The Massachusetts Legislature is apparently trying to out-California California by considering House Bill 4014, “An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors.” The bill would prohibit any kind of counseling or therapy, even just talking, aimed at helping a confused minor be comfortable in his or her own body. If a parent seeks such counseling for a confused minor who thinks himself or herself to be “transgender,” the bill would consider that a form of child abuse. As Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, has aptly put it, “This is a bill that would allow the state to take away your daughter and make her someone else’s son.”

The bill was originally written several years ago by former state representative Carl Sciortino, who is now executive director of the AIDS Action Committee, which focuses on the health needs of LGBT people. He (it’s not clear if this is his “preferred pronoun” but I don’t really care) claims that “the point of this bill is that if a young person has an identity and is being told by a so-called therapist that they can change their identity, that is a false hope and abusive and shouldn’t be allowed by licensed professionals in this state.” He declares it to be a “false claim” that a therapist can help a gay or trans person become straight. Sciortino actually admits that the bill could cause the state to remove a child from parents who refuse to mutilate or chemically sterilize their child who claims to be “transgender.”

One would think that such a bill would violate the First Amendment on its face, but I’m still trying to figure out how anyone who supports such a bill can claim even a shred of logical reasoning behind their thinking.

Sciortino clearly believes that LGBT people are “born that way” since changing a person’s belief about his or her sexuality or gender is a “false claim.” But since being gay or transgender makes it biologically impossible to reproduce naturally, this position is clearly at odds with Darwinian evolution, which requires reproduction in order to pass on genetic mutations to the next generation. It is simply not possible for LGBT behaviors to be based on genetics.

Being transgender means that a person is more comfortable acting in stereotypical gender roles which, until fifteen minutes ago we were told were socially constructed. Thus we find the ridiculous argument that a “transgender female” can also be a lesbian. That is, a man’s desire to dress as a woman – a completely social construct – makes him more a woman than his attraction to women, which is biologically normal, makes him a man. The whole idea of transgenderism is a house of cards held up only by incessant propaganda.

As with the Bathroom Bill, I am appalled that the Legislature could even consider a bill that obviously has no logical basis for criminalizing activity simply because some misguided souls don’t like that behavior. If the bill’s supporters want to outlaw truly abusive therapy like electro-shock, then write a bill that specifically outlaws abuse. But to criminalize a parent’s desire to counsel a confused child to live as God intended, and define as child abuse a parent’s refusal to chemically alter the child irrevocably based on the child’s confusion is simply abominable. We must oppose this misguided bill. If you are a Massachusetts citizen, I urge you to contact your State Representative and Senator to make your voice heard.

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By John Ruberry

Theodore Herzl School of Excellence, Chicago’s West Side

Is a new beginning the only way out for Chicago Public Schools?

That’s what crossed my mind this morning while I was watching Mike Flannery on Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up.

The show opened. with an interview of David Jackson, one of the investigative reporters who penned a disturbing yet indispensable series of articles about sexual attacks at Chicago Public Schools.

“I was flabbergasted to learn the frequency of sexual assaults against students in Chicago’s schools,” Jackson told the host. “I expected dozens of cases. There were hundreds.”

What did Chicago Public Schools do about it, Flannery asked?

“Very little,” Jackson replied.

During the ten-year period the Tribune investigated those attacks, which include rape, there were 523 reports of sexual assaults inside city schools. That’s about one a week. Not included in that total are sexual attacks off property.

CPS protected its employees, to the detriment of students, as did the Chicago Teachers Union. The accusers–victims, I should say–were aggressively assailed by CPS lawyers who were more interested in protecting the teachers, coaches, custodians, and security guards than serving justice and safeguarding its students.

Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, readers leaned that a “blitz” health inspection of 125 schools found that only 34 passed. Rat droppings, filthy bathrooms, and unsanitary food preparation equipment were discovered. The most egregious violations were centered on facilities Aramark was hired to keep clean. Who was in charge of CPS facilities? A former Aramark employee, Leslie Fowler, who resigned her high-paying post last week. While the bidding process was open for a food contract, an inspector general’s report cited “questionable conduct” when Fowler twice dined with the president of Aramark

Her ex-employer won the bid.

Prior to her hiring as CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett was a consultant for SUPES Academy, which produced training programs for school administrators. Once in charge of CPS, the woman known as BBB steered a $23 million training contract to her old employer. She was to receive a ten-percent kickback from that contract as well as a promise of a job whenever she left CPS.

