‘Her Brain Was Gone’: Parents Describe Horror of Daughter’s Marijuana-Induced Psychosis thumbnail

‘Her Brain Was Gone’: Parents Describe Horror of Daughter’s Marijuana-Induced Psychosis

By Ryan Mills

Cat Mayberry grabbed her backpack and ran out the door.

With no jacket, hat, or gloves, she ran through snow flurries on a cold Minnesota day. She ran down the street, and down the hill. She ran down the nature trail near her family’s home in Eden Prairie, a southwest suburb of Minneapolis.

Trent Mayberry, Cat’s dad, ran after his 20-year-old daughter. He caught up to her and grabbed her by her backpack, stopping her. They sat together on the frozen ground. Trent cried. Cat was scared but otherwise expressionless.

“Catherine, I love you so much,” he told his daughter. “We’re trying to help you.”

“You’ve got to let me go,” Cat replied softly. “Just let me go.”

Trent guided his daughter home, holding the straps of her backpack and using it to direct her, like a joystick. How could this girl, walking like a zombie, be the same girl who just a few years earlier had been a sunny honor student and varsity athlete with the world at her fingertips? Sure, she’d been using marijuana, but to Trent, it was just pot, basically harmless.

Trent sat Cat in the backseat of the family’s car with her mother, Jane, and drove her to a nearby Hazelden addiction treatment facility. Cat had agreed earlier to go, communicating mostly with nods. But when it came time to leave, she ran. And when her parents eventually got her there, she wouldn’t — or couldn’t — engage with the center’s staff.

“We can’t force people to be here,” Trent recalled a staff member telling him. “Your daughter won’t talk to me, hasn’t said anything. There’s just nothing we can do.”

Desperate, Trent and Jane took their daughter to the emergency room. It was there, in the fall of 2018, that they got the first real understanding of what was troubling her: schizophrenia.

For six years, Trent and Jane Mayberry had a front-row seat to their daughter’s spiraling descent into psychosis — her inability to communicate, her increasingly disheveled appearance, the piercings and tattoos. She heard voices. She had friends who likely weren’t real. Her descent ended in methamphetamine use and ultimately, a deadly overdose.

Both Trent and Jane are convinced that their daughter’s heavy marijuana use is to blame.

“I’m 100 percent certain that it came from cannabis,” Trent told National Review of his daughter’s psychosis. “If she never used cannabis, there’s a very high likelihood she would not have had these types of symptoms.”

Catherine Mayberry was born in June 1998, when inhaling marijuana was still potentially disqualifying for presidential candidates. Over her lifetime, shifting public opinion has increasingly backed legalization of the drug for medical and recreational use — a political position that has tended not to follow neat partisan fault lines.

In pop culture, marijuana users have tended to be portrayed as harmless slackers who just want to make a White Castle run or get high in their parents’ basement. The drug has acquired such a benign reputation in American culture that then-senator Kamala Harris felt comfortable joking about her history of use on a live radio broadcast while running for president in 2019…..

*****

Continue reading this article from National Review.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Phoenix School Board Discriminates Against Teachers—Goldwater Stands Up for Religious Freedom thumbnail

Phoenix School Board Discriminates Against Teachers—Goldwater Stands Up for Religious Freedom

By John Thorpe

The government should never retaliate against private groups or individuals on the basis of perceived religious views—it’s not just wrong, it’s unconstitutional. But that’s exactly what Arizona’s largest elementary school district did when it cut off a reliable, longstanding source of new teachers from Arizona Christian University (ACU) because it didn’t approve of ACU’s religious beliefs. Now ACU is suing the Washington Elementary School District in federal court for religious discrimination, and last week the Goldwater Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the university, explaining how the school district flouted the U.S. and Arizona constitutions, as well as its governing board’s central educational mission.

Amid a historic teacher shortage, the school board voted in February to sever an eleven-year teacher-training relationship with ACU, contrary to its staff’s recommendation and without any relevant evidence or investigation. Instead, the board based its decision solely on a handful of statements one board member read on ACU’s website referring to the university’s Christian identity and beliefs. The school board member said:

When I go to Arizona Christian University’s website, and I’m taking this directly from their website, “above all else be committed to Jesus Christ accomplishing His will in advancing His kingdom on Earth as in heaven.” Part of their values, is “influence, engage and transform the culture with Truth by promoting the biblically informed values that are foundational to Western civilization, including the centrality of family, traditional sexual morality, and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman.” I want to know how bringing people from an institution that is ingrained in their values… will… impact three of your board members who are a part of the LGBTQ community.

The school board’s rejection of qualified teachers over ACU’s religious beliefs and its graduates’ perceived views violates the constitutional rights of both ACU and its students to free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. Also, as the Goldwater Institute explains in its brief, the board’s actions also violate the Arizona Constitution’s “religious test” clauses, which prohibit the government from discriminating based on religion when making hiring decisions.

As Goldwater also pointed out, ACU and its students are not the only victims of the school board’s discrimination. The district’s message to thousands of children, families, and staff was loud and clear: if you share ACU’s values, you aren’t welcome here. What’s more, by prioritizing its own prejudices over practical hiring considerations during a nationwide teacher shortage, school officials hamstrung the district’s hiring efforts and wasted tax dollars.

A private organization like ACU should be free to espouse its beliefs without fear of retaliation from the government. And K-12 students should not have to go without teachers simply because their school board refuses to hire qualified candidates based on those candidates’ perceived personal beliefs and convictions.

In Arizona and across the country, the Goldwater Institute will always stand up for Americans’ individual liberties, and fight to hold government officials accountable when they trample on constitutional freedoms.

*****
This article was published by Goldwater Institute and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

VICTORY! Arizona Judge Declares Phoenix’s Homeless ‘Zone’ an Illegal Public Nuisance thumbnail

VICTORY! Arizona Judge Declares Phoenix’s Homeless ‘Zone’ an Illegal Public Nuisance

By Timothy Sandefur

A Maricopa County judge this afternoon [3/28] found that the city of Phoenix is maintaining an illegal “public nuisance” by encouraging a population of over 1,000 homeless people to reside in tents in a vast swath of downtown referred to as “The Zone.” The decision, a preliminary ruling in a case brought against the city by law-abiding property and business owners in the area, finds that the city has “intentionally stopped—or at least materially decreased—enforcement of criminal, health, and other quality of life statutes and ordinances in [T]he Zone,” effectively making it “off-limits to [law] enforcement.” In fact, the city has not only declined to enforce laws against public defecation and urination, drug use, and even violence, but it has regularly transported people to The Zone to live there indefinitely. And those actions, the court said in its 23-page ruling, constitute an illegal “public nuisance,” which the city has until July 10 to eliminate.

Throughout the lawsuit, Phoenix officials have rationalized their refusal to enforce the law by claiming their hands are tied by the Ninth Circuit’s 2019 ruling in Martin v. City of Boise, in which the court held that it’s “cruel and unusual punishment” to arrest people for “involuntarily” sleeping on the streets. Since “human beings are biologically compelled to rest,” the Ninth Circuit declared, punishing people for “involuntarily sitting, lying, and sleeping in public” was cruel—like punishing them for “an illness or disease.”

But that case has little to do with the Phoenix situation, where people have been permitted to live indefinitely on the streets—even when they refuse to accept room in a homeless shelter. In fact, today’s ruling rebuked Phoenix for its “glaring misinterpretation” of the Martin decision. The “most glaring” example of that misreading, the court said, “is in the inference that anyone who has erected a tent or other structure in the public rights of way is intrinsically unable to otherwise obtain shelter.” Such a notion is nonsense: people can choose alternatives, and in fact virtually all of the people now residing in The Zone are not there because they are “biologically compelled” to be. What’s more, even if its interpretation of the Martin decision were correct, “the city could readily [fix the problem] through the creation of structured campgrounds. But the city has refused to pursue this viable, cost-effective option despite admitting its viability.”

Particularly significant was the court’s emphasis on environmental pollution in The Zone, which was the subject of the Goldwater Institute’s friend-of-the-court brief supporting the business and property owners. “The Zone has evolved into a serious environmental nuisance—a biohazard,” the judge declared. “Homeless individuals defecate and urinate in the open on the streets, sidewalks, lawns, and buildings. Property owners are forced to clean up the human waste each day.” And when this waste is washed into the storm drains, “that discharge ends up in the rivers, washes, and retention basins of the state.” Not only does it violate Arizona law to commit such pollution, but it’s expressly illegal for the city to allow it—yet the city has consistently refused to act.

Today’s ruling offers hope not just for the homeless themselves—who, after all, don’t deserve to be left in a ghettoized section of the city’s roads—but to the ignored small-business owners in the area, who are forced to try to earn a living in the midst of such chaos. Their tax dollars are supposed to pay the city for police services to protect their rights; instead, their rights have been disregarded by a city policy that allows homeless people—many of them mentally ill or addicted to drugs—to scare away their customers, assault their employees, and pollute their property. Today’s decision will not cure the problem overnight, but it is a welcome and long-overdue first step.

*****
This article was published by Goldwater Institute and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

The Boy Crisis Is Bad News For Girls thumbnail

The Boy Crisis Is Bad News For Girls

By Hadley Heath Manning

I’m not a #BoyMom, and I’m not a #GirlMom. I’m abundantly blessed; I’m a #BothMom. So naturally, I want every opportunity for my daughters and my son. I don’t see the world as a zero-sum game in which my children can only be successful at the expense of someone else. I do my best to love my children equally and instill in them a sense of pride in who they are. But I’m concerned for all three of my children because of the way boys, especially, are struggling today.

My children are constantly inundated with messages about “girl power,” and these messages are even louder during the month of March, women’s history month. My six-year-old daughter recently learned that in history — as well as in some parts of the world today — girls have not had equal opportunities to learn, to work, to own property, to be financially independent, or to be free.

The struggle for women’s equality is an important part of our history and our present. But today, in the United States, it’s not my girls I worry about most. It’s my son. He’s only four years old, but already I am wondering: Does he see great men being celebrated in our culture? Does he see masculinity valued and elevated? What messages is he getting about what it means to be a boy — or to be a man? Does our society value the lives of men and boys?

And perhaps most relevant to my daughters: Does our society recognize that men’s and women’s interests are tied?

Richard Reeves’s Of Boys and Men is the latest book to catalogue the crisis facing males. It is preceded by similar books including The Boy Crisis by Warren Farrell, The War Against Boys by Christina Hoff Sommers, Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, and others.

