Australia lab may have found Covid-19 cure Queensland University to launch human trials of two-drug treatment that has apparently cured virus-infected patients

Stanford University School of Medicine reported on Friday that a former  malaria treatment known as chloroquine may have been effective in treating the disease in China and Singapore.

There is also anecdotal evidence that the redundant AIDS drug remdesivir may have worked in treating patients in China, the initial epicenter of the now global pandemic. )

SYDNEY – Australian researchers have been given the green light to start human trials of a promising drug treatment for the novel coronavirus after raising funds from donors in a remarkable global appeal. 

Covid-19 patients will be given two drugs previously used to treat AIDS and malaria at about 50 hospitals in Australia, with tests expected to start by the end of this month. The drugs reportedly eradicated the virus in lab tests.

“There have already been patients treated with these in Australia and there’s been successful outcomes, but it hasn’t been done in a controlled or comparative way,” said David Paterson, director of the Center for Clinical Research at Queensland University, which is leading the trials.

“What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we’re going to compare is one drug versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs,” he said.

Stanford University School of Medicine reported on Friday that a former  malaria treatment known as chloroquine may have been effective in treating the disease in China and Singapore.

There is also anecdotal evidence that the redundant AIDS drug remdesivir may have worked in treating patients in China, the initial epicenter of the now global pandemic.

Trial data of the drug’s use, however, has not been made available by China. Scientists have dismissed a widely quoted online report that about 12,000 patients have been completely cured of Covid-19 in China after taking chloroquine.

Paterson said laboratory tests using a combination of the two drugs had indicated that they might provide a “cure” from the virus.

“It’s a potentially effective treatment. Patients would end up with no viable coronavirus in their system at all after the end of therapy,” he said.

The March 18 decision to go ahead with the human tests was only made after the researchers made an extraordinary global appeal for donations to cover the funding cost, estimated at A$750,000 (US$451,415).

There is an urgent push to develop effective Covid-19 treatments because a vaccine for widespread use is not expected to be developed for at least 18 months.

More than 30 academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies are collaborating in the search for a vaccine under a program coordinated by the Oslo-based non-profit group the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness.

Labs in Australia, the US and the United Kingdom are already testing the first batches of vaccine “candidates” on animals, using some “prototype” pathogen platforms that were developed for severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) outbreaks in 2002-04 and 2012.

However, they were ultimately not needed to treat those diseases.

The Seattle-based Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute began human trials of a possible vaccine on March 16, and two other research programs, at the University of Queensland and Imperial College London, expect to start trials on patients within weeks.

Three or four potential vaccines will be developed, with the most promising version to be chosen for distribution. 

Research efforts received a boost on March 17 when Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity announced it had succeeded in mapping how the body’s immune system fights back against the virus.

Published in the monthly peer-reviewed Nature Medicine journal, the research revealed that victims are recovering from the illness in the same way they would from the flu.

“This [discovery] is important because it is the first time where we are really understanding how our immune system fights novel coronavirus,”  said Katherine Kedzierska, who co-authored the journal article.

The team tracked the recovery of a 47-year-old woman from Wuhan, the original hotspot of the virus in China, who had mild-to-moderate symptoms from the virus and had no pre-existing health issues. She was admitted to a hospital in Australia and fully recovered within two weeks.

Kedzierska said that specific cells identified with influenza patients were spotted in her bloodstream three days before her health began to improve.

“We found in this patient at three days we could see emergence of immune cells in the blood. The immune cell populations we have seen emerging before patients recover are the same cells we see in influenza.

“Based on our experience with patients with influenza, we could predict recovery and that’s exactly what happened in Covid-19,” she said.

“This information will allow us to evaluate any vaccine candidate, as in an ideal world the vaccine should mimic our body’s immune response.”

Researchers are keen to isolate immune responses because these were a key factor in fighting SARS. Having blood markers will enable hospitals to screen out the 20% of patients who present with more severe symptoms.

“Then you could say upfront, this would be a severe case, or this will probably be a milder case,” said Doherty researcher Carolien van de Sandt. “Then you could alter their care to what the patient might need.”

The center has been given additional funding, some contributed by the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, to expand the immune mapping to a bigger pool of patients, in part to monitor later phases of the recovery process.

“We know we can generate immune responses to the virus,” Kedzierska said. “The next question is whether that immune response gives people immunity for weeks or months or years so we are protected.”

The study’s findings are being shared with other research laboratories, she said.

10 Reasons to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment:

  1. The vague, poorly written language of the ERA does not allow any distinction to be made between men and women – even when it makes sense to do so based on their biological differences.

As a result, the ERA will harm women AND their unborn children by overturning laws and programs that benefit them.

Harm to unborn children:

  1. The ERA would be used to overturn all restrictions on abortion (including the partial birth abortion ban, 3rd-trimester abortion ban and parental notice of minors seeking an abortion).
  2. The ERA would be used to mandate taxpayer funding of elective Medicaid abortions.
Stop ERA

In both New Mexico and Connecticut, their state ERAs were used in the courts to overturn restrictions on abortions and mandate taxpayer funding of elective Medicaid abortions with the rationale that since abortion is unique to women, restricting abortions is a form of sex discrimination. ” (N.M. Right to Choose/NARAL v. Johnson, 975 P.2d 841, 1998; and Doe v. Maher, 515 A.2d 134 [Conn Super. Ct. 1986])

