A Sober Take On The State Of The Union Through The Eyes Of CPAC

It was my first CPAC meeting, and it was awesome! But it was more than that. It was informative, encouraging, engaging and sobering.

So from a first-timer Here are some of the more prominent issues in the minds of conservatives this year.

The State Of The Union

Almost to a tee, conservatives were concerned about the state of the nation.  They recognized that for far too long America has been headed in the wrong direction, and they were painfully aware of the difficulty and the effort required to turn such a large and massive ship around.  Despite their optimism towards President Trump and the work he has been undertaking, very few seemed to believe America was headed in the right direction.

For most in attendance, the media have become an unapologetic instrument for left-wing propaganda.  The government footprint is way too large.  Our educational institutions have become liberal indoctrination camps, and the youth in our country is perilously close to accepting socialism as a valid socioeconomic alternative.

But despite these challenges, those in attendance knew they had a champion, a man who seemingly had come from nowhere and was now sitting in the White House calling the shots on the war against the Left.  And no moment solidified their faith in this President than when Donald J. Trump appeared at the CPAC stage, made his way to Old Glory, faced the audience, and gave the flag a protracted and joyous embrace.  It was a gesture that no one ever recalled any president ever doing, and it sealed their faith in the man that was both the spear for the conservative agenda and the target for the vitriol from the Left.

That image of President Trump hugging the American flag with a big, satisfied smile will likely become one of the great, indelible images in the minds of those present.

The State Of The Democratic Party

Conservatives’ view on the state of the Democrat Party was best articulated by Sen. Ted Cruz who, in his eloquence and sophistication, expertly and precisely described the Democrats in 2019.  To quote Senator Cruz, the Democrats have gone “bat-crap-crazy.”

From their position on border security to their Green New Deal, their open and unfettered embrace of socialism, their threats to disarm Americans, and their calls to execute American citizens without due process the Democrat mantra has devolved so precipitously that it defies belief.  The devolution of Democrat political policy is so extreme that, in a taste of so much more that is to come, it allowed President Trump to openly mock the Green New Deal and to encourage Democrats to continue to discuss it.

Objectively, it is difficult to see how a policy proposal that calls for the eradication of “farting cows,” the discontinuation of cars, and the termination of air travel can ever attract America’s swing voters.  And that’s without mentioning the Left’s renewed assault on the newborn.

The State of Right To Life

Amongst the issues where conservatives felt the most confident is the issue of the right to life.  Supporting their position is a recent Marist poll showing that 80% of Americans support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy.  Additionally, those identifying themselves as pro-life rose nine percentage points to 47% and even with those who called themselves pro-choice.

The most likely explanation for this renewed confidence is the predictable tendency for the Left to overplay its hand.  Other than possessing an inherent disdain for life, it is difficult to explain how Democrats would undertake such an aggressively destructive stance on human life. Yet this is exactly what they have done.

The Democrats’ position on abortion can no longer be explained as a defense of women’s right to choose, nor can it be hailed as a women’s-health issue, as the babies they are arguing may be sentenced to death are the very ones that have either already achieved viability or are freely living.

Worse yet, the celebrations that took place in the New York legislature after the passage of a bill that would allow for the death of a baby as late as during partum plays out as a disgusting site when viewed under the lens of decency and respect for others.  And the audacity of lighting One World Trade Center pink in celebration for the passage of a death sentence for scores of thousands will definitely shine as a low point in American history.

The attendees at CPAC could sense this and were salivating at the chance of bringing the Left’s misconduct and insensitivities to the public fore — and get it past the blocking line of the media.

The State of Socialism And The GND

For the first time in history, the Democrats are openly and unabashedly embracing socialism as a viable policy answer for America.  It is a direction that goes against every principle upon which our nation was created and one that brings to mind images of the open assault on the liberties Americans cherish.  And of course, it is a system that has miserably failed in every country where it has been tried.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President and The Green New Deal have become the symbols for such policy changes and the overtly oppressive measures the Democrats are willing to promote.

One would think that socialism would represent an untenable position for anyone to seriously propose, yet the Democrats, espouse it and openly defend it.  Their disregard for the dangers of even flirting with a socialist governmental scheme will surely come back to haunt them in a general election.

The State of Gun Rights

With a powerful appearance by Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President and CEO of the NRA, and Oliver North, its greatest advocate, the National Rifle Association has doubled down on its expanded role as the great defender of social liberties and individual freedom.  It is certainly the right approach because ultimately, although the Left may argue statistics and trends, or even make some up, it will never be able to propose a viable substitute for the ultimate defense of liberties and personal freedoms; a loaded weapon.

At the end of the day, this is shaping up to be a strong year for the conservative movement in America.  Between a President who is adamant about promoting a conservative vision for America, a House of Representatives in disarray, Democrat members of Congress defending absurd political philosophies, and an economy that continues to perform light-years above the rest, it is easy to see how conservatives at this year’s CPAC feel they have the wind at their backs.

Whether they do or not, remains to be seen.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Heartbeat Bills and Repealing Roe v Wade

The NY legislature has created a new Auschwitz dedicated to the execution of a whole segment of defenseless citizens. Satan is smiling.  Charlie Daniels

Instead of baby we say fetus; instead of killing we say aborting; instead of dissect we say research; instead of extermination chambers we say abortion clinics.  Chuck Norris, 2014

And we call it pro-choice instead of murder of unborn babies.  So many euphemisms to hide the truth of this evil.  Many endangered species are protected and heavy fines and jail time result for the destruction of these creatures.  But our human babies are destroyed at the rate of 4,000 per day and we are now approaching 70 million dead children.  Many Americans are not aware that for nearly all of our country’s existence, taking the life of a baby in the womb was prohibited. 

Everything began to change in 1967 after years of organized campaigns by pro-aborts. In 1962, Sherri Finkbine, of Phoenix, Arizona Romper Room fame, had taken a sleeping pill her husband brought back from London.  It was Thalidomide, a drug known for causing severe abnormalities of embryos.  This drug was prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness and extreme nausea.  Finkbine traveled to Sweden for an abortion.  Her situation was used in campaigns to legalize the murder of unborn babies.

By 1970, four states, New York, Alaska, Hawaii and Washington passed laws that basically allowed abortion on demand.  Of those four, New York’s was the only law without a residency requirement and the state quickly became the nation’s abortion capital. 

Just recently, New York’s Governor Cuomo was gleeful that he had signed the Reproductive Health Act, (another euphemistic term to describe baby murder) to allow abortion up to and even after birth, should a baby survive the abortion.  Other states are now following New York’s lead once again. The Governor said he was doing nothing more than codifying Roe v Wade.  This however is untrue, Roe only allowed abortion up to viability of the gestating child…24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.  Yet, nothing in Roe stops the states from killing babies after viability and up to birth.

The New York bill is also part of a broader trend of left-wing states codifying a “right” to abortion in anticipation of a future Supreme Court ruling that could reverse Roe, restoring states’ ability to ban abortion themselves and automatically banning it in the handful of states with pre-Roe bans still on the books as we have in Tennessee.

Prior to Roe, only 20 states allowed abortion and 30 disallowed it.  It was strictly a state issue, and should have remained as such, because “abortion” is outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government over the country at large.  Had it remained a state issue, many more Americans would be alive today.

Abortion Mills

Many abortion clinics do not even meet basic building codes for emergency access.  Jill Stanek took the following pictures of a Birmingham abortion mill who had two botched abortions in one day.

The abortion industry routinely offers women grisly and unsanitary facilities. Deplorable conditions exist because of a lack of state or county inspections.  The Kermit Gosnell abortion mill was just one of thousands who are never inspected and were filthy.

Abortion is far more dangerous to the woman’s health than carrying the baby to birth.  We don’t know how many women are dying from abortions because the numbers are not being kept.  Neither do we have the numbers of women who have committed suicide because they murdered their own babies.  The CDC even says that only 45 of the 50 states in the United States actually keep abortion records. We really don’t know how many abortions are being done in the United States and we know even less about the complications and deaths.

Ultrasounds

Many of the heartbeat bills are written requiring abortion providers to listen for a heartbeat, but not all specify ultrasounds. Since the mid-1990s, several states have moved to make ultrasound a requirement prior to abortion, and I’m hoping more will do the same. 

