70 Years. Endless Negotiations. Yet No Peace. Here’s Why.

Ever since the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948, and even before that, there have been attempts to negotiate a peace settlement that would enable Israelis and their neighbors to live side-by-side in an atmosphere of harmony and mutual tolerance.

Presidents, Kings, Premiers, dictators, strongmen, weaklings — all of them and more gave their best efforts to achieving a peace settlement.

All failed.

Yet every new American administration, every new President, every new Secretary of State, thinks that he or she possesses the solution that has eluded everyone else. Everyone thinks he can untie the Gordian knot that has confounded the world.

And again, all fail.

It is one of the most curious situations that has ever occurred in world history: peace settlement after peace settlement has failed, yet no one ever seems to stop and wonder why. Instead, they go back to the drawing board, thinking that this time will be unlike all the others, this time the key to peace will be revealed, this time they’ll finally hit upon the secret.

In The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, I tell the fascinating, never-before-told story of these negotiations, and I do provide the key that has eluded everyone else: in this book, I show why the negotiations failed, and why the entire “peace process” has been ill-conceived from the start.

And yes, I do offer a way forward out of this most intractable of problems.

This is one of the only books to buck the convention wisdom about this vexed issue, which affects not only the Middle East, but the entire world — and American policy.

It’s long past time for a realistic appraisal of the situation and a new approach. The book will be out December 3. You can preorder it here.

More about it coming soon.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Germany: Muslim who stole truck and smashed it into cars while screaming “Allah” entered with 2015 migrant influx

Turkey: Human rights activist sentenced ten years jail for “blasphemy” against Islam

UK: 500 men raped victim of Muslim rape gang from age of 11, authorities did nothing, fearing “Islamophobia” charges

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

LIVE STREAM: You can watch every minute of Voter Values Summit 2019. Here’s how.

We can’t fit all of America into Washington D.C.’s Omni Shoreham hotel this week for Values Voter Summit 2019, so we’re offering a free live stream of the entire event! It’s not quite like being there in person, but it’s the next best thing. Watching the live stream this year couldn’t be easier. Tune in online beginning Friday morning October 11, 2019 at 8:45 a.m. EDT, with continuing coverage through Saturday evening. There are a variety of ways to watch:

We have an exciting lineup of speakers, including:

  • President Donald Trump
  • HHS Secretary Alex Azar
  • Senator Josh Hawley
  • Sebastian Gorka
  • Allie Stuckey
  • Yep, there’s too many to list here, but they’re all listed here.

Be sure to share what you hear with your friends using the hashtag #VVS19 on your favorite social media platform.

President Trump is protecting Americans from Big Government

During the Obama Administration, it became common practice for Federal agencies to target and penalize American families and small businesses. They got away with it by hiding behind vague, often secret interpretations regarding how ordinary citizens should comply with the government’s own maze of bureaucratic regulations.

When President Donald J. Trump took office, he pledged to turn the page on Washington’s regulatory overreach, giving the American people a government that’s finally accountable to its citizens. Building on that promise, the President signed a pair of Executive Orders today to ensure that the abuses that took place under the last Administration can never happen again.

Americans will no longer be kept in the dark.

First, Agencies will have to place their guidance documents on easily searchable public websites, allowing any American access to them. The government will be required to permit citizens to give their input on these guidelines, and they will have the ability to ask agencies to withdraw guidance they believe is wrong. Second, agencies will be strictly prohibited from enforcing rules that have not been made publicly known.

These common-sense changes come alongside the President’s historic efforts to cut burdensome red tape. In his first week in office, he issued a challenge to his Administration: For every new regulation introduced, 2 old ones must be cut.

That goal has been met—to say the least. As of today, the tally is 14 regulations that have been cut for every significant new one implemented. That makes for the largest deregulatory push since Ronald Reagan was President.

Unlike Obama, President Trump is protecting Americans from Big Government.

Acting OMB Director: “Trump Keeps Promise to Tame Bureaucracy That Runs Roughshod Over Americans”


President Trump signs ‘game-changing’ trade deal with Japan

During the U.N. General Assembly last month, President Trump continued to fight for fairer trade deals for American workers. The results of that hard work came to light Monday, when the President signed a pair of groundbreaking deals at the White House.

“These two deals represent a tremendous victory for both of our nations,” President Trump said. “They will create countless jobs, expand investment and commerce, reduce our trade deficit very substantially, promote fairness and reciprocity, and unlock the vast opportunities for growth.”

President Trump: This is a groundbreaking achievement for the U.S. and Japan

America’s farming community is the big winner from the first of Monday’s agreements, which dramatically expands their market access. Before this deal, Japan was already America’s third largest agricultural export market—accounting for $14.1 billion in food and agricultural exports last year. The terms are even better now, as Japan will eliminate or reduce tariffs on approximately $7.2 billion in U.S. agricultural goods.

Once the agreement goes into effect, more than 90 percent of American agricultural imports into Japan will be duty free or receive preferential tariff access.

“In the United States, these deals are a game-changer for our farmers and our ranchers . . . [they] will now be able to compete fairly in Japan against major competitors worldwide,” the President said.

The second deal signed on Monday focuses on digital trade, setting the same “gold standard” digital trade rules that are found in the President’s landmark United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). Vital online commerce will now be expanded, which brings a significant boost to the already roughly $40 billion worth of digital trade between America and Japan. It ensures America will remain a global leader in digital.

The President’s deal with Japan is a win for American farmers and businesses.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘There can be no reward’: Beto O’Rourke supports punishing religious institutions for views on sexuality

© All rights reserved.

Minnesota Attorney General Ellison: Religious Freedom Just a ‘License to Discriminate’

In an op-ed at the StarTribune last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison swore to fight a court’s ruling upholding the right of wedding videographers to create videos in accordance with their faith beliefs about marriage.

As reported by Breitbart News, the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled in favor of St. Cloud Christian videographers Carl and Angel Larsen, who claimed the right to create videos consistent with their faith beliefs about marriage between a man and a woman.

Religious freedom doesn’t sit well with the Muslim Ellison, who announced he will go back to trial to prove that “LGBTQ discrimination is not free speech” — accusing the Larsens of using their faith as a front for discrimination against LGBT individuals.

“Business owners’ free speech and beliefs are already fully protected under the First Amendment,” Ellison conceded, but then claimed that what the Larsens want “is a license to discriminate against LGBTQ folks.”

Keith Ellison

110 Known Connections

In September 2017, Ellison spoke at a panel discussion about immigration reform and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive action by which former president Barack Obama had permitted most DREAM Act-eligible individuals to gain temporary legal status, work permits, access to certain publicly funded social services, and protection from deportation. “[A]s many as three million DACA recipients live with someone who is a citizen of the United States,” said Ellison. “Add that to the people who work with a DACA recipient. Add that to people who are the parents of a DACA recipient. Add that to people who are parents of American citizens. You are literally talking about over 100 million Americans who are in some way — way more than 100 million, maybe well over that — who are deeply connected to people who have immigrated to the United States, some with official papers, some with not.” Reasoning from the premise that Americans have a moral obligation to provide “sanctuary” for illegal aliens, Ellison then likened modern-day illegals aliens living in the United States to Jews who lived in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and ’40s: “If you ask yourself, ‘What I would I do if I was a gentile in 1941 if my Jewish neighbors were under attack by the Nazis, would I give them sanctuary?’ You might be about to find what you’d do. Will you pass that moral test, or will you fail it?”

To learn more, click on the profile link here.

RELATED ARTICLE:  ‘There can be no reward’: Beto O’Rourke supports punishing religious institutions for views on sexuality

PODCAST: The Radical Feminists Who Are Fighting the Transgender Movement

As a leader of the radical feminist organization group Women’s Liberation Front, Natasha Chart doesn’t agree with conservatives on much. But when it comes to the transgender movement and protecting children from transgender ideology, she’s standing side by side with conservatives.

Chart spoke Thursday at The Heritage Foundation’s Summit on Protecting Children From Sexualization. On this week’s edition of “Problematic Women,” we sit down with her to find out why.

Plus, we take on the issue of deepfakes—the technology that enables you to transpose one person’s face over another’s, making it seem like that person is doing or saying something they are not—and how it’s becoming a bigger problem, particularly for women.

We also address Teen Vogue’s claim that Gen Z is the most progressive and politically independent, Demi Lovato’s apology for taking a celebrity birthright trip to Israel, and the now-infamous courtroom hug between Brandt Jean and Amber Guyger, the police officer who had killed his older brother.

And we leave you with Ellen Degeneres’ special message about George W. Bush.

Lauren Evans: Virginia and I are back in studio today with Natasha Chart of the Women’s Liberation Front.

Natasha, thanks for joining us.

Natasha Chart: Hey. How’s it going, Lauren? Thanks for having me on.

Evans: So happy to have you. Natasha, can you tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do at WLF?

Chart: Sure. I’m the board chair of the Women’s Liberation Front, also commonly referred to as WLF. We are an all-volunteer organization of radical feminists.

We formed up in order to challenge the Obama administration’s directive ending single-sex spaces in federally-funded educational institutions because we thought someone should challenge that in court, and no one else seemed to be stepping up to do it, so we did.

Virginia Allen: What is the type of work that WLF is now pursuing?

Chart: We’re still doing the same kind of legal advocacy. Many other suits have been brought over this issue, [so] our resources are scarce. We don’t have any paid staff at all, so we’ve been mainly filing amicus briefs, friend-of-the-court briefs in other cases to advance our ideas of how the law should be interpreted and work from a radical feminist perspective.