Harm to women

  1. The ERA would overturn laws and practices that benefit women because they would be viewed as showing preferential treatment to women.  The laws and practices that would be overturned include:
    • Workplace laws that provide special accommodations for pregnant women
    • State labor laws and guidelines which benefit women who do heavy, manual work
    • Government programs that support women as mothers such as the Women, Infants, and Children nutritional program (WIC)
    • Social Security benefits for stay-at-home mothers based on their spouse’s income.  Justice Ginsberg claims that the current gender neutral benefit language is still a violation of the equality principle because it encourages women to stay out of the workforce, and as such she would overturn the benefit.
    • Exemption of women from the military draft and front-line combat. Currently, women who feel they are physically able can choose to enlist in the military. The ERA, however, would require that all women be drafted and placed on front-line combat in equal ratios to men.
    • Laws and presumptions that support women in the areas of alimony, child support, and requirements of husbands to pay for their dependent wives’ medical bills.  The ERA will also wipe out state laws that exempt a wife from having to pay her husband’s debts even if he deserts her with children to support.
    • All other laws that provide preferential treatment for women
  1. ERA would impact the privacy and safety of women and girls by removing gender designations for bathrooms, locker rooms, jails and hospital rooms.
  2. The ERA will not give women any more rights than they currently have. Women already have claim to equal rights through the 14th Amendment (section 1) as well as numerous other laws in virtually all areas of American life – employment (including equal pay), education, credit eligibility, housing, public accommodations, etc. The US Supreme Court has already applied the 14th Amendment to women’s issues (United States v. Virginia518 U.S. 515 (1996)).
  3. ERA won’t erase the gender wage gap. Women are already guaranteed equal pay through the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and can seek remediation through the EEOC.  The currently quoted wage gap between men and women is a misunderstood statistic in which the average wages of all full-time working men and women are compared in one lump sum of men to women across all occupations and education levels.  This doesn’t allow for an equal pay comparison.  When we compare the wages of men and women within the same career, in similar positions, at the same age, the wage gap narrows to 98 cents for women compared to a dollar for men. Even when we compare within career fields, key factors such as years worked, the level of education, and time flexibility of job, etc. are not factored into the comparison (see “An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women” U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2009).
  4. The ERA would also transfer large amounts of legislative power from the states to Congress creating a greater imbalance of power and placing sensitive issues under the less responsive federal government.

Section 2 of the ERA requires that Congress be given the power to enact the provisions of the ERA.As a result, states would lose their legislative abilities in regards to family law (marriage, divorce, alimony, custody, adoption, and property), sex crime laws, public and private schools, insurance, prison regulations and any other areas of law impacted by gender.

  1. It’s clear that ERA sponsors intended for the ERA to overturn all restrictions on abortion.

Efforts to soften the extreme nature of the ERA via amendments were rejected by the supporters of the ERA when the ERA was being drafted in Congress. Courts will look to this legislative history for legislative intent as they interpret the ERA. The sample amendment below that was rejected shows that the supporters intended the applications of the ERA to be extreme and without any protection for women or their unborn children:

This amending language for the ERA was rejected by the supporters: “The provisions of this article shall not impair the validity, however, of any laws of the United States or any State which exempt women from compulsory military service, or from service in combat units of the Armed Forces; or extend protections or exemptions for wives, mothers, or widows; or impose upon fathers responsibility for the support of children; or secure privacy to men or women, or boys or girls; or make punishable as crimes rape, seduction, or other sexual offenses” (Cong. Rec., pp. S9538–S9540).

The following amendment was also proposed to make the ERA-abortion neutral, but it was repeatedly rejected by ERA supporters: “Nothing in this Article shall be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.”  It’s clear they intended for the ERA to overturn all restrictions on abortion.

  1. The accepted time limit for ratification of Constitutional amendments is 7 years. ERA failed in 1979. Five states voted to rescind their earlier approval of ERA. Any vote for ERA today is null and void and would be an embarrassment to the state. https://eagleforum.org/topics/era/10-reasons-to-oppose-equal-rights-amendment.html

MSNBC Contributor: ‘The Iowa Caucus Is Essentially the Perfect Example of Systemic Racism

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MSNBC Political Analyst Zerlina Maxwell blasted the Iowa Caucus as the “perfect example of systemic racism” in the aftermath of the state’s Democratic party disastrous handling of Monday’s voting, which the results still have not been released.

Maxwell and the MSNBC panel was discussing the low turnout for the caucuses across the state. Entrance polling showed 35% of Iowan voters were caucusing for the first time, as opposed to 44% in 2016.

“Democrats have long leaned on President Trump being a motivator for voters. Those number don’t bear that out. Should that concern Democrats?” host Craig Melvin asked.

“Yes, but I think for a different reason than a lot of folks probably will think. Maybe I’ll be the only person to say this today. The Iowa caucus is essentially the perfect example of systemic racism. 91% of the voters in Iowa are white,” Maxwell said.

“The reason why you see a drop in turnout, I’m just speculating here, it could be perhaps that white children are not in the cages. So when you’re talking about the tangible pain that black and brown people are feeling, they feel a sense of urgency because their kids are being put in cages, right? So if you have 91% white electorate, that sense of urgency may not be reflected in the turnout numbers,” she continued. “I’m not saying that’s the reason for this. It could be a factor.”

Former President Barack Obama won the state in 2008 and Hispanic Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the victor in 2016.

Maxwell elaborated on her comments on Twitter:  Zerlina Maxwell@ZerlinaMaxwell

My point being that the urgency and pain isn’t felt in the same way. That matters even though no one will want to admit it.

I also noted that the caucus system is UNDemocratic & suppresses votes of historically marginalized like folks with accessibility needs and single parents https://twitter.com/elienyc/status/1224731475985289218 …Elie Mystal✔@ElieNYCNice. Explaining the low turnout numbers in overwhelmingly white Iowa, @ZerlinaMaxwell says that one factor is that “white children are not in the cages.”838Twitter Ads info and privacy279 people are talking about this

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/juliorosas/2020/02/04/msnbc-contributor-the-iowa-caucus-is-essentially-the-perfect-example-of-systemic-racism-n2560703?utm_campaign=inarticle

How Obamacare Rations Care for the Sick

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When the health reform debate began more than a dozen years ago, most public health advocates touted the need for universal coverage. By the time Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), however, it had become predicated on also making care accessible for people with pre-existing conditions. 