In an email to a couple of SUPES bosses, Byrd-Bennet added to the already voluminous lore of Chicago corruption by boasting, “I have tuition to pay and casinos to visit.”

It’s suspected that such crony-capitalism between CPS brass and their former private-sector employers is widespread. If true, then such private-public cross-pollination is simply a revolving door of corruption.

Dunne School on the South Side, where your blogger atteneded kindergarten

Byrd-Bennett, along with those two former big shots at SUPES, are now incarcerated in federal prison.

Despite the reputation of CPS for failure, Barack Obama chose one of BBB’s predecessors, Arne Duncan, as his first education secretary.

Obama’s daughters attended a private school in Chicago.

How is CPS doing in regards to educating children? Not very well. Not even one-in-four students read at grade level. Yes, I am aware that unlike kids in most suburban schools, there are additional challenges in teaching city children, many of whom come from abusive homes. But one-in-four? After years of so-called reform?

And what about the filth and the sexual assaults?

If the goal of Chicago Public Schools is to educate children in a safe environment, then it is failing–and has been for a long time, despite most schools incorporating such words as “Excellence” and “College Preparatory ” into their names. Before their well-needed demolition, public housing high rises, which never should have been built in the first place, were derided by liberals as “warehouses of the poor.”

Most CPS schools are warehouses of the poorly educated.

If the goal of CPS is to provide a generous income for teachers, maintenance workers, and of course administrators, along with bountiful pensions for them, then it is a fabulous success. Oh, let’s not forget the bottom lines of those contractors. They are doing well too.

As for those pensions, they have long been a slush fund. one that is dancing with insolvency. rather than serving as a retirement program.

Fitch rates CPS bonds as junk.

So, by nearly everyone’s standards, CPS is failing.

Does it continue on its same road to defeat?

When do Chicago taxpayers, who are increasingly angry because of repeated property tax hikes to pay for unfunded pensions, scream, “Enough!”

Firing everyone–and starting over again might be the only way out for CPS, which could be possible if state law is changed and public agencies are allowed to file for bankruptcy protection. Rehire the good teachers and the administrators who fight waste and theft.  Charter schools aren’t the answer. UNO, an Hispanic group with close ties with former Mayor Richard M. Daley, utilized charter schools for crony capitalism and graft. More privatization isn’t the answer, as Aramark isn’t able to keep schools clean. School vouchers? Maybe. But some parents, sadly, don’t have the initiative to better the lives of the children.

Floundering schools are already closed and re-opened with new staff here-and-there in Chicago.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

For those of you who cry out “more money” for Chicago’s schools, keep in mind more cash opens the door to more theft, or at the very least, more squandering of taxpayer funds.

Crime, high taxes, and rotten schools are the primary reasons given by people who decide to move away from Chicago. And Chicago is the only major city with a declining population.

Next year there is a mayoral election in Chicago. One of the candidates, Paul Vallas, is a former CEO of CPS.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. He attended kindergarten at a CPS school, Edward F. Dunne Elementary School. It is now the Dunne Technology Academy Elementary School.

[The two priests arrive at the scene of the fight between Sean Thornton & Red Will Danaher]

Father Paul: Father, shouldn’t we put a stop to it now?

Father Lonergan: [Smiling, making fighting movements] Ah, we should lad, yes we should, it’s our duty. Yes, it’s our duty... [Smiles as a punch is heard]

The Quiet Man 1952

4th Doctor: The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views…which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.

Doctor Who: The Face of Evil Pt 4 1977

A long time ago on my radio show I did an hour on the redefinition of marriage and the deficit.  This was back in ancient times when Barack Obama had for political reasons not “come out” for gay marriage and thus one could still publicly argue against it the entire media / left defining you as a racist, sexist bigot homophobe for stating facts that had been true for millennia.  (For the record I stand by my arguments against gay marriage that I made 10 years ago here)

Now you might think these two topics are as unrelated as you can get but I pointed out on my show that the insistence that there was nothing wrong with redefining marriage opened up huge possibilities for solving the deficit.

All we had to do is redefine what a “deficit” or a “balanced budget” or even “debt” was and viola suddenly deficits would be a thing of the past and we would be able to look forward to balanced budgets for the rest of our days.

The possibilities were endless and the best part of it was people wouldn’t have to vary their spending or borrowing habits one bit and if any person holding a debt objected why they were just not as enlightened as the rest of us.

