U.S. Department of Heath & Human Services: Moving Rights Along…

Conservatives don’t need to prove the existence of the war on faith anymore — HHS did it for them! After years of pooh-poohing the crackdown on Christians, the other side will have a much harder time now, thanks to the agency’s new division in the Office for Civil Rights.After eight years of weaponizing the government against men and women of faith, President Trump is demanding a unilateral disarmament — starting with one of the leading offenders, Health and Human Services. In January, it wasn’t just the start of a new year, but a new era in protecting religious liberty. The administration announced a bold new initiative, aimed at turning the government from an enemy of freedom to an ally. Starting in 2018, it would open an office dedicated to stopping the assault on conscience.

Two months into the idea, the job is turning out to be bigger than anyone envisioned. Now that Americans have a president they can trust and a place to confide, more victims are stepping out of the shadows to tell their stories. Complaints are pouring in to the agency about violations across a full spectrum of services: health care, medical care, adoption, child care, and more. Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is surprised but encouraged. At least the system is working.

“We have made a commitment to vigorously and fairly enforce laws protecting conscience and religion that had been given second-class treatment for too long,” he told CQ. “The surge in complaints shows that the American people are responding to our new openness.” It also shows something else: the problems are deeper than people thought. “Less than two months into 2018, OCR is already nearing the total combined conscience and religion complaints in all of 2017.” Last year, before a special division was established, OCR was on the receiving end of 464 conscience and religious-related complaints. Right now, that number has already hit 345! (And, one official points out, that doesn’t include any filed by mail.)

Obviously, the hostility toward religion is so deeply ingrained that it will take years to weed out the abusers and clean up the toxic environment that has stunted our First Freedom. And here’s the ironic part: until President Obama, the freedom to believe was never a controversial idea. It was such a consensus issue, in fact, that after the Supreme Court invented legalized abortion in 1973, Congress responded by passing a law to protect health care workers from the very discrimination they’re facing today. Even Senator Ted Kennedy defended the bill’s “full protection to the religious freedom of physicians and others.” Only two members objected.

Suddenly, under the Obama administration, that all changed. Instead of demanding compromise and coexistence, the other side exchanged its sham of tolerance for full-blown government forced coercion. Now, almost a decade later, the mess is titanic. Longtime grievances can finally be aired. Before Trump, most people who were affected by Obamacare, taxpayer-funded abortion, or gender identity knew that if they complained it would only make them bigger targets. What a refreshing change for them to know that the government that was once their oppressor can now be their defender.

Let’s hope the White House recognizes the good work of OCR and moves to replicate it in other places across the administration. Until then, this is another important reminder that elections have consequences. In this case, positive ones.


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


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Go Green With Gasoline If You’re Going to Consume That Sandwich

A new study shows that if you aren’t ready to go vegan to save the world, then you should quit riding your bike and take a car.

An article in the Journal of Insufferable Busybodies (official title: Sustainable Production and Consumption) calculates the carbon footprint for a variety of sandwiches. These carbon footprints include carbon dioxide emissions from things such as farming, transportation, and refrigeration.

In the article, researchers at the University of Manchester offer helpful tips on Earth-friendly sandwich making. Among them: avoid using lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and meat.

If you’re like me, though, every sandwich you’ve eaten since middle school includes at least two of those ingredients.

However, don’t despair, you still can alter your behavior to reduce your carbon footprint. In particular, make sure you don’t ride a bike when you could drive a car.

How’s that? Well, the people at Phys.org thought the sandwich-climate topic was important enough to get access to the full text of the original article.

They pass on this particularly interesting tidbit: A bacon, sausage, and egg sandwich (the whole Hampton Inn breakfast buffet in one tidy package) has a carbon footprint “equivalent to CO2 emissions from driving a car for 12 miles.”

Driving a car uses energy that comes from gasoline. Riding a bike uses energy that comes from the bicyclist’s food. Both sources of energy have carbon footprints.

We are told carbon dioxide emissions from the life-cycle process of producing a sandwich is equal to that of driving a car 12 miles. The question, then, is how far will the calories in that sandwich take you on a bike?

It isn’t clear that anybody in the U.S. has the courage to sell the cardiologist’s delight described above, which means the total caloric content of the sandwich doesn’t show up on the first page of a Google search. Fortunately, my calorie-counting app (no evidence of use since 2015, hmm … ) can do the job:

English muffin                  150 calories
2 slices of bacon                  87
2.5 ounces pork sausage  250
egg                                          72
Total                                  559 calories

According to this calculator, a 180-pound bicycle rider going 15 mph for 51 minutes will travel 11.9 miles, but expend 729 calories.  So, this bacon, sausage, and egg sandwich doesn’t have enough food energy to power the cyclist for the full 12 miles.

The bicyclist would need to eat 1.3 sandwiches to go 12 miles. That is, the carbon dioxide footprint of riding a sandwich-fueled bike would be 30 percent higher than driving a car.

Since it takes more energy to move bigger people, the imperative to drive instead of ride is even greater for those who shop in the Big & Tall section.

A 222-pound blogger, for instance, would burn 899 calories for the same time and distance, requiring 60 percent more sandwich and, therefore, 60 percent more carbon dioxide from riding a bike than driving a car.

