Gorsuch Helps Transform the Supreme Court Into the Supreme Legislature on LGBT Rights

In what dissenting Justice Samuel Alito called one of the most “brazen abuse[s]” of the Supreme Court’s authority, a six-member majority of the court led by Justice Neil Gorsuch has rewritten Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the definition of “sex.”

Why bother trying to pass the proposed Equality Act when you can get the justices to make law for you?

Title VII prohibits an employer from failing or refusing “to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual … because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Gorsuch—joined by the four liberal justices, along with Chief Justice John Roberts—decided that employment decisions that take any account of an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity necessarily entail discrimination based on sex in violation of Title VII.


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In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which was combined with two other cases, Gorsuch wrote that the straightforward application of the terms in Title VII, according to their ordinary public meaning at the time of its enactment, means that an employer violates the law when it intentionally fires an individual based in part on sex.

In a logical and legal leap, Gorsuch then argued that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, since those concepts are related to sex.

Thus, Gorsuch reasoned, it means the employer is treating individuals differently because of their sex. An employer cannot escape liability by showing that it treats men and women comparably as groups. The employer has violated the law even if it subjects all male and female homosexual and transgender employees to the same treatment.

Gorsuch dismissed as irrelevant the historical fact that none of the legislators who passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 would have ever expected or contemplated that Title VII’s ban on employment discrimination on the basis of sex would apply to a man hired by a funeral home who then told his new employer, the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home, that he planned to “live and work full-time as a woman.”

That was one of the three cases before the court. That provision of the 1964 law was intended to stop the blatant employment discrimination rampant against women at that time.

The majority opinion by Gorsuch upending more than five decades of prior precedents was only 33 pages long. Alito, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, filed a blistering dissent in which he said that “there is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation.” He pointed out that the majority’s claim that it is “merely enforcing the terms of the statute” is “preposterous.”

As Alito undisputedly says, “if every single American had been surveyed in 1964, it would have been hard to find any who thought that discrimination because of sex meant discrimination because of sexual orientation—not to mention gender identity, a concept that was essentially unknown at the time.”

The majority tries to “pass off its decision” as just an application of the term “sex” in Title VII, claiming it is applying the textualism championed by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But according to Alito, that claim and the majority’s opinion “is like a pirate ship.” He added:

It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Justice Scalia excoriated—the theory that courts should ‘update’ old statutes so that they better reflect the current values of society.

Alito said that the majority’s “arrogance” is “breathtaking,” since “there is not a shred of evidence that any Member of Congress interpreted the statutory text that way when Title VII was enacted.”

Neither “sexual orientation,” nor “gender identity” appear on the list of five specified grounds for discrimination in Title VII, and the majority’s “argument is not only arrogant, it is wrong,” he wrote.  The terms “sex,” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” are “different concepts,” and neither of the two latter terms are “tied to either of the biological sexes.”

Alito is, of course, entirely correct, as one of us pointed out in a recent article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

And, of course, Congress knew that “sex” didn’t include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Alito recalled that there have been numerous bills introduced in Congress over the past 45 years to amend the law and add those terms, but they all failed.

The majority is “usurping the constitutional authority of the other branches” of government and has taken the latest congressional bill on this topic and “issued it under the guise of statutory interpretation.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh also filed a dissenting opinion, in which he wrote that “this case boils down to one fundamental question:  Who decides?”

The issue is whether Title VII “should be expanded to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation,” he wrote, adding that responsibility “belongs to Congress and the President in the legislative process, not to this Court.”

Kavanaugh lauded the “extraordinary vision, tenacity, and grit” of the gay and lesbian community for working “hard for many decades to achieve equal treatment in fact and in law.”  But, he added, under separation of powers, “it was Congress’s role, not this Court’s, to amend Title VII.”

Alito made it clear that the “updating desire to which the Court succumbs no doubt rises from humane and generous impulses.” But the “authority of this Court is limited to saying what the law is.”

In their dissents, Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh got it right, and the majority got it wrong. The word “sex”— still today as when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964—refers to our biological reality as male or female. It doesn’t refer to our sexual orientations or malleable gender identities as some see it.

If those terms were contained within Title VII, there would have been no need for Congress to repeatedly try to amend the law to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

In an act of judicial activism, a majority of the Supreme Court has simply legislated from the bench and amended the statute itself.

Congress has not legislated such an outcome, and it was wrong for the court to usurp lawmakers’ authority by imposing such an extreme policy on our nation without the consent of the governed.

COMMENTARY BY

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research.Twitter: .

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: .


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With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

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If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

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The Destructive Coronavirus Agenda

Is there an agenda in which Covid-19 has a role?  And if so, what is that agenda?

Let’s discuss the New World Order and Covid-19.  World government, i.e., the New World Order is part and parcel of this virus.  According to Arthur Thompson, CEO of the John Birch Society, “It is a steppingstone to world order.” It definitely fits, and plays into the globalist’s modus operandi.

One of the left’s standard procedures or tactics for bringing about change is by using an existing issue to manufacture crises.  If there isn’t an issue which can be used, one can always be produced that will serve the purpose.

The way this begins to play-out, the issue is brought to the surface by propaganda agents, which is currently recognized as “Fake News.” Many instances will be reported as evidence of the dire consequences people will be confronted with if remedial action is not immediately forthcoming.

At this point the solution planners, i.e., the ones who planned it all before the start, will surface with the solution to the issue. Invariably, however, the result will always be more control and less freedom for the people.

This is only one example of how the proponents of change are able to incrementally destroy our society and replace it with a system that is diametrically opposed to individual liberty and independence.

It is quite evident that the forces behind the drive for global control, or world government, for some time, have planned to use something like the coronavirus to advance their plans for establishing a Global one World Government.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, is an American physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, within the National Institutes of Health.  He has been closely connected to the World Health Organization (WHO) for many years, and is a good friend of the Director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom whose main advisor is none other than Dr. Ezekiel Immanuel, the man who included “death panels” in Obamacare.  In 2015, Bill Gates forecast a coming pandemic, and in 2017, Anthony Fauci predicted a pandemic for President Trump during a speech at Georgetown University, when he said, “No doubt Donald J. Trump will be confronted with a surprise infectious disease outbreak during his presidency.”  (Dr. Fauci actually wrote adoring letters to Hillary Clinton after her Benghazi testimony and for years prior to that he had worked with Ted Kennedy on HIV/AIDS.)

Dr. Fauci was vaulted into prominence at the White House by Covid-19 Task Force leader, Mike Pence. He was made our infectious disease specialist in charge of our defense against the pandemic that he knew was going to happen, and quite possibly, because of the NIH’s grants to the Wuhan Lab, had been in on the planning.

The Goal is Control

The John Birch Bulletin reports that there are many examples of seminars, reports, and studies by globalists in the last few years that indicate they meant to use a pandemic to start the process of permanent control on a worldwide basis. It includes many of the people within the American government health community, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who has been seen daily at White House briefings and on the mainstream media.

The Birch bulletin stated, “Some of these studies have been in partnership with the Chinese Communists. The Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Scholarship Council, and the Natural Science Foundation of China have been cooperating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health in studies connected to pandemics.”  Dr. Fauci sits on the boards of many of these American organizations.

When you are cooking up a big mulligan stew, it attracts many participants. The high-sounding titles of the many entities shield the character and proclivities of many of those involved. For example, in studies connected to pandemics, why would the National Science Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health be interested and involved in the studies of interest to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chinese Communists? The answer is revealing.

Following is a video of Bill Gates being charged with crimes against humanity in a session of the Italian Parliament. The legislator is speaking in Italian but subtitles are in English.

Bill Gates

James Corbett’s fourth installment of his series on Bill Gates examines Gates’ youth, family history, business strategies, and surprising personal connections (Jeffery Epstein for example).  Altogether, they reveal a disturbing picture of Gates’ rise to fame, fortune, and power. Of particular interest is the fact that his banker father was the head of Planned Parenthood and that the family was connected to a group of wealthy intellectuals who called themselves “Eugenicists.” They advocated so-called public-health programs to sterilize those who are considered by the elite to be unworthy of procreation.

This was the same program that was applied by Hitler to create a super race in Nazi Germany. After the fall of the Nazi regime, American eugenicists needed to distance themselves from Hitler’s sterilization program, so they changed their vocabulary. Eugenicists henceforth were called Population Control. This finally connects the dots between present vaccine design and the Gates’ life-long support of population control.

I personally believe that his population control support goes much deeper than just sterilization of the unfavorable.

According to James Corbett, Gates is generally portrayed as a kindly philanthropist who generously funds projects to improve health and fight poverty. As shown in this report however, the image and the reality are far different. The reality is that Gates, throughout his entire career, has been obsessed with the idea that the human population needs to be drastically reduced and that any means to this end is acceptable, including the creation of vaccines to sterilize people but offered to them as a defense against disease.

Vaccines

With the extreme scare tactics employed regarding Covid-19, we most likely are being set-up.  The development of a vaccine that will meet Gates’ specifications is being done. Gates saw the potential for using vaccines for yet another hidden purpose, for injecting microchips and data tattoos into the skin that, in addition to pushing pharmaceutical concoctions into the blood stream, also embed digital data that can be read by scanners to identify every person on the planet.  Just think what else can be done with this technology. Link

Thomas Jefferson rightly stated, “When the people fear the government – there is tyranny.  “When the government fears the people – there is liberty.”

We are definitely at the point at which the people fear the government. Why? Because the government, for all practical purposes has been taken over by hordes of reprobates, those who God has destined for damnation. They have no regard for the feelings, the rights, or the total well-being of anyone other than themselves, or those who support them.

Bill Gates is obsessed with the idea that the human population of the earth should be drastically reduced and any means to this end is acceptable.

Our Supreme Court supports this.  According to G. Edward Griffin, in Need to Know, attorney Alan Dershowitz says we have no constitutional protection against being forcibly vaccinated because no one has a right to spread a deadly disease.  The Court contends that the state has an obligation to use force, if necessary, to protect the lives of its citizens against the threat of a deadly disease.  Totally and completely unconstitutional to God given freedoms.

This, supposedly, is a proper position, because the defense of life is one of the few proper functions of the just state, but there is no defense of the unborn, neither is there defense of the elderly. The problem is that this position is justified only if the deadly threat is real and not staged as a political ploy, and those who are staging the hoax are the ones who will decide if it is real.  Even the polio vaccines and sugar cubes of the 60s were unnecessary…polio was on its way out, but they continued their damning vaccines … vaccines they knew were grown on monkey kidneys and gave the recipients soft tissue cancers.

Those who challenge them will be imprisoned for spreading false information that endangers public health and safety. Furthermore, in Jacobson vs. Massachusetts the court said that the threat doesn’t even need to be real if those making the decision believe it is. That part of the ruling provided a loophole big enough to drive a truck through because it allows political criminals to escape punishment simply by claiming that they had bad advice. (All this per the comments of G. Edward Griffin)

Orwell’s 1984

We have arrived in Orwell’s 1984, and from the “Robespierre Public Safety ruling during the French Revolution, in which 25,000 Frenchmen were beheaded by the guillotine for acts against the ruling.  There is no guarantee history won’t repeat itself, especially with America’s history daily being destroyed by anarchists.

I believe that during my lifetime, many of the members of the Supreme Court were people who had been turned over to a reprobate mind, otherwise they could not have ruled as they did in so many cases.

In my previous article, Part 10 of The Path to Understanding, I said that Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion on the 5 to 4 ruling by the Supreme Court on the same-sex marriage case stated in his opinion that “gay people” have a fundamental right to marriage. Implicit in this statement is a veiled assertion that this right comes from God. Whether he and the other four justices who concurred in the ruling are aware of it or not, the reference to rights that are fundamental is a reference to God and His authority.

And then, there are all the pro-abortion rulings which many members of the court from 1973 to today will have to answer for. But they will have no answer – for there isn’t one – they will have to face the consequences at the Great White Throne judgment.

Many people have ridiculed scripture and the Great White Throne Judgment. They have laughed and made jokes concerning it. I can see in my mind’s eye that when they approach the throne of God, He says to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Conclusion

What I’ve written is only the tip of the iceberg relative to what we are being set-up for; the complete regimentation of society in which all individuals will act or react in unison with all others.

It is to prepare us for the future as world citizens. We will then do everything by the numbers; no one will have thoughts, or make comments that do not coincide with instructions passed down from the rulers.

Look at all the people wearing masks even after scientific reports have said that masks are completely useless and of no benefit whatever. The sheeple have complied.  It is part of the scenario to establish the national mind-set that we are in crises that all people must be involved in for us to survive, despite the fact that fewer people have perished from Covid than perish from seasonal flu.