So the crisis facing men and boys has been widely documented. Consider:

In the world of education, boys have fallen behind their female classmates: Six percent more girls graduate high school than boys. Two-thirds of students in the top 10 percent of their high-school class are girls, while two-thirds of the bottom 10 percent are boys. Fifteen percent more women graduate college than men. Women also earn more master’s degrees,MDs, and JDs.

Men’s labor-force-participation rate has decreased starkly in recent decades: It was 97 percent in 1960; today, it’s 87 percent. Most men who are not in the workforce report bad health as their reason for not working. Forty-four percent of men who aren’t working are taking painkillers. Men’s real wages have declined 14 percent since 1979.

Sharp increases in suicide rates among male adolescents are alarming. As the CDC reports, a man in the U.S. takes his life every 13.7 seconds. Young men are four times more likely to commit suicide than their female counterparts. Likely related, today, 15 percent of men say they have no close friendships at all. This represents a fivefold increase since 1990.

Recent increases in crime, too, disproportionately affect men, who are more likely to be the victims, as well as the perpetrators, of violent crime. The inmate population is overwhelmingly male, and researchers have also pointed to incarceration as a factor in men’s reduced labor-force participation.

These facts are widely known. But is anyone in public leadership taking note of the ways boys are failing? Is anyone doing anything about it? It’s one of many crises fighting for public attention at this moment. Women and girls are facing problems as well. Women, particularly during the Covid pandemic, have had higher-than-ever rates of depression and anxiety. Many women are struggling financially because of the burdens of single motherhood.

But, of course, men’s and women’s interests are connected. It’s not as if when men’s earnings decrease, women’s earnings increase. This only appears true when women’s wages are presented as a proportion of men’s wages — not in absolute terms. The obsession with pay parity (on full display on “Equal-Pay Day”) focuses on dividing the economic pie into equal slices. It ignores the size of the pie: If my husband earns less money this year, it’s not as if I get a raise as a result. To the contrary, our household earnings have decreased, and I am worse off as a result.

It’s also not as if when a man commits suicide, a woman doesn’t. When men’s suicide rates go up, women’s do not go down. In fact, something like the opposite is true: The problems and pain afflicting men spill over and affect the women in their lives. Widowhood increases mortality. Fatherlessness increases mortality. When men suffer, women do too, and of course the same is true in reverse.

Family life, in particular, demands partnership. I worry that my daughters, in spite of the fact that the world’s their oyster, will struggle to find good mates. In entering higher educational and professional arenas, women took on more and more work and responsibility. This represents a huge expansion of opportunity for women, but, without partnership with men, this can be burdensome — particularly in the presence of children. Women want to have it all — but to have it all alone? This can also mean doing it all alone, and this was never the ideal.

One of the themes (or lies) of the sexual revolution was that women could be just like men. We could work like men, act like men, even have unencumbered sexual relationships just like men. We’ve learned that this didn’t work out well for women, who inherently and on average, want different things out of life, work, and relationships.

Today, I fear we are making the same mistake, only in reverse, by telling men (or boys) that they should be like women. They should like princess power. They should do more housework and perform more of the child care. They should work less and “lean out.” Men should go to therapy like women, cry like women, and be less assertive and more deferential.

When will we learn that we cannot work against nature? Let men be men and let women be women, for the sake of both sexes. Deep down, women don’t want men to be like us; we want them to be complements to us. Who wants conformity, anyway? What a boring world it would be without the diversity in people — and the two sexes are just another part of humanity’s diversity on display.

Just as individual women need individual men (and vice versa), the two sexes need one another in society. Our society has notably become more feminized, from gentle parenting and discipline, to sit-still education, to inclusivity and safetyism (never more on display than during the Covid pandemic). We desperately need more of the stereotypically masculine influences that stormed the beaches of Normandy, put men on the moon, and took down a gunman on a French train. We need risk-takers, sacrificers, protectors, providers, and people who will not back down from a fight.

Today, it seems to be a woman’s world. I just hope that my son (and other boys in his generation) can be a man in it. Not just for his sake, but for the benefit of our daughters, too.

*****
This article was published by Independent Women’s Forum and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

5 Takeaways From House Hearing on COVID-19 School Lockdowns thumbnail

5 Takeaways From House Hearing on COVID-19 School Lockdowns

By Fred Lucas

Federal and state officials—as well as teachers unions—should be held accountable for the consequences of school closures, lawmakers on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic said Tuesday.

“Long-term closing of schools proved to be harmful for students—their academic, mental, and social development, and overall success,” Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, said. “We need to make every effort to not let this happen again for the sake of our future.”

In a March 8 hearing, the subcommittee probed the origin of COVID-19 in China.

The hearing held Tuesday by this subcommittee of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee peered into several aspects of the pandemic, including evidence ignored by public health officials, how COVID-19 aid dollars were spent, and how other countries addressed the public health crisis.

Here are five key takeaways from the hearing.

1. Masks, Social Distancing Not ‘Science Based’
Both masking and social distancing policies for schools weren’t based in science, Dr. Tracy Hoeg, an epidemiologist in the University of California-San Francisco’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics, told the subcommittee.

“Were those necessary to keep schools open?” Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the full House Oversight and Accountability Committee, asked.

“We had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza and other upper-respiratory viruses,” Hoeg replied. “We did not obtain any new, high quality evidence in the COVID-19 pandemic that masks were effective strategy in schools or outside of schools.”

Comer followed by asking: “The mask guidance was not scientifically sound?”

“Correct. It wasn’t science based and the 6 feet of distancing was arbitrary. That was based on basically just looking at how far certain size droplets spread,” Hoeg replied, adding:

We ended up getting some pretty good observational data not finding correlation between 6 feet and 3 feet [of] distance and [COVID-19] case rates in schools. It wasn’t evidence based. It wasn’t necessary and wasn’t evidence based. We should have, by default, been keeping our schools open. Instead, we were requiring these non-evidence-based mitigation measures [and] strategies as a prerequisite for getting our children back in school. That’s a very harmful prerequisite.

2. COVID-19 Relief Goes to DEI, Anti-Racism Training
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., questioned the total expenses of COVID-19 aid that was intended to help schools reopen in a healthy way.

Instead, this money was diverted for other reasons, Malliotakis said, specifically calling out New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.

“Instead of using that funding for its original intent, we see states like New York spending it on all sorts of stuff,” Malliotakis said, adding:

New York City allocated $12 million to go for a restorative justice program. They did implicit bias, anti-racism training. New York State Ed [the New York State Education Department] decided to put more money into diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. I don’t know what that stuff has to do with COVID.

Malliotakis also pointed to money allocated for other specific purposes that is going elsewhere.

“The inflationary American Rescue Plan, which the Democrats passed in 2021 with their one-party rule, was billed as a necessity for reopening schools after the COVID pandemic,” Malliotakis said. “They decided to spend this money despite $1 trillion sitting there unused from the previous packages. This provided another $122 billion for elementary and secondary schools. It was so critical. They needed this money. They couldn’t open the schools without it. Guess what? As of November, only 15% of that money has been spent.”

3. What Experts Would Tell CDC and Teachers Unions
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said she wished that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was answering questions from the panel.

Greene said she would like to hear from Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I’d also like to point out how the teachers union—who by the way were getting paid to stay home and didn’t have to go to work—were the ones talking to the CDC about ‘When should schools open?’” Greene said.

The Georgia Republican asked each witness what he would say to Weingarten or Walensky if given the opportunity.

“I would ask Dr. Walensky why the evidence that existed in front of us, the real world observational evidence, was dismissed or ignored and instead we focused on projections and models about what would happen,” testified David Zweig, a journalist who writes for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and The Free Press and the author of a forthcoming book on school lockdowns called “An Abundance of Caution.”

Hoeg said she had questions for both Walenksy and Weingarten.

“I would like to discuss with Randi Weingarten both the perceived risk to teachers and children, as I think there was a misunderstanding and a miscalculation about the many risks that our children face and also the risk that our teachers face from children,” Hoeg said.

“I would like to ask Dr. Walensky why, when she was issuing guidance for reopening schools in 2021, she was using the wording of the teachers unions in terms of requiring 6 feet of distance and not actually consulting the scientists and physicians that were doing the actual research looking at the distance and transmission in schools,” the epidemiologist added.

Virginia Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center of the Independent Women’s Forum, directed her questions at the head of the American Federation of Teachers.

“If I had the opportunity to speak with Randi Weingarten, I’d ask her about what her conversations are like with teachers in urban districts that were closed and did not serve students,” Gentles said. “What is it like to talk to teachers in Baltimore in schools that have zero percent students proficient? What is it like to talk to students in Newark who have less than 2% proficiency in math?”

Everyone should look at taking a preventive approach, said Donna Mazyck, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses.

“From the federal, state, and local level, ask for a way to communicate lessons learned; after-action plans are very common in dealing with emergencies,” Mazyck said. “That needs to happen on all levels so that we know what to do the next time we have a pandemic.”

4. Increase in Abuse, Depression
Wenstrup, chairman of the subcommittee, said each state and school district should have asked how to keep schools open.

“In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lingering effects have been many—academic, mental, economic,” Wenstrup said. “There are also secondary harms from school closures that fell upon children. For example, abuse [and] poor nutrition [were] among them. We must strive to never let this happen again. Our children among us have paid the price and are continuing to pay the price.”

Zweig, during his opening remarks, said the school lockdowns had dire consequences.

“Educators represent around 20% of all official reports of child abuse or neglect. When kids were prevented from attending school, teachers were no longer able to act as a safety net for children being abused. Reports from New York to Chicago to California saw massive drops in reports of abuse,” Zweig said.

Rosado said depression and anxiety increased during the pandemic. He cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows body mass index—a measure of body fat based on height and weight—almost doubled compared to a pre-pandemic period for children in grades K-12.

Meanwhile, researchers from Johns Hopkins and Columbia universities found that from December 2020 through April 2021, “screen time” for kids ages 4 to 12 increased by about 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

5. What About Europe?
Most European countries kept their schools open and didn’t see an upsurge in problems for youth, Hoeg noted during her opening remarks.

“Unlike Europe, virtually all 55 million K-12 students in the U.S. remained out of school in the spring of 2020,” the epidemiologist said, adding:

In July of 2020, the CDC released a document supporting the reopening of schools; though this document has been removed from the CDC’s website, I retained a quote and the original link. Before fall of 2020, however, the CDC set reopening metrics based on community transmission and test positivity rates, without citing evidence behind them. These guidelines put about 90% of the country in a category considered ‘high risk’ for reopening schools [in] early fall of 2020. Initial data from Europe and elsewhere had shown in-school transmission to be limited and community case rates to be unrelated to opening or closing of schools.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., later griped about the cited comparisons to most European countries that didn’t close schools during the pandemic.

