VIDEO: Straight men must date trans or it’s a hate crime?

An excellent example of why we can no longer make jokes of logical extremes. It is well on the way to becoming a hate crime for a straight person to refuse to have a sexual relationship with a ‘trans’ person.

Related: Watch CTV leftist savage a politician for saying the bleeding obvious. Of course his English ins’t perfect so he makes an easy target. But try complaining about a tech support person who you cannot understand at all and see what happens.

EDITORS NOTE: This Vlad Tepes Blog column posted by is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

The Constitution and the March for Life

Hadley Arkes: The logic of the Constitution’s separation of powers should be enough to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that disfigured our laws and altered the moral sensibilities of our people.


As we reached the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers gathered again in the March for Life, in what is usually the coldest weather that Washington D.C. will suffer.  The March began with speeches on the Mall and then it would move, en masse, down Constitution Avenue until it culminated at the Supreme Court, the scene of the crime.

In January 1973, seven judges had taken upon themselves to sweep away, in a stroke, the laws in all of the States and the District of Columbia that cast protections over the life of a child in the womb.  And now, the pro-lifers head to the Court with the sense of seeking redress for the wrong that emanated from that place, transforming the culture as well as the laws.

They go with a livelier hope that the Court, as it is now constituted, is closer to the moment when Roe v. Wade may be overruled, or at least scaled back, in a decisive move that would lead, step by step, to its withering away.

In my last column, I recalled the classic example of the political branches, led by Lincoln, countering the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, the decision that threatened to sweep away all laws that barred slavery.  As I sought to show, Lincoln’s argument for the constitutional role of the political branches was anchored in the very logic of the separation of powers under the Constitution.

Over the last twenty years some of us have sought to make Lincoln’s understanding explicit as part of the preamble, or understanding, attached to pro-life legislation.  That effort failed, for various reasons until 2002 when we succeeded in passing the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act, the Act that sought to protect children who had survived abortions.

And now some of us have sought to raise the issue again with the sequel, the bill that seeks to attach serious penalties for the surgeons who kill those babies surviving abortion. If the political class had been clear on this understanding in the run-up to Roe v. Wade, there would have been no need for pro-lifers to be marching in the cold every January.

The argument begins by returning to the classic case of Cohens v. Virginia (1822).  Chief Justice John Marshall observed there that any question arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States may rightly come within the reach of the judicial branch of the federal government.

But if that were the case, we suggested that the corollary clearly followed:

If the Supreme Court can articulate new “rights” under the Constitution, the legislative branch must be able to vindicate the same rights under the same Clause in the Constitution where the Court claims to have had found them.  And in filling out those rights, the Congress, at the same time, may mark their limits.  The one thing that should not be tenable under this Constitution is that the Court may articulate new rights – and then assign to itself a monopoly of the legislative power in shaping those rights.

With the benign logic of the separation of powers, it would have made the most profound difference if Justice Brennan and his colleagues had understood, at the very outset, that if they loosed upon this country this new “right to abortion,” the judges could not keep control of it.  Congress would have laid hands on it at once, and we know, from the record, what Congress was likely to have done.

Lest we forget, the parties were not as polarized as they are now on this question. There were strong pro-life Democrats in Congress, reflecting the outrage of their voters, and quite ready to do something.  If Congress laid its hands on this matter, it would have been to counter forcefully the decision in Roe, not to endorse and promote it as a breakthrough in our jurisprudence.

Justice William Brennan was no mean reader of the political winds, and with this cast of things, it seems highly unlikely that he would have encouraged his colleagues to spring this decision, especially with two judges in bristling dissent.

In that event we would have been spared the scene of pro-lifers marching every year in the cold, winding around the Capitol until they reached the Court – and with that move confirming a premise even worse yet: that, among the branches of our government, the Court is truly the most sovereign of all in governing our lives.

What I am suggesting is that the simple logic of the separation of powers – the logic explained by Lincoln and exemplified by his Administration – that this logic of the Constitution could have been enough to have spared us the decision that disfigured our laws and altered the moral sensibilities of our people.

If and when Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would be on a day in June, when the Court announces its decisions on the cases most freighted with controversy.  In that event, the pro-life March of celebration could be held in the spring, with the signs of life renewing.

And yet my sense of the pro-lifers is that they would still march every January in the cold. For something in them just doesn’t want to make things easy.  They might prefer to remember with cold sobriety that the temptation to do thoughtless, even murderous things, may spring even from decent people living in good places.

COLUMN BY

Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College and the Founder/Director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding. His most recent book is Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law. Volume II of his audio lectures from The Modern Scholar, First Principles and Natural Law is now available for download.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

The Method to Their Madness

“America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln.   January 27, 1838.


For different reasons and perhaps unknowingly, the leftist-supported LGBTQ movement and Islam are allied in a common goal of ridding the West of its Judeo-Christian ethos.  The former would abandon America to the tyranny of unrestrained freedom, the latter to the prison of a mullahcracy – strange bedfellows united by a common goal.

Our school systems countrywide have long been moving away from our Biblically-inspired culture – gradually eliminating our own values to make way for the chaos of the Left and the tenets of dehumanizing Islamic laws, sharia.  It began in the 1960s, but it was never so insidious and efficient until the Obama years and the implementation of Common Core standards and other deviations from our Founding Principles and Virtues.

With an influence on all aspects of students’ lives, schools have been discouraging close friendships within the classroom for quite some time, preparing the children for dependency on and development of a group mentality, in which opinions are insinuated into the entire class rather than encouraged to be formed by the individual.  Longer time spent on computers and away from critical peer interaction stunts the brain development necessary to form and defend their own thoughts.  Kept from reading quality literature that would expose them to the experiences and hard-won wisdom of previous generations, they are instead confined to the propaganda du jour.

Further disengagement from amity is accomplished with the introduction of intersectionality, whereby the children are emotionally divided into conflicting groups determined by superficial characteristics, such as race, religion, ethnicity, sex/gender, social or political group membership.  The  dissimilarities rouse their distrust, envy and intolerance, which in turn trigger their resentment, anger and violence.  Their rational judgment abandoned, they look to the leader (schools, textbooks, instructors) for protection.  This becomes the “wolf pack” from which they gain their relevance, acceptance, power and invincibility.  Their blind need for harmony overrides all desire for alternative ideas and viewpoints.  The product of their schooling, implemented long before we understood the Left’s control over academia, is more stressing and devastating than we had imagined.

The removal of literature authored by “old white men” has decreased their language skills and reading comprehension, killing the inspiration that once empowered further investigation and learning.  It was also used to instill a resentment for the “old white men” – our Founding Fathers and all Caucasians.  The reading skills of many of today’s high school graduates are no better than fourth-grade level.  They cannot read their own diplomas, but have been promoted in the name of “equality,” and disposed to listening to mind-bending oration on whom to hate and blame for their plight, their incompetence, unemployability, and social station – the true culprits being their educators.

Hearing a persuasive speaker can preclude research and critical thinking, and prevent the development of the vital ability to discern fact from misinformation. Consequently, they are rendered defenseless against, for example, the simpler Arabic-published, antisemitic material that damns Israel and Jews worldwide.  The unrelenting emphasis on equality has leveled the learning field and produced mediocrity in the students.  The resultant “Brave New” American unexceptionalism is indistinguishable from the capabilities of the Third World, and is fatally vulnerable to the confident assertions of Islam.

Beware of Islam, but beware equally of an education that disarms our youth.

The other attack is against the essence of the children’s identity, their family heritage, their ability to bond with others in a mutually supportive friendship or marriage and parenthood, their God-ordained role in human society.  Leftist-controlled academia have been laying the groundwork for this destruction patiently over time, eroding the core and spirit of their personality, even to removing their sexual identity, making them vulnerable to assaults, humiliation, and total dominance.  Although homosexuality and its various effects are publicly considered haram (prohibited, impure and sinful) in Islam, some unspoken acceptance exists, so that, even here, these two evils of Islam and Marxism (the Green-Red Axis), may still work conjointly – at least until the final accounting.

With homosexuality and deviance now becoming acceptable, the exposure of the very young to bizarre behaviors, the appearance of Drag Queens at libraries’ Storytime, the gay-rights activists are being allowed to condition our young children (including Kindergartners) to accept masturbation, transgenderism (to some deadly results) and pedophilia.  The behavior of a pedophile, now innocuously termed a MAP (Minor Attracted Person), is being hailed as acceptable, without giving thought to the victimized child.  We need not leave it up to imagination to consider the effects of rape at an early age.

In the Islamic world, the mother has complete control over her son for his first seven years, during which time she may take him to the local bathhouse where he will be assaulted, raped and humiliated, and bond violently to sexual relations.  The result is a lack of intimacy and empathy, animosity toward his mother’s betrayal, feelings of aggression against all women, and confusion that extends into his adulthood.  The act becomes synonymous with power, control and domination.  The infamous mass attacks and sexual assaults by Arab migrants on the women in Cologne, Germany, have revealed the Arab man’s sick relationship with women.  His rage is nurtured by his family life and encouraged by imams and Mahmoud Abbas’s Days of Rage, and western cultures are still denying this form of combat.  The Islamic woman who is raised to be subservient is valued only when she has borne a son and when he has been martyred in suicide while murdering the perceived enemy of Islam.

The objectification of children is a commonality shared between the Left and Islam, the attitudes now being overtly introduced into our culture as we descend into a godless darkness.   The LGBTQ community’s activists, supported by the Left and Islam, have no reservations about allowing pedophiles to conduct a dehumanizing assault on our most vulnerable.  Robbed of their childhood, these children are to be exposed to a deviance for which they are disastrously immature, so that they, too, may react with terrible fear, abandonment, shame and degradation, their anger paralleling that of the jihadi’s.  Pedophiles and their victims are to be added to the progressives, anarchists, communists, prematurely released criminals, uncontrolled migrants, Antifa, Black Lives Matter – the mainstream media’s darlings – as the homegrown warriors rise up against capitalism, citizen sovereignty, freedoms and individuality.

Abraham Lincoln warned us to beware that we could be destroyed from within, but never, in his wildest nightmares, could he have envisioned how it would be attempted.  Those who are so fearful as to remain in denial may never know what hit them.

© All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Drag Queen Story Hour Expanded Across America

What comes after transgender theories? Radical feminists have a game plan for destroying the family.

Today’s dispatch comes from two remote outposts of stellar gender gobbledegook in the Galaxy of Improbable Lunacy. It suggests that some academics are navigating so deep in space that  they have outpaced even the light emitted by the transgender supernova.

Feminism is a broad church. There are feminists who are strongly pro-family and pro-life; they fight for the human and spiritual dignity of women. There are feminists who are pro-choice and pro-divorce; they fight to right injustice and for absolute autonomy. But you can have a conversation with them.

And then there are ultra-radical feminists who will not rest until they have destroyed femininity, motherhood and the family. This calls for a certain amount of ingenuity, or loopiness. A conversation with them is almost unimaginable.

Here are two recent examples culled from academic publications.


Consider surrogacy. Some feminists argue, à la The Handmaid’s Tale, that it is sheer exploitation of desperately poor women. But others contend that surrogacy is the quintessence of bodily autonomy and choice.

No better example of the latter can be found than Sophie Lewis, a British theorist living in Philadelphia. Last year she published Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family, a blistering attack on the family from a Marxist perspective.

The yawning history of so-called “unassisted” bio-kin provides the statistics, poems, songs, pamphlets, and novels detailing the discomfort, coercion, molestation, abuse, humiliation, depression, battery, murder, mutilation, loneliness, blackmail, exhaustion, psychosis, gender-straitjacketing, racial programming, and embourgeoisement. The private family is the headquarters of all of these.

Yes, surrogates are terribly exploited, she says. But we need more surrogacy, not less!

