VIDEO: Three Facts Those Promoting Transgenderism Ignore

The rush to embrace the transgender agenda is based on ideology, not science, and children struggling with gender dysphoria may be the most vulnerable victims.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with video is republished with permission. The featured photo is by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash.

Cuba’s Exit From Brazil’s “More Doctors” Program Reveals the Exploitative Nature of Socialism

Socialists always prove to be greedier and more eager to exploit human labor than any capitalist could ever be.


One of the many propaganda claims made by advocates of socialism is that in free markets, health care is just a privilege instead of a human right. Socialist candidates routinely demonize profit and private initiative and promise a “humanized” cost-free health care system for everyone.

And of course, it’s one thing to promise health care to everyone and quite another to actually deliver it. In Venezuela, health care is declared a right, but it’s one of the last places on earth anybody would want to go to get it.

A few remaining dictatorships such as Cuba’s still sponsor state doctors to go on mission trips to sell socialized medicine across the globe. Besides using these missions to make money for their unsustainable state-run economies, they take every opportunity to criticize capitalism and lure young people into the socialist orbit. This strategy relies upon the myth that only socialism can get individuals to manifest their virtues and “help” others, but Brazilians are now realizing that these are just empty words.

After five years of participating, the Cuban government has just withdrawn from “Mais Médicos” (“More Doctors”), a Brazilian public health program designed by former socialist President Dilma Rousseff back in 2013. At the time, she promised that by partnering up with foreign countries, the program would increase the number of medical professionals in underserved areas of Brazil.

The socialist regime in Havana saw a money-making propaganda opportunity and dispatched nearly 20,000 Cuban medical professionals to Brazil—by far the largest contingent that various countries sent. More than 8,300 are in the country as of early November. But, unlike physicians from other nations, Cuban medics did not directly receive their salaries from the program. Instead, the government skimmed 74 percent of those salaries right off the top. Moreover, Cuban medics were not allowed to bring along their family members with them to Brazil. Why? The families were essentially kept as hostages to ensure their doctor relatives wouldn’t go to Brazil and defect from Cuba’s socialist “workers’ paradise.”

Just days after his election in late October, Brazil’s incoming President Jair Bolsonaro announced some new but long overdue conditions for the program. To maintain the partnership, including validation of certificates to offer medical care in Brazil, full payment for services would have to be sent straight to the doctors themselves, and their families would have to be permitted to accompany them to Brazil if they so wished. Bolsonaro also offered asylum to Cuban doctors who wished to stay in the country.

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health immediately rejected the new terms, alleging that the “dignity” and “altruism” of Cubans could not be questioned. But of course, Havana’s very action itself raises those questions. It also answers them: The socialist regime beats its collectivist chest espousing discredited Marxist concepts like “surplus labor” and “worker exploitation” but rips off its own workers and imprisons their families in the same breath. When their “humanitarian” ventures no longer provide cash or propaganda value, they’re “outta here!” (to borrow an American expression).

At the end of the day, socialists always prove to be greedier and more eager to exploit human labor than any capitalist could ever be.

COLUMN BY

Rafael Ribeiro

Rafael Ribeiro

Rafael Ribeiro of Salvador, Brazil, is a pro-liberty activist and Fulbright alumnus. While at the University of Georgia for a year recently, he worked with organizations such as Turning Point USA and Young Americans for Liberty and published an article on FEE.org about Brazilian economist Roberto Campos. Rafael has translated Mr. Reed’s interview with Brazilian candidates for Congress into Portuguese.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

DEA REPORTS RECORD DEATHS FROM DRUG OVERDOSES: How a broken southern border allows narcotics to flood America.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) just published the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment that provides an extensive analysis of the drug crisis in the United States.

Here are a few quick “takeaways” published in the report that paint a disconcerting picture:

  • In 1999 drug poisoning in the U.S. accounted for 16,849 deaths, while deaths from suicide, homicide, firearms and motor vehicles accounted for more deaths than did drug poisoning.
  • In 2009 deaths attributed to drug poisoning moved into first place with 37,004 such fatalities.
  • Since 2009 drug poisoning has accounted for more deaths than did the other causes of death, with a sharp upward trend in the number of such fatalities.  In 2013, 43,982 deaths were attributed to drug poisoning, in 2014 that number increased to 47,055, in 2015 the number jumped to 52,404 and in 2016 that number had skyrocketed to 63, 632 deaths.

Here are excerpts from the report that are of extreme importance:

Heroin: Heroin use and availability continue to increase in the United States. The occurrence of heroin mixed with fentanyl is also increasing. Mexico remains the primary source of heroin available in the United States according to all available sources of intelligence, including law enforcement investigations and scientific data. Further, significant increases in opium poppy cultivation and heroin production in Mexico allow Mexican TCOs to supply high-purity, low-cost heroin, even as U.S. demand has continued to increase.

Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids: Illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids — primarily sourced from China and Mexico—are now the most lethal category of opioids used in the United States. Traffickers— wittingly or unwittingly— are increasingly selling fentanyl to users without mixing it with any other controlled substances and are also increasingly selling fentanyl in the form of counterfeit prescription pills. Fentanyl suppliers will continue to experiment with new fentanyl-related substances and adjust supplies in attempts to circumvent new regulations imposed by the United States, China, and Mexico.

