New York, which have large numbers of illegal residents. This would reduce the number of electoral votes and congressional districts in such states.

By Jay O’ Callaghan

In an action which set off a major uproar from the left, the Justice Department has requested that a single simple citizenship question be added to the full 2020 Census so they can better enforce voting-rights laws and increase confidence in election results.

“In order to assess and enforce compliance with Section 2’s protection against discrimination in voting, the Department needs to be able to obtain citizen voting-age population data,” Arthur E. Gary, general counsel at the justice management division of the Justice Department, wrote in a December 12th. letter to Census Bureau Acting Director Ron Jarmin.

Citizenship has long been a part of the census since the 1850s. The Obama administration removed it for the 2010 Census along with most other questions and shifted it to the smaller, in-depth rolling survey known as the American Community Survey (ACS) when it eliminated the old long form. The ACS is filled out by only one in every 38 households every year, compared to the long form which surveyed one in six households every 10 years.

Devin M. O’Malley, a Justice Department spokesman, points out the Census Bureau reports that such data isn’t precise enough to use in redistricting, and it’s important to have the citizenship question on the main Census form that will cover all Americans.

The Census Bureau states that it asks the citizenship question in general because: “we ask about place of birth, citizenship, and year of entry to provide statistics about citizens and the foreign-born population. These statistics are essential for agencies and policy makers setting and evaluating immigration policies and laws, understanding how different immigrant groups are assimilated, and monitoring against discrimination. These statistics are also used to tailor services to accommodate cultural differences.”

In a recent Supreme Court case (Evenwel v. Abbott 2016) the legality of districting based on the count of citizens or eligible voters is unsettled after the Supreme Court declined to address it. In the Evenwel case, the plaintiffs sought to require Texas to draw its Senate districts based on citizenship rather than the present method of total population.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, four former census directors, who served under administrations of both parties, supported Texas because “the geographic areas at which such estimates are available carry large error margins because of the small sample sizes.” They concluded the ACS is “an inappropriate source of data to support a constitutional rule requiring states to create districts with equal numbers of voting age citizens.”

Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, is among the researchers who supports the request. He believes that “basically more information is always better from a researcher’s point of view…and when you look at things like apportioning and redistricting, which rely on Census data, those things are always a concern.”

The request set off a firestorm of protest from Democratic lawmakers, liberal activists and left-leaning journalists despite the fact that before the Obama administration removed citizenship: in 2010 it was part of the main Census. They are concerned that asking about citizenship would discourage illegal aliens from participating in the 2020 Census, leading to undercounts in states like California and New York, which have large numbers of illegal residents. This would reduce the number of electoral votes and congressional districts in such states.

Arguments against including the citizenship question “are weakened because citizenship was asked on Census forms throughout much of American history” according to Tony Quinn, the editor of the authoritative guide to California districts, the California Target Book.

He points out that “early in our history the Census began asking whether the individual being enumerated was born in the United States. After the Civil War, with the huge boom in European migration, the Census asked whether the person was a citizen eligible to vote. Beginning in 1880, the Census asked the place of birth not only of the enumerated person but of the parents as well.”

Quinn adds that “with the 1890 census the question was asked: are you a naturalized citizen or not. The year of immigration of a foreign-born person as well as the year of naturalization (if naturalized) was asked in the 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 and 1950 censuses, in other words for the first half of the 20th Century.”

He also supports adding the citizenship question because: “the census asked about citizenship during the great migrations of the 19th and 20th Centuries because the government had a legitimate reason to want to know where people came from. We now have a large immigrant population, some of whom are legal and some of whom are not. Certainly, it is legitimate to want to determine who this population is.”

Questions in the 2020 Census must be decided by April, two years before the Census is conducted, and any Census questions must have the approval of Congress. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other Census officials should endorse the Justice Department request and encourage lawmakers to add it to the 2020 Census.


ABOUT JAY O’CALLAGHAN

Jay O’Callaghan has worked extensively with issues involving the U.S. Census Bureau including serving as a professional staff member for the House Government Reform Census Subcommittee, as a senior legislative analyst for the Florida House of Representatives Redistricting Committee and for two U.S. House members. He is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis, of the Conservative-Online-Journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

RELATE ARTICLES:

Is Moscow ‘Deep State’ HQ?

The Emerging Arab Vote in Congressional Districts

Will Trump Save the 2020 Census?

Trump Lets You Vote on Controversial 2020 Census C…

Were Muslim Voters Behind Sanders’ Surprising Upse…

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of California Democrats who have the most to gain by counting illegal immigrants in the 2020 Census: Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Jerry Brown, and Senator Diane Feinstein.

