Feminists: Biden Gender Identity Order ‘Unprecedented Attack on Women’s Rights and Liberty for Everybody’

Then why did you vote for him? Because you thought he would govern from the center? This is what the anti-Trump feminists get for voting for Joe Biden. The ruination of women’s athletics. This dreadful executive order will make it impossible for female athletes to compete on a fair basis. Male-to-female transgenders are obviously built much differently than women.

Does President Biden even understand how damaging these executive orders are? Does he even know what he is signing? Or is he just doing what the Left tells him to do? It’s so sad.

Related – Biden executive orders the ‘wishlist of the far left,’ Rubio says 

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Feminists: Biden Gender Identity Order ‘Unprecedented Attack on Women’s Rights and Liberty for Everybody

By Breitbart, January 22, 2021

Feminists from the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) are condemning President Joe Biden’s executive order that removes any legal recognition of the two sexes and eliminates crucial protections for women in the federal government and beyond.

In a post at WoLF’s website Thursday, the feminist group called Biden’s executive order “an unprecedented attack on women’s rights and liberty for everybody,” noting Biden has circumvented the role of Congress to achieve what many consider to be the most contentious elements of the Equality Act:

With this action, Biden is bypassing the legislative process to implement the most controversial provisions of the Equality Act—changing the definition of sex in federal anti-discrimination regulations so that female people are no longer a discrete class with protected status under the law. As we predicted, the new administration is relying on the Bostock decision to do so.

The group cites the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Bostock v. Clayton Count, which, it states, “was clear … the ruling was only meant to be applied to hiring and firing discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”

“While we strongly support protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation,” the feminists assert, “The Biden administration has grossly expanded the application of the decision with far-reaching implications for women’s rights in nearly every aspect of public life, including Title IX.”

Biden’s executive order, released on the first day of his presidency, embraces transgender ideology:

It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” Biden said, promoting the pro-transgender policies of allowing boys in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms and admitting young men to compete against women in athletics.

WoLF said, as a consequence of Biden’s action, “female federal employees no longer have right to privacy, forced into compelled speech that ‘validates’ men’s identities.”

The feminists explained:

In addition to protecting people who identify as transgender against hiring and firing discrimination, this will also give male employees the right to self-declare themselves to be female and be treated as female for the purpose of sex-segregated facilities. This means that in federal buildings and in workplaces run by federal contractors, the four million women who work for the federal government will be forced to share bathrooms and gym locker rooms with men who say they identify as women.

“Federal employees will likely also be forced to use ‘preferred pronouns’ (inaccurate pronouns) for men who identify as women,” WoLF continued. “This should be seen as a major threat to freedom of speech and is part of a growing pattern of government bodies compelling speech from employees.”

On the first day of Biden’s presidency, the White House contact form was changed to include the visitor’s “pronouns.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ILLINOIS: School Board Denounces Member for ‘Islamophobia’ for Responding to Muslim Colleague’s Smear

Dima Ali called Dan Moroney a “white supremacist.” Moroney’s friend Matt Baron responded by likening Dima Ali to a terrorist. Baron has now been condemned for “Islamophobia,” why isn’t the District 200 school board apologizing for Moroney for Ali’s defamation of him? Because “white supremacist” is the acceptable smear that can be leveled at anyone and everyone who dissents from the Leftist agenda. No apology is necessary.

“D200 board denounces member’s ‘Islamophobia,’” by Michael Romain, OakPark.com, January 6, 2021:

During a special board meeting held Dec. 22, members of the District 200 school board apologized to Oak Park resident Dima Ali and formally denounced comments made by D200 board member Matt Baron that many community members said caused harm to Ali and other Muslim and non-white Oak Parkers.

The controversy dates to a comment written by Ali in November under a Wednesday Journal news article about Oak Park Trustee Dan Moroney, which was posted to Facebook. In her comment, Ali called Moroney a white supremacist.

Baron, who knows Moroney, contacted Wednesday Journal and urged the paper to remove the Facebook comment before submitting an opinion piece to the paper in which he compared Ali’s comment to someone leaving duffle bags in public places — code for terrorism. Ali is Muslim, a fact that Baron subsequently said he did not know at the time he wrote the piece.

Baron issued a written apology roughly a week later, calling his analogy “far too intense” and “needlessly over-the-top as I sought to stir people in this community to push back on unfair character attacks.”

During brief comments made at a Dec. 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, Baron said his metaphor was “intended to provoke bystanders like those who click like or love in response to the white supremacist label,” before doubling down on what he called his “key point — let’s stop the racial identity politics.”

In her remarks made during the Dec. 22 special meeting, Ali said she was disappointed by the board’s delayed response to Baron’s comments and called for his resignation.

“An Islamophobic board member should not be sitting right now like this,” she said, adding that she felt the board failed its marginalized students and community members by not condemning Baron’s remarks more swiftly.

“We’re not terrorists,” said Ali, who is also an Oak Park and River Forest High School parent. “We are your neighbors. … We’re your friends. In this community, we don’t drop suspicious duffel bags, we drop off bags full of donations. We drop off food, soup to any sick friend and community member.”

After Ali’s remarks, D200 board President Sara Dixon Spivy read a statement on behalf of the board majority that “formally denounced” Baron’s opinion piece, adding that Baron also “failed to recognize the impact and harm” of his opinion piece in his subsequent board comments.

The board said Baron’s “racist and Islamophobic remarks directly conflict with this board’s belief in racial equity and inclusion,” adding that they have also “undermined ongoing efforts” made by the district to advance its mission of improving equity and inclusion, and creating a “culture of warmth” for all OPRF students and community members….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

6 Key Takeaways Every Student Should Receive from Econ 101

A more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of destructive government policies winning public support.


In a 2015 podcast conversation with American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, Vox’s Ezra Klein declared that “there’s nothing more dangerous than somebody who’s just taken their first economics class.” Often expressing a similar contempt for Econ 101 is University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak.

This expressed skepticism of Econ 101 comes across as wise and sophisticated—even hip—to many people who don’t grasp Econ 101. And it gives the mistaken impression that those who warn of the alleged folly of taking Econ 101 too seriously are experts not only in elementary economics but also in advanced economics.

Yet this contemptuous dismissal of the relevance of Econ 101 is foolish. Those who express it either really don’t know any economics whatsoever or mistakenly presume that the theoretical curiosities explored in Econ 999 are more relevant than is the reality revealed by Econ 101. But the truth is that Econ 101 taught well supplies ample, important, and timeless insights into the way the world works.

These insights, sadly, are far too rare among those who are unexposed to elementary economics.

No one denies that a deeper understanding of economic reality is supplied by training in sound, advanced economics. If, for example, we’re interested in understanding and predicting many of the details of how people react to changes in particular government policies—and in tracing out some specific consequences of these likely reactions—knowledge of economics beyond that which is conveyed in an intro-econ course is useful.

Similarly, if we want to better understand many observed commercial practices—practices such as corporate stock buybacks or automobile dealerships’ penchant for clustering near each other—then knowledge beyond principles of economics is often necessary.  No one can doubt the usefulness of more advanced economic training.

But it doesn’t follow from these observations that knowledge merely of economic principles is “dangerous.” The young person who absorbs Econ 101 but who takes no further courses in economics will nevertheless, and for the rest of his or her life, possess a genuine understanding of reality that is distressingly rare among politicians, pundits, preachers, and the general public. Far from being a danger to society, this person—inoculated against the worst and most virulent strands of economic ignorance—will serve as a beneficial check on the spread of ideas that are dodgy and sometimes perilous.

The true danger is not knowledge of “only” Econ 101. The true danger is ignorance even of Econ 101.

The typical protectionist opposes free trade not because he aced an advanced econ course and learned that, under just the right circumstances, optimally imposed tariffs can be justified on economic grounds. No. The typical protectionist opposes free trade because he doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. He doesn’t understand that the purpose of trade is to enrich people as consumers and not to guarantee the incomes of existing producers. The typical protectionist doesn’t understand that exports are costs and that imports are benefits. (He thinks it’s the other way ’round.) Failing to understand that the act of importing not only destroys but also creates particular jobs in the domestic economy, the protectionist mistakenly concludes that the more we import the fewer are the number of jobs in our economy.

The typical protectionist, in short, doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. Yet had he taken a well-taught Econ 101 course, he’d not swallow and repeat these and other myths about trade.

