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.

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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.

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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.

How Cuba’s Infant Mortality Rank Fell from 13th to 49th in the World

Cuba has made less progress in health care and life expectancy than most of Latin America in recent years due to its decrepit health care system.

It has never been a safer world in which to be a child. According to the UN, in 1950, most of the world had a child death rate (by age five) of over 20 percent, while only a few countries, such as the United States, Cuba, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand had child death rates of below 5 percent. By 2015, most of the world had a child death rate of below 5 percent, and every country on Earth had a child death rate below 20 percent (even war-torn Yemen, whose child death rate fell from 50 percent in 1950 to 4.8 percent in 2015, the first year of its current civil war).

For many developed countries, the child mortality rate is now below 1 percent. It’s less than 1 percent in the United States; all but two countries in the European Union; Japan, Korea, and Malaysia; Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; and parts of Arabia. (See “Child Mortality in 1800, 1950 and 2015,” three maps from Our World in Data).

And world hunger and poverty have diminished enormously. As the Cato Institute’s Marian Tupy pointed out, in 1981, “44.3 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty.” But in 2015, only “9.6 percent” did. The last 40 years have seen a “massive and historically unprecedented decline in global poverty.”

Cuba in 1950 had a lower child mortality rate than all but a handful of the world’s countries—lower than Canada and on par with the United States. That was long before the Communists took over in Cuba in 1959. The Communists did not give Cuba its unusually good world health ranking. Cuba had already achieved it long before the Marxist dictator Fidel Castro seized power.

Yet Castro’s regime took credit for the prior achievement of his non-communist predecessors, and many progressives have gullibly swallowed that propaganda. In 2016, The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, debunked such claims. He gave “three Pinocchios” to Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for claiming that Castro made “significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.” He pointed to data about how Cuba already had well-developed health and education systems by world standards.

But similar claims have been made by many other gullible progressive politicians. They depict the dictator Castro as the savior of Cuba. Bernie Sanders claimed it was Castro who “educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare.” Jimmy Carter claimed that Castro gave Cuba “superb systems of health care and universal education.” Obama also promoted the myth of excellent Cuban health care, saying, “The United States recognizes progress that Cuba has made as a nation, its enormous achievements in education and in health care.”

In reality, Cuba has made less progress in health care and life expectancy than most of Latin America in recent years due to its decrepit health care system. “Hospitals in the island’s capital are literally falling apart.” Sometimes, patients “have to bring everything with them, because the hospital provides nothing. Pillows, sheets, medicine: everything.”

As Townhall notes, in 1958, the year before the Communists took over Cuba:

Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide with the lowest infant-mortality rate. This meant that robustly capitalist and immigrant-swamped pre-Castro Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world. This put her not only at the top in Latin America but atop most of Western Europe, ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Today all of these countries leave Communist Cuba in the dust, with much lower infant mortality rates.

Today Cuba is ravaged by diseases that had been long-eradicated in pre-Castro Cuba (dengue, cholera, for a few examples.) And of Cuba’s “doctors” fortunate enough to escape their indentured servitude to the Castro-Family-Plantation, the overwhelmingly majority flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctors assistants.

And even plummeting from 13th (Capitalist) to 49th (Communist), Cuba’s “impressive” infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by an appalling abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere’s highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at trouble gets “terminated.”

A few years ago Dr. Juan Felipe García, MD, of Jacksonville, Fla., interviewed several recent doctor defectors from Cuba. Based on what he heard, he reported the following:

“The official Cuban infant-mortality figure is a farce. Cuban pediatricians constantly falsify figures for the regime. If an infant dies during its first year, the doctors often report he was older. Otherwise, such lapses could cost him severe penalties and his job.”

It should be noted that the official Cuban infant mortality rate is still quite low compared to most of the world. But relatively speaking, it has lost ground, especially compared to capitalist countries in Asia like South Korea.

Cuba also lost the big edge in life expectancy it once enjoyed. Prior to communism, it led virtually all countries in Latin America in life expectancy. But by 2012, Chileans and Costa Ricans lived slightly longer than Cubans. Back in 1960, Chileans had a life span seven years shorter than Cubans, and Costa Ricans lived more than two years less than Cubans on average. In 1960, Mexicans lived seven years shorter than Cubans; by 2012, the gap had shrunk to just two years.

In celebrating Communist Cuba’s non-existent achievements, progressive politicians don’t even listen to fellow progressives who have actually studied Cuba’s record under communism, to their chagrin. As the progressive economist Brad DeLong points out (he calls it “hideously depressing”):

Cuba in 1957—was a developed country. Cuba in 1957 had lower infant mortality than France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Cuba in 1957 had doctors and nurses: as many doctors and nurses per capita as the Netherlands, and more than Britain or Finland. Cuba in 1957 had as many vehicles per capita as Uruguay, Italy, or Portugal. Cuba in 1957 had 45 TVs per 1000 people—fifth highest in the world …Today? Today the UN puts Cuba’s HDI [Human Development indicators] in the range of … Mexico. (And Carmelo Mesa-Lago thinks the UN’s calculations are seriously flawed: that Cuba’s right HDI peers today are places like China, Tunisia, Iran, and South Africa.) Thus I don’t understand lefties who talk about the achievements of the Cuban Revolution: “…to have better health care, housing, education.”

