Category: Politics

The Gender Revolution

How did we get here?

A war has been waged over gender, and it rages around us–a gender revolution. Our schools have become battlegrounds where educators fight for the minds of our youth. Constitutional rights stand in question. A new understanding of the separation of church and state has divorced morality from legality. Pronouns have become a source of great offense. Girls can be Boy Scouts, and boys can use the women’s restroom.

Join me as I journey through the origins and progression of the gender revolution in America, demonstrate the power of propaganda and the influence of educators, analyze the science behind sex and gender and navigate the semantics, bust widely-accepted myths, and explore the Christian response.

The end of the Gender Revolution starts now.

 

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

The Problem With “Uber” Strict Regulations

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill on May 29, 2017, establishing statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies that override strict local ordinances passed in Austin in December 2015.

Texas’s capital city of Austin faced adverse effects following the competition-stifling ordinance passed in a 9-2 vote in 2015. Thinly veiled as a concern for public safety, the pernicious law required all employees of ridesharing services to undergo fingerprint background checks in addition to the background checks already required by Uber and Lyft, the ridesharing services in question.

An article by the Texas Tribune, published December 17, 2015 (the day after the original local ordinance passed), blatantly stated that the law demonstrated an attempt by Austin officials to strike a balance that allowed ridesharing services to conduct their business “while addressing concerns about fairness and safety.”

One could hardly be surprised by the chaos and rising prices that ensued. After all, no successful public policy started with a government-induced level playing field.

One could point a finger at the regulations of the taxi industry as the origin of the whole plight. The taxi industry in the United States faces strict regulations that are disproportionate to the risk of the services offered. In the name of safety, the government has issued laws requiring extensive regulations, background checks, and vehicle maintenance checks. Perhaps the most obvious example of this occurs with the sale of taxi medallions. These medallions are required by law to be affixed to cabs in certain cities nationwide. In requiring medallions for legal operation and limiting the number of medallions available, these cities tightly control the number of taxis that operate at a given time, preventing the market force of demand from dictating taxi supply and, consequently, taxi fare.

As the product of innovation and adaptation, Uber made its debut in 2009 in San Francisco, California, and rapidly spread throughout the nation. Unhindered by burdensome regulations, Uber went from being the least-utilized ground transportation method to the most-used method in the year 2015 alone. Mutually beneficial to both drivers and riders, Uber capitalized on the “invisible hand” of the market, keeping its fare prices upward and downward flexible depending upon market demand and supply. To add insult to injury for cab companies, Uber’s user-friendly app interface epitomized convenience for riders. With low barriers to entry for potential drivers, Uber had created a textbook free enterprise.

Austin city officials undoubtedly did not face incentives to foster healthy competition, and onlookers observed their egregious yet all-too-predictable reaction. Rather than reevaluating existing taxi regulations to keep the market competitive, in a 9-2 vote, Austin’s local officials passed a law requiring ridesharing services to conduct fingerprint-based background checks in addition to their pre-existing background check policies. A small band of winner-and-loser-choosing “experts” had once again succeeded in passing a specious bill promising safety and fairness.

Maintaining their reputation of getting the last word, Uber ceased operations within Austin, refusing to comply with the new fingerprinting standard.

The void created in Austin by Uber’s departure soon prompted new ridesharing services willing to comply with the new local ordinance to materialize. One such example was “RideAustin.” However, without real competition, these services charged fares above the market price, leaving customers extremely unsatisfied. In addition, different safety concerns emerged. Law enforcement officers and locals feared a potential increase in drunk driving incidents and sexual assaults on the streets of Austin at night as affordable transportation decreased and vulnerability increased.

On May 29, 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that would establish statewide regulations for ridesharing companies, overruling Austin’s ordinance established in 2015. Governor Abbott’s new bill implemented reasonable safety requirements for ridesharing companies that allow the market to remain competitive, keeping prices low and consumers satisfied. His bill, House Bill 100, necessitates that ridesharing companies pay an annual $5,000 fee, require driver background checks at the local, state, and national levels without requiring fingerprint checks, and secure a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing.

Upon signing the bill, Uber has returned to the busy streets of Austin, satisfying consumer demand and restoring competition. The week after Uber’s reinstatement, “RideAustin,” the over-priced ridesharing company that emerged in the wake of Uber’s void, experienced a 62% decrease in demand and announced on Facebook that they would begin matching Uber and Lyft’s mile/minute fares.