“All the evidence we have now, we did not have at the time of COVID,” Mfume said. “It was a learning process that we were all going through.”

The Maryland Democrat added:

I would also caution against always comparing what we did in the U.S. against what they did in Europe to suggest that somehow or another, it should have been the same. The United States is one country. Europe is 44 nations. So let’s be real careful about how we compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, and make sure we are talking about the same thing here.

But Zweig, the journalist and author, said it is an entirely appropriate comparison.

“Those are human beings. They are children,” Zweig said. “I’ve lived in Europe. They have very crowded cities. They do not have sophisticated HVAC systems in all their schools.”

He added:

That is real evidence in front of us. We are talking about the difference between looking at models and looking at projections over data, looking at theory over what we actually are observing.

We had actual, real world evidence from schools in countries throughout Europe with cities with very similar demographics to our cities. The class sizes were not three kids in a giant room. That evidence, for complex reasons, was disregarded.

*****
This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

The Costs of Romanticizing Criminals in the Black Community thumbnail

The Costs of Romanticizing Criminals in the Black Community

By Kali Fontanilla

These powerful lyrics and the melody that accompanies them are full of pathos. Together, this poignant tale of oppression brought me to tears as a liberal teen growing up in the ’90s. I sincerely thought I was hearing the story of a freedom fighter who fought the “evil empire” of America with sheer “power” and beauty. Teens can be pretty naive, and I was no exception.

It wasn’t until years later, when I became a conservative adult, that I learned the truth. Assata Shakur, born Joanne Chesimard, was a member of the notorious Black Liberation Army (BLA), a domestic terrorist organization whose “sole purpose,” according to domestic terrorism expert Bryan Burrough, was “assassinating policemen.” She was convicted of the first-degree murder of State Trooper Werner Foerster after she and other BLA members attacked Foerster during a traffic stop in which Trooper James Harper was also injured.

Celebrating Cop Killers and Domestic Terrorists

When I read the case details, years after the rap song made me think she was a hero, I was furious. I had been lied to, manipulated. No one told me that Foerster was survived by his wife and two children. I didn’t even know he was killed. The rapper Common omitted the part about Shakur being part of a domestic terrorist organization. I wasn’t told that just before this murder, BLA “had ambushed two pairs of NYPD officers in a 48-hour spree, killing two; murdered another cop in Atlanta; and executed another pair of NYPD officers in 1972.”

The picture that was painted for me was one of a righteous fighter against oppression. It wasn’t that much different from the email sent out to supporters by the nonprofit Movement for Black Lives (MBL), which celebrated Shakur as an “incredibly talented poet.” Again, the whole convicted murderer part is left out. Instead, MBL tells how “Assata was a child full of pride, joy, imagination.” It’s a puff piece for a domestic terrorist. Readers are treated with a detailed explanation of the meaning of Shakur’s chosen name. Apparently, those are details Movement for Black Lives considers more important than the lives of the police officers Shakur and the BLA took.

Since Movement for Black Lives celebrates a domestic terrorist and convicted cop killer, it should be no surprise that their website contains a section promoting bailing out protestors, even violent ones, as we saw in the so-called Summer of Love 2020 Black Lives Matter riots. “Free ‘em all,” the website declares. “The Movement for Black Lives demands all charges be dropped against protestors.” Even the most violent “protesters”? Again, those are details that don’t concern MBL. Just “free ’em all!”

Inspiring the Next Generation

Go back to those lyrics I opened with. Note the focus. The “victim” here, we’re told, is Assata. Her pain, her trauma, is what is focused on. Think of how the news media can sway public opinion by focusing on the victims of their chosen causes. An illegal immigrant rescued from dehydration in the desert—highlight that. Or a Native American smirked at by a MAGA hat-wearing teen—turn that into a week of news stories, and make sure to zoom in on that smirk. It’s the same trick here but in song form. If you only heard the song, you wouldn’t even know Foerster was murdered. Focus on chosen “victims” and pretend the others don’t exist.

This is how you romanticize a woman convicted of brutal, cold-blooded murder. And by doing this for years, even generations, you end up with the Black Lives Matter movement and this knock-off version, the nonprofit Movement for Black Lives. But if these are the heroes MBL presents to the Black community, what “virtues,” or lack thereof, are you inspiring in the next generation?

If you ask me, there should be a song about Assata’s victim, State Trooper Werner Foerster, instead.

*****
This article was published by Capital Research Center and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

WaPo Writer Agrees Transgender Killer Reacted Against Christian Brainwashing thumbnail

WaPo Writer Agrees Transgender Killer Reacted Against Christian Brainwashing

By Catherine Salgado

In the wake of the tragic shooting today that left three nine-year-olds and three school employees murdered, a sick Twitter user took to the platform to claim that, while murder is wrong, the shooter was just reacting to cruel indoctrination. You see, the murderer was a 28-year-old “transgender” woman named Audrey Hale who claimed the pronouns “he/him.” Furthermore, the targeted elementary school, Covenant School, is a private Christian institution, in a state (Tennessee) that restricts transgender surgery for minors and drag shows.

And a Washington Post contributor (Mike Wise) apparently praised the assessment that the school suffering from the tragedy was pushing “religious indoctrination.” One wonders if these freaky leftists would have had the same interpretation if the targeted school had been Muslim (Islam of course also condemns transgenderism)? Or if the shooting had happened in California?

About as inappropriate a response as Joe Biden cracking jokes about ice cream before speaking on the shooting.

Wise is already using the shooting to call for more gun confiscation, even though more than 90% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones and, as of 2019, “43 percent of criminals had bought their firearms on the black market, 6 percent acquired them via theft, and 10 percent made a retail purchase.” All of which is to say that Wise is completely delusional about “gun control” making mass shootings less likely. (Also, as a side comment on Wise’s post, the number of school shootings in the listed countries is deceptive about the countries’ safety; Afghanistan, for instance, is in the grip of the terrorist Taliban and China’s government is committing mass genocide).

You can also find Wise’s profile at the Post.

And it seems transgenders have been threatening violence in reaction to Tennessee’s anti-LGBTQ policies.

PJ Media reported:

“Nashville Chief of Police John Drake has since confirmed at a press conference that Hale identified as transgender. She was a biological female who identified as a man. Police also confirmed that Hale was a former student at the school and that she had a manifesto…The victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; Cynthia Peak, age 61; Katherine Koonce, age 60; and; Mike Hill, age 61. Katherine Koonce was the head of The Covenant School.”

The fact that Wise and the other Twitter user immediately began bashing the victims and defending the murderess is not surprising, because leftists typically sympathize with the victimizer rather than the victim; but it is disgusting. Three young children and three adults have been tragically killed. It’s not a situation that should be exploited for shallow, woke virtue-signaling.

*****
This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Torture, Sterilization, and Brainwashing: Uyghur Camp Survivors Testify to Congress thumbnail

Torture, Sterilization, and Brainwashing: Uyghur Camp Survivors Testify to Congress

By Catherine Salgado

Sterilization, electric shock torture, and brainwashing are hallmarks of the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of the Uyghur people, according to prison camp survivors.” Survivors of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concentration camps for Uyghur Muslims testified to Congress this week. You won’t see much coverage of the horrendous crimes detailed in this hearing in the mainstream media, because the CCP has infiltrated our institutions. But these people’s stories need to be told. And all those US companies and politicians who want to compromise with China—they are complicit in this horror.

The CCP is the greatest mass murderer of all time, at a staggering 500 million deaths and counting. But of course that 500 million, as massive a number as it is, only represents a fraction of the number of people abused and oppressed by the CCP. The Uyghur testimony to Congress highlighted that.

“[The Daily Signal, March 23] Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Qelbinur Sidik witnessed firsthand the realities of Chinese concentration camps where Uyghur Muslims are held and tortured…Haitiwaji is Uyghur and lived and worked in China before moving to France. At the end of 2016, she was called back to China for an issue that she was told regarded her retirement pension. Upon returning to China, Haitiwaji was arrested and sent to a “reeducation” camp.

‘First they shackled my feet and then they detained [me],’ Haitiwaji said. ‘The woman’s condition in the detention centers are horrible. All women are shackled and our language… we are all prohibited to speak.’

Haitiwaji, author of ‘How I Survived a Chinese ‘Reeducation’ Camp: A Uyghur Woman’s Story,’ said she and the other women in the prison were interrogated and tortured.

‘The rooms we were kept in had bunk beds, a bucket to serve as a toilet, and cameras panning the room,’ Haitiwaji said in her written testimony. ‘There was no mattress, no toilet paper, no sheets, nowhere to wash.’

Every day, Haitiwaji underwent 11 hours of Chinese language education…’There are four types of torturing methods,’ Sidik said. ‘One is electric button, electric helmet, electric glove, and a tiger chair.’”

The next time Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or a Biden official says something pro-China, keep this in mind. Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) obtained revelatory documentation on the Uyghur genocide last year. In one 2017 document, a CCP official said, “If he was handcuffed, could he run away? No, he would be unable to, wouldn’t he? Shoot him dead if he run a few steps. You see, in such a situation, if they run, just kill them. There will be no problem, because we have already authorized this a long time ago.” Yet where was the explosion of outrage from the self-righteous US media and politicians?

Sidik, another testifier to Congress, is Uzbek, and she served as an instructor in the “reeducation” camps starting in 2017, when she was assigned to a “new teaching position”—helping “re-educate” Uyghurs in a concentration camp.

“‘For each meal they eat one Chinese bun and water, and even going for toilet is monitored,’ Sidik, speaking through a translator, said of her students, adding that within the six months she was there, ‘none of them had any shower.’

Sidik said her students would be called from her classroom for interrogation. Because the interrogation rooms were located near the classrooms, she would hear ‘horrible screaming sound from torture.’

‘There are four types of torturing methods,’ Sidik said. ‘One is electric button, electric helmet, electric glove, and a tiger chair.’

Every Monday, Sidik recalls that female prisoners were given an unknown medicine. ‘After they take that, those medicines [then] the period will stop,’ she said. ‘Even some woman who were breastfeeding the babies, the breast milk will stop after taking that medicine.’”

By the way, isn’t it interesting that one of the side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines is said to be damaging women’s fertility—and at least one of the major Covid vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech’s, is manufactured by a CCP-owned company? Is the US government and Big Pharma importing CCP forced sterilization? After all, in the 20th century, there were many thousands of women forcibly sterilized with the sanction of the US government during the eugenics craze, so it’s hardly unprecedented.

“Sidik said in her written testimony that while working at an all women ‘center,’ that sometimes, when the women ‘would come to class, I could tell [by] how they walked with difficulty or were sobbing that they had been sexually abused.’

