Rutgers: Jewish Democrat thrown out of Muslims4Peace event for calling Rashida Tlaib antisemitic

At virtually every university in the country, the academic establishment will use its thuggish cops to cosset and protect Leftists and Islamic supremacists from the slightest negative word. Institutions of higher learning? Hardly. They’re Antifa factories, centers of hard-Left indoctrination.

“Jewish Democrat Thrown Out of ‘Muslims4Peace’ Event for Calling Rashida Tlaib Antisemitic,” by Penny Starr, Breitbart, February 11, 2020:

Former New York State Democrat lawmaker Dov Hikind was tossed out of an event after confronting Rep. Rashida Tlaib (R-MI) on her past antisemitic remarks.

“Police just ejected me from an event of @Muslims4Peace at @RutgersU which was a fine event until @RashidaTlaib showed up. I challenged her about her antisemitism and spreading of an anti-Jewish blood libel! She had no answer for me,” Hikind tweeted. “They will never silence us!”

The crowd started shouting “Rashida!” “Rashida!” as Hikind was escorted out of the room.

The Daily Wire spoke to Hikind about attending the Muslims4Peace-sponsored event that was held over the weekend at Rutgers University.

The event was entitled “A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers – Lessons from the Prophet Muhammad,” according to the Daily Wire:

“As [Tlaib] started to speak about ‘showing up for allies,’ I decided it was time to take her to task for her recent promotion of an anti-Jewish blood libel,” Hikind said. “I stood up and asked her ‘what about your antisemitism? What about your spreading of a blood libel?’”

“And before I could finish my question, one man jumped at me and grabbed me,” Hikind continued. “I warned him to immediately get his hands off and he complied. The police were waiting on the sidelines and jumped in a second later and forcibly removed me. They did their job, and I have no qualms with them. But Rashida couldn’t answer me to my face.”

“I stood ten feet away from her, and all she could do was play the victim,” Hikind continued. “I was told that after I was escorted out she claimed that my question was part of a pattern of discrimination against people like her grandmother. In reality, she’s a shameless anti-Semite who hides her hate behind the guise of victimhood although she’s the only one consistently guilty of perpetuating hate. She’s the one guilty of promoting libelous lies that lead directly to violence! At the end of it all, Rashida showed us again that she has no backbone and has no real defense or justification for her abhorrent statements.”…

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

Margaret Sanger and the Racist Roots of Planned Parenthood

Recently, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (R-N.C.) came under fire for comments he made regarding Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger. Speaking to an MLK Day breakfast at Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, Forest said this: “There is no doubt that when Planned Parenthood was created, it was created to destroy the entire black race. That was the purpose of Planned Parenthood. That’s the truth.” Forest later defended his comments to McClatchy News: “The facts speak for themselves. Since 1973, 19 million black babies have been aborted, mostly by Planned Parenthood. I care too much about the lives of these babies to debate the intent of Sanger’s views when the devastation she brought into this world is obvious.”

Margaret Sanger, her sister, Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York on October 16, 1916. The clinic was later raided by the NYPD, and all three women were arrested and charged with violating the Comstock Act for distributing obscene materials. After laws governing birth control were relaxed, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which was renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942.

While Lieutenant Governor Forest was attacked by many on the Left for pushing an uneducated, insensitive agenda, history backs him up. The fact is that Margaret Sanger strongly believed the Aryan race to be superior and that it must be purified, a view that finds its roots from Charles Darwin’s defense of evolution in The Origin of Species. Darwin argued that a process of “natural selection” favored the white race over all other “lesser races.” Sanger advocated for eugenics by calling for abortion and birth control among the “unfit” to produce a master race, a race consisting solely of wealthy, educated whites. Sanger said she believed blacks were “human weeds” that needed to be exterminated. She also referred to immigrants, African Americans, and poor people as “reckless breeders” and “spawning…human beings who never should have been born.”

Sanger once wrote “that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.” In an effort to sell her birth control and abortion proposals to the black community, Sanger said: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” In 1926, Sanger was also the featured speaker at a women’s auxiliary meeting of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey.

Sanger opened her clinics in largely minority neighborhoods because she believed immigrants and the working class were inferior and needed their population controlled so as to purify the human race. That trend continues today where almost 80 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. In fact, although only 13 percent of American women are black, over 35 percent of all black babies are aborted in the United States every year. Abortion is the leading cause of death for blacks in the United States. According to Students for Life of America, “more African-Americans have died from abortion than from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined.” Black babies are about five times more likely to be aborted than whites. On Halloween in 2017, Planned Parenthood’s “Black Community” Twitter account tweeted: “If you’re a Black woman in America, it’s statistically safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to term or give birth.”

While Margaret Sanger tried to portray Planned Parenthood as a merciful organization that helps needy families, the facts speak for themselves. In her testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in September 2015, former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards openly admitted that over 80 percent of her organization’s annual revenue comes from performing abortions and not basic health care for poor or disadvantaged women. When you dive deeper, well over 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s annual revenue comes from performing abortions.

Despite this sordid history, Margaret Sanger is almost universally recognized as a pioneer for women’s rights rather than the racist she actually was. When accepting Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that she “admired Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…I am really in awe of her.” Those like Hillary Clinton are ignoring the explicitly racist statements that Margaret Sanger made throughout her life. The fact is that Sanger normalized birth control and abortion in the United States as a means to accomplish eugenics. Her ultimate goal was to eliminate non-white races, people with sickness or disabilities, children born to felons, the poor, and immigrants, to name a few.

Margaret Sanger is no heroine, and Planned Parenthood is not some merciful health care provider as the Left paints it to be. Margaret Sanger repeatedly stated her racist intentions for the whole world to see and hear, and Planned Parenthood was and still is the manifestation of those racist ideologies. America was founded on the idea that no matter your race, creed, national origin, disability, or station in life, everyone who comes here or is born here has the opportunity to live a successful, fulfilling life. Margaret Sanger didn’t believe that.

As pro-life activists, we must do our part to expose Margaret Sanger for who she really was. We must also expose the racist history of Planned Parenthood and how that history is still relevant today. For more information on Margaret Sanger and the racist roots of Planned Parenthood, check out these FRC resources: Planned Parenthood Is Not Pro-Woman and The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death.

COLUMN BY

Worth Loving

RELATED ARTICLE: Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger In Her Own Words

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Nike Swooshes in to Attack Women’s Sports

First, they attacked America. Then adoption. Now, women. Honestly, with such a busy schedule of political extremism, it’s a mystery how Nike has time to sell anything. But for all of the company’s radical campaigns, it’s Nike’s latest that’s really raising eyebrows. The retail titan is picking a side in the transgender sports debate — and it isn’t girls’.

Just how beholden is Big Business to LGBT activists? Well, one of the biggest manufacturers of international sports equipment just told half its market that it doesn’t care about the future of women’s sports. So much for Nike’s progressive feminist cred. In Tennessee, one of the states that’s considering a ban on biological boys competing against girls, the company actually suggested that keeping a level playing field for girls “put[s] our collective economic success at risk.” If anything puts our economic success at risk, it’s destroying 50 percent of high school, collegiate, and pro sports!

And yet, Nike, like 142 other businesses, is actively working to stop Tennessee (and at least six other states) from fighting the injustice of transgender sports. “I fully support them for being true to themselves and having the courage to do what they believe in,” Connecticut track star Selena Soule says of her male competition. But athletics is “an entirely different situation. It’s scientifically proven that males are built to be physically stronger than females. It’s unfair to put someone who is biologically a male, who has not undergone anything in terms of hormone therapy, against cis-gender girls… It’s upsetting when we work hard all season and put in a lot of effort, only to turn up at the state meets and get beat by someone who is biologically a male and lose state championships over this.”

And these boys aren’t just stealing trophies, they’re stealing scholarships too. With the Olympics around the corner and the debate exploding across the sports world, even athletes who’ve identified as gay or lesbian are calling the trend what it is: cheating. Tennis pro Martina Navratilova has been a great ally for the LGBT movement, but she had no problem blasting the radical ideology that’s killing sports and healthy competition. “It’s punishing the innocent,” she wrote indignantly, “and it’s insane.”

If there is a silver lining to this gender lunacy, it’s that more people are starting to see the quandary that’s created by policies and decisions that aren’t based in anatomical realities but emotional whims. This week, Selena — along with two other cross-country runners, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith — are suing to take back their sports. “Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square,” Mitchell said. “All we’re asking for is a fair chance.”

For these three girls, and so many others across the country, it’s upsetting to know the outcome of the race before it starts. And just because someone believes they’re a girl doesn’t mean their bodies act like one. “Forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX,” their Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Christiana Holcomb, pointed out. “Connecticut’s policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”

The issue has created such an unlikely coalition of feminists, liberals, conservatives, and parents that Congressman Greg Steube (R-Fla.) introduced a federal bill to make it clear that biology — not political correctness — should determine your team. “…Even people on the far-Left — [including] famous players [are] saying that it’s not fair that women are having to compete against men in women’s sports.” And while extremists may call that insensitive, the facts speak for themselves. “Males have 30 times more testosterone than females. That obviously helps make men’s bodies bigger and stronger… It’s just crazy to me that we’re even having to file bills on something like this. But that’s the world that we live in today, unfortunately.”


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

On the Wisdom of Taking Children to Funerals

Filipe Avillez: What could be more harmful in the long run than bringing up your child to think that nobody they love will ever die?


Somebody alerted me the other day to a podcast by a child psychologist. He was asked whether children should attend funerals and firmly replied that they should not.

Funerals are very private, intimate, and ugly affairs, he reasoned. Even adults only attend them because they must, and when attending them children might see their parents in a state of fragility, which can be traumatic.

Of course, there’s a lot of this these days: it’s part of the post-Christian outlook on death. But I admit I was shocked to hear it from the mouth of a professional therapist.

I remember taking a newborn baby to the funeral of a good friend’s grandfather. I simply didn’t have anywhere to leave him. I knew no harm would come to him, but I wasn’t expecting the effect it would have on everybody else. His presence lit up what was otherwise a rather heavy and gloomy affair. People in mourning seemed grateful to be able to stoop down and play with him instead of musing on death and what had been a drawn-out illness. The conversation turned to the joys and potential of young life.