If more children are born to surrogates, the capitalist notion that children “belong” to those whose genetics they share will break down. Collective responsibility for children would radically transform our notions of kinship, “until they dissolve into a classless commune on the basis of the best available care for all.”

Lewis wants to reimagine pregnancy “as something to be struggled in and against towards a utopian horizon free of work and free of value”. She looks forward to the dissolution of the mother-child bond and to embracing “polyparental abundance.” Unsurprisingly she also wants to dissolve the notion of “woman” and “female”.

Some readers will probably have noticed by now that the terms “women” and “female” appear only infrequently in this text. The reason for that is simple: I feel there’s no call for them. The formulation “pregnant people” is just as good as the alternative “pregnant women, men, and non-binary people,” and it is more precise than “expectant mothers” or “pregnant women.” Precision is important, I firmly believe, because there can be no utopian thought on reproduction that does not involve uncoupling gestation from the gender binary.

So what does she think about Margaret Atwood’s novel? The dystopian tale presents a very dark vision of surrogacy. Religious conservatives in the United States point to the US$1 billion surrogacy industry and lament that “we’re already living in The Handmaid’s Tale”. It seems that Atwood’s fans are victims of “false consciousness”, as Marxists put it. Defining misogyny as “womb-farming” conceals less artistic forms of violence against women based on class, race and binary gender.

“In the mood created by The Handmaid’s Tale, fans can instrumentalise commercial gestational surrogates fleetingly as mascots for reproductive rights and quintessential victims of patriarchy, without ever feeling the need to engage a critique of capital.”

Full Surrogacy Now is a bracing read, with something to offend nearly everyone.


And what about ectogenesis, or gestating babies in artificial wombs? This was, you may recall, the way that children entered the world in the dystopian novel Brave New World.

Women will never be free until they have been freed from the tyranny of reproduction. This was the audacious claim made by 1970s radical feminist Shulamith Firestone.

This utopia seemed unimaginably distant then, but technology could make it a reality with ectogenesis, or artificial wombs, contends Kathryn McKay, of the University of Sydney. She published her proposal in Bioethics.  This is not feminist samizdat photocopied on yellowing paper, but an influential academic journal. Here’s what she has to say:

… a foundational piece of women’s oppression is the conceptual link to female reproductive function, and this link should be targeted for destruction. … ectogenesis holds the potential to radically challenge dominant notions of gender categories and family roles by allowing us to break the conceptual links between ‘woman’, ‘mother’ and female biology.

In fact, McKay argues not simply that ectogenesis is a good idea, but that “we have a moral imperative to develop ectogenesis as a means to assisted gestation”. Apart from being part of patriarchal oppression, natural childbirth is risky and dangerous. The alternative, gestational surrogacy, is dangerous and exploitative, and “contribute[s] to the maintenance of pronatalist social pressures to produce genetically related offspring”.

Ectogenesis would also help to destroy the patriarchal disaster that is the nuclear family by eliminating “motherhood” as an exclusively female experience.

Insofar as adoptive, kinship, and same‐sex parents are already pushing against pronatalist and geneticist assumptions, ectogenesis will further put pressure on this view. Ectogenesis reveals the possibility that what has hitherto been a major component of female reproductive function—gestation—might not involve a woman at all. If an infant might not be ‘carried’, or ‘birthed’ by anyone as such, then carrying and birthing are undermined as relevant factors in being a woman or mother.

Ectogenesis, therefore, is the ideal means of reproduction in a society which accepts fluid gender roles:

If an infant is not of woman born, but ‘decanted’ from an artificial womb, then the primary caring role cannot be determined de facto by who gave birth to it. So, it encourages an understanding of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ as social roles, not as specifically gender‐ or biologically‐determined identities.

Alas! The reality of ectogenesis is still a distant possibility at the moment. But McKay points out that the mere possibility of it puts pressure on oppressive patriarchal norms. Imagining it is a thought experiment which underscores the absurdity of biologically-based gender norms.


Where do these people live, you might ask. Their proposals are so absurd that they could have been written by aliens from a distant galaxy. It makes one despair of a university education if people with PhDs are scribbling such nonsense.

But they are a painful dig in the ribs for people who believe in the vital importance of the nuclear family. No, abortion is not the end of the world. No, same-sex marriage is not the end of the world. No, transgenderism is not the end of the world. The end of the world will confront us with scenarios even more bizarre – the abolition of marriage, of motherhood, of procreation, of sexuality. It’s worthwhile fighting on these other issues, because if we lose those skirmishes, something much worse awaits us.

COLUMN BY

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Drag Queen Story Hour Expanded Across America

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

I am a pro-life Democrat, preparing to hold my nose and vote for Trump

There seems to be no place for people like me in the party.


I am a pro-life Democrat. From where I sit, I continue to be horrified by the Democratic Party leadership. They seem to be behaving in ways calculated to drive away all but the most ideologically committed members.

Let’s start with Hillary’s defeat in the 2016 elections and the victory of Donald Trump. This came as a terrible shock because if political reality had been what they thought it was, she should have won by a landslide. Identity politics and the phantom of the “rainbow coalition” had a firm grip on Democrats. Women should rally to the first female presidential candidate and she thought she could depend on those who had traditionally been the backbone of the Democratic Party to remain loyal. But, surprise! Identity politics backfired. Trump was able to appeal to the interests and viewpoint of working-class white people (male and female), who were fed up with the sort of elite superciliousness shown by the leadership of both parties. Plebeian white people had an identity as well that could be appealed to.

That issues like abortion and same sex marriage are hot button issues about which many Democrats differed passionately should have inspired the Democrats to search for some sort of compromise.  Instead they “doubled down” on the most controversial issues, attempting to throw pro-life democrats out of the party, thereby driving enormous numbers of Democrats out of the party entirely into the arms of the Republicans. Their behavior since continues to show an extraordinary lack of a sense of political reality.

Among the proposed Democratic candidates for 2020 there is not one seriously pro-life candidate, and most of them favor more extreme positions, such as requiring tax payer funded abortion (Biden), or expansion of “abortion rights” to a point where it is indistinguishable from infanticide. Elizabeth Warren, whom some regard as “Hillary lite” spent her birthday at Planned Parenthood and said she would wear a scarf showing her support of them at her inauguration (if she wins). The fear of giving any moral weight to the life and health of the fetus in the womb has even led  Democrats to oppose environmental regulations that would protect wanted children in the womb. Then, we have a supposed “progressive” who thinks the human extinction movement has a point – hardly a cause for which people are going to run to the barricades – and one which makes nonsense of the idea of progress.This sort of behavior is hardly calculated to make peace among warring factions.

The Democrats then decide to launch a campaign for Trump’s impeachment before he has even taken office. And, when they do get a majority in the House of Representatives, for some unaccountable reason, they fail to bring into it the important issues which cause many people to oppose him, such as Trump’s treatment of immigrants or his horrible environmental policies.  Instead, they decide to focus on obscure issues about the Ukraine and Russia, attempting to revive the Cold War. They argue that that we need to support the Ukraine to protect us against the Russians. The idea that the Russians still entertain aspirations to world dominance is silly. They can barely maintain control within their borders.

It being inconceivable that Hillary should lose, they tried to blame it on the Russians. But American voters, especially white working-class people and African-Americans, did not need the Russians to tell them to be dissatisfied with the failures of the Obama administration.

Then, stoking the fires of racial resentment and white self-hatred, they have put forward a ludicrously inaccurate version of history called the 1619 Project, according to which slavery and racism are at the core of our national identity, so that the United States as a country began to exist only when the first African slaves were brought here, that the slaves fought alone for their freedom (forget about the Union army) and that racism is in the American DNA.  (For a detailed critique see the interviews the World Socialist Website, wsws.org.) Again, hardly a theory likely to inspire anyone to change; if we are racist in essence, there is nothing we can do about it but die. It merely adds guilt to the pot to pressure people to go further down the path toward divisive programs such as affirmative action and, perhaps even reparations, for which the white working class, as usual, will be asked to pay.

Any one of these blunders would be enough to make me hesitant to get on board for electing a Democrat, but putting them all together I fear they lead to despair. Merely obsessing about how they hate Trump will get them nowhere. The way the Democrats have been behaving could make even the most devoted Democrat hold her nose – hard – and vote for Trump.

COLUMN BY

Celia Wolf-Devine

Celia Wolf-Devine is a retired philosophy professor (www.celiawolfdevine.com). See also her blog http://www.celiawolfdevine.com/prolife/ titled Progressive, Pro-Woman, Pro-life.

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

Social Liberal Is Silenced Over Belief That There Are ‘Only 2 Sexes’

Weeks after J.K. Rowling expressed disdain for a British employer firing an employee for stating sex is binary, another employer—this time in the U.S.—allegedly fired a freelance columnist for saying there are only two sexes.

Jon Caldara, a regular columnist for The Denver Post, announced Jan. 17 in a Facebook post that the publication had fired him for his traditional, but apparently offensive and “insensitive,” beliefs about sex and gender.

An editor’s note posted Jan.21 at The Denver Post confirmed Megan Schrader, editor of The Denver Post’s editorial pages, decided the publication no longer would run Caldara’s weekly freelance column, although the newspaper denied Caldara’s views on gender were the reason.

In Caldara’s controversial piece, headlined “Colorado Dems should let sun shine on their hospital fees and sex-ed curriculum,” he suggested Democrats don’t want transparency in health care any more than they do in education, particularly when it comes to the transgender agenda regarding language. Part of his column reads:


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Democrats don’t want transparency in hospital billing, and they certainly don’t want education transparency when it comes to their mandate to convince your kid that there are more than two sexes, even if it’s against your wishes.

Among the most controversial laws that passed last year was the comprehensive human sexuality education mandate which ripped local control away from your neighborhood school board. Now if your school district wants to teach even basic sex-ed, the teacher must also teach the “health needs” of LGBT individuals.

And in the anti-free-speech style that the left now embraces, the new law bans discussions that “employ gender stereotypes,” or any language the state’s new oversight board of LGBT activists consider “stigmatizing.” In case you hadn’t noticed, just about everything is stigmatizing to the easily triggered, perpetually offended.

In his Facebook post, Caldara clarifies his column is not meant to be diplomatic. It’s “not a soft voiced, sticky sweet NPR-styled piece which employs the language now mandated by the victim-centric, identity politics-driven media,” he wrote. He further explained why he believed The Denver Post fired him:

What seemed to be the last straw for my column was my insistence that there are only two sexes and my frustration that to be inclusive of the transgendered (even that word isn’t allowed) we must lose our right to free speech.

But to force us to use inaccurate pronouns, to force us to teach our kids that there are more than two sexes, to call what is plainly a man in a dress, well, not a man in a dress violates our right of speech.

In its editor’s note about why the company let Caldara go, the paper dismissed implications that he was fired because editors “do not want to run conservative columns about issues surrounding sex and gender,” citing that they had run two of his columns on that topic previously.

Instead, they talked of this being a “sensitive” subject that requires “respectful language.” “We expect writers to work with us in a collaborative and professional manner as we strive toward that goal,” the post read.

Caldara’s style may be straightforward rather than subtle, but it’s hard to see how he was disrespectful, callous, or cruel. In fact, it’s almost ironic that the paper would imply Caldara’s language was too harsh when manipulation of language is exactly the point Caldara was making in his column.

Caldara emphasized progressives not only have weaponized language in a way that’s well beyond what society has deemed normal for centuries, but they also now want to force the rest of society to use language the same way. In essence, participate or be shunned, ostracized, or labeled traditional or mean.

For his bold language about the importance of free language, Caldara was fired for using the “wrong” language.

