“Bonds that Matter” Looking at the World through the Eyes of the Child

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Over a million marched in Paris in 2013 to support the right of the child to know both mother and father.

I’ve made a late-in-the-year resolution to keep up my blog a whole lot better than I have.  My apologies — and appreciation — to those who check for new posts.  I have a lot of items on my hit parade.  So I’ve resolved to post more frequently even if it means more sloppily.

So, first off, let me say I understand how easy it is to get discouraged as we witness The Great Unraveling in our society.  The breakdown of family accounts for a huge part of this, especially the separation of children from their parents and the layers of confusion adults are heaping on kids for the convenience of said adults.  Broken homes create broken children.  And so many broken children portend an ever more dysfunctional society.

The road ahead seems very dark now, especially as we feel the increasing hostility to the idea that children have rights that override the convenience of so-called grown ups.  Let’s face it:  we humans are not naturally ethical beings though so many of us truly do like to think so.

But if you look around, you’ll see some beams of light emanating from the cracks in all of the social chaos.

For example, at the Reagan Library last week the International Children’s Rights Institute had its inaugural conference to discuss the inherent rights of children to be born free — not manufactured as chattel — and their right to know their origins.

I for one think it’s past time that adults get a bit out of their comfort zones and start looking at life through the eyes of the child.  There is harm when a child is separated and isolated — by design — from any clear answer to that existential question:  “Where did I come from?”   Please click on the links throughout this post to learn more about the conference and its participants.

The Conference theme was “Bonds that Matter.”    Alana Newman, founder of Anonymous Us, talked about her experience as a donor-conceived child, and how artificial reproductive technologies de-stabilizes a child’s sense of self.  Such children are wounded and puzzled by the way they came into the world — as commodities — and why one or both parents didn’t care to know them. But they’re told to shut up about it since they wouldn’t be here otherwise.  (Alana rightly compared the accusation to being a child of rape:  yes, I am happy to be alive, but not about the rape.)

Jennifer Lahl, president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture talked about the surrogacy industry and how it turns children into chattel as it treats women as cattle.  Jennifer Morse of the Ruth Institute discussed the impact of no-fault divorce on the lives of children.  And adoption experts Cathy Swett and Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy walked us through the topic of adoption from the eyes of the adoptee, because even in the best of circumstances adoption still forces a child to emotionally “work out” the absence of his or her biological parents.

Congratulations to Robert Oscar Lopez who organized and emcee’d an absolutely fantastic conference.  Hopefully the first of many!

Our Selfies, Our Selves

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“Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper

Married folks account for ever smaller numbers of the American demographic, now at 50.3 percent, contrasting with a high of 72.2 percent in 1960.  So, according to the most recent Census Bureau figures, singles are on the cusp of being a majority demographic in America.   There are a lot of reasons for this, including fallout from the sexual revolution and the breakdown of family.

Of course most single folks are living their lives as best they can, and a large majority of them tell pollsters they want to get married someday. But accompanying the trend is some rhetoric that is hostile to marriage and seems determined to pit singles as a class against marrieds.  There is a burgeoning movement, apparently organized by self-appointed social engineers, who claim that any social or tax benefits for marriage are discriminatory against singles.  In the end, it all leads to a push to abolish civil marriage. You can read about it in my latest Federalist piece here:  “Welcome to Selfie Nation.”

The language of same sex marriage has actually laid the groundwork for abolishing civil marriage. If such a move gained traction, it would be a disaster for family autonomy and privacy and a victory for state power. That would have repercussions for all private relationships because civil marriage allows us to legally bind ourselves to family, whereas abolition of marriage would put us in a state of legal isolation from all others.  That would have negative repercussions for all other private relationships. Anyway, I think we should think such things through before the deceptive sloganeering hits us.

Here’s an excerpt:

Abolishing civil marriage would change not only family relationships, but all other relationships across society. This is a far cry from getting the state “out of the marriage business.” It’s more like the state getting you out of the marriage business. Sure, you and someone else could still get married, at least in your own minds. But you would be completely separate entities as far as the state is concerned. With the death of marriage inevitably comes the death of family. Hence, the most important mediating institution or buffer zone between encroaching state power and the vulnerable individual—every individual—would be gone.

