Sources for “A Case for Regime Change In Venezuela (Featuring Luis Marrero)”

Sources for my claims:

https://zelalemkibret.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/coming-up-for-air.pdf

 

http://www.heritage.org/americas/report/state-sponsors-terrorism-time-add-venezuela-the-list

 

http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/strategic%20dossiers/issues/the-farc-files–venezuela–ecuador-and-the-secret-archive-of—39-ra–250-l-reyes–39-8716

 

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/state-sponsor-syria

 

https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/quotes/constitution-of-syria-article-3-islam

 

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12915

 

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/30/Khamenei-s-top-advisor-Iran-will-head-global-Islamic-state.html

 

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/state-sponsors-iran

 

https://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/terrorism

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-houthis-iran-insight-idUSKBN0JT17A20141215

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-venezuela-idUSDAH23660020070702

 

https://www.local10.com/news/venezuela-iran-strengthen-relations

 

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9073/venezuela-iran-narco-terrorism

 

http://www.newsweek.com/irans-ayatollah-khamenei-posts-holocaust-denial-video-remembrance-day-420511

 

http://www.marknkatz.com/files/Putin_Chavez.pdf

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2009/09/200991493243497426.html

 

http://www.caribflame.com/2017/01/maduro-to-putin-we-will-continue-together-building-the-human-homeland/

 

https://emergingequity.org/2015/05/29/russia-venezuela-agree-on-massive-14bn-oil-gas-investment-deal/

 

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/07/venezuelas-new-5-billion-bond-deal-involves-citgo-russia-and-is-raising-eyebrows.html

 

https://emergingequity.org/2015/05/29/russia-venezuela-agree-on-massive-14bn-oil-gas-investment-deal/

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-arms-manpads-idUSKBN18I0E9

 

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/cuban-alliance-with-russia-highlights-moscows-expanding-influence-in-latin-america/

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-afghanistan-russia-idUSKBN17Q1H2

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL15-TULjEQ

 

http://religiondispatches.org/how-orthodox-christianity-became-the-spiritual-home-of-white-nationalism/

 

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/orthodox-church-s-role-russia-s-anti-gay-laws

 

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2013/01/russia-anti-gay-propaganda-law-assault-on-freedom-expression/

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-hunted-gays-of-putins-russia-vicious-vigilantes-and-state-bigotry-close-up

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_oN_lggh-4

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/chechnya-gay-men-russian-reporter-hiding-detention-torture-elena-milashina-novaya-gazeta-100-men-a7703471.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysxoehqdl4Y

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-qO42qjShg

 

https://www.rand.org/multimedia/video/2017/03/01/limiting-regret-and-deterring-russian-aggression.html

 

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/blog/russia-has-killed-more-civilians-than-isis/

 

https://citizenlab.org/2017/05/tainted-leaks-disinformation-phish/

 

https://news.vice.com/story/marine-le-pen-france-far-right-russias

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+29%3A2&version=KJV

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156983605?tag=qid=1146954305&link_code=as2&creativeASIN=0156983605&creative=374929&camp=211189

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr5xeKcHGqw

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guyana-and-venezuela-in-bitter-border-dispute-after-oil-discovery-a6668651.html

 

http://en.mediamass.net/people/nicolas-maduro/highest-paid.html

 

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/04/venezuela-aumenta-caza-de-brujas-contra-disidencia-en-medio-de-crisis-politica/

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Will

 

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/venezuela-uso-de-tribunales-militares-contra-civiles-pone-en-jaque-al-estado-de-derecho/

 

http://www.gallup.com/poll/167663/venezuelans-saw-political-instability-protests.aspx

 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/27/americas/venezuela-leaving-oas/

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN17Z1ZH

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=graliA9BS-Q

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/world/americas/armed-civilian-bands-in-venezuela-prop-up-unpopular-president.html?_r=0

 

http://www.insightcrime.com/news-analysis/venezuela-leftist-collectives-criminals-or-revolutionaries

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzmmskkuKlM (Good documentary on Romanian communism)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_Nicolae_and_Elena_Ceau%C8%99escu

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFjWM3pMrvA&feature=youtu.be&t=1m45s (Good video on Gaddafi’s sponsorship of Jihadism)

 

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Libyan+terrorism:+the+case+against+Gaddafi.-a014151801