Next up, the corruption and cover-up of dangerous vaccines where a doctor is being threatened for exposing the truth of this agenda and the Covid-19 conspiracy.  Link

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Memories of eugenics president erased from USC campus

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Well, maybe.


The past week has seen statues and monuments whose subjects were linked to racism defaced or destroyed in the UK, UK and Australia. The memory cleansing movement also reached the University of Southern California (USC), with a slightly different twist.

The USC President, Carol Folt, swiftly removed the name and bust of her one of her predecessors, Rufus Von KleinSmid, from a prominent historic building on the campus. She was responding to years of agitation to expunge memorials to Von KleinSmid.

In his day, Von KleinSmid was a prominent figure in the United States. He began his career as a professor of education and psychology. In 1914 he became president of the University of Arizona, and moved from there to USC in 1921. He was president of USC for 25 years until 1947.

On his watch, USC experienced a huge expansion and slowly became the major university that it is today. Von KleinSmid was awarded a National Institute of Social Sciences Gold Medal in 1942 and was honoured by 20 national governments for his achievements.

Unfortunately, USC’s president was also an ardent eugenicist. He co-founded the Human Betterment Foundation in 1928, a Pasadena-based think-tank which promoted compulsory sterilization for the improvement of the species. Dr Folt described him as “an active supporter of eugenics [whose] writings on the subject are at direct odds with USC’s multicultural community and our mission of diversity and inclusion.”

There’s no doubt that Von KleinSmid’s views are not acceptable in polite company nowadays. A brief glance at a pamphlet which he wrote in 1913 yields such gems as:

We must all agree that those who, in the nature of the case, can do little else than pass on to their offsprings the defects which make themselves burdens to society, have no ethical right to parenthood. To deny them this privilege is, in the language of John Harris, “no infringement of liberty, it is a curtailment of unbridled license which is a disgrace to our civilization (?) and to our vaunted Christianity. ”

Or

The average worth of the individual to society is constantly lowered because of both the lack of productiveness among the worthy, and the fecundity of the defective. There can be no question of the outcome of the tragedy when society must depend finally upon an average ability too feeble to stand upon its own feet. It is estimated that one million of our population are incarcerated in public institutions, while three times that many, through their own incapability, pull a dead weight against society’s progress.

So there’s no point in denying that Von KleinSmid was a eugenicist, although he could argue in his defense that progressive American intellectuals before World War II shared his views — people like birth control activist Margaret Sanger, African-American rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, botanist Luther Burbank, President Theodore Roosevelt, Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr and others too numerous to list here.

This is just a small incident in the wider movement to purge the US of racism. But it raises a few questions. Von KleinSmid’s sentiments are echoed every day by gynaecologists advising pregnant mothers to abort their Down syndrome child. In fact, a discrete investigation at the USC Keck School of Medicine might be in order if the university wants to purge itself of eugenics.

Isn’t it better to ask how eugenics has evolved rather than to expunge it from the public record? And damnatio memoriae (the Roman habit of rubbing out inscriptions and beheading statues) seems an odd way to obliterate interest in eugenics, which actually seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

As we all have heard many times, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Interestingly, this is the best-known maxim of the Spanish-American philosopher, novelist and Harvard professor George Santayana – who was — yes, you guessed it — a eugenicist! “Some races are obviously superior to others,” he wrote in his highly praised five-volume 1906 book The Life of Reason. It figures: all that remembering stuff corrupts the soul.

So what do we do now?

Here’s a suggestion. Forget it; forget everything. Just make it up as we go along. That way, when we do end up repeating the atrocities of the past, no one will notice.

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet More by Michael Cook

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

‘Harry Potter’ author explains why trans demands are bogus

The author of the Harry Potter series has ignited a firestorm on Twitter over her ‘transphobic’ views.


Skepticism about allowing teenagers to transition to a different gender came from an unexpected source lastweek: J.K. Rowling, the author of the fabulously successful Harry Potter series. She had been provoked by a Twitterstorm over her tweet mocking a Devex headline, “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate”. “People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she wrote. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” She published an extraordinarly clear and informative open letter on her website, which we are republishing here.

This isn’t an easy piece to write, for reasons that will shortly become clear, but I know it’s time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity. I write this without any desire to add to that toxicity.

For people who don’t know: last December I tweeted my support for Maya Forstater, a tax specialist who’d lost her job for what were deemed ‘transphobic’ tweets. She took her case to an employment tribunal, asking the judge to rule on whether a philosophical belief that sex is determined by biology is protected in law. Judge Tayler ruled that it wasn’t.

My interest in trans issues pre-dated Maya’s case by almost two years, during which I followed the debate around the concept of gender identity closely. I’ve met trans people, and read sundry books, blogs and articles by trans people, gender specialists, intersex people, psychologists, safeguarding experts, social workers and doctors, and followed the discourse online and in traditional media. On one level, my interest in this issue has been professional, because I’m writing a crime series, set in the present day, and my fictional female detective is of an age to be interested in, and affected by, these issues herself, but on another, it’s intensely personal, as I’m about to explain.

All the time I’ve been researching and learning, accusations and threats from trans activists have been bubbling in my Twitter timeline. This was initially triggered by a ‘like’. When I started taking an interest in gender identity and transgender matters, I began screenshotting comments that interested me, as a way of reminding myself what I might want to research later. On one occasion, I absent-mindedly ‘liked’ instead of screenshotting. That single ‘like’ was deemed evidence of wrongthink, and a persistent low level of harassment began.

Months later, I compounded my accidental ‘like’ crime by following Magdalen Berns on Twitter. Magdalen was an immensely brave young feminist and lesbian who was dying of an aggressive brain tumour. I followed her because I wanted to contact her directly, which I succeeded in doing. However, as Magdalen was a great believer in the importance of biological sex, and didn’t believe lesbians should be called bigots for not dating trans women with penises, dots were joined in the heads of twitter trans activists, and the level of social media abuse increased.

I mention all this only to explain that I knew perfectly well what was going to happen when I supported Maya. I must have been on my fourth or fifth cancellation by then. I expected the threats of violence, to be told I was literally killing trans people with my hate, to be called cunt and bitch and, of course, for my books to be burned, although one particularly abusive man told me he’d composted them.

What I didn’t expect in the aftermath of my cancellation was the avalanche of emails and letters that came showering down upon me, the overwhelming majority of which were positive, grateful and supportive. They came from a cross-section of kind, empathetic and intelligent people, some of them working in fields dealing with gender dysphoria and trans people, who’re all deeply concerned about the way a socio-political concept is influencing politics, medical practice and safeguarding. They’re worried about the dangers to young people, gay people and about the erosion of women’s and girl’s rights. Above all, they’re worried about a climate of fear that serves nobody – least of all trans youth – well.

What are TERFs?

I’d stepped back from Twitter for many months both before and after tweeting support for Maya, because I knew it was doing nothing good for my mental health. I only returned because I wanted to share a free children’s book during the pandemic. Immediately, activists who clearly believe themselves to be good, kind and progressive people swarmed back into my timeline, assuming a right to police my speech, accuse me of hatred, call me misogynistic slurs and, above all – as every woman involved in this debate will know – TERF.

If you didn’t already know – and why should you? – ‘TERF’ is an acronym coined by trans activists, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In practice, a huge and diverse cross-section of women are currently being called TERFs and the vast majority have never been radical feminists. Examples of so-called TERFs range from the mother of a gay child who was afraid their child wanted to transition to escape homophobic bullying, to a hitherto totally unfeminist older lady who’s vowed never to visit Marks & Spencer again because they’re allowing any man who says they identify as a woman into the women’s changing rooms. Ironically, radical feminists aren’t even trans-exclusionary – they include trans men in their feminism, because they were born women.

But accusations of TERFery have been sufficient to intimidate many people, institutions and organisations I once admired, who’re cowering before the tactics of the playground. ‘They’ll call us transphobic!’ ‘They’ll say I hate trans people!’ What next, they’ll say you’ve got fleas? Speaking as a biological woman, a lot of people in positions of power really need to grow a pair (which is doubtless literally possible, according to the kind of people who argue that clownfish prove humans aren’t a dimorphic species).

So why am I doing this? Why speak up? Why not quietly do my research and keep my head down?

Well, I’ve got five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism, and deciding I need to speak up.

Firstly, I have a charitable trust that focuses on alleviating social deprivation in Scotland, with a particular emphasis on women and children. Among other things, my trust supports projects for female prisoners and for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. I also fund medical research into MS, a disease that behaves very differently in men and women. It’s been clear to me for a while that the new trans activism is having (or is likely to have, if all its demands are met) a significant impact on many of the causes I support, because it’s pushing to erode the legal definition of sex and replace it with gender.

The second reason is that I’m an ex-teacher and the founder of a children’s charity, which gives me an interest in both education and safeguarding. Like many others, I have deep concerns about the effect the trans rights movement is having on both.

The third is that, as a much-banned author, I’m interested in freedom of speech and have publicly defended it, even unto Donald Trump.

Protecting young women

The fourth is where things start to get truly personal. I’m concerned about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning (returning to their original sex), because they regret taking steps that have, in some cases, altered their bodies irrevocably, and taken away their fertility. Some say they decided to transition after realising they were same-sex attracted, and that transitioning was partly driven by homophobia, either in society or in their families.

Most people probably aren’t aware – I certainly wasn’t, until I started researching this issue properly – that ten years ago, the majority of people wanting to transition to the opposite sex were male. That ratio has now reversed. The UK has experienced a 4400% increase in girls being referred for transitioning treatment. Autistic girls are hugely overrepresented in their numbers.

The same phenomenon has been seen in the US. In 2018,  American physician and researcher Lisa Littman set out to explore it. In an interview, she said:

‘Parents online were describing a very unusual pattern of transgender-identification where multiple friends and even entire friend groups became transgender-identified at the same time. I would have been remiss had I not considered social contagion and peer influences as potential factors.’

Littman mentioned Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram and YouTube as contributing factors to Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, where she believes that in the realm of transgender identification ‘youth have created particularly insular echo chambers.’

Her paper caused a furore. She was accused of bias and of spreading misinformation about transgender people, subjected to a tsunami of abuse and a concerted campaign to discredit both her and her work. The journal took the paper offline and re-reviewed it before republishing it. However, her career took a similar hit to that suffered by Maya Forstater. Lisa Littman had dared challenge one of the central tenets of trans activism, which is that a person’s gender identity is innate, like sexual orientation. Nobody, the activists insisted, could ever be persuaded into being trans.

The argument of many current trans activists is that if you don’t let a gender dysphoric teenager transition, they will kill themselves. In an article explaining why he resigned from the Tavistock (an NHS gender clinic in England) psychiatrist Marcus Evans stated that claims that children will kill themselves if not permitted to transition do not ‘align substantially with any robust data or studies in this area. Nor do they align with the cases I have encountered over decades as a psychotherapist.’

The writings of young trans men reveal a group of notably sensitive and clever people.  The more of their accounts of gender dysphoria I’ve read, with their insightful descriptions of anxiety, dissociation, eating disorders, self-harm and self-hatred, the more I’ve wondered whether, if I’d been born 30 years later, I too might have tried to transition. The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge. I struggled with severe OCD as a teenager. If I’d found community and sympathy online that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment, I believe I could have been persuaded to turn myself into the son my father had openly said he’d have preferred.

When I read about the theory of gender identity, I remember how mentally sexless I felt in youth. I remember Colette’s description of herself as a ‘mental hermaphrodite’ and Simone de Beauvoir’s words: ‘It is perfectly natural for the future woman to feel indignant at the limitations posed upon her by her sex. The real question is not why she should reject them: the problem is rather to understand why she accepts them.’

As I didn’t have a realistic possibility of becoming a man back in the 1980s, it had to be books and music that got me through both my mental health issues and the sexualised scrutiny and judgement that sets so many girls to war against their bodies in their teens. Fortunately for me, I found my own sense of otherness, and my ambivalence about being a woman, reflected in the work of female writers and musicians who reassured me that, in spite of everything a sexist world tries to throw at the female-bodied, it’s fine not to feel pink, frilly and compliant inside your own head; it’s OK to feel confused, dark, both sexual and non-sexual, unsure of what or who you are.

I want to be very clear here: I know transition will be a solution for some gender dysphoric people, although I’m also aware through extensive research that studies have consistently shown that between 60-90% of gender dysphoric teens will grow out of their dysphoria. Again and again I’ve been told to ‘just meet some trans people.’ I have: in addition to a few younger people, who were all adorable, I happen to know a self-described transsexual woman who’s older than I am and wonderful. Although she’s open about her past as a gay man, I’ve always found it hard to think of her as anything other than a woman, and I believe (and certainly hope) she’s completely happy to have transitioned. Being older, though, she went through a long and rigorous process of evaluation, psychotherapy and staged transformation. The current explosion of trans activism is urging a removal of almost all the robust systems through which candidates for sex reassignment were once required to pass. A man who intends to have no surgery and take no hormones may now secure himself a Gender Recognition Certificate and be a woman in the sight of the law. Many people aren’t aware of this.