Qualified ultrasound providers can easily find a baby’s heartbeat after only a few weeks of gestation.  Save the Storks has built 40+ Stork Bus mobile medical units to help mothers make the choice to give life to 4,000+ babies. Save the Storks partners with local pregnancy resource centers to inform an expecting mother of all of her options so that she can make the best choice for herself and give life to her baby.

They save four out of five babies whose mothers board the Stork Bus for an ultrasound. Strong laws for ultrasound before abortion could save many more babies.

Fourteen states require verbal counseling or written materials to include information on accessing ultrasound services.  Twenty-six states regulate the provision of ultrasound by abortion providers. Three of those states, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin—require the abortion provider to display and describe the ultrasound image. Guttmacher.org, a pro-abortion website, lists the state laws and policies and requirements for ultrasound.

States have passed several laws inhibiting abortions… waiting periods, restrictions on health insurance coverage, bans after 20 weeks of pregnancy because of infant pain, requirements that clinics meet ambulatory surgical center standards or requirements that abortion doctors have hospital admitting privileges and regulations for clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards, ultrasounds and now the heartbeat bills.  If you’ve never watched Silent Scream about an abortion on a twelve-week-old unborn baby, the short movie proves there is extreme pain for these little ones.

Heartbeat Bills

Do I trust abortion providers to tell a pregnant woman her child has a heartbeat?  I don’t, but new laws and regulations can actually save more babies.  The heartbeat bills have nearly all been challenged by federal courts, but states need to keep passing them.  And here’s why…

I asked three attorneys to explain to me the purpose of pushing the heartbeat bills when they are consistently are struck down.  Two of those attorneys spoke in legal terms that still didn’t make it clear as to why the politics of these bills are so important.  Finally, I asked another attorney to please explain it to me in layman’s terms.  The heartbeat bills have to do with the strategy of positioning an issue so that the US Supreme Court will review it.

My friend explained the structure of the federal court system, and stripped it down to the essentials we need to know regarding the necessity of pushing for more heartbeat bills to be passed in state legislatures and signed by the Governors.

1. There are about 93 federal district courts throughout the Country. Most lawsuits filed in federal court are initially filed in a federal district court.

In every lawsuit [which isn’t settled] one side loses. The side which loses generally has the right to appeal his cases.  His appeal is filed in one of 

2. the 13 US Circuit Courts of Appeal [there are some additional “specialty” Circuit Courts which aren’t relevant to this issue]. One side will lose in the appellate court.  But not every party who loses in one of the US Circuit Court of Appeals has the right to appeal to the US Supreme Court.  The US Supreme Court couldn’t possibly hear all of the cases which are heard by all of the 13 US Circuit Courts of Appeal!

3. There are “filters” by means of which the US Supreme Court decides which cases from the 13 Circuit Courts of Appeal they will hear.   One of the best ways to get the US Supreme Court to review an issue is to show the US Supreme Court that there is a “conflict among the Circuits”:  So if you can show the US Supreme Court that so and so Circuits Courts have ruled this way – but such and such Circuit Court ruled the opposite way, you are showing a “conflict” among the Circuits and your chances of getting the US Supreme Court to review the issue skyrocket.

Ultimately, we want a lot of states to file heartbeat bills knowing that they will all get sued and that most of the Circuit Courts of Appeal will rule in favor of the baby killers. However, if the pro-life people can get just one Circuit to rule in favor of LIFE; then, they can show “conflict jurisdiction” to the US Supreme Court and perhaps they will overturn Roe v. Wade.

My attorney friend explained, “It’s a classic strategy – though I personally opt for the nullification remedy.  Still, there is no reason both remedies couldn’t be used – and the US Supreme Court might be more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade if some States have already manned up and nullified Roe v. Wade.  State heartbeat bills are fully constitutional – this is one of the issues reserved to the States or The People.”

Conclusion

There you have it.  We need one challenged state heartbeat bill where a Circuit Court of Appeals rules for the babies.  Thus, we must urge the state legislators to write superb heartbeat bills, pass them in both houses of the legislature, and have them signed by the Governor.  Getting a case to the Supreme Court can take three to five years.  This gives our President time to possibly fill the court with another pro-life justice should either Justices Ginsburg or Breyer leave the court.  Amy Coney Barrett is a great pro-life choice.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hillary Clinton: Killing Babies in Abortions is a “Human Right”

From Roy Rogers to Infanticide

I learned that the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO closed it doors forever. Roy Rogers was a bit before my time. Still, the closing of his museum triggered something in me. My late black dad, Dr Rev Lloyd E. Marcus was a big Roy Rogers fan. I remember Roy Rogers as a good guy cowboy on TV who always did the right thing. Roy’s character was very much like my dad’s. No, I am not going to get sappy, reminiscing about a time when TV role models taught kids right from wrong. Suggest that some behaviors are right and some behaviors are wrong, how corny, judgmental, intolerant and old fashion is that?

America has moved on. Democrats, Hollywood and fake news media say America no longer wants white guys like Roy Rogers on TV, infecting our kids with Christian morals and family values.

America has moved on from the biblical teaching that there are only two genders. NYC recognizes 31 different genders. Facebook gives customers 56 gender options. Leftists believe they are far more sophisticated and intelligent than Bible believers and Americans living in fly over country.

Leftists say determining a baby’s gender by its genitalia at birth is idiotic. They say we must allow the child to evolve into the gender it wants to be. This insane child abuse has led to hundreds of kids as young as 4 years old identifying as transgender and changing their sex. 

American College of Pediatricians president Dr. Michelle Cretella, wrote, “Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.” Dr Cretella also stated, “No one is born transgender.” 

America has moved on from children respecting their father and their elders. There I go sounding like an old guy. My sister, three brothers and I were raised respecting our dad, answering him with yes or no sir. Dad was fun and easy to talk to. But we understood that he was not our peer. Hollywood routinely portrays fathers as idiots whose kids give them zero respect.

America has moved on from TV heroes like Superman who stood for “truth, justice and the America way.” Leftist indoctrination in public school has our kids believing “the American way” and patriotism are racist. Singing the song “Proud to be an American” has been banned in public schools. Wearing an America flag t-shirt to school on a Mexican holiday has been banned in America. Unfortunately, many of our youths believe it is racist to expect immigrants to learn English, respect our flag and enter our country legally.

Superman on TV has been replaced with America’s first lesbian superhero. LGBTQ indoctrination dominates kid’s TV programming. Public education beginning in pre-k promotes same sex parents and encourages little boys to wear dresses to school

When Roy Rogers was popular on TV, students still began their school day with a simple prayer for themselves, their parents, teachers and country. In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and Bible reading in public school was unconstitutional which removed prayer from public school. The consequences have been devastating. Behavior and academic performance plummeted. Pregnancies for girls 10-14 shot up 553%; student STDs up 226%. Since removing biblical principles from public policy, divorce rates skyrocketed up 117%; single parent households up 140%.

Since removing prayer, SAT scores declined for 18 consecutive years. SAT scores for students in Christian private schools are almost 80% higher than public school. 

Democrats successfully caused America to move on, rescuing students from the horror of beginning their day by humbly acknowledging their creator with a prayer.

Once again, Democrats are intensely working to deceive Americans into moving on, away from valuing the life of human babies. Democrats seek to pass a law to execute babies even after they are born. Absurdly, Democrats claim they desire only to protect a woman’s health. How on earth does a baby threaten its mother’s health after it is born? Democrat women rant that fathers should not have any say in a mother’s decision to murder their baby.

Senate Democrats, many running for president, voted against saving the life of babies who survive abortions

Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans could never imagine a time when an entire American political party would become so overtaken by evil; claiming moral authority to pass legislation to murder living breathing crying babies. Welcome to modern America.

Folks, I am extremely excited about the Heartbeat bill which makes abortion illegal as soon as the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. The Heartbeat bill is gaining momentum in several states. Praise God.

Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, America has aborted nearly 60 million babies. I pray that the Heartbeat bill will mark the beginning of the end of America mass murdering babies. I also pray that the bill will end Democrats, Hollywood and leftists successfully causing Americans to move on, away from Godly principles and values which have made America great.

For America to be great again, we must honor God again. Founding father John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people.”

My fellow Americans, did I mention that the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO closed it doors forever?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Lynne Roberts and Roy Rogers in Billy the Kid Returns (1938) is by Wikimedia Commons.

Hawaii Legislators Push Sex Change for Autistic Children

by Andrew Walden

Autistic children are in the DoE’s budget crosshairs again.