Likewise, the typical politician doesn’t support minimum wages because she has concluded after careful study that employers of low-skilled workers possess a sufficient quantum of monopsony power in the labor market, in addition to monopoly power in the output market, to nullify the prediction of basic supply-and-demand analysis that minimum wages shrink low-skilled workers’ employment options. No.

She supports minimum wages because she naively supposes that wages are set arbitrarily by employers and that higher wages come out of either employers’ profits or consumers’ wallets without prompting any changes in employers’ or consumers’ behavior.

And most of this politician’s constituents share her economic ignorance. They miss the reality revealed by Econ 101—namely, that wages are not set arbitrarily by employers and, therefore, that when the cost of employing workers is raised by minimum wages, employers respond in part by employing fewer workers.

In both of the above examples (and these are only two examples of many), more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of these destructive policies winning public support.

They’re called economic principles for a good reason: What is taught in a solid economic-principles course are the principles of the operation of a competitive economy guided by market prices. They describe the logic of markets and, accordingly, in most cases offer a trustworthy guide for understanding the economy—and an understanding of the consequences of government interventions into the economy.

It’s true that reality sometimes serves up circumstances that render knowledge only of economic principles inadequate. But if economic principles did not on most occasions give reliable and useful insights into how real-world economies actually operate, they would be anti-principles. They ought not be taught, and students should demand tuition refunds along with compensation for being defrauded by their colleges.

But in fact, again, enormously important insights are conveyed in a good Econ 101 course. Here’s just a partial list of what an attentive Econ 101 student learns:

  1. Our world is one of unavoidable scarcity, and so to use more resources to produce guns is to have fewer resources available to produce butter. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, a free gun, or a free anything else.
  2. Wealth is goods and services; wealth is not money. And so to create more money without creating more goods and services is to create not more wealth but only more inflation—along with the distortions and uncertainties that inflation unleashes.
  3. When the cost that a person incurs to take some action rises, the attractiveness to that person of taking that action falls. This fact is why higher taxes on carbon emissions reduce carbon emissions and why higher taxes on income-earning activities reduce income-earning activities.
  4. Profits are entrepreneurs’ reward for successfully satisfying consumers’ wants; profits are neither stolen from consumers nor extracted from workers. Therefore, the greater the good performed in the market by entrepreneurs, the higher the entrepreneurs’ profits.
  5. Prices and wages aren’t arbitrary. They’re set in markets by consumers competing against each other to purchase goods and services and by sellers competing against each other to sell goods and services. Sellers in competitive markets no more control prices than do buyers.
  6. Because of the principle of comparative advantage, it’s literally impossible for one country to monopolize the production of all goods and services.

I submit that these and other lessons taught in Econ 101 are vitally significant and need not await being polished and conditioned by the lessons of higher-level economics courses before becoming immensely useful. Far from being dangerous, these and other Econ 101 lessons are beautiful and essential.

This article was reprinted from the American Institute for Economic Research.

COLUMN BY

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

CFACT “Green New Wheel” teaches facts at TPUSA conference

America’s high school and college students are continually battered with misinformation from celebrities, “news” organizations, and social media.

Amid the COVID lockdowns and election controversies, this Left-wing indoctrination is at an all-time high.

That’s why CFACT cosponsored Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit (SAS) in West Palm Beach, FL, this past week – to reach young people directly with facts, not hysteria.

CFACT debuted the “Green New Wheel” table game; an actual, spin-able wheel that CFACT developed to engage the public on the folly behind the Green New Deal.

It “spun up” quite the buzz among hundreds of students, the media, and even a celebrity or two, all while operating under the COVID restrictions put in place by county officials for the conference.

Kirk Cameron, the Christian actor and movie star, and Alex Clark, host of TPUSA’s “POPlitics” show, both took a spin. Unfortunately for Ms. Clark, she landed on Joe Biden and the Green New Deal, which meant she lost. Mr. Cameron, however, landed on free market energy, which gave him the chance at a prize.

Chandler Wysocki, a freshman at the Ohio State University, was very enthusiastic about CFACT’s message after spinning the Green New Wheel. “I love the message, and I am really looking forward to getting plugged in to the CFACT chapter on campus,” Chandler said. “There are tons of events I think we can do. A hike and litter clean up would be great to show that we as conservatives care about the environment, despite what the Left says about us.”

CFACT’s mission also attracted the attention of national media. Both CFACT’s Houser and Bob Knee, CFACT’s National Field Coordinator, were interviewed by America’s Voice TV about their mission on college campuses. Additionally, Bob sat down with Cindy Drukier, host of The Nation Speaks, a news program with NTD.com, to discuss the growing threat of China to freedom. Bob explained how China is using environmental issues as a political chess piece to gain influence and power on the world stage.

“With the Paris Climate Accord specifically, the Chinese Communist Party is using that agreement to gain a serious edge economically,” Knee explained. “In that deal the West has to slash emissions, but China gets to keep building as many coal plants as they want. It’s ridiculous.

In addition to CFACT’s presence, there were many big-name speakers who took the stage at the Summit, including Tucker Carlson, Governor Kristi Noem, Dinesh D’Souza, Jude Jeanine Pirro, and more.

“These students were fired up. They love freedom, and they understand that it is capitalism, not socialism that brings prosperity and helps the environment,” Houser said. “Look for big things from these new CFACT activists next semester and beyond.”

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Book Criticizing Cancel Culture Gets Canceled Because Author Criticized Islam

You may have thought the public discourse couldn’t get any more absurd. Think again. Apparently oblivious to the titanic dimensions of the irony, the publisher Little, Brown just canceled a new book, Welcome to the Woke Trials: How #Identity Killed Progressive Politics by British journalist Julie Burchill because of an “Islamophobic” twitter exchange Burchill had with Muslim writer Ash Sarkar. So you see, it’s fine to stand up for freedom of speech, but some lines must not be crossed. And what was Burchill’s crime? Did she use racial slurs? Did she call for genocide or violence against innocent Muslims? No, apparently all she did was note the readily demonstrable fact that according to Islamic tradition, Muhammad married a child. But telling the truth is a dangerous enterprise these days.

According to The National, the Hachette group, which owns Little, Brown, announced that Burchill’s book “has been scrapped by her publisher for what it said were Islamophobic comments.”

The book, according to the report, “was promoted as a ‘characteristically irreverent and entertaining’ indictment of the ‘outrage mob.’” But the outrage mob was not outraged by anything in the book itself. It was evidently outraged because Burchill asked Sarkar, “Can you please remind me of the age of the Prophet Mohammad’s first wife?”

Burchill is clearly speaking about Muhammad’s child bride Aisha, not his first wife, Khadija, who was fifteen years older than he was. But that’s just a detail. Commenters raked Burchill over the coals for her supposed hypocrisy for ignoring child marriage in British history and claiming that Mary was a child when she married Joseph. Yet none of that was on point. No one would care about Muhammad’s child marriage were his behavior not normative for Islamic law and imitated by all too many Muslims even today. So what Burchill said, aside from mixing up the order of Muhammad’s wives, was entirely based on fact.

Now, there is a possibility that Burchill’s child marriage remarks were not the “Islamophobic comments” in question. It may be that there were other exchanges between Burchill and Sarkar that Twitter has deleted. The National fastidiously refrains from telling us what egregious thing Burchill is supposed to have said. But it is bitterly ironic that Burchill’s book on cancel culture has now been canceled for whatever it is she said. That rather proves her point, doesn’t it?

Sarkar egged on the outrage mob, writing: Ms. Sarkar tweeted: “Julie Burchill, who once I suppose was a well-regarded journalist, has quite openly subjected me to Islamophobia on here. I’m a big girl – it’s not going to upset me – but I do find it strange that none of her colleagues or friends in the industry seems to have a problem with it.”

“Her colleagues and friends in the industry” accordingly jumped to show how broad-minded and non-Islamophobic they were, and quickly threw Burchill under the bus. Little, Brown’s statement is a repugnant stew of self-contradiction, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy: “We will no longer be publishing Julie Burchill’s book. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We believe passionately in freedom of speech at Little, Brown and we have always published authors with controversial or challenging perspectives – and we will continue to do so.”

No, Little, Brown, you don’t believe in the freedom of speech. Clearly there are controversial or challenging perspectives you don’t dare publish. Claiming to believe in the freedom of speech while canceling a controversial book is like claiming to be a little bit pregnant. You either believe in the freedom of speech or you don’t. And you don’t.