The police working in the camps were ‘raping women but also inserting batons, even electric ones, into their private parts and even men’s rectums,’ Sidik said.”

The CCP is a completely evil entity and it has to be destroyed, before it destroys the Uyghurs—and America too.

*****
This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Mask Mandates in Healthcare Facilities are the Evilest of them All thumbnail

Mask Mandates in Healthcare Facilities are the Evilest of them All

By Aaron Hertzberg

Of all the odious evils prosecuted by the government and medical establishments throughout the pandemic, mask mandates remain the paradigmatic visual symbol of the senseless capital-‘S’ Science quackery so destructive to society that contributed nothing towards mitigating covid disease or transmission.

Thankfully, mask mandates have become so politically toxic that the mainstream media – however reluctantly – felt compelled to acknowledge this. Even in California, the zenith of untrammeled covid zealotry, public health officials were forced to backtrack from attempts to reinstate mask mandates in the face of public backlash.

Yet facemasks continue to be required in one area of public life: healthcare. To this day, many if not most hospitals and doctor’s offices require patients and staff alike to mask up from the moment they step foot inside.

Superficially, although reviled by most, mask mandates in healthcare settings nevertheless possess a patina of legitimacy not found in any other arena. Facemasks, especially the ubiquitous blue surgical masks, were indelibly etched upon the psyche as commonplace within medical facilities before the pandemic struck. It is doubtful that mask requirements in healthcare settings would have otherwise persisted far beyond their expiration date everywhere else without this prior cultural acclimatization to masks in healthcare settings.

This is devilishly ironic, in a perverse sense. Mask requirements in healthcare facilities are the most indefensible and unconscionable of them all. It is hard to find a practice more corrosive to patient welfare and the provision of medical care than mask mandates.

That mask mandates in healthcare settings were even contemplated, let alone enacted and enforced, is categorically insane. A medical institution is at its core an enterprise organized to advance the welfare of patients (at least in theory and rhetoric, which is not insignificant even though the practical implementation is sorely lacking). Forcibly masking patients imposes medical harm; causes patients physical and emotional distress; poisons the doctor-patient relationship; pits the patient against the medical staff now doubling as mask police; and, worst of all, dethrones individual patient welfare as the overarching priority in favor of the welfare of a nebulously characterized ‘everyone else’ – among other detrimental effects (to be fleshed out in more detail below).

Masking patients is a uniquely pernicious annulment of patient welfare as the North Star anchoring medical ethos. Masking patients is inherently a savagely violent desecration of “primum non nocere” – first, do no harm. Masking patients amounts to medical molestation, a depraved abuse of patients already suffering from medical maladies, one that also substantially interferes with and cripples patient care. Contrast mask requirements to vaccine mandates – as evil and deadly as those are – that at least in the abstract can be theoretically justified with [false] insinuations about the necessity and efficacy of a vaccine. Administering a vaccine is not an inherently harmful act by definition like masking a patient is.

Not to be outdone, the insulation of mainstream medicine from any factual or scientific predicate rivals its towering moral calumny. Mask requirements for healthcare facilities continue to be sustained in the face of an unrelenting flurry of fatal knockout blows struck by study after study finding that, as a purely scientific matter, masks of any kind are wholly inutile amulets bereft of any discernible impact on the transmission or epidemiology of respiratory viruses.

Indeed, never has so much been perpetrated by so few upon so many on the basis of so little [borrowing from Churchill].

Unfortunately, the inevitable consequence of societal desensitization to the unnaturalness of facemasks in healthcare settings is that people have been similarly desensitized and fail to notice the profound transformation of the fundamental character and orientation of healthcare and medicine. Conversely, the ferocious mauling of medical ethics shows no sign of abating despite covid receding from the forefront of political controversy.

If we are to reverse course, it is imperative that we eviscerate the veneer of normalcy shrouding the diabolical nature of the abhorrent pandemic policies the medical establishment stubbornly persists in maintaining. It is the aim of this article to convey a sense of the profoundly abusive nature of healthcare mask mandates – the lynchpin propping up the pandemic-minted Medical Reich.


A few pointers by way of introduction:

  • The following list is intended to highlight and flesh out a few of the more central and destructive harms caused by masks. Bear in mind that this list is neither complete nor are the individual examples fleshed out to the fullest degree possible.
  • There is a large amount of overlapping between the various things enumerated here.
  • These are general principles only. They are not true for every healthcare professional in every situation – people are different and are differently disposed or susceptible to various psychological dynamics. Likewise, different people experience different effects in varying degrees.

Why are healthcare mask mandates so corrosive to the practice of medicine?……

*****
Continue reading this article, published by Brownstone Institute and reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Planned Parenthood Pivots To Hormones As A Major Funding Stream thumbnail

Planned Parenthood Pivots To Hormones As A Major Funding Stream

By Emma Wilenta

In the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, many speculated that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, would struggle to continue to turn a profit. This, however, has not been the case. Rather, it has turned to an alternative high-demand service: transgender hormone therapy.

Planned Parenthood is not new to this industry. They have offered “transgender care” since at least 2017. However, it’s notable that in recent years, they have expanded their offerings as the services become more popular, particularly amongst young people.

At the national level, Planned Parenthood is the second largest provider of hormone therapy, according to a document put out by the organization itself.

In its 2019-2020 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood says it has more than 200 facilities in 31 states that provide hormone therapy for patients seeking so-called “gender-affirming care.”

Its website offers friendly information for those seeking hormone therapy, including minors:

Planned Parenthood is proud to provide a safe and welcoming place to get transgender/nonbinary hormone therapy. We offer services to transgender women, transgender men, and nonbinary people.

These services include estrogen and anti-androgen hormone therapy, testosterone hormone therapy, and puberty blockers.

There is also a searchable feature that makes it possible to find offerings close by and schedule either in-person or telehealth appointments to receive the drugs. In an interview with IWF, detransitioner Cat Cattinson detailed how little vetting was needed to obtain testosterone from Planned Parenthood. After hearing that Planned Parenthood offered “gender-affirming care,” she decided to give them a call, assuming she would need to go through some sort of process to get a prescription for testosterone. Shockingly, after just a thirty-minute phone call with a doctor whom she never met, Cat had a prescription for the Schedule III controlled substance.

As Kelsey Bolar reported in IWF’s Identity Crisis episode highlighting Cat’s experience, “Cat told the doctor that she wanted to start with a low dose because she was a semi-professional singer and didn’t want to risk compromising her singing voice. But she said she later found out that Planned Parenthood prescribed her double that of other female-to-male ‘transitioners.’”

The pivot towards gender-affirming care is a smart move financially, as National Review notes:

Planned Parenthood is proud to provide a safe and welcoming place to get transgender/nonbinary hormone therapy. We offer services to transgender women, transgender men, and nonbinary people.

Sadly, the damage that Planned Parenthood inflicts is not limited to providing dangerous hormones to vulnerable youth, which side effects include, but are not limited to infertility, diabetes, liver toxicity, and permanently altered sexual features, but also poisoning their minds through their popular sex-ed curriculum in public schools across the nation.

Fox News recently reported on a Planned Parenthood sex educator named Mariah Caudillo, who is employed by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which serves over 220,000 people in California and Nevada. All 35 health centers in the Mar Monte network offer “gender-affirming care.”

On social media, Caudillo advises teens on how to acquire sex toys and hide them from parents, and she discusses a wide range of other sexually explicit topics geared toward curious young people.

Organizations like Planned Parenthood are actively working against parents to steal the joy and innocence from America’s youth by teaching children about sexually explicit topics. Worse, the organization is chemically altering anyone who walks through its doors willing to pay for hormone therapy.

*****
This article was published by Independent Women’s Forum and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Transgenders thumbnail

Transgenders

By Bruce Bialosky

This topic somehow has become one of the most important subjects in America. It is characterized by some as “the civil rights fight of our time.” A recent column by one of the “sterling” columnists at the New York Times finally made me address this issue.

Jamelle Bouie belongs to the chorus of writers at the New York Times and Washington Post who advocate jumping on the bandwagon of any current trend. While Mr. Bouie’s opinions on this matter might very well be heartfelt, one might also think at least one of these agenda items to radically change our lives would face some resistance.

Bouie’s column is entitled, “There is No Dignity in This Kind of America.” It reveals where he is heading from the start.

One must wonder where Mr. Bouie was on this issue before June 26, 2015, when Gays were granted the right to marry by the U.S. Supreme Court. The transgender issue was nowhere on the agenda and since then has become transcendental. Someone involved in the Gay community informed me that every relevant organization turned immediately to this issue after the ruling. They had won that long fight for gay marriage and now had no issue to drive fundraising. Transgenders went from nowhere on their websites to the most burning issue and fundraising came along with it.

Bouie starts his column with the bold statement, “Over the past year, we have seen a sweeping and ferocious attack on the rights and dignity of transgender people across the country.” He does not state how these new laws will discriminate against transgenders; you must simply accept his premise.

He loses credibility when he proceeds to cast the entire argument as not just going after transgenders, but the entire LGBTQ community. It just ain’t so, Jamelle, and that is where so many people are antagonized.

I have a long history of support for the Gay community as I will once again state the best man at my wedding was and is gay. I will say I wasn’t the first to accept Gay marriage, but I did before the Supreme Court ruled and I believe it is a settled issue as virtually no one is arguing for change.

The issue of transgenders is different for me as it is for a lot of people and a lot more than Jamelle might think. People don’t like being bullied into making this such an important cause. I believe many people have a lot of concerns, as I do. Many believe that just because our medical science has reached a point where we can alter males to appear like females and females to appear like males that may just not be the right thing to do. We are also concerned about the long-term medical effects of the procedures taken to make the transition. And many certainly believe if someone chooses that path, it is nobody’s business. But it should not be on our collective dime.

The single most disconcerting aspect of this matter concerns minors – as in educating or sharing information with them. It is clear scientifically people do not achieve full mental development until they are roughly 25 years old. Not only is this issue being addressed to young adults, but also to adolescents. It never fails to amaze me how focused or preoccupied some get on issues like this that they cannot accept reasonable boundaries. And then they call the opposition zealots.

Yet schools and public authorities are encouraging minor children to pursue transgender activity while not informing parents. Connecticut has legislation proposed that would protect teacher-student conversations from parental access. How misguided is that? Many suggest children get in their heads that they are not a boy or a girl, but a member of the other sex. It is as if they are little Einsteins generating original thought and they just happened to land in the same spot.