Of course, smaller people need less energy to propel themselves on a bike. The break-even weight for the ride-or-drive decision is around 140 pounds. Going more slowly helps, too.

If carbon dioxide-induced climate change is the existential threat some claim, and if people are still going to eat sandwiches that might include sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, lettuce, meat, or cheese, perhaps we need a prohibition against bike riding. Just sayin’.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of David Kreutzer

David Kreutzer is the senior research fellow in labor markets and trade at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: More than 300 Climate skeptics ask Trump to withdraw from UN agency

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.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Ingram Publishing/Newscom.

Parents Just Lost Custody of Teenage Daughter Who Wants to ‘Transition’ to a Boy: What You Need to Know

Parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter Friday because a judge ruled that she should be allowed to receive therapy, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a boy.

Without commenting on the specifics of this case just outside Cincinnati, Americans can expect to see more cases like it as government officials side with transgender activists to promote a radical view of the human person and endorse entirely experimental medical procedures. At stake are not only parental rights, but the well-being of children who suffer from gender dysphoria.

Here’s what you need to know.

Transgender activists maintain that when a child identifies as the opposite sex in a manner that is “consistent, persistent, and insistent,” the appropriate response is to support that identification. This requires a four-part protocol, as I painstakingly detail in my new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment”:

First, a social transition: giving the child a new wardrobe, a new name, new pronouns, and generally treating the child as if he or she were the opposite sex.

Second, a child approaching puberty will be placed on puberty blockers to prevent the normal process of maturation and development. This means there will be no progression of the pubertal stage, and a regression of sex characteristics that have already developed. Puberty-blocking drugs are not FDA approved for gender dysphoria, but physicians use them off-label for this purpose.

Third, around age 16, comes the administration of cross-sex hormones: Boys will be given feminizing hormones such as estrogen, and girls will be given masculinizing hormones such as androgens (testosterone). The purpose is to mimic the process of puberty that would occur in the opposite sex.

For girls, testosterone treatment leads to “a low voice, facial and body hair growth, and a more masculine body shape,” along with enlargement of the clitoris and atrophying of the breast tissue. For boys, estrogen treatment results in development of breasts and a body shape with a female appearance. These patients will be prescribed cross-sex hormones throughout their lives.

Finally, at age 18, these individuals may undergo sex-reassignment surgery: amputation of primary and secondary sex characteristics and plastic surgery to create new sex characteristics.

To summarize these procedures (described in detail in my book “When Harry Became Sally”): Male-to-female surgery involves removing the testes and constructing “female-looking external genitals.” It may include breast enlargement if estrogen therapy has not produced satisfactory growth of breasts.

Female-to-male surgery often begins with mastectomy. The uterus and ovaries are often removed as well. Some patients will undergo phalloplasty, the surgical construction of a penis, but many do not because the results are variable in quality and functionality.

This four-stage course of treatment is the current standard of care promoted by transgender activists. But the ages for each phase to commence are getting lower. In July 2016, The Guardian reported that “a doctor in Wales is prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12 who say they want to change sex, arguing that if they are confident of their gender identity they should not have to wait until 16 to get the treatment.”

No laws in the United States prohibit the use of puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones for children, or regulate the age at which they may be administered.

Activists claim that the effects of blocking puberty with drugs are fully reversible. This turns things upside down, for virtually every part of the body undergoes significant development in sex-specific ways during puberty, and going through the process at age 18 can’t reverse 10 years of blocking it. The use of puberty-blocking drugs to treat children with gender dysphoria is entirely experimental, as there are no long-term studies on the consequences of interfering with biological development.

Activists claim that blocking puberty allows children “more time to explore their gender identity, without the distress of the developing secondary sex characteristics,” as the Dutch doctors who pioneered this treatment put it.

Another Perspective

This is an odd argument, write three American researchers, all physicians.

“It presumes that natural sex characteristics interfere with the ‘exploration’ of gender identity,” Drs. Paul Hruz, Lawrence Mayer, and Paul McHugh note, “when one would expect that the development of natural sex characteristics might contribute to the natural consolidation of one’s gender identity.”

The rush of sex hormones and the bodily development that happens during puberty may be the very things that help an adolescent come to identify with his or her biological sex. Puberty blockers interfere with this process.

Normally, 80 to 95 percent of children will naturally grow out of any gender-identity conflicted stage. But every one of the children placed on puberty blockers in the Dutch clinic persisted in a transgender identity, and they generally went on to begin cross-sex hormone treatment at around age 16.

Perhaps the Dutch doctors correctly identified the kids who naturally would persist in a transgender identity, but it’s more likely that the puberty blockers reinforced their cross-gender identification, making them more committed to taking further steps in sex reassignment.

Contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn’t “assigned” at birth—and that’s why it can’t be “reassigned.” As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” sex is a bodily reality that can be recognized well before birth with ultrasound imaging. The sex of an organism is defined and identified by its organization for sexual reproduction.

Modern science shows that this organization begins with our DNA and development in the womb, and that sex differences manifest themselves in many bodily systems and organs, all the way down to the molecular level.

Secondary differences between the two sexes—attributes that may be visibly altered by hormone treatment and surgery—are not what make us male or female. As a result, cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones don’t change the deeper biological reality. People who undergo sex-reassignment procedures do not become the opposite sex, they merely masculinize or feminize their outward appearance.

