The Corner


Twenty-Five Things That Caught My Eye: A Call to Prayer for China, Adoption & Foster Care & More


2. Important religious freedom win in Indiana

3. Milwaukee archdiocese sues over pandemic prison ministry prohibition

4. National Catholic Register: Lord David Alton Is Not Remaining Silent on China and Human Rights

“[The Uyghurs] have been turned into slave labor,” explained Alton. “I have visited Western China. I have taken evidence from Uyghurs who have escaped. They have described torture, sterilization and forced abortion. They have been subject to mass incarceration, to propagandistic ‘reeducation’ to renounce their religious and cultural beliefs.”

5. Sarah Stewart: Unintended Consequences of Biden’s Rescinding of Mexico City Policy

Biden’s executive order rescinding the Mexico City policy likewise reversed the Trump administration’s Kemp-Kasten determination, and the U.S. will once again fund the U.N. Population Fund.

. . .

While it would be preferable that the Mexico City policy in its entirety be reinstated, terminating funding to organizations that assist with forced or coerced procedures should be an area of bipartisan agreement.

For those who argue for abortion on the basis of “choice” and self-determination, forced procedures are the antithesis of what they claim they defend. No woman should ever forcibly have her child taken from her, and no woman should ever suffer the indignity of forced sterilization. Subjecting women to such treatment is a grave human rights abuse.

Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize those atrocities directly or indirectly. Congress should act to eliminate this loophole permanently, and it should put in place strict accountability measures to ensure that no taxpayers ever need be concerned that their tax dollars are funding China’s human rights abuses or similar abuses in any other nation.

6.  Daily Mail: Chinese man ‘sells his son’, 2, to a childless couple for £17,000

A Chinese man has been arrested for allegedly selling his son, two, and using the money to go travelling with his new girlfriend.

7. Dr. Tara Sander Lee, Dr. David Prentice, Lila Rose: Policymakers Must Prevent Unethical ‘Baby in a Bottle’ Science Experiments

…Researchers injected embryonic stem cells from a destroyed human embryo into the mouse embryos to make human-mouse “chimeras”—a hybrid species with both mouse and human parts, including hybrid brains. They were allowed to grow for 14 days, then killed.

But these experiments do not—and will not—stop here. The lead scientist of the “mouse in a bottle” research team is calling for human beings to be next. He is quoted in Technology Review saying, “I would advocate growing it [a human embryo] until day 40 and then disposing of it.”

. . .

Human “baby in a bottle” experiments are not happening yet, mostly because of the “14-day limit,” a rule not to grow human embryos beyond two weeks in the lab, that scientists worldwide have agreed upon. This limit—written into law in some countries, but only a guideline in others, including the U.S.—is insufficient to prevent the unethical creation of human embryos for experimentation. There have been increasing calls to remove the 14-day limit as scientists seek to experiment on nascent human life.

. . .

If the ISSCR drops the 14-day rule, the horrendous practice of growing human babies in the lab will almost certainly proceed unchecked.


9. Christine Emba: When it comes to Biden’s child-care provisions, the GOP actually has a point

The GOP has spent years warning against the safety net as a cushy, dependence-inducing hammock and demanding work requirements to obtain benefits. Now some, at least, seem willing to give money directly to families to let them choose how to spend it. Republican Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and even Hawley have pitched programs of generous cash benefits for families with children in which the usual maze of tax code and welfare strictures seem conspicuously absent.

Biden and fellow Democrats should take them up on it. The American Families Plan could simply give families money and let them to choose whether to pay for care or allow one or both parents to take time at home. And Democrats should push Republicans to walk their talk and support policies that would make it possible for a family to survive on a single worker’s income, reforms such as a higher minimum wage and a true medical safety net.

10. Naomi Schaefer Riley: Wokeness Has Come For adoption. It’s The Children Who Will Suffer

In a startling new report, Bethany Christian Services, one of the largest adoption agencies in the country, announced that allowing white families to adopt Black children from the foster care system “can cause a lot of harm to children of color.” As a result, the agency favors “overhauling” the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act, which bars racial discrimination in placing a child into an adoptive family. As part of its “long journey toward becoming an anti-racist organization,” Bethany’s leaders now believe a child’s race should be considered “as part of the best interest determination for child placement.”

11. More from Naomi: Biden Tuition Plan Boosts Colleges, Not Students

“Revolutionary.” That’s how Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government relations at the American Council on Education, describes President Joe Biden’s new higher education plan. “It is very different than anything we have ever tried to do before in postsecondary education,” he declared.

That’s a nice sound bite, but the president’s plan actually relies on the same dubious principles that have guided U.S. higher education policy for the better part of a century. It would boost federal subsidies intended to lower the cost of higher education for people who can’t afford it — but which have turned out to let colleges spend more money (rarely on teaching), raise tuition prices and make higher education harder for ordinary Americans to afford.