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISLz8Fv0eik

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-minister-warns-of-civil-war-in-venezuela-1494263279

 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3408634/russia-arming-taliban-afghanistan-us-general-vladimir-putin/

And in case you think intervening in Venezuela, which I justified empirically on the basis jus ad bellum, defies international law I recommend reading this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/EndlessWar/comments/6juc10/the_us_military_use_of_force_roes_loac/

 

Sources for Luis’s claims:

http://www.americasquarterly.org/content/venezuela-ch%C3%A1vez-anatomy-economic-collapse-ricardo-hausmann-and-francisco-r-rodr%C3%ADguez

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Venezuela#Trade

 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434591/venezuelas-crisis-hugo-chavez-socialism-brought-poverty-not-success

 

https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/03/06/venezuelas-economy-under-chavez-by-the-numbers/https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-08-27/how-hugo-chavez-trashed-latin-america-s-richest-economy

 

The Case For Transgender Rights

north_carolina_bathroom_bill_hypocrisy

It has become a bandwagon among the right, especially evangelicals and the alt-right, to bash transgenders and to make cases for denying them their human rights. Does this help anyone except those with a corrupt, anti-scientific, often pro-religious agendas? Taking into consideration that 41% of transgenders and gender non-conforming folks among a sample of 6,450 people have attempted suicide, the vast majority of them reporting facing acute discrimination [1] speaks volumes on how productive the right are in this discourse. A community that is facing so many predicaments that are downright oppressive needs a lot of help, not justifications for the intolerance that inevitably leads to the denial of human rights.

The fact the rights of transgender people must be advanced cannot  be argued with. There is a consensus among experts, and a lot in the sphere of scientific literature, that transgenders should be allowed, and even encouraged, to transition and be liberated from institutionalized transphobia. Thus, the right have lost this debate by default and I will be demonstrating why this is the case.

The right have asserted gender dysphoria is a mental illness and society is indulging in it by accepting it. However, gender dysphoria can be best described as a biological condition. WE know this based on the numerous findings in the fields of neuroscience and psychology. The white matter microstructure in the brains of transgender Male-to females have an amazingly conspicuous similitude to those with female brains, even before transitioning begins! [2] Similar results were discovered with the volumes of regional gray matter of male-to-female transgenders. [3] What doesn’t serve the interests of the right is the overwhelming literature that confirm the structure of the brain is the ultimate prerequisite to possessing gender dysphoria. [4] There is also a higher level of gender dysphoria among monozygotic twins (33%) as opposed to dizygotic twins (2.6%), which only compliments my argument. [5] It should be axiomatic by now that brain anatomy is genetic, but a simple example should put the nail on the coffin. [6]

To sum up,  gender dysphoria is an anatomical condition in the brain where one is inclined to identify with, or as, the opposite sex. There is solidarity among expert organizations that transitioning is, currently, the best form of treatment for gender dysphoria. [7] (Transitioning, of course, being the process of which ones edits his or her body via hormonal replacement therapy and sex-reassignment surgery so they have a resemblance of the sex they identify with.) Why? Could they just be Social Justice Warriors who are exploiting their academic credentials to suit their agenda? Those on the right would have to prove this is the case, and acknowledge their obvious hypocrisy. But the short answer is “no.” Their consensus on the subject comes from the empirical evidence. Hormonal replacement therapy, based on the weight of the evidence,  [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] The completion of transitioning, overall, has a positive toll on the well-being of transgenders. The data, in other words, supports the assertion that allowing those with gender dysphoria to obtain an appearance that reflects their gender identity (again a genetic condition) improves their lives. Those who go through both the hormonal replacement therapy and the sex-reassignment surgery report higher rates of sexual satisfaction, self-esteem, and happiness. To deny transgenders this treatment is inhumane and the data proving this is overwhelming. [16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Now the right will respond with unique cases of “transgender regret.” This was popularized by Walt Heyer who was interviewed, not too long ago, by the fraud Steven Crowder. [26] The problem with this argument is the amount of transgenders who experience regret their transition are few and far in between, and you can only conclude the need for pyschotherapy after transitioning is complete. [27] What explains regret? Common sense.