Cocaine: Cocaine availability and use in the United States have rebounded, in large part due to the significant increases in coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia. As a result, past-year cocaine initiates and cocaine-involved overdose deaths are exceeding 2007 benchmark levels. Simultaneously, the increasing presence of fentanyl in the cocaine supply, likely related to the ongoing opioid crisis, is exacerbating the re-merging cocaine threat.

Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine remains prevalent and widely available, with most of the methamphetamine available in the United States being produced in Mexico and smuggled across the Southwest Border (SWB). Domestic production occurs at much lower levels than in Mexico, and seizures of domestic methamphetamine laboratories have declined steadily for many years.

Gangs: National and neighborhood-based street gangs and prison gangs continue to dominate the market for the street-sales and distribution of illicit drugs in their respective territories throughout the country. Struggle for control of these lucrative drug trafficking territories continues to be the largest factor fueling the street-gang violence facing local communities. Meanwhile, some street gangs are working in conjunction with rival gangs in order to increase their drug revenues, while individual members of assorted street gangs have profited by forming relationships with friends and family associated with Mexican cartels.

Clearly our porous borders, particularly the U.S./Mexican border, enable narcotics to flood into America with disastrous results including violent crimes, loss of life, lives ruined by drug addiction, and the impact on families and especially children, and money that finances criminal organizations and terror organizations. As I noted in my recent article Trump Connects the Dots on Dangers of Illegal Immigration, terror organizations such as Iran-sponsored Hezbollah increasingly have been working in close coordination with Latin American drug trafficking organizations to move drugs and aliens, including terrorist sleeper agents, into the United States.

Although I was an INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) officer for my entire federal career, I spent roughly half of my career assigned to work with other law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations into narcotics-related crimes. Consequently my 30-year career with the former INS, the forerunner to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), provided me with an intimate view of the multifaceted immigration system. It also provided me with an insider’s understanding of the drug crisis in the United States.

Back in 1988 I became the first INS agent to be assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York City. For nearly four years I worked in close cooperation with the DEA and numerous other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. I also worked closely with foreign law enforcement agencies of countries such as Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan.

While I was assigned to UID I conducted a study of arrest statistics and was startled to find that back then, approximately 60% of the individuals arrested by the DEA Task Force in NYC were identified as “foreign born.”

In 1991, I was promoted to the position of INS Senior Special Agent and was assigned, for the final ten years of my career, to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) where I continue to work with diverse law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations into large-scale drug trafficking organizations from around the world.

The issue of border security has been one of the key issues frequently discussed by the media and by a succession of administrations. For decades efforts to determine border security have been linked to the number of arrests made by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Of course those statistics are not as effective a metric to determine border security as many believe. Arrest statistics generally act as sort of Rorschach test where you could say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

If the Border Patrol arrests more illegal aliens, does it mean that more illegal aliens are attempting to run our borders or that the Border Patrol is becoming more effective at finding and arresting illegal aliens, perhaps because new technology has been brought to bear?

If the Border Patrol arrests fewer illegal aliens, does it mean that fewer aliens have been running our borders or that the smugglers have gotten better at evading the Border Patrol?

Several years ago when I was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his program at Fox News he attempted to draw conclusions about the level of illegal immigration based on Border Patrol arrests. I told Neil that attempting to use arrest statistics to accurately gauge the number of illegal aliens present in the United States is a bit like taking attendance by asking those not present to raise their hands!

I told Neil that the best and most reliable metric to determine border security is the price and availability of cocaine and heroin since those narcotics are illegal and are not produced in the United States. In point of fact, every gram of those and other such substances are smuggled into the United States and provide graphic and incontrovertible evidence of a failure of border security.

The fact that heroin is as available and as inexpensive as it is provides clear evidence that our borders are as porous as a sieve.

Furthermore, because those substances are smuggled into the United States from foreign countries, the leaders of most of the drug trafficking organizations are foreign nationals who send their workers to the United States to set up shop.

These aliens are often long-time associates they have come to trust and, because their family members remain in their home countries, if they commit transgressions, their relatives will pay a heavy price indeed.

Finally, as drug use has skyrocketed and as the Drug Trafficking Organizations have become more sophisticated and violents and have gained ever more control over the smuggling routes, human trafficking is now often linked to the drug smugglers who often use the aliens they smuggle as “mules”– beasts of burden who carry drugs on their person when they cross our borders.

Those involved in the drug trade not only violate drug, finance and weapons laws; they violate immigration laws.

Meanwhile politicians from both parties have refused to fund the vital border wall to help protect America and Americans from the influx of illegal aliens and narcotics.

The Democrats have created “Sanctuary Cities” and have unbelievably called for the disbanding of ICE altogether. However, neither political party has ever sought to actually hire enough ICE agents to deter illegal immigration or contribute the sort of resources to such multi-agency task forces as OCDETF or the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), where the unique authorities and tools that our immigration laws can uniquely provide to help investigate and dismantle transnational gangs and international terror organizations.

I addressed the nexus between sanctuary policies and the drug trade in my article, New York City: Hub For The Deadly Drug Trade.

This willful failure of our political elite to bring our immigration laws to bear to protect America and Americans, and to combat transnational gangs and international terrorist organizations, was the focus of my recent article, Sanctuary Country – Immigration failures by design.

It is time for Americans to find true sanctuary in their towns and cities.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bolivia: The Next Explosion After Venezuela and Nicaragua

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine. It is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Planned Parenthood Minds Its Ps and LGBTQs

Imagine how upset you’d be to find out that your tax dollars were funding radical sexual propaganda targeted at your kids. Well, thanks to Planned Parenthood, you already are. Apparently, the nation’s biggest abortion business isn’t content with destroying innocent lives anymore. Now it wants to undermine your moral values too.

