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The Murder of Eagles


Eagles are dying at alarming rates.  Not because of any disease, not because of hunters, but due to green energy.  This includes America’s national emblem, the bald eagle, chosen in 1782 because of its long life, majestic looks, and great strength.

Wind turbines, consisting of 212-foot towers with arms 116 feet long that cover an enormous area as the blades rotate, are taking their lives.  The outer tips of some turbines’ blades can reach speeds of 179 mph.  It’s horrific to see the bird’s wing cut off by the knife blade whipping down upon it.

The EIS (environment impact study) allows wind energy facilities to cumulatively kill up to 4,200 bald eagles and 2,000 golden eagles annually with no prosecution.  In 2009, the Obama administration decided to increase wind energy substantially.  The Department of Energy directed the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to make sure that wind energy development was not impeded by public concern for the eagles being killed by the large wind turbines.  As C.J. Box explains in his novel, The Disappeared, these agencies offer “take permits” that allow wind energy companies to take a certain amount of bald and golden eagles’ lives, legally, without penalty.

Michael and Jocelyn Barker, who have worked tirelessly to save these birds, told American Thinker, “While there are many wind energy projects, we are only aware of two operating projects that have an eagle ‘take’ permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  These permits are not required.  The companies only get in trouble if they are caught, so most of them don’t bother to have permits.  It appears they have elected to take their chances that they won’t get caught.  Many in the wind energy business have closed their eyes to birds dying, have not obtained permits, and don’t collect any evidence that might be self-incriminating.  The permit would at least require each wind energy project to prepare some sort of eagle management-conservation program.  We are only aware of two wind projects that have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors.”

An interesting fact is that many of the so-called liberals are the ones behind the killings.  One of those fined was Warren Buffett, who owns Berkshire Hathaway Energy in Wyoming.  The Barkers also told of a Raptor Research Foundation Journal article by a number of respected scientists who concluded that between 1,000 and 2,000 golden eagles have been killed at the nearby California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area since the completion of the facility in 1987, the place from where Google gets a lot of its electricity.  Yet Donald Trump was chastised when he said this during the 2016 campaign: “[t]here are places for wind, but if you go to various places in California, wind is killing all of the eagles[.] … You know, if you shoot an eagle, if you kill an eagle, they want to put you in jail for five years.  And yet the windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles.”

Michael Hutchins, the director of the Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign, was quoted: “[a]lternative energy is not ‘green’ if it is killing hundreds or thousands or millions of birds annually.  Our wildlife should not be collateral damage in our effort to combat climate change, nor does it have to be.  Improved regulation and science leading to proper sighting, effective mitigation, and compensation would go a long way to address this conflict.”

Those who want to hunt with eagles feel they are unfairly prohibited from doing it because the government agencies are acquiescing to the wind companies.  They are upset because they do not feel that the regulations are even-handed or fair, especially since they are the ones taking care of the birds, not killing them.  Essentially, the birds are their guns.  Eagles are sent up into the sky, where they spot and kill prey.  The falconer then trades the prey for some other kind of meat.  It is a way man hunted before guns.

The Barkers explained, “Between 1996 thru 2008, falconers were allowed to trap immature golden eagles in Wyoming in areas where ranchers were experiencing documented eagle predation on lambs.  Everything went along okay until 2009.  Ranchers benefited from having fewer golden eagles eating their lambs.  Wyoming Game and Fish got a small benefit from having a few less golden eagles eating sage grouse.  Falconers got a small number of very healthy immature Wyoming eagles to hunt with.  The eagles got to live a good life with a falconer rather than getting shot or poisoned.  But then the USFWS stopped falconer access to young golden eagles, until now. The current leadership at USFWS is listening to our concerns, and eagle falconers are more hopeful than we have been since 2009.”

Since eagles thrive in the wind, they are naturally drawn to areas where these wind turbines are set up.  Too bad these wind companies are not forced to replace their existing blades with new technology that would save eagles’ lives.  It appears that green energy trumps the eagles, and money speaks the loudest.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

Eagles are dying at alarming rates.  Not because of any disease, not because of hunters, but due to green energy.  This includes America’s national emblem, the bald eagle, chosen in 1782 because of its long life, majestic looks, and great strength.

Wind turbines, consisting of 212-foot towers with arms 116 feet long that cover an enormous area as the blades rotate, are taking their lives.  The outer tips of some turbines’ blades can reach speeds of 179 mph.  It’s horrific to see the bird’s wing cut off by the knife blade whipping down upon it.

The EIS (environment impact study) allows wind energy facilities to cumulatively kill up to 4,200 bald eagles and 2,000 golden eagles annually with no prosecution.  In 2009, the Obama administration decided to increase wind energy substantially.  The Department of Energy directed the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to make sure that wind energy development was not impeded by public concern for the eagles being killed by the large wind turbines.  As C.J. Box explains in his novel, The Disappeared, these agencies offer “take permits” that allow wind energy companies to take a certain amount of bald and golden eagles’ lives, legally, without penalty.

Michael and Jocelyn Barker, who have worked tirelessly to save these birds, told American Thinker, “While there are many wind energy projects, we are only aware of two operating projects that have an eagle ‘take’ permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  These permits are not required.  The companies only get in trouble if they are caught, so most of them don’t bother to have permits.  It appears they have elected to take their chances that they won’t get caught.  Many in the wind energy business have closed their eyes to birds dying, have not obtained permits, and don’t collect any evidence that might be self-incriminating.  The permit would at least require each wind energy project to prepare some sort of eagle management-conservation program.  We are only aware of two wind projects that have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors.”

An interesting fact is that many of the so-called liberals are the ones behind the killings.  One of those fined was Warren Buffett, who owns Berkshire Hathaway Energy in Wyoming.  The Barkers also told of a Raptor Research Foundation Journal article by a number of respected scientists who concluded that between 1,000 and 2,000 golden eagles have been killed at the nearby California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area since the completion of the facility in 1987, the place from where Google gets a lot of its electricity.  Yet Donald Trump was chastised when he said this during the 2016 campaign: “[t]here are places for wind, but if you go to various places in California, wind is killing all of the eagles[.] … You know, if you shoot an eagle, if you kill an eagle, they want to put you in jail for five years.  And yet the windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles.”

Michael Hutchins, the director of the Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign, was quoted: “[a]lternative energy is not ‘green’ if it is killing hundreds or thousands or millions of birds annually.  Our wildlife should not be collateral damage in our effort to combat climate change, nor does it have to be.  Improved regulation and science leading to proper sighting, effective mitigation, and compensation would go a long way to address this conflict.”

Those who want to hunt with eagles feel they are unfairly prohibited from doing it because the government agencies are acquiescing to the wind companies.  They are upset because they do not feel that the regulations are even-handed or fair, especially since they are the ones taking care of the birds, not killing them.  Essentially, the birds are their guns.  Eagles are sent up into the sky, where they spot and kill prey.  The falconer then trades the prey for some other kind of meat.  It is a way man hunted before guns.

The Barkers explained, “Between 1996 thru 2008, falconers were allowed to trap immature golden eagles in Wyoming in areas where ranchers were experiencing documented eagle predation on lambs.  Everything went along okay until 2009.  Ranchers benefited from having fewer golden eagles eating their lambs.  Wyoming Game and Fish got a small benefit from having a few less golden eagles eating sage grouse.  Falconers got a small number of very healthy immature Wyoming eagles to hunt with.  The eagles got to live a good life with a falconer rather than getting shot or poisoned.  But then the USFWS stopped falconer access to young golden eagles, until now. The current leadership at USFWS is listening to our concerns, and eagle falconers are more hopeful than we have been since 2009.”

Since eagles thrive in the wind, they are naturally drawn to areas where these wind turbines are set up.  Too bad these wind companies are not forced to replace their existing blades with new technology that would save eagles’ lives.  It appears that green energy trumps the eagles, and money speaks the loudest.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.



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K-12: How Our Schools Make Monsters


Lots of people who study K-12 education end up looking for a metaphor, a parallel, to explain the unnecessary stupidity of our public schools.  Don’t bother.  Ayn Rand has run ahead and done the job.

In 1970, Rand published a very long essay titled “The Comprachicos” (which roughly translates to the child-buyers).  It lovingly examines a bit of history mentioned in a Victor Hugo novel.  He wrote about vicious exploiters who mutilate and transform children into all sorts of freaks, dwarfs, gymnasts, and novelties.  The techniques are analogous to those used by bonsai masters.  You cut, twist, break, deprive – you do whatever works to make a glorious anomaly.

Finding this history, Rand must have shouted, “Eureka.”  She perceived that Progressive educators are the comprachicos of our time:

The production of monsters – helpless, twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted – goes on all around us.  But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler.  They do not hide, they practice their trade in the open, the results are invisible.  In the past this horrible surgery left traces on a child’s face, not in his mind.  Today it leaves traces in his mind, not on his face.  In both cases the child is not aware of the mutilation he has suffered.  Today’s comprachicos do not use narcotic powders.  They take a child before he is fully aware of reality and never let him develop that awareness.  Where nature put a normal brain, they put mental retardation.

I’m no Rand fan, but I have to acknowledge that she is super-smart.  Her mind is startling; it’s like watching someone pick up the silverware at dinner and juggle it.

For example:

The thought of all the living species that train their young in the art of survival, the cats who teach their kittens to hunt, the birds who spend such strident effort on teaching their fledglings to fly – yet man, whose tool of survival is the mind, does not merely fail to teach a child to think, but devotes the child’s education to the purpose of destroying his brain, of convincing him that thought is futile and evil, before he has started to think[.] … Men would shudder … if they saw a mother bird plucking the feathers from the wings of her young, then pushing him out of the nest to struggle for survival – yet that was what they did to their children.”

This relentless critique is about what happens in Progressive schools from nurseries to colleges.  Rand says children are deliberately destroyed.  The essay is tightly focused on one subject, education, which serves her well.  Rand has the kind of mind that is eager to go off in many directions.  For example: “If you want to see hatred, do not look at wars or concentration camps – these are merely its consequences. Look at the writings of Kant, Dewey, Marcuse and their followers to see pure hatred[.]”

In general, Rand applauds Maria Montessori and indicts John Dewey.  She condemns Whole Word, for example:

The comprachico technique starts at the base.  The child’s great achievement in learning to speak is undercut and all but nullified by the method used to teach him to read.  The ‘Look-Say’ method substitutes the concrete-bound memorization of the visual shapes of words for the phonetic method which taught a child to treat letters and sounds as abstractions.  The senseless memorizing of such a vast amount of sensory material places an abnormal strain on a child’s mental capacity, a burden that cannot be fully retained, integrated or automatized.  The result is a widespread ‘reading neurosis’ – the inability to learn to read – among children, including many of above average intelligence, a neurosis that did not exist prior to the introduction of the ‘Look-Say’ method.  (If the enlightenment and welfare of children were the modern educators’ goal, the incidence of that neurosis would have made them check and revise their educational theories; it has not.)

Rand sees the big, big picture.  For example:

It is ideas that determine the actions of all those people, and it is the Educational Establishment that determines the ideas of a nation. It is your professors’ ideas that have ruled the world for the past fifty years or longer, with a growing spread of devastation, not improvement – and today, in default of opposition, these ideas are destroying the world, as they destroyed your mind and self-esteem[.] … You are miserably helpless and want to rebel?  Then rebel against the ideas of your teachers.  You will never find a harder, nobler or more heroic form of rebellion.  You have nothing to lose but your anxiety.  You have your mind to win.

Want guidance on how to dumb down a country?  Rand tells you exactly how our self-anointed experts have done it for decades:

The purposeful, disciplined use of his intelligence is the highest achievement possible to man: it is that which makes him human.  The higher the skill, the earlier in life its learning should be started.  The same holds true in reverse, for those who seek to stifle a human potential.  To succeed in producing the atrophy of intelligence, a state of man-made stupidity, one must get hold of the victim early; a mental dwarf must be started when he is small.  This is the art and science practiced by the comprachicos of the mind.

This essay is a concatenation of surprising insights.  For example:

A small child is mildly curious about, but not greatly interested in, other children of his own age.  In daily association, they merely bewilder him.  He is not seeking equals, but cognitive superiors, people who know.  Observe that young children prefer the company of older children or of adults, that they hero-worship and try to emulate an older brother or sister.  A child needs to reach a certain development, a sense of his own identity, before he can enjoy the company of his ‘peers.’  But he is thrown into their midst and told to adjust.

Many people try to explain the failures of modern education by pointing to incompetence and good intentions gone awry.  Rand will have none of that.  She credits our Education Establishment with evil intent from start to finish.

The Progressive nurseries pleaded for a delay of the process of education, asserting that cognitive training is premature for a young child – and conditioned his mind to an anti-cognitive method of functioning.  The grade and high schools reinforced the conditioning: struggling helplessly with random snatches of knowledge, the student learned to associate a sense of dread, resentment and self-doubt with the process of learning. College completes the job, declaring explicitly – to a receptive audience – that there is nothing to learn, that reality is unknowable, certainty is unattainable, the mind is an instrument of self-deception, and the sole function of reason is to find conclusive proof of its own impotence.