This means the state would no longer respect:

  • your natural right to refuse testimony against your spouse. How could it? You don’t have a “spouse;”
  • the natural rights of your children to know you, or your right to raise them. After all, there’s really no “legal” family involved without prior state approval; and
  • any inheritance rights. Why should it? None of you are legally “related.”

 

What is a Human? — Part V

This is how everybody happens, whether they like it or not: the union of one male and one female. Lest we forget: every male and female and intersex person happens this way, and that would include all individuals who call themselves transgender.

To answer to the question “What is a human?” for the purpose of this blog series, we need only refer to the simple and existential question of the child:  “Where did I come from?”

A human being is a creature who is born out of the union of one male human being and one female human being.  This is true for every man, woman or child who has ever been conceived, whether male, female, or ambiguous/intersex.   Transgender persons may wish to deny this, but their own humanity is based in their origins of one male united with one female.   Whether we know our biological parents or not, they are how we came into being.  Whether it happens in a bed or a petri dish doesn’t matter.

A human being may present as the opposite sex or as a sexless being or both sexes or genders or as many as they imagine, but it doesn’t change the reality of their humanity.  Nor anybody else’s.

The transgender activists’ idea that a person may identify as male or female regardless of biological sex is nothing new.  There are  plenty of famous cases in history and literature.  The idea of androgyny — the male/female being —  is an old concept that goes back to ancient times.  

Here’s what’s new:  The attempt to force onto everybody the transgender idea of human identity, and the push to codify it as quickly as possible into law under the guise of “non-discrimination.”   The key phrase slipped into these laws is that our sex is merely “assigned” to us at birth. If we accept that premise, then we will certainly reach a point at which nobody can be legally identified as either male or female.  Eventually, we all become “other” in the eyes of the state.

How are we supposed to understand our origins in this scheme?  Answer:  It looks like we’re not intended to understand our origins.   Nor, ironically, are we supposed to chart our own destiny in this vacuum of ambiguity.  It’s a destabilizing prospect, but that’s where we’re headed with this.  The transgender movement has less to do with equal rights than it has to do with a war on language, aimed directly at destabilizing our sense of human identity.

What is a Human? — Part II

The New Yorker piece I discussed yesterday — “What is a Woman?” — has gotten quite a bit of attention.  I noticed in my news feed that even Rush Limbaugh picked up on it during his show yesterday.  You can read the transcript here, in which Limbaugh talks about what he calls “The Feminazis vs. the Transgenders.”  Limbaugh confessed little understanding.  (And, boy, he sure doesn’t get it.)  The transcript reveals that the caller was likely a transgender activist.  He seemed to use quite a bit of humor and ingratiating wile to promote the trans agenda and steer Limbaugh’s listeners into dismissing the radical feminists. (Rush should give rad fems equal time.)

So, what is the agenda of the transgender activists?  On the surface, it’s supposed to be about non-discrimination.  About allowing people to present to society whichever gender they say they are, and not suffer any negative consequences in employment, housing, business, or anything.   But the underlying premise of transgender rights is that our sex is “assigned” to us at birth.  This is key to understanding how it affects each and every one of us in law.   The insidious term “assigned” has been sneaked into legislation as a given, and is not even up for debate.  And so the trans agenda’s first order of business to shove their laws through and silence anyone who questions them.  Which brings us to a thorn in their side — the rad fems.

What is the agenda of the Radical Feminists?   Transgender activists have dubbed them: “Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminists” and use the acronym “TERF” as a slur.  (This is partly because rad fems believe women have a right to ban male-to-female transgenders from women-only facilities and venues, and refuse to use trans “preferred pronouns.”)  Rad fems argue that being born male is a privilege and any man carries that privilege with him even if he “transitions” to female.  The act of transitioning only accentuates gender, and perpetuates and promotes a patriarchal society, according to rad fems.

I will add one more important thing about the radical feminists. In my view, they’re doing a great service by lending their voice against the transgender push to transition and sterilize children based on a child’s perceived “gender identity dysphoria.” We all should be glad and grateful that they are speaking out against this barbaric practice.

