Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The dehumanizing effects of the fear of failure

original article: The Deadly Dance of Perfectionism: How the Rhetoric of Family Planning Hurts Children
November 21, 2019 by Susan Martin

As a child, I never knew exactly what my dad did, but I knew that his office was the first place where I had ever seen anatomical pink and magenta models of the uterus and the embryo. I remember sitting with my mother in our family station wagon and looking up into the exotic jungle of scarlet bougainvillea that pressed against the glass of his beautiful corner office, displaying its deeply ridged flowers, just like the pink plastic model.

My father and I used to race each other up the stairs of the Population Center, and I remember the feeling of my heart pounding in my chest as I reached the last step before he did. I would triumphantly turn around and wait for his brown shoes and white cotton socks to appear on the top step before jumping out so that he could pretend to be surprised. Beating my father up the stairs confirmed my feeling that someone wanted me. I was strong and fast, and thus worthy of my father’s love. (Later, this would develop into a mania for long-distance running and endurance training.)

“Wantedness” was originally a term coined to describe a mother’s attitude toward the birth of a child. Sociologists decided that the degree to which a birth was wanted could be measured by accounting for less than perfect timing, less than perfect finances, or simply emotional hesitancy on the part of the mother. Yet its wider applications had more to do with phenomenology than with science. It could describe a person’s value in the social economy and the environmental factors limiting that value.

As I grew older, moved out, went to college, and began a career, my father would return periodically to the question of wantedness. He would ask me if I was content with my life’s circumstances, my partner or boyfriend, and so forth. It was his way of measuring my happiness. He taught me that there was nothing more important than arranging your life in such a way as to create a balance between your “wantedness” and the events of your life. It was essential to make careful choices in order to achieve the outcomes you wanted. Yet, to me, it seemed even more important to make the right choices to ensure that I would continue to be wanted by others. At any of life’s crossroads, I might slip into a state of “unwantedness” simply by making the wrong decision.

Where family planning stated that educated reproductive choices resulted in better families, the unspoken assumption was that educated sexual choices would help separate sex from reproduction. As a child, I concluded that the “right” behaviors were those that resulted in being continually wanted by my parents, and then by friends and peers. Surprisingly enough, the result of being exposed to wantedness was not conformism, but a rigid perfectionism based on achievement. My conclusions were shared by a whole generation of women and men who could only prove self-worth through professional achievement. As adults, we switched academic institutions and professional specializations frequently, and did not let ourselves be taken in by marriage or even by long-term professional commitments. Being depressed or heartbroken was just the price of having a career. The unspoken promise that was embedded in perfectionism was that the political system would eventually reward high-achieving people by having our sexuality set free from the conditions of biology through advances in contraceptive technology—a promise especially aimed at women academics: do everything right, and the political system will make sure that sex stayed far away from sexual reproduction.

The Gospel of Public Health

I grew up within the emerging culture of population studies and maternal and child health. My father, J. Richard Udry, and his colleagues sought to bring the new science of fertility measurement to third-world countries, thereby preventing an imagined population explosion of unwanted births. Behind the new science of population studies, however, lay the old science of eugenics. North Carolina, like many other southern states, still had sterilization programs in place until the mid-nineteen-seventies. Politically and culturally liberal social scientists reframed eugenics in updated language, emphasizing the need to give women control over their fertility and then rewarding them if they made decisions to have fewer children.

In the fairy tale world of public health, no mother would ever again have a baby and then suffer with feelings of guilt or regret, and no child or teenager would ever again feel pressured into gender roles that didn’t suit his or her deepest inclinations. Potential fathers would voluntarily register for sterilization rather than produce children in less than ideal environments or prevent their wives from pursuing educational and financial opportunities. All this would come about by discipling communities in the new science of family planning. The gospel of public health said that women’s desire to have children and nurture the young could be modified through education. Educating the mother of the household about contraceptives would result automatically in smaller families, because that’s what “everyone wanted.” Public health continuously projected the image of reproductive progress: a perfectible male and a perfectible female to go along with a perfectible human family, shorn of excesses to fit into a modern world.

One of the target geographical areas for the new science of fertility control was southeast Asia, and Thailand in particular. As the Population Center’s funding grew, it began to attract large numbers of students from Thailand and India. On Friday nights, graduate students from Thailand would gather at our house to play table tennis and talk shop in the basement. Part of the idea of these get-togethers was to introduce the graduate students to American academic culture and to model the benefits of family planning and fertility control. The family was presented not just as a procreative and biological unit, but as an aesthetic and social one. The symmetrical ideal was a family of four, and this “family planning pyramid” began to appear everywhere on posters and flyers related to family health. As one part of a two-child family, my sister and I were supposed to model this ideal—the lower the number of children, the more likely it is that the individual child will be intelligent, gifted, and nurtured. I felt this pressure keenly. To be loved and wanted, and to do my part to spread the gospel, I knew that I had to play my part perfectly.

A Dangerous Dance

In his work, my dad made numerous trips to Bangkok. Once, he brought me a little dancing golden prince from Thailand, with crescent shoes and a hat shaped like a little, upside-down golden cup. He danced with one arm up and one arm down, standing on the end of one of his long, pointed shoes.

In spite of his placid expression, the prince’s dance looked very difficult. If he moved too quickly to one side or the other, the pagoda hat might slide off. If he did not stand correctly, his shoes would surely bend, and he would stumble to the ground. To me, negotiating friendships felt like the dance of the Thai prince: my ankles ached and my arms throbbed, but I didn’t dare stop proving that I was worthy of being wanted. One day, in the fourth grade, we learned a polka in which we had to change partners. I was so upset at the thought of my best friend dancing with someone else that I walked up to the new girl and kicked her sharply in the shins. Any time I was rejected in a friendship, I interpreted it as a final judgment on my worth as a human being. Any time I attempted a new undertaking, it had to be perfect. I already knew that I had to continually win my parents’ approval and attention to continue to be “wanted.” It was only natural that the same should apply to my other relationships.

