If Hillary smears him . . .

Come to think of it … I knew there was something I liked about Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, who just went to work for Trump’s campaign.

Actually there’s a lot to like about Bannon, smeared by, of all ‘people’, Hillary (see story below).

That’s one good reason. If Hillary smears him, he must be a pretty good guy. And his “railing” against Paul Ryan? There’s a whole lot of justified “railing” due there. A lot of it can be summarized by Speaker Ryan promising to stop Obama’s destructive agenda and then turning around to support the defacto dictator’s entire final year of his incredibly destructive agenda.

As to the Pope. We have “railed” against His Holiness for his anti-US pronouncements, anti-capitalism, his aggressive support for unlimited illegal immigration, his aggressive promotion of wealth redistribution and Marxist/ Communist dictatorships around the world, his devotion to ill-informed and destructive “climate change” policies, and his unabashed dabbling in US politics.

That’s not “anti-Catholicism”, Hillary. That’s “Anti-distortion of Catholic doctrines and traditions”.


Rebecca Monsour, a Catholic, reports at Breitbart about Hillary’s treatment of Trump campaign official Steve Bannon, a Catholic.

Hillary to Bannon: Leave Paul Ryan Alone! Raps his “anti-Catholicism”

“(Steve) Bannon has nasty things to say about pretty much everyone,” Clinton told the rally crowd in Reno, NV, on Thursday. “This spring, he railed against Paul Ryan for, quote ‘rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second.’”

“No wonder he’s gone to work for Trump – the only Presidential candidate ever to get into a public feud with the Pope,” she added.

Bannon, a Roman Catholic himself who collaborated with this writer on the documentary film “Torchbearer” about the roots of Christian civilization, was criticizing Ryan’s misuse of his Catholic faith as a pretext for his open borders immigration stance – a position which a number of his fellow Catholics (this writer included) find objectionable.


DLH

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUSH/ESTABLISHMENT GOP “NEVER TRUMPERS”

I’ll take this as one of the greatest reasons to support The Donald


“I have Republican friends who think that things couldn’t be worse than doubling down on Obama policies under Hillary Clinton. But they’re wrong: Things could be worse. And I fear they would be under Mr. Trump.”

That’s the enlightened observation of Gregory Mankiew, a George W. Bush appointee as Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

It is also a major reason the Republican Party is about to join the Wooly Mammoth, another elephant type creature, in extinction.

Mankiew’s keen observations were included in a Wall Street Journal story on Friday which reported that Donald Trump has received “no support from any of the White House economists who have advised U.S. presidents for the past half century”.

Now that’s saying something…and it could be the best endorsement for president Mr. Trump could ever hope to get!

About the only thing worse for America than Mr. Mankiew’s “doubling down on Obama policies” or Trump’s repudiation of those policies, would be to go along with virtually anything espoused by the “geniuses” who have advised US presidents for the last half century.

If you like where the US economy is today, you can thank that crowd.

It appears from the Journal’s story that all these economic advisors are really distraught about Donald’s two main positions which have attracted the support of many Americans and are likely to win him the presidency: a) Trump’s opposition to “open borders”… the economists’ “solution” to any perceived shortage of cheap labor and Democrat party voters, and, b) the GOP nominee’s disdain for the Obama “trade agreement”, TPP, which the Washington establishment prefers to characterize as “opposition to free trade”.

If you believe that the dwindling number of middle-class working folks paying ever increasing taxes to support a limitlessly growing number of migrants from all over the world, many inimical to America’s traditions, culture, and values is a good idea, you could have been a White House economic advisor.

And further, if you think that a so-called “trade agreement’, 5500 pages in length, negotiated entirely in secret by the Obama administration, which has never told the truth about anything and has ruled the past 8 years without effective congressional oversight, input, or opposition, and having little to do with trade and more to do with “globalization”, is an example of sound free trade policy, you could be a Chairman of the WH economic advisors.

DLH

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Oh those Clintons, practically Alt-Righters on immigration, back in the day

Embedded below are a series of short videos (less than 2 minutes or so each) of Bill and Hillary, aka “Billary,” talking about immigration. Why heck, they sound every bit as neo-Nazi, racist, xenophobic, KKK sympathizing, bigoted as they accuse Donald Trump and the Alt-Right of being.  Of course as a matter of policy they were lying or pandering to the blue-collar vote, those “Alt-Righters” Trump has been capturing.

