Post-Weinstein Hollywood may be “bending over backward to make sure women get noticed this year,” says Brandon Morse at Red State, but “one movie featuring a powerful woman is noticeably absent from the current crop of Oscar nominations, despite its success and approval.”
That would be “Wonder Woman,” the highest-grossing superhero origin movie of all time. Why the snub? Well, feminists consider the character too sexy and traditional to be “suitable as a rep for their narrative.”
Then there’s star Gal Gadot — an unabashedly proud Israeli and veteran of Israel’s military.
So “a very successful film directed by a woman will get no recognition at the Oscars, because it starred the wrong woman, sporting the wrong values, having the wrong looks and promoting the wrong behaviors.”
The recent protests by black players in the National Football League were rather sad for their fruitlessness. They may point to the end of an era for black America, and for the country generally—an era in which protest has been the primary means of black advancement in American life.
There was a forced and unconvincing solemnity on the faces of these players as they refused to stand for the national anthem. They seemed more dutiful than passionate, as if they were mimicking the courage of earlier black athletes who had protested: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, fists in the air at the 1968 Olympics; Muhammad Ali, fearlessly raging against the Vietnam War; Jackie Robinson, defiantly running the bases in the face of racist taunts. The NFL protesters seemed to hope for a little ennoblement by association.
And protest has long been an ennobling tradition in black American life. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the march on Selma, from lunch-counter sit-ins and Freedom Rides to the 1963 March on Washington, only protest could open the way to freedom and the acknowledgment of full humanity. So it was a high calling in black life. It required great sacrifice and entailed great risk. Martin Luther King Jr. , the archetypal black protester, made his sacrifices, ennobled all of America, and was then shot dead.
For the NFL players there was no real sacrifice, no risk and no achievement. Still, in black America there remains a great reverence for protest. Through protest—especially in the 1950s and ’60s—we, as a people, touched greatness. Protest, not immigration, was our way into the American Dream. Freedom in this country had always been relative to race, and it was black protest that made freedom an absolute.
It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historic moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.
What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.
Of course this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.
Protest always tries to make a point. But what happens when that point already has been made—when, in this case, racism has become anathema and freedom has expanded?
What happened was that black America was confronted with a new problem: the shock of freedom. This is what replaced racism as our primary difficulty. Blacks had survived every form of human debasement with ingenuity, self-reliance, a deep and ironic humor, a capacity for self-reinvention and a heroic fortitude. But we had no experience of wide-open freedom.
Watch out that you get what you ask for, the saying goes. Freedom came to blacks with an overlay of cruelty because it meant we had to look at ourselves without the excuse of oppression. Four centuries of dehumanization had left us underdeveloped in many ways, and within the world’s most highly developed society. When freedom expanded, we became more accountable for that underdevelopment. So freedom put blacks at risk of being judged inferior, the very libel that had always been used against us.
To hear, for example, that more than 4,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2016 embarrasses us because this level of largely black-on-black crime cannot be blamed simply on white racism.
We can say that past oppression left us unprepared for freedom. This is certainly true. But it is no consolation. Freedom is just freedom. It is a condition, not an agent of change. It does not develop or uplift those who win it. Freedom holds us accountable no matter the disadvantages we inherit from the past. The tragedy in Chicago—rightly or wrongly—reflects on black America.
That’s why, in the face of freedom’s unsparing judgmentalism, we reflexively claim that freedom is a lie. We conjure elaborate narratives that give white racism new life in the present: “systemic” and “structural” racism, racist “microaggressions,” “white privilege,” and so on. All these narratives insist that blacks are still victims of racism, and that freedom’s accountability is an injustice.
We end up giving victimization the charisma of black authenticity. Suffering, poverty and underdevelopment are the things that make you “truly black.” Success and achievement throw your authenticity into question.
The NFL protests were not really about injustice. Instead such protests are usually genuflections to today’s victim-focused black identity. Protest is the action arm of this identity. It is not seeking a new and better world; it merely wants documentation that the old racist world still exists. It wants an excuse.