When I was ten years old, my father’s sister died after an overdose of sleeping pills. My parents told me it was because “she could not control her own fertility.” I did not know if they meant that she had suffered through an unplanned pregnancy and abortion, or if my four cousins were just too much for her. In any case, I concluded that motherhood had gotten in the way of what my aunt really wanted: fewer children. Clearly, “being in control” was very important. I must learn to do it very well, for if I failed, I might pay with my life. The prospect that losing control over fertility could so quickly lead to lethal “unwantedness” made the idea of having a family very dangerous. Since I was female and soon to enter puberty, it seemed to make me dangerous, too.

The gospel of family planning was not only preached in Southeast Asia. It was also taught to us at school. “Health class” now meant “sex” class, and sexual experimentation seemed to be the only acceptable way to become a healthy person. I was taught to apply the new philosophy of sexual freedom to constructing myself. Any conclusions based on biological clues as to my sex were to be ignored on the grounds that they were too conservative and would constrain me to follow traditional gender roles. All conclusions based on my individual gifts, inclinations, and predispositions were to be evaluated according to the social standard of progress, and I was rewarded for making decisions that went counter to my own biological sex.

Well into college and graduate school, my perfectionistic quest to be wanted corroded my soul, mind, and body. There were now so many conditions being placed on what could make me desirable—as a student, as a potential mate, or as an employee—that I couldn’t win. I could no longer reliably know how to make myself desirable in the eyes of the world. It was better, I decided, to work on fulfilling my own wants and desires. The fear I had developed about friendships in grade school turned into a tendency to verbally tear down other women who dared to challenge my fragile ego. Sarcasm had been the daily catechism in our house—a form of verbal warfare in which science always won. Contempt was heaped on those of differing political, cultural, or intellectual views. Even as an adult, these lessons lingered. I had a pathological need to prove that I was smart by putting others down—a practice that has sadly become a standard feature of social science.

The Language of “Wantedness” Hurts Children—and Adults

Today, we are living in a society where the ideals of family planning that were envisioned in the seventies have largely been realized. The way couples talk about family size and fertility in casual settings has been so touched by “the magic wand of family planning” that we imagine there is one-hundred-percent correspondence between an imagined number of births and the shape of the families we have. Not only family size, but the sex and genetic makeup of a birth are subject to the rubric of “wantedness.”

Even when people talk about their personal fertility, no one questions the logic of “wanted vs. unwanted births.” Yet when this kind of rhetoric permeates a society, the first thing to go is the capacity to form and sustain long-term relationships of the kind that hold the family together, like marriage. The decision to have children ceases to be something that people plan for by becoming married. Instead, it is viewed as extraneous to marriage as an institution.

The effects of the family planning rhetoric of the 1970s changed a generation. One can hear the echoes in the way we talk about the family today. Classifying human beings as “wanted” and “unwanted” has insidious and enduring effects. Instead of family bonds, it creates groups of human beings who have to prove they are worthy of life before receiving it. For my generation of late baby-boomers, we were not so much career-driven as driven to achieve in any area. We delayed child-rearing, and opted for long-distance relationships that lasted only until the next academic opportunity arose. Instead of being resilient, we were unable to endure conflict and were crushed under criticism, a disease that ruined collegial cooperation and stifled academic discourse. Our assumptions could not be criticized, and any challenge had to be met with total resistance.

The ideology behind the perfect family was not nearly as pretty as the sterile plastic models of the womb looked. The beautiful pink and magenta models of the womb in the big, sunny office never became what they should have become: life. The ideology said that families would be improved when sex was kept far from birth, and that when a relationship or a person was no longer wanted, one simply did away with it, setting it aside to die like one of my father’s potted plants. Over time, anatomical models became frightening to me, because they never changed—the embryos were always suspended, never complete. The plants in the office window continued to fascinate me though, especially the “Crown of Thorns,” a tangled tree that forced scarlet flowers up through wooden thorns. Messy, tangled, and uncontrolled, it was a survivor, a desert tree, that continued to produce life even in old age.

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abortion, biology, children, culture, eugenics, family, feminism, health, ideology, philosophy, sex, unintended consequences

Filed under: abortion, biology, children, culture, eugenics, family, feminism, health, ideology, philosophy, sex, unintended consequences

Transgender movement not actually based in science

original article: Science finds 1,500 genetic differences between boys and girls, destroys ‘transgender’ arguments
May 8, 2017 by Pete Baklinski

Scientists have uncovered 1,559 genetic differences between males and females that relate not only to the sexual organs, but surprisingly to other organs such as the brain, skin, and heart.

“Overall, sex-specific genes are mainly expressed in the reproductive system, emphasizing the notable physiological distinction between men and women,” the scientists found. “However, scores of genes that are not known to directly associate with reproduction were also found to have sex-specific expression (e.g., the men-specific skin genes),” they added.

The findings suggest to the casual reader that there is much more involved in the notion of changing one’s gender to the opposite sex than simply surgery and hormonal treatment.

“Our results can facilitate the understanding of diverse biological characteristics in the context of [the male and female] sex,” the researchers stated in their conclusion.

The study, titled The landscape of sex-differential transcriptome and its consequent selection in human adults, was published in BMC Biology earlier this year.

In the study, researchers Moran Gershoni and Shmuel Pietrokovski of the Weizmann Institute’s Molecular Genetics Department mapped out thousands of genes — the biological databases of all the information that makes every person unique — from 53 tissues that are similar to males and females, such as the skin, muscle, and brain.

The study was conducted to examine the extent to which genes determine how certain diseases target males and females differently.