The fact that The Denver Post fired Caldara just weeks after Rowling ignited a public outcry for defending Maya Forstater, the British woman who lost her job for saying that “sex is real,” seems incidental at best and foreboding at worst: If Forstater was the canary in the coal mine for the transgender speech police, what might Caldara be?

Even more disconcerting, Caldara’s own political views are hardly conservative: In his Facebook post he says he’s not even socially conservative.

To be clear I am strongly pro-gay marriage, which has frustrated many of my socially conservative friends. I have friends, family, and employees from the LGBT community. I don’t care who uses whose bathroom, what you wear, or how you identify. People from this community have rights which we must protect.

Caldara’s personal beliefs coupled with his persuasive column about the importance of language autonomy make the fact that he got fired more alarming. His points weren’t rooted in personal bias; they were urging progressives to loosen their manipulative grip on language.

For the last couple years, the progressive transgender community has maintained that although there are two sexes, male and female, gender is fluid. If Caldara can’t say that, and advocate for free speech in a freelance column without getting fired for it, then his point about succumbing to the speech police is all the more salient.

COMMENTARY BY

Nicole Russell is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, National Review, Politico, The Washington Times, The American Spectator, and Parents Magazine. Twitter: .

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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

DECADENT DEMOCRATS: From the Party of Abortion and Allah Akbar to the 2020 Right to Life March and death of terrorist Soleimani

EDITORS NOTE: This is the sixth in a series titled Decadent Democrats. You may read the previous installments here:

DECADENT DEMOCRATS — From Pedophilia to Sex with Animals

DECADENT DEMOCRATS — From Electing a Dream ‘Queer Latina’ Candidate to No Incarceration For Drug Use of Any Kind

DECADENT DEMOCRATS: The Enemies of America are Our Best Friends Forever

DECADENT DEMOCRATS — From Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globe Diatribe to Abortion to Climate Change [+Videos]

DECADENT DEMOCRATS: From Creating Weak Men and Disorderly Women to Making Sex a Biological Reality Illegal


“If a mother can kill her own child – what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me – there is nothing between.” ― Mother Teresa

“…kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them.”  – Quran 6:151


ABORTION – A Godless Act

Today,  February 24th, 2020, is the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. For the first time in history a sitting President spoke at this annual event. In October 1973 a group of 30 pro-life leaders gathers in Nellie Gray’s home in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In January 1974 the first March for Life walks on Washington to lobby Congressional leadership to find a legislative solution to the Supreme Court’s decision. Soon after realizing congressional protection of the unborn was not on the horizon, Nellie Gray decides to hold a March for Life every year until Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The 2016 Democratic Party Platform states:

Appointing Judges
We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, and will protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, curb billionaires’ influence over elections because they understand that Citizens United has fundamentally damaged our democracy, and believe the Constitution protects not only the powerful, but also the disadvantaged and powerless. [Emphasis added]

In The Atlantic article 2020 Candidates Are Going All In on Abortion Rights Emma Green wrote:

Kirsten Gillibrand has made abortion the central issue of her presidential campaign. The senator from New York has consistently led the field of 2020 candidates on abortion policy, moving first and going the furthest to embrace an expansive vision of abortion rights. Her approach is a bellwether of where the Democratic Party is heading on this issue: Abortion is guaranteed to be a key topic in the 2020 election, especially following major policy battles at the state and federal levels. Gillibrand and other Democrats have warned that Donald Trump and the conservative-leaning justices he has appointed to the Supreme Court are working to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that established a constitutional right to abortion in 1973. Because of this, they argue, now is the time for Democrats to take a definitive stance, rather than try to compromise or telegraph discomfort over the issue.

The Democratic Party has gone beyond protecting a “woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion” to fully embracing abortion up to and even after birth.

According to The Religion of Islam website:

These unique rights mentioned in Islam also include the rights of children.  Children’s rights are not guaranteed by the actions of their parents, their communities, or even their governments.  God Himself guarantees children’s rights.

The Party of Allah Akbar

The Democratic Party is the party of Allah Akbar. Among the Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus are two Muslim women – Reps. Ilan Omar and Rashida Talib and Socialist Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Both have been highly critical if President Trump. But most recently they have been especially enraged by President Trump ordering the elimination of Iran’s Al Quds General Qassem Soleimani.

According to the Times of Israel:

In a 2013 profile of President Trump during his press conference after the termination of , New Yorker reporter Dexter Filkins wrote that as head of the Quds Force, which he took control of in 1998, Soleimani “sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor, working as a power broker and as a military force: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and, for most of a decade, directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq.”

Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded to the U.S. military killing top terrorist targets in Iraq on Thursday [January 2, 2020] by ignoring the facts of the situation and going all in to stop the Trump administration from further targeting enemies of the United States that have killed Americans.

“Last night the President engaged in what is widely being recognized as an act of war against Iran, one that now risks the lives of millions of innocent people,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Now is the moment to prevent war & protect innocent people – the question for many is how, publicly & Congressionally.”

During President Donald J. Trump’s January 3rd, 2020 remarks the termination of  Soleimani, he stated:

Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you; we will eliminate you.  We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans, and our allies.

[ … ]

Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London.

[ … ]

We took action last night to stop a war.  We did not take action to start a war. [Emphasis added]

Women’s March vs. Right To Life March, Washington, D.C.

Here’s a video of the 2020 Women’s March:

President Donald J. Trump made history when he addressed the 2020 Right to Life March in Washington, D.C. Watch:

President Trump stated:

All of us here today understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and sanctity of every human life. When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation.

What a difference a party can make. 2020 will clearly be a choice between the Decadent Democrats and the Republican President Donald J. Trump.

© All rights reserved.

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RELATED VIDEO: Worthless

PODCAST: ‘Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman’ — What to Expect From 2020 March for Life

“Life Empowers: Pro-life Is Pro-Woman” is the theme of this year’s March for Life, set to take place Friday in the nation’s capital. Since 1974, the March for Life has gathered to remember the lives lost since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, and to remind America that each life has value.

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, joins The Daily Signal Podcast to discuss what to expect at this year’s march and where the pro-life movement as a whole is headed in 2020. Listen to the podcast or read the lightly edited transcript below.

Virginia Allen: I am joined by the president of March for Life, Jeanne Mancini. Jeanne, thank you so much for being with me today.

Jeanne Mancini: Thanks so much for having me, Virginia.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Allen: Now, March for Life began in January of 1974, one year after the passage of Roe v. Wade. March for Life really started out just as a small, peaceful demonstration, but it quickly grew into the world’s largest pro-life event. The 2020 march is taking place on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C. Can you share with us what the theme is that you all chose for this year’s march?

Mancini: I’d love to and if it’s OK, I’ll just give a little bit of backdrop that every year we do a lot of thinking and discerning about the appropriate theme because with the March for Life being the only place where all of the different pro-life groups come together annually, it’s an awesome springboard to message, essentially, about what we think are the most cutting edge, most pressing issues in building a culture of life.

Themes in past years have included adoption and nubile decision. Another year, in fact, last year, we had pro-life as pro-science and really delved into the science behind embryology and some of the wonderful neonatal surgeries available, etc.

This year our theme is “Life Empowers: Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman.” And, of course, this is the year where we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which created a woman’s right to vote.

So it’s a great opportunity to go back and look at the suffragist, the early feminist, the early female leaders who recognize the inherent dignity of women and the inherent dignity of the unborn. We’re not at odds with each other and they had a really good understanding about that.

We’re having a lot of fun with this theme and we’re excited to be able to talk about that more next week.

Allen: Absolutely. Now, who is speaking at this year’s march?

Mancini: We’ve got a great, great, great lineup and stay tuned because there are more announcements to be made even tomorrow.

Legislatively, we will welcome to the stage Representative Chris Smith, as well as state Representative, state Senator, as of yesterday, Katrina Jackson.

Chris Smith is very well-known. He’s from New Jersey and just a stalwart on our issues.

Katrina Jackson as well is very interesting because she’s one of the few pro-life Democrats and, in particular, we’re so interested to have her this year because she was the author of the bill in Louisiana related to abortion clinic regulations that then became a law. And now will go before the Supreme Court in March. And so it’ll be very interesting to hear from Senator Jackson.

So those are some of our legislative speakers and there’s a few more to be there.

We have Claire Culwell and Melissa Ohden. They both have these incredibly inspiring stories. They both survived abortion, essentially. And their lives are such witnesses and so they’re going to share their stories. And, of course, we’ll link that very much to the born-alive discharge petition in the House.

Right now we’ve got Jim Daly from Focus on the Family, Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of Susan B. Anthony List—a good year for Marjorie to speak with the theme. Another wonderful woman, she’s a pro-life leader in New Mexico, Lisa Martinez.

We also have a local pastor, David Platt from McLean Bible Church, a very well-known church here in the D.C. area. He will be doing our closing prayer.

And, like I said, we’ve got a few more announcements. And I should say our favorite speaker, at least when we do our surveys after the March for Life, is almost always the young person that speaks because, of course, by and large the participants in the March for Life are young people.

Our one specific designated young person who’s speaking this year is Catalina Scheider Galiñanes. And she is from Oakcrest, a school in Vienna, Virginia. She’s going to speak about why she’s pro-life.

Allen: Wow. So many amazing speakers. I really look forward myself to hearing many of them at the event on the 24th.

People come to March for Life in Washington, D.C., from states all across America. What is that message or motivation that you are really hoping that marchers will take with them back to their home states and their communities?

Mancini: The March for Life is very interesting in that it’s a place to come and witness and testify to the beautiful inherent dignity of the unborn person. And yet, ironically, for those of us who participate in the march every year, it’s an opportunity for our own hearts and minds to be changed even more about this issue.

I’ll just give you a quick example of that … I know I’m kind of backing my way into the answer here, but I had a family member come and participate from out West last year and it was the first time he had come and he’s always been pro-life, but it was quite a sacrifice to come.

He and his wife and one of his children came and had a really beautiful time. I think … his eyes were opened to the significance of the issue and perhaps his heart was changed even more in the direction of life.

And while he had a very busy schedule last year with having kind of a … I guess you could say a break from work for a few months as he was changing to a new job. This year, he’s again coming because he realized how important it is and it’s like, again, his own experience was changed and he wants to do more in his local community.

So what I would say is that the March for Life, again, while it’s a moment to testify and to give witness in the public square about the unborn, it also changes our own hearts.

Our deepest hope as those of us who pull this event together is that marchers go back home and make a difference in their local community. Because if it’s just one day that we’re coming together and are really [having a] motivating and exciting day, then we’re not doing our job. The job is really recognizing that we each have a role to play in building a culture of life and to do that in the area where we are planted.

Allen: Speaking of working in that area where you’re planted, you all have also launched a number of marches across America in different cities. Why did you feel that it was important to not just have the national march but also to have marches in states across America?

Mancini: Well, a few years ago as a pro-life organization in D.C,. we found that we were being tapped to do all things and there was a bit of … mission creep even within the organization, not terribly so, but it allowed for some reflection.

After some time I think we were all a little bit burned out and it gave us an opportunity to really look interiorly as well as look up to God and really think about why was the March created and what do we bring to the pro-life movement and to building a culture of life that no other pro-life group brings.

So, what can we do better and more of to end abortion, to change hearts and minds so that abortion is unthinkable in our country? And simultaneously, if you were to ask us, “What is the single thing that you get the most calls about or the most questions about?” It was to help groups start marches in their states and in their local areas.

We didn’t really have the bandwidth to do that well. I mean, we had sort of a very informal toolkit and we take calls and try to give technical assistance, but for the most part, we weren’t really staffed up to be able to help groups do that in a powerful way. So all of that led to a lot of soul-searching and deep discernment with the board.

We decided to try as a beta test, a state march program. So our first state march was in Virginia last year and it was in April and we brought out over 7,000 people for it. And we’re the lead story on the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which is the local Richmond paper. And for so many reasons, it was a huge success and we didn’t quite anticipate that it would be as big of a success as it was.