Rand concludes: “Ideas can be fought only by means of ideas.  The educational establishment has to be fought – from bottom to top, from cause to consequences, from nursery schools to universities, from basic philosophy to campus riots, from without and from within.”

Bruce Deitrick Price’s new book is Saving K-12.  He deconstructs educational theories and methods on Improve-Education.org.  Support his work on Patreon.

Image: cea + via Flickr.

Lots of people who study K-12 education end up looking for a metaphor, a parallel, to explain the unnecessary stupidity of our public schools.  Don’t bother.  Ayn Rand has run ahead and done the job.

In 1970, Rand published a very long essay titled “The Comprachicos” (which roughly translates to the child-buyers).  It lovingly examines a bit of history mentioned in a Victor Hugo novel.  He wrote about vicious exploiters who mutilate and transform children into all sorts of freaks, dwarfs, gymnasts, and novelties.  The techniques are analogous to those used by bonsai masters.  You cut, twist, break, deprive – you do whatever works to make a glorious anomaly.

Finding this history, Rand must have shouted, “Eureka.”  She perceived that Progressive educators are the comprachicos of our time:

The production of monsters – helpless, twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted – goes on all around us.  But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler.  They do not hide, they practice their trade in the open, the results are invisible.  In the past this horrible surgery left traces on a child’s face, not in his mind.  Today it leaves traces in his mind, not on his face.  In both cases the child is not aware of the mutilation he has suffered.  Today’s comprachicos do not use narcotic powders.  They take a child before he is fully aware of reality and never let him develop that awareness.  Where nature put a normal brain, they put mental retardation.

I’m no Rand fan, but I have to acknowledge that she is super-smart.  Her mind is startling; it’s like watching someone pick up the silverware at dinner and juggle it.

For example:

The thought of all the living species that train their young in the art of survival, the cats who teach their kittens to hunt, the birds who spend such strident effort on teaching their fledglings to fly – yet man, whose tool of survival is the mind, does not merely fail to teach a child to think, but devotes the child’s education to the purpose of destroying his brain, of convincing him that thought is futile and evil, before he has started to think[.] … Men would shudder … if they saw a mother bird plucking the feathers from the wings of her young, then pushing him out of the nest to struggle for survival – yet that was what they did to their children.”

This relentless critique is about what happens in Progressive schools from nurseries to colleges.  Rand says children are deliberately destroyed.  The essay is tightly focused on one subject, education, which serves her well.  Rand has the kind of mind that is eager to go off in many directions.  For example: “If you want to see hatred, do not look at wars or concentration camps – these are merely its consequences. Look at the writings of Kant, Dewey, Marcuse and their followers to see pure hatred[.]”

In general, Rand applauds Maria Montessori and indicts John Dewey.  She condemns Whole Word, for example:

The comprachico technique starts at the base.  The child’s great achievement in learning to speak is undercut and all but nullified by the method used to teach him to read.  The ‘Look-Say’ method substitutes the concrete-bound memorization of the visual shapes of words for the phonetic method which taught a child to treat letters and sounds as abstractions.  The senseless memorizing of such a vast amount of sensory material places an abnormal strain on a child’s mental capacity, a burden that cannot be fully retained, integrated or automatized.  The result is a widespread ‘reading neurosis’ – the inability to learn to read – among children, including many of above average intelligence, a neurosis that did not exist prior to the introduction of the ‘Look-Say’ method.  (If the enlightenment and welfare of children were the modern educators’ goal, the incidence of that neurosis would have made them check and revise their educational theories; it has not.)

Rand sees the big, big picture.  For example:

It is ideas that determine the actions of all those people, and it is the Educational Establishment that determines the ideas of a nation. It is your professors’ ideas that have ruled the world for the past fifty years or longer, with a growing spread of devastation, not improvement – and today, in default of opposition, these ideas are destroying the world, as they destroyed your mind and self-esteem[.] … You are miserably helpless and want to rebel?  Then rebel against the ideas of your teachers.  You will never find a harder, nobler or more heroic form of rebellion.  You have nothing to lose but your anxiety.  You have your mind to win.

Want guidance on how to dumb down a country?  Rand tells you exactly how our self-anointed experts have done it for decades:

The purposeful, disciplined use of his intelligence is the highest achievement possible to man: it is that which makes him human.  The higher the skill, the earlier in life its learning should be started.  The same holds true in reverse, for those who seek to stifle a human potential.  To succeed in producing the atrophy of intelligence, a state of man-made stupidity, one must get hold of the victim early; a mental dwarf must be started when he is small.  This is the art and science practiced by the comprachicos of the mind.

This essay is a concatenation of surprising insights.  For example:

A small child is mildly curious about, but not greatly interested in, other children of his own age.  In daily association, they merely bewilder him.  He is not seeking equals, but cognitive superiors, people who know.  Observe that young children prefer the company of older children or of adults, that they hero-worship and try to emulate an older brother or sister.  A child needs to reach a certain development, a sense of his own identity, before he can enjoy the company of his ‘peers.’  But he is thrown into their midst and told to adjust.

Many people try to explain the failures of modern education by pointing to incompetence and good intentions gone awry.  Rand will have none of that.  She credits our Education Establishment with evil intent from start to finish.

The Progressive nurseries pleaded for a delay of the process of education, asserting that cognitive training is premature for a young child – and conditioned his mind to an anti-cognitive method of functioning.  The grade and high schools reinforced the conditioning: struggling helplessly with random snatches of knowledge, the student learned to associate a sense of dread, resentment and self-doubt with the process of learning. College completes the job, declaring explicitly – to a receptive audience – that there is nothing to learn, that reality is unknowable, certainty is unattainable, the mind is an instrument of self-deception, and the sole function of reason is to find conclusive proof of its own impotence.

Rand concludes: “Ideas can be fought only by means of ideas.  The educational establishment has to be fought – from bottom to top, from cause to consequences, from nursery schools to universities, from basic philosophy to campus riots, from without and from within.”

Bruce Deitrick Price’s new book is Saving K-12.  He deconstructs educational theories and methods on Improve-Education.org.  Support his work on Patreon.

Image: cea + via Flickr.



Source link

Has Giving Leftists What They Want Made America Better?


Leftists have made huge gains in stripping godly traditional principles and values from our American culture.  It is disturbing to see Christians, conservatives, and Republicans surrendering more ground, allowing leftists to achieve their evil goal.

Beginning in kindergarten through college, our kids are poisoned with toxic liberalism.  Parents are poisoned with subliminal and in-your-face liberalism 24-7 via TV, fake news, churches, movies, and so on.  Suddenly, like in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Christians, conservatives, and Republicans are stealthily transformed.  They begin spewing leftist narratives.  A relative whom I have known to be a strong Christian suggested that I soften my resistance to same-sex couples calling themselves married.  This relative is a Christian who has surrendered to leftists’ attack on God’s plan for marriage.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” –Isaiah 5:20

Folks, has giving leftists what they want made America better?

In 1962, the United States Supreme Court gave leftists what they wanted: the removal of prayer from public schools.  So how has that worked out for us?

Since prayer was removed from schools in 1962, out-of-wedlock births for girls 15-19 years old has tripled.  Violent crimes have increased tenfold.  Single-parent female-headed households have grown from 5 million in 1962 to 12 million and growing.

Sexually transmitted diseases in kids 10-14 years old has skyrocketed, increasing 257% since 1962.  Fifteen-year-olds having sex since 1962 is up 1,000%.  For decades, divorce rates were declining.  Since 1962, divorce rates have increased 117%, making America number one in the world for divorce. 

After prayer was removed in 1962, academic achievement severely declined.  SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores fell each year for 18 years.  Unprecedentedly, we are graduating students who academically know less than their parents. 

We have allowed leftists to lower academic and behavioral standards in public schools.  An elementary school teacher friend told me she had a student who freely cursed her out, calling her an “m-f.”  No matter how hard she tried, she could not get the unruly student disciplined or removed from her class.  Remember when you were a child?  The one kid who brought a switchblade to school was deemed a juvenile delinquent and sent to reform school.  Today, weapons (knives and guns) are so prominent in public schools that students must walk through metal-detectors.  Has lowering academic and behavioral standards helped our kids?

To a large degree, we have allowed leftists to remove “healthy shame” from our culture.  Leftists say the only thing anyone should be ashamed of is being conservative, Republican, Christian, or white.  Remember when it was shameful not to know the father of your baby?  Today, pregnant women boldly appear on national trashy TV shows, DNA-testing 27 guys to determine the father.  Leftists deem female promiscuity feminism at its best, women freely exploring their sexuality.  Leftists are angry at God for unfairly sticking women with the annoying possibility of getting pregnant.  Promiscuity carries health risks and emotional consequences.  Has the normalization of baby mommies and baby daddies strengthened our society?

Around 1993, the programming manager at WJZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore where I worked, wrote a play.  His play was an outrageous parody of talk shows.  Talk shows today on national TV are ten times more trashy than his play.

My 90-year-old dad told me about an incident on a Baltimore transit bus when he was a kid.  He and his buddy were purposely making annoying sounds to agitate passengers.  Dad heard a woman say, “It’s how they were raised.”  Dad said he immediately felt ashamed of himself.  He knew that Aunt Nee had raised him better.  Has the removal of healthy shame made our culture better?

SCOTUS complied with leftist demands to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.  This emboldened leftists to demand that LGBT lessons be required in public schools.  The mandatory curriculum includes BDSM, asphyxiation, gender-bending, anal sex, and rimming. 

My wife chuckled about her parents forbidding her to say “pregnant” when she was a child.  Seventh-grade sex ed class was pretty mild.  I asked, “How will the sperm know it’s time to come out?  The teacher replied, “It will know.”

Exposing kids too early to porn leads to imprinting, sex addictions, and intimacy disorders.  Has robbing our children of their innocence as early as kindergarten improved their lives?

So I am visiting a relative when I look up to catch two guys kissing at the end of a TV drama.  The camera followed the couple as they strolled away, holding hands.  I expected “and they lived happily ever after” to appear on the TV screen.  This is the new normal leftists demand we embrace.  LGBT lifestyles have severe health risks.  Next week’s episode will probably feature the same-sex couple in a beautifully staged bedroom scene on national TV.

Folks, I ask you a simple question.  Has allowing leftists to implement their vision for America made us better?  I think not.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth
http://LloydMarcus.com

Leftists have made huge gains in stripping godly traditional principles and values from our American culture.  It is disturbing to see Christians, conservatives, and Republicans surrendering more ground, allowing leftists to achieve their evil goal.

Beginning in kindergarten through college, our kids are poisoned with toxic liberalism.  Parents are poisoned with subliminal and in-your-face liberalism 24-7 via TV, fake news, churches, movies, and so on.  Suddenly, like in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Christians, conservatives, and Republicans are stealthily transformed.  They begin spewing leftist narratives.  A relative whom I have known to be a strong Christian suggested that I soften my resistance to same-sex couples calling themselves married.  This relative is a Christian who has surrendered to leftists’ attack on God’s plan for marriage.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” –Isaiah 5:20

Folks, has giving leftists what they want made America better?

In 1962, the United States Supreme Court gave leftists what they wanted: the removal of prayer from public schools.  So how has that worked out for us?

Since prayer was removed from schools in 1962, out-of-wedlock births for girls 15-19 years old has tripled.  Violent crimes have increased tenfold.  Single-parent female-headed households have grown from 5 million in 1962 to 12 million and growing.

Sexually transmitted diseases in kids 10-14 years old has skyrocketed, increasing 257% since 1962.  Fifteen-year-olds having sex since 1962 is up 1,000%.  For decades, divorce rates were declining.  Since 1962, divorce rates have increased 117%, making America number one in the world for divorce. 

After prayer was removed in 1962, academic achievement severely declined.  SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores fell each year for 18 years.  Unprecedentedly, we are graduating students who academically know less than their parents. 

We have allowed leftists to lower academic and behavioral standards in public schools.  An elementary school teacher friend told me she had a student who freely cursed her out, calling her an “m-f.”  No matter how hard she tried, she could not get the unruly student disciplined or removed from her class.  Remember when you were a child?  The one kid who brought a switchblade to school was deemed a juvenile delinquent and sent to reform school.  Today, weapons (knives and guns) are so prominent in public schools that students must walk through metal-detectors.  Has lowering academic and behavioral standards helped our kids?

To a large degree, we have allowed leftists to remove “healthy shame” from our culture.  Leftists say the only thing anyone should be ashamed of is being conservative, Republican, Christian, or white.  Remember when it was shameful not to know the father of your baby?  Today, pregnant women boldly appear on national trashy TV shows, DNA-testing 27 guys to determine the father.  Leftists deem female promiscuity feminism at its best, women freely exploring their sexuality.  Leftists are angry at God for unfairly sticking women with the annoying possibility of getting pregnant.  Promiscuity carries health risks and emotional consequences.  Has the normalization of baby mommies and baby daddies strengthened our society?