Obamacare allowed people with chronic illnesses to buy health coverage at rates no higher than their healthy neighbors. This feature has always been popular. Americans feel sympathy for those who were penalized for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Less healthy individuals often paid higher premiums to compensate for their higher risk. Prior to the ACA pre-existing conditions could increase premiums as much as 50% or even 100% of healthy individuals’ premiums. Looking back this seems rather cheap compared to the cost of Obamacare today. Prior to Obamacare most state insurance markets required guaranteed renewability. Thus, consumers not covered by employer plans had an incentive to maintain continuous coverage to avoid higher premiums if they dropped coverage and later tried to enroll. Furthermore, the problem of pre-existing conditions was exaggerated by Obamacare supporters. Wharton School economist Mark Pauly estimated only about 1% of the population was unable to get health coverage due to a pre-existing condition before the ACA. 

The ACA did not work as intended. Once health plans were required to accept unhealthy individuals at rates unadjusted for risk, premiums for everyone had to increase. As premiums rose, healthier individuals looked for ways to drop out or reduce their coverage. Unhealthy individuals sometimes tried to game the system, joining when expensive care was needed and dropping soon afterwards. This caused a further increase in premiums. Over time the Affordable Care Act became decidedly unaffordable.

When the ACA became law most Americans naively assumed Obamacare would be similar to employee health plans or the individual policies many Americans had before the ACA. That wasn’t the case. The typical Obamacare plan today bears a closer resemblance to Medicaid managed care plans, but with high cost-sharing. Many of the plans are managed by the same firms who specialize in Medicaid managed care.  Why? Because managed care plans find subtle ways to reduce costs and ration care. This is a competitive advantage among plans not allowed to adjust premiums for risk. The only alternative is rationing care.

Over time average Obamacare deductibles rose as healthy individuals defected to cheaper plans with less coverage. In addition, Obamacare networks also began to restrict enrollees’ choice of doctors and hospitals. For example, one study found nearly three-quarters of insurers (72%) feature narrow networks in the plans offered through the federally managed exchanges (HealthCare.gov). This is in stark contrast to 5% to 7% of employer plans that limit worker choices to a narrow network of physicians and hospitals. A report by health consulting firm Avalere found Obamacare plans typically contract with one-third fewer doctors and hospitals, on average than commercial plans. This equates to 42 percent fewer heart specialists and cancer doctors, one-third fewer mental health and primary care providers and one-quarter fewer hospitals. 

More restrictive networks is one of the ways Obamacare holds costs down. Keep in mind networks also become narrow when doctors refuse to affiliate with Obamacare plans due to low fees. Not only do some insurers reject providers who charge higher fees, at the same time, providers may want to avoid patients whose plans have deductibles that run into the thousands. Cost-sharing under the deductible often goes uncollected when money is tight

One noticeable result is that top hospitals are out of reach for many Obamacare enrollees. For example, the flagship Mayo Clinic is inaccessible to many Obamacare plan enrollees in Minnesota. Many exchange plans also do not include top cancer centers in their networks. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is not on any exchange plans in Texas. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is not in any of the typical gold, silver, or bronze individual plans on the New York exchange.  

If the ACA marketplace was designed to meet consumer needs like other markets, instead of rationing care for sick enrollees Obamacare would compete to meet their needs. Medicare Advantage plans are an example of a system where expensive enrollees are not shunned because the federal government compensates plans for seniors’ health status.  By contrast, Obamacare subsidizes premiums for low-income Americans but allows no risk adjustment at the individual level. Economist John Cochrane has shown how market-based risk adjustment without government involvement can work. Now we need to design a better system. 

https://townhall.com/columnists/devonherrick/2020/02/03/how-obamacare-rations-care-for-the-sick-n2560606

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Bad Data Led to an Obamacare Disaster

Medicaid was created to be a safety net for the truly needy such as seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income children. Most of us agree: It is important to protect this program for the people who need it most.

Unfortunately, many politicians have lost sight of Medicaid’s intended purpose. In doing so, they took limited resources meant for truly needy individuals and moved millions of able-bodied adults—the majority of whom do not work at all—to the front of the line instead. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people with developmental disabilities and other conditions remain trapped on waiting lists, hoping to someday get access to desperately needed services.

This is happening because of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. Under ObamaCare, lawmakers have the option to expand welfare to able-bodied adults in their states. Far too many states made the tragic decision to expand their Medicaid programs, causing enrollment surges. These enrollment surges far surpassed projections—resulting in far more newly eligible welfare enrollees than policymakers promised taxpayers in their states. Sadly—as is often the case with massive, ill-advised expansions of government—it is the taxpayers who are left footing the (enormous) bill.

When it comes to ObamaCare expansion, policymakers, as well as taxpayers, deserve to know why these over-enrollments keep happening. A new report from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) answers that exact question.

According to the report, the main reason states so badly underestimated enrollment is their reliance on Census Bureau data to make estimations. This data does not work for projecting expansion enrollment for multiple reasons.

First, the Census Bureau defines ‘households’ differently than the Medicaid program. For example, for an able-bodied adult who lives at home with his parents and does not work, Census data counts his parents’ income to determine his poverty status. The result is that Census data would indicate that he is not eligible for expansion. But after ObamaCare expansion, his state might learn the hard way that he is eligible because Medicaid eligibility is based on his personal income only. Oops. The enrollment overruns begin.

The Census Bureau also defines ‘income’ differently than Medicaid does. The Census, for example, considers cash welfare as income. Medicaid, however, excludes cash welfare from income calculations, resulting in more people appearing to have lower incomes and thereby qualifying for Medicaid. Oops again.

Finally, there are differences in how the Census Bureau and Medicaid define poverty because the Census Bureau evaluates more data points that could result in a person no longer being under the threshold required to receive Medicaid benefits under expansion.

But ultimately, perhaps most alarming, are differences in data collection. While Medicaid eligibility is determined by tax filing data—cold, hard facts—Census Bureau data is based on income information that is self-reported in a survey. You read that correctly: Critical decisions about whether or not to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of people are routinely being made based on polling data.

The result of the use of this bad data is a massive undercounting of the number of people who could become eligible for Medicaid under an expansion plan. Altogether, the number of adults made eligible for Medicaid expansion could be more than 72 percent higher than census data suggests. The resulting over-enrollment busts state budgets and consume limited resources.

