3 Blue State Offshore Wind Projects Scrapped In Blow To Biden’s Green Agenda

Three New York offshore wind projects were canceled Friday in the latest sign of trouble for the stumbling industry and President Joe Biden’s green energy agenda, according to Politico.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the agency that handles offshore wind contracts, disclosed Friday that it could not finalize power purchase agreements with three developers that received conditional awards from the state in October 2023, according to Politico. The announcement amounts to a cancellation of the projects, which deals a blow to New York’s goal to reach 70% green energy generation by 2030 and Biden’s goal to install enough offshore wind capacity nationwide to provide enough electricity to power 10 million U.S. homes by 2030.

New York announced awards for the three projects canceled Friday after the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) shot down a push by other developers to charge more for the power their projects would produce to offset rising costs, according to Politico. Several other projects were canceled following the PSC’s rejection, with similar dynamics playing out in other blue states like New Jersey and Maryland in recent months as well.

Despite notable progress, the U.S. offshore wind industry is still in its infancy. As [with] any new sector, challenges are expected & require resolve from [federal], state & private sector to overcome,” Doreen Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO, wrote in a Friday post to X. “[NYSERDA] will take proactive measures to address these issues head-on. Next steps soon.”

The offshore wind industry is stumbling despite the availability of generous tax credits contained in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Biden’s signature climate bill. Inflation, higher borrowing costs and logistical problems are gumming up projects and contracts that appeared lucrative and viable around the time that Biden signed the IRA into law.

Biden’s 2030 target continues to fall further out of reach with Friday’s cancellation, as Reuters reported in November 2023 that the goal already appeared to be unattainable given headwinds in the industry.

The White House, the office of Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and NYSERDA did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Environmental Laws That Impeded Pipelines For Years Could Trip Up Biden’s Sprint Toward Offshore Wind

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Medical Associations Silent After Review Finds ‘Weak Evidence’ For Giving Puberty Blockers To Kids

Major medical associations have remained silent after the results of a four-year review commissioned by the National Health Service (NHS) England undermined their recommendations for giving puberty blockers to children with gender dysphoria

The Cass report, conducted by former Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health Dr. Hilary Cass and released April 10, found that there is “weak evidence” for offering puberty blockers to children. It concluded that its findings “raise questions about the quality of currently available guidelines” offered by associations like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society, yet neither organization has committed to reviewing their guidelines.

The review references a letter recommending against treating children with puberty blockers outside of a research setting. It also urged “extreme caution” for providing cross-sex hormones to minors under 18 and stressed the need for a “clear clinical rationale.”

The review further suggested a “full programme of research be established” to “look at the characteristics, interventions and outcomes of every young person presenting to the NHS gender services.”

“Although a diagnosis of gender dysphoria has been seen as necessary for initiating medical treatment, it is not reliably predictive of whether that young person will have longstanding gender incongruence in the future, or whether medical intervention will be the best option for them,” the report noted.

The American Medical Association, WPATH, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Endocrine Society did not respond to multiple inquiries over the past week from the Daily Caller News Foundation asking whether they had concerns with the report’s findings or intended to conduct their own review. Aside from WPATH,  these organizations have largely failed to even address the report publicly.

WPATH wrote in a statement that it “supports policies that increase access to high-quality ethical care for transgender youth,” claiming that the report’s foundation is rooted in a “false premise.”

The organization’s standards of care 8th version states that waiting several years to start a young adolescent on puberty blockers “is not always practical nor necessary given the premise of the treatment as a means to buy time while avoiding distress from irreversible pubertal changes,” though it acknowledges that establishing a “sustained experience of gender incongruence” can be important before starting.

“The foundation of the Cass report is rooted in the false premise that non-medical alternatives to care will result in less adolescent distress for most adolescents and is based on a lack of knowledge of and experience working with this patient population,” the organization said in a press release. “It is harmful to perpetuate this notion and does not acknowledge the very real fact that medical pathways are an important treatment option for many young people.”

The Endocrine Society characterizes puberty blockers as a “reversible pause to puberty” and “a first step in treatment to allow the adolescent to explore their gender identity and/or to provide relief from distress.” WPATH’s guidelines likewise recommend putting adolescents on “puberty suppressing hormones” to “alleviate gender dysphoria.”

WPATH physicians acknowledged puberty blockers can cause irreversible consequences in minors like infertility, bone loss and disruption of brain development in educational sessions from September 2022 previously obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Both the AMA and AACAP recommend WPATH’s guidance for handling gender dysphoria in children. The AMA often advocates against red state laws that ban sex-change procedures for minors, including puberty blockers.

The Cass report notes “there is no evidence that puberty blockers buy time to think, and some concern that they may change the trajectory of psychosexual and gender identity development.”

The Cass report also questioned WPATH and the Endocrine Society on the “circularity” of their citations, which make support for their positions appear stronger than they are.

Early versions of the two organization’s guidelines influenced “nearly all” guidelines set by other organizations, the report notes. The two organization’s guidelines are also “closely interlinked” because WPATH provided input on the Endocrine Society recommendations, according to the report.

“The circularity of this approach may explain why there has been an apparent consensus on key areas of practice despite the evidence being poor,” the report stated.

AUTHOR

KATELYNN RICHARDSON

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Chicago: Leftist Muslim teaches American leftists to scream ‘Death to America’ in Farsi

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Saving K-12 Private Schools — What seems daunting is actually rather simple!

I’m a proud product of Catholic education. I had Sisters of St Joseph for grammar school, Xavarian Brothers for high school, and Jesuits for college (Boston College). I went off the reservation for graduate school (Syracuse), but the die had been set.

I attribute my skills and interest in Critical Thinking to the fine teachers I had.

Attentive readers of my commentaries are well aware that I have been extensively involved with the K-12 education business, for both public and private schools. IMO both need to be preserved, which means that both need fixing.

The main (of several) threat to the public school system is that anti-American Left-wing ideology is taking over the curriculum in almost every subject area, but especially in Science and History.

The fix for this starts with Conservative organizations (e.g., Heritage & AEI) paying a LOT more attention to the curricula. Although they typically say that education is a top priority, curricula have been largely ignored. Not surprisingly, the Left is aggressively taking full advantage of this shameful neglect.

Additionally, State Education Superintendents (and State Boards of Education) also need to give the curricula a lot more attention. This business of giving deference to education administrators who oversee curricula, is toxic nonsense — as many of those people are a major part of the problem. This deference has led to multiple bad outcomes, like the purposefully deceptive Social Emotional Learning (SEL) scam.

This is just a bit of background, as this commentary is about Catholic Schools.

K-12 Catholic schools used to be successful as many parents strongly wanted to have their children taught Judeo-Christian standards, and were willing to pay for this. However, times have changed (in many ways) — but most Catholic schools are still relying on this archaic model.

Another outdated part of the Old Model is that the default solution to every financial challenge is to have another fund-raiser (rather than do things differently to prevent the financial problem).

Just one example of how times have changed is that the number of Catholics attending weekly Mass has dropped precipitously over the last few decades. It stands to reason that when parents are less attached to Judeo-Christian standards, their interest in having their kids be taught Judeo-Christian standards will also decrease.

Considering that the cost of K-12 Catholic schools can be substantial, the question is: will these parents be willing to pay a premium cost for what is (in effect) a public school plus a religion class? The answer for many parents is NO.

The good news here is that COVID has provided the solution!

For the first time, parents had the opportunity to look over the shoulders of their children to see what they were being taught. Two problems quickly became apparent:

  1. their children are being told WHAT to think rather than HOW to think, and
  2. the WHAT part is largely Left-Wing, atheistic, and anti-American.

The result of this is that there has been an unprecedented increase in Home-Schooling.

However, very few parents want to home-school their children, as (to do it right) this requires an enormous amount of time, effort, and competence on their part. Further, their child would largely miss out on the positive social benefits of interacting with other classmates, as well as lose out on extra-curricular activities. (E.g., I was the editor of my high school’s weekly Newspaper which was a fabulous experience.)

The light bulb should go on at Catholic (and other private) schools: that this new set of needs should be the basis for a New Model. They should be loudly telling parents:

  1. their children will be taught HOW to think (i.e., Critical Thinking skills), and
  2. their children will be given a Judeo-Christian, pro-American, classic education.