Little, Brown continued: “While there is no legal definition of hate speech in the UK, we believe that Julie’s comments on Islam are not defensible from a moral or intellectual standpoint, that they crossed a line with regard to race and religion, and that her book has now become inextricably linked with those views.”

What race is Islam again? I keep forgetting. The charge of “hate speech” is a tool of the powerful to silence the powerless. This ugly incident shows vividly how it is used to stifle dissent. Burchill’s question should have sparked a debate about child marriage, and about Sharia and its relationship to British law. Instead, Burchill’s book is canceled, signaling that such discussions are not to be tolerated. Little, Brown’s action shows how much the West has already accepted and internalized the Sharia prohibition of criticism of Islam. Britain’s protracted demise as a free society continues apace.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS ALERT: University of Michigan ‘Words Matter Task Force’ says “picnic” is offensive

United States Constitution Amendment I.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


The United States Constitution, Amendment I forbids the abridging of the freedom of speech. One of the departments of the University of Michigan seems to disagree.

The University of Michigan (UM) has issued an updated report on December 8, 2020 from its Information Technology Services (ITS) department titled “Words Matter Task Force Recommendations.” It seems that the UM ITS department wants to abridge their students, employees, vendors and faculty’s freedom of speech.

The Executive Summary of Words Matter Task Force Recommendations states:

Given the importance of communication and the ITS core value of inclusivity, the Words Matter Task Force was formed and charged with identifying terms used within ITS that are, or can be construed to be, racist, sexist, or non-inclusive.

What Words Are Now Considered Racist, Sexist or Non-Inclusive at UM?

Note in the table below that that the words man, men, picnic, he, she, grandfathered, and phrases like long time no see are now considered offensive. See the chart below of words and phrases that are now banned at UM.

The purpose of the is to impact language globally. According to the report:

The University of Michigan has the opportunity to influence change with vendors, suppliers, and associations. ITS can share with strategic partners the business case for using inclusive language, and prepare them on new terms they may hear ITS staff members use. There are a few scenarios that offer opportunities for communication and relationship building, including proactively reaching out to vendors to make them aware of changes they may experience when interacting with ITS; requesting a change from vendors toward inclusive language; and starting a conversation with other university partners to increase adoption. An email template example was developed that Service Owners can use to inform and prepare external partners. See Appendix D.

This is political correctness gone wild at a premier American university.
Mario Goveia in an email wrote:

As an alumnus of the University of Michigan during an era when knowledge and understanding were prized and robust differences of opinion were encouraged as a learning tool, I’m now being asked to think twice before I speak or write, in case I offend someone.

I just learned that the University’s “Information and Technology Services Department” has a “Words Matter Task Force”, which has decided that the word “PICNIC” is OFFENSIVE along with a whole list of other words deemed offensive.

This kind of thinking may explain how Biden-Harris got elected with their objective of turning us into a nanny state.  The Biden-voters in the task force suggested the use of “gatherings” instead of “picnic” without explaining why!

If you disagree you’re obviously a racist!

The US is being transformed from a “glass is always at least half full” country into a “glass is always less than half empty” country.

Inclusive Language

This list is not exhaustive and will continue to grow. 

Term Alternative Term
-men-, -man- -people, -person, or a wholly different word.

(e.g., “man-hours” can become “person-hours”)

blacklist/whitelist allowed/prohibited, include/exclude, allowlist/deny list
black-and-white thinking binary thinking, all-or-nothing thinking
brown bag lunch and learn
crack the whip manage the effort closely
crazy, insane outrageous, unthinkable, nonsensical, incomprehensible, ridiculous, egregious, irrational
crippled weakened, deteriorated
disabled when referring to a system: deactivated, broken
dummy placeholder, sample
gender-neutral he or she gender-neutral they, referring by name
grandfathered (in) legacy status, legacies in, exempted, excused
gypped/jipped defrauded, swindled, cheated, ripped off
handicapped restricted
girl/gal, boy/guy person, or use the person’s name
guys/gals (e.g., Hi guys!) everyone, folks (e.g., Hi everyone!)
honey, sweetheart, sweetie use the person’s name
long time, no see “It’s been a while,” “I haven’t seen you in ages!”
low man on the totem pole last in the pecking order, the bottom of the heap
master/slave leader/follower, primary/replica, primary/standby
native built-in, innate
off the reservation outside the norms, rogue, break with the group, off on your own
picnic gathering
preferred pronouns pronouns
privileged account elevated account
sanity check quick check, confidence check, coherence check
sold down the river betrayed, thrown under the bus
straw-man proposed conceptual design
uppity arrogant, conceited

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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School Choice Reduces Teen Suicide, New Study Finds

When students who face bullying at their public school can go elsewhere, it literally saves lives.


Elijah Robinson attempted suicide as a teenager. Why? Well, as a queer and mixed-race student, he faced vicious bullying in his public school.

Thanks to a Florida program, he was able to switch schools and attend a private Christian school where he did not face bullying or discrimination. Students at private schools are statistically less likely to have bullying problems. Robinson later concluded, “If I had stayed at my previous school … I honestly think I would have lost my life.”

new study confirms that Robinson’s experience is not an outlier. It shows that alongside reopening schools, which science shows are not sources of significant coronavirus transmission, school choice policies can help heal the mental health crisis plaguing youth.

This is of crucial importance because adolescent suicide and mental health problems were already major issues before the coronavirus pandemic. Suicides among those aged 10 to 24 spiked 56% from 2007 to 2017, becoming the second-highest cause of death among teenagers and young adults.

Now, with lockdowns and school closures sapping away their social bonds and quality of life, we have witnessed a disturbing rise in suicide and mental health issues among young people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1 in 4 young people contemplated suicide during a one-month period over the summer amid the first pandemic peak and harsh lockdowns.

School choice programs can help alleviate this pain and suffering by allowing more young people the educational opportunities that best fit their needs. These policies include the expansion of charter schools and tuition voucher programs that provide low-income families with money to attend private schools.

With those options, families don’t have to remain trapped into sending their child to the local public school by default. So, for students who face bullying or are not at schools that suit their needs, they can go elsewhere. Families who like their public schools and students who are succeeding there are, of course, free to choose to stay put.

The new study shows the benefit that choice brings to those who need it. Authored by the Reason Foundation’s Corey DeAngelis and economist Angela Dills, it provides empirical backing to the intuitive conclusion that school choice can reduce suicide among teenagers.

It concludes that “the estimated effect of a charter school law translates to about a 10% decrease in the suicide rate among 15 to 19-year-olds.” It also finds that 30-year-old adults who had attended private school were 2% less likely to report having a mental health condition.

Why?

“It’s likely that private schools face stronger competitive pressures to provide a safer school environment and improve mental health if they want to remain open,” Dills explained. “Public schools, on the other hand, are more likely to be burdened with government regulations that make it difficult for them to control discipline policy and create strong school cultures.”

These results only supplement the evidence showing that school choice improves test scores and family satisfaction.

The lesson here goes beyond how school choice improves youth mental health, as important as that may be. This study offers yet another demonstration that public policies that embrace competition and choice will always outperform those that force one-size-fits-all solutions.

This article has been republished with permission from the Washington Examiner.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Report: Saudi authorities remove antisemitic, anti-Zionist content from textbooks

Made possible by the greatest POTUS in history. It is just a matter of time before Israel and Saudi Arabia establish full diplomatic relations. What President Trump has accomplished in the Middle East is a miracle.

Report: Saudi authorities remove anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist content from textbooks

The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education finds attitudes in the kingdom towards Israel are becoming “more balanced and tolerant.”

By JNS, December 20th, 2020

Saudi authorities have been removing anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist content from the country’s textbooks for the coming school year, a report by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education has found.

The report came amid growing speculation of a potential rapprochement between the Jewish state and the Arab Gulf power. Saudi Arabia’s neighbors, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, normalized ties with Israel in September in a deal brokered by the United States. Washington has made it no secret that it would like to see Riyadh join the Abraham Accords before U.S. President Donald Trump’s term in office ends next month.

The monitoring group said that while it “did not find that new tolerant material had been injected into the curriculum, a substantial amount of offensive material had been removed.”

The report said that many of the books no longer include the prediction of a religious war in which Muslims would annihilate all Jews. Furthermore, the classic anti-Semitic trope saying that “Zionist forces” use nefarious methods to control the world has been dropped.

