Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated this week in 1865, once defined a hypocrite as “The man who murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.
Hypocrisy is alive and well in the delusion and confusion that is gender politics:
- Judge Jackson Reminds Leftists That They Do Know What a Woman Is
From The Daily Citizen:
Speaking from the Rose Garden on April 8, introducing newly confirmed Judge Jackson, Vice President Kamala Harris touted the “confirmation of the first black woman to the United States Supreme Court.”
Speaking of young people who look up to Judge Jackson, Harris added that “they will see, for the first time, four women sitting on that court at one time.”
Yet, just a few days ago on March 31, the vice president praised “International Transgender Day of Visibility … celebrat[ing] trans and non-binary Americans.”
But you can’t celebrate the promotion of women and at the same time affirm that men who believe they are women truly are women.
2. A Bad Precedent on the High Court
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Senate approved Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court last week, but she isn’t yet Justice Jackson. Justice Stephen Breyer won’t retire until this summer. So where is the vacancy Judge Jackson was confirmed to fill?
The Justice Department claims there is no problem confirming nominees before an actual vacancy. But that same logic would permit the president to appoint slates of standby justices in case his party loses the Senate in the midterms.
Federal law gives the president authority to replace a judge “who retires.” A retirement is normally definite and irrevocable. Justice Breyer’s was neither. He explicitly made it contingent on the confirmation of his successor by summer.
This is rare and controversial. In 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson arranged for Chief Justice Earl Warren to resign “effective at such time as a successor is qualified,” and it ignited a firestorm. Critics were concerned that this could give incumbent judges veto power over their successors, give senators incentive to support a nominee they wouldn’t otherwise, and let legislators manipulate the timetable for confirmation depending on the Court’s docket.
Accordingly, until now there has only been one consummated conditional retirement. In 2005 Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sent a letter to President George W. Bush retiring “effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor.” She was ultimately succeeded by Justice Samuel Alito. The dean of the University of Chicago Law School, Saul Levmore, criticized the precedent she set. He worried that it would encourage strategic behavior by both the Senate and a lame duck justice. A justice might retire contingent on the confirmation of a successor by a certain date, on a nomination by a president of a particular party or even on the appointment of a specific successor. These kinds of political machinations only contribute to the erosion of public trust in the Court.
Such gamesmanship appeared to play a role in the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas. His predecessor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, had initially resigned “effective at such time as a successor is qualified.” However, perhaps because his continuing service reduced pressure on Senate Democrats to act on the Thomas nomination, Marshall sent a second letter to the president resigning effective immediately.
Unfortunately, the Senate’s acceptance of Justice Breyer’s conditional retirement and its rush to confirm Judge Jackson three months early cements the O’Connor precedent. As confirmation battles become fiercer, the door is now open to slates of justices-in-waiting.
- How to Protect Children From Big Tech Companies
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:
The breakthrough event in public understanding of social-media problems was the congressional testimony, last fall, of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. She said Instagram, owned by Facebook parent Meta, was fully aware it was damaging the mental health of children and teenagers. She had proof, internal documents showing Instagram knew of studies showing increased suicidal thoughts and eating disorders among young girls who used the site. Big Tech had failed what Google, at the turn of this century, famously took as its motto: “Don’t be evil.” That wouldn’t seem the most demanding mission, yet they all failed.
One thing that was strange and unreal about her celebrated testimony is that it was a revelation of what everybody already knew. Professionals in the field knew, think-tank observers knew, Big Tech knew it had addictive properties, they were put there deliberately to be addictive. It was part of the business model. Attentive parents knew as they watched their kids scroll. Ms. Haugen spoke of what she called “little feedback loops” in which “likes and comments and reshares” trigger “hits of dopamine to your friends so they will create more content.” But now at least everyone else knows.
When we know children are being harmed by something, why can’t the state help? In theory this might challenge economic libertarians who agree with what Milton Friedman said 50 years ago, that it is the duty of companies to maximize shareholder value. Instagram makes massive profit from ads and influencers aimed at teenagers. But a counter and rising school of conservative thought would answer: Too bad. Our greater responsibility is to see to it that an entire generation of young people not be made shallow and mentally ill through addictive social-media use.
The nature and experience of childhood has been changed by social media in some very bad ways. Why can’t we, as a nation, change this? We all have a share in this.
A participant here told a story of a friend, the mother of a large Virginia family who raised her kids closely and with limited use of social media. The mother took her children to shop for food. The woman at the checkout counter, who had been observing the family, asked the mother, “Do you homeschool your kids?” The mother wasn’t sure of the spirit of the question but said, “Yes, I do. Why do you ask?” The checkout woman said, “Because they have children’s eyes.” And not the thousand-yard stare of the young always scrolling on their phones.
There were many different views expressed at the meetings but on this all seemed to agree, and things became animated.
- Idaho Supreme Court Blocks ‘Texas Style’ Abortion Law
On Friday, the Idaho Supreme Court blocked a law from going into effect that would outlaw abortions after fetal heartbeat detection, which occurs at roughly six weeks gestation. The law is mirrored after legislation in Texas that was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.
According to The New York Times, the court issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of the law until it can further review it. The law was scheduled to take effect on April 22.
As Townhall covered, the law allows the father of the unborn child, the grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles to pursue legal action against a medical provider who performs an abortion. The family members of the unborn child can sue for a minimum of $20,000 in damages within four years after the abortion.
Texas’ law, S.B. 8, on the other hand, allows anyone to sue an individual who provides an illegal abortion or aids a woman seeking an illegal abortion. Those who successfully bring lawsuits under S.B. 8 can receive $10,000.