We’ve been de-platformed in the media. The progressive press tries to pretend that we absolutely don’t exist, to the extent that they can, although that’s becoming harder for them now.

One of our rationales was, “Well, you can’t de-platform us from the court.” You’re not going to protest the federal court and be like, “We can’t allow this brief in.” Then, they’ll say, “Oh, well, this brief is very problematic, and we will reject it on that ground.” They don’t do that. We’re like, “Well, if we can’t be heard anywhere else, we can be heard in court, like everybody else.” There you go.

Evans: That’s a great approach to take. Natasha, you brought up that women’s-only spaces is one of the motivating factors for your group. Can you explain to our listeners why women’s-only spaces are important?

Chart: In our view, one of the most important things to feminism as a practice, as a process issue, is that women are discouraged from expressing solidarity with each other, across all kinds of lines.

And as part of our work, that seams over and over again, and it’s just reinforced every time there’s some round of fighting or argument or discussion over some new factional split, to encourage women to try to relate to each other in solidarity, to stand with each other, and to say, “We may not have everything in common, but we can agree on this, and I’m going to support you.” Or, “Even if I don’t want to be part of what you’re doing, I’m not going to try to tear you down.”

That’s just the foundation of any successful political movement, where you have to bring in a lot of people, and you can’t just rely on the tiny number of people who agree with you. There’s never going to be some huge, vast majority that agrees with you. This is a nation of … roughly [330] million people. You’re never going to get everybody to say, “Oh, yes. We all agree on this one thing.”

You can’t even get dentists to all agree on sugared gum, as they say. You can’t get that. You have to work. Women are discouraged from having that kind of solidarity with each other, that’s common to every successful political movement. You have to cultivate that. That’s the biggest stumbling block. Encouraging women-only space, it’s not a high, complicated concept, but it has transformative properties.

Allen: Natasha, groups like the Women’s March typically end up intertwining feminism and transgender issues, but WLF takes a different stand. Why?

Chart: Because gender identity is about men saying that they’re women. To some extent now, you have more women saying, “Oh, well, I’m really not like the other girls. I am actually a man,” for a number of reasons. That strain of activism would not have had so much success if it wasn’t men insisting that they have the right to be treated, in all aspects of the law and society, as women.

This is not only impossible—if you’re someone who has a commitment to speaking the truth, and relying on the facts, it’s intellectually offensive. It’s also offensive to feminist principles, which is about women expressing solidarity with each other.

Here are these men coming in and saying, “We need to be at the center of your movement. We need to be at the center of your concern. We are the most oppressed, most vulnerable women.” It’s some white guy [who’s] a married dad, and he’s an executive at a bank. That is not the most vulnerable, oppressed woman in the world. I’m sorry. That’s just not true.

It’s not feminist, and we can’t support it. A lot of women on the left, like in the Women’s March, they will not be allowed to do the other work that they want to do at all on the left because all of the men on the left have decided to say to these other men, “Oh, well, if you want to dress like that, and if you want to call yourself that, well, I guess you’re not a real man after all.” Which is pretty sexist of them, frankly. “You go off and be with the women.” That’s not our problem. We didn’t come up with that.

If men are worried about how effeminate men are treated, men should deal with that. Apparently, everybody agrees that men’s bathrooms are some terribly scary violent place. I don’t know what those guys are doing in there. Seriously, sort yourselves out. That’s not women’s problem to deal with.

Or, they’ll bring up, “Oh, well, these feminine-presenting men are treated badly in men’s prisons.” A lot of men are treated badly in men’s prisons. Men who are gay, young men, someone who’s just not very physically as strong as the other guys. Maybe the real issue that needs to be addressed there is that men’s prisons are terribly unsafe. Deal with that problem for everybody.

That’s its own issue. It deserves its own strain of advocacy. It deserves its own people speaking up strongly who’ve been affected by it. Lumping it in by saying, “This is a women’s issue. Just put this section of men who are affected in the women’s prison.” That doesn’t address the problem. It just puts it off on women. That’s not fair.

Evans: Natasha, you have been very busy this week. You are speaking about the Harris Supreme Court case that was heard on Oct. 8, which is the case where an employee of a funeral home transitioned from a man to a woman, transitioned from identifying as a man to identifying as a woman. Because they would not wear the men’s dress code for the funeral home, the funeral director fired the employee. Now, the employee is suing him for discrimination.

Can you tell us what were you doing, what were you speaking about, and why this case is so important to you?

Chart: Part of what I was speaking about yesterday is the intimidation tactics that have been levied against women on the left, the sexual harassment, the firings.

It’s like so many of the people who were with the ACLU demonstration were like, “Well, LGBT people have the right to work.” I agree with this, that those folks have the right to fair employment and nondiscrimination, all of us.

I’m like, “Yeah, and I’m over here, as a bisexual woman, standing in solidarity with my lesbian sisters,” many of us who’ve been fired, sexually harassed, received death threats, etc., for just saying, “No, men can’t be women. That’s not a real thing.” Where’s our right to be employed, and to have our opinions?

The thing about the Harris case, is it’s been presented very dishonesty, and in some cases, by ACLU staff, as being about sex-based dress codes. That was never a question before the court. If you read through the documents, it says that. That’s not under issue.

There’s a line in the petitioner’s brief the ACLU wrote for Amy Stevens, the plaintiff, that is talking about how Stevens would have been fine following the women’s dress code. That’s at the heart of this. That sex-based dress codes weren’t the thing. It’s their insistence on presenting sex itself as a stereotype of sex, which you can’t have a stereotype of something that has no objective definition.

A stereotype has to refer, at base, a real thing in the world that has some material definition that we can all recognize and wrap our heads around. It’s about saying not that you’re discriminating against me because I’m a man, and I want to wear a dress to work, and men should be allowed to wear dresses at work. Totally different question. He’s saying, “I am a man, I have the right to be treated as a woman, under the rules for women.” That would reinterpret sex in all of federal law.

I believe that even in the oral arguments the justices teased out that if this challenge wins, suits on all of these other issues where there are sex-based distinctions would almost certainly follow, and quite rapidly.

Then, at some point, you can’t make any distinction in the law on sex. The law is forbidden basically to see sex at all and recognize it. That simply erases women’s rights.

We would still have the right to vote, I’m sure, but anything that would be there as a redress for centuries of discrimination is just wiped out. It’s no longer for women. It’s not a women’s team if there are men in it. Then, it’s a mixed-sex team. That’s what it is.

It’s not a women’s locker room if there are men in it. Then, it’s a coed locker room, and a lot of women are going to stay back from things like that, so they’re not subject to indecent exposure, voyeurism, or in the case sports, so they’re not subject to injury. They’ve made the women’s amateur rugby teams in the U.K. mixed-sex, basically on the grounds of gender identification.

There was a story just out in The Times U.K. about this last week, that the coaches are quitting because they’re worried about women getting their bones broken in rugby matches with these guys.

It’s a very aggressive, very physical sport, and they’re worried about physical injury. They’re just basically being told, “Well, it’s the equalities law. We can’t do anything about it.” … It’s not fair.

Allen: At WLF, and for you personally, how do you define who a woman is?

Chart: A woman is an adult human female—the dictionary definition that Posie Parker over in the U.K. has made infamous with her T-shirts, stickers, and billboard campaigns.

That definition has just become terribly controversial, where people are saying, “Well, this is violence and transphobic.” It’s like, “This is just what women are.” It’s a biologically determined objective fact that we observe about people. It’s not assigned, you see someone’s sex. You don’t interpret that.

[For] 99.98% of people, it’s blatantly obvious whether they are male or female at birth. It doesn’t take any kind of specialty training to find this out. That something so basic has been made offensive and unsayable has had this massive cascade of problems.

If you got to see the rally yesterday—just like in sports and employment law, all kinds of nondiscrimination law, in terms of whether or not you can say when you go to the doctor and you’re a woman, “I would like a woman to perform my exam,” or, “I would like a woman to chaperone my exam, if there’s only a male doctor available.”

Even something so basic to your bodily privacy and sense of safety as that is under question, and it’s all because there’s this one lie that has to be defended at all costs now. That lie is that people can change sex by an act of will. No matter how many laws you make saying that that’s possible, it’s just not possible.

Evans: Natasha, I want to—I guess transition is a bad word to use—but I want to switch topics. You spoke yesterday at [The Heritage Foundation], at the Summit on Protecting Children From Sexualization. What is your biggest concern when these gender identity issues not just affect adults, but they affect our children?

Chart: The most blatant problem with that is the physical impact on the children who are transitioned, which is that a lot of them are irreversibly and permanently losing all aspects of adult sexual function.

Some of these children, and pardon for the blunt language, but they will never be able to have an orgasm their entire life. They will never experience this because their sexual organs have been removed by the time they were of majority age to be able to make these kinds of decisions.

We saw the case of Jazz Jennings. The whole country saw that. You can say, “Well, it’s horrible to talk about a child like this.” I didn’t put that on television, this poor kid celebrating the physical removal of one’s healthy body parts. That’s the biggest impact.

I honestly don’t know why that wasn’t the moment where a whole bunch of people watching that show, and patting themselves on the back for being inclusive, didn’t stop and think to themselves, “Hey, wait a minute. What’s going on here? What are we celebrating here? What if that was my kid celebrating a really serious operation like that to themselves, a cosmetic procedure?”

I feel like it’s a huge lack of empathy, that again, society will see a boy who maybe acts in a way that we consider effeminate, and like, “Well, it doesn’t matter what happens to him. I guess he’s not a real boy. He’s not a real man. Whatever happens to his body, we don’t care.” I don’t understand why that didn’t stop it.