“Examining the trendline of our 2002, 2008 and even 2019 reports of the Saudi curriculum, it is clear that these new 2020 textbooks represent an institutional effort to modernize the Kingdom’s curriculum,” said IMPACT-se CEO, Marcus Sheff. “The Saudi authorities have begun a process of rooting out anti-Jewish hate.”

Attitudes towards Israel are becoming “more balanced and tolerant,” the institute said, giving as an example the removal of an entire chapter that was titled “the Zionist danger,” which delegitimized Israel’s right to exist.

More generally, the majority of references to jihad have been removed, whereas a decade ago the focus of the curriculum was to prepare students for martyrdom, the group found.

“This being said, anti-Israel content does still remain in the curriculum,” IMPACT-se noted. Hatred of Jews is still present, including “a decontextualized and ambiguous” story about Jewish “wrongdoers,” who are described as monkeys.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump Nominates Charlie Kirk, Several Others, To New Commission That Counters 1619 Project

President Donald Trump announced 18 individuals who he intends to appoint Friday as two-year members of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.

Trump first announced the initiative in September and slammed The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which pushes slavery to the center of America’s founding. The 1776 Commission “will work to improve understanding of the history and the principles of the founding of the United States among our Nation’s rising generations,” according to a previous press release.

Some people took to Twitter to point out one of Trump’s picks in particular: Turning Point USA President Charlie Kirk.

It’s not immediately clear how the president picked the incoming members or what qualifications were needed.

Other notable choices include Acting Director of the United States Domestic Policy Council Brooke Rollins and Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson, according to a Friday press release.

The president previously called the “1619 Project” a “crusade against American history.” It has been implemented in schools across the country and criticized by some historians. The president also accused the project of being “toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together” and “destroy our country.”

While the executive order Trump signed in early November doesn’t directly name the NYT’s project, it includes similar language that the president has previously used in denouncing the initiative.

“Despite the virtues and accomplishments of this Nation, many students are now taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but rather villains,” according to the executive order. “This radicalized view of American history lacks perspective, obscures virtues, twists motives, ignores or distorts facts, and magnifies flaws, resulting in the truth being concealed and history disfigured.”

COLUMN BY

Shelby Talcott

Media Reporter. Retired college and professional athlete, big fan of dogs and mimosas without the OJ, sarcastic New Yorker at heart.

RELATED ARTICLE: Why Some Members Of The American Right Are Pushing Back Against Trump’s 1776 Commission

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Politically Correct Death Threats at Georgia Tech

Dr. Angel Cabrera

Office of the President

Georgia Institute of Technology

Dear President Cabrera:

This correspondence is in response to a solicitation I received from Georgia Tech’s Office of Gift Planning.

When I was a student at Tech in the 1960s, its foremost mission was providing instruction in engineering, science and industrial management. Under the leadership of a succession of politically driven predecessors of yours, that mission has been adulterated.

Like most of its academic counterparts in this country, the institution you now lead has been allowed to become a hotbed of officially-sanctioned political activism that suppresses the unfettered exchange of opposing ideas.

Two years before you became Tech’s president, the Chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric and Sciences was hounded into retirement for highlighting uncertainties associated with global warming alarmism.

After leaving Tech, Dr. Judith Curry testified before Congress that she was “vilified by activist colleagues who didn’t like anyone challenging their big story,” adding that “I walked around with knives sticking out of my back.”

A highly credentialed scientist was treated in an abusive and unprofessional manner simply for expressing good faith skepticism about the hotly disputed theory that man’s use of fossil fuels is destroying the planet. What happened to Dr. Curry is the antitheses of academic freedom, yet Tech’s administration at the time did nothing to rein in the vilifiers.

Even worse, preceding administrations have knowingly allowed leftist faculty to indoctrinate Tech students with the alleged virtues of Marxism, a cancerous ideology that is anti-American in the most troubling meaning of the term.

I haven’t given to Georgia Tech’s alumni association in decades because of the school’s leftward lurch, and hereby assure the school’s Office of Gift Planning that not a dime of my modest estate will go to an institution that tolerates attempts to erode the principles of individual liberty upon which this great nation was founded.

Respectfully,

John Eidson

BSEE 1968


Politically Correct Death Threats at Georgia Tech

By Peter Collier
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 21, 2007

This past February, while other Georgia Tech students were exchanging flirtatious Valentine’s Day notes, Ruth Malhotra received an anonymous letter whose message was anything but amorous:

This Valentine’s Day, you cannot attack gay marriage.

It is about love and you are about hate.
This Valentine’s Day, you cannot condemn a woman’s choice.

It is about love and you are about hate.
This Valentine’ Day, you cannot protest the Vagina Monologues.

It is about love and you are about hate.
No, this Valentine’s Day, you will be Raped.

Sex is about love and through it you will experience hate.

I cannot wait.

To find a rape threat in her mailbox was almost a relief to Malhotra after months of receiving death threats. (One of the most charitable, from a fellow student, said, “I really want to choke you, b****.”) As with all the other letters, she turned the vicious Valentine over to the campus police, which added it to the “ongoing investigation” that so far has yielded nothing.

Malhotra can’t help believing that a university that claims to be more committed to “civility” than any other school in the country and routinely initiates proceedings against students who commit such offenses as smoking in the dorms would certainly have immediately sprung heroically into action if she had been a black, Hispanic, lesbian, or almost any other woman receiving such messages. But she is a conservative activist and almost by definition a thorn in Georgia Tech’s side. So the school’s administration, beginning with president Wayne Clough and working downward to various assistant deans, has sat on its hands while Malhotra endures what her attorney David French calls “a persecution.”

Presently a graduate student in International Affairs, Malhotra has had a college career that resembles a sort of Pilgrim’s Progress through what the campus sensitivity experts like to call “hostile environment.” An Atlanta native whose family is from India, she choose Georgia Tech because it seemed the best of the area’s schools, because her father teaches there in business management, and because she won scholarships that would cover the tuition.

A committed Christian, she was personally conservative but not particularly political when she arrived at Tech in 2002. But in the perfervid post 9/11 atmosphere on campus, she found herself gradually pulled into the orbit of the College Republicans and soon galvanized not only by questions of war and peace but also by issues such as race preferences and abortion. And on all of these issues, she found, conservative students faced a tilted playing field. She recalls: “The more I got involved, the more I saw the obstacles conservative students face in expressing themselves. The administration put so many more challenges in our way. We didn’t have the same resources and opportunities that leftist students had. I expected an open forum for ideas, but the administration was clearly biased.”

So were some of her teachers. Malhotra’s first open conflict with the Tech administration came in the spring of 2004, when she enrolled in a course called Foundations of Public Policy. The first day class she told the professor, a woman named Georgia Persons, that she would have to miss one class session because of a conference she was attending in Washington. Persons asked who was holding the conference. When Malhotra told her it was the Conservative Political Action Committee, the teacher warned her that she would fail the course. Malhotra thought this might be more of the in-class hyperbole she’d heard from other liberal professors. But she did indeed fail the first test. Otherwise a 4.0 student, she complained about the grade to the Dean’s Office, also claiming that the professor had made snide remarks in class about Christians and conservatives that were obviously directed at her. After filing a grievance, Malhotra brokered a deal in which she was allowed to withdraw from the class without penalty and the professor would not be allowed to teach it again.

The case became a cause celebre in the campus newspaper, with coverage spilling over into the Atlanta Journal Constitution. But it wasn’t until the following academic year that Malhotra began to be a marked woman. The fall of 2004, the College Republicans, of which she was now chairman, refused to attend a debate during Gay Pride Coming Out Week. Instead, they sent a letter outlining their opposition to some parts of the gay agenda, including gay marriage. The administration condemned their response as “an expression of intolerance.”

The charges of homophobia continued to resonate until the following spring, when the College Republicans protested a campus showing of the Vagina Monologues during Women’s’ Awareness Week by making placards with some of the lines from the play in large bold faced type along with a banner asking, “Does This Empower You?” In an extravagant display of hypocrisy, the administration, which endorsed a performance of the play, made Malhotra cover up the offensive quotes.