As a refresher, here are some of the MANY benefits of being a Critical Thinker… If you can’t intuitively see the merits of this New Model, then look at how a real-world example has been a resounding success — at a relatively low cost besides!

The Bottom Line here is that (since times have changed rather radically) Catholic Schools need to be aware that they must adopt the New Model. The slow learners will suffer the fate of those who laboriously put all their memories on VHS tapes.

©2024. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Chicago: Leftist Muslim teaches American leftists to scream ‘Death to America’ in Farsi


Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2023 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

Gender Politics: Why Is it So Hard to Define Biological Realities?

Earlier this month, the revelatoryCass review was published. The report, conducted by former president of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health Dr. Hilary Cass, found “remarkably weak evidence” that “gender affirming services” for children have any positive outcomes. The British Government responded to the results by announcing there will be “a fundamental change” in how they manage the gender identity politics concerning medical care moving forward. It now appears that the push toward acknowledging biological reality in the U.K. is moving beyond clinics.

This week, the British Government’s Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer dove into the males in female sports controversy when she made the argument that biological males have an “indisputable edge” over female athletes, concluding that male athletes who identify as transgender should be prohibited from “competing in top-level female sports events,” Breitbart reported. The biological differences between men and women “not only give transgender women an unfair competitive advantage,” Frazer wrote for The Daily Mail, “but threaten the safety of female athletes in the sports arena.”

She continued, “That’s why this week I called together representatives from key sporting organizations, like the England and Wales Cricket Board and Football Association, to encourage them to follow the lead of other sports in not allowing trans athletes to compete against women at the elite level.” Many are acknowledging how significant this development is, given that the definition of what a woman is can scarcely be answered these days.

The solution Frazer is presenting is that those who understand the biological realities of what a man is and what a woman is must join to proclaim the message more zealously. “The need for clear action from all sports becomes more pressing with each passing week,” Frazer added. “In competitive sport, biology matters. And … this should not be ignored.” And in direct response to the Cass Review, she emphasized “that inaction and a failure to confront the issues at stake cannot be an option.”

But how is progress made on an issue many claim doesn’t exist? Take Harvard University, for example. The editorial board of the Ivy League’s student newspaper published an article on April 16 titled, “There Are Many Obstacles Facing Women’s Sports. Trans Athletes Aren’t One.” In short, The Harvard Crimson’s Editorial Board writer Jonathan G. Yuan made the argument that “the science is … less conclusive” as it relates to whether “transgender women hold a biological edge over their cisgender opponents.”

Breitbart’s Warner Huston does well in pointing out the errors in Yuan’s argument, noting that “in the process of making the” assertions it did, “the article ignored all evidence to the contrary to support their own claim that transgender athlete participation is wholly benign.” But nonetheless, the push against true science continues — not only in a student newspaper, but also in government.

Just Tuesday, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D) “vetoed a bill to codify the meaning of ‘woman’ in state law, becoming the second female Democratic governor to nix such legislation over concerns about transgender rights,” The Washington Times wrote. Similar to a bill passed by Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) last week, Arizona’s Senate Bill 1628 would have provided biological “definitions for sex-based terms used in statutes, administrative rules, regulations and public policies.” But Hobbs’s veto, which was one of 13 in recent days, was not free from backlash.

In a statement, Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R) said, “Instead of helping these confused boys and men, Democrats are only fueling the disfunction by pretending biological sex doesn’t matter.” He continued, “Our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and neighbors are growing up in a dangerous time where they are living with an increased risk of being victimized in public bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms because Democrats are now welcoming biological males into what used to be traditionally safe, single-sex spaces.”

State Senator Sine Kerr (R), the sponsor of the bill, urged, “The madness needs to stop.” She added that “real women must continue to push back, stand for truth, and make their voices heard to advocate for the protection of their rights.” But even though this fight is facing setbacks in some states, Louisiana is taking strides in the right direction.

While it’s not specifically related to the issue of defining gender, Louisiana is fighting to give parents back the right to decide what role gender ideology plays in the lives of their children. According to The Epoch Times, “The Louisiana House and Senate have advanced legislation this week that, if signed by newly seated Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican, would prohibit sexual indoctrination and the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in schools.”

Specifically, House Bill 121, also known as the Given Name Act, states that the “Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution … protects the right of parents to direct the care, upbringing, education, and welfare of their children.” As such, the legislation would require parental approval before students can be referred to by any name or pronoun other than their original name and biological pronouns.

Given all this information, the elephant in the room is: Why is it so hard for some people to recognize the biological differences between men and women? It’s a simple question, some would argue, and Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, shared her insight with The Washington Stand. The reason such a simple reality is tossed aside, she explained, is because “they are not accepting there is a reality.”

Kilgannon emphasized what NPR’s CEO Katherine Maher said during a TED talk, namely, that truth is subjective. Maher stated, “[W]e all have different truths. They’re based on things like where we come from, how we were raised, and how other people perceive.” And for Kilgannon, it’s this mindset that leads the Left into a worldview where men can be women and women can be men.

“They don’t believe there is truth,” she added. It’s as though “they don’t believe anything except the fact that they don’t believe anything. It’s the age old trope of [they] say there’s no definitive truth and [they] say that in a definitive statement.” It’s a cyclical argument, she observed, which is hard to escape from.

So, why is it that the question of biological realities is hard for some to answer? As Kilgannon concluded, “If they answer the question, they have to admit that there is a value associated with the item.” Or in other words, a mindset like this means that answering a simple question leads to the collapse of an entire worldview.

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Our Strongest Strength can be our Greatest Weakness — Plus a suggested solution!

I’ve always found human nature to be a fascinating subject. For example, why people do (or don’t do) things is interesting to me. Along the way, I’ve noticed a slew of apparent contradictions. Today’s topic is one of those: How can something that is one of our best assets, also be among our worst liabilities? I’ll give two personal examples, and then one from a friend…

1 — Not sure why, but I’ve always believed that having a good sense of humor was important. I don’t think that this was a conscious decision, but rather something that I intuitively felt. So over the years, I’ve subconsciously incorporated humor into my conversations — with friends or strangers (e.g., a waitress at a restaurant).

The good thing is that almost all of the time it goes over very well. That’s likely why I continue to do it — most people react favorably. I also have noticed that I rarely think about a situation before saying something humorous, it just comes out.

But therein lies the downside. On a few occasions, I’ve said something that I intended to be funny, but it came out as anything but. Then, like I’m a third party, I hear what I said and think: oops! These are really embarrassing to me. I’ve wondered: is it better to apologize (which brings more focus to it), or to move on (and hope that the other party didn’t notice my gaffe)? I’ve done both, but still not sure which is better…

2 — Something else I consider as a major asset is that I’m very imaginative. I’m able to come up with clever ideas of things to do, or with creative solutions to challenging problems. I attribute part of this to Critical Thinking, and part with another skill I’ve worked on: changing perspective as it can produce interesting results.

I continue to be imaginative, as the results are typically unique (different from what others are proposing), plus usually quite rewarding.

But therein lies the rub: “usually.” On occasion, I find that my imagination can go into overdrive, and maybe I lose perspective as to where reality ends and fantasy begins. For example, let’s say I imagine a better relationship with a friend than they are capable of. That will lead to disappointment on my part — which (in some cases) can be a major liability.

Sure, it’s easy to say about such matters: disable your imagination and you 2024.be disappointed. Yes, but I’m also cutting off possibilities that could be amazing. Further, due to my imagination, I’ve been able to achieve many things that most people would say were not going to happen — e.g., retiring at age 34.

3 — My final example is from a friend. Due to a variety of reasons when they were young, they developed a strong desire to be independent. Clearly, independence is generally a very good thing — which is why we teach our children that independence should be something they should strive for.

But I did say “generally.” Independence can become an obsession for people who feel the need to be in control of everything. But there are two problems with that. First, no one can be in control of everything, so that is an impossible aspiration that will only lead to continued disappointments.

Secondly, working together (i.e., giving up some independence) with an ally can be one of the most rewarding and productive experiences in Life. So those who are fixated on independence will not only accomplish less, but will also be unhappierAre either of those desirable outcomes?