Medicaid expansion is shattering projections and creating a welfare trap for more than 12 million able-bodied adults. Regrettably, taxpayers and the truly needy will continue to pay the price. The takeaway for states that have rightly rejected expansion is simple: don’t trust the numbers. If your state is looking at expansion enrollment estimates, they are relying on Census data—and they’re preparing to replicate this nightmare

https://townhall.com/columnists/nickstehle/2020/01/29/garbage-in-garbage-out-bad-data-led-to-an-obamacare-disaster-n2560289

NASA and NOAA’s Latest Climate Warning Is a Result of Purposefully Flawed Data

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Because science is the pursuit of knowledge, and political actions almost necessarily restrict personal freedom, science, laws, and regulations should use the best available data. Using bad data undermines both the pursuit of truth and the legitimate justification of laws and regulations.

Everyone, from the far left to the far right on the political spectrum, should be able to agree about this.

Sadly, in the field of climate research and climate policy, good data, when not ignored entirely, is increasingly twisted to fit the narrative claiming that humans are causing a climate crisis. Climate action partisans, in pursuit of political power and ever increasing resources, force data to fit their delusion that humans must forego modern, industrial civilization to save humanity and the earth from climate doom.

This problem is more than evident in a recent report from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on global temperature trends. Between them, the two agencies operate the most accurate, comprehensive system of temperature measuring instruments in the world. But rather than cite data from their best sources when NASA and NOAA reported global temperatures on January 15, they chose to use severely compromised data from temperature readings adjusted—in a process called “homogenization”—they and others gathered from biased monitoring stations.

NASA and NOAA announced that 2019 was the second warmest year since modern record keeping began in 1880, helping to make the 2010s the “warmest decade on record.”

These claims are based on the utterly unreliable adjusted temperature measurements recorded by surface temperature stations scattered across the globe. These measurements, at least the raw data from them, are usually sufficiently accurate to inform local inhabitants of the temperature and weather anomalies in their area on a particular day, but as measures of actual trends telling us something important about whether humans are causing global warming, most of them are virtually worthless.

As has been hammered home repeatedly over the years by meteorologist Anthony Watts (who is also a Senior Fellow with The Heartland Institute), many of the monitoring stations throughout the United States fail to meet the standards established by the agencies themselves for reliable data measurement. Watts recorded hundreds of stations on pavement, at airports collecting jet exhaust, located next to artificial sources of hot and cold, such as air conditioning systems or commercial grill heat exhausts. Many of these stations were once located in rural areas, but are now surrounded by development, and others are rural stations where data is not recorded or monitored regularly.

After Watts’ 2014 revelations, the U.S. Office of the Inspector General issued a scathing report, almost entirely ignored by the media, that found lack of oversight, non-compliance, and a lax review process for the climate recording network led it to conclude program data “cannot be consistently relied upon by decision-makers.” In a panic, during the investigative process that resulted in the Inspector General’s report, NOAA closed approximately 600 of its most problematic weather stations.

Numerous reports have shown data manipulation is not limited to the United States, but is common across the globe. Temperatures recorded at pristine rural monitoring stations in far flung locations such as Australia, Paraguay, and Switzerland have been inexplicably homogenized so that past temperatures are now reported as cooler than were actually recorded, and recent temperatures are now reported as warmer than were recorded, necessarily making the temperature rise at these locations over the past century appear steeper and larger than the unadjusted data indicate.

NOAA violated its own rules when it undertook a similar adjustment process for recording ocean temperatures, beginning in 2015. As David Rose wrote for the Daily Mail, “[NOAA scientists] took reliable readings from [ocean] buoys but then ‘adjusted’ them upwards—using readings from seawater intakes on ships … even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.” When you mix bad data with good, you no more produce reliable results than you do by adding muddy river water to purified bottle water to produce safe drinking water.

NASA and NOAA’s new report is another instance of “garbage in, garbage out,” in which their use of bad data produces flawed results, which, based on experience, will be used to push bad policies.

NASA and NOAA jointly or separately operate the U.S. Climate Reference Network, the gold standard of surface temperature data, global satellites, and weather balloons. The temperature data recorded by these three independent, unbiased temperature-measuring networks show minimal warming over the past 40 years. Yet the agencies ignored these data sets in their recent report—proving their dogmatic belief in a human-caused climate catastrophe.

NASA and NOAA are like toddlers trying to fit square pegs into round holes, and just as likely as toddlers to throw fits when their efforts are stymied by reality.

The Trump administration should steeply cut NASA and NOAA’s climate budgets until agency heads and career staff get the message they will not be rewarded for repeatedly telling “sky is falling” climate scare stories, when the truth about temperature and climate trends is, in fact, far from alarming.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (hburnett@heartland.org) is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

https://www.breitbart.com/environment/2020/01/28/h-sterling-burnett-nasa-and-noaas-latest-climate-warning-is-a-result-of-purposefully-flawed-data/

Obama Common Core: A Failed ‘Grand Experiment’

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Top Republican presidential contenders cite Common Core in their stump speeches, seeking political capital and earning audible cheers by referring to Common Core as a “disaster” that must end, or calling for the “repeal [of] every word of Common Core.” The Democratic contenders are far quieter on the issue, focusing instead on college and university access.

The call to action is clear. As a failed grand experiment in school reform — and a costly one, with a nationwide price tag some estimate at $80 billion for teacher training, materials development and purchase, and implementation (from an initial nationwide estimate of $17 billion) — states must actively reconsider their commitment to Common Core.

With ‘war stories’ from embattled educators now commonplace, what is painfully clear is that Common Core, which sets standards for K-12 in English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics, has gone horribly, terribly wrong. Each day these demonstrably failed standards remain in place, we betray the trust of U.S. public schoolchildren, parents, teachers, principals, and administrators tethered to flawed, federalized education reform.

Common Core skepticism is on the rise, with concerns from lawmakers, scholars, educators, parents, students, and others that include:

  • Growing opposition to Common Core among teachers and the general public, with a 2015 EdNext poll on school reform showing marked gains in opposition from 2013-2015. In a two-year period, teachers’ opposition rose from 12 percent to 50 percent (a more than four-fold gain), while public opposition rose from 13 percent to 35 percent (nearly tripled).