The transgender route to power is strewn with evasion, deception, and dysfunction. It uses a lot of strong arm tactics (which we might even call patriarchal) of silencing all opponents, especially a vocal minority who stands for a much purer version of their purported agenda of equality.  The trans agenda also has a lot of influence and huge sums of money behind its agenda, including the full support of the Obama Administration. Trans activists have pushed very hard through their window of opportunity which remains open only so long as enough people stay ignorant of their real aim:  which is to redefine the humanity of us all.

To be continued . . .

 

 

 

 

Are we Headed to a Future Claiming “All your Children Belong to Us?”

Where are we headed?   Looks like a pretty dystopian future, which should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention.   For a preview, remember when MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry told us us we “have to get over our notion that children belong to their parents or their families.” We need a more “collective” idea, she asserted.  Watch here:

Last year I wrote an article about this: “The War on the Family Enters a New Stage,” which you can read by clicking here. 

But moving “forward” Glenn Cook of the Las Vegas Review-Journal offers a fascinating report: “All your children Belong to Us.”  Cook notes what’s going on in Scotland, a push to assign each family an official state guardian.  It’s chilling:

The Scottish government for years has pursued what amounts to state-sponsored surveillance of families. By August 2016 — unless a court or public pressure can stop it — the country will appoint an official state guardian for every child in Scotland. The jobs will be filled by teachers, social workers, health care professionals and the like. The feel-good part of the plan makes every guardian a personal resource to families, available to answer questions. The sinister part of the plan gives those guardians access to a family’s records, and requires them to monitor and report every child’s development and welfare and recommend household changes. Thus, legislation to expand free school meals and subsidized child care becomes the means to create the Family Stasi.

What happens when a family doesn’t return a guardian’s call to check in? What happens when a parent rejects an, ahem, friendly suggestion from said guardian using a few choice curse words? A knock on the door from police and social workers, that’s what.

We all know that destruction of family autonomy has been a top priority of so-called progressives for many years,  centuries, even.  Yet it’s hard to fathom that such an agenda could ever really prevail.

I think we’ve gotten this far on the road to hell for four basic reasons.  First, we can’t fathom that anyone would let it happen, and can’t fathom that anyone would even want it to happen, so many of us simply tune out those agendas as mad ravings. Second, the ground has been softened through the breakdown of families, particularly the absence of fathers, as more people buy into the bait offered by the so-called progressives.  Third,  the side pushing to control our relationships has been unrelenting and very organized. Fourth, all of the above results in a resistance that is weak and disorganized.

The only way around this — and it’s daunting — is to actually build a resistance.  How?  I’m not sure, but I know how it has to start.  It has to start with individuals talking one-on-one to others, as friends — not as adversaries — and expressing what they feel about this.  We can’t allow this sort of group think to sink in.  By openly sharing our concerns about these things to others, we open them up to sensing and see a resistance that they can be a part of.  That’s where it has to begin.  It would also help to have leaders who are real leaders, not peacocks obsessed with their turf.  It requires a lot of adaptability, strength of character, wits, and dedication.

A Fascinating Read: “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism”

Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism” is an amazing article by Brendan O’Neill in the British online magazine Spiked.  It was published over a year ago, but its content is timeless.  I haven’t yet figured out what to make of O’Neill since he seems to have connected himself with the label of Marxism. Perhaps its a “brand” that would draw some unlikely folks in to consider and accept what he writes. Provides some cognitive dissonance, perhaps. I don’t know.  But Marxism is a philosophy so conducive to terror and conformity that I personally don’t think O’Neill should mess with it if he believes what he writes.  “Broadly libertarian” is a more suitable description.  In any event,  “Gay Marriage:  A Case Study in Conformism” is truly worth reading.  It’s passionate and compelling and contains so much truth about the squashing of independent thought. The subtitle reads as follows:

“Anyone who values diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent should find the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.”