First up is Bill Clinton’s immigration comments as part of his 1995 State of the Union (SOTU) speech. We captured it from a CSPAN archive and posted it to YouTube because we did not find that it had been done.  YouTube provides an easy to post and use format for video clips.

Next up is Bill’s 1996 SOTU immigration speech clip, which is virtually the same as the one in ’95  — as in same old stuff, different day (SOSDD).

1996 SOTU

Ah yes, Alt-Right Hillary,

 

R Mall

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American Family Association continues Target boycott

  • The collateral damage engendered by giant retailer Target’s  transgender — anything goes bathroom and dressing room policy  — (and other businesses or institutions that have or are contemplating similar) is greater than any possible benefit for anyone.
  • Destroying the village in order to pretend compassion

Our post of earlier in the week anticipated the American Family Association’s (AFA) call to continue the boycott of Target that they have championed so effectively. Target’s transgender policy creates great dangers in seeking to be part of normalizing aberrant behavior.

American Family Association Open Letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell: #BoycottTarget Continues Until Bathroom Policy Reversed

August 22, 2016

Brian Cornell, CEO
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Dear Mr. Cornell,

As you are aware, the American Family Association initiated a boycott of Target on April 21, two days after your corporation publicized your store policy that would allow men access to women’s restrooms and changing areas. The boycott petition has garnered over 1.4 million signatures as of August 22.

Target has publicized its intent to install single-occupancy, unisex bathrooms – and that is fine. In fact, our initial announcement of the boycott suggested such additions as a way to help the retailer’s transgender customers. Moreover, we do not feel that the transgender community poses a threat to other shoppers.

However, our major concern was that Target’s policy would grant voyeurs and sexual predators easier access to their victims by allowing men in women’s restrooms and changing areas, which puts women and girls in danger.

Recent incidents in places like Bedford and Revere, Massachusetts; Ammon, Idaho; and Frisco, Texas have borne this out.

Unisex bathrooms are fine, but our request has always been that Target maintain the gender-specific bathrooms as well – if the company is interested in guaranteeing the safety and privacy of women and girls who patronize the retailer’s stores.

AFA’s boycott will remain in place until Target agrees that protecting the safety and privacy of women and children is of paramount concern. To demonstrate that commitment, we ask that you reverse your current bathroom and fitting room policy.

Sincerely,

Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

An important note added at the AFA website:

This letter come on the heels of last night’s ruling by a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, who has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s guidelines directing the nation’s public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity.  AFA states this is further proof that popularity is waning for leaving bathroom use open to sexual predators and those who would take advantage of these types of bathroom and locker room policies, endangering women and children.


R Mall

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Transgenderism — Where are the ‘sane’ institutions?

  • Tyler O’Neil writing at PJ Media has produced a series of articles reporting on important aspects of the push to normalize transgenderism. 
  • Stop the insanity — letter from The Family Leader encourages contact to school districts —  don’t let them hide behind Obama’s unenforceable edicts

The first article of O’Neil’s that we list is chilling.  Titled  Real-Life Victims of the Transgender ‘Cult’    like everything else pushed by the radical left, including our out-of-control Obama dictatorship, the “transgender movement” makes no sense in a sane world. A sane world would be one where parents supportive of “transitioning” their “gender traumatized” pre-teen child would be charged, tried, and convicted of criminal child abuse.

Instead, we see it championed in the dominant media all the time — and government, schools, and even some “religions” are advancing this incredibly cruel and destructive agenda:

Other of O’Neil’s very useful reports:

Johns Hopkins Research: No Evidence People Are Born Gay or Transgender

Johns Hopkins Researchers Warn Against Drastic Transgender Decisions Involving Children

Judge Defends Funeral Home Owner’s Religious Freedom From Obama Transgender Mandate 


Letter from The Family Leader

Dear Friend of the Family,

There is new hope for the people of Fairfield and school districts across the nation!

A federal judge in Texas has issued an injunction, banning the Obama administration from enforcing its radical mandate that schools open bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and even overnight hotel rooms to members of both sexes!