Around 1993, the programming manager at WJZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore where I worked, wrote a play.  His play was an outrageous parody of talk shows.  Talk shows today on national TV are ten times more trashy than his play.

My 90-year-old dad told me about an incident on a Baltimore transit bus when he was a kid.  He and his buddy were purposely making annoying sounds to agitate passengers.  Dad heard a woman say, “It’s how they were raised.”  Dad said he immediately felt ashamed of himself.  He knew that Aunt Nee had raised him better.  Has the removal of healthy shame made our culture better?

SCOTUS complied with leftist demands to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.  This emboldened leftists to demand that LGBT lessons be required in public schools.  The mandatory curriculum includes BDSM, asphyxiation, gender-bending, anal sex, and rimming. 

My wife chuckled about her parents forbidding her to say “pregnant” when she was a child.  Seventh-grade sex ed class was pretty mild.  I asked, “How will the sperm know it’s time to come out?  The teacher replied, “It will know.”

Exposing kids too early to porn leads to imprinting, sex addictions, and intimacy disorders.  Has robbing our children of their innocence as early as kindergarten improved their lives?

So I am visiting a relative when I look up to catch two guys kissing at the end of a TV drama.  The camera followed the couple as they strolled away, holding hands.  I expected “and they lived happily ever after” to appear on the TV screen.  This is the new normal leftists demand we embrace.  LGBT lifestyles have severe health risks.  Next week’s episode will probably feature the same-sex couple in a beautifully staged bedroom scene on national TV.

Folks, I ask you a simple question.  Has allowing leftists to implement their vision for America made us better?  I think not.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth
http://LloydMarcus.com



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Why Should Whites Be Happy about Becoming a Minority?


White people are finding it “difficult to adjust” to becoming a minority, goes the premise of a new AP history textbook – with the implication that this reflects some kind of character defect.  Responding to this, conservative writers have generally denied the claim, sometimes calling it a “Marxist lie.”  But a different point should be made.

Imagine that a history book presented European colonization of North America by asserting, with the same character-defect implication, that Indians found it “difficult to adjust” to becoming a minority.  Would people be left scratching their heads?  Might this even be called offensive?  I think the only response really necessary would be “duh.”

So a question for libs: Can you cite for me one group, in all of history, that was happy about becoming a minority in what had been its homeland?  Just one.  I’ll be waiting.

Did the Ainus, the Japanese islands’ original inhabitants, jump for joy when being overrun and say, “Yay, now we can become a minority!  Maybe we’ll even be subsumed!” (which did happen, for the most part)?

Did the Formosan aborigines cheer when the Chinese began outnumbering them and exclaim, “Yippee!  Perhaps one day we’ll be just two percent of this island’s inhabitants” (which they are now)?

Did the population of Byzantine North Africa, faced with seventh-century Muslim invasion, declare, “Oh, joyous times!  Maybe we can look forward to the day when these lands are entirely Arab and Muslim!” (which came to pass)?

We could go on forever.  European history alone is replete with tribes – Alamanni, Franks, Angles, Vandals, Gepids, Burgundians, Lombards, etc. – that no longer exist as distinct peoples.

Now, I always fancied myself as having a keen grasp of man’s nature, but maybe I’m out of touch.  Perhaps all these groups really did make merry over coming minority status or, even, exult at possible extinguishment.  I’ve never heard of such a case, though.

Why would a group not be alarmed at the prospect of being reduced to minority status?  Leftists themselves never tire of stressing how minorities have ever been persecuted; “progressive” histories are narratives of minority struggle against majority oppression (though liberals love impugning the West on this score, they do sometimes speak of the same phenomenon occurring elsewhere).

As usual, the reality is precisely the opposite of what leftists claim: sleepwalking into cultural and demographic irrelevancy, there has never been a group less concerned about movement toward minority status than whites.

This is partially explainable by the fact that there has never before been a civilization as just as the West.  For example, whites probably weren’t the first to practice slavery.

But they certainly were the first to end it.

Whites might not have been the first to violate human rights.

They are, however, the only reason we even talk about such violation – because they birthed our whole modern concept of human rights to begin with.

The West is unique.  There simply has never been a civilization that has secured so much prosperity and so many rights for all its citizens, including minorities.  In fact, it now often subordinates majority well-being to minority whim (e.g., that of the sexual “devolutionaries”).  Thus, you truly might see no reason to fear becoming a minority if the modern West is your only frame of reference.

Yet this is an area where we actually should listen to the left and be mindful of their warnings about minorities’ historical plight.  If whites were more concerned about being reduced to minority status, their nations – gradually losing their Western character due to multiculturalism and the influx of unassimilable, non-Western foreigners – wouldn’t be so imperiled (though our growing immorality would still plague us).

The reality expressed in this article eludes most because of conditioning: the double standard, the prejudice, is ingrained.  Whites are simultaneously portrayed as uniquely inhuman and something more than human, in that they’re supposed to be above normal human concerns (desire to retain one’s own culture, etc.).  They’re cast as singularly oppressive for exhibiting the same moral failings as every other group, such as having practiced slavery, but as strikingly unexceptional despite taking unprecedented steps to mitigate those moral failings.  They’re condemned as “cultural appropriators” merely for using foreigners’ food recipes but given no credit for birthing a recipe for civilizational success copied the world over (which is why Western technology and economic practices are ubiquitous).

Lamentably, though, whites are uniquely successful in another way as well.  Those most effectively peddling the anti-white propaganda – and most efficiently destroying the West – are white themselves.

Whoever guessed that modern Westerners’ perhaps final triumph would be reaching the very heights of self-flagellation?

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter, or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

White people are finding it “difficult to adjust” to becoming a minority, goes the premise of a new AP history textbook – with the implication that this reflects some kind of character defect.  Responding to this, conservative writers have generally denied the claim, sometimes calling it a “Marxist lie.”  But a different point should be made.

Imagine that a history book presented European colonization of North America by asserting, with the same character-defect implication, that Indians found it “difficult to adjust” to becoming a minority.  Would people be left scratching their heads?  Might this even be called offensive?  I think the only response really necessary would be “duh.”

So a question for libs: Can you cite for me one group, in all of history, that was happy about becoming a minority in what had been its homeland?  Just one.  I’ll be waiting.

Did the Ainus, the Japanese islands’ original inhabitants, jump for joy when being overrun and say, “Yay, now we can become a minority!  Maybe we’ll even be subsumed!” (which did happen, for the most part)?

Did the Formosan aborigines cheer when the Chinese began outnumbering them and exclaim, “Yippee!  Perhaps one day we’ll be just two percent of this island’s inhabitants” (which they are now)?

Did the population of Byzantine North Africa, faced with seventh-century Muslim invasion, declare, “Oh, joyous times!  Maybe we can look forward to the day when these lands are entirely Arab and Muslim!” (which came to pass)?

We could go on forever.  European history alone is replete with tribes – Alamanni, Franks, Angles, Vandals, Gepids, Burgundians, Lombards, etc. – that no longer exist as distinct peoples.

Now, I always fancied myself as having a keen grasp of man’s nature, but maybe I’m out of touch.  Perhaps all these groups really did make merry over coming minority status or, even, exult at possible extinguishment.  I’ve never heard of such a case, though.

Why would a group not be alarmed at the prospect of being reduced to minority status?  Leftists themselves never tire of stressing how minorities have ever been persecuted; “progressive” histories are narratives of minority struggle against majority oppression (though liberals love impugning the West on this score, they do sometimes speak of the same phenomenon occurring elsewhere).

As usual, the reality is precisely the opposite of what leftists claim: sleepwalking into cultural and demographic irrelevancy, there has never been a group less concerned about movement toward minority status than whites.

This is partially explainable by the fact that there has never before been a civilization as just as the West.  For example, whites probably weren’t the first to practice slavery.

But they certainly were the first to end it.

Whites might not have been the first to violate human rights.

They are, however, the only reason we even talk about such violation – because they birthed our whole modern concept of human rights to begin with.

The West is unique.  There simply has never been a civilization that has secured so much prosperity and so many rights for all its citizens, including minorities.  In fact, it now often subordinates majority well-being to minority whim (e.g., that of the sexual “devolutionaries”).  Thus, you truly might see no reason to fear becoming a minority if the modern West is your only frame of reference.

Yet this is an area where we actually should listen to the left and be mindful of their warnings about minorities’ historical plight.  If whites were more concerned about being reduced to minority status, their nations – gradually losing their Western character due to multiculturalism and the influx of unassimilable, non-Western foreigners – wouldn’t be so imperiled (though our growing immorality would still plague us).

The reality expressed in this article eludes most because of conditioning: the double standard, the prejudice, is ingrained.  Whites are simultaneously portrayed as uniquely inhuman and something more than human, in that they’re supposed to be above normal human concerns (desire to retain one’s own culture, etc.).  They’re cast as singularly oppressive for exhibiting the same moral failings as every other group, such as having practiced slavery, but as strikingly unexceptional despite taking unprecedented steps to mitigate those moral failings.  They’re condemned as “cultural appropriators” merely for using foreigners’ food recipes but given no credit for birthing a recipe for civilizational success copied the world over (which is why Western technology and economic practices are ubiquitous).

Lamentably, though, whites are uniquely successful in another way as well.  Those most effectively peddling the anti-white propaganda – and most efficiently destroying the West – are white themselves.

Whoever guessed that modern Westerners’ perhaps final triumph would be reaching the very heights of self-flagellation?

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter, or log on to SelwynDuke.com.



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Why Don't We Turn Populist?


There are two types of populism, writes Victor Davis Hanson, that go back to classical times.  There’s the populism of the mob, which wants redistribution and to tax the rich.  Then there is the populism of the small property-owners and small businessmen, little people with a retirement nest egg threatened by the ruling class.

Although it is usual to marginalize both these populisms as reactions of the simple-minded to necessary “creative destruction,” it is perhaps important to remember an underappreciated factor: the backwash of the ruling class’s wars and incompetent manipulations.

Here’s what I mean.

Sure, the French Revolution unleashed the mob, but it was the mess of French government finance that brought on the revolution and the subsequent revolutionary inflation that radicalized the whole country.  The Old Regime was incompetent; the new regime was evil.

The working-class ructions in Britain after the Napoleonic Wars are inseparable from the deflation working Brits suffered, after a generation of war, as their government returned gold to its pre-war parity.

The Jacksonian populism in the U.S. cannot be separated from Old Hickory’s demolition job on the Hamiltonian financial system, and the late 19th-century rural populism and industrial strife follows the U.S. deflation after the Civil War.

Let us say, for argument’s sake, that the 1920s boom and crash were the fault of Andrew Mellon, who woke up every morning with a new tax cut, and President Coolidge, who spent several mornings a month looking for ways to cut spending.  Still, the ruling class made a complete mess of taming the animal spirits loosed by Andy and Cal Show.  And then the ruling class mucked up on its response to the 1929 Crash and doubled the disaster with stupidities like the National Industrial Recovery Act.

We all know that the 2000s boom and crash were all about stupid Dodds and Franks putting the pedal to the metal to push mortgages out to under-collateralized and sub-prime borrowers.  And the subsequent crash was about Gentle Ben failing to do his job as lender of last resort.

Remember Harry Truman’s boast: the buck stops here?  My plan is for Congress to write a law, that the chairman of the Federal Reserve shall display upon his desk a sign, that reads: “Lender of Last Resort.  This Means You, Chump.”  I mean Champ.

Sure, whenever the ruling class screws the economy, with its wars or its financial incompetence, the little people are going to be hardest hit.  The only question is whether it will be the propertyless – the swinish multitude – or the small-time rentiers and the white working class – the deplorables.

But what about the rest of us?  Sure, we don’t end up jobless and end up on disability when the ruling class screws up, and we don’t get wiped out by the once-in-a-generation financial crash.  But why do we put up with these incompetents?

What finally put me over the top was this.  I went to a fundraiser concert over the weekend, and the M.C. for the event was a drag queen who got us all on to our feet to sing the National Anthem, which, as you all know, is “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

You will be truly shocked to read that no safe spaces were provided for the transgendered, who might have been offended and microaggressed by the drag queen appropriating their culture.

What I want to know is, why does the dig-in-our-pockets-for-charity crowd put up with this abuse?  How about we regular guys get all riled up and mad at the world and get up and say we are not going to take it anymore?

How about we sit gays down and tell them how tolerant we are to have gone along with their “gay marriage” baloney?

How about we insist that politicians bow and scrape a lot more for our checks that keep them in the game?

How about we sit the professors and the teachers down and tell ’em how we want our kids educated?  And hey, pal!  Stop pumping Our Kids full of lefty activism rubbish.

How about the FBIs and DOJs do their jobs and stop playing FISA roulette with presidential candidates?

How about the tech titans start to think they need to truckle a bit to people like us rather than the usual liberal suspects?

Here’s the point.  The only way these various members of the national Idiocracy are going to pay attention to us is if they start to fear us.  And the only way they are going to fear us is if we start acting up and causing a ruckus.

