Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reginald Kaigler ― Hillary Above The Law! Incomes Declining in Metro Areas! Young Men Jobless or Incarcerated!

My commentary on 1/6 of young men being jobless or incarcerated, Hillary Clinton being approve the law, why the judges will protect Obamacare and why the average household income has not improved.

 

Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information

Dr. Anthony B. Bradley — Reentry programs reduce prison recidivism

Reentry programs that emphasize job training in private-sector careers that are in demand are the most successful.

(World Magazine)
"Because of the roughly 2.5 million men and women incarcerated in this country, states find themselves under increased pressure to develop early-release alternatives to ease prison overcrowding. States have chosen probation and parole as the primary means to ameliorate the overcrowding while maintaining a means to punish offenders for breaking the law. But reentry programs have proven to be the best way to keep criminals from returning to prison, and the best programs are those emphasizing character formation and work skills.
The closing of a highly successful reentry program in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has created a bit of a stir in Broward County. Broward Bridge, a 172-bed facility offering on-the-job-training through work release and substance-abuse counseling, is a public-private partnership that enrolls offenders who have six months to two years left on their prison sentences. Its programs have a graduation rate of almost 90 percent, and a recidivism rate of 10 percent, according to the Sun-Sentinel. If more of these programs close it could have devastating consequences for communities."
Read the full article HERE

The Accidental Academic with MIT's Cullen Buie

MIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering Cullen Buie discusses his journey through science, God and making a name for himself at The Veritas Forum at Caltech: "The Accidental Academic," Feb 2016.

 

Stephen L. Carter ― History Is Repeating the Election of 1816

Welcome to 1816. Two hundred years ago, the nation faced an election with striking similarities to the present moment. The scholar in me cannot fail to point out both the parallels and the lessons to be learned.

(Bloomberg View)
We've been here before.
A two-term incumbent, once unpopular but looking better and better to his critics as his time runs out, is about to leave office. He has brought a controversial end to an unpopular war. His secretary of state, who is not particularly well-liked, is nevertheless nominated to succeed him, even though critics say that the candidate will just continue a political dynasty and has been cozying up to bankers who care only about profits. The opposition, fractured by dissent, finds itself unable to run a serious convention, and winds up fielding a weak but wealthy candidate who hails from New York.
Read the full article HERE. 

Ayo Sogunro ― How the Nigerian society is truly structured


(YNaija)

"The best way to understand the class structure of Nigerian society it is to think of the country as a corporate setup. One with several levels of participation and authority in the affairs of the company. This is not just a business comparison; it is also, somewhat, a historical fact.

It is common knowledge—I think —that our country grew from the territories and ethnicities administered by the trading entity called The Royal Niger Company. This company was passed to the British Government in 1900 by the entrepreneur-explorer George Taubman Goldie, the “father of Nigeria.” Like any company based on English corporate law, Goldie’s Royal Niger Company had its shareholders, directors, and employees. And, that demarcation of interests in the business of Goldie’s company is the foundation of the structure of Nigerian society.

The original company that birthed Nigeria started business around the land areas surrounding the Niger-Benue confluence up to the Niger Delta. The territories grew into the current map after the succeeding British Government seized more territories through treaties and “pacifications”. Still, the core of British administration over the territories was based on the template originally developed by the traders (or, looters) of the Royal Niger Company."

Read the full article HERE. 

Crystal Wright ― Trump surges as Clinton can’t seal the deal


"Morning, noon and night, all we’ve heard for nearly a year from the Republican Establishment is how doomed Donald Trump was as a presidential candidate.

Well, now Trump has not only won the nomination, but in numerous polls he’s tied with Hillary Clinton, and in some polls leads slightly against her.
It looks like it’s time for the GOPe, the party’s out of touch white elite groupies, to eat lots of crow!
Not only is Trump in a virtual dead heat with Hillary in key swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, but he’s also now tied with her in New Hampshire.
In an NBC/Survey Monkey poll released recently, Clinton has a razor thin edge over Trump, 48% to 45%. Candidate Trump is looking very winnable! Nothing, and I repeat nothing, the GOPe has portended about Trump or the 2016 election has been accurate.
The reality is that Trump is looking more and more like the only formidable candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton."
Read the full article HERE. 

Marjorie Romeyn-Sanabria — Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Sad About Having a Best-Selling Book and a Brownstone

I guess the saying “more money, more problems” applies best here, but what a problem to have!

(The National Interest)

Ta-Nehisi Coates is sad.