Misogyny ascendant

We’re living through the most misogynistic period I’ve experienced. Back in the 80s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls. Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanised to the extent they are now. From the leader of the free world’s long history of sexual assault accusations and his proud boast of ‘grabbing them by the pussy’, to the incel (‘involuntarily celibate’) movement that rages against women who won’t give them sex, to the trans activists who declare that TERFs need punching and re-educating, men across the political spectrum seem to agree: women are asking for trouble. Everywhere, women are being told to shut up and sit down, or else.

I’ve read all the arguments about femaleness not residing in the sexed body, and the assertions that biological women don’t have common experiences, and I find them, too, deeply misogynistic and regressive. It’s also clear that one of the objectives of denying the importance of sex is to erode what some seem to see as the cruelly segregationist idea of women having their own biological realities or – just as threatening – unifying realities that make them a cohesive political class. The hundreds of emails I’ve received in the last few days prove this erosion concerns many others just as much.  It isn’t enough for women to be trans allies. Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves.

But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive. Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning. I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who’ve had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating.

On a personal note

Which brings me to the fifth reason I’m deeply concerned about the consequences of the current trans activism.

I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember. I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too. However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life, and she encouraged me to go ahead.

I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.

I managed to escape my first violent marriage with some difficulty, but I’m now married to a truly good and principled man, safe and secure in ways I never in a million years expected to be. However, the scars left by violence and sexual assault don’t disappear, no matter how loved you are, and no matter how much money you’ve made. My perennial jumpiness is a family joke – and even I know it’s funny – but I pray my daughters never have the same reasons I do for hating sudden loud noises, or finding people behind me when I haven’t heard them approaching.

If you could come inside my head and understand what I feel when I read about a trans woman dying at the hands of a violent man, you’d find solidarity and kinship. I have a visceral sense of the terror in which those trans women will have spent their last seconds on earth, because I too have known moments of blind fear when I realised that the only thing keeping me alive was the shaky self-restraint of my attacker.

I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men.

So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.

On Saturday morning, I read that the Scottish government is proceeding with its controversial gender recognition plans, which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one. To use a very contemporary word, I was ‘triggered’. Ground down by the relentless attacks from trans activists on social media, when I was only there to give children feedback about pictures they’d drawn for my book under lockdown, I spent much of Saturday in a very dark place inside my head, as memories of a serious sexual assault I suffered in my twenties recurred on a loop. That assault happened at a time and in a space where I was vulnerable, and a man capitalised on an opportunity.  I couldn’t shut out those memories and I was finding it hard to contain my anger and disappointment about the way I believe my government is playing fast and loose with womens and girls’ safety.

Late on Saturday evening, scrolling through children’s pictures before I went to bed, I forgot the first rule of Twitter – never, ever expect a nuanced conversation – and reacted to what I felt was degrading language about women. I spoke up about the importance of sex and have been paying the price ever since. I was transphobic, I was a cunt, a bitch, a TERF, I deserved cancelling, punching and death. You are Voldemort said one person, clearly feeling this was the only language I’d understand.

Defying trans activists

It would be so much easier to tweet the approved hashtags – because of course trans rights are human rights and of course trans lives matter – scoop up the woke cookies and bask in a virtue-signalling afterglow. There’s joy, relief and safety in conformity. As Simone de Beauvoir also wrote, “… without a doubt it is more comfortable to endure blind bondage than to work for one’s liberation; the dead, too, are better suited to the earth than the living.”

Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence.

But endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces. Polls show those women are in the vast majority, and exclude only those privileged or lucky enough never to have come up against male violence or sexual assault, and who’ve never troubled to educate themselves on how prevalent it is.

The one thing that gives me hope is that the women who can protest and organise, are doing so, and they have some truly decent men and trans people alongside them. Political parties seeking to appease the loudest voices in this debate are ignoring women’s concerns at their peril. In the UK, women are reaching out to each other across party lines, concerned about the erosion of their hard-won rights and widespread intimidation. None of the gender critical women I’ve talked to hates trans people; on the contrary. Many of them became interested in this issue in the first place out of concern for trans youth, and they’re hugely sympathetic towards trans adults who simply want to live their lives, but who’re facing a backlash for a brand of activism they don’t endorse. The supreme irony is that the attempt to silence women with the word ‘TERF’ may have pushed more young women towards radical feminism than the movement’s seen in decades.

The last thing I want to say is this. I haven’t written this essay in the hope that anybody will get out a violin for me, not even a teeny-weeny one. I’m extraordinarily fortunate; I’m a survivor, certainly not a victim. I’ve only mentioned my past because, like every other human being on this planet, I have a complex backstory, which shapes my fears, my interests and my opinions. I never forget that inner complexity when I’m creating a fictional character and I certainly never forget it when it comes to trans people.

All I’m asking – all I want – is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.

This letter, originally titled “J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues“, has been republished from her website.

COLUMN BY

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is best-known as the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007. The enduringly popular adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione have gone on… More by J.K. Rowling

RELATED VIDEO: CBC Kids calls JK Rowling “transphobic” in show for ages 6+: Andrew Lawton with Ezra Levant

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

Did “Roe” Really Recant?

A new FX documentary, AKA Jane Roe, raises many questions about the real Jane Roe.

Jane Roe, who pseudonymously sought an abortion in Texas, was at the heart of the infamous 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. She claimed she had been impregnated in a gang-rape.

In the mid-1980s, Roe was revealed to be Norma McCorvey.

In the mid-1990s, she stunned the world by professing to have become a Christian and an opponent of abortion. She then claimed she had never been raped at all.

And now comes a documentary in which she, in the final year of her life, apparently claims that her switch to the pro-life position was all an act, for which she was paid.

It should be noted she was paid to appear in the FX documentary. Nick Sweeney, the documentary producer, has made movies about sex robots and girls becoming “boys.”

The Daily Beast reports on perhaps the most critical scene in the FX documentary:

“This is my deathbed confession,” [McCorvey] chuckles, sitting in a chair in her nursing home room, on oxygen. Sweeney asks McCorvey, “Did [the evangelicals] use you as a trophy?” “Of course,” she replies. “I was the Big Fish.” “Do you think you would say that you used them?” Sweeney responds. “Well,” says McCorvey, “I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. That’s what I’d say.” She even gives an example of her scripted anti-abortion lines. “I’m a good actress,” she points out. “Of course, I’m not acting now.” 

In addition, she is alleged to have said that she didn’t really care if a woman got an abortion. This doesn’t seem to fit the picture of the reborn Norma. However, in the big picture of things, the preview appears to contradict the vast majority of her words and deeds, from the time of her conversion in 1995 to her death in 2017. She even unsuccessfully sought to have the Supreme Court overturn Roe since it was all based on lies.

As reports came out last week about this disturbing new documentary, many prolife leaders that knew Norma McCorvey personally have spoken out to say that this is not the Norma McCorvey they have known all these years—nor does it represent who she truly was.

Cheryl Sullenger is the Senior Policy Advisor for the activist pro-life group, Operation Rescue—a group that played a critical role in McCorvey’s stated conversions to Christianity and to the pro-life position.

Cheryl told me: “I knew Norma personally….I have seen her in unguarded moments. She was a person that was a bit rough around the edges, but that never bothered me. If she was in a mood, she could say things that were controversial or even shocking, but I can attest that she was always pro-life.”

On my radio show, Sullenger added that the claim McCorvey received money from the prolife movement proves nothing. Receiving honoraria for speaking engagements is a common practice, no matter one’s politics.

Furthermore, Norma claims in the FX documentary that they (pro-lifers/the evangelicals/the Catholics) told her what to say. That can sound worse than it was. Sullenger noted that Norma had little education and she was not a polished public speaker. Thus, in various venues in which she spoke, speech writers crafted the copy she read. That type of thing happens all the time, again, no matter one’s politics.

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, knew Norma McCorvey for 22 years. He said about her, “Her desire to protect children in the womb was no act.” On my radio show, Father Pavone noted that the documentary interview was in May 2016, but she died in February 2017. This was no “deathbed confession.” He also noted that Norma was unpredictable. You never knew what would come out of her mouth.

He notes that the producers of the FX film never asked him for an interview, despite how close he was to Norma. Father Pavone, who preached her funeral, even spoke with Norma on the day she died (by phone), and he says she told him to keep up the fight on behalf of the unborn.

I also spoke with Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director, whose dramatic pro-life conversion is described in her book (with Cindy Lambert) and movie, Unplanned. She said pro-lifers should not be distracted by this recent controversy: “Stay focused on the goal—abortion is wrong no matter what.”

Only God knows the heart. Norma McCorvey was a fiery, unpredictable woman with rough edges. But regardless of who was telling the truth between the Norma of 1995 and the Norma of 2016 (in that one interview), the realities of abortion, legalized in her court case, do not change. Abortion unjustly takes an innocent human life, and does incredible damage to the mother. That’s not a matter of changing opinions or the passage of time. That’s a fact.

©All rights reserved.

‘It Isn’t Hate to Speak the Truth’: J.K. Rowling Bravely Defies Political Correctness

Editor’s note: On Saturday, J.K. Rowling tweeted the following—a brave statement in our current era of politically correct language around sex.

Unsurprisingly, Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series, was attacked by LGBT activists.


The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>


Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time there’s been a push to say that it’s not true that only women have periods. We’re reprinting a Daily Signal article from 2019 that looked at why this was such a big push among certain activists.

A friend of mine has an amusing tale of a heated fight she got in as a child with her then-teenage brothers that culminated in her accusing them of getting periods.

Needless to say, my friend didn’t end up with the upper hand in that particular sibling squabble.

But maybe she was just ahead of her time with her gender-neutral vision on periods.

Always, a brand of period pads, recently announced it will take the Venus symbol off its products. Always is “committed to diversity and inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers,” the brand noted in a statement.

Because in 2019, it’s apparently controversial to say that only women get periods.

For years, woke activists have been pushing for language to shift on the issues of periods and pregnancy. Thinx, a brand of underwear designed to be worn during periods, apologized during “Transgender Awareness Week” in 2015 for focusing too much on women.

“We feel it is our responsibility to send a reminder that menstruation is not a trait of, nor a defining factor of, a specific gender. It is something that can occur amongst all people,” the brand wrote at the time.

Two years later, Glamour magazine approvingly covered the open-mindedness of new menstruation products company Aunt Flow: “There’s also the recognition that it’s not just cisgender women who get periods: Trans men and people who don’t identify as one gender get them too, so the company has eliminated the gendered pronouns of her and she from their materials.”

In 2016, the Twitter hashtag #IfMenHadPeriods was controversial—for suggesting that men didn’t have periods.

Of course Planned Parenthood has jumped on the bandwagon, too, carefully talking about periods on its site in a gender-neutral way: “Not everybody who gets a period identifies as a girl or woman. Transgender men and genderqueer people who have uteruses, vaginas, fallopian tubes, and ovaries also get their periods.”

So now if you wear a kimono or don a Native American headdress—no matter how respectfully—that’s cultural appropriation and inappropriate if you are not Japanese or Native American.

But if you want to label a female experience—one that is dependent on having female body parts at birth—as being gender-neutral, that’s A-OK.

So at least for today, ethnic appropriation gets you hurled into cancel culture. But gender appropriation gets you celebrated.

How is that fair?

As someone who has dealt with many an Always pad caked with my blood, I’m done with this nonsense.

Too much information? Well, sorry, but perhaps it’s our era’s almost Victorian prudishness about our bodies that has gotten us in this absurd Orwellian experiment where the appropriate way to talk is to discuss inherently female realities, like periods and pregnancies, as gender-neutral.

They simply are not.

It’s girls who are told that someday, they’ll have to deal with bleeding every month. It’s women who attend classes and hold jobs and juggle a million other things while their insides are churned and every last drop of blood is wrung out via too often painful cramps. It’s women who have to plan ahead and carry period pads or tampons or other products so they’re not splashing blood around in the course of everyday life. It’s women who stare at the blood, and realize they’re not pregnant—whether that’s welcome or unwelcome news.

This isn’t a universal experience, or one shared by men.

If someone who identifies as gender-neutral or male has a period, it’s because that person was born with female body parts—parts associated for millennia with women.

But of course, LGBT and other woke activists are ready to erase thousands of years of shared female experience just to ensure that a transgender or nonbinary person never has to be challenged in his worldview that perhaps our bodies are relevant to our gender.