As the philosopher Robert P. George puts it, “Changing sexes is a metaphysical impossibility because it is a biological impossibility.”

What the Evidence Shows

Sadly, just as “sex reassignment” fails to reassign sex biologically, it also fails to bring wholeness psychologically. The medical evidence suggests that it does not adequately address the mental health problems suffered by those who identify as transgender.

Even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically, and even in cultures that are relatively “trans-friendly,” people still face poor psychological outcomes.

Notwithstanding the media hype over supposed differences in brain structure, no solid scientific evidence exists that transgender identities are innate or biologically determined, and some evidence shows that other factors are most likely involved. But in truth, very little is understood about the causes of discordant gender identities.

Starting a young child on a process of “social transitioning” followed by puberty-blocking drugs was virtually unthinkable not long ago, and the treatment is still experimental. Unfortunately, many activists have given up on caution, let alone skepticism, about drastic treatments.

A more cautious therapeutic approach begins by acknowledging that the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria will grow out of it naturally. An effective therapy looks into the reasons for the child’s mistaken beliefs about gender, and addresses the problems that the child believes will be solved if the body is altered.

As I document in “When Harry Became Sally,” mental health professionals liken gender dysphoria to other dysphorias, or serious discomfort with one’s body, such as anorexia, body dysmorphic disorder, and body integrity identity disorder. All of these involve false assumptions or feelings that solidify into mistaken beliefs about the self.

McHugh finds that other psychosocial issues usually lie beneath the false assumptions. Children with gender dysphoria may have  anxieties about “the prospects, expectations, and roles that they sense are attached to their given sex.”

Much like patients with anorexia nervosa, these children mistakenly believe that a drastic change of their bodies will solve or minimize their psychosocial problems. But adjusting the body through hormones and surgery doesn’t fix the real problem, any more than liposuction cures anorexia nervosa.

A Different Message

An effective treatment strategy would “strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it,” McHugh says. In the case of gender dysphoria, unfortunately, the mistaken belief is often encouraged by school counselors who, “rather like cult leaders, may encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

What these young people need, McHugh advises, is to be removed from this “suggestive environment” and be presented with a different message.

The proliferation of gender clinics in America and gender identity programs in the schools makes it less likely that children will get the help they need to work out their issues. Instead, these children find “gender counselors” who encourage them to maintain their false assumptions.

This is contrary to standard medical and psychological practice, as McHugh, Hruz, and Mayer emphasize. Normally, a child is not encouraged to persist in a belief that is discordant with reality. A traditional form of treatment for gender dysphoria would “work with and not against the facts of science and the predictable rhythms of children’s psycho-sexual development.” A prudent and natural course of treatment would enable children to “reconcile their subjective gender identity with their objective biological sex,” avoiding harmful or irreversible interventions.

The most helpful therapies do not try to remake the body to conform with thoughts and feelings—which is impossible—but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage this tension and move toward accepting the reality of their bodily selves. This therapeutic approach rests on a sound understanding of physical and mental health, and of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring healthy functioning, not simply satisfying the desires of patients.

Biology isn’t bigotry. And as I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” there are human costs to getting human nature wrong.

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: .

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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 by Jed Share/Kaoru Share Blend Images/Newscom.

VIDEO: What You Need to Know About Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood bills itself as one of “the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care” and claims that federal defunding of the organization would leave millions of women “without a place to go for needed care.” Do these claims accurately reflect what Planned Parenthood does? Or does it have another reason for being?

In this week’s video, Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, lays out the differences between the way Planned Parenthood presents itself and the reality.

6 Common Media Myths About Gun Control

The latest mass shooting, this time at a Florida high school, was one of the deadliest school shootings since the Columbine massacre in 1999.

So far, there have been 17 confirmed deaths in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the alleged shooter is in custody.

Americans are understandably searching for answers to stem this terrible epidemic.

Unfortunately, as always, many jump immediately to the conclusion that guns and protection of gun rights are what’s fueling the recurrence of these crimes. Some suggested that any opposition to gun control legislation is outright immoral.

But the often sincere and certainly passionate claims made by those calling for gun control frequently don’t add up.

As columnist David French wrote of the recurring shootings in a brilliant column for National Review, “It’s horrifying, and governmental solutions are hard to find. Twitter’s fondest wishes to the contrary, the unique characteristics of mass shootings mean that they often escape the reach of public policy.”

After the Parkland shooting, a number of old and new myths about the Second Amendment and gun control became media narratives. Here are just a few of the more common ones.

1. There Have Already Been 18 Mass Shootings in 2018

While school shootings are a serious problem, there have been frequent exaggerations about just how common they are.

One story that has gained widespread traction is that the Parkland shooting is the 18th school shooting since the beginning of 2018. This statistic was originally cooked up by Everytown for Gun Safety, a pro-gun control nonprofit.

Yet, as The Daily Wire noted, this statistic is highly misleading.

Several of these “shootings” were individuals committing suicide on campus and many others were of stray bullets passing through classroom walls with no injuries taking place. In only a few cases were people other than the shooter actually harmed.

“[O]f the 17 ‘school shootings’ before Wednesday’s shooting; three students died; roughly 30-35 were injured,” according to The Daily Wire.

Even The Washington Post said the Everytown number was “a horrifying statistic. And it is wrong.”

“Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings,” according to The Washington Post.

2. Trump Signed a Bill That Makes It Easier for Mentally Ill People to Get Guns

This story spread rapidly after President Donald Trump tweeted out that the Parkland shooter was “mentally disturbed” and that more vigilance was necessary to stop these people before they engage in mass killings.

However, this stretched the truth.

Last year, Trump and Congress used the Congressional Review Act to overturn an Obama-era regulation that among other things could prevent those who received disability payments from Social Security from purchasing firearms.

The rule brought up serious charges that it was not just a violation of the Second Amendment, but Fourth Amendment due process rights.

“No administrative process and no administrative law judge should be able to take away a constitutional right,” Heritage Foundation senior fellow Hans von Spakovsky said when the rule was repealed. “This should exclusively be a regular court of law to determine if someone is disabled enough to pose a hazard with a gun, not a federal bureaucrat.”

As Reason editor Scott Shackford wrote, the rule did not specifically prevent mentally ill people from getting guns. Instead, it threw a wide, potentially unconstitutional net over people who may be no threat to themselves or others.

“[T]he regulation was opposed not just by National Rifle Association (NRA) but by several mental health and disability groups and by the American Civil Liberties Union,” Shackford wrote.

3. More Guns Means More Crime

One of the most frequent and persistent myths about guns is that the increase of guns in society leads to more crimes or violence in general. However, this hasn’t been the case. Studies demonstrate that gun control laws have not had a noticeable impact in reducing murder rates and violent crime.

I wrote in October:

As numerous studies have shown, gun ownership is not necessarily connected to crime rates, and may make crime go down. A 2016 report from the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action noted that:

As gun ownership has risen to an all-time high, the nation’s total violent crime rate has fallen to a 44-year low and the murder rate has fallen to an all-time low. Since 1991, when violent crime hit an all-time high, the nation’s violent crime rate and its murder rate have decreased by more than half, as Americans have acquired over 170 million new guns, roughly doubling the number of privately owned guns in the United States.

Furthermore, concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding of any demographic group in America.

For these reasons and many others, gun control has fizzled as an issue even as its proponents continue to push the narrative.

There is simply no evidence that gun owners are more likely to commit crimes, violent or otherwise.

4. It’s Easy to Buy a Gun

In 2015, former President Barack Obama caused a stir when he said, “It’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.”

Obama doubled down in 2016, saying, “We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.”

Even The Washington Post fact-checkers cast doubt on this wild claim.

Sean Davis at The Federalist explained the wide gap between the effort required to buy simple produce and pretty much any firearm. Davis Wrote:

There are no federal laws requiring onion dealers to register with the federal government prior to selling onions. There are no state laws requiring that you apply for and receive an onion purchase permit, complete with background check, prior to purchasing an onion. There are no onion waiting periods or limits on how many onions you can purchase within a certain period of time. Nor are there, to my knowledge, any state or local laws prohibiting the possession of onions in schools or government buildings.

The fact is, there are numerous hurdles to gun ownership. It’s not something that can be done on an immediate whim.

5. Gun Control Works in Other Countries

A frequent claim by gun control advocates is that other countries have stemmed gun violence through strict gun control laws.

Australia, in particular, is used as an example for the U.S., as Obama did in 2015.

“We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have managed to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours,” he said.

Of course, this comparison doesn’t calm the fears of many who believe that so-called moderate, “commonsense” gun control solutions are merely a Trojan horse leading to mass confiscation as happened in Australia.

Even so, the evidence that the law made a huge impact in gun violence is unclear. As a University of Melbourne report concluded in 2008, according to National Review, “There is little evidence to suggest that [the Australian mandatory gun-buyback program] had any significant effects on firearm homicides.”

The report said:

Although gun buybacks appear to be a logical and sensible policy that helps to placate the public’s fears the evidence so far suggests that in the Australian context, the high expenditure incurred to fund the 1996 gun buyback has not translated into any tangible reductions in terms of firearm deaths.

While Australia experienced a dip in firearm deaths after passing the 1996 law, so has the U.S. since the early 1990s, even as we moved in the opposite policy direction.

6. The Second Amendment Is Obsolete and Doesn’t Apply Today

Many gun control advocates acknowledge that the Second Amendment is a serious impediment to heavy-handed restrictions on firearms and confiscations and have advocated a repeal of this part of the Bill of Rights.

Others, however, have insinuated that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply today because the firearms used by the Founding Fathers were muskets, and that they couldn’t possibly have conceived of the devastating effectiveness of modern weaponry.

But the Founders did not design the Constitution to be an ephemeral document that would lose its applicability over time. They were quite aware that technological changes would come long after they were gone. They designed the Second Amendment to preserve the individual right to self-defense, just as they created the First Amendment to protect free expression.

William Blackstone, a British legal theorist whom the Founders often relied on for guidance, wrote, “Self-defense … as it is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the law of society.”

It was this reasoning that prompted the Founders to include the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Just as the rise of the internet and new communication technologies do not make the First Amendment invalid, the principles of the Second Amendment apply today, even as firearm technology has advanced.

Many studies show that news coverage and publicity surrounding school shootings only serve to increase their frequency. As Reason’s Robby Soave pointedly asked on Twitter, does this mean that it’s time to crack down on the First Amendment? A form of “news control,” so to speak.