Well, maybe he’s shocked. His most recent piece in The Atlantic states repeatedly how shocked he is that his book Between The World and Mereceived prestigious accolades, that white people read it, and that his life is forever changed. He seemed less shocked about the handsome royalties that came with the book’s sales, though, because he recently purchased a brownstone in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, his old haunt as a younger, broker man. 

He coyly refrains from disclosing how much that brownstone sold for, but, according to the New York Post, the gorgeous dwelling’s asking price was a cool $2.1 million. The pictures of the brownstone feature parquet floors, detailed ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. It has all the charm of nineteenth-century housing while boasting modern renovations. Prospect-Lefferts Gardens is also a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Since the famous Park Slope and Williamsburg neighborhoods are prohibitively expensive, lesser-known areas of Brooklyn are starting to feel the pinch. Currently, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens is home to lower-income—and, not coincidentally, darker-skinned—families that are doing their best to hold onto their neighborhood that is being sold out from under them by the square foot.

Read the full article HERE. 

Cleo Brown — Reversing Dysfunction: The Significance of Black Family Reunions

In this day and age, when not only the black family but other families as well, are constantly under pressure, from an an array of external and internal obstacles, many view the family reunion as a time when family bonds are strengthened.

The Broussard-Guillory Family Reunion

(HipHopRepublican.com)


The tradition of the family reunion has been a mainstay of world culture dating back to even the New Testament. The biblical story about the prodigal son, in which the least favored son is celebrated at afamily reunion by his father is one such example. Although little has been documented about the origins of family reunions, they appear to have a long and vibrant history in the United States dating back to well before the eighteenth century. One early American family, the Allen-Tate family began holding its annual family celebration in order to demonstrate that faith in God is tied to the perpetuation of the family. In this day and age, when not only the black family but other families as well, are constantly under pressure, from an an array of external and internal obstacles, many view the family reunion as a time when family bonds are strengthened. 

Lupe Juarez-Veloza, who is the matriarch of an Hispanic family, states: “I have been planning our familyreunion for the past three years. I do it so that our first generation can see what they started by their existence… “Similarly, Greg Trevigne states: “It’s a way for us to celebrate our family heritage, stay in touch as blood relations, and meet new members as we grow and increase our numbers. It’s important to know that you belong.” These sentiments are echoed by Carmel Garcia, Bea Morgan, Bobbie Guillory-Avery and Cordell Brown Jr. who annually attend the Broussard-Guillory FamilyReunion of which I am a member. The Broussard-Guillory family, which celebrates French, African, Haitian and Indian influences upon the family is held each July. 


The Broussard-Guillory Family Reunion, which began in Louisiana and Texas, is now annually held in Fairfield, California. A Creole family, containing many different races and colors, The Broussard-Guillory Reunion according to Carmel Garcia is “like a rainbow.” Bobbie Guillory-Avery says that she likes seeing everyone, and Cordell Brown Jr. addresses the fact that family bonds are strengthened at such gatherings. The importance of family reunions toward the maintenance and strength of the family unit is so important that Temple University administrator, Dr. Ione D. Vargus created The Family Reunion Institute to serve as a resource to families having reunions. Similarly, The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. for the 26th year in a row has held the Black Family Reunion Celebration which lasts for several days and attracts as many as 250,000 people each year.
Read the full article HERE. 

Akil Allenye ― So What If There Is a "Ferguson Effect"?

Even if police are working less proactively due to "Black Lives Matter" & related activism, that's no reason not to tackle the scourge of police brutality.

 

John Gibbs ― Ada Fisher: An Inspiring Black Republican Leader

Born and raised in the South as a black Republican, the grandchild of slaves not only earned her medical credentials to become a doctor, but also became a political groundbreaker by being elected the first black female National Republican Committeewoman for North Carolina.




(Bold Media, Inc.

Ada Fisher is the American story embodied.

Born and raised in the South as a black Republican, the grandchild of slaves not only earned her medical credentials to become a doctor, but also became a political groundbreaker by being elected the first black female National Republican Committeewoman for North Carolina.

Fisher also has run for U.S. Congress twice and the U.S. Senate once in her home state of North Carolina. And though her days of seeking elected office are over, she remains active as a member of the RNC, a member of the NAACP, an advocate for the Republican Party, and a mentor to young candidates and elected officials.

One immediately feels Fisher’s passion and depth of experience when speaking with her. Indeed, when I asked for her story, Fisher began not with her own life, but with the rich legacy of black Republicans who came before her and served as her inspiration.