The other problem is that these kids are being presented as having the adult capacity and agency to be able to make decisions like that. That is very much in contradiction to, for instance, a lot of the advocacy groups that used to speak to me, but now will no longer do so, would talk about the school-to-prison pipeline. One of the concepts that’s really important to that is that it dehumanizes children to present them as fully capable of making moral decisions on the same level as adults.

If you have a child, and this happens very often to black and brown children in the school system, where they do some stupid kid thing. Like most people, you remember back in your life, you did some kid thing, probably a lot of us. I know for sure, I look back and I think, “Oh my God, I’m so glad nobody saw that, and I didn’t have to face consequences as an adult for that because that was really dumb, and I didn’t understand.”

Most of us had the grace from society for the adults around us to be like, “Kid, you messed up. Let me tell you about it. Let’s work on it. Let’s not do it again. … You’re still young enough to figure this out.”

These kids are having that protection entirely stripped away from them. They’re being allowed to make very serious decisions that they don’t understand, that they haven’t experienced, because they haven’t gone through puberty.

There are these girls who are being put through menopause before they’ve had puberty. … Menopause is physically awful, as many, many women can attest, although this is not a thing you talk about a lot. But putting a 14-year-old through it on purpose, she’s never gone through having all those feelings and developmental experiences that they’re unpleasant.

Nobody likes that. Nobody has a good time. Nobody looks back and thinks, “Oh, puberty. That was the best time of my life. I miss the acne. I miss the aching, and the weirdness, and the feeling awkward all the time, and not knowing where your arms and legs are because all of a sudden, they’re like 6 inches longer than they were last year.” You’re like, “Oh my God, what am I doing?”

Nobody liked that, but it’s important for your formation, as an adult person, to go through that, and to be protected from the consequences of just being that unsettled in yourself, and going through all of that with your peers.

These children are being denied that, and they’re being dehumanized by people treating them like adults too soon. My heart aches for these kids.

Allen: As Lauren mentioned, you spoke on the Summit on Protecting Children From Sexualization. That whole summit can be found on the Heritage Foundation YouTube page. I want to ask, how did WLF end up getting connected with The Heritage Foundation? Did you ever see yourself aligning so closely with conservatives?

Chart: Wow. Well, we’re part of the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition. It’s an informal discussion network of women from, like, every political perspective. There are liberal pagan goddess worshipers in there, and there are conservative Christians of almost every description. I would still consider myself politically, my personal ideas, I’m a fairly mainstream to progressive Democrat.

We’re all represented in there but there’s a woman whose child was convinced that they were the opposite sex, and has been pushing hard to take steps to transition. She tried for four years to get someone, anyone, to please talk about this issue, and to raise it in public in a venue where policymakers and the media would start to understand that behind all this happy talk about inclusion and affirmation, there are real harms being done to real people.

There are physical injuries. There is destruction of family relationships going on. People’s hearts are breaking, and they feel like they can’t speak out at all.

She tried for so long. The only people who answered her, and were willing to give her a platform to talk about this, were the folks here at Heritage.

She invited us to come because we were all getting all of this flack already for being public about opposing gender identity under our own names. She asked if we could help supply speakers because the parents of these children can’t come out and talk. They can’t say this stuff.

For one thing, they have concerns about their children’s medical privacy. … Some of the parents came to the summit, and were talking with us before that. One couple was talking about how they felt they couldn’t talk to anyone in their church. Or, how they feel ostracized, and they have to hide things from people in local political groups, where they had once felt very welcome.

This issue has made them feel entirely cut off from their communities, and they’re afraid of significant public ostracism, of being cut off from other networks. They asked us to give voice to this.

The beginning of that panel is my colleague on the board, Jennifer Chavez, reading a number of parents’ stories, parents who could not come out and do that themselves.

That was how that happened. I wouldn’t have predicted that that would have happened five years ago. I probably would have said a number of terribly unpleasant and uncollegial things about the idea of even walking in the door here, but here we are.

Evans: We’re glad that you’re here.

Chart: Thank you.

Evans: I do want to plug … a short documentary [we did] on Hands Across the Aisle, and I did get to meet a lot of your members. It was just a incredible experience. I’ll make sure to put that documentary in the show notes, if any of our listeners want to learn more about the group.

Natasha, we ask pretty much all of our guests this question: [Do] you identify as a feminist? … I imagine you would, so I’m going to change the question a little bit, why is identifying as a feminist so important to you?

Chart: It’s because of … what I was saying at first about solidarity with other women, there are certain policy positions that I do think are at the heart of feminism in an outward way. Primarily, it’s about standing up to say, “I am a woman who puts other women first, to whatever extent that I can, wherever I can.”

I do get people asking, “How can you be a feminist and talk at The Heritage Foundation?” It’s like, “Well, I am a feminist. If I show up at The Heritage Foundation, I’m going to do whatever I can while I’m there to be putting women first in whatever way makes sense, in whatever way I can advance those interests that are common to all of us. That’s just what I’m going to do, wherever I am.”

The women in Iran are working on, “How can we be allowed to go out in public without having to wear religious headgear?”

Women in Saudi Arabia are working on, “How do we have the right just to be in public at all, on our own recognizance, as adult citizens?”

Women in the U.S., there are women alive today who remember when they could not get a line of credit in their own name, when they wouldn’t have been allowed to buy a house, when most colleges were closed to them, when most professions were closed to them entirely.

You just work on whatever makes sense at the time, with the resources you can. That goal is always women acting in solidarity with other women. There are women everywhere, so you can be a feminist everywhere that you are.

Evans: Natasha, we really appreciate your time, and that you joined us on the podcast today. Thank you so much.

Chart: Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s been a delight. Take care.

COMMENTARY BY

Lauren Evans is the multimedia producer for The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation. Send an email to Lauren. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

In the wake of every tragic mass shooting or high-profile incident involving gun violence, we hear the same narrative: To stop these horrible atrocities from happening, we must crack down on gun laws.

But is the answer really to create more laws around gun control, or is this just an opportunity to limit your Constitutional right to bear arms?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you better understand the 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


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

The Power of Forgiveness

An atheist group has filed a complaint against a judge in Dallas, Texas who supposedly violated their understanding of church and state relations.

The black judge (Tammy Kemp) presided over the racially-charged trial of the white ex-police officer (Amber Guyger) who was sentenced last week to prison for ten years because she shot and killed an innocent black man (Botham Jean). Guyger thought Jean had broken into her apartment. It turns out she mistakenly was in his apartment.

The victim’s brother (Brandt Jean) publicly and emotionally forgave Guyger in court because of the love of Jesus, which he said he hopes the ex-police officer will find. Judge Kemp gave Guyger a Bible and read to her John 3:16: “For God so loved the world….” And for that, the Freedom From Religion Foundation wants to throw the book, so to speak, at the judge.

Others on the left have also thrown a fit against the judge—and even against the victim’s brother—for offering forgiveness. But forgiveness is a great healer, cutting even through the racial barriers that so divide us.

Every day, as a spiritual discipline, I review in my mind a list of Scriptural truths, including: “God has forgiven me. I forgive others. I walk in forgiveness.”

Yet thoughts of revenge come naturally to us—so naturally that they’re even a point of humor:

  • “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” – Clarence Darrow
  • “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain
  • And then there is the famous dialogue between Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Member of Parliament Lady Astor. She said, “If you were my husband I’d poison your tea!” He shot back, “Madam, If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

All humor aside, in His classic Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus taught His followers to pray using what we call “the Lord’s Prayer,” or the “Our Father.” Many churches, including mine, use this prayer week after week.

It includes this petition, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” or “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Jesus elaborated on this particular petition:

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

The forgiveness of sins by God is based on the fact that Jesus died on behalf of sinners. Those who believe in Him are forgiven and receive eternal life.

Forgiving others isn’t just good spiritual living. The late Lewis Smedes of Fuller Theological Seminary once said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.” His 1984 book, Forgive and Forget, according to Psychology Today (10/7/19) “has been credited as the catalyst for modern forgiveness research.”

A study reported in the UK Telegraph (7/8/19) compared the difference between those who forgive as opposed to these who hold a grudge. Forgiving is better for your mental and physical health than is “grudge-holding.”

Georgia psychotherapist, Angela Buttimer observes, “When we hold onto grudges and resentment, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.”

I find all this fascinating because I maintain that the Bible beat modern psychology by 2000 years when it comes to the importance of forgiving, of letting it go.

There is a fantastic quote in an old book by two psychiatrists. In 1951, J. T. Fisher and L. S. Hawley, wrote A Few Buttons Missing, in which they praised the good psychological principles taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Wrote Fisher and Hawley:

“If you were to take the sum total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene—if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage—if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the sermon on the mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison.”

And they add, “For nearly two thousand years, the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearnings. Here…rests the blueprints for successful human life with optimum mental health and contentment.”

And, of course, included in that blueprint is to experience God’s forgiveness and in turn to forgive others. The brother of the shooting victim and the judge are showing far more healthy behavior than their detractors are.

VIDEO: The Vortex — Vatican Stealing Millions. Where’s the money?

TRANSCRIPT

I’m Michael Voris coming to you from Rome, where, in the midst of the controversial Amazon Synod, we are also chasing down other unrelated stories as well.

Each day, we will bring you an update on the synod proceedings, but as we said, there’s much more to report from Rome than just the synod.

One of those stories, which has just been dropped by the Catholic media world, is the ongoing scandal involving the finances of the Papal Foundation.