It is reasonable for Americans to be wary of policy proposals that would likely be ineffective, yet would negate our most precious individual rights.

This article has been updated to correct the year in which the Columbine massacre occurred.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

Race and IQ: A High School Science Fair Project Ignites a Storm

We don’t know the student’s name, but we do know that he hit a nerve — in fact, he hit a whole bunch of them. Identified only as a boy of Asian descent at C.K. McClatchy High School in California, the teen’s recent science-fair project, “Race and IQ,” propounded the thesis that differences in groups’ average intelligence influence their academic performance. He couldn’t win, though, because his project was removed after parents, staff and other students became “upset” and one girl said she felt “unsafe and uneasy.” The irony?

A project on evolution would no doubt have been well received — even though an assumption of racial differences is implicit in evolutionary theory.

In fact, The Sacramento Bee, which hasn’t yet evolved out of the progressive primordial soup, mentioned that the student’s thesis is associated with eugenics (which the Bee casts negatively), the science of improving the human race via selective breeding. The paper is likely unaware, however, that the term “eugenics” itself was coined by Sir Francis Galton — a cousin of famed evolutionist Charles Darwin — and that Galton made clear that in his eugenicist endeavors, he was merely building on his cousin’s work.

Philosopher G.K. Chesterton once noted that if people “were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal.” This is easy to understand:

What are the chances that different groups could have “evolved” isolated from one another for eons — subject to different environments, stresses, procreation-influencing cultural imperatives and adaptive realities — and ended up identical in every worldly measure? Why, even if the peoples evolved isolated in identical environments, the separation alone would make the prospects of winding up completely “equal” a virtual statistical impossibility.

Whatever you believe about evolution, it’s clear that equality is not a thing of this world. Do we see it in nature? Some species can dominate others or are more adaptable, which is why the rat is a pest and the dodo is extinct (and, in fact, the rat helped drive the dodo to extinction). Even within species, some members are hardier, smarter, faster or stronger than others. There are alphas and betas, with a silverback gorilla running his troop and a dominant lion leading his pride. And different breeds of dogs have different characteristic traits, with some being more intelligent than others.

As for people, how is it that we can even characterize different groups as “groups”? Since we don’t do it based purely on location (e.g., dividing 10 boys into two groups of five, each on opposite sides of a room), we can only do so because there are differences among them. We can only speak of “men” and “women” because sex differences actually exist. Regarding the races, we know there are distinctions relating to skin color and hair, for example. It’s differences that make groups “groups.”

But are the differences only skin deep? Tay-Sachs disease is most common among Ashkenazi Jews, while sickle cell anemia is almost exclusive to people of Middle Eastern, Indian, Mediterranean and African heritage. Relative to American whites, American blacks generally have longer limbs, more sweat glands (and thus dissipate heat better), narrower pelvises and greater bone density; and black men have higher free testosterone levels than white men do. Not that it’s the focus of this article, but all these characteristics bring advantages and disadvantages.

Now, next question: Are the differences only neck high? If evolution is a reality, would its principles be operational with the body but, somehow, some way, be suspended with the brain? My, believing that would truly take faith.

Of course, whether nature, nurture or both — whether the tests are valid or not — the fact remains that we do see marked IQ differences among groups. Ashkenazi Jews score the highest of all, at 115 (the world average is currently about 88); this may explain why Jews are only 0.2 percent of the world’s population but were 22 percent of the 20th century’s Nobel Prize winners. Hong Kong and Singapore lead the country list with average IQs of 108, while many nations register far, far lower. Note that while good scientists may debate why these differences exist and how meaningful they are, that they exist is not in dispute.

Of course, some may quibble with the numbers I provided or the group differences I cited, but the details aren’t really the point. The point is, again, that evolution and Equality Dogma contradict one another. Embracing both is akin to believing it likely that on two different occasions, you could spin a giant bin with one million numbers in it, remove them randomly and put them in a row, and they would end up in the precise same order each time. Random processes yield variable results.

That is, unless you believe that God guided evolution. Even this belief, however, allows for the inequality that is the world’s apparent norm. How could this be? It’s simple: Equality is our hang-up — not God’s.

Is “equality” emphasized in any great, time-tested religious canon? It’s certainly only mentioned in the Bible in reference to weights and measures. In fact, Christian theology holds that in that perfect, sinless realm of happiness — Heaven — we will not all have equal glory, as St Thérèse of Liseaux once explained.

As for this fold, Hell on Earth is what Equality Dogma helps create. It has spawned perverted scientific priorities that deny Truth and demand ideological determinations. We’ve seen this before. The Soviet equality dogmatists did it with Lysenkoism, insisting that acquired traits could be inherited because Marxist ideology demanded a malleable human nature. The Nazi superiority dogmatists did it with their racial theories, believing in a “master race” that could become all the more masterful through selective breeding. And we’ve combined elements of both, demanding an unnatural and unattainable equality and measuring it by racial, ethnic and sexual representation in worldly endeavor.

In a saner time, Equality Dogma would be considered a vile heresy. The truth here isn’t hard to grasp: There are differences within groups, but there are also differences among groups. We know we mustn’t paint every individual with the same brush. Why would we paint every individual group with the same one?

