Social Engineering in Florida’s Public Schools: The Vicious Circle that Led to the Parkland School Massacre

We have been writing about how policies in Florida’s public schools used to educate students on how to read, do arithmetic and write. Today public schools in the Sunshine State teach students what to think, not how to think. This is call social engineering, “the use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behavior of a society.” Public schools used to teach students values and skills allowing them to become law abiding, productive and informed citizens. This is no longer the case in Florida’s public and charter schools.

Florida’s public schools have been fundamentally transformed from institutions of learning into social engineering centers.

This fundamental transformation has lead to a vicious circle. A vicious circle is defined as, “a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.”

Students are now being socially molded to believe things that are either simply not true, not scientifically based and fundamentally immoral. This fundamental transformation began with the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963, which made it illegal to pray and the corporate reading the Bible in public schools. The April 20th, 1999 Columbine school massacre caused the national discussion of school bullying and the hasty implementation of many new anti-bullying rules and “zero-tolerance” policies across the United States.

In 1996 the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) launched its own anti-bullying campaign. The anti-bullying campaign focused on perceived bullying againsyt gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning student. The GLSEN movement then led to legislation and policies promoting the gay agenda in public schools.

How has social re-engineering impacted students?

Susan Porter, author of Bully Nation: Why America’s Approach to Childhood Aggression is Bad for Everyone found that,

“They  [students] are becoming less resilient, if you’re now a victim, and you think of yourself as a victim, you are much more apt to get victimized.”

Porter sat down with Reason TV’s Tracy Oppenheimer to discuss the anti-bully movement and how laws, labeling and the media are only agitating the problem. She says that kids are actually suffering because of these anti-bully efforts. Watch this six minute video interview with Susan Porter:

The Zero Tolerance policies in Florida’s public schools led the Broward County School Board to rethink its anti-bullying policies.

In 2010 the Broward County School Board acquiesced to demands made by the NAACP to stop reporting illegal acts by minority students to the police under a policy titled “diversionary programs.” Students who engaged in violence, drug sales, robberies, burglaries, theft and other various crimes were intentionally kept out of the criminal justice system.

On November 5th, 2012 the Broward County School Board entered into an agreement with local law enforcement officials and the NAACP. The agreement reads in part:

WHEREAS,

the parties acknowledge that law enforcement plays an essential role in maintaining safety in the community. However, the use of arrests and referrals to the criminal justice system may decrease
a student’s chance of graduation, entering higher education, joining the military, and getting a job.

WHEREAS,

in the 2011-2012 school year, the Department of Juvenile Justice reported 1,062 school-related arrests in Broward County, the highest number in the state. 71% of these arrests were for misdemeanor offenses. Over half of those students had never been referred to the Juvenile Justice System before.

WHEREAS,

across the country, students of color, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students are disproportionately impacted by school-based arrests for the same behavior as their peers.

WHEREAS,

The Florida Legislature “encourage[s] schools to use alternatives to expulsion or referral to law enforcement agencies by addressing disruptive behavior through restitution, civil citation, teen court, neighborhood restorative justice, or similar programs” and has instructed school districts “that zero -tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to, minor fights or disturbances.”

WHEREAS,

with a joint commitment to ending school-based arrests for minor misbehavior, school districts and law enforcement agencies across the country have improved school safety, school engagement and academic achievement. The parties to this agreement are confident that by working together, they can return Broward County Public Schools to a culture of common sense discipline that allows all students to enjoy a safe and effective education.

NOW, THEREFORE,

in consideration of the premises and of the mutual covenants contained herein, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the Parties hereby agree as follows: In order to follow the guidelines set forth by the Legislature, the parties are entering into this cooperative effort among the public agencies named herein to establish guidelines for the handling of school-based student misbehavior. The guidelines are intended to establish uniformity in the handling of incidents while ensuring that each case is addressed on a case-by-case basis. The manner in which each incident is handled by the Police, School System, and/or Court is dependent upon the many factors unique to each child that includes, but is not limited to, behavioral history, present circumstances, disciplinary record, academic record, general demeanor and disposition toward others, disability or special education status, and other factors. Therefore, the parties acknowledge that students involved in the same incident or similar incidents may receive different and varying responses depending on the factors and needs of each student. To address these issues and ensure that all students have access to a safe and effective learning environment, the parties agree to enter into a cooperative agreement governing appropriate responses and use of resources when responding to school-based misbehavior. [Emphasis added]

Nikolas Cruz “misbehaved” by threatening fellow students both in person and on social media. Cruz “misbehaved” when he wrote on YouTube, ““Im going to be a professional school shooter.” Nikolas Cruz was a bully.

At least two citizens contacted the FBI warning that Cruz was a danger and wanted to shoot up a school. The first tip was on September 24th, 2017, the second on January 5th, 2018.

Are these not perfect examples of bullying/misbehavior, with an intent to kill, then what is?

Florida has created a vicious circle which has inextricably led to what happened in Parkland.

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Florida Rep. Van Zant Says Common Core Testing Firm Will Make Kids As “Homosexual” As Possible

‘Gay’ teachers conference reveals latest plans for school children

Communist China’s Growing Influence in Florida’s Schools and Universities

U.S. Department of Heath & Human Services: Moving Rights Along…

Conservatives don’t need to prove the existence of the war on faith anymore — HHS did it for them! After years of pooh-poohing the crackdown on Christians, the other side will have a much harder time now, thanks to the agency’s new division in the Office for Civil Rights.After eight years of weaponizing the government against men and women of faith, President Trump is demanding a unilateral disarmament — starting with one of the leading offenders, Health and Human Services. In January, it wasn’t just the start of a new year, but a new era in protecting religious liberty. The administration announced a bold new initiative, aimed at turning the government from an enemy of freedom to an ally. Starting in 2018, it would open an office dedicated to stopping the assault on conscience.

Two months into the idea, the job is turning out to be bigger than anyone envisioned. Now that Americans have a president they can trust and a place to confide, more victims are stepping out of the shadows to tell their stories. Complaints are pouring in to the agency about violations across a full spectrum of services: health care, medical care, adoption, child care, and more. Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is surprised but encouraged. At least the system is working.

“We have made a commitment to vigorously and fairly enforce laws protecting conscience and religion that had been given second-class treatment for too long,” he told CQ. “The surge in complaints shows that the American people are responding to our new openness.” It also shows something else: the problems are deeper than people thought. “Less than two months into 2018, OCR is already nearing the total combined conscience and religion complaints in all of 2017.” Last year, before a special division was established, OCR was on the receiving end of 464 conscience and religious-related complaints. Right now, that number has already hit 345! (And, one official points out, that doesn’t include any filed by mail.)

Obviously, the hostility toward religion is so deeply ingrained that it will take years to weed out the abusers and clean up the toxic environment that has stunted our First Freedom. And here’s the ironic part: until President Obama, the freedom to believe was never a controversial idea. It was such a consensus issue, in fact, that after the Supreme Court invented legalized abortion in 1973, Congress responded by passing a law to protect health care workers from the very discrimination they’re facing today. Even Senator Ted Kennedy defended the bill’s “full protection to the religious freedom of physicians and others.” Only two members objected.

Suddenly, under the Obama administration, that all changed. Instead of demanding compromise and coexistence, the other side exchanged its sham of tolerance for full-blown government forced coercion. Now, almost a decade later, the mess is titanic. Longtime grievances can finally be aired. Before Trump, most people who were affected by Obamacare, taxpayer-funded abortion, or gender identity knew that if they complained it would only make them bigger targets. What a refreshing change for them to know that the government that was once their oppressor can now be their defender.

