The COVID pandemic has been one of the most politically and culturally divisive events in American history. Adding to our woes, the proper approach to scientific inquiry and policy makers’ relationship with the expert class became badly skewed. Once an orthodoxy was declared by the World Health Organization or the Center for Disease Control, government leaders, the mainstream media, and Big Tech circled the wagons to prevent dissenting views from being aired — and even sought to punish those with differing opinions. This included attacking the Great Barrington Declaration — authored by notable epidemiologists, that challenged the efficacy of societal shutdowns and keeping children out of school. Now, with the COVID emergency at an end, two of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration and other notables in medicine have organized the Norfolk Group, calling for a national commission to investigate the country’s response to COVID. One of these experts is Wesley’s guest on this episode of Humanize. Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a Professor of Health Policy at Stanford University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research. He holds an MD and PhD in economics, both earned at Stanford University, where he directs Stanford’s Center for Demography and Economics of Health and Aging. Dr. Bhattacharya’s recent research focuses on the epidemiology of COVID-19 as well as an evaluation of policy responses to the epidemic. In December 2022, Bhattacharya was appointed by Florida Governor and now presidential candidate Ron DeSantis to the Public Health Integrity Committee, charged with assessing federal decisions, recommendations, and guidance related to public health and health care.
The United States has become the world’s most adamant promoter of what is now called “gender-affirming care” for children and adolescents who identify as being other than their born sex. This approach ranges from “social affirmation”—the use of preferred pronouns, for example—to “medical affirmation,” such as puberty blocking, to radical “surgical affirmation,” meaning mastectomies, facial feminization or masculinization cosmetic procedures, and, in a few cases, even genital removal and refashioning. Beginning to “transition” youth while they are still immature remains intensely controversial. But the increasingly woke medical establishment and Biden administration claim that the gender-affirming approach is “settled science” and the only efficacious approach to treating these children, calling those who disagree “science deniers.” My expert guest today says not so fast. Psychiatrist Stephen B. Levine has co-authored an important paper that details the paucity of reliable data establishing the benefits gender transitioning during a patient’s youth, calling into significant question the current approach to caring for anguished children diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Stephen B. Levine is a psychiatrist known for his work in human sexuality, particularly, sexual dysfunction and transgenderism. Levine earned his MD from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and serves as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry there. He was co-editor for the section on sexual and gender identity disorders in the professional text Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. Although much of his work is written for other clinicians, Levine has also written books for a lay audience, including Solving Common Sexual Problems and Sexuality in Mid-Life (2004). Levine also served on the American Psychiatric Association DSM-IV Subcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders. Current Concerns About Gender-Affirming Therapy in Adolescents (springer.com) Informed Consent for Transgendered Patients – PubMed (nih.gov) Illuminate Life Processes by Taking a Sexual History (psychiatrictimes.com) https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2022.2046221 https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2022.2136117 https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2022.2150346 ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ Approach Undercut by New Scientific Study | National Review
In his first term as California’s governor, Jerry Brown famously said back in 1975, “There is no free lunch. This is an era of limits and we all had better get used to it. Small is beautiful.” Was Brown right? These days, it seems that establishment thinking and most of the content on mainstream media believes it is so. Threats from climate change, overpopulation, and environmental degradation, we are told, now force us to reduce consumption and limit growth in order to save the planet and ourselves. Wesley’s guest in this edition of Humanize takes a radically different and far more optimistic view. Gale L. Pooley has co-authored a book entitled Super Abundance in which he and co-author Marian L. Tupy argue that contrary to the roaring pessimism about the human future so often espoused these days, our earthly resources are actually unlimited and indeed, that population increases and innovation are the keys to growing our prosperity and extending our freedoms. Gale L. Pooley is an associate professor of business management at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. He has taught economics and statistics at AL Faisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Brigham Young University-Idaho, Boise State University, and the College of Idaho. Dr. Pooley earned his BBA in Economics at Boise State University and completed his PhD at the University of Idaho. He has published articles in National Review, Human Progress, The American Spectator, the Utah Bar Journal, the Appraisal Journal, Quillette, and RealClearMarkets. Dr. Pooley is a Senior Fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty and serves on the board of HumanProgress.org. He also serves on the Foundation for Economic Education Faculty Network and is a Scholar with Hawaii’s Grassroot Institute. His major research activity has been the Simon Abundance Index, which he co-authored with Dr. Marian Tupy. Economics | Discovery Institute (wealthandpoverty.center) Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet: Tupy, Marian L., Pooley, Gale L., Gilder, George: 9781952223587: Amazon.com: Books Review of “Superabundance,” by Marian L. Tupy & Gale L. Pooley (city-journal.org) After 96 Years, TV Abundance Continues to Flourish | Economics (wealthandpoverty.center)