Church Militant has learned exclusively that board members and the overall membership have been lied to by members of the U.S. hierarchy about a certain $25 million.

Here’s the background first.

Last year, soon after the news of McCarrick broke and grabbed headlines all over the world, it came out that the charitable organization, the Papal Foundation, had been manipulated by McCarrick, in part, to send a $25 million grant to the Vatican.

Directly involved in McCarrick’s plotting was Cdl. Donald Wuerl, the point man in getting the board of directors to approve the loan.

The money was supposedly earmarked for here, the IDI hospital in Rome. IDI stands for the Immaculate Dermatological Institute in Rome.

Owing to the Church’s long-standing presence and involvement in charitable work here in Italy, it is not uncommon at all for the Vatican to have deep involvement with hospitals all over the country.

The problem with IDI is that it has been scandal-plagued for years — massively in debt, hundreds of millions of Euros.

There was a time recently when it was so heavily in the red that employees were not being paid and held a strike in the hospital’s parking lot demanding pay.

So when McCarrick and Wuerl approached the board of directors of the Papal Foundation in the United States to fork over $25 million, many of them balked, concerned that money they had all personally put up to assist the Pope’s personal charities was being misspent.

Eventually, Wuerl was abe to sufficiently twist arms and hoodwink the lay members for the board that they agreed to at first an $8 million grant, and then a second payment of $5 million for a total of $13 million.

That second payment was railroaded through by Wuerl on a secret ballot.

When news started circulating among lay members of the foundation that something iffy was going on, many of them demanded the $13 million be returned to the foundation, especially in light of the breaking scandal of sex abuse cover-up by so many bishops.

One of those bishops was Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, outed as a homopredator and thief. Bransfield, it turns out, was dipping into not only his own diocesan funds to support a lavish lifestyle but also Papal Foundation monies.

He had access to the funds because he was president of the foundation, and if you are getting the picture that this whole thing seems like one big ripoff scam, you’re not far off.

Bransfield used almost $10,000 of Papal Foundation money to rent a private jet to fly to the funeral of one of the original lay founders of the board. But none of that was disclosed to membership. It has come out in light of the scandal surrounding Bransfield in his home diocese.

Now here’s the gigantic news.

When members demanded at the beginning of this year that the $13 million be returned, they were assured by Wuerl and company that it would be. Months went by and nothing happened.

When members started asking difficult and uncomfortable questions about why the money still had not been returned seven months later, they were told that someone had decided the $13 million would not be returned in whole but converted into a loan.

Who the loan was made to was not made clear. Was the loan directly to IDI hospital which is so far in debt no one in Italy would give them a loan? Or was the loan made to the Vatican, who would then give the money to IDI? To this day, it’s unclear.

But there is a lot unclear about this loan, and members have started asking very uncomfortable questions. In fact, this past August, an email was circulated among a huge number of Papal Foundation members asking some very pointed questions about the “loan.”

Church Militant was eventually shared on the email, which is explosive, revealing what appears to be a “fake” loan.

Close to a hundred members were shared on this email, and it’s causing a stir behind the scenes. These Catholic millionaires want to know where their money is. The email in question reveals a series of questions about the specifics of the loan and the answers are, well, unbelievable.

Question: What is the necessary collateral to justify this loan? Answer: There is no collateral.

Question: Who prepared the load agreement? Answer: Cardinal Parolin’s letter of intent to repay is our only agreement.

Parolin is the Vatican secretary of state, the second most powerful man in the Vatican. That indicates that this scheme goes all the way to the top of the Vatican.

Question: Who is the party responsible for this loan? Answer: The Vatican, we hope, on some level.

Question: Signer on the loan? Answer: None.

Interest rate charged on the loan? None.

When will the loan be amortized, meaning when do payments begin and over what time period?

Answer: Cardinal Parolin stated that they would endeavor to start to repay us in 2022.

What penalty will be assessed if payments are not made? Answer: None.

So what do we have here – total stonewalling from the Vatican about what amounts to a theft of at least 13-million dollars from the Papal Foundation – involving Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin.

No answers; only deflection, lies and/or incomplete, misleading statements.

Members privately tell Church Militant that the board got bamboozled by a fast-talking Theodore McCarrick, a strong-arming Donald Wuerl, a thieving Michael Bransfield, and the whole thing is being nicely covered up and stonewalled by Cdl. Parolin.

And as stated earlier, there isn’t the slightest bit of evidence where this money is.

So one immediate question needs to be asked. Did Cdl. Parolin, in cooperation with members of the U.S. hierarchy, cook up a scheme to essentially steal $25 million from charitable Catholic U.S. millionaires and then divert the funds away from the supposed recipient and just keep the money in the Vatican bank?

It’s a very solid question because the Vatican ran nearly $80 million into the red last fiscal year.

Could this have been a scheme to try and alleviate that debt?

What we do know is the Vatican is bleeding money and all Papal Foundation funds first come here to the Vatican where the Pope’s men then distribute the money. But what if they don’t actually distribute the money?

A shady “loan” is raising all these questions.

Was it a loan? Was there ever a loan? Why was the promise to simply return the money broken and eight months later members informed about the supposed loan?

And perhaps the two most important questions: Where is the $13 million? And is Pope Francis’ number two man involved in a scheme to pilfer millions of dollars from unsuspecting generous Catholics in the United States?

Cardinal Sean O’Malley is now the new president of the Papal Foundation — placed, not elected into that position, by Donald Wuerl.

These are questions he needs to answer.

Members also tell us that all this scandal for the past year is taking its toll.

In years past, the foundation would get two or three new members a year, promising to give a million dollars to the Pope’s charities.

In the past couple of years, only one new member has joined, according to sources.

Likewise, a sizable number of members have simply stopped sending in their annual pledges — understandable.

One line from the email best sums up the entire fiasco: “This is typical of business as usual from the hierarchy of the Church.”

It appears theft can now be added to the list of crimes and immoralities happening here under the Francis papacy — unaccountable, zero transparency, lies, cover-up, deflections.

RELATED ARTICLE: AMAZON SYNOD REPORT — LOTS OF APPLAUSE (FOR REVOLUTION) And it IS revolution.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Rosenstein Email to Mueller: ‘The Boss’ Doesn’t Know We’re Talking

Rod Rosenstein, formerly the deputy attorney general, is a key figure in enabling, at a minimum, the Deep State’s seditious attacks on President Trump.

More proof is in new documents uncovered by a Judicial Watch lawsuit.

Specifically, we forced the release of 145 pages of Rosenstein’s communications that include a one-line email from Rosenstein to Mueller stating, “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.” They also include “off the record” emails with major media outlets around the date of Mueller’s appointment.

We filed a lawsuit to get these documents after the Department of Justice failed to respond to our September 21, 2018, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

We were seeking any and all e-mails, text messages, or other records of communication addressed to or received by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein between May 8, 2017, and May 22, 2017.

The time period referred to in this suit is critical. On May 9, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memo to President Trump recommending that FBI Director James Comey be fired. That day, President Trump fired Comey. Just three days later, on May 12, Rosenstein sent an email assuring Robert Mueller that “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.” (It is not clear if the “boss” is then-AG Sessions or President Trump.)

In a May 16, 2017, email, sent the day before Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein emailed former Bush administration Deputy Attorney General and current Kirkland & Ellis partner Mark Filip stating, “I am with Mueller. He shares my views. Duty Calls. Sometimes the moment chooses us.”

The next day, May 17, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

During the same period, between May 8 and May 17, Rosenstein met with then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other senior Justice Department FBI officials to discuss wearing a wire and invoking the 25th  Amendment to remove President Trump.

The documents also show that, again during the same time period, Rod Rosenstein was in direct communication with reporters from 60 MinutesThe New York Times, and The Washington Post. In an email exchange dated May 2017, Rosenstein communicated with New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz to provide background for this article about himself. Ruiz emailed Rosenstein a draft of the article, and he responded with off-the-record comments and clarifications.

  • In an email exchange on May 17, 2017, the day of Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein exchanged emails with 60 Minutes producer Katherine Davis in which he answered off-the-record questions about Mueller’s scope of authority and chain of command:

Rosenstein: “Off the record: This special counsel is a DOJ employee. His status is similar to a US Attorney.”

Davis: “Good call on Mueller. Although I obviously thought you’d be great at leading the investigation too.”

  • On May 17, 2017, in an email exchange with Washington Post journalist Sari Horwitz with the subject line “Special Counsel,” Rosenstein and Horwitz exchanged:

Rosenstein said, “At some point, I owe you a long story. But this is not the right time for me to talk to anybody.”

Horwitz: “Now, I see why you couldn’t talk today! Obviously, we’re writing a big story about this Is there any chance I could talk to you on background about your decision?”

These astonishing emails further confirm the corruption behind Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert Mueller. They also show a shockingly cozy relationship between Mr. Rosenstein and anti-Trump media reporters.

Here’s some more background on the incredible finds from this one Judicial Watch lawsuit:

On September 11, we released 14 pages of records from the Department of Justice showing officials’ efforts in responding to media inquiries about DOJ/FBI talks allegedly invoking the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump from office and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offering to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with the president.

On September 23, we released a two-page memo, dated May 16, 2017, by then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe detailing how then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire into the Oval Office “to collect additional evidence on the president’s true intentions.” McCabe writes that Rosenstein said he thought it was possible because “he was not searched when he entered the White House.”

As the “coup” targeting President Trump continues through the House impeachment abuse, it is important to remember that its origins are in the Deep State agencies – especially the FBI and DOJ.

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

Britain Get Talking!

These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years.   Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.