Let’s hope the White House recognizes the good work of OCR and moves to replicate it in other places across the administration. Until then, this is another important reminder that elections have consequences. In this case, positive ones.


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


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Florida House Passes Resolution Declaring Pornography a ‘Public Health Risk’

Public Health Impacts of Pornography Are No Trivial Matter

This week Florida’s House of Representatives formally recognized the public health harms of pornography. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) applauds this action and Rep. Ross Spano for spearheading this effort.

Public health impacts of pornography are no trivial matter.

The harms associated with pornography use are wide-ranging. For example, two recent meta-analyses (a process of a systematic review of several studies which yields greater statistical power) show a link between aggression and pornography use. Similarly, more than 50 studies (several longitudinal) on men have linked pornography use to lower sexual and relationship satisfaction. There are also dozens of studies linking pornography use to emotional and cognitive difficulties.

These disturbing findings are also consistent with neuroscience-based studies. It wasn’t long ago that the American public considered smoking innocuous—some doctors even touted faulty research claiming smoking was beneficial. But, today, much as X-ray photos of smoke-damaged lungs convinced skeptics of the harm caused by smoking, neuroimaging is revealing disquieting alterations to the brains of pornography users.

There are 38 neurological studies that suggest Internet pornography can cause addiction-related brain changes. Among them is a study published this month which reported significant reductions in grey matter, as well as decreased resting-state functional activity between certain brain centers among individuals with problematic hypersexual behavior (PHB) compared to a control group. Notably, those with PHB used pornography more frequently. The regions of the brain affected play a pivotal role in attention shifting and sustained attention, as well as reward-based behavioral learning.”

These findings are particularly alarming when considered in light of the number of young people exposed to pornography today. A 2017 study reported pornography exposure during adolescence is as high as 87%, with the median age for first viewing being 13 for boys and 16 for girls.

Today, young people with smartphones carry access to the world of XXX with them wherever they go. The potential harmful impact of pornography on their developing brains, relationships, and sexual templates is apparent to educators, therapists, parents, and young people themselves. As one 14-year-old boy put it, “I want help. I want it to end . . . I want to be able to go to school and not have pornography on my mind.”

With this week’s action, Florida joined a growing list of states officially recognizing pornography’s public health risks. These include Utah, South Dakota, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas. The house chambers in both Virginia and Pennsylvania have done likewise.

For an overview of representative research on the harms of pornography visit: endsexualexploitation.org/publichealth.

Lisa L. Thompson

VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

Lisa L. Thompson serves as the Vice President of Research and Education for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, where she oversees NCOSE’s strategic planning for increased public understanding of sexual exploitation related issues. To this end Lisa conducts analysis, develops research initiatives, and liaises with a wide-range of public officials, non-profit organizations, institutions of higher learning, and academics to generate collaborative action to combat the full spectrum of sexual exploitation especially as pertains to the harms of pornography, stripping, prostitution, and sexual trafficking.

Lisa joins the NCOSE following nearly two years with World Hope International (WHI), where as its Director of Anti-Trafficking, Lisa administered WHI’s anti-trafficking and sexual-violence recovery programs in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While working for WHI Lisa also served as a steering committee member of the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST), a collaboration initiative she helped found, and as a reviewer for the Journal of Human Trafficking.

She has written on the subjects of sexual trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation for publications such as Christian History and BiographyCaringMutualityPRISM, and Social Work and Christianity. Lisa is a contributing author to Hands that Heal: International Curriculum for Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors, as well as the bookGlobal Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:  Europe Latin America, North America, and Global in which she contributed chapters about the use of torture by pimps, as well as the policy conflicts between sex trafficking abolitionists and HIV/AIDS advocatesShe is the co-editor of a special anti-trafficking edition of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work journal Social Work & Christianity and has provided expert testimony to the U.S. Congress. Lisa routinely speaks about sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (i.e. prostitution, pornography, stripping), and facilitates anti-trafficking training events for a diverse range of audiences.

Additionally, Lisa served for more than 12 years as the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters. In that role she pioneered strategies for The Salvation Army to create recovery services for survivors of sexual trafficking and advocated on public policy issues and initiatives related to combating sexual trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Lisa chaired The Salvation Army’s North American Anti-Trafficking Council and directed its Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking. Previous to her arrival at The Salvation Army, Lisa served as Policy Representative for the National Association of Evangelicals’ (NAE) Office for Governmental Affairs in Washington, DC, from 1998 to 2001. While there, she was heavily involved in NAE’s advocacy efforts seeking passage of legislation now known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. She has also worked for consulting firms managing Community Develop Block Grants programs in Kentucky, and taught English as a second language in the People’s Republic of China.

Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Government from Western Kentucky University, and her Master’s degree in Leadership, Public Policy and Social Issues from Union Institute and University.

VIDEO UPDATE: FBI still protecting Comey; Fraud, Waste and Abuse at the Veterans Administration

What is the FBI Hiding in its War to Protect Comey? 

The coup attempt against President Trump is rapidly collapsing, but the deep state is still in cover-up mode. In an article for The Hill I discussed the FBI’s continuing protection of former Director James Comey and Judicial Watch’s efforts to penetrate the truth.

As the James Comey saga continues to unfold, the James Comey legend continues to unravel.

The more we learn about his involvement in the deep state’s illicit targeting of President Trump, the more reason the American people have to question both his motives and his management as director of the FBI, the now-disgraced agency he headed before Trump fired him. Comey has left a trail of suspicious activities in his wake.

Comey now looms large over a burgeoning constitutional crisis that could soon overshadow Watergate at its worst. To deepen the crisis even further, it now appears some of Comey’s former FBI and Justice Department colleagues continue to protect him from accountability.

Three suspicious activities stand out, all intertwined: the so-called Comey Memos, Comey’s controversial testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Comey’s book deal.

After Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, he arranged to give The New York Times a Feb. 14, 2017, memorandum he had written about a one-on-one conversation with Trump regarding former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The New York Times published a report about the memo on May 16, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed the following day.

On June 8, 2017, Comey testified under oath before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he stated he authored as many as nine such memos. Regarding the Flynn memo, Comey admitted: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter [for The New York Times]. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Comey also testified about Trump’s firing of him, and he detailed multiple conversations with Trump, during which Comey confirmed he told Trump three times that he was not a target of investigation. Judicial Watch is pursuing numerous FOIA lawsuits relating to Comey’s memoranda and FBI exit records as well as a lawsuit for Justice Department communications about Comey’s Senate testimony. The American people deserve to know what, if any, complicity his former colleagues had in drafting that testimony and/or in engineering the appointment of Mueller.

The day before Comey’s testimony, Fox News reported: “A source close to James Comey tells Fox News the former FBI director’s Senate testimony has been ‘closely coordinated’ with Robert Mueller.” Comey may have violated the law in leaking his official FBI memos to the media, and it would be a scandal if Comey coordinated his Senate testimony with Mueller’s special counsel office.

That we have had to sue in federal court to discover the truth speaks volumes. The FBI has built a protective stonewall around Comey by refusing to release the Comey memos and refusing to disclose records of communications between the FBI and Comey prior to and regarding Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Since his forced departure from the FBI, Comey signed a book deal in August, set for publication in April, for which he reportedly received an advance in excess of $2 million. Given the fact that the FBI appears to be letting Comey get away with stealing and leaking official government documents and colluding with the special counsel to get Trump, even a trusting person must be suspicious about his book deal.