In a live Daily Caller poll, 80 percent of respondents say that Common Core should be repealed in every state (late March).School systems caught in a Common Core crossroads, including high-priced curricula and textbooks that claim to be Common Core aligned, but appear rushed-to-market, resulting in erratic (and unverified) quality.A distortion of the teaching and learning process, in which teachers must set pedagogical skill aside and “teach to the test.”Indecipherable math problems (see Alec Torres’ “The Ten Dumbest Common Core Problems”) with frustrated parents and guardians posting sample ‘unsolvable’ problems online.A “dramatic collapse of test scores,” according to research professor Diane Ravitch, in many states a drop of about 30 percent in passing rates, with such ‘questionable’ outcomes tied to high-stakes evaluations of teachers.

Broadly identified as architects of the standards, while the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and Achieve deny that the federal government was involved in standards development, such denial may be far from the truth. Few ‘insiders’ deny that the standards are a thinly veiled form of federal overreach; others go further, characterizing the standards as conspiratorial. Hastily drafted and improperly vetted, the standards were further hampered by a non-existent implementation strategy.

Simply put, Common Core is a one-size-fits-all federal “reform” that grossly misses the mark. Through the mechanism of appointed and elected school boards, it is citizen control over public education policy that empowers our nation’s grassroots democracy and educational system. States’ responsibility for education means that career and college-ready standards that ready students to graduate high school “prepared to success in entry-level careers, introductory academic college courses, and workforce training programs” are best developed at local — not federal — levels, with adequate time for academic and public review.

Many in the education community justly accuse the Department of Education and former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan of taking steps to end local control through the de facto creation of a national school board. There is perhaps no better example of federal overreach gone awry than the Administration’s reauthorization of federal education law, the No Child Left Behind Act, with the equally heavy-handed and ill-conceived Race to the Top.

Flawed on many levels, Race to the Top fails to improve public education, requiring highly trained teachers to set aside their training and judgment to teach to the test, causing many skilled teachers to leave the profession while also stunting the recruitment pipeline. Race to the Top also promotes the redeployment of limited taxpayer dollars toward private schools, an outcome that erodes existing (and already strained) infrastructure and risks re-segregating schools. Such harsh realities fail America’s youth, particularly those living in poverty who must — for the well-being, economic prosperity and future global competitiveness of our nation — gain equal access to high-quality education.

Though the tally has yet to catch up with on-the-ground realities, support for Common Core is waning. At present, leaders of the standards initiative state that 42 states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with them, numbers that fail to account for a growing body of state detractors. (Early non-adopters were Alaska, Indiana, Minnesota [adopted ELA/literacy only, not mathematics], Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.) A growing body of states are developing state-level alternatives to Common Core — for example, California, Louisiana and Tennessee. Further, key political leaders across the nation, key among them former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker — all former Republican presidential contenders — have gone on-record in strong opposition to Common Core.

With federal control of education a failed model, influential lawmakers, key among them Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), led the call for legislation aimed at putting the brakes on the growing federalization of public education. This bipartisan leadership effort resulted in the December 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA, the long-awaited overhaul of federal education law, significantly narrows the federal government’s role in elementary and secondary education, restricting its ability “to coerce states in the adoption of school standards, such as Common Core.” Newly flanked by ESSA, states such as Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and others that unsuccessfully attempted to repeal Common Core may gain a second wind.

The question becomes, with ESSA passage in place that establishes and protects states’ control of elementary and secondary education, how long will flawed and failed Common Core standards remain standing? With student outcomes top of mind, how — and when — will states act on this important responsibility?

David A. Pickler, J.D., is president of the American Public Education Foundation, a past president of the National School Boards Association, and Vice-Chair of the Tennessee Academic Standards Recommendation Committee for Mathematics and English Language Arts formed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and other state officials.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/common-core-a-failed-gran_b_9612082

Deterrence is Peace Through Strength, BRINGING BACK THE PUNITIVE EXPEDITION

Bringing Back the Punitive Expedition

Because ends exist only in the imagination, they can be infinite. . . . Means, though, are stubbornly finite…Ends and means have to connect if anything is to happen. They’re never, however, interchangeable.

— John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy

In October 2019 we marked the eighteenth anniversary of the start of operations in Afghanistan—and with each year, the “Forever War” label applied by some pundits becomes more difficult to argue with. After eighteen years of conflict, lost lives and expended treasure it is past time to consider other options for action in the Department of Defense range of ways to more effectively employ military power. The range of military responses offered to a president who must do something in response to an incident sufficiently jarring to the national psyche must include punitive expeditions.

Given the scope of poorly governed and ungoverned spaces on the planet and the “stubbornly finite” means that Gaddis describes, a carefully crafted punitive-expedition option establishes a measured response to the action of a foe, is within the scope of existing laws of land warfare, and offers focus for military action taken in support of a policy objective. It is time to reconsider the military’s use of them. Including a punitive-expedition option when developing use-of-force options for policy makers fits into the absolute requirement to connect policy ends to the finite means of both military forces and sustaining the support of the people for a desired policy objective.

Application of Punitive Measures

Bearing in mind the Clausewitzian trinity—enmity, chance, and reason—and the effort required to sustain the will of the nation, the military must resurrect the option of the punitive expedition. After an attack like the one on 9/11 the demand for action will be irresistible. The Clausewitzian definition of war reminds us of the purpose of deciding to use force. “War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.”

Another reason to bear Clausewitz in mind is his rejoinder regarding bloodshed and the use of force:

Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat an enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war. Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: war is such a dangerous business that the mistakes which come from kindness are the very worst. The maximum use of force is in no way incompatible with the simultaneous use of the intellect.