So this year we’ll have a second march in Virginia on Feb. 13. We’ll also have a march in Pennsylvania. That’s on May 18. And a march in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 15. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Allen: That’s so exciting. I do want to take just a moment to ask you to share a little bit about your own pro-life journey and how you got connected with March for Life.

Mancini: Oh, well, thank you for asking that. Well, let’s see. I grew up in a Catholic family and social justice and just understanding human dignity was something that was ingrained in my understanding of life and the most important things of life. …

I was 1 of 5. So we loved life, my family, and definitely lived in a way that was very respectful of life. …

After college, I did a volunteer corps, I did something called the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I worked with young people that were in a crisis setting. They were in a youth crisis shelter.

They were being moved either from a situation that wasn’t safe for them to be in or they’d been found on the streets. And there was a long-term search for more of a permanent home, whether that was going to be foster care or a residential treatment center or what have you.

So my time working with those young people was very informative and I grappled a lot with the deeper questions about would it be better if some of these lives hadn’t been born? Is it unfair to bring some lives into the world when there’s such a difficult scenario and such heavy crosses that these people carry that nobody’s ever really meant to carry?

Anyways, I did a lot of sort of introspection and I came out on the other side really recognizing that every life is a gift. And I guess realizing with humility, who am I to judge the value of someone’s life because they’ve had some hard things happen to them?

And then along the way I’ve had different experiences, obviously, in life. For certain one experience [that] weighs heavily on my heart is two people very close to me when I was in college decided to have an abortion and they didn’t tell me before, they told me after. And then in some cases it was a long time after.

Just hearing the pain that they underwent was so sad and even this terrible guilt that they were experiencing. Of course, there’s always hope and healing.

And I should say that to anyone listening to your podcast, anyone who’s been involved in abortion, there’s so many wonderful groups and people to speak with to find hope and healing after having been involved in abortion.

But I just realized personally through these people who were close to me that women deserve so much better than abortion.

It was just a lived experience of what I’d always believed but I thought in a very sad reality in these situations. So, along the way there have been many different I guess you could say epiphanies throughout my life.

And you asked how I ended up getting to the March for Life. So this is a very long-winded way of answering that. But I guess about 10 or 11 years ago, I was working with Family Research Council and I was their pro-life spokesperson and just loved that job. It was so fun and I got to do a lot of policy analysis, which is really what I love to do.

So, a few years into that job, I was asked to join the board of the March for Life. And I did expecting just to be a board member for a period of time. But I never really made it to my first board meeting without a major happening. And that was that the founder of the March for Life, Nellie Gray, passed away before I went to my first board meeting.

So my first board meeting was an emergency board meeting where we were coming up with a plan for how we were going to continue the march.

In a short-term capacity, I and another board member, Patrick Kelly, took on the leadership and we thought we’d we had our plans for how that was going to happen and here I am seven and a half years later, still working with the March for Life. And lots has changed over that time. But it’s just been a big blessing.

Allen: Certainly. That’s so neat just to hear that background and your story and kind of see how all those pieces came together. It’s really, really neat.

Mancini: Thank you.

Allen: Increasingly, unfortunately, we are seeing an attitude among the pro-choice movement. It is really not only pro-abortion but advocates flaunting abortion. And you know, we see this through the Shout Your Abortion movement, examples like actress Michelle Williams during her award acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. We could go on and on, but what should the response of pro-lifers be to this really blatantly pro-abortion rhetoric?

Mancini: I think a couple things. One is to just have great confidence in what we believe. So, to remember that reality is not arbitrary and that calling something a certain name or saying that something shouldn’t have stigma or shame or what have you doesn’t make it so.

Abortion—whatever you’re going to call it, if you’re going to shout it, if you’re going to tell your story about it, etc.—always takes the life of one and most frequently wounds the life of another. So calling it something different doesn’t change that reality.

So I think just to A, recognize that. And then B—this might sound a little counterintuitive based on what I just said—to take a very merciful approach.

I mean, look, we are in a culture of what I would describe as the walking wounded because so many women and men have been involved in abortion and that very much impacts their response to these kinds of things. There’s so much woundedness around it. And so I think approaching any conversations about this topic with a lot of mercy and love and tenderness is critical.

And … I feel that we don’t ever have to twist someone’s arm behind their back to agree with us because we should have so much confidence.

Life is inherently beautiful and the pro-life message is so positive and attractive. So we really just need to show it for what it is instead of twisting someone’s arm behind their back if they don’t agree with us.

Conversely, the more that we understand about the abortion industry and even abortion procedures, it’s dark. I mean, it’s really, really dark. So to the extent that we can show that reality for what it is as well, and certainly try to prevent people from any kind of pain and loss of life. I think that’s important too.

Allen: President [Donald] Trump is often referred to as the most pro-life president in history. Looking back at his first three years in office, what, to you, are some of the most notable pro-life victories of his administration?

Mancini: Oh, that’s a great question. In terms of really creating pro-life policy, I would agree he has done more for the pro-life movement than any president when it comes to enacting policy.

Because of my job, I have to just start by talking about the March for Life. Prior to the Trump administration, we never had a president or vice president of the United States come to the march. In fact, a speech writer once told me, and this was a former speech writer, that presidents were counseled to go to Camp David around the time of the March for Life because they didn’t want to be photoed with some graphic images or something like that.

So … there’s almost been a real fear at top levels to associate with something this important. And we’ve seen the opposite from this White House. And it’s been incredible.

I will never, ever, ever forget one week after being inaugurated, there was the vice president in person at the March for Life and Kellyanne Conway, who ran a successful campaign. And that was, again, the first time.

It was a historic moment because it was the first time ever in the history of a March [for Life] that a standing vice president had come and spoken in person.

Then the following year, President Trump addressed the marchers about a mile away from the rally. So he was in the Rose Garden and there were a couple hundred young people there in the Rose Garden with him on big jumbotrons at the rally’s site. We broadcast that live and that was very exciting.

Last year, again, we had Mrs. [Karen] Pence and the vice president. So it’s just been incredible to have that level of support from the administration.

But in terms of amazing policies that they’ve enacted—gosh, there’s been so much. One of my personal favorites is the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy that had been formerly called the Mexico City policy, but that’s been reinstated and broadened.

Another favorite, of course, would be Supreme Court appointments, nominations and confirmations of both Justice [Neil] Gorsuch and [Justice Brett] Kavanaugh.

And then all of the excellent judicial nominations that are going to be at the appeals court and the district court, I think there have been over 218 of those. I don’t have the number right in front of me, but it’s high.

Returning Title 10 funding decisions to the state, launching an investigation into Planned Parenthood. I mean, again and again, there have been so many really, really great things.

Allen: Yeah. And just earlier this month, over 200 members of Congress signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade.

Of course, like you mentioned, we’ve seen all of these great new policies and legislation come out of the Trump administration. Also … 2019 did see some really devastating pro-choice legislation pushed forward. So what do you think we can expect in 2020?

Mancini: That’s a great question. Well, I think that some of the things that we need to think about are, first of all, the election. And the March for Life doesn’t endorse candidates, but we do educate. And I think that elections matter.

I know having worked in the Office of the Secretary at HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] and seeing all of the policies change—I was there during the Bush administration and then in the beginning of the Obama administration—I just have to say the pro-life vote makes such a difference.

So, elections matter and to prepare well for the election ahead because it’s going to be a big year. That’s one thing.

I know that something that we are very much focusing on at the March for Life this year is the born-alive discharge petition and just the born-alive troops.

You mentioned that there have been so many extreme laws enacted at the state, though. Of course, Illinois now passed the Reproductive Act, which makes it sort of the most pro-abortion state in our country. New York, of course, did last year. Vermont passed another similar law.

Essentially, it’s just so critical that we’re aware of these kinds of things and that we do as much as we possibly can to message on the truth about things like the born-alive discharge petition or born-alive bills at the level of the state by the ERA, etc., etc. …

You asked the question and it’s a little hard to know [what to expect this year]. The elections are in front of us. We have a mixed Senate and House, so it’s hard to pass the federal legislation right now. And then in the states there’s all sorts of different things happening.

So to fight the extreme stuff, especially in places like Virginia, my own home state, and we’re seeing the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] is going to get voted on soon there, but to continue as much as we possibly can to pass good pro-life legislation, for example, the Born-Alive [Abortion Survivors Protection] Act, which any person with common sense would agree with.

Allen: And you recently co-authored a commentary for The Daily Signal titled “Early Feminists Were Right About Unborn Human Life.” Can you tell us a little bit more about these American suffragists?

Mancini: I would love to. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think that there is even one suffragist who was pro-abortion.

So we’ve got some fantastic quotes from, for example, Alice Paul, who called abortion the ultimate exploitation of women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was very strong in her views on this. Of course, Susan B. Anthony, etc.

But these early female pioneers, again, knew that a woman’s capacity for fertility and motherhood wasn’t a liability, but that it was a beautiful thing. I think they saw men and women as being equal in dignity but different not having to do away with the part of them that can make them mothers.

So it’s wonderful to look back and to see sort of this first wave of feminists and where they were coming from and their understanding of these kinds of issues. And then to see sort of where things are today and how far we’ve gotten from that.

For any of your listeners who have an interest in that, I cannot highly recommend enough coming to our conference the day before the March for Life.

Our keynote is one of my favorite speakers, especially on this topic. Erika Bachiochi—she’s a pro-life feminist and a legal scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. And she’s got so much to say about this and herself has a tremendous testimony and story of coming from a more pro-abortion feminist perspective to where she is today.

And then we have a stellar lineup of panelists, very much speaking to different nuances about this. Sue Ellen Browder will be speaking, she’s an author, she wrote a wonderful book called “Subverted.” Now she’s got a book coming out called “Sex and the Catholic Feminist.” She’s essentially going to go into this question that you just asked me, what the early suffragettes said and a history of that. She’ll read quotes and papers, etc.

We also have Christina Francis, OB-GYN, who’s the chairman of the board of AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-life OB-GYNs, and she’s going to talk about the consequences of abortion and especially the physiological consequences.

We also have Mary McCluskey, who works with Project Rachel Ministry on helping women and men who regret having been involved in abortion. And then Brandi Swindell, who’s the founder and CEO of Stanton Healthcare—named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of course, an early suffragist.

So I highly recommend coming in and hearing about our theme.

Allen: And how can our listeners find out more about the march that’s happening in D.C. and then the state marches that are going to be taking place throughout this year?

Mancini: Well, follow us on all of our different mediums on social media, and check us out particularly on our website at marchforlife.org, and you can count down the hours, like you mentioned, Virginia, right at the beginning.

Allen: Yeah. Thank you so much, Jeanne. We just really appreciate your time.

Mancini: Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Go to Church, Live Longer and Happier

I don’t go to church to live longer or to be happier. I go because I am commanded to go by the Bible (Hebrews 10:25). But study after study shows that those who actively go to church generally do live longer and happier lives.

I go to church because 2,000 years ago, the Founder of the Church walked out of His own tomb. He was dead on Friday, and then He became alive on Sunday morning. If you have an open mind, you can even see that He left a virtual photograph behind.

Furthermore, the followers of Jesus were crushed and demoralized by His very public death. They cowered in fear, and then they became bold and unstoppable and went to the ends of the earth proclaiming His death for the salvation of those who believe. What changed them? His resurrection from the dead.

Every Sunday morning is a weekly reminder throughout much of the whole world of His historical resurrection from the dead.

That is why people from every continent, nation, race, and tongue gather together then to worship Him the world over.

We don’t worship Him for pragmatic reasons, but in the Providence of God, longer, more satisfying lives are often a by-product of active church-going—so notes study after study.