The FBI has fanned those suspicions by, you guessed it, adding a new layer to the protective stonewall around Comey. Again, Judicial Watch has been forced to sue a recalcitrant FBI for records, including but not limited to forms Comey was required to complete relating to prepublication review of the book by the FBI. Did Comey’s cronies give the fired FBI director a pass on this long-standing requirement? Is that why they are stonewalling the Judicial Watch FOIA request?

Based upon Comey’s performance to date, this book likely will be an elaborate exercise in self-apotheosis. That’s why the American public deserves to know if Comey’s former colleagues – many of whom we now know aided in his exoneration of Hillary Clinton and have participated in the contrived investigation of Donald Trump — scrutinized his literary claims or simply green-lighted his every word.

There is no doubt that the deep state is in deep cover-up mode. The FBI, Justice Department and the special counsel all are stonewalling our requests for Comey documents. The more they stonewall, the deeper the suspicions grow about Comey’s complicity in the entire attempt to use the bogus Trump dossier to prevent the election of Donald Trump, and then use it to undermine his presidency once he was elected to office. In my experience in Washington, when people refuse to come clean, it is usually because they are hiding dirty laundry.

Meantime, the FBI has agreed to review 16,750 pages of records in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the Comey records that were archived after he was dismissed.

We came to this agreement with the FBI shortly after we a filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to obtain the Comey records (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00262)).

We discovered the cache of Comey records as a result of disclosures by the Justice Department in separate Judicial Watch litigation (here and here) to obtain the controversial “Comey memos” that allegedly memorialize conversations that Comey had with President Trump.

Obviously, there is significant public interest in Comey’s conduct and the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email and Russia collusion investigations and targeting of President (and candidate) Trump.

The FBI has a terrible record of playing shell games with records – whether it be texts or memos by its disgraced former director. Our lawsuit, we hope, will force the FBI to expedite the review and the release of the 16,750 pages of Comey documents. It’s time to open the files.

As we persist in pulling back the curtains, the sunlight is breaking through.

Judicial Watch Sponsors and Speaks at CPAC

Each year the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) brings together thousands of attendees and the leading conservative organizations and speakers influencing conservative thought in the nation. Regularly seen on C-SPAN and other national news networks, CPAC has been the premiere event for any major elected official or public personality seeking to discuss issues of the day with conservatives. From presidents of the United States to college student leaders, CPAC has become the place to find our nation’s current and future leaders.

That’s why we are delighted to be, on your behalf, a major sponsor of the event, which is now underway at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. It will conclude tomorrow, February 24. On that day, I will address the gathering at 2:30 p.m. ET. You can watch live here: www.judicialwatch.org/live. We will also livestream from CPAC on Facebook Live. Visit our Facebook page to watch.

VA Secretary’s Chief of Staff Embroiled in Another Cover-Up Scandal

Last week I told you here about corruption at the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That was just the beginning. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the new story.

One of the high-ranking Veteran Administration (VA) officials who misled the agency’s secretary about the prosecution of an elderly Army vet made false claims and altered an official record in a separate case. Her name is Vivieca Wright and she was the chief of staff to VA Secretary David J. Shulkin.

Last week Judicial Watch obtained records showing that Wright and others in Shulkin’s inner circle lied to him about a federal case in which an Army veteran was criminally prosecuted for displaying the American Flag at a southern California VA facility. Judicial Watch helped represent the 75-year-old vet, Robert Rosebrock, who faced up to six months in jail for the ghastly offense of affixing Old Glory at a site honoring those who served their country. He was also charged with taking unauthorized photographs of both the Flag and VA police.

Wright helped spread falsehoods to her boss about the Rosebrock prosecution after he ordered her to check the accuracy of a national news report about the federal case. Shulkin was opposed to pressing charges against Rosebrock and wanted to issue a press release announcing it. More than a month before Rosebrock’s trial, the VA Secretary’s staff downplayed the seriousness of the charges by erroneously stating in official agency emails that the vet made the choice to go to court rather than pay a fine and that he faced no jail time. In fact, Wright forwarded an email to her boss from the director of the West L.A. VA, Ann Brown, falsely stating: “Forgot to add—he is facing a $25 fine with NO jail time.”

Days after Judicial Watch published this, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report stating that Shulkin’s chief of staff lied and altered official agency emails in another case. The VA watchdog was tipped off by a whistleblower outraged over waste involving an overseas trip that misspent taxpayer dollars and misused department resources.

During the European jaunt, a high-level VA employee was delegated to “personal travel concierge,” OIG investigators found, and the agency paid thousands of dollars for Shulkin’s wife, a dermatologist named Merle Bari with a private practice in Pennsylvania, to join him on the trip to Copenhagen and London last July. The ten-day trek included 11 people and cost the VA north of $122,000, according to the OIG probe, which found “serious derelictions concerning the trip…” The VA delegation visited Kensington Palace and Westminster Abbey and strolled through the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Details are included in more than a dozen trip books printed at a cost of $100 each, the report reveals.

The VA secretary and his entourage were officially attending the Ministerial Summit on Veterans’ Affairs in London, a questionable powwow for senior officials from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to “discuss topical issues related to veterans.” After accepting the invitation, Shulkin ordered his staff to book a side trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to the summer trip, Wright contacted the VA ethics office to find out if her boss’s wife would qualify as an official U.S. government traveler so taxpayers could pick up her expenses. Unless she was on official business or Shulkin was receiving an award, the wife didn’t qualify and would have to pay her own way, Wright was told.

The former chief of staff did what any corrupt government employee would do—lied and falsified a document. She made up a bogus award that Shulkin would supposedly receive from the U.S. ambassador to Denmark and told the ethics office that the wife’s travel had been “approved by the White House.” Shulkin never received any awards or recognitions, the OIG report confirms. The “VA’s chief of staff made false representations to a VA ethics official and altered an official record, resulting in VA improperly paying for Dr. Bari’s air travel,” the report states.

Of interesting note is that less than two weeks before the European trip, Shulkin issued a stern memo to all VA staff announcing restrictions on nonessential travel. The memo, titled Essential Employee Travel, said agency managers had to approve all employee travel by determining whether it is essential in order to decrease “employee travel and generate savings” within the VA. Evidently, the new measures don’t apply to him or his wife. Investigators say they found no evidence that Shulkin was aware of his chief of staff’s “false representations or alteration of official records.” Because Wright’s actions may have violated criminal statutes, the OIG referred the matter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution, but the agency decided to let it slide. This is typical of the dysfunctional manner in which government operates.

We taxpayers pay the dollar price, but our veterans suffer far worse. It’s despicable.

President Donald J. Trump’s Plan to ‘Make America Bourgeois Again’

President Trump ran on an America first platform. His mantra was MAGA – Make America Great Again. President Trump in his inaugural address said:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

When President Trump attends a rally, speaks at a press conference or Tweets, he is talking directly to America’s “bourgeois class.” Bourgeois is defined as “a member of the middle class.”

Who will make America great, again?

In an August 9th, 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer article titled Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture Amy Wax and Larry Alexander defined America’s bourgeois culture. Wax and Alexander wrote,

That [bourgeois] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow:

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Supporters of Barack Obama at a rally.

Politicians have wooed the bourgeois class as did former President Barack Obama. Once elected, however, the bourgeois class have been either ignored or suffered under various administrations.

In a April 22nd, 2014 New York Times column titled Losing the Lead: The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy reported:

The American middle [bourgeois] class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The bourgeois class is President Trump’s base and the bedrock of people who will make America great again.

What are the challenges to making America bourgeois again?

Wax and Alexander pointed out in their article:

Did everyone abide by those [bourgeois culture] precepts? Of course not. There are always rebels — and hypocrites, those who publicly endorse the norms but transgress them. But as the saying goes, hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. Even the deviants rarely disavowed or openly disparaged the prevailing expectations.