12. And another: Don’t Blame Foster Care

Ma’Khia and her three younger siblings were removed from their mother in March 2018, after police responded to an “incident” at a residence. They found the children unsupervised and also found evidence of abuse by the mother and an older sibling. Ma’Khia’s grandmother took the children in at this point, but their mother did not comply with court orders for mental-health counseling and failed to show up for visitation with her children during this time. After 16 months, their grandmother returned them to the agency.

In other words, these kids were not removed from their biological home and their extended family because of poverty. There’s a big difference between poverty, on the one hand, and abuse and neglect. The vast majority of poor people in the United States don’t abuse their children or leave them unsupervised for long periods of time. Poor grandmothers do not drop off their children with state agencies when they’ve had enough of them. These are signs of profound dysfunction. It’s incumbent on those who want to abolish foster care to explain how giving more money to families like the Bryants would have allowed Ma’Khia to have a safe, decent childhood.

13. Dan Lipinski: How to Build Levin’s “Party of the Congress” and Make the Institution Great Again

In 2017, I joined the newly formed House Problem Solvers Caucus, which works to develop bipartisan policy solutions. The caucus now has fifty-eight members and always maintains an even partisan representation in its membership. It operates through a process much like the one Madison intended for Congress: open participation and deliberation in an attempt to reach bipartisan policy agreements that can become law.

In some ways, this caucus is a “party of the Congress” in the House. Two years ago, the Problem Solvers began to work more closely with a likeminded bipartisan group of senators, and their collaboration helped get a COVID relief package passed in December 2020. Despite this success and a few others—including relief for the border crisis in June 2019—the caucus has struggled to have an impact, because House rules give the Speaker a tremendous ability to control who and what can be heard in the legislative process. In 2017, the caucus generated and endorsed substantial bipartisan proposals addressing immigration reform and improvements in the Affordable Care Act, but neither could be brought to the floor.

For a “party of the Congress” to have a chance to build its membership in the House, members must see opportunities for efforts such as this to succeed. The Problem Solvers Caucus has understood that this will require House rules to be changed.

14. Scott Gottlieb: Covid Lessons From Bush’s Effort Against AIDS

A U.S. program could complement global partnerships like the United Nations program Covax, which is distributing vaccines donated by U.S. drugmakers to low-income nations. Low- and middle-income countries are no less deserving than Americans of a vaccine that meets U.S. standards for safety and efficacy.

Demand for knockoff vaccines will be filled by Indian and Chinese companies that don’t do business with Western drug makers and are eager to exploit America’s advanced technology without paying for it. They will be unbound by American safety standards.

Patent-breaking offers a false hope of a quick fix. Policy makers need to deal with the underlying problem—the scarcity of ingredients and the know-how to put them together.

15. The Daily Signal: How Lila Rose Challenged Abortion Industry and Became a Voice for Unborn

I learned at the time there were 3,000 abortions legally a day in America, which is the leading cause of death to this day. It’s the leading cause of death in America, the abortion death rate. And that inspired me.

I mean, I cared about a lot of other causes too. I was interested in a lot of things, but I kept coming back to this injustice because I saw society accepting it. I saw that it was legalized, and I saw the sheer death toll of innocent children.

And I thought, “How can we say this is for women? How can we advance ourselves as women on the bodies of our children? This is unjust at its core.” And so that inspired me to start Live Action.

16. Joel Mokyr: The Great Fake

Imitative technology increases our options, but it does not lock us in. When we go back to a world where we’re not fearful of being infected by others, telepresence will be an addition, not a replacement. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys the watercooler encounter with a gregarious colleague, or taking a client out to lunch, there is nothing to stop you. It seems likely that hybridizing will be a good outcome: work three days a week at home and two days in the office. If employers think that nothing stimulates creativity more than personal contact, they can mandate some degree of that—without necessarily precluding you from doing the rest of the work in your home study.

The shift may not even necessarily cut commutes. One initially perplexing finding of the Federal Reserve of St. Louis study was that office workers who telecommuted some of the time actually drove more miles yearly than their counterparts coming to the office daily. The reason: the telecommuters chose to live farther away and thus had longer, if fewer, drives—but presumably also enjoyed less confined and less expensive housing and chose their hours, so that they were likely better-off overall. Imitative technology gives us the flexibility to work in ways that suit us best.

17. In fight against modern book burning, conservative Yale students host authors of canceled books

Abigail Shrier, journalist and author of “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” denounced today’s cancel culture and pessimism as “not American” in a recent talk to Yale University students.

. . .

Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” echoed similar sentiments as a fellow speaker at the event, titled “Modern Day Book Burning: The New Digital Censorship.”

“Maybe we’re right, maybe we’re wrong. The only way that you’re gonna show us that we’re wrong, though, is by actually engaging the substance of the book. Not delisting us, that doesn’t persuade either of us,” Anderson said.