Cuba’s outmoded Marxist education system also does not deserve praise. Obama mistakenly called Cuba’s “system of education” an “extraordinary resource” that “values every boy and every girl.”

But there’s nothing “extraordinary” about Cuba’s educational system. Children are taught by poorly paid teachers in dilapidated schools. Cuba has made less educational progress than most Latin American countries over the last 60 years. According to UNESCO, Cuba had about the same literacy rate as Costa Rica and Chile in 1950 (close to 80 percent) before Cuba was taken over by the communists. And it has almost the same literacy rate as they do today (close to 100 percent).

Meanwhile, Latin American countries that were largely illiterate in 1950—such as Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic—are largely literate today, closing much of the gap with Cuba. El Salvador had a less than 40 percent literacy rate in 1950 but has an 88 percent literacy rate today. Brazil and Peru had a less than 50 percent literacy rate in 1950, but today, Peru has a 94.5 percent literacy rate, and Brazil a 92.6 percent literacy rate. The Dominican Republic’s rate rose from a little over 40 percent to 91.8 percent. While Cuba made substantial progress in reducing illiteracy in Castro’s first years in power, its educational system has stagnated since, even as much of Latin America improved.

The child mortality statistics above are from the United States Population Division (2017) for 1950 and 2015 and Gapminder for 1800. The maps depicting that data are by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser. The child death rate discussed above refers to the percentage of kids dying by age 5, not just in the first year of their life.

This article was reprinted from Liberty Unyielding.

COLUMN BY

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by joffi on Pixabay Pixabay.

Arkansas Pulls the Trigger on Roe v Wade

While the U.S. Senate gears up for what should be a no-brainer vote on infanticide, the states are nudging their own needles to the pro-life side. Arkansas is the latest, thanks to Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) — and hardly the last.

Tuesday, with a nationwide protest over late-term abortion raging, Arkansas became the fifth state to make it clear where they stand if the issue ever returns to states. The minute Roe v. Wade is overturned, a growing number of states will already be prepared. Under the “trigger law” that Hutchinson just signed, Arkansas would immediately ban abortion if the ruling pro-lifers have been praying for ever came down.

Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota have similar laws on the books — and Kentucky and Tennessee may be next. “It’s time for the United States to redress and correct what many believe is a grave injustice and a crime against humanity which is being perpetuated by the decisions of Roe v. Wade,” said the Arkansas bill sponsor. Under the law, abortion will be completely outlawed, except in medical emergencies. It also, LifeNews points out, allows abortionists to be prosecuted.

“In 2017, the abortion advocacy group NARAL predicted that 13 states immediately would ban abortions if the high court overturns Roe. Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights put their estimate at 22 states,” Michaiah Bilger reports. After another year like this one, who knows how high that number could go? If you live in Kentucky or Tennessee, help us get to 24! Contact your state leaders and support trigger laws like Arkansas’s.


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


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

The Abuse Summit: It’s Only the Beginning

Robert Royal: People are happy that McCarrick has finally been defrocked, but now we need to deal with other abusers and enablers. 

February is not high tourist season in Rome. Skies are gray and temperatures low. St. Peter’s Square is relatively empty. But journalists filled the nearby Press Office earlier this week – more, according to one veteran, than since the death of St. John Paul II –because of the summit on the sex abuse crisis, which begins this evening with meetings between abuse survivors and participants, and continues Thursday through Saturday with formal sessions, parts of which will be streamed on the Vatican website. A video of the opening press briefing with remarks by Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop Scicluna, and other key figures is available by clicking here.

To be frank, it’s hard to say why so many journalists are here since no one, including Church spokesmen, expects that anything very dramatic will happen over the next few days – at least not in the formal sessions. What happens outside and around them, however, may be a different matter.

When the summit was announced last September, partly because of papal missteps in handling abuse cases in Chile, it seemed that the Church was going to take some large steps forward. There have been many smaller steps for years in many places around the world, everything from easier reporting mechanisms to better human formation in seminaries to the unprecedented laicization last weekend of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Expectations ran high, not least because the Holy Father asked the American bishops, during their annual November meeting, not to vote on ways to hold bishops accountable – whether they are abusers themselves, like McCarrick, or covered up abuse by people under their authority. They were told to wait until a uniform approach could be developed in February when many of the presidents of bishops’ conferences and heads of religious orders would gather together in Rome.

But Vatican spokesmen have more recently been encouraging people to lower expectations; and the focus this week is quite different: “The Protection of Minors in the Church.” That, of course, is a worthy goal. In many parts of the Catholic world, rules are in place, but there hasn’t been serious follow through. If the next few days bring proven practices to new places, that will be all to the good.

But it’s also much less than we were hoping for. And in America, we’ve already come a long way towards responding to the part of the abuse crisis that involves priests. We have been expecting – and had been told – that the next phase would be figuring out how to hold bishops accountable. That’s been a continuing problem, not only in America, but in Chile, Honduras, Australia, Europe, the pope’s own Argentina, and the Vatican itself.