Are Our Roads and Bridges Actually Crumbling? It Depends on Where You Live!

During his State of the Union Address President Trump said:

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit. [Emphasis added]

According to data from Transportation.gov the “crumbling infrastructure” that President Trump referred to depends on where you live. The states in which over 70% of roads are in “poor/mediocre condition are Colorado (70%), Oklahoma (70%), Wisconsin (71%), Illinois (73%) and Connecticut (73%). The top two states with the highest percentage of “structurally deficient/functionally obsolete bridges are Massachusetts (52.5%) and Hawaii (43.9%). See the chart below for a state by state breakdown of the status of bridges and roads and the cost to repair them.

Why is infrastructure important?

In a Motor Trend magazine article titled “Tapping the Brakes: Autonomous-car Society is Still Decades Away” Mark Rechtin reports:

Pull out any issue of Popular Science from the past 50 years, and you’ll likely find a story predicting that we would be living in a world of self-driving cars any decade now. (You can add in recent long-form pieces by other national media that push that Jetsons-tinged future even harder.)

[ … ]

But the truth is we are still a long way from a fully self-driving society, for several very key reasons that have nothing to do with our ability to create the technology. Here is the cocktail party checklist of the interrelated barriers we face:

Infrastructure: Autonomous vehicles need roadways that are well-marked and in good shape. There are 4.12 million miles of road in America, according to the Federal Highway Administration, of which 2.68 million miles are paved. How bad are our roads? According to the FHA, 42.1 percent of Connecticut’s federal-aid highway miles are in “poor or mediocre condition.” Traffic-choked California is close behind, with 35.1 percent in terrible shape.

Read more.

Rechtin concludes, “The ability to create autonomous vehicles is not at issue. At issue is how to incorporate 21st century technology into a world that is still mired in the 20th. And that will take time.”

Why are our roads mired in the 20th century?

According to Transportation.gov:

The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on July 31. Without action from Congress, federal funding for transportation will come to a screeching halt — and with it, so will traffic in many places. Over the last six years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation for the long term. And our transportation system — our roads and bridges, especially — is in a dire state of disrepair because of it. The attached fact sheet shows us this.

Experts agree:  The only way to prepare our transportation system for the next generation is to stop this cycle of short-term measures and pass a long-term transportation bill. [Emphasis added]

So there you have it. Taxes are paid to Congress every-time you fill your tank but Congress can’t get its act together and pass a single year transportation bill let alone a long-term bill.

It’s the Congress stupid!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Trump Releases Infrastructure Plan Focused on Deregulation and New Funding

