“Facts,” wrote the English author Aldous Huxley, “do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
Case in point:
1. Why Won’t the Left Talk About Racial Disparities in Abortion?
Jason Riley writes in the Wall Street Journal:
When it comes to abortion, however, left-wing concern seems to stop at making the procedure safe and legal, even while black-white disparities have not only persisted but widened. A 2020 paper by public-health scholar James Studnicki and two co-authors cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to note that the black abortion rate is nearly four times higher than the white rate: “Between 2007-2016, the Black rate declined 29% and the White rate declined 33%—meaning that the racial disparity actually increased rather than decreased.” Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurrence in a 2019 abortion case observed that “there are areas of New York City in which black children are more likely to be aborted than they are to be born alive—and are up to eight times more likely to be aborted than white children in the same area.”
Mr. Studnicki and his co-authors likewise conclude that abortion’s impact on the size of the black population is pronounced. Using Pennsylvania as a case study, they note that in 2018 there were about 61,000 premature white deaths from all causes and 21,000 premature black deaths. “Abortions were 23.9% of the White deaths and 62.7% of the Black deaths.”
Nationally, the number of babies aborted by black women each year far exceeds the combined number of blacks who drop out of school, who are sent to prison and who are murdered. Pro-choice activists typically dismiss these facts as a function of poverty, since lower-income women are more likely to get abortions and black women are more likely to have lower incomes. But even among other lower-income groups, such as Hispanics, black women still abort at significantly higher rates.
You’d think that the activists and media elites who are otherwise obsessed with equity—and who have spent the better part of a decade lecturing the country about the value of black lives—might take more interest in the Roe decision’s contribution to racial inequality. The black poverty rate has been roughly a third higher than the white rate for close to 30 years. Among married blacks, however, poverty has been in the single digits over the same period. In some years, the poverty rate for black married couples has been below the rate of not only blacks as a whole but also whites as a whole. If activists believe that higher black incomes will result in fewer black abortions, why not focus on how to increase black marriage rates?
One problem is that such a conversation requires frank talk about counterproductive attitudes toward marriage and solo parenting in low-income black communities. It requires discussing antisocial behavior and personal responsibility. The Democratic left has fashioned a politics around avoiding those subjects and accusing anyone who broaches them of racism. No issue has a bigger impact on America’s black population than legal abortion, but we’re not supposed to talk about that.
2. ‘Factually Inaccurate’: Bill Maher Debunks False Panic of ‘Going Back to 1973’ if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned
“I learned things this week … that are pretty basic things that I did not know about abortion,” Maher said on HBO’s “Real Time.” “Like in Europe, the modern countries of Europe are way more restrictive than we are or what they’re even proposing! If you are pro-choice, you would like it a lot less in Germany, and Italy, and France, and Spain, and Switzerland. Did you know that? I didn’t know that.”
And Maher wasn’t done there. He also noted his surprise to learn that “most people who are pro-life are women” and that most abortions come from mothers who already have children.
“And I thought this was interesting, most abortions now — even when you go to a clinic are done with the pill. The pill. And pills are easy to get in America,” Maher said. “So, you know, for the people who say we’re going back to 1973, we’re not. That’s just factually inaccurate.”
Psaki On ‘Peaceful’ Protests At Supreme Court Justices’ Homes: ‘We Certainly Continue To Encourage That’
From the Daily Wire:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that the administration continues to support what they claim are “peaceful” protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices.
The remarks come after leftists have protested outside the homes of several Supreme Court justices after a draft of the court’s majority opinion showed that they are set to overturn the controversial Roe v. Wade decision.
“I think I said yesterday, but I’m happy to repeat because I think it’s important for everybody to hear that the president’s long-standing view has been that violence, threats, and intimidation of any kind have no place in political discourse,” Psaki said Tuesday. “And we believe, of course, in peaceful protests.”
“So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes,” Psaki later added. “And that’s the president’s position.”
McConnell tamps down chance abortion bill could pass GOP Senate
From The Hill:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) downplayed the possibility that a Republican-controlled Senate would pass a federal abortion ban.
