President Reagan regularly warned against government overreach and its oversized role in American life:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
We begin with the top story today detailing a form of “help” few people want:
1. Supreme Stakes on Vaccine Mandates
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Supreme Court takes up President Biden’s vaccine mandate today, and the stakes are larger than pandemic policy. This is a crucial test of how far the administrative state can go in stretching ambiguous statutes for its own political ends.
OSHA’s mandate is sloppy and excessive. The “emergency temporary standard” requires workers of private employers with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Fifty years ago Congress said OSHA can impose emergency standards that are “necessary” to protect workers exposed to “grave danger” at workplaces.
The agency has used this authority a mere 10 times, and almost always to regulate toxins like benzene in particular industries. It has never sought to protect tens of millions of Americans from an omnipresent pathogen.
Both mandates also appear to violate the Court’s major questions doctrine that holds Congress must “speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast economic and political significance.” That’s the doctrine six Justices reiterated last summer in blocking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s rental eviction moratorium.
The Court’s ruling in this case will echo into the future about how far the executive branch can go in rewriting statutes. Some Justices will be tempted to defer to the executive given the pandemic emergency. But Presidents have been increasingly eager to find emergencies whenever they are politically convenient.
Over too many decades the Supreme Court has become lax in its oversight of administrative agencies, even as they have grown ever bolder in their assertion of federal power. The vaccine mandate is an ideal opportunity to rein them in.
- Leading Science Magazine Questions Biological Reality of Male and Female
From The Daily Citizen:
We are often lectured, with no small measure of intellectual arrogance, that science is the one sure way of knowing all that is worth knowing. But it is not at all as simple and sure as that. Science cannot answer all questions, by any stretch. Especially the most important ones, like who is God, why do humans seek love, why do we laugh and cry, what is virtue and why does it matter, and why does extravagant beauty exist in the world? Science cannot answer any of these questions. It is not its domain.
But increasingly, we must also not miss the fact that “Science” itself doesn’t always follow science. In fact, sometimes “Science” directly violates science. Another example of this was recently demonstrated in the highly respected scientific journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
In their most recent issue, these editors published an academic letter from two neuroscientists and a biology grad student pushing a false gender ideology in the guise of science. What did these Princeton and Harvard scientists say? Their letter introduces a entirely novel view of male and female.
The first line of their published letter blankly asserts, “Inclusive language around sex diversity has never been more important.” And since, “scientific language directly affects trans-focused rhetoric and policy” they are calling on their peers to abandon the fundamentals of science in favor of just playing along with the lie that that there are more than two sexes or that people can switch genders. Science thought their learned readers would benefit from these two wholly unscientific sentences:
- ‘Gender Queer’ Author Suggests Book Is ‘Integral’ For Kids
From the Daily Wire:
The author of “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” a book which has triggered harsh criticism at school boards for keeping it in school libraries, told NBC News that what NBC News called its “graphic illustrations of LGBTQ sexual experiences” are “integral” and that “we need to reduce the shame” regarding sex among teenagers.
Maia Kobabe’s book “is a de facto guide on gender identity that grapples with the hardships of coming out, the confusion of adolescent crushes and the trauma of being nonbinary in a society that largely sees gender as limited to two categories: man and woman,” NBC News gushed, adding that Kobabe “uses gender-neutral pronouns e, em and eir.”
After NBC News noted that the book was banned in Florida’s Brevard Public Schools, challenged by parents in New Jersey and removed from Wake County Public Libraries in North Carolina, NBC News vilified GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, saying they “piled onto the outrage last month” by asking for investigations as to how “obscene” and “pornographic” books were in school.
- How Marxism ‘Won’ the War of Ideas
From the Wall Street Journal:
When I was a teenager, I spent a year meeting weekly with a psychiatrist. In the end, talking about myself bored even me. But the value of the sessions was real. They gave me, at a turbulent time in my life, a chance to speak honestly and deeply with another human being without the hand-wringing of my family or the burden of guilt. For many, psychiatrists and other mental-health counselors have replaced the clergy as healers of the soul. Today, science too often and too easily seems to preclude the hunger for God. But at least modern therapists share something important—their humanity—with their patients. Both are creatures of flesh and blood.