“My story isn’t all that unique,” Fisher began. “There have been over 300 black Republicans elected to office in our history, serving in vitally important roles.”

Fisher impressively shot off a lengthy list of various black Republicans who served from Reconstruction to the present, including lawyer Conrad Odell Pearson, who led the fight against racial discrimination against black applicants in the University of North Carolina system, as well as Arthur Fletcher, the creator of affirmative action and an adviser to several presidents.

Read the full article HERE. 

Randall Kennedy — A progressive defense of respectability politics

The politics of respectability is a tactic of public relations that is, per se, neither necessarily good nor necessarily bad. A sound assessment of its deployment in a given instance depends on its goals, the manner in which it is practiced, and the context within which a given struggle is being waged.

(Harper’s Magazine) 

My  parents inculcated in me and my two siblings a particular sense of racial kinship: in our dealings with the white world, we were encouraged to think of ourselves as ambassadors of blackness. Our achievements would advance the race, and our failures would hinder it. The fulfillment of our racial obligations required that we speak well, dress suitably, and mind our manners. In our household we felt tremendous pride in the attainments of blacks, and we took personally their disgrace. My father and mother loved to regale us with stories about the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson and Wilma Rudolph, Thurgood Marshall and Charles Drew, Paul Robeson and Mary McLeod Bethune. At the same time, when scandal ensnared a prominent black person, we all felt ashamed, diminished. We were also embarrassed when blacks with poor diction and sloppy comportment appeared on television. We were taught to look down on such people as “bad Negroes” whose antics further burdened “good Negroes” like us, and we suspected that whites in the news and entertainment industries preferred to publicize the former and ignore the latter.


My parents sternly ordered their children to be dignified in the presence of white people so that there would be no opportunity to put us in racist, stereotypical categories. “Don’t act like a coon,” they told us bluntly. “Don’t act like a nigger.” They also told us that racism made us more vulnerable than our white counterparts to certain risks, and that we would be judged by less forgiving standards. In competition for advancement, I would have to clearly outdistance my white peers. “Tie-tie, you lose,” my father said repeatedly — meaning that as a black person I would always be deprived of the benefit of the doubt. Throughout my years at a predominantly white private high school, my parents warned me against attending boisterous parties; if something happened that called for the intervention of police, the blacks in attendance would be the ones singled out for punishment.

Read the full article HERE. 

Barbara Reynolds — I was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. But it’s hard for me to get behind Black Lives Matter.

Barbara Reynolds, an older civil rights leader, denounces what she sees as a movement that is full of "justifiable emotions, but questionable strategy".

(The Washington Post)

"As the rapper Tef Poe sharply pointed out at a St. Louis rally in October protesting the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.: “This ain’t your grandparents’ civil rights movement.”
He’s right. It looks, sounds and feels different. Black Lives Matter is a motley-looking group to this septuagenarian grandmother, an activist in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Many in my crowd admire the cause and courage of these young activists but fundamentally disagree with their approach.  Trained in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., we were nonviolent activists who won hearts by conveying respectability and changed laws by delivering a message of love and unity. BLM seems intent on rejecting our proven methods. This movement is ignoring what our history has taught.
The baby boomers who drove the success of the civil rights movement want to get behind Black Lives Matter, but the group’s confrontational and divisive tactics make it difficult. In the 1960s, activists confronted white mobs and police with dignity and decorum, sometimes dressing in church clothes and kneeling in prayer during protests to make a clear distinction between who was evil and who was good.
But at protests today, it is difficult to distinguish legitimate activists from the mob actors who burn and loot. The demonstrations are peppered with hate speech, profanity, and guys with sagging pants that show their underwear. Even if the BLM activists aren’t the ones participating in the boorish language and dress, neither are they condemning it."

Read the full article HERE. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cathy Young ― You Can’t Whitewash The Alt-Right’s Bigotry

The alt-right movement counters the toxic culture of the left with a toxic brew of its own: a mix of old bigotries and new identity and victimhood politics adapted for the straight white male.