Who knew increased regulation and decreased competition is actually harmful to consumers and producers? Governor Abbott. Many Austin locals are grateful he took steps to reverse those trends. Other cities would do well to learn from Austin’s blunder and pursue competitive “fares” rather than the illusion of being “fair” to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

 

 

Senate Remains Divided Over a Bill to Replace Obamacare


Nearly 5 months into Donald Trump’s Presidency, and Congress remains divided over a bill to repeal Obamacare, which was President Trump’s number one campaign promise. Holding 52 of 100 Senate seats, Republicans are trying to pass the bill using the budget process of reconciliation to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

Fearing the possibility that the bill may not pass the Senate, Republican leaders have focused their attention on appealing to the moderate members within the caucus. GOP Senators have already conceded several key issues, including the the continuation of several Obamacare taxes and prohibiting states from repealing a health insurance rule known as community rating, which protects those with pre-existing conditions. Other issues in question are Medicaid expansion and increased tax credits for low-income Americans to buy insurance.

So far, the approach of appeasing the Senate GOP moderates stands in stark contrast to the approach of the House last month, when House leaders relented on several key issues to appease the most conservative lawmakers in the House.

As the Senate continues negotiations, President Trump is urging lawmakers to begin work on other legislation such as infrastructure and tax reform. However, lawmakers are more divided. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seeks to protect swing state Republican Senators whose seats are up in 2018. Many Republicans, including Senator John Thune of South Dakota, are concerned about the consequences if lawmakers are unable to make good on President Trump’s campaign promises in 2017.  

For now, the Senate will continue its painstaking efforts on the American Health Care Act.

Not All People with Vaginas Are Women

You heard me. I said it.

Not all people with vaginas are women.

I recently read an article about a pastor who was protesting the Texas bathroom bill on the grounds that “God is transgender.” The article featured a photo of a woman holding a handwritten sign that read:

NOT ALL WOMEN HAVE VAGINAS & NOT ALL PPL W/ VAGINAS ARE WOMEN.

The sign was clearly promoting the idea that some transgender women (i.e. men identifying as women) do not have vaginas and that some transgender men (i.e. women identifying as men) do have vaginas. The idea is that a vagina does not make either of them any more or any less woman, depending with which gender they are identifying.

My natural reaction was disagreement and disgust at the perversion of gender in our culture–at the idea that gender could somehow be a “spectrum” and a “choice.”

And then I realized, that the sign was completely accurate.

Not all women have vaginas. True.

Not all people with vaginas are women. True.

My mind is changing about the concreteness of gender. False.

Let me explain something.

When a woman with gender identity disorder wishes to begin identifying as a man, she is still biologically a woman. Although relatively uncommon, if she wishes and can afford it, she can undergo sex reassignment surgery in which her breast, ovaries, and other female organs are removed, her urethra is extended and rerouted, and a penis can be constructed out of tissue from the forearm or elsewhere.

When a man with gender identity disorder wishes to begin identifying as a woman, he is still biologically a man. More common than female-to-male sex reassignment surgery, men can undergo male-to-female sex reassignment surgery in which most of the penis and testes are removed, the urethra is reduced, and a semi-functional vagina is fashioned.

The process of gender identity change or sex reassignment surgery involves many preliminary steps including psychotherapy and hormone treatment as well as post-operation requirements and risks.

But the truth is that no matter how advanced and “successful” sex reassignment operations become in the U.S., no matter how many men get vaginas and how many women lose their boobs, no matter how much testosterone you inject into your buttocks, no matter how much body hair you start to grow, no matter how deep your voice gets…

Your gender is not determined by whether you have a vagina or a penis. Your genitalia is a result of your already-decided gender, not the determinant of it. Let me make this clear: ovaries and breasts and low vocal registers and oodles of body hair and wide hips do not make you a man or a woman. They are simply an external manifestation of an internal biological reality that CANNOT be altered.

Often forgotten, there are a few letters at the end of the alphabet that are used to scientifically denote a biological fact. The 23rd pair of chromosomes in the human body determines whether a person is male or female. Your mother’s egg carried an X chromosome, and you father’s sperm carried either an X or a Y chromosome. If you are a man, your father’s Y chromosome sperm paired with the egg; and if you are a woman, your father’s X chromosome sperm paired with the egg. Your sex was determined the instant you were conceived.

No matter how hard you try, you cannot change your chromosomes. They define your gender. It is science no matter how much you want to deny it, no matter how many people march with signs, and no matter how loud your voice and how adamant or “open” your mind.

So no, not all women have vaginas because some women want to be men and have had them sewn together. They are not any less woman. And no, not all people with vaginas are women because some men would rather be women and have exchanged their penises for vaginas. They are not any less man.