I suppose some funerals might be ugly and sad, but do they have to be? The only funerals I’ve been to that I’d describe as ugly were those of people who had no faith and, therefore, no hope in the afterlife. These invariably end up at the ugliest institution created by modern man: the crematorium.

But funerals can be beautiful. I’m not so sure about joyful, but definitely beautiful. And what a privilege to be a part of that beauty. To share in that moment with a family. When was it that sad and tragic became synonymous with ugly?

I want my funeral to be a declaration of my faith in the resurrection and eternal life. I want my body placed in the earth like the sacred thing it is, not incinerated like waste. I want booming hymns and a liturgy that makes the knees of my many atheist friends quake in awe.

I’ve told my football friends that they can drape my (simple) coffin in my club’s flag, but only outside of the church. I want nothing between me and my Lord and Savior when I’m placed in his sanctuary.

My wife keeps telling me I should write everything down so that she knows what to do when the time comes. I think I will.

I decided to write a short piece in reply to the therapist, laying out why I will continue to take my children to funerals and to speak to them frankly and openly about the fact that those we love grow old, frail, and die. Or sometimes die earlier and in more tragic circumstances. I published it on my blog and shared it on social media and prepared myself for a couple of pats on the back and maybe some criticism. (Both the original podcast and my response are in Portuguese).

Instead, it went viral. Thousands of hits later I am still overwhelmed by many of the stories people have shared with me, about how consoling it was to be able to say a final goodbye to loved ones when they were small. My own sister never got over the fact that she missed our great-grandmother’s funeral because we were out of the country.

One story, shared by a priest friend, struck me in particular: “When I was 10 I lost my older brother, who was 12. The truth and the pain of what was going on were never kept from us during his illness. My father’s expression changed forever, and I would never have understood him, nor the anxiety he felt for me during my own adolescence, had I not seen his face that day.”

Another friend shared that when her father died the family organized a special Mass just for the children, where a message of hope in eternal life was shared with them in a way they could better understand. What a wonderful idea!

Of course, if all there is to look forward to after you die is to have your decaying body eaten by worms, you might fear introducing the topic to impressionable kids. But in that case, your problem isn’t death but a lack of faith.

My children don’t like the idea that their 90-year-old great-grandfather might not be with us much longer. When some close friends of ours lost their newborn son, there were nights when our 9-year-old crawled into our bed for comfort. But this is the same little girl who, being told of the premature death of a very good friend – a priest – from cancer, asked what all the fuss was about. Surely, he was happy in heaven now!

Yes, we think we’re strengthening them by exposing them to this, but sometimes it’s we who walk away with our faith uplifted.

Of course, there is a time and a place. I’m not suggesting we take children to every funeral we go to and make them stare at random corpses. But there are other ways of preparing them. Stories about martyrs, heroes who gave their lives for others, gentle reminders that the soul is more important than the body, and that love sometimes requires the ultimate sacrifice.

Secularists often say we are harming our kids by filling their heads with fantasies about God, saints and angels. But what could be more harmful in the long run than bringing up your child to think that nobody they love dies? They’ll find out eventually, right?

The question is, do we want to raise our children to be unrealistically happy, or to be free? If happiness is based on shielding them from tragedy at all cost, it’s bound to be short-lived – and harmful, as the psychologists should recognize. I’ll take freedom, true freedom any day: a freedom that strengthens and gives hope and does not tremble in the face of death.

The freedom Christ bequeathed us on the day he broke our chains.

COLUMN BY

Filipe Avillez

Filipe d’Avillez is a religious affairs reporter with Renascença, a Catholic media group. He has a degree in international relations and a masters in history and theology of religion and currently lives in Lisbon with his wife and six children. Since 2012 he has worked with The Catholic Thing translating articles into Portuguese. He blogs at Actualidade Religiosa.

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

Corporate Leaders, Pay Attention: Americans Want You to Get Out of Politics

Corporate America, please pay attention. Contrary to the “woke” Twitter crowd, a new national survey shows that Americans want you to care for employees instead of catering to radical leftist policies.

According to the survey, part of which is immediately below this paragraph, 72 percent of Americans want the nation’s business community to prioritize employees now and in the future. Just 5.8 percent of Americans want the business community to put “promoting racial, gender, and LGBTQ equality through fair hiring practices” at the top of their agenda.

Got that? Fewer than 6 in 100 Americans want radical leftist priorities put before America’s workers and retirees. These 6 people might have the loudest voices on Twitter, Facebook, and CNN, but they don’t actually represent Americans. They don’t represent the 131 million workers across the nation. They’re just keyboard warriors.

Here are some other key takeaways on what Americans want from corporate America:

  • Political neutrality, not far right or far left propaganda
  • Appeal to as many Americans as possible. Over 65 percent of Americans believe corporations should run their businesses in a way that appeals to broad swaths of the public. Fewer than 23 percent of Americans said businesses should tailor themselves to the easily offended.

Some core beliefs Americans have are:

  • More than 3 times as many Americans want capitalism over socialism.
  • Almost 6 in 10 Americans believe that the American Dream can still be accomplished. Fewer than 35 percent of Americans disagree.
  • Over 81 percent of Americans believe political correctness has gone too far and that people are too easily offended. Just 13 percent of Americans disagreed.

The truth is plain to see. Appeasing radical political leftists is bad for business and it alienates the real Americans who buy products and services every day.

Corporate America, it’s time to wake up. Get out of politics or go out of business.

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EDITORS NOTE: This 2nd Vote column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Trump Derangement Syndrome Explodes with Impeachment Acquittal

“They hate the president so much they are not going to let a little thing like having to lie deter them. They want him gone and are willing to lie to make it happen. Trump Derangement Syndrome is the Kool-Aid at Jonestown.” –  Derek Hunter, Townhall Political Columnist

“At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child, miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless.  Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.” –  P.J. O’Rourke

“Socialists cry, ‘Power to the People,’ and raise the clenched fist as they say it.  We all know what they really mean – power over people, power to the State.” –  Margaret Thatcher

“To argue with a person who has denounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” –  Thomas Paine


Trump supporters realize that the obsessed and demonically possessed Democratic Socialists led by our demented House Speaker Pelosi will not stop trying to destroy the blue-collar billionaire president elected by 63 million Americans.

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a condition in which a person forsakes logical reasoning due to his or her strong dislike and fear of Donald Trump. Even therapists are starting to use the term to describe patients with these symptoms.  In other words, they’ve lost their minds, and there’s no cure in sight!

Early stages of TDS are inexplicable, fast eye-blinking, light palsy, stammering and overbearing snobbery. Sometimes redness of the face and shortness of breath accompany.  Later stages include total delusion, dementia, inability to think clearly and, ultimately, a madness that cannot be contained.

In 2016, the left was so sure that Hillary Clinton would win, that they abandoned their hold on reality when she was defeated by Donald J. Trump.  And they really hate this outsider who became President of the United States when it was first lady Hillary who was “promised” the position.  Imagine the corruption that would exist with Hillary in power…our lives would not be the same, but there’d be pots of gold pouring into the “pay to play” Clinton Foundation.

First, Russia, Russia, Russia, then obstruction of justice, and now impeachment.  They’ll never stop.

Impeachment

Night and day the mainstream media squawked that the “walls are closing in” on President Trump.  Impeachment was underway, “a solemn and somber process,” celebrated by House Speaker Pelosi handing out autographed pens during the impeachment article signing ceremony. One would think she was signing landmark legislation like the Civil Rights Act given the pomp and circumstance.

The fact remains that the president was not allowed due process, and he was never allowed to face his accuser, or to question witnesses against him.  This was a bogus and contrived unconstitutional attack on President Trump.  Pelosi’s vindictiveness continued even after the president’s magnificent SOTU speech.

Rep. Matt Gaetz has filed an ethics complaint against Pelosi’s disgusting lack of respect and protocol at the SOTU when she tore up government property at the end of our President’s speech.  Gaetz tweeted that Pelosi’s conduct was beneath the dignity of the House, and a potential violation of law (18 USC 2071).  The law’s wording promises up to three years in prison for “whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys … any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office.”  Gaetz claims there will be an ethics investigation into Pelosi’s actions, but ethics investigations are only pursued when the politician is a Republican.

Trump’s Lawyers

Summary judgement or dismissal should have immediately been done by Trump’s lawyers regarding the false impeachment charges, but the show went on…theatre for the dumbed down masses.  This charade by the Democrat Socialists has cost American taxpayers millions of dollars, and I hope it costs the Democrats plenty of seats in both the House and Senate.

All of Trump’s lawyers did a magnificent job of exposing the Democrat’s lies, and Pam Bondi even brought up Hunter Biden’s statements that he hasn’t had a job for almost two years and has no money. Really? He and his new pregnant wife have been renting a $12,000 a month house in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country out in California for a long time. Who is paying for that? If Hunter is so talented, how come he hasn’t had a job in almost two years? (h/t Devvy)

Thankfully, the Senate rejected the act of tyranny by the Pelosi-Schiff coup cabal that controls the House.  After the magnificent State of the Union address, after the “acquittal” of President Trump…it was “Vindication Day” for the President. And if the Republicans retake the House, they plan on expunging the Trump impeachment.

The Senate couldn’t come close to the 67 votes needed to impeach the President. Only one Senator was seen wringing his hands because he had to vote for one of the two counts leveled by the TDS Democrats.  Willard the Rat Romney, in his defection from the Republican held Senate, succeeded in capturing a bit of air time by the MSM.

But hold on…now the House Democrat impeachment managers and CNN hosts had a meeting of the minds in an interview that aired two days after the President was vindicated.  They said Trump really hadn’t been acquitted because the trial hadn’t been fair, and the president hadn’t been “exonerated” by the trial.  Talk about the idiocy of grasping at straws to fulfill their desire of eliminating the people’s choice for President. Wake up Democrats…we didn’t want the Queen of Corruption, Hillary Clinton!

Democrats Plot Against Trump and America

The Democratic Socialists aren’t finished.  Already they’re plotting the next impeachment of our president and more investigations into President Trump’s involvement with Ukraine.  They need to take a look in the mirror.