So that’s my brief 2¢ for today: how an asset can be a liability. One wise answer is “moderation in most things.” Even better, I believe in the power of Perspective. Keeping things in perspective (utilizing critical thinking) is exceptionally powerful.

©2024. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.


Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2023 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

Nike Stocks Still Tanking a Year after Mulvaney Partnership

A lot has happened since Dylan Mulvaney pranced around his yard in a Nike sports bra last April. Days after his face appeared on Bud Light cans — the controversy that launched a thousand boycotts — the sight of him doing jumping jacks in women’s workout gear was almost worst. And a stock chart that looks like a downhill ski slope proves it. Months after the country protested with a bonfire of bra burning, the only swoosh Nike hears now is the sound of profits gushing.

While Bud Light hogged most of the spotlight with its historic collapse, the devastation of Nike’s trans advocacy is real. By August of last year, the brand of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods was experiencing what experts called “its biggest losing streak since 1980.” With catastrophic losses — upwards of $13 billion dollars in market value — consumer outrage was packing a serious punch.

Angry women led the charge, lashing out at the company as an insult to females everywhere. “The ad feels like a parody of what women are. … That Nike would do this feels like a kick in the teeth,” one posted. Others blasted the brand for making a “mockery out of women,” vowing never to buy another thing from a company that chose a man “over all the hardworking women who workout regularly in your activewear.” It’s “absolutely disgusting.” Most people just couldn’t understand the marketing logic. “Why doesn’t Nike pay a real women to promote a product that is solely for women?” they wanted to know.

Almost a year later, the pressure hasn’t let up. Market analysts have been shocked by the company’s inability to rebound, a nosedive they wrongly assumed was temporary. According to Yahoo Finance, Nike’s stock is down 11.3% since the beginning of the year, and it’s trading “26.1% below its 52-week high.” And while experts are blaming everything from weak overseas demand to slowing sales and pricing challenges, their theories miss the most important reality: shoppers won’t put up with social extremism anymore. LGBT activism, the kind flaunted by Mulvaney and embraced by tone-deaf board rooms, continues to be the kiss of death to corporate profitability.

A long line of woke CEOs can testify to that — including Anheuser-BuschTargetDisneyPlanet FitnessRipCurl, and Doritos (although the latter two took the bold step of apologizing and course-correcting). Nike, on the other hand, only dug in — a decision that forced them to lay off 1,600 people in February, with a second round of cuts expected in May.

Nike boss John Donahoe has called the company’s downturn “a painful reality and not one that I take lightly.” “We are currently not performing at our best, and I ultimately hold myself and my leadership team accountable,” he said, leaving out any mention of the poor decisions that put Nike in this position in the first place.

Unfortunately, the company has a long and frustrating history of political activism. Millions of customers called it quits on Nike after their endorsement of anti-American quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who, along with disrespecting our national anthem, persuaded the company to shelve its patriotic shoes. They were the first sports retailer to fan the flames of racial tension during the George Floyd riots, voicing support for controversial groups like Black Lives Matter. They’ve fought against religious freedom in adoption billsgirls sports and privacy, even launched a special trans line of clothing called Be True.

Most egregiously, Nike was one of the few brands openly using slave labor to stitch their iconic shoes together. A 2020 expose from The Washington Post talked about the Uyghurs who were spared China’s concentration camps only to hunch over tables sewing Nike’s logo on an endless line of shoes — up to seven million pairs a year.

“Everyone knows they didn’t come here of their own free will,” a Chinese woman told reporter Anna Fifield at the time. “They were brought here … because they didn’t have an option. The government sent them here.” It’s how the Chinese government is “exporting the punitive culture and ethos of Xinjiang’s ‘reeducation camps’ to factories across China,” one expert told the Post.

Incredibly, when a bipartisan bill threatened to outlaw the use of slave labor for American companies, ending our country’s role in these human rights atrocities, Nike fought to kill it. Company spokesmen denied that, responding to The New York Times allegations that they were only in “constructive conversations” with lawmakers. But even today, three years after Joe Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, the Canadian government is investigating complaints that Nike is still using slave laborers in Xinjiang, which they consider a “crime against humanity.”

Now, a year into their Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, the Oregon-based headquarters is reaping the whirlwind. Instead of taking their foot off the gas of an agenda Americans have so clearly rejected, Nike is stubbornly leaning into the radicalism that’s bankrupting other brands. At a time when almost 300 companies are backing off their LGBT advocacy, Nike scored a perfect 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index this year (quite a feat considering HRC’s steep transgender benchmarks).

If Nike wants to enrage consumers at a time of record pushback, that’s their business. But better advice might come from their peers, who believe a smarter company slogan would be: Just don’t.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Elementary School Denies Request to Start Prayer Club, Approves ‘Pride Club’

In 2015, religious freedom seemed compromised when a Washington high school football coach was fired for praying with his team after a game. Joe Kennedy waited roughly six years for the Supreme Court to hear the oral arguments for his case. He was represented by a Christian nonprofit legal organization, First Liberty Institute (FLI), which took the position that “no teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public.” This was a notable case in 2022, and recent events have caused the issue to resurface.

Earlier this year, Laura, an 11-year-old girl who attends Creekside Elementary in Washington State, requested to start an interfaith prayer club at her school. But her request was denied.

When Laura and her mom approached the principal about the matter in February, they were informed that the school’s budget for clubs had been finalized in October. And according to a spokesperson for Issaquah School District, “[C]lubs offered are student-interest driven and meet outside of the school day. At the elementary level, participation in a club also requires parent permission. Once the school year begins, the building budget is set, and additional clubs are usually not added until the following school year.” But the story doesn’t end here.

Laura’s group, which she hoped to start with her friend, was meant to include people of all different religious backgrounds. She shared with Fox News that she was feeling alone, and that she thought this would be a good idea to bring students together. “I think that this is something that I am very passionate about,” she added. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t really want to make this happen, if I didn’t think that it would be a great opportunity for everyone.” It was later discovered that an LGBT club was approved only a week prior to Laura’s club request being denied, which has caused spectators to raise their eyebrows.

As a result of this alleged hypocrisy, Laura filed a lawsuit on the grounds of religious discrimination with the help of FLI. Attorneys pointed out in a letter to the school, “The First Amendment ‘doubly protects religious speech.’ These First Amendment protections extend to elementary school students expressing their sincere religious beliefs through voluntary clubs. Yet the school district flouted its First Amendment obligations when they refused to allow a student-led interfaith prayer club. Its unlawful action violates both the Free Exercise Clause and the Free Speech Clause.”

Kayla Toney, associate counsel at First Liberty Institute, explained, “Denying the formation of a religious student club while allowing other clubs violates the Constitution,” drawing attention to the fact that the similar case with Coach Kennedy occurred “just a short drive away” from Laura’s elementary school. And in comments to The Washington Stand, Arielle Del Turco, Family Research Council’s director of the Center for Religious Liberty, said, “The fact that Creekside Elementary denied a religious club the same month that it approved a Pride club reveals a lot about American culture right now.”

She continued, “Sadly, the promotion of LGBT identities is held sacred while religion is sidelined and marginalized. It’s heartbreaking that Laura, a fifth-grade student, felt alone at school as a religious believer and that she knew other students who felt the same way. She reacted in exactly the right way by making an effort to build community with religious students.”

Del Turco went on to emphasize that, “Oftentimes, when people seek to prevent religious expression in government venues, they will use the excuse that they don’t want to imply that the government favors one religion over another.” However, when it comes to Laura’s case, she pointed out that “the school doesn’t even have that flimsy excuse because the students were seeking to start a … club that would be open to students of different faiths.”

Ultimately, “Any school that allows other clubs while specifically denying religious clubs is acting in a discriminatory manner and violating the First Amendment, which protects freedom of expression and the free exercise of religion.” Del Turco concluded, “Christian fifth graders shouldn’t face viewpoint discrimination from their school leadership. It shouldn’t have had to come to this, but I fully expect this injustice to be rectified in the courts.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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Are Pro-Abortion Activists Drawing ‘Twisted Inspiration’ from the Biden Administration?