What’s more, according to the official ruling, the court says the injunction “should apply nationwide.”

In other words, there is no legal reason schools should have to adopt this nonsense bathroom policy!

And now, The FAMiLY LEADER’s freely provided sample letter to your school board has been updated to inform your school board of the injunction as well.

Click here for the 4 things YOU can do about school bathroom policies, including a model letter to send to your school board, now!

The only reason EVERY school in the nation is not allowing boys into the girls’ room (and vice versa) today is because informed school boards and concerned citizens LIKE YOU have stood up to defend our children. Over 20 states had to sue the federal government to get this injunction.

Yet some school districts, including several in Iowa, are adopting the Obama administration’s dangerous policy anyway. We cannot afford to let up now. Please visit The FAMiLY LEADER website for the “4 Things You Can DO about School Bathroom Policies” today!

For the family,

Bob Vander Plaats

Bob

DLH with R Mall

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“Unprofessional” or “warlike belligerance”

The US Navy called it “unsafe and unprofessional”

imageedit_1_6198768734That is today’s Obama/Ash Carter/Ray Mabus Navy…indeed, that’s our nation’s entire ‘modern’ armed forces structure and philosophy.

“Unprofessional” is when a president takes “selfies” acting out like one of the Blues Brothers, or when the leader of the world’s most powerful democratic nation does interviews with internet “personalities” who frolic in a bathtub and munch down cereal from their own bath water. “Unprofessional” is when the Commander-in-Chief requires one of our elite warriors to hold an umbrella so that he doesn’t get wet in a light rain.

Threatening our warships and taunting our military are not “unprofessional”…they are warlike gestures and must be met with appropriate response…like providing adequate warning and when ignored blow the belligerents out of the water.

From today’s Navy Times:

Four Iranian boats approached a U.S. destroyer in the Persian Gulf in a dangerous stunt Tuesday, according to a Navy official.

The small Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy craft drove within within 300 yards of the destroyer Nitze, deployed with the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, near the Strait of Hormuz, said the official who was not authorized to speak on the record about the incident.

The Navy is calling the incident “unsafe and unprofessional,” he said.

The destroyer tried various methods to communicate with the incoming four boats, he added. Radio calls, the ship’s whistle, firing flares — all to no response.

The boats ultimately came within a few hundred yards of Nitze before turning around, the official said. The U.S. Navy said the incident occurred in international waters.

On Thursday, the Iranian defense minister said Iran’s naval forces will warn or confront any foreign ship entering the country’s territorial waters, The Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Hosein Dehghan as saying that “if any foreign vessel enters our waters, we warn them, and if it’s an invasion, we confront.” He added that Iranian boats patrol to monitor traffic and foreign vessels in its territorial waters.

U.S. Navy video of the incident obtained by The Associated Press shows American sailors on the Nitze firing flares and sounding the warship’s horn as the Iranian boats approached.

Earlier, Adm. John Richardson said the incident involving the Nitze reflects the greater competition the U.S. is facing at sea and underscores the naval tensions with Tehran.

It’s the latest in a string of Iranian warships taunting and testing U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. Late last year, Revolutionary Guard point fired rockets near the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group from about 1,000 meters away.

In photos released last month, boats approached two Navy ships — one of which was carrying U.S. Central Command boss Gen. Joe Votel, the Wall Street Journal reported. The IRGCN also arrested 10 riverine sailors at gunpoint after they strayed into Iranian waters and held them for day, an incident which Iranian officials proclaimed as a victory.


DLH

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Liberal critics of Citizens United are silent about $oros Unleashed

  • images-5Hundreds of millions, perhaps billions in pursuit of one-world government
  • Fellow travelers and dupes

Two items about billionaire creep George Soros — Both articles are set forth in their entirety as permitted.

The first article below is from Alex Pfeiffer writing at The Daily Caller.  We wonder  how much $oros put into the contrived conference on “environmental/climate change” on which Pope Francis got so much succor for his “Laudato Si” encyclical.

Leaked Document Shows Soros Spent 650k To Influence Pope

George Soros’s Open Society Foundations spent $650,000 in an effort to influence Pope Francis during his visit to the United States, a leaked document reveals.