Our Roads and Bridges Are Not Actually Crumbling

Hawaii Highways Rank 47th in Cost-Effectiveness

Road and Bridge Data by State
State Structurally Deficient / Functionally Obsolete Bridges* Annual Total Extra Vehicle Repairs / Operating Costs Due to Driving on Roads in Need of Fixing** Percentage of Roads in Poor / Mediocre Condition**
ALABAMA 3,608 of the 16,078 (22.4%) $530 million ($141 per motorist) 25%
ALASKA 290 of the 1,196 (24.2%) $181 million ($359 per motorist) 49%
ARIZONA 954 of the 7,862 (12.1%) $887 million ($205 per motorist) 52%
ARKANSAS 2,894 of the 12,748 (22.7%) $634 million ($308 per motorist) 39%
CALIFORNIA 6,953 of the 24,955 (27.9%) $13.892 billion ($586 per motorist) 68%
COLORADO 1,438 of the 8,612 (16.7%) $1.034 billion ($287 per motorist) 70%
CONNECTICUT 1,472 of the 4,218 (34.9%) $847 million ($294 per motorist) 73%
DELAWARE 177 of the 864 (20.5%) $168 million ($257 per motorist. 36%
FLORIDA 2,044 of the 12,070 (16.9%) $1.792 billion ($128 per motorist) 26%
GEORGIA 2,600 of the 14,769 (17.6%) $374 million ($60 per motorist) 19%
HAWAII 494 of the 1,125 (43.9%) $456 million ($515 per motorist) 49%
IDAHO 859 of the 4,232 (20.3%) $316 million ($305 per motorist) 45%
ILLINOIS 4,246 of the 26,621 (15.9%) $2.4 billion ($292 per motorist) 73%
INDIANA 4,168 of the 18,953 (22%) $1.249 billion ($225 per motorist) 17%
IOWA 6,271 of the 24,398 (25.7%) $756 million ($381 per motorist) 46%
KANSAS 4,465 of the 25,171 (17.7%) $646 million ($319 per motorist) 62%
KENTUCKY 4,436 of the 14,116 (31.4%) $543 million ($185 per motorist) 34%
LOUISIANA 3,790 of the 13,050 (29%) $1.2 billion ($408 per motorist) 62%
MAINE 791 of the 2,402 (32.9%) $246 million ($245 per motorist) 53%
MARYLAND 1,418 of the 5,291 (26.8%) $1.598 billion ($422 per motorist) 55%
MASSACHUSETTS 2,694 of the 5,136 (52.5%) $1.461 billion ($313 per motorist) 42%
MICHIGAN 3,018 of the 11,022 (27.4%) $2.534 billion ($357 per motorist) 38%
MINNESOTA 1,513 of the 13,137 (11.5%) $797 million ($250 per motorist) 52%
MISSISSIPPI 3,636 of the 17,044 (21.3%) $811 million ($419 per motorist) 51%
MISSOURI 6,633 of the 24,350 (27.2%) $1.6 billion ($380 per motorist) 31%
MONTANA 882 of the 5,126 (17.2%) $136 million ($184 per motorist) 52%
NEBRASKA 3,765 of the 15,370 (24.5%) $380 million ($282 per motorist) 59%
NEVADA 253 of the 1,853 (13.7%) $391 million ($233 per motorist) 20%
NEW HAMPSHIRE 790 of the 2,438 (32.4%) $267 million ($259 per motorist) 54%
NEW JERSEY 2,334 of the 6,566 (35.5%) $3.476 billion ($601 per motorist) 66%
NEW MEXICO 654 of the 3,935 (16.6%) $397 million ($291 per motorist) 44%
NEW YORK 6,775 of the 17,442 (38.8%) $4.551 billion ($403 per motorist) 60%
NORTH CAROLINA 5,534 of the 18,168 (30.5%) $1.555 billion ($241 per motorist) 45%
NORTH DAKOTA 966 of the 4,439 (21.8%) $112 million ($237 per motorist) 44%
OHIO 6,647 of the 27,015 (24.6%) $1.685 billion ($212 per motorist) 42%
OKLAHOMA 5,828 of the 22,912 (25.4%) $978 million ($425 per motorist) 70%
OREGON 1,754 of the 7,656 (22.9%) $495 million ($173 per motorist) 65%
PENNSYLVANIA 9,561 of the 22,660 (42.2%) $2.947 billion ($341 per motorist) 57%
RHODE ISLAND 433 of the 766 (56.5%) $350 million ($467 per motorist) 70%
SOUTH CAROLINA 1,920 of the 9,275 (20.7%) $811 million ($255 per motorist) 40%
SOUTH DAKOTA 1,459 of the 5,875 (24.8%) $194 million ($324 per motorist) 61%
TENNESSEE 3,802 of the 20,058 (19%) $809 million ($182 per motorist) 38%
TEXAS 9,998 of the 52,561 (19%) $5.27 billion ($343 per motorist) 38%
UTAH 437 of the 2,974 (14.7%) $332 million ($197 per motorist) 25%
VERMONT 903 of the 2,731 (33.1%) $230 million ($424 per motorist) 45%
VIRGINIA 3,588 of the 13,765 (26.1%) $1.344 billion ($254 per motorist) 47%
WASHINGTON 2,066 of the 7,902 (26.1%) $1.349 billion ($272 per motorist) 67%
WEST VIRGINIA 2,514 of the 7,125 (35.3%) $372 million ($273 per motorist) 47%
WISCONSIN 1,970 of the 14,088 (14%) $1.147 billion ($281 per motorist) 71%
WYOMING 723 of the 3,099 (23.3%) $96 million ($236 per motorist) 47%

*According to 2013 data from the Federal Highway Administration
**According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a highway at dusk is courtesy of The Daily Signal. Photo: MarioGuti/Getty Images.

Watchdog Seeks Details on 2 FBI Officials Who Reviled Trump in Texts

A legal watchdog is pressing the Justice Department in court for documents that could allow Americans to decide for themselves whether politically motivated FBI officials compromised the bureau’s investigations of Hillary Clinton’s email habits and Russian election meddling.

Judicial Watch, a conservative but nonpartisan foundation based in Washington, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Jan. 24 against the Justice Department, seeking electronic text messages between two FBI officials in which they expressed hostility toward Donald Trump and enthusiasm for Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The next day, Fox News reported that the department’s inspector general had used “forensic tools” to recover hundreds of text messages between the FBI officials that had gone missing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who heads the Justice Department, has said that Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, and Peter Strzok, then chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section while investigating the Clinton email scandal, exchanged more than 50,000 text messages when they reportedly were having an extramarital affair.