McConnell, during a weekly press conference, sidestepped a question about if he would rule out bringing up an abortion ban but said that most of the Senate GOP believed abortion should be dealt with at the state level.
“Historically, there have been abortion votes on the floor of the Senate. None of them have achieved 60 votes. … I think it’s safe to say there aren’t 60 votes there at the federal level, no matter who happens to be in the majority, no matter who happens to be in the White House,” McConnell said.
McConnell added that he believed that there were “no issues that Republicans believe should be exempt from the 60-vote threshold.”
3. Alabama Law Protecting Minors from Harmful ‘Sex-Change’ Procedures Goes into Effect
From The Daily Citizen:
An Alabama law prohibiting doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones to and performing ‘sex-change’ surgeries on minors went into effect on Sunday, May 8.
This makes Alabama the first state in the nation to protect children from these harmful and experimental chemicals and surgeries.
The legislation (SB 184), called the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, takes two critical steps towards protecting minors:
- The law makes it a felony for a physician to prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors and to perform a “sex-change” surgery on anyone under 19.
- The statute prohibits school nurses, counselors, teachers, principals and other officials from encouraging a minor to withhold from their parent(s) or legal guardian “the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex is inconsistent with the minor’s sex” or to withhold that information themselves.
SB 184 has been challenged in court by LGBT activist groups, including the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC).
4. Trump-backed U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney wins W.Va. GOP primary
From the Washington Times:
In an early victory for a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate at the start of midterm season, Rep. Alex Mooney on Tuesday beat fellow incumbent Rep. David McKinley in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District Republican primary.
McKinley was sharply criticized by former President Trump when he broke with his party as one of 13 Republicans to vote with the Democrats to support President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Trump called McKinley a RINO, or “Republican in Name Only” and endorsed McKinley the day Biden signed the infrastructure law.
The two incumbents, who have taken dramatically different approaches to their time in office, were pitted against each other in the state’s 2nd Congressional District after population losses cost West Virginia a U.S. House seat.
5. Anti-CRT candidates overwhelmingly win school board races in Texas
From the Christian Post:
School board candidates opposed to critical race theory won nearly every election in the largest counties in Texas as concerns about the direction of public education continue to loom large in American politics.
The group 1776 Project PAC, which works to elect school board candidates “who want to reform our public education system by promoting patriotism and pride in American history” by “abolishing critical race theory and ‘The 1619 Project’ from the public school curriculum,” announced on Twitter Saturday that “every single one of our endorsed candidates just won their school board races in Texas.”
1776 Project PAC endorsed 15 candidates in Texas and all but one of them won their races outright, with one race headed to a runoff.
6. Here’s what’s causing the baby formula shortage
From the Washington Examiner:
A worsening shortage of baby formula, the main source of nutrition for many infants, has sent parents scrambling to find the products online and across state lines.
The shortage is especially acute for parents of babies who require specialty formulas to address allergies, as well as gastrointestinal or metabolic conditions.
Here’s a breakdown of the shortage, what’s driving it, and how people are dealing with it.
One cause: The Abbott recall.
One clear cause of the shortage is a February recall of powdered formulas manufactured at Abbott Nutrition’s manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan, where operations have been placed on pause.
Another cause: Manufacturers were unprepared for the early pandemic boom.
The market for baby formula has remained relatively unchanged since birth rates began declining in 2007, with most of the industry’s recent growth coming from formulas made for infants with special dietary needs. The industry was not prepared for the product-hoarding at the onset of the pandemic in spring 2020 and has since struggled to catch back up.
A broader cause: Pandemic supply chain problems.
The broader supply chain problems that helped drive up inflation to historic levels and have created shortages of other items at grocery stores have also ensnared infant formula-makers.
Another possible cause: Breastfeeding has declined in recent years.
The scarcity coincides with overall declining rates of women breastfeeding their infants, according to Stone, who helps conduct a twice-yearly survey that asks about breastfeeding behaviors. A lag over the past two years in women breastfeeding their infants has increased the demand for formula, Stone said.