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RELATED PODCAST: Abortion and the Changing Political Landscape

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Florida Voters Back Abortion Amendment and Trump

A new poll is reporting that nearly half of voters in the Sunshine State plan to support a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a “right” to abortion. An Emerson College survey released on Thursday found that 42% of Florida voters intend to vote “Yes” on a “Amendment 4” this November, enshrining a right to abortion into the state’s constitution. Twenty-five percent of voters intend to vote “No,” and 32% of voters are unsure which way they will vote. The ballot initiative requires at least 60% support in order to pass.

A majority (56%) of Democrats and a plurality (44%) of Independents plan to vote “Yes.” Following former President Donald Trump’s recently-announced opposition to federal pro-life protections, Florida Republicans are more divided on the issue: 36% plan to vote against the abortion amendment, 30% plan to support it, and 34% are unsure.

Additionally, nearly 60% of Florida voters reported that the pro-life law banning abortion after six weeks — slated to go into effect next month after the state’s Supreme Court upheld a related 15-week abortion ban — is “too strict,” 28% said the law is “about right,” and 15% said it’s “not strict enough.” The previous 15-week ban enjoyed marginally more support, with only 43% saying it’s “too strict,” 36% saying it’s “about right,” and 21% saying it’s “not strict enough.”

Election data analyst Michael Pruser posted on social media, “I don’t think a pro-Republican position has a chance of clearing 60% in Florida, let alone an anti-Republican one. What wouldn’t pass in Kansas and Ohio during off-year special turnout will almost assuredly not pass in Florida during a Presidential year [with] Trump on the top of the ticket.”

Anticipating nearly 11 million voters (4.5 million Republicans, 3.55 million Democrats, and 2.85 million Independents) to turn out in November, Pruser explained, “To make 60% work, you’ll need a share of about 23% Republican[s]/95% Democrat[s]/77% Independent[s] to vote YES (which is always harder than NO). This gives you a total of 6,554,500 votes and a winning percentage of 60.13%.” He added, “You can also bet that [Florida’s Republican governor Ron] DeSantis will do what [Democratic Kansas governor] Laura Kelly and [Republican Ohio governor] Mike DeWine didn’t — use his office’s full weight against the amendment.”

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, argued before the Florida Supreme Court in favor of pro-life laws. In comments to The Washington Stand, he warned that “Amendment 4” would be challenged even if passed, saying, “There are constitutional challenges that I think are available.”

In addition to questions of both fraudulent signatures in putting the proposed amendment on the ballot and fraudulent votes in potentially passing the amendment this November, Staver noted, “The Florida legislature has — for many, many years — used the terms ‘unborn child’ and ‘unborn person.’” For example, Florida law dictates that if a woman is killed and her unborn child dies as a result, the killer could be charged with double homicide. Similarly, if a will leaves an estate to the deceased’s children or grandchildren, Florida law understands that to include unborn children or grandchildren. “In all these other areas of law,” Staver said, “unborn children have been recognized as legal persons. Consequently, if this were to pass, we would bring a case to the Florida Supreme Court to recognize the rights of an unborn child which already exist in the constitution which supersede this abortion amendment.”

Referring to Republicans who have begun backing away from pro-life messaging in the wake of Trump’s announcement earlier this week, Staver said, “Politicians should stand for life, not run from it. The right to life is the right of all rights, without which there is no other right. Politicians need to stand for life, not run from it.” He continued, “There are some things that transcend geographical boundaries and political parties and time, and the right to life is fundamental among those.” Staver also compared the issue of abortion to the issue of slavery, saying that neither was a matter of “states’ rights” but of universal morality.

The Emerson College survey also found that a majority (51%) of Florida voters back Trump for president, while only 38% support incumbent Joe Biden, with 11% undecided. When undecided voters were asked which candidate they lean toward supporting, Trump’s support shot up to 56% and Biden’s to 44%. Emerson College explained, “Among Biden voters, 32% support him because they dislike Trump, 24% because they like Biden, 19% care about an issue, and 14% support their party’s candidate. Among Trump voters, 31% support him because they care about an issue, 28% because they like Trump, 16% because they dislike Biden, and 14% support their party’s candidate.”

Florida voters ranked the economy as their top issue of concern (27%), followed by housing (16%), immigration (14%), and abortion (10%). Emerson College noted, “The percentage of voters who marked abortion access as their top issue is four points higher in Florida than in the most recent national poll (6%).”

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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RELATED VIDEO: Florida’s Channel 25 Interview with Pro-Lifer, Willy Guardiola, as he speaks about the state of Abortion today.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

CALIFORNIA: Dozens of male HIV/AIDS patients sue male Newport Beach doctor in sexual abuse lawsuit

A reader MM sent us the following information and asked that we cover it.

This is a story that is important as it is now the federal governments policy to support, at all costs, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE), especially when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

It now appears that DIE has opened a Pandora’s box of, not only the abused of under-aged children, but also male on male sexual abuse.

This case, in particular, deserves attention as it involves a male California doctor who is sexually abusing his male HIV/AIDS patients.

This is important because in July of 2016 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found more than 2,400 doctors had been accused of sexual abuse of their patients. Stories about doctors sexually abusing patients has become a sexual pandemic in its own right impacting children, females and males alike.

WATCH: Doctors Suspected of Sexually Abusing Patients

MM stated in an email,

I am still a frequent reader of your blog despite the fact I haven’t written in a while.  I hope you can warn your male readers about getting sexually assaulted and harassed by doctors of their same gender.  In California, a male doctor abused over 98 men.  The news hardly mentioned it and there have been no updates given.  Here’s the link to prove it: https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/dozens-of-former-patients-allege-sexual-abuse-at-hands-of-former-newport-beach-doctor/

Male on male sexual assault is almost never reported.  Men who are victimized are afraid to come forward.  The men who do come forward with complaints about being assaulted by other men, face wrongful accusations of being homophobic.  I hope you can write a post about the dangers of Hoag Hospital and the lack of press coverage for male sex victims.  Newport Beach is close to Camp Pendleton Military Base. I worry about our soldiers too.


Dozens of patients target former Newport Beach doctor in sexual abuse lawsuit

By 

A once top rated Orange County doctor has been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of male patients at his practice over the years.

Dr. William Thompson, once rated as one of the nation’s top infectious disease specialists treating HIV and AIDs patients, is now being sued by dozens of former patients who allege that he took advantage of them under the pretext that he was providing medical care.

“You’re talking hundreds of probable victims out there,” said Alexander Harrison, one of the attorneys representing the alleged victims. “We know that it was extremely unusual, the tests he was performing. The fact that he kept doing this invasive tests that were completely unnecessary.”

Many of the patients say that the assaults took place during routine visits, while others say that the instances happened in before and after some surgeries. Some even claim that the assaults occurred in the emergency room at the Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach.

“Aggressive prostate exams and absolutely too many,” said one of the plaintiffs, Michel Glockner, in a video provided by the attorney’s office.

Continue reading.

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

AWED MEDIA BALANCED NEWS: We cover COVID to Climate, as well as Energy to Elections.

Welcome! We cover COVID to Climate, as well as Energy to Elections.

Here is the link for this issue, so please share it on social media.

Checkout the 2023, 2022, 2021 & 2020 archives, plus asterisked items below.