“Men and women differ in obvious and less obvious ways – for example, in the prevalence of certain diseases or reactions to drugs. How are these connected to one’s sex? Weizmann Institute of Science researchers recently uncovered thousands of human genes that are expressed – copied out to make proteins – differently in the two sexes,” a report from the Weizmann Institute about the findings stated.

biology, health, medicine, science, sex, study

Filed under: biology, health, medicine, science, sex, study

For kids: sex-change yes, smoking no

original article: After letting kids get sex-change surgery at 15, Oregon Democrats try raising smoking age to 21
March 28, 2017 by PHILIP WEGMANN

Growing up can be confusing, especially if you’re a kid in Oregon. You can’t drive a car until 16. You can’t leave home until 18. And if a new bill passes the state legislature, you can’t pick up a pack of cigarettes until 21.

But Oregon offers one state perk long before any of those other milestones. With or without parental permission, the state subsidizes gender reassignment surgery starting at age 15. To reiterate, kids can change their sex with help from the taxpayer, but soon many adults won’t be able to buy smokes.

The pending legislation perfectly demonstrates the skewed double standard of the Left. There’s a sliding scale of responsibility in Oregon and it’s calibrated specifically to liberal pieties.

Ostensibly to keep the state healthy, the smoking bill rests on the premise that young adults are too foolish to make good decisions about their bodies. “One of the best things we can do in Oregon to prevent disease,” said Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, “is to stop people from using tobacco.” Or put another way, limiting choice is necessary to eliminate the danger.

But while Oregon lawmakers won’t let adults light up, they’ll pay for kids to change gender. Suddenly public health interests go out the window in Salem. The state’s Medicaid program bows blindly in front of the personal autonomy of high school freshman still too young to drive.

Never mind the risks of going under the knife and the fact that there’s no real chance to go back once the change is complete. Disregard the parental concerns of the families who will care for these children. And completely ignore evidence, like this UCLA study, showing that transgender kids are at a higher risk for suicide after surgery.

No matter the risks and regardless of parental rights, Oregon lets impressionable children identify however they choose. They won’t let voting-age adults identify as the Marlboro man. The nanny state has officially run amok.

bias, biology, bureaucracy, children, culture, Democrats, entitlements, government, health, ideology, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, politics, progressive, public policy, reform, relativism, smoking

Filed under: bias, biology, bureaucracy, children, culture, Democrats, entitlements, government, health, ideology, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, politics, progressive, public policy, reform, relativism, smoking

May I Please Speak to My Daddy?

original article: May I Please Speak to My Daddy?
March 29, 2017 by Doug Mainwaring

When I was taking my first few steps out of the closet in the late 1990s, a guy who called himself Tex offered me a short version of his life story over drinks at a Dupont Circle bar. The conversation took an unanticipated turn: he explained that his current partner had moved halfway across the country, leaving behind an ex-wife and kids. Tex would sometimes answer the house phone (this was before cell phones) and would hear a small voice cautiously ask, “May I please speak to my Daddy?” This was his partner’s eight-year-old daughter calling from somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Tex said that it troubled him deeply that his partner’s daughter had to ask permission of a stranger in order to speak with her daddy.

When I think of this little girl, my thoughts drift to folks like Alana Newmanand others who have anonymous sperm donors for fathers, many of whom have daily asked that same question in their hearts. May I please speak to my Daddy?

When I started speaking out about the dangers of same-sex marriage for children, I found it difficult to get proponents of genderless marriage to engage in intellectually honest one-on-one discussions. Then I realized: at least half the people who wanted to clobber me with bumper sticker slogans were products of broken marriages.

In early 2013, following my participation in a panel discussion, a young man accused me of being unfair to gays, lesbians, and their children. So I took a chance and asked him point blank: “Did your parents divorce when you were a child?”

He was a little stunned by the personal question, but he answered, “Yes.” The smugness left his face.

“Did you live with your mother?”

“Yes.”

“Did you see much of your father?”

“No. I almost never saw him.”

“Did you miss him? Did you wish you could be around him more?”

“Yes. Of course,” he answered, with a bit of wistfulness.

“Did your parents’ divorce increase your happiness—or your sadness?”

“Sadness.”

“So your parents dismantled your home and set up two new structures that put their needs first, not yours. In fact, they were structures guaranteeing your continued unhappiness. You learned to live with it, because as a child you had no control whatsoever over their actions, but these new structures weren’t necessarily built with your best interest in mind.”

“Well, no. I didn’t get to vote on the matter. I was a kid.”

“Exactly. So why would it be different for children of gays and lesbians who are denied either their father or mother? Do you really think two moms or two dads is exactly the same as having both mom and dad around to love and care for you? Seriously? Would having an extra mom around the house really have satisfied you, or would you still have an unanswered yearning in your heart for your Dad?”

“I see.”

“Then why would you want to condemn other children to be fatherless? Or motherless?”

He got it. He didn’t like it, but he got it—and then he walked away. I have no idea if he changed his mind, but at least he had finally actually heard and listened to an opposing point of view—one that resonated with him.

As I walked away, I thought to myself, “To be intellectually honest, I can’t keep speaking publicly against the dangers of genderless marriage without also simultaneously speaking about the objective evil of divorce for kids.” Divorce is an exponentially larger, far more pervasive threat to children than the prospect of gays raising children without moms and lesbians raising children without dads. I sighed. There is a lot to undo and set straight.

The Prodigal Dad

After my wife and I had been divorced for a few years, it was not unusual for her to call and ask me to drive to her house because our youngest son was out of control. When I would arrive, I found turmoil. He had gotten angry about something, and that had triggered a rage completely disproportionate to the issue. He would yell and scream and kick, then isolate himself in his bedroom. No trespassers allowed. It was gut-wrenching to witness this. Thankfully, he would calm down after a while and return to normal.

His rage would, in turn, trigger discussions with my ex-wife. What were we going to do about his behavioral problem? Did he require medication? Did he need to be spanked? Did he need psychological help?

After this happened a few times it became abundantly clear to me exactly what he needed. Our son did not have a behavioral problem. He needed just one thing: he needed his parents to get back together and to love each other. The slicing and dicing of our family had thrust unbearable stress on this four-year-old’s tender psyche. His Dad and Mom were the culprits responsible for this, yet we were approaching this as if it were his problem.

Our little boy bore no blame, but I sure did.