A punitive expedition results in a measured, relatively swift, focused response. It can be of some duration but only long enough to achieve the policy ends of punishing the group that threatened US interests or caused US casualties. There is no regime change, no re-ordering of the existing power structure in a region. A punitive expedition demonstrates the will and ability of the US government to act with violence. Especially when striking into ungoverned areas there is no Phase V (enable civil authority) as there is no civil authority to reestablish. The purpose of the punitive expedition is to act with violence and return to home station. The linkage to policy is straightforward. In ungoverned or poorly governed spaces, a punitive expedition is measured, focused, and not open-ended. A punitive expedition acts with diplomatic and informational efforts, each reinforcing the other. Indeed strategists and planners must bear in mind the political object irrespective of the development of use of force options. Again we return to Clausewitz: “The political object—the original motive for the war—will thus determine both the military objective to be reached and the amount of effort it requires.”

A punitive expedition is not the “easy button”; rather, it is a more difficult operation to conceive because it requires a recognition of the limits of force. The need to bear in mind the policy end at which the use of force is aimed remains paramount prior to and during the operation. Moreover, the ability to cease, escalate, or deviate operations will need to be as dynamic as the political climate demanding action. The dialogue between the senior civilian policymakers and the military requires constant engagement—and, I offer, more effort on the part of the military. Planners and military decision makers must develop a range of response options conforming to an understanding of the need to do something now with an equal understanding of the conditions driving policy. And policy will change as conditions change, polls measure the limits of public support, and social media observations turn into developing and competing narratives. These conditions act as limits on the utility of using force.

Beginning with the End in Mind

The multi-phased approach to planning conflicts remains useful in order to structure and synchronize the dynamic and daunting tasks of accomplishing military objectives that achieve political conditions favorable to the United States. Again, the successful execution of any strategy demands a recognition of the ever-balancing Clausewitzian trinity: enmity, chance, and reason. The government, purveyor of reason, must remain engaged in the conduct of the war while sustaining the passion of the people to support the war.

Short of declaring war, which is apparently antiquated in this modern age, and even asking the legislative branch to remain engaged by reviewing and updating the authorization for the use of military force, it falls on the military to bear in mind framing the war upon which the nation enters. As Clausewitz wrote,

The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgement that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish . . . the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something alien to its nature. (Emphasis added.)

The statesman and the commander must understand and agree to the kind of war upon which they are embarking—or in other words, the use of force as an extension of policy they are going to conduct. This is why it is so important that military people know how to speak to politicians and policymakers in a language they understand—not merely talking in terms of “body bags and trips to Dover,” but a clear understanding of and the ability to convey what the use of force can and, significantly, cannot do. As a quote attributed to Talleyrand goes, “you can do anything you like with bayonets, except sit on them.”

This is not to say the military is bloodthirsty and desires combat, but to acknowledge that the determination to use force as an extension of policy carries with it the fact people will die and property will be destroyed. The decision to use force must be made with a mind open to loss and the repercussions of loss in the Information Age of social media and twenty-four-hour news and political-commentary cycles.

Violence is Not an End within Itself

Punitive expeditions are merely the physical stimulant for changing behavior and only enable a greater effort to achieve decisive results within the psychological aspects of diplomatic and economic competition.

There are recent incidents wherein the threat of force gained policy objects without a shot being fired: Libya giving up its nuclear weapons in 2004, for example, and the Russian conquest of Crimea. Perspectives on these incidents abound but here again On War provides the ultimate observation:

Combat is the only effective force in war; its aim is to destroy the enemy’s forces as a means to a further end. That holds good even if no actual fighting occurs, because the outcome rests on the assumption that if it came to fighting, the enemy would be destroyed. (Emphasis added.)

As John Lewis Gaddis points out, connecting the means to the ends is difficult but vital. This ability must be in the military strategist’s intellectual toolkit. Including a punitive expedition into the proposed range of military responses to an enemy action can satisfy the need to act relatively swiftly and can assist in crafting a policy end within the ability of the applied means to achieve. A punitive expedition does not close the door on other options. A punitive expedition as a response option is also not a substitute for a strategy. But it can fit well into the conditions around which policy and strategy are developed and refined as conditions change—and strategists know conditions will change.

The narrative accompanying action must also be considered as a part of both the government policy and the supporting strategy. Playing well in Peoria is important, but a consideration of how the narrative plays in Paktia province and Paris must also be incorporated into both thinking and action. As Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley suggested during the 2019 Association of the US Army convention, whoever wins the narrative of the first battle may well win the war.

The purpose of the punitive expedition is to act with violence and return to home station. The linkage to policy is straightforward as execution of these types of expeditions will serve to demonstrate that the United States will reach out and take action to destroy a foe who threatens vital national interests and American lives. In ungoverned spaces, a punitive expedition is measured, focused, and not open-ended. A punitive expedition must act in coordination with diplomatic and informational efforts, each reinforcing the other. Indeed strategists and planners must bear in mind the political object irrespective of the development of use-of-force options.

It is time to return to consideration of punitive expeditions.

Col. (ret) Kevin Benson, PhD, commanded from company to battalion level and served as a general staff officer from corps to field army. He was the CFLCC J5 (Plans) at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the director of the School of Advanced Military Studies. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy, Department of the Army, or Department of Defense.

Author’s note: I wish to thank Lt. Col. Mark Lavin for his review and comments. All quotations from On War, Carl von Clausewitz. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976. https://mwi.usma.edu/bringing-back-punitive-expedition/

Climate Predictions – Doubling Down on Stupid

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If the “science is settled” regarding global warming, climate change, extreme weather, or whatever it goes by these days, why are past predictions not more accurate?

Weather forecasting, although frequently off the mark, is usually fairly accurate.  If snow is predicted, it typically falls.  It may be a few inches more or less than predicted but it isn’t sunny and 80 degrees on a day a major snowstorm is forecast.

Yet climate, which is a longer-term measure of weather, cannot be predicted with any more accuracy than flipping a coin or throwing dice.  Let’s look at some past predictions.

Almost twenty years ago, in 2004, the Guardian reported what U.S. defense officials at the Pentagon warned about the future climate:

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters.

A secret report, suppressed by US defense chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020.  Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.  The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

As 2020 has just arrived, let’s see how those predictions turned out.  For New Year’s Day, London is predicted to have a high of 46 degrees.  While in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia, the New Year’s Day high was only 23 degrees.  So much for “Britain is plunged into a Siberian climate by 2020.”