For any formerly oppressed group, there will be an expectation that the past will somehow be an excuse for difficulties in the present. This is the expectation behind the NFL protests and the many protests of groups like Black Lives Matter. The near-hysteria around the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others is also a hunger for the excuse of racial victimization, a determination to keep it alive. To a degree, black America’s self-esteem is invested in the illusion that we live under a cloud of continuing injustice.
When you don’t know how to go forward, you never just sit there; you go backward into what you know, into what is familiar and comfortable and, most of all, exonerating. You rebuild in your own mind the oppression that is fading from the world. And you feel this abstract, fabricated oppression as if it were your personal truth, the truth around which your character is formed. Watching the antics of Black Lives Matter is like watching people literally aspiring to black victimization, longing for it as for a consummation.
But the NFL protests may be a harbinger of change. They elicited considerable resentment. There have been counterprotests. TV viewership has gone down. Ticket sales have dropped. What is remarkable about this response is that it may foretell a new fearlessness in white America—a new willingness in whites (and blacks outside the victim-focused identity) to say to blacks what they really think and feel, to judge blacks fairly by standards that are universal.
We blacks have lived in a bubble since the 1960s because whites have been deferential for fear of being seen as racist. The NFL protests reveal the fundamental obsolescence—for both blacks and whites—of a victim-focused approach to racial inequality. It causes whites to retreat into deference and blacks to become nothing more than victims. It makes engaging as human beings and as citizens impermissible, a betrayal of the sacred group identity. Black victimization is not much with us any more as a reality, but it remains all too powerful as a hegemony.
Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).
A columnist for San Juan’s El Nuevo Día published a column blaming Jews for controlling the disaster relief efforts after a devastating hurricane struck the island September 2017.
In her bizarre rant “What Does ‘The Jew’ Want From The Colony?,” Wilda Rodriguez says decisions about the future of the island’s finances and infrastructure are being manipulated “behind closed doors” by Jews who constitute “the secret structure that rules the United States.”
Forty-five percent of the island’s residents currently lack power and many are facing food and medical supply shortages. Many cite the island’s pre-hurricane infrastructure’s poor upkeep as one of the main reasons why the island’s recovery efforts have taken so long.
“More than 20 years ago, the Israeli paper Ma’ariv had an article in Hebrew that explained how the Jews control Washington,” Rodriguez writes. “For Israelis, recognizing Jewish power over Washington is not an offensive statement. It is the victory of the Diaspora.”
Rodriguez continues by providing a conspiracy theory that Jews on Wall Street are punishing the island because of its massive $70 billion debt, which she believes would be “fatal” to financial markets if Puerto Rico refused to pay back.
“The punishment needs to make it clear to the debtor world that Wall Street cannot be manipulated,” she writes.
The article was later updated with a disclaimer from Rodriguez apologizing for any “offense to people of that religion.” El Nuevo Día also provided its own statement saying the paper does “not promote content that can be interpreted as anti-Semitic.”
The Cuban dictatorship that committed war crimes against American POWs in Vietnam happens to be the exact same Cuban dictatorship that so many people in the U.S. want to become friends with today. In the decades since Vietnam, the U.S. has had several new presidents and administrations, but in Cuba, nothing has changed; the dictatorship is still run by a Castro.
Fidel Castro’s crimes against American pilots (POWs) in Vietnam
Cuban officials, under diplomatic cover in Hanoi during the Vietnam War, brutally tortured and killed American POW’s whom they beat brutally in a submission program ordered by Fidel Castro and sanctioned by the North Vietnamese.  This was dubbed the “Cuban Program” by the Department of Defense and the CIA, and it involved 19 American Prisoners of War.
A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report states that “The objective of the interrogators was to obtain the total submission of the prisoners….” 
In April 1999, the story of Castro’s officers torturing American POW’s in Vietnam was published in a research book “Honor Bound” written by Stuart Rochester and Frederick Kiley.  It explained that almost daily for one year, the man the POW’s called “Fidel” whipped them with strips cut from rubber tires until their buttocks hung in shreds.
The American POW’s gave their jail the name of “the Zoo” and their Cuban torturers the names “Fidel,” “Chico,” and “Pancho.” The Vietnamese camp commander was given the name “the lump” because of a fatty tumor growth in the middle of his forehead.