It took a few more years for my ex-wife and me to fully come to our senses. In the meantime, our kids came to live with me. This was not a solution, it was simply a stopgap means of de-escalating an uncomfortable situation. While this solved some problems, it created others and remained a wholly unsatisfying answer.

To justify remaining divorced and maintaining two households, we adults were enforcing a charade, demanding everyone else around us—especially our own children—pretend that our selfish pursuits and our inability to “work things out” were just fine. In reality, we had done nothing more than slough off our problems and dysfunction on our kids. We were alleviating our own stresses by heaping them on our children.

Wonderfully, after a dozen years, we finally dropped the pretense and are once again husband and wife, married with children. There has been a lot of healing since then, some of which has been a complete surprise. And we’ll never know what additional potential difficulties our kids have been spared.

A Lesson from Hollywood

Never before in history have children been born with the explicit purpose of being deprived of either a mom or a dad. Yet children who are brought into this world to satisfy the wants of gay and lesbian couples enter the world in exactly this way. They live with the knowledge that one of their biological parents will remain forever an enigma, a phantom.

Until recently, children were viewed as a pure gift from God. Now new laws undefining marriage are producing the sad result of undefining children as well, reducing them to chattel-like sources of fulfillment. On one side, their family tree consists not of ancestors, but of a small army of anonymous surrogates, donors, and attorneys who pinch-hit for the absent gender in genderless marriages.

Though it may seem a strange source, the 1998 Disney movie The Parent Trap (a remake of the 1961 classic starring Hayley Mills) can teach us a lot about kids growing up with two gay dads or two lesbian moms.

In the movie, two girls who look remarkably alike, Hallie Parker and Annie James, bump into each other at an exclusive New England summer camp. They soon discover that they are twins who were separated shortly after birth, and they concoct a scheme to switch identities and trade places. Each so desperately wants to meet her missing parent that she is willing to change appearance, hairstyle, mannerisms, voice, and accent and to move to a foreign country just to have a few surreptitious, stolen days with the mom or dad for whom she longs.

Hallie lives with her dad in California wine country in a beautiful hillside mansion with a swimming pool and stables. She has a handsome dad who is a fabulously successful vintner. In short, she has everything—but she still yearns for the mom who has been denied her. Meanwhile, Annie lives in a mansion in a posh London suburb. Her beautiful mom is a world-famous dress designer. She has servants to wait on her and a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce at her disposal. Yet Annie likewise yearns for the dad who has been denied her.

Both these girls lead enviable fairytale lives. But viewers watching this film, the majority of whom enjoy far less material wealth and security, feel sorry for both girls, because each is missing a parent. This irony is precisely the point of the movie.

It’s interesting, too, that Hallie’s aunt lives in the home and serves as a sort of surrogate mother figure, while Annie’s maternal grandfather lives with her and her mom, serving as a paternal figure for Annie. Even though both these wonderful, upbeat, loving single-parent households have a closely related, caring family member of the opposite sex present, a Grand-Canyon-sized hole persists in Annie’s and Hallie’s hearts.

In the movie, adults are responsible for dividing children. In the case of children produced for genderless marriage, adults are responsible for depriving them. Deprivation is permanently, irrevocably etched into the hearts and souls of human beings created for genderless marriages. Children who are engineered for gay marriages face impoverished lives from the day they are born, as two men snatch a baby from their rented surrogate’s womb, denying their child perhaps the only opportunity he or she might have had to experience a mother’s embrace. This missed opportunity is as close as their child will ever have come to touching someone who is, sort of, their mom.

As she grows older, her yearning for mom will be dismissed, hushed, laughed away, and not taken seriously. After all, dad sees no need for a woman in his life. Why should his little girl or boy? To yearn for a mom becomes an insult to the wifeless man or male couple raising her. Better to suffer in silence than risk upsetting dad or dads by bringing up the greatest of taboo subjects.

Each one of us needs to thoroughly think through the unintended, unconsidered consequences that lurk—or are purposely obscured—behind our acceptance of genderless marriage, and more importantly, our society’s continued shrug of the shoulders over both divorce and single-parenting. We adults yawn when it comes to these issues. Children everywhere have a different response: they cry themselves to sleep.

When It Comes to Fatherhood, Men Need to Be Men

Men who divorce, men who marry other men in order to raise children, or who anonymously sell their sperm—all follow in Esau’s footsteps. Except it is not our own birthrights we are trading for a mere bowl of soup. It is our children’s. We do so callously, selling their greatest treasure—growing up with their biological parents, with an intact biological family—very cheaply.

This world does not need us men to selfishly take whatever we want, especially if the price is the welfare of our children. Men are supposed to do the opposite: men are meant to protect their children from unhappiness, loneliness, and other threats. Real men don’t victimize their own children for their own benefit. They protect, they shield, absorbing stress and hardship rather than deflecting it onto their children. Men stand in the breach.

When it comes to fatherhood, our culture needs men to be men. For some, that may mean relinquishing certain dreams or our own yearnings. More and more, our culture is dominated by men who are self-interested and cowardly. C.S. Lewis would tell us we are a generation of men without chests.

Pope Saint John Paul II informed us, “Original sin attempts, then, to abolish fatherhood, destroying its rays which permeate the created world, placing in doubt the truth about God who is Love” (emphasis his). During this current age, marriage, family, and even gender are undermined in every conceivable way, and fatherhood in particular is under relentless, violent attack. It is up to us men to courageously fight back.

Our children deserve better. They don’t need superheroes; just quiet, unsung, ordinary, everyday heroes who answer to the name “Daddy”—not spoken over a phone, but whispered into our ears as they safely and contentedly rest in our arms.

children, corruption, crisis, culture, family, health, homosexuality, ideology, philosophy, tragedy, unintended consequences, victimization

Filed under: children, corruption, crisis, culture, family, health, homosexuality, ideology, philosophy, tragedy, unintended consequences, victimization

Some trans people don’t fit the steriotype

original article: ‘I used to think I was trans. Now I don’t.’ How Carey was set free from transgenderism
March 10, 2017 by Laurie Higgins

Progressives promote the lie that “gender identity” is immutable in order to rationalize and normalize an incoherent ideology and destructive medical “treatments.” Leftists desperately hope that the mainstream press, always in thrall to sexual radicalism, will avert its gaze from the growing “de-transitioning” movement. Thankfully, social media is here to occasionally shine light on alternative reality, that is to say, objective reality.