— This Newsletter’s Articles, by Topic —

If You Only Have Time to Read Some Select Articles:

*** Study grades natural gas as best source for reliability, affordability and environmental impact

*** The True Cost of Wind and Solar

*** Wind/Solar/Alt-Energy Subsidies To Cost Federal Taxpayers $425 Billion Between Now And 2033

*** 350± Studies: Effects of infrasound and low-frequency noise on mammals

*** Time to save the Right Whale from the Green-Left

*** EPA sets new regulations on ‘forever chemicals’ in US drinking water

*** Small nuclear reactors may be coming to Texas

*** A letter to Bill McKibben: Do the math on Nuclear

*** How Green Energy, EVs Actually Endanger America

*** Visualized: How Much Do EV Batteries Cost?

*** PragerU: Dr. Scott Atlas on Why We Were Forced to Jab & Mask

*** The Great COVID Cover-up: Shocking truth about Wuhan and 15 federal agencies

*** Two Years Later, Ontario and BC Medics Still Need Vaccination Proof

*** Retracted COVID-19 Articles: Significantly More Cited than Others

*** Bill Gates’ money behind ‘perverse’ curriculum teaching math instruction is ‘White supremacy’

*** School’s out forever as education bosses use any excuse to skip class

*** Why Are We Tolerating Rude Behavior?

*** Book: Weapons of Mass Instruction

*** In Praise of F’s

*** Is Learning Standard “White” English Oppressive for Black Students?

*** Paying a High Price to Indoctrinate and Indebt our Children

*** The Intellectual Wasteland of Our American College Campuses

*** Dr. Lindzen: How did the current obsession with decarbonization arise?

*** Watchdog accuses Biden administration of inflating climate disaster numbers

*** Enormous Pile of Evidence that Global Warming is a Monstrous Hoax

*** Spencer vs. Schmidt: Spencer’s Response to RealClimate.org Criticisms

*** Hidden Behind Climate Policies, Data From Nonexistent Temperature Stations

*** US Geoengineering Test Quietly Launches Salt Crystals into Atmosphere

*** Hurricanes are Down

*** Epstein: Why you shouldn’t be alarmed about unusually warm temperatures

*** The TRUTH is coming out in the Baltimore bridge cyber attack: Lara Logan

*** How Socialist Dogma Replaces Real Science with “Settled Science”

*** Natural and Unnatural Political Systems

*** The cut flowers civilization

*** Religious Faith Can Be “Turned Off” by Magnetic Transcranial Stimulation, Scientists Find

*** Vatican says gender theory, surrogacy violate human dignity in ethics document

Secondary Education Related:

*** Report: The Key to Fixing the US Education System

*** Bill Gates’ money behind ‘perverse’ curriculum teaching math instruction is ‘White supremacy’

*** School’s out forever as education bosses use any excuse to skip class

*** Why Are We Tolerating Rude Behavior?

*** Book: Weapons of Mass Instruction

*** Are Video Gaming Books Promoting Horror to Elementary Age Students?

Higher Education Related:

*** In Praise of F’s

*** Is Learning Standard “White” English Oppressive for Black Students?

*** Paying a High Price to Indoctrinate and Indebt our Children

*** The Intellectual Wasteland of Our American College Campuses

UNC Board of Trustees preparing for possible end of DEI

Antisemitism as Official Policy

No Resting On Our Anti-DEI Laurels

Artificial Intelligence:

AI – Are humans Irrelevant?

A faster, better way to prevent an AI chatbot from giving toxic responses

Greed Energy Economics:

*** The True Cost of Wind and Solar

*** Wind/Solar/Alt-Energy Subsidies To Cost Federal Taxpayers $425 Billion Between Now And 2033

Short PragerU video: Why Are Utilities So Expensive?

Unreliables Energy Health and Ecosystem Consequences:

*** 350± Studies: Effects of infrasound and low-frequency noise on mammals

Archived Study: Effects of low-frequency noise from wind turbines on heart rate variability in healthy individuals

Study: Impairment of the Endothelium and Disorder of Microcirculation in Humans and Animals Exposed to Infrasound due to Irregular Mechano-Transduction

Unreliables (General):

*** Backlash against wind and solar projects is real, it’s global and it’s growing

*** How Green Energy Makes Us Vulnerable to Cyberattack

Sample Report: CA Wind and Solar Curtailment April 09, 2024

Chart: Which US states generate the most solar and wind energy?

Wind Energy — Offshore:

*** Time to save the Right Whale from the Green-Left

Whales die while offshore wind developer hides crucial “whale protection” information

Boston Globe’s whale protection contradiction

Florida Working to Ban Offshore Wind

Wind Energy — Other:

*** Taking the Wind Out of Climate Change (referencing 60± studies)

The Importance of the NJ Open Public Records Act

Solar Energy:

*** EPA sets new regulations on ‘forever chemicals’ in US drinking water

‘Free Solar Panels’ Aren’t Really Free

Nuclear Energy:

*** Small nuclear reactors may be coming to Texas

*** A letter to Bill McKibben: Do the math on Nuclear

New Jersey’s 3 nuclear power plants seek to extend licenses for another 20 years

House approves bipartisan bill aimed at bolstering nuclear energy

X-energy opens first training centre for SMR operators

Microreactor Designs Fit for a Green Future

Fossil Fuel Energy:

*** Study grades natural gas as best source for reliability, affordability and environmental impact

These 11 Charts Show Why The U.S. Is A Natural Gas Superpower

Electric Vehicles (EVs):

*** How Green Energy, EVs Actually Endanger America

*** Visualized: How Much Do EV Batteries Cost?

Ford postpones rollout of some new EVs as demand wanes

EV’s Amount to a Gov’t Wealth Transfer You Pay For

Misc Energy:

*** Epstein: What should the government do about carbon capture?

*** A CNN reporter interviews Alex Epstein about his “political” work

Biden’s Letter To Dr. Swier On Energy Contains 10 Lies and 3 Truths

The Energy Efficiency Paradox: $20 Bills Lying All Over The Sidewalk

Grading the GRID

Manmade Global Warming — Some Deceptions:

*** Watchdog accuses Biden administration of inflating climate disaster numbers

*** Enormous Pile of Evidence that Global Warming is a Monstrous Hoax

*** Spencer vs. Schmidt: Spencer’s Response to RealClimate.org Criticisms

*** Hidden Behind Climate Policies, Data From Nonexistent Temperature Stations

*** UN Climate Advisor & Time Mag’s ‘Women Of The Year’ declares ‘the climate crisis’ is ‘not just manmade, it’s white manmade’ – ‘A result of capitalism, years of colonialism, years of racial oppression’

Climate ‘Experts’ Are 0-41 With Their Doomsday Predictions…*UPDATE 0-53

Islands That Climate Alarmists Said Would Soon “Disappear” Due To Rising Sea Found To Have Grown In Size

How a few billionaires helped push climate alarmism to the extremes

Manmade Global Warming — Misc:

*** Dr. Lindzen: How did the current obsession with decarbonization arise?

*** US Geoengineering Test Quietly Launches Salt Crystals into Atmosphere

*** Hurricanes are Down

*** Epstein: Why you shouldn’t be alarmed about unusually warm temperatures

Conservative leaders must stop promoting climate scare

Professor Valentina Zharkova and the Little Ice Age Which Has Already Started

The Latest on International Efforts to Save The Planet Through Climate Litigation

The Fury of Europe’s Farmers Shocks EU Technocrats

Video: Surprising Facts About CO2 with Dr. William Happer and Greg Wrightstone

US Election:

Election-Integrity.info (10 major election reports by our team of experts, plus much more!)

*** Two Weeks to Flatten Became Eight Months to Change the Election

*** Biden’s DOJ Targeted Trump From Day 1

*** Allowing foreign citizens to vote in US elections is a rotten idea

Government changes US Citizenship Verification Process

The Left’s latest scheme to permanently change elections in America

US Election — State Issues:

*** States rush to combat AI threat to elections

*** A Misreading of the National Voter Registration Act Is Preventing States from Using DMV Data to Stop Duplicate Voter Registration in Multiple States

*** Wisconsin Voters Prohibit ‘Zuckbucks,’ Private Actors from WI Elections

Youngkin Vetoes ‘Disastrous’ Ranked-Choice Voting Bill in Virginia

Georgia Law Restricting Ballot Traffickers From Filling Out Your Application Goes To Trial

Misc US Politics:

*** The TRUTH is coming out in the Baltimore bridge cyber attack: Lara Logan

Rationalism, Fusionism, and the Modern Crisis

The Impact of Semiconductor Sanctions on Russia

Who is: Stand Up America?

Grocery cost: Biden vs Trump

Censorship US:

Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy

Societally US:

*** The Collapse of Mainstream Media (Part 3)

The Return of the Hungry Horses

The Freedom to Die

Globalism:

Bill Gates & UN Behind “Digital Public Infrastructure” For Global Control

Religion Related:

*** The cut flowers civilization

*** Religious Faith Can Be “Turned Off” by Magnetic Transcranial Stimulation, Scientists Find

*** Vatican says gender theory, surrogacy violate human dignity in ethics document

God’s Lifeboat Is More Than Half Empty!