London was Siberia at one time, but 200 years ago.  Remember the snow and ice in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? “Dickens grew up during the coldest years of the Little Ice Age, between 1805 to 1820.”

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As to the “nuclear conflicts, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting,” I don’t see any of that either as 2020 arrives.  Well, perhaps big media is rioting as its dreams of overturning the last election have been fruitless.

This climate prophesy also claimed, “As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.”  One year after the 2004 report would be 2005, 15 years ago.

I don’t recall any rising sea levels or major upheavals, other than Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the below sea level city of New Orleans due to city officials not spending allocated monies on levee reinforcement.  Don’t blame corrupt financial mismanagement of American cities on global warming.

One of the report’s authors warned, “It was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening.  We don’t know exactly where we are in the process.  It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years.”  Well it didn’t start tomorrow and five years later, in 2009, the only brewing disaster facing America was Obamacare.

There is a plethora of other failed catastrophic climate predictions.  Thirty years ago, the Indian Ocean was to swallow the Maldives.  Al Gore, in 2009, predicted the North Pole Ice cap would be melted within the next five to seven years.  Yet the Maldives are still there and icebreakers are getting stuck in Arctic Sea ice.

Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist, wrote The Population Bomb in 1968.  Among his predictions:

“The battle to feed all of humanity is over.”  He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair “England will not exist in the year 2000.”   Dr. Ehrlich was so sure of himself that he warned in 1970 that “sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come.”  By “the end,” he meant “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”

The only end that is coming is for dirty deep state players, assuming Barr and Durham do their jobs.  But England is alive and well, and soon leaving the EU.  India seems to be thriving too.  It wasn’t a population bomb but instead a prediction bomb.

Speaking of England, Prince Charles has been predicting the end of the world as often as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has been telling everyone that Trump is about to be found guilty of collusion, treason, tax evasion, and coloring his hair.

In July 2009, the good prince predicted there were only 96 months to save the world.  That’s eight years, or July 2017, just a couple of months after Robert Mueller began his investigation witch-hunt against President Trump.  It wasn’t the end of the world, only the end of Rachel Maddow and the credibility of her fellow “journalists.”.

In 2015, Charles extended the deadline by 33 years.  How generous.  Too bad he didn’t give his brother, Andrew, a 33-year extension to talk his way out of his Jeffrey Epstein mess.

This year, the Prince of Wales changed his tune again, “Warning that if we don’t tackle climate change in 18 months the human race will go extinct.”  If the prince doesn’t get a handle on his brother and his underage girls, the royal family may go extinct within 18 months.

One year ago, Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told us the world will end in 12 years.  Now we are down to 11 years.  The failed or flailing Democrat presidential candidates agree.

Beto O’Rourke says, “We don’t have more than 10 years to get this right.”  Mayor Pete is a bit more generous, saying, “Science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe when it comes to our climate.”  Andrew Yang threw in the towel, announcing, “We are 10 years too late.  We need to do everything we can to start moving the climate in the right direction, but we also need to start moving our people to higher ground.”

Why don’t they all give it up and stop trying to predict the unpredictable?  The IPCC acknowledges, “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

We can only predict the obvious, that the climate does change over time.  Cooling leads to ice ages and warming melts the ice, as has been occurring on the planet for millions of years.  This has been happening long before humans roamed the Earth, drove SUVs, and grilled burgers in their backyards.

We don’t even know what normal climate is.  Is today colder than normal or warmer? Not over the past hundred years but over the past hundred million years.

For those who claim to know the unknowable, I say “How dare you,” borrowing the catch phrase of the world’s foremost climate expert, a bratty teenager from Sweden.

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The left has corrupted climate in the cause of wealth redistribution, making their braying and doomsaying nothing but noise.  This may get them a few votes, but will not prevent the next heat wave, snowstorm, or hurricane.  Time for them to give it up rather than continuing to double down on stupid. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/01/_climate_predictions__doubling_down_on_stupid.html

Why Puberty Blockers Are A Clear Danger To Children’s Health:

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I have written (see here and here) about physicians who push the boundaries of ethical practice by administering untested medical treatments to children and adolescents suffering from gender dysphoria (or transgender patients). Such treatments include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and so-called sex-reassignment surgery.

Citing guidelines issued by the political advocacy group World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), these physicians admit that the effects of cross-sex hormones are generally irreversible. Vulnerable patients who agree to this treatment are thus crossing the Rubicon into permanent bodily impairment.

However, most doctors insist that puberty blockers are safe and fully reversible, so that patients who decide not to continue with the “transition” can get their healthy bodies back. But mounting medical evidence shows the fallacy of the cavalier implication that puberty blockers are as harmless as aspirin and can be discontinued with as little effect.

Time To ‘Explore Their Identity,’ But At What Cost?

One of the puberty blockers frequently administered to girls who identify as boys (female-to-male, or FtM) is called Lupron. Lupron belongs to a class of drugs called gonadotrophin hormone-releasing (GnRH) agonists and is used to suppress estrogen production, thereby delaying the physical changes of puberty in a pre-pubescent female patient.

The argument is that this will give the girl more time to “explore her identity,” an easier path to physical transitioning before her body matures, and a chance to decide if she wants to pursue more serious measures such as cross-sex hormones and surgery. (More on that later.) The first claim is that Lupron is safe. But thousands of patients who have been treated with Lupron for non-sex-related conditions would disagree.

Lupron was originally Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved to treat prostate cancer, but it’s now routinely prescribed for other conditions such as endometriosis and “precocious puberty” — i.e., puberty that begins too early (generally considered under age eight for girls, under age nine for boys). Many of these patients have experienced extreme side effects that shattered their health and their lives, including severe joint pain, osteoporosis, compromised immune systems, and mental health issues such as severe depression and even suicidal ideation. The FDA has received 24,000 reports of adverse reactions, about half of which the agency has deemed serious.