The document is an agenda for a May 2015 New York meeting of the U.S programs division of the Open Society Foundations. It states that it had allocated $650,000 for a grant related to Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the United States. The group DC Leaks has released over 2,000 documents from groups associated with Soros.

“In order to seize this moment, we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America,” the document states.

According to PICO’s website, “PICO is a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities.”

 Cardinal Rodriguez, who hails from Honduras, has been described as Pope Francis’ best friend.

The document goes on to state, “The grant will also support FPL’s media, framing, and public opinion activities, including conducting a poll to demonstrate that Catholic voters are responsive to the Pope’s focus on income inequality, and earning media coverage that drives the message that being ‘pro-family’ requires addressing growing inequality.”

FPL stands for Faith in Public Life, the group describes itself as having “played an important role in changing the narrative about the role of faith in politics, winning major progressive policy victories, and empowering new religious leaders to fight for social justice and the common good.”

Their website states they carried out the functions of the Soros grant. “In preparation for the pope’s visit to the US, we commissioned extensive opinion research about how Catholics respond to the Pope’s prophetic messages and released the poll at the National Press Club,” FPL’s site states. “Throughout the trip, FPL coordinated messaging among numerous Catholic groups and did extensive media outreach.”

The Soros document goes on to state: “By harnessing the Papal visit to lift up the Pope’s searing critique of what he calls ‘an economy of exclusion and inequality’ and his dismissal of ‘trickle down’ theories, PICO and FPL will work to build a bridge to a larger conversation about bread-and-butter economic concerns and shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Pope Francis, much like Soros, has been supportive of efforts to bring in refugees into Europe.

From Gary Bauer writing at Campaign for Working Families:

Soros & Islamophobia

For some time now, I have been warning about the alliance between the left and radical Islamists. Almost nothing unites these two disparate groups except for their hatred of Judeo-Christian values and Israel. But as is so often the case with the left, it doesn’t take long to discover a link to George Soros.

One of the greatest frustrations of the Obama years has been the smothering influence of political correctness, especially when it comes to critical matters like counterterrorism and fighting radical Islam. New information, however, indicates this is not just the result of naive liberals.

Documents from Soros’ Open Society Foundation were hacked and recently published online. Among them is a January 2011 memo entitled, “U.S. Models for Combating Xenophobia and Intolerance.” That may sound innocent enough, but the title is very deceptive.

As Matthew Vadum explains, “The memo is also a character assassination roadmap that enlists the assistance of disreputable left-wing groups including Media Matters for America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. . . The 2011 strategy memo is a template for a well-funded smear campaign against critics of Islam.”

Once again, we see that the left is not interested in a reasoned, rational debate about radical Islam. It refuses to even utter the very words.

Instead, it dismisses the obvious threats of mass shootings, suicide bombings and random stabbings as “Islamophobia,” while telling us the real danger is climate change. This is delusional!

And George Soros is behind it all — funding the effort led by the left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP). The Center for American Progress was founded by John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton, and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Thanks to Soros’ largesse, CAP has produced reports attacking leading conservatives, including me, who dare to speak out against radical Islam. A CAP report released last year includes a chapter headlined: “Islamophobia Masquerading as Law Enforcement Counterterrorism Training.”

My friends, the radical left is using political correctness to take America hostage. It is trying to gag us and blind us, trying to shut down debate and prevent us from seeing reality. It is threatening our national security by ensuring that we do not have a serious conversation about doing what is necessary to defeat this growing threat to Western Civilization.

If elected, Hillary Clinton will do George Soros’ bidding. She has already vowed to increase Muslim immigration by 500%. She will put Obama’s open borders policies on steroids. Our country cannot afford four more years of this!


DLH and R Mall

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So what has happened to The Iowa Republican?

Speaking of ethanol money and its influence, (previous post) — can even it dry up?


Iowa has certainly had an influential place in presidential politics. An often referred to publication for many searching for comment, or to comment, has been the political  journal The Iowa Republican (TIR).  Its founder is Craig Robinson who was also often quoted by analysts and reporters.  After determining that “TIR” was totally in the tank with corn-based politics we stopped our more frequent visits. The ridiculous attacks on Cruz (and snideness toward Steve King) were too much to take and we stopped our frequent check-ins not long after caucus time (however, we never questioned its founder’s support for genuine conservative ideals in other areas).  Our latest checkup indicates that  there have been no posts since May 9th. That post is still up at the site.

