Good Morning!  

George Bernard Shaw called family an “earlier heaven” and Pope John XXIII defined it as “the first cell of human society.”  

We begin with a plea for more of them – a reminder that without men and women living out their calling as husbands and wives and mothers and fathers, society doesn’t work nearly as well – if it works at all: 

  1. We Need More Families 

From Spiked: 

Families, and the lack of them, are emerging as one of the great political dividing lines in America, and much of the high-income world. The familial ideal was once embraced by all political factions, except on the extremes, but that is no longer the case. 

This is among the biggest lessons from the Republicans’ big electoral wins earlier this month. Areas close to Washington DC, where singles predominate and birth rates are negligible, remained Democratic, but in the suburbs, from Northern Virginia to Dallas to Long Island, where the families roam, voters shifted to the centre-right. It’s a poor omen for Democrats, who made strong gains in these areas in 2018. 

Yet if these results demonstrated the still existent potency of family voters, the power of the radical education agenda reflects the growth of non-families – particularly in the deep-blue precincts of the inner city, but more widely as well. In the United States, more than a quarter of households in 2013 were single-person households. In urban areas like Manhattan, that figure is estimated at nearly half.  

In 2018, a record 35 per cent of Americans aged 25 to 50, which is 39million people, had never been married, according to a new Institute for Family Studies (IFS) analysis of US Census data. The share was only nine per cent in 1970. 

In contrast, conservatives tend to be more likely to get married and have more children. Biden’s agenda could push some families to the right, despite promises of greater state support. Certainly, his focus on such things as mass transit have little to do with suburban communities. His administration also seems ready to back Obama-era initiatives that seek to densify suburban neighborhoods, a stance long embraced by the planning establishment. Progressives around the country, backed by some libertarian useful idiots, push to eliminate single-family zoning – whereby local governments set minimum sizes for homes to prevent them from being split up into apartments. This would be unlikely to win over many suburban, exurban or smalltown voters. 

The new generation hopefully will find Mark Zuckerberg’s pathetic ‘metaverse’ no substitute for the intimacy and psychological rewards of family. As Margaret Mead once said, ‘No matter how many communes anyone invents, the family always creeps back’. It will be up to the new generation to halt the post-familial tide, and discover, like previous generations, how having children changes what it means to be human. 

  1. Biden Administration Hinting At Rolling Back Religious Liberties: Report 

From the Daily Wire: 

A reported memo from the Director of the Office for Civil Rights within the Biden Administration’s Health and Human Services Department hints of the Biden administration’s apparent desire to roll back religious liberties. 

In a draft memo to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra from Lisa Pino, the Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), she writes of the Trump administration’s delegation in 2017 for the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to prevent violations of religious liberty: 

Prior to the delegation in 2017, no division was singularly responsible for the Department’s compliance with RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) or the First Amendment. … That model recognized that all components of HHS had a responsibility for compliance and that OGC [Office of General Counsel] was a central partner in providing key legal advice on RFRA and defending the Department when RFRA claims were raised. Rescinding the delegation to OCR does not lessen the commitment of the Department to compliance, but ensures that it is not misused by any one agency to enact a broad, proactive agenda. 

After former Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued guidelines on various religious liberty issues, HHS gave OCR authority for RFRA compliance reviews and to “initiate such other actions as may be necessary to facilitate and ensure compliance with RFRA,” Fox News noted. 

  1. A Tragic Record: Over 100,000 Americans Die of Drug Overdoses in One Year 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Over 100,00 Americans have died due to drug overdoses in one year, according to a new estimate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The CDC estimates that from May 2020 to April 2021, 100,306 Americans died from a drug overdose according to its predicted count. So far, the CDC’s reported count stands at 97,990. 

The agency notes that “drug overdose deaths are often initially reported with no cause of death … because they require lengthy investigation.” The “predicted provisional counts represent estimates of the number of deaths adjusted for incomplete reporting.” 

Starting in the second quarter of 2020, the same time as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposition of lockdowns, the number of deaths from drug overdoses began to rise precipitously. 