The entire point of that monologue was to not only point out the insanity of redefining marriage but to also point out that once you decide you can redefine one word for the sake of one’s personal advantage you can redefine another.  Or as Kurt Schlichter prophetically  put it a few years later 

Liberals May Regret Their New Rules

I thought of that when I saw This piece by Stacy McCain about the conflict between lesbians and the Transgender community:

Lesbian feminists are being attacked as “TERFs” (trans exclusive radical feminists) because they don’t want to date men in dresses, nor do they want to cede control of the feminist movement to men in dresses. Transgender activists are insulting lesbians as “vagina fetishists.”

and they just can’t understand why this is happening to them.

The answer is in fact very simple.  The people who had no problem redefining the word “marriage” to satisfy their own narcissism and then tried to drive those who fought them from the public square (ask yourself why the Catholic Church is no longer allowed to deal with adoptions in Massachusetts)  are now shocked Shocked that other narcissists would choose to redefine word “woman” and by extension “lesbian” and bring the same public social and legal opprobrium upon them that they gleefully and self righteously applied to others who dared suggest that words actually mean things.

You see,  once one realizes that in one fell swoop by the act of redefining words one can:

satisfy one’s narcissism

turn one’s proclivities into virtue to be celebrated

turn mental illness into courage

and silence one’s enemies by both cultural and legal censure 

you’re not like to let simple things like biology or objective reality stop you.

Now Stacy McCain who has been the target of radical feminists and Christophobic folk for daring to take his protestant faith seriously is right when he stand up for those radical feminists, who despise his very existence,  on constitutional grounds

By the way, a conservative need not endorse homosexuality to believe that lesbians should not be insulted as “TERFs,” etc. What is at issue here is a matter of basic liberty. The First Amendment, which guarantees both freedom of speech and freedom of religion, likewise safeguards the principle of freedom of association. In guaranteeing “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” our Constitution expresses this principle. A woman who chooses to avoid intimacy with men is exercising her basic liberty and, while we might lament her choice, the friends of liberty cannot in good conscience compel her to do otherwise. Forcing citizens to associate with others against their will is not “social justice.”

The Christian is as free to eschew association with non-believers as the homosexual is free to eschew the companionship of the opposite sex. For decades now, the Left has accused Christian conservatives of seeking to “impose their morality” on others. But what is it that transgender activists are attempting to do now? Aren’t they attempting to compel others to do their bidding, and to silence their critics?

And my friend Cynthia Yockey, the conservative lesbian is doing yeoman’s work in shedding light on this insanity, you really should be reading her blog and financially supporting her efforts to fight back.

But while I agree with Stacy McCain’s first amendment arguments defending the radical feminists targeted in this effort, applaud Cynthia Yockey’s efforts to make this fight on behalf of her fellow lesbians who refuse to redefine what a lesbian, man or woman is and , as a faithful Catholic have sympathy for folks like Julia Diana Robertson for the abuse she and other feminists, both straight and gay are getting for these actions, I can’t help but think that the shock that radical feminists and lesbians have as they suddenly find themselves victims of the terror they helped unleash must be the same that Maximilien de Robespierre felt just before blade of the guillotine that he had used to eliminate so many “enemies of the revolution” beheaded him.

This is one of the disadvantages of thinking that the lessons of history are all just the ravings of a patriarchal past that have no application for the present, you don’t realize that revolutions always eat their own.

I’m sure there will be a few in the Christian right who will join the fight like Stacy McCain who closes his piece saying;

 It is truly astounding to find myself defending lesbian feminists against transgender totalitarians.

Like I keep saying, people need to wake the hell up.

and will will speak up for the like of Ms Robertson and company, but I suspect that the vast majority of Conservative Catholics and Protestants who have spent the last decade being told they are beyond the pale from the likes of them and their allies and have had the full force of both culture and government brought against them will watch their oppressors with Schadenfreude for a while more as this verse from Proverbs comes to pass

Those who trouble their household inherit the wind,

Personally I think that the same rule from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on homosexuality applies to our transgender friends who like gays and lesbians are children of God whose sins Jesus Christ died for.

 2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

And remember the same people “triggered” by this blunt statement of the teaching of the Catholic Church  “hate speech” would be triggered by this movie clip too:

Aren’t we so lucky to be ruled by the values of the most narcissistic generation vs the values of the greatest one?