- New Jersey to Require 1st Graders to Learn About Gender Identity Starting This Fall
From The Daily Citizen:
New Jersey has upped its indoctrination game and will require young children to learn about gender identity starting this fall.
According to the Comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum established in the 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Performance Expectations, by the end of 2nd grade students must be able to “discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior.”
Additionally, students are expected to be able to “describe how climate change affects the health of individuals, plants and animals.”
Fox News reports that the teaching standards were established in 2020. However, they were not required to be enacted until September 2022.
Fox also reports that one school district in the Garden State, Westfield Public Schools, during a school board meeting “distributed sample lesson plans indicated first graders could be taught they can have ‘boy parts’ but ‘feel like’ a girl.”
Not just Florida. More than a dozen states propose so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills
First Florida. Then Alabama. Now, lawmakers in Ohio and Louisiana are considering legislation that mimics the Florida law. And Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll make a similar bill a top priority at the next session.
Across the United States, at least a dozen states are considering new legislation that in several ways will mirror Florida’s new controversial law, referred to by some opponents as “Don’t Say Gay.”
The specific details regarding the bills vary between states. But overall, they seek to prohibit schools from using a curriculum or discussing topics of gender identity or sexual orientation.
- Alabama Joins States Protecting Kids from Transgender Surgery, Puberty Blockers
From The Daily Citizen:
Little more than a week since the U.S. Department of Justice warned states like Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona that protecting minors from harmful gender reassignment surgery could bring federal retaliation, the Alabama legislature spoke loudly that it intends to protect children from harm.
Senate Bill 184 (SB 184), passed by the Alabama Senate in a vote of 24-6 and the House by a vote of 66-28, recognizes the research that the substantial majority of minors “experiencing discordance between their sex and their sense of identity” will outgrow it by the end of puberty and their discordance will be resolved in favor of an identity that aligns with their sex.
In other words, the kids will grow out of it, so don’t let them destroy their lives.
Based on that scientific knowledge, the legislature concluded, as did the Arkansas legislature last year, the Texas Attorney General earlier this year and the Arizona legislature most recently, that allowing experimental medical interventions on minors such as administering puberty blockers or performing gender reassignment surgery is harmful, cannot, in most instances, be reversed, and can result in permanent sterility.
- In Reversal, Elon Musk Declines to Join Twitter Board
From Fox News:
Musk, a critic who recently accused Twitter of stifling free speech, recently purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter, having bought 73.5 million shares for roughly $2.9 billion.
“The Board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly,” Agrawal wrote in the note to employees. “We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward. The board offered him a seat.”
Elon Musk ‘Serious’ About Potentially Turning Twitter’s Headquarters Into ‘Homeless Shelter’
From the Daily Wire:
Entrepreneur Elon Musk said over the weekend that he is seriously considering Twitter’s headquarters into a homeless shelter because so many people work remotely.
Musk first teased the idea in a Twitter poll, asking, “Convert Twitter SF HQ to homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway[?]”
With more than 1.5 million votes cast, more than 91% of respondents responded “y,” or yes.
Musk later wrote about the idea, “I’m serious about this one btw.”
8. Most single Americans say dating is harder since pandemic began
From the Washington Examiner:
Seventy percent of single individuals seeking relationships said “their dating lives are not going well,” and 63% of respondents said dating has become harder since the pandemic began.
A similar number, 66%, said their dating lives were poor in 2019, before the pandemic. 75% also said finding partners was difficult.
According to Pew, only 44% of people are currently seeking a partner. 56% of people, up from 50% in 2019, said they are off the dating market.
9. Glimpses of afterlife? ‘Near-death’ experiences aren’t hallucinations, scientists conclude
From Study Finds:
What happens when we die? It’s a question people have been asking throughout time and the answer is still a mystery. Now, a review of research exploring what people experience when they’re close to death leads scientists to one important conclusion — “near-death experiences” are a real thing, even if we can’t explain them.
Countless people have claimed that their life “flashed before their eyes” or that they actually left their body and traveled somewhere else while close to death. Critics have called these experiences hallucinations or illusions, but researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine say something else is actually happening.
The team of scientists across several medical disciplines — including neurosciences, critical care, psychiatry, psychology, social sciences, and humanities — have come up with a number of scientific conclusions after reviewing unexplained lucid episodes which involve a heightened state of consciousness.
What exactly is a near-death experience?
The main finding is that these events don’t have much in common with the experiences someone has if they’re hallucinating or using a psychedelic drug. Instead, people who have a near-death experience typically report five different events taking place:
- A separation from their body with a heightened, vast sense of consciousness and recognition that they’re dying
- They “travel” to a different location
- A meaningful and purposeful review of their life, involving a critical analysis of all their past actions — basically, their life flashes before their eyes
- Going to a place that feels like “home”
- Returning back to life
Researchers note that the near-death experience usually triggers a positive and long-term psychological transformation in the person. The team notes that people who had negative and distressing experiences while near-death did not experience these kinds of events.
- Masters Champion Calms Nerves By Remembering God in Control
From Golf Week:
Scottie Scheffler “cried like a baby,” just hours before his victory at the 86th Masters.
“I cried like a baby this morning. I was so stressed out. I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting there telling Meredith, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this. I’m not ready, I don’t feel like I’m ready for this kind of stuff, and I just felt overwhelmed,’ ” Scheffler recounted. “She told me, ‘Who are you to say that you are not ready? Who am I to say that I know what’s best for my life?’ And so what we talked about is that God is in control and that the Lord is leading me; and if today is my time, it’s my time. And if I shot 82 today, you know, somehow I was going to use it for His glory. Gosh, it was a long morning. It was long.”