So here’s a thought: Maybe if the language of women getting periods or a big company slapping a Venus symbol on menstruation products threatens you that much, it’s because you’re trying to silence something within you.

Everyone holds beliefs that aren’t celebrated by society. My religious views are constantly criticized or targeted by atheists or people of another faith. So are my political views. (Try telling people that you like some of President Donald Trump’s policies in, oh, any blue state.) Sometimes I speak back. Other times I hold my tongue.

A couple of years ago, I needed to buy shoes for a hike of several days that I was going on. I have wide feet, and after trying on a bunch of different pairs of shoes, I realized the pair that fit the best was a style of men’s shoes, not women’s. I was mortified: Why couldn’t the company have made women’s shoes in wide instead of me needing to wear men’s shoes?

Then I realized I was being absurd. I knew I was a woman, no matter what some company’s shoe sizing showed.

So I kept the shoes. And no, I never called the company and demanded they start identifying the shoes as gender-neutral.

Because at the end of the day, it wasn’t keeping me up at night.

Transgender people should be treated with respect and love, just like everyone else. But that does not mean all of society—from companies to individuals—should be forced to kowtow and affirm their preferred version of reality.

There are differences between men and women, and menstruating is one of them.

In our digital-dominated world, we seem to be veering further and further away from biological realities. We’re told it’s our minds and our spirits that determine our gender, not our actual bodies. We are ramping up the artificial-intelligence abilities of sex robots so no one has to be hassled by needing a real person for sexual gratification.

Writer Bridget Phetasy, speaking on Joe Rogan’s podcast in a recent episode, mentioned hearing a panel a few years back discuss whether eventually life itself would leap from its current carbon form to some new material.

So here’s a revolutionary idea: Our bodies matter.

Women having periods matters, and menstruation is a part of the female experience—no matter how inconvenient that fact is for transgender people who want to identify as female (but don’t have a period) or identify as male (but do have a period).

Every company in America, and in the world, can change their language and symbols to make it appear that periods are gender-neutral.

But that won’t erase the reality that they’re not.

And once today’s activists realize that, there’s going to be a lot of disappointment.

COMMENTARY BY

Katrina Trinko is editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Daily Signal PodcastSend an email to Katrina. Twitter:


Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY


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

The sky’s the limit for commercial space flight

Will SpaceX be the first step towards colonising the solar system?


On Saturday, May 30, American astronauts flew into orbit on an American-made space vehicle for the first time since 2011. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carried Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, both veterans of the old Space Shuttle program, inside the Dragon capsule, and once the capsule separated safely, the first stage returned automatically to earth and landed intact on a barge to be reused.

Meanwhile, the Dragon capsule caught up to the International Space Station (ISS) where the astronauts will stay for the next several months. The return flight in the Dragon capsule is planned to end in the ocean, a mode of re-entry that hasn’t been done for over 40 years.

Many news reports remarked on the contrast between the good news of a successful launch and the general tone of recent US news events: the Covid-19 virus and all its consequences, riots over police brutality, and so on. But this is nothing new.

The space race between the US and the USSR over who would get to the moon first was conducted during what was probably the most tumultuous decade in the last half of the twentieth century. The 1960s were not exactly peaceful: the Vietnam War, antiwar protests, race riots, and the sexual revolution are just a few items of turmoil that come to mind. But amid all the strife, America found the will and the capability to land men on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Engineers are not much into symbolism. But space exploration carries a heavy load of symbolism, and it’s worthwhile considering what that means in light of the huge effort and expense that sending people into space entails.

In retrospect, the Apollo program was mainly a way to carry on the Cold War by peaceful means. Its extraordinary expense was justified not for scientific reasons, although there was some useful science done. But being the first nation to put men on the moon would show our technological superiority to the world, and in an age dominated by technology, that achievement had implications that everyone understood. It took a couple more decades for the USSR to crumble away, but it did.

Nevertheless, in their rough-and-ready way, the Russians maintained their ability to travel into space despite all kinds of political reverses, and once the Space Shuttle program outlived its usefulness, America turned inward with regard to space and paid taxi fare to the Russians to put people on the International Space Station.

When one asks about the ultimate motivations of the younger generation of space cadets—Elon Musk being their spiritual leader—the answer isn’t as clear-cut as it was for my generation. Nationalism pure and simple doesn’t seem to be a big factor, although Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, is enough of an American to take pride in the fact that the rocket was made here and launched from here.

To be sure, profit is a motive as well. That’s why the fact that SpaceX and not NASA was the builder of the rocket is so significant. It may be the case that SpaceX is a long way from turning a profit with direct commercial space activities, as opposed to government-subsidized projects such as the ISS launches. But with ideas such as asteroid mining around, it may be that some of the next great fortunes may be made in space.

If I had to guess, though, I’d say that the new space explorers see themselves taking part in a long-term project that will end up putting significant numbers of people out in space, in places that will be just as habitable as Earth, if not more so.

Every so often I come across a student who wants to get involved in the space program somehow, and there’s often a kind of glitter in their eye when they talk about it. The phrase “manifest destiny” has fallen under a cloud in recent years, as its original meaning that the United States was destined to conquer the whole midsection of the North American continent has been taken to be insensitive to the people (and animals) who were already here.

But presumably, displacing natives is not a big problem in the solar system, at least. And believing that humanity is fated to found colonies on other planets, and perhaps beyond the solar system, seems to be close to an article of faith for many space enthusiasts.

It’s interesting that the word “fate” came up in a quote from Musk himself as he commented on the successful launch yesterday. Remarking on the contrast between Saturday’s successful launch and the earlier attempts that were scrubbed by weather conditions, he said, “Today, I don’t know, it felt like just the fates were aligned.”

Without putting undue weight on what may have been just an offhand remark, I think it’s interesting that the leader of the company that launched Americans into space for the first time in nearly a decade attributes success to the fates being aligned.

Musk mixed his metaphors, for one thing. The usual phrase is to say that the stars are aligned, which harks back to the time when astrology—forecasting auspicious times and events by observing stars and planets—was every bit as respectable as forecasting the progress of pandemics is today. And the Fates were mythological goddesses who presumably determined one’s lifespan and, well, fate in life.

Either way, he was saying that despite all the highly technical and cross-checked planning involved, there is an element in the venture that wasn’t under human control. But we don’t believe in Fates or astrology anymore, do we?

It depends on what you think life and the world are about. If the most one has to look forward to is playing a brief role on a stage where your only hope of immortality is to make a big splash that will be remembered by future generations, then living a Musk-like life makes some sense, especially if humanity is fated to live among the stars. Then you will be viewed by future generations as a Columbus (if that name isn’t too offensive anymore), or someone equally famous for venturing out to discover and eventually populate new worlds.

But if everything we do and are is owing to a supernatural Ground of existence, namely a God who is intensely interested in what we puny humans do, then one has a different perspective on things.

It still may be worthwhile to explore space, and even for some people to live there. But other priorities and other goals may intervene.

Republished with permission from the Engineering Ethics Blog.

COLUMN BY

Karl D. Stephan

Karl D. Stephan received the B. S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1976. Following a year of graduate study at Cornell, he received the Master of Engineering degree in 1977… More by Karl D. Stephan

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

VIDEO: The Incredible Journey of Elon Musk — The Story Of SpaceX

Nerdiest reports:

In 2001, Musk conceptualized “Mars Oasis”; a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse on Mars, containing food crops growing on Martian regolith, in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration.

In October 2001, Musk traveled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell (an aerospace supplies fixer), and Adeo Ressi (his best friend from college), to buy refurbished Dnepr Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could send the envisioned payloads into space. The group met with companies such as NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras; however, according to Cantrell, Musk was seen as a novice and was consequently spat on by one of the Russian chief designers and the group returned to the United States empty-handed.

In February 2002, the group returned to Russia to look for three ICBMs, bringing along Mike Griffin. Griffin had worked for the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, as well as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was just leaving Orbital Sciences, a maker of satellites and spacecraft. The group met again with Kosmotras and were offered one rocket for US$8 million, however, this was seen by Musk as too expensive; Musk consequently stormed out of the meeting. On the flight back from Moscow, Musk realized that he could start a company that could build the affordable rockets he needed. According to early Tesla and SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson, Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time.

It was concluded that theoretically, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70-percent gross margin. Ultimately, Musk ended up founding SpaceX with the long-term goal of creating a “true spacefaring civilization”.

With US$100 million of his early fortune, Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, in May 2002.

Musk is chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of the Hawthorne, California-based company. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology. The company’s first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a nod to Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon), and its first spacecraft is the Dragon (a nod to Puff the Magic Dragon).

In seven years, SpaceX designed the family of Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft. In September 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fueled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth orbit.

On May 25, 2012, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and berth a vehicle to the International Space Station.

©All rights reserved.

Interrogating the Transgender Agenda

A psychiatrist questions the scientific and medical basis for current treatments of gender dysphoria.


Dr Paul McHugh is one of America’s leading psychiatrists. The article below is his testimony to the US Supreme Court in the case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

An employee of the funeral home, Aimee Stephens, decided to transition from a man to a woman in 2013. Her employer sacked her. Stephens sued. The case rose steadily through the courts. Although Stephens died of kidney disease last month at the age of 59, her estate is carrying on the lawsuit.

This is a very significant case. At stake is whether bans on sex discrimination in the United States also include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Dr McHugh’s expertise is helpful in questioning a so-called scientific imperative for gender affirmation. (Footnotes and references have been removed and the text has been slightly abridged.)


Sex refers to the two halves of humanity, male and female. It is well defined based on the binary roles that males and females play in reproduction. “In biology, an organism is male or female if it is structured to perform one of the respective roles in reproduction. This definition does not require any arbitrary measurable or quantifiable physical characteristics or behaviors, it requires understanding the reproductive system and the reproduction process.”

The structural difference for the purpose of reproduction is the only “widely accepted” way of classifying the two sexes. “This conceptual basis for sex roles is binary and stable, and allows us to distinguish males from females on the grounds of their reproductive systems, even when these individuals exhibit behaviors that are not typical of males or females.”

Sex is not and cannot be “assigned at birth,” despite the assertions of the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Respondents. The language of “assigned at birth” is purposefully misleading and would be identical to an assertion that blood type is assigned at birth. Yes, a doctor can check your blood type and list it. But blood type, like sex, is objectively recognizable, not assigned. In fact, the sex of a child can be ascertained well before birth.

“Gender identity” has no bearing on a male’s or a female’s sex. Stephens [legal team] maintains that, although in every biological and physiological way a man, Stephens is really a woman. Stephens felt a deep affinity towards things that are culturally and stereotypically associated with girls. But Stephens was not, and is not, a girl no matter how many of the stereotypes about girls Stephens adopts and no matter how deeply Stephens believes that affinity for those stereotypes about females transforms Stephens into a female.

A boy mind in a girl body?

The “popular notion regarding gender identity” that says a person has a “boy mind in a girl body” or vice versa is merely an idiom used by a person seeking to describe some type of distress to others. Just as we have seen before during the height of the discredited multiple personality disorder era, such testimonials are not truth, even if one asserts it as a truth claim. Such a “view implies that gender identity is a persistent and innate feature of human psychology.” But based on “the neurobiological and genetic research on the origins of gender identity, there is little evidence that the phenomenon of transgender identity has a biological basis.” There are problems with the methodological limitations of any imaging study that assesses “girl brain” and “boy brain” theories:

[I]t is now widely recognized among psychiatrists and neuroscientists who engage in brain imaging research that there are inherent and ineradicable methodological limitations of any neuroimaging study that simply associates a particular trait, such as a certain behavior, with a particular brain morphology. (And when the trait in question is not a concrete behavior but something as elusive and vague as “gender identity,” these methodological problems are even more serious).

[Therefore] there are no studies that demonstrate that any of the biological differences being examined have predictive power, and so all interpretations, usually in popular outlets, claiming or suggesting that a statistically significant difference between the brains of people who are transgender and those who are not is the cause of being transgendered or not — that is to say, that the biological differences determine the differences in gender identity — are unwarranted. In short, the current studies on associations between brain structure and transgender identity are small, methodologically limited, inconclusive, and sometimes contradictory.

In short, science does not support the notion that gender identity is an innate, immutable physical property of human beings. One’s sense of self and one’s desire to present to others as a member of the opposite sex have no bearing whatsoever upon the objective biological reality that one is male or female.

Even if evidence existed that brain studies showed differences, which they do not, it would not tell us whether the brain differences are the cause of transgender identity or a result of identifying and acting upon their own stereotypes about the opposite sex, through what is known as “neuroplasticity.”

Regardless of the extent transgender identities and aspects of the brain could correlate in some way, none of this speaks to the question of biological sex. Even if there was a biological basis for people to think they’re the opposite sex, that does not make them so.