Today there are many “deviants” who openly disavow and disparage the most basic bourgeois cultural norms.

Who are the bourgeois culture deviants? Who are the hypocrites? Who are the transgressors? Here is a short list:

  1. Those who labled the $1,000 bonuses given to workers as “crumbs.”
  2. Hollywood which no longer makes films about the bourgeois class.
  3. Those who do not serve their country and are openly unpatriotic.
  4.  Those who would rather be idle rather than work
  5. Those politicians who subsidize idleness and sloth.
  6. Those who create sanctuaries for those who abuse drugs and other addictive substances.
  7. Those who on radio, television, in music and during the day use course language.
  8. Those who are not respectful of the duly elected President of these United States.

Wax and Alexander noted:

[T]hose adults with influence over the [bourgeois] culture, for a variety of reasons, abandoned their role as advocates for respectability, civility, and adult values. As a consequence, the counterculture made great headway, particularly among the chattering classes — academics, writers, artists, actors, and journalists — who relished liberation from conventional constraints and turned condemning America and reviewing its crimes into a class marker of virtue and sophistication.

Making America Bourgeois Again!

President Trump and his administration have made it their sole mission to restore America’s bourgeois class. Washington, D.C. does not want to empower the bourgeois class because as President Trump pointed out during his inaugural address,

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

Today there is much to celebrate, especially for the bourgeois class. Make America Bourgeois Again!

RELATED VIDEO: Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) staying tax cuts are unpatriotic.

Florida’s Multi-System Failures and the broken ‘Baker Act’

Everyday in Florida, the sun does not shine on the multitudes involuntarily confined via the innocuous-sounding “Baker Act” … the multitudes of harmless elders, in particular. What can cause the sudden detention of an elderly man, 89 years old, inside a metropolitan Florida hospital mental ward?

In the case of my Father, Al Katz was determined to be a threat to others because he pushed his walker against someone, known as “walker abuse,” not normally lethal or catastrophic. Although Al Katz, a Holocaust Survivor of seven years of slave labor in temperatures reaching 52 degrees below zero, had never harmed another human being or himself, the Manatee County judge sentenced my Dad to three weeks of involuntary commitment with a no-contact order placed upon him. Al Katz was prohibited thereby from receiving from or sending to his family any communications of any kind.

Al Katz’s involuntary confinement in the gruesome underground psychiatric ward in Manatee Memorial Hospital would have lasted by law 72 hours, but instead, Al Katz was detained without further court hearings for three weeks, isolated from his family waiting to see him just on the other side of the electronic metal doors guarded by armed officers. Al Katz was re-living the Holocaust, surrounded by men in uniforms with guns and unable to communicate with the ones he loved.

The threshold for Baker Act commitments of elders in Florida is extremely low. For the most minimal of reasons, elders are imprisoned in hospitals and psychiatric facilities for days, reaping enormous funds for these providers of makeshift jail cells, where grandmas and grandpas barely able to walk are kept off the streets as threats to society.

Al Katz could barely walk, could not drive, had no weapons of any kind, and had lived 89 years as an admirable asset to his community, but the court found that he posed a threat to himself or others, purportedly necessitating the Baker Act. On the other hand, Florida’s infamous school mass murder suspect, who shall remain unnamed herein, posed low risk of harming himself or others, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which had visited the suspect and his family following his Internet postings of self-mutilation and express keen interest in buying a gun. DCF records state that the suspect “plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for.”

What else did DCF and multiple other agencies know about the suspect or should have known? He was on medications for A.D.H.D., seeing counselors, and a client at a number of mental health facilities. He was referred for a “threat assessment” due to his long history of fights with teachers and frequent profanity directed against school staff. He posted on the Internet photos of dead and mutilated animals that he had killed; had a Nazi symbol on his book bag; was prohibited from carrying a backpack at school; harassed his neighbors; was investigated or visited by law enforcement nearly 40 times in eight years; attended numerous schools, including a school for students with emotional problems and an alternative high school for at-risk youths; was regularly disciplined for disobedience; made a false 911 call; posted “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” on the Internet using his real name; was uncomfortable with his Hispanic heritage; was suspended multiple times in the 2016-17 school year; shared photos of small animals he had shot; bragged about his intent to bring guns to school; was found with bullets in his backpack; kicked out a glass window at his middle school; had frequent prolonged, unexplained absences from school; had made numerous Internet postings of guns, knives, and other ominous images; and had been referred to a mental health center to be detained under the Baker Act, which center determined that the suspect was not a threat after visiting him at his home and giving him a safety contract to sign.

Al Katz never had a mental health counselor visit him at his home, never was given a safety contract to sign, and was illegally held in the Baker Act for many weeks without the mandatory court hearings. Al Katz never had any warning signs that he would pose a threat to society; the suspect had every warning sign that he would “be a professional school shooter,” including his own word on it signed with his own uniquely-spelled name.

Could dozens of murders have been prevented in Florida? Yes. How are mass detentions of elders in sunless cages lowering the societal threat? How many detained grandmas and grandpas would ever commit a mass murder?

This past summer, I once again alerted the Florida and Indiana authorities about another young man with a violent history who has made foreboding Internet postings for years, including videos of simulated decapitations with blood spurting out of the necks, photographs of assault weapons, and his own ominous poetry reminiscent of past mass murderers, but the evidence and I are invariably ignored. The clock is ticking with his rage, but no one will listen. Previously, this convicted serial predator mutilated the genital area of one of his victim’s dolls and set it on fire to “release his anger.”

Again, the clock is ticking with his rage, but no one will listen … just like the Florida school shooting case, with flagrant warning signs unheeded. Said the shooting suspect’s public defender:

This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter. If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multi-system failure…

When harmless elders are locked up, this too is a multi-system failure that any decent society cannot condone any more than a mass murderer walking its streets or a serial predator lurking.

Parents Just Lost Custody of Teenage Daughter Who Wants to ‘Transition’ to a Boy: What You Need to Know

Parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter Friday because a judge ruled that she should be allowed to receive therapy, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a boy.

Without commenting on the specifics of this case just outside Cincinnati, Americans can expect to see more cases like it as government officials side with transgender activists to promote a radical view of the human person and endorse entirely experimental medical procedures. At stake are not only parental rights, but the well-being of children who suffer from gender dysphoria.

Here’s what you need to know.

Transgender activists maintain that when a child identifies as the opposite sex in a manner that is “consistent, persistent, and insistent,” the appropriate response is to support that identification. This requires a four-part protocol, as I painstakingly detail in my new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment”:

First, a social transition: giving the child a new wardrobe, a new name, new pronouns, and generally treating the child as if he or she were the opposite sex.

Second, a child approaching puberty will be placed on puberty blockers to prevent the normal process of maturation and development. This means there will be no progression of the pubertal stage, and a regression of sex characteristics that have already developed. Puberty-blocking drugs are not FDA approved for gender dysphoria, but physicians use them off-label for this purpose.

Third, around age 16, comes the administration of cross-sex hormones: Boys will be given feminizing hormones such as estrogen, and girls will be given masculinizing hormones such as androgens (testosterone). The purpose is to mimic the process of puberty that would occur in the opposite sex.

For girls, testosterone treatment leads to “a low voice, facial and body hair growth, and a more masculine body shape,” along with enlargement of the clitoris and atrophying of the breast tissue. For boys, estrogen treatment results in development of breasts and a body shape with a female appearance. These patients will be prescribed cross-sex hormones throughout their lives.

