Smart Talk #23

Dallas (TX) Mayor, and Black American, Eric Johnson, a strong supporter of law enforcement, has decided to leave the Democrat Party and become a Republican.  His reason: “The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism.” Reportedly, after Mayor Johnson took office (2019), Dallas gained a significant decrease in crime. Said a spokesperson for the Austin (TX) Police Retired Officers Association: “When you have a mayor who support the police not only in his words, but in his actions, you see what happens to crime in your city.”  The latter spoken from sad experience.  Austin, Texas, under Democrat “leadership,” was swept up in the ‘defund the police’ movement of a couple of years back, resulting in a crime increase in that city and the resultant loss of police officers “retiring in droves due to low morale” and the lack of public and administrative support.  Dallas has made an effort to recruit many of these already trained, metropolitan-experienced officers.  Congratulations to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson for his smart decision to switch over to the Republican Party to work for a brighter future for his city and for America. By the way, as a measure of his electoral popularity, Mayor Johnson was re-elected without opposition!  We wish him continued success in leading from the right.

On the subject of transgender medical procedures for children, a recent Center Square Voters’ Voice poll reported that “58 percent of respondents are against medical interventions, such as trans-related surgery or puberty blockers for children under the age of 18.”  Additionally, only 10% of those responding to the poll felt that kids should have the ability to undergo trans-interventions, even if they want to.  And 21% said that children should only be able to undergo such treatments with parental approval. A doctor cited in the study “explained how giving a child puberty blockers will shut down the hypothalamus, which controls emotions, sexuality, and the aesthetic sense. To shut down that system is to shut down what makes us human.” And by the way, again, those responding to the poll who were in favor of trans-related surgery or puberty blockers for children, were “voters who identified themselves as ‘a strong Democrat,” reported the survey.  So then, Democrats who supported these trans-sexual drugs and procedures apparently have no problem with the ultimate (sometimes permanent) mutilation of misguided young people and perhaps the cause of future confusion, unhappiness, or worse in their lives, sometimes leading to the tragedy of suicide. While we like to see the percentage of adults against any trans-interventions administered to children with a much higher percentage than 58%, we are thankful for the smart, knowledgeable, and caring adult voters who do see the long-term damage that can result from such ill-advised treatments.

Outstanding legal expert and frequent commentator on the law, Jonathan Turley, has written an article titled, “We are raising a generation of kids who are afraid of ideas.”  In it, he discusses the significant number of universities that have invited, then cancelled the appearance on campus of prestigious speakers, who do tend to be conservative, and especially those who are free speech advocates.  As an example, a university student council voted to bar a talk by Chinese dissident, XI Van Fleet, who had survived the Maoist China regime.  And the reason for cancelling the campus appearance of this learned woman who lived under, and escaped from, government oppression was because “her criticism of ‘woke’ culture in the United States was deemed too harmful for any student to hear.”  Just say no to drugs, and also to ideas out of synch with the indoctrination of increasingly liberal ‘woke’ university students. With this increasing move  to prevent students from hearing opposing viewpoints, one does wonder about the long-term damage of not being exposed to those alternate points of view existing out in the real world of work.  Wrote Turley: “Both students and some faculty members have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with harmful speech, and student newspapers have declared opposing views to be outside of the protection of free speech.”  So, halting or eliminating “unacceptable thoughts” is, in their view, not a violation of Constitutionally-protected free speech.  A novel and increasingly prevalent, dangerous interpretation of our very first Amendment.  Even at the youngest grades, students may well have been told that disagreeable speech is harmful, and thus must be shunned or eliminated.  We know this is going on, especially within higher education, as indicated.  It appears that, too often, our students may very well be shielded from opposing views and ideas.  Turley is smart to provide examples of this idea shielding and to bring the reality of this current practice to light for conservative readers and free speech advocates.

“Smartphones are the new cigarettes.  They should not be in the hands of children.” So wrote Frank Devito who sees this popular device as our “new civilizational crisis.” Said he: “One doesn’t need scientific date to realize that smartphones (especially in the hands of children) are, at best, a major issue to contend with and, at worst, a looming crisis to confront.”  Elizabeth Self (Institute for Family Studies) has written: “Kids scroll rather than run, climb, and play.  They DM rather than talk. This crisis is transforming humans into quasi-cyborgs who seldom function without the aid of their ever-present (hand-held) supercomputer.” States the author of this article: “Children are not permitted to smoke cigarettes, purchase alcohol, or view pornography because they are harmful to the developing person. The same, as has been demonstrated, must be acknowledged for smartphones. Children are clearly unable to handle the addictive nature of this technology while at school, so banning them from schools is a perfectly reasonable way to endure that our kids, you now, learn things.”  He continues: “Constant smartphone use increases anxiety, decreases normal human socialization, and exposes children to adult materials. Don’t let your kids have one while they live in your house.  Be extreme. Ditch the phone addiction.”  Fine in theory, but seemingly difficult, if not impossible, to ban cellphone use among youth (peer pressure), unless a public policy was put in place to limit smartphone ownership and use below a certain age.  Or if individual parents decide to prevent their use up to a certain age.  Parents in a couple of small towns in England and Ireland have actually put such voluntary age limitations in place. The socialization issue, and the exposure to adult themes, are very real issues that may well be hampering both the social and academic development and achievement of young people.  These concerns are real, and certainly worth noting. At the very least, no cell phone use during the family dinner.  And that goes for parents, as well!


(Fact Sources: Dallas Mayor switches to the Republican Party via, Andrew Mark Miller, 9-22-23; Adult voters against trans-sexual interventions for children under the age of 18 via, Alana Mastrangelo, 8-31-23;  Students being sheltered from opposing thoughts and views via, Jonathan Turley, 4-25-23; The dangers of smartphones with overwhelming use among children via, Frank Devito, 8-9-23).