Of course, Americans got a whiff of this back in 2016, when then-president Cecile Richards surprised people by saying, “Planned Parenthood believes that reproductive rights are deeply connected to LGBTQ rights…” In an announcement that raised more than a few eyebrows, because there is no obvious connection, she made it clear that the organization was quickly becoming one-stop shopping for the Left’s social agenda. “[Our] affiliates now provide hormone treatments for transgender people in 26 centers across 10 states.”

Now, the group that enjoys more than a half-billion of your hard-earned tax dollars a year is already wrapping its tentacles around another hot-button topic: the transgender debate. And based on the firestorm in Sarasota, Florida, Planned Parenthood is off to a flying start. Its idea of a sex education video — men groping women and same-sex couples making out — made parents hit the fan.

Despite the backlash in Florida, the group is back at it this week with a special project for “Trans Awareness Week.” In partnership with the LGBT activists at GLAAD, Planned Parenthood has taken it upon themselves to teach people to be less offensive to men who identify as women and vice-versa. The campaign, called “Beyond the Binary,” includes a new vocabulary list that makes the abortion group the newest members of the politically-correct language police.

Among other things, Breitbart points out, the “linguistic guide” scraps the terms “boys and girls” for the more generic “children.” “His” or “her” should be “their” — which is not only ridiculous, but grammatically incorrect. Apparently, science isn’t the only casualty of the Left’s gender-free march. If activists get their way, English will be the next to go. Group salutations like “guys” are supposed to give way to “folks.” “‘Brothers and sisters,’ should simply be ‘siblings,’ while ‘ladies and gentlemen’ should be ‘distinguished guests.'” All of this, Williams goes on, with a backdrop of rainbow birth control. “With its cheery backdrop of multi-colored condoms, one could almost forget that Planned Parenthood’s chief business is killing little children in their mothers’ wombs.”

Although LGBT activism can’t be as lucrative as the group’s biggest moneymaker — abortion — it certainly diversifies their already fanatical portfolio. And with Planned Parenthood’s latest hire, Dr. Sara Flowers, the organization shows no signs of slowing down. Flowers may not be a household name — but she’s about to become a household presence, now that the former director at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis has just been put in charge of Planned Parenthood’s “education” efforts. And, as far as she’s concerned, sex ed is “more than learning about birth control and sexually-transmitted infections. Ideally, sex education should address… gender identity and sexual orientation…” If you think the public-school indoctrination is bad now, just wait. Planned Parenthood has unlimited access to more than 1.5 million kids through sex education. Is yours one of them? Make sure you contact your local district office and find out.

Meanwhile, when the group isn’t busy brainwashing children (or aborting them), it’s spreading plenty of misinformation online. In new videos targeting moms and dads (no doubt also funded by unwilling taxpayers), Planned Parenthood has disturbing answers to questions like “How do I know if my kid is transgender?” Children, they insist without a scrap of science to back it up, can know their gender identity by age three, the group suggests. And, “there’s nothing you as a parent can do to change [it].” Some little kids, the narrator says, “may understand that the gender that everyone says they are is not who they really know they are inside. And that’s the definition of transgender.” If you want to try counseling, the videos urge, talk with someone who’s “supportive of transgender identities.” Forcing them into a gender box, Planned Parenthood warns, will hurt them. That’s hardly the advice of the real experts at the American College of Pediatricians, who insist this kind of guidance is “child abuse.”

After its baby body parts sales, overbilling scandals, sexual abuse cover-ups, gender targeting, unsanitary clinic conditions, botched abortions, falsified medical information, and political campaigns, Planned Parenthood didn’t have a lot of credibility to fall back on. Now, with this stampede into LGBT activism, whatever shred of credibility Planned Parenthood had in claiming to be a “health care provider” should be put to rest. This is all the more reason for Congress to finish the job it started last fall and cut off Planned Parenthood’s funding at the source: the federal government.


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

Top Tips on How to Take Care of Yourself for a Healthier Mind and Body

The best way to care for others is by taking care of yourself first. Caring for your body is essential to your wellness and mental health. You cannot do productive things if you are not in good condition. The human body is more precious than wealth or any other material things. You must prioritize your health and well-being to attain your goals in life.

To achieve a healthier mind and body, you need to practice healthy habits to help yourself be in its best state. In taking care of yourself, here are some tips that can help you be in your best shape physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Adequate Sleep

Sleep is an essential routine in your life to keep you healthy. Inadequate sleep can lead to depression, weight gain, potentially fatal errors. It can also lead to some serious health problems such as heart attack, diabetes or stroke. Doctors recommend that an adult should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Sleep deprivation will affect your concentration, mood, attention, memory, libido, judgment, and your ability to fight infection. To protect yourself from possible health issues caused by inadequate sleep, you should follow these tips to avoid sleepless nights:

  • Relax and clear your mind during bedtime.
  • Avoid taking any liquids before bed especially caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  • Follow your sleeping schedule and wake up at consistent times.
  • Reduce irregular or long day naps.  
  • Take a relaxing shower or bath
  • Reduce blue light(light from gadgets such as tabs, phones, etc.) exposure in the evening
  • Avoid midnight snacks

Have a Proper Nutrition

Nutrition is not about the weight you have or the shape of your body. It is about your health. It is about feeding your body with good sources of energy to work at its best capacity. Taking proper nutrition is the best practice to have a healthier body.