No matter how difficult the condition of gender dysphoria may be, nothing about it affects the objective reality that those suffering from it remain the male or female persons that they were in the womb, at birth, and thereafter – any more than an anorexic’s belief that she is overweight changes the fact that she is, in reality, slender.

Gender identity is not immutable, but is based on persons’ beliefs associating themselves with whatever stereotypes they have about people of the opposite sex. It is a subjective perception not limited to the two sexes, but expands to categories other than male or female. Contrarily, sex is not a belief. It is an objective and scientifically demonstrable reality.

Stephens, as well as the APA and AMA, asserts that “everyone has a gender identity, which is ‘one’s internal, deeply held sense of gender.’” The APA’s and the AMA’s proffered descriptions of gender identity operate, in all essentials, analogous to a religious belief system. But neither the sincerity of a religious belief nor the sincerity of a person’s beliefs about gender identity determine reality. Even the Sixth Circuit noted that gender identity has an “internal genesis that lacks a fixed external referent,” and much like religion, should be “authenticat[ed]” through professions of identity rather than “medical diagnoses.” But because it is more like a belief system, it does a great disservice to everyone, those suffering with gender dysphoria and others who are affected, to treat gender identity like sex. A person is either a man or a woman, regardless of what anyone — including that person — happens to believe.

Sex is not a social construct

Some of the errors described above may have led to the Sixth Circuit’s mistaken conclusion that employers that have sex-specific policies based on their employees’ sex instead of their gender identity “necessarily” rely on “stereotypical notions of how sexual organs and gender identity ought to align.” However, the exact opposite is true. Gender identity is a social construct that stands in contradistinction to sex. The biological reality of sex is not a stereotype or social construct.

The irony of course is that labeling sex itself as an illicit stereotype turns everything on its head and actually elevates stereotypes as a reason to treat members of the same sex differently. An employer that has sex-specific policies would be treating all employees equally based on their sex. But, an employer who instead, had “gender identity-specific” policies, would by definition be treating employees of the same sex differently, and basing the different treatment on socially constructed sex stereotypes.

Sex matters in various contexts. Getting the definition wrong affects those areas. If the definition of “sex” is rewritten to mean “gender identity,” doing so both deconstructs the meaning of “sex” and undermines the ability to account for those situations where the distinctions between the two halves of humanity matter.

In addition to bodily privacy in locker rooms, restrooms, and changing facilities (where sex distinctions are crucial based on the bodily differences between the sexes, which accounts for separate facilities in the first place) or the ability to maintain competitive athletic environments for females (again due to bodily differences), we must maintain both the language and the legal construct to recognize sex in other settings such as where strip searches must occur. An inability to do so will put those being searched — including children — in situations where a person of the opposite sex (who identifies with their sex) conducts the search.

Similarly, if we are to disconnect sex from our anatomical differences, other unreasonable demands will be made of persons, such as beauticians in the business of waxing being asked to wax the genitals of a man who identifies as a woman. Even our understanding of sexual orientation is based on sex, not gender identity. Because distinctions based on sex matter in myriad contexts (many of which may only be discovered as the consequences of this experiment unfold), this Court should be slow to muddle the definitions of sex and gender identity.

Treating gender dysphoria

While this case involves the question of whether the term “sex” in federal law means gender identity or includes gender identity, the AMA asks the Court to consider the policy implications, namely the notion that protections under Title VII are necessary to advance the treatment goals of those with gender dysphoria. It claims that science shows that transgender individuals benefit from being affirmed in their beliefs about their sex, from social transition, from hormonal interventions, and from surgeries.

However, these professional associations rely on mere testimonials rather than evidence-based medicine. They treat the supposed benefits of gender affirmation as fact, rather than a clinical judgment call. And we ought not make policy decisions in the name of science when the kind of evidence necessary to support these “treatments” simply does not exist. Instead, those who are affirmed in their gender beliefs progress from social transition to surgical interventions at their peril. Indeed, if the evidence shows us anything, it indicates that those who progress all the way through surgery fare poorly.

Gender affirmation and social transition

The AMA suggests that the many difficulties that are sadly experienced by those who identify with the opposite sex are caused by social stigma. What is necessary, they claim, is that those with gender dysphoria be affirmed in their beliefs. From there, the protocol calls for three phases: (1) social transition, (2) hormone therapy, and (3) surgical interventions.

However, subjecting gender dysphoric persons to this protocol is risky because there is little evidence that social transition is the panacea that the AMA makes it out to be. Often it is a self (or therapist) fulfilling prophecy. Worse, gender affirmation does not end with social transition, but leads to medical and surgical interventions. Even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) itself admits that “no controlled clinical trials of any feminizing/masculinizing hormone regimen have been conducted to evaluate safety or efficacy in producing physical transition.”

Moreover, some patients wish to detransition, and “the potential that patients undergoing medical and surgical sex reassignment may want to return to a gender identity consistent with their biological sex suggests that reassignment carries considerable psychological and physical risk.” This also “suggests that patients’ pre-treatment beliefs about an ideal post-treatment life may sometimes go unrealized.”

This protocol begins with the notion that gender affirmation is necessary in order to avoid social stigma. And while we should all agree that all persons should be treated with respect, blame should not be laid at the feet of friends, relatives, or co-workers who believe that social transition may not be in a person’s best interest. In fact, even in environments that are fully supportive of transition, “a large number of people who have the surgery . . . remain traumatized — often to the point of committing suicide.”

The most thorough follow-up of sex reassigned people — extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive . . . documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex- reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers. Clearly poor outcomes cannot be blamed on lack of acceptance.

Contrary to what the AMA proposes, there is insufficient evidence that any phase of treatment is helpful. Instead, some studies suggest that not following the protocol may have more positive results. It is unacceptable to have lower standards of care for a group already at a far greater risk for psychological problems and suicide. Doctor Susan Bewley told the BBC in a Newsnight special that “We must not miss the opportunity to do good research now, helping . . . concerned clinicians actually deal with the uncertainty of what they’re doing.”18

Failing to address root issues

Previous editions of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, as recent as 2013, listed “gender identity disorder” rather than “gender dysphoria.” And until recently, clinical distress was not a part of the diagnosis criteria, indicating professional concern for anyone who manifests an incongruence between biological sex and gender identity — not just those who experience distress.

People who identify as transgender “suffer a disorder of ‘assumption’ like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists.” “The ‘disordered assumption’ of those who identify as the opposite sex . . . is similar to the faulty assumption of those who suffer from anorexia nervosa, who believe themselves to be overweight when in fact they are dangerously thin.”

Dr Anne Lawrence, who is transgender, has argued that body integrity disorder, which involves a person who identifies as disabled and feels trapped by a fully functional body, draws parallels to gender dysphoria. Dr. Josephson describes this type of phenomenon as a “delusion . . . [to] a fixed, false belief which is held despite clear evidence to the contrary.”

To illustrate in another way, someone with anorexia may feel overweight and know that they are not. As a result, they struggle with their feelings until they come to believe that they are fat. Similarly, someone with gender dysphoria begins by feeling like they are the opposite sex but know they are not. They then struggle with those feelings until they come to believe they are the opposite sex and try to act accordingly.

Yet, just as you would not treat an anorexic person’s delusion by helping that person to lose weight, it is unwise to treat a gender dysphoric person’s delusion by encouraging them to indulge in that falsehood. When false beliefs about reality are not addressed by helping people come to accept reality, their false beliefs “are not merely emotionally distressing . . . but also life-threatening.” Treatment should “assess and guide them in ways that permit them to work out their conflicts and correct their assumptions.”

Instead, some in the scientific community want gender dysphoric individuals to “find only gender counselors who encourage them in their sexual misassumptions.” Indeed, there are no other health issues where doctors modify healthy bodies to align with a mind’s misperception or where they would call a healthy body a “birth defect” rather than working with the mind to accept bodily reality.

A more appropriate treatment would be to show gender dysphoric individuals that feelings are not the same as reality. “Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned.”

“Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry’s domain; declaring them off- limits would eliminate the field.” Indeed, when treatment is focused on helping patients align their subjective gender identity with their objective biological sex by use of normal counseling methods such as talk therapy, gender dysphoria has proven to be significantly reduced.

Given the harms of the next two phases of the WPATH protocol, social transition should not be encouraged. Not only does it not address the root issues causing clinical distress, it also makes it more likely for patients to forge ahead into hormone therapy and physical alteration of their body.

The harm of hormone therapy

Hormone therapy has not been proven to improve the overall quality of life or reduce psychological symptoms or other negative outcomes. At best, the scientific data is inconclusive. At worst, it is harmful.

Hayes Inc., a company which focuses on “unbiased” “evidence-based assessments of health technologies and clinical programs to determine their impact on patient safety,” gave the quality of evidence for hormone treatment its lowest possible rating. The Hayes Directory explains that some groups advocate for hormonal treatments as “medically necessary treatments.” However, these treatments do “not readily fit traditional concepts of medical necessity since research to date has not established anatomical or physiological anomalies associated with [gender dysphoria].”

After reviewing 21 studies, the Hayes Directory concluded that the studies “were inconsistent with respect to a relationship between hormone therapy and general psychological health, substance abuse, suicide attempts, and sexual function and satisfaction.” For quality of life, “[d]ifferences between treated and untreated study participants were very small or of unknown magnitude,” suggesting little evidence of effectiveness.

Alarmingly, and contrary to the AMA’s and the APA’s narrative, the Hayes Directory reports that the studies show the prevalence of suicide attempts was not affected by hormone therapy.

Additionally, hormone therapy increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular and thromboembolic events, osteoporosis, and cancer. No proof of improved mortality, suicide rates, or death from illicit drug use was observed.

Similarly, in 2010, Mohammad Hassan Murad of the Mayo Clinic studied the body of research involving the outcomes of hormonal therapies used in advance of sex reassignment procedures. He found there to be “very low quality evidence” that hormonal interventions “likely improve gender dysphoria, psychological functioning and comorbidities, sexual function and overall quality of life.”

Without well-designed studies that provide conclusive results that treatments designed to block natural maturation of the body are helpful, public policy should not be used to mandate the kind of gender affirmation that result in such treatments.

The harm of sex reassignment surgery

Scientific support for sex reassignment surgery is equally lacking. After one of the first studies addressing the efficacy of surgical transition occurred in 1979, Johns Hopkins Medical Center discontinued surgical intervention. A study performed by Jon K. Meyer and Donna J. Reter found that when individuals who underwent sex reassignment surgery reported improvement, it did not rise to the level of statistical significance, but those who opted not to undergo sex reassignment surgery showed statistically significant improvement. Those authors concluded that “sex reassignment surgery confers no objective advantage . . . .”

Other studies have shown negative consequences. In a study performed by Cecilia Dhejne with the Karolinska Institute and Gothenburg University in Sweden, it was found that “transsexual individuals had an approximately three times higher risk for psychiatric hospitalization than the control groups, even after adjusting for prior psychiatric treatment.” “[M]ost alarmingly, sex reassigned individuals were 4.9 times more likely to attempt suicide and 19.1 times more likely to die by suicide compared to controls.”

In 2009, a longitudinal study performed by Annette Kuhn in Switzerland found that over a 15-year period the quality of life for 55 sex-reassigned individuals was “considerably lower” than females who had pelvic surgery for other reasons. Moreover, “none of the studies included the bias-limiting measures of randomization . . . and only three of the studies included control groups.” While the Mayo Clinic report indicated that 80% of sex reassigned patients reported improvement in gender dysphoria, 78% improvement in psychological symptoms, and 80% improvement in quality of life, none of the studies included the bias-limiting measure of randomization or control groups. Thus, the claim that improvement occurred after surgical transition is merely comprised of testimonials.

Another Hayes Directory report, this time addressing surgical interventions, concluded that there is not good scientific evidence to support surgical modifications. It concluded that the “evidence was too sparse to allow any conclusion regarding the comparative benefits of different [sex reassignment surgery] procedures.”The “very low” quality of evidence was “due to limitations of individual studies, including small sample sizes, studies lacking evaluating any one outcome, retrospective data, lack of randomization, failure to “blind outcome,” lack of a control or comparator group, and other problems. Unbiased assessment of the claims leads to the following conclusion:

The scientific evidence summarized suggests we take a skeptical view toward the claim that sex reassignment procedures provide the hoped-for benefits or resolve the underlying issues that contribute to elevated mental health risks among the transgender population. While we work to stop maltreatment and misunderstanding, we should also work to study and understand whatever factors may contribute to the high rates of suicide and other psychological and behavioral health problems among the transgender population, and to think more clearly about the treatment options that are available.