Bouie ties the supposed attacks on transgenders to the fight over abortion. In my mind, the only tie is that supporters like Bouie feel their cause is so just that parental authority needs to be discarded. Those nasty parents just don’t understand the issue or what their children are experiencing. Abort that child of the fifteen-year-old; cut off those breasts of the developing fourteen-year-old; we just know better.

To me, the transgender movement is a bridge too far. I believe many just don’t see them in the “alphabet soup” the movement has created. I wish them no harm. I encourage adults to make prudent decisions about their experience because a gender change is a major, major decision. I will harbor nothing but glad tidings for anyone who makes that decision and Godspeed.

But I won’t encourage it. I will also not be bullied by the Jamelle Bouies of this world into thinking this is the most serious human rights issue in the country. That means if you are involved, please keep it to yourself.

*****

This article was published by FlashReport and is reproduced with permission from the author.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

An Estimated 90% of Childless Women Wanted Kids thumbnail

An Estimated 90% of Childless Women Wanted Kids

By Catherine Salgado

Careers alone don’t usually fulfill men—and they certainly don’t fulfill women. “Be fruitful and multiply,” God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28, and God knew what he was doing. An unearthed 2010 study estimated that 90% of childless women actually didn’t choose not to be mothers.

I am so grateful my own mother gave up her military career to stay home and raise and homeschool me and my siblings. I have also personally known a number of young women who spent years insisting aggressively that they would never have children because it would interfere with their careers, passed the age of 30, and suddenly became almost desperate to have children. There are other women I know who did not realize their maternal longing until it was too late.

As the great GK Chesterton so wisely observed, “I do not deny that women have been wronged and even tortured; but I doubt if they were ever tortured so much as they are tortured now by the absurd modern attempt to make them domestic empresses and competitive clerks at the same time…How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe?” Being a mother is the most important “job” a woman can have. If only more modern women realized that before it’s too late.

“[PJ Media, Feb. 23] It turns out, researchers have quantified the proportion of childless women whose status was intentional, and the number is extremely low.

Via The Guardian:

Who are the childless and how many of them wanted children? The closest we can come is a 2010 meta-analysis by the Dutch academic Prof Renske Keiser, which suggested that only 10% of childless women actively chose not to become mothers. That leaves 90% of women [who wanted children]. Only 9% of that 90% are childless for known medical reasons.

(Here is the study in its original German.)

That 10% figure may even be a stretch. Feminist dogma — which childless women disproportionately subscribe to — prohibits the expression of aspiration for motherhood, as it indicates submission to the Patriarchy™ or whatever. So it’s possible that they are too ashamed or repressed to consciously admit to wanting children — perhaps even to themselves.”

Most of us wonder at some point what our legacy will be when we die. There could be no greater legacy than to have given the world another young life full of promise.

This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Culture of Death: Dem Resigns After Calling to Abort Kids with Disabilities to Avoid Using Up School Budgets thumbnail

Culture of Death: Dem Resigns After Calling to Abort Kids with Disabilities to Avoid Using Up School Budgets

By Catherine Salgado

As the late Pope John Paul II once said, we are living in an era where most countries promote a “culture of death.” One of the most obvious examples of this is the zealous, almost religious support of so many for abortion; even many people who understand that abortion is wrong still admit exceptions for rape and incest, as if the killing of an innocent baby somehow ceases to be the killing of an innocent baby based on the circumstances of conception. My point being that in many European, American, and Asian countries, a lot of people have become more or less desensitized to death and even murder. An extreme instance of this is the Democrat who recently complained that down syndrome children or children with other disabilities need special educational resources when he argued they should have just been killed before birth, so as to avoid inconveniencing anybody. That is how cheaply Democrats value individual human life.

MRCTV reported that Michael Hugo resigned from his position as Framingham Democratic Committee chair about a month after he created a “firestorm” with his comments during a city council meeting about “abortion access.” Hugo whined that children born with mental or physical disabilities are supposedly strains on school budgets.

Hmm, seems we’ve heard complaints about “non-perfect” people and demands to kill them en masse before in recent history. . .oh, that’s right, Adolf Hitler believed in exterminating anyone who was “imperfect” so such people wouldn’t “burden” the system! And we know how well Hitler’s theories played out!

“[MRCTV] ‘That becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to the children who were born with the defect,’ Hugo said at the Feb. 7 meeting.

The comment sparked immediate fury from the public, forcing the Framingham Democratic Committee to condemn Hugo’s remarks at a February 26 meeting – about three weeks later. Hugo faced widespread calls to resign, demands that weren’t calmed with his copious ‘apologies’…

While Hugo’s comments are revolting to say the least – there’s not really a word in the English language to capture the evilness of suggesting an infant be murdered if they’re anything less than physically perfect – I fail to see how his comments are any different than Ana Navarro openly claiming on CNN last year that babies with Down syndrome should be aborted if their families don’t want the burden of raising a child with a difference (she even used her own brother as an example of such a proverbial boat anchor).”

Despite the fact that Hugo apologized, he also complained how ill-used he was and asserted the story was unnecessarily amplified. Geez, can’t a guy say children should be murdered so they don’t use up money without being harassed???

In Jan. 2022, at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., activist Katie Shaw, who has Down Syndrome, noted that there is a waiting list in America to adopt Down Syndrome kids, but over 80% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. The abortion rate is horribly tragic, but Shaw’s comment proves that children with disabilities have families ready and waiting to welcome and love them, even if their biological parents can’t (I can also say as someone who heard Shaw speak that day that she was more articulate than half of Congress).

School budgets in this country aren’t being drained by children with disabilities, they are being drained by stupid projects like LGBTQ sex ed and CRT; illegal aliens; and individuals who overspend and do their jobs poorly. Maybe if schools stopped buying pornographic programs and racist literature for children, there would be more money for the precious, joyous, and loving children who have just as much a right to life in America as those whom Democrats consider physically “perfect.”

*****
This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

There is an important runoff election for the Phoenix City Council District 6 on March 14. Conservative Sal DiCiccio (R) is term limited and will be replaced by the winner of this race. The two candidates are Republican Sam Stone and Democrat Kevin Robinson. If you live in District 6 (check here), you either received a mail-in ballot or you must vote in person (see below).

This is a very important race that will determine the balance of power on the City Council. Phoenix, like many large cities in conservative states, has tended blue with the consequences many cites suffer from with progressive governance. Have you noticed the growing homeless problem in our city?

Conservative Sam Stone is the strong choice of The Prickly Pear and we urge our readers in District 6 to mail your ballots in immediately and cast your vote for Sam Stone. Learn about Sam Stone here. Sal DiCiccio’s excellent leadership and term-limited departure from the Phoenix City Council must not be replaced by one more Democrat on the Council (Democrat Robinson endorsed by leftist Mayor Gallego). Sam Stone is a superb candidate who will bring truthful and conservative leadership to the Phoenix City Council at a time when the future of Phoenix hangs in the balance between the great history of this high quality, desert city we can live in and are proud of or the progressive ills of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters in District 6 on the February 15th. Mail your ballot no later than March 7th – it must be received by the city no later than March 14th to be counted. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voting List you must cast your ballot in person.

In-person balloting at voting centers will occur on three days in mid-March:

  • Saturday, March 11: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, March 13: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 14: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m

In-person voting can be done at the following locations:

  1. Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave.
  2. Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. Seventh Ave.
  3. Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave.
  4. Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4141 E. Thomas Road
  5. Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.
  6. Eastlake Park Community Center, 1549 E. Jefferson St.
  7. Broadway Heritage Neighborhood Res. Ctr., 2405 E. Broadway Road
  8. South Mountain Community Center, 212 E. Alta Vista Road
  9. Cesar Chavez Library, 3635 W. Baseline Road
  10. Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.

You can also vote in person at City Hall through March 10th on the 15th floor. City Hall is at 200 W. Washington St.

The Sex-Ed Industrial Complex Revolves Around Planned Parenthood And Is Fueled By Your Tax Dollars thumbnail

The Sex-Ed Industrial Complex Revolves Around Planned Parenthood And Is Fueled By Your Tax Dollars

By Anna Miller and Scott Yenor

Schools have assumed an outsized role in sex education in the past 50 years. Today, schools propagandize on behalf of transing kids, kinky sex, and coming out as gay. But this isn’t a problem just in leftist enclaves — schools in red states are promoting the same propaganda as schools in blue states. How can this be happening, even in supposedly conservative jurisdictions?

Planned Parenthood, as we show in our new report from the Claremont Institute, carefully controls and coordinates the entire policymaking process to promote its goal of sexual revolution. In Congress, it seeks riders and findings to make the funding of abstinence-only sex education more difficult; it has spearheaded the effort to favor programs that reduce sexual risk as opposed to avoiding sexual risk.

This process results from concerted action at the highest levels of government, led by an iron triangle of activist pressure groups, legislative allies, and aligned administrative activists. Planned Parenthood is grooming children to be the vanguard of sexual perversity and degeneracy in a new, sexually liberated America.

Not only does the influence of Planned Parenthood spearhead the sexual revolution in America’s schools and beyond, but its activity also illustrates how Big Government funds and supports leftist political activity more generally. The left depends on funneling national tax dollars toward its favored causes — and conservatives have all but abandoned the field to such efforts.

Congress has established at least four funding streams for sex education. Both the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) initiatives are competitive grant programs left over from the Obama era. Two Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) programs, passed in the Trump administration, were originally designed to emphasize abstinence-only-until-marriage education. These four programs, housed within Health and Human Services, cumulatively dispensed $228 million through 243 grants between 2020 and 2023.

Planned Parenthood and its affiliates dominate the grant process. According to our study of award winners, nearly $167 million, comprising 80 percent of HHS sex education funding, went to grantees partnering with Planned Parenthood. Seventy-nine percent of successful programs used Planned Parenthood-endorsed curricula. Planned Parenthood and its affiliates won 86 percent of TPP funds, 90 percent of PREP funds, and about three-quarters of SRAE funds.

Planned Parenthood’s main work comes from carefully priming and directing the grantmaking process within the administrative state. First, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates developed National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES) and, in conjunction with the CDC, they developed the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT). The NSES and HECAT are leading edges of the sexual revolution.

The second edition of NSES, published in 2020, requires teaching gender identity to kindergarteners and puberty blockers to third graders. NSES also requires teaching about abstinence — but it is the new abstinence, which allows for vaginal sex in the backseat of the car so long as one uses a condom. Almost half of America’s school districts have adopted Planned Parenthood’s sex education standards as curricula.