Millions of dollars from the DoE budget are on the line if HB664 or SB674  “Relating to Gender Identity” becomes law. 

The bills would prohibit “any practices or treatments that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity” except the definition in SB674 of “‘gender identity change efforts’ shall not include counseling supporting a person seeking to transition from one gender identity to another.”  The bills apply only to therapy on “a person under eighteen years of age.”   

What does this have to do with the DoE budget?  The key is special education, specifically autism. 

Several studies show that transgenders are as much as 85 times more likely to be autistic than the general population:  

2018 report in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders cites several studies and explains: “Transgender people assigned female were more likely to have clinically significant autistic traits compared to any other group.” 

2012 study cited by the authors shows “Nearly 30% of transgender men… fell within the autistic phenotype….” 

2014 study shows: “7.1% percent of transgender men had Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores that might indicate the presence of a clinical diagnosis of AutismSpectrum Condition (ASC) compared to only 1% in cisgender women, although this difference was not significant. For transgender females and cisgender males the rate was 4.7 and 3.9% respectively.” 

2016 study of self-identified transgenders shows: “Nearly 40% of the sample scored above the AQ-10 cut-off, indicating risk for possible clinical ASC and 14% self-reported a clinical diagnosis of ASC (17% for assigned females at birth and 10% for assigned males at birth). These values are considerably higher than the prevalence of ASC in the general population, which is estimated at 1.5% for men and 0.2% for women.”  (Note: 0.2% x 85 = 17%)

SB674 requires: “Any person who is licensed to provide professional counseling who engages in or attempts to engage in the offering of sexual orientation change efforts or gender identity change efforts on a person under eighteen years of age shall be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate professional licensing authority.”  In other words—the therapist could lose his or her license. 

The Hawaii DoE spent millions of taxpayer dollars to pay lawyers to fight the parents of autistic children demanding their rights under the Felix Consent Decree.  Finally a 2015 Federal Court order in DOE v. Loveland Academy held that Hawaii Act 129 of 2011 is overruled by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  This obligates the DoE to spend millions of dollars to provide autistic students with special education private schools such as Loveland because the DoE is incapable of providing the necessary level of treatment.

According to Rep Sylvia Luke, quoted in the Star-Advertiser, August 19, 2018, the DoE has been missing out on $50M to $100M annually for years.  The DoE is budgeting $367M for SPED for FY2018.  A list of annual Medicaid reimbursements to the DoE 2008 to 2018 shows none of them exceed $1M.

Medicaid funding is available to reimburse Special Education expenses—but only when “performed by a licensed provider.”  Hawaii’s very limited pool of state-employed ‘Licensed providers’ are represented by the HGEA, not HSTA and are mostly employed by the state DHS or DoH, not DoE.  Others are employed in the private sector.

Will millions of SPED budget dollars shift from DoE to DHS and DoH?

If HB664 or SB674 becomes law, those “licensed providers” will be exclusively made up of individuals ready and willing to push a sex-change on your child.  All others will gradually be stripped of their licenses. 

Parents will be less likely to seek treatment from a DoH or DHS ‘licensed provider’ with a sex-change agenda — so they will be more likely to stay with substandard treatment from the unlicensed providers in the DoE.

As amended, two bills now have slightly different wording which is a standard legislative maneuver to force them into a secretive conference committee.

Both bills are set for a crossover vote Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

HB664: Text, Status

SB674: Text, Status

Background:

EDITORS NOTE: This Hawaii Free Press column is republished with permission. The featured image of an autistic child is by Wikimedia Commons.

Unplanned: Pro-Life Movie Screens at CPAC

CPAC attendees were provided a first-look at a movie that is sure to rally the pro-life movement this spring.

Unplanned is the true life story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who left the abortion industry after seeing the ultrasound image of an abortion. Johnson now runs the And Then There Were None ministry that helps former abortion workers find new careers after leaving the industry.

The MPAA has unexpectedly given Unplanned an R-rating. LiveAction explains why:

While Unplanned features simulated abortion scenes that include blood, it doesn’t contain any of the MPAA cautions for profanity, nudity, or sex. Therefore, the MPAA decision to give the film an R-rating is quite possibly because of the abortion scenes — and the MPAA’s opinion that these scenes depict violence. The rating essentially means that the MPAA is (perhaps unintentionally) supporting the pro-life community’s long-held argument that abortion is an act of violence against innocent human life — one pro-lifers believe should be illegal.

Indeed, 2ndVote staff who attended the screening will attest that the realistic depiction of an abortion procedure is difficult to stomach. And, that is one reason why you and your family should see this film.

However, Johnson’s story is also a story of redemption. Unplanned, which is based on her memoir by the same title, powerfully exposes the abortion industry’s lies. It chronicles how she was healed by faith.

Before Thursday night’s screening, Johnson said:

There’s never been a film that has shown just the barbaric truth of abortion like this one does, and I think the beautiful thing about this film is that it really creates a conversion in all of us.

…a conversion moment for all of us that maybe we haven’t been doing enough, maybe we’ve been apathetic about this issue. Maybe we’ve harbored resentment in our hearts toward those who’ve had abortions or those who work in abortion facilities. Maybe we just haven’t believed in the radical mercy of Christ like we should.

Unplanned will be in theaters nationwide on March 29th. You can learn more about the movie and find showtimes here.

This is a movie the 2ndVote movement will want to support. Don’t just take our word for it—MyPillow (3 – Neutral) founder Mike Lindell has invested $1 million into Unplanned’s production.

Click here to see the corporations still financially supporting Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.

Help us continue highlighting how corporations support the left’s agenda by becoming a 2ndVote Member today!

EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column with video and images is republished with permission.

Should Pro-Lifers Support The Heartbeat Bills?

“Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life.  To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue.  The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life.  And that is nothing but murder.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“A young pregnant wife has been hospitalized for a simple attack of appendicitis.  The doctors had to apply ice to her stomach and when the treatments ended the doctors suggested that she abort the child, they told her it was the best solution because the baby would be born with some disability, but the young brave wife decided not to abort, and the child was born.  That woman was my Mother and I was the child.” (And yes, he is blind, and he has a voice like the angels.)  Andrea Bocelli – Listen to him sing “O Holy Night

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Thomas Jefferson

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not guaranteed to unborn human babies in America.  Yet, if you’re pronounced dead when your heart stops beating, why are we not pronounced alive when an unborn baby’s heart is heard beating?  Within 16 to 24 days after conception, the unborn child’s heart can be heard, especially via ultrasound. 

Doctors use several different methods to listen to the fetal heartbeat. At about 3 weeks, when the heart first begins to beat, the sound of the little heart is too soft to hear. A doctor’s stethoscope is not sensitive enough to hear the baby’s heart beating.  Very soon thereafter however, physicians can see the motion using ultrasound technology. 

A special stethoscope called a fetoscope works well when the unborn baby is larger, usually around 15-17 weeks. An active baby however, can make this method of listening a bit challenging. Often when the fetoscope is finally in the right place on the woman’s belly, the unborn baby will change positions and the doctor must move the stethoscope again in search of the heartbeat.

The presence of a fetal heartbeat confirms pregnancy, as long as doctors are certain to distinguish the baby’s heartbeat from the mothers. Usually this is not difficult as the unborn baby has a much faster heart rate than the mother.  

State Heartbeat Bills

In the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court said states can’t abolish abortions before viability — the point at which a fetus can survive outside of the womb which is 24 to 28 weeks gestation; full gestation is 40 weeks. 

But pro-life advocates hope a newly configured U.S. Supreme Court can overturn the decision and are pushing for measures to undercut the ruling in legislatures across the country.  Seven states now allow abortion up to the minute of birth, not just New York.  Heartbeat bills get challenged by the courts, but abortions in the last trimester or minutes before birth do not.

Iowa – A federal court blocked a heartbeat abortion measure in Iowa after it passed into law over the summer.   In mid-February 2019, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said that she will not appeal a ruling that struck down a state law that banned most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.  Her decision not to appeal means the law will never take effect, handing a major victory to supporters of legal abortion.

Reynolds signed the law – which would have been the most restrictive abortion limit in the country – last year. Abortion providers quickly sued and District Court Judge Michael Huppert ruled the law unconstitutional.

Reynolds said in a news release that she doesn’t see a way to successfully appeal the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court, in light of its ruling last year that struck down a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and found a fundamental right to abortion in the Iowa Constitution.