The environmental movement is growing ever-more extreme. Radical ideas such as granting rights to nature—including geological features like rivers, lakes, and glaciers—are gaining popularity as a means of “saving the planet.” But is there another way? Can we fulfill our human duty to be good stewards of the environment without undermining human exceptionalism and impeding our thriving? According to my guest Todd Myers, the answer is definitely, yes. In his interesting new book, Time to Think Small, Myers writes that “nimble environmental technologies can help solve the planet’s biggest problems.” Through the power of smart phones, Myers argues, coupled with the ingenuity of software apps, we can all help promote a healthy environment through millions of individual actions—and without sacrificing freedom or harming the economy. Myers is a former member of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and a member of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. He currently serves as the environmental director at the Washington Policy Center, a public policy think tank in Seattle. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Seattle Times, and USAToday. He has been interviewed on numerous news network programs, including on CNN, CNBC, and Fox News. Myers has a Master’s Degree in Russian/International Studies from the University of Washington. He lives in the Cascade Mountains in Washington with his wife and 200,000 honeybees. Amazon.com: Time to Think Small: How Nimble Environmental Technologies Can Solve the Planet’s Biggest Problems: 9781623545543: Myers, Todd: Books Center for the Environment » Centers » Washington Policy Center Climate action is in our hands with tech that encourages small steps https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/climate-action-is-in-our-hands-with-tech-that-encourages-small-steps/ There’s A New Book The Climate Industrial Complex Doesn’t Want You To Read https://dailycaller.com/2022/11/13/opinion-theres-a-new-book-the-climate-industrial-complex-doesnt-want-you-to-read-bastasch/ Small Technologies: The Millions Interviews Todd Myers https://themillions.com/2022/10/small-technologies-the-millions-interviews-todd-myers.html New Congress Should Empower People — Not Politicians — for Environmental Results https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2022/11/15/new_congress_should_empower_people__not_politicians__for_environmental_results_864934.html
Western Civilization is in crisis. It is becoming unmoored from its Judeo-Christian roots and the belief in the unique dignity of every human life, leading to destructive progressive social policies that some believe threaten us with a form of therapeutic authoritarianism. One such commentator is my guest today on Humanize. Rod Dreher is an American journalist and best-selling author. He has authored several books, including The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, How Dante Can Save Your Life, The Benedict Option, and Live Not by Lies. In his journalistic career, he has written about religion, politics, film, and culture in National Review, National Review Online, the Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, Touchstone, Men’s Health, and the Los Angeles Times, and until recently, hosted a popular blog at The American Conservative. His commentaries have been broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Court TV, and other television networks. Dreher is a noted Christian apologist and writes a daily Substack newsletter. His next book will explore the importance of Enchantment to human society. https://roddreher.substack.com https://twitter.com/roddreher
No modern society has embraced lethal injection euthanasia with the enthusiasm of Canada, where not only the terminally ill can be killed by doctors but also people with chronic conditions and disabilities. Soon, people with mental illnesses will qualify for a doctor-hastened death. In 2021, more than 10,000 Canadians were euthanized by doctors or nurse practitioners. As recently as 2014, euthanasia was outlawed in the country. But then, the Supreme Court declared that such laws were unconstitutional. Since that event, Canada has created one of the world’s most radical lethal injection euthanasia regimes. Why has Canada, of all countries, embraced doctor-administered death? Wesley’s guest on this episode of Humanize has the answers. Alex Schadenberg is one of the world’s premier opponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide. He is the co-founder and executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, founded in 1998 and based in the Canadian Province of Ontario. He produced The Euthanasia Deception documentary that explores 15 years of euthanasia legalization in Belgium. Schadenberg has traveled the world speaking about the issue, authored countless opinion columns, and moderates the world’s most widely-read blog devoted to the issue, the link to which can be found in the program notes. He is also the author of Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. https://epcc.ca/ www.epcblog.org. http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com https://twitter.com/alexschadenberg?lang=en
Abraham Lincoln famously called the United States of America, “the last best Hope on earth.” Throughout our history, most Americans believed that. So did countless people from other countries who left their homes behind to come here in pursuit of the American dream — including my grandmother who immigrated from Italy in 1910 as a 16 year-old to help free her family from bone crunching poverty. But now, things have changed. My guest today is Tim Goeglein, who has written a new book warning about how our educational system has corroded the belief of the young in the exceptional nature of the American Republican and our capacity to continually improve society — as we aim, in the title of his book, Toward a More Perfect Union. Goeglein was special assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison from 2001 to 2008. In January 2009, Goeglein became the Vice President of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family. Goeglein is a prolific public a speaker and the author of many commentaries as well as 3 books. His first book was Man in the Middle: An Inside Account of Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era, published in 2011. His second co-authored book was American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation. And now, he has just published Toward a More Perfect Union: The Moral and Cultural Case for Teaching the Great American Story.