It was about this time that she was called into by a dean who told her that the College Republicans were a “joke” and should cease their activities. Pointing out that her group was merely expressing its opinions the way that the preponderant leftwing groups did, Malhotra was then sent to Tech’s Vice President, who passed her on to President Wayne Clough, who made it clear to her that he found her actions distasteful and not in accord with the “atmosphere of civility” he sought for the campus. When Malhotra pointed out that this atmosphere included—indeed, was defined by—leftist groups violently and often obscenely condemning the President of the United States and the war in Iraq, and, for that matter, attacking the faith of conservative Christians like herself—she received a brush off.

By the beginning of her senior year in 2005, Malhotra, who had previously felt that Tech’s political bias could be solved within the institution, now felt that she either had to shut up or seek outside help. She talked with David Horowitz at an event where he was promoting his Academic Bill of Rights. Horowitz advised her to contact attorney David French, head of the Alliance Defense Fund’s Center for Academic Freedom. After hearing her history, French decided early in 2006 to file a suit against Georgia Tech for unconstitutional policies used to censor activities such as those Malhotra and the College Republicans had undertaken. His chief target was a speech code that prevented “intolerant” activities, which Malhotra’s experience showed was enforced selectively against conservative students. Also targeted in the suit were three other issues: Tech’s “free speech zone” which was the only approved place on campus for discussing “issues”; the invidious use of student activities fees for “social and cultural” but not “political or religious” speakers and activities (College Republicans were “political” but gay and African American activist groups were “social’ and “cultural”; the Islamic Awareness was not “religious,” but Jewish and Christian groups were); and the policy of Tech’s Office of Diversity to endorse certain denominations based on whether or not they were gay friendly. (Buddhists yes; Southern Baptists and Mormons no.)

Already a controversial figure on campus, Malhotra, now chief plaintiff in the suit filed with fellow student leader Orit Sklar, became Public Enemy number one for the Georgia Tech left. An ad hoc group called CLAM (Conservatives and Liberals Against Malhotra) formed on campus with the sole raison d’etre of harassing her. An anti Malhotra website appeared calling her “christo-fascist” and showing an unflattering shot of her face stippled with digitized swastikas. Flyers were posted throughout the campus denouncing her as a “Twinkie”—an Asian who was “yellow on the outside and white on the inside.”

The charge of ethnic treason was almost laughable: Malhotra’s Indian descent had given her a dark complexion and she wasn’t Asian according to the racial taxonomy propounded by campus victim groups, although she knew that if she had been on the left she would have been accorded “protected status” as a presumptive minority. Far more disturbing than the mundane slanders she faced as she completed her course work for her degree were the messages that now began to appear on her campus email. In one of them, the writer threatened to throw acid in her face at the upcoming graduation ceremonies.

Malhotra was accepted by Tech for graduate school in the fall of 2006. A few months earlier, a judge had heard the first point of French’s four point suit—the one regarding the speech code—and ordered mediation between the parties. The university agreed to change the policy, but almost immediately reneged on its promise. In August, a few weeks before classes began, the judge heard arguments on the speech code and then struck it down.

Never acknowledging the constitutional reason for the court decision, Tech reacted by appropriating $100,000 to bring in speakers (among them, Maya Angelou at a fee of $22,500) and hold “meaningful discussions” as part of a campus-wide initiative called “Common Ground” meant to reaffirm the commitment to “civility” (which the court hearing had shown was nothing more than officially sanctioned politically correct speech) in spite of the legal setback it had suffered.

It was during this kuybaya moment that threats against Malhotra reached a crescendo. “So your not dead yet Ruth Malhotra,” one of them began with uncertain grammar but unmistakable enmity. “But you will be soon.” Another one warned, “Don’t even try to protest National Coming Out Day. If you do, you will regret it, and don’t say you were not warned. You are hated on this campus and you should fear for your life.” Yet another said, “For every time a student is called Nigger on campus—you will receive a bullet to the head.”

The campus police defined the threats as “terroristic.” But although some of the letters were brazenly signed by persons on and off campus, no arrests have been made. And the administration itself, ignoring the opportunity to strike a blow in behalf of the civility it claims to prize, has remained mute about the invisible outrage taking place on its campus. (A public information officer replies to questions about the case by reading a statement which says that Georgia Tech cannot comment because of its commitment to protecting its students’ privacy; when it is pointed out to him that the only student with a privacy issue in this case, Malhotra herself, is willing to waive this privilege, he says that he will consult the school’s legal counsel and is never heard from again.)

Trudging warily through her days on campus, Malhotra is unable to forget the Kafkaesque situation in which she finds herself: “It is ironic that the Georgia Tech administration would enforce unlawful speech policies that silence disagreement with its preferred political agenda, but remains absolutely silent in the face of threats on a student’s safety.”

David French, her lawyer in this case and a longtime litigator in matters of free speech and student rights, is also stunned by what has happened to Malhotra: “I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The tolerant left at Georgia Tech seems to have decided that Ruth must be destroyed to protect `tolerance.’ The administration sees one of its own threatened by death and rape and they just sit there. I’ve seen conservative students suffer a lot of abuse for their beliefs. But I’ve never seen abuse cross over into threats. And I’ve never seen an administration sit on its hands while one of its students is threatened by death and rape. It makes you wonder: have we gone past simple intimidation to death threats now? Is this sort of thing going to become a standard part of left’s playbook in intimidating conservative students? How far will they go?”

This is exactly the question Ruth Malhotra now contemplates: will those who are threatening her go all the way? Unlike most issues in the sandbox politics of campus life, this question appears to be a matter of life and death.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

Gallup Poll: Americans’ Mental Health Hits 20-Year Low Ahead of Renewed Lockdowns

Any retrospective analysis of lockdown policies—the effectiveness which is seriously disputed—must be weighed against the loss of life and human suffering they caused.


In California and other parts of the country, Americans are headed back to lockdown or otherwise facing renewed restrictions on their day-to-day lives amid another spike of COVID-19. Yet a new Gallup poll shows these lockdowns come as people are already struggling with their mental health.

“Americans’ latest assessment of their mental health is worse than it has been at any point in the last two decades,” Gallup reports.

The new polling found that 34 percent of respondents said their mental health was “excellent,” which is 9 points down from 2019. Similarly, 85 percent of Americans had rated their mental health as “good or excellent” in 2019. Just 76 percent did this year. [VIEW CHART HERE]

This poll only further documents an ongoing trend.

As Jon Miltimore previously explained for FEE.org, the Centers for Disease Control found that 1 in 4 young Americans considered suicide this past summer amid life under lockdown and unprecedented levels of social isolation. In one anecdote that painfully demonstrates this broader trend, a California hospital doctor told local news in May that during lockdown he witnessed “a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

Much of the decline in mental health over the last 9 months can reasonably be attributed to pandemic lockdowns rather than COVID-19 itself.

Why? Well, consider that for the aforementioned suicidal young adults, the actual mortality risk of COVID-19 is close to zero. It’s the shuttering of their schools, closures of their offices, and isolation from family, friends, and community that has affected them so drastically.

And the negative health effects, both physical and mental, of social isolation are well-documented. Consider this report from the New York Times:

A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent.

Another analysis that pooled data from 70 studies and 3.4 million people found that socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, and that this effect was largest in middle age.

Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, and isolated individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely as those with more robust social interactions. These effects start early: Socially isolated children have significantly poorer health 20 years later, even after controlling for other factors. All told, loneliness is as important a risk factor for early death as obesity and smoking.

It’s certainly true that we can’t solely attribute the burgeoning mental health crisis to the lockdowns. But there’s no denying the intuitive and demonstrable fact that confining people to their homes and stripping away their livelihoods has driven the spikes in suicide and depression.

How could it not?

Ample research shows how stripping people of their agency and leaving them feeling powerless contributes to mental health decline.

“Having a high sense of control is related to proactive behavior and positive psychological outcomes,” health researchers point out. “Control is linked to an ability to take preventative action and to feel healthy. An impairment of control is associated with depression, stress, and anxiety-related disorders.”

So, such drastic government lockdowns seizing control of the minutiae of American life were always going to have severe mental health consequences. Unintended consequences plague all top-down government efforts to control or manage society.

“Every human action has both intended and unintended consequences,” Antony Davies and James Harrigan explain for FEE. “Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.”

Replacing individual decision-making of hundreds of millions’ of peoples’ everyday lives with centralized government mandates intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 inevitably causes enormous ripple effects. Our retrospective analysis of lockdown policies—the effectiveness which is seriously disputed—must be weighed against the loss of life and human suffering they caused in their own right.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Top 20% Gets 6x More Benefits from Student Debt Cancellation than Bottom 20%, New Study Finds

Student debt forgiveness would overwhelmingly benefit the most well off in America, new economic research shows.


From Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, some of the most prominent progressive politicians in the country are pushing hard for widespread student debt cancelation. So, it’s fascinating to see a new study show that forcing taxpayers to pay down the roughly $1.5 trillion in government-held student debt is not a “progressive” policy by any stretch.

Note that just one in three American adults over age 25 actually has a bachelor’s degree. This population, naturally, holds almost all student debt. Yet college graduates typically make 85 percent more than those with only a high school diploma and earn roughly $1 million more over a lifetime.

So any government policy that forces taxpayers to pay off loans held by a relatively well-off slice of society is actually regressive, meaning it disproportionately helps the wealthy. You don’t have to take my word for it—this is the finding of a new University of Chicago study.

Economists Sylvain Catherine and Constantine Yannelis crunched the numbers to conclude that full student debt cancellation would be a “highly regressive policy” and award $192 billion to the top 20 percent of income earners, yet just $29 billion to the bottom 20 percent.

The study also examines other proposals to have taxpayers pay off $10,000 or $50,000 in debt per person, rather than all debt. It finds similarly regressive outcomes for these proposals as well.

“Outstanding student debt is inversely correlated with economic hardship,” study co-author Sylvain Catherine writes. “So it is difficult to design a forgiveness policy that does not accentuate inequality.”

This finding is not an outlier.

In fact, other research from left-leaning institutions like the Urban Institute has reached the same conclusion. So, we’re left with the simple fact that one of the Democratic Party’s top agenda items is a taxpayer-financed handout to the wealthy. And, of course, student debt cancellation ignores the real reason college is so expensive in the first place.

But we nonetheless face an important question: Why are supposedly progressive politicians, elected as champions of the working class, using their power to push for handouts for the wealthy?

One possible answer is that sweeping big-government policies involve the centralization of so much power that they will inevitably be corrupted by favoritism and clientelism.

“There is no such thing as a just and fair method of exercising the tremendous power that interventionism puts into the hands of the legislature and the executive,” Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises once wrote. “In many fields of the administration of interventionist measures, favoritism simply cannot be avoided.”

And as far as favoritism is concerned, guess who votes overwhelmingly for progressive Democratic politicians? That’s right: Young people and the well-educated.

So, while it’s disheartening to see top Democrats seek to exploit the federal taxpayer to their wealthy constituents’ benefit, it’s not exactly surprising. The only way to prevent these kinds of abuses is to limit the power of government itself.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.

Read More:

The Democrats’ Push to ‘Cancel’ $50k in Student Loan Debt Completely Ignores the Real Reason College Is So Expensive

How Government-Guaranteed Student Loans Killed the American Dream for Millions

Why on Earth Do We Have a Student Loan Crisis?

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Left’s Gender Theories Are Anti-Scientific Nonsense, but They’re Gaining Ground

On Nov. 22, 2020, New York Times columnist Charles Blow unleashed one of the most bizarre tweets in recent memory.

“Stop doing gender reveals,” he stated. “They’re not cute; they’re violent. All we know before a child is born is their anatomy. They will reveal their gender. It may match your expectations of that anatomy, and it may not. If you love the child you will be patience, attentive and open.”

 

This is patently insane for a variety of reasons.


The left is actively working to undermine the integrity of our elections. Read the plan to stop them now. Learn more now >>


First, the characterization of gender reveal parties—parties during which parents celebrate finding out whether their unborn children are boys or girls—as “violent” is, in and of itself, radically nuts. Parents are excited to learn whether their children will be boys or girls. That is absolutely unobjectionable.

But for an ardent fan of abortion-on-demand such as Blow to characterize a gender reveal party celebrating the sex of an unborn baby as “violent” while characterizing the in utero dismemberment of that same unborn baby as “choice” is so morally benighted as to boggle the mind.

Blow’s tweet goes further. The implication that parents are doing violence against their own children if they connect sex and gender is utterly anti-evidentiary. Sex and gender are interconnected. For nearly every human being born, biological sex will correspond with genital development in the womb.

And gender, contrary to the idiotic, pseudoscientific paganism of the gender theory set, is not some free-floating set of biases we bring to the table. Males and females have different qualities in a variety of functions, attitudes, desires, and capabilities.

In every human culture—indeed, in every mammalian species—meaningful distinctions between male and female remain. To reduce children to genderless unicorns simply awaiting hormonal guidance from within piles absurdity upon absurdity.

And, of course, Blow’s take on “patience” is not limitless. Presumably, should your daughter announce that she is a boy at the tender age of 5, all measures will immediately be taken to ensure that she is treated as a boy by those such as Blow. There will be no call for watchful waiting; to do so would be yet another act of “violence.”

Why does any of this matter? Because Blow’s perspective has become mainstream on the left. In October, Healthline, a supposed medical resource, ran an article reviewed by a licensed marriage and family therapist titled “‘Do Vulva Owners Like Sex?’ Is the Wrong Question—Here’s What You Should Ask Instead.”

Whether “vulva owners” like sex is indeed the wrong question. The right question, to begin, might be what makes “vulva owners” distinct from women; as a follow-up, we might ask how one would go about leasing or renting a vulva if ownership seems like too much of a burden.

But the madness gains ground. CNN reported in July that the American Cancer Society had changed its recommendations on the proper age for cervical cancer screenings for women, only CNN termed women “individuals with a cervix.” Which seems rather degrading to women, come to think of it.

Lest we believe that this is merely some lunatic fringe, it is worth noting that Blow, Healthline, and CNN are merely saying out loud what those who place gender pronouns in their Twitter bios, such as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, imply: that gender and sex are completely severable, and that biology has nothing to do with the former.

President-elect Joe Biden has openly stated that an 8-year-old can decide on his transgenderism; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., infamously stated that she would have a 9-year-old transgender child screen her secretary of education nominee. Male and female are arbitrary categories to which anyone can claim membership.

Unless, of course, the left wishes to treat sex as an important characteristic. Then the logic changes. Thus, it is historic that Biden has nominated an all-female communications team, and it is deeply moving that Harris is a woman.

It’s almost as though the definitions of words have no meaning, according to the left. All that matters is fealty to whatever narrative the chosen moral caste dictates on a daily basis. And if you cross it, you’re doing violence.

COMMENTARY BY

Ben Shapiro is host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of “Bullies.” He is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, and lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. Twitter:

RELATED ARTICLE: UK High Court Rules Children Under 16 ‘Unlikely to Be Able to Give Informed Consent’ to Puberty Blockers


Note for our Readers:

Election fraud is already a problem. Soon it could be a crisis. But election fraud is not the only threat to the integrity of our election system.

Progressives are pushing for nine “reforms” that could increase the opportunity for fraud and dissolve the integrity of constitutional elections. To counter these dangerous measures, our friends at The Heritage Foundation are proposing seven measures to protect your right to vote and ensure fair, constitutional elections.

They are offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free today.

Get the details now when you download your free copy of, “Mandate for Leadership: Ensuring the Integrity of Our Election System.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Woke Culture Comes for America’s High Schools

High schools across America are embracing a woke curriculum. Charles Fain Lehman, adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, says he is troubled by a trend in education of embracing wokeness above reason and fact.

Lehman, who is also a staff writer at The Washington Free Beacon, joins the show to discuss his recent article “American High Schools Go Woke” and how this development may affect the nation years from now.

We also cover these stories:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the length of a quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus may be shortened from 14 days to seven to 10 days.
  •  CDC Director Robert Redfield says America could see a massive spike in COVID-19 cases this winter.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asks the Supreme Court to hear an emergency appeal on Pennsylvania’s election results.

“The Daily Signal Podcast” is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, and Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You also can leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com.


The left is actively working to undermine the integrity of our elections. Read the plan to stop them now. Learn more now >>


Virginia Allen: I am so pleased to welcome to the show Charles Fain Lehman, a journalist at The Washington Free Beacon and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Charles, thanks so much for coming on today.

Charles Fain Lehman: Thanks for having me on, Virginia. I feel glad to be here.

Allen: So today, we’re talking about a pretty popular subject, and that is woke culture. And that word, “woke,” is thrown around a lot. So I want to begin by just asking you to define exactly what we mean when we use that word, woke.

>You wrote a great piece on this that we’re going to get into in just a minute, but I think it would be really helpful to start with just, what exactly do we mean by that? What does that term, woke, mean?