Finally, at age 18, these individuals may undergo sex-reassignment surgery: amputation of primary and secondary sex characteristics and plastic surgery to create new sex characteristics.

To summarize these procedures (described in detail in my book “When Harry Became Sally”): Male-to-female surgery involves removing the testes and constructing “female-looking external genitals.” It may include breast enlargement if estrogen therapy has not produced satisfactory growth of breasts.

Female-to-male surgery often begins with mastectomy. The uterus and ovaries are often removed as well. Some patients will undergo phalloplasty, the surgical construction of a penis, but many do not because the results are variable in quality and functionality.

This four-stage course of treatment is the current standard of care promoted by transgender activists. But the ages for each phase to commence are getting lower. In July 2016, The Guardian reported that “a doctor in Wales is prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12 who say they want to change sex, arguing that if they are confident of their gender identity they should not have to wait until 16 to get the treatment.”

No laws in the United States prohibit the use of puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones for children, or regulate the age at which they may be administered.

Activists claim that the effects of blocking puberty with drugs are fully reversible. This turns things upside down, for virtually every part of the body undergoes significant development in sex-specific ways during puberty, and going through the process at age 18 can’t reverse 10 years of blocking it. The use of puberty-blocking drugs to treat children with gender dysphoria is entirely experimental, as there are no long-term studies on the consequences of interfering with biological development.

Activists claim that blocking puberty allows children “more time to explore their gender identity, without the distress of the developing secondary sex characteristics,” as the Dutch doctors who pioneered this treatment put it.

Another Perspective

This is an odd argument, write three American researchers, all physicians.

“It presumes that natural sex characteristics interfere with the ‘exploration’ of gender identity,” Drs. Paul Hruz, Lawrence Mayer, and Paul McHugh note, “when one would expect that the development of natural sex characteristics might contribute to the natural consolidation of one’s gender identity.”

The rush of sex hormones and the bodily development that happens during puberty may be the very things that help an adolescent come to identify with his or her biological sex. Puberty blockers interfere with this process.

Normally, 80 to 95 percent of children will naturally grow out of any gender-identity conflicted stage. But every one of the children placed on puberty blockers in the Dutch clinic persisted in a transgender identity, and they generally went on to begin cross-sex hormone treatment at around age 16.

Perhaps the Dutch doctors correctly identified the kids who naturally would persist in a transgender identity, but it’s more likely that the puberty blockers reinforced their cross-gender identification, making them more committed to taking further steps in sex reassignment.

Contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn’t “assigned” at birth—and that’s why it can’t be “reassigned.” As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” sex is a bodily reality that can be recognized well before birth with ultrasound imaging. The sex of an organism is defined and identified by its organization for sexual reproduction.

Modern science shows that this organization begins with our DNA and development in the womb, and that sex differences manifest themselves in many bodily systems and organs, all the way down to the molecular level.

Secondary differences between the two sexes—attributes that may be visibly altered by hormone treatment and surgery—are not what make us male or female. As a result, cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones don’t change the deeper biological reality. People who undergo sex-reassignment procedures do not become the opposite sex, they merely masculinize or feminize their outward appearance.

As the philosopher Robert P. George puts it, “Changing sexes is a metaphysical impossibility because it is a biological impossibility.”

What the Evidence Shows

Sadly, just as “sex reassignment” fails to reassign sex biologically, it also fails to bring wholeness psychologically. The medical evidence suggests that it does not adequately address the mental health problems suffered by those who identify as transgender.

Even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically, and even in cultures that are relatively “trans-friendly,” people still face poor psychological outcomes.

Notwithstanding the media hype over supposed differences in brain structure, no solid scientific evidence exists that transgender identities are innate or biologically determined, and some evidence shows that other factors are most likely involved. But in truth, very little is understood about the causes of discordant gender identities.

Starting a young child on a process of “social transitioning” followed by puberty-blocking drugs was virtually unthinkable not long ago, and the treatment is still experimental. Unfortunately, many activists have given up on caution, let alone skepticism, about drastic treatments.

A more cautious therapeutic approach begins by acknowledging that the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria will grow out of it naturally. An effective therapy looks into the reasons for the child’s mistaken beliefs about gender, and addresses the problems that the child believes will be solved if the body is altered.

As I document in “When Harry Became Sally,” mental health professionals liken gender dysphoria to other dysphorias, or serious discomfort with one’s body, such as anorexia, body dysmorphic disorder, and body integrity identity disorder. All of these involve false assumptions or feelings that solidify into mistaken beliefs about the self.

McHugh finds that other psychosocial issues usually lie beneath the false assumptions. Children with gender dysphoria may have  anxieties about “the prospects, expectations, and roles that they sense are attached to their given sex.”

Much like patients with anorexia nervosa, these children mistakenly believe that a drastic change of their bodies will solve or minimize their psychosocial problems. But adjusting the body through hormones and surgery doesn’t fix the real problem, any more than liposuction cures anorexia nervosa.

A Different Message

An effective treatment strategy would “strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it,” McHugh says. In the case of gender dysphoria, unfortunately, the mistaken belief is often encouraged by school counselors who, “rather like cult leaders, may encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

What these young people need, McHugh advises, is to be removed from this “suggestive environment” and be presented with a different message.

The proliferation of gender clinics in America and gender identity programs in the schools makes it less likely that children will get the help they need to work out their issues. Instead, these children find “gender counselors” who encourage them to maintain their false assumptions.

This is contrary to standard medical and psychological practice, as McHugh, Hruz, and Mayer emphasize. Normally, a child is not encouraged to persist in a belief that is discordant with reality. A traditional form of treatment for gender dysphoria would “work with and not against the facts of science and the predictable rhythms of children’s psycho-sexual development.” A prudent and natural course of treatment would enable children to “reconcile their subjective gender identity with their objective biological sex,” avoiding harmful or irreversible interventions.

The most helpful therapies do not try to remake the body to conform with thoughts and feelings—which is impossible—but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage this tension and move toward accepting the reality of their bodily selves. This therapeutic approach rests on a sound understanding of physical and mental health, and of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring healthy functioning, not simply satisfying the desires of patients.

Biology isn’t bigotry. And as I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” there are human costs to getting human nature wrong.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Planned Transgenderhood

The Sex-Change Revolution Is Based on Ideology, Not Science

Transgender Ideology Hurts Kids

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VIDEO: What You Need to Know About Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood bills itself as one of “the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care” and claims that federal defunding of the organization would leave millions of women “without a place to go for needed care.” Do these claims accurately reflect what Planned Parenthood does? Or does it have another reason for being?

In this week’s video, Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, lays out the differences between the way Planned Parenthood presents itself and the reality.

85 Years of Physician Assisted Death: From Nazi Germany’s T-4 Program to Washington, D.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity Act’

I came across an October 10, 1933 article titled “Nazi Plan to Kill Incurables to End Pain; German Religious Groups Oppose Move” published in The New York Times. The NYT reported:

The Ministry of Justice … explaining the Nazi aims regarding the German penal code, today announced its intentions to authorize physicians to end the sufferings of the incurable patient … in the interest of true humanity …”

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum describes the “Murder of the Handicapped” program in Nazi Germany known as T-4:

Wartime, Adolf Hitler suggested, “was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill.”Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a “master race.”The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as “useless” to society, a threat to Aryan genetic purity, and, ultimately, unworthy of life. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the “T-4,” or “euthanasia,” program.

[ … ]

Despite public protests in 1941, the Nazi leadership continued this program in secret throughout the war. About 200,000 handicapped people were murdered between 1940 and 1945.