Democrats already have lined up possible charges if they choose to pursue impeachment 2.0.  Still pending is a wide open probe launched by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, (D-CA) “Pencil neck” as Rush Limbaugh calls him, has been investigating President Trump, his family and businesses, and the Trump Organization, over the congressman’s suspicions of blackmail, money laundering and bribery.  Ah yes, once again Alinsky’s psychological projection tactics…these modern day Caligula’s charge President Trump with crimes they most likely have committed themselves.

Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has his eyes set on a return investigation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  On the same day the president was acquitted by the Senate, Nadler held an oversight hearing with Deep State FBI Director Christopher Wray. Nadler confirmed that, yes, we are indeed going there again. He is going to focus on questioning the legitimacy of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Nadler also claims lawmakers will likely subpoena John Bolton to learn what he was prepared to tell the Senate, and other high-ranking Democrats say the Ukraine story isn’t over.

During the oversight hearing, Director Wray admitted that the surveillance of Carter Page was illegal.  Wray has some explaining to do.  In May of 2019, he disagreed with AG Barr that there was any spying on the Trump campaign, but under oath again, he finally admitted that the surveillance of the Trump campaign was also illegal.

Worse yet is the fact that two men who have worked for our president would slander and libel the man for retribution.  Remember that Warhawk John Bolton was the foreign policy adviser to 2012 presidential candidate Willard RomneyAnd President Trump’s former chief of staff John Kelly said he believed former national security advisor John Bolton’s allegations concerning Trump’s Ukraine pressure campaign.  Back in August before Bolton was fired, he described Trump’s call with Zelensky as “warm and cordial.”

Bolton and Kelly may believe they’ve gotten revenge for being fired, but their retaliation against America’s President only makes them look petty and small.  Tucker Carlson called Bolton a snake referring to the snake in the poem Trump read during the 2016 campaign.  Attorney Joe diGenova said the release of Bolton’s book is an act of treachery.

Trump Wins

On February 7, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by Democratic members of Congress charging that President Donald Trump was illegally profiting from his business interests in violation of the Constitution.  A three-judge panel issued a unanimous “per curiam” decision finding the lawmakers had no standing to bring their suit, which pointed to Trump profiting from foreign government officials choosing to spend money at Trump hotels as violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.  Link

This is the clause that states a President cannot profit off of his office. Considering the fact that the President is losing his wealth while serving the country, this has always been a ridiculous argument. Link

Pelosi has once again failed in her attempt to remove the President from office…but she is not accepting defeat. Pelosi has now authorized Maxine Waters, of all people, to expand her investigations against the President to include articles of impeachment over the emolument’s clause.

Tossing Treacherous Turncoats

The smirking smug face of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted from the White House Friday, two days after President Donald Trump was acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial. Vindman violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice by defying the Commander in Chief, and after he heard the call, he talked to a CIA officer. Was that Eric Ciaramella?  Then there’s Shawn Misko, who had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together.  Sean Misko spoke with Ciaramella about the need to “take out,” or remove, President Trump. Later he went to work for Rep. Adam Schiff’s committee.  Convenient?

Vindman and his twin are Ukrainian Russians who immigrated with their father and older brother when Yevgeny and Alexander were three.

Before he was detailed to the White House, Vindman served in the U.S. Army, where he once received a reprimand from a superior officer for badmouthing and ridiculing America in front of Russian soldiers his unit was training with during a joint 2012 exercise in Germany.

His commanding officer, Army Lt. Col. Jim Hickman, complained that Vindman, then a major, “was apologetic of American culture, laughed about Americans not being educated or worldly and really talked up Obama and globalism to the point of it being uncomfortable.”

“Vindman was a partisan Democrat at least as far back as 2012,” Hickman, now retired, asserted. “Do not let the uniform fool you. He is a political activist in uniform.”

The National Security Council aide handling book approvals (including Bolton’s) is the twin brother of Lt. Col. Vindman. Yevgeny Vindman, a senior lawyer and ethics official in the NSC is the identical twin brother of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Their offices were across the hall from each other.  Alexander Vindman testified that he told his brother about Mr. Trump’s July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Senior NSC official Timothy Morrison, who was the former boss of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, testified that Vindman’s bosses had numerous concerns and problems with him.  Morrison confirmed that multiple other officials were concerned that Vindman was potentially leaking sensitive information to the media.

Both men will go to the Pentagon.  Defense Secretary, Mark Esper was asked about potential retribution for Vindman during a trip to New York City. The defense secretary said the Pentagon “has protections for whistleblowers” who report waste, fraud or abuse.  But Democrat Vindman wasn’t a whistleblower, or was he?

Gordon Sondland, who as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union was a central figure in the administration’s dealings with Ukraine, announced Friday that he was losing his job, according to Fox News. Good!  “I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said. As of Friday, eight of 12 officials who testified publicly during the impeachment hearings have left the posts, either voluntarily or otherwise.  It’s about time!  Excise the Deep State!  And the National Security Council is being cut way back.  See my previous article on both of these men.

Not since Lt. General Michael Flynn was in charge of the NSC, were there people who could be trusted to have the President’s back.  When McMaster came in, those good people were fired, and the Deep State representatives were hired.  Now Robert O’Brien is hopefully eliminating the NSC of these treacherous Never-Trumpers.

But there’s even more! Officials confirmed that Trump and national security advisor, Robert O’Brien have cut 70 positions inherited from former President Barack Obama, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who had fattened the staff to 200.  Many were loaners from other agencies and have been sent back. Others left government work.  That’s a big hooray…now clean out the DOJ swamp!

Conclusion

Word on the street is that there may be major deep state arrests coming, but we’ve heard this before. Remember Huber?  Lindsey Graham is touting the same thing…but I’m not holding my breath.

As for Twitter, one of my favorites is back on line…James Woods…and he returns with guns blazing.

Hillary Clinton told everyone to “Resist.”  We’ve all seen those bumper stickers…it’s time for a new one that says, “Resistance is Futile.”

© All rights reserved.

RELATED TWEET:

Abortions and Perpetrated Fraud in America: My response to ‘NYC 2020 FASHION WEEK’

We have been subjected to so many lies, frauds, deceptions, and distortions for almost three years that most people are disoriented and puzzled. Who is doing that to us? You can answer the question, if you remember my definition of Stalinist Political Correctness made in 2017: “… Political correctness is a Stalinist policy, driven by a political agenda, a skillfully crafted design of a quintessential system of lies, fraud, and a long-term strategy of war against Western civilization to create a One World Socialist Government under the Kremlin’s rule.”  Stalinist Political Correctness is a mechanism of preventing the Truth from getting out, it is aimed at hiding or masking the Truth.

Several years ago, an editor of the monthly news magazine Whistleblower, David Kupelian said:

“Donald Trump is right about political correctness. It is like a disease that has infected America and is destroying it. The cure is truth, spoken boldly and courageously, but without hate. That’s what readers will find in abundance in The Thought Police,” 2016.

WOW! How right David Kupelian was several years ago. Unfortunately, America hasn’t learned to discern Stalinist Political Correctness yet and our culture has greatly suffered. Trump’s negative attitude to PC made me his supporter, because I knew PC and had written about it even before Trump’s announcement. Political Correctness is a monumental weapon to destroy successful capitalism and the political system left to us by the Founding Fathers. The Democrat Party has used PC against the American Republic and conservative Republicans for decades…

Abortions: Political Correctness and the Pro-Choice Fraud

It is painful to see how Stalinist Political Correctness continues deceiving and misleading the American public in the 21st century. Abortion is an issue that divides our country and a vivid example of the Dems’ work, armed with Stalinist PC. Their policy has a long history since the 60s. The pro-choice/pro-life framework overlooked the many hidden ways in which the law impacts women’s reproductive freedom. What the abortion debate left out was logic: Yes, logic and knowledge of Stalinist Political Correctness.

 In my articles written in 2010-2013, I gave several examples of the PC machinery that infiltrated all spheres of our society: politics, culture, art, education, and so on. Those columns have been deleted by the corrupt Obama’s FBI. Hence, I will present this example in the application of PC exercised by the Democrats again. Abortion is the real issue that divides America, especially the women of America. I had several abortions in my past life in the USSR and it is hard to describe the awful feelings I had after each experience. Besides excruciating physical pain (a surgery without anesthesia), I felt a psychological doom, a combination of grief, guilt, and a black hole in my entire existence. In America, I also found a description of women’s feelings, but it was much softer than mine.

“Many women with unplanned pregnancies believe abortion is their only option. This is what their boyfriends, family, and culture tell them. In moments of vulnerability and confusion, they end up making a choice they never wanted.” What’s a human life worth? Townhall.com Nov. 9, 2015. It is a very true description of a pregnant women’s life—confusion and vulnerability. I felt that way exactly… Don’t forget—a pregnant woman feels confusion and vulnerability in any culture and country she lives due to the pregnancy, which is changing the chemistry of her entire body and mind, regardless of her race and nationality.

 The Mechanism of Fraud Political Correctness Creates

Above mentioned Editor David Kupelian is right: The cure is truth, spoken boldly. Yes, and you are the witnesses of the system of incredible lies by the Democrats in following Stalin’s PC. Let’s go to the Truth and analyze the mechanism of Stalinist precepts: They are:

  1. Establishment of a false premise for a future theory or action.
  2. Usage of the false premise as a foundation of the theory or action.

While introducing Stalin in my books, among other epithets, I called him a charlatan of a highest class. Today, I’d like to show you the dreadful harm, which has been brought to the world by Stalinism and his PC. Please, look at the real definition of the word ‘Premise’ in the Dictionary:

LOGIC

Noun

1.

a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion.

“if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true”

Verb

1.

base an argument, theory, or undertaking on.

“the reforms were premised on our findings”

The first example I bring is a misleading meaning to the term “pro-choice,” inculcated by the intimidating power of political correctness used by the Democrats. The issue has a long history which grew as a snow ball to the gigantic cultural fraud due to PC. The premise is clear—prevention of pregnancy. Be attentive to the premise—prevention of pregnancy. The Democrats just moved the time span one bit further and the Republicans, as usual, swallowed the fraudulent hook.