But the world is changing. Robots with clinical psychology expertise may still sound like a joke, but artificial-intelligence alternatives to human therapists no longer belong to “The Twilight Zone.” Quite the opposite. AI is already used to scan medical records, social-media posts, and similar data for mental-illness indicators and potential therapies. For the moment, medical experts are duly cautious. In the words of John Torous, director of the digital psychiatry division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, AI-driven chatbot therapy may sound exciting, but “we are not yet seeing evidence matching marketing.” The modern, and especially American, addiction to technology as the answer to every problem may be excessive, but it would not have surprised Augusto Del Noce. And therein lies a cautionary tale.
A leading Italian philosopher and cultural critic, Del Noce died in 1989. Unknown to most English speakers until recently—the first English translation of his seminal text, “The Problem of Atheism,” was published this month—he predicted the Soviet Union’s collapse and the sexual revolution decades in advance with stunning accuracy. He foresaw the failure of Marxism in the East. He also described its ironic triumph in the West in the form of a soft totalitarianism—i.e., a consumer-friendly technocracy of experts.
Del Noce saw three reasons for Marxism’s early appeal. It had powerful tools of social and economic analysis. It had a comprehensive anthropology—a vision of who and what a human being is—which claimed the mantle of science. And it had a religion-like, evangelical zeal that inspired the masses. As a result, it undermined biblical faith with a new, this-worldly, messianic gospel. In the Marxist canon there was good (the working class) vs. evil (capitalists), a path of redemption (revolution), the hope of heaven (a utopian future), and the certainty of final triumph (the direction of history).
- Baby Abandoned in Fairbanks Found with Desperate Note from Mother
From The Daily Citizen:
A Good Samaritan rescued an abandoned baby in Fairbanks, Alaska who was found in a cardboard box along with a desperate note written by the baby’s mother.
According to The New York Post, Fairbanks’ resident Roxy Lane found the newborn when the temperature in Fairbanks was in the single digits, with a wind chill of 12 below zero. She found him near a row of mailboxes close to her home.
“Please help me!!!” the note began.
“I was born today on December 31, 2021 (at) 6 a.m. I was born 12 weeks premature. My mom was 28 weeks when she had me. My parents and grandparents don’t have food or money to raise me. They NEVER wanted to do this to me,” the note continued.
“My mom is so sad to do this. Please take me and find me a LOVING FAMILY. My parents are begging whoever finds me. My name is Teshawn.”
- Pastor, Church and the Public Come to the Aid of Orphaned Refugee Children after Parents’ Tragic Deaths
From The Daily Citizen:
A poignant story has emerged out of Des Moines, Iowa, of five young African refugee children who recently lost both their father and mother in separate, heartbreaking incidents. Amidst the sorrow, however, a bright spot has emerged – their church, pastor and the public have responded to the children’s needs in a huge way.
The family of Bazirake Kayira came to Des Moines as refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo two years ago, the CBS affiliate KCCI 8 reports. Kayira was killed in a car crash recently, leaving behind five young children. His wife – the children’s mother – died last August during childbirth. The children’s grandparents – Regina Nyanzira and Katwire Mwesigie – are attempting to raise the children on their own, but are destitute themselves, according to the family’s pastor, Eugene Kiruhura of Shalom Covenant Church in Urbandale, Iowa.
While the church mourns, Pastor Kiruhura put out a call for help via a fundraising site.