In an illuminating YouTube videoCarey Callahan, a young liberal woman, describes her “de-transition” from identifying as a “transman” and exposes some inconvenient truths about the “trans” community on which the mainstream press never reports:

I used to believe I was…a trans guy, and I stopped believing that….When I was trans…I felt that my trans identity should not be pathologized, that it was a healthy beautiful thing…that I was making these decisions from a clear state of mind….Looking back, I do not think I was in a clear state of mind, and I absolutely think that I was operating under some delusional ideas about what it would take to pass as a dude. The feelings that I had interpreted as gender dysphoria were actually long-term trauma symptoms that I had never addressed.

Every step of the process, every step I took in affirming that trans identity, life got worse….People in my little trans bubble were some of the most anxious people I’ve ever met…and coping with it in a real weird way. Lots of everyday drug use, eating disorders, compulsive working out…lots of over-the-top sex stuff, cutting, alcoholism….It was obvious that people…were not doing well.

Another de-transitioner, this one a young man who had been pretending to be a woman, explains his epiphany regarding his “transition”:

I felt like I was just doing something [i.e., “transitioning”] I didn’t need to do. I don’t feel that it 100% came from me. I don’t feel that organically, by myself, I would have done that. It was just something that the circumstances I was in, and the surroundings I was in, the influences I had…made me make these moves….At some point, I realized…I really didn’t want to do it. People told me that I would have less doubts and I would feel super confident and sure of myself as a female when I took the hormones, but honestly as soon as I got on them, I started questioning myself more and more.

A de-transitioner who calls herself “Crash” shares her convictions regarding the tragic reasons many women adopt a male identity:

Sometimes women take on a trans identity and transition due to trauma that we live through….I don’t think many people know this….I know a lot of other women who feel like their dysphoria or trans identity or transition…were a reaction to trauma. For those of us who transition, we didn’t go into our transitions…thinking that we’re reacting to trauma….We had dysphoria that we were trying to alleviate by changing our bodies….

Some women end up identifying as trans…because we lived through trauma that is in some way connected with us being women, with having a female body….A lot of us survive sexual violence. We were raped or survived some other kind of assault. A lot of us are child sexual abuse survivors. Some of us were attacked for being lesbians…My mom’s suicide played a huge role.

The Left says that “gender identity” is immutable and, therefore, even young children should be able to access medical help to refashion their bodies in such a way as to make them match the sex that corresponds to the cultural conventions these children prefer. In other words, young boys who “identify” as girls do so based on their desire to wear girls’ clothing, have long hair, and play with girls’ toys. But the Left says these are merely arbitrary, socially constructed norms. So, why change their bodies? Rather than rejecting their bodies, why not reject the norms they believe have no objective reality or meaning?

Of the many tragic consequences of this science-denying sexuality dogma is the fact that “transitioning” is harming people. Society is marching blindfolded into a brave new dystopian world whose victims are increasingly children who will one day tell their stories of regret—stories like that of de-transitioner, Cari Stella, who “transitioned socially at 15,” started taking testosterone at 17, had a double mastectomy at 20, de-transitioned at 22, and recently said this:

[De-transitioners] are not just statistics….We’re real people….I’m a real live 22-year-old woman with a scarred chest, a broken voice, and a five o’clock shadow.

Are castration, mastectomies, and chemically-induced sterility for young adults really the signposts on the path to the right side of history?

If physical embodiment has no intrinsic and profound meaning, why are gender-dysphoric persons spending so much money and enduring so much pain to change their bodies? If restroom and locker room usage is so inconsequential that women and men should be willing to share these private spaces with opposite-sex persons, why can’t gender-dysphoric persons share them with persons of their same sex?

Perhaps the extreme measures “trans”-cultists take in their disordered quest to mask their objective, immutable sex as revealed in physical embodiment testifies to the profound meaning and importance of physical embodiment as male and female—embodiment that “progressives” and transgressives are telling the rest of us to ignore.

culture, diversity, extremism, health, ideology, indoctrination, political correctness, sex, video

Filed under: culture, diversity, extremism, health, ideology, indoctrination, political correctness, sex, video

Confusion between care and insurance guarantees costs will rise

original article: When Replacing ObamaCare, Remember Health Insurance Isn’t Health Care
March 7, 2017 by WILLIAM M BRIGGS

Big Louie whispers to you, “Say, Mac. The fix is in. The Redskins are throwing it to the Browns. It’s all set. Guaranteed.”

“No, kiddin’, Louie?”

“I’m tellin’ ya. Now listen. I want you to bet me the Skins win.”

Wha…? But you just told me ….”

“You aren’t paying attention. What’s wrong with you, Mac? You want trouble? I said the Skins will lose and you will bet they’re going to win. Now gimme sixty bucks that says the Skins will win.”

“Hey! You don’t have to be so rough …”

“Say, these twenties are new! Considerate of you. Listen. Don’t be so glum. You’re contributing to a good cause: me.”

What Insurance Is

Any of this remind you, Dear Reader, of the insurance business? It shouldn’t. Yet the word insurance has undergone a strange metamorphosis, which is caused, as you won’t be surprised to learn, by government.

Insurance used to be a bet you would make that you hoped you wouldn’t win. You went to an insurer and made a bet that something bad would happen, say, you got cancer or your house would burn down. The insurer figured out how much it would cost to pay you to fix the bad thing. He then said, “Okay, gimme Y dollars, and if the bad thing happens, I pay you X.” If you didn’t like Y or X, you negotiated with the insurer until a pair of numbers were mutually agreeable — or you agreed to part ways.