In his book “Faith of my Father,” Senator John McCain, a pilot, shot down and taken prisoner in North Vietnam wrote: “In the Zoo, mass torture was a routine practice. For a time, the camp personnel at the Zoo included an English-speaking Cuban, called “Fidel,” who delighted in breaking Americans, even when the task required him to torture his victims to death.”
The total submission behavior set by the Castro’s psychopaths included bowing to a Vietnamese guard, smoking cigarettes in front of other prisoners, or making tape-recorded statements to be published by the Communist propaganda media. Since the beginning of the Revolution (January, 1959), Castro had an obsession with the techniques used in torturing critical prisoners of the underground groups in Cuba’s jails.
The American POW’s level of agony was a living hell. The Castro agents placed the awaiting prisoners in cells next to the torture chamber, so they could hear the screams inflicted on the suffering prisoners.
Upon his return to the U.S. a debriefer quoted one POW as saying: “The anticipation of beatings became more of a threat than the actual beating. Nervous to the point of loosening of bowels when they heard the key in the lock.” 
Colonel Earl Cobeil, a Navy F-105 pilot was the worst case recorded by debriefers in the “Cuban Program.” “The sight of Cobeil walking back from the torture chamber was a horrible experience. The man could barely walk; he shuffled slowly, painfully. His clothes were torn to shreds. He was bleeding everywhere, terribly swollen, dirty, black and purple from head to toe. The man’s head was down: he made no attempt to look at anyone. He had been through much more than the daily beatings. His body was ripped and torn; slivers of bamboo were embedded in the bloodied shins and there were what appeared to be tread marks from the hose across the chest, back and legs. “Fidel” smashed a fist into the man’s face, driving him against the wall. Then he was brought to the center of the room and made to bend down on his knees. Screaming in rage, “Fidel” took a rubber hose from a guard and lashed it as hard as he could in the man’s face. The prisoner did not react. He did not cry out or even blink. Again and again, a dozen times the Cuban smashed the man’s face with the hose.”
Col Earl Cobeil, a prisoner of war, was beaten in the “Cuba Program” to the point where he was completely catatonic, incapable of responding to any command. He was listed as having died in Vietnam captivity. 
“Fidel” was over six feet tall, in his early 30s, muscular, ramrod-straight, with full command of English, with American slang and personal knowledge of many cities in the Southeastern United States from Miami to the Carolinas.  “Fidel” has been identified by some of the POW’s in the “Cuban Program” as Fernando Vecino Alegret. Fernando Vecino Alegret lived in the United States for extensive periods of time, including Miami, and studied at the University of Alabama, until he joined the Castro’s guerrillas in 1958. Today, at 79-year-old, he is a retired brigadier general of the Cuban FAR, and veteran of Castro’s guerrillas.
The agonizing tortures inflicted by Cuban officers in Vietnam against American POWs’ is another criminal chapter in Fidel Castro’s obsessive hate of the United States.
Pedro Roig, Esq. is Executive Director at the Cuban Studies Institute. He holds a Masters of Arts degree from University of Miami and a Juris Doctor Degree from St. Thomas University. He has written several books including “The Death of a Dream: A History of Cuba” and “Marti: The Cuban Struggle for Freedom.” He is a veteran of the Brigade 2506.
 United States Air Force, June 1975, Special Exploitation Program for SEASIA PW’s, 1967-1968. Ep. No. A10-2
 CIA memorandum From: Deputy Director of Operations. For Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, dated 28 Jan., Sub: Identification of “Fidel,” Cuban Interrogator of U.S. Prisoners of War in North Vietnam.
 “Honor Bound” Rochester, S.I. and F. Kiley l (1998). The History of the American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. Historical Dept.
 Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald, August 22, 1999.
 Rochester and Kiley. “Honor Bound.”
 Hubble, J.B., 1976, P.O.W. Readers Digest Press.
 Hubbar, E. Orlando Sentinel, August 23, 1999.