“My name is Pastor Eugene Kiruhura,” he wrote on his GoFundMe appeal. “It is with heavy hearts we are asking for your donations and prayers for the family of Bazirake Kayira. Bazirake was one of the African refugee/immigrant community members living in Des Moines, he died Friday afternoon after crashing his vehicle into a creek during the ice storm. Four months ago Bazirake lost his wife during childbirth. He leaves behind five children. We are raising funds to help assist with his funeral expenses and any extra funds will go into an account reserved for the children. Keep these children in your prayers this is very sudden and extremely shocking for them to lose both parents like this in a short period of time.
“Thank You and God bless you.
Baby orphaned after parents, both Florida deputies, take their own lives
From the NY Post:
Two Florida sheriff’s deputies with a newborn baby killed themselves within days of each other, leaving their 1-month-old son an orphan, an official said.
St. Lucie County Deputy Clayton Osteen died Jan. 2 and Deputy Victoria Pacheco took her life “in the wake of Deputy Osteen’s death,” Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement on Tuesday.
“As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great compliment to my already amazing group of professionals,” Mascara said.
“To the general public, and sometimes even myself, it’s easy to view law enforcement as superhuman … but let’s not forget that they’re human just like us.”
- More bad news on Covid vaccines and myocarditis in men under 40
A huge new study has found the risk of serious heart problems called myocarditis in men under 40 soars with each dose of a Covid mRNA vaccine – and is sharply higher than the risk from a coronavirus infection itself.
The findings call into sharp question the efforts by American colleges and universities to make their students receive booster shots before returning to school this January – especially since other studies have shown that the risk of post-vaccine myocarditis is concentrated not merely in men under 40 but in those aged 16-25.
The study, which British researchers released in late December, showed that the risk of myocarditis almost doubled after the first Pfizer shot in men under 40. Then it doubled again after the second and doubled again after the third – to almost eight times the baseline risk.
8. Should Christian Parents Use Prenatal Genetic Testing?
From the Gospel Coalition:
Some pro-life Christians justify the use of prenatal tests because it helps them be better prepared for complications, either during birth or after the child is born. As Kathyrn Butler explained in an article for TGC, “The aim of prenatal screening is to help families prepare, both practically and emotionally, for terminal illness or disability in an unborn baby. The abnormalities in trisomy 13 and 18 are so severe and pervasive that most of these children die in utero.” If our reason for using such a test is preparation, then we could ask doctors to only report the results of noninvasive prenatal testing if the results are actionable.
But we should carefully weigh our motives and consider if such testing is truly prudent. Even when abortion is not an option, knowing an unborn child has a genetic condition can make us less rather than more prepared. Knowing a child has an incurable condition can lead parents to distance themselves emotionally from a child during the pregnancy, the time when the bonding process should occur. As Christian bioethicist Gilbert Meilaender says about about prenatal testing, “we deceive ourselves if we suppose that, as a routine feature of medical practice, it can simply assist a couple to prepare themselves for their child’s birth. It does exactly the opposite. It sets our foot on a path that is difficult to exit.”
9. Who Really Has Your Ear?
From Desiring God:
In our day of striking media saturation and consumption, we will do well to remember the profound shaping, world-changing power of words.
Whether they are the words accompanying television and YouTube, or the written words of articles and tweets, or the purely audible media of podcasts and audiobooks, words form and fill our inner person, penetrate deeply, and quickly shape our desires, decisions, and outer lives — the whole of who we are. It’s not a matter of whether words are shaping us but whose.
Whose voice — whether through audio or written words or video, or old-fashioned face-to-face talk — whose voice is most regularly streaming into your ears, and going down into your soul? Whose voice captures your finite attention, and focuses you, or distracts you? Which voices do you long to hear most? Whose words are you welcoming most to enter into your soul, to sow seeds of life — or death? Whom do you welcome into that intimate space that is your ear?
Do the words you hear and cherish most “follow the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2)? Are you becoming “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2) rather than “transformed by the renewal of your mind”? How “highly online” and “Internet-formed” are you? Some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2), but are we showing hospitality to demons?
10. Watch this baby react to his mom’s voice in the sweetest way
This baby’s sweet face as his mom sings to him gives us feelings.