On January 10, 2020, an Australian-born minister, Glen Scrivener, had a discussion with an American atheist, Matt Dillahunty, on a British-based online series called “The Big Conversation.”

Scrivener said, “There is a tremendous amount of public benefit for religions to flourish in societies. Those people thrive in a world where, if the government were able to put a magic elixir into the water that could deliver those benefits—longer life, happier, healthier, societies, all of these things have been demonstrated in thousands of studies—it would make society better.”

The atheist did not totally disagree, but he countered: “The truth has to do with who we are and it maybe is the case that what people need is the community which religions have done a really good job of building, and it’s one of the things that secular organizations are working towards doing now, building stronger communities.”

Meanwhile, just a little online searching shows that it is a consistent finding that attending church tends to cause people to live longer and healthier lives.

TIME Magazine said (2/15, 2018):

“If a long life is what you’re after, going to church may be the answer to your prayers.”

Harvard Professor Tyler J. VanderWeele noted:

“Over the last 20 years, research has gradually accumulated suggesting that religious service attendance is associated with better physical and mental health.”

For example, a study published a few years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded:

“Frequent attendance at religious services was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality among women. Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”

They also noted that an overall look at “studies on the connection between attendance at religious services and mortality between 1994 and 2009 concluded that religious service attendance helped reduce mortality by 18% in healthy populations.”

The New York Times (6/12/2016) adds more details of this particular long-term research project involving 75,534 women: “After controlling for more than two dozen factors, they found that compared with those who never went to church, going more than once a week was associated with a 33 percent lower risk for death from any cause, attending once a week with a 26 percent lower risk, and going less than once a week a 13 percent lowered risk. Risks for mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer followed a similar pattern.”

The more often you go to church, the more healthy you tend to be.

These findings are consistent. About 15 years ago, I interviewed Dr. Byron Johnson, now of Baylor, then of the University of Pennsylvania, about the impact of church-going on people’s lives.

Said Johnson: “There is research now that seems to indicate faith does add to lifestyle and satisfaction…..So we reviewed over 770 studies, on religion, to see what the impact was. Every study that we could find. And that’s when we came up with the conclusion that about 85 percent have a beneficial effect….People of faith report higher levels of satisfaction, higher levels of hope and meaning, purpose in their lives than their counterparts who don’t have that same kind of commitment.”

And he added this amazing statistic: “We have serious research that indicates regular church attendance can add as much as seven years to longevity for white Americans and 14 years for African-Americans.”

To me going to church is its own reward. But how nice to see it is also good for me.

© All rights reserved.

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Roe v Wade comes to Hollywood — Exclusive interview with the star of a new film about the famous court case.

January 22 marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the most contentious decision ever handed down by the US Supreme Court. In a 7-2 judgement, the Court held that American women have a “fundamental” right to an abortion.

Since that day, an estimated 61 million of them have taken place in the US. No longer a dark secret, abortions are being churned out on an industrial scale. Although the number of induced abortions has declined in recent years, the latest tally, for 2017, is still 862,320.

In the history of the US legal system, no other judgement has had such momentous consequences. Abortion touches every man, woman and child. If those lives had not been snuffed out, for instance, the US would be a nation of about 400 million.

Roe v Wade is a real-life story which screams out for a big-screen drama.

New York businessman and Hollywood personality Nick Loeb is having a go.

Roe v Wade, a film in which he is the co-producer, co-director, co-scriptwriter, and co-star, will be released later this year, possibly in the (northern hemisphere) spring. Earlier this month he spoke with MercatorNet about his ambitious project.

Loeb plays Bernard Nathanson, the central character in the film. “He’s the guy who came out later and admitted that they’d lied about everything,” says Loeb. “They lied about all the evidence, all the statistics, all the numbers that helped push their agenda. They made them up. It was fake news!”

Even Jane Roe was fake news. That was the pseudonym of Norma McCorvey, a pawn of the pro-choice lawyers who handled the case. She later joined the pro-life movement and became a Catholic.

Nathanson, who died in 2011, was one of the architects of Roe v Wade.  He was a co-founder of NARAL (now NARAL Pro-Choice America), a leading abortion rights group. In the early 70s he established the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health in New York City, which he later described as “the first and largest abortion clinic in the Western world.” He admitted that he had presided over 60,000 abortions, 5,000 of which he performed himself. He even operated on a girlfriend and aborted their child.

But after Roe v. Wade Nathanson had a conversion. By 1974 he repudiated abortion after watching them via ultrasound. In an article in the leading medical journal in the US, the New England Journal of Medicine, he wrote “there is no longer any serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy.” Eventually he became one of the leading campaigners for the pro-life side and also became a Catholic.

His story resonates with Loeb.

“When I got involved in the project, I’d never even heard of Bernard Nathanson,” he said. “As I learned more about the story and all the characters involved and when I read Bernie’s books, I found his story to be reflective of mine.

“And not only mine, but of a lot of people of my generation. We grew up in a world where we didn’t think there was anything wrong with a woman wanting an abortion – it was her body, her right. It was like pulling off a scab; it was just a lump of cells. What did I know? I was born in 1975. Nobody in school was telling us, ‘hey, there’s a baby in there’.”

This is where Loeb’s interest in Nathanson becomes personal.

“Like Bernie, I was involved in abortions – not 70,000 of them – but I was involved in two, with past girlfriends.”

It was literally a nightmare for him.

“I’d have dreams of the child that I had killed. It was surreal. You know, I’m not a religious person. I believe in God but I don’t subscribe to any one particular organised religion. I said to myself, wow, maybe I’ve made this huge mistake and I’ve killed my child. It haunted me for many, many years. I also wanted to be a young father and I’d blown my chances and I felt that I’d really screwed this up.

“And as I learned about the issue, I started to think, O my God, there really was a baby in there. And they feel pain in the first couple of weeks and there’s a heartbeat in the first 21 days.

“So I changed my opinion. I became pro-life for me and pro-choice for everyone else.”

That’s basically the Cuomo Doctrine. It was proposed by the legendary New York governor Mario Cuomo in 1984: no one is entitled to impose their belief in the sanctity of life on others. It has been invoked countless times by American politicians to square their religious beliefs with their political survival.

But Loeb eventually saw through that tawdry compromise.

“And then somebody came to me and said, hey, Nick, do you rob liquor stores? And I said, that’s wrong; you’ll go to jail. So, he said, it’s not OK for you to rob liquor stores and it’s OK for other people?”

“So I became pro-life for everybody and then under any situation. I became adamant about it. It’s a life, the most innocent of all lives, and should be protected. No matter what, no matter how it got there in the first place.”

Even in cases of rape? Yes, Loeb says, even then.

His intellectual journey surprises even him.

“You know, growing up, I thought all those right-to-lifers were crazy people,” he muses. “I’ve now become one of them. Now I look at the pro-choicers and they’re the ones who are crazy.”

Loeb was talking to MercatorNet from his office in Europe. Europeans, he observes, have liberal abortion laws, but people don’t boast about having had one. Instead, they feel embarrassed and humiliated. The contrast with the US could not be starker.

“Hollywood has made it something to be proud of today,” he says. “‘Shout Your Abortion’ is a real organisation. Comedians are going out there saying, ‘I can’t wait to have an abortion. It makes me excited.’

“This is vile and gross and disgusting. But, you know, that’s hurt their movement and helped ours. ‘Cause even if you hear clapping in the background for a stand-up comedian who says that, the general population today thinks it’s disgusting.”

Although most of his friends are pro-choice, Loeb feels that the day when Roe v Wade will be reversed is not that far off. “One hundred percent in my lifetime,” he says. And possibly in the next four years, if a pro-life justice is appointed to the Supreme Court.

Back to his film, on which he has been working for at least three years.

Loeb has lined up a solid cast, including Oscar-winning Jon Voight as Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and actress and talk-show host Stacey Dash as Mildred Jefferson, the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and a strong pro-lifer.

It’s going to be a tough sell in the media, which is almost monolithic in its support of abortion. Even most of the actors, perhaps four out of five, were pro-choice. “But you know what?” he says. “They believe in telling the truth of Roe; they believe in the free expression of opinion.”

The film tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the justices formed their opinions. From his research, Loeb feels that some of the seven who voted to create a right to abortion were actually pro-life but had succumbed to public and family pressure. “It was a big deal; this tore families apart at the time,” he says.

“I hope people go see this, and not just pro-life supporters. We take a look at both sides of the argument. And we just tell the truth of what the characters did in their lives. We didn’t make up that Bernard converted. We didn’t make up that Norma converted,” Loeb says.

“Nobody during this time went from being pro-life to pro-choice. No one converted the other way. No one can say these characters converted the other way and you left them out of your story.”

Roe v Wade has a budget of about US$7 million; by Hollywood standards, this is an ultra low-budget. But from a financial point of view, low-budget “faith-friendly” (not “faith-based”, Loeb stresses) movies can be smash hits, with a healthy return on investment. He cites War Room (budget of $3 million, box office of $74 million) and Unplanned (budget of $6 million, box office of $21 million).

And Roe v Wade has the advantage of 47 years of advance publicity. As a brand, Loeb points out, it’s iconic. There’s no need to prime the audience.

COLUMN BY

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet     

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

The Pronoun Throw Down

“Refreshingly sane.” It’s not everyday those two words are used to describe the circuit courts. But, then again, it’s not every day — at least anymore — that those circuit courts are packed with liberal activists. Thanks to the White House, one in every four circuit judges is now a Donald Trump appointee, who respects the boundaries of the constitution. And after seeing the kind of transgender pronoun insanity being debated in Kyle Duncan’s court, conservatives couldn’t be more grateful.

His name is Norman Varner — but he’d rather everyone call him Katherine Jett. “I am a woman,” he insisted, “and not referring to me as such leads me to feel that I am being discriminated against based on my gender identity. I am a woman,” he repeated. “Can I not be referred to as one?” Norman, who’s been convicted on child pornography charges, wants to have his 2012 records changed to match his preferred name. That question was essentially thrown out on a technicality. But the real debate — his insistence that the court use female pronouns — has captured the public’s attention.

And why not? It’s playing out in schools, places of business, even sports. Teachers like Peter Vlaming have been fired for refusing to use a biologically incorrect pronoun. It’s no wonder Varner’s “Motion to Use Female Pronouns When Addressing Appellant” has taken center stage.

“Congress,” Kyle Duncan wrote in the 2-1 decision against Varner, “has said nothing to prohibit courts from referring to litigants according to their biological sex [instead of their] subjective gender identity.” If anything, he points out, the “convention” is and continues to be a “courtesy.”

Secondly, he went on, if a court were forced to use the preferred pronouns of litigants, “it could raise delicate questions about judicial impartiality…” After all, he points out, this subject — sex and gender identity — is increasingly being raised before the courts. “In cases like these, a court may have the most benign motives in honoring a party’s request to be addressed with pronouns matching his ‘deeply felt, inherent sense of [his] gender.’ Yet in doing so, the court may unintentionally convey its tacit approval of the litigant’s underlying legal position.”

Last, but certainly not least, Duncan explained, indulging these gender fantasies “may well turn out to be more complex than [they] appear.” There are literally dozens of pronouns that judges would have to learn — one university’s guide, he noted, has more than 45 possibilities. “When local governments have sought to enforce pronoun usage, they have had to make refined distinctions based on matters such as the types of allowable pronouns and the intent of the ‘misgendering’ offender. Courts would have to do the same. We decline to enlist the federal judiciary in this quixotic undertaking.”

Hats off to Kyle Duncan for refusing to play along with this dangerous game. “This is an attack on basic language … Human biology and reproduction are binary, and grammar follows that basic truth,” PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil argues. “In an era of confusion, this ruling is a welcome moment of sanity.” One that wouldn’t be possible without the president and Senate’s commitment to the courts. It’s just another example of how Trump’s judges, all 187 of them, are taking back the bench for common sense.