Indeed, whenever there is a “seismic shift” in public opinion, particularly about a deeply embedded tradition such as marriage, our antennae should go up.   This is even truer when an agenda is pushed and engineered primarily by an elite that has a virtual monopoly on most outlets of communication — the media, Hollywood, academia.  The clincher in identifying a fake, manufactured opinion cascade is to look at the treatment of those who are opposed to the agenda.  To what extent are they allowed to speak freely?  During the period of “debate” have they been allowed to speak without being ostracized or fear losing their livelihood?  Are dissenters allowed to express an opinion without being routinely and summarily smeared and cast out of society?  If the answer to these questions is no, then you certainly have a mass scale push for tyranny on your hands.  All along, the agenda was just a front for a power grab.

Below are two excerpts from O’Neill’s essay, which you can read in full by clicking the link above:

In truth, the extraordinary rise of gay marriage speaks, not to a new spirit of liberty or equality on a par with the civil-rights movements of the 1960s, but rather to the political and moral conformism of our age; to the weirdly judgmental non-judgmentalism of our PC times; to the way in which, in an uncritical era such as ours, ideas can become dogma with alarming ease and speed; to the difficulty of speaking one’s mind or sticking with one’s beliefs at a time when doubt and disagreement are pathologised. Gay marriage brilliantly shows how political narratives are forged these days, and how people are made to accept them. This is a campaign that is elitist in nature, in the sense that, in direct contrast to those civil-rights agitators of old, it came from the top of society down; and it is a campaign which is extremely unforgiving of dissent or disagreement, implicitly, softly demanding acquiescence to its agenda.

With gay marriage turned into ‘a kind of common sense’, opposing it became more difficult, potentially even threatening one’s social and moral standing. The ‘common sense’ of gay marriage has been turned into something like a dogma of gay marriage, in a very subtle way. So the very act of debating gay marriage has been implicitly demonised, since in the words of one observer, ‘The fact that there is a debate over whether to deny a group of people their civil rights is unacceptable’. Here, through further linking gay marriage to the old civil-rights movement, even discussion itself can be branded ‘unacceptable’.

My Presentation on Political Correctness

Below in SlideShare  format, you’ll find the first section of a multimedia Power Point that I’ve presented in various forms to different groups of people.  I’ve been trying to raise awareness about what exactly happens inside each of us when we succumb to political correctness.  How are we manipulated?  Why? By whom?  And what can we do about it?

As you go through the slides, you won’t have my running commentary.  But the basic idea is that political correctness is not just the hard sell of an agenda.  It’s a deceptive and highly manipulative method of coercive persuasion. It forces compliance by exploiting the universal human fear of being cast out of society.   But this compliance — usually through self-censorship — actually isolates us even more.  It’s important for us to recognize that we only dig ourselves in deeper when we cave in to it, because we cut ourselves off from like-minded people and only build an illusion that we are all alone in our beliefs. That, of course, is the main purpose of political correctness: to get us to paint ourselves into a corner and isolate ourselves from others. So the big question is how best to speak out and reach out.

Also, here’s the Steve Martin clip from Slide 9 (which doesn’t seem to run in the slideshare):


We often hear the words “group think” and “peer pressure”tossed about.  But it’s really important to go deeper into the meaning of those terms.  We begin by taking a hard, clinical look at what exactly happens to us as human beings when we are subjected to this method of coercive persuasion.  The term “emotional blackmail” sums it up well.

 

Was Enforced Silence the ACLU’s Agenda all along?

After reading Charlotte Allen’s blog on “The Left’s War on Free Speech,” it’s difficult to conclude that the so-called progressives at the American Civil Liberties Union were ever much dedicated to free speech.   More likely, they’ve been committed to squashing it.   And now it seems the time is ripe for them to do so.  Allen quotes several advocates for curbing the right to think out loud.  In part, she writes:

The watchword was that of one of the Supreme Court’s most liberal justices, Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), who wrote: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Now for many progressives, it seems, the remedy is…enforced silence.-  

Now for many progressives, it seems, the remedy is …enforced silence. Here is author William D. Cohan, writing in the Huffington Post to wonder “if there should be limits to saying or writing whatever you please in online forums that can sully someone’s reputation with impunity and impair his or her ability to make a living.”