(The Federalist)

Who’d have thought that in 2016, we would be discussing whether mainstream Republicans and conservatives should be nicer to white nationalists? Yet here we are.
The debate is, of course, about the “alternative right,” suddenly propelled into visibility by its fervent embrace of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. Recently, it was the subject of a long, sympathetic article by Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart.com, the Trump-loving site that some, including ex-Breitbart writer Brian Cates, have long accused of courting the alt-right. (For the record, I have had a cordial professional relationship with both authors, have been on a panel with both of them and have appeared twice on Yiannopoulos’s webcast.)
In a nutshell, the article argues that, while the alt-right does have some actual—but, worry not, utterly irrelevant!—white supremacists and neo-Nazis in its ranks, it is mostly a loose alliance of maverick intellectuals, traditionalists who feel unrepresented in the mainstream political establishment, and cheeky young rebels who post racist slurs and memes just to annoy the pearl-clutching guardians of political correctness.
While this taxonomy of the alt-right is interesting, it is ultimately—as it were—a whitewash, full of far-fetched arguments and misleading claims that consistently downplay this movement’s ugly bigotry.

Read the full article HERE. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Akil Allenye ― "#NeverTrump" Republicans, Meet Libertarian Governor Gary Johnson

If you're a disaffected Republican voter who doesn't live in a swing state, consider voting for the Libertarian Party presidential nominee next November—especially if that nominee is former two-term New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

The Evidence Is Piling Up That Higher Minimum Wages Kill Jobs

(The Wall Street Journal)

The movement to raise the federal minimum wage has become ever more ambitious. In 2013 proponents deemed $9 an hour acceptable; today the demand is for $15.

Economists point to a crucial question: Will a higher minimum wage reduce the number of jobs for the country’s least skilled workers? President Obama says “there is no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs.” On the contrary, a full and fair reading of the evidence shows the opposite. Raising the minimum wage will cost jobs, particularly those held by the least-skilled.

Economists have written scores of papers on the topic dating back 100 years, and the vast majority of these studies point to job losses for the least-skilled. They are based on fundamental economic reasoning—that when you raise the price of something, in this case labor, less of it will be demanded, or in this case hired.

Read the full article HERE. 

Regina Carter Quintet - "Miner's Child" & "Honky Tonkin' "

Roger Scruton — In Defense of Elitism

There’s been a move towards a curriculum without distinctions—so that everybody gets an ‘A,’ everybody emerges with an honors degree. And this, of course, has the effect of downgrading the value of a degree to the point where maybe there’s no reason to have one anyway.

There is a very famous phrase, “the tyranny of the majority,” that was introduced into political discourse by two near contemporaries in the nineteenth century. Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous French writer who wrote Democracy in America, travelled around this country trying to understand how it is that people can survive without an aristocracy. He was amazed to discover that they did, he being a member of the aristocracy. And while he thought that human life could change in a democratic direction, he discerned a permanent danger, which he described in these terms: the tyranny of the majority—that is to say, the danger that every public decision will be taken by the majority for the majority and disregard both the rights of minorities and the possibility of disagreement. He discovered that in America this tyranny of the majority had not emerged. So he asked the question, why?

John Stuart Mill, the famous English political philosopher, issued a similar warning. He worried that if one had a real democracy, which was then beginning to emerge in England and had already emerged in America, individuals, minorities, and legitimate groups would lose protection against majority opinion. And, as we know, majorities have more power than minorities. If they have the power to impose their views, then what happens to the minorities? What happens to the people who disagree?

Both Tocqueville and Mill recognized that a true political order can only exist if there is discussion about the issues of the day. There can only be discussion if there is legitimacy of disagreement. But people don’t actually like disagreement. So how do you make disagreement possible? How do you get the majority to accept the fact that there are people who are not part of it?

Read the full article HERE. 

Is the 'Ferguson effect' real? Researcher has second thoughts

Nicholas H. Wolfinger — How to Talk About Single Motherhood

 Conservative mistakes in discourse on unwed motherhood


(Institute for Family Studies)

A colleague of mine recently asked one of his classes whether they think it’s OK for women to give birth out of wedlock. Almost all said yes. Next they were asked if their parents would be upset if they got pregnant or impregnated someone? Again, almost all said yes.

Is this hypocritical? Social conservatives have long condemned those vocal elites on the left who espouse a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do ethos when it comes to sex and relationships: I’m married and monogamous, but it’s OK for you to be a libertine. As the late James Q. Wilson and others have suggested, this tends to work out fine for the middle and upper classes—they can smoothly transition to stable relationships after they’ve sowed their oats—but not so well for the under-privileged, whose romantic entanglements are more likely to yield out-of-wedlock births than stable relationships. Casting the students’ ostensibly conflicting opinions as polar opposites strikes me as unreasonable.

The issue is not hypocrisy, but moral complexity.

Read the full article HERE. 

Compare & Contrast: Men raised in poor families much more likely to work if raised in a married family--Chetty et al

Kay S. Hymowitz — Boy Trouble

Family breakdown disproportionately harms young males—and they’re falling further behind.