Arkansas – A fetal heartbeat bill, banning abortion after twelve weeks, was passed on January 31, 2013 by the Arkansas Senate, vetoed in Arkansas by Governor Mike Beebe, but, on March 6, 2013, his veto was overridden by the Arkansas House of Representatives.  A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against the Arkansas law in May 2013, and in March 2014, it was struck down by federal judge Susan Webber Wright, who described the law as unconstitutional.

North Dakota – North Dakota HB 1456 was signed into law in March 2013 by former Governor Jack Dalrymple, who stated that it was “a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade. A federal district court found that it clearly violated the constitutional protections afforded in Roe v. Wade and it was quickly blocked.  

In July of that year, a lawsuit had been filed with regard to the law by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on behalf of the only abortion clinic in North Dakota, Red River Women’s Clinic. In July 2015, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the bill. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, but the court denied a writ of certiorari in January 2015 and let stand the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

North Dakota spent $491,016 to unsuccessfully defend the laws, and also paid the clinic’s lawyers $245,000 as part of a settlement.  Other states should take notice. Link

Federal courts have already struck down similar “heartbeat bills” including the 20 week bans in Arizona and Idaho.

Kentucky – Already mired in three lawsuits over abortion restrictions, Kentucky lawmakers are ratcheting up the stakes with a new bill to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.  In January of 2017, Pro-life Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed two pro-life bills into law: The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB5) and a bill that offers an abortion-minded woman the opportunity to see an ultrasound of her unborn child (HB2).  Link I like both of these bills.  They eat away at the ability of abortion clinics to kill our babies.

SB5, like the laws in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, says you cannot abort a child capable of experiencing pain, a capacity that medical science has demonstrated takes place no later than at 20 weeks.

Tennessee – State Representative Micah Van Huss has rewritten his original heartbeat bill.  It is HB0077.  State Senator Mark Pody introduced SB1236.  Both bills require the person attempting to do the abortion to check for the unborn baby’s heartbeat.  In reading Senator Pody’s bill, it appears as though ultrasound is always done, and it is not.  If our new Governor, Bill Lee, signs onto the heartbeat bill, I am sure, like other states, it will be challenged in court.

Here is a complete list of states who have tried to pass heartbeat bills. 

Abortion Providers

All pro-lifers are praying to save our unborn human babies.  We want the murders stopped, but each of the heartbeat bills are challenged because of the original Roe v. Wade decision regarding viability of life.  The very text of these bills leaves it up to the abortion provider to check for a heartbeat.  Check the summary of Tennessee’s House Bill 0077.  These bills put the requirement of the finding the heartbeat on the person least likely to want to find a heartbeat—the abortion doctors themselves. 

Are we to believe every abortion clinic is going to hire a certified pro-life ultrasound nurse who will honestly do the work required to find a heartbeat…the pressing, searching, roving, seeking with the tools required to find a tiny heartbeat? No. And why would they? 

Ultrasound is completely operator dependent. One can manipulate the scan however they want. And in the hands of an abortion provider, that scan can prove to be deadly. 

Killing unborn babies is a huge cash crop.  Abortion providers know this.  And why would an abortion doctor tell a woman in her third trimester that the heart can be heard when they make far more money on selling baby parts from late term abortions.

Abortion is a very lucrative business, and this has been true from the beginning. By last count, Planned Parenthood (a tax-exempt organization!) has $951 million in total assetsMarvin Olasky observes and documents in his book, Abortion Rites, that there have long been doctors who supported abortion, “if not for principle, at least for principal.” Link

It’s all about money, that’s the bottom line.  Pro-life lobbyists think up these bills, and then pound their chests in pride, and when it fails, this allows them to ask for more money to fight for this useless law in court, all the while bragging about how many lives that will be saved because laws like this magically make abortion doctors have “good faith.” They know abortion providers will never act in good faith with the heartbeat bills.

Supreme Court and Roe

Courts don’t make laws, although in today’s America, our President is stopped by leftist judges from carrying out his constitutional duties. Prior to Roe v. Wade abortion was illegal in 30 states and legal under certain circumstances in 20 states.  It was a state decision and it should have remained so. 

We have to stop placing our trust in multi-million-dollar lobby groups and instead place our trust in the King of Glory.  Keep working, and keep praying because President Trump may actually have an opportunity to put one or two more pro-life justices on the Supreme Court. 

If that were to happen, and Roe was overturned, the State of Tennessee already has bills in both houses of our legislature that will protect our unborn babies.  The Human Life Protection Act (SB 1257 / HB 1029) avoids constitutional challenges by taking effect upon reversal, in part or in full, of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. It restores Tennessee’s pre-Roe law and prohibits abortion except to save a mother’s life. Such policies have been enacted in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Similar legislation is presently being considered in other states such as Kentucky and Arkansas where it passed the state Senate.

Rep. Susan Lynn (Republican, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee) said, “It has always been the priority of Tennessee’s pro-life movement to restore protection to the largest number of unborn children and women in our state. While states like New York are moving to strip any limits to abortion–even at the moments just before birth—Tennessee wants to be known for protecting our children.”

Unfortunately, the heartbeat bill has served to cost states many taxpayer dollars and in some states, those dollars went to the very perpetrators of this evil.  How?  Many of the lawyers for the pro-abortion proponents sit on the boards of Planned Parenthood.

Conclusion

America has embraced a culture of death.  The slaughter of our unborn even at the moment of birth is an atrocity of satanic proportions which needs to be quelled.  Roe v. Wade needs to be overturned. Proponents of abortion thrill to dancing in the blood of these babies.  New York Governor Cuomo was overjoyed to pass his infanticide bill promoting abortion at the very moment of birth.  Molech would be proud.

The United States Senate voted on an anti-infanticide bill introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The legislation needed 60 votes to pass, and it failed by a vote of 53 in favor and 44 against.  The bill stated that “if an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.”  Link  Babies of botched abortions have been left crying for hours to die alone.

A day after Senate Democrats voted to block a bill to stop infanticide, House Democrats blocked a request by Republicans to vote on a similar bill to require medical care and treatment for babies who survive abortions.

This is the 10th time Congressional Democrats thwarted an attempt by Republicans to vote on a bill that would provide medical care and treatment for babies who survived failed abortions — eight times in the House and twice in the Senate.

Every Democratic presidential hopeful — Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren, along with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont — voted against this common-sense bill. Democrats Doug Jones, Joe Manchin, and Bob Casey Jr. voted in favor of the bill. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) did not vote on the bill.  Where were they?

RELATED ARTICLE: Watch: Warren Visibly Flustered After Audience Member Corners Her On Infanticide Position

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash.

13 reasons that “Medicare for All” will fail miserably!

In an article titled “Beyond ‘Bumper Sticker’ Slogans: 2020 Democrats Debate Details Of Medicare-For-All” Danielle Kurtzleben from National Public Radio reports:

Bernie Sanders is back, but one of his signature policies never left.

In 2015, he introduced Medicare-for-all to many Democrats for the first time. Since Sanders’ first run for president, that type of single-payer health care system has become a mainstream Democratic proposal.

A doctor sent me the below list of reasons why Medicare for All will fail. The original author of the list is unknown.

I am passing it along for others to ponder and discuss. Medicare for All is an initiative of the Democratic Party, who also passed The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

  1. It bans private health insurance, including employer-provided insurance plans.
  2. It will move everyone to Medicare within two years. Obamacare took over three years to launch. When it did, the website crashed. The government will now try and move ten times as many people, in half the time, to Medicare.
  3. It’s “free”! No co-pays, no premiums, no deductibles. But the bill includes no price tag, or any plan to come up with the money. One estimate is $32 trillion over ten years.
  4. It guarantees long-term care — without a plan to pay for it (or anything else).
  5. It eliminates the existing state and federal Obamacare exchanges. On the negative side, this means people will lose the insurance they currently have.
  6. It will cover illegal aliens. It applies to all “residents” of the U.S., and the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide who qualifies as a “resident.” Anyone who resides (legally or illegally) will be covered!
  7. It covers abortion. The bill will change federal law that currently bans direct funding for abortion which, to Democrats, includes abortion (murder) during birth and (murder) directly after birth.
  8. It bans “experimental” drugs/treatments without special permission from the HHS Secretary. This rule, to keep costs down, results in an end to the “Right to Try”!
  9. It eliminates for-profit medicine. Period. “Medicare for All” believes that profit is evil.
  10. It bans hospitals and doctors from trying to increase revenue. Medicare payments cannot be used for the basic business of running a hospital.
  11. It sets national fees — regardless of local factors like the availability of doctors. Even building or renovating hospitals must be centrally approved.
  12. It prohibits incentives for the best doctors. The bill “prohibits incentive payments, or compensation based on utilization of services or the financial results of any health care provider.” Success, like profit, is bad in a Socialist View.
  13. It punishes doctors for giving special help to individual patients. Doctors will be banned from the system for a year if they make “a private contract with an eligible individual” for services covered by “Medicare for All.”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from Wikimedia Commons.