You need to have a healthy diet made up of essential nutrients to help your body. You may Include certain nutrients and foods to your diets such as vegetables, fruits, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood. Take fewer foods with saturated fats, sodium, trans fat, added sugar, refined grains, and cholesterol. Also,  balance your calories with physical activities to manage your weight.

Proper Hydration

Hydration is an essential factor to have a healthy body. Even mild dehydration can influence your mood and energy level.  Doctors recommend that an adult needs to drink eight glasses of water every day to have proper hydration.

Practice Proper Hygiene

Healthy personal habits and proper grooming means taking care of yourself. Practicing proper hygiene can help promotes good health and avoid illnesses. If you want to lessen the risk of bacteria and infections in your body, you should follow these basic hygiene habits:

  • Take a bath regularly.
  • Trim your nails.
  • Brush and floss your teeth.
  • Wash your hands especially before and after eating.

Good hygiene should be part of your daily routine. If you want to be presentable and hygienic, take time to scrub your body or cut off your dirty nails. Do the right way of brushing and flossing your teeth. Use a pubic hair shaver to deal with your privates. Follow basic hygiene routine and make it a habit for a much healthier and cleaner body.

Enjoy Daily Exercise

Include an exercise routine in taking care of yourself. It can help you lose some weight as well as preventing yourself from diseases like depression, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.

Exercise can boost your energy and help you lose weight. If you have no time to a gym because of a busy schedule, you need to move more. You can take the stairs in going up to your office. If you’re at home, you can dance in your kitchen or play with your kids. Simple things that can make you move more than you usually do can be your daily exercise.

Control Your Depression

Mental health is as important as your physical health. Don’t let stress and depression dominate your system. No matter how hard your life is, there are ways on how to prevent yourself from mental issues such as depression.

You can take a walk and breathe some fresh air, visit a friend, talk to your family or have some time to relax. You can pray and write a journal about your frustrations. Activities like this can help control your emotions.

Takeaway

You need to take care of your body. Wealth, property, and friends, can be acquired again but you can never have your body’s optimum state once it starts to feel the tolls of your negligence and unhealthy routine.

It is your responsibility to take the greatest possible way to take care of your body. Doing the tips above can help boost your health and wellness. Self-care is priceless. You just need to exert effort and discipline to follow health routines and habits.

RELATED ARTICLE: 21 Emotion Regulation Worksheets & Strategies

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

Judge Bans Enforcement of California Law Requiring Pro-Life Groups to Promote Abortion

A federal judge in San Diego has permanently barred enforcement of California’s Reproductive FACT Act, which requires pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to disseminate information about abortion.

The Friday order follows a June 26 Supreme Court decision that found that the FACT Act likely violates the First Amendment.

“The government has no business forcing anyone to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion,” said the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Michael Farris, who represented a coalition of pro-life groups challenging the law.

“California disregarded that truth when it passed its law forcing pro-life centers to advertise for the abortion industry. The district court’s order puts a permanent end to that law in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June, which rightly found that ‘the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail.’”

“The outcome of this case affirms the freedom that all Americans have to speak—or not to speak—in accordance with their conscience,” Farris added.

There are some 200 pro-life pregnancy clinics in California, many of which have a religious orientation. The FACT Act required clinics licensed by the state to post a bulletin relaying information about abortion access in a “conspicuous place” within the facility. Unlicensed clinics—which provide various support services but do not offer advanced medical care—must disclose that they are not credentialed to practice medicine on site and in all advertisements.

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) challenged the law on constitutional grounds, arguing it violated the First Amendment because it forces a private speaker to spread a message with which they disagree.

California countered that it has a legitimate interest in ensuring its citizens are well-informed about the range of reproductive health options available to them. The state also feared many pro-life clinics conceal their anti-abortion mission from unwitting patients.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, a five-justice majority led by Justice Clarence Thomas found the law likely violates the First Amendment. The case then returned to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, which entered final judgment against the FACT Act. The plaintiffs may also ask to recoup the cost of the litigation.

In one of his last opinions on the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurrence “to underscore that the apparent viewpoint discrimination here is a matter of serious constitutional concern.”

“Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions,” Kennedy wrote. “Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”

COLUMN BY

‘Gosnell’ Hangs On at Box Office Despite Obstacles

The movie about Kermit Gosnell, the late-term abortionist in Philadelphia who went to prison after being convicted of the murder of three babies, briefly cracked the Top 10  at the U.S. box office but also continues to face what its producers call censorship.

“We have been banned, blocked, and attacked,” Phelim McAleer, who co-produced “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” with his wife, Ann McElhinney, said in a statement Friday to The Daily Signal.

“The mainstream media refused to review the film despite a national release of a movie about a subject [abortion] that is a major political issue,” McAleer said. “NPR refused our advertising, Facebook has blocked our ads, and theaters yanked our film, even though it was a success.”

“Gosnell” has taken in an estimated $3.2 million and was on 467 screens as of Sunday, according to Box Office Mojo, which placed it unofficially at No. 18 among all movies in theaters.

The movie opened Oct. 12 and was the No. 12 film that weekend, after hitting No. 10 for one day.

The movie tells the true story of Gosnell and how his 30-plus years as an abortion doctor ended in a case alleging multiple murders at his clinic, dubbed the “house of horrors.” Directed by Nick Searcy, the film stars Dean Cain, Earl Billings, and Michael Beach.