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


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The Case That Could Upset Roe v. Wade

In March 2020, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Louisiana’s new abortion law, which requires that physicians doing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

Under the leadership of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, an amicus—”friend of the court”—brief supporting the law was just filed, signed by 207 members of Congress, 39 senators, and 168 House members.

A press release from Scalise summarizes the arguments made and lists a number of conservative organizations supporting the brief, one of which is my organization—the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

What makes this filing particularly interesting is not just the sheer volume of congressional signatories—almost 40% of the Senate and House combined—it’s also the fact that it goes further than just arguing support for the constitutionality of the Louisiana law to suggest that the widespread confusion regarding abortion law ties directly to the confusing basic premises under which abortion was found constitutional in the 1973 Roe v. Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions.


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The brief urges the Supreme Court to cast new scrutiny on these two landmark decisions that have defined the abortion legal landscape.

Asking the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade is provocative, to say the least. But it is also courageous and on target.

How can we possibly function as a nation when an issue as critical as abortion defies consensus as to its constitutional pedigree as well as its morality?

Can there be any better evidence of this confusion than recalling the famous interchange in August 2008 when Pastor Rick Warren asked then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”

Obama, a Harvard-educated lawyer who would go on to be twice elected president, replied lamely, “answering that question … is above my pay grade.”

Yet despite his candor about his inability to clarify the biological and legal status of the unborn child, he didn’t hesitate to be the first sitting American president to address the national meeting of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and tell them, “God bless you.”

There is a well-known expression from the world of computing that says, “garbage in, garbage out.”

Faulty premises will produce faulty results and output.

This is a pretty good summary of what has been happening to American culture since the Roe v. Wade decision. Once sanctity of life and its legal protections became ambiguous, our entire culture began to unravel.

The percentage of American adults married since Roe v. Wade has dropped by one-third. The percentage of children in households with married parents is down 15%, and the percentage of babies born to unwed mothers up over 300%.

The last decade, according the Census Bureau, is estimated to have the slowest 10-year growth in the U.S. population since the first census was taken in 1790.

The Census Bureau forecasts that by 2034, for the first time, there will be more Americans over age 65 than under 18.

And, of course, we cannot overlook the damage our national soul has incurred by looking away as 61,628,584 babies have been destroyed in the womb since 1973, as the Guttmacher Institute reports.

In the latest Gallup polling, 49% identified as pro-life and 46% as pro-choice. Fifty percent say abortion is “morally wrong,” and 42% say it is “morally acceptable.”

For the 47th time, hundreds of thousands will arrive in Washington for the March for Life, noting the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Jan. 22, 1973.

There is growing appreciation for the notion that what’s driving a sense that something is wrong in our nation is ambiguity regarding the sanctity of life.

Let’s pray that the court heeds these 207 members of Congress and starts rethinking the Roe v. Wade decision.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: The Wind Is Shifting Behind the Pro-Life Cause


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This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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​SILENCERS LAWS: The Cold Hard Truth about Silencers and Suppressors

Where two or more gun owners gather, there exists a high probability that a gun debate will quickly ensue. Guns are a passion for many supporters of the 2nd amendment and that passion is often on display during these debates. Unfortunately, this often leaves the novice gun owner slightly intimidated and feeling out of place during the conversation. Rather than say something that is not technically accurate, they choose to say nothing at all and miss out on one of the best parts about gun ownership. Namely, arguing about them. Silencers and suppressors are a common topic among gun enthusiasts and yet, many know very little about them. So let’s help both the novice and veteran out a little bit by breaking down the cold hard truth about silencers and suppressors.

Silencer vs Suppressor

What’s the Difference?

I hate to break it to you, but silencers and suppressors are the exact same thing. That might be blasphemy to every so-called “gun expert” on the internet forums, but for all practical purposes a silencer and a suppressor are absolutely the same thing. They both seek to reduce the sound and flash that comes from the barrel when fired. So why the big argument? 

Argumentative gun brethren will often point out that nothing completely silences the sound of gunfire. Consequently, it is inaccurate to call a suppressor a silencer. The only problem with that line of thought is that the guy who invented the thing called it a silencer. With creation, comes the ability to call it whatever you want.


Trust us when we say that if you use the term silencer around some gun enthusiast, you are going to have an argument on your hands. However, armed with the facts below you’ll be able to hold your own ground because they are the exact same thing.

History of Suppressors

Hiram Percy Maxim was the son of the inventor of the Maxim machine gun. Simultaneously creating muffling devices for cars in 1902, he had an epiphany that the basic technology could be used interchangeably. In 1909 he received his patent and the Mixim Silencer was born. He created the Maxim Silent Firearms Company and marketed them mostly to sportsman.

During World War 2, the predecessor to the CIA fell in love with them. The Office of Strategic Services utilized the HDM .22 LR pistol and the Maxim Silencer was very effective at reducing the sound of gunfire. The wartime use helped shape the opinion by the public at large that silencers were meant for secret assassinations.

Consequently, decades of backlash and misperception limited their popularity. In 2011, the National Rifle Association began a push to popularize the use for hunting and sports shooting. This is in part where the term “suppressor” began to gain in popularity.

It was thought that by calling them a suppressor it would remove much of the misconceptions about the term silencer. However, as we discussed above, the term silencer and suppressor can be used interchangeably.

How Does a Silencer Work

Firearms generation sound in three different ways. First, there is the muzzle blast which is a shockwave created by high-pressure gases escaping and expanding. Next, you’ve got the sonic boom. This is the cracking sound that comes from the bullet flying at supersonic speeds through the air. Finally, you’ve got the mechanical noise caused by the moving parts of the firearm.

The silencer focuses on the muzzle blast. It reduces the speed of the gas ejection from the muzzle and thus, you’ve got a quieter weapon. It is important to note that a silencer does not completely silence the weapon.

You still have the sonic boom and mechanical noise to deal with. Subsonic ammunition in combination with a silencer can make for very quiet day of shooting. Yet, there is still plenty of noise to be had which fuels some of the movement to call them suppressors instead of silencers.

Benefits of Suppressors

Combat Effectiveness

In 2017, the Marines of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 2nd Marines became the first entire infantry unit to deploy with a suppressor on every single service rifle. They were not turning an entire Company of Marines into elite assassins, but they were applying hard earned lessons learned from over 15 years of modern warfare.

“Move, shoot, communicate” has been the guiding mantra of the Marine Corps throughout the Global Wars on Terror. The Marines are physically fit to move and they are well trained marksman when it comes to shooting. However, it’s really hard to communicate with the sound of gunfire in your ears and communicate is an essential component of the mantra.

The thought behind the experiment is that the suppressors will allow Marines to more effectively communicate which, in turn, will help them gift violence to the enemy with greater speed and clarity. One could apply the same thought to home and personal self-defense.

In a fight for one’s life, the ability to focus increases one’s ability to survive. Moreover, it allows a defender to communicate directions more effectively to their family. The bottom line is that if the United States Marine Corps has found utility in suppressors then there is something to it.

Hearing Protection

Beyond combat effectiveness, there exists the cold hard truth that gunfire is really loud. So much so that one’s hearing in life can be adversely affected by frequent exposure to gunfire. In most cases, hearing protection is an option and should be regularly applied when operating firearms.

Then again, there are times where it’s just not practical or perhaps there simply isn’t enough time in a fight for life. A suppressor muffles the noise and as such, can offer great protection for your hearing in the years to come.

Where are Silencers Legal?

​The 1934 Firearms Act defines the terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” to mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

According to Federal Law, they are perfectly legal when the appropriate paperwork and taxes are filed. However, a handful of states have capitalized on the myths about silencers and worked to effectively ban them. There are only 8 states where silencers are banned, but local gun laws throughout the nation have put regulations on them.

We always encourage people to check their local gun laws before purchasing a firearm or silencer. Gun laws are rapidly changing in America and as soon as an article is posted, it may very well be out of date. However, assuming they are legal in your part of the country we can walk you through the process of picking one up.

How to Purchase a Suppressor

If you want to purchase a suppressor, you’ll need to fill out a healthy dose of government paperwork and, of course, give Uncle Sam a little of your hard earned money. It all starts with identifying the suppressor that you want to purchase. Most dealers will help walk you through the following process. If not, just complete the following steps and you’re on your way to a quieter world of pew, pew, pew.

  1. Decide whether you want to purchase the silencer through a trust, in the name of a corporation or as an individual. Purchasing as a trust allows you to name various persons who can then use the silencer without added paperwork, such as a spouse. If you already have a corporation and don’t want to set up a trust, that is a viable option. Finally purchasing as an individual makes you the sole owner of the silencer. Setting up a trust is a very popular option and some companies allow you to set up a free trust online. Otherwise, you would need a lawyer.
  2. Given that suppressors can only be purchased by licensed dealers, they will give you the required BATF paperwork. They can’t sell it to you otherwise, so you don’t have to go and search out the paperwork yourself.
  3. Attach a passport photograph and a fingerprint card along with $200 of your hard earned money for the tax stamp.
  4. Notify your local chief law enforcement officer. Under older rules you were required to fill out more paperwork and get approval. Now, in most locations you are just required to give the notification.
  5. Wait for the BATF paperwork to be approved.
  6. Receive the approval and then return to your deal to pick up your suppressor.

You’ll not be able to take possession of your suppressor until your application is approved. This is by far one of the most frustrating parts of the process. This can take months on many occasions, but the wait is definitely worth it. Again, if there are any questions about the process your Class 3 FFL dealer should be able to walk you through the process. So don’t be intimidated to walk into a gun shop and just ask.

How to Check the Status of Your Suppressor

The wait for your new suppressor can be excruciating and many will want to know where they are in the process. To check the status of your suppressor, simply call the ATF at 304-616-4500. You’ll then need the serial number, make, model, name of transferring dealer and the transferee which would be yourself. With that information you’ll be informed where you are in the process and perhaps how long you will have to wait.

Silencers and the 2nd Amendment

Public perception is often at odds with reality in the gun control conversation, but that doesn’t make public perception any less effective in moving the gun control agenda forward. Even if you support some version of gun control, one can hope that it would at least be based on objective reality rather than opinion. This is one of the reasons many in the pew universe react harshly to the term silencer.

It brings about the perception that stealthy villains from a James Bond movie can conduct public assassinations in broad daylight with a silencer. After all, if the sound of gunfire is removed, then how would anyone know a shooting is taking place? This induces public fear and support for banning something that is anything but silent.

By pointing out that firearm muffling devices merely suppress the sound rather than eliminate it, gun owners are trying to dispel the silent myth. For many gun owners, the suppressor is the canary pigeon in the mine shaft of 2nd Amendment liberties. Where the suppressor is made illegal, more gun laws are sure to come down the road.

​What you Need to Know About Silencers

At the end of the day, what you really need to know about suppressors is that they are safe, effective, and a whole lot of fun. They won’t turn you into a secret assassin and nor are they guaranteed to save your hearing. It is still recommended that you use hearing protection when firing guns with a silencer.

You need to know that it is ok to call them a silencer or a suppressor, regardless of what the local “gun expert” says. However, if you want to help fight back on the negative perceptions associated with silencers, you might be doing the 2nd Amendment a solid by calling them suppressors.

That’s the cold hard truth about silencers and suppressors. Now that you are ready for your next big gun debate, check back in with us later for more meaty gun knowledge and live the 2nd Amendment lifestyle the way it was meant to be lived.

© All rights reserved.