Short film: Kingdom

We are a Christian People

Vatican complains after French court rules in favor of dismissed nun

Science:

*** How Socialist Dogma Replaces Real Science with “Settled Science”

Health:

*** Natural and Unnatural Political Systems

Is There a Trump Health Care Plan?

Navigating an Absurd Gender Identity Question: A Pre-Surgery Conversation that Speaks Volumes

Israel/Ukraine:

Latest Developments in Israel: February 3rd

Israel says it shot down 300 Iranian drones and missiles with help from U.S.

With its aerial attack, Iran could break Israel’s isolation and reframe the Gaza war

U.S. Helps Pro-Ukraine Media Run a Fog Machine of War

Pray for the safety of the Ukrainian people

A well-rated source to make a Ukraine donation

Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 14th

COVID-19 — Misc:

*** PragerU: Dr. Scott Atlas on Why We Were Forced to Jab & Mask

*** The Great COVID Cover-up: Shocking truth about Wuhan and 15 federal agencies

*** Two Years Later, Ontario and BC Medics Still Need Vaccination Proof

*** Retracted COVID-19 Articles: Significantly More Cited than Others

Covid Shot Mandate Suit Moving Forward

Were some folks a little TOO prepared for this pandemic?

Deborah Birx gets her close-up

Youths Vaccinated four times, are 318% More Likely to Die Than Unvaxxed Peers


Please use social media, etc. to pass on this Newsletter to other open-minded citizens…If you’d like to be added to (or unsubscribe from) the distribution of our popular, free, worldwide Media Balance Newsletter, simply send me an email saying that.


Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g., PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: For past Newsletter issues see the archives from: 2020 & 2021 & 2022 & 2023. To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles over all thirteen plus years of the Newsletter, we’ve put this together — where you can search ALL prior issues, by year. For a background about how the Newsletter is put together, etc., please read this.

Note 3: See this extensive list of reasonable books on climate change. As a parallel effort, we have also put together a list of some good books related to industrial wind energy. Both topics are also extensively covered on my website: WiseEnergy.org.

Note 4: I am not an attorney or a physician, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or any of my websites) should be construed as giving legal or medical advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent, licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues, and consult a competent physician regarding medical matters.

Copyright © 2024; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org).

Must-Read Vatican Document Slams Surrogacy, Gender Theory, War and Abortion

Earlier this week the Vatican published a 16,000-word document reaffirming Catholic condemnations of a wide range of moral issues, from war to surrogacy and human trafficking. Dignitas Infinita, or “Infinite Dignity”, is both a philosophical and a theological essay, appealing to open-minded people of all faiths and none.

Seldom has there been so much media coverage about a Vatican document which contains so few surprises. It’s no secret that the Catholic Church opposes abortion and euthanasia. Perhaps both the fans and foes of Francis thought that he might open up a crack for sex changes or for surrogacy.

But almost nothing has changed. Under Francis the Church is as severe as ever on life issues. Over at the New York Times, columnist Ross Douthat opined that the Pope’s “style has been to consistently push at the boundaries of his office, testing how far a pope can go in altering Catholic teaching”. He sounded mortified to report that Dignitas Infinita was “a clearer-than-usual line against developments in progressive thought and culture”.

Controversial issues

Here are some notable highlights.

Dignitas Infinita condemns surrogacy, first as a violation of the child’s dignity and second as a violation of the surrogate mother’s. It says:

the legitimate desire to have a child cannot be transformed into a “right to a child” that fails to respect the dignity of that child as the recipient of the gift of life … in this practice, the woman is detached from the child growing in her and becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others.

The document also rejects gender theory. In a few perceptive sentences, it criticises the transhumanist impulse to “self-determination”, describing it as “a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God”. Furthermore, it describes the difference between male and female as “foundational”.

In the male-female couple, this difference achieves the most marvellous of reciprocities. It thus becomes the source of that miracle that never ceases to surprise us: the arrival of new human beings in the world.

Sex-change interventions are also condemned. The document quotes the Pope: “creation is prior to us and must be received as a gift. At the same time, we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created.”

One possible innovation in Dignitas Infinita is its approach to war. While lamenting the cruelty and senselessness of wars, the Catholic Church has traditionally supported the possibility of a “just war”. However, with weapons of mass destruction, asymmetric warfare and terrorism, perhaps the nature of war has changed. The document quotes the Pope — “it is very difficult nowadays to invoke the rational criteria elaborated in earlier centuries to speak of the possibility of a ‘just war.’ Never again war!”

Does this mean that requirements for a just war will be updated? Possibly.

Explaining human dignity

Even though there appears to be little novelty in Dignitas Infinita, it was five years in the making. The Pope’s top theologian, fellow Argentinian Cardinal Victor Fernández, explains in an unusual preamble that the document went through several versions, because the Pope had ordered some significant changes. He wanted the list of violations of human dignity to include issues like poverty, the wretchedness of migrants, violence against women, human trafficking, and war.

This is consistent with Francis’s impatience with what he feels is some Catholics’ single-minded focus on abortion and other pro-life issues. Dignitas Infinita endorses the notion that Catholic moral teaching is a “seamless garment” and that abusing migrants and abortion are both horrendous violations of human dignity.

But what is human dignity? The first half of the document offers a very helpful and thoughtful exploration of the topic.

It begins with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whose 75th anniversary occurred last year. After the barbarism of World War II, the UDHR was a high-minded commitment by its signatories to restore a respect for human dignity. Its opening sentence asserts “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. John Paul II described the UDHR as “one of the highest expressions of the human conscience”.

However, it’s obvious that the concept of human rights has become so muddled that it is almost meaningless. Accompanied by claims to be advancing human dignity, rights have multiplied and morphed. Nowadays internet accessair conditioning and same-sex marriage are claimed as human rights, along with a right to abortion.

Although this is a very complex question, one reason for this proliferation is that people base their approach to human dignity on different foundations.

The Church’s approach is ontological; human dignity flows from the very fact of being a human being created by God. This means that all humans have dignity, not just those who possess privileges like awareness or intelligence or autonomy. Notoriously, Peter Singer (and other philosophers) say that “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”

In a brief, but very insightful observation, Dignitas Infinita analyses Singer’s notion of human dignity (without naming him):

Some people propose that it is better to use the expression “personal dignity” (and the rights “of the person”) instead of “human dignity” (and the rights “of man”) since they understand a “person” to be only “one who is capable of reasoning.” They then argue that dignity and rights are deduced from the individual’s capacity for knowledge and freedom, which not all humans possess. Thus, according to them, the unborn child would not have personal dignity, nor would the older person who is dependent upon others, nor would an individual with mental disabilities. On the contrary, the Church insists that the dignity of every human person, precisely because it is intrinsic, remains “in all circumstances.”

As well, the document deploys a very important concept: that we humans are relational beings. Fundamentally, none of us are individuals. We are all bound up in a web of relations with other humans, past, present and future: “Indeed, there is an ever-growing risk of reducing human dignity to the ability to determine one’s identity and future independently of others, without regard for one’s membership in the human community.”

The document condemns “a self-referential and individualistic freedom that claims to create its own values regardless of the objective norms of the good and of our relationship with other living beings” Unless one grasps this, it may be hard to appreciate why the Church rejects surrogacy, transgenderism, euthanasia and so on.

Dignitas Infinita may contain no surprises, but its clarity and consistency are admirable. It’s a good springboard for responding to today’s ethical challenges.


Does the Catholic Church have anything valuable to say about human rights? Leave a comment in the box below.


AUTHOR

Michael Cook is editor of Mercator.

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Celebrity queer philosopher Judith Butler fights to vindicate her life’s work

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POST ON X:

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

158 Washington, D.C. cherry trees get axed – UN vs. UN on ‘2 years to save world’

158 Washington, D.C. cherry trees get axe – UN vs. UN on ‘2 years to save world’ – Kerry declares YOU are ‘GREEDY’ – EU: ‘Climate inaction’ violates human rights.