  1. Arkansas Named Most Pro-Life State in the Nation 

From The Daily Citizen: 

For the second year in a row, Arkansas has been named the most pro-life state in the nation, according to Americans United for Life (AUL), a leading pro-life advocacy group. The group annually ranks every state on its pro-life laws and policies to protect human life from conception to natural death, including some of our most vulnerable populations like the preborn, the elderly, the disabled, and the terminally ill. 

The “Life List” seeks to highlight the great work being accomplished at the state level to promote a culture of life and serve as a reminder that there is much work to be done.  

According to AUL, Arkansas achieved the first-place spot by enacting 16 life-affirming laws during the 2021 state legislative session. Life-affirming policy categories include abortion, legal recognition of preborn babies, ethical research, assisted suicide, and patient care. AUL also considers the political and cultural engagement levels in each state. Only laws that are enacted and not enjoined by the courts are factored into the rating system. 

Collectively, there were 86 pro-life laws enacted in 22 states this year. AUL gives an honorable mention to Texas, which jumped from #20 to #12 in the nation after enacting the first Heartbeat Law to go into effect in the country. 

RELATED: Yet Another Misleading Media Poll on ‘Roe v. Wade’ Intended to Influence the Supreme Court 

From The Daily Citizen: 

If your job was to convince the Supreme Court justices who will hear the case of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban on December 1 that the public overwhelmingly wants Roe v. Wade to stay, you would design a poll just like the one recently released by ABC News and The Washington Post. It follows a tired pattern the pro-abortion mainstream media employs of framing questions in a way that prompt the answers they’re looking for. 

Which in the case of their latest joint poll, released on November 16, purports to reveal that the American adult population wants the Supreme Court to keep Roe v. Wade safely intact, by a whopping 60% to 27% margin. 

Except people don’t really understand that Roe v. Wade, and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, combine to allow abortion up to the moment of birth, a legal regime that puts the U.S. right up there with North Korea, China and five other nations, out of 198 recognized countries, that allow abortion after 20 weeks gestation. 

5.   A maternity ranch is born 

From the Washington Post: 

The vision had come as she was driving home from the Kroger, and it was so sudden and fully formed that Aubrey Schlackman began to tell people that “it was like God placed it in my head.” 

This was last year, a time when abortion was still widely available in Texas and Aubrey was one more young mother joining the midmorning traffic along Farm to Market 407 in the growing suburbs north of Dallas. She passed the Starbucks. She passed the AT&T store. She was thinking about getting her two young boys down for a nap when she reached a pleasant stretch of land bordered by a long split-rail fence, and this is when the idea came. 

“A maternity ranch,” she thought, and she could practically see it through her windshield. 

  1. The Future of Faith-Based Schools 

From First Things: 

The Supreme Court is considering yet another case involving public funding of religious schools, Carson v. Makin. The case raises important questions about the fate of faith-based schools and institutions in an aggressively secular society. 

Progressive elites tell us that religious schools may divide society, and that public schools are better at producing good citizens by bringing together children from different religious backgrounds. But a growing body of well-conducted research shows that this  is just not so. David Campbell’s studies found that “students in Catholic schools perform better than students in assigned public schools on all three objectives of civic education—capacity for civic engagement, political knowledge, and political tolerance.” 

Unfortunately, this distinctiveness is threatened today as it never has been before, except under totalitarian regimes. There are external threats from government. But there are also internal threats, arising from a loss of nerve on the part of many educators who lack a clear understanding of and commitment to the proclaimed mission of their school. 

Carson v. Makin is a valuable reminder that religious schools need to be protected from the imposition of a secular worldview and from the self-betrayal of pre-emptive capitulation. As the barriers to public funding of faith-based schools fall through litigation and legislation, those who guide and work in such schools should take nothing for granted, but strengthen the clarity and consistency of their mission. 

  1. CensorTrack With TR: 3,000 Examples of Big Tech’s Biased Censorship 

From MRC: 

It’s Episode Twelve of MRC’s new video series, CensorTrack with TR. This week we reached our 3,000th entry on From one of the top conservative TV hosts, to the founder of Barstool Sports, to our very own censorship segment, the bias of Big Tech is crystal clear.  