People are happy that McCarrick has been expelled from the priesthood, for example, but they want to know how it was possible for a man widely rumored to be an abuser to have moved up in the hierarchy and eventually become cardinal-archbishop of the capital of the most powerful nation on earth. Three popes and dozens of Vatican officials are now part of the story. Pope Francis has promised an investigation into the files. It’s almost a year later and we’ve heard nothing of that, not even whether there’s an active inquiry underway.


Pope Francis by Will Oliver/EPA-EFE

Meanwhile, a new book, which will be officially released Thursday, the first day of the summit here in Rome, claims that 80 percent of the upper echelons of the Vatican are gay. Some remain celibate, others act out in various ways, but they form what, in local parlance, is called “the Parish,” a network of people who either cover for one another or, given their own inclinations, look the other way.

Or at least that’s what Frederic Martel, the author, says. Martel is a gay activist in France and his motives in publishing this book at this particular moment are suspect – as are some of his wilder claims. But he seems to have conducted thousands of interviews with various figures from high-placed Cardinals to Swiss Guards, and quotes some by name.

The excerpts that have appeared so far raise as many questions as they answer. But the whole matter of the gay presence in the Church and its role as an enabler – which the summit organizers are avoiding, indeed are denying is a factor – will not go away.

Martel says (and there’s no reason to doubt it since there have been no denials forthcoming) that his access to the Vatican was facilitated by Msgr. Battista Ricca, who is Director of the Papal Residence (i.e., Casa Santa Marta) and an official with the Vatican Bank. Ricca was widely known to have had a boyfriend or two when he was a Vatican diplomat in Uruguay. And he was caught in an elevator with a boy prostitute.

It was in response to a reporter’s question about his past on the plane returning from World Youth Day in 2013 that Pope Francis famously remarked, ““If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

But it’s partly the pope’s judgment in such matters that has raised further questions. Not only the bishop he wrongly defended in Chile, but even recent appointments like that of Gustavo Zanchetta – a bishop accused of abusing seminarians in Argentina and a friend of the pope’s – to a specially created post at one of the Vatican financial institutions. He had to be removed while investigations are going on.

And then there’s the recent naming of Irish-American Cardinal Kevin Farrell to the position of camerlengo, the official who declares the pope officially dead and then runs the Vatican, with limited powers, during the interregnum, the period between the death of one pope and the election of another.

Farrell lived for six years in the same residence with then-Cardinal McCarrick and claimed – to widespread skepticism – that he had no knowledge of, had never even heard rumors about, McCarrick’s outrages. It’s curious that the pope would pick a potentially questionable figure for such a sensitive post.

All of this suggests that what goes on in the synod hall this week is the merest beginning to what will continue to be a large and troubling process. More on all that in coming days.

COLUMN BY

Robert Royal

Robert Royal

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column 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 Pixabay.

How Tech Giants Are Banning True Speech About Biological Sex

Like a strong cocktail that promises a quick buzz, social media offers us instant gratification that can be hard to resist.

But just as alcohol disguises the smell of chemicals, social media hides the bitter poison of identity politics—a poison that increasingly dominates the content we read.

This toxic cocktail is killing our freedom to speak the truth. And sadly, some of the world’s most powerful companies are siding against freedom and truth.

Twitter’s latest move against free thought came in the form of a ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming.” This essentially means users who use pronouns and names that align with a person’s biology rather than their professed gender identity will be punished.

This is a victory of feelings over facts. Big tech is enabling identity politics to dominate the virtual public square—and it’s even aiding its takeover of the real one, too.

Take the United Kingdom. In England, police have already used tweets to investigate and arrest citizens for referring to individuals according to their biology rather than transgender ideology. In two separate incidents, police responded to complaints against women from men who identify as women.

Police arrested Kate Scottow at home in front of her children and then held her in a jail cell for seven hours after transgender activist Anthony Halliday (aka Stephanie Hayden) accused her of “misgendering” him.

Halliday/Hayden also seemed to suggest that transgender activists ought to “[storm] into” a parish church to ask “robust questions” of a priest’s wife who has opposed transgender ideology.

View image on Twitter

Police also went after a 74-year–old woman named Margaret Nelson. The reason: She posted two statements on Twitter that didn’t accord with transgender ideology: “gender is fashionable nonsense” and “in life or in death, trans women are not women, no matter how many times you say it’s so.”

Forced to Speak Untruths

In the novel “1984,” George Orwell coined the phrase “Big Brother is watching” to refer to the government. Today, he’d have to include social media companies as enforcers.

Twitter’s ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming” crosses a red line. Twitter users should be able to choose what pronouns and names they use for each other. When Twitter punishes users for misgendering and deadnaming, the company pressures us to speak untruths.

Princeton University professor Robert George has warned, “Ordinary authoritarians are content to forbid people from saying things they know or believe to be true. Totalitarians insist on forcing people to say things they know or believe to be untrue.”

Social media companies’ embrace of identity politics has led to biased enforcement of content standards that favors transgender activists.

In Canada, for instance, feminist journalist Meghan Murphy testified before the Canadian Senate against the notorious Bill C-16, which added “misgendering” to the human rights code and criminal code in May 2017. In August 2018, Twitter told her to delete tweets that referred to a biological man, Ryan Kreut (who self-identifies as a woman named Lisa), as a man.