Watch: Morano on Hannity on Fox News: Biden’s green energy transition is ‘magical thinking from beginning to end’

TRANSCRIPT

Sean Hannity: The publisher of Climate Depot, Marc Morano, is back. Good to see you. … Marc, you have spent the better part of your adult life debunking the climate alarmist religious cult. Now it’s it’s fully in gear and it’s spending all of this money. What do people really need to know about what they are pedaling and how it’s based on phony science, not real science? You know, look at the study that came out a couple of weeks ago; electric cars may pollute the planet more than gas-powered cars, but all of this never gets told to the American people in the media mob.

Marc Morano: The UCLA historian Saul Friedländer described the central planners of the 20th century as using the bureaucracy to enforce ‘magical beliefs.’ The ‘magical beliefs’ here are that we can spend trillions of dollars and magically transform our vehicles from gas power to EVs. ‘Magically’ transform our electrical grid to solar and wind and claim we’re doing something to save the climate. Even if we faced a ‘climate catastrophe,’ the last thing you’d want to do is the Biden administration approach — a central-planned top-down government plan of picking winners and losers. You would need to unleash innovation if that’s what we actually faced. You’d want a wealthier country; you would want a technological explosion. You would want capitalism unleashed because the cleanest environments are the freest environments.

They take the exact opposite approach here, and it’s ‘magical thinking’ from beginning to end in terms of the green agenda. This is just going to hammer the American people. They’re spending so much money that there are parts of California where they don’t have enough bureaucrats to spend the climate cash flowing in from the Inflation Reduction Act and from the Biden administration. They have to hire bureaucrats even to figure out how to spend it all.

D.C. Cherry Blossoms Aren’t Safe Around Climate Activists! National Park System to cut down 158 cherry trees to make room for a seawall so D.C. can ‘withstand about 100 years of future sea level rise

BY: NATHAN STONE

The National Park Service — the organization supposedly missioned to preserve “unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations”– will, after the 2024 National Cherry Blossom Festival, cut down 300 trees in Washington, D.C., 158 of which will be cherry trees. Their reason? To “fight” “climate change” — the 300 will be disposed of to make room for a reconstructed seawall around the Tidal Basin and Potomac River so D.C. can “withstand about 100 years of future sea level rise.”

At this point, climate change is like the dishrag punchline of a washed-up comedian — predictable and disappointing. As the bit goes, climate change is exacerbated by CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — except that CO2 levels today are the same as they were 3 million years ago. The oceans are going to cataclysmically rise — except that in the last 122 years, the oceans have risen a grand total of eight inches with, at this rate, another 1,800 years before they reach apocalyptic levels. This must be why climate change activists like the Obamas and Neil DeGrasse Tyson keep buying beachfront properties.

The Pravda media are no different, insisting the cherry trees reached their earliest peak bloom in 20 years because of “an abnormally warm winter, consistent with climate change trends.” They scream, “Be afraid! The end is nigh!” while failing to mention the just-as-crazy winters from decades ago. For example, in mid-February of 1930, there was an abnormally warm 10-day period with recorded temperatures including 89 degrees Fahrenheit (Jefferson City, MO), 76 degrees (Burlington, IA), and 82 degrees (Richmond, VA).

What’s more, this “unusually warm winter” was not all that unusual when considering the eruption of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January 2022 followed by the arrival of El Nino in 2023. Under the circumstances, the unusual event would have been having a normal winter in the middle of this convergence.

The truth is, the “common knowledge” that 97 percent of scientists agree climate change is man’s fault is about as reliable as Barack Obama’s autobiography. And the cherry on top is that we could very well be heading for an extended period of cooling caused by diminished solar activity.

The Park Service says it will plant a variety of new trees following the project, but why chop down 300 trees in the first place, just to start over with immature trees and needless walls to the tune of $113 million? Money and power are the surface answers. Climate change is not science, but it is big business, with the federal government doling out billions of dollars a year on the subject and the spending only increasing. The power comes with restrictions on peoples’ travel (in both cars and airplanes), international carbon taxes, attempting to prosecute “ecocide” as an international crime, and shutting up anyone who raises a hand to question “the science.”

But there may also be a more disturbing and painfully ironic reason, both for the cherry tree demolition and the perpetuation of climate change fearmongering: the love of destruction for the sake of destruction.

Maintaining order and enforcing justice are the bare-bones requirements for any civilization. But the real, gold-standard civilizations — the Roman Republic, Victorian Britain, and the United States up to 1963 — go above and beyond the basics by promoting the arts and sciences and encouraging what de Tocqueville called the manly passion for equality — encouraging each individual to be the best he can and reach full, 100 percent capacity.

Look at the feats of architecture or entire artistic movements like Art Deco. Look at the accomplishments of Dickens, Frost, Hemingway, Tennyson, Disney, and Ford in the arts or at the Hoover Dam, the moon landing, and the rebuilding of Europe and Japan after 1945 — a civilization is supposed to create with purpose, and what it creates has to be good and beautiful. It needs to fill and lift the soul. Even dads in their garages were, once upon a time, encouraged to manifest themselves in this way.

Compare that to the regime under which we currently live. Now, works of art are attacked — in some cases completely destroyed — with only a whimper of counter-energy. In fact, when the suggestion is made to make beautiful things again, it’s decried as dangerous and fascist. Our institutions do worse than nothing — they aid and abet this mindset.

Look at the National Endowment on the Arts and Humanities, whose prime job is no longer to inspire and push people to the stars, but to applaud the latest manifestation of the zeitgeist. These include: plays with “Black Lives Matter” themes; Shakespeare performances that showcase an anti-Trump bent; “queer” theatre; mime performances about racism; an art exhibit dedicated to the life of Yuri Kochiyama, who once claimed Osama bin Laden as one of the people she “admired”; and theatre performances that allow people to “commune” with a cactus. The education system does its part by graduating fewer and fewer students who can read and add, meaning fewer students who can differentiate between art and slop.

Of course, most acts of creation involve some destruction; our own Republic was created by destroying the British Empire circa 1763. And, oftentimes, the destruction that does take place will be a compromise to prevent something even worse. Butdestruction for the sake of itself — or for the sake of a fiction — threatens what is good, instills fear, and is a sign that a civilization is in decline.

Fear is the antithesis of hope — the mind-killer that eventually dissolves our humanity into a spineless glob, eager to hand over the keys to the algorithm. Whether it’s through skewed warnings about the end of “democracy” or the claim that the planet could burst into flames and floods at any moment, the Borg is determined to control our lives through fear. This is why, in the eyes of the elites, beauty itself is too dangerous. It causes people to dream, to push themselves, and, at its highest, imparts hope — it threatens their ability to wield fear.

Ultimately, beauty — from an Art Deco building to a blossoming cherry tree — makes us human. But that is what the Borg cannot allow, at any cost.

UN vs. UN: UN climate chief declares humans have ‘two years to save the world’ – But UN scientist rubbishes UN claim as ‘meaningless rhetoric’ & ‘counterproductive’ 

United Nations executive climate secretary Simon Stiell: “Who exactly has two years to save the world? The answer is every person on this planet,” Stiell said.  –

“‘Two years to save the world’ is meaningless rhetoric — at best, it’s likely to be ignored, at worst, it will be counterproductive,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, who is also a professor of international affairs. [Note: Oppenheimer has also served as UN IPCC Coordinating Lead Author.]

Read more.

Flashback: Earth ‘serially doomed’: The official history of climate ‘Tipping Points’ began in 1864 

Euro court rules ‘climate action’ is a human right – ‘Climate inaction’ violated human rights

The European Court of Human Rights, in a landmark ruling that could have major implications across 48 European countries, ruling for the 2,000 members of Switzerland’s Senior Women for Climate Protection (average age: 74), the ECHR held the country’s “fail[ure] to comply with its duties” to meet its emissions reductions targets and otherwise protect its citizens from the ravages of the climate crisis. The ruling, which cannot be appealed, is legally binding on all 46 member states of the Council of Europe.

Read more.

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

‘Enormously Naïve’: JPMorgan CEO Slams Biden’s Natural Gas Pause, Issues Warning About Economy

Jamie Dimon, long-time CEO of JPMorgan Chase, criticized the Biden administration’s pause on new liquified natural gas (LNG) projects and gave a key warning about the future of the economy in a letter released Monday as a part of the company’s annual report.