I couldn’t quite believe what I was listening to, or not listening to as the case might be, when this weekend some television presenters across the UK decided to go silent for a minute in order to promote conversation, and get Britain talking about the nation’s mental health.   It was stated that anxiety and depression in children has risen by 48% since 2004!

As silence reigned across the airwaves, apparently giving people the opportunity to talk to each other about their problems, the brief irony of not being indoctrinated with conflicting beliefs and statements made from the well-known faces blankly staring back through the TV screen, had been a welcome relief instead.

You see, some of these presenters are extremely inept at silencing people and tying them up in knots when they do not follow the politically correct narrative of the day.

The silence last night, although only momentary, was impregnated with this ‘Truth’.

And as I listened to the growing statistics of people both young and old who suffer with depression and anxiety with no-one to talk to, I wondered just how prepared our society is to really listen to some other core factors which are avoided, silenced and kept away from the public and especially our children in our never ending suppression of ‘Truth’?

The intended creation of confusion through a steady stream of brainwashing, and the suppression/dismissal of ‘facts’ has surely been a massive contributor in what is called our present day mental health problems.

In our advanced technological age where people are continuously connected to each other, surely it is not necessarily our isolation from others, although it is a contributing factor, but it is the growing distance from which we now stand, separated from an inward source connected to common sense, fact and rational against the influence of a ‘common purpose’ ideal. It is this ideal which labels people bigoted if it does not go along with its narrative.

Yes, some of those people who pretend to love everyone and think we should talk are really bullies, and they have no real patience or time whatsoever for those who might see more rationally.

Another mental health charity states the cause of our suffering is British reserve!

With the promotion of contempt towards anything which promotes moral character, values and sanity, British reserve is now a myth, and it is not causing people to suffer in silence. Political correctness, is just one of the branches with is at the real root cause of our silence and our suffering.

Brexit – The Betrayal

One of the main changes in British characteristics which I have observed during the course of my life is how courtesy or consideration towards others has been used against us in order for other people to get their own way.  There is no trick or emotion that a person without a conscience or any consideration towards others will not use against you.

The battle between kindness and the total displacement of any genuine and individual identity has ruthlessly left many people, and in particular an older age group, totally dismissed and their once respected voices are now silenced in respect to another generation who blames them for not fighting harder for their ‘climate’.

Today’s propaganda about climate change which is questionable on so many levels is turning the youth against adults to state that “the older generation will die of old age, the younger generation will die of climate change”! Really. There are a few world wars which may contest that statement.

It is a sad reality that many older people, who have made it through our poisoned environment, never used air travel, never had a car, survived on rations, and never had the privilege of using today’s modern technology in the UK today, as younger people do.   Many old people will often say they are really glad they will be leaving this earth because they are sick and tired of what they ‘see’ and ‘hear’

Brexit, in 2016, when 17.5 million people voted to leave a construct called the EU, is also the defining moment where it has become evidently clear that those voices really didn’t matter or count, even if certain politicians pretended they did…….

Who do you say I am?

Certainly another one of the biggest injustices today is the disregard which is being shown to parents who do not wish their children to receive RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) in schools to children who are sometimes as young as 4 years old.   Used as a vehicle to promote LGBT values, it is reported that many concerned parents also consider the new teaching to be a tool to state sponsored sexual grooming and abuse.   It is a lie that the material helps children who suffer from gender dysphasia.   It is creating it.

I have viewed some of the material which is shown to young children and it does attempt to influence very young boys to think they could be ‘gay’ if they don’t like playing with girls.   (Perfectly natural when you are a young boy)  The material also suggests that it is natural for boys to wear dresses if they ‘feel’ like it.

It is disturbing and very cruel that parents are being labelled bigoted, rather than being concerned or caring about the material which is highly suggestible to their children. Recent demonstrations made against a school in Birmingham, highlighted the fact that the parents who demonstrated were Muslim; however, the concern being expressed throughout the country is from a large cross section of society, including LGBT people, and also various religions, including Christianity.

In light of this, it is reported that guidelines made by the Department of Education in respect of objectors, have been distributed to schools.   It is claimed it offers preventative measures on demonstrations which may be organized; how to ensure rapid response from law enforcers, how to work with faith leaders and politicians, and how to work legally in applying for injunctions and/or anti-social behaviour orders.

Regardless of the obvious concerns beings expressed by many concerned parents and professionals, the state is ploughing ahead with its plans regardless of Protocol 1, Article 2 of the European Convention of Human rights, which is in English law under the Human Rights Act 1998.

“In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”

No-one is really talking about the immense distress that parents are experiencing.  In some cases, very young children are being encouraged to use hormone blockers without their parent’s permission or knowledge.

The statistics for fatal blood clots, suicidal behaviour, brittle bones and sterility potentially created by hormone blockers, and the statistics for people who suffer from trans-regret are also not mentioned in the information being provided to children.   Many people do not know that there is a huge ‘ex-gay’ community who are also silenced.

Whilst this section of society stays quiet, it is reported the BBC, have, however, been talking quite openly to teachers and informing them there are 100 genders or more that 9 – 12 year olds can choose from.

Whilst celebrating diversity, there are so many people who are not allowed to speak on this matter.   Political correctness has ensured these people will really suffer in silence……….

The Shedding of Blood

One could not help but make some connection between the recent pictures of the red-robed, ‘Extinction Rebellion’ activists who are being allowed to passionately demonstrate against global climate and wildlife emergencies across cities in Europe, and the symbol of red they are using.  There is the shedding of blood from 8.6 million abortions in England and Wales which have occurred over the last 50 years. Those silent voices together with the silenced voices of the parents who have suffered from mental health problems as a result of their choice is one particular horror which is distinctly kept as low key as possible.

The red-robed extinction rebellion activists have chained themselves to railings, stopped traffic, and received the highest exposure possible. Whilst adults and now a growing number of children will happily lie down in the road to take a stand about climate change and animal welfare, they may never be exposed to the filming of abortions or hear about the cruel way babies bodies are torn apart and used to experiment upon.

It is reported that a coffin with a plaque ‘Our Future’ was parked in Trafalgar square by a climate change activist. In many respects they fail to see that their extinction is already being devised through means other than the climate.

Are climate change activists a useful distraction against abuse which is really taking place?

The horror of how mankind is encouraged to destroy itself and how we are subjected to silence about that injustice through social manipulation, is perhaps our greatest shame of all; but all is not lost. Urgent action is needed. Our hope is a reconnection from the place where we fell.   Restoration is possible.  We need to be aware of the slyness of evil and how it operates.  Children’s lives depend on it, and they need to know we really care.

The silence which was instigated over the weekend is a good place to be.  Truth originates from there.   It was where it all began.

Let’s talk about it …………

RELATED ARTICLE: UK Court Deems Christian Doctor’s Belief In Two Genders “Incompatible With Human Dignity”

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Artificial Intelligence: Will It Replace Small and Large Businesses?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is truly shaping the future of the business world. In 2017, 61% of businesses started using the technology. AI-based apps have emerged, from machine learning to natural language processing, and predictive analytics.

With such an immense capability and power, will AI replace human intelligence in business operations?

Artificial Intelligence: A Solution for Big or Small Businesses

Artificial Intelligence involves the creation of machines or software programs capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. From digital voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to the super-helpful navigation tools like Waze, AI has totally made a huge impact on the daily lives of consumers.

AI may appear like a costly investment for businesses but many of those who have implemented this technology has seen amazing results. Whether you’re running a small enterprise or a large organization, you can incorporate AI in a myriad of ways.

Data Insights

Target marketing is the way to attract more clients and increase a business’ revenue. But in order for this strategy to work, companies should learn how to obtain and analyze data to understand the market and customer behavior. AI has an enormous role in predictive analysis – a strategy that incorporates a variety of statistical techniques, from data mining to historical facts, and predictive modeling to forecast events.

Cost Reduction

Marketing can be an expensive undertaking, especially for small businesses. Without enough funds, it can be challenging to implement a full-blown approach to advertising. Since AI-based systems optimize marketing strategies, they greatly help bring down marketing costs. Through predictive analysis, businesses can strategically allocate funds on marketing campaigns that will give them the highest return.

Customer Service

The use of chatbots has incredibly improved customer experience. This AI-based application enables businesses to provide real-time responses to customer queries and minimizes agent transfers. A chatbot involves automated routing categorizes issues accurately and instantaneously. Moreover, it promotes quick resolution for customer problems and helps reduce costs due to lesser overhead.

Nonetheless, virtual assistant applications will not replace human intervention. Chatbots are helpful for answering simple questions like the shipping status, order cancellations, or bookings so that human agents can focus on more complex problems.

Improved Business Function

Many businesses today leverage AI to improve business functions and profitability. From streamlining production or manufacturing to scaling marketing and customer service – the possibilities are endless. AI applications can also be used for essential things like data security, vendor relations, inventory management, and so much more. Meanwhile, automation tools greatly reduce costs and labor, and improved efficiency in many companies. We’ve also seen how advanced robots work alongside humans in many settings.

Will AI Replace Human Intervention in Small and Large Businesses?

No, not at all. However, AI has changed and will continue to change the way companies do business. The human brain is still much more powerful and will take charge of designing algorithms, creating software systems, and building IT infrastructure. However, AI will serve an important role particularly in processing and analyzing troves of data in split seconds. AI-based systems can present meaningful data insights that humans can use to make crucial business decisions.

Additionally, AI-based applications will not replace human intervention in customer support, particularly in resolving complex issues (as discussed earlier). Rather, they will serve as a helpful extension of customer service.