7. Avoiding social media for just one week significantly boosts well-being, cuts depression
From Study Finds:
Doctors may soon be writing a very simple prescription to improve your mental health: “get off social media!” A new study finds avoiding social media platforms for just one week significantly improved a person’s well-being and also lowered levels of both anxiety and depression.
A team from the University of Bath found that social media users can sometimes spend up to nine hours on their favorite platforms in a single week. This includes endlessly scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
8. Taco Bell Spices Up its Menu with ‘Drag Brunches’ to Promote Gay Pride
From The Daily Citizen:
In a promotion sponsored by the Mexican food chain, drag performers will be offering “thrilling lip syncs and extraordinary high kicks and dips” in certain of its restaurants over the next few weeks as diners wolf down tacos and burritos and drink mimosas.
The “Taco Bell Drag Brunch” is a promotional event with a sexual subtext occurring at several of its “cantinas” around the country, which feature an urban design, open kitchen, custom menu and alcoholic beverages. The tour kicked off on May 1 in Las Vegas, with future events in Chicago, Illinois on May 22, Nashville, Tennessee on May 29, New York’s Time Square on June 12, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 26.
Reservations for this year’s “tour” can only be made by adults ages 18 and older, but it remains unclear whether children will be allowed in with those adults.
Sunday brunch just got a whole lot spicier, and I don’t mean that in a good way. It may be time to make a run from the border, if you catch my drift. Or at least be on guard when you plan your family outing to what you thought was once a safe space.
- The Sacred Life of a Mother’s Mind
From Desiring God:
The life of a mother’s mind is sacred. Those who live according to the Spirit of God have minds set on the Spirit — minds full of life and peace (Romans 8:5–6). When a mother’s mind is fixed on the Spirit, it becomes a wellspring of blessing — physically and spiritually — to those around her.
When we’re doing the dishes, or folding the clothes, or cleaning the bathroom, our minds have already learned the job, so our hands can go on autopilot to get them done while we engage our minds elsewhere. In some ways, this is like having a homeroom class in school where we get to choose what to do. We get to choose how to engage our minds while we work on autopilot.
How will we engage our minds during those moments? We could engage them in all sorts of unhelpful ways — anxiously worrying about the state of the world, counting wrongs others have done to us, complaining internally about all we have to do, replaying difficult circumstances and wishing about different responses. We could also squander that “homeroom” time for the mind by turning on frivolity and foolishness via a show or ungodly music.
Or, we can set our minds on things that enrich and deepen us as women of God. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). Listening to the Bible on an audio app is not the only way to obey this command, but it is the surest way to have our minds shaped properly.
Tuning into godly, wisdom-filled podcasts could be another way to engage our minds fruitfully while we work to serve our families. From getting tips on practical Christian living, to deepening our understanding of good theology, to increasing our awareness of church history, podcasts can help us grow in our love for God and his people. Listening to audiobooks that either explicitly (Christian non-fiction) or implicitly (great stories) inspire us toward virtue can also help us keep our minds on things above.
- Presidential Cruises Are a Thing of the Past
Bob Greene writes in the Wall Street Journal:
It may not be the most dramatic question in our politically divided times, but as a measure of where we find ourselves now it is perhaps worth pondering: Will there ever again be an ocean liner or cruise ship named for a U.S. president?
There don’t seem to be any today and not to have been any for almost 50 years. But until the 1970s such ships proudly advertised themselves to world travelers, confident that the dignity and stature of a presidential name would be great for business.
Grover Cleveland, Herbert Hoover, James K. Polk, James Monroe—their names were emblazoned on the hulls of round-the-world passenger ships that made stops at some of the globe’s most glamorous ports. The American President Lines owned the vessels, and the business strategy was simple: What could be more thrillingly American than setting sail aboard a ship associated with a president?
In today’s acrimonious times it likely would be deemed too risky. Name a passenger ship for a Republican president, you’d worry about alienating half of your potential customers. Name a ship for a Democratic president, same headache. It wouldn’t matter how far back a cruise company looked—a certain number of people would regard any president whose name graced the ship to be too far to the political left or too far to the political right.