The T-4 program became the model for the mass murder of Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and others in camps equipped with gas chambers that the Nazis would open in 1941 and 1942. The program also served as a training ground for SS members who manned these camps. [Emphasis added]

Where did the idea of Euthanasia come from?

According to Encyclopedia.com:

A few proposals to legalize euthanasia were made in the United States and Germany during the latter portion of the nineteenth century. However, it was not until after World War I that euthanasia advocacy began in earnest. In 1920, two highly respected German academics, Karl Binding, a law professor, and Alfred Hoche, a physician, wrote Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, which advocated euthanasia as a compassionate “healing treatment.” The authors argued that mercy killing should be permitted for three categories of patients upon request of competent patients or the families of the incompetent: the terminally ill or mortally wounded, people who were unconscious, and disabled people—particularly those with cognitive impairments. The book, which may have coined the term “right to die,” also promoted euthanasia of cognitively disabled people as a way of saving societal resources. [Emphasis added]

Fast forward to today.

There are two euthanasia programs that are legal in the United States of America.

The first was the January 22nd, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum noted that under the Nazi T-4 program, “Handicapped infants and small children were also killed by injection with a deadly dose of drugs or by starvation. The bodies of the victims were burned in large ovens called crematoria.” In the United States the unborn and born after a failed abortion are killed by doctors using similar procedures and their body parts sold to the highest bidder.

The second and more recent phenomenon is the passage of legalization legalizing physician assisted death or PAD in six states and the District of Columbia.

According to Euthanasia.ProCon.org there are six states and the District of Columbia, the seat of the federal government, that have legalized physician assisted death.

Six States with Legal Physician-Assisted Suicide
State Date Passed How Passed (Yes Vote) Residency Required? Minimum Age # of Months Until Expected Death # of Requests to Physician
1. California Sep. 11, 2015 ABX2-15 End of Life Option Act Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
2. Colorado Nov. 8, 2016 Proposition 106, End of Life Options Act (65%) Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
3. DC Oct. 5, 2016 B21-0038 Death with Dignity Act of 2016 (3-2) Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
4. Montana Dec. 31, 2009 Montana Supreme Court in Baxter v. Montana (5-4) Yes * * *
5. Oregon Nov. 8, 1994
Ballot Measure 16 (51%)
Yes
18
Six or less
Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
6. Vermont May 20, 2013 Act 39 (Bill S.77 “End of Life Choices”) Yes 18 Six or less Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written
7. Washington Nov. 4, 2008
Initiative 1000 (58%)
Yes
18
Six or less
Two oral (at least 15 days apart) and one written

QUESTION: How is euthanasia different from Physician Assisted Death? ANSWER: It’s not.

In June, 2017 CNN stated as “fact“:

Physician-assisted suicide differs from euthanasia, which is defined as the act of assisting people with their death in order to end their suffering, but without the backing of a controlling legal authority.

Euthanasia is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

The act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (such as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.

What is being done today in six states and the District of Columbia is no different than what was done in Nazi Germany. These six states and the District of Columbia have done what Nazi Germany did, legalize the killing of the infirm (euthanasia). The only difference is the industrial scale of those euthanized.

ISideWith.com asked Democrats the question “Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?” The results showed that 88% of Democrats polled supported PAD. Google on April 20th, 2016 reported:

Paradoxically, none of the 2016 Republican Presidential frontrunners have taken an official position on the issue. While, the Democratic Platform is silent on euthanasia and assisted suicide, the front runners for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination are both pro-euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

It is also interesting that the District of Columbia and five of the six states that have legalized PAD were won by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential election.

Will we end up living in a society where life is so cheap that nobody cares that large numbers of human beings are dying? Are we already there?

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The Nazi Plan to Kill the Disabled: What the U.S. Government Knew and When It Knew It

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Bermuda Becomes First Country to Repeal Gay Marriage

HAMILTON, Bermuda by Alexander Slavsky (ChurchMilitant.com) – After Bermuda’s House of Assembly and Senate voted to reverse so-called same-sex marriage in December, the governor signed it into the law on Wednesday, making Bermuda the first country in the world to roll back gay marriage.

Bermuda’s governor, John Rankin, signed the measure into law after last year’s Bermuda Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Walton Brown, minister of home affairs, said the legislation reflects the resistance to same-sex marriage from the socially conservative island, while complying with European court rulings that recognize and protect same-sex partners in the territory.

“The act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples,” commented Brown, whose ruling Progressive Labour Party (PLP) suggested the repeal.

Same-sex couples can register for a domestic partnership under the Domestic Partnership Act, while the nearly half-dozen gay marriages that occurred in Bermuda last year are recognized under the new law.

Image

Bermuda Gov. John Rankin

Brown said same-couples have the same rights as married heterosexual couples, including “the right to inherit in the case of no will, the right to a partner’s pensions, access to property rights, the right to make medical decisions on behalf of one’s partner and the right to live and work in Bermuda as the domestic partner of a Bermudian.”

LGBT activists claim domestic partnerships are equivalent to second-class status and it is unprecedented for a country to reverse gay marriage after legalizing it. Ty Cobb, director of Human Rights Campaign Global, remarked, “Governor Rankin and the Bermuda Parliament have shamefully made Bermuda the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality.”

“This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardizes Bermuda’s international reputation and economy,” said Cobb.

In the U.K.’s House of Commons, Labour politician Chris Bryant insisted in a tweet on Wednesday, “This totally undermines UK effort to advance LGBT rights.” A month ago, he referred to the bill as a “deeply unpleasant and very cynical piece of legislation.”

Joe Gibbons, a 64-year-old same-sex “married” Bermudian, commented, “This is not equality, and the British government has obviously just said, ‘This is not our fight.'”

Image

UK Foreign Minister Harriet Baldwin

The junior foreign office minister, Harriet Baldwin, noted that the U.K. government was “obviously disappointed” with the reversal but insisted the Bermuda government passed the law through legal means: British territories, including Bermuda, are “separate, self-governing jurisdictions with their own democratically elected representatives that have the right to self-government.”

The House of Assembly passed the legislation December 8 without amendment to replace same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships after a five-hour debate. The Senate approved it December 13. The act was approved 24–10 in both houses.

The May ruling legalizing so-called same-sex marriage contradicted a referendum in 2016 in which a majority of citizens voted against same-sex marriage and civil unions by more than a margin of 2–1. Brown acknowledged the referendum on Wednesday, adding that the government believes “this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same-sex couples are put in place.”

State Department Releases Report on the Trump Administration’s Anti-abortion Mexico City Policy

Human Life Action reports that on Wednesday evening (2/7/2018) the U.S. State Department released a 6-month report on the implementation of the Mexico City Policy which President Trump reinstated and expanded on his third day in office (January 23, 2017).

The Mexico City Policy, first announced at the United Nation’s 1984 Conference on Population in Mexico City, requires foreign-based non-governmental organizations receiving U.S. financial aid to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning overseas. This policy is one of the most significant policy initiatives on abortion ever taken by the United States in the area of foreign assistance.

The policy was put into effect by executive action during the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush but was rescinded during the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations. In the past, the Mexico City Policy applied only to international family planning funds (currently appropriated at “not less than $575,000,000). When President Trump reinstated the policy last year he expanded it to all global health assistance funding (currently appropriated at about $8.8 billion). And he aptly renamed the policy “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA).”

The 6-month report shows that, so far, 99.5 percent of organizations receiving U.S. funding (729 out of 733) have agreed to comply with the policy.

Of the four organizations that declined to comply, efforts are underway to transition their funded activities to other providers to minimize disruption of services. If funds are redirected to other organizations, the level of funding available for that country remains the same.