One group we should paint over with the label “Rejected” is equality dogmatists. The McClatchy student’s scientific methods might very well have been shoddy, but this wasn’t what got his project scuttled. Rather, The Sacramento Bee article quoted individuals who said the it was “shocking” and its creator “closed-minded”; it spoke of how people felt “upset” and “unsafe and uneasy.” What’s notable is that no one quoted said the project’s conclusion was wrong or untrue.

Oh, if asked, the critics would surely bellow, “Well, of course it’s untrue!” But it’s no accident that they didn’t think to say it; in fact, this failure is typical today when fashionable emoters react to unfashionable science. These critics don’t think to call it untrue because the truth of the matter isn’t their focus. Ideology is.

It’s feelings over facts, emotion over education. But science doesn’t exist to make us feel good or bad; its purpose is the discovery of Truth via the scientific method. People who reject this, who subordinate Truth to agenda-driven lies, are dangerous to civilization. They also are hardly progressive — except insofar as they’re progressing toward ignorance.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

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Trump Has a New Plan to Save Money on Food Stamps

The Trump administration unveiled a new plan to revamp how people are receiving food stamps, suggesting that the government give them boxes of nonperishable food instead.

The new suggestion, written in the 2019 budget proposal, would take half of the money people get from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and instead send families a box of hand-picked, nonperishable items called “America’s Harvest Box,” reports Politico.

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Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney called the suggestion similar to the Blue Apron business, which sends prepared food and recipes to people’s doorsteps, adding that the government would be able to save billions of dollars on the America’s Harvest Box initiative.

“[The Department of Agriculture’s] America’s Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families—and all of it is homegrown by American farmers and producers,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers.”

According to White House calculations, the government would save roughly $129 billion over the course of 10 years, though it  appears states would be responsible for having to ship and get the food boxes to the SNAP recipients.

“The projected savings does not include shipping door-to-door for all recipients,” USDA spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

Some groups dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty have come out against the plan, expressing concern that the plan is “radical and risky,” while others said it could potentially “stigmatize” those on welfare.

“It could be something that [SNAP recipients] don’t even know how to make,” Miguelina Diaz, a member of Hunger Free America, told NPR. “We deal with different people of different backgrounds. Limiting them by providing them a staple box would limit the choices of food they can prepare for their families.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Podcast: Should Food Stamps be Partially Replaced With Food Boxes?

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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: .

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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?

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Some couples and individuals are trying to save the next generation from potential climate change disaster by forgoing reproduction altogether.

A dozen people aged 18 to 43, either raising children or considering having some, are deciding that the future is too uncertain, or certainly too grim, to bring new life into the world as floods, wildfires, and extreme weather grow worse with a warming climate, The New York Times reports.

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“Animals are disappearing. The oceans are full of plastic. The human population is so numerous, the planet may not be able to support it indefinitely,” Amanda PerryMiller, a mother of two and a Christian youth leader, told the Times. “This doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for people bringing home a brand-new baby from the hospital.”

This way of thinking seems to be more prevalent in those who have traveled abroad and seen firsthand the devastating effects climate change has had on communities.

“I’ve seen how Syrian refugees, who are running from a devastating war, are being treated,” Maram Kaff, who lives in Cairo and monitors news from the Middle East, told the Times in an email. “Imagine how my children will be treated if they have to flee their country due to extreme weather, drought, lack of resources, flooding.”

No research has shown how widespread this trend is. The line of thinking is troubling for anyone worried about the overall decline in the American birthrate, however. The U.S. birthrate hit an all-time low in 2016, with 62 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

The fate of the planet seems all but sealed as a now 6-month-old report found only a 5 percent chance the Earth will avoid warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. A more recent study found a 50 percent chance temperatures rise up to 4 degrees Celsius if action is not taken.

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EDITORS NOTE: Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The Hidden Agenda Behind ‘Climate Change’

In a remarkably frank admission that laid bare the stealth agenda behind global warming alarmism, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted during a February 2015 press conference in Brussels that the UN’s real purpose in creating climate fear is to end capitalism throughout the world:

This is the first time in human history that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally changing [getting rid of] the economic development model that has reigned since the Industrial Revolution.

The economic model to which she referred is free-market capitalism. A year earlier, Figueres revealed what capitalism must be replaced with when she bitterly complained that America’s two-party constitutional system is hampering the UN’s global climate objectives. She went on to cite China’s communist system as the kind of government America must have if the UN is to achieve its objectives. In other words, for the UN to have its way, America must be transformed into a communist nation.

Let that one sink in for a moment.

Figueres is not alone. Another high-level UN Marxist had comments of his own about the hidden agenda behind “climate change.” If you’re among those who believe progressives when they say all they’re trying to do is save the planet, what Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer had to say will leave your jaw on the floor.

In an unguarded statement that found its way into the public domain, Edenhofer, co-chair of the UN IPCC’s Working Group III, made this shocking admission on Nov. 14, 2010:

One must free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. [What we’re doing] has almost nothing to do with the climate. We must state clearly that we use climate policy to redistribute de facto the world’s wealth. 

On the same date, Edenhofer added this:

Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with protecting the environment. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which [re]distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.

Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, one of the UN’s top climate officials, effectively admitted that the organization’s public position on global warming is a hoax, and another senior UN official, Christiana Figueres, said in an official capacity that the United States must have a communist government for the UN to achieve its objectives.