The time has come to think critically, people. It is no longer acceptable to let your open mind be ransacked by impulsive emotions and fanciful feelings and iconic movements. I like puffy glitter paint as much as the next girl, but just because a protest sign has puffy glitter paint on it doesn’t mean the ideas it conveys are true.

And no matter how much time passes and how many people stop believing it, the truth always holds up. Always. 

Truth holds up infinitely longer than a pithy cardboard sign about vaginas.

The Fight Against Opioid Abuse in Wisconsin

Opioid and heroin abuse are growing matters of concern across the United States, particularly in the state of Wisconsin. Data analysis has revealed an expansion of prescription and non-prescription opioid-related drug abuse; and the devastating results on Wisconsin families, correctional systems, law enforcement, healthcare providers, first responders, and others is astounding.

In response to the alarming rate at which opioid abuse had metastasized, Representative John Nygren first took action in September 2013 when he introduced seven bills that laid the foundation for his Heroin Opiate Prevention and Education (H.O.P.E.) Agenda. H.O.P.E. received unanimous bipartisan support, and ten additional bills targeting prescription opiates were added to the H.O.P.E. Agenda in 2015 and 2016. In September 2016, Governor Walker began assembling an Opioid Abuse Task Force, co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Representative John Nygren. The other eighteen members of the Task Force were announced on October 25, 2016, and the first task force meeting was held three days later on October 28, 2016.

Just over two months later, on January 5, 2017, Governor Scott Walker’s Opioid Abuse Task Force issued a report that communicated the alarming figures associated with opioid-related abuse and the immediacy of taking action to reverse the current trends. According to the report, from 2003 to 2014, opioid-related fatalities more than tripled. Although extensive research on the causes of the increase is limited, analysts have concluded that the rise in fatalities may be due to any combination of the following: the rise in use and abuse of pain killers with opioids, lowered prices and readily-distributed heroin, new developments in heroin abuse demographics, and reduced need for heroin injections due to a rise in the prevalence of pure heroin. In addition, more deaths have occurred as a result of drug overdose than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, colon cancer, suicide, firearms, HIV, or influenza.

The report included the bills presented through the H.O.P.E. Agenda as well as recommendations to the Governor from the Opioid Abuse Task Force. The recommendations were divided into three categories including Legislation and Statutes, Funding and Programs, and Executive Actions.

In response to the recommendations made in the report, Governor Walker took immediate action and signed three executive orders. The orders contained the following directives:

  • Executive Order #228 directed state agencies to take added action to combat opioid addiction and abuse based on the recommendations made by Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch and Representative Nygren of the Opioid Abuse Task Force.
  • Executive Order #229 directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to apply for funding from the federal government made available through the 21st Century Cures Act. The Act makes up to $7,636,938 available annually for two years through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant for opioid crisis response programs.
  • Executive Order #230 called a session of the Wisconsin State Legislature to assemble at 11:00 a.m. on January 5, 2017, to discuss the following legislation:
    • LRB-1026, relating to opioid antagonist administration in schools
    • LRB-1327, relating to treatment and diversion programs and providing funding
    • LRB-1323, relating to limited immunity for persons who receive first responder care after experiencing a drug overdose
    • LRB-1325, relating to requirements for prescriptions for certain Schedule V controlled substances
    • LRB-1328, relating to the civil commitment of persons experiencing substance abuse addiction
    • LRB-0639, relating to the University of Wisconsin System chartering a recovery school
    • Legislation relating to the rural hospital graduate medical training program and $63,000 in each year of the 2017-2019 biennium for additional fellowships
    • Legislation relating to $1,000,000 in each year of the 2017-2019 biennium for grants to support new medically assisted treatment centers
    • Legislation relating to $500,000 in each year of the 2017-2019 biennium for a consultation service for medical professionals to access addiction medicine specialists
    • Legislation relating to $420,000 in each year of the 2017-2019 biennium for four additional criminal investigation agents at the Wisconsin Department of Justice focused on drug interdiction and trafficking
    • Legislation relating to $100,000 in each year of the 2017-2019 biennium to expand the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training program offered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

On January 5, 2017, in a weekly radio address, Governor Walker stated: “The orders I signed today are another step in the right direction, and build upon our previous efforts including the H.O.P.E., or Heroin Opiate Prevention and Education legislation we signed into law late last spring . . . Chances are we all know someone who has been personally affected by a drug overdose. Together, we will work to save lives and eliminate this public health crisis.”

Governor Scott Walker, the Opioid Abuse Task Force, Wisconsin agencies, and other individuals are dedicated to fighting against opioid abuse in Wisconsin one step at a time until the problem is resolved.