Lupron manufacturer AbbVie has been fighting lawsuits over the drug for years. In one case pending in federal court in Illinois, 60-year-old Terry Paulsen claims she has endured severe medical problems related to receiving two injections of Lupron for endometriosis 14 years ago. “My body is on fire,” she said. “My joints have arthritis everywhere.” Since her Lupron treatment, Paulsen has suffered not only constant pain but strange rashes, severe osteoporosis, and multiple surgeries.

In another lawsuit, gynecologist David Redwine testified as an expert witness about the adverse effects of Lupron he has observed over 31 years of medical practice. Noting that Lupron’s suppression of the pituitary-gonadal system may affect a body’s immune response, Redwine concluded that the plaintiff in that case suffered extreme bone density loss and other symptoms as a result of being administered Lupron beginning at the age of 17.

Many Patients Suffer From Lupron-Related Side Effects

Tragically, many other young patients have endured similar adverse effects. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a younger patient’s trauma after receiving Lupron treatment for precocious puberty. Now 22, Brooklyn Harbin was injected with Lupron at the age of 10, and soon found herself in such severe pain that she ended up a wheelchair while still in fifth grade.

Dr. Ken Sinervo, an Atlanta-area gynecologist who specializes in endometriosis surgery, reports having seen many women suffering memory loss and joint pain after Lupron treatment. He was quoted as warning that “Lupron or any of the similar types of medications should never be used in someone under the age of 21.”

But of course, all gender dysphoric patients who might be placed on Lupron to delay puberty are years younger than 21. Plus, there’s a serious added danger to using Lupron merely to stop normal puberty in a gender dysphoric child. Such treatment is “off label,” meaning the FDA hasn’t approved the drug for this purpose, nor is there reliable research showing the safety of such use.

The research and consulting firm Hayes, Inc. warned that “the literature is too sparse and the studies [that exist are] too limited to suggest conclusions” about safety and effectiveness of using Lupron and other GnRH agonists on healthy children to prevent normal puberty. The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) points out that puberty blockers alter a patient’s body in myriad ways:

In addition to preventing the development of secondary sex characteristics, GnRH agonists arrest bone growth, decrease bone accretion, prevent the sex-steroid dependent organization and maturation of the adolescent brain, and inhibit fertility by preventing the development of gonadal tissue and mature gametes for the duration of treatment.

Are Lupron’s Effects Really Reversible?

Despite all these warning flags about administering these drugs to healthy children, ideologues such as Dr. Stephen Rosenthal (who receives federal tax dollars to produce research supporting transgender-affirming treatment) see no problem with this experimentation. Rosenthal declares himself a “firm believer” in using GnRH agonists to stop normal body development in gender-confused children.

Rosenthal also insists that the effects of Lupron and other such drugs are “100 percent reversible,” a claim the true believers at WPATH support. Is this true? Mounting evidence suggests the answer is no.

The thousands of complaints about Lupron, mentioned above, show that many adverse side effects can be long-lasting, if not permanent. But even in a patient who doesn’t suffer those effects––that is, when the drug simply delays puberty without causing additional harm––the effect may not be fully reversible.

Reversibility must be considered from both a physical and a psychological perspective. Physically, a particularly problematic result is the direct effect on the pituitary gland. Redwine, the expert witness on the dangers of Lupron mentioned above, cited a study of impaired pituitary function: “The most important finding of this review comes from study M84-042. The study provides the evidence that 62.5% of patients [treated with Lupron for endometriosis] had not regained baseline estrogen levels by one year after stopping Lupron.”

In other words, the effect on the pituitary was not reversible for the majority of those patients. Endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw also warns that bone density may never recover from use of puberty blockers:

There is an exquisitely timed release and change of multiple hormones during normal puberty. Among these are growth hormone and the sex hormones which account for the growth spurt including bone growth and development. It has been shown that puberty blockers interfere with the expected increase in bone density in adolescence such that the bones are not as strong as they would be had normal pubertal development been allowed. This is due to the effect of dropping sex hormone levels to subnormal levels. These lost years of bone development cannot be regained.

Outgrowing Dysphoria Naturally

If this weren’t enough reason for parents to refuse such treatment for their minor children, Laidlaw says that “what parents should find truly terrifying is the psychological effect of this medication.” Under the traditional treatment for gender dysphoria, which involves “watchful waiting or pursuit of family and individual psychotherapy,” between 80 and 95 percent of adolescent patients outgrow their dysphoria naturally.

In other words, only 5 to 10 percent of those children remain dysphoric and go on to request further treatments. But a major study of dysphoric children who were administered puberty blockers found that 100 percent went on to request cross-sex hormones.

Why would a child whose normal puberty is short-circuited be more likely to move on to radical treatment with cross-sex hormones and perhaps surgery? Laidlaw attributes this phenomenon to “a very strong psychologically addictive component to this medication, so that once children begin taking these blockers, they never leave the road of high-dose synthetic hormones and irreversible surgeries.”

ACPeds agrees, offering a theory grounded in neuroscience and social science:

There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging a young child with GD to socially impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. Purely from a social learning point of view, the repeated behavior of impersonating and being treated as the opposite sex will make identity alignment with the child’s biologic sex less likely. This, together with the suppression of puberty that prevents further endogenous masculinization or feminization of the entire body and brain, causes the child to remain either a gender non-conforming pre-pubertal boy disguised as a pre-pubertal girl, or the reverse. Since their peers develop normally into young men or young women, these children are left psychosocially isolated. They will be less able to identify as being the biological male or female they actually are.

ACPeds concludes: “A protocol of impersonation and pubertal suppression that sets into motion a single inevitable outcome (transgender identification) that requires lifelong use of toxic synthetic hormones, resulting in infertility, is neither fully reversible nor harmless.”

Rosenthal, Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, and the other medical ideologues who plow ahead with these therapies haven’t refuted these concerns. They seem to simply ignore them. That such behavior is allowed by the medical establishment, and even funded by federal tax dollars, is a travesty. Can we sink any lower than to sacrifice children to political ideology? https://thefederalist.com/2018/12/14/puberty-blockers-clear-danger-childrens-health/