Let all of that sink in for a moment.

Some wealthy and powerful elites in this country believe it’s not fair that billions of people in the world sleep on the ground in mud huts, while Americans sleep on soft mattresses in air-conditioned comfort. The progressive elites who feel that way also believe that a significantly greater portion of America’s wealth must therefore be “shared” (redistributed) to poor nations. Global wealth redistribution is the foremost tenet of communism, and those who advocate it are, by definition, communists, whether they are open about it or not.

The stunning pronouncements by Figueres and Edenhofer are all the evidence a rational mind needs to conclude that climate alarmism is being used as a Trojan horse to justify the massive new carbon taxes clamored for by powerful progressives like Barack Obama, Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, none of whom have denounced the pro-communist, anti-American sentiments of two of the UN’s top climate officials.

The words of one of those officials revealed that such taxes would be used not for environmental purposes, but to fund the most massive redistribution of wealth in the history of the world, literally trillions of dollars extracted under false pretenses from U.S. taxpayers, and given to the corrupt governments of every undeveloped nation on Earth, all in the guise of “climate aid.”

Progressives in high places are attempting the largest heist in human history, a collusion to exfiltrate unprecedented sums of money from the world’s largest capitalist nation. Why? The answer is obvious—to implement, on a global scale, the mandate set forth in The Communist Manifesto:

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. – Karl Marx

Outraged that Trump dealt their plan to redistribute America’s wealth a major setback when he ditched their precious Paris Climate Accords, progressives would have you believe they’re nothing more than environmentally-concerned Americans who would never even dream of participating in an effort to upend their country’s capitalist system.

Trump knows that’s a big lie. And now, so do you.

No intelligent person can fail to recognize that powerful progressives in this country are using “climate change” as a ruse to fundamentally transform the United States of America. But because the human ego is loathe to admit when it’s been duped, many Americans will continue allowing themselves to be led like sheep into the closing noose of the hammer and sickle. By the time they realize what happened, it will be too late. In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote about a Third Reich propaganda technique called the Big Lie: ‘If you’re going to lie, make it a Big Lie, keep repeating it and people will believe it.’ That’s exactly what he did, and millions of otherwise intelligent Germans believed the Big Lies that were relentlessly repeated. By the time they realized they’d been duped, it was too late.

VIDEO: Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?

Predicting climate temperatures isn’t science – it’s science fiction. Emeritus Professor of Physics at Princeton University Will Happer explains.

TRANSCRIPT:

Let’s talk about climate models.

Specifically, let’s talk about the climate models that attempt to predict the future temperature of the planet. But before we do, it’s important that you know a little about me.

I’m a physicist.  I taught at Columbia University and then at Princeton for five decades.

I have published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. I have coauthored several books, including one of the first on how carbon dioxide emissions—CO2—affects the climate.

I served as the director of the Office of Energy Research at the US Department of Energy.  And before that, I invented the “sodium guide star,” which is still used on most big astronomical telescopes to measure and correct for atmospheric turbulence—that is, for the unpredictable movement of air and water. This turbulence blurs the images of stars and other space objects.

One more thing: I care deeply about the environment. We live on a beautiful planet. I want to keep it that way. I’ve spent a lot of time working to do just that.

In short, I know a lot about the earth’s atmosphere and climate.  I also know a lot about long-term predictive climate models.

And I know they don’t work. They haven’t worked in the past.  They don’t work now. And it’s hard to imagine when, if ever, they’ll work in the foreseeable future.

There’s a common-sense reason for this.

Aside from the human brain, the climate is the most complex thing on the planet. The number of factors that influence climate—the sun, the earth’s orbital properties, oceans, clouds, and, yes, industrial man—is huge and enormously variable.

Let me try to narrow this down. For the purposes of illustration, let’s just focus our attention on water.

The earth is essentially a water planet. A major aspect of climate involves the complicated interaction between two very turbulent fluids: the atmosphere, which holds large amounts of water (think rain and snow), and the oceans, which cover fully 70% of the earth’s surface.

We can’t predict what effect the atmosphere is going to have on future temperatures because we can’t predict cloud formations.

And the convection of heat, oxygen, salt and other quantities that pass through the oceans, not to mention weather cycles like El Niño in the tropical Pacific, make predicting ocean temperatures an equally difficult business. We can’t predict either side of the atmosphere/ocean equation.

But we can say this with certainty: Water—in all its phases—has huge effects on atmospheric heating and cooling. Compared to water—H20, carbon dioxide—CO2—is a minor contributor to the warming of the earth.

It’s devilishly difficult to predict what a fluid will do. Trying to figure out what two fluids will do in interaction with each other on a planetary scale over long periods of time is close to impossible.

Anyone who followed the forecast of Hurricane Irma’s path in the late summer of 2017 should understand this. First, the models predicted a direct hit on Miami and the east coast of Florida. Then, defying these predictions, the hurricane suddenly veered to the west coast of Florida. In other words, even with massive amounts of real-time data, the models still could not accurately predict Irma’s path two days in advance.

Does any rational person believe that computer models can precisely predict temperatures decades from now?

The answer is, they can’t. That’s why, over the last 30 years, one climate prediction after another –- based on computer models -– has been wrong.

They’re wrong because even the most powerful computers can’t solve all the equations needed to accurately describe climate.