Maybe it’s time for you and me to show ’em what populism looks like when done by professionals.

It is probably the only way to get these spoiled children of liberal land to show people like us a little respect.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

There are two types of populism, writes Victor Davis Hanson, that go back to classical times.  There’s the populism of the mob, which wants redistribution and to tax the rich.  Then there is the populism of the small property-owners and small businessmen, little people with a retirement nest egg threatened by the ruling class.

Although it is usual to marginalize both these populisms as reactions of the simple-minded to necessary “creative destruction,” it is perhaps important to remember an underappreciated factor: the backwash of the ruling class’s wars and incompetent manipulations.

Here’s what I mean.

Sure, the French Revolution unleashed the mob, but it was the mess of French government finance that brought on the revolution and the subsequent revolutionary inflation that radicalized the whole country.  The Old Regime was incompetent; the new regime was evil.

The working-class ructions in Britain after the Napoleonic Wars are inseparable from the deflation working Brits suffered, after a generation of war, as their government returned gold to its pre-war parity.

The Jacksonian populism in the U.S. cannot be separated from Old Hickory’s demolition job on the Hamiltonian financial system, and the late 19th-century rural populism and industrial strife follows the U.S. deflation after the Civil War.

Let us say, for argument’s sake, that the 1920s boom and crash were the fault of Andrew Mellon, who woke up every morning with a new tax cut, and President Coolidge, who spent several mornings a month looking for ways to cut spending.  Still, the ruling class made a complete mess of taming the animal spirits loosed by Andy and Cal Show.  And then the ruling class mucked up on its response to the 1929 Crash and doubled the disaster with stupidities like the National Industrial Recovery Act.

We all know that the 2000s boom and crash were all about stupid Dodds and Franks putting the pedal to the metal to push mortgages out to under-collateralized and sub-prime borrowers.  And the subsequent crash was about Gentle Ben failing to do his job as lender of last resort.

Remember Harry Truman’s boast: the buck stops here?  My plan is for Congress to write a law, that the chairman of the Federal Reserve shall display upon his desk a sign, that reads: “Lender of Last Resort.  This Means You, Chump.”  I mean Champ.

Sure, whenever the ruling class screws the economy, with its wars or its financial incompetence, the little people are going to be hardest hit.  The only question is whether it will be the propertyless – the swinish multitude – or the small-time rentiers and the white working class – the deplorables.

But what about the rest of us?  Sure, we don’t end up jobless and end up on disability when the ruling class screws up, and we don’t get wiped out by the once-in-a-generation financial crash.  But why do we put up with these incompetents?

What finally put me over the top was this.  I went to a fundraiser concert over the weekend, and the M.C. for the event was a drag queen who got us all on to our feet to sing the National Anthem, which, as you all know, is “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

You will be truly shocked to read that no safe spaces were provided for the transgendered, who might have been offended and microaggressed by the drag queen appropriating their culture.

What I want to know is, why does the dig-in-our-pockets-for-charity crowd put up with this abuse?  How about we regular guys get all riled up and mad at the world and get up and say we are not going to take it anymore?

How about we sit gays down and tell them how tolerant we are to have gone along with their “gay marriage” baloney?

How about we insist that politicians bow and scrape a lot more for our checks that keep them in the game?

How about we sit the professors and the teachers down and tell ’em how we want our kids educated?  And hey, pal!  Stop pumping Our Kids full of lefty activism rubbish.

How about the FBIs and DOJs do their jobs and stop playing FISA roulette with presidential candidates?

How about the tech titans start to think they need to truckle a bit to people like us rather than the usual liberal suspects?

Here’s the point.  The only way these various members of the national Idiocracy are going to pay attention to us is if they start to fear us.  And the only way they are going to fear us is if we start acting up and causing a ruckus.

Maybe it’s time for you and me to show ’em what populism looks like when done by professionals.

It is probably the only way to get these spoiled children of liberal land to show people like us a little respect.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Assad and the Art of Survival


Since everything is pointing to Assad as the perpetrator of the recent chemical attack, most observers are puzzled as to what his intentions could possibly be.  One year ago, not only was he winning the war, but Washington expressed its intent to abolish the policy of Assad’s removal and work with Moscow to destroy ISIS.  However, after the chemical attack at the city of Khan Sheikhoun, Washington made a 180° reversal when secretary of state Rex Tillerson declared that “the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.”

Today, ISIS is for all practical purposes being defeated.  President Trump announced pending American withdrawal from Syria, and soon another chemical attack followed.  The incident will likely result in changing the American position and a postponement of the announced withdrawal.  What could possibly be accomplished by gassing civilians both back then and now?

As Napoleon Bonaparte expressed two centuries ago, “international incidents must not be allowed to shape foreign policy; foreign policy must shape the incidents.”

The sophist may ask whose foreign policy is being shaped by those incidents.

In the Middle East, nothing is ever as it appears.  Assad’s survival hangs on the rivalry between Russia and the United States.

As long as the relationship between the two countries is adversarial and as long as Washington demands Assad’s removal, and as long as America stays engaged in Syria providing counterbalance to Russia, Assad is safe.

The Russians see this cold-blooded tyrant as the best, if not the only, hope for stability in the middle of the Muslims’ “war of all against all” and will not allow him to fall, turn Syria over to Islamists, and have the Russian position in the region dramatically weaken.

Conversely, if Moscow and Washington were able to establish common goals to which both countries manifested their desire to work toward eradication of terrorism and solving some of the Middle East’s problems, that evolution could leave Assad politically dispensable, perhaps even available to be used as an exchange currency in a grand bargain.  The prospects of American withdrawal would leave Assad one on one with Putin, who will reduce him to servitude.

With little subtlety and a lot of daring, Assad, by ordering the chemical attacks and thereby provoking international indignation, has been achieving his objective of driving a wedge between Russia and the United States, preventing their coalescence and ensuring continued American engagement.

In both instances, revolted by the atrocities, President Trump, acting on the mood of the moment, did exactly what Assad expected him to do.  After each attack, Trump declared moral absolutes, accused Moscow of culpability, and demanded that Russia sever ties with the butcher Assad.

The folly of this approach is that Washington is acting out of morality, showing little pragmatism, while Moscow is acting out of pragmatism without morality and governed by a different sense of proportion.

Although deeply embarrassed by the events, Russia, which has historically been ruled by ruthless autocrats and whose populace still remembers the horrors of communism, cannot be influenced by the deaths of a few hundred people.  It certainly does not rise to the level of concern that may persuade Moscow to amend its strategic objectives toward the Mediterranean that were set up centuries ago by Peter the Great and further advanced by Catherine the Great.

Russian policy toward Syria is a continuum going back to the 1960s.  It is shaped not by episodes, but by parallelism of national interests.  Assad offers Russia access to the Mediterranean through a warm-water port for the Russian navy and military bases, which allows Russia to be a consequential player in the Middle Eastern balance of power.  In return, Russia has assumed the role of principal arms supplier and the source of the Assad regime’s sustenance.

This collaboration doesn’t come cheap for Russia in terms of investments and relations with the United States and other members of the world community.  And within Russia as well, there is an incipient opposition to Russian involvement in Syria.

Nevertheless, for Moscow, if you can’t get the girl you love, you love the girl you get.

Within this context, the election of Donald Trump offered the opportunity to manipulate Russian necessities to American advantage and build a new world order based on collaboration with Russia.

Instead, the United States, after “successfully” defending the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, extended that failed policy toward defending the people of Syria, leaving Moscow perplexed about the administration’s policies and objectives.  

Were the attacks on Syria isolated incidents or a declaration of the right to intervene in the affairs of sovereign states under the banner of moral supremacy?  By degrading Assad’s capabilities, isn’t Washington helping the Islamists?  Or is there some uniquely American unity of opposites? Going forward, will American foreign policy be based on incidents or long-term geopolitical interests, the power of arms or the power of reason?

After the recent bombing, Trump declared, “mission accomplished!”  The unanswered question is, “Whose mission was it?”  After all, keeping friends and enemies off balance is Assad’s art of survival.

Alexander G. Markovsky is owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services LLC, specializing in the management of large energy-related international projects.  Mr. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research; his prime areas of expertise are international terrorism and the economy, politics, and ideology of Russia.  He was born and educated in the Soviet Union and holds degrees in structural engineering, economics, and political science.  He immigrated into the United States in 1976 and currently resides in Houston, Texas with his family. 

Mr. Markovsky is the author of two politically charged books, Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat CommunismShe Adopted It.  He is a contributor to American Thinker, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, and his work also appears on the Washington Times, FrontPageMag.com, RedState.com, Israpundit.com, WorldNetDaily.com, and FamilySecurityMatters.org.

Since everything is pointing to Assad as the perpetrator of the recent chemical attack, most observers are puzzled as to what his intentions could possibly be.  One year ago, not only was he winning the war, but Washington expressed its intent to abolish the policy of Assad’s removal and work with Moscow to destroy ISIS.  However, after the chemical attack at the city of Khan Sheikhoun, Washington made a 180° reversal when secretary of state Rex Tillerson declared that “the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.”

Today, ISIS is for all practical purposes being defeated.  President Trump announced pending American withdrawal from Syria, and soon another chemical attack followed.  The incident will likely result in changing the American position and a postponement of the announced withdrawal.  What could possibly be accomplished by gassing civilians both back then and now?

As Napoleon Bonaparte expressed two centuries ago, “international incidents must not be allowed to shape foreign policy; foreign policy must shape the incidents.”

The sophist may ask whose foreign policy is being shaped by those incidents.

In the Middle East, nothing is ever as it appears.  Assad’s survival hangs on the rivalry between Russia and the United States.

As long as the relationship between the two countries is adversarial and as long as Washington demands Assad’s removal, and as long as America stays engaged in Syria providing counterbalance to Russia, Assad is safe.

The Russians see this cold-blooded tyrant as the best, if not the only, hope for stability in the middle of the Muslims’ “war of all against all” and will not allow him to fall, turn Syria over to Islamists, and have the Russian position in the region dramatically weaken.

Conversely, if Moscow and Washington were able to establish common goals to which both countries manifested their desire to work toward eradication of terrorism and solving some of the Middle East’s problems, that evolution could leave Assad politically dispensable, perhaps even available to be used as an exchange currency in a grand bargain.  The prospects of American withdrawal would leave Assad one on one with Putin, who will reduce him to servitude.

With little subtlety and a lot of daring, Assad, by ordering the chemical attacks and thereby provoking international indignation, has been achieving his objective of driving a wedge between Russia and the United States, preventing their coalescence and ensuring continued American engagement.

In both instances, revolted by the atrocities, President Trump, acting on the mood of the moment, did exactly what Assad expected him to do.  After each attack, Trump declared moral absolutes, accused Moscow of culpability, and demanded that Russia sever ties with the butcher Assad.

The folly of this approach is that Washington is acting out of morality, showing little pragmatism, while Moscow is acting out of pragmatism without morality and governed by a different sense of proportion.

Although deeply embarrassed by the events, Russia, which has historically been ruled by ruthless autocrats and whose populace still remembers the horrors of communism, cannot be influenced by the deaths of a few hundred people.  It certainly does not rise to the level of concern that may persuade Moscow to amend its strategic objectives toward the Mediterranean that were set up centuries ago by Peter the Great and further advanced by Catherine the Great.

Russian policy toward Syria is a continuum going back to the 1960s.  It is shaped not by episodes, but by parallelism of national interests.  Assad offers Russia access to the Mediterranean through a warm-water port for the Russian navy and military bases, which allows Russia to be a consequential player in the Middle Eastern balance of power.  In return, Russia has assumed the role of principal arms supplier and the source of the Assad regime’s sustenance.

This collaboration doesn’t come cheap for Russia in terms of investments and relations with the United States and other members of the world community.  And within Russia as well, there is an incipient opposition to Russian involvement in Syria.

Nevertheless, for Moscow, if you can’t get the girl you love, you love the girl you get.

Within this context, the election of Donald Trump offered the opportunity to manipulate Russian necessities to American advantage and build a new world order based on collaboration with Russia.

Instead, the United States, after “successfully” defending the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, extended that failed policy toward defending the people of Syria, leaving Moscow perplexed about the administration’s policies and objectives.  

Were the attacks on Syria isolated incidents or a declaration of the right to intervene in the affairs of sovereign states under the banner of moral supremacy?  By degrading Assad’s capabilities, isn’t Washington helping the Islamists?  Or is there some uniquely American unity of opposites? Going forward, will American foreign policy be based on incidents or long-term geopolitical interests, the power of arms or the power of reason?

After the recent bombing, Trump declared, “mission accomplished!”  The unanswered question is, “Whose mission was it?”  After all, keeping friends and enemies off balance is Assad’s art of survival.

Alexander G. Markovsky is owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services LLC, specializing in the management of large energy-related international projects.  Mr. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research; his prime areas of expertise are international terrorism and the economy, politics, and ideology of Russia.  He was born and educated in the Soviet Union and holds degrees in structural engineering, economics, and political science.  He immigrated into the United States in 1976 and currently resides in Houston, Texas with his family. 

