Category: Opinion

#Empowerment to Me

“The future is human. It isn’t female.”

By now, you’ve most likely heard Lynzy Lab Stewart’s viral feminist diddy, “A Scary Time.”

The song was inspired by Donald Trump’s comment that it’s a “scary time for young men in America,” during the Kavanaugh debacle. The video rapidly caught public attention–NowThis picked it up, and Lynzy even performed the song live on Jimmy Kimmel’s show.

“It’s time for women to rise up, use our collective voice,” she sang.

That voice may not be as collective as she and other feminists would like to think.

For some women, empowerment looks a little different.

Tired of the genital hats? Wish Kamala Harris would bring it down a notch? Is the Constitution your “jam?”

This parody might be for you. . .

To All the Men Who’ve Changed My Life

I’m beginning to think our country is far less divided than we are just hell-bent on dividing it.

Consequentialism has become the base motivator, resulting in the demonization of countless good things. Just as long as a noble end goal can be reached, casualties can be expected and must be accepted as part of the “worthwhile” cost.

I don’t know exactly what feminism is anymore. I don’t think feminism knows what feminism is, frankly. But for every wronged woman seeking equality and justice, an entire mob follows to avenge her alleged wrong with a no-holds-barred War on Men.

At its worst, this climate is scary for innocent men, and at its best, it’s discouraging.

I’ve long been skeptical of feminism, but the last few weeks have brought times of soul-searching—of me reflecting on my experience as a young woman. Am I viewing men through rose-colored glasses? I wonder. Are they keeping me down? Have they actually taken advantage of me?

Sure, I have my own stories that stand out in my mind—denied opportunities, inappropriate and unwelcomed behavior, verbal indecencies, and scary situations. But those have, without-a-doubt, been the exception to the rule.

Honestly, the more I reflect, the more convinced I become that I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without the line-up of extraordinary men in my life.

I regret this has not been every woman’s experience. Sexual abuse and harassment are alive and well, and plenty a powerful man has taken advantage of women both sexually and professionally to get ahead and to gratify himself. For that, there is no excuse.

It’s important to note, however, that those are not the only men we know. In fact, they are not most of the men we know.

This narrative is one of hope, both for women who feel hopeless about the existence of good men in the world and for those good men who have gone unnoticed, or worse—rallied against.

This is the story I stand for. This is the narrative I speak.

To all the men who’ve changed my life, thank you.

Can a Bail Bill Give Hope to the Dying Art of Bipartisanship?

Out of the unbearable stagnancy of the Congressional health care impasse, one Democratic senator from California has just emerged with a legislative proposal of a different breed. Together with Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Senator Kamala Harris has proposed a bipartisan bill intended to reform one of the many broken pieces of the criminal justice system: bail.

This bill, cited as the “Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017,” aims to incentivize the reform of state bail systems by offering grant money to those states and Indian tribes which discontinue the use of money bail as a pretrial release condition. The bill would allow for $10 million to be spent annually per state for three years on grants for bail system reform.

While this price tag may evoke embittered resistance from the average taxpayer, a deeper analysis of the criminal justice system and current fiscal trends unmasks the economic practicality and necessity of such a proposal.

One of the primary objectives of bail is to create an incentive for defendants to re-appear at trial. If a defendant appears at trial, he is able to recollect the money previously posted for bail. In the same vein, pretrial preventive detention seeks to protect public safety. However, evidence suggests that as many as 50% of pretrial detainees considered to be a “high risk” to public safety acquire release through money bail. Inherent systemic flaws—such as those resulting in the release of high-risk defendants based solely on criteria of affluence—shine a glaring light on the vast disparities between intents and outcomes.

Not only do monetary bail systems undermine the foundations of preventive detention, but they appear to violate the terms of the 1983 landmark Supreme Court case, Bearden v. Georgia, 461 U.S. 660, which forbids “punishing a person for his poverty.” Bearing in mind the previously discussed issue of high-risk defendant release, money bail accomplishes less in the way of protecting public safety and more in the way of rewarding the well-to-do and punishing the indigent. In addition, the Sixth Amendment provides for a defendant’s presumption of innocence, placing the burden of proof on the prosecution. Therefore, pretrial detainees are lawfully innocent and should be treated as such. Adding insult to injury, during the pretrial detainment, defendants who are unable to afford bail may undergo unseen afflictions such as loss of employment due to un-forecasted time away from work, lack of access to health care, inability to prepare a trial defense, etc.

How can Congressmen justify to their constituents the spending of $10 million per state on bail grants? A careful look at the hidden costs of the current system makes $10 million look like pocket change. In her bill, Harris reveals the nationwide monetary burden of pretrial detention. Presently, pretrial detainees comprise 95 percent of growth within the jail population since 2000, costing taxpayers $38 million daily and $14 billion annually. While the new bill would only be a starting point and certainly would not eliminate all pretrial detention costs, even its marginal monetary trade-offs and savings would most likely prove favorable for taxpayers in the long run.  

How exactly does the proposed bill de-incentivize pretrial detention and utilize grant money? In short, the bill seeks to incentivize states to use the least-restrictive means to accomplish their desired ends. One key element of the bill is the provision for the “presumption of [the defendant’s] release in most cases.” This element overcomes current systemic failures, minimizes detention costs, and upholds the Sixth Amendment. In order for such presumption to occur, a portion of the grant money would be designated to research-based pretrial assessments that objectively measure the risks associated with releasing each defendant.

Supposing the bill passes, civilians can rest assured that pretrial defendant accountability would not be abolished. On the contrary, the new bill would implement more cost-effective and noninvasive supervisory methods, listing “court date notifications by phone call, letters or postcards, text messages, [or] in-person reminders” as potential options. Recognizing that pretrial detention is necessary for defendants who actually pose risks to public safety, Harris’s bill includes three-prong right-to-counsel criteria for states wishing to qualify for grant money. In other words, for cases in which preventive detention seems necessary, states must ensure the detainee receives a hearing with a judicial officer, counsel, and clear and convincing evidence that he poses danger or risk.

While complex components of the criminal justice system cannot be reduced to simple equations and graphs, Senators Harris and Paul demonstrate in-depth analysis and forethought in their proposed legislation. While many politicians and the media continue to spin on the polarized hamster wheel of health care, taxpayers would do well to consider the potential unseen benefits of bail system reform legislation.

 

This Just in: Gender-Reveal Parties Are Dangerous for Children!

In addition to raising the bar of absurdity, Cosmopolitan’s recent article, “Dear Parents-to-Be: Stop Celebrating Your Baby’s Gender,” single-handedly shatters the primary tent poles of modern feminism. In this episode of “The Kylee Zempel Podcast,” Kylee deconstructs the article and points out the inconsistencies of modern feminists and the left.

Dear Educators, Stop Exploiting the Innocence of Children

Personal stories of wildly confused children illustrate the cataclysmic effects of language manipulation and indoctrination within our education system and the wider culture. In this episode of “The Kylee Zempel Podcast,” Kylee talks about gender indoctrination in schools and draws parallels to pre-holocaust Nazi propaganda tactics. She also unpacks James Clavell’s “The Children’s Story” and speaks to the danger of ambiguous leftist catch-phrases.