There is no good evidence that this dramatic surgery produces the benefits espoused by the AMA. There is, however, evidence that surgical modification poses health risks.20 Moreover, one unalterable consequence is that anyone who goes through with “sex change” surgery will be sterilized. Without firm scientific evidence, the medical and psychiatric community should not follow the WPATH protocol to progress from social transition, to medical interventions, and ultimately to surgery, which therefore calls into question the AMA’s claim that government policy should require persons to affirm others’ beliefs that they are the opposite sex.

Other procedures

Another Hayes Directory report reviewed all the relevant literature on ancillary procedures and services for the treatment of gender dysphoria, such as voice training, facial modifications, reduction of the Adam’s apple, and other cosmetic surgeries to feminize or masculinize features. These too do “not readily fit traditional concepts of medical necessity since research to date has not established anatomical or physiological anomalies associated with [gender dysphoria].”

As with its conclusion on hormone therapies as well as surgical modifications, the Hayes Directory gave the scientific support for these treatments its lowest possible rating. The studies not only had limitations such as small sample sizes, separating procedures by category, and a lack of control or comparator group, they also measured “technical success and patient satisfaction” while ignoring “overall measure of well-being.” In fact, the Hayes Directory found that the “overall individual well- being is unknown.”

In conclusion, relevant to the Court’s present concern, the AMA’s suggestion that gender identity should be read into sex protections in furtherance of treatments goals for those suffering from gender dysphoria is misplaced. Given that the stated goal of transitioning people with gender dysphoria to their identified gender is to improve their overall well- being, altering a person’s body, sometimes permanently, should not be done without solid scientific evidence of its benefits. Since the known studies only measure self-reported satisfaction with the aesthetic result, and not improved quality of life, mental state, or overall well-being, these procedures should not be recommended treatment.

How about children?

… If this Court, for policy reasons, were to redefine sex to mean gender identity, that definition will impact children in educational settings. Indeed, such an interpretation has been used to force some schools to open privacy facilities to the opposite sex. Such an approach not only subjects students to sexual harassment through the systematic loss of bodily privacy, but such treatment is actually contraindicated for those children who suffer from gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoric children subjectively feel they are the opposite sex based on what they think it is like to be the opposite sex. Other than in this area, children who have persistent beliefs that do not conform with reality are not encouraged to persist in those beliefs. In the same way, counselors should assess and guide those with gender dysphoria in ways that permit them to work out their conflicts and correct their false assumptions.

Until recently when ideological imperatives took the place of scientific evidence, this is precisely what was done for gender dysphoric children. Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a leading authority on gender dysphoria, successfully helped children through psychosocial treatments like talk therapy, organized play dates, and family counseling. A follow-up study revealed that only 3 of 25 female children continued to struggle with gender dysphoria.

In contrast to the belief that we and our children are best served by observing and cooperating with our observable biological reality, the AMA and the APA say that children who suffer from gender dysphoria can relieve that dysphoria through social transition, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and eventually surgically altering sex-based anatomy to look like that of the opposite sex. This progression, however, is unhelpful since children who identify with the opposite sex but who are allowed to go through puberty without puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones cease identifying with the opposite sex 70% to 98% of the time for males and 50% to 88% of the time for females.

Conversely, when children are encouraged to progress through social transition to puberty blockers, they tend to persist with their dysphoria. Yet no longitudinal, controlled studies support gender-affirming treatments for gender dysphoria. The problem is that while some persons who go through all these stages may report satisfaction with an eventual surgery, they may still suffer the same morbidities and experience startlingly high rates of suicide and attempted suicide.

Not only does the progression from affirmation to surgery result in increased psychological problems, but the evidence is insufficient to suggest that each step along the way is safe and efficacious. While affirming a child’s gender identity may appear a compassionate way to help a child during a painful and confusing experience, it is not.

There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young [gender dysphoric] children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. . . . All of his same-sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friends develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psycho-socially isolated and alone.

Repetition affects the structure and function of the brain through what is called neuroplasticity. Thus, children who are encouraged to live as the opposite sex may be increasingly unable to live as their own sex. As a result, some children who would otherwise overcome their gender dysphoria may be unable to do so.

Puberty blockers pose other health risks. For example, they impair bone growth, decrease bone accretion, interfere with brain development, and impair fertility.

Rather than encouraging the progression through these stages, children would be better served at the very first stage by not encouraging their belief that they are the opposite sex. If they are allowed to progress through puberty, the issues of gender dysphoria naturally resolves the vast majority of the time. Therefore, a more cautious approach, supplemented by individual or family psychotherapy would be most compassionate. In short, the notion that science requires gender affirmation, and thus for policy reasons gender identity should be read into the word “sex” is misplaced.

Activism, not medicine

We should treat everyone with dignity and respect, but there is significant disagreement in the particulars of what is helpful to those identifying as transgender and what should be asked of others in the process. Though some research has been conducted regarding treatment of those who identify as transgender, when “research touches on controversial themes, it is particularly important to be clear about precisely what science has and has not shown.”

As discussed above, the existing studies on treatment of and outcomes for transgender persons are poor support for gender affirmation or the progression to medication or surgery, yet the large medical associations like the AMA and APA ardently endorse these practices. Unfortunately, ideology rather than science is driving the support. And since dissent is systematically eliminated and those who disagree are loudly condemned, the kind of research necessary to inform the public debate is not occurring.

“Consensus” in the scientific community is more contrived than scientific. “Mainstream clinicians and scientists who consider gender discordance to be a mental disorder have been deliberately excluded in the makeup of the steering committees of academic and medical professional societies which are promulgating guidelines that were previously unheard of.” Id. For instance, when the Endocrine Society created its guidelines, “the panel selected included only those who supported the emerging practices and attempts by many of the endocrinologists present to raise concerns were muted.”

The American Psychiatric Association, in the most recent edition of DSM, removed gender identity disorder and replaced it with gender dysphoria.

“Changes in diagnostic nomenclature in this area were not initiated through the result of scientific information but rather the result of cultural changes fueling political interest groups within professional organizations.” Naturally, considering identity with the opposite sex to be a mental disorder is incompatible with social affirmation. Therefore, the nomenclature was changed so that only the anxiety caused by the incongruity between sex and identification is considered to be a disorder.

Yet, since we would neither affirm a person who believed themselves disabled when they have a fully functional body nor suggest surgeries to disable such persons to conform their bodies to their beliefs, we should carefully consider the approach we take concerning persons’ subjective beliefs about their sex.

Indeed, if something conflicts with our understanding of biological facts, is inconsistently applied, and defies common sense, we should demand more evidence to suggest that these factors are all pointing the wrong direction. The support for gender affirmation, medications, and surgery come from testimonials, but that is not evidence. It would be akin to asking consumers if they are satisfied with their vehicles, and publishing those testimonies, claiming it to be evidence of quality or reliability. It is not as if we do not know how to get good data, such as with control studies, but we refuse to conduct good science or follow the science — and that has everything to do with activism and ideology — not good medicine.

As confirmation of the power of activism over science, those who follow the science are often shut down. Consider Lisa Littman, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University, who coined the phrase “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” She made the observation based on various parental reports that those who identify as transgender during or after puberty appear to have underlying and preexisting psychiatric conditions, and she called for more research. After members of the transgender community criticized the research, Brown quickly distanced itself. And ultimately, she lost a consulting job due to the research.

Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., former dean of Harvard Medical School, wrote, “I have never once seen a comparable reaction from a journal within days of publishing a paper that the journal already had subjected to peer review, accepted and published. One can only assume that the response was in large measure due to the intense lobbying the journal received. . . .”

Similarly, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a leading expert on gender dysphoria in children, who headed the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto, was removed from his clinic on baseless charges and the clinic shut down. Zucker helped to write the “standards of care” guidelines for the WPATH and led the group that developed criteria for gender dysphoria used in DSM-5. But as others increasingly pushed gender affirmation and social transition, Zucker’s clinic continued to be cautious, suggesting that it was better to “help children feel comfortable in their own bodies,” since it recognized the malleable nature of gender identity in children and the likelihood that it will resolve. Activists saw this as a rejection of children’s gender identities.

As a result, the parent organization running the gender identity clinic interviewed activists and clinicians critical of the clinic and fired Zucker and shut down the clinic based on false claims. Yet for the many families who benefited from Zucker’s work and others who would benefit, “a sustained campaign of political pressure” took away their options to find help feeling comfortable with their own bodies.

This, of course, was not the first time science took the back seat in the practice of medicine. Trendy diagnoses and treatments have lead us astray in the past. The practices of eliciting alternative personalities from patients as well as lobotomy  had many testimonials about their benefits to patients, but testimonials do not form the substance of evidence- based medicine. Thus we should be especially cautious when activism or ideology has the upper hand over science.

Ultimately, poor science exacerbated the suffering of those treated by lobotomy or diagnosed with multiple-personality disorders in the past, and appears to be doing the same with those suffering from gender dysphoria today.

As a matter of science, sex and gender identity are so distinct that gender identity cannot properly be read into or replace sex. And with regard to the underlying policy question, there is no reliable evidence that gender affirmation — understood as asking or requiring persons to affirm others’ beliefs that they are the opposite sex — is efficacious.

The original text of Dr McHugh’s essay may be consulted HERE.

COLUMN BY

Paul McHugh

Dr. Paul McHugh, M.D. is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. From 1975 until 2001, Dr. McHugh was the Henry Phipps Professor… More by Paul McHugh

RELATED ARTICLE: Transgenderism: a pathogenic meme

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

Evidence Suggests Kids Are Extremely Low Risk For Coronavirus

While much still remains unknown about the coronavirus, a consensus has emerged that the virus presents an extremely minimal risk for children.

As the Summer months arrive, debate has emerged over whether or not it’s safe for schools to reopen. Most colleges throughout the U.S. have already stated their intentions to reopen their campuses this Fall, and two-thirds of college students feel safe returning even without a vaccine, according to a recent poll. However, managing to return younger students to school could prove more complicated.

President Donald Trump recently clashed with White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci over the possibility of K-12 schools reopening in the Fall, noting that the virus presents an extremely low risk to children. On the surface, the president is indisputably correct. A study published in late April estimated that roughly 1/3 of children ages 6-10 who had the coronavirus were asymptomatic, and concluded “the role of children in transmission is unclear, but it seems likely they do not play a significant role.”

As of mid-May, in the coronavirus epicenter of New York, just nine children under the age of 18 had died with the virus, accounting for a total of 0.06% of the state’s deaths. On the flip side, nearly three-quarters of coronavirus deaths in the state came among those 65-years-old and older.

Fox Sports commentator Clay Travis noted that the odds of people under the age of 24 dying from the coronavirus are statistically lower than them getting struck by lightning. The odds of someone under the age of 24 dying of the coronavirus is roughly one in 1 million, while the odds of someone in that age group getting struck by lightning is roughly one in 700,000.

It is for these reasons that college campuses appear almost certain to open up, and major revenue generators, such as college football, appear likely to begin their season on time. Colleges will be easier to reopen than K-12 schools, as college campuses also serve as living spaces and thus can be insulated if necessary. However, K-12 schools do not have those advantages and will likely face more roadblocks to reopening as a result. While the kids are extremely low-risk, extra concern will have to be paid to older teachers, and kids with live-in relatives who are older or have pre-existing respiratory conditions. A USA Today poll published last week found that 20% of teachers said they would be “unlikely” to return to school in the Fall, even if they are allowed to.

Parents worried about their children returning to school in the Fall can rest easy, as evidence overwhelmingly shows that kids are low risk for the coronavirus. However, reopening schools and daycare facilities will present more roadblocks than just securing the health and safety of young children.

COLUMN BY

WILLIAM DAVIS

Repoprter

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Poll: Just 25% Of Americans Believe Coronavirus Death Tolls Are Accurate

Coronavirus Has Reignited The Left’s War On Football

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

VIDEO: ‘A Year’s Worth of Suicide Attempts in Four Weeks’ — The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Lockdowns

Stay-at-home orders come with a host of unintended consequences that we have not yet even begun to measure or understand.


he costs of the government responses to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. New evidence suggests they could be even worse than we imagined.

An ABC affiliate in California reports that doctors at John Muir Medical Center tell them they have seen more deaths by suicide than COVID-19 during the quarantine.

“The numbers are unprecedented,” said Dr. Michael deBoisblanc, referring to the spike in suicides.

“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” deBoisblanc added. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

Kacey Hansen, a trauma nurse who has spent 33 years at the hospital, said she has never witnessed self-inflicted attacks on such a scale.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

To date, there is little evidence that lockdowns have reduced the spread of COVID-19. But even if there were compelling evidence that lockdowns were saving lives, it would be a mistake to ignore the manifold unintended consequences of stay-at-home orders.