The real pregnancy comes to life by the sexual act and the actual choice is a prevention of sexual act. The partners, especially a woman has a choice before a sexual act, it is action taken before the sexual act that prevents pregnancy and not actions after the fact. Using PC, the Democrats just reprogrammed the human mind, moving the time span and making the choice after the sexual act, which is a fraud. The abortion issue has become a tool for the Democrats to undermine our traditional culture, and our set of values. Just count the disproportional murder of black fetuses and fatherless black families to see the enormous cultural implications of this leftist fraud.  Unfortunately, this fraud has affected all ethnic groups in America. You see it today–eighteen percent of pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) ended in abortion in 2017.

The issue of abortion is quite complicated one. Besides politics, it is the actual application of medicine mixed with three participants or subjects: the fetus, the woman’s will and the action of a doctor directed to abort the fetus. It doesn’t matter how you see a fetus, an alive child or not—the fetus is there, an integral part of the abortion procedure itself. The scandal revealing Planned Parenthood being related to the sale of babies’ body parts just confirms my point. A woman has a choice, a free choice in America when she is facing and intending to have a sexual encounter. Yes, it is her body… She ought to decide before the sexual act—THAT is the real choice for any women…

Now, please, combine the previous topic of a fraudulent time issue and abortion, spread nationwide for four decades in America to see an extremely negative cultural implication domestically, created and supported by the Democrats. More than 58 million babies have been aborted in America since 1973, more than 17 million of those were black babies. These are the awful numbers. They testify to the dramatic changes in our culture and moral slide if not outright degradation of our value system successfully created by the Democrat’s fraud. America still has not found the solution…What a shame!

Perpetrated Fraud by Stalinist Charlatans in America

The Democrats have gone even further in foreign policy, sabotaging our national security. Let’s take as an example the nuclear deal with Iran: the false premise was established by Obama in the beginning of the discussion—nuclear deal or war. The alternative given to us by Obama was a false one and created in the best traditions of Stalinist PC against the American interests and our national security. The premise was FALSE. There were definitely several alternatives to deal with Iran. The logical one was–To double the sanctions that already existed and to punish Iran for being the biggest sponsor of global terror while proclaiming “Death to America!” The double sanctions in reality could prevent any war and thus serve our national security interests. Obama did just the opposite. You can read the details of a fraud in my book: What is Happening to America?  The Hidden Truth of Global Destruction, Xlibris, 2012

Knowledge of Russia, her Security Services, and Stalinist Charlatans in America is a must. I have warned you with this refrain for the last thirty years, because I know the importance of this topic. Today, it is not only the Stalinist PC, lies, deception, and fraud confronting our values and our exceptional political system. Today, we have three Democrat-candidates, sponsored by the Russian Security Services and competing for the U.S. Presidency—they are arrogantly talking about the shape of our democracy! Mayor Pete is not “a good alternative” to old Bernie–Pete is an ideological twin-brother of another Stalinist Charlatan–Saul Alinski. Our dysfunctional FBI have not vetted Dems’ candidates, as a result we can have the third America’s Manchurian President! It is a reality in America today… Alas, Sen. Tom Cotton is not the FBI Director…

Our corrupt-dysfunctional FBI and CIA in both Democrat and Republican administrations overslept a collapsing fraudulent Socialism in the Soviet Union and allowed an abysmal Socialist fraud to become a legitimate issue in America: America’s Socialist mafia in cahoots with Stalinist Charlatans created a Socialist movement in the heart of America’s Congress—the House of Representatives. You saw the result: how, in militant hatred to Trump’s SOTU speech, it was been ripped up—with criminal intent to confront our unique political system, left to us by our Founding Fathers. Pay attention to Bill Maher: he loves Mayor Pete and considers Bernie Sanders as an authentically one…!!??

My fellow Americans!

Enough is enough! The momentum in America’s history has come to unite in behind President Donald J Trump, defending an exceptionalism of America, and our system of government from enemies foreign and domestic. And Mighty God will help us!!!

To be continued www.simonapipko1.com and www.drrichswier.com/author/spipko/.

© All rights reserved.

Democrat attends New Hampshire Trump 2020 Rally, realizes Democrats will get an A**-Kicking in November.

Karlyn Borysenko in a column titled After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020 wrote:

I think those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me three years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed and assured you that was never going to happen. Heck, if you had told me I would do it three months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.

You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call.

Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens.

You see, I was one of those Democrats who considered anyone who voted for Trump a racist. I thought they were horrible (yes, even deplorable) and worked very hard to eliminate their voices from my spaces by unfriending or blocking people who spoke about their support of him, however minor their comments. I watched a lot of MSNBC, was convinced that everything he had done was horrible, that he hated anyone who wasn’t a straight white man, and that he had no redeeming qualities.

Read more

Karlyn concludes with:

I think the Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens, because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call that causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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The Democrat Party Implodes

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Why My Democrat Acquaintance May Change Parties

RELATED VIDEOS:

Trump holds rally in New Hampshire a day before the primary.

The #WalkAway LGBT Town Hall Controversy.

Hat tip to H Laitin.

© All rights reserved.

The transgender suicide myth exposed: What should really terrify parents is the mutilation of their child’s healthy body.

Jazz Jennings, star of the TLC reality show “I Am Jazz,” has been sharing her transition story from male to female since she was six years old. Now she is 19, bound for Harvard, and convalescing from last year’s “bottom surgery” – removal of the male bits.

The sixth season of “I Am Jazz”, which began last month, features her third operation. There has been a complication and she may have to have a fourth.

But you couldn’t say that it wasn’t a family affair. Before the surgery, her mother threw a “farewell to penis” party for her. Jazz made a short speech. “For 17 and a half years, I have lived with this body part that I have not wanted. And even though I’ve grown to love my penis for what it is, I’m happy to say goodbye. So let’s cut it off!” And then she plunged the knife into the cake.

How does Jazz feel about her medical issues? The trans-friendly New York Times interviewed her.

Finally undergoing bottom surgery has allowed me to confidently flourish in my new body and dismantle any remaining gender dysphoria. For the first time, my body fully reflected my soul — how I felt on the inside. The surgery didn’t solve all of my issues, but it did offer a sense of peace and comfort that wasn’t otherwise there.

That phrase, “For the first time, my body fully reflected my soul”, captures the rationale for transgender surgery. For males, this involves removing the penis and testicles and creating a vagina; for females, a double mastectomy and sometimes construction of a cosmetic penis.

Only a serious reason could justify this brutal mutilation of an 18-year-old’s healthy body. The ghastly and perfectly foreseeable consequences are sterility, possible surgical complications and a lifetime of medication to maintain the appearance of the chosen sex.

That reason is the risk of suicide. “Better a live daughter than a dead son,” is the attitude of parents who, like Jazz’s mother and father, have supported children who wish to transition. The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, claims that “more than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide”.

Similarly, in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month, Jack Turban, a psychiatrist specializing in transgender children at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that it is “dangerous” to forbid “gender confirmation surgery” for young people.

But what proof is there that trans kids will commit suicide? As it turns out, notwithstanding the importance of this statistic, very little.

As Turban notes in his op-ed, he is a co-author of two recent papers in medical journals which attempt to prove that transgender kids feel less suicidal if they embark on transition from one sex to another.

Neither of them is convincing.

The first was published in JAMA Psychiatry last September. It claims that there is an association between “gender identity conversion efforts” and “increased odds of lifetime suicide attempts”.

However, as other doctors pointed out, Turban’s statistics are methodologically flawed.

For one thing, they are based on a convenience sample — a group of people who are easy to contact. In this case it was 27,715 people recruited from LGBT+ organisations who responded to an on-line survey conducted in 2015 by the National Center for Transgender Equality. The authors of the survey were all trans activists and none was a scientist or a doctor.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry also failed to control for comorbid psychiatric illness — a key predictor of suicidal tendencies. Suicidal ideas could have been due to other mental health issues, like depression or autism.

Furthermore, it recruited people who identified as transgender, rather than people who suffered from gender dysphoria. As one critic pointed out, “The number of persons who at one point suffered from GD but no longer do far outnumbers those who have persistent and consistent GD and thus identify as transgender.”

Turban’s other paper has similar problems. It was published earlier this month in the leading journal Pediatrics. He told readers of the New York Times that he had found that “access to puberty blockers during adolescence is associated with lower odds of transgender young adults considering suicide”. His message was that doctors who prescribe drugs which suppress the onset of puberty are wiser than doctors who adopt a “wait and see” approach. Delay in satisfying the kids’ demands could end in suicide.

It’s a strong claim and it was greeted as a sensational result in the media. But not only was it based on weak evidence (the same survey and convenience sample he used in the previous article), the evidence undermines his claim.

Let’s take a closer look.

Puberty blockers can literally save the lives of transgender teens, new study confirms” was the headline in Pink News, and other media were nearly as supportive.

None of the journalists appears to have read the fine print, apart from Malcolm Clark, a Twitter gadfly of trans activism and co-founder of the LGB Alliance. He zeroed in on Table 3, which compares transgenders who had puberty blockers and transgenders who never had them.

These figures are amazing.

The percentage of people who thought about suicide and actually made a plan to do it in the past 12 months is nearly the same for people who had puberty blockers (55.6%) and for those who did not (58.2%). Nearly the same! So were the blockers really helpful?

It gets worse. The percentage of people who thought about suicide, made a plan and attempted suicide were higher for those who had blockers (24.4% versus 21.5%).

And worse again. The percentage of people who attempted suicide and were hospitalized in the last 12 months was DOUBLE for those who had blockers (45.5% versus 22.8%).

How could Turban and his colleagues possibly massage their data to conclude that puberty blockers prevent suicide? By focusing on results from lifetime thoughts about suicide and suicide attempts. Those are higher for people who did not have puberty blockers. But memories of a whole lifetime are bound to be foggy; memories of the past 12 months will be sharper and more accurate.

Let’s sum up the case for the prosecution. Turban takes his data from a survey conducted on-line by trans activists who recruited respondents on LGBT websites. Dodgy.

He finds that the rate of hospitalization after a suicide attempt is twice as high amongst people who had puberty blockers. Gobsmacking.

And so … trans kids need puberty blockers to keep them from committing suicide. Illogical.