Instead of admitting this, some climate scientists replace the highly complex equations that describe the real-world climate with highly simplified ones—their computer models.

Discarding the unmanageable details, modelers “tune” their simplified equations with lots of adjustable inputs—numbers that can be changed to produce whatever result the modelers want.

So, if they want to show that the earth’s temperature at the end of the century will be two degrees centigrade higher than it is now, they put in the numbers that produce that result.

That’s not science. That’s science fiction.

I’m Will Happer, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Princeton University, for Prager University.

Download a PDF of this Transcript

Bizarre Sleeping Habits of 61 Famous People [Infographic]

By Raj Vardhman

We’re constantly reminded how important getting seven to eight hours of sleep is in order to function normally. Yet, for some of the most successful people on Earth, sleep is a precious commodity. Their sleeping habits often affect how well they perform on the job and they do everything they can not let it get on their way. Sacrificing the sleeping time or cracking an individual sleeping pattern that feels right for them is a common thing for many famous people.

For example, Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci thought sleep is a waste of time and only took power naps during the day. On the other hand, Obama and Schwarzenegger get a six hours solid sleep.

From creating a special atmosphere to establishing a specific positioning manner, this CelebJury infographic illustrates the bizarre sleeping habits of some of the most famous people.

VIDEO: My Keynote Speech at Energy Day in Peru

Last October I gave the keynote speech at Energy Day, the most significant annual energy event in Peru. The event was hosted by the firm Laub & Quijandría, led by Anthony Laub, and a video of it is now available online. You can watch it here.

During the speech I made an analogy I’ve never made before. I thought you might enjoy it.

“The fossil fuel industry is the only industry in history that has figured out how to produce cheap, plentiful, reliable energy for billions of people. Even if there are costs, I think we should be really grateful to the people who’ve done this. I think it’s offensive that we say things like, ‘I hate fossil fuels.’

“I was flying in yesterday on Avianca, and it made me think: what if there had been someone on the plane who had said to the pilot, ‘You know what? I think what you do is evil,’ and they were wearing an ‘I hate pilots’ shirt, and they just spent their whole life denouncing pilots. What would you say to them if you were the pilot? You’d probably say, ‘Get off the damn plane.’ What kind of person takes advantage of this amazing human being that’s allowing him to fly, and then says, ‘I hate you, and I want to destroy you’?

“How is it any different to do that to the pilot than to do it to the person who fuels the plane or the person who created the fuel?

“There’s only one industry that allows us to fly. It’s the fossil fuel industry. We tell the industry, ‘Hey, we want to do the most amazing thing ever. We want to fly, so we can get from point A to point B really fast.’ Only one industry has raised its hand and said, ‘Yeah, we figured out a way to do that.’ Then we say, ‘We hate you. You’re horrible. The earth would be better off without you.’”

Transgender Ideology Hurts Kids

Properly understanding sex, gender, gender identity, and gender dysphoria will continue to be pressing concerns in 2018.

A proper understanding is a prerequisite for properly forming people in the truth and properly ministering to people in need.

As new gender ideologies are promoted throughout America, their lies will impact not only those who suffer from gender dysphoria, but all children who need to mature in their self-understanding as a boy or girl, man or woman, a potential husband or wife, father or mother.

In 2007, Boston Children’s Hospital “became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents,” as its website brags. A decade later, more than 45 pediatric gender clinics have opened their doors to our nation’s children.

Parents are told that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent their children from committing suicide.

Never mind that the best studies of gender dysphoria show that between 80 and 95 percent of children who express a discordant gender identity will come to identify with their bodily sex if natural development is allowed to proceed.

Never mind that “transitioning” treatment has not been shown to reduce the extraordinarily high rate of suicide attempts among people who identify as transgender (41 percent, compared with 4.6 percent of the general population).

Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

These statistics should be enough to halt the headlong rush into “transitioning” and prompt us to find more effective ways to prevent these tragic outcomes. Most of all, we shouldn’t be encouraging children to “transition,” or making heroes and role models of those who have done so.

We should be tolerant—indeed, loving—toward those who struggle with their gender identity, but also be aware of the harm done to the common good, particularly to children, when transgender identity is normalized.

Transgender activists are not merely asking for tolerance or kindness. They are demanding affirmation, not just from adults but from children and adolescents who are already challenged by the normal process of sexual development.

In a culture where transgender identities are not only affirmed but celebrated, everyone will be compelled to construct their own gender identity, unaided by a common understanding of sex differences and why they matter.

In my new book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” I show that the best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and an understanding of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry.

A sound understanding of gender rejects sex stereotypes on the one hand and androgyny on the other. The virtuous mean is a view of gender that reveals meaningful sex differences and communicates the difference they make—a view that takes sex differences seriously while upholding the fundamental equality of the sexes as complements to one another.

The most helpful therapies do not try to remake the body to conform with thoughts and feelings—which is impossible—but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage their tension and move toward accepting the reality of their bodily selves.

My book provides a nuanced view of our sexed embodiment, a balanced approach to policy issues involving transgender identity and gender more broadly, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

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: . For more on how to understand transgender issues, get a copy of Ryan Anderson’s new book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”

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Planned Transgenderhood

The Ugly Truth About Sex Reassignment the Transgender Lobby Doesn’t Want You to Know [+video]

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