As economist Antony Davies and political scientist James Harrigan explain, “every human action has both intended and unintended consequences. Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.”

The problem with negative unintended consequences is two-fold.

First, as Ludwig von Mises, observed, every government intervention in markets creates unintended consequences, which often lead to more calls for government interventions which have more unintended consequences, and so on. Second, as Frédéric Bastiat pointed out, we tend to focus our attention more on the intended consequences than the unintended ones. (Think of government assistance and the poverty trap.)

The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. Most of the attention, however, has been focused on the economic consequences. Forty million US jobs lost. A looming recession. Hundreds of thousands of businesses wiped out and retirements destroyed.

The psychological and physiological unintended consequences of stay-at-home orders have received less attention. Media have been largely transfixed on COVID-19, reporting daily death tolls and rising case numbers in states easing lockdown restrictions (while failing to note that COVID cases are rising because of expanded testing).

To be sure, measuring the impact on mental health is trickier than measuring COVID-19 fatalities or job losses. But that is no reason to discount the psychological and physical impact of lockdowns, especially when evidence suggests the toll is severe.

A recent Wall Street Journal report shows a surge in the number of people taking drugs for anxiety and insomnia, prompting physicians to warn about the long-term risks of increased prescriptions, which include drug addiction and abuse.

Stay-at-home orders may seem relatively benign, but they are not. Science shows that human beings struggle mightily in isolation from one another.

As The New York Times reported in 2016, social isolation isn’t just harmful, it’s quite deadly:

A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormonesOne recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent.

Another analysis that pooled data from 70 studies and 3.4 million people found that socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, and that this effect was largest in middle age.

Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, and isolated individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely as those with more robust social interactions. These effects start early: Socially isolated children have significantly poorer health 20 years later, even after controlling for other factors. All told, loneliness is as important a risk factor for early death as obesity and smoking.

Anecdotal evidence, like the testimony of doctors at John Muir Medical Center and reported surges in calls to suicide hotlines around the country, suggest the mental toll of lockdowns could be as great as the material costs. (Indeed, they likely go hand-in-hand.)

We’ll have months if not years to debate whether the lockdowns were effective or the right thing to do. What’s important to remember is the stay-at-home orders come with a host of unintended consequences that we have not yet even begun to measure or understand.

For his part, Dr. DeBoisblanc has seen enough to convince him that it’s time to lift stay-at-home orders and let people return to their communities.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.”

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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

‘Incredible’: President Trump Hails NASA, SpaceX For Successful Launch

President Donald Trump praised NASA and SpaceX for a successful launch minutes after he watched the Falcon 9 rocket take flight in Florida on Saturday.

The Demo-2 mission came as a partnership between public sector NASA and private sector SpaceX and launched American astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

“I’m so proud of the people, of NASA, public and private. When you see a sight like that, it’s incredible,” Trump said. “When you hear that sound — the roar — you can imagine how dangerous it is.”

Trump also had praise for SpaceX founder Elon Musk, calling him a “great brain.” He also said the launch could be a symbol of recovery for Americans suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdown measures ease across the country.

“I think this is such a great inspiration for our country. Our country is doing well … We suffered something that was terrible. It should have never happened — it should have never come out of China,” Trump said. “That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be here today and I think any one of you would say that was an inspiration to see what we just saw.”

The SpaceX rocket will take astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, but the company and NASA also plan on returning American astronauts to the moon and being the first to reach Mars.

Musk has found common ground with Trump throughout the pandemic, as both have emphasized the need to reopen world economies and criticized local and state leaders who have been slow to do so.

Musk threatened to move his Tesla automaker plant out of California due to the state’s social distancing rules, leading to tweets from Trump supporting the move, according to Fox News.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House Correspondent

RELATED ARTICLE: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Launches After First Attempt Was Foiled By Inclement Weather

RELATED VIDEO: LIVE video of docking of new US spacecraft and station

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

Italy Returns to Masses

As of last week, lockdown restrictions have been almost fully lifted in Italy. Shops, restaurants, cafés, etc. are reopening. Italians can now see friends, family, and colleagues freely, with some local discretion being exercised by each region. Churches are also now in “phase 2” of re-opening. In one of the oldest basilicas in Rome, Santa Maria in Trastevere, built in the 4th century, the first Mass was just held after almost three months of the nation-wide lockdown.

A sign at the entrance of the Church, however, says that those who have a fever of 37.5 C (99.5 F) or higher, influenza symptoms, or have been in contact with someone positive with COVID-19 cannot enter. For everyone else, a facemask, hand sanitizing, and one-meter distancing are conditions of entry.

You would expect that after weeks of a forced lockdown, the first Mass after reopening would have drawn many faithful once again to their place of worship, especially in one of the most prominent basilicas in Rome. But there were only about fifty people attending, about five of whom were nuns. All the benches had been removed for social distancing purposes. Chairs a meter or more apart were carefully positioned across the inside of the Church.

“People are still afraid, even of coming back to God,” one woman said, who used to attend the basilica regularly. “Personally, I think the Church has been very helpful during this crisis. It went from serving inside the Church to serving outside of it,” she added.

Churches were among the first institutions to be quarantined in Italy. The Italian bishops were relatively silent at the beginning; and their passivity in the face of government restrictions generated quite a bit of controversy. But the initial silence changed as the clergy began to compensate, not just by organizing online streaming Masses and virtually keeping in touch with its faithful, but also by taking a more active part in the community.

In the piazza in front of Santa Maria in Trastevere, for instance, large breakfasts are organized three times a week for those in need. Before the pandemic, about ninety people would show up. That number has more than doubled. A volunteer explained: “People are coming from outside of Rome, by train, just to get our breakfast and food boxes.”

The church provides fruit juices, marmalade, bread, biscuits, coffee and tea, as well as lunches for people when they return home. Initially, most of the people in need were homeless. Now there are many who are struggling with poverty or who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Volunteers have multiplied as well; several journalists, who initially came to report on the charity, now help out on a regular basis.

The volunteers, too, have to undergo strict checks by the church, which measures their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever; they have to sanitize their hands, use gloves, practice social distancing, and wear masks. And the church also routinely subjects itself to strict sanitization. Chairs are disinfected before and after someone sits on them, and four times a week the whole church is sanitized with a vaporizer.

“We bought all this equipment ourselves; we are more sterilized as a church than many supermarkets,” the parish priest of the basilica, Don Marco Gnavi told me. In order to keep the focus on helping people and defeating the virus, he refrained from commenting on why places of worship, unlike supermarkets, were not allowed to remain open during the lockdown.

A parish assistant, however, said that some regulations imposed by government authorities did not make much sense. For example, only a maximum of 200 people can enter a church for Mass, even though some churches can take in many more. Santa Maria in Trastevere, for example, has space for at least 250 people even with the 1-meter-plus distance between chairs. And that is nothing compared with a massive building like St Peter’s Basilica.

All this is mere detail, however, which clergy are willing to put up with – at least for now – to make the reopening of Masses as smooth as possible.

During the first reopening Mass, photographers were conspicuously rushing around trying to get the best shots – especially when the priests, wearing gloves, were distributing the Eucharist. Usually, the faithful receive Communion, of course, by lining up in front of the altar. In the current situation, the priests move among the faithful, who are seated in well-spaced chairs.

The change indicates how Church leaders now feel responsible to serve the laity for the common good. In fact, “common good” is a phrase routinely emphasized when people talk about the restrictions.

“We have a collective responsibility to be prudent and protect those who are most fragile with a vision for the common good,” Don Marco Gnavi told me. When I asked him about criticisms that the Church has received for not remaining open, he replied, “Faith is bold, but it is not fatalistic or presumptuous.”

Don Marco points to St. Luke, an evangelist and physician, as a counter-example to the false dichotomy between science and religion that is often used to claim the Church should rebel against scientific authorities. “Jesus cured the sick; he never said illness should be ignored.”

Italian churches, like churches in other nations, were forced into becoming a virtual presence during the lockdown. Whether that was necessary or an overreaction is debatable and will have to be sorted out when the virus recedes and we can form a better picture of what is it and is not.

But now they are reopening with a strong sense of civic duty and a demonstrable ability to adapt in carrying out their divine mission, even in the midst of a pandemic.

COLUMN BY

Alessandra Bocchi

Alessandra Bocchi, a new contributor, is an Italian freelance journalist and writer who focuses on politics, religion, and culture in Europe, the Arab world, and China. She studied political theory at University College in London and international relations at King’s College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Born for each other: How family planning and porn keep company

Partners in the sex business.


You can tell something about a person by the company she keeps, and the same applies to organisations. Marie Stopes International, a high profile British birth control non-profit, was outed in The Mail on Sunday recently for receiving cash and goods worth 7.5 million pounds from American porn tycoon Phil Harvey over the past 15 years.

Harvey himself has been a direct player in the international “reproductive health” game since the 1970s, funding his own and other charities through Adam & Eve, a business that sold 60 million pounds worth of sex toys and pornographic film in 2019.

What does this say about Marie Stopes?

At best that it suffers from poor taste. It also has a strange attitude to women. MSI touts its contraceptive and abortion services as empowering “women and girls all over the world to choose when or whether to have children.” Yet it works hand in glove with an industry that disempowers women by making them sexual playthings, if not facilitating sexual assault and human trafficking.

Harvey’s sex business offers an array of pornographic material including female sex robots which promote the fact “her inflatable body is also practical if you need to store her or take her on journeys.” An huge list of pornographic films is also flaunted on his sex website.

But by peddling contraception and abortion to vulnerable women in developing countries, MSI, like Planned Parenthood and the rest of them, is handmaiden to every man who would sexually exploit a woman. Yet it is blasé about the connection.

Its response to the Mail on Sunday was: “Phil Harvey has spent his life defending sexual and reproductive health rights, and played a significant role in expanding access for women across the world. We are proud that he continues to contribute to the organisation.”

Harvey, 82, is not the only unsavoury mogul to cosy up to the birth control industry. Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, used his magazine to campaign for legalised abortion. Harvey Weinstein apparently posed as a cheerleader of Planned Parenthood. It makes sense: the women they used or encouraged other men to use might need the odd abortion, and it goes down well with the liberal crowd.

However, Phil Harvey’s US$9 million equivalent over a decade or two looks paltry compared to what Marie Stopes gets from other sources every year. The UK government alone gave them £48million last year which helped them deliver around five million abortions and pay its CEO £434,000 – among other things. Harvey’s position as a board member of MSI signals that he is much more important to the organisation than his cash grants.

profile of him in Mother Jones magazine back in 2002 reveals that the relationship between Harvey and Marie Stopes goes back more than 50 years, to when he was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health, on a Ford Foundation fellowship (Ford being one of the main powerhouses of the population control movement). There he worked with a young British doctor, Tim Black, who went on to rescue the bankrupt Marie Stopes Foundation in 1975 and turn it into a “social business” with its current name.

Both Harvey and Black had spent time in developing countries and were convinced that what the poor of the world needed more than food was fewer babies. As part of their thesis work they came up with a plan to test social marketing of contraceptives in the American marketplace. With a university grant they began a mail order business, running clever ads in college newspapers and selling condoms to students. Next they added other merchandise and eventually struck gold when they threw in sex magazines. This was the genesis of Adam & Eve, which under Harvey surfed the wave of the home video boom in the 1980s and survived efforts to shut it down under the Reagan administration.

But Harvey and Black hadn’t forgotten the poor: perhaps social marketing of condoms would work in the developing world as well. To this end they set up a dual venture: a profit-making arm called Population Planning Associates, and a separate nonprofit, Population Services International (PSI), which by 1975 was running condom-marketing programmes in Kenya and Bangladesh. PSI remains one of the big guns of population control alongside International Planned Parenthood.

Harvey left PSI in the late 1970s and focussed on his porn business, but a few years later he founded another non-profit, DKT International, to take up marketing and supplying cheap condoms to the poor again.

In 2017 DKT launched a “WomanCare” platform “to dramatically increase the use of high-quality contraceptive, safe abortion, and reproductive health products.” In 2019, DKT WomanCare sold 222,123 manual vacuum aspiration abortion kits, 1.8 million cannulae and 1.4 million implants (linked with high rates of HIV in some African countries) in 90 countries. The organisation’s homepage currently features an example of its social marketing in the form of an article headed, “5 People Share Why Their Abortion Was Beautiful”.

This seems to be the real value of Phil Harvey to MSI and the whole international birth control industrial complex. As an entrepreneur he will use some of his own profits from porn to boost the supply of something like manual vacuum aspiration kits where, say, the British foreign aid agency or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the UN Population Fund might hold back until the product is more acceptable to recipient governments.