Ah, Paris. The city of romance, style, sophistication…not to mention liberté, égalité, fraternité. It’s all so civilized, so humanistic, so… je ne sais quoi. Perhaps a mere Cuban should not presume to understand its ways, let alone pass judgment on it, but alas, I am one of “those people,” and you know how they are.
The current (and first female) mayor of Paris is Anne Hidalgo, born in Spain of Spanish parents but raised in France. Unlike her horrid technically female counterparts in Madrid and Barcelona, she’s presentable, can smile pleasantly and could pass for a nice person. Of course, she is a Socialist, so there’s that. She’s also an outspoken atheist, but that’s hardly worse than being a fake or dangerously heretical “Christian” (like, well, you know).
But let’s cut to the chase: the ritzy Paris Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), obviously her turf, is now holding a free public exhibition (Dec 20-Feb 17) called “Che in Paris.” Apparently to drum up visitors, Hidalgo tweeted this on Dec 28:
Avec l’exposition Le CHE à Paris, la capitale rend hommage à une figure de la révolution devenue une icône militante et romantique. A découvrir gratuitement à l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris.
“The capital honors a revolutionary figure that has become a militant and romantic icon.” Honors. Romantic. Herwords.
Displayed prominently in large letters on a wall at the exhibit is this gem from Che, which sounds even better in French:
Il faut s’endurcir sans perdre la tendresse. “One must toughen up without losing tenderness.” Words fail, but then again, they’d probably be redundant. We’re all excruciatingly familiar with Che’s tenderness.
Yes, to be fair, there has been negative reaction in France to this, uh, gaucherie (though not, of course, from the left), and Hidalgo has been put on the defensive, especially concerning the wording in her exceedingly, uh, dubious tweet. She claims she did not call Che romantic, but only said he had become a romantic figure. Classic, n’est-ce pas? Vil Clinton would approve the dodge, no doubt. She also claims the controversy has been engineered by the extreme right. Sound familiar? It would to Mrs. Clinton.
But I don’t want to tirarme pal solar or anything and hurl obscenities at Madame Hidalgo. I have just three words for her: Santocielo, el asco.
By Dr. Michelle Cretella – President American College of Pediatricians
Transgender politics have taken Americans by surprise, and caught some lawmakers off guard.
Just a few short years ago, not many could have imagined a high-profile showdown over transgender men and women’s access to single-sex bathrooms in North Carolina.
But transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws. It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us—children—and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.
I speak as someone intimately familiar with the pediatric and behavioral health communities and their practices. I am a mother of four who served 17 years as a board certified general pediatrician with a focus in child behavioral health prior to leaving clinical practice in 2012.
For the last 12 years, I have been a board member and researcher for the American College of Pediatricians, and for the last three years I have served as its president.
I also sat on the board of directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity from 2010 to 2015. This organization of physicians and mental health professionals defends the right of patients to receive psychotherapy for sexual identity conflicts that is in line with their deeply held values based upon science and medical ethics.
I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal.
Here’s a look at some of the changes.
The New Normal
Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013.
In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, clustered chiefly along the east coast and in California. One year later, there were 40 across the nation.
With 215 pediatric residency programs now training future pediatricians in a transition-affirming protocol and treating gender-dysphoric children accordingly, gender clinics are bound to proliferate further.
Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.
Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has pressed ahead, claiming—without any evidence—that these procedures are “safe.”
Two leading pediatric associations—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society—have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence.
They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.
The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.
(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)
The transition-affirming protocol tells parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers around age 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric.
If by age 16, the children still insist that they are trapped in the wrong body, they are placed on cross-sex hormones, and biological girls may obtain a double mastectomy.
So-called “bottom surgeries,” or genital reassignment surgeries, are not recommended before age 18, though some surgeons have recently argued against this restriction.
The transition-affirming approach has been embraced by public institutions in media, education, and our legal system, and is now recommended by most national medical organizations.
There are exceptions to this movement, however, in addition to the American College of Pediatricians and the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice. These include the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the LGBT-affirming Youth Gender Professionals.
The transgender movement has gained legs in the medical community and in our culture by offering a deeply flawed narrative. The scientific research and facts tell a different story.
Here are some of those basic facts.
Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”
Some brain studies have suggested that some are born with a transgendered brain. But these studies are seriously flawed and prove no such thing.
Virtually everything about human beings is influenced by our DNA, but very few traits are hardwired from birth. All human behavior is a composite of varying degrees for nature and nurture.
Researchers routinely conduct twin studies to discern which factors (biological or nonbiological) contribute more to the expression of a particular trait. The best designed twin studies are those with the greatest number of subjects.
Identical twins contain 100 percent of the same DNA from conception and are exposed to the same prenatal hormones. So if genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, we should expect both twins to identify as transgender close to 100 percent of the time.
Skin color, for example, is determined by genes alone. Therefore, identical twins have the same skin color 100 percent of the time.
But in the largest study of twin transgender adults, published by Dr. Milton Diamond in 2013, only 28 percent of the identical twins both identified as transgender. Seventy-two percent of the time, they differed. (Diamond’s study reported 20 percent identifying as transgender, but his actual data demonstrate a 28 percent figure, as I note here in footnote 19.)
That 28 percent of identical twins both identified as transgender suggests a minimal biological predisposition, which means transgenderism will not manifest itself without outside nonbiological factors also impacting the individual during his lifetime.
The fact that the identical twins differed 72 percent of the time is highly significant because it means that at least 72 percent of what contributes to transgenderism in one twin consists of nonshared experiences after birth—that is, factors not rooted in biology.
Studies like this one prove that the belief in “innate gender identity”—the idea that “feminized” or “masculinized” brains can be trapped in the wrong body from before birth—is a myth that has no basis in science.
Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children.
Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.
But with transition affirmation now increasing in Western society, the number of children claiming distress over their gender—and their persistence over time—has dramatically increased. For example, the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom alone has seen a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009.
Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe.
Puberty blockers have been studied and found safe for the treatment of a medical disorder in children called precocious puberty (caused by the abnormal and unhealthy early secretion of a child’s pubertal hormones).
The authors note that there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.
With regard to the latter, while we currently don’t have any extensive, long-term studies of children placed on blockers for gender dysphoria, studies conducted on adults from the past decade give cause for concern.
For example, in 2006 and 2007, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported brain abnormalities in the area of memory and executive functioning among adult women who received blockers for gynecologic reasons. Similarly, many studies of men treated for prostate cancer with blockers also suggest the possibility of significant cognitive decline.
There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers.
Most, if not all, children on puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones (estrogen for biological boys, testosterone for biological girls). The only study to date to have followed pre-pubertal children who were socially affirmed and placed on blockers at a young age found that 100 percent of them claimed a transgender identity and chose cross-sex hormones.
This suggests that the medical protocol itself may lead children to identify as transgender.
There is an obvious self-fulfilling effect in helping children impersonate the opposite sex both biologically and socially. This is far from benign, since taking puberty blockers at age 12 or younger, followed by cross-sex hormones, sterilizes a child.
Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks.
From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.
Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the adult capacity needed for risk assessment.
Scientific data show that people under the age of 21 have less capacity to assess risks. There is a serious ethical problem in allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young themselves to give valid consent.
There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children.
Advocates of the transition-affirming protocol allege that suicide is the direct and inevitable consequence of withholding social affirmation and biological alterations from a gender-dysphoric child. In other words, those who do not endorse the transition-affirming protocol are essentially condemning gender-dysphoric children to suicide.
Yet as noted earlier, prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.
In addition, contrary to the claim of activists, there is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group. In fact, at least one study from 2008 found perceived discrimination by LGBT-identified individuals not to be causative.
Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder, and there is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different. Many gender dysphoric children simply need therapy to get to the root of their depression, which very well may be the same problem triggering the gender dysphoria.
Transition-affirming protocol has not solved the problem of transgender suicide.
Adults who undergo sex reassignment—even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBT-affirming countries—have a suicide rate nearly 20 times greater than that of the general population. Clearly, sex reassignment is not the solution to gender dysphoria.
Bottom Line: Transition-Affirming Protocol Is Child Abuse
The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their nondysphoric peers.
These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.
Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage.
These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.
It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.