Can AI be Used by Small Businesses?

Many entrepreneurs think that AI is an expensive technology that only large corporations can afford. Well, the truth is that even small businesses can take advantage of it. They don’t have to break the bank to implement AI-based systems in their organizations. Through cash advance online or, business financing even small businesses can integrate machine learning and AI into their operations. The key is to leverage existing platforms and ready-made solutions.

Conclusion

Technology has gone a long way in helping businesses reach their goals. The advent of artificial intelligence has delivered profound benefits to companies across all industries. From streamlining operations to improving customer service and marketing efficiency, AI serves as a powerful tool for increasing profitability.

However, it shouldn’t be treated as an alternative to human resources, rather, a helpful extension of the human brain. When used responsibly, AI can dramatically transform any business – big or small.

RELATED VIDEO: Will AI become your personal oracle?

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Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, says “I’m not siding with anybody”

It is foolish in the extreme, and ultimately self-defeating, to keep troops anywhere indefinitely, with no end point, no plan for victory, no clear goal — that just saps the nation’s resources and produces no good result. Anytime we leave Syria or anywhere else, anti-American elements will do their best to capitalize on our absence. But if the answer to this is to keep troops everywhere, then they will never come home, and we will need to send them into many more countries than those they’re currently in.

That way lies madness. And destruction. What is needed instead is a massive reevaluation of the basic assumptions of U.S. foreign policy, so that our energies, and our armed forces, are directed much more efficiently than they are now to blunting the force of the global jihad. We can hope that with the withdrawal from Syria, that reevaluation is on the horizon.

“Trump says he’s ‘not siding with anybody’ with Syria withdrawal,” by Kathryn Watson, CBS News, October 7, 2019:

Washington — President Trump didn’t let intense Republican criticism of his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria rattle him Monday, insisting he made the right call in deciding to leave the unstable region to Turkey and other actors.

Experts and the president’s own allies like Senator Lindsey Graham fear the decision to withdraw from the region will endanger Kurdish allies there, with Turkey threatening to overwhelm them. Mr. Trump, asked why he’s siding with authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Kurdish allies, insisted he’s not siding with anyone and is adhering to his campaign promise of “America first.”

“I’m not siding with anybody. We’ve been in Syria for many years. You know, Syria was supposed to be a short-term hit,” the president said in the Roosevelt Room, where he signed two trade agreements with Japan.

The president said he’s leaving the region in the hands of Turkey, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria — which is exactly what allies fear. Mr. Trump explained that he campaigned on pulling the U.S. out of needless wars in the Middle East, and noted the worst part of his job is writing to families of American soldiers who died….

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

Pope installs new cardinals who “share his vision for social justice, rights of immigrants and dialogue with Islam”

“Pope Francis installed new cardinals…. putting his stamp on the future of the Roman Catholic Church with men who share his vision for social justice, the rights of immigrants and dialogue with Islam.”

The Pope has been a powerful promoter of Islam, going so far as advance theological reforms in Catholic schools to promote a “common mission of peace” with Islam. He largely ignores the gross human rights violations against Christians, women, minorities and apostates that are justified by normative Islam. He has not called on the leaders of Islamic states and mainstream Islamic leaders to condemn the Islamic texts that sanction such abuses. Instead, he has stated that “Christianity and Islam have more in common than people think…and the two religions defend common values that are necessary for the future of civilization.” Meanwhile, he turns a blind eye to the genocide in progress against Christians in Africa and the Middle East, and advocates that “it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence.”

On issues of suicidal immigration policy, the Pope has been “guilt-tripping Christians into accepting mass Muslim migration into Europe while ignoring the history of Islam.”

Fortunately, not all cardinals are working alongside the Pope in all this. Cardinal Robert Sarah — prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — compared “the modern influx of Muslim migrants to the invasions of barbarian tribes that ultimately brought down the Roman Empire in a.d. 475.” Cardinal Sarah also asserted that “it is a false exegesis to use the Word of God to promote migration.”

Clerics who have fought for social justice and defended the rights of the poor and immigrants were also prominent among the new cardinals.

We can all approve of fighting for genuine social justice and the rights of the poor and actual refugees; but this does not require putting free nations at risk through open-door, unvetted immigration in the midst of the global jihad. The Pope has yet to tear down all walls around the Vatican and refuse his own personal security, but that is exactly what he expects from the citizenry.

“Pope installs new cardinals to set future direction of church,” by Philip Pullella, KFGO, October 5, 2019:

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis installed new cardinals on Saturday, putting his stamp on the future of the Roman Catholic Church with men who share his vision for social justice, the rights of immigrants and dialogue with Islam.

Ten of the 13 bishops elevated to the high rank are under the age of 80 and so are eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope from their ranks.

Francis has now appointed more than half of the 128 cardinal electors, increasing the possibility that the next pope will continue his progressive policies.

Over six years he has appointed more cardinal electors than those still alive who were named by former Pope Benedict and the late Pope John Paul combined.

At a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, known as consistory, Francis gave the new cardinals their trademark red biretta, or hat, and asked them to always be compassionate with others and loyal.

The geographical distribution of the new cardinal electors reflects Francis’s desire to give more clout to small national churches outside of Europe and North America, countries on the periphery of world political power. Nearly 50% of the cardinal electors now come from the developing world.

“I think that the pope wanted to make visible the churches that were almost invisible,” said Cardinal Cristobal Lopez Romero, of Rabat, the capital of Morocco, which is overwhelmingly Muslim.

Romero, 67, is one of four new cardinal electors who are steeped in experience with Islam.

The others are Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, 67, the Spanish head of the Vatican’s department for inter-religious dialogue; British Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald, 82, one of the Church’s foremost experts on Islam and the Koran, and Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, 69, the archbishop of Jakarta in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Moslem population.

Clerics who have fought for social justice and defended the rights of the poor and immigrants were also prominent among the new cardinals….

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

MSNBC’s Las Vegas Anti-Gun Rally

On Wednesday, anti-gun news outlet MSNBC, along with their partner organizations Giffords and March for Our Lives, hosted nine Democrat candidates for President for what was billed as a “Gun Safety Forum.”  Most of the time was spent by candidates and anti-gun activists railing against guns, NRA, and occasionally, President Donald Trump.

As one can imagine, there really wasn’t much new discussed, as candidates continued to try to convince Democrat voters that each is the most anti-gun choice.  At times, it seemed like a fight might break out over who had the most outrageous scheme to disarm law-abiding Americans.

Everyone seemed to agree on “universal” background checks, “red flag” laws, and that there is an “epidemic” of gun violence in our country.  But as each candidate took the stage for their individual allotted time, most tried to separate themselves from the others.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of the higher polling lower tier candidates, started things off, trying to draw a connection between passing new gun laws and combatting “white nationalism.”

Buttigieg also promoted gun licensing, as well as “red flag” laws and “universal” background checks.  Attacking NRA, he made the patently false allegation that our association represents the interests of gun manufacturers, rather than our 5 million dues-paying members.

Mayor Buttigieg also talked about banning semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, making the confusing statement that such things should not be sold “anywhere near an American school or neighborhood.”  He seemed to clarify later that he was not talking about limiting where gun stores could operate, but meant he wanted to ban these popular rifles.

While trying to sell the constitutionality of banning some of the most commonly owned firearms in America, he made two bizarre comparisons.  First, he said that people can own slingshots, but not nuclear weapons, followed by stating that water balloons are legal, but predator drones are not.  It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous comparison than one between children’s toys and actual weapons of war while discussing the Second Amendment.

His support of banning AR-15s, however, did not, at this time, include support for the type of confiscation scheme that has been promoted by one of the other candidates.  More on that later.

Former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro was next. He promoted increasing the tax on ammunition to further drive up its cost and supported the banning of so-called “assault weapons,” but fell short of calling for their confiscation.  Instead, he promoted a voluntary “buy-back” scheme, followed by registering those not turned in and tracking their future transfer, similar to the way fully-automatic firearms are currently regulated.  While he did not mention fully incorporating them into the National Firearms Act (NFA) protocols, that seemed to be where he was heading.

Next was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.  He stated support for banning and confiscating semi-automatic firearms, pushed so-called “safe” storage laws, and promoted his scheme to implement a federal licensing program for gun owners.  He went so far as to call out all of his opponents that don’t support his position, claiming anyone who does not support licensing “should not be a nominee from our party.”  He then went on to pat himself on the back for pushing “the most ambitious” gun plan.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been leading the pack in some polls, then spoke.  She promoted the idea of limiting firearm purchases to one-a-month, and also suggesting a 7-day waiting period before a law-abiding citizen could take possession of a lawfully purchased firearm.  She also threatened a federal investigation of NRA—a clear attempt to quash our right to free speech, and that of our more than 5 million members.

Following Warren was former Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden had been the favorite in the race, at one point commanding a lead of more than 25-points over his closest rival, his advantage has all but disappeared.  Biden again raised his make-believe idea on gun control—mandating guns that can only operate utilizing “biometric markers.”  He also pushed a ban on the manufacture of AR-15s and similar rifles, coupled with regulating those that are currently owned under the NFA.  This scheme has been promoted by representatives of Giffords, one of the sponsors of the event, so Biden was clearly playing to the audience.

His presentation was marked by the usual rambling, odd tangents, and self-promoting hyperbole to which we’ve grown accustomed.  At one point he stopped in the middle of praising those behind March for Our Lives to clumsily transition to talking about the federal restrictions on hunting migratory waterfowl; pointing out that there is a limit of three shells in your shotgun when in the field.  That brought him to discussing putting limits on the number of rounds one can have in other firearms.  Biden seems to be struggling with determining an arbitrarily acceptable limit on ammunition capacity, so maybe he’s now testing out the idea of using three.