  • Getting treatment based on a faulty diagnosis will probably lead to regret
  • The shortcomings of transitioning
  • The response of society to transgenders

Now that argument is destroyed, we now must turn to people who still claim gender dysphoria is a mental illness. They justify this argument on the grounds the suicide rate among transgenders is still high, irrespective if they transitioned. However, they don’t take into account institutionalized transphobia, and the impact social intolerance has on the community. If you were, for reasons outside of your control, being constantly subject to intense persecution and discrimination, as well as possessing a high probability of being raped or murdered, wouldn’t you develop the symptoms of anxiety and depression? Here are just some statistics from the Task Force survey.

  • 78% of transgender and gender non-conforming respondents, in K-12 education, faced harassment while 47% faced physical and sexual violence
  • 90% of transgender and non-conforming have faced vile abuse in the workplace or had to hide themselves to avoid it
  • 26% of them have lost a job for their gender identity
  • 2% were homeless while 19% were homeless prior due to their gender identity
  • 53% reported discrimination by public accommodations
  • 22% have been harmed by the police [1]

In other words, why wouldn’t they be suicidal? In the United States they are treated like trash and even refused basic medical care! The evil inflicted on them on a daily, weekly, and annual basis is probably the reason for the suicide rate. Again, basic common sense. What has been demonstrated is transitioning in societies where transgenders are accepted by society is the best prevention of suicide among transgenders to date. We have seen this in Belgium and Canada. [28][29]

There is little doubt in my mind that transgenders should be accepted by society and institutionalized transphobia should be fought against. If we care about human flourishing then the human rights of transgenders must be acknowledged. The right have attempted to discredit the movement, but most of their arguments are weak. Black Pigeon Speaks once argued that gender dysphoria is comparable to bodily integrity disorder, which is false since the former isn’t a mental illness while the latter is (which implies different methods of treatment for both). Even Paul McHugh, who denied transgender patients surgery at Johns Hopkins for forty years, has acknowledged the data and is allowing it again. [30] The right lost this debate before it even began. I am right and they are wrong, and it’s as simple as that.

  1. “‘Injustice At Every Turn’ A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.” Pages 2-6. www.thetaskforce.org/static_html/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf 
  2. “White Matter Microstructure in Female to Male Transsexuals before Cross-sex Hormonal Treatment. A diffusion Tensor Imaging Study.” http://journalofpyschiatricresearch.com/article/50022-3956(10)001585/abstract 
  3. “Regional Gray Matter in Male-to-female Transsexualism.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19341803
  4. “Structural Connectivity of Transgender People.” https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/25/10/3527/387406/Structural-Connectivity-Networks-of-Transgender
  5. “Title: Transsexuality Among Twins: Identity Concordance, Transition, Rearing, and Orientation.” http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2010to2014/2013-transsexuality.html
  6. “Genetic factors are responsible for creating anatomical patterns in the brain cortex.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160726155149.htm
  7. “PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION STATEMENTS SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN HEALTH CARE.” http://www.trans-parenting.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/fs_professional-org-statements-supporting-trans-health_4.pdf 
  8. “Hormonal therapy and sex reassignment: a systematic review and meta-analysis of quality of life and psychosocial outcomes.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03625.x/abstract 
  9. “Hormone-treated transsexuals report less social distress, anxiety and depression.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21937168
  10. “Is hormonal therapy associated with better quality of life in transsexuals? A cross-sectional study.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22145968
  11. “Transsexual patients’ psychiatric comorbidity and positive effect of cross-sex hormonal treatment on mental health: Results from a longitudinal study.” http://www.psyneuen-journal.com/article/S0306-4530(13)00348-X/fulltext
  12. “Hormonal Therapy Is Associated With Better Self-esteem, Mood, and Quality of Life in Transsexuals.” http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/2013/11000/Hormonal_Therapy_Is_Associated_With_Better.13.aspx
  13. “Determinants of quality of life in Spanish transsexuals attending a gender unit before genital sex reassignment surgery.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11136-013-0497-3

  14. “Hormonal treatment reduces psychobiological distress in gender identity disorder, independently of the attachment style.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23574768

  15. “Young Adult Psychological Outcome After Puberty Suppression and Gender Reassignment.” http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/09/02/peds.2013-2958