Life Site News reported Tuesday that “movie theaters across the country are dropping and blocking ticket sales” for the movie “despite–or perhaps because of–the film’s success.”

Despite the challenges, McAleer said, the film has a profound impact on those who see it. He cites a report in LifeZette that a screening in California “led to its viewers helping one young local woman in changing her mind about getting an abortion.”

“Our movie has saved a life,” McAleer told The Daily Signal. “We are stunned and moved.”

The co-producer said the movie did not quickly wane in popularity.

“The film is also going from strength to strength–most movies see a massive drop-off in box office [of] 50-60 percent every week,” McAleer said Friday. “On Monday, for example, we had declined just 20 percent. Interest is growing not declining.”

COLUMN BY

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RELATED ARTICLE: I Watched ‘Gosnell.’ Here Are My 5 Takeaways

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is of Actor Dean Cain, who stars in “Gosnell” as a police officer and is known for playing Superman in the TV series “Lois and Clark,” attending a conference Saturday organized in his honor at Comic Con Paris 2018. (Photo: Mireille Ampilhac/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom)

The Democrats’ 5-Point Pitch For Voters Summed Up

Remove all of the nonsense spun up daily by the media, peel back the coverage spin, and what is revealed is a series of five Democratic positions that are, not to put too fine a point on it: Absurd and unpopular.

And most Americans find them to be absurd, damaging, crazy, annoying or all of these.

Of course, the shifting polls are showing this. As Americans are paying more attention to political positions and actions, particularly those swing voters who are not too involved with politics generally but who will vote in November, we’re seeing a swing toward more Republican support.

The GOP is now broadly thought to be able to pick up two to three Senate seats, after the Democrat-Media Establishment made a real push to retake the Senate. And the House, which was at one point a foregone conclusion to flip Democratic because of normal midterm responses to the party in power, the (former) unpopularity of the President, and the polls, now appears to be in play with the actual possibility that Republicans could maintain control.

The violence done by Democrats against the bedrock American principle of a presumption of innocence and concept of fairness during the Kavanaugh hearings certainly pushed some swing voters away from Democrats. And the roaring economy surely is moving politically middle Americans toward Republicans.

But the actual issues Democrats are running on are also driving away those in the middle as they actually become aware of them.

Here’s a quick look at those:

  • TRUMP: The primary animating issue Democrats have led with in their agenda is fueled by Trump hatred, and it means stopping, investigating, crippling and if possible removing Trump. But most Americans don’t really want that. And this shows. Despite the ongoing onslaught of negative reporting on President Trump by the media and the daily drumbeat of criticism, Americans feel pretty good about the country and the direction of the country. Astonishingly, given the comparative media coverage, Trump’s approval rating is now at an all-time high of 47 percent — two points above President Obama’s at this exact same point coming up on the midterms.
  • IMMIGRATION: In a nation with more than 20 million illegal aliens, and a massive caravan of now 14,000 Guatemalans and other foreigners marching toward the U.S. southern border (“coincidentally” right at election time,) the Democrats want to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. This is deeply unpopular because it is rightly seen as deeply stupid and counterproductive. Democrats fight every effort to secure the border and to control immigration. In practice, they are pushing for de facto open borders. Again, a disastrous policy in a country with generous welfare provisions. This general open-border stance, along with the abolishment of ICE, is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people.
  • MEDICARE: Democrats are in the starting gates and ready to bust out to spin up a quick $20 trillion entitlement called “Medicare for All,” which will not only be more than $20 trillion, but which would rob those who worked a lifetime and contributed to Medicare — while buying their own health care insurance — of true Medicare coverage when their turn comes. It would throw everyone into government healthcare, grind to a halt medical innovation in this country (which means medical innovation in the world,) require crippling tax increases and end with rationed care. This last part is why older people, who had paid in through their lifetimes, would not receive the level of care they paid for others to receive. Basically, it destroys Medicare. When American voters understand this, the polls turn sharply.
  • SOCIALISM: The Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic Party is promoting the idea of Democratic Socialism, a colossal expansion of the welfare state in which Medicare for All is only a portion, and would require the nationalization of the healthcare industry and much more, and of course massive tax increases. Millennials may not fully grasp the destruction this would wreak on the American economy and American way of life, but most voters do.
  • GUNS: Democrats not running in red districts or states have given up on the 2nd Amendment. Their efforts at banning undefinable “assault weapons” and attempts to whittle away at Americans’ gun rights have now turned into an increasingly full-throated call to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Yes, repeal it. Americans are very divided on assault weapons, particularly after an egregious mass shooting. But there is little support for ridding the U.S. Constitution of the 2nd Amendment.

When the unpopularity of these five points are combined with the #walkaway movement and the shift in black voters’ support for President Trump, it suggests that the vaunted blue wave may never materialize — media hyperventilating aside. And part of it will actually be policy-based.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. The featured photo is by Franck V. on Unsplash.

Government Economists Offer Window Into What a Socialist US Economy Would Look Like

If the United States were to adopt the socialist policies of Venezuela, the move would slash the economy by 40 percent—or $24,000 per year for the average American, according to a report by the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“Coincident with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is making a comeback in American political discourse,” says the council’s report, “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism.”

“Detailed policy proposals from self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate,” the report continues.

The report specifically cites so-called “Medicare-for-all” proposals, which essentially would be a single-payer health care program. The study found that if Medicare-for-all were financed out of current federal spending—without additional borrowing or tax increases—it would eat up more than half of the entire federal budget.

That would require drastic cuts in Social Security and in national defense to pay for it, said Kevin Hassett, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday.