Tucker Carlson of Tucker Carlson Tonight posted a trailer to a documentary series called “The Patriot Purge.” The Washington Post complained so Facebook slammed the video with a “sensitive content” filter. 

Business Insider wrote a hit piece about Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy. The article detailed many sexual misconduct allegations against Portnoy. Portnoy sent Insider an email request to appear on his show, The Dave Portnoy Show, and “talk about the issue.” Portnoy posted the exchange on his Twitter account. Twitter then suspended Portnoy for 12 hours.  

Back in September, we released our fifth episode of CensorTrack with TR. The episode was censored on TikTok with no explanation given. MRC sent an appeal immediately following the censorship and TikTok finally replied by confirming that the video would be permanently removed. Again, no reason, other than “content violation,” was provided. 

  1. Disney Shows Its Cards in Pursuit of Sports Betting Dollars 

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The Walt Disney Co. is taking a gamble on sports betting. 

The entertainment giant, notoriously conservative when it comes to protecting its brand, will use ESPN as its entry point into the fast-growing sector. “Given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third parties in this space in a very meaningful way,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek told analysts during a Nov. 10 earnings call. 

The decision to pursue a multibillion-dollar betting deal is something of a strategic pivot for the company, which for years said that the only role sports betting had at ESPN was as one more piece of its TV programming. 

So what changed? Changing consumer habits is one piece of the puzzle, with “gamification” becoming commonplace in apps and media. ESPN+, like other streaming services, is all but certain to add gamification functionality in the future as it seeks to grow engagement and its subscriber base. 

Importantly, the major sports leagues all got on board. In August, the NFL, led by Roger Goodell, announced Fox Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet and WynnBET as its sports betting partners for the season, while the NBA, led by Adam Silver, unveiled a deal with DraftKings and FanDuel earlier in November. The MLB, NHL, UFC and other leagues have also signed betting deals. 

  1. Drinking coffee, tea can lower the risk of dementia, stroke: researchers 

From Fox News: 

Can drinking coffee and tea lower the risk of dementia or stroke? 

A group of researchers from China’s Tianjin Medical University found that drinking the caffeinated beverages either separately or together was associated with a lower risk of developing stroke and dementia. 

Additionally, the authors said Tuesday in a study published in Plos Medicine that the intake of coffee alone or combined with tea was associated with a lower risk of post-stroke dementia. 

Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day, three to five cups of tea in the same period, or the combined intake of four to six cups per day were linked with the lowest hazard ratio of stroke and dementia. 

The authors also found that drinking two to three cups of coffee with two to three cups of tea daily was associated with a 32% lower risk of stroke and a 28% lower risk of dementia 

10.In the streaming age, local radio stations are an underappreciated part of a community 

From The Wall Street Journal: 

Terrestrial radio is one of the last refuges for local ads, which don’t play on streaming services, national podcasts or satellite stations. I’d much rather listen to a fast-talking ad for Austin’s new Major League Soccer team or a middle-aged host extolling the virtues of pumpkin-spice-flavored Bud Light Seltzer than have podcast hosts berate me to sign up for ZipRecruiter or blow $1,000 on a Casper mattress. And you’ll never win free concert tickets for being the ninth caller to Spotify. 

Notices about grand openings, hot deals and new attractions let listeners feel the motion of the local economy. The booming voices clamoring to give you big money at trade-in provide strong evidence for supply shortages and inflation. And the constant chatter about home prices proves the market is hot—so hot that some realtors have broadcast ad budgets. 

Local radio offers bits of news about municipal life and elections that those who don’t subscribe to a local newspaper may not know. It connects audiences to the seasonal calendar of a place. In Austin, gripes about the summer heat and full parking lots at local swimming pools give way to chatter about University of Texas football and the annual Austin City Limits music festival. 

The percentage of Americans over 12 who listened to AM or FM radio in any given week fell to 83% in 2020 from 89% in 2019, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s a shame. Fiddling with the tuning dial is a good way to root yourself in your community.