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June 16, 2015

Coddling Caitlyn and Crashing Planes

Political Correctness Will Get People Killed

Two seemingly unrelated stories in the news this week give us a portent of the suicide of our republic. One of the stories has saturated the news, and the other elicits barely a yawn by the mainstream media. Yet both evidence a danger that most Americans seem not to realize is barreling down upon them with a furious fervor.

The first story is about Bruce Jenner, an icon in American sports history, one of the most celebrated Olympians of all time, and once the epitome of masculinity for millions of Americans. Sadly, Bruce has turned into a hot mess of a man (I blame it on the Kardashians), and is now being celebrated by the liberal elite, and many well-meaning Americans who want to be “tolerant,” for his “bravery” in embracing his mental illness.

And yes, I meant to say man, and I meant to say mental illness. Bruce Jenner is a man. He was born with a penis, and he still has it as far as I know. His DNA is XY, and nothing he does will change that. He can lop off his boy parts and take hormones for the rest of his life; he can grow his hair out and shave his legs and chest and back; he can put on make-up, dress up in designer evening gowns and cram those Size 12 stompers into Prada heels; he can call himself Caitlyn, and at the end of the day, he’ll still be a man. If he stops taking the hormones, he goes back to looking and sounding like a man…because he is.

A man with a mental illness. It wasn’t until 2012 that the American Psychiatric Association removed transgenderism from its DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), and there is every reason to believe that the removal was driven by politics, not science. According to Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at the renowned Johns Hopkins Medical Center, changing the sex a person was born with is “biologically impossible”, and “gender confusion” is a temporary mental disorder which usually dissipates over time. In making the claim, he referenced studies by both Vanderbilt University and the Portman Clinic in London, which found that “When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment [at both facilities], 70% to 80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings.”

McHugh also noted that, “beginning about ten years after the [gender reassignment] surgery, the transgendered began to experience mental difficulties… Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost TWENTY FOLD [2000%] above the comparable non-transgender population.”

To be honest, I feel nothing but compassion for Bruce Jenner, even as the media sensationalism disgusts me. This gender identity struggle is something he has obviously dealt with for a very long time, causing him great mental anguish. Indulging his sickness will never bring the peace he very much wants. In fact, it is very likely that this will end up very badly for him, probably at his own hands. We should not mock him nor disparage him, nor should we celebrate his illness any more than we’d celebrate and encourage someone with schizophrenia. A compassionate person would encourage him to seek treatment, not exacerbate the problem. Seeing people cheer him on and congratulate him reminds me of that scene from the Hunger Games where crowds roar with applause for the “tributes,” cheering in anticipation of witnessing their deaths for entertainment.

Sadly, we live today in a world saturated with the groupthink of political correctness. Ideas, beliefs, and traditions that were just a few years ago non-controversial because, to borrow from the Declaration of Independence, they were “self-evident,” can now bring upon you heaping condemnations, boycotts, and even lawsuits for their mere utterance. Merely disagreeing with those that have parted ways with tradition and experience can brand you a “denier,” a bigot, homophobe, racist, or worse.

We are now a nation where the wisdom and collective understanding of generations past has been replaced by the shiny new novelty of “enlightened” thinking, which tells us there is no difference in the sexes, that gender is a social construct to be chosen or changed at will, rather than a biological characteristic inherent at birth. This same groupthink elevates “diversity” as the Holy Grail of social engineering, a goal to be pursued at the expense of common sense, fairness (actual fairness, based on merit, not the redistributionist fairness of “social justice”), and achievement.

In most cases, these newfangled ideas are a source of debate or amusement, to be argued or mocked. In other cases, it can potentially lead to dangerous outcomes, such as lowering the physical standards for military Special Forces qualification so that more women (actually, so ANY woman, considering none have yet) can pass the tests. Enemy soldiers don’t go easy on our soldiers just because they are women.

But it is possible that there is no more immediately dangerous manifestation of the mindlessness of political correctness than in the recent scandal surrounding the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) hiring practices.

As recently reported by the Fox Business Network, the FAA has discarded the previous merit-based system in favor of a “diversity” based system which places far more importance on having the correct skin color or genitalia than on competence and qualification. It is a recipe for disaster…literally.

A couple of decades ago, in an attempt to develop a pool of qualified applicants for air traffic controllers, one of the most critical, high stress jobs in the world, the FAA created the CTI (Collegiate Training Initiative) school system to train potential applicants. The cost for this training is not cheap — it can be tens of thousands of dollars — so those that complete the training have a legitimate expectation that, provided they score well and show adequate proficiency, they should be high up on the selection list for new hires by the FAA.

Unfortunately, common sense often dies an ignominious death on the altar of political correctness. In concert with such diversity pressure groups as the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE), the FAA began an effort to increase minority representation among air traffic controllers, regardless of merit.

Previously, the FAA based their hiring on an applicant’s score on the Air Traffic Selection and Training Exam (AT-SAT), but as America was ushering in New Years 2014, the Obama administration casually informed applicants, most of whom had spent several years and tens of thousands of dollars to become qualified as air traffic controllers, that their AT-SAT scores were being discarded, along with their CTI diplomas and faculty recommendations. This included several thousand military veterans who had already been deemed “well qualified.”

Instead, they were told they would need to re-apply, and that they would be competing with “off the street hires” that had no formal training or experience. All of their studies and the thousands they’d spent were suddenly worthless.

So were the new standards more exacting, in order to improve the quality of our air traffic controllers? No. CTI graduates were told that they would be considered on the basis of the FAA’s Biographical Questionnaire. And yes, that is exactly what it sounds like. Applicants were being asked extensive questions about their biological characteristics in order for the FAA to select applicants based not on skill, experience, or aptitude, but on sex and skin color. The FAA’s requirements were reduced to needing only to be a U.S. citizen with a high school diploma who speaks English.

In fact, it turns out the NBCFAE not only pressed for biology-based preferences, they actually helped unqualified minorities cheat on the questionnaire, with a chapter president of the NBCFAE leaving voice mails for selected applicants telling them how to fill it out in order to “maximize your opportunities.” Even worse, the exam is take-home, unsupervised, and students have two weeks to complete the questionnaire.

The results are that highly qualified candidates are being bypassed in favor of less qualified applicants who have the “right” skin color or gender. One glaring example of this discrimination is the case of Matthew Douglas, who received a perfect score on his AT-SAT and graduated from CTI School after spending $30,000 to get the necessary training to become an air traffic controller. He was passed over for a job while less qualified applicants were hired. Ironically, Douglas is a Native American (I guess he was not the “right” minority).

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the danger in these qualifications changes by the FAA. Air traffic controllers have one of the most difficult, high pressure jobs in the world, where every second that they are working, they literally have the lives of thousands of passengers and billions in equipment under their responsibility. A mistake here means death and destruction of property on a massive scale.

Political correctness is the domain of infantalized adults who mistakenly believe that they have the right never to be offended, and that skin color or gender should afford them special privileges. It is bad enough that society indulges them in so many other areas, but this is one area where PC has no place; PC will get people killed, whether it is Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner by his own hand, or thousands of passengers dying a fiery death because of incompetent air traffic controllers. Hopefully, the media will stop ignoring this scandal and bring it to the light of day, where Americans can learn of it and demand an end to it. Hopefully the media will stop stoking the fire of Bruce’s gender confusion for their own liberal agenda and ratings, and instead encourage him to get the help he needs, before he becomes another tragic Hollywood story.

Oh well…hope in one hand, spit in the other, right?

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