Judicial Watch filed suit after the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, declined to respond to its Dec. 4, 2017, request under the Freedom of Information Act asking for all records of communications, including emails, text messages, and instant chats, between Strzok and Page from Feb. 1, 2015, to the present.

Judicial Watch also seeks all of Strzok’s and Page’s travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers, and expense reports over the same three-year period.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has released copies of Page-Strzok text messages that the Justice Department turned over in response to requests from both Johnson and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Johnson’s committee received a “first tranche” of the Page-Strzok text messages Dec. 12 and a “second tranche” Jan. 19, staff members explain in a just-published report, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI Investigation of It.”

The report points out that the second batch came with a notice that text messages between the two FBI officials “sent and received between Dec.14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, had not been preserved due to technical problems.” Now that Inspector General Michael Horowitz has recovered the missing text messages, however, Johnson’s committee is “working to obtain those message as soon as possible.”

The dates of the Page-Strzok text messages originate Aug. 21, 2015, just weeks after Trump announced his candidacy for president, and run through June 25, 2017, six months into Trump’s presidency, according to the records Johnson’s committee has published online.

Judicial Watch is working to obtain its own copies of released text messages, as well as the unreleased, previously “missing” ones.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, has expressed skepticism that the texts actually were missing.

“The IRS told us that [IRS official] Lois Lerner’s emails were ‘missing,’ and we forced them to admit they existed and deliver them to us, Fitton said in a press release, adding:

The State Department hid the Clinton emails, but our FOIA lawsuits famously blew open that cover-up. We fully intend to get the ‘missing’ Strzok and Page documents. And it is shameful the FBI and DOJ have been playing shell games with these smoking gun text messages. Frankly, FBI Director [Christopher] Wray needs to stop the stonewalling.

Judicial Watch filed a separate lawsuit Feb. 2 against the Justice Department, asking for FBI documents related to the warrant application the FBI submitted Oct. 21, 2016, to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Obama administration officials successfully sought to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page as part of the investigation of allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials. (Little more than two weeks later, Trump defeated Clinton in the election.)

Judicial Watch filed this second suit suit after the Justice Department rejected a Freedom of Information Act request made July 19, 2017.

The legal watchdog had asked for copies of “all proposed and all final signed FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] applications submitted to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, and any known Trump associates regardless of context.”

The texts between Strzok and Page first came to light as the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General conducted an internal review of the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business as secretary of state from 2009 through 2012.

This five months of missing messages, between Dec. 4, 2016, and May 17, 2017, cover the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, and nearly four full months of his presidency.

During this period, Trump fired national security adviser Michael Flynn and, in early May, FBI Director James Comey. His Justice Department also appointed Robert Mueller, himself a former FBI director, as special counsel to investigate allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 election campaign and that Trump campaign associates colluded with Russian officials in such meddling.

As chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section, Strzok was in charge of the agency’s investigation of Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server, which resulted in Comey’s announcement July 5, 2016, that she would not be charged.

Strzok then became deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence section before joining Mueller’s team probing the allegations of Russian election interference and collusion with the Trump campaign.

Mueller removed Strzok from the team last July after learning of the text messages.

Page, the FBI lawyer, also served on Mueller’s investigative team, but she had returned to other duties by the time the inspector general probe uncovered her text messages with Strzok.

Because Strzok and Page were “key investigators in the Clinton email and Trump Russia collusion investigations,” Judicial Watch argues, their text messages containing “pro-Clinton” and “anti-Trump” statements are of public interest.

The watchdog notes that Strzok reportedly oversaw the FBI’s interviews of Flynn; changed Comey’s language describing Clinton’s email practices from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless;” and played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton about those practices.

Also, it says, Strzok “is suspected of being responsible” for the Obama Justice Department’s use of unverified information about Trump’s Russian connections “to obtain a FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s campaign.”

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Devin Nunes wants ‘ridiculous’ Democratic memo released – The Washington Times

Target Trump Campaign: Obama’s Domestic Spying Abuses

4 Keys to Understanding the Investigation of a Loan Helping Bernie Sanders’ Wife

We Hear You: The State of the Union, the FBI, the Nunes Memo, and Faith at the Super Bowl

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of President Donald Trump and FBI Director Christopher Wray sharing a stage during a graduation ceremony Dec. 15 at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sat in the seat between the two men. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Newscom)

Transgender Ideology Is Riddled With Contradictions. Here Are the Big Ones.

People say that we live in a postmodern age that has rejected metaphysics. That’s not quite true.