House Democrats Unveil Plan to Bring Total Government Control Over American Health Care

Liberal House Democrats just unveiled the Medicare for All Act of 2019, a comprehensive bill to abolish virtually all private health plans—including employer-sponsored coverage—and impose total federal government control over Americans’ health care.

Despite its sweeping and detailed government control, as well as the imposition of huge but unknown costs, the 120-page bill has nonetheless initially attracted 106 Democrat co-sponsors, almost half of all Democrats in the House.

The legislation is profoundly authoritarian.

For example, Section 107 ensures that no American, regardless of their personal wants or medical needs, would be able to enroll in any alternative health plan that “duplicates” the government’s coverage. 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the bill’s primary sponsor, is at least open about the bill’s intent: “The Medicare for All bill really makes it clear what we mean by ‘Medicare for All.’  We mean a system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core comprehensive benefits.”

Under Section 201, Congress would decide the content of the health benefits package, what is and is not to be available in the new government health plan. The bill forbids cost sharing, a statutory prohibition guaranteed to induce demand and hike Americans’ overall health costs. 

Americans would not be able simply to spend their own money for medical care from a doctor of their choice. Personal contracts between doctors and patients outside of the government plan would be tightly restricted. Under Section 301, “ … no charge will be made to any individual for any covered items or services than for payment authorized by this Act.”  

Under Section 303, a provider “ … may not bill or enter into any private contract with any individual eligible for benefits under the Act for any item or service that is a benefit under this Act.”  

Even private contracts for “non-covered” medical services require the doctor to report them to the health and human services secretary. Section 303 also stipulates that a private contract between a doctor and a patient for “covered” services would be permissible if and only if the doctor signs and files the affidavit with the secretary of HHS and refrains from submitting any claim for any person “enrolled under this Act” for two full years.

Altogether, these restrictions, layered atop the prohibition on private insurance coverage, would virtually eliminate private agreements between doctors and patients.

In practice, Americans could spend their own money on their own terms with just the very few doctors who could afford to see cash-paying patients entirely outside the system.  

In most respects, the new House bill is broadly similar to Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., bill. Beyond creating a government monopoly of health insurance, it centralizes key health care decisions in the office of the secretary of HHS; establishes a national health budget; and it creates a temporary Medicare-style “public option” (along with subsidies for enrollees) in the moribund Obamacare exchanges. 

Like Sanders’ bill, the House bill would also eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Obamacare exchange plans, and Tricare, the health program for military dependents. All of these beneficiaries would be absorbed into the new government plan; it would not be a matter of personal choice.  

In striking contrast to the earlier version of the House “Medicare for All” bill, the new House bill contains no tax or funding provisions. This is a conspicuous omission. This is especially so because the House sponsors (under Section 204) also incorporate long-term care coverage, including nursing home and community-based care, into the basic benefit package. This coverage would likely be hugely expensive.

Recall that independent analysts from the Mercatus Center and the Urban Institute roughly agree that the true 10-year cost of Sanders’ similar plan would be approximately $32 trillion.

Ken Thorpe of Emory University, formerly an adviser to President Bill Clinton, estimates that the federal taxation needed to finance the Sanders’ plan would amount to an additional 20 percent tax on workers’ income, and more than 7 out of 10 working families would end up paying more for health care than they do today.

The federal spending and taxation needed to fund the new House bill would certainly be larger. Beyond the potential impact of the bill on the nation’s deficits and debt, independent analysts and economists will also focus laser-like on the size and impact of the new federal taxes on individuals and families at various income levels.

Simply taxing “the rich” will not cut it.    

The House co-sponsors of the Medicare for All Act intend a rapid transformation of American health care.

Under Section 106 of the bill, they authorize the completion of this massive disruption of today’s public and private health insurance arrangements within just two years.

In the meantime, analysts at the Congressional Budget Office have a very big job to do.

They need to get on it. Now.

Let the debate begin.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Robert Moffit

Robert Moffit

Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., a seasoned veteran of more than three decades in Washington policymaking, is a senior fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pence: Democrats Embrace ‘Infanticide and a Culture of Death’

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

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Wikimedia Commons.

The Stakes are Being Raised: The Attempt to Normalize Homosexual Clergy

Stephen P. White notes a shift away from denying a link between homosexuality and the abuse crisis and towards an attempt to normalize homosexual clergy.

Last week’s summit in Rome did not address the problem of clergy harassing and abusing adults. It did not address the issue, which Pope Francis has acknowledged, of gay subcultures among the clergy. It did not say much about the virtue of chastity. What the summit in Rome did focus on was protecting minors from sexual abuse by members of the clergy: the most glaring and widely acknowledged facet of the current crisis and the primary source of the Church’s loss of credibility with the faithful. Which is to say, the Rome summit was a start.

There is, of course, very good reason to distinguish, both morally and legally, between the abuse of a minor and the abuse of an adult. And the fact is that the Church in the United States is (hard though it may be to believe) ahead of the global curve when it comes to treating the sexual abuse of children as the grave matter it is. But it is also the case – and the last eight months should have made this perfectly clear – that when the Church says it has “zero tolerance” for the abuse of minors without the stomach for rooting out or addressing the abuse of those who just happen to be past the age of majority, the result is a credibility gap.

When Theodore McCarrick was accused last summer of having abused a seventeen-year-old boy – the first accusation against him involving a minor – the Church acted swiftly. But of course, McCarrick had been accused for years of molesting “adult” seminarians – two dioceses paid out settlements – and the repercussions for McCarrick were mild and ineffectual. He was even for a while allowed to live in a seminary.

Which brings us to another cause of the credibility gap: The Church’s reluctance to address the fact that the vast majority of those abused, at least in the United States, have been male. After 2002 the “gay priests question” became an ecclesiastical third rail. Surely no bishop wants to be accused of conducting a witch-hunt. And by many accounts, there are a significant number of Catholic priests today – and presumably at least some bishops – who experience same-sex attraction.

Meanwhile, Catholics who express concern about a “gay lobby” in the Church are often dismissed as homophobic ideologues for suggesting that clerical sexual abuse might have something to do with disordered sexual desires among clergy. A 2011 John Jay report, which concluded there was no causal relationship between homosexuality and the abuse of minors, seemed to put a lid on things. For a time.

Then came McCarrick, and the Pennsylvania grand jury report, and a summer of disturbing stories of abuse and homosexual subcultures in seminaries in Newark, Boston, Philadelphia, and Lincoln. The matter is suddenly not so settled anymore. But now, it’s not just the usual “conservative” voices calling for the Church to look more closely at the connection between homosexual clergy and the abuse crisis.


Activists in Dublin, Ireland in August 2018 [Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters]

Last July, the Catholic journalist Robert Mickens wrote in The Washington Post, “[T]here is no denying that homosexuality is a key component to the clergy sex abuse (and now sexual harassment) crisis. With such a high percentage of priests with a homosexual orientation, this should not be surprising.” Mickens wasn’t defending the Church’s prohibition on admitting men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies to the priesthood. Mickens was arguing the opposite: that the Church has aggravated the abuse crisis by driving priests and seminarians deeper into the closet.

More recently, a Dutch group called the “Working Group of Catholic Gay Pastors” published an open letter to Pope Francis in which they wrote, “We believe that the current major crisis with respect to [the sexual abuse of children and minors] is primarily the result of the disapproval, suppression, denial and the poor integration of sexuality, and especially homosexuality, on the part of many individual priests and within our Church as a whole.”

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran a lengthy piece under the heading: “‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out.” Like Mickens and the Dutch priests’ letter, the Times piece insists there is no causal connection between homosexual tendencies and the abuse of children. But like the others, the Times piece also concedes that there are many homosexual priests, that this has in some way contributed to the current crisis, and that the solution is not to keep gay men out of the priesthood or in the closet, but to allow them to live their lives “freely, openly, and honestly.”