Lehman: Yeah, absolutely, and I think as a term, it contains contradictions or contains multitudes, as it were.

There’s an author, Wesley Yang, who I think the term is generally attributed to, but refers to what he calls the successor ideology, the ideology that comes after late 20th-century Clinton-ite, triumphalist liberalism.

And it’s really more of an inchoate thing, but it’s the set of increasingly dominant liberal-progressive ideas that really took off in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012 when we see a lot of this churning up.

So it imports a lot of academic ideas from the 1990s and earlier, has a great deal of focus on race or critical race theory; on sex, gender, and trans issues broadly; and I think is characterized by this particular social justice outlook on how the world works. A fixation on identity categories and defining things in those terms and then defining the world as a set of struggles between those identity categories.

And also, in some senses by the degree of its interest in ideological purity, in getting people to commit themselves fully to the ideology and spurning the nonbelievers, even within their own circles.

I think most viewers, most listeners will recognize this as that increasingly dominant strain in the American left more broadly, especially the college-educated or elite left.

Allen: And you have done quite a bit of reporting on this subject. You’ve just wrote a piece called “American High Schools Go Woke.”

And in the area of education, for several years, we have seen this increase in woke curriculum being promoted, being endorsed. But after the death of George Floyd and then across the summer with protests and riots, it felt like a lot of that very, very progressive education was fast-tracked in schools.

So can you just give us an update, what exactly are we seeing now? What’s actually happening in high schools across America?

Lehman: Yeah, absolutely, and I think the first thing that I would do is I would encourage your viewers to type in the name of their local school district or type in the name of their local private school into Google with the word “anti-racism.”

And they will find almost invariably that there’s a set of resources, or [a] page, or a letter discussing the school’s commitment to the importance of anti-racism, whereby anti-racism what’s really meant is a set of particular active commitments meant to combat racism that’s distinguished from being not racist, as being a set of beliefs that are … about correcting racial injustices actively.

I think across the country, there are both private and public schools that have pushed huge quantitative of time, money, and energy into so-called anti-racist agendas since the summer, essentially.

So, for example, in my article, I looked at, on the one coast, there’s Harvard-Westlake, which is by some measures the No. 1 prep school in the United States, and they released a 20-page letter over the summer from their administrators saying, “Here’s all of the ways in which we are racist, and here are all of the steps that we’re taking to combat racism.”

For example, their 11th-grade U.S. history course is going to be overhauled to be taught from a critical race theory perspective, which means it will incorporate the latest in progressive pedagogy.

On the other coast, we at the Free Beacon have looked at Fairfax County, which is one of the collar counties of D.C. in Virginia, where they spent something like $20,000 to get Ibram Kendi, who’s a prominent race scholar, to come talk to them. This is $20,000 of taxpayer money.

I dug up the details on the Anti-Racist Reading List that was sent out to parents and students at one Fairfax area school. So really, I mean, I have identified very few schools that haven’t been touched by this stuff in some way, and they’re pushing the same ideas everywhere.

Allen: Yeah. I mean, I love the examples that you give in the article because it’s wild when you actually see what’s happening, and what’s happening not that far away.

You tell about one Connecticut prep school in your article, Loomis Chaffee, and they have introduced mandatory diversity, equality, and inclusion training for students. And they’re also requiring faculty to read Kendi’s “Stamped From the Beginning” and [Robin] DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” for what they call professional development.

So you obviously see that there is a problem here, that this kind of mandatory woke education is harmful. Why do you see it as so harmful?

Lehman: I think there are a couple of answers to that, and you can talk about what sort of ideas it’s spreading. I think that there are derogatory features of it.

If you look at responses to DiAngelo’s book, if you look at some of the more extreme instances, frankly, the accounts of race that they give are startling and disturbing.

There’s a controversy because the National Museum of American History I think over the summer released an info sheet about the norms of white culture, which implied that non-White people aren’t on time to stuff and that that’s a white norm and non-white people don’t work hard so white people are willing to work hard.

No, I believe that everyone is able to work hard. That’s an important tenant of racial equality, is that we believe that people are equal in common decency and dignity.

But I think that the other thing to highlight is that a lot of this stuff doesn’t appear to work. It doesn’t appear to have a major impact.

I think everyone can reasonably agree that if we have tools that reduce racial animosity and tension, those are good. All else equal, we want that. But there’s a reasonably strong research finding at the corporate level that the corporate diversity trainings, their primary effect is not to reduce inequality in either experience or in hiring, but actually increase racial animosity and to have no effect otherwise on who ends up in top positions.

It seems like it mostly takes some extreme example of Robin DiAngelo, if you pay somebody $20,000 to spend two hours screaming at your employees about how all of their problems are caused by racial animosity, the effect of that will be to cause them to resent each other even more, which is not really surprising.

And then I think this plays out—I highlighted in the piece a couple of different stories about progressive schools that, really, their progressivism has veered into a disturbing level of anti-Semitism.

There was reporting from Tablet Magazine looking at [a] school in New York where they divided kids out by affinity groups that were based on their ethnic identity, and how all of the Jewish kids felt super targeted by being put into the Jewish group and being told that they were terrible Zionists and … the oppression of the Palestinians, that was their fault as Jews.

So that kind of division by race, especially among high schoolers, can promote bullying and destructive behavior.

Virginia Allen: Wow. No, I mean, I think on so many levels, just fundamentally the fact that, OK why are we continuing to do things that, one, we’re seeing really don’t help, and then, two, that actually have real harmful effects?

I do want to get your opinion on something that you reference in your article. That’s the 1619 Project. We’ve talked a lot about the 1619 Project on this show, the flaws with the curriculum, but we are seeing it continue to be implemented in schools across the country.

I want to get your perspective, as a journalist, and specifically how the media reports on the 1619 Project, because we know that there flaws. The New York Times themselves, they published a major correction to the project central piece.

So why do you think so much of mainstream media just looks the other way at something that’s being so promulgated but is so clearly flawed?

Lehman: I think I want to answer that question pretty generally and then focus in on the particular example, which is that there were lots of institutions in American society today, whether it’s the Pulitzer Prize, or The New York Times, or it’s who gets the Nobel Peace Prize, which has historical legitimacy, which it did.

Their authority derives from a past treatment of authority, and which today have been more or less co-opted by partisan liberal interests. They use the stamp of their legitimacy to approve things which are ideologically correct if they’re not factually correct.

And so this is how you end up in situations, and this is when you talk with journalists specifically, where journalists are happy to pat themselves on the back with things that are factually inaccurate or which don’t set an accurate picture, but which served the ideological ends that they want them to serve. You have a laundering of legitimacy that goes on.

So I think something like 1619, the question is not, is it right? Is it presenting an accurate picture? I don’t know a huge amount about the details, but for I think your reporting on it, the question is, is this how we imagined history really looks in this Howard Zinn sense of? Is this the untold secret story of history that confirms our ideological priors?

And if the answer’s yes, then they’re going to go, “OK, this is good. And we’re going to put our stamp of approval on it, and we’re going to help advance this thing having influence in society.” That tool set is apparent across American elite society, and it’s so apparent in that case too.

Virginia Allen: Interesting. I want to dive in a little bit more into some of these examples that you give in your piece about what is happening at some of these schools.

I was really fascinated, and then I did some extra homework on it, because I was really interested, that in San Diego, their public schools have actually overhauled their traditional grading system because of racism.

So they’ve changed the way that they grade as a way to combat racism. It’s a little unclear how one plus one, not sure. They didn’t seem to draw a super direct link for how changing the grading system then will help to defeat racism in that school district. Do you know more about that situation?

Lehman: Yeah. I mean, I think, basically, one of the enduring problems in American education policy over the past 40, 50 years is that there are large and persistent gaps along race on any standardized tests that you care to name, which is to say Asian students and then white students consistently and significantly outperform Latino students and then black students, and this is called the achievement gap.

And the why is a really complicated question and there are lots of different debates about how we can address this, and I think it’s important to ask, what are the underlying causes? That might be whether there [is] socioeconomic inequality, or lack of access to resources, or lack of school choice.

There any given number of factors at play, but having observed this disparity and from beating their heads against it for the past 50 years, I think many of the most progressive figures in education policy and in teaching theory have basically said, “It’s no longer relevant to ask, ‘What is the cause of this disparity?’ We should just choose the disparities, ipso facto, racists.”