We live in a postmodern age that promotes an alternative metaphysics. As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” at the heart of the transgender moment are radical ideas about the human person—in particular, that people are what they claim to be, regardless of contrary evidence. A transgender boy is a boy, not merely a girl who identifies as a boy.

It’s understandable why activists make these claims. An argument about transgender identities will be much more persuasive if it concerns who someone is, not merely how someone identifies. And so the rhetoric of the transgender moment drips with ontological assertions: People are the gender they prefer to be. That’s the claim.

Transgender activists don’t admit that this is a metaphysical claim. They don’t want to have the debate on the level of philosophy, so they dress it up as a scientific and medical claim. And they’ve co-opted many professional associations for their cause.

Thus the American Psychological Association, in a pamphlet titled “Answers to Your Questions about Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression,” tells us, “Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.”

Notice the politicized language: A person’s sex is “assigned at birth.” Back in 2005, even the Human Rights Campaign referred instead to “birth sex” and “physical sex.”

The phrase “sex assigned at birth” is now favored because it makes room for “gender identity” as the real basis of a person’s sex.

In an expert declaration to a federal district court in North Carolina concerning H.B. 2, Dr. Deanna Adkins stated, “From a medical perspective, the appropriate determinant of sex is gender identity.” Adkins is a professor at Duke University School of Medicine and the director of the Duke Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care (which opened in 2015).

Adkins argues that gender identity is not only the preferred basis for determining sex, but “the only medically supported determinant of sex.” Every other method is bad science, she claims: “It is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for purposes of classifying someone as male or female.”

This is a remarkable claim, not least because the argument recently was that gender is only a social construct, while sex is a biological reality. Now, activists claim that gender identity is destiny, while biological sex is the social construct.

Adkins doesn’t say if she would apply this rule to all mammalian species. But why should sex be determined differently in humans than in other mammals? And if medical science holds that gender identity determines sex in humans, what does this mean for the use of medicinal agents that have different effects on males and females? Does the proper dosage of medicine depend on the patient’s sex or gender identity?

But what exactly is this “gender identity” that is supposed to be the true medical determinant of sex? Adkins defines it as “a person’s inner sense of belonging to a particular gender, such as male or female.”

Note that little phrase “such as,” implying that the options are not necessarily limited to male or female. Other activists are more forthcoming in admitting that gender identity need not be restricted to the binary choice of male or female, but can include both or neither. The American Psychological Association, for example, defines “gender identity” as “a person’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else.”

Adkins asserts that being transgender is not a mental disorder, but simply “a normal developmental variation.” And she claims, further, that medical and mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of gender dysphoria are in agreement with this view.

Transgender Catechism

These notions about sex and gender are now being taught to young children. Activists have created child-friendly graphics for this purpose, such as the “Genderbread Person.” The Genderbread Person teaches that when it comes to sexuality and gender, people have five different characteristics, each of them falling along a spectrum.

There’s “gender identity,” which is “how you, in your head, define your gender, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender.” The graphic lists “4 (of infinite)” possibilities for gender identity: “woman-ness,” “man-ness,” “two-spirit,” or “genderqueer.”

The second characteristic is “gender expression,” which is “the way you present gender, through your actions, dress, and demeanor.” In addition to “feminine” or “masculine,” the options are “butch,” “femme,” “androgynous,” or “gender neutral.”

Third is “biological sex,” defined as “the physical sex characteristics you’re born with and develop, including genitalia, body shape, voice pitch, body hair, hormones, chromosomes, etc.”

The final two characteristics concern sexual orientation: “sexually attracted to” and “romantically attracted to.” The options include “Women/Females/Femininity” and “Men/Males/Masculinity.” Which seems rather binary.

The Genderbread Person tries to localize these five characteristics on the body: gender identity in the brain, sexual and romantic attraction in the heart, biological sex in the pelvis, and gender expression everywhere.

The Genderbread Person espouses the latest iteration of transgender ideology. (Photo: Sam Killerman/It’s Prounounced Metrosexual)

The Genderbread Person presented here is version 3.3, incorporating adjustments made in response to criticism of earlier versions. But even this one violates current dogma. Some activists have complained that the Genderbread Person looks overly male.

A more serious fault in the eyes of many activists is the use of the term “biological sex.” Time magazine drew criticism for the same transgression in 2014 after publishing a profile of Laverne Cox, the “first out trans person” to be featured on the cover.

At least the folks at Time got credit for trying to be “good allies, explaining what many see as a complicated issue,” wrote Mey Rude in an article titled “It’s Time for People to Stop Using the Social Construct of ‘Biological Sex’ to Defend Their Transmisogyny.” (It’s hard to keep up with the transgender moment.)