Then, last November, Murphy tweeted several rhetorical questions: “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” She referred to transgender activist Jonathan Yaniv according to his biology. In the past he had filed lawsuits against female beauticians who refused to give him “bikini waxes.”

Twitter classified these statements from Murphy as hateful and permanently shut down her account. Yaniv then bragged that he was personally responsible for getting Murphy banned from Twitter.

Murphy is now suing Twitter over the ban.

Companies like Twitter clearly see themselves as defending transgender individuals. But they are much more passive about enforcing “hateful conduct” policies when it comes to protecting women from transgender activists.

Trans activists frequently target Murphy and others by name, referring to them as trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). A website called terfisaslur.comdisplays tweets like “All TERFs deserve to be shot in the head.” “All TERFS need to cease existing. Wipe them from the earth.”

Transgender activists have also targeted Kaeley Triller, co-founder of Hands Across the Aisle, a coalition of women opposed to transgender ideology, on Facebook by posting her home address and violently threatening her children.

“Ironically,” Triller says, “the least ‘safe spaces’ in the history of the world are spaces where speech is censored and dissent is punished. If people are not safe to disagree, they are not safe at all.”

Social media companies could be protecting women from the violent, graphic, and threatening content against feminists documented at terfisaslur.com, but instead, Twitter is “protecting” those who identify as transgender from the “hateful conduct” of those who simply say that we are born male and female.

The Eclipse of Women’s Rights

For a brief moment during the #MeToo movement, it seemed that women were ascending the identity politics hierarchy. But as PayPal founder Peter Thiel predicted, when conflict comes between identity groups, the solution will be brokered in a way that most benefits the left as a coalition, not any particular group.

Twitter and Facebook’s double standards are proving Thiel correct. Transgenderism is making war on feminism, and feminists are losing out.

Identity politics is poisonous to freedom. It divides Americans up by ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., and ranks us in a hierarchy based upon degrees of “victimization.”

This is deeply out of step with America’s founding, which championed the legal equality of each citizen based on inalienable natural rights. It is also out of step with the way most Americans developed their identities—from their families, religious communities, and civic groups.

But as our society has become more atomized, identity politics has filled the void and offered an alternative kind of social identity—albeit a toxic one.

The Marxist struggle, which originally was seen as a struggle for power between economic classes, has been recast as a struggle between social identity groups. Individual guilt, virtue, and responsibility are replaced with collective guilt, virtue, and responsibility. And because this scheme treats the group as the fundamental unit of responsibility and agency, individual freedoms become irrelevant. At worst, they are seen as tools that “oppressors” can use to exploit the “oppressed.”

We should not be surprised, then, when incidents of identity politics seem to reveal a totalitarian streak. Identity politics doesn’t just produce a grievance culture, it produces a vengeance culture—one that never ends and can never be resolved.

When students and faculty who hold unpopular views are shouted down or even physically assaulted, we are witnessing the fruit of a tree that is rotten to the core. 

Identity politics requires the jettisoning of America’s constitutional heritage. It would ultimately replace ordered liberty with a society in which freedoms are enjoyed only by those who have earned them through victimization.

Tech Giants Driving the Train

Twitter, Facebook, and Apple are among 107 major companies that have endorsed federal legislation that would make “misgendering” a punishable offense. Named the “Equality Act,” this bill is anything but.

State and local bureaucrats have already used similar laws and policies to derail the careers of people like high school teacher Peter Vlaming and professor Nicholas Meriwether at Shawnee State University because they referred to students according to biology and not gender ideology.

These laws give government control over our freedom to speak and think according to the truth. The Equality Act would extend that to all 50 states.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer who survived life in the Soviet gulag, once told the Nobel Prize Committee: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”

As big tech seeks to restructure both our virtual and brick-and-mortar public squares according to the frame of identity politics, now more than ever, we must fight for the freedom to use language to speak the truth.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: @EmilieTHF.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Is the Party over for Dem Extremists?

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) isn’t the only one asking himself, “What’s happened to our nation when the president of the United States has to ask legislators to save babies from being murdered?” Overwhelming majorities of pro-choicers are just as startled as he is.

Too often over the past 46 years, the issue of abortion has been reduced to a political issue. Very little thought has gone into the coarsening of America’s collective conscience, which has brought us to this point today — where leaders not only look away, but advocate and defend infanticide. Fortunately, what we’ve seen in the last few weeks is that the hardening of our country’s heart hasn’t extended much beyond the party’s leaders and militant abortion activists.

When AUL and YouGov put the Democrats’ infanticide agenda before the public, Americans were universally horrified. Large majorities in the country already objected to third-trimester abortions (79 percent) and birth day abortions (80 percent) — but it was tough to find anyone who thought leaving newborns on a metal table to die was just another “personal decision” between a woman and her doctor. On the question of legal infanticide, 82 percent said absolutely not.