For parents, it must be terrifying when trans kids talk about suicide. But most of them eventually break through their emotional confusion and will be happy with their gender identity. In most cases, parents just need to wait out the storm.

What should really terrify them is the reality of transitioning. Like poor Jazz Jennings, their kids could end up mutilated for life – and still they might be at risk of committing suicide.

COLUMN BY

MICHAEL COOK

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. Michael Cook likes bad puns, bushwalking and black coffee. He did a BA at Harvard University in the US where it was good for networking, but moved to Sydney where it wasn’t. He also did a PhD on an obscure corner of Australian literature. He has worked as a book editor and magazine editor and has published articles in magazines and newspapers in the US, the UK and Australia. Currently he is the editor of BioEdge, a newsletter about bioethics, and MercatorNet. He also writes a bioethics column for Australasian Science and contributes occasional op-ed pieces to newspapers and websites in the US, UK and Australia.

RELATED ARTICLE: Young people aspire to marriage, so let’s offer them more than a Valentine

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

PODCAST: ‘Exposing Everything That Went Wrong’: A Parkland Researcher Speaks Out

Today is the second anniversary of the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. Max Eden, an education researcher, who co-authored “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students,” joins today’s podcast. Read the lightly edited interview, posted below, or listen on the podcast:

We also cover these stories:

  • The Democrat-led House passed a bill that would eliminate the 1982 deadline to ratify the the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticizes President Donald Trump over his protests about the original seven- to nine-year jail recommendation for Roger Stone, a Trump ally.
  • According to a Gallup poll taken in January, 61% of Americans say they are better off than they were three years ago

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Rachel del Guidice: We are joined today on The Daily Signal Podcast by Max Eden. He’s an education researcher. Max, thank you so much for being with us today.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Max Eden: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.

Del Guidice: Feb. 14 is the second anniversary of the Parkland shooting in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 people. Max, you co-authored a book about the shooting. The book is called “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students.” Max, why did you write this book?

Eden: Immediately after the shooting, kind of two groups of students came forward. And one group got a lot more attention than the other.

The group of students [that] got attention said, “We blame the Second Amendment. We blame the NRA. We blame the gun for what happened.” The other group of students said, “We knew it was him before it was over. The student threatened to kill us. He threatened to rape us. He threatened to kill our families. He brought knives to school. He brought bullets to school. We saw something. We said something. They did nothing. They didn’t protect us from him.”

And kind of from my perch as researcher in D.C. when I saw this, I thought, “Oh, OK. Well, this is in a school district that became nationally famous for fighting the so-called school-to-prison pipeline by lowering arrests, lowering suspensions, lowering expulsions. I wonder if these policies, this kind of leniency pressure played a role in his journey through the school system.”

So I wrote an article kind of posing this question about 10 days after the shooting. And, unfortunately, this question kind of very quickly became an answer in politics, as happens, right? I mean, one side was for gun control and the other side was very quick to take the question and answer, “It wasn’t the gun’s fault. It was these policies. It was [former President Barack] Obama’s policies.”

It became a political football very quickly and nobody answered the question. It was labeled as fake news by the superintendent and most of the media skated on by.

But a couple months after the tragedy, I had wanted to see whether or not the answer was “yes” to the question that I had posed. And I found a way to get down there to talk to some students, talk to some teachers.

While I was down there, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered on the third floor, heard that there was somebody from D.C. who was looking for answers. And he got my number somehow, texted me, said, “Come over to my house.”

I explained to him what I was doing and kind of gave him some questions to ask and he texted me a couple of days later and said, “Thanks so much for your help, Max. You’re going to be a tremendous asset helping me find justice for my daughter’s murder.”

I came down thinking, “Oh, I’ll just come in for a few days, talk to a couple of people, and maybe write an article.” When I got that text, I knew I had to come down again.

After my second trip, I had talked to enough people that I got through him to realize, “Oh, wow, this is much bigger than our article. And also bigger than the discipline issue that I thought it had to do with.” That was part of it, but it was part of a broader story that needed to be a book for parents to understand it.

Del Guidice: So, Max, in the book you detail how the shooter … slipped through the cracks when there was just really an exorbitant amount of red flags and warning signs.

For example, I know that you said in the book that the police were called to [the shooter’s] home I think about 45 times. What were some of the other warning signs that just went unnoticed?

Eden: Well, they were noticed and ignored. I mean, in middle school, the student, when you read his teachers’ records, he kind of was fixated with guns daily. He would always talk about guns, always talk about shooting. Whenever the topic came up, he would kind of light up or he would bring up the topic himself.

His behavior in middle school was so egregiously bad that he was suspended every other day for about 10 months in middle school. And middle school discipline policy wasn’t the problem. The problem was there was a student whose behavior was so extreme that he required a security escort to walk in the hallways, to go to the bathroom, to do anything outside of the classroom. In some cases, teachers wouldn’t let him into their classroom without a security escort.

When the security escort wasn’t enough, the school got the mom to come and accompany the security escort accompanying him. And they kept him at this school for 10 months before they finally got the paperwork in order to send him to a specialized school where he very desperately needed to be.

At that specialized school, his behavior was so disturbing that they wrote a letter to his private psychiatrist after his first semester, basically saying, “This student told us that he dreams of killing and being covered in blood. He has extreme mood liability. We tried to take away all sharp objects in the home, but there’s a hatchet missing and there are still holes appearing on the walls. We’re very, very worried about the student.”

But after a couple of months of good behavior at that school, they thought, “Oh, he’s ready to attend a normal school again. And he seems to be very interested in the military, very interested in guns. All the teachers say that he’s interested in the military and guns. So let’s try him at a traditional high school for two courses for one semester, see how that goes. And we’ll do maybe one academic course and JROTC,” where he got to practice marksmanship.

I think we can have a gun control debate, we should have a gun control debate, but when you have a school district that’s taking a kid who has literally said, “I dream of killing and being covered in blood,” who talks about guns all the time, and they put them into a normal school and they gave him a gun and teach him how to shoot, maybe it’s something more than the school that we should be looking at.

Del Guidice: In your book, you obtained a lot of information that wasn’t public, at least at the time. How did you go about compiling all that information, gaining access to it? And given that you were so successful in that, what kind of impetus does that have on us to see what you uncovered and act on it?

Eden: It was not an easy process. There are federal education records, privacy laws that protect kids from adults who want to snoop and find out about them. And for good reason. But, unfortunately, those laws still apply after the student has committed a mass murder in school.

So at first, I had to just ask a whole bunch of questions to teachers and students and try to put inferences together. Like, “Oh. Well, you said this and he said that? And how do these pieces fit together? And how can I just take all of the stories that I’m finding and weave it into a story that makes sense, that fits, that coheres?”

After a certain point, though, I realized after one trip when I was talking with people … we never used the word victim to refer to the shooter, but we realized just how profoundly the system failed him. And as Andy has said, he blames the shooter for half of it. He blames the system for the other half.

I said to him at a certain point, “We’re basically going to be acting as your daughter’s murderers’ defense attorney in the court of public opinion. Because our argument is it’s their fault too. And that’s the exact same argument that his lawyer is going to be making. And we can’t get his official records, which would break the case wide open, so it might be worth talking to them about it and seeing if they’d provide it to us.”

He called me a few days later and said, “Yeah. So, I just talked to the defense attorney and they’re going to give us the records. I told them that at the trial I would take the stand and I’d bash the school district, bash the sheriff’s office, bash the mental health provider. So we’ll get the records.”

And that’s how we got a lot of the stuff that had never previously been reported. Because Andy, his sense of justice, his mission has been to expose everything that went wrong, every one who failed, hold as many people as possible accountable, and try to have everybody learn every lesson that there is to be learned.

So what will happen in the trial [is], we’ll see what he chooses to do and how it all plays out. But he took that step because he is so committed to having the full truth be exposed. That’s what we tried to take and weave into the story and put forward a product that parents and schools across the country can read …

It’s an anecdotal thing to say, but I can’t tell you how many people have DM’d him, DM’d me, have emailed us being like, “Oh, wow. I knew what was happening at my kid’s school, but I didn’t know what it all fit together and how big of a problem it was.” Or, “Oh, I read this book and then I started asking some questions and it turns out the exact same thing is happening here.”

So the mission of the book was, as Andy said, to expose. And the hope is that by exposing everything that went wrong with the shooter, every way that the school district failed him, that we can open parents’ eyes a little bit to ways that school districts are failing their kids in ways that will, God willing, never nearly approach the level of what happened there.

But times when there are other red flags being swept under the rug, other violence that goes unaddressed, bullying that is just ignored by administrators who have this pressure to fight the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, lowering suspensions, lowering expulsions, lowering arrests.

The easiest way to do that is to just not do anything, to sweep it under the rug, to say, “Hey, look, our numbers are looking better. That means our school’s getting safer.”

It’s up to parents at the end of the day to speak up against that because teachers are frequently too intimidated to say, “Hey, our principal’s leading our school in a very bad direction and our superintendent’s policies are totally out of whack.”

Teachers aren’t going to say that. If schools are going to start putting the safety of classrooms and the interest of students first, again, before these kind of fake numbers, that has to come from parents.

Del Guidice: In talking about the Parkland shooting, I can’t help but think back to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people and wounded some, I think 413 others.

More than two years later, the motives of the shooter remain a mystery for the Vegas shooting. But in the case of Parkland, we kind of have the exact opposite where there’s a wealth of information on the alleged shooter and his background. But all this information doesn’t really fit the gun control narrative so it hasn’t been covered, at least to the extent that people want to see it covered. What’s been your experience with the media covering your own work?

Eden: The Vegas shooting laid into a much better case for, “It’s the AR-15, the so-called assault weapon.” Because you couldn’t have pulled that off with a handgun. You couldn’t have pulled that off with a shotgun. It was the gun that enabled the Vegas shooting and it was a gun that was legally acquired by a guy who otherwise looked clean. It’s a very alarming thing that fits that narrative very well.

In this case, as Andy has said, he could have killed 17 people with a musket that day. It did not matter what gun he had. He had 11 minutes alone in a school building with 800 kids. It did not matter that it was an AR-15. And he bought that gun legally despite having exhibited every red flag that in a functioning system would have prevented him from buying the gun.