[T]hey find ways to encourage one another. They share books like Father James Martin’s groundbreaking “Building a Bridge,” on the relationship between the Catholic and L.G.B.T. communities. Some have signed petitions against church-sponsored conversion therapy programs, or have met on private retreats, after figuring out how to conceal them on their church calendars. Occasionally, a priest may even take off his collar and offer to unofficially bless a gay couple’s marriage.

Some may call this rebellion. But “it is not a cabal,” one priest said. “It is a support group.”

These three pieces represent a shift away from denying a connection between homosexuality and the abuse crisis and toward an open attempt to normalize homosexuality among clergy. The stakes, in other words, have been raised.

Pope Francis, for his part, has reiterated (more than once) the Church’s prohibition on admitting men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies to seminaries. He reportedly told the Italian bishops, “If you have even the slightest doubt, it is better not to let them in.” He has upset activists by saying of homosexual priests and religious, “It would be better if they left the ministry or consecrated life rather than live a double life.”

Last week’s summit in Rome focused on protecting minors from sexual abuse. It was a start. But it was, in many ways, very far from the end.

COLUMN BY

Stephen P. White

Stephen P. White

Stephen P. White is a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Pope Francis’ Summit On Clerical Sexual Abuse Was A Charade

FACT CHECK: Is Homosexuality Illegal In More Than 70 Countries?

RELATED VIDEO: The Vortex — What Did We Learn?

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing article with images is republished with permission. © 2019 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 featured image is by WenPhotos on Pixabay.

The Inner Beauty of Women

I want to speak for a moment on the beauty of women. No, I’m not a cosmetologist, dermatologist, hair dresser, or fashion coordinator, just an ordinary heterosexual with a fondness for the opposite sex. I always knew there were differences between boys and girls, but this didn’t become obvious to me until I entered junior high school whereupon I noticed the girls were beginning to apply cosmetics, change their hair, and wear more fashionable clothes. I guess this marked the beginning of our mating rituals as the boys began to sit up and take notice.

It has been my observation over the years that women depend mostly on physical attractiveness to lure a mate. This is why millions, if not billions of dollars, are spent on beauty products for hair, skin, nails, eyes, lips, legs, even the scent of a women. Let us also not forget the enormity of the fashion industry which includes not just clothes, but shoes and hats as well. It is obviously a gigantic business. Some women are naturally beautiful, and know it. Others have to work at it.

I wonder though if women are too dependent on physical appearance and overlook the allure of a personality. Over the years I have met many women who may have lacked looks, but are incredibly sensual just from their personality alone. They may have a good sense of humor, an ease about them, a confidence, or something simply feminine. I guess they just feel comfortable in their own skin and know how to make others feel likewise. Perhaps this is the “feminine mystique” I’ve been hearing about all these years. I have seen women who know how to light up a room with nothing more than a smile and a gentle wave of their hand, yet are considered frumpy otherwise. Men gravitate to such women naturally as they are more approachable as opposed to a beauty with an incredible figure, simply because they know how to carry a conversation and make the people around them feel at ease.

Some people think such things as sex and cooking are part of the allure of women, and I suspect there are many men who think this way. As for me, such things are nothing more than the icing on the cake. Any relationship based on this alone is doomed from the outset.

Instead of spending tons of money on the physical aspects, I wish they would spend a little on cultivating a personality, something that can put men at ease, even be disarmingly flirtatious. Most men can be intimidated by a ravishing beauty, thereby considering them untouchable. After they have summoned up the courage to talk to such a woman, they are crestfallen when they find there is nothing behind the facade. Instead, they would rather be able to enjoy the woman’s company, but if the lights are on and nobody is home, the encounter will be brief. I’m certainly not suggesting the woman be submissive to the male. In fact, I find that rather unappealing. The women who possesses a wit, a warm heart, an openness about them, a sense of humor, and confidence about themselves in spite of some physical defect can be much more interesting and stimulating than a glamour queen.

I guess what I’m describing is the “inner beauty” of a woman, which can be incredibly alluring, and I presume it is essentially no different for how women consider men. However, for those people who lack both an outer and inner beauty, I pray they’re good in the kitchen or bedroom. Either that, or they begin to frequent a salon, gym or a voice coach. Otherwise they are going to remain rather lonely for a long time.

Originally published: November 30, 2012, updated 2019

Keep the Faith!

EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column with images is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured image is by edsavi30 on Pixabay.

WARNING: CBD is everywhere, but scientists still don’t know much about it

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of roughly 100 chemicals contained in marijuana called cannabinoids, meaning they are unique to the cannabis plant (which contains several hundred more chemicals in addition to cannabinoids). Unlike THC, the psychoactive marijuana component primarily responsible for producing the “high,” CBD is not psychoactive.

Manufacturers tout CBD as a magic bullet that cures or relieves symptoms of a multitude of diseases and conditions and as a “wellness” product that improves health. Hundreds of CBD products — oils, salves, sprays, tinctures, even gummies – are available. But little science supports CBD’s medical claims.

“It is a kind of a new snake oil in the sense that there are a lot of claims and not so much evidence,” says Dustin Lee, an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He is planning a clinical trial to see if CBD can help smokers quit.

Last summer. the FDA approved Epidiolex, the only form of pharmaceutical CBD that has met FDA standards of safety and efficacy, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Because CBD is a drug, it cannot be sold in food or drinks, and several states and cities have ordered restaurants to stop adding it to “lattes, smoothies, muffins, and other foods.”

That hasn’t stopped producers from selling CBD gummies, lollipops, and peanut butter, however. Google “CBD,” click on “Images,” and scroll sideways to “edibles” to see the wide array of commercial food products available.

Dr. Yasmin Hurd, who directs the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai and is professor at the Icahn School of Medicine, has studied CBD extensively. She says there is potential for CBD to reduce heroin cravings in those recovering from addiction. But “let’s do the research,” she says. “It’s crazy that this substance is being consumed by everybody, yet we still don’t know the mechanism of action.”

Dr. Lee adds that procuring high quality, uncontaminated CBD for research remains a daunting task. “It might be available at the local 7-11 in Pennsylvania, but any product you get on the market is not federally regulated by the FDA, so the purity and safety and quality are questionable.”

A recent study of CBD products ordered online found that nearly 70 percent were inaccurately labeled and contained either higher or lower amounts of CBD than indicated on the label.

Says Dr. Hurd, “People are making it out to be a nirvana kind of drug, and that’s a problem. One compound cannot cure everything.”

Read the New York Times article here.

Limited access marijuana laws for medical use

Here is a table compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Network for Public Health Law that lists the states that have legalized limited access to CBD oils and the amounts of THC they permit them to contain.

CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. Hemp is the marijuana plant but contains only a minute amount of THC (0.3% — three-tenths of one percent). Any amount of THC over 0.3% is marijuana.

Access Table here.

EDITORS NOTE: The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation. Subscribe to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter. The featured images is courtesy of Marijuana Break.

Jumping Into Medicare For All With Eyes Wide Shut

Preview:

  • The unveiling of the ballyhooed House of Representatives Medicare for All Act of 2019 bill will be met with chants of “equal healthcare for all!”
  • A key feature of the Medicare-for-All bills is the elimination of private health insurance that duplicates benefits offered by the government. Given the coercive nature of the existing Medicare program, we should be very concerned
  • Will we be somehow punished if we do not want to enroll in the new government program? Will there be an “individual mandate” penalty? Hopefully we’ll know before the bill is passed and we can find out what’s in it.
  • Patients and physicians should be free to pay for services and accept payment for services without being subject to penalties.
  • Medicare for All could be one of those concepts that “seemed like a good idea at the time” – just like diving head first off a cliff into an inviting but shallow pool of water.

The unveiling of the ballyhooed House of Representatives Medicare for All Act of 2019 bill will be met with chants of “equal healthcare for all!” While the country will be forced into a government-run program, the limousine liberals and champagne socialists will keep their array of medical care choices — whether on or off the record.

A key feature of the Medicare-for-All bills is the elimination of private health insurance that duplicates benefits offered by the government. Given the coercive nature of the existing Medicare program, we should be very concerned. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is mandatory for those eligible for Medicare who receive Social Security payments. If beneficiaries want to opt out of Part A, they must forfeit all of their Social Security payments — including paying back any Social Security benefits received up to the time Part A was declined. So a “beneficiary” is punished for saving federal dollars by declining to be on the government healthcare dole.