Former Texas Representative Robert Francis O’Rourke, who self-identifies as “Beto,” took the stage after Biden.  He specifically called out Mayor Buttigieg for not supporting his gun confiscation idea, all but calling him a coward.  He seemed to imply the same about Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (R-N.Y.) and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del) for their questioning the level of support for the disarmament scheme.

O’Rourke also pushed the popular lie among the anti-gun crowd that AR-15s and similar semi-automatic rifles are “weapons of war.”  He even made the outrageously false claim that such firearms are “sold to the militaries of the world.”  Of course, this is just an evolution of what gun-ban advocate Josh Sugarmann began promoting in the late ‘80s, when he wrote about so-called “assault weapons”:

“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

Of course, millions of law-abiding Americans own semi-automatic rifles, while fully-automatic firearms are strictly regulated under the NFA, and are what is actually “sold to the militaries of the world.”

He also claimed that, when the Second Amendment was ratified, it took “three minutes to reload a musket.”  In fact, someone in the 18th century who was familiar with their musket could fire and reload it two- to three-times a minute.  While that fact has little to do with the debate over gun control, what O’Rourke ignores is the more relevant fact that those privately owned muskets were no different than the muskets used by those in “the militaries of the world.”

The bottom-tier candidate waited until near the end of his time to break out two of the shticks for which he has become somewhat famous; profanity and high school-level Spanish.

Another bottom-tier candidate, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, was next, although she didn’t really bring anything new to the discussion.  She mostly echoed the same, tired gun-control ideas promoted by those who came before her.  Perhaps that is why she has been struggling throughout most of her campaign to generate more than 1% support in the polls.

Businessman Andrew Yang, who can’t seem to achieve much more than mid-single digit support in spite of promising to give people “free” money, had some curious ideas.  He appeared to support Biden’s “biometric markers” idea, and mentioned expanding on the Booker notion of licensing by promoting a multi-tiered licensing program, although he didn’t offer real details on that while on stage, other than there would be different licenses for different guns.

Yang also mentioned wanting to keep track of people who own multiple firearms, but also offered no details on accomplishing this to the audience.

Two particularly odd ideas stood out.  First, in order to counter the impact of organizations like NRA, he suggested giving every American $100.00 of what he referred to as “Democracy Dollars.”  People could give this money to lawmakers and candidates to help influence their votes, which sounds a bit like buying votes.  While we do not support the notion of buying votes, perhaps Mr. Yang did not consider the fact that NRA has five million members.  Does he really want to add more than half-a-billion dollars that could be used to support the campaigns of candidates that support the Second Amendment?

His other odd idea, which may be better described as troubling, was the suggestion that gun manufacturers be fined every time one of their lawful products is used by a criminal.  One presumes he is not suggesting the same penalties for the makers of any other lawful products commonly used by criminals.  If he did, then he would likely be accused of trying to bankrupt the entire manufacturing industry, rather than just those that manufacture firearms.

One other odd statement he made, but also didn’t go into any real details about, was implying that criminals who use firearms to kill others are somehow victims.  This line of thought deserves no additional commentary.

Finally, California Senator Kamala Harris spoke, offering nothing substantively new.  She reiterated her desire to use executive action to implement many of her schemes.  Perhaps hoping to avoid the ire of O’Rourke, she made clear that she supports his approach to banning and confiscating AR-15s and similar semi-automatic firearms.  Some of the candidates who took the stage mentioned their version of supporting the Second Amendment included, at least to some extent, the right of self-defense.  Harris, however, spoke only of respecting the Second Amendment as it relates, in her mind, to the tradition of hunting.

Ultimately, this anti-gun rally produced what would be expected of an event run by an anti-gun news outlet and anti-gun organizations.  The same gun control ideas that have been promoted ad nauseum by radical extremists for years, or even decades.  It was at least slightly interesting to see at what lengths candidates will go to try and out-anti-gun one another, especially considering the controlled environment where there was no chance of facing any sort of push-back.  Especially from citizens who still respect the Constitution, individual freedom and our right to keep and bear arms.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Video: Robert Spencer speaks at the Sullivan County Republican Party, New Hampshire

After a great deal of controversy from the fascist Left and viciously biased “journalists” Kevin Landrigan of the New Hampshire Union Leader and John Gregg of Valley News, I spoke for the Sullivan County Republican Party of New Hampshire on Friday evening, October 4. My topic was the controversy itself, and what it reveals for the state of our response to jihad terror and the health of our society in general.

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RELATED VIDEO: Rasmus Paludan mobbed by communists and muslims in Nørrebro posted by Eeyore

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

What You Need to Know About the Transgender Case at the Supreme Court

This interview, which is lightly edited, originally aired on “Problematic Women.”

Lauren Evans: Welcome back. Virginia and I are in the studio today with religious liberty superstar Emilie Kao. Emilie is an attorney and director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation and has spent the past 14 years fighting for religious liberty. Welcome to the show, Emilie.

Emilie Kao: Thank you, Lauren.

Evans: There’s a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court where a man who identifies as a woman is alleging sex discrimination after being fired from their job at a funeral home. Can you tell us more about this case, Emilie?

Kao: Yes. The Harris Funeral Homes case originated when a male employee of a funeral home wanted to start presenting as a woman. He wanted to start dressing as a woman, and the funeral home has a sex-specific dress code, which is legal.

The funeral home owner, Thomas Rost, was very concerned, not only about his employees, his female employees, who might have to share bathrooms with the male employee, but also about the effect on the people whom the funeral homes serve. Because these are people who are grieving at a time when they’re very focused on their emotional loss, and it could be very distracting and even disturbing for them to see a man dressed as a woman.

So when the employee refused to comply with the dress code according to his sex, they decided to part ways with him and offered him a severance package.

What happened next was that the employee and the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, got involved and sued the funeral home. And the case has percolated up through the courts. They lost in the lower court and now it’s gotten to the Supreme Court.

Virginia Allen: Emilie, I want to ask you just to provide a definition for sexual discrimination.

Kao: The correct way to understand discrimination on the basis of sex—it is when one person is treated more disfavorably than a person of the other category.

So if you have a person who is male who is treated worse than a person who’s female because of their sex, that is sex discrimination. If you have a female who is treated worse than a male, that is sex discrimination.

Sex discrimination is not merely when you treat two people differently because we treat males and females differently all the time. That’s why we have some of the other sex-segregated spaces and events that we’ve talked about before. That’s why we have sex-segregated bathrooms. We have sex-segregated sports. Because the courts and the American people have realized men and women are different, and so there’s nothing discriminatory about having sex segregation in appropriate ways, sex-segregated spaces, sex-segregated events that involve a person’s physical capacity.

But what the people in the Harris Funeral Homes case are arguing on behalf of the employee who is identifying as transgender is that he was treated more poorly because of his status as a person who identifies as transgender.

He’s a male who wants to dress as a female. He’s a male who wants to use female restrooms. But that is not sex discrimination because the funeral home would have treated somebody of the opposite sex the same way if they manifested in the same way that this employee is.

So if you were a female employee of that funeral home and you wanted to identify as a male and use the male restroom and wear the male clothing that’s required by the dress code and be referred to as a male, the treatment would be the same of that female employee. So that’s why this case does not actually qualify for the sex discrimination category.

Evans: What was crazy to me about this case is that no laws were technically broken, correct?

Kao: Well, the claim of the EEOC and the employee is that the funeral home owner has violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

The whole theory of the transgender-identifying employee is that sex actually means gender identity, which there’s nothing in the text that says gender identity. But they have a theory that sex should mean gender identity.

So they’re essentially saying that the EEOC can redefine sex, and they now want the Supreme Court to redefine sex. And the Supreme Court should stay in its own lane, which is to interpret the law, not make the law, which is Congress’ duty.

Allen: So, Emilie, this case is going to come before the Supreme Court on Oct. 8, where it will decide, hopefully, whether federal civil rights law that bars job discrimination on the basis of sex protects transgender people. What do you think we can expect?

Kao: I think you can expect from the funeral home side that they will say Congress should stick with the original public meaning of what the word sex meant in 1964. And that is it established a way of interpreting the law that the court should refer to the original public meeting, which means, what did a regular person in the general public understand sex to mean, not what did a particular member of Congress think?

I think everyone pretty much agrees that in 1964, the word sex meant biological sex, male or female, not a person’s subjective self-perception of their gender, which is what gender identity means.

So I think that there will be a lot of discussion about the procedural part, which is, what is the correct role of the Congress versus what is the correct role of the courts?

As your listeners may know, the Congress has actually been trying to amend the Civil Rights Act recently through the Equality Act to add the classes of sexual orientation and gender identity. So the fact that the Equality Act is being introduced in Congress sort of begs the question, “Well, if sex already meant gender identity, why would you have to add it through this legislation?”

We also know that through the decades, Congress has actually dealt with the question of gender identity. Sometimes they have added it to legislation like the Violence Against Women Act, but sometimes they have declined, they have projected the addition of the term gender identity. So the historical record’s pretty clear. Congress knows that gender identity and sex are two different things.

Allen: So if SCOTUS rules that gender identity does not apply to federal civil rights law, will that create a roadblock for Congress to move forward with the passage of the Equality Act?

Kao: I think it will clarify what the current understanding of the Civil Rights Act should be, and I think it will make it more difficult for the EEOC to continue to politicize these cases. But I don’t think it will make it more difficult in a procedural sense for Congress to try and pass something like the Equality Act.