Planned Parenthood and affiliates then design curricula to satisfy their own NSES and HECAT standards. In fact, there is a ratchet built into the grant programs so that ever more radical curricula can be developed. Twenty-five percent of TPP funding must go to the development of new sex education products — so that the leading edge of the sexual revolution can be inched forward with monies from the federal government. One such innovative program is a $1.5 million grant to the Center for Innovative Public Health Research, which developed Girl2Girl, an education program for “girls who are into girls.” Today’s innovative programs are tomorrow’s staples like Making Proud Choices! or Reducing the Risk, each used in hundreds of school districts around the country.

Grantees must also select from curricula deemed “medically accurate” by HHS. Planned Parenthood has mastered the art of having curriculum designated “medically accurate” through TPP Evidence Review. Of more than 600 studies evaluated under TPP Evidence Review, only 24 of them were approved for use in schools, and Planned Parenthood endorsed or created 17 of them.

All of this is possible because the granting agencies within HHS are staffed with left-wing political activists who bend the administration of programs to like-minded groups. HHS itself has a department-wide commitment to leftist sexual ideology in its Equity Action Plan. In the context of sex education, this means pursuing “equity” between gays and non-gays or transgender-identifying people so that groups supposedly on the outs in American society have a chance to become grant recipients.

Thus the iron triangle is complete: Congress appropriates and issues friendly amendments; bureaucrats direct a process that favors aligned interest groups like Planned Parenthood; Planned Parenthood receives grants, develops curriculum, sells other curricula, and shapes the standards by which grants are evaluated. Breaking into this process is not easy for groups that do not already share the values and goals of the movement.

Only Congress can break up this iron triangle of radicalism. The public is wondering how we are losing children to these degenerate ideologies. The answer is not simple, but part of the solution is easy to identify: Defund national sex education programs and refuse to teach them at the state level.

*****
This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

There is an important runoff election for the Phoenix City Council District 6 on March 14. Conservative Sal DiCiccio (R) is term limited and will be replaced by the winner of this race. The two candidates are Republican Sam Stone and Democrat Kevin Robinson. If you live in District 6 (check here), you either received a mail-in ballot or you must vote in person (see below).

This is a very important race that will determine the balance of power on the City Council. Phoenix, like many large cities in conservative states, has tended blue with the consequences many cites suffer from with progressive governance. Have you noticed the growing homeless problem in our city?

Conservative Sam Stone is the strong choice of The Prickly Pear and we urge our readers in District 6 to mail your ballots in immediately and cast your vote for Sam Stone. Learn about Sam Stone here. Sal DiCiccio’s excellent leadership and term-limited departure from the Phoenix City Council must not be replaced by one more Democrat on the Council (Democrat Robinson endorsed by leftist Mayor Gallego). Sam Stone is a superb candidate who will bring truthful and conservative leadership to the Phoenix City Council at a time when the future of Phoenix hangs in the balance between the great history of this high quality, desert city we can live in and are proud of or the progressive ills of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters in District 6 on the February 15th. Mail your ballot no later than March 7th – it must be received by the city no later than March 14th to be counted. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voting List you must cast your ballot in person.

In-person balloting at voting centers will occur on three days in mid-March:

  • Saturday, March 11: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, March 13: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 14: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m

In-person voting can be done at the following locations:

  1. Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave.
  2. Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. Seventh Ave.
  3. Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave.
  4. Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4141 E. Thomas Road
  5. Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.
  6. Eastlake Park Community Center, 1549 E. Jefferson St.
  7. Broadway Heritage Neighborhood Res. Ctr., 2405 E. Broadway Road
  8. South Mountain Community Center, 212 E. Alta Vista Road
  9. Cesar Chavez Library, 3635 W. Baseline Road
  10. Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.

You can also vote in person at City Hall through March 10th on the 15th floor. City Hall is at 200 W. Washington St.

Blaming White Racism thumbnail

Blaming White Racism

By Jason D. Hill

The killing of Tyre Nichols is a horrific continuation of American black-on-black crime.

Many commenters on the Left have situated the arrest of Tyre Nichols—the black man who was evidently beaten to death by five Memphis police officers, also black—as a racial issue. White supremacy, they say, does not require the presence of white people to effect its ugliness, because black people—especially those working in a structurally racist institution such as policing—internalize the racist attitudes of whites. There is, according to these pundits, a close parallel between the Nichols case and other abuse cases involving white cops and black victims, because many blacks absorb racist views about blacks and enact them against their own race as enforcers of white supremacy.

It makes more sense to interpret the beatings that resulted in this young man’s death as another case of black-on-black crime. Those five black police officers constituted a gang of thugs which unleashed its viciousness against an innocent victim. This is the trauma many blacks in inner cities suffer every day from the gang members who prey on their neighborhoods.

Blacks targeting other blacks for murder is the most systemic form of racial profiling that exists in the U.S. today. Black-on-black crime is a national security disaster and risk. It betrays a deep current of black self-hatred that expresses itself in homicidal rage turned largely against black people.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the offending rate for blacks (the number of blacks who commit homicide as a percentage of the population) was almost eight times higher than that for whites, and the victim rate six times higher. Most homicides were intraracial, with 84 percent of white victims killed by whites, and 93 percent of black victims killed by blacks.

Racial profiling of blacks by other blacks is systemic and pervasive in the black community. One hears it in the music where the black gang lifestyle, murders, sexploitation, explicit and graphic sexual depictions of blacks, drugs, and violence are routinely celebrated and consumed in the black community. There is, as far as I can tell, no other aesthetic analogue in any other culture—not where members of a race or ethnicity celebrate and encourage each other to murder their own kind, hyper-sexualize each other, and sell, steal, and consume drugs; not where a lifestyle predicated on the degradation of one’s in-group is a constitutive feature of the culture.

During an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, January 29, 2023, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan lamented the beating death of Nichols at the hands of the five Memphis police officers. Speaking with host Chuck Todd, the Republican legislator stated, “I don’t know that there’s any law that can stop that evil that we saw,” before adding, “but no amount of training’s going to change what we saw in that video.”

Jordan has been criticized for being offensive and insensitive in saying that. But perhaps he has a point. Evil cannot be legislated away. It can be punished when it violates the rights of others, but the brokenness and the evil that those officers carry within themselves are rooted deeply. They maliciously executed a beating they knew could kill a slightly built man. No law, at least not in a free society, can uproot the aesthetic debauchery or the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the black community in the United States.

It is not the case, of course, that black American culture has to be this way, nor that it always has been this way. This cultural indigence derives largely from the way that leftists have resolutely made excuses for the worst outcomes for African Americans, insisting that all of it was a result of and reaction to white racism. Everything good and wholesome about black life—the sense of mutual aid, bettering one’s station, and the importance of family and marriage—was denigrated as a kind of false consciousness. Brutish misery was promoted as black authenticity.

Perhaps Jim Jordan was speaking elliptically, for he knew that if he spoke openly he might be rebuked and censured. Yes, of course there are good black police officers who have emerged from a broken and bankrupt culture; one cannot steep oneself too deeply in stereotypes. But stereotypes hold some degree of truth to them. The gang that killed Tyre Nichols derives from a bereft culture, a culture where blacks seem to be represented everywhere, where white supremacy penetrates every sphere of public and private life. But laser focused attention needs to be aimed at a parallel society existing concurrently in the USA.

When we speak of black American culture today, we are talking about a culture that is broken, bereft of values, moral heft, and sustained leadership. It is self-destructing. It is a thug culture that contributes little of any intellectual, aesthetic, or moral value to the world at large. The gang of five police officers who killed Tyre Nichols are the most eloquent manifestation of its ethos.

When asked what comes to mind when we think of black culture in America today, many of us would rather not say, because the answers are stark, dark, and devoid of much we would care to pass on to future generations. So we should not be surprised that thugs dressed in uniforms are no different than the ones with their pants hanging low below their waists who roam the streets terrorizing innocent citizens.

Congressman Jordan is correct. There might not be any laws to eradicate the evil depicted in the video showcasing the killing of Tyre Nichols. There are, however, radical solutions that can be entertained; solutions our society may rather not be ready to consider and implement. They might ask us to ponder the question of who gets let into the future, and who remains outside the realm of admission into civilized society.

*****
This article was published by The American Mind and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

There is an important runoff election for the Phoenix City Council District 6 on March 14. Conservative Sal DiCiccio (R) is term limited and will be replaced by the winner of this race. The two candidates are Republican Sam Stone and Democrat Kevin Robinson. If you live in District 6 (check here), you either received a mail-in ballot or you must vote in person (see below).

This is a very important race that will determine the balance of power on the City Council. Phoenix, like many large cities in conservative states, has tended blue with the consequences many cites suffer from with progressive governance. Have you noticed the growing homeless problem in our city?

Conservative Sam Stone is the strong choice of The Prickly Pear and we urge our readers in District 6 to mail your ballots in immediately and cast your vote for Sam Stone. Learn about Sam Stone here. Sal DiCiccio’s excellent leadership and term-limited departure from the Phoenix City Council must not be replaced by one more Democrat on the Council (Democrat Robinson endorsed by leftist Mayor Gallego). Sam Stone is a superb candidate who will bring truthful and conservative leadership to the Phoenix City Council at a time when the future of Phoenix hangs in the balance between the great history of this high quality, desert city we can live in and are proud of or the progressive ills of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters in District 6 on the February 15th. Mail your ballot no later than March 7th – it must be received by the city no later than March 14th to be counted. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voting List you must cast your ballot in person.

In-person balloting at voting centers will occur on three days in mid-March:

  • Saturday, March 11: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, March 13: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 14: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m

In-person voting can be done at the following locations:

  1. Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave.
  2. Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. Seventh Ave.
  3. Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave.
  4. Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4141 E. Thomas Road
  5. Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.
  6. Eastlake Park Community Center, 1549 E. Jefferson St.
  7. Broadway Heritage Neighborhood Res. Ctr., 2405 E. Broadway Road
  8. South Mountain Community Center, 212 E. Alta Vista Road
  9. Cesar Chavez Library, 3635 W. Baseline Road
  10. Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.

You can also vote in person at City Hall through March 10th on the 15th floor. City Hall is at 200 W. Washington St.

‘Contagious’ Energy at Arizona March for Life 2023 thumbnail

‘Contagious’ Energy at Arizona March for Life 2023

By Catherine Salgado

“The energy and the joy is contagious.” The Arizona March for Life happened on Feb. 23 starting at the State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona. I attended the rally before the march, which drew a large crowd, and thousands participated in the march. While the mood was optimistic due to the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade, Arizona’s new Democrat pro-abortion governor Katie Hobbs is an ominous opponent to future pro-life legislation and current pro-life laws in Arizona.