18. Ramesh Ponnuru: Housing Problem is Progressives’ Problem to Fix

19. J. D. Vance, Jenet Erickson: Biden’s Daycare Plan is Bad For Families

Criticism of the Biden approach invites immediate scorn from certain elite quarters. Brown University economist Emily Oster argues that criticisms of Mr. Biden’s proposal are “not supported by the data. . . . Child care is not ‘terrible for children.’ ” The essential point isn’t that “child care” is bad for kids, however, but that a federal push to get droves of children into daycare is. These are two different things, raising radically different questions. For example, how can we ensure safe facilities and capable caregivers for millions of additional children moved abruptly into child care? Hardly a trivial logistical challenge.

Moreover, the available empirical data contradict Ms. Oster’s argument. In 1997 the provincial government of Quebec began offering child care for 5 Canadian dollars a day to all families, regardless of income. Almost two decades later, economists Michael Baker, Kevin Milligan and Jonathan Gruber found that children from two-parent families who participated showed significant increases in anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity. Those effects persisted—and even grew—as they reached young adulthood. Self-reported health and life satisfaction decreased significantly. Boys who participated were more likely to commit crimes. It was, to put it bluntly, a disaster for Quebec’s children.

20. William McGurn: Who’s Afraid of Tim Scott?

That’s the trouble with narratives. They are one size fits all, with no room for considering the individual case on its merits and particular circumstances. This is what Mr. Scott was referring to when he suggested race is used as “a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants”—by slamming anyone who raises an inconvenient fact as racist or dismissing speech as invalid based solely on the speaker’s racial identity.

As Mr. Scott put it, “It’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.” But this is precisely what narratives do—and in fact are meant to do.

. . .

Now, it is true that Mr. Scott, as an African-American, is better positioned than a white Republican to push back on progressive race narratives. Then again, a white Republican never has to face the ugly treatment reserved for African-American conservatives and Republicans who dare challenge the prevailing progressive pieties.

As we saw after his speech, progressive bigotry can be as crude as the more traditional varieties: “Uncle Tim,” an unsubtle way to call Mr. Scott an “Uncle Tom,” trended on Twitter ; a Texas county chairman of the Democratic Party called him an “Oreo” in a Facebook post; and white liberals such as Jimmy Kimmel and Joy Behar condescended to the senator, apparently believing him in desperate need of celebrity instruction on race and racism.

21. Stephen L Carter: A Book You Remember, a Kindle You Forget

Baron endorses Nicholas Carr’s “shallowing” hypothesis, which she describes as the notion that “when reading on a digital device, people expend less mental effort than when reading print.” The idea has been much debated, but increasingly seems to be true. The fear is that the loss of mental effort will lead to a loss in overall thoughtfulness. Baron reports: “In 2019, US teenagers averaged 7 h and 22 min daily of screen time – not including work for school assignments. Of this, 39% was spent using social media, compared with 2% for eReading.” (Requiescat in pace, democratic dialogue!)  

Although it’s a commonplace of the literature that reading on paper leads to greater comprehension than reading on the screen, many researchers have wondered whether those findings are simply artifactual, the results of testing people who grew up with paper and later moved to digital. On this theory, as digital reading supersedes paper, rates of comprehension should rise.

Recent work, however, suggests the contrary: As time passes, and young people gain more experience reading digitally, the advantage of reading a physical text actually grows larger. If this result holds, we’ll be forced to conclude that the advantages of reading on paper as against reading digitally rest on something more than familiarity.

22. Ben Shapiro’s sister Abby reveals heartbreaking miscarriage: ‘I consider myself a mom’

. . . During the span of 47 years, the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome has increased 37 years! This is largely credited to a decrease in institutionalization and “improved access to medical care, such as surgical intervention for congenital heart defects.” Medical feats have contributed enormously to the quality of life for these children, as has the cultural acceptance that has blossomed over the past few decades alone.

Unfortunately, in recent years, some of the same medical technology aimed to help individuals with Down syndrome has become weaponized against them. Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT ) is used to determine a baby’s risk for genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

Ideally, a parent would use the information gained from the test to prepare for their forthcoming bundle of joy; however, NIPT has come to be used as a test to determine one’s “worthiness.” Tragically, as of 2007 in the United States, there was a 30 percent reduction in live births of babies with Down syndrome due to elective abortion.

24. 53 years of marriage and 100 foster daughters: ‘We made our home a home for everybody’

Their daughters had gone off to college, and their home in Kennedy Heights felt empty. To the Hills, it wasn’t a big deal. To hear them tell it, bringing strangers into their home and caring for them – as if they were their own kids – was no more difficult than a trip to the grocery store.

This is what makes the Hills remarkable: They don’t think they did anything special.

25. Elizabeth Bruenig: I Became a Mother at 25, and I’m Not Sorry I Didn’t Wait


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