We have not studied the site to see if there are more clues that would explain the complete cessation but we did notice a fall off in the number of posts in the months previous to the last post. The strangeness in our estimation is that if TIR has ceased publication one would think there would be a farewell message, or if on hiatus, some explanation — a “see you in September note” or something.

We suspect a loss of funding or maybe a job change for the proprietor.  It had become pretty much a one-man show and greener pastures, other time commitments, priorities …  all are understandable reasons to end the previous publication schedule.  Nevertheless one would still expect an explanation, unless there was a sudden dire illness,  as a courtesy to its readers, especially the ten or so that kept the comment section going. We contacted one of them, perhaps the most prolific, and that person “had no idea” as to why there has been no  sign-off message.

We don’t think the costs of keeping such a site up are overwhelming. Your humble editors at veritaspac.com are volunteers and pretty much float the boat as to costs ourselves (v’pac has a less sophisticated site). But even if compensation for the content providers was a requirement to keep it functioning, or a job change came up, one would think TIR or Mr. Robinson, or the owners if different than him, could muster an explanation, a farewell, or perhaps even an occasional post as part of a reduced format as a transition to ceasing publication.  We would be curious about any information our readers may have.

Regarding the possible influence of Big Ethanol on The Iowa Republican, this extensive article at the liberal outlet Bleeding Heartland does provide some research. Any conclusions are theirs or yours.  Our impressions were formed independently.     R Mall

Memo to journalists: Craig Robinson’s firm makes money off the Iowa caucus campaign

Addenda —  This is speculation, conjecture with no particular claimed basis that has come our way from others  or crossed our mind to “explain” a sudden cessation:

That the site stats (readership) for TIR fell off so much after the caucuses that the proprietors / funders unceremoniously gave up.  The publication tried mightily to denigrate Cruz, it was not particularly friendly to Congressman King of late, both of whom would be considered champions of what might be presumed to be the the largest component of the publication’s regular readership. In other words TIR shit in its nest.

Other conjecture —  simple enough  — funders if they were essential, stopped funding, as any acclaim achieved by the site did not show political results — Cruz cruised to victory in the caucuses, TIR’s preferred candidates had disastrous showings.   King was clearly cruising to his primary victory.   Other speculation, the funders funding was needed elsewhere and the relatively expensive toy had to go.  None of that explains the lack of a sign-off message unless it was accompanied by some bitterness perhaps???

One other speculation — costs went up — ad revenue went down — that would explain  a more orderly cessation, but they would not seem to call for such an unceremonious ending.  We noticed no appeal for funds to readers. We doubt unexpected costs or dependence on ad revenue were primary factors.

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Lawless EPA regarding ethanol — we will tell you what we want to, when we decide to

We do not expect much to come from our Republican Congress regarding this report of an Obama agency thumbing its nose at the law.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 2.04.31 PM

You can read the story here. The link is to virtually the same article at the Chicago Tribune, although not headlined there. The Argus-Dispatch seems to lag in archiving its print stories in its search engine (the E-edition shown here was not archived as yet by subject or title) Excerpting the AP story elsewhere we see:

The Obama administration has failed to study as legally required the impact of requiring ethanol in gasoline and ensuring that new regulations intended to address one problem do not actually make other problems worse, the Environmental Protection Agency inspector general said Thursday.

The conclusion in the new audit confirmed findings of an Associated Press investigation in November 2013. The AP said the administration never conducted studies to determine whether air and water quality benefits from adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. Such reports to Congress were required every three years under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Congress is made up largely of Democrat toadies (100%) , Republicans in name only, and a gaggle of big talkers but little doers.  It is largely an irresponsible lot or more dedicated to implanting themselves with as much time at the public trough as they can. Neither the bureaucracy or what comprises the congressional establishment has respect for the governing institutions they are part of or the American people’s right to know.  All homage to the separation of powers are subterfuge or selective.  The much smaller percentage that does respect the Constitution, and truth, face formidable resistance to performing or calling agencies to task. The level of corruption and indifference is too high.