Several of the speakers vowed that Arizona’s legislature would continue to stand for life, however. Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, with multiple state congressmen gathered behind him, said that Democrats want to change Arizona law to allow abortion right up to birth. “But that will not happen on my watch,” he said. “As a legislator, and the speaker of the Arizona House behind me, I will always fight to protect the good laws that we have passed in this state to safeguard the sanctity of life.” He emphasized, “The rights of the unborn must be protected…our convictions are unbreakable.”

Senate President Warren Petersen indicated that until God is at the center of Americans’ lives again, unborn babies are at risk. “We need to bring God back into our lives,” he said. He thanked God for helping ensure that Roe would be overturned, and said that the number one reason he and many fellow legislators are Republican is because of the pro-life issue. “Republicans believe in the sanctity of life.” He added that the Founding Fathers “had it figured out,” highlighting the right to life in the Declaration of Independence, meaning America was founded on the principle of the sanctity of life.

Arizona Life Coalition’s Lori Zee Gray said she was referred to an abortion clinic by Planned Parenthood when she became pregnant at age 17, and that the abortion damaged her heart and soul, so she now helps pregnant women explore options. Another woman who helps pregnant girls explore options, Lynn Dyer, was given a “pro-life hero” award by Ashley Trussell of Arizona Life Coalition. Trussell said Dyer stopped eating chocolate in 1973 as a sacrifice to stop abortion, and has been praying and counseling women daily outside abortion clinics for decades, convincing several women to change their minds and to give life to their babies every week. She also helped a Planned Parenthood employee of 17 years become pro-life.

President of the national March for Life Jeanne Mancini found the mood of the gathered crowd inspiring. “The energy and the joy is contagious, so my heart is very light and it’s beautiful to see Arizona come together,” she said.

The teen winner of the Arizona Life Coalition’s student essay contest also spoke, and emphasized that our culture is suffering from what the late Pope Benedict XVI called the “dictatorship of relativism,” where nothing is morally definitive and everything is relative. Once a single exception is made against the sanctity of life, the downhill trend is inevitable. Until Americans value truth more than ego and personal desires, abortion will continue to be accepted by many Arizonans and Americans.

But that’s why so many speakers and Phoenix Bishop John Dolan emphasized the need for God at the rally–because, as George Washington once observed, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” The overturn of Roe is progress for the pro-life cause, but until God is again widely recognized as America’s king, the battle for the lives of unborn babies will continue.

TAKE ACTION

There is an important runoff election for the Phoenix City Council District 6 on March 14. Conservative Sal DiCiccio (R) is term limited and will be replaced by the winner of this race. The two candidates are Republican Sam Stone and Democrat Kevin Robinson. If you live in District 6 (check here), you either received a mail-in ballot or you must vote in person (see below).

This is a very important race that will determine the balance of power on the City Council. Phoenix, like many large cities in conservative states, has tended blue with the consequences many cites suffer from with progressive governance. Have you noticed the growing homeless problem in our city?

Conservative Sam Stone is the strong choice of The Prickly Pear and we urge our readers in District 6 to mail your ballots in immediately and cast your vote for Sam Stone. Learn about Sam Stone here. Sal DiCiccio’s excellent leadership and term-limited departure from the Phoenix City Council must not be replaced by one more Democrat on the Council (Democrat Robinson endorsed by leftist Mayor Gallego). Sam Stone is a superb candidate who will bring truthful and conservative leadership to the Phoenix City Council at a time when the future of Phoenix hangs in the balance between the great history of this high quality, desert city we can live in and are proud of or the progressive ills of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters in District 6 on the February 15th. Mail your ballot no later than March 7th – it must be received by the city no later than March 14th to be counted. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voting List you must cast your ballot in person.

In-person balloting at voting centers will occur on three days in mid-March:

  • Saturday, March 11: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, March 13: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 14: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m

In-person voting can be done at the following locations:

  1. Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave.
  2. Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. Seventh Ave.
  3. Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave.
  4. Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4141 E. Thomas Road
  5. Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.
  6. Eastlake Park Community Center, 1549 E. Jefferson St.
  7. Broadway Heritage Neighborhood Res. Ctr., 2405 E. Broadway Road
  8. South Mountain Community Center, 212 E. Alta Vista Road
  9. Cesar Chavez Library, 3635 W. Baseline Road
  10. Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.

You can also vote in person at City Hall through March 10th on the 15th floor. City Hall is at 200 W. Washington St.

When it Comes to Destroying Gun Rights, George Soros Plays the Long Game thumbnail

When it Comes to Destroying Gun Rights, George Soros Plays the Long Game

By Lee Williams

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Open Society Foundation’s George Soros may appear to have similar goals. They have each spent massive amounts of their personal fortunes in pursuit of their political objectives through networks of shadowy cutouts, foundations and nonprofits. Both champion big government and abhor personal freedoms – especially gun rights – but it is their methods that separate their madness.

Bloomberg funds a half-dozen Astroturf (they’re certainly not grassroots as he claims) anti-gun groups, which focus primarily on policy and legislative issues. If pro-gun legislation appears anywhere in the country, Bloomberg will dispatch his red-shirted Demanding Moms to snuff it out. Their activism is overt, well publicized by the legacy media and somewhat episodic. There’s a sense of immediacy to Bloomberg’s efforts.

Soros, by comparison, seeks to influence society as a whole. He wants to control what people think by modifying their behavior. He’s a woke globalist and not much interested in local issues. While Bloomberg seeks to control the media narrative, Soros actually controls the media.

If Bloomberg’s efforts can be viewed as tactical, Soros’ are strategic, and at the age of 92, he’s pumped enough money into his gun-control empire to ensure it will continue long after he’s gone.

‘Most generous giver’

Born György Schwartz in pre-World War II Hungary, Soros was educated in England, emigrated to the United States and opened his first hedge fund in 1969. A year later he opened his second, Soros Fund Management.

Today, his personal wealth is estimated at nearly $26 billion, and he has donated more than $32 billion to his Open Society Foundations and other left-wing causes, which led Forbes Magazine to call him the “most generous giver.”

The Open Society Foundations, or OSF, consist of 20 smaller foundations, has branches in 37 countries and operates in more than 120 countries. It is financially capable of continuing its founder’s efforts into perpetuity. Soros’ son, Alexander Soros, currently chairs OSF’s board of directors.

In 2000, OSF’s Center on Crime, Communities & Culture and the Funders’ Collaborative for Gun Violence Prevention, released “Gun Control in the United States,” which is one of the most radical gun-control documents ever produced.

The researchers who prepared the document found differences, of course, between state gun laws. Obviously, states such as California and New York had far stricter gun laws than Louisiana or Florida.

“The most striking results of this survey are (a) the lack of uniformity in firearm regulation across the country; (b) the enormous differential between the top and bottom of the spectrum; and (c) the poor scores achieved by most states. 42 states fall below minimum standards for public safety, since they lack basic gun laws such as licensing and registration. The lowest ranking states have almost no firearm regulation of their own; instead they rely entirely on the federal government’s NICS background check at point-of-sale by licensed dealers,” the document states.

The researchers believe all state gun laws should be the same, and they called on the federal government to remedy this “problem” by forcing the freer states to conform with the more restrictive ones.

“All states should move toward consistent regulatory frameworks based on licensing of firearm owners and registration of guns,” the researchers wrote. “States should implement basic anti-trafficking measures, in particular one-gun-a-month laws.”

In addition, the report calls for bans of “assault weapons” and “Saturday Night Specials,” mandatory waiting periods, registration of all guns, permits to purchase firearms and more.

The report quickly became the template for all of Soros’ gun-control efforts.

Media control

In January, MRC Business, which is part of the Media Research Center, revealed that from 2016-2020 Soros gave more than $131 million to various media groups, some of which include NPR, ProPublica, Free Press, Project Syndicate and the Poynter Institute – a Tampa-based media thinktank which, I should disclose, spent at least some of the money on a hit piece about me.

Soros understands something American conservatives have never fully grasped: media outlets are essential to influencing people,” the MRC authors wrote. “The media influence that Soros bought was enough to insulate him from being seriously investigated by most journalists.”

Soros certainly got what he paid for. ProPublica’s archives are chock-full of anti-gun stories and NPR has even more.

Through his OSF, Soros also offers two types of lucrative media fellowships – one designed for new reporters and the second for “more experienced individuals with a proven record of achievement and expertise.” The beginner fellowship offers a grant of $100,000. The second comes with a staggering $140,000. In addition to the fellowships, OSF offers all-expenses-paid bootcamps for young reporters. While Soros’ sponsorship of these bootcamps is somewhat hidden, his attempt to indoctrinate the young journalists is not.

None of the media outlets ever mentioned Soros’ generosity, and they never probed his finances or his multiple foundations. Nearly all of the coverage of Soros or his businesses has been glowing. The legacy media has never once bitten the hand that feeds them.

‘Soros-backed DA’

Last June, after a mass shooting on Philadelphia’s South Street left three dead and 11 wounded, Soros-financed Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner blamed the National Rifle Association.

“The terrible crimes last night on South Street tell our Pennsylvania legislators it’s time for real action,” Krasner wrote in a social media post. “Boycott NRA lobbyists, boycott NRA donations, and bring real common sense gun regulation to Pennsylvania. Now.”

Of course Krasner never mentioned how his failure to aggressively prosecute gang members, gun crimes or repeat offenders who commit gun crimes had led to a record number of homicides in the City of Brotherly Love.

Krasner is certainly not the first Soros-funded prosecutor to do their benefactor’s bidding in front of the TV cameras. In fact, the list is long.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, another Soros-backed prosecutor, was elected after promising to “reform” the criminal justice system, which was code for allowing crimes to go unpunished – unless they involved a defensive gun use.

Gardner went gangbusters after Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who famously stood their ground while protestors invaded their gated community.

Gardner described their actions as a “violent assault,” and filed felony weapon charges, despite Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which says a homeowner has “the absolute unmitigated right to protect his or her castle or family while on their property.”

Ultimately, the McCloskeys pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and both were pardoned by Gov. Mike Parson. However, Gardner’s relentless hounding of the couple forced even a few liberal commenters to question her motivations, but they’re not difficult to find. Gardner’s election was financed by a super PAC, to which Soros donated $30,000.

Perhaps the most infamous Soros-backed DA, Los Angeles County Prosecutor George Gascón, tried to strongarm American Express, Visa and Mastercard into prohibiting their customers from purchasing homemade firearm kits.

“Our purpose in writing to you today is not to recruit you in a legal debate on the merits of these legal cases or the enforceability of these laws. … [T]here is a difference between what may or may not be technically legal and possible and what is most assuredly wrong. It is to your company’s sense of right and wrong to which we now appeal,” Gascón wrote, according to a news story by the NRA.