However, I do think it could make the public support for something like the Equality Act change. Because I think one of the interesting things about this case is that it will bring to the forefront some of the issues that we’ve talked about, how gender identity essentially erases women as a coherent category in the law.

We’ve seen the manifestation of this in several cases like the homeless shelter in Alaska. They were sued because they would not allow a man into a space that was reserved for women who’d been battered, and abused, and trafficked. The whole theory behind the male plaintiff’s case was that he was being discriminated against on the basis of gender identity.

So we see from that case that when you introduce the idea of gender identity, it erases the protections in the law for women, for their safety, and privacy. And there are a number of other cases with women’s sports and with, unfortunately, a girl in a public school in Georgia being sexually assaulted after the school adopted a transgender bathroom policy.

Allen: Emilie, I’m glad that you brought up the Alaska case about the homeless shelter. I want to get into that for a moment. Let me just give a little bit of background to our listeners if they’re not familiar.

The Hope Center is a Christian nonprofit women’s homeless shelter in Anchorage, Alaska. Right now, we have some great news that we just received this week that they are now free to continue serving homeless women without the threat of looming legal action or even being shut down.

The reason why that threat arose to them was in January 2018, a drunk and injured man dressed in a pink nightgown tried to gain access to the Hope Center. During the day, the center does serve men and women by providing them with meals, laundry, and shower services, job skills training, and clothing. But in order to provide a safe space for homeless women, the shelter at night does only house women.

So when this intoxicated, biological man identifying as a woman came knocking on the center’s door after hours, the Hope Center sent the individual to the hospital to get the care he needed. They even paid for the taxi. But then the Hope Center faced a complaint from the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission claiming that the center had discriminated against this individual because of his gender identity. This appeared to be an attempt to attack the center’s Christian beliefs.

At that point, the Christian nonprofit legal defense firm Alliance Defending Freedom stepped in to help and they filed a lawsuit in federal court on the center’s behalf. In August, that court issued an order that temporarily stopped the city from misplaying this law against the Hope Center.

So, Emilie, I want to ask you, how big of a win is this, and do you think this is actually the end of this case or will there be maybe an appeal?

Kao: I think it’s a very big win, not only for the Hope Center but for similarly situated women’s shelters and other spaces for women around the country. I think it’s a great precedent. My understanding is that there was a settlement. So if there was a settlement, I don’t expect that this will be relitigated.

Evans: One thing that I’ve learned since this case has come out is that Anchorage actually has a higher than normal population of women who have been sex trafficked because it’s kind of a middle point between Russia and the United States. So … these women, they need a safe space.

How unique is this case, and are faith-based women’s homeless shelters under attack pretty much everywhere?

Kao: Unfortunately, this is not a totally unique case because we’ve also seen a case in California called Poverello House, I believe it is a secular women’s shelter, where the women were forced to shower with a man who was apparently making, they allege, lewd comments toward them in the showers.

It was actually the women in that case who sued because they did not want to be housed with a man and have to share intimate facilities with a man.

So I think that, unfortunately, wherever we see these laws that have sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to the other protected categories, there is the possibility that women’s safety and privacy will be compromised in spaces that used to be for their protection.

Evans: The name of the act is the Equality Act, and it puts, I think, our listeners and people who believe in religious liberty in a hard place when somebody is like, “Man, why aren’t you for equality?”

So what is kind of misunderstood about this case, and what are some talking points that our listeners can use when put in this hard place of wanting to love all people but wanting to protect women?

Kao: I think the term equality has been misused. I think that one basic thing you can say is that all people have dignity and deserve to be treated with respect. All people have equal status, but not all ideas have equal status. And we don’t have to agree on all ideas.

What the Equality Act would do is basically adopt a government orthodoxy on sexual orientation and gender identity. Now, those two categories are distinct from many of the other categories that are protected in the Civil Rights Act. So if you think of race and sex, those are both biological and immutable traits. Gender identity is a person’s subjective perception of their own sex, which people have the freedom to believe that, but people also should have the freedom to disagree with that, to say, “Well, I think you actually are either a male or a female,” and they don’t believe in gender fluidity.

Then, the category of sexual orientation, again, that also involves a person’s behavior or their conduct, which we are free to have different opinions about behavior and conduct. That is not an immutable characteristic. So, unfortunately, what the Equality Act would do is it would lead to a government orthodoxy, and that will lead to the punishment of dissenters.

Some of those dissenters will be people who have religious convictions. Some of those dissenters will be people with moral convictions. And some of those dissenters, as we’ve seen from the women who oppose the Equality Act, their objections are based on science and based on concerns for women’s safety, and privacy, and equality.

So, unfortunately, the Equality Act would establish a nationwide orthodoxy and punish disagreement.

Allen: Emilie, with cases like the Hope Center case, do you see this as the left weaponizing anti-discrimination law and then using that to attack faith-based organizations?

Kao: I think that the treatment of people of faith over the past few years by the left, especially by organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and actually some members of Congress, has been incredibly intolerant.

You look at some of the rhetoric, the way that they describe people like Jack Phillips, the baker from Colorado. In Colorado, some of the government officials compared him to a Nazi and a slave owner. When you look at the targeting of organizations, businesses like his, with boycotts and picketing and not only that but death threats, harassing phone calls.

That’s, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. We’ve seen that with many of the wedding vendor cases, many of the cases involving sexual orientation and gender identity. There’s been verbal harassment, and economic threats, boycotts, and also sometimes threats of physical violence.

So, unfortunately, I think our culture is at a point right now that the left’s intolerance of religious beliefs about sexuality, and marriage, and even sex differences is increasing. So the use of these laws to punish people for disagreement, I think, is part of an overall picture of increasing intolerance toward people who simply hold the view that marriage is between a man and a woman and that there are two sexes, male and female.

Evans: Emilie, we talk a lot on the show about the Equality Act and these transgender issues, but at the end of the day, we’re blessed in the United States to have the First Amendment that protects our right to religious liberty. A lot of people in the world don’t have that First Amendment protection, and you [look at] a lot of issues talking about international religious freedom. And I know President Trump made a speech … at the U.N. about international religious freedom.

Can you give our listeners kind of an update about what’s going on around the world with these religious freedom issues?

Kao: President Trump gave a landmark speech and elevated religious freedom at the U.N. General Assembly to a level that it’s never been elevated before, which is very critical because the U.N. tends to downplay the importance of religious freedom even though over 80% of the world’s population lives under serious restrictions of religious freedom. So it really put the U.N. on notice and many of the countries that are the worst violators of religious freedom on notice.

I thought a particularly interesting part of the event that he held was to spotlight the survivors of religious persecution, and some people who were there had family members who are still in prison in places like China and Iran.

So I think that the Trump administration has added at the U.N. General Assembly to the work that it’s been doing for the past few years with the International Religious Freedom Ministerial Summit that Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback have hosted.

They’ve done a great job on building multilateral cooperation. Their summits have brought together government leaders from over 100 countries, and it has fostered more cooperation in places like the Middle East, and Asia, and Europe to combat religious freedom violations.

Allen: Emilie, I want to take just a moment to let you share a little bit about an event that’s happening at The Heritage Foundation next week. Earlier in the show, Lauren and I took some time to talk about the epidemic of child abuse through child pornography. And there is an event that you’re hosting next week at Heritage that addresses this crisis. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?

Kao: Thanks, Virginia. Yes, we are very concerned about this growing epidemic of children being sexualized by adults through culture, and education, and health care. Sometimes, this is actually as a result of government-led initiatives, which means that it is actually the use of taxpayer money.

So we will be looking at issues like pornography and trafficking, also the introduction of comprehensive sexuality education in public schools, the introduction of sexual orientation, gender identity curriculum, the transgender policies, and private facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms, and the increasing politicization of health care for children with gender dysphoria that’s leading to harmful treatments of testosterone and surgeries on children. So we will be bringing together thought leaders from around the country to discuss these issues with one another.

Hopefully, this will be a great way for parents to learn about what they can do. We’ll be introducing the national parent resource guide on the transgender trend, which is a very helpful tool for parents, gives them practical steps that they can take if a transgender policy is being introduced in their school district, ways that they can talk to their school, and it tells them what their rights are.

So we’re really looking forward to bringing together all of these experts from around the country to find solutions to this growing epidemic.

Allen: When is the event taking place, and how can people register?

Kao: The event is Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. They can watch online, and they can register on the Heritage website. We will have three panels on culture, education, and health care, in that order.

>>> On Wednesday, Oct. 9, The Heritage Foundation and Family Policy Alliance will co-host a Summit on Protecting Children from Sexualization to examine these issues in-depth. The summit also will debut the National Parents Resource Guide on the Transgender Trend. RSVP for the event or watch the livestream here.

We really encourage all parents to tune in at some point to this summit because it will give them an overview of how children are being targeted for sexualization, will give them practical tools to fight back, and it will introduce them to some of the federal and state policies that can help solve some of these problems.

Evans: If you are a podcast person, all Heritage events are turned into podcasts. You can listen to it. It’s almost immediate, usually takes an hour or two for us to get it uploaded. Also, a lot of the participants in the panel will be doing interviews with The Daily Signal, which will run throughout the week and probably into next week.

Allen: Thank you so much, Emilie, for joining us. We really appreciate your time and you sharing your expertise with us.

Kao: Thank you.

COLUMN BY

Lauren Evans

Lauren Evans is the multimedia producer for The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation. Send an email to Lauren. Twitter: @laurenelizevans.

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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