Dimon emphasized the usefulness of LNG as a form of affordable energy for the U.S. and its allies, with the project pause increasing dependence on oil and coal and harming economic and geopolitical advantages, according to the statement. He also issued a warning for the economy that the current high rate of inflation could stick around for longer than expected, which would also mean that the Federal Reserve’s federal funds rate could remain elevated to suppress inflation amid high levels of government spending.

“Trade is realpolitik, and the recent cancellation of future liquified natural gas (LNG) projects is a good example of this fact,” Dimon said in the statement. “The projects were delayed mainly for political reasons — to pacify those who believe that gas is bad and that oil and gas projects should simply be stopped. This is not only wrong but also enormously naïve. One of the best ways to reduce CO2 for the next few decades is to use gas to replace coal. When oil and gas prices skyrocketed last winter, nations around the world — wealthy and very climate-conscious nations like France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as lower-income nations like Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam that could not afford the higher cost — started to turn back to their coal plants.”

He also pointed out key global events that he believes threaten the U.S. economy and require Americans’ attention.

“It is important to note that the economy is being fueled by large amounts of government deficit spending and past stimulus,” Dimon said in the statement. “There is also a growing need for increased spending as we continue transitioning to a greener economy, restructuring global supply chains, boosting military expenditure and battling rising healthcare costs. This may lead to stickier inflation and higher rates than markets expect.”

The national debt is currently nearly $34.6 trillion as of April 4, according to the Treasury Department. In February, the federal government spent more than double what it took in, adding $296 billion to the national debt.

Prices have risen 18.5% since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, most recently rising 3.2% year-over-year, far higher than the Fed’s target of 2%. In response, the federal funds rate had been placed in a range of 5.25% and 5.50%, the highest level in 23 years.

JPMorgan reported record profits in 2023 despite a crisis that rocked many medium and small banks, which was started by a bank run at Silicon Valley Bank. Following the collapse of First Republic Bank, JPMorgan purchased the bank’s assets.

“There are downside risks to watch,” Dimon said in the statement. “Quantitative tightening is draining more than $900 billion in liquidity from the system annually — and we have never truly experienced the full effect of quantitative tightening on this scale. Plus the ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Middle East continue to have the potential to disrupt energy and food markets, migration, and military and economic relationships, in addition to their dreadful human cost. These significant and somewhat unprecedented forces cause us to remain cautious.”

JPMorgan declined to comment further to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

AUTHOR

WILL KESSLER

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Can The Climate Crusaders Please, For The Love Of God, Stop Trying To Control The Weather?!

Biden’s Electric Vehicle ‘Mandate’ Might Just Be A Surprise Gift To China

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


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Saving American Children a.k.a. Saving America — Part 2

Please read Saving American Children – Part 1.

What should be the primary objectives of competent U.S. public K-12 schools?

Good question, as this is a highly debated topic. Many hundreds of articles, reports, and books have been written on this matter.

IMO one of the main reasons that the US education system is in a quagmire, is that we have not fully and properly addressed this fundamental question. As a result, the States end up being pushed Left — as the Left has a very aggressive, well-coordinated K-12 education strategy (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards).

One good answer to this question is that schools should teach their students to be productive, healthy, happy citizens. Sounds good, but what does that translate to?

Let me suggest some major objectives in their approximate order of priority:

  1. How to Think (being a Critical Thinker),
  2. Functional Basics (the 3 R’s),
  3. Knowledge (covering a wide range of topics),
  4. Curiosity (a desire to learn more),
  5. Communication Skills (to better convey ideas, etc.),
  6. Empathy (sensitivity to others),
  7. Teamwork (cooperatively working together),
  8. Flexibility (to adapt to changing situations),
  9. Patriotism (appreciate the sacrifices of our forefathers),
  10. Foster Interests (for each child).

Again, the most important one is the first! In fact, if you consider things carefully, almost all of the others depend on the ability to do Critical Thinking!

An interesting survey (February 2024) of States that have published their K-12 education priorities, concluded that the top one is Critical Thinking! (See Figure 1. Most Commonly Cited Skills & Competencies.)

Note 1: Be forewarned that just because a State says that Critical Thinking is prioritized, it doesn’t mean they are actually doing it! For example, my home state of NC officially declares that Critical Thinking is a top priority — but I could find no evidence that Critical Thinking was being prioritized (properly taught and utilized). On the other hand, I found considerable evidence that the opposite is being taught.

The opposite of Critical Thinking is to teach children to conform: defer to experts, be politically correct, adhere to consensus opinions, accept without question what computer programs say, ignore inconvenient facts, etc., etc.

Note 2: I am specifically de-emphasizing “readiness for college,” as readiness for life should be a much more important priority. Further, college has gone downhill over the last few decades (while becoming much more expensive), so it makes more sense than ever before for many high school graduates to forego college.

Note 3: My list purposefully minimizes teaching values (e.g., responsibility), as the primary sources for such education should be parents. A supplement to that is to send children to private schools. [A major distinction between public and private schools is that values (e.g., Judeo-Christian standards) are taught in the latter.]

Why not teach values in public schools? Because they are petrified of having any traditional religion (e.g., Judeo-Christian) connections (separation of church and state). The main way public schools fill this value void, is by teaching atheism — even though technically that is a religion. The other primary result is that relativism is endorsed, which is actually the opposite of teaching values, as it effectively says that there are no value standards, as everything is relative.

In other words, when public schools attempt to teach values (think SEL), they not only contradict the Judeo-Christian standards that were the basis of our country, but the children are worse off than if the schools had stayed out of the value arena.

I think that there is merit to this assessment:

Many American schools follow a strictly economics-based model. This kind of economic-driven model emphasizes certification, centralization, and standardization. In this system, students are subject to a rigorous and often inflexible curriculum to advance numeracy, literacy, and science skills. The ultimate purpose of an economics-driven education system is to form productive workers. While success in the job market should be one of the top priorities of any school, a truly high-skilled workforce can only be generated if schools address all facets of student development.

To sum up: We need to discuss and agree on the primary objectives of competent US public K-12 schools, or else it will continue to be dictated by Left-leaning activists. (Critical Thinking MUST be a primary objective.) The most practical way to initiate this is to have one State set a good example for other States to emulate. (I’m working on North Carolina to be such a state.)

Some Resources:

What Is Education For?

The Purpose of K-12 Education

Should US Public Schools be Teaching SEL?

Principles Of Child Centered Education

The purpose of a K-12 education: Who decides and how do we get there?

What is the Goal of the American Education System?

The Purpose of K-12 Public Education Today: Readiness for College, Career & Life

Report: Education, K-12

©2024.  All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Tulsi Gabbard explains how the Biden administration is sneaking the Woke ideology into schools


Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2023 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

Speaking of eclipses … My poem on the Great American Eclipse of 2017

This morning, April 8th, I got to view a partial eclipse of the sun here in Northern California. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that provides a brief but welcome respite from divisive political sparring and other controversial topics, like football.

The last solar eclipse I watched was in August of 2017, aka the Great American Eclipse, since, unlike today’s, that total eclipse was visible across our country, from sea to shining sea.

I wrote a poem on that occasion that I’ll share with you now.

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

Do not convict the moon,
that every hundred years
forgets itself,
blunders into the spotlight,
plunging us in darkness.
The moon, I say, is innocent—
guileless, clumsy perhaps,
but not a villain here.

No, the villains are elsewhere,
though in our midst, plotting
their own eclipse, hatched
in the stygian reaches
of malignant minds,
seeking to come between you
and yourself.

This is the plague
of darkness.

Already you have lost
your children, guarding them
in the wrong places, ignoring
the danger in their safest spaces.

If once, just once, you
dropped all pretense and shed
your certainties, the truth
would embrace you
like a father welcoming home
his late-returning prodigal son.

You can no longer afford
your ignorance.
And what you see not,
you must infer, as astronomers,
through tracing bending orbits,
infer the presence of unseen planets.

What part of history
is dispensable? What
would you erase?
The hard-won knowledge
of good and evil—
our lodestar
since the fatal bite of Eden?

Listen:
the sun of truth gives the only light
that will never blind you.
Stare into it.

©2024. Cherie Zaslawsky. All rights reserved.


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