Further, the report states, if the Medicare-for-all plan were financed through higher taxes, the gross domestic product would fall by 9 percent, or about $7,000 per person in 2022, because of the high tax rates that would reduce incentives to supply the factors of production.

Venezuela, where the economy is falling apart, is a profound example of what can happen under socialism, Hassett said.

“When you have a breakdown in the rule of law, and you take away private-property rights, it’s not unusual to have a pattern of destabilization,” he said. “When you undermine property rights, it undermines stability.”

Citing the worst examples, the report refers to Mao-era China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union, which nationalized the agriculture industry and caused tens of millions of deaths by starvation.

Asked about current-day China’s strong economic growth, Hassett said that’s due largely to a “hybrid” within its economy that allows private property and market forces in the parts of the economy that are most successful.

Even if the United States adopted the less-repressive socialist policies of Nordic countries—Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland—it would mean a 15 percent lower standard of living, the council’s report says.

The Nordic countries in some areas are less regulated than the United States, the report says.

“Marginal labor income-tax rates in the Nordic countries today are only somewhat higher than in the United States, and Nordic taxation overall is surprisingly less progressive than U.S. taxes,” the report says.

“However, the Nordic countries do regulate and tax labor markets somewhat more; thus, American families earning the average wage would be taxed $2,000 to $5,000 more per year net of transfers if the United States had current Nordic policies,” the report continues. “Living standards in the Nordic countries are at least 15 percent lower than in the United States.”

However, in the 1970s, the Nordic countries had more restrictive socialist policies. If the U.S. adopted the Nordic policies of that era, the gross domestic product would be about 20 percent lower, according to the council’s report.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with all images is republished with permission. The featured photo is of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaking during an event to introduce his Medicare for All Act on Sept. 13, 2017, on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters//Newscom).

I Used to Be Transgender. I Support Proposed New Trump Policy on Gender Definition.

Thank you, Mr. President, for moving to make male and female great again.

In the last few years, biological girls have seen their rights violated in school bathrooms and in sports. National confusion has ensued ever since the previous administration decided to reinterpret Title IX’s sex anti-discrimination clause to include self-proclaimed “gender identity.”

That may soon come to an end under the Trump administration.

The Department of Health and Human Services has drafted a memo that would reverse the Obama administration’s action and return the legal definition of “sex” under Title IX civil rights law to what its authors meant: sex rooted in unchanging biological reality. According to The New York Times, the memo was drafted last spring and has been circulating ever since.

Title IX bans sex discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, meaning schools have to abide by the government’s interpretation of Title IX or risk losing federal funds.

When the Obama administration announced it was including “gender identity” under the word “sex,” many schools felt they had to treat gender identity as the standard for determining access to bathrooms, sports teams, etc. The result was headlines like “Transgender Athletes Dominate High School Women’s Sports.”

The memo spells out the proposed definition of “sex” as applied to federal statutes as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” The proposed definition won’t include a “select a gender” option, as was offered under the Obama administration.

This is simply a return to reality. Sex is an immutable biological reality, while gender identity is a social construct that can change over time. The two terms are not interchangeable. The authors of Title IX meant biological sex, not gender identity.

The Obama administration’s conflation of the two was not just legally problematic—it also pushed transgender ideology further into the mainstream. That’s regrettable, because transgender ideology has real and harmful effects on people who are suffering and need help.

When individuals try to live out life in an ideology that has no basis in biological fact, the consequences are stark.

I know, because I lived the trans life for eight years.

I have received hundreds of regret letters from trans people who now realize—too late—that gender-pretending is damaging. Regretters have called gender change “the biggest mistake of my life.” The late transgender movie actress Alexis Arquette called her gender transition “bulls***” because no one can really change their gender.

So many have written me personally about the unhappy consequences of imitating the opposite gender for so many years, telling of lives needlessly torn apart and thoughts of suicide. I put those emails into a book, “Trans Life Survivors,” which shows the human toll caused by encouraging distressed people to undergo permanent surgeries and take powerful hormones without considering other causes and treatments.

This past weekend, I opened my email as I do each morning and found another message from a person who had ignored biology and went head-first into trans ideology. Now, this person wants out:

I am now 40 years old, post op male to female transgender person. And to put it simply, very miserable in life now. I have followed you on YouTube … and totally agree with your theories! I am at my wits’ end with life and what I have done to myself. It’s an inspiration to see and read about what I would call “survivors!”

Many trans folks, after years of “living the life,” now want to detransition. Many report to me that they were sexually abused, raped, or molested at a young age—in one case, as a toddler.

Teenage girls are flocking to gender change as an escape. One 15-year-old girl, who the gender experts diagnosed with gender dysphoria, explained to her mother that she wanted to “erase my past” because she was sexually abused by her dad.

In another case, a young 14-year-old girl confessed that “I used being trans to try and escape being scared about being small and weak. I thought that if I presented myself as a man I’d be safer.”

Another girl’s mother wrote that her daughter was raped at age 19 and desperately “is trying to remove any connection to her being female visually or sexually.”

This is the kind of suffering that has driven many to change genders. As a society, we need to honestly consider: Is changing genders an effective long-term treatment for past sexual abuse and feelings of insecurity?

Obviously not.

Billy, another trans life survivor, had been sexually abused at age 11 during a summer swimming camp by his diving coach. Billy explained to me that after the abuse, he hated his genitalia and wanted to become a female. Abuse can do that.