Perhaps in somewhere like Kenya, where, although Marie Stopes says it only does abortions where they are legal, it more or less openly flouts the country’s highly restrictive law, and cloaks its activity with the saintly garb of “after abortion care” – that is, cleaning up after illegal abortions, which MSI dramatises (and inflates?) in order to push its abortion rights barrow.

On its home turf in Britain, MSI has had to clean up its own operations after unannounced official inspections. A highly critical Care Quality Commission report found major safety flaws at MSI clinics, with more than 2,600 serious incidents reported in 2015. A follow-up report in 2017 found there were 373 botched abortions in just the first two months of that year. MSI had issues with infection control and staff at one clinic complained of a “cattle market” approach with incentives for putting through as many abortions as possible.

No doubt there was some kind of idealism driving the founders of MSI and PSI/DKT, as there may be among those working for the organisations today – an actual belief that preventing births is a real favour to women and to the world in general. After all, the rich and respected of the world, the Fords, the Hewletts, the Gates and others have thought and continue to think so.

But the pornography connection that has helped so many of their projects along shows the true character of the birth control enterprise. Harvey told Mother Jones in 2002 that in the early days he was “terrified that, because of Adam & Eve, we were going to lose support for some of our programs.” Then he added: “But it never happened. I think part of the reason was that the key people in charge of family planning overseas, even in conservative governments, are not the types who are likely to be upset by sex products. After all, they’re in the sex business themselves.”

Yes, sex boils down to business for the so-called family planning establishment. A business requiring certain products to make it “safe” if not enjoyable for all concerned. And porn is one of those products, nearly as important as the condom itself, and often more effective since it removes the need for any human contact whatsoever. In that way, however, the pornographers could drive MSI and company out of business, ending a beautiful friendship – one as beautiful as abortion.

COLUMN BY

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet More by Carolyn Moynihan.

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

The Snake Oil of Social Distancing, Face Masks and Contact Tracing

“The propaganda of communism possesses a language which every people can understand. Its elements are simply hunger, envy, death.” –  Heinrich Heine, German poet

“Scientists do not collect data randomly and utterly comprehensively. The data they collect are only those that they consider *relevant* to some hypothesis or theory.” –  J. David Lewis-Williams, South African archaeologist

“In dealing with the Communists, remember that in their mind what is secret is serious, and what is public is merely propaganda.” –  Charles E. Bohlen, U.S. Diplomat

“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.” –  Napoleon Bonaparte


Our entire nation has been shut down by hysteria and fear.  If you think this is all about your health you’re mistaken. It’s all about getting a Democrat back in the White House.

Americans have complied, with wearing masks, social distancing and sheltering at home. Our country is destroyed and our debt is impossible to repay.  Christian churches were not allowed to open, (like China).  People are arrested for not wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart, or opening their businesses in a still locked down state.  That’s not freedom!  That is communism!

In North Carolina a federal judge said unequivocally that, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution of the United States or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”  Yet throughout the country, we are seeing fascist tactics instituted by those in power.

The only way we get rid of this virus is with immunity.  Only those with compromised immune systems or the elderly should have been sheltered, the rest of the economy, businesses, schools, restaurants, etc. should have remained open.  The media won’t report that 98 percent of those who contract this Chinese bioweapon disease recover, and that cheap drugs are available to Americans who get Covid-19.

Remember, those selling the panic are the same ones selling the vaccine.  Bill Gates, Fauci, Birx and other New World Order globalists all have interests in promoting a vaccine and drugs that will increase their billions and to hell with saving American lives.  Senator Rand Paul rightfully claims Fauci’s policies have emasculated the medical care system and ruined the economy.

Dr. Paul is right.  Fauci and his globalist friends promoted “national suicide” hoping to bring America down to the level of other third world countries.

Anthony Fauci was photographed with a coterie of globalist elites in 2001 at the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy event. The unassuming government bureaucrat was present alongside such titans of globalism as Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, George Soros, and Bill Gates Sr. Records reveal that Gates Sr. was a board member of Planned Parenthood prior to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and Bill Gates himself said in a video clip that his father was the “head of Planned Parenthood.”

How easily we have snowballed into a full-fledged Marxist/fascist nation, with political dictators releasing criminals from prison and imprisoning those who refuse lockdown orders.

Resistance to Tyranny

A Mississippi church fighting the lockdown order was burned to the ground and a disturbing message was left in the parking lot that made mention of the congregation’s fight to worship freely as the church fought a government-imposed stay-at-home order.  “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits,” the painted message said.

It is reported that at least 60 sheriffs in more than twelve states are publicly opposing unconstitutional orders issued by governors.  That’s not enough, but most Americans are indoctrinated mental cripples who can’t think for themselves.

Of course, you will not see any feature stories about the “resistance” in America. To the contrary, major media and local governments are lambasting all such actions as ludicrous, short-sighted, selfish and harmful…….bah humbug!  What the global governance crowd has accomplished in just a few short weeks is astounding.  And too many fell for it.

Truth and Lies

In an important article by Dr. David Williams, he discusses the truth and lies about Covid-19.  Although there is a central author, it is being written on behalf of multiple physicians in West Alabama and will be distributed through multiple medical offices. It should be read by every American.

LIES:  Covid-19 is more dangerous than influenza.  Yearly flus globally kill far more than Covid-19.  We have slightly over 2 million confirmed Covid-19 cases globally. By comparison, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (Google Influenza Update-NCBI), influenza is responsible for up to a billion infections annually. Flu season is basically from the start of October until April. At the flu’s three-and-a-half-month mark, that works out to 583 million cases globally. Even accounting for the fact COVID-19 is underreported that is a huge difference.

The fact one doesn’t know they have it makes Covid-19 more dangerous. Influenza and other viruses also are infectious while asymptomatic.

We don’t know much about Covid-19.  We vaccinate domestic animals from coronaviruses and there are four types of colds that are coronaviruses and sometimes they are deadly as with SARS and MERS.

Truth: The Chinese bioweapon, Covid-19, is an actual medical disease that will lead to tragic deaths. Respiratory failure is a terrible way to die. That is true if that death is due to asthma, COPD, pneumonia, influenza, and more.  And it’s true that the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, but everything is more dangerous to these individuals.

It is now almost impossible for anyone in the general public or general medical community to know the actual number of deaths from Covid-19.  Numbers have been purposely inflated.

The media as a whole has grossly misrepresented this disease and used fear to hype the hysteria.  This amounts to psychological warfare.  Media will continue to fight reopening this country by stating “experts” predict a spike in deaths if we do so.

This is not a medical crisis, but a political crisis.  Covid-19 has been treated as a world-ender and it’s not remotely close.  The current policies instituted by our local, state, and national governments are causing greater health problems than the virus ever will.  And that’s the key…the destruction of our economy is only part of it…totalitarian control and vanquishing our God-given civil liberties is the ultimate aim.  (h/t Lucy)

Social Distancing

There’s a reason that “social distancing” wasn’t a buzzword common to the American lexicon prior to 2020.  There’s very little science behind “social distancing” at all.  Sadly only a few Americans had a gut feeling they were being manipulated.

Where in science does it say that keeping a distance of six-foot space between healthy people, even outdoors is based on scientific fact?  It is an arbitrary suggestion and we all hopped to it and did as our totalitarian leaders told us to do.  Stores have markings where you stand…we have been conditioned to accept without evidence.  Some grocery aisles even have arrows that you can only enter one way, so you wouldn’t get close to anyone passing in the other direction!  Yes, we’re programmed sheep.

“It turns out,” Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness, “as I wrote last month, “social distancing” is untested pseudoscience particularly as it relates to halting the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. On its website, the CDC provides no links to any peer-reviewed social distancing studies that bolster its official guidance.”

There’s a reason for the lack of peer-reviewed studies on the CDC website.  She continues, “The alarming reality is that social distancing never has been tested on a massive scale in the modern age; its current formula was conceived during George W. Bush’s administration and met with much-deserved skepticism.”

“People could not believe that the strategy would be effective or even feasible,” one scientist told the New York Times last month. A high school science project—no, I am not joking—added more weight to the concept.

“Social distancing” is very much a newfangled experiment, not settled science.  And, Kelly writes, the results are suggesting that our “Great Social Distancing Experiment of 2020” will be “near the top of the list” of “bad experiments gone horribly wrong.”  The history of science, sadly, is littered with bad experiments gone horribly wrong.

There will be plenty of soul searching after this crisis abates: demanding to know the scientific rationale for keeping us six feet apart when people needed each other most should be at the top of the list.

Face Masks, False Sense of Security?

If you are elderly, ill, or have a compromised immune system you might just want to shelter at home until there is immunity throughout America, just as you would do in flu season.

For others wearing masks, they represent indoctrination and subjugation.  It is also the very elimination of your personhood, or individuality.  The masked faces are making everyone into dehumanized objects…and afraid of everyone else.  You’ve succumbed to control or as Dennis Prager states, “a dress rehearsal for a police state in the name of global warming.”

The lunatic CDC, which Dr. Birx says she doesn’t trust, is telling us that when schools open, every teacher must wear a mask.  Forcing people to breathe their own CO2 is deleterious.  Even the frauds in the WH press corps dump their masks when the cameras stop running.  Sweden believes masks offer a false sense of security.

Dr. Russell Blaylock warns that not only do face masks fail to protect the healthy from getting sick, but they also create serious health risks to the wearer. The bottom line is that if you are not sick, you should not wear a face mask.

We believed that this pandemic (media and government’s name for Covid-19) would act like other respiratory viruses in terms of its spread among communities.  After months of studying the virus and how it behaves, Dr. Blaylock tells us there is little to change this perception.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams has doubled down on his advice against healthy people wearing face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus, saying that wearing one improperly can “actually increase your risk” of getting the disease. But pressure from above told him to change his story.  The false narrative is sickening.  Betsy McCaughey says our homemade masks aren’t doing squat.

Choose your poison, wear a mask or not. For me and mine, we breathe fresh air.

Contact Tracing

Most folks have seen H.R.6666, a perfect number for this despotic pile of dung.  It was introduced by Bobby L. Rush (D-Il) on May 1st, 2020.  (Years back, Rush formed the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.) His bill calls for $100 billion in funding for 2020, and hiring thousands of government employees as the new “brown shirts.”

Alex Newman’s latest article in the New American regarding Contact Tracing states, “Under the guise of fighting the coronavirus, governments across the United States and beyond are partnering with shady organizations connected to the Clintons and George Soros (Chelsea Clinton sits on the board of Partners in Health) to deploy Orwellian “contact tracing” schemes involving technology and tens of thousands of new government workers to track everyone. Families may be forcibly separated. And military forces and war-like rhetoric are already being used as the effort to shred all vestiges of privacy advances. At least one world leader even suggested putting microchips under children’s skin to track them.”

Titled TRACE, “Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone,” it officially embeds the snitch culture.  The bill states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services “may award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for Covid–19, to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts.” The bill goes on to explain that this will be accomplished by mobile health units and “testing individuals and providing individuals with services related to testing and quarantine at their residences.”

H.R.6666 would give government the authority, if a government official suspects that you have been exposed to Covid-19, to place you under house arrest or remove you from your home and place you in indefinite quarantine.

House Bill H.R.6666 and the corresponding Senate Bill S.3624 must be stopped.

The authoritarian police state is already here.  Gov. Abbott of Texas has said he wants a total of 4,000 tracers for his state.  Washington Governor Jay Inslee indicated that people who refuse to cooperate with contact tracers or refuse coronavirus testing won’t be allowed to leave their homes even to go to the grocery store or pharmacy. My so-called Christian conservative Governor Bill Lee is onboard with this insanity and believes he needs to hire 2,000 tracers.

What is your governor doing?

Conclusion

Keeping the economy open would have brought us total immunity throughout the country by now and the virus would be gone.  America is paying heavily, but most politicians don’t care, and they’re now obfuscating the much higher collateral deaths and damage caused by the false narrative of the World Health Organization (WHO).  Dying because of delayed surgeries, suicide because of loss, overwhelmed 911 calls because of domestic abuse, businesses going out-of-business and jobs that will never come back…we’re not “better safe than sorry.”  We’re sorry!

The lockdown was radically ineffective and destructive, and it doubled the deaths of Americans. We must open everything up again and go back to normal, and not a “new normal.” Unfortunately, almost half of the shutdown-induced layoffs will be permanent.

This virus was not only planned and executed to destroy Trump’s economy, but there were ancillary plusses to destroying America and her elderly.  Those elderly knew real freedom, unlike today’s youth whose education has been dumbed down since the 1880s.

Behind the mask of America’s freedom lie millions of Marxist/Leninist politicians.  We’ve been sold the “snake oil” by WHO’s globalist comrades Fauci, Birx and Redfield, appointed by Coronavirus Task Force Chair, VP Mike Pence.

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