Mr. Markovsky is the author of two politically charged books, Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat CommunismShe Adopted It.  He is a contributor to American Thinker, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, and his work also appears on the Washington Times, FrontPageMag.com, RedState.com, Israpundit.com, WorldNetDaily.com, and FamilySecurityMatters.org.



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No Time for a Cold or Hot War


Nations prefer the temperature low, but we’re having a heat wave because of Russian defiance of international norms. As patrons of fashionable steak restaurants know, for over a year sophisticated chefs, for economic and other reasons, have created a standard of undercooking, serving steaks on the rare side. The trendiest steak is served “medium rare plus,” just enough to bring out the flavor and retain moisture with juice kept in the meat. If customers complain about overcooked meat, it has to be thrown out. If customers complain about undercooking the steak will simply be cooked a little longer. Overcooking is a sin in the fashionable contemporary culinary world. Recent events and the memory of various anniversaries evoke a parallel in the political world as political activity is being or has been overcooked.

One overcooking event sparked the racial problem. It is exactly 50 years ago that the passionate British Conservative politician Enoch Powell delivered his “Rivers of Blood” speech to Conservative party members in Birmingham. On the anniversary of the speech, the BBC broadcast the reading by an actor of the text of what many people considered an incitement to racial hatred. Discussing the contemplated government bill on immigration, the Race Relations Bill, which made it illegal to refuse housing or employment to anyone because of ethnic background, he declared, “I am filled with foreboding: like the Roman I see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.” He insisted that immigrants be returned to their country of origin.

More blood flowed on banks of U.S. rivers than on the Thames, but Powell’s premonition, that the “black man would have the whip hand over the white man,” was unfulfilled with the weakening of the system of racial segregation in Western countries. Nevertheless, the continuing existence of discrimination, the increase in anti-Semitism, and the fact that mass immigration is a key issue in Western countries show the need for undercooking of existing prejudice. 

A second anniversary is that of the Hadassah convoy massacre on April 13, 1948. A convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and military supplies to Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus, outside Jerusalem, was ambushed by Arab troops that had blocked Jewish access to Hadassah hospital and the Hebrew University campus nearby. Seventy-eight Jewish doctors, nurses, students, patients, faculty members, and Haganah fighters were murdered.

The tragedy is the continued overcooking of Palestinian violence, by wars, rocket and mortar attacks, underground tunnels, indiscriminate assaults against the State of Israel and its citizens. Golda Meir once gave the recipe for undercooking, “When will the Palestinians love their children more than they hate their neighbors?”

Connected with overcooking is the fact that memory, especially of details, of the Holocaust is fading. A recent study by Schoen Consulting shows that in the U.S. detailed knowledge of the Holocaust was very low, especially among millennials, 22% of whom are ignorant of the Holocaust. In general, 41% of Americans, 66% of millennials could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto. Similarly, though the number six million has been endlessly restated, 31% and 41% of millennials believe that fewer than two million Jews were killed.

The result of this ignorance or disinterest about the reality of the Holocaust, or eradication of its memory, was displayed in an overcooked demonstration on April 11, 2018 at Columbia University in NYC. While preparations were being made at the university for a memorial to the six million Jews murdered, a group of students tore down all material supporting Israel and called for a Palestine “from the river to the sea… Palestine will be free.”

But clearly, the most egregious contemporary political overcooking is the behavior of Russia in disregard of international norms, and penchant for lying and spread of misinformation. Since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, international treaties, customs, and general principles of law have contributed to international rules accepted as binding, even if not precise legal texts, on relations between states as well on issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage. apartheid, and civil rights.

For centuries there has been an ongoing debate over the justification of military action. Is a “just war,” whether the decision to conduct hostilities or the precise conduct of those hostilities, morally justifiable? If there are differences about this on some issues and events, there are none on the use by a state of some form of poison gas or nerve agent. As a result of revulsion towards the use of poison gas by Germany on April 22, 1915 against French troops at Ypres, Belgium, the Geneva Protocol treaty was signed on June 17, 1925 prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons in international armed conflicts. It is true that the agreement has been violated by a number of countries: Japan, Italy, Spain, and by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But it is the use of chemical weapons in recent days by Syria and Russia that has caused international overheating.

The overcooking of chemical weapons and poison gas, along with denials of responsibility by Russia has led to a situation which, if not as dramatically menacing as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 or the Berlin crisis of 1961, is serious, and calls for political chefs to lower the temperature. This is unmistakable now that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack by military grade nerve agent, Novichoks, developed by Russia, used in Salisbury on March 4, 2018. The reckless and indiscriminate attack threatened the lives of innocent people as well as the intended targets, former Russian spy Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia.

What is important is not simply the immoral nature of the nerve agent and gas attacks, but the denial and counterattack by the responsible party. Russian spokespersons provided alternative explanations of the real actors. One emphasis was that British MI6 was directly involved in the Salisbury attack; the Russians claimed “irrefutable evidence” that the attacks were staged with help of a foreign secret service.

As usual, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that there was no evidence that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was responsible, and more time was needed to find “incontrovertible” evidence that Assad was behind the use of chemical weapons in the attack on Douma on April 7, 2018 that killed at least 40 people.  However, he did know that the airstrikes on selected Syrian targets by four British Tornado jets were “legally questionable” actions.

The 19th-century French diplomat Talleyrand might have had Corbyn in mind when he wrote of the Bourbons, “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” One imagines Corbyn in 1939 calling on the League of Nations to take time to verify the “alleged” Nazi aggression in Poland, and meanwhile for all parties to cease violence. In similar vein, Corbyn’s colleague Diane Abbott was uncertain who was the greatest danger to world peace, the U.S. or Russia.

He did not need help from Corbyn when Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declared that Russia had “irrefutable” evidence that the attack on Douma on April 7 was staged with the help of a foreign secret service. According to British newspaper reports, Russia may have been helped by some senior British academics, at Edinburgh, Leicester, and Sheffield Universities, who have formed a group called SPM, Syria, Propaganda, and Media, that spreads disinformation that benefits Syria, and conspiracy theories propounded by Russia.

SPM had published a statement that questioned whether Russia had a secret nerve agent program. It then spread the allegation, repeated by the Russian ambassador, that a rebel-associated organization, the White Helmets (Syrian Civil Defense) staged the Douma attack. The White Helmets consists of 3,000 volunteers who engage in search and rescue after bombings in Syria.

It is disquieting that some countries, groups, and individuals persist in defending or not criticizing the actions of Assad. His forces had used sarin gas in an attack on August 21, 2013 on Ghouta, Damascus where hundreds were killed. After that, Russia promised to ensure that Syria would abandon all its chemical weapons. But Syria on April 4, 2017 used sarin gas in an attack on Khan Sheikhoun, killing 90 people. In response to this atrocity Trump on April 6, 2017 ordered U.S. forces to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base.

Despite Russian denials, the use by Russians of chemical weapons in Salisbury and by the Syrian regime in Douma is clear, as are the responses that have taken place. French President Emmanuel Macron called the use of such weapons a “red line.” Trump threatened on April 11 that there would be a “big price to pay” for the mindless chemical attack, and that Russia and Iran were responsible for backing Assad. The rhetoric was followed by action by a U.S., French, and British coalition that French UN ambassador Francois Delattre called “proportionate and targeted.”

At the emergency UN Security Council meeting on April 14, 2018, the Russian resolution to condemn the U.S. was rejected by eight to three (Russia, China, Bolivia) and four abstentions. It is welcome that in this case international norms have been upheld.  It is now up Russia to find its moral compass, to stop its contentious actions and destructive effect on the system of international relations, and to consult its political cookbook to concentrate on undercooking its actions.

Nations prefer the temperature low, but we’re having a heat wave because of Russian defiance of international norms. As patrons of fashionable steak restaurants know, for over a year sophisticated chefs, for economic and other reasons, have created a standard of undercooking, serving steaks on the rare side. The trendiest steak is served “medium rare plus,” just enough to bring out the flavor and retain moisture with juice kept in the meat. If customers complain about overcooked meat, it has to be thrown out. If customers complain about undercooking the steak will simply be cooked a little longer. Overcooking is a sin in the fashionable contemporary culinary world. Recent events and the memory of various anniversaries evoke a parallel in the political world as political activity is being or has been overcooked.

One overcooking event sparked the racial problem. It is exactly 50 years ago that the passionate British Conservative politician Enoch Powell delivered his “Rivers of Blood” speech to Conservative party members in Birmingham. On the anniversary of the speech, the BBC broadcast the reading by an actor of the text of what many people considered an incitement to racial hatred. Discussing the contemplated government bill on immigration, the Race Relations Bill, which made it illegal to refuse housing or employment to anyone because of ethnic background, he declared, “I am filled with foreboding: like the Roman I see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.” He insisted that immigrants be returned to their country of origin.

More blood flowed on banks of U.S. rivers than on the Thames, but Powell’s premonition, that the “black man would have the whip hand over the white man,” was unfulfilled with the weakening of the system of racial segregation in Western countries. Nevertheless, the continuing existence of discrimination, the increase in anti-Semitism, and the fact that mass immigration is a key issue in Western countries show the need for undercooking of existing prejudice. 

A second anniversary is that of the Hadassah convoy massacre on April 13, 1948. A convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and military supplies to Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus, outside Jerusalem, was ambushed by Arab troops that had blocked Jewish access to Hadassah hospital and the Hebrew University campus nearby. Seventy-eight Jewish doctors, nurses, students, patients, faculty members, and Haganah fighters were murdered.

The tragedy is the continued overcooking of Palestinian violence, by wars, rocket and mortar attacks, underground tunnels, indiscriminate assaults against the State of Israel and its citizens. Golda Meir once gave the recipe for undercooking, “When will the Palestinians love their children more than they hate their neighbors?”

Connected with overcooking is the fact that memory, especially of details, of the Holocaust is fading. A recent study by Schoen Consulting shows that in the U.S. detailed knowledge of the Holocaust was very low, especially among millennials, 22% of whom are ignorant of the Holocaust. In general, 41% of Americans, 66% of millennials could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto. Similarly, though the number six million has been endlessly restated, 31% and 41% of millennials believe that fewer than two million Jews were killed.

The result of this ignorance or disinterest about the reality of the Holocaust, or eradication of its memory, was displayed in an overcooked demonstration on April 11, 2018 at Columbia University in NYC. While preparations were being made at the university for a memorial to the six million Jews murdered, a group of students tore down all material supporting Israel and called for a Palestine “from the river to the sea… Palestine will be free.”

But clearly, the most egregious contemporary political overcooking is the behavior of Russia in disregard of international norms, and penchant for lying and spread of misinformation. Since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, international treaties, customs, and general principles of law have contributed to international rules accepted as binding, even if not precise legal texts, on relations between states as well on issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage. apartheid, and civil rights.

For centuries there has been an ongoing debate over the justification of military action. Is a “just war,” whether the decision to conduct hostilities or the precise conduct of those hostilities, morally justifiable? If there are differences about this on some issues and events, there are none on the use by a state of some form of poison gas or nerve agent. As a result of revulsion towards the use of poison gas by Germany on April 22, 1915 against French troops at Ypres, Belgium, the Geneva Protocol treaty was signed on June 17, 1925 prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons in international armed conflicts. It is true that the agreement has been violated by a number of countries: Japan, Italy, Spain, and by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But it is the use of chemical weapons in recent days by Syria and Russia that has caused international overheating.

The overcooking of chemical weapons and poison gas, along with denials of responsibility by Russia has led to a situation which, if not as dramatically menacing as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 or the Berlin crisis of 1961, is serious, and calls for political chefs to lower the temperature. This is unmistakable now that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack by military grade nerve agent, Novichoks, developed by Russia, used in Salisbury on March 4, 2018. The reckless and indiscriminate attack threatened the lives of innocent people as well as the intended targets, former Russian spy Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia.

What is important is not simply the immoral nature of the nerve agent and gas attacks, but the denial and counterattack by the responsible party. Russian spokespersons provided alternative explanations of the real actors. One emphasis was that British MI6 was directly involved in the Salisbury attack; the Russians claimed “irrefutable evidence” that the attacks were staged with help of a foreign secret service.

As usual, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that there was no evidence that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was responsible, and more time was needed to find “incontrovertible” evidence that Assad was behind the use of chemical weapons in the attack on Douma on April 7, 2018 that killed at least 40 people.  However, he did know that the airstrikes on selected Syrian targets by four British Tornado jets were “legally questionable” actions.

The 19th-century French diplomat Talleyrand might have had Corbyn in mind when he wrote of the Bourbons, “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” One imagines Corbyn in 1939 calling on the League of Nations to take time to verify the “alleged” Nazi aggression in Poland, and meanwhile for all parties to cease violence. In similar vein, Corbyn’s colleague Diane Abbott was uncertain who was the greatest danger to world peace, the U.S. or Russia.