Billy, like so many abused as children, was diagnosed by the “gender specialist” with gender dysphoria and given cross-sex hormones and reassignment surgery. He lived fully as a transgender female until regret set in.

Now he has detransitioned back to male and is married—a true trans life survivor who prefers to live a biologically authentic life.

Trans ideology ruined the life of another friend, born male and now living as a trans female. After being diagnosed with gender dysphoria, his excellent employment allowed him financially to transition from male to female. But sex change regret has set in, and now he wants to detransition.

This nice-looking, tall, slender, intelligent transgender person is another who had been sexually abused as a child.

Too many people tell me that even when they establish a history of sexual abuse and communicate that to the gender therapist, the therapist disregards it. If a client wants to change their gender, the therapist will affirm them without reservation and help them down that path.

As a former trans person, and as someone who daily receives stories of physical and emotional devastation wrought by trans ideology, I look forward to a federal definition of sex as being rooted in immutable biology, without the option of being self-selected.

The science is absolutely clear. Sex doesn’t change over time, even with hormones and surgery—and that’s a good thing.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about those who regret gender change and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.

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The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now


EDITORS NOTE: This columns with images is republished with permission. Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters/Newscom.

HHS Definition of Gender: ‘A biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.’

Multiple news outlets are reporting on a Department of Health and Human Services definition of gender that has “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” This definition is logical, true, biologically correct and politically incorrect to some.

In a New York Times article titled “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration” Erica L. GreenKatie Benner and Robert Pear report:

A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

[ … ]

The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.

[ … ]

Several agencies have withdrawn Obama-era policies that recognized gender identity in schoolsprisons and homeless shelters. The administration even tried to remove questions about gender identity from a 2020 census survey and a national survey of elderly citizens.

Read the full article.

In a Life Site News article titled “Pelosi threatens ‘collateral damage’ if Dems win, push radical LGBT bill as ‘top priority’” Calvin Freiburger reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi desperately hopes Democrats will retake control of Congress next month, and dropped multiple hints this week to the delight of liberals and alarm of conservatives about what they’ll do if that happens.

“We owe the American people to be there for them, for their financial security, respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country,” the former House Speaker said Sunday during an event hosted by 92nd Street Y. “And if there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it, but it shouldn’t be our original purpose.”

[ … ]

“It isn’t in our ‘For The People’ agenda because it doesn’t get that specific, but there’s one more because it’s personal for me that I really want to do, and it’s called the Equality Act,” the Democrat leader said, according to the Washington Blade. “The Equality Act expands ending discrimination against LGBTQ people and women and adding that to the Civil Rights Act.”

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill later confirmed that his boss considers the bill a “top priority,” which would be introduced “early in the year” if Democrats retake the House of Representatives.

Read the full article.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Scott Broome on Unsplash.

JUST RELEASED: Colion Noir Exposes Seattle’s Heroin Epidemic [Video]

“Seattle was supposed to be this shining beacon of what the possibilities were for your life, raising your kids, your family… there’s a lot going on here that’s being actively ignored. By the politicians, even the people, almost kind of a desire to just ignore a very blatant but then yet allusive reality that is a heroin epidemic disguising itself as a homeless epidemic.”

Colion Noir shines a light on the heroin epidemic disguising itself as a homelessness problem, that is plaguing Seattle, while the politicians refuse to even acknowledge the issue and instead scapegoat gun owners and diminish the rights of the law-abiding. This is the true story of Seattle and its Utopian lie.

Some Theaters Call It Curtains on Gosnell

For the team behind the movie Gosnell, opening day was supposed to be a relief. Producer Ann McElhinney said, “I thought the other day when the film came out, ‘Oh good! We’re safe now!’ We’re not even slightly safe.” That’s just one of the shocking revelations she shared on “Washington Watch” about what the industry is doing right now to shut down a film so successful that it was in last weekend’s Top 10.

“It is relentless what we’ve put up with here,” Ann told me. And it’s been four years,” A long four years at that. For most people on the Gosnell team, it was the movie that almost wasn’t. They’ve battled HollywoodFacebookNPR, and even a crowdfunding site just to get the film on the screen. And now that it is, the establishment doesn’t want it there. Make no mistake, Ann explains, “This film did a phenomenal business over the weekend. We were the number one independent movie in the country.” But here’s the incredible part. “The theaters where we’re doing the most money, where the most money is being made, they’re dropping us. They’re going to drop the movie. They’re not going to continue to play it.”

“We have reports from all over the country where people go to a theater where they know it’s playing, and there’s no movie poster up. It’s not on the marquee. They’ve almost left the theater, thinking ‘Oh my gosh, it’s not here. We’ve gone to the wrong theater.’ They’ve gone to theaters and been told by the guy selling tickets, ‘You don’t want to go and see that. Why don’t you go and see Venom instead…'”

“I’m telling you, I just got off the phone — and the distributor said in his career, he has never had the reception he’s gotten for this movie from the movie theaters — in a 30-year career… So I would say to your listeners, they need to get out there — and they need to get out there in numbers and buy tickets, even if they can’t go.”

What makes the reaction even more astounding, Ann points out, is how profoundly the film is changing people’s lives. “I can tell you, on the flip side of that, we’re seeing and your listeners can look on Facebook at the Gosnell movie page and see what people are saying… at the end, people sit until the very end of the credits. At one place, a priest stood up and said, ‘Would anyone like to pray?’ and everyone stayed, and everyone prayed… In other places, people huddled in groups in the foyers of movie theaters and prayed. This is what we’re getting from the audience. But I can tell you that the warfare from the establishment is phenomenal.”