An entrenched bureaucracy’s contempt for Congress, slow walking matters it is tasked to do by law when it deems it useful to ignore the law, is nothing new in the Obama administration. The AP’s expose of it is, as is the Argus -Dispatch willingness to headline it.   That the AP continues to have a thing about corn ethanol’s environmental effects even greater than their impulse to cover for Obama is also remarkable.  That the matter became the front page headline story at the Dispatch/ Argus is as well.

The referenced AP story within the AP story provided a lot of reasons why corn-based ethanol production has more environmental detriments than benefits. We highlighted the information at the time, here and here,* and it is a recurring theme of ours.  The EPA seems reluctant to confirm those effects.  We suspect Big green enviro-money talks, and it is a bi-partisan multi-institutional lot of them. It could be that key members of Congress do not want an updated report, a sop to objective anti-ethanol-boondoggle congressman anyway,  unless a favorable spin (to ethanol) can be had.

The EPA may be conflicted as there is a growing concern by objective environmentalists that the case for corn ethanol is weak or negative for the environment.  But then Big ethanol funds a lot of influential environmental lobbies, to protect its subsidized- through -mandates gravy train. To use a sort of Trumpism . . . very incestuous, very incestuous.

The publication The Hill has more on the matter: Watchdog dings EPA on ethanol impacts  (excerpt below).  The Hill article does not let the EPA response ~~ that there is nothing new to report ~~ go unanswered.  It reports the Inspector General’s response and other critics:

The EPA told auditors it has not completed another report because “the state of science has not changed enough with respect to lifecycle GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions to warrant revisiting its prior GHG determinations for the 2010 fuel sources,” referring to the year covered by that one completed report.

The OIG said that the EPA should at least have a method for determining whether another report on environmental effects is necessary.

In responding to the report, EPA regulators told the OIG that they would complete another review by 2017. But an air quality report and recommendations couldn’t be completed until 2024 at the earliest, the agency predicted.

“EPA is committed to successfully implementing the [renewable fuel standard] program and we take our statutory obligations seriously,” said EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison.

The American Council for Capital Formation, a business group that opposes the ethanol mandate, accused the EPA of trying to ignore the impacts of biofuels.

“By failing to conduct analysis as required by law, EPA has simply tried to ignore the overwhelming evidence of the harmful impacts of corn ethanol on the environment,” said George David Banks, the group’s executive vice president.

Thumbing its nose at institutional Congressional authority,  poor administration that purposefully did not allocate within the department for its lawful duty, and of course engaging in all matter of funding boondoggles or malfeasance elsewhere — that is the Obama EPA.


R Mall

  • Don’t ask us why links go bad, the original link in our 11/11/13 article referencing the Argus -Dispatch does not work.  We think we found the same article here.    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-secret-dirty-cost-of-obamas-green-power-push-2013-11
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Transgender “normalization” is hurting confused children and adults

Once again, the bizarre, the unnatural, the misrepresentation has become “settled science”.

This story is important and justifies its widespread dissemination as leftists, and especially willful radical leftists like Barack Obama are actually making public policy based on ideological aspirations intended to overturn rational culture and tradition:


By Ryan T. Anderson PhD, writing at The Daily Signal (Heritage Foundation). Reposted in its entirety as permitted:

Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong

LGBTflag-1-1250x650A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.

The major takeaway, as the editor of the journal explains, is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”

Here are four of the report’s most important conclusions:

The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh. Mayer is a scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

McHugh, whom the editor of The New Atlantis describes as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was during his tenure as psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins that he put an end to sex reassignment surgery there, after a study launched at Hopkins revealed that it didn’t have the benefits for which doctors and patients had long hoped.

Implications for Policy

The report focuses exclusively on what scientific research shows and does not show. But this science can have implications for public policy.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that ‘only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.’

Take, for example, our nation’s recent debates over transgender policies in schools. One of the consistent themes of the report is that science does not support the claim that “gender identity” is a fixed property independent of biological sex, but rather that a combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely shape how individuals experience and express themselves when it comes to sex and gender.