New Year’s Thoughts from a ‘Boomer’ Doc

Preview: 

  • The words of the year as 2019 ends appear to be “OK Boomer” and “woke.” To this Boomer, it appears that the younger generation is blaming us for all the Evil in the world, from their perch of “woke” moral superiority. They consider us to be out of touch and over the hill.
  • Virtually all students will face a crushing load of debt, because of soaring tuition without any improvement in knowledge output.
  • The younger generation throughout its early years is trapped in age-segregated cocoons, surrounded by guilt-inducing, fear-inspiring indoctrination; immersed in virtual reality; isolated from natural family, their cultural history, opportunities to learn real-world skills, and dissenting opinions.

The words of the year as 2019 ends appear to be “OK Boomer” and “woke.” To this Boomer, it appears that the younger generation is blaming us for all the Evil in the world, from their perch of “woke” moral superiority. They consider us to be out of touch and over the hill.

According to Merriam-Webster, “woke” means “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” It went from being a black activist watchword to internet slang.

It is apparent that there is a giant political divide in this country, partly but not entirely intergenerational. In my opinion, my generation bears a lot of blame, but probably not in the way that most Millennials think. Waiting for us to die and get out of the way is not going to solve the problem—particularly in medicine.

There is one indisputable advantage I have as a Boomer. I have had the experience of being young; my younger patients have not experienced growing old. I know exactly what that cross-stitched embroidery on my wall means: “Ve get so soon old und so late schmart.”

I was young and impressionable and passionately held some very ill-informed opinions. I did some stupid things—but did not do worse things because I had the benefit of learning something from older people’s experience.

I had the inestimable advantage, which so many young people today lack, of having a traditional extended family. My mother was at home, running my father’s contracting business. My grandparents lived next door. I played Scrabble with Grandma, and learned a little German from Grandpa. My father was home every night. I got some invaluable experience, not especially enjoyable at the time, by sweeping the floor and picking up bent nails at construction sites.

I got a nice head start because of my dad’s hard work. It put me through medical school debt-free. Most Millennials cannot have the same advantage. Their daddies could not have learned skills like carpentry at home, or built a house by themselves, starting with the surveying and ditch-digging with pick and shovel. “Protective” regulations would have prevented it. They cannot build up savings as I could, when one could earn real interest not cancelled out by inflation, and when much less of one’s paycheck was devoured by taxation.

Do Millennials have the same chance to get into medical school as I did? It depends. The admissions process in my day was generally meritocratic even if not entirely fair. Today, the main emphasis is “diversity.” Straight white males and Asians seem to face discrimination. A correct attitude is critical, while organic chemistry may not be required at all—never mind that the body is a chemical factory, built on carbon-based (i.e. organic) chemicals. The new doctors are different—not necessarily better.

Virtually all students will face a crushing load of debt, because of soaring tuition without any improvement in knowledge output. Unable to take the financial risk of declaring independence, and faced with new, ever-increasing re-certification requirements, young physicians will be enslaved to the opinions of their employers and specialty boards.

The Boomer generation is largely responsible. The Berkeley window-smashing “Free Speech” movement assured your ability to constantly fling obscene or profane words, while undermining cultural norms and traditional authorities. One institution after another—universities, the media, churches, professional organizations, charities, political parties, even businesses—surrendered to the radicals’ Marxist, holier-than-thou ideology.

Boomers also brought us the “entitlements” that are bankrupting government and mortgaging the labor of the younger generation. Most don’t care about robbing their grandchildren when this consequence is pointed out to them. State governments, professionals, insurers, and bureaucrats are also most concerned about getting their share of the loot.

The younger generation throughout its early years is trapped in age-segregated cocoons, surrounded by guilt-inducing, fear-inspiring indoctrination; immersed in virtual reality; isolated from natural family, their cultural history, opportunities to learn real-world skills, and dissenting opinions.

As C.S. Lewis pointed out, it is important to read old books because each generation makes different mistakes. It is critical for the generations to talk to each other—to break down the barriers of censorship and distrust, to seek universal truths, and to keep the flame of freedom alive. We need to be awake and in touch.

© All rights reserved.

Tents, Homelessness, and Misery: 9 Things I Saw in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO—Call me a poop skeptic.

After years of reading about the alleged horrors of San Francisco, I decided I wanted to see for myself if the City by the Bay was really in such dire conditions.

I’d grown up 30 miles south of San Francisco, occasionally popping in for field trips or shopping or sightseeing. Sure, the city had always had homeless people, but the conditions I read about—needles everywhere, “poop maps” documenting the location of human feces—seemed absurd.

How bad could it actually be in one of America’s most famous cities?


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Could one of the most famously liberal cities in the nation have disintegrated into disaster?

In 2009, I’d moved away from California. In the decade and change since, San Francisco has undergone a radical transformation. A new wave of top Silicon Valley companies—Twitter, Uber, Facebook—opened headquarters or offices in the city. And while San Francisco hadn’t ever been inexpensive, housing costs soared, with the median housing price more than doubling since 2010.

The 49ers, a football team, retained “San Francisco” in their name, but left famed Candlestick Park, now demolished, for Santa Clara, a California town south and in the middle of Silicon Valley—although San Francisco did gain the Golden State Warriors, a basketball team.

Uber and Lyft, which first came to San Francisco in 2010, now dominate ride-sharing services, their drivers swooping up and down the city’s famous hills.

Yet one change hadn’t occurred: The city has proudly remained a liberal bastion.

Home to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, San Francisco is reliably and overwhelmingly blue in every election (with perhaps a few votes going to the Green Party).

In just the past year, the city’s Board of Supervisors declared the National Rifle Association to be a “domestic terrorist organization,” and the school board voted first to paint over, and then to hide, a mural of George Washington in one of the city’s high schools—a mural, incidentally, painted by a leftist who strove to show both Washington’s greatness and flaws.

Such actions are just par for the course for San Francisco, a city of more than 884,000 that in the past decade also banned fast-food restaurants from including toys with most children’s meals; prohibited city-funded travel by local employees to 22 pro-life states; raised the minimum wage from $9.79 to $15.59 an hour; and, after banning plastic bags in 2007, first set a 10-cent fee for each nonreusable bag at stores, and then a 25-cent fee per bag.

Yes, leftist insanity has long been the norm for San Francisco. But the liberal would-be-utopia had once been seen as a great city, not a filthy environment full of struggling people.

In a tweet in December, President Donald Trump wrote: “Nancy Pelosi’s district in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come[s] to the homeless and crime. It has gotten so bad, so fast.”

Showing it wasn’t just some “right-wing conspiracy” that San Francisco was falling apart, Oracle, one of the huge tech companies in the region, announced in December that its annual OpenWorld conference was going to Las Vegas for the next three years—costing San Francisco an estimated $64 million in potential revenue. An email from the San Francisco Travel Association, obtained by CNBC, mentioned “poor street conditions” as a factor.

So two days before Christmas, I left my parents’ house and made my way over to San Francisco.

I wanted to see for myself what conditions were really like. Was the middle class being driven away? Was the city as liberal as its politicians suggested? How many people were living on the streets?

Twenty-two thousand steps and four Uber and Lyft drives later, here’s what I saw.

1. Tents on Sidewalks

Before arriving in the city, I’d read that the Tenderloin neighborhood—just blocks from a major mall and retail area—is one of the worst.

Sure enough, as soon as I drift away from the retail and go a couple blocks into the Tenderloin, things get, well, smelly.

(Photos: Katrina Trinko/The Daily Signal)

To my surprise, there are tents everywhere in the neighborhood. Years ago, during the Occupy Wall Street movement, I’d visited an Occupy encampment in Boston.

This seemed similar, although there is one key difference. In Boston, the tents were set up in a park. In San Francisco, the tents are openly obstructing the sidewalk—and not just on one block.

In the course of my day, I see several blocks like this clustered in the Tenderloin neighborhood and vicinity.

Some are just a block or two away from a police station. San Francisco’s new district attorney, Chesa Boudin, told the ACLU in a candidate questionnaire: “Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc. should not and will not be prosecuted.”

I also notice something that I hadn’t seen much during my years in New York City and Washington, D.C.: homeless women, although far fewer than homeless men.

Nationally, homelessness increased by 2.7% in 2019, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Homelessness in California is at a crisis level,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a formal statement.

Residents of San Francisco likely agree: Three-quarters of respondents to a survey said homelessness in the city was getting worse, and a little over half mentioned it as a top issue, according to a 2019 report from the San Francisco Office of the Controller.

2.  24-Hour Public Restrooms

In 2019, San Francisco decided to try keeping three public restrooms open 24 hours a day in the worst areas. It’s not cheap—to keep them clean, one attendant is present during daytime hours and, presumably for safety, two are present at night.

“History has shown that without attendants, public toilets in some of San Francisco’s most challenging neighborhoods are used for drug activity and prostitution, and become targets of vandalism,” writes the San Francisco Chronicle’s Phil Matier.

Matier also did the math: After looking at the cost of funding the toilets and the amount of times the toilets were used at night, he calculated each restroom use cost the city $28.52.

In addition to three 24/7 toilets, another 21 public toilets are available at certain hours, funded by the city. “The popular program … provides an alternative to using our streets and sidewalks as a toilet,” states the San Francisco Public Works website.

The toilets advertise that people can dispose of needles there, another sign of San Francisco’s relaxed approach to drugs. Thomas Wolf, a former drug addict who lived on the streets of San Francisco for a few months in 2018, is among those now advocating the city change its approach toward drugs.

Wolf “thinks the city is too wedded to harm reduction—making it safer to use drugs—rather than encouraging people to stop using,” the Chronicle reported in December. “He said he was offered free, clean drug paraphernalia by outreach workers, but doesn’t remember ever being offered a treatment bed or even being asked whether he wanted help quitting. Not once.”

Wolf, who has ceased using drugs and now serves on San Francisco’s Street-Level Drug Dealing Task Force and works for the Salvation Army’s Railton Place as a case manager and life skills coach, estimated that 90% of the homeless he lived with in Tenderloin and the adjacent South of Market neighborhood were addicted to drugs or alcohol.

“With harm reduction, the whole point is to use less while respecting your civil liberties,” Wolf told the Chronicle. “When I was out there homeless and leaving my needles in the street and defecating in the street and urinating in the street, was I protecting your civil liberties?”

3. Washing Sidewalks

Walking around the Tenderloin neighborhood in the morning, I encounter workers washing a sidewalk—and asking homeless people to move.

A worker sprays water right up to the brink of a homeless man’s stuff on the sidewalk. The homeless man, who is shoving his belongings into a bag or backpack, starts shouting at the worker, saying (and I’m editing this since we’re a family news outlet), “The f—, man?”

He keeps shouting, bellowing sentiments along the lines of “Who the f— do you think you are, f—ing my stuff, man?” as he continues to pack up.

In early December, the Tenderloin Community Benefit District and San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney announced the beginning of weekly power-washings in the district, instead of monthly.

David Elliott Lewis, a local who is a community organizer, said, per the press release: “Even though seeing human and animal feces on our sidewalks is a common occurrence, I find it upsetting and disturbing every single time.”

According to RentHop.com, “Tenderloin has been on a winning streak for the ‘poopiest neighborhood’ contest for the past three years. The neighborhood saw 8,644.2 animal/human waste incidents per square mile in 2017, 7,722.8 in 2018, and 6,887.9 so far in 2019.”

Washing sidewalks is hardly the only way the city is addressing the crisis. In the past decade, San Francisco has been on a spending spree to help the homeless.

“Between 2011 and 2012, SF spent $157 million on homeless services. By the 2015-2016 fiscal year, it was up to $242 million. In the most recent 2019-2020 budget proposals, the figure hit more than $364 million. But the consensus remains that more is needed,” reports Curbed San Francisco, which estimates the homeless population now could be as high as 17,600.