If you’ve been to the movie, then you understand how life-altering Gosnell is. Ann said she could stay on the show “all day reading the most beautiful letters from people who have changed their mind about abortion from watching the movie…” Others, she told me, have written and said they just didn’t know. They thought abortion was only legal up to three weeks, or they had no concept of what was involved. The testimonials are all over Gosnell’s Facebook page.

This is one of those rare moments in time when the pro-life movement has the opportunity to make serious impact on the hearts and minds of Americans. So what can you do? Keep buying tickets, for one. Take your church group, your family, or your Bible study. If your local theater isn’t playing the movie, call them up and demand it. Then have your friends do the same. Ask them, “Why won’t you show this film? It’s an incredible movie. Gosnell is the number one independent movie in the United States. It’s something I care about. My family cares about. Our church cares about. A huge number of people in this country care about it.”

Then, most importantly, pray. There’s a spiritual battle taking place in America over the truth in this movie. And it’s a battle — after 60 million unborn lives — that needs to be waged.


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


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Nearly Half Of American Children Don’t Have Married Parents. Here’s Why It Matters.

Unmarried couples are having roughly 40 percent of all births in the U.S., marking a trend that may be detrimental to the upbringing of those children.

For the first time in U.S. history, out-of-wedlock births in America are largely a result of cohabitationaccording to the United Nations Population Fund 2018 State of World report released Wednesday. Single mothers had nearly 90 percent of out-of-wedlock births in 1968, but that number decreased to 53 percent in 2017, according to the Pew Research Center.

“Compared to children of married parents, those with cohabiting parents are more likely to experience the breakup of their families, be exposed to ‘complex’ family forms, live in poverty, suffer abuse, and have negative psychological and educational outcomes,” according to the Institute for Family Studies (IFS).

Roughly 14 million American adults cohabited in 2007, and that number rose to 18 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Half of cohabiting couples in the U.S. are younger than 35, according to Bloomberg Quint. Cohabitation has increased about 2,000 percent since 1960, according to the American Enterprise Institute.

Two-thirds of U.S. adults said increasing numbers of single women raising children by themselves was bad for society, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed also said greater numbers of unmarried couples raising children is not good for society, according to Pew.

Children with single parents have the highest rates of poverty followed by children living with unmarried, cohabiting parents, the IFS reported.

Between 2006 and 2010, 23 percent of births to married women were unintended while 51 percent of births to unmarried cohabiting women were unintended. That number rose to 67 percent for unmarried women not cohabiting.

Two-thirds of cohabiting parents split up before their child reaches age 12, while only a quarter of married parents divorce, according to an April 2017 Brookings Institution report.

Over 40 percent of married mothers and fathers have a bachelor’s degree, according to a March 2016 U.S. Census Current Population Survey. Only 8 to 10 percent of cohabiting mothers and fathers with one or more biological child have a bachelor’s degree.

Children living with their biological cohabiting parents are also more than four times as likely to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused as kids living with their married parents, according to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Married parents are on average older, better educated, and earn more money than their unmarried cohabiting peers. Some scholars have suggested awarding tax bonuses of upwards of $4,000 per child in order to incentivize people to marry before having children.

Since 1990, marriage rates have also continued to decrease, while those that do marry are delaying.

COLUMN BY

Grace Carr

Grace Carr is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @gbcarr24.

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured image by mario0107 on Pixabay.

Gosnell’s Success Has Liberals Reeling [Video]

It was the little production that could. After years of battling HollywoodFacebookNPR, and even a crowdfunding siteGosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer defied all odds on opening weekend. By Sunday, the film had climbed to number 10 on the box office charts — despite a media bent on ignoring the movie and the real-life drama. For the husband-and-wife team who fought to tell the story, the numbers don’t lie. After last weekend, the film was number one on the indie film chart — and despite debuting in just 673 theaters, brought in more than $1.2 million. Although some critics refused to screen the movie, the ones who did were overwhelmingly impressed. On Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates the scores of almost every review, Gosnell earned a score of 67 percent, beating out crowd-pleasers like last year’s The Greatest Showman by 11 points. And it was an even bigger hit with audiences, who gave the film a 99-percent approval rating.

It’s just too bad, CNS News points out, that so many media outlets seem “as uninterested in the film as they were when the actual Gosnell trial happened five years ago.” In politics, co-producer Phelim McAleer said, “there’s an equivalent term for this: voter suppression. It is a sad attempt to pretend our film isn’t in theaters across America. But they can’t ignore the box office numbers. We humbly thank all of our fans across the country for this great opening. The people have spoken.”

If you’ve seen the movie or read people’s accounts from the theaters — which range from audiences sitting in silence well after the credits or joining hands for impromptu prayer — you know what a difference the story is making. “This is not your typical pro-life movie. There’s no heart-warming storyline about a challenging but ultimately successful adoption. There’s no nervous single mother who sees an ultrasound and decides to leave the abortion clinic and raise her child against all odds. There is just horror, plain and simple.” And yet, National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis goes on, “it’s the most powerful kind of anti-abortion movie that could ever be made, because every minute of it… [is true].”

Do your part to spread the truth: buy a ticket. For a listing of theaters near you, click here. Or, to hear from the stars of Gosnell, like Dean Cain, watch this panel from VVS on the challenges of making a movie about the realities of abortion.


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with photos and video is republished with permission.

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