But Time was judged guilty of using “a simplistic and outdated understanding of biology to perpetuate some very dangerous ideas about trans women,” and failing to acknowledge that biological sex “isn’t something we’re actually born with, it’s something that doctors or our parents assign us at birth.”

Today, transgender “allies” in good standing don’t use the Genderbread Person in their classrooms, but opt for the “Gender Unicorn,” which was created by Trans Student Educational Resources. It has a body shape that doesn’t appear either male or female, and instead of a “biological sex” it has a “sex assigned at birth.”

Those are the significant changes to the Genderbread Person, and they were made so that the new graphic would “more accurately portray the distinction between gender, sex assigned at birth, and sexuality.”

According to Trans Student Education Resources, “Biological sex is an ambiguous word that has no scale and no meaning besides that it is related to some sex characteristics. It is also harmful to trans people. Instead, we prefer ‘sex assigned at birth’ which provides a more accurate description of what biological sex may be trying to communicate.”

The Gender Unicorn is the graphic that children are likely to encounter in school. These are the dogmas they are likely to be catechized to profess.

The Gender Unicorn is used to avoid using a male or female body as default. (Photo: Landyn Pan and Anna Moore/Trans Student Educational Resources)

While activists claim that the possibilities for gender identity are rather expansive—man, woman, both, neither—they also insist that gender identity is innate, or established at a very young age, and thereafter immutable.

Dr. George Brown, a professor of psychiatry and a three-time board member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, stated in his declaration to the federal court in North Carolina that gender identity “is usually established early in life, by the age of 2 to 3 years old.”

Addressing the same court, Adkins asserted that “evidence strongly suggests that gender identity is innate or fixed at a young age and that gender identity has a strong biological basis.” (At no point in her expert declaration did she cite any sources for any of her claims.)

Transgender Contradictions

If the claims presented in this essay strike you as confusing, you’re not alone. The thinking of transgender activists is inherently confused and filled with internal contradictions. Activists never acknowledge those contradictions. Instead, they opportunistically rely on whichever claim is useful at any given moment.

Here I’m talking about transgender activists. Most people who suffer from gender dysphoria are not activists, and many of them reject the activists’ claims. Many of them may be regarded as victims of the activists, as I show in my book.

Many of those who feel distress over their bodily sex know that they aren’t really the opposite sex, and do not wish to “transition.” They wish to receive help in coming to identify with and accept their bodily self. They don’t think their feelings of gender dysphoria define reality.

But transgender activists do. Regardless of whether they identify as “cisgender” or “transgender,” the activists promote a highly subjective and incoherent worldview.

On the one hand, they claim that the real self is something other than the physical body, in a new form of Gnostic dualism, yet at the same time they embrace a materialist philosophy in which only the material world exists. They say that gender is purely a social construct, while asserting that a person can be “trapped” in the wrong gender.

They say there are no meaningful differences between man and woman, yet they rely on rigid sex stereotypes to argue that “gender identity” is real, while human embodiment is not. They claim that truth is whatever a person says it is, yet they believe there’s a real self to be discovered inside that person.

They promote a radical expressive individualism in which people are free to do whatever they want and define the truth however they wish, yet they try ruthlessly to enforce acceptance of transgender ideology.

It’s hard to see how these contradictory positions can be combined. If you pull too hard on any one thread of transgender ideology, the whole tapestry comes unraveled. But here are some questions we can pose:

If gender is a social construct, how can gender identity be innate and immutable? How can one’s identity with respect to a social construct be determined by biology in the womb? How can one’s identity be unchangeable (immutable) with respect to an ever-changing social construct? And if gender identity is innate, how can it be “fluid”?

The challenge for activists is to offer a plausible definition of gender and gender identity that is independent of bodily sex.

Is there a gender binary or not? Somehow, it both does and does not exist, according to transgender activists. If the categories of “man” and “woman” are objective enough that people can identify as, and bemen and women, how can gender also be a spectrum, where people can identify as, and be, both, or neither, or somewhere in between?

What does it even mean to have an internal sense of gender? What does gender feel like? What meaning can we give to the concept of sex or gender—and thus what internal “sense” can we have of gender—apart from having a body of a particular sex?

Apart from having a male body, what does it “feel like” to be a man? Apart from having a female body, what does it “feel like” to be a woman? What does it feel like to be both a man and a woman, or to be neither?

The challenge for the transgender activist is to explain what these feelings are like, and how someone could know if he or she “feels like” the opposite sex, or neither, or both.