If those numbers don’t make Democrats cringe, maybe these will. Of “pro-choicers,” 77 percent agree with the Republicans’ push to protect abortion survivors. Another 66 percent percent aren’t on board with abortions in the third trimester, and 68 percent disagree with any law that destroy a baby on its due date. Throw in the taxpayer-funded part of these procedures — another piece of the Democratic platform — and the Left’s abortion agenda is a one-way ticket back to the political minority.

If you think I’m exaggerating, look at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) most recent approval ratings. After eight years of high marks, the bottom is falling out for the man who made the disastrous decision to put New Yorkers at the tip of the pink spear. In the weeks since he led the charge to kill babies at the moment of birth, Cuomo’s favorability rating has taken a beating, dropping to 43 percent from 50 — the lowest ever recorded since he took office in 2011. He also had an almost double-digit decline in his performance ratings, with only 35 percent now agreeing that he’s doing an “excellent” or “good job.”

Contrast that with President Trump, who, after doubling down on the culture of life, is enjoying the highest approval rating (52 percent) since 2017. One man embraced the outer limits of abortion extremism. The other used his most important speech of the year to passionately reject it. You do the math.

Making matters worse for the Left, every day that a Republican walks to the floor of the House and demands a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a reminder of just how fanatical Democrats are. On Monday, they got another glimpse when Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) took his turn asking for unanimous consent on the bill. He, like three Republicans before him, was denied. And while most liberals aren’t exactly knocking down the doors of the press to talk about their wildly controversial stance, some Democrats are saying enough for everyone.

“There is zero place for politicians to be involved in these very complicated medical decisions, and they should only be made between a woman and her doctor — period, full stop,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) insisted. So that’s what killing is now? A “medical decision?” Listen, if Democrats want to get the government out of the health care business, conservatives are all for it. If there’s “zero place” for Congress in medicine, then by all means — let’s do away with Obamacare, insurance regulation, health care mandates, Medicare, and Medicaid. Personal decisions shouldn’t need public funding. But that’s the hypocrisy of the Left. Democrats don’t want taxpayers to have any input in health care — they just want them to foot the bill.

To her credit, at least Gillibrand will cop to her radicalism. Others in the increasingly crowded 2020 field refuse to even talk about abortion. But they don’t have to. The Democratic platform says it all.


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


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

New Study Finds Estrogen Responsible for Changes in Meth Addiction Between Men and Women

A recent study by Science Daily has found that Estrogen, the female hormone, is responsible for changes in the impact that methamphetamine addiction has on rats. This could provide one explanation as to why men and women react differently to meth, offering researchers possible insights into sex-specific meth addiction treatment strategies for stimulant addiction.

Men vs. Women and Meth Addiction

Male rats are usually the focus of addiction studies, but recently scientists are finding that female rats should also be considered as the impact of addiction to meth or other drugs is likely different for different sexes. Researcher Carmela Reichel mentions that we have very limited information at our disposal when it comes to how sex hormones such as testosterone or estrogen impact addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Studies have found that the female rat responds different to drugs than the male rat, signifying a possible impact of estrogen on addiction. According to the CDC, meth kills nearly 100K people annually, so finding a cure or better treatment for the disease of addiction is vital. Finding ways to effectively treat men and women, using their own biological backgrounds as the basis for treatment strategy, may be the key to effective recovery.

Reactions of Rats

Stimulants release excessive amounts of dopamine into the brain. Methamphetamine increases activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain causing rapid sense of pleasure for a short period of time. The release of dopamine is responsible for motivation, movement, memory and learning. Unfortunately, a lack of the stimulant can cause the brain to stop producing dopamine after addiction has set in and this causes a lack of motivation or feel good sense for the user.

Rats are given the ability to self-administer methamphetamine in the test environment. Female rats were seen consistently taking more and more methamphetamine. During the first six hours of the addiction, female rats were seen repeatedly taking more of the drug. Researchers believe this explains why addiction to methamphetamine is so powerful for females—as they seem to have a consistent early urge to take more drugs more frequently.

Examining Rat Brains

Addicted rats and non-addicted rats were examined. Researchers were checking the prefrontal cortex of the male and female rat brains to determine the level of change that occurred as a result of methamphetamine abuse. Female rats showed lower resting activity than males before drug use. Post meth use, females had a stronger response in the brain’s synaptic activity followed by a faster fall once the drug wore off.

This suggests that hormones such as estrogen can play a role in the ability for a rat (or human) to become addicted to drugs such as crystal meth. Using this as a guideline, researchers suggest that treatment approaches that are directly related to women be developed to better treat those suffering from addiction to this and to other drugs.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured

The State of the Black Union

During the month of February in America we celebrate Black History Month. As we celebrate the achievements of Blacks in the making of this great country, I can’t help but think about the state of the Black community in 2019.

The state of our Black union is depressing!

We, as a community, must stop asking others to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. We have more education than our parents and grandparents; yet have a lower quality of life. We have more opportunities than our parents and grandparents yet have less to show for them.

We have more Blacks in elected political offices than ever before, yet our economic indices in cities run by Blacks are horrible, i.e.: Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Atlanta to name a few.

Hardly a week passes by without a Black person having some deadly encounter with law enforcement.

How did we, in the Black community, get to where it seems to be open season on our people by law enforcement? Yes, racism still exists, but racism is not the cause of the condition of our community.