But suppose you told the insurer, “I have cancer. It will cost X to treat. I want to bet with you that I get cancer. What’s the minimum Y I should pay you?”

The insurer would either laugh you out of his office, as he commiserated with you about the sad state of your health, or he would pick a Y greater than X. Why? Because it was guaranteed that the insurer would pay out X. Why would he ever take an amount less than X?

The Government “Fix”

Because government, that’s why. Because your cancer is a “pre-existing condition” and it was seen as cruel and heartless for the insurer not to lose money on your behalf. But government forced the insurer to lose money. Government enjoyed playing Robin Hood. Hood as in criminal, crook, confidence trickster (did you not know that? Big Louie knew).

However, because the entities that comprise government move in and out of insurers (and their banks), the government also took pity. Government knew insurers had to make up their forced deficits. So it mandated that citizens who did not want to make a bet with any insurer had to give the insurer money for bad things that would almost never happen. ObamaCare became Big Louie muscling twenty-somethings to insure themselves against Alzheimer’s.

Thanks to Supreme Court Justice Roberts, you being forced to fork over funds to a private entity was called a tax. (Same thing Big Louie calls it!) Thus, not only was the word insurance gutted of most of its actual meaning, so was tax. Orwell lives.

Of course, insurers assisted in their own demise. They, like everybody else, were happy to let folks conflate the incompatible terms health insurance and health care. Once people could no longer keep these separate in their minds, the end of insurance was guaranteed.

What Insurance Isn’t

Insurers blurred these distinctions by separating themselves from the purely betting side of business, by dealing with people’s employers and not people (a condition ensconced by further Government mandates), by paying doctors and hospitals and not people, and by writing blanket instead of specific contracts. It came to be seen as normal for a person to expect “insurance” to pay for their kid’s visit to the doctor for sniffles.

Having the sniffles is almost guaranteed; it is thus numerically no different than a pre-existing condition. Having an insurer pay out on these “sure bets” meant that an additional layer of bureaucracy had to be built to handle the paperwork and shuffle funds around. Insurers unwisely moved to make a profit on these sure bets, which caused them to be penurious when paying out on large claims. Doctors had to increase their staff to handle the busywork. Monies that would have gone to pay for “bettable” diseases had to be diverted to pay for aspirins and bandages. Every step along the way caused premiums to be driven higher.

Now no one understand’s the true cost of care. Worse, we’re at the point where the true meaning of insurance is under active attack. A recent article in Bloomberg complains that it would be better if insurers used data to calculate a person’s chance of this or that disease — which is exactly what insurers should do. The author of that article also frets that insurers might “once again [be] allowed to charge extra for pre-existing conditions, an idea currently being debated in Congress.” In other words, the author is worried that insurers might once again be allowed to do what insurers are supposed to do, and what they must do if insurance is to work.

When Congress scraps ObamaCare, they must not replace it with any scheme that confuses insurance and care. This confusion guarantees that costs will go up and the bureaucracy will grow.

bureaucracy, crisis, cronyism, economics, government, health, health care, nanny state, politics, reform, unintended consequences

Filed under: bureaucracy, crisis, cronyism, economics, government, health, health care, nanny state, politics, reform, unintended consequences

Since Abortion Was Legalized in the U.S., Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Has Quadrupled

original article: Since Abortion Was Legalized in the U.S., Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Has Quadrupled
October 21, 2015 by JAY HOBBS

An in-depth documentary exploring the long-term health and emotional risks of abortion premiered last Thursday night in Southern California.

What’s ground-breaking about Hush, however, is its first-ever showing will be at the opening night of LA Femme International Film Festival, a major venue for women filmmakers that is hosted at the prestigious Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

Subtitled, “One woman investigates the untold effects of abortion on women’s health,” the documentary showcases a comprehensive investigation into the realities of abortion’s connection to the long-term health risks for women, including breast cancer, premature birth, and psychological problems, according to Mighty Motion Pictures’ president and executive producer Drew Martin.

Directed by a pro-choice woman, Punam Kumar Gill, Hush features experts who have long warned of the long-term health risks of abortion, including Breast Cancer Prevention Institute co-founders Joel Brind, Ph.D. and Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S., as well as Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D.

Each expert has made major contributions to the existing body of research concerning the long-term health and psychological effects following abortion, particularly what has become known as the Abortion-Breast Cancer (ABC) Link, which is often denied by the abortion industry despite the fact that 58 of the 74 epidemiological studies conducted since 1957 have demonstrated as much as a 10 percent increased risk of breast cancer following an abortion.

“When I heard claims that there were long-term physical and psychological problems associated with abortion, my initial reaction was to take offense,” the film’s director, Ms. Gill, says in the trailer. “What were women actually being told before their abortions? How were these women actually doing afterwards? My health and my life could be at risk.”

Between 1970 and 2014, the probability of U.S. women contracting breast cancer more than quadrupled, with breast cancer accounting for more new cancers in 2014 than the second, third and fourth most-common cancers combined, according to a medically reviewed study by professors from St. Joseph’s Hospital (Lexington, Ky.), University of Kentucky Medical Center and University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

The authors of the study, citing the Dr. Lanfranchi, also pointed out that, “a girl or young woman who undergoes an abortion, increases her risk of breast cancer in four ways: ‘[S]he creates in her breasts more places for cancers to start, which is an ‘independent effect’; she loses the protective effect that a full-term pregnancy would have afforded her; she increases the risk of premature delivery of future pregnancies; and she lengthens her susceptibility window.’”

“This really has nothing to do with the morality of abortion,” Brind says in the trailer. “It’s the morality of telling the truth about it.”

abortion, health, science, study

Filed under: abortion, health, science, study

Taxpayer-Funded Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts

original article: SHOCK VIDEO: Taxpayer-Funded Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts
July 14, 2015 by Katie Yoder

Planned Parenthood thinks it can put a price on a baby: $30 to $100 per part.