Even if trans activists could answer these questions about feelings, that still wouldn’t address the matter of reality. Why should feeling like a man—whatever that means—make someone a man? Why do our feelings determine reality on the question of sex, but on little else? Our feelings don’t determine our age or our height. And few people buy into Rachel Dolezal’s claim to identify as a black woman, since she is clearly not.

If those who identify as transgender are the sex with which they identify, why doesn’t that apply to other attributes or categories of being? What about people who identify as animals, or able-bodied people who identify as disabled? Do all of these self-professed identities determine reality? If not, why not?

And should these people receive medical treatment to transform their bodies to accord with their minds? Why accept transgender “reality,” but not trans-racial, trans-species, and trans-abled reality?

The challenge for activists is to explain why a person’s “real” sex is determined by an inner “gender identity,” but age and height and race and species are not determined by an inner sense of identity.

Of course, a transgender activist could reply that an “identity” is, by definition, just an inner sense of self. But if that’s the case, gender identity is merely a disclosure of how one feels. Saying that someone is transgender, then, says only that the person has feelings that he or she is the opposite sex.

Gender identity, so understood, has no bearing at all on the meaning of “sex” or anything else. But transgender activists claim that a person’s self-professed “gender identity” is that person’s “sex.”

The challenge for activists is to explain why the mere feeling of being male or female (or both or neither) makes someone male or female (or both or neither).

Gender identity can sound a lot like religious identity, which is determined by beliefs. But those beliefs don’t determine reality. Someone who identifies as a Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ. Someone who identifies as a Muslim believes that Muhammad is the final prophet. But Jesus either is or is not the Christ, and Muhammad either is or is not the final prophet, regardless of what anyone happens to believe.

So, too, a person either is or is not a man, regardless of what anyone—including that person—happens to believe. The challenge for transgender activists is to present an argument for why transgender beliefs determine reality.

Determining reality is the heart of the matter, and here too we find contradictions.

On the one hand, transgender activists want the authority of science as they make metaphysical claims, saying that science reveals gender identity to be innate and unchanging. On the other hand, they deny that biology is destiny, insisting that people are free to be who they want to be.

Which is it? Is our gender identity biologically determined and immutable, or self-created and changeable? If the former, how do we account for people whose gender identity changes over time? Do these people have the wrong sense of gender at some time or other?

And if gender identity is self-created, why must other people accept it as reality? If we should be free to choose our own gender reality, why can some people impose their idea of reality on others just because they identify as transgender?

The challenge for the transgender activist is to articulate some conception of truth as the basis for how we understand the common good and how society should be ordered.

As I document in depth in “When Harry Became Sally,” the claims of transgender activists are confusing because they are philosophically incoherent. Activists rely on contradictory claims as needed to advance their position, but their ideology keeps evolving, so that even allies and LGBT organizations can get left behind as “progress” marches on.

At the core of the ideology is the radical claim that feelings determine reality. From this idea come extreme demands for society to play along with subjective reality claims. Trans ideologues ignore contrary evidence and competing interests, they disparage alternative practices, and they aim to muffle skeptical voices and shut down any disagreement.

The movement has to keep patching and shoring up its beliefs, policing the faithful, coercing the heretics, and punishing apostates, because as soon as its furious efforts flag for a moment or someone successfully stands up to it, the whole charade is exposed. That’s what happens when your dogmas are so contrary to obvious, basic, everyday truths.

A transgender future is not the “right side of history,” yet activists have convinced the most powerful sectors of our society to acquiesce to their demands. While the claims they make are manifestly false, it will take real work to prevent the spread of these harmful ideas.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of protesters expressing opposition to North Carolina’s bathroom bill, H.B. 2. (Photo: AwakenedEye /Getty Images)

VIDEO: Germans Fight Back Against the Migrant Violence Toward Young Girls and Women!

Rebel Media’s Tommy Robinson reports:

The first in our three-part series in – where we document the resistance coming from ordinary Germans who are fed up with what’s been happening to their country.

We started out in Cottbus, where we heard about the fatal stabbing of a 15 year old girl called Mia in Kandel, by a ‘child’ migrant who was taken in and looked after ‘like a son’ by her parents.

We also heard about a young boy who was stabbed in the face when trying to protect his girlfriend from a Syrian migrant who was groping her as they walked through a local park.

Keep your eyes on Germany, 2018 is the year when German women will lead the way to speak out against the horrific crimes taking place across Europe thanks to undocumented, mass migration.