According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, over 70% of Black babies are born to unwed mothers. It is estimated that since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in 1973, that over 16 million Black babies have been murdered — 55 million babies in total.

In New York City every year, more Black babies are aborted than are born. Yes, you heard right. According to their Health Department, between 2012 and 2016, 136,426 Black babies were aborted versus 118,127 babies born. Blacks are the only group in America that have more babies aborted than born!

If Black lives matter, does that include their babies?

The solution to this culture of death in the Black community specifically, and America in general, is very simple. We need to reconstitute the family unit; meaning mother, father and children. These perverted variations of the traditional family unit will not restore our traditional values back to our community or our society.

Study after study has shown that if you graduate high school, get married, and then have children, you are almost guaranteed not to live in poverty.

The traditional family unit is the solution to all the ills facing the Black community and America.

But yet, the media appointed Black leaders and their radical liberal groups spend all of their time promoting homosexuality, amnesty for illegals, and Planned Parenthood.

When have you ever heard the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, or the National Urban League talking about the traditional family unit is key to righting the ship in the Black community?

When Bill Cosby gave his famous “Pound Cake” speech, he was eviscerated by the Black liberal elites.

When have you ever heard Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network, Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, or Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League talk about the family unit; or telling girls to keep their damn legs closed if they cannot financially afford to care for a child?

How did the Black community allow the homosexuals to hijack our fight for Civil Rights? Their issue has absolutely nothing to do with Civil Rights.

How did we allow George Soros, Bill Gates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mark Zuckerberg to get media-appointed Blacks to put illegals ahead of their own community? Can you imagine willingly training someone who is going to take your job and agreeing with them that they have a right to take your job.

According to Planned Parenthood’s 2017 annual report, they had total revenue of $1.3 billion, $555 million from the federal government. They made a profit of $77 million. Yes, they get paid to kill.

They also have spent over $38 million in political campaigns between 2012-2016. Yes, they buy Black, Democrat politicians!

To paraphrase Jay-Z, “Blacks folks got 99 problems, but homosexuality, amnesty, and Planned Parenthood should not be one.”

We survived slavery, overcame segregation, and fought discrimination and are still standing.

But, in order to restore the Black community, we must turn away from the media-appointed Black leaders. They have sold us out at every chance.

Just imagine if we put the same amount of energy fighting for our own people and causes like we do for other groups.

Just imagine if we took the energy we put into hating President Donald Trump and Republicans [put it] into getting young girls to stop having babies before marriage; getting Black entertainers and athletes to hire Black C.P.A.s, publicists, lawyers, managers, etc.; getting Black churches to stop caving in to the radical homosexual agenda; and creating more Black entrepreneurs.

We don’t need a law to make any of the above reality; but what we do need is leaders who cannot be bought off by those who have no concern for the Black community.

The state of our union can be brighter, but you can’t have union without “u” “n” “i.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

EDITORS NOTE: This Black Press USA column is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash.

New York: Are “Vulnerable” Immigrants more Important to Catholic Charities than Vulnerable Babies?

I guess Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York was too busy cozying up to Governor Andrew Cuomo for money for its Pro Bono legal services in defense of illegal aliens to bother pushing too hard to save late term aborted babies!

From the Albany Times-Union,

New website connects pro-bono lawyers with immigrants in need of help

After relating stories about several illegal aliens (oops! “undocumented”)….

immigrant New York
New York’s “vulnerables!”

These undocumented immigrants are all in need of pro-bono legal help and their cases are being advertised on a new web portal run by the state’s Liberty Defense Project and Catholic Charities to connect them with volunteer immigration attorneys.

The new website funded by the state brings attention to Catholic Charities, which has placed 105 pro bono cases with more than 230 volunteer attorneys throughout New York. Every volunteer receives expert legal training to file applications for asylum-seekers, crime victims, juveniles or individuals trying to reunite with family members.

[….]

pregnancy-week-38-eye-color_4x3
In New York, no “liberty defense” for this new American!

The new website is funded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Liberty Defense Project, launched in 2017, which provides free legal help to immigrants across the state through Office for New Americans locations.

The program has provided more than 25,000 services to immigrants, according to a press release. A quarter of the immigrants in detention who received representation under the program have been released and reunited with their families.

More here.

Again, that new website that seeks to link free lawyers to illegal aliens (aka New Americans) in need of help to stay in the country is being funded by New York state taxpayers!  See Liberty Defense Project!

What can you do?  If you live in New York and especially if you are Catholic, you must let Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York know what you think!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column with images is republished with permission.

Are the Days of Roe v Wade Numbered?

A verse in the Bible says, “They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Who could have imagined that God would transform the following three attacks on the unborn into a blessing for the pro-life movement.

Fake news media faces a lawsuit for false reporting which caused the high-tech lynching of the Covington high school students who attended the 2019 March for Life. New York legislators gave a standing ovation to killing babies on the date of birth. The governor of Virginia sought to legalize killing babies after birth. These 3 attacks have made Americans more aware of Democrats’ culture of death and war on the unborn. Abortion is front and center on the international political stage.

Since the Roe v Wade abortion on demand decision in 1973, 60 million babies have been killed. Pro-lifers are passionately energized to challenge Roe v Wade. Praise God!