An undercover investigative video released July 14 showed a Planned Parenthood executive confess that her taxpayer-funded organization sells the body parts of aborted babies by using the partial-birth abortion procedure to ensure the baby parts stay intact. Pro-life leaders challenged the abortion giant after the Center for Medical Progress, a citizen journalist group focused on medical ethics, caught the scene on camera.

In the video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, met with investigators posing as buyers and representatives from a “Fetal Tissue Procurement Company” for lunch on July 25, 2014.

“Every provider has had patients who want to donate their tissue and they absolutely want to accommodate them,” she began. “They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as, ‘This clinic is selling tissue, this clinic is making money off of this.’”

“A lot of people are looking for hearts these days,” she told the actors, before saying lungs and livers were also in demand. The price? $30 to $100 “per specimen.”

The video presented a “tissue order form” by stemexrpess.com “a multi-million dollar company” that offers “clinical specimens” to “biomedical researchers.” The site offers 40 different “organs and tissues” from unborn babies as old as 20 weeks. That means a baby – from the nose to the eyes and ears – is worth $1200 to $4,000 to Planned Parenthood. (And that’s without counting the “fetal blood” “fluids” and “nerves” also up for grabs).

Nucatola explained how it’s important to know what body part is wanted to sell beforehand, to “know where they’re putting their forceps.”

“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she said.

Next, she described how partial-birth abortion procedures help keep the baby parts intact to sell.

“And with the calvarium [the baby’s head], in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex,” she continues. “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”

Before the end of the luncheon, Nucatola exposed the abortion giant’s national office’s concern about liability.

“At the national office, we have a Litigation and Law Department which just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue right now,” she said. “But I will tell you that behind closed doors these conversations are happening with the affiliates.”

At the end of the video, a separate clip showed Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards supporting Nucatola. After an investigator commended Nucatola’s help with “fetal tissue collection,” Richards responded with an, “She’s amazing.”

According to the Center for Medical Progress, Nucatola has supervised medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. Her duties include training new abortion doctors and performing abortions herself up to 24 weeks.

Planned Parenthood received more than $528 million in taxpayer funding during the fiscal year 2013—2014. That amounted to more than $1.4 million per day, through government grants, contracts and Medicaid reimbursements.

The video is the first in a series for the Center for Medical Progress’ called, “Human Capital,” a “nearly 3-year-long investigative journalism study of Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of aborted fetal parts.”

In his reaction, the Center’s project leader, David Daleiden, stressed that, “Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.”

The Pro-Life Reaction

Other leaders in the pro-life movement rushed to denounce Planned Parenthood after the video publication.

In a press release, the National Director of Priests for Life, Fr. Frank Pavone reacted to the video’s findings. “This violates both the law and the most basic sense of human decency,” he said.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, called the footage “truly horrific.”

“The buying and selling of baby body parts is indefensible and the straw that will break the camel’s back” she said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood is a gross money-maker and care nothing for the women, and children, they harm in the process.”

Live Action’s Lila Rose also commented on Planned Parenthood’s “trafficking of baby parts for profit.”

“The exploitation of human life, the cover-up, and the black market profiteering by America’s largest abortion chain is not only egregious and heartbreaking, but exposes how the abortion giant is corrupt to the core,” she said.

After watching the video, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser commented that the footage “reveals the dark side of humanity” like the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell’s trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming” in toilets “to get out,” attracted a scant 12 – 15 reporters. Only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry, did all three broadcast networks report on Gosnell. Will the news media be as hesitant to report on this?

“The moment when the destruction of a human being becomes just business as usual is a moment we must address,” according to Dannenfelser. Planned Parenthood providers, she said, “are wheeling and dealing with tiny hearts, livers, lungs, and even heads, of the children their practitioners destroy during late term abortion procedures.”

“This is an eye-opening, stomach-churning moment,” she concluded. “We are a better nation than this.”

UPDATE: Planned Parenthood’s Vice President of Communications, Eric Ferrero, released a statement in response to the “heavily edited, secretly recorded” footage that “falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research” (the Center for Medical Progress shared the full two-and-a-half hour video as well as the edited version with the public).

“At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” he wrote. “There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or Planned Parenthood.”

In another press release, Fr. Pavone deemed Ferrero’s response “pathetic and laughable.”

Ferrero “tries to paint the cutting out of hearts, livers, eyes and brains as ‘the highest ethical and legal standards’ of ‘high quality health care providers.’ He calls the undercover videotape that was released today ‘heavily edited,’ which is nothing more than dodging the need to respond to what is actually said in the clip,” he said.

abortion, babies, corruption, cover up, culture, ethics, extremism, funding, government, health, left wing, liberalism, medicine, progressive, public policy, research, scandal, video

Filed under: abortion, babies, corruption, cover up, culture, ethics, extremism, funding, government, health, left wing, liberalism, medicine, progressive, public policy, research, scandal, video

Twin who survived abortion writes a letter to the abortion doctor

Claire Culwell knows what it’s like to be a survivor. At the age of 13, her mother learned she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, though she didn’t know she was pregnant with twins.

After she had an abortion of Claire’s brother, she returned to the abortion clinic after realizing she still had a growing and developing baby inside of her. Told she was too late to have a second abortion, she gave birth to Claire, who struggled on life support as she dealt with a myriad of medical issues following her birth.

claireculwell2Despite the obstacles she has had to overcome, Claire is actively sharing her story — urging people to choose life instead of abortion. And now, via the web site of pro-life activist Abby Johnson, Claire has written an incredible letter with an incredible message to the abortion doctor.

Here is that letter:

Dear Dr. Patel,

I am writing with a heavy heart. I recently discovered you in the news due to the violations your abortion clinic has made. I found that I have a closer connection to you than I thought.