(City Journal)

When I started following the research on child well-being about two decades ago, the focus was almost always girls’ problems—their low self-esteem, lax ambitions, eating disorders, and, most alarming, high rates of teen pregnancy. Now, though, with teen births down more than 50 percent from their 1991 peak and girls dominating classrooms and graduation ceremonies, boys and men are increasingly the ones under examination. Their high school grades and college attendance rates have remained stalled for decades. Among poor and working-class boys, the chances of climbing out of the low-end labor market—and of becoming reliable husbands and fathers—are looking worse and worse.

Economists have scratched their heads. “The greatest, most astonishing fact that I am aware of in social science right now is that women have been able to hear the labor market screaming out ‘You need more education’ and have been able to respond to that, and men have not,” MIT’s Michael Greenstone told the New York Times. If boys were as rational as their sisters, he implied, they would be staying in school, getting degrees, and going on to buff their Florsheim shoes on weekdays at 7:30 AM. Instead, the rational sex, the proto-homo economicus, is shrugging off school and resigning itself to a life of shelf stocking. Why would that be?

Read the full article HERE. 

More spending doesn't always translate into better student outcomes (Part XXVII)

Chris Ladd — Ending the era of the “job”

A minimum wage, regardless how high it may be set, provides no relief to those without a job.


(HipHopRepublican.com)

Our political and economic order came to be organized around the idea of a full-time job. A job is where we get money. A job is how we get access to health care. We enforce our notions of fair play, economic justice, and basic human rights by regulating the terms of a job. When Donald Trump sees a protestor at his rally he tells them to “get a job,” because good, decent citizens have jobs.

What happens when the same economic forces that only a short time ago created our concept of a job suddenly render that concept obsolete? We have already entered an era in which jobs are transient, popping into existence and then disappearing in a short span of time. Fewer Americans than ever before are ‘in the workforce’ by the terms we have defined. More and more people earn their money from activities that do not look like a job. That trend is accelerating.

Just a decade ago, about 100,000 Americans worked in the video rental industry. The largest employer in that business, Blockbuster, employed more than 60,000 people at its peak. If wages for corporate office employees are included, then the average worker at Blockbuster earned about $35,000 a year, adjusted for inflation. Today, more than 95% of those workers have lost their jobs.

Read the full article HERE. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Black Republican, Liz Matory to run for Maryland US House seat

Elizabeth Matory is a 2016 Republican candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 8th Congressional District of Maryland. According to The Washington Post, "Matory is a graduate of Howard Law School who holds an MBA from the University of Maryland"



Liz Matory grew up in a mixed environment, and is uniquely qualified to represent the diversity of Maryland’s 8th Congressional. A D.C. Native, Liz spent a lot of time growing up in the Montgomery County suburbs as a student at Sidwell Friends School.  

Her mother, Rita, is a Filipino immigrant and father, William, now deceased, was an African-American from East St. Louis, Illinois. Both were surgeons at Howard University Hospital.  Many members of Liz’s family have served in the military, including her brother, Bill, who is a major in the United States Marine Corps, father (Air Force), aunt (Army), uncles (Navy and Air Force), and paternal grandfather (Filipino and US Army, survivor of the Bataan Death March).  

Liz’s family is very important to her. The odds were stacked against them in many ways, but they are all patriots. This upbringing has fueled Liz’s life long commitment to serve her community and country. As an activist and as an entrepreneur, she has worked in primary and higher education, the music industry, in clean energy, and has now formed a women-owned management consulting firm.

Throughout her career, Liz has addressed issues head-on and sought to bring different interests together to create solutions.

She is the only candidate in her race who has looked to find ways to address hyper-polarized politics and systematic corruption. Liz will bring balanced leadership back to Congress.

http://lizforcongress.nationbuilder.com/

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sauti Sol - Isabella (Official Music Video)

   

John McWhorter — When Slogans Replace Arguments

Justice is a protean subject that philosophers have spent millennia in disagreement about. The indignant, eye-rolling indoctrination in the guise of social justice — for example, in demands that all on campus submit to classes on microaggression, as if its definition were as incontestable as French irregular verbs — flies in the face of any reasoned conception of justice or morality.