He committed felony-level crimes that could have either got him directly prohibited or when the FBI and Broward Sheriff’s Office received tips, [they] could have showed up, could have made them think, “Oh, wow, this kid who threatened to kill somebody at school committed a hate crime assault, trespassed on campus. We’re getting a call that he might shoot up the school. Let’s look into that.” But they looked him up and they saw nothing.

I think that to answer your question directly about media reception, it’s been something that has been very upsetting to me, more so to Andy. He at one point said in an interview, “The only parents who will know about what really happened in Parkland, and will know what they need to know to keep their kids safe, are the parents who watch Fox News.”

It was no reception whatsoever in so-called mainstream media, no reception whatsoever in education media. It got all the attention in the world that we could have asked for within conservative media. It’s just very, very sad that it had to play out that way. Anything that isn’t pro-gun control is, in the way that the media and political environment shakes out, has to be anti-gun control.

And not that my opinion on gun control matters, but I actually came out of it probably more pro-gun control than I went in because I saw just how hard it can be to stop crazy people from getting guns.

There are pro-gun control changes that I would happily endorse, but it’s just a tragedy that because our book didn’t say, “you have to blame the gun and this is the primary issue,” it was cast as being a right-wing, pro-gun apology book when it was just what actually happened to the school and what parents needed to know to keep their own kids safe.

Del Guidice: Yeah. Wow, that’s really unfortunate. In your book, and you sort of alluded to this at the beginning of our discussion, you talked about how the school created a culture of leniency and part of this was through the school instituting a program called the Promise program. What was that program?

Eden: The Promise program was one part of a broader suite of kind of leniency reforms, and this part focused on lowering arrests. And it accomplished that goal by basically giving students four free misdemeanors a year before they were required to talk to law enforcement, and it reset every single year.

This program … let kids commit up to four crimes before they have to talk to a school resource officer, and at that point, arrest is probably still discouraged. That succeeded in getting arrests down by 70% and it was perceived to be a great success by the Broward County school district.

It became kind of a model for the nation. It was credited with inspiring this 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter by the Obama administration’s Department of Education, which was less focused on decriminalization and more focused on kind of lowering suspensions and detentions and expulsions.

But these same kind of policy pressures on principals and assistant principals, “Lower the numbers. We’re watching the numbers. We expect these numbers to get lower,” that has spread to schools across the country.

Probably at least half of schools, about 54% of schools in America have administrators who say that they’re implementing restorative justice, which is kind of what these new leniency policies go by.

We have situations where a teacher will send a student to the office and the student will come back five minutes later smiling with a lollipop and the teacher will be the one who will get flack from the administrator for sending a kid there because that means that you’re not doing your job as a teacher.

Now, the Promise program was the highest-profile aspect of it because it was just the most egregiously, “Oh wow, you’re going to lower arrest by not arresting kids.” But it was one part for the whole of these policies that prioritize almost transparently fake statistical progress in the name of allegedly fighting institutional racism, which is, of course, an allegation predicated on the idea that teachers are racist or ablest or can’t be trusted and need to be micromanaged and second guessed, which is fundamentally wrong and leads to all sorts of problems in and out of the classroom. Far short of what happened in Parkland.

Del Guidice: You mentioned that this Promise program resulted in nearly a 70% drop in school-based arrests and you also note in the book it allowed this 90% non-recidivism rate. How did this enable the shooter in the end?

Eden: There was some controversy or argument about this point. The Promise program itself only applied to the shooter once directly when he committed an act of vandalism in middle school that he was supposed to have been sent to the Promise program, but they didn’t keep track of him effectively because the program itself was just kind of fraudulent all the way down. It was chaotic. It was a very poorly run, a very toxic environment at the school.

So he seems to have been referred to the Promise program once in middle school. Didn’t go. They couldn’t figure out why he didn’t go. They couldn’t figure out whether or not he really didn’t go. They didn’t send them to the court system as they were supposed to, given that they didn’t go. The state commission looking into this kind of came to the conclusion that, well, that one incident itself wouldn’t have made a decisive difference in the course of events. So that’s not really the issue.

I don’t dissent from the opinion that that one act of vandalism wouldn’t have made a difference, but when he got to high school, he was committing crimes that did not qualify for the Promise program, that were felonies, not misdemeanors. Things that did not technically fall under the umbrella of the Promise program.

Not only was he not referred to the Promise program, nothing happened to him when he threatened to kill other students; when he called a student the N-word and attacked him, it was pretty clearly a hate crime assault; when he was no longer a student, when he trespassed on campus, having been labeled already by the security staff as like, “Oh, if there’s any kid who’s going to shoot up the school, it’s going to be that kid.”

So the Promise program directly only touched him once in a way that wasn’t decisive, but it created this broader culture of leniency that allowed him to commit crimes such that—and we only figured out this last part after the book released so it’s not in it—they eventually not only prohibited him from wearing a backpack to school after a series of kind of assaults and after, I believe, they found bullet casings in his backpack, they also frisked him every day to make sure that he wasn’t bringing a deadly weapon to school.

So you have a situation where you’re saying, “You’re not allowed to bring a backpack. We’re going to frisk you every day because as we admit later in our testimony to the police, we’re worried that he might bring a weapon and kill people, but arrest, not even on the table.”

Del Guidice: Wow. That is … definitely very alarming. So looking at all of this, were parents aware of all these changes that were made when, for example, the Promise program was implemented? Did they know the extent of everything that this program meant?

Eden: No. What Andy has said repeatedly is that he will never forgive himself for not knowing what was actually going on at his daughter’s school. Having no idea that there was somebody there who was so dangerous that they had to frisk him every single day. For knowing that kids could get away with that many crimes in a single year scot-free.

He had absolutely no idea, and his mission with everything that he’s done since, kind of our mission with the book, as he says, is that he wants to be the last father who can honestly say, “I had no idea what was going on at my daughter’s school.” …

The purpose of the project was, as you asked earlier, to not allow any other parent to make the excuse. Even when something happens like this again and it resembles Parkland, and sometimes it won’t—there was the shooting in California—sometimes they are out of the blue and there are no warning signs, but sometimes there are.

And schools will continue to sweep the warning signs under the rug unless parents take it to them. And the hope is that by opening their eyes to the example of what happened in Parkland, we can make it such that parents know … “I know what’s happening in my kid’s school. I understand the risks. I understand the dynamics and I have some idea what to do about if I find that what I’m reading about here fits what’s going on in my kid’s school too.”

Del Guidice: In the book you mentioned that [a] campus security guard, Andrew Medina, spotted [the shooter] the day of the shooting and he later told the police, “I saw him with a bag, with like a rifle bag, beelining to Building 12,” and that this officer said the shooter looked like he was on a mission and walking with purpose. And then this officer recognized [the shooter] and he thought, “Man, that’s the crazy boy, why wasn’t school security called?”

What was the breakdown at this point? Just looking back with all of the research you’ve done, the security guard is asking this question himself and looking back and telling listeners, “Why wasn’t security called?”

Eden: At that point, his job was to call a Code Red. You see a suspicious intruder. You fear that something might happen. You call a Code Red that’s broadcast over the intercom and everybody shelters in place.

If a Code Red had been called, then I think everybody on the third floor could have lived because everybody who died on the third floor died because the fire alarm went off.

When the fire alarm went off, one or two of the teachers knew the sound of gunshots when they heard them before. The other teachers didn’t put it together. They put their kids out into the hallway. Everybody who died in the third floor died in the hallway.

So if a Code Red had been called before the fire alarm went off, Meadow would be alive. Five other students would be, or four other students, one other teacher would be alive. But he did not call a Code Red himself.

And as he said, shortly after, he sees him go in, he starts to hear these loud percussion noises, like pow, pow, pow. “It’s not a firecracker noise,” he says. But he doesn’t call a Code Red because, these are his words, not mine, “If I call it and everybody comes in and it’s not really, I don’t want to be the guy who made that call.”

So this is the reductio ad absurdum slash ad infinitum of the whole story. You have a security guard. His one job is to call a Code Red when you see something like this happen. And when it almost couldn’t possibly be more clear what it was, he still doesn’t because he doesn’t want to get in trouble in case kids aren’t actually getting murdered.

That’s part and parcel of what happened with the shooter his whole way through. There was an obviously responsible decision that could have been made by an adult around him after he displayed disturbing behavior, and the obviously morally wrong decision was made by the adults and authority many times over because that’s what they were incentivized to do, because it was a path of least resistance for them, because it’s what their bosses wanted.

On the one hand, the Parkland school shooting has been called a total system failure, but on the other hand, you can’t really call what happened a failure because everybody who made a wrong decision made it for a reason, and made it pursuant to a policy.

These policies are not confined to Broward County and not confined to South Florida. They are found in many, many schools across the country and lead to thousands of tragedies every day that come nowhere near approaching the scope and the horror of what happened in Parkland, but will also never be reported and never acted on and won’t be changed unless parents take a really hard look at what happened there.

Del Guidice: We’ve talked a lot about how the school failed parents and students that day. In all of your research for this book, how did law enforcement fail students?

Eden: There is the before and the during. Before, as you said, the consistent behavior that he displayed wasn’t just displayed in school.

The police were called to his house 45 times before the shooting. They received tips. The FBI received tips. Broward Sheriff’s Office received tips. This is a guy who might shoot up the school. Never arrested. Every tip is dropped.

A lot of the attention of what happened that day has gone to Scot Peterson, who was the school resource officer on duty, who gets the memo of what happened, approaches the building, but then takes a step back, takes cover behind the building nearby, and stays there for what ends up being over 50 minutes, and not only doesn’t approach the building, but actually gets on the radio and basically tells the other police officers to make a perimeter, to not approach the 1200 building where he seems to have a very good reason to know exactly what’s happening.

And the tension focused mostly on him, but before the shooting was over, there were eight Broward sheriff’s officers on the scene hearing gunshots and none of them approached the building.

You can see body cam footage of one of them who gets out of the car. You can hear the shots in the background. [He] goes back to the car, takes his gun off, puts on his bulletproof vest, puts the gun back on, and then takes position behind the car.