In 1988, my 13-year-old birth mother placed herself in your care to perform her abortion…her 20-week abortion. She was assured that the abortion would fix her problem and that her life would return to normal but it didn’t.

claireculwell3When she returned to see you, she was informed that the abortion had been successful, in part, but she was still pregnant as she had actually been pregnant with twins but had been misinformed. She was also told that during the abortion the amniotic sac had been ruptured, thus leaking fluid for weeks. This proposed many complications for my birth mother. Due to the botched abortion, I was born 2.5 months premature with many lifelong complications.

As I read your medical practice history, I found my testimony consistent with many of your other former patients. My birth mother was 13. She was young and naïve; she would be easy to manipulate and lie to. She didn’t know any better. Due to the abortion that was botched, my birth mother has suffered 26 years of hardship and regret. I can only imagine the things that may have happened that she feels like she can’t speak about…things that other women are confessing that you did to them while in your care.

However, she was not the only one affected by the failed abortion. My life, my family’s life, and my children’s lives would all eventually be effected by one “mistake” or one “botched abortion” that was performed so long ago. Not only was I born 2.5 months premature but I was born with complications including dislocated hips, club feet, and was on life support in the hospital. I went through multiple casts on my feet, a harness on my hips to prepare for surgery and body casts in order to correct what the abortion had done to my body. In fact, I still have hip and foot complications today due to the abortion. The unfortunate part is that I am not alone. Hundreds of other survivors of abortions are speaking up letting the world know that we ARE children, we DO deserve a chance at life and that abortion is, clearly, NOT SAFE.

claireculwell4I spent 21 years of my life wondering if I had a sibling that was missing. I felt it in my heart. My birth mother confirmed my questions when she told me about her abortion when I met her. Realizing that you have lived your entire life without your twin is a harsh reality.  However, the hardest part for me is realizing that you took my daddy’s only son from him. His life would have been even more full and joyful had he had his son who would carry on his family name and do the things he loves with him—hunt and fish. Because of the selfishness that abortion has brought to us today, our family will remain incomplete and I mourn the amazing adventures my daddy is missing with my brother.

In February of 2013, another miracle happened… My daughter was born! I can’t help but think about how she wouldn’t be here if the abortion had been successful on my life. She has only been here for a short time but she has touched so many lives with her fun-loving personality. I can’t help but wonder how many children are missing because their mothers were misinformed by you and told that the best decision, or even the only decision, was abortion.

Dr. Patel, I write to not only shed light on the reality of the severe aftermath that can happen when abortions are performed but to also express my forgiveness to you for what happened. I have lived a full life and been well loved in my 26 years of life despite my circumstances. I was adopted into an incredible home that gave more grace and forgiveness than I ever could have asked for. In the same way I have been forgiven by God for many things, I choose to forgive you. I forgive you for performing the abortion in 1988 and for the enormous impact it has had on my birth mother and me.

Like this pro-life news article? Please support LifeNews with a donation during our April fundraising campaign!

I also pray for you. I pray that you are able to see past the medicine, the money and your usual way of life… and that you will remember my face (and my daughter’s who would not be here had the abortion been successful) as you go to perform abortions. I pray that as you remember my face that you will be moved in such a way to walk away from the abortion practice and use your gifts outside of the industry. I assure you that many of us, myself included, would help you leave the industry and be encouragers and supporters to you. I would welcome you with open arms because I fully believe your life and what you do with your life is just as valuable as every single unborn child that I advocate for. I will continue to pray for you and your past and current patients.

Sincerely,

Claire Culwell

original article: You Won’t Believe What a Twin Who Survived Abortion Says in a Letter to the Abortion Doctor
April 29, 2014 by STEVEN ERTELT

abortion, babies, children, family, feminism, health, health care, right wing, unintended consequences

Filed under: abortion, babies, children, family, feminism, health, health care, right wing, unintended consequences

Are government assigned household health monitors the future?

Let’s face it. News from Scotland hardly ever makes it across the Atlantic. Probably the last event you remember from there was the failed referendum to secede from Great Britain several months ago.  But one might say that being out of the limelight gives social engineers just the cover they need to perfect a new form of government oversight that will hardly stay confined to the Scottish borders.

Just a year ago, the Scottish Parliament passed the Children and Young People Bill by a vote of 103-0, with 15 abstentions. It lays out a plan to assign a government worker — otherwise known as a “named person” — to oversee the life of every child from the cradle to age 18. As the implementation deadline in 2016 approaches, officials are trying to decide exactly how this will work.  Now, it seems they want to move beyond their statutory limits to a wider net following the so-called P-20 model.  The P stands for prenatal, and the 20 for the average age during which many enter the workforce.

Newly published guidelines call for the named person to be picked for each child around the seventh month of pregnancy. Each expectant mom then gets to meet with this person and a midwife in the family home. The document states, “Where additional wellbeing needs are anticipated at birth the prospective Named Person should be involved in planning and providing supports to eliminate, reduce or mitigate risks to wellbeing.” Although all details have not been finalized, it appears the initial named person would be a health care worker who would be succeeded by a teacher around the time the child starts school.

A number of teachers are leery of taking on the extra work load. According to Liz Hunter of the Scottish Secondary Teacher’s Association: “Our concerns with it would be the time it would take the teachers to compile the work to support the child properly. It would be the time for task.  The named person would be the coordinator for the children’s plan. In that plan they would have to speak to the parents, they would have to speak to the child, they have to speak to, if they had one, a social worker or a healthcare professional or an educational psychologist or a speech and language therapist.”

The Scottish government claims the initiative was started as a geographically limited pilot project after parents requested a “single point of contact” for help or advice.  If so, there are undoubtedly many more parents who don’t want these state guardians breathing down their necks.  They realize they are the persons named to watch over their children by an authority wiser than any parliament. A more likely motivation for the social experiment is to accommodate the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.  That means after the Scots iron out the kinks, it will be trotted out as a model for other countries.

original article: Intrusive Social Experiment Targets Scottish Family Dynamics
February 26, 2015 by STEVE EASTMAN

babies, bureaucracy, children, family, government, health, health care, ideology, nanny state, reform

Filed under: babies, bureaucracy, children, family, government, health, health care, ideology, nanny state, reform

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