While Gascón was busy writing letters, Los Angeles slid further into the crime cesspool. Gascón barely survived a recall effort, which sought to replace him with a prosecutor who would actually enforce the law.

In a column published last year by The Wall Street Journal, Soros wrote that he funds progressive prosecutors because they promote safety and justice and are “popular and effective.”

Chaos theory

It cannot be argued that Soros-funded prosecutors have allowed crime to surge in their jurisdictions, which creates the very same “gun violence” the Soros-funded media love to cover, and the Soros-funded gun-control groups can then exploit and use in their messaging.

Whether this three-pronged cycle is purposeful or coincidental is open to debate, but Soros certainly controls members of all three groups. It’s a type of vertical syndication never seen before – and one with deadly consequences.

Soros’ woke progressive socialism leaves blood and bodies in its wake. Normally, this would draw the attention of prosecutors and/or the media, but in this case, they’re paid participants, and as fellow woke progressive socialists it fits their narrative.

Compared to Soros, Bloomberg and his Demanding Moms are nothing but an irritant. Soros, his woke prosecutors and the lapdog media he bought and paid for, combined with the anti-gun groups he endowed for decades, pose the more significant threat to our civil rights, and it’s one that will not end anytime soon.

*****
This article was published by Second Amendment Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

The Abolition of School Discipline thumbnail

The Abolition of School Discipline

By Daniel Buck

You don’t quickly forget the sound of a child gagging as another child clutches him in a chokehold. As a middle-school teacher, I turned the corner in the hallway one day and found a child with his arms wrapped around the neck of a refugee student — a population that was frequently the target of bullying. The perpetrator had instigated several incidents before, and he was involved in several more thereafter.

At another school where I taught, we had fights at least weekly. On one occasion, as students spilled into my classroom, a boy asked me why we had so many. He said he was embarrassed to attend the school.

Such stories are not outliers. According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, misbehavior, office referrals, and violence spiked this past year in schools and districts across the country. The Washington Post has found a similar pattern. Individual districts reported a marked rise in such behavior. In my own conversations, teachers said their behavior rosters were the only evidence they needed of worsening conduct; some told me their schools hit referral records by mid-year.

Theories regarding causes of this increase are legion: social media, months of online schooling, riots in the streets, larger societal trends of family and institutional breakdown, and plenty more. Assigning portions of blame would hardly be constructive, but it is crucial to focus on one clear driver of the problem — the trend away from punitive discipline in schools — because it is of recent vintage and within school officials’ control.

Alternatives to standard, punitive discipline, while glittering ideals in the abstract, are a resounding failure in practice. It’s a story that parallels the rise and fall of “broken windows” policing in society more generally — an analogue through which we can understand the causes and consequences of the abolition of school discipline.

BROKEN SCHOOL WINDOWS

In the 1980s, the Atlantic ran a famous essay titled “Broken Windows” by George Kelling and James Q. Wilson, which outlined a new form of policing. The article was based on a 1969 experiment by Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo, who parked two cars — one in an affluent neighborhood and one in a poor neighborhood — and observed what happened. Residents in the former neighborhood ignored the first car, while residents of the latter quickly vandalized the second one.

Not content with this simple experiment, Zimbardo did something unorthodox: He smashed the window of the car in the affluent neighborhood. Lo and behold, passersby soon vandalized this formerly untouched car. Zimbardo’s conclusion was simple: Broken windows, untidy streets, and a general sense of disorder signal to everyone in the vicinity that this is the kind of place where no one cares enough to enforce the rules. Low-level disorder thus fosters further chaos and criminality.

As violent crime spiked in the 1980s, broken-windows policing — inspired by Zimbardo’s experiment — became a popular response. Police spent as much energy shooing along loiterers, keeping an eye on bus stops, and listening for small quarrels between shop owners and customers as they did targeting violent criminals. Cities from New York to Los Angeles implemented the tactic.

The following decade witnessed dramatic drops in crime across the board: Aggravated assault and larceny fell 24% and 23%, respectively, while homicides, rapes, robberies, and burglaries each plummeted around 40%. In New York City, crime dropped at twice the rate of the national average. Though the claim is not without controversy, there is evidence that the broken-windows strategy contributed to these declines……

*****

Continue reading this article at National Affairs.

Democratic Rep Suggests Traditional Families Are ‘Un-American’ thumbnail

Democratic Rep Suggests Traditional Families Are ‘Un-American’

By Laurel Duggan

Democratic South Dakota state Rep. Erin Healy suggested that idealizing the traditional two-parent married household is “dangerous” and “un-American” in a Monday tweet.

Healy was rebuking Family Heritage Alliance’s claim that a home with a married mother and father was the safest place for a child. Critics came to the group’s defense, with some pointing to data supporting the claim that married biological parents are the safest adults for children to live with.

“Extremist group Family Heritage Alliance said this morning that the safest place for kids are in families that have a married mom and dad. What a dangerous and un-American belief,” Healy wrote. It’s unclear what specific comments Healy was referring to, as her office and Family Heritage Alliance did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

Children living with their married biological parents experience the lowest rates of maltreatment, according to a 2010 study by the Department of Health and Human Services. Children whose single parent had a live-in partner saw more than 10 times the rate of abuse and nearly eight times the rate of neglect compared to children living with their married biological parents.

Further, children whose single parents had a live-in partner saw the highest rates of physical and sexual abuse compared to children in other living situations, according to the study; 15.4 out of 1,000 of this group experienced physical abuse and 12.1 of 1,000 experienced sexual abuse, compared to 2.5 and 0.7 out of 1,000 respectively for children with married biological parents.

“Actually, when it comes to abuse, the safest place for kids is an intact, biological married family. See, e.g., this federal report on child abuse and neglect,” Brad Wilcox, director of the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project, wrote.

*****
This article was published by The Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.

The 1519 Project: An Antidote to Caricature? thumbnail

The 1519 Project: An Antidote to Caricature?

By Paul Schwennesen

Predictably, and with more than average fanfare, The New York Times’s headline-grabbing The 1619 Project is coming to the small screen. Hulu has released a six-part docuseries on the controversial historical revision, which purports to demonstrate the racist foundations of the American Project. Brainchild of Nikole Hannah-Jones and Dean Baquet, this new “origin” myth has become something of a political hot-potato in the culture wars.

Though it’s not likely to go very far, I’d like to toss another potato into the fire and point out that slavery was well-established in North America at least one hundred years before the alleged “beginning” of the American slavery story. Complete with the myriad complexities, contradictions and paradoxes of real life, the Spanish Americas (including much of what is today the United States) were awash in slavery. Slavery between Indians. Enslavement of Indians by Spaniards. Enslavement of Spaniards by Indians. And yes, tragically, enslavement of blacks, ladinos, Moors, and every distinction between. It was messy, it was endemic, and it was very real—but it was certainly not confined exclusively to Blacks, nor to early Americans in Virginia. Perhaps this deeper, more complex history might be called the 1519 Project.

The 1619 Project’s film trailer claims that the “very first enslaved Africans were brought here over four hundred years ago.” This is not only inaccurate (it was well over five hundred years at least), but it promotes the very sort of historical amnesia it professes to redress by entirely ignoring the much-earlier history of slavery in America.

“Since then,” it goes on, “no part of America’s story has been untouched by the legacy of slavery.” This is true in the narrowest sense, but it studiously misses the larger point: no part of the history of the entire world has been untouched by the legacy of slavery. The 1619 Project makes only glancing reference to sixteenth-century American slavery, and instead seeks to make a special case of colonial English slavery, with a specific political aim to impugn “capitalism” and the “hypocrisy” of revolutionary founding ideals. By carefully ignoring the larger context of slavery in the Americas, it engages in weaponized, cherry-picked history that supports its own motivated ends, amongst which are special race-based preferences and “$13 trillion in reparations.”

Phil Magness and others have already done yeoman’s work in documenting the numerous historical inaccuracies and outright fabrications of the The 1619 Project (and, charitably, what the project gets right), so I won’t rehash except to say that, as a historical product the Project is, shall we say, questionable. But setting that aside, the biggest tragedy of all is that The 1619 Project’s tunnel-vision ignores so much rich history: remarkable people, troubling facts, and brutal truths that cut across all manner of ethnic and geographical boundaries.

It ignores, for instance, the astonishing story of Esteban de Dorantes, the Black Moroccan slave who was shipwrecked in 1527 on the coast of Florida and helped three survivors (out of some 600) walk across most of what is now North America (Florida to Arizona and thence to Mexico City), enduring years of serial enslavement by coastal Indians along the way.

It overlooks “Madalena,” the Tocobaga native who was swept up by conquistadors, sent to Cuba, traveled to Spain and ultimately returned to her people in an epic saga of enslavement, resilience, and redemption.

It discounts black slaves who escaped into what is now North Carolina (in 1539!) to marry and live with the Indian women of Xuala, and the curious reactions of their Spanish owners, who were surprised, “because they were regarded as good Christians and friends of their master.”

It sidesteps the endemic slavery of North America where Spaniards found:

[M]any Indians native to other provinces who were held in slavery. As a safeguard against their running away, [their captors] disabled them in one foot, cutting the nerves above the instep where the foot joins the leg, or just above the heel. They held them in this perpetual and inhuman bondage in the interior of the country, away from the frontiers, making use of them to cultivate the soil, and in other servile employments.

It neglects the experiences of Spaniards like Juan Ortiz and Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, who were captured and taken as slaves, enduring treatment “more cruel than [that] of a Moorish master.”

And so on. Starting America’s slavery story arbitrarily at 1619 abandons to obscurity these equally important chapters of a collective tale. A 1519 Project, however, adds complexity that counters popular conceptions of a monolithic, European-dominated slavery culture. It would address Pueblo enslavement of Teya women, for instance. It would not shy from Hernando De Soto’s brutal “iron collars.” It would acknowledge the anti-slavery sentiment of large parts of Spanish society. It would, in short, force us to reckon with history as it was, instead of how it ought to have been.

To that end, while a 1519 Project may seem to some like an attempt to trivialize the egregious impact of a brutal institution in the United States, it is not. It is instead an attempt at a more honest, more complete history of slavery, so that we don’t delude ourselves into repeating the tragic mistakes of the past—treating one another differently based on the color of our skin, for instance.

Hulu’s 1619 Project tells us that “the truth is, Black Americans have always been foundational to the idea of American freedom” and that their “contributions are undeniable.” Yes, this is so. But to suggest that the experience of slavery is a uniquely Black, or uniquely North American phenomenon does a great injustice to the Blacks and other North Americans who came before 1619.

*****
This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.