He did not need help from Corbyn when Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declared that Russia had “irrefutable” evidence that the attack on Douma on April 7 was staged with the help of a foreign secret service. According to British newspaper reports, Russia may have been helped by some senior British academics, at Edinburgh, Leicester, and Sheffield Universities, who have formed a group called SPM, Syria, Propaganda, and Media, that spreads disinformation that benefits Syria, and conspiracy theories propounded by Russia.

SPM had published a statement that questioned whether Russia had a secret nerve agent program. It then spread the allegation, repeated by the Russian ambassador, that a rebel-associated organization, the White Helmets (Syrian Civil Defense) staged the Douma attack. The White Helmets consists of 3,000 volunteers who engage in search and rescue after bombings in Syria.

It is disquieting that some countries, groups, and individuals persist in defending or not criticizing the actions of Assad. His forces had used sarin gas in an attack on August 21, 2013 on Ghouta, Damascus where hundreds were killed. After that, Russia promised to ensure that Syria would abandon all its chemical weapons. But Syria on April 4, 2017 used sarin gas in an attack on Khan Sheikhoun, killing 90 people. In response to this atrocity Trump on April 6, 2017 ordered U.S. forces to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base.

Despite Russian denials, the use by Russians of chemical weapons in Salisbury and by the Syrian regime in Douma is clear, as are the responses that have taken place. French President Emmanuel Macron called the use of such weapons a “red line.” Trump threatened on April 11 that there would be a “big price to pay” for the mindless chemical attack, and that Russia and Iran were responsible for backing Assad. The rhetoric was followed by action by a U.S., French, and British coalition that French UN ambassador Francois Delattre called “proportionate and targeted.”

At the emergency UN Security Council meeting on April 14, 2018, the Russian resolution to condemn the U.S. was rejected by eight to three (Russia, China, Bolivia) and four abstentions. It is welcome that in this case international norms have been upheld.  It is now up Russia to find its moral compass, to stop its contentious actions and destructive effect on the system of international relations, and to consult its political cookbook to concentrate on undercooking its actions.



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The Trials and Tribulations of the Transgenders


In today’s public dialogue, there’s a lot of talk back and forth over the transgender issue. And why not? Transgenderism has been made into a cause celebre by the cultural elite. Many, myself included, view this as part of the ongoing effort by the Left to separate America from God and tradition. For that reason, it is worthwhile to delve a little deeper into the issue than what is normally provided by what is claimed by transgender people themselves.

 

To begin with, the clinical term for transgenderism is ‘gender dysphoria.’ It is defined as the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex. The American Psychiatric Association  says this conflict in gender affects people in different ways. There are those who want to express their perceived gender in their behavior, mannerisms and dress. Accordingly, some male-to-female transgenders seem to be satisfied cross-dressing, painting their finger and toe nails and whatnot. Others however, opt to go further with hormone treatments and what is delicately called transition sex-change surgeries. 

 

The Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the bible of the psychiatric community, provides guidelines for diagnosing gender dysphoria for 1) children and 2) adults and adolescents. For the latter, it boils down to a strong desire to be of the other sex and to have society to accept that as so. It is gratifying at least to see that psychiatrists recognize gender dysphoria as a mental disorder.

 

Unfortunately, the psychiatric treatment for gender dysphoria calls for alleviating the anxiety associated with this mental disorder rather than addressing its core issue. It’s as if a patient thinks he’s a dog, and part of his treatment would be to put a collar on him and give him a few Milk Bone dog biscuits as a reward for good behavior. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but it illustrates the point. 

 

Current treatment for gender dysphoria is premised on the belief that cosmetic changes will relieve the symptoms and hence cure the disorder. For a male-to-female transition, sex change surgery is called vaginoplasty. This YouTube animated link of the vaginoplasty operation can make men queasy to watch, for it is an extreme re-engineering of the male sex organ. As you can well imagine, this operation is not just complicated; it is also irreversible. For a female-to-male transition, the surgical procedures can be gleaned from this short YouTube animation.

 

It should not come as a surprise that these radical procedures can lead to many horrific complications and often require follow-up surgeries and many sessions on a psychiatrist’s couch. This link  gives the story of two people going male-to-female, two going the other way, and the post-op problems they’ve had. Take the case of Hunter. Of this male-to-female person, it is written: “Instead of the vagina she had always longed for, Hunter has what she called a ‘fibrous lump between my legs and a colostomy bag.’ Everything she read online and in an information packet, everything her surgeon told her, led her to believe the chances of complications were at best remote.” Or take the case of Gary who went the female-to-male route and now needs two catheters and complains about not being able to pee standing up.

 

Interestingly, all four of these people aren’t all that sorry about having their surgeries. At most, they seem to regret picking the wrong surgeon. This speaks volumes of the depth of their mental instability. 

 

Transgender genital surgery is dangerous. And for what? It is reported that many of the recipients of genital operations admit to not being cured of their gender dysphoria. 

 

In addition to surgery there is hormone therapy. That is, female-to-male trans people are given testosterone shots while male-to-female ones get estrogen. Both of these hormones are powerful actors in the human body where they affect a myriad of chemical reactions. A normal female will have some testosterone in her and a normal male will have have some estrogen. To be healthy, these hormones must be kept in proper balance for the gender involved. Playing God by monkeying around with hormones is asking for trouble. Perhaps that explains why those undergoing hormone treatment for cosmetic reasons experience high rates of depression, anger and general unhappiness. A traditionalist would say that they people are at war with their bodies.

 

In an ironic twist further aggravating the situation is the fact that hormone therapy does not lead to much of an appearance change in adults. What research is available on this subject indicates that for it to be effective, the treatment must begin before puberty is reached. For adults, it’s usually too late.

 

As has often times been noted, all the surgery and hormone treatments in the world cannot change the chromosomal makeup of each of the trillion of cells in a person’s body. For males, the chromosome pair is XY and females it’s XX. Given that fact and the problems in transitioning into another gender with surgery and/or hormone treatments, it is little wonder then that those with gender dysphoria have a 41% rate for suicides or attempted suicides compared with just 4.6% of the general population.

 

For a particularly enlightening view of the absurdity of transgendering, here’s a story from the Federalist website of one person who tried it while on active military service and his negative views on the matter. Jamie Shupe writes, 

 

“The sex change process is inherently and fatally flawed because even if science eventually proves transgender people are more than the sum of their currently visible and measurable birth biology, this would make them intersex — a mixture of male and female. It would not make transgender persons the complete opposite sex.


 


Nor should the military be involved in attempting to medically shoehorn trans service members into the opposite sex, something at which they can’t possibly succeed. Because of the ‘at best’ case of mixed male and female biology in this scenario, the transgender person will always be plagued by gender dysphoria. It’s the equivalent of claiming a mixed-race person can be made white or black by a medical treatment.”

 

Shupe uses a useful term here that I haven’t heard before in describing transgender people — intersex. This implies that these poor souls who undergo sex change surgeries and heavy hormone treatments are neither fish nor fowl. Biologically and scientifically speaking, that is correct. 

 

And ‘poor souls’ also describes many transgender people. These people have a problem (gender dysphoria), and they are being encouraged by powerful cultural forces in society to mutilate and distort their bodies in trying to become something they can’t. Of course, those who are egging them on have their own agenda which is not the best interest of the gender-conflicted. But this is a common tactic of the progressive Left. Causalities on the road to Utopia do not trouble them in the least. As Joe Stalin said, you have the break a few eggs to make an omelet.

In today’s public dialogue, there’s a lot of talk back and forth over the transgender issue. And why not? Transgenderism has been made into a cause celebre by the cultural elite. Many, myself included, view this as part of the ongoing effort by the Left to separate America from God and tradition. For that reason, it is worthwhile to delve a little deeper into the issue than what is normally provided by what is claimed by transgender people themselves.

 

To begin with, the clinical term for transgenderism is ‘gender dysphoria.’ It is defined as the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex. The American Psychiatric Association  says this conflict in gender affects people in different ways. There are those who want to express their perceived gender in their behavior, mannerisms and dress. Accordingly, some male-to-female transgenders seem to be satisfied cross-dressing, painting their finger and toe nails and whatnot. Others however, opt to go further with hormone treatments and what is delicately called transition sex-change surgeries. 

 

The Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the bible of the psychiatric community, provides guidelines for diagnosing gender dysphoria for 1) children and 2) adults and adolescents. For the latter, it boils down to a strong desire to be of the other sex and to have society to accept that as so. It is gratifying at least to see that psychiatrists recognize gender dysphoria as a mental disorder.

 

Unfortunately, the psychiatric treatment for gender dysphoria calls for alleviating the anxiety associated with this mental disorder rather than addressing its core issue. It’s as if a patient thinks he’s a dog, and part of his treatment would be to put a collar on him and give him a few Milk Bone dog biscuits as a reward for good behavior. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but it illustrates the point. 

 

Current treatment for gender dysphoria is premised on the belief that cosmetic changes will relieve the symptoms and hence cure the disorder. For a male-to-female transition, sex change surgery is called vaginoplasty. This YouTube animated link of the vaginoplasty operation can make men queasy to watch, for it is an extreme re-engineering of the male sex organ. As you can well imagine, this operation is not just complicated; it is also irreversible. For a female-to-male transition, the surgical procedures can be gleaned from this short YouTube animation.

 

It should not come as a surprise that these radical procedures can lead to many horrific complications and often require follow-up surgeries and many sessions on a psychiatrist’s couch. This link  gives the story of two people going male-to-female, two going the other way, and the post-op problems they’ve had. Take the case of Hunter. Of this male-to-female person, it is written: “Instead of the vagina she had always longed for, Hunter has what she called a ‘fibrous lump between my legs and a colostomy bag.’ Everything she read online and in an information packet, everything her surgeon told her, led her to believe the chances of complications were at best remote.” Or take the case of Gary who went the female-to-male route and now needs two catheters and complains about not being able to pee standing up.

 

Interestingly, all four of these people aren’t all that sorry about having their surgeries. At most, they seem to regret picking the wrong surgeon. This speaks volumes of the depth of their mental instability. 

 

Transgender genital surgery is dangerous. And for what? It is reported that many of the recipients of genital operations admit to not being cured of their gender dysphoria. 

 

In addition to surgery there is hormone therapy. That is, female-to-male trans people are given testosterone shots while male-to-female ones get estrogen. Both of these hormones are powerful actors in the human body where they affect a myriad of chemical reactions. A normal female will have some testosterone in her and a normal male will have have some estrogen. To be healthy, these hormones must be kept in proper balance for the gender involved. Playing God by monkeying around with hormones is asking for trouble. Perhaps that explains why those undergoing hormone treatment for cosmetic reasons experience high rates of depression, anger and general unhappiness. A traditionalist would say that they people are at war with their bodies.

 

In an ironic twist further aggravating the situation is the fact that hormone therapy does not lead to much of an appearance change in adults. What research is available on this subject indicates that for it to be effective, the treatment must begin before puberty is reached. For adults, it’s usually too late.

 

As has often times been noted, all the surgery and hormone treatments in the world cannot change the chromosomal makeup of each of the trillion of cells in a person’s body. For males, the chromosome pair is XY and females it’s XX. Given that fact and the problems in transitioning into another gender with surgery and/or hormone treatments, it is little wonder then that those with gender dysphoria have a 41% rate for suicides or attempted suicides compared with just 4.6% of the general population.

 

For a particularly enlightening view of the absurdity of transgendering, here’s a story from the Federalist website of one person who tried it while on active military service and his negative views on the matter. Jamie Shupe writes, 

 

“The sex change process is inherently and fatally flawed because even if science eventually proves transgender people are more than the sum of their currently visible and measurable birth biology, this would make them intersex — a mixture of male and female. It would not make transgender persons the complete opposite sex.


 


Nor should the military be involved in attempting to medically shoehorn trans service members into the opposite sex, something at which they can’t possibly succeed. Because of the ‘at best’ case of mixed male and female biology in this scenario, the transgender person will always be plagued by gender dysphoria. It’s the equivalent of claiming a mixed-race person can be made white or black by a medical treatment.”

 

Shupe uses a useful term here that I haven’t heard before in describing transgender people — intersex. This implies that these poor souls who undergo sex change surgeries and heavy hormone treatments are neither fish nor fowl. Biologically and scientifically speaking, that is correct. 

 

And ‘poor souls’ also describes many transgender people. These people have a problem (gender dysphoria), and they are being encouraged by powerful cultural forces in society to mutilate and distort their bodies in trying to become something they can’t. Of course, those who are egging them on have their own agenda which is not the best interest of the gender-conflicted. But this is a common tactic of the progressive Left. Causalities on the road to Utopia do not trouble them in the least. As Joe Stalin said, you have the break a few eggs to make an omelet.



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The Invisible Victims of Gun Control


She’d always “felt safe in her neighborhood,” said an unnamed young woman in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  That is, until around midnight of October 25, 2008, when she heard a crash in her basement. 