I was blown away that the majority of the estimated 300,000 who attended the 46th Annual March for Life were teens, pre-teens and millennials. It was heartwarming and encouraging to see so many young people overflowing with compassion for the unborn. They were extremely excited, upbeat and joyful about celebrating and defending babies. Many carried signs, “I am the pro-life generation.”

More pro-life than their parents, over 50% of millennials believe abortion should be illegal in all or most situations

Every time I lament that my fellow blacks insanely support Planned Parenthood which targets black babies to kill, I’m flooded with emails from whites. “Lloyd, let blacks know Planned Parenthood was founded by rabid racist Margaret Sanger to exterminate blacks.” Frustrated, I yell at my computer. “I’ve been telling blacks the truth about Sanger and Planned Parenthood for years to no avail!”

Unbelievably, over 20 black religious leaders gathered to ceremonially “bless” a new Planned Parenthood abortion chop-shop in Washington, D.C. These supposed black shepherds are participating in the genocide of their own flocks

To stop the black on black genocide via abortion, Godly black ministers put up a billboard. “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” Guess who had a cow and demanded that the billboard be removed? The answer is Rev Al Sharpton, black civil rights organizations and Democrats. https://dailym.ai/2UJBfZS

Black civil rights leaders have betrayed their people and the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Liberalism continues to devastate the lives of black Americans. And yet, black leaders keep preaching the destructive evil religion of Liberalism to their people. 

Planned Parenthood demands that women rights include mothers killing their babies for whatever reason they deem necessary before or after birth. Here is a link to a brief video of an abortion doctor explaining to congress, in graphic detail, the procedure he used to perform second trimester D&E abortions. Anyone not extremely disturbed by this video is spiritually ill.

President Trump, the most pro-life president in American history, signed legislation to empower states to defund Planned Parenthood. From day one of his presidency, Trump took action to defend the sanctity of life. He reinstated the Mexico City policy, stopping American foreign aid from going to organizations that promote or support abortion around the world.

In his speech to March for Life 2019, president Trump said, “Together we will work to save the lives of unborn children so that they have a chance to live and to love.” “Every child is a sacred gift from God.”

Trump signed a letter to congress that if they send any legislation to his desk which weakens the protection of human life, he will veto it.

Carrie Fischer was aborted in 1968. Born 6 months later, the failed abortion caused Carrie to be partially paralyzed and facially disfigured. As a little girl, 5-6-7 years old, Carrie had reoccurring dreams of a baby in a womb fighting for her life; trying to get away. Carrie said she felt the baby’s pain and heard her screams.

At age 13, Carrie learned that the baby was her. A relative told Carrie her mother tried to abort her. When Carrie confronted her mom who raised her, she confessed and wept deeply. When the abortion failed, Carrie’s mother said she was filled with regret and shame. Carrie and her mom are best friends.

Remarkably, Carrie did not suffer brain damage as doctors predicted. Due to her facial disfigurement, Carrie endured horrific bullying by students and teachers. Carrie attempted suicide. Today, Carrie is happily married. She speaks around the country. Carrie said God saved her life to be a voice for the voiceless unborn

My friend, radio show host (Radio Patriot) Andrea Shea King shared her story with me. Pregnant and unwed at age 15, Andrea chose giving her son up for adoption rather than abortion. Forty-two years later, Andrea received a phone call from her son which led to a heartwarming reunion. Andrea met her daughter-in-law and her grand-kids. Her son is also a conservative like Andrea, his mom.

Andrea’s story inspired me to write, perform and record this song titled, “Hello Mom, It’s Me”. Please enjoy the music video.

Download the song, adding it to your play-list. Share it and encourage others to do the same, in defense of the sanctity of life. With abortion zealots outrageously seeking to legalize killing babies even after they are born, a compassionate pro-life song is needed more than ever.

EDITORS NOTE: The edited featured image is by Pixabay.

Another Uncontested Absurdity: 171 Variants of Gender Emojis!

Gender is binary, you know male and female. Well not according to Unicode Emoji 12.0. You can now pick your gender and proudly, no pun intended, show your penchant for sodomy at the same time using the “people holding hands” emojis.

So now you, your children and grandchildren have the ability to go online and choose their preferred gender/race emoji (right). Now the gay agenda can reach millions of online users, many of them underage children. The perfect targets for pedophiles and pederasts.

According to the Unicode blog:

Emoji 12.0 data has been released, with 59 new emoji…With 171 variants for gender and skin tone, this makes a total of 230 emoji including variants.

These emojis are available to “vendors for mobile phones, PCs, and web platforms…”

Now pedophiles and pederasts can go online and find the perfect underage child that fits their sexual proclivity. It is expected these new gender/race emojis will appear on cell phones in October 2019.

Merriam-Webster under the definition of gender notes:

Facebook’s message was clear when the social media network added new gender options for users on Thursday: the company is sensitive to a wide spectrum of gender identity and wants users to feel accommodated no matter where they see themselves on that spectrum.— Katy Steinmetz

Pedophile Allowed to Adopt Disabled Boy|REFORM Talk

The Western Journal in an article titled “Pedophiles Desperately Trying To Join LGBT Movement with Their Own ‘Acceptance’ Flag” by Erin Coates notes:

Pedophiles have renamed themselves as “Minor Attracted Persons” in order to try and get acceptance and inclusion into the LGBT community.