The report also discusses the reality of neuroplasticity: that all of our brains can and do change throughout our lives (especially, but not only, in childhood) in response to our behavior and experiences. These changes in the brain can, in turn, influence future behavior.

This provides more reason for concern over the Obama administration’s recent transgender school policies. Beyond the privacy and safety concerns, there is thus also the potential that such policies will result in prolonged identification as transgender for students who otherwise would have naturally grown out of it.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that “only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” Policymakers should be concerned with how misguided school policies might encourage students to identify as girls when they are boys, and vice versa, and might result in prolonged difficulties. As the report notes, “There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”

Beyond school policies, the report raises concerns about proposed medical intervention in children. Mayer and McHugh write: “We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”

They continue: “We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” But as they note, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

Findings on Transgender Issues

The same goes for social or surgical gender transitions in general. Mayer and McHugh note that the “scientific evidence summarized suggests we take a skeptical view toward the claim that sex reassignment procedures provide the hoped for benefits or resolve the underlying issues that contribute to elevated mental health risks among the transgender population.” Even after sex reassignment surgery, patients with gender dysphoria still experience poor outcomes:

Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

Mayer and McHugh urge researchers and physicians to work to better “understand whatever factors may contribute to the high rates of suicide and other psychological and behavioral health problems among the transgender population, and to think more clearly about the treatment options that are available.” They continue:

In reviewing the scientific literature, we find that almost nothing is well understood when we seek biological explanations for what causes some individuals to state that their gender does not match their biological sex. … Better research is needed, both to identify ways by which we can help to lower the rates of poor mental health outcomes and to make possible more informed discussion about some of the nuances present in this field.

Policymakers should take these findings very seriously. For example, the Obama administration recently finalized a new Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires all health insurance plans under Obamacare to cover sex reassignment treatments and all relevant physicians to perform them. The regulations will force many physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to participate in sex reassignment surgeries and treatments, even if doing so violates their moral and religious beliefs or their best medical judgment.

Rather than respect the diversity of opinions on sensitive and controversial health care issues, the regulations endorse and enforce one highly contested and scientifically unsupported view. As Mayer and McHugh urge, more research is needed, and physicians need to be free to practice the best medicine.

Stigma, Prejudice Don’t Explain Tragic Outcomes

The report also highlights that people who identify as LGBT face higher risks of adverse physical and mental health outcomes, such as “depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and most alarmingly, suicide.” The report summarizes some of those findings:

Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.

Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent in the overall U.S. population.

What accounts for these tragic outcomes? Mayer and McHugh investigate the leading theory—the “social stress model”—which proposes that “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations.”

But they argue that the evidence suggests that this theory “does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” It appears that social stigma and stress alone cannot account for the poor physical and mental health outcomes that LGBT-identified people face.

One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

As a result, they conclude that “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations.” And they call on all of us work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

Findings Contradict Claims in Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling

Finally, the report notes that scientific evidence does not support the claim that people are “born that way” with respect to sexual orientation. The narrative pushed by Lady Gaga and others is not supported by the science. A combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely account for an individual’s sexual attractions, desires, and identity, and “there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation.”

Furthermore, the scientific research shows that sexual orientation is more fluid than the media suggests. The report notes that “Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80 percent of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults.”

These findings—that scientific research does not support the claim that sexual orientation is innate and immutable—directly contradict claims made by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in last year’s Obergefell ruling. Kennedy wrote, “their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment” and “in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”

But the science does not show this.

While the marriage debate was about the nature of what marriage is, incorrect scientific claims about sexual orientation were consistently used in the campaign to redefine marriage.

In the end, Mayer and McHugh observe that much about sexuality and gender remains unknown. They call for honest, rigorous, and dispassionate research to help better inform public discourse and, more importantly, sound medical practice.

As this research continues, it’s important that public policy not declare scientific debates over, or rush to legally enforce and impose contested scientific theories. As Mayer and McHugh note, “Everyone—scientists and physicians, parents and teachers, lawmakers and activists—deserves access to accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

We all must work to foster a culture where such information can be rigorously pursued and everyone—whatever their convictions, and whatever their personal situation—is treated with the civility, respect, and generosity that each of us deserves.


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