Enrollment in Medicare Part B (all physician and most outpatient services) is not mandatory but beneficiaries are financially coerced to enroll. The standard 2019 Part B premium amount is $135.50 per month, progressing to $460.50 based on income. But if a beneficiary doesn’t sign up for Part B when first eligible, he must pay a lifelong penalty of 10 percent for each full 12-month period that he could have had Part B. So if the beneficiary waited 3 years before signing up, he would pay a 30 percent higher premium throughout his lifetime.

Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) also imposes penalties on those who do not sign up when eligible unless they are in a Medicare Part C/Medicare Advantage HMO that covers drugs. The lifetime penalty is not trivial: one percent per month of the average monthly premium (currently about $33) for all the months they were not signed up.

Will we be somehow punished if we do not want to enroll in the new government program? Will there be an “individual mandate” penalty? Hopefully we’ll know before the bill is passed and we can find out what’s in it.

Another troubling aspect of a new government health program is the lack of an articulated budget or cost controls. According to the Medicare Board of Trustees 2018 Report, Medicare’s Part A trust fund will be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than the 2017 projection. Our 2017 healthcare costs were $3.5 trillion with $1.2 trillion attributed to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Apparently, financing would depend on monies earmarked for existing federal health programs, heavily taxing “the rich” and an unspecified increase in everyone’s taxes.

In addition to notoriously underestimated cost projectionsMedicare underpayments to hospitals must be addressed. Hospitals receive 88 cents on the dollar from Medicare and 90 cents on the dollar from Medicaid for their expenditures on these patients, translating to reimbursements of $41.6 billion and $16.2 billion, respectively, below actual costs. Currently, hospitals make up the shortfall with higher payments from private insurance — which will no longer exist. Slashing oft maligned CEO salaries would be a drop in the bucket. Hospital workers — unionized or otherwise would not accept pay cuts.

So how will the inevitable funding shortfall be addressed? Private practitioners may be enticed by the promise of a steady stream of patients and income or strong-armed into submitting to lower reimbursement or by new licensing requirements. Of course, many of us remember being paid with IOUs from the California Medicaid program.

The promise of completely “free” medical care of every sort imaginable gives one pause. What happens when the money runs out? Because Medicare defines what care is reimbursable as  “medically necessary,” the simple answer is to decrease covered services. But by then, the private health insurance industry would be decimated and our options limited.

Proponents of government-sponsored healthcare say people want it. But a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that enthusiasm wanes when folks are told they would (1) lose their private insurance, and/or (2) pay more taxes and/or (3) have longer waits.

Direct pay independent physicians may be the salvation. Many Medicare patients are paying for direct primary care where a modest monthly fee direct to the physician guarantees full access to a physician, inexpensive medications and lab tests. Some specialists treating various chronic conditions such as diabetes also use this model to provide patients with timely individualized quality care.

The same people who clamor for a woman’s reproductive choice are strangely silent about everyone else’s freedom to choose the type of medical care they want. Patients and physicians should be free to pay for services and accept payment for services without being subject to penalties.

Medicare for All could be one of those concepts that “seemed like a good idea at the time” – just like diving head first off a cliff into an inviting but shallow pool of water.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by sasint on Pixabay.

Why Gender Dysphoria Must Remain a Bar to Military Service

In normal usage, “discrimination” is an ugly word.

But discrimination has two meanings. The first and more familiar definition is “the treatment of a person or particular group of people differently, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.” Discrimination of that sort is clearly unacceptable.

The second, less common usage is the “the ability to judge the quality of something, based on its difference from other, similar things.”

Earlier this month, several members of Congress introduced a bill to allow transgender individuals to serve in the military. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., one of the bill’s sponsors, said in introducing the bill, “President Trump’s ban on transgender service members is discrimination. It undermines our military readiness, and it is an insult to the brave and patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military.”

What members of Congress like the sponsors of this bill—and indeed, the American public—often seem not to grasp is that discrimination—the less common meaning of the word—takes place every day at military recruiting stations across America.

That’s neither unjust, nor prejudicial. And contrary to Gillibrand, who aspires to be our next commander in chief, it’s necessary to ensure the readiness of the military and protect at-risk individuals.

Some examples are in order. Have asthma? You’re probably ineligible to join the military. A depressive disorder? Sorry, no. Torn rotator cuff in your shoulder? Nope. Come back perhaps when it heals or is repaired. 

It’s the difference between an individual who is able to serve, and those for whom service presents a risk—either of not being able to complete military service or of doing so without incurring harm to themselves. In a strict sense, that’s discrimination.   

By law, the military can accept only “qualified, effective and able-bodied individuals.” That means people who are expected to need more than routine medical care or treatment are not qualified to join.

Without this lawful ability to “discriminate,” we would place our military in jeopardy of not being able to protect the nation.

That brings us to the issue of service by transgender individuals. Anyone who wants to serve their nation is worthy of our nation’s thanks, because not enough do. A mere desire to serve, however, does not equal qualification.  

What is often described as “Trump’s transgender ban” is anything but. Underreported is the fact that the policy that the Pentagon wishes to put in place—but that has been thus far been stayed by the court system—is far more permissive and evidence-based than the policy that existed for decades prior to June 2016, when President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, Ashton Carter, abruptly unveiled a new policy.

Before that, individuals who identified as transgender were automatically excluded from the military. Under the new policy devised by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Pentagon makes a distinction between individuals who identify as transgender, and those who identify as transgender and experience gender dysphoria.

It’s necessary to get a bit technical here. An individual who is transgender is a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex. Transgender individuals who suffer from gender dysphoria often “experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.” 

Unlike the previous policy, the new rules allow individuals who are transgender but not experiencing gender dysphoria to join and serve in the military.

Why does the policy prohibit service by individuals who experience gender dysphoria? It’s principally because exhaustive Defense Department clinical and U.S. survey data confirms that individuals with gender dysphoria attempt suicide at rates between eight and 10 times the average for individuals not suffering from gender dysphoria. 

Individuals with gender dysphoria experience severe anxiety again at between eight and nine times the rate of individuals without gender dysphoria. What’s more, there is no evidence that medical treatment, including gender-reassignment surgery, can remedy those challenges.

Military service is inherently stressful. It takes service members and puts them in unfamiliar, lonely, austere, and often hostile areas. Stress, anxiety, and suicide are already existential military problems. Indeed, the suicide rate for active-duty military members has been slowly rising over the past couple of decades.

At one point, it was lower than the U.S. national average. In 2015, however, in the active component, it stood at 20.2 per 100,000 service members, compared with the U.S. average of 13.3 per 100,000.

It would, therefore, be reckless and ill-advised to allow individuals demonstrably at a higher risk of suicide and anxiety to join the military and be subject to the increased stresses of military duty—both for the readiness of their units and for the safety of the individual.

Critics, in raising objections, ask why then can’t transgender individuals with gender dysphoria be allowed to serve far from the front lines, perhaps in a desk or office job? Surely, they say, that wouldn’t be stressful.

But the military doesn’t work that way.

In order for the military to be effective, to borrow an analogy, every player must be able to get on the field and play their position. If there were a job divorced from stress, it would be reasonable to ask why we would need a uniformed service member to fill it at all.

Still others ask how such a tiny fraction of the military force that would be transgender, if allowed, could constitute a risk to a force the size of the U.S. military.

That ignores the fact that the U.S. military often goes to war one squad, one plane, one ship at a time. Often, the performance of a single individual can mean the difference between mission success and failure.

Finally, those opposed to the restrictions point to examples of transgender individuals who have successfully served in the military, including those who have been decorated for bravery.

Kudos to these individuals for serving, and serving well. But the military must set entrance criteria based on broad evidence, as opposed to isolated examples. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that individuals experiencing gender dysphoria, if allowed to enlist, would present unacceptable risks to both a prospective military unit and to themselves.

Thus far, the courts have seen fit to substitute their judgment on military enlistment criteria in place of that of the commander in chief. That’s unfortunate.

What would be even more unfortunate is if a decision were made to permit individuals with gender dysphoria to serve in the military, and in so doing, took a reckless gamble with both the readiness of the U.S. military and the safety of those patriotic individuals.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Thomas Spoehr

Thomas Spoehr

Thomas W. Spoehr, a retired Army lieutenant general, is director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation.