(The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Many critics of the students protesting racism so vociferously on college campuses these days say they are just "whiners" who need to accept that life isn’t perfect and get back to their books. Political correctness has run so rampant, these critics say, that it threatens freedom of speech. Both claims are reductive analyses of something more complex

But the fact is that one need not suffer from residual bigotry, or even mere incomprehension, to find something amiss in the furious building takeovers, indignant slates of radical demands, and claims that life on today’s college campuses is an endless experience of racism. Protest is crucial in an enlightened and complex society, but something has indeed gone wrong — and college leaders and the faculty share as much of the blame as the students.

The "whiny" analysis is hasty — the now-famous lists of students’ demands always include some legitimate concerns. For example, if I were an undergraduate at Princeton today, Woodrow Wilson’s name on university buildings would rankle me. I am given neither to street-style protest nor to the idea that public buildings must be purged of the names of all figures whose social views we now find unpleasant. But Wilson, for all of his accomplishments, was especially bigoted even for his era and Southern origins.

Read the full article HERE. 


Bryant Jackson-Green — It’s time Illinois ends civil asset forfeiture

Michigan, Minnesota and now Nebraska have reformed civil asset forfeiture – it’s time Illinois followed suit.
 

Nebraska has just become the latest state to end civil asset forfeiture, the practice by which law enforcement can take private property from people suspected of wrongdoing – even if they haven’t been convicted of a crime. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a comprehensive reform bill, which had been approved by an overwhelming majority of Nebraska’s legislature April 19.

The new law requires that Nebraska law enforcement obtain a criminal conviction before seizing private assets. It also requires Nebraska’s auditor of public reports to issue an annual report detailing the seizure, including information on when and where the seizure took place, the type of property that was taken, the crime the owner was charged with and the value of the property. Illinois would do well to follow Nebraska’s example – and that of other states, including Michigan,

Minnesota and New Mexico – and reform its asset forfeiture laws, too.

Right now, Illinois allows police to take and permanently keep private property they suspect was somehow related to criminal activity, but without having to prove the owner of that property used it in a crime, or even charging the property owner with any criminal offense. It then falls to the owner – if he or she has the financial resources – to challenge the seizure in court and prove the property wasn’t used in illegal activity.

Read the full article HERE. 

Mark Yarhouse — Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon

The leading Christian scholar on gender dysphoria defines the terms—and gives the church a way forward.


(Christianity Today)

I still recall one of my first meetings with Sara. Sara is a Christian who was born male and named Sawyer by her parents. As an adult, Sawyer transitioned to female.

Sara would say transitioning—adopting a cross-gender identity—took 25 years. It began with facing the conflict she experienced between her biology and anatomy as male, and her inward experience as female. While still Sawyer, she would grow her hair out, wear light makeup, and dress in feminine attire from time to time. She also met with what seemed like countless mental-health professionals as well as several pastors. For Sawyer, now Sara, transitioning eventually meant using hormones and undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
 
Sara would say she knew at a young age—around 5—that she was really a girl. Her parents didn’t know what to do. They hoped their son was just different from most other boys. Then they hoped it was a phase Sawyer would get through. Later, two pastors told them that their son’s gender identity conflicts were a sign of willful disobedience. They tried to discipline their son, to no avail.
 
Sara opened our first meeting by saying, “I may have sinned in the decisions I made; I’m not sure I did the right thing. At the time, I felt excruciating distress. I thought I would take my life. What would you have me do?” The exchange was disarming.

Read the full article HERE. 

Dr. Stephen L. Carter — Yes, Corporations Do Have Free Speech Rights

As a free speech near-absolutist, it’s been fun for me to watch my progressive friends cheer as major corporations threaten to boycott states accused of striking the wrong balance on gay and transgender rights.


(BloombergView)

I’m bothered by most of the same state laws that my progressive friends are, but I marvel nevertheless that they think the solution is for big business to throw its weight around. Still, I’m happy to welcome them aboard the yes-corporations-do-have-free-speech-rights ship.

Before you object that the controversy has nothing to do with corporate free speech, imagine that North Carolina or Mississippi or some other state under fire were to adopt the following law: “No private for-profit corporation shall refuse or threaten to refuse to do business within this state, or to do business with any government entity within this state, on the basis of any disagreement with the state’s laws, regulations, or policies.” The statute would then go on to set forth penalties, including heavy fines, for violation.

Imagine further that pursuant to the new law, the state attorney general brings civil lawsuits or even criminal prosecutions against businesses threatening to boycott based on such disagreements. Following the example of New York’s Eric Schneiderman, we might even see a racketeering investigation to make the companies open their books so that we can find out to which groups they’ve been making donations – um, I mean, with which groups they’ve been conspiring.

Read the full article HERE.