This sort of thing should make us all shudder.  Allen continues:

Cohan’s Huffington Post piece is titled “How Much Free Speech Is Too Much?” His answer:

 “What’s clear is that we’re are at a crucial moment where the ability of technology to permit instant, unvetted and unfiltered commentary is running head-first into the justified concerns of those whose reputations can be torn asunder unfairly by it. It’s a conundrum for sure and one that needs some serious sorting out.”

He’s not the only liberal to complain that America’s 1st Amendment allows just plain too much free speech.

Cohan echoes the voice of tyranny  quoted in The Singing Revolution: “Whenever you give free speech to people, then things get out of hand.”

In fact, free speech is a use it or lose it proposition. Keep talking!

 

 

 

“The Doctor-Patient Relationship IS the Practice of Medicine”

I was so pleased when a friend sent my way  this Wall Street Journal op-ed written by a physician who spells it out:   Obamacare is essentially all about meddling in the doctor-patient relationship.

Here are some excerpts from the fantastic essay by Daniel F. Craviotto, Jr., an orthopedic surgeon from Santa Barbara, California:

“In my 23 years as a practicing physician, I’ve learned that the only thing that matters is the doctor-patient relationship. How we interact and treat our patients is the practice of medicine. . . . So when do we say damn the mandates and requirements from bureaucrats who are not in the healing profession? When do we stand up and say we are not going to take it any more?

I don’t know about other physicians but I am tired—tired of the mandates, tired of outside interference, tired of anything that unnecessarily interferes with the way I practice medicine. No other profession would put up with this kind of scrutiny and coercion from outside forces. The legal profession would not. The labor unions would not. We as physicians continue to plod along and take care of our patients while those on the outside continue to intrude and interfere with the practice of medicine.

We could change the paradigm. . . . “

Thank you and Bravo Dr. Craviotto!

The doctor-patient relationship is just one of many personal relationships under attack today by power elites.  All big government programs aim to meddle in personal relationships.  They have the teacher-student relationship in their crosshairs, the parent-child relationship, the merchant-customer relationship, the neighbor-to-neighbor relationship.  Every personal relationship you experience.  That’s what dictators from time immemorial have sought to control.  That’s why they silence you through the dictates of “political correctness” which is just another word for coercive persuasion.

By meddling in relationships the cliques that run the bureaucracies usurp our personal power and freedom in order to bloat themselves.  In the meantime, they demand we support their habit of getting drunk on power.

All of us need to change the paradigm.  We need to “stand up and say we are not going to take it anymore,” as Dr. Craviotto urges his fellow physicians.  This means not allowing political thugs and bureaucrats to meddle and interfere with our personal relationships — our relationships with our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our classmates, our doctors, or anyone else in our personal lives.

Freedom of association is  under attack as never before.  Preserving it is probably the first — and last — line of defense for all of our other freedoms.

Excuse me for speaking (Silly me, I thought I had a “right”)

Your right to think out loud is officially up for debate.   Last night the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia held a “panel discussion” on the topic “The Future of Free Speech.”  In it we were treated to the pros and cons of allowing human beings to speak their minds.  That’s what we’ve come to, and it’s appalling.

What next?  A panel discussion on the pros and cons of allowing human beings to breathe?

As with all such discussions, an elitist few take it upon themselves to tell the unwashed masses what they may and may not say — or by logical extension, what they may or may not think.  These self-appointed arbiters of speech and thought are nothing more than a clique or a mob that’s set itself up to control others.  It’s a power grab, and their thinly veiled guise is to claim to protect us all from “hate speech.”  In other words, it’s a protection racket.  There’s no way around this.

Everything about last night’s C-SPAN panel was disturbing:  the arrogance of the plaintiffs, the willingness of the defendants to play nice and even seem jovial about negotiating the rights of everyone else, and the venue itself, the Constitution Center, which seemed happy to give tyranny a day in court.  (No doubt there will be more to come.)   If you care to check it out, here’s the link:  http://www.c-span.org/video/?318476-1/free-speech-us