Quick Hits: Volume CXCIX

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- As promised, President Donald Trump approved the release of the transcript documenting his recent conversation with the president of Ukraine. This was in response to a "whistle blower" alleging Trump offered U.S. aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating former VP (and current Dem presidential candidate) Joe Biden's involvement in his son Hunter's questionable business dealings in the country. The Dem leadership in the House didn't care to wait for the transcript as Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated on Tuesday evening that an impeachment inquiry would begin regardless.

Upon the transcript being released, most individuals, as expected, viewed it through their own political prism. But Washington Examiner writer Philip Klein didn't toe the right wing line in his assessment of the call.

The defense of Trump is that yes, he may have asked a foreign leader to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, but that there was "no quid pro quo." While at no point did Trump explicitly say, "investigate Biden or else," Trump does state quite clearly all of the great things that the United States does for Ukraine before transitioning into his asks, among which are that Zelensky investigate Biden.

Reading the full transcript, and understanding the broader context, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Trump was using the power and influence of the U.S. to advance his own political interests rather than the national security interests of the nation. There was not much talk about what Ukraine could do for America's interests in the region, and a lot more talk about what he could do for Trump personally that would benefit him politically.

You can read the full transcript for yourself here...

As my friend David Strom says, impeachment isn't so much dealing with the legalese as the politics, so I'm skeptical this will be a fatal wound in Trump's re-election prospects. However, this may unwittingly torpedo Biden's campaign which, come to think of it, would be fine by the "progressives" in the Dem caucus.

- Young person enjoys success in an endeavor he's passionate about.

Old social media posts where young person said objectionable things as a teen are dug up.

The individual exhuming those old posts was also found to have said offensive things on social media.

Rinse. Repeat.

- I'm sure most of you have seen the U.N. speech of 16-year old Greta Thunberg slamming world leaders over their perceived inaction on climate change. While I feel it's perfectly legitimate to scrutinize young Greta's words, I draw the line at attacking her personally. As with the gun-grabber students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S., adults are knowingly propping up kids like Greta as proverbial human shields in order to justify policy stances. After all, only a soulless ghoul would denigrate the concerns of children, right?
Unfortunately, as Jon Gabriel of Ricochet points out, such tactics by these manipulative adults do much more harm than good.

The young, unfortunately, don’t have our luxury of perspective. And it’s destroying their emotional health.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-third of all 13- to 18-year olds will experience an anxiety disorder. The numbers continue to go up; between 2007 and 2012, anxiety in children and teens rose 20 percent.

The suicide rate for young Americans is now the highest ever recorded. Between 2000 and 2017, the number of suicides has doubled for females aged 15 to 24. Males between 15 and 19 killed themselves at a rate of 17.9 per 100,000, up from 13 per 100,000 in 2000.

Our increasingly anxious kids deserve better. Daily prophecies of global annihilation are deeply unhealthy, not to mention unsupported by the vast majority of research. Even if you accept that human activity is heating the globe, relatively few scientists are predicting the end of the world in 12 years or 17 months.

What Thunberg’s parents are doing to her borders on child abuse. Hyping increasingly apocalyptic claims is spreading that abuse to every other young person.

I'm all for teenagers becoming engaged in the serious issues our country (and the entire world for that matter) faces. But I believe it's healthier and much more productive to allow them to engage in critical thinking (thus leading to serious inquiries) as opposed to sheer indoctrination.