  16. “Long-term assessment of the physical, mental, and sexual health among transsexual women.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19040622
  17. “Patient satisfaction with breasts and psychosocial, sexual, and physical well-being after breast augmentation in male-to-female transsexuals.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24281571
  18. “Quality of life and sexual health after sex reassignment surgery in transsexual men.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21699661
  19. “Transsexual patients’ psychiatric comorbidity and positive effect of cross-sex hormonal treatment on mental health: results from a longitudinal study.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24275005
  20. “Study of quality of life for transsexuals after hormonal and surgical reassignment.” http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1158136009000796?via=sd
  21. “Outcomes of Treatment for Gender Dysphoria.” http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01614576.1999.11074292
  22. “Quality of Life and Sexual Health after Sex Reassignment Surgery in Transsexual Men.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02348.x/full
  23. “Sex reassignment surgery. A study of 141 Dutch transsexuals.” http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/162/5/681.short
  24. “Quality of life 15 years after sex reassignment surgery for transsexualism.” http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(08)03838-7/fulltext

  25. “High need for treatment of transgender youth.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150308091402.ht
  26. “Sex Change Regrets With Former Transgender, Walt Heyer.” https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/sex-change-regrets-with-former-transgender-walt-heyer/
  27. “Factors Associated with Satisfaction or Regret Following Male-to-Female Sex Reassignment Surgery.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1024086814364?LI=true
  28. “Long-term follow-up: psychosocial outcome of Belgian transsexuals after sex reassignment surgery.” http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1158136006000491?via=sd
  29. “Suicidality among trans people in Ontario: Implications for social work and social justice.” https://www.erudit.org/fr/revues/ss/2013-v59-n1-ss0746/1017478ar/
  30. “Johns Hopkins psychiatrist sees hospital come full circle on transgender issues.” http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bal-johns-hopkins-transgender-20170406-story.html

Why Saudi Arabia Must Defeat The Houthis

Saudi TroopsAllowing Yemen to fall to the Houthis would mean another puppet state for Hezbollah and Iran, and their insufferable allies. For both the national security of a necessary, but flawed, ally and the well-being of the international community as a whole, we must not allow this to happen. 

As of March 2017, around 7,600  people have been killed in the Yemeni conflict that started two years prior. Like with any war, the country is being torn to shreds. Without a doubt, the conflict is an example of how humans can create their own version of Hell, beyond the mere use of imagination to exploit the masses. But one this for certain, the Houthis are an enemy to the world. It is a moral duty to eliminate or detain each and everyone of them.

The Houthis, terrorists backed by Hezbollah and Iran, and their allies, including Russia, came out of the woodwork in the 90’s with their intentions being clear. In 2003 they adopted a trademark that gives a  basic idea what their intentions are: “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam.” That alone should qualify them as sectarian terrorists, and rightfully so.

The put it bluntly, allowing Yemen to fall to the Houthis would mean another puppet state for Hezbollah and Iran, and their insufferable allies. Russia and Iran have an invested interest in Yemen because it gives them significant control over the Middle East. After all, Yemen directly borders Saudi Arabia, a useful ally. In other words, it will devastate the region, and more global Holy War.

Yes, Saudi Arabia is flawed. But, as the Brookings Institute demonstrated, they are a vital ally for fighting terrorism. Losing them means life will become even more difficult for all nations struggling against theocracy, such as Ukraine and Kurdistan. Fighting alongside them, and having diplomatic relations with them, is comparable to how we needed Stalin during World War II. Objectively, the Axis Powers were a greater threat to the world than Stalinism ever was, or could be, and we had to rely on the military might and courage of the Soviets to defeat the Nazis; it’s the same case here.

They are flawed because it is a theocratic kingdom. But our cooperation with them has exposed their youth to liberal values, and they are improving in human rights. Just recently there was a trend among young Saudi’s on Twitter promoting LGBT rights, and the government recently pushed for improvements in women’s rights. Their contribution to the global economy, combined with the ironic fight against global theocracy, makes them  angels compared to Iran and their friends.

We cannot allow for another state sponsor of terror, which will obey the organizations and regimes backing them to the letter, to exist in the Middle East. For both the national security of a necessary, but flawed, ally and the well-being of the international community as a whole, we must bring about the destruction of the Houthis at all cost. We need to give the Saudi’s more military aid, even ground troops if necessary, to help them win this game of chess. But I know who is the morally upright side in this conflict, and I will support them to the very end.