You can listen to statements from other police officers. They take positions behind trees. And eventually, the Coral Springs police officers, officers who are given good training, not under the umbrella of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, they start coming in.

According to one of them, as they’re approaching, a Broward Sheriff’s officer who’s standing behind a tree says, “Don’t go in there. He’s got a gun.” At which point in time the Coral Springs police officer, who has a son inside the building, basically says “F you” and runs in, and the other Coral Springs officers run in as well.

But unfortunately, the good cops running into the building isn’t the end of the story. They get very delayed in their job of going through the building to try to clear it because the school district did not give the sheriff’s office access to their video equipment. You don’t want the cops to see what’s going on in schools because you’re trying to lower arrests, probably.

So as they’re going through the building, there are school administrators who are in the camera room saying to another school administrator what they’re seeing on the camera without having made it clear or it’s somehow getting lost in translation that the school administrators had rewound the tape several times and were describing delayed footage to the police.

So the police were being told, “The shooter is on the second floor,” when they were on the second floor, when they could see that there was no shooter. And ultimately, this confusion made it such that it took medical personnel 43 minutes to reach Meadow on the third floor.

She was shot nine times. It probably wouldn’t have helped. But other students who it might have—another student who might have died if it had been a couple of minutes longer, who could’ve been spared a lot if it had been a half-hour sooner.

It’s not just that parents should take a close look at what happened for all the warning signs of what went on in the school. I think the police offices, police departments need to understand the second-by-second, blow-by-blow of what happened that day because it’s hard to imagine a broader failure that could have occurred on their part.

Del Guidice: Looking at all of what we’ve discussed today and even what Andy said about him wanting to be the last dad who really can say, “I didn’t know what was going on in my daughter’s school,” and knowing everything you know now, what are some lessons for schools as well as parents going forward? And how can we avoid future things like this happening?

Eden: There’s a hardware and a software side to it. A lot of the attention went to the hardware side of it in the immediate aftermath. If you don’t want weapons getting into buildings, then a metal detector or an armed guard and a single point of entry will do more than almost anything. And if worse comes to worst and something like that happens, you want the police to be able to see what’s happening instantly.

So these are things that parents can—and, in my opinion, should—advocate for in their own communities. It’s things that can be kind of controversial, aren’t going to fit everywhere.

But then there’s the software side of it too. There’s the question of, are the dynamics that we describe in the book, that engendered and enabled the Parkland shooter, are those dynamics playing out in your kid’s school too?

And it’s ultimately on parents to find out because teachers aren’t going to stand up and point a finger at their bosses. They’re not going to go talk to the press immediately and say how bad everything around them is.

Parents need to talk to their students, talk to their teachers, and just ask a couple of basic questions, like, “Do you feel supported when it comes to discipline? Do you feel like your administrators, like the principal is sweeping problems under the rug? Is there a student in my son or daughter’s classroom who everybody knows shouldn’t be there?”

If the answer to any of those questions are “yes,” then it’s on the parents to take another step, to try to talk to the school board members, talk to the superintendent, and effect policy change.

These policies come down partly from pressure from the Obama administration Department of Education, partly from outside social justice activist groups, sometimes, and partly from state bureaucrats.

It’s framed as a social justice thing, right? Like lower suspensions because we’re trying to reduce bias and everything will get better. And if you’re a school board member or a superintendent, it’s very easy to want to believe these things, to believe these things.

But if there are parents who are coming to you consistently and saying, “Hey, this might have sounded nice, but my kid says that he was assaulted and that your principal did nothing,” or, “My daughter says that she was harassed and told the assistant principal and they didn’t do anything.” If the people who run schools at a local level hear that from parents, they’re in a position to actually address it.

I think part of the tragedy of Parkland is that, as I said, it was the most avoidable mass murder in American history.

Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong, all for a reason, all at the local level, and it immediately became subsumed into a big, national political fight that distracted from what really went wrong.

And if such an avoidable tragedy hitting such a, frankly, high socioeconomic class community can’t make parents take a hard look at what’s going on in their kids’ schools, then it’s cause for a lot of concern.

Del Guidice: Well, Max, we appreciate you being with us here on The Daily Signal Podcast today, talking about everything you’ve learned, about your book. Thank you for taking time to be with us.

Eden: Thanks for having me.

PODCAST BY

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

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

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

‘Voter Suppression’ Is a Myth, but It’s an Article of Faith to Liberals

I received a strong dose of the misinformation warping the minds of young people this past weekend when I spoke on a panel on the subject of election integrity at the Washington conference of Junior State of America.

Conference attendees were high school students from the northeast and southeast parts of the country. I was on a five-member panel—and the only conservative on the panel—in a standing room-only crowd.

As you might imagine, the focus of the liberals on the panel was the “voter suppression” meme that the left has been pushing for years to scare voters and their constituencies.

It’s a false narrative belied by the facts, such as the relatively high levels of turnout in a non-presidential year in 2018 in many states, including in Georgia, or the numerous studies that have concluded that voter ID laws are a commonsense reform that does not keep voters out of the voting booth.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


One of those studies, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2019, examined 10 years’ worth of turnout data from across the country and concluded that voter ID laws have “no negative effect on registration or turnout overall or for any specific group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation.”

A young woman asked me a question about institutionalized racism in the U.S. and implied that it was the fault of conservatives.

While being a conservative does not necessarily equate with being a Republican, I strongly denied that conservatism accepts, approves, or has anything to do with racism, and pointed out that, in fact, a larger percentage of Republican members of Congress than Democrats voted for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Another member of the panel—the head of DC Vote, which wants the District of Columbia to get U.S. senators and representatives, just like a state—loudly scoffed and guffawed, obviously letting the audience know that he believed that what I said was untrue. Many of the more liberal students in the audience joined him.

These students do not appear to know the history of the Democratic Party’s participation in segregation, the imposition of Jim Crow, and the genuine and terrible suppression of black citizens after the end of Reconstruction and up to and through the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

But according to PolitiFact, which I assume is a source that all of the liberals on the panel (and in the audience) would consider to be reputable, here is how the votes went on the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

  • When it passed the U.S. House of Representatives, 80% of Republicans voted for it, compared with only 61% of Democrats.
  • When it passed the Senate, 82% of Republicans voted for it, compared with a little more than two-thirds of Democrats—and that vote occurred only after the Senate shut down the longest filibuster in its history, staged by Democratic senators.

Although I didn’t mention this in my answer, the same thing happened with the Voting Rights Act when it passed in 1965:

  • 82% of Republicans in the House voted for it, compared with 78% of Democrats.
  • In the Senate, 73% of Democrats voted for passage, compared with a whopping 94% of the Republican senators.

So, I was right, and the scoffers were wrong.

Time was running short, so I did not get to say one final thing that I’m sure would have raised the hackles of my fellow panelists.

The one place where institutionalized racism—in the form of the explicit use of racial preferences—appears to be alive and well is in the admissions offices of Ivy League colleges and many other universities across the country.

Most, if not all, of the students in that room attending the Junior State of America conference will soon be applying to college. For some of them, the color of their skin will help get them into schools, while for others—such as Asian American students—their ethnic background will be held against them.

That’s something these students should be angry about, because all of their hard work, extracurricular activities, and community involvement may end up being discounted when they apply to college based on the color of their skin. And that’s nothing to scoff at.

COMMENTARY BY

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

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

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

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Amazonia Dreaming

Robert Royal: Despite ambiguity in the pope’s post-synodal Exhortation, there are no doctrinal changes. An olive branch to tradition or a strategic retreat?


Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation (released yesterday) is, at a first reading, a mostly pleasant surprise. It shows little of the freewheeling radicalism that bulked large – in the synod hall and Vatican gardens, and even on the streets, during the Synod last October. He quotes copiously from his own texts, to be sure, but also from St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. So much so that Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, a powerful voice in current Church debates, has called the Exhortation an effort at reconciliation.

That may – or may not – be so.

There’s no mention of married viri probati as a remedy for the Amazonian priest shortage – but nothing about priestly celibacy either. Instead, for now, the pope wants bishops in the region to emphasize priestly vocations and the responsibility of priests from the region to stay there instead of heading to North America and Europe. And he invites priests inclined to missionary work to go to Amazonia.

The question of deaconesses is actually turned in the opposite direction to where it seemed headed, again for now. Francis says that innovations along that line would be a “clericalization” – a strongly negative term for him – of the true contributions women have made and continue to make in accord with their true nature, which is noteworthy for “tender strength.”

There are hints here and there of liturgical adaptations, but not the full-blown “Amazonian Rite” much debated during the synod (a seeming impossibility given the hundreds of different tribes and language groups in Amazonia that would have to be accommodated).

And there’s a bit of what might be called temporary syncretism – a patient toleration of the blending of native and Catholic practices preliminary to a purification of indigenous ways, the kind of thing missionaries sometimes allow and not necessarily a problem, if you’re confident about the ultimate goal. And why it’s being done. And by whom.

The one large caveat in all this, which is presented in a way clearly intended to avoid adding fuel to already raging fires, is the ambiguity – a Bergoglian trademark – in how this relates to the Final Report of the Amazonia Synod, which was far more radical and controversial on these very points. The pope says at the outset that he won’t quote from the Report because he wants us to read the whole thing. And beyond reading: “May the pastors, consecrated men and women and lay faithful of the Amazon region strive to apply it, and may it inspire in some way every person of good will.”

So there’s an olive branch being offered, at least on the surface. Or maybe there’s been fear in Rome that pressing further at this moment might take the Church to the breaking point. One of the pope’s guiding principles is: “It is more important to start processes than to dominate spaces,” as he put it in Amoris Laetitia (§261). What is really happening here will only become clearer as the process of striving “to apply” the Report – not the Exhortation – takes shape. The bulk of this conceptual iceberg may lie below the waterline.

The Report spoke almost compulsively of the need to “listen” to indigenous peoples, so much so that you wondered why they needed missionaries or other outsiders at all. The Exhortation wants “listening” as well, but adds:

If we devote our lives to their service, to working for the justice and dignity that they deserve, we cannot conceal the fact that we do so because we see Christ in them and because we acknowledge the immense dignity that they have received from God, the Father who loves them with boundless love. They have a right to hear the Gospel. . . .Without that impassioned proclamation, every ecclesial structure would become just another NGO and we would not follow the command given us by Christ: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation.