Among the four organizations that declined to accept the policy are International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, both major purveyors and promoters of abortion.

The report acknowledges that, as of the 6-month report deadline (September 2017), not all existing agreements had yet received new funding (the point at which organizations must agree to the terms of PLGHA), so the picture on progress and challenges is still developing. A further review of PLGHA will be conducted by December 15, 2018.

Cardinal Dolan’s statement praising the Trump administration for reinstating and expanding the policy can be read here. Our comments in support of the policy submitted to the State Department last October can be read here.

People Are Actually Considering Not Having Kids Because of Global Warming

Some couples and individuals are trying to save the next generation from potential climate change disaster by forgoing reproduction altogether.

A dozen people aged 18 to 43, either raising children or considering having some, are deciding that the future is too uncertain, or certainly too grim, to bring new life into the world as floods, wildfires, and extreme weather grow worse with a warming climate, The New York Times reports.

dcnf-logo

“Animals are disappearing. The oceans are full of plastic. The human population is so numerous, the planet may not be able to support it indefinitely,” Amanda PerryMiller, a mother of two and a Christian youth leader, told the Times. “This doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for people bringing home a brand-new baby from the hospital.”

This way of thinking seems to be more prevalent in those who have traveled abroad and seen firsthand the devastating effects climate change has had on communities.

“I’ve seen how Syrian refugees, who are running from a devastating war, are being treated,” Maram Kaff, who lives in Cairo and monitors news from the Middle East, told the Times in an email. “Imagine how my children will be treated if they have to flee their country due to extreme weather, drought, lack of resources, flooding.”

No research has shown how widespread this trend is. The line of thinking is troubling for anyone worried about the overall decline in the American birthrate, however. The U.S. birthrate hit an all-time low in 2016, with 62 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

The fate of the planet seems all but sealed as a now 6-month-old report found only a 5 percent chance the Earth will avoid warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. A more recent study found a 50 percent chance temperatures rise up to 4 degrees Celsius if action is not taken.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Global Temperatures Drop Back To Pre-El Nino Levels – ‘Temps drop to levels not seen in six years’

Despite Denial, Data Shows Global Temperatures Are Dropping Fast

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Understanding Our Transgender Moment

The following interview was conducted by The Christian Post and has been republished with permission.

How did we get to this point in our country where a child decides what gender they should be? In your opinion, what was the pivot point?

The immediate pivot point was Obergefell v. Hodges. After LGBT activists had redefined marriage, they immediately turned to redefining sex and gender. It’s no coincidence that the Obama Department of Justice/Department of Education “Dear Colleague” letter on bathrooms and locker rooms was issued when it was.

The longer-term pivot has its roots, oddly enough, in second-wave feminism. Chapter 7 of my book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” goes through this intellectual history. It explains how first-wave feminism was a campaign to liberate women from an overly restrictive concept of gender, so they could be free to fulfill their nature, but it gave way to a movement seeking to make women identical to men.

From the error of inflexible sex stereotypes, our culture swung to the opposite error of denying any important differences between male and female. The result is a culture of androgyny and confusion.

An agenda of nullifying the distinction between men and women might seem opposed to the insistence on the absolute reality of transgender identity—i.e., an inner sense of being truly male or female—yet both start by severing gender from biological sex.

“It’s the children who are now leading us,” the director of mental health for the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at the University of California, San Francisco said in an interview with The Washington Post. The Child and Adolescent Gender Center treats children as young as 3. Have we become so numb as a country and as a people to not see anything wrong [with] this scenario?

I cite that quote in my book. It’s truly amazing. It entirely ignores the reality that children need assistance in the difficult process of sexual maturation. They need parents.

As new gender ideologies are promoted throughout America, the lies will impact not only those who suffer from gender dysphoria, but all children who need to mature in their self-understanding as a boy or girl, man or woman, a potential husband or wife, father or mother.

We should be tolerant—indeed, loving—toward those who struggle with their gender identity, but also be aware of the harm done to the common good, particularly to children, when transgender identity is normalized.

Transgender activists are not merely asking for tolerance or kindness. They are demanding affirmation, not just from adults but from children and adolescents who are already challenged by the process of sexual development.

In a culture where transgender identities are not only affirmed but celebrated, everyone will be compelled to construct their own gender identity, unaided by a common understanding of sex differences and why they matter.

A 2-year-old boy who transitioned in Australia told his mother he changed his mind. Isn’t this a prime example that children should not be allowed to make these decisions?

Children develop best when parents and professionals help them understand and accept their embodied selves as male or female. Chapter 6 of “When Harry Became Sally” focuses on gender dysphoria in children and the experimental therapies that have rapidly become commonplace.

As recently as 2012, The Washington Post reported that “the very idea of labeling young children as transgender is shocking to many people.” Starting a young child on a process of “social transitioning” followed by puberty-blocking drugs was virtually unthinkable not long ago, and the treatment is still largely experimental.

Unfortunately, many activists have given up on caution, let alone skepticism, about drastic treatments. They assert that puberty blockers are safe and reversible, but in fact these drugs carry long-term health risks, and development occurring at age 16 that usually happens around age 10 cannot be considered normal.

There are psychological consequences, too, since blocking puberty may interfere with the developmental mechanism that normally helps children accept themselves as male or female.

A more cautious therapeutic approach begins by acknowledging that the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria will grow out of it naturally. An effective therapy looks into the reasons for the child’s mistaken beliefs about gender, and addresses the problems that the child believes will be solved if the body is altered.

Many physicians have found that other psychosocial issues usually lie beneath the child’s false assumptions, and thus effective therapy focuses on remedies for those issues. Chapter 6 of my book concludes with case studies of children who received effective therapy that offered strategies for accepting themselves.

Gender-confirmation surgeries are on the rise, but so are reversals, according to Newsweek. What are your thoughts?

The most difficult chapter of the book for me to research and write was the chapter on people who have detransitioned. Chapter 3 presents the stories of several people who found that transitioning didn’t bring the peace and wholeness they sought, but only new problems.

The stories of detransitioners complicate the sunny picture frequently presented in the media. Many of these people recall a feeling of being pushed into transitioning, as if there were no other options, and they wish that medical professionals had made an effort to help them understand the deeper psychological issues that alienated them from their body.

Many regret the permanent damage done to their bodies, and some who transitioned as teenagers believe they were not mature enough to make such consequential decisions. Some feel that their dysphoria resulted from social hostility to people who don’t conform to gender norms or who have same-sex attractions.

In this light, social conservatives (including myself) should take care to be respectful and compassionate toward people who we may disagree with. We should also call on transgender activists to stop trying to silence detransitioners.

As the book went to press, The Telegraph (based in the United Kingdom) ran a report with the headline: “Sex change regret: Gender reversal surgery is on the rise, so why aren’t we talking about it?” The answer to the question is political correctness. But it’s better to be correct than politically correct where human lives are concerned.

You said sex changes are based [on] ideology, not science. How so?

The simple reality is that you can’t change your sex. There is no way to “reassign” sex because sex isn’t “assigned” in the first place. The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry.

The most effective therapies for gender dysphoria do not try to remake the body to conform with thoughts and feelings—which is impossible—but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage their tension and move toward accepting the reality of their bodily selves.

Contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn’t “assigned” at birth. It’s a bodily fact that can be recognized well before birth with ultrasound imaging. The sex of an organism is defined by its organization for sexual reproduction. Secondary differences between the two sexes—attributes that may be visibly altered by hormone treatment—are not what make us male or female.