A 47-year-old registered sex offender named Ronnie W. Preyer had broken into her home.  She “made a beeline to the back door, but Preyer was waiting for her,” writes Bridget DiCosmo of the Southeast Missourian.   She fought back, but was punched, “twice, she thinks.”  Before leaving, her rapist told her, “Don’t tell anybody, I know where you live.”

“I wasn’t going to tell, but the more I thought about it, the worse I felt,” she recalls.

The landlord fixed her window and installed security devices to the doors, and, “in a gesture that may have saved her life, purchased a shotgun for her” before teaching her how to load it.

At 2 AM on October 31st, the lights went out.  “She knew she’d paid the electric bill,” according to DiCosmo.  And she knew “something wasn’t right.”

DiCosmo continues, “She got her gun.  Growing nervous, she opened the blinds, sat down in a chair, and waited.”  When Preyer came crashing through the door, she fired, striking her assailant in the chest and killing him.

Police had been making rounds to her home after the first encounter with her rapist.  But they weren’t there in that fateful moment when she had to defend herself with a gun that had been purchased for her by her landlord.  The gun was the difference between her being raped again and/or killed and surviving unmolested.  The gun preserved her life and liberty in spite of another person who looked to rob her of one or both of those things.  Not the cops, and not the good intentions of lawmakers who wish violent sexual predators like Preyer did not exist.

What if she did not have a SecondAmendment right to have such a weapon for self-defense, as former Justice John Paul Stevens recently argued in the New York Times should be repealed?

Well, okay, some gun control advocates may argue.  A shotgun is alright. 

Take sensible Joe Biden’s advice to other women like her.  “If you live in an area that’s wooded or somewhat secluded,” Joe says, just “walk out on the balcony” and fire two shots with a double-barreled shotgun to scare attackers away.

The only problem is that the woman in the aforementioned story from Missouri didn’t live in a “wooded” or “secluded” area with a “balcony” as Biden’s wife Jill apparently does.  She was “several feet away in her tiny kitchen” as she frightenedly awaited her assailant, as the report makes clear.  Several aspects of the story suggest that she a) likely lives alone, b) is not financially well-off (she remembered she “paid the electric bill”), and c) doesn’t have the logistical advantages Jill Biden might enjoy when invaders arrive, with a balcony to signal her deadliness while keeping a safe distance from invading attackers.

But an AR-15 is another story altogether, Biden says.  No one needs that for self-defense, he argues. 

Unless you happened to be in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 17, 2017.  The fifth-deadliest mass shooting in United States history occurred less than half a year ago, and for some reason, the very reason that it was assuredly not deadlier has been all but forgotten in the public discussion.  After a murderous madman had killed 26 people in a nearby church, NRA instructor Stephen Willeford retrieved his AR-15 from his gun safe, ran barefoot across the street, and opened fire on the murderer, striking him “with a precisely aimed bullet in a small gap in the perpetrator’s body armor.”  He proceeded to jump into “another man’s truck and the two pursued the gunman down the road to make sure he hurt no one else.”

“I’m no hero,” Willeford said afterward.  “I mean, I’m not.  I just thank my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done.”

He’s most certainly a hero, though.  Contrast his actions to those of the Broward County Sherriff’s Department who, armed with firearms, refused to do their job and engage the shooter during the recent Parkland massacre.

Why did they not engage, similarly placing themselves at risk as Willeford did?  In an interesting turn of the narrative, it was because those representing the security offered by the State lacked not only the courage that Willeford possessed, but the firepower that he legally owned, thanks to our Second Amendment protections.

“A bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun,” Lawrence O’Donnell tweeted.  Therefore, according to O’Donnell, it’s understandable that Broward officers did not engage the shooter. 

The point, however, is missed by O’Donnell.  As writer Streiff elaborates at RedState:

If a teacher emerges from a bypassed room (remember, [mass shooters] don’t waste time forcing doors open because most of them know they only have a short time before the cops arrive) and engages the shooter, win or lose, that means the shooter stops killing, he has to take cover and defend himself, and more people survive.

This logic is impenetrable.  Had the Broward County employees engaged the shooter, as is their job, fewer students would have died.  Brave school employees, unarmed, shielded other students from the attacker, saving the lives of students with names you will have never heard.  There is no leap of faith required to imagine that if those employees faced less daunting odds by having a handgun in their possession at the time of the attack, they would have chosen to do what the Broward County employees were too cowardly to do.

The police will not always be there in time, and even if they are, they will not protect Americans.  That is the primary lesson. 

Now, take this final example, because the left’s narrative around gun control logically leads here.

Curiously, handguns are less vilified in the gun control debate than the AR-15, despite the fact that the vast majority of gun murders are committed with handguns.  In 2015, for example, there were 252 murders committed with rifles, including those by the dreaded AR-15, versus 6,447 murders committed with handguns.  But, perhaps even more so, inconspicuously-carried handguns are the greater deterrent to violent crime.

Here’s an example.  In 2015, 22-year-old Evarardo Custodio “began firing into the crowd” at the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.  A nearby Uber driver, equipped with a legally carried concealed handgun, “fired six shots at Custodio, hitting him several times.”  No other injuries, beyond the would-be murderer’s, were reported that night.

Here’s the kicker.  This outcome was only achieved because Chicago’s previously “Draconian laws” had been erased by a 2010 ruling in McDonald v. Chicago.  “Under the previous regime in Chicago,” writes Adam Bates at Cato, “the driver would have had to choose between saving lives and avoiding a lengthy, potentially life-ruining prison sentence.”

You never hear these stories.  But how many lives were saved that night because our Second Amendment rights were firmly in place?  How many lives were saved in Sutherland Springs because a good American owned his AR-15?  The unnamed woman in Missouri; would she still be among the living, and would she have avoided being raped a second time if not for her Second Amendment right to self-defense, as the left now openly proclaims a desire to repeal?

These are questions which are never pondered by those who’ve resorted to trotting out children to present their case for gun control.  There is little political value in doing so, because you cannot specifically point to the names of the lives saved and build a concrete narrative around it, as can easily be done to fabricate a crisis meant to drive an impetus for gun control.

However, the state of facts remains unchanged.  A modern CDC study has concluded that guns are used in cases of individual self-defense anywhere between 500,000 and 3,000,000 times annually.  How many unidentified lives are saved in those instances?  Is the preservation of our Second Amendment rights a less worthy cause than the specific and horrific examples cited by the media to rob us of those very same rights?

As gun sales and concealed and open carry laws have expanded, violent crime rates have declined in America, including mass shootings.  This is an undeniable fact.  Yet in the U.K., to which leftists routinely point as an example for gun control, violent crime has been relentlessly climbing.

In the end, our Second Amendment right is about more than just data.  It is about the preservation of individual liberty, to which countless unnamed Americans saved by it might attest.  The data, however, prove that the media prefer to construct narratives which make good stories rather than preserve life and liberty for the larger number of Americans.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

She’d always “felt safe in her neighborhood,” said an unnamed young woman in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  That is, until around midnight of October 25, 2008, when she heard a crash in her basement. 

A 47-year-old registered sex offender named Ronnie W. Preyer had broken into her home.  She “made a beeline to the back door, but Preyer was waiting for her,” writes Bridget DiCosmo of the Southeast Missourian.   She fought back, but was punched, “twice, she thinks.”  Before leaving, her rapist told her, “Don’t tell anybody, I know where you live.”

“I wasn’t going to tell, but the more I thought about it, the worse I felt,” she recalls.

The landlord fixed her window and installed security devices to the doors, and, “in a gesture that may have saved her life, purchased a shotgun for her” before teaching her how to load it.

At 2 AM on October 31st, the lights went out.  “She knew she’d paid the electric bill,” according to DiCosmo.  And she knew “something wasn’t right.”

DiCosmo continues, “She got her gun.  Growing nervous, she opened the blinds, sat down in a chair, and waited.”  When Preyer came crashing through the door, she fired, striking her assailant in the chest and killing him.

Police had been making rounds to her home after the first encounter with her rapist.  But they weren’t there in that fateful moment when she had to defend herself with a gun that had been purchased for her by her landlord.  The gun was the difference between her being raped again and/or killed and surviving unmolested.  The gun preserved her life and liberty in spite of another person who looked to rob her of one or both of those things.  Not the cops, and not the good intentions of lawmakers who wish violent sexual predators like Preyer did not exist.

What if she did not have a SecondAmendment right to have such a weapon for self-defense, as former Justice John Paul Stevens recently argued in the New York Times should be repealed?

Well, okay, some gun control advocates may argue.  A shotgun is alright. 

Take sensible Joe Biden’s advice to other women like her.  “If you live in an area that’s wooded or somewhat secluded,” Joe says, just “walk out on the balcony” and fire two shots with a double-barreled shotgun to scare attackers away.

The only problem is that the woman in the aforementioned story from Missouri didn’t live in a “wooded” or “secluded” area with a “balcony” as Biden’s wife Jill apparently does.  She was “several feet away in her tiny kitchen” as she frightenedly awaited her assailant, as the report makes clear.  Several aspects of the story suggest that she a) likely lives alone, b) is not financially well-off (she remembered she “paid the electric bill”), and c) doesn’t have the logistical advantages Jill Biden might enjoy when invaders arrive, with a balcony to signal her deadliness while keeping a safe distance from invading attackers.

But an AR-15 is another story altogether, Biden says.  No one needs that for self-defense, he argues. 

Unless you happened to be in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 17, 2017.  The fifth-deadliest mass shooting in United States history occurred less than half a year ago, and for some reason, the very reason that it was assuredly not deadlier has been all but forgotten in the public discussion.  After a murderous madman had killed 26 people in a nearby church, NRA instructor Stephen Willeford retrieved his AR-15 from his gun safe, ran barefoot across the street, and opened fire on the murderer, striking him “with a precisely aimed bullet in a small gap in the perpetrator’s body armor.”  He proceeded to jump into “another man’s truck and the two pursued the gunman down the road to make sure he hurt no one else.”

“I’m no hero,” Willeford said afterward.  “I mean, I’m not.  I just thank my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done.”

He’s most certainly a hero, though.  Contrast his actions to those of the Broward County Sherriff’s Department who, armed with firearms, refused to do their job and engage the shooter during the recent Parkland massacre.

Why did they not engage, similarly placing themselves at risk as Willeford did?  In an interesting turn of the narrative, it was because those representing the security offered by the State lacked not only the courage that Willeford possessed, but the firepower that he legally owned, thanks to our Second Amendment protections.

“A bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun,” Lawrence O’Donnell tweeted.  Therefore, according to O’Donnell, it’s understandable that Broward officers did not engage the shooter. 

The point, however, is missed by O’Donnell.  As writer Streiff elaborates at RedState:

If a teacher emerges from a bypassed room (remember, [mass shooters] don’t waste time forcing doors open because most of them know they only have a short time before the cops arrive) and engages the shooter, win or lose, that means the shooter stops killing, he has to take cover and defend himself, and more people survive.

This logic is impenetrable.  Had the Broward County employees engaged the shooter, as is their job, fewer students would have died.  Brave school employees, unarmed, shielded other students from the attacker, saving the lives of students with names you will have never heard.  There is no leap of faith required to imagine that if those employees faced less daunting odds by having a handgun in their possession at the time of the attack, they would have chosen to do what the Broward County employees were too cowardly to do.

The police will not always be there in time, and even if they are, they will not protect Americans.  That is the primary lesson. 

Now, take this final example, because the left’s narrative around gun control logically leads here.

Curiously, handguns are less vilified in the gun control debate than the AR-15, despite the fact that the vast majority of gun murders are committed with handguns.  In 2015, for example, there were 252 murders committed with rifles, including those by the dreaded AR-15, versus 6,447 murders committed with handguns.  But, perhaps even more so, inconspicuously-carried handguns are the greater deterrent to violent crime.

Here’s an example.  In 2015, 22-year-old Evarardo Custodio “began firing into the crowd” at the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.  A nearby Uber driver, equipped with a legally carried concealed handgun, “fired six shots at Custodio, hitting him several times.”  No other injuries, beyond the would-be murderer’s, were reported that night.

Here’s the kicker.  This outcome was only achieved because Chicago’s previously “Draconian laws” had been erased by a 2010 ruling in McDonald v. Chicago.  “Under the previous regime in Chicago,” writes Adam Bates at Cato, “the driver would have had to choose between saving lives and avoiding a lengthy, potentially life-ruining prison sentence.”

You never hear these stories.  But how many lives were saved that night because our Second Amendment rights were firmly in place?  How many lives were saved in Sutherland Springs because a good American owned his AR-15?  The unnamed woman in Missouri; would she still be among the living, and would she have avoided being raped a second time if not for her Second Amendment right to self-defense, as the left now openly proclaims a desire to repeal?

These are questions which are never pondered by those who’ve resorted to trotting out children to present their case for gun control.  There is little political value in doing so, because you cannot specifically point to the names of the lives saved and build a concrete narrative around it, as can easily be done to fabricate a crisis meant to drive an impetus for gun control.