RELATED ARTICLE: What a Judge’s Ruling on Drafting Women Means for Military

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

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image by Defence-Imagery on Pixabay.

Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger In Her Own Words

The Margaret Sanger Papers Project lists a series of quotes attributable to the founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger. Given the current debate on infanticide it may be appropriate to revisit what Margaret Sanger said about her beliefs on eugenics, women, race, the weak and birth control.

Here are Margaret Sanger’s own words:

On criminals

“America . . . is like a garden in which the gardener pays no attention to the weeds. Our criminals are our weeds, and weeds breed fast and are intensely hardy. They must be eliminated. Stop permitting criminals and weaklings to reproduce. All over the country to-day we have enormous insane asylums and similar institutions where we nourish the unfit and criminal instead of exterminating them. Nature eliminates the weeds, but we turn them into parasites and allow them to reproduce.” – Burbank, quoted by Sanger in “Is Race Suicide Possible?” (1925)

On poor and “unfit” women

“The poor woman is taught how to have her seventh child, when what she wants to know is how to avoid bringing into the world her eighth.” (Pivot of Civilization, 116).

As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit”, admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.

Birth Control is not advanced as a panacea by which past and present evils of dysgenic breeding can be magically eliminated. Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism. – Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” Birth Control Review, Oct. 1921, 5.

Give the women of the poorer classes a chance also to limit and control their families, and it will be found that in very many cases the material is equally good. The difference is that, like plants crowded too close together on poor soil, there is no chance to develop and the whole families are left impoverished in mind and body. Give room for each [to] grow and all may become fine and healthy American citizens. – “A Better Race Through Birth Control” (Nov. 1923)

On white supremacy

“The object of civilization is to obtain the highest and most splendid culture of which humanity is capable. But such attainment is unthinkable if we continue to breed from the present race stock that yields us our largest amount of progeny. Some method must be devised to eliminate the degenerate and the defective; for these act constantly to impede progress and ever increasingly drag down the human race.” – A Better Race Through Birth Control” (Nov. 1923)

The potential mother is to be shown that maternity need not be slavery but the most effective avenue toward self-development and self-realization. Upon this basis only may we improve the quality of the race. – Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” Birth Control Review, Oct. 1921, 5.

The Negro Project & FDR’s New Deal

By the late 1930s, the birth control activists began to focus on high birth rates and poor quality of life in the South, alerted to alarming Southern poverty by a 1938 U.S. National Resource Committee report which asserted that Southern poverty drained resources from other parts of the country. Starting in the mid-1930s, Sanger sent field workers into the rural South to establish birth control services in poor communities and conduct research on cheaper and more effective contraceptive….The birth control movement also looked to Southern states as the ideal region in which to secure funding under New Deal legislation and to establish birth control services as part of state and federal public health  programs….

In 1937, North Carolina became the first state to incorporate birth control services into a statewide public health program, followed by six other southern states. However, these successes were clouded by the failure of birth controllers to overcome segregated health services and improve African-Americans’ access to contraceptives. Hazel Moore, a veteran lobbyist and health administrator, ran a birth control project under Sanger’s direction and found that black women in several Virginia counties were very responsive to birth control education. A 1938 trip to Tennessee further convinced Sanger of the desire of African-Americans in that region to control their fertility and the need for specific programs in birth control education aimed at the black community. (Hazel Moore, “Birth Control for the Negro,” 1937, Sophia Smith Collection, Florence Rose Papers.)

On Forced Sterilization

“I admire the courage of a government that takes a stand on sterilization of the unfit and second, my admiration is subject to the interpretation of the word ‘unfit.’ If by ‘unfit’ is meant the physical or mental defects of a human being, that is an admirable gesture, but if ‘unfit’ refers to races or religions, then that is another matter which I frankly deplore.”

Eugenics today is known as the study of “genetics.” Merriam-Webster defines genetics as, “a branch of biology that deals with the heredity and variation of organisms.” So did Eugenics.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Ocasio-Cortez on Climate Change: ‘Is It OK to Still Have Children?’

More Democrats Now Identify as Pro-Life, Poll Finds

Protecting Babies Who Survive an Abortion Should Not Be Controversial

Trump Administration’s Move Hits Abortion Clinics’ Funding

Why This Abortion Survivor Had to Thank President Trump

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Margaret Sanger, seated behind desk. Photo: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Margaret Sanger Collection [reproduction number, e.g. LC-USZ62-12345].

VIDEO: Vatican Sex Summit — Day 3

by Michael Voris, S.T.B.  •  ChurchMilitant.com.

Church Militant has learned exclusively of a secret meeting that occurred with a good number of papal nuncios last night.

The point of the meeting was to air their grievances among each other at how the Vatican simply ignores whatever bad behavior of priests or bishops they report — meaning bad sexual behavior.

The nuncios, we were told — a somewhat sizable group of them who are here because of the sex summit — are extremely upset and angry and didn’t really discover the scope of how the Vatican was ignoring their reports until they just started talking with each other informally.

That is quite a development. It’s not exactly sure what recourse the various nuncios have, but that they are feeling dismissed, ignored and their reports trivialized is absolutely certain.

They are ticked off, frankly, and so are quite a few other people.

We’ve been told by various folks who work in and around the Vatican that things have never been this bad. Priests are afraid to wear cassocks, afraid that if they look “too traditional” they will be reported to the Vatican.

Various individuals are being followed and their movements monitored. Rooms are bugged, phone lines are tapped and the Vatican more and more resembles North Korea, as one cleric termed it to us.

Sources tell us that the level of homosexual activity here is off the charts. The Swiss Guard, for example, is a regular target.

One source told us that grooming attempts and sexual advances by various archbishops are so off the charts that each year’s new recruits should be given a week-long class on how to handle it.

And don’t forget, this is the new Rome, the “Rome of Mercy” — mercy apparently for lying, covering up, homosexualist prelates who hate the Church, but no mercy for anyone else, especially those who uphold Tradition.

One of the more interesting developments to come out this week — speaking of homosexualist clergy who hate the Church — Fr. Thomas Rosica was busted plagiarizing multiple sources.

Yep, the Vatican’s English-speaking liaison to the media simply ripped off lines from various sources in a speech he gave at Cambridge earlier this month.

But he didn’t stop at just plagiarizing. He actually plagiarized out of context, using the moment to charge that the testimony of whistleblower Abp. Viganò was lies, which is rich considering he was passing off as his own words many other people’s words in his speech.

In just one example, quoting out of context, he called Viganò’s testimony a “diabolical masterpiece,” a term first credited to a bishop and repeated by a cardinal referring to the crisis, notViganò’s testimony.

When caught red-handed, in typical unaccountable fashion, he apologized, accepted full responsibility and then turned around and blamed his interns.

And the tidbit about Abp. Viganò brings us back to the secret meeting of nuncios last night.

They are the keepers of many secrets, and if a group of them suddenly decided to do what former nuncio to the United States Viganò did last August, the Vatican could be in quite a mess.

As media scrutiny intensifies, it came up a couple of days ago that another papal inner circle member, Indian Cdl. Oswald Gracias, on two occasions himself left victims unprotected and did not go to the police, perhaps even breaking Indian law which mandates such action.

In one case, a family reported to him in 2015 that their son had come home from serving Mass and told them he had been raped by the priest.

They contacted him, and then Gracias simply left for Rome that same night and did not inform police. He found out sometime later from one of his auxiliaries that the family had ended up reporting it themselves.

Gracias also looked the other way when he was informed that one of his priests offering retreats for women had molested one woman, and Gracias just left him in service and did not report anything to the police.

It is example after example of this constant drip, drip, drip of offense and cover-up and ignoring that the laity, good priests and now apparently the nuncios are simply not going to stand for any longer.

To add insult to injury, Gracias is present here at the summit in so-called “listening sessions,” hearing accounts of victims’ suffering.

Which begs the question: If one of the Pope’s inner circle can’t listen and pay attention in his own diocese back home to these horrible things and follow the proper course of action, why is his sitting here in Rome going to make a difference?

The evil, the hypocrisy, the cover-up and the lies, the police state, the fear, the indignant attitude, the lack of good will — all of it is being laid bare case by horrible case.

Unfortunately, until real action is taken, Catholics are going to have to endure this sordid filth being exposed day by day.

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