85 Years of Physician Assisted Death: From Nazi Germany’s T-4 Program to Washington, D.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity Act’

I came across an October 10, 1933 article titled “Nazi Plan to Kill Incurables to End Pain; German Religious Groups Oppose Move” published in The New York Times. The NYT reported:

The Ministry of Justice … explaining the Nazi aims regarding the German penal code, today announced its intentions to authorize physicians to end the sufferings of the incurable patient … in the interest of true humanity …”

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum describes the “Murder of the Handicapped” program in Nazi Germany known as T-4:

Wartime, Adolf Hitler suggested, “was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill.”Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a “master race.”The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as “useless” to society, a threat to Aryan genetic purity, and, ultimately, unworthy of life. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the “T-4,” or “euthanasia,” program.

[ … ]

Despite public protests in 1941, the Nazi leadership continued this program in secret throughout the war. About 200,000 handicapped people were murdered between 1940 and 1945.

The T-4 program became the model for the mass murder of Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and others in camps equipped with gas chambers that the Nazis would open in 1941 and 1942. The program also served as a training ground for SS members who manned these camps. [Emphasis added]

Where did the idea of Euthanasia come from?

According to Encyclopedia.com:

A few proposals to legalize euthanasia were made in the United States and Germany during the latter portion of the nineteenth century. However, it was not until after World War I that euthanasia advocacy began in earnest. In 1920, two highly respected German academics, Karl Binding, a law professor, and Alfred Hoche, a physician, wrote Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, which advocated euthanasia as a compassionate “healing treatment.” The authors argued that mercy killing should be permitted for three categories of patients upon request of competent patients or the families of the incompetent: the terminally ill or mortally wounded, people who were unconscious, and disabled people—particularly those with cognitive impairments. The book, which may have coined the term “right to die,” also promoted euthanasia of cognitively disabled people as a way of saving societal resources. [Emphasis added]

Fast forward to today.

There are two euthanasia programs that are legal in the United States of America.

The first was the January 22nd, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum noted that under the Nazi T-4 program, “Handicapped infants and small children were also killed by injection with a deadly dose of drugs or by starvation. The bodies of the victims were burned in large ovens called crematoria.” In the United States the unborn and born after a failed abortion are killed by doctors using similar procedures and their body parts sold to the highest bidder.

The second and more recent phenomenon is the passage of legalization legalizing physician assisted death or PAD in six states and the District of Columbia.

According to Euthanasia.ProCon.org there are six states and the District of Columbia, the seat of the federal government, that have legalized physician assisted death.

Six States with Legal Physician-Assisted Suicide
State Date Passed How Passed (Yes Vote) Residency Required? Minimum Age # of Months Until Expected Death # of Requests to Physician
1. California Sep. 11, 2015 ABX2-15 End of Life Option Act Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
2. Colorado Nov. 8, 2016 Proposition 106, End of Life Options Act (65%) Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
3. DC Oct. 5, 2016 B21-0038 Death with Dignity Act of 2016 (3-2) Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
4. Montana Dec. 31, 2009 Montana Supreme Court in Baxter v. Montana (5-4) Yes * * *
5. Oregon Nov. 8, 1994
Ballot Measure 16 (51%)
Yes
18
Six or less
Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
6. Vermont May 20, 2013 Act 39 (Bill S.77 “End of Life Choices”) Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
7. Washington Nov. 4, 2008
Initiative 1000 (58%)
Yes
18
Six or less
Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written

QUESTION: How is euthanasia different from Physician Assisted Death? ANSWER: It’s not.

In June, 2017 CNN stated as “fact“:

Physician-assisted suicide differs from euthanasia, which is defined as the act of assisting people with their death in order to end their suffering, but without the backing of a controlling legal authority.

Euthanasia is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

The act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (such as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.

What is being done today in six states and the District of Columbia is no different than what was done in Nazi Germany. These six states and the District of Columbia have done what Nazi Germany did, legalize the killing of the infirm (euthanasia). The only difference is the industrial scale of those euthanized.

ISideWith.com asked Democrats the question “Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?” The results showed that 88% of Democrats polled supported PAD. Google on April 20th, 2016 reported:

Paradoxically, none of the 2016 Republican Presidential frontrunners have taken an official position on the issue. While, the Democratic Platform is silent on euthanasia and assisted suicide, the front runners for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination are both pro-euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

It is also interesting that the District of Columbia and five of the six states that have legalized PAD were won by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential election.

Will we end up living in a society where life is so cheap that nobody cares that large numbers of human beings are dying? Are we already there?

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Nazi Plan to Kill the Disabled: What the U.S. Government Knew and When It Knew It

Woman Aborts Child To Help ‘Save’ the Planet