As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” it’s impossible even to make sense of the concept of sex apart from the ways our bodies are organized for reproduction. That organization starts to develop well before birth.

Chromosomal and hormonal pathologies may disrupt normal development, though in fact these abnormalities have essentially nothing to do with transgender ideology—except insofar as activists want to relabel such abnormalities as mere “differences,” in an effort to normalize disorders.

You mentioned that “America is in the midst of what has been called a transgender moment.” What do you mean by this?

The subtitle of my book, “When Harry Became Sally” is “Responding to the Transgender Moment.” Some people think that’s a typo, that it should be “movement,” not “moment.” But I chose “moment” intentionally.

I use “moment” because transgender ideology is not here to stay. It’s a moment that will eventually pass. So, while transgender ideology may appear to be establishing a firm place in our culture, there are signs of defensiveness among its advocates. Activists have to keep patching and shoring up their own beliefs, policing the faithful, coercing heretics, and punishing apostates, because transgender dogmas are so contrary to basic, self-evident truths.

The transgender moment may turn out to be fleeting, but that doesn’t mean we should expect it to fade away on its own. We need to insist on telling the truth, and on saving lives from being irreparably damaged.

As for the term itself, the term “transgender moment” has been used by people on the left and the right, in secular and religious media. See, for example, Brandon Griggs, “America’s transgender moment,” CNN, June 1, 2015; Sonali Kohli, “Pop Culture’s Transgender Moment: Why Online TV Is Leading the Way,” AtlanticSept. 26, 2014; Deborah Sontag, “‘A Whole New Being’: How Kricket Nimmons Seized the Transgender Moment,” New York Times, Dec. 12, 2015; Rebecca Juro, “Bruce Jenner and America’s transgender moment,” MSNBC, April 25, 2015; Justin Peligri, “After marriage, it’s a transgender moment,” Washington Blade, April 30, 2015; John W. Kennedy, “The Transgender Moment,” Christianity Today, Feb. 12, 2008; Rand Richards Cooper, “The Transgender Moment,” CommonwealDec. 16, 2015.

Where do we go from here?

As I explain in the book, there is work for everyone to do. We need scholars willing to defend the truth in a loving way. We need medical professionals willing to provide effective alternatives to the transgender clinics. We [need] religious leaders willing to minister to those in need. We need civic leaders willing to stand up to the activists.

What’s at stake in the transgender moment is the human person. If trans activists succeed in their political agenda, our nation’s children will be indoctrinated in a harmful ideology, and some will live by its lies about their own bodies, at great cost to themselves physically, psychologically, and socially. Lives will be ruined, but pointing out the damage will be forbidden. Dissent from the transgender worldview will be punished in schools, workplaces, and medical clinics. Trying to live in accordance with the truth will be made harder.

This doesn’t have to happen. Everyone can play a role in bearing witness to the truth and ministering compassionately to people in pain. For anyone who takes part in this important work, Dr. Paul McHugh offers some advice: “Gird your loins if you would confront this matter. Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.”

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research.

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Trump Puts State of the Union in Strong Hands of Americans

Last night, President Trump turned his first State of the Union Address into an American pep rally. Cheering the American people for helping one another overcome a year of natural and man-made tragedies, the president cast a winning vision of unity.“We endured floods and fires and storms,” the president said in the opening of his address. “But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel of America’s spine.” The president even gave a shout-out to the Cajun Navy. “We saw the volunteers of the ‘Cajun Navy,’ racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.”This may seem like a throwaway line, but like so much in the president’s remarkable speech last night, it was an affirmation of the “American way,” which as President Trump said last night, we are rediscovering. Throughout the speech, Trump pointed not to the government as the key to solving America’s problems, but to our faith in God and one another.“In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust,” the president affirmed

This speech was a sea-change from the previous president in that it celebrated all things American. “…We celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veteran as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.” But what made this speech one of the most remarkable addresses I’ve heard from the House chamber is the way the president wove in powerful, accounts of heroism, sacrifice, patriotism, compassion, and commitment. Two such accounts were the actions of Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets and North Korean-born Ji Seong-ho.

As the president shared last night:

“…Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby. In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: ‘You will do it — because you can.’ He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.”

Several powerful messages were conveyed to the American people as Officer Ryan and his wife stood in the gallery to the applause of Congress. First, in the two and half minutes that the president highlighted the compassion of Officer Holets, the last eight years of hostility towards law enforcement that’s been fomented by statements and actions from Washington officially ended.

Even more powerful was the message of the sanctity of life that has become a hallmark of the Trump administration. This affirmation of life was not missed by the pro-abortion crowd. Tweeting in response, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said, “If the government won’t change, WE will change the government. Like never before, women are the most powerful political force in this country. Together, we are going to transform America into the country we know it can be.”

The reality is that President Obama already took us to that point with his pro-abortion agenda and the American people rejected it.

But there was more communicated through Officer Holets, a very subtle, but compelling endorsement of religious freedom. It was Holets’s faith — on the job — that caused him to reach out with compassion to this homeless, drug-addicted, pregnant mom.

This is America at its best. This is religious freedom!

Picking up on the power of faith, President Trump shared the story of Mr. Ji Seong-ho:

“In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain.

The president continued:

“Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most – the truth. Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all. Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.”

I’m not easily impressed with political speeches, but the president’s address to the nation last night was indeed impressive. The message was clear. To use the president’s words, “Together, we are rediscovering the America way.” Faith, family, and freedom!


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


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Cecile Richards Leaves Behind Brutal Legacy as She Steps Down From Planned Parenthood

Cecile Richards will leave behind a brutal legacy if she departs from her position as the president of Planned Parenthood.

Richards—who reportedly told the organization’s board Wednesday that she plans to step down—pioneered a company that has aborted 7,132,130 babies since Margaret Sanger’s founding of the abortion organization. Planned Parenthood doctors aborted more than 328,348 unborn babies in 2016, and killed 6,803,782 unborn babies between 1978 and 2016, according to CNS News.

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Richards was at the forefront of mobilizing pro-abortion forces and promoting Planned Parenthood’s services, which include contraception, abortion pills, early abortions, and dismemberment abortions, in which clinicians rip the babies apart limb by limb before pulling them out of the uterus.

Richards’ leadership has seen Planned Parenthood’s other services continues to decline. The abortion giant performed more than 1 million breast exams in 1999, but only 363,803 in 2014. Planned Parenthood offered only one adoption referral for every 114 abortions in 2016. Record numbers of abortions also followed after medication abortions became available in 2000, according to Planned Parenthood’s 100 Years Strong timeline.

Former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino described the organization as “demonic,” and told The Daily Caller News Foundation that it grooms young girls as future abortion patients and promotes a promiscuous lifestyle. “We have monthly quotas to meet. They’re just numbers,” she said.

The organization ran 938 clinics in 1995 when Planned Parenthood was at its peak operational level, according to an American Life League report, all of which were responsible for killing thousands of unborn babies.

Richards’ retirement follows the FBI’s request for documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, obtained from the committee’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue dealings.

The investigation came after the Center for Medical Progress published a series of explosive videos in 2015 revealing that the abortion giant was harvesting and distributing aborted baby parts for research. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley referred Planned Parenthood to the FBI at the conclusion of that investigation, saying his committee found evidence indicating the group was profiting.

RELATED VIDEO: Tucker Carlson on DOJ Investigation of Planned Parenthood

EDITORS NOTE: Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured image is of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards who pioneered a company that has aborted 7,132,130 babies since Margaret Sanger’s founding of the abortion organization. (Photo: Erin Scott/Polaris/Newscom)