4. Tourist Areas

What’s going on with the tourist areas, attractions that long have drawn people from around the country and the world to San Francisco’s shores?

“The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay/The glory that was Rome is of another day/I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan/I’m going home to my City by the Bay,” Tony Bennett famously warbled in “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

But local business owners are concerned tourists aren’t so tempted these days to explore what was once dubbed the “Paris of the West.”

For years, Pier 39—a mix of kitschy shops, restaurants, a carousel, and the odd street entertainer—has been a top tourist destination. Now, businesses fret, times are a-changing.

“We saw a pretty sharp decline since [2016-2017],” Brian Hayes, who owns seven shops and kiosks on the pier, told ABC7 (KGO-TV). “A lot of it is attributed to the homeless.”

“I know myself I’ll go on vacation, I’ll spend more money, but I have to have a good experience and I don’t want to have to look at the homeless and I don’t want to have to see needles on the ground and human feces. It’s not where you want to go on vacation,” Sandra Fletcher, president of Simco Restaurants, which owns five restaurants on the pier and also is facing more trouble drumming up business, told ABC7.

The day I am there, Pier 39 appears to have its usual hustle and bustle. A pack of people gather around an entertainer boasting that he can pull out the balloon he’s swallowed. A kid shrieks on a bungee flying ride.

In a store that sells products only for left-handed people, customers browse. The women’s restroom is decently clean, given that it’s a free public one in a high-traffic area.

A little outside Pier 39, I see a man in a wheelchair gliding along, plaintively asking people if they could help him out. He wears a 49ers cap and a red scarf and a checked sports coat, which I hope keeps him warm in this neighborhood right on the water.

In the few blocks between the Pier and Fisherman’s Wharf—another frequent tourist stop, essentially a line of bayside restaurants and food counters selling seafood—I notice one man sleeping on the ground.

In the area around Fisherman’s Wharf, souvenir shops sell swag and gifts that capitalize on the city’s liberal reputation:

I also browse Union Square, rimmed by some of the top shopping destinations of San Francisco: a gigantic, eight-story Macy’s, a Saks Fifth Avenue boasting of carrying “faux fur” in one of its windows, a Tiffany’s with sparkling jewelry in its whimsical Christmas displays, and a sleek Apple Store. A Christmas tree is lit in the square, and an ice skating rink is open for Californians wistfully wanting to capture some taste of a white Christmas.

About a week before my visit, Union Square was where San Francisco strained to restore its reputation. On the heels of the news of the Oracle convention’s move to Vegas, Mayor London Breed declared that San Francisco is a “world class city” and pledged further steps to address homelessness.

Yet as the Chronicle’s Matier noted, Breed’s comments in Union Square came at the same time that “an image of a man with his pants around his knees defecating in a [San Francisco] Safeway aisle was rocketing around the internet and TV.”

For San Francisco, the Oracle convention wasn’t even the first blow. In 2018, tourism and convention bureau SF Travel announced that a medical association, never named, was looking for another location for its conferences after 2023, despite holding the gatherings in the city since the 1980s.

“Postconvention surveys showed their members were afraid to walk amid the open drug use, threatening behavior and mental illness that are common on the streets,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

I see a couple of homeless people around Union Square, but nothing unusual for an urban area. The Union Square neighborhood effectively borders the Tenderloin, however, meaning a confused tourist could easily end up there.

5. A Church for the Homeless

At lunchtime, I pop into a church—one with the glorious architecture, high ceilings, and impressive art characteristic of so many older Catholic churches in the United States.

As the church’s bells chime, the sound of a vigorous snorer fills the lulls in between.

St. Boniface Church, in the Tenderloin neighborhood, allows the homeless to sleep in the pews every weekday through a nonprofit program called the Gubbio Project.

Around since the 1860s, the parish originally was the religious home of Germans in the city. The current church was built in 1902, and although it escaped the 1906 earthquake, it was ravaged by the subsequent fires. Rebuilding was completed in 1908.

“The Gubbio Project uses the back two-thirds of the sanctuary; the church uses the front one-third to celebrate the daily Mass,” the program states on its website. “This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors—they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship. It also sends a message to those attending Mass—the community includes the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues and those who are wet, cold and dirty.”

The day I arrive at St. Boniface’s, the front of the church glitters with Christmas decorations.

During the Communion service—there isn’t a Mass that day—the church is mostly quiet. During one brief moment, someone starts babbling, only to be told to be quiet by others.  When I look back, I don’t see any of the homeless people actively participating in the religious rites.

After the service, I explore the rest of the church. Most of the wooden pews—with no padding for comfort—are occupied by a sleeping person. Three people are lying on the floor in the back.

I speak briefly to Michael Bonner, a new employee of the Gubbio Project. When I ask Bonner how the homeless can be helped and what should be done, he speaks of a lack of motivation, of people “going down a path of not caring anymore” instead of having “a fire burning in you.”

Bonner talks about the need for a work ethic, and how it’s too simplistic to say the homeless problem is an effect of the city’s expensive housing. But he’s also adamant that people need help: “We just can’t give up on the willing,” he says.

I ask him if the homeless people he encounters have loved ones or families who could help. Bonner says most of them are “probably embarrassed to go home” because “you don’t want to hear it from your family anymore” after presumably failing in previous tries to get off the streets.

6.  No Place for the Middle Class

One of the big tensions in San Francisco—and in the wider Bay Area region—in recent years has been the perceived gulf between the affluent and everybody else. As my colleague Jarrett Stepman has chronicled, California increasingly is becoming a place for the poor and the rich, not the middle class.

So out of curiosity, I walk over to Twitter’s headquarters, just a few blocks away from St. Boniface’s, passing City Hall.  Twitter is just one of several companies—others include Salesforce, Facebook, Square, and Uber—that have come to San Francisco in recent years.

No doubt the city has seen a business boom: “Citywide, the unemployment rate fell from 9% in 2011 to 2.6% this year, and the number of jobs grew from 543,600 in 2011 to an estimated 730,900 last year, according to state data,” reports the Chronicle.

The area around Twitter is quiet the day I am there, and there is no sign of anyone living—or begging—on the streets. Beneath Twitter’s headquarters is a bougie food hall and a grocery store that, incredibly, makes Whole Foods seem like an affordable option.

In the food hall, I stop for lunch at The Organic Coup—which was basically everything you’d expect from a shop in a  Francisco food hall. It brands itself as the first “organic fast food restaurant” and urges me to “taste the revolution.”

Apparently, fast-food prices don’t apply in the revolutionary era: My lunch of chicken strips and tater tots, and nary a drink, costs $12.81.

However, the food hall offers plenty of options beyond organic tater tots, including—I kid you not—caviar.

One of my Lyft drivers, whose name I’m not using because I didn’t get his permission to quote him on the record, calls San Francisco a “ridiculous city.”

As we pass a gas station, where regular gas is going for $3.99 a gallon, he notes in frustration that gas where I live is probably significantly cheaper.

My Lyft driver also complains that affordable housing is a joke, saying it means something like a $900,000 for a two-bedroom condo instead of a million. The driver, who moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco 10 years ago, blames San Francisco residents for not allowing more housing, noting it had created a situation where people made a fortune on their own homes’ going up in value but where their children could not afford to buy a home and stay.

The Lyft driver’s attitude isn’t an anomaly: A 2019 survey conducted by the controller’s office found that 35% of respondents were somewhat or very likely to leave the city in the next three years, including 48% of those 35 or younger.

Although the city notes that the 35% number is in line with statistics for the past 14 years, data suggests people aren’t merely talking about leaving the city. According to real estate firm Redfin, San Francisco was second only to New York City among American cities with the dubious distinction of losing the most residents in the third quarter of 2019, the most recent period tracked.

And my driver isn’t wrong to be concerned about housing prices. “In 2010, the median sale price for a single-family house in SF came in at $751,000 … But by October of 2019, the California Association of Realtors estimated that a median-priced SF house sold for $1.65 million, more than double the value of a home the same time ten years ago,” reports Curbed SF.

7.  Life on the Sidewalk

Toward the end of the day, I speak to Anthony Rodriguez, who is sitting on a box next to a man smoking in a tent. Next to the tent is a sofa.

Neither Rodriguez nor the tent man, who doesn’t want to be quoted, knows where the sofa originated.

Rodriguez is from Oakland, a city across the Bay, but says he’s been in San Francisco for about a month.

“That’s one thing about San Francisco,” he observes. “You won’t starve.”

The 51-year-old says he’s been homeless since 2015, when his mother died, and that he had been homeless at times prior to that as well.

Rodriguez tells me a complicated story I have trouble following—and entirely believing—about being discharged from a hospital too soon for an injury he incurred on his knee.

“I started drinking again because it’s cold out,” he mentions.

Overall, he likes San Francisco, especially because he meets so many people.

“If I’m lonely and sad, I always like to come out here,” Rodriguez, who doesn’t want his photo taken, tells me.

He says he has seven children, and that he’s outlived two of his ex-wives. It doesn’t appear that he is in regular touch with any family now.

The company he finds in San Francisco “fills a void for me,” he says, noting that he’s less depressed here.

“The police will wake you up,” Rodriguez says, but adds that it’s usually OK to just go across the street when that happens.

8. Poop and Needles

So am I still a poop skeptic?

After walking all over the city, I’ve seen only one instance of poop (in the Tenderloin neighborhood) and one possible needle (I wasn’t anxious to get close enough to verify)—despite the fact that I kept diligently studying the sidewalk to see if I would spot either feces or needles.

My anonymous Lyft driver, however, says that he regularly sees people shooting up heroin, and notes you can spot the dealers by noticing who has backpacks.

“In San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ producers filmed drug dealers operating in broad daylight. In the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, where many apartments rent for nearly $4,000 a month, the sidewalks were lined with used syringes,” writes Fox News’ Charles Couger.

And in the course of my research, I encounter Twitter accounts that portray a dirtier reality than what I happened to observe:

At the end of the day, the increased power-washing and presence of public restrooms show the city has a real problem with these issues. But if you’re thinking about a trip to San Francisco, I wouldn’t skip it on account of these matters—just make sure you know where the bad neighborhoods are, and be sure to avoid them if you’re concerned.

9.  Misery

In the weeks since I visited San Francisco and started writing this article, I’ve caught myself often thinking about the homeless people I saw—from the man who was barefoot on the street in the Mission District, to those I saw on the sidewalks from my passing car, to the man rushing to pack up his belongings as a worker sprayed the sidewalk near him.

I don’t pretend to know the exact policy solution that will “solve” homelessness—although I hope to do further reporting and interviews this year at The Daily Signal to talk to experts who have insightful ideas on ways to help.

But any visitor to San Francisco can tell the current situation isn’t working—for tourists, for residents, and perhaps most importantly, for the homeless themselves.

No doubt, mental health and addiction, perhaps both in many or most cases, make helping the homeless while respecting individual rights uniquely challenging.

But as clichéd as the term is, it’s genuinely heartbreaking to walk through blocks of people, spending their lives on the streets, often seemingly in a drugged haze—and sometimes passed out entirely.

I can’t imagine tents provide much shelter against the chilly, Bay-driven winds of San Francisco, or that anyone who feels driven to defecate on the street is truly in his right mind.

Seeing this at Christmastime—when most of the country was on the cusp of days of joyful celebrations, ample family time, presents galore, and gourmet meals—was especially upsetting.

The status quo in San Francisco has a real human cost.

The left long has prided itself on having more compassion for, and solutions for, the poorest Americans than the right does.

But if one thing is clear when walking around San Francisco, it’s that this liberal bastion has absolutely failed some Americans who are struggling the hardest right now.

All photos in this article were taken by the author. In a few photos, faces have been blurred to respect privacy.

COLUMN BY

Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko is editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Daily Signal PodcastSend an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

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