This is the … logic, “If there is a disparity, then racism is what causes it. There’s no other plausible explanation. And therefore … we should address the disparity at the level of metric.” Which is to say, “If being graded poorly on homework is the thing that is leading to the achievement gap, the measure of achievement gap on homework between black kids and white kids, then the solution is to change how we grade homework until the achievement gap goes away.”

In other words, I think their contention is that the measures are hopelessly racist and so we should change the measures.

I think my contention might be, maybe not homework, but certainly standardized testing is a reasonably good measure of something like academic ability.

And so whatever the underlying causes of the disparities, again, with racists, you can argue inequality, whatever the underlying causes of the disparities are, changing the measure to make that measured disparity go away, changing what your measure is, doesn’t actually address the inequalities or issues that are causing the disparity to emerge in the first place. But I think that’s the thinking that’s going on there.

Virginia Allen: Yeah. That seems so dangerous and obviously so not helpful to those students that are struggling that need the extra help.

I mean, I’m just thinking, for a few years you’ll have teachers and administrators thinking, “Well, we ‘fixed’ the problem,” through a bizarre solution that isn’t a solution at all, a major problem that needs to be changed probably on multiple levels to really get these students up to par and get them the help that they need.

I do want to pivot and just ask you a little bit about something that you referred to, which is director of diversity. This has become a popular job title at a number of schools. Lots of schools, lots of businesses are hiring someone that’s specifically just on staff to make sure that that community is racially aware, that they are diverse enough.

So what exactly do these people do who wear this title of something like director of diversity?

Lehman: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s a person who is responsible for, the industry buzzword is DEI—diversity, equity, and inclusion—and broadly speaking, it’s the person who is responsible for any initiatives related to those things as a set of priorities for a business, or a school, or a nonprofit, what have you.

And I think that can mean metrics for diversity, that can mean organizing a speaking event, that can mean consulting on who’s getting promoted and who isn’t. I think it’s a person who’s specifically responsible for forwarding a diversity, equity, and inclusion set of goals.

To some extent that might be good. It’s conceivable that they could do that role well. I think often in practice, that role, as I argue in the piece, often in practice what that role does is identify reasons that more diversity, equity, inclusion are needed.

So if you look at these schools, their roster of DEI people [has] only grown over the past five to 10 years. They might’ve started with one diversity chief, and then because of that person finding issues, they hire another person, and then another person, and then you have a seven-person group who’s responsible for diversity.

And it is telling to me that as these organizations add administrators, the number of acquisitions of racism only increase, the number of identified instances of racism only increase. Maybe they’re measuring better, but they may also typically be measuring more.

I think it is generally true that administrators of this sort seek in their own interest in trying to accrue, just like anybody, trying to accrue resources. And the best way to do that is to say, “Well, actually, you need even more DEI than you first thought.”

Allen: Wow, fascinating. And I know you have specifically written about that subject in other pieces, and we’ll link those in the show notes so our audience could read your work on that.

But I want to ask, apart from education, we are seeing that woke culture is really seeping into things like professional sports, of course, TV [shows] and movies, large corporations. So if we fast forward maybe 10 or 15 years, what [effect do you think] this very progressive woke culture ideology is going to have on America long term?

Lehman: I’ll say two things. One is, I’m not sure what’s going to happen in 10 to 15 years, in part because it is hard to disentangle this push for wokism and it’s contemporary political context.

Clearly, it started the second half of the Obama administration, but was empowered by the Trump administration, a liberal visceral backlash against the Trump administration. Maybe with Joe Biden in office, it’ll ratchet back. Maybe not. Who knows? Let’s imagine it doesn’t.

I think I would say, here’s the thing that’s not going to happen, I am not optimistic about the spread of woke ideology actually reducing substantive racial inequality in United States.

If our priority is doing something like reducing the black-white wealth gap, I don’t think it’s going to have a major impact on that. I don’t think Uber Eats-ing from a black-owned restaurant is going to have a major impact on that, even though they lecture me about it all the time.

I certainly don’t think you lecturing your employees about their white fragility is going to have a major impact on that. And I think in general, it is unlikely to even help diversity at the top end of the distribution. The Nasdaq can require you to have a more diverse board in order to be admitted to it, but I think companies will be really good at skirting that.

Instead, what I imagine is that mostly the serpent will leave its own tail, that as with diversity execs I talked about a minute ago, in schools, the principle applies more broadly.

What mostly will happen [is] they’ll find new ways to identify hard-to-measure racial problems, racial wrongthink, and then hire new consultants and new employees and new directors who are responsible for ferreting it out, none of which will have any interest in correcting any substantive imbalance from a policy perspective, but will instead so focus on reinforcing this idea and therefore, frankly, generating more profit for the people who propound it.

Allen: Charles, we just so appreciate your insight on this issue. I do want to ask, where can our listeners follow you, find your work?

Lehman: Absolutely. I think the best place is at the Free Beacon. That’s freebeacon.com. I’m there. All of my great colleagues are there. You can also follow me on Twitter. I’m @CharlesFLehman. … Those are both good places.

Allen: Great. Charles, thank you so much.

Lehman: Yeah. Thank you.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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American History Down the Memory Hole?

Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving, but is this holiday becoming so politically incorrect that one day it will be doomed to be sent down the “memory hole”?

There is a war on American history. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Antifa and other leftwing groups toppled more historical statues. Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media (11/28/20) describes the extent of this vandalism, which included the spray-painting of anti-Thanksgiving messages and statues torn down in Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, and Spokane.

Statues that were toppled or defaced included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and William McKinley.

It is interesting to note, during these anti-Thanksgiving melees, that George Washington was the first president to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday—a time for the nation to thank God for us having been able to create the Constitution. And Lincoln was the first president to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday.

This weekend’s vandalism, of course, comes a few months after the toppling of all sorts of American historical statues, including Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and even abolitionist Frederick Douglas. The war on America as founded continues unabated.

One of the emphases in last week’s new spate of American history-bashing seemed to focus on a grievance of some Native Americans. There was a push for what they called “a national decolonial day of action” and what they called “land back.”

O’Neil explains: “’Land back’ seemingly refers to The LANDBACK campaign, a Native American movement supposedly fighting ‘white supremacy.’ The campaign calls for the dismantling of the ‘white supremacy structures’ supposedly responsible for removing Native Americans from their lands.”

America has never been perfect. Injustices have been done. On the other hand, we have made great strides to address many of these past sins. Meanwhile, notes O’Neil, “the nefarious message of Marxist critical race theory suggests we should upend society in order to satisfy historical grievances in the name of racial justice. This toxic vision undermines the very real progress America has made in terms of establishing civil rights regardless of race and in terms of securing broad prosperity through a free market economy.”

Recently, I spoke with a Native American pastor to get his thoughts on the Pilgrims and American history for a television documentary. Rev. Billy Falling, author of My Cherokee Roots, does not agree with those who denigrate the founding of America for all the bad things that did indeed happen—later (long after the Pilgrims)—to Native Americans.

For example, Rev. Falling said of the Pilgrims, in whose honor we celebrate Thanksgiving: “The Pilgrims did have good relations with the Indians. The Pilgrims were kind to the Indians. They showed them love. They showed them compassion. They showed them the godly way to live.”

Falling added, “As a Native American, I thank God for the Europeans that brought us the Gospel and brought us Western Civilization.” He said that the Indians need the Gospel as much as any group of people: “We owe everything to those who brought us civilization and brought us out of the cannibalism and out of all of the sins of the flesh that were practiced in the day just like the heathen of the world. It’s hard today to find a ‘sweat’ where you can go as a Native American and go inside and ‘smoke out your sins,’ but it’s easy to find Native Americans in any congregation in the United States, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ because of the Europeans.  And I thank God for that.”

The war on American history does not bode well for our future. Tens of millions of young Americans are brainwashed into thinking America is evil and always was evil.

In his nightmare vision of a totalitarian future, “1984,” novelist George Orwell speaks of history constantly being rewritten by the state in order to satisfy those in charge. That history which was no longer acceptable to the Party was sent down the “memory holes” where it was to be burned away in “the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.”

Orwell adds, “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”

Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, once noted, “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

Those of us who appreciate what God has done in the creation of America have a lot of work on our hands to try and convince a lot of young Americans who have been brainwashed by Marxist assaults on American history in our schools that our history, flawed as it is, is worth preserving. Abolish Thanksgiving? No thanks.

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