However, the state of facts remains unchanged.  A modern CDC study has concluded that guns are used in cases of individual self-defense anywhere between 500,000 and 3,000,000 times annually.  How many unidentified lives are saved in those instances?  Is the preservation of our Second Amendment rights a less worthy cause than the specific and horrific examples cited by the media to rob us of those very same rights?

As gun sales and concealed and open carry laws have expanded, violent crime rates have declined in America, including mass shootings.  This is an undeniable fact.  Yet in the U.K., to which leftists routinely point as an example for gun control, violent crime has been relentlessly climbing.

In the end, our Second Amendment right is about more than just data.  It is about the preservation of individual liberty, to which countless unnamed Americans saved by it might attest.  The data, however, prove that the media prefer to construct narratives which make good stories rather than preserve life and liberty for the larger number of Americans.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.



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Would Progress in Genetics Research End the Racial Spoils System?


A recent NY Times essay. “How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’” by Harvard genetics professor David Reich directly confronted the Mother of All Taboos: racial differences in intelligence. Despite his references to Nazis and condemning as “racists” past researchers who have intimated this race-IQ link, Reich concludes that the onward march of genetic research might uncover the race/intelligence link though he prudently admits that smoking gun proof is not yet in hand.

The overwhelming reaction to Reich’s ever-so-tentative conclusion has, predictably, been condemnation. Nevertheless, qualifiers aside, there is no doubt that, at least in his expert opinion, thanks to multiplying breakthroughs in DNA research, the days of “no racial differences in cognitive ability” as “settled science” may well be numbered.  

Reich is explicit:

I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries could be misused to justify racism. But as a geneticist I also know that it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.” (snip)


Is performance on an intelligence test or the number of years of school a person attends shaped by the way a person is brought up? Of course. But does it measure something having to do with some aspect of behavior or cognition? Almost certainly. And since all traits influenced by genetics are expected to differ across populations (because the frequencies of genetic variations are rarely exactly the same across populations), the genetic influences on behavior and cognition will differ across populations, too.

Now for the $64 political questions: what might happen if a group of eminent scientists present a report (we’ll call it “The Report”) demonstrating that after multiple careful studies, the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence confirms that (1) racial categories, understood as Caucasian, blacks, Asian and American Indian, are biological realities not “social constructs” and (2) Caucasians on average are more intelligent than blacks with East Asians (i.e., Chinese, Japanese and Korean) being smarter than whites and American Indians a bit smarter than blacks. To be sure, evidence for this race-related hierarchy of cognitive ability already abounds (see here and  here, among many summaries of findings depicting this link) but what makes The Report significant is that these group differences and now scientifically proven to be substantially biologically based, not largely environmentally determined.

For those anxious that this potential forthcoming explosive scientific truth will upend today’s racial accommodations, let me predict that barely anything would change. All the talk of white racism, racial discrimination and other evils will not recede, while the flow of billions to close racial gaps and all the rest will scarcely be touched. On the other side, however, disappointment will await those who had hoped that biological science will, at long last, bring a color-blind, merit-based America. The Great Taboo will survive.   

Let me suggest why near-zero change if The Report finally arrives, if ever, of course.

First, genetics is exceedingly complicated and abounds with myriad technical terms whose understanding require a decent knowledge of statistics. and leaving aside a provocative headline like “Scientists prove whites smarter than blacks,” The Report would draw scant popular attention. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the like will surely cover it, but beyond that, it’s hard to see ordinary folk paying serious attention. The left-leaning media might acknowledge it but only to condemn it as crackpot pseudo-science. At most, a few “race realist” websites would celebrate the findings, but this audience is tiny and even here, coverage will fade.

This reaction would be totally unlike research about sex, for example, the Kinsey Report and the findings of Masters and Johnson, that became talked about best sellers with millions pouring over turgid analyses to extract “hot” nuggets about homosexuality or female orgasm.

The Report’s author’s will also encourage public indifference by making it a formidable read, a tactic comparable to Victorians writing about sex by favoring Latin and impenetrable prose (try navigating Kraft-Ebbing’s Psychopathia Sexualis). It is also quite unlikely that fair-minded, more accessible versions will appear in magazines such as The Atlantic so non-specialists can see the evidence themselves. Such liberal-leaning magazines might well risk outraged subscribers canceling.  

Such obtuseness and reluctance to go public has a practical justification. Report authors would know full well the costs of racial heresy — ad hominem denunciations, classroom disruptions, demands that this “Nazi” research be defunded and, no doubt, death threats. Recall how Harvard’s Edwin O. Wilson, the founder of sociobiology, was physically attacked at an academic conference, and he was only one of many who suffered this fate. Most likely, more than a few of The Report researchers would request anonymity. How many would defend their work on TV or pen an op-ed column?  Not many, if any.

Immense and very vocal opposition might kill The Report altogether. Guaranteed, there would be an avalanche of open letters, signed declarations and other hostile public outcries. Distinguished geneticists worried over their funding might join this vitriolic chorus and pick apart The Report for its “premature” conclusions. Add the usual collection of left-wing social justice academics who know little about genetics, calling themselves something like “Professors Against Racism.” And woe to anybody on campus who oppose their goodthink views. Given the risks of being associated with challenging Mother of All Taboo beliefs, opponents would out-number Report defenders at least 10 to 1.

Forget about a marketplace of idea where scientific truth wins out by defeating falsehoods; a better parallel is a Tower of Babel, often filled with preposterous lies, that leaves the public confused — a “he say that, she say” version of scientific “debate.” Within a few weeks the public will tire of the uncivil squabbling and news of The Report will fade. Recall the trajectory of The Bell Curve — an uproar, endless unscientific name-calling followed by decades of amnesia.

But most of all, The Report will not reverse race-related public policy for the simple reason that race relations in the US exists independently of scientific facts. Everything, top to bottom, is politically driven.  Demands for well-paying set-aside jobs are impervious to IQ statistics, nor do college instructors stop hectoring whites for their unearned “white privilege.” Indeed, The Report might only exacerbated cries of institutional racism as opponents denounce it as typical “white” science that justifies white hegemony.

To be blunt, The Report would not be exactly shockingly new news. Admissions officers at elite colleges have known for decades that blacks score well below whites and Asians on standardized tests, and this holds even for blacks from well-off families, and this enduring gap strongly hints of genetic differences, yet racial preferences continue. Moreover, the diversity defense has zero to do with genetics, so why drop racial preferences?  Ditto for all the corporations, including the US military, that hire diversity specialists to attract more black and Hispanic workers. Has any diversity advocate ever talked about genetics? If one needs an historical parallel, consider those centuries back when many people believed that fact-based science would demolish religions with their alleged superstitions and fantasies.

In sum, opponents of the racial preferences, affirmative action and all the rest are wasting their time by awaiting the Messiah of genetic research. Yes, scientifically verified truth is important, but in this instance, millions simply don’t care, refuse to believe it or will vigorously defend falsehoods. Change is most likely to occur — sad to say — when bridges collapse, or airplanes fall from the sky, but until such catastrophes, the racial spoils system marches on.

A recent NY Times essay. “How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’” by Harvard genetics professor David Reich directly confronted the Mother of All Taboos: racial differences in intelligence. Despite his references to Nazis and condemning as “racists” past researchers who have intimated this race-IQ link, Reich concludes that the onward march of genetic research might uncover the race/intelligence link though he prudently admits that smoking gun proof is not yet in hand.

The overwhelming reaction to Reich’s ever-so-tentative conclusion has, predictably, been condemnation. Nevertheless, qualifiers aside, there is no doubt that, at least in his expert opinion, thanks to multiplying breakthroughs in DNA research, the days of “no racial differences in cognitive ability” as “settled science” may well be numbered.  

Reich is explicit:

I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries could be misused to justify racism. But as a geneticist I also know that it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.” (snip)


Is performance on an intelligence test or the number of years of school a person attends shaped by the way a person is brought up? Of course. But does it measure something having to do with some aspect of behavior or cognition? Almost certainly. And since all traits influenced by genetics are expected to differ across populations (because the frequencies of genetic variations are rarely exactly the same across populations), the genetic influences on behavior and cognition will differ across populations, too.

Now for the $64 political questions: what might happen if a group of eminent scientists present a report (we’ll call it “The Report”) demonstrating that after multiple careful studies, the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence confirms that (1) racial categories, understood as Caucasian, blacks, Asian and American Indian, are biological realities not “social constructs” and (2) Caucasians on average are more intelligent than blacks with East Asians (i.e., Chinese, Japanese and Korean) being smarter than whites and American Indians a bit smarter than blacks. To be sure, evidence for this race-related hierarchy of cognitive ability already abounds (see here and  here, among many summaries of findings depicting this link) but what makes The Report significant is that these group differences and now scientifically proven to be substantially biologically based, not largely environmentally determined.

For those anxious that this potential forthcoming explosive scientific truth will upend today’s racial accommodations, let me predict that barely anything would change. All the talk of white racism, racial discrimination and other evils will not recede, while the flow of billions to close racial gaps and all the rest will scarcely be touched. On the other side, however, disappointment will await those who had hoped that biological science will, at long last, bring a color-blind, merit-based America. The Great Taboo will survive.   

Let me suggest why near-zero change if The Report finally arrives, if ever, of course.

First, genetics is exceedingly complicated and abounds with myriad technical terms whose understanding require a decent knowledge of statistics. and leaving aside a provocative headline like “Scientists prove whites smarter than blacks,” The Report would draw scant popular attention. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the like will surely cover it, but beyond that, it’s hard to see ordinary folk paying serious attention. The left-leaning media might acknowledge it but only to condemn it as crackpot pseudo-science. At most, a few “race realist” websites would celebrate the findings, but this audience is tiny and even here, coverage will fade.

This reaction would be totally unlike research about sex, for example, the Kinsey Report and the findings of Masters and Johnson, that became talked about best sellers with millions pouring over turgid analyses to extract “hot” nuggets about homosexuality or female orgasm.

The Report’s author’s will also encourage public indifference by making it a formidable read, a tactic comparable to Victorians writing about sex by favoring Latin and impenetrable prose (try navigating Kraft-Ebbing’s Psychopathia Sexualis). It is also quite unlikely that fair-minded, more accessible versions will appear in magazines such as The Atlantic so non-specialists can see the evidence themselves. Such liberal-leaning magazines might well risk outraged subscribers canceling.  

Such obtuseness and reluctance to go public has a practical justification. Report authors would know full well the costs of racial heresy — ad hominem denunciations, classroom disruptions, demands that this “Nazi” research be defunded and, no doubt, death threats. Recall how Harvard’s Edwin O. Wilson, the founder of sociobiology, was physically attacked at an academic conference, and he was only one of many who suffered this fate. Most likely, more than a few of The Report researchers would request anonymity. How many would defend their work on TV or pen an op-ed column?  Not many, if any.

Immense and very vocal opposition might kill The Report altogether. Guaranteed, there would be an avalanche of open letters, signed declarations and other hostile public outcries. Distinguished geneticists worried over their funding might join this vitriolic chorus and pick apart The Report for its “premature” conclusions. Add the usual collection of left-wing social justice academics who know little about genetics, calling themselves something like “Professors Against Racism.” And woe to anybody on campus who oppose their goodthink views. Given the risks of being associated with challenging Mother of All Taboo beliefs, opponents would out-number Report defenders at least 10 to 1.

Forget about a marketplace of idea where scientific truth wins out by defeating falsehoods; a better parallel is a Tower of Babel, often filled with preposterous lies, that leaves the public confused — a “he say that, she say” version of scientific “debate.” Within a few weeks the public will tire of the uncivil squabbling and news of The Report will fade. Recall the trajectory of The Bell Curve — an uproar, endless unscientific name-calling followed by decades of amnesia.

But most of all, The Report will not reverse race-related public policy for the simple reason that race relations in the US exists independently of scientific facts. Everything, top to bottom, is politically driven.  Demands for well-paying set-aside jobs are impervious to IQ statistics, nor do college instructors stop hectoring whites for their unearned “white privilege.” Indeed, The Report might only exacerbated cries of institutional racism as opponents denounce it as typical “white” science that justifies white hegemony.

To be blunt, The Report would not be exactly shockingly new news. Admissions officers at elite colleges have known for decades that blacks score well below whites and Asians on standardized tests, and this holds even for blacks from well-off families, and this enduring gap strongly hints of genetic differences, yet racial preferences continue. Moreover, the diversity defense has zero to do with genetics, so why drop racial preferences?  Ditto for all the corporations, including the US military, that hire diversity specialists to attract more black and Hispanic workers. Has any diversity advocate ever talked about genetics? If one needs an historical parallel, consider those centuries back when many people believed that fact-based science would demolish religions with their alleged superstitions and fantasies.

In sum, opponents of the racial preferences, affirmative action and all the rest are wasting their time by awaiting the Messiah of genetic research. Yes, scientifically verified truth is important, but in this instance, millions simply don’t care, refuse to believe it or will vigorously defend falsehoods. Change is most likely to occur — sad to say — when bridges collapse, or airplanes fall from the sky, but until such catastrophes, the racial spoils system marches on.



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