The bulk of the Exhortation, however, is devoted to various social justice themes. Of its four chapters, only the last touches directly on central Church matters. Each chapter is animated by a “dream,” sometimes illustrated with passages from major Latin American poets like the Chilean Pablo Neruda and the Brazilian Vinicius de Moraes:

     I dream of an Amazon region that fights for the rights of the poor, the original peoples and the least of our brothers and sisters, where their voices can be heard and their dignity advanced.

    I dream of an Amazon region that can preserve its distinctive cultural riches, where the beauty of our humanity shines forth in so many varied ways.

   I dream of an Amazon region that can jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests.

  I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features.

As with the pope’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, these somewhat Romantic notions rightly remind the developed world that other kinds of lives have value. And that we need to recover a sense of the world as Creation, not merely matter and energy, to be manipulated for any end, irrespective of God’s order. The “transgender” movement is the final station stop for that train, wherein people may claim to be something, at mere will, that their bodies down to the molecular level deny.

We can all learn from each other, to be sure, but the primitivist model of community, harmony with nature, and buen vivir (“good living”) that Rome has latched on to has a long literary history, but only very general lessons for a world of 7 billion people. It would have been better to acknowledge that somewhere.

And it would be better if Rome made clear that the Amazon’s priest shortage also has limited lessons for a global Church. The processes now in motion need to be guided by something steady and different than we’ve seen so far. With the new Exhortation, we still can’t say whether that’s emerged or not. But doubtless we’ll soon see.

COLUMN BY

Robert Royal

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

RELATED ARTICLE: Pope Francis’ Amazon exhortation calls for holiness, not married priests

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

PODCAST: Manslaughter or Medical Choice? Ask a Democrat.

The pills were supposed to kill her baby. Kalina Gillhum had ordered them from India and taken 12. She was in her third trimester, a dangerous time to try an at-home abortion. But Kalina and her boyfriend, Braden, had decided they didn’t want their son. So when he was born in their bathroom, alive and breathing despite the drugs, they let him die. When police found the baby’s body in a trash bag, tucked away in a shoebox, an Ohio prosecutor charged the couple with manslaughter. The question Princeton Professor Robbie George has for Democrats is: “Should they be?”

For liberals, the story out of Licking County couldn’t come at a more inopportune time. Senate Democrats had just spent the day defending infanticide in committee when this pair of 20-year-olds put a face on the horrific crime they call “choice.” If a local hospital hadn’t been suspicious of the couple, this baby — like the thousands of other abortion survivors — would have probably gone unreported. Only when a doctor noticed Kalina’s overly large umbilical cord, with no child attached, did they realize something was horribly wrong. It was far too big, the police were told, “for it not to be a full-term infant.”

A search of the apartment found what nurses and eyewitnesses say happen every day: a born baby, treated like common waste. The only difference is, this newborn was left to die home — not at a hospital or abortion clinic, where Democrats argue he’s fair game. Apparently, if it’s do-it-yourself infanticide, it’s murder. But if a doctor does it, 44 senators say, it’s “health care.”

It’s an absolutely shocking position for anyone to take, let alone four dozen leaders in the U.S. Senate. And yet, for whatever reason, these men and women refuse to acknowledge that at its very core, protecting born-alive babies has nothing to do with abortion. “This is not about a woman’s body,” FRC’s Patrina Mosley, one of the expert witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing, argued. “This is about the infant who’s become the patient.” Eighteen years ago, this was a no-brainer for both parties. “We’re about a living, breathing infant who survived one of the most violent acts you can undergo — abortion — defied the odds and survived. Shouldn’t they be given a chance to defy the odds again and receive medical care? You would think that would be bipartisan.”

Of course, Democrats rushed to their familiar talking points: we don’t need a born-alive law because we already have homicide laws on the books. (A lie, since 35 states and the federal government don’t have adequate protections for babies who live through a botched abortion.) This is just another attack on reproductive rights, others cried. But, as Patrina and so many conservatives fired back, this doesn’t have anything to do with abortion! “We’re just saying don’t discriminate against infants who are born as a result of a failed one.”

In all honesty, Patrina said, “there is no good reason for obstructing care to infants born alive from abortion, except for two reasons. One, that you buy into the philosophy of eugenics, meaning [you believe in targeting] the disabled, the minorities, and the poor. You think these children should not have been born at all, so why not kill them? Or, you have something to gain financially from the illegal harvesting of fetal parts that we know has been taking place for years now and [thanks to video] captured by the Center for Medical Progress.”

As Senator Marsha Blackburn pointed out on “Washington Watch,” under any other circumstance, a newborn in distress “would be rushed to the hospital and given neonatal care… But [Democratic leaders] think this… should be a mother’s choice. But they don’t stop and think about it… [T]hey’re saying it’s okay for a woman to decide if she wants to keep that baby or kill that baby. But they try to change the language and nuance this so that it doesn’t sound quite that barbaric.” But barbaric is exactly what this is. And no civil society — least of all ours — should tolerate it.


Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.
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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Crowd chants “46” after Don Jr’s speech at Trump rally

It appears that at least some Republicans, Democrats and Independents are looking beyond the 2020 presidential election. In the video below Donald J. Trump, Jr., author of Triggered, reacts to chants of “46” after being introduced by his father at a rally in New Hampshire.

Fox News reports:

Donald Trump Junior tells ‘Fox & Friends’ that he was humbled by chant but focused on his father’s re-election in 2020.

© All rights reserved.

‘Frustrating and Disheartening’: 3 Girls, Losing to Biological Males in Track, Announce Lawsuit [Video]

When Chelsea Mitchell, ranked as the fastest girl in the 55-meter dash in Connecticut high school track, showed up for a competition last year, she knew it would be a challenge.

Her competitors included two biological males who said they identify as girls.

Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School, had seen the speeds posted by the two. She was aware that other girls had lost to athletes born as boys who identify as girls. But at the time, she says, she “could feel the adrenaline in my blood.”

That adrenaline wasn’t enough, though. Mitchell came in third behind the two biological males.


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Ultimately, because of Connecticut’s high school athletics policy on transgender competitors, she lost four girls state championships and two all-New England awards to biological males who identify as females.

“It was definitely frustrating and disheartening to be right there, running for the biggest honors in the state, and to work so hard and try so hard to be the best in the state,” Mitchell told The Daily Signal in an exclusive telephone interview Tuesday.

Mitchell and two other girls from different Connecticut high schools, Alanna Smith and Selina Soule, are suing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference over the policy that allows biological males to compete as girls with biological females in high school sports.

The suit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, claims that the state athletic conference is violating Title IX, the section of federal law designed to protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls.

Smith is a sophomore at Danbury High School and Soule is a senior at Glastonbury High School whose story has been chronicled by The Daily Signal since last May.

Although Soule has spoken at length to The Daily Signal, and later other news outlets, Mitchell and Smith are speaking on the record for the first time.

The two biological males are Terry Miller of Bloomfield High School, who won the 55-meter dash, and Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell High School, who came in second.

The lawsuit states that Miller and Yearwood have won 15 girls state championship titles and “taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.”

Mitchell and Smith were anonymous in Soule’s original complaint last June to the U.S. Department of Education, which the agency is investigating.

This is the first lawsuit of its kind in the nation, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal aid organization that represents the three high school students.

Smith’s father, former Chicago Cubs pitcher Lee Smith, was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame last year.

As a freshman, Smith won the 400-meter at the 2019 outdoor New England Regional Championships. She came in third in the 200-meter at the championships, behind a biological male.

“This makes us work harder and most of the time we know we are not going to get the top spot, just achieve a personal record,” Smith told The Daily Signal in an exclusive phone interview Tuesday, referring to the athletic conference’s decision to allow biological males to compete against girls.

It’s a complex issue, she said, but the court case is about fairness in competition.

“We want to be able to make sure there is fairness,” Smith said.

Soule missed qualifying for the state championship in the 55-meter final and, by one spot, an opportunity to qualify for the New England championships in the 2018-2019 season.

Two spots above her were taken by biological males.

Because 18 other states have similar policies for high school athletics, the three girls’ case in Connecticut could set a national precedent, said Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The objective is fairness in women’s sports,” Holcomb told The Daily Signal.

“Title IX is there for a reason,” she said. “It’s to give athletes like Chelsea [Mitchell] and Alanna [Smith] the opportunity to excel and be victorious.”

Mitchell said that she drew on her training and knew how to maximize her performance. She recalled looking at the running times for the biological male athletes in her race and realizing that beating them would be quite difficult.

“They are leaps and bounds beyond my fastest time,” Mitchell said.

The three girls’ lawsuit notes that college scholarships are among the missed opportunities they faced in losing to biological boys in competitions specifically intended for girls.

“I’m left wondering,” Mitchell told The Daily Signal. “I can’t measure the college scholarship, and I don’t know what opportunities could have come if the rules were different.”

Like Soule before them, both girls stressed that they do support fairness for transgender individuals, but that the current policy in Connecticut high school athletics isn’t fair to girls.

The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports in the state, has argued that the transgender policy is based on federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

“This is about someone’s right to compete,” Executive Director Glenn Lungarini told the Associated Press last year. “I don’t think this is that different from other classes of people, who, in the not too distant past, were not allowed to compete. I think it’s going to take education and understanding to get to that point on this issue.”

The lawsuit filed Wednesday states:

This discriminatory policy is now regularly resulting in boys displacing girls in competitive track events in Connecticut—excluding specific and identifiable girls including Plaintiffs from honors, opportunities to compete at higher levels, and public recognition critical to college recruiting and scholarship opportunities that should go to those girls.

As a result, in scholastic track competition in Connecticut, more boys than girls are experiencing victory and gaining the advantages that follow even though postseason competition is nominally designed to ensure that equal numbers of boys and girls advance to higher levels of competition.

Compared to boys—those born with XY chromosomes—in the state of Connecticut those who are born female—with XX chromosomes—now have materially fewer opportunities to stand on the victory podium, fewer opportunities to participate in post-season elite competition, fewer opportunities for public recognition as champions, and a much smaller chance of setting recognized records.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

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