We are waiting for emojis for minor attracted persons to appear soon.

We found this on the internet when searching for pedophile emoji:

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Democrats SHOULD Remain Seated; The Rest Of Us Will Choose Greatness

I must admit I’ve become disenchanted with the State of The Union Address. I guess it began with Obama’s presidency. I found him so repulsive and dishonest that I couldn’t stand to listen.

When President Trump took office, naturally, my enthusiasm over the State of the Union Address blossomed once again. But even still, I can’t get over the fact that the Address has become a recitation of a long list of projects a particular President wishes to accomplish interlaced with pre-contrived talking points and moments of self-adulation. The State of the Union report is constitutionally prescribed, but not the Address.

However, there is one major, unanticipated plus to the State of the Union Address: observing the opposing party’s reactions to the President. Tuesday night’s was a glaring example of just how revealing this can be as millions of Americans were struck with what the Democrats did not stand for. And given this lengthy and ugly list, perhaps it is best if Democrats remain seated and stay out of the way while the rest of us choose greatness.

Here is the appalling list Democrats did not stand for:

1.  Wages are rising.  Specifically, they are growing for blue-collar workers. 
The Democrats did not stand.
I was confused here. Does that mean that they don’t like blue-collar workers, or is it the improvement in their wages that Democrats oppose?

2.  Five million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. 
The Democrats did not stand.
Again. Confused. Five million people are no longer getting food stamps. That means that they are doing better. They are providing for themselves, probably because they have jobs now. Is that not a good thing?

3.  The U.S. economy is growing twice as fast today as when President Trump took office.  
The Democrats did not stand.
Do the Democrats not like that the economy is growing, or is it the implicit shaming of Obama they resent?

4.  Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century.
The Democrats did not stand.
That’s a good thing, right? According to the Democrats, probably not — at least if they cannot take credit for it, which they cannot.

5.  Asian, African American, and Hispanic unemployment rate at lowest level ever recorded.
The Democrats did not stand.
Neither did Speaker Pelosi. I thought the Democrats were all about the racial divide and correcting the injustices being purposefully perpetrated against minorities in this country. Shouldn’t we therefore be celebrating an improvement in the economic standing of members of minority groups?
Nope, say the Democrats.

6.  Americans with disabilities unemployment rate at an all-time low.
The Democrats did not stand.
Who doesn’t cheer accomplishments by disabled Americans? Oh yeah, Democrats.

7.  More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country.  
The Democrats did not stand.
Is people having jobs not a good thing?

8. Right to try.  
The Democrats did not stand.
Okay. This one has to be bipartisan. The Right to Try law allows people with fatal conditions to try certain curative treatments despite not being approved by the FDA. It’s the legalization of the Hail Mary Pass in pharmacology. Surely, everyone is in favor of cutting through the bureaucratic nonsense to save a life, right?  Apparently not the Democrats.

9.  Companies are coming back in historic numbers.  
The Democrats did not stand.
I got nothing.

10.  The U.S. is the number one producer of oil and natural as in the world.
The Democrats did not stand — except one, Sen. Manchin from West Virginia.
They can’t stand this one! The President of the United States just exalted the destruction of the planet through the greater production of lethal green gases. Gases that will kill the earth! Never mind that those products keep our homes warm, help us cook our meals, or keep our biodegradable products cold so they won’t rot. On the other hand, who cares?  According to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the planet is ending in 12 years anyway.

11.  The U.S. is now a net exporter of energy.
The Democrats did not stand.
But what’s this? Pelosi clapped!?!? Perhaps just a confused moment.
Otherwise see #10.

12.  America is again winning each and every day.  
The Democrats did not stand.
Of course. The Democrats will perpetually root for anyone against the Patriots, and they’re still sore from their defeat in the Super Bowl at the hands of a Trump-loving quarterback against a team that, by its very name, celebrates patriotism.

13.  The state of our union is strong.
The Democrats did not stand, of course, and Pelosi smugly shook her head.
I understand that we have a fundamental disagreement regarding the direction we believe the country should be headed, but to deny that the state of the union is strong, particularly when the economy is buzzing, the unemployment rate is down, and (let’s face it) people are risking life and limb merely to be a part of us, is disingenuous to say the least. We should be celebrating the state of our union today, not dismissing it. And yes, always fighting for better.

14.  Another 304,000 jobs were added in the latest job numbers, almost double the number expected.
The Democrats did not stand.
All I can say is that they didn’t stand for this because a strong work force is a threat to the future of the Democratic Party.

15. And the granddaddy of them all, America will never be a socialist country!  
The Democrats did not stand.
A telling testament to the true intent of this crop of Democrats. They want to dismiss our foundational principles, destroy everything we’ve accomplished, and take us in the same direction as other nations with consistently calamitous results.

Given this atrocious behavior and what it foretells in policies, it actually would be best if Democrats stay seated and brood. The rest of us will continue to protect our freedoms and strive for greatness.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. The featured image is by Pixabay.