Al’s Afternoon Tea: ‘Butcher of Tehran’ Killed in Helicopter Crash, New Study Turns Trans Suicide Talking Point Upside Down

Plus, a special invitation to Washington, DC from Bunni Pounds!

By Al Perrotta Published on May 20, 2024

Welcome back in for Al’s Afternoon Tea. Let’s sample some of the latest headlines … 

Iranian President Killed in Helicopter Crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and two East Azerbaijan officials were killed when their helicopter crashed Sunday in heavy fog in a mountainous region along the Iran-Azerbaijan border. No cause has been given for the crash, nor any reason, given the weather and terrain, to assume foul play. But that hasn’t stopped people from speculating that Israel played a role in the crash. An anonymous Israeli official tells Reuters, “It wasn’t us.” 

Although ultimate authority in Iran rests with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kamenei, the hard-line Raisi was thought to be his heir apparent. Raisi was known as the “Butcher of Tehran” for his role in executing thousands of Iranians in the unrest of 1988, and as The Times of Israel notes, he led Iran’s development of uranium for nuclear weapons and its role in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack.

Khamenei has named Mohammad Mokhber, who has been serving as first vice president, to be acting president until an election can be held sometime in the next 50 days, as per Iran’s constitution.

Stream contributor and Middle East guru Timothy Furnish will be laying out what Raisi’s death means to the region later this week. 

New Study: Gender-Affirming Surgery Increases Suicide Risk 12x

What have the pushers of “gender-affirming care” been telling us nonstop? That if we don’t support sex changes in kids and others, they are more likely to commit suicide. As Chloe Cole’s parents were told, “Better to have a living son than a dead daughter.”

But a new NIH-funded study from the University of Texas indicates the opposite is true, stating: “Individuals who underwent gender-affirming surgery had a 12.12-fold higher suicide attempt risk than those who did not.” The researchers’ conclusion: “Gender-affirming surgery is significantly associated with elevated suicide-attempt risks, underlining the necessity for comprehensive post-procedure psychiatric support.”

Dr. J0rdan Peterson took to X to share his unvarnished thoughts: “The butchers and liars were murderously wrong,” he wrote. He blasted U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for continuing to enable sex-change surgeries, calling it “utterly barbarous and inexcusable.”

Victory: Detransitioner Suit Against Doctors Can Move Forward

On May 7, South Carolina Superior Court ruled that a lawsuit filed by detransitioner Prisha Mosely against the doctors who pushed her into seeking gender-reassignment surgery and hormones can move forward, the Independent Women’s Forum announced Thursday. Attorney Josh Payne, who is representing Mosely and many other detransitioners, says it’s the first such case allowed to proceed to court.

Mosely says she is “grateful” the case is moving forward. “Young people struggling with their mental health, like I was, deserve better,” she said. “They need compassionate support. They do not deserve to be lied to and misled into life-altering medical procedures that only cause harm.”

Crowd Doesn’t Like Trans Athlete Beating Girls

Boos descended upon a trans high school sprinter as he was crowned “winner” of the Oregon girls 200-meter state championship race last weekend. Aayden Gallagher of Portland’s McDaniel High School, who identifies as female, won the Oregon Girls 6A championship race by two-tenths of a second over bona fide females.

The crowd showed its displeasure, both when Gallagher crossed the finish line and when he stood on the podium.

So which girl deserved the 200-meter crown? Aster Jones of Portland’s Roosevelt High. I wonder how long before the record books are altered to show the true winners of these competitions, or when big asterisks will be placed next to the names of people like Gallagher and Lia Thomas?  

Meanwhile, Stream contributor Janet Boynes has a new column today: “How CNN Has Covered the Battle Over Transgender Athletes, and God’s Heart for Transgender People.”

The Slow Death of DEI Continues: Washington Post Comes Out Against DEI Statements in Hiring

Sunday brought a nice surprise. The Washington Post editorial board decided to oppose DEI statements in hiring. The story is behind a paywall, but the WaPo said:

The last thing academia — or the country — needs is another incentive for people to be insincere or dishonest. The very purpose of the university is to encourage a free exchange of ideas, seek the truth wherever it may lead, and to elevate intellectual curiosity and openness among both faculty and students. Whatever their original intent, the use of DEI statements has too often resulted in self-censorship and ideological policing.

If anybody knows about insincere and dishonest it’s the folks at the Washington Post. But they’re right. Having people try to explain how oppressed they’ve been or how they’ve seen the errors of their whiteness in order to get the job or accepted to a school is toxic, and the pressure people are under to say what they think admissions officials and employers want to hear is guaranteed to ensure mediocrity.   

And now, the Left’s stunts are getting more obvious … and desperate.

Justice Samuel Alito Attacked for His Wife Flying Flag Upside Down … in 2021

Justice Samuel Alito is suddenly finding himself the subject of controversy because his wife flew the American flag upside down, a symbol of the nation being in distress. The kicker is she did this in January 2021 — 40 months ago!

So why are we suddenly hearing about this now? Because the Supreme Court is currently deciding two cases that could blow Jack Smith’s case against January 6 protestors to smithereens: one involving presidential immunity, and the other deciding whether the feds abused a statute to specifically target and overcharge J6 defendants. If either case goes against the Department of Justice, Smith’s case against Trump is in trouble. So Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and others are calling for Alito to recuse himself from the cases because his wife flew a flag upside down over three years ago.

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Incidentally, Alito had no involvement in the upside-down flag. While critics are trying to say his wife, Martha-Ann, did it to protest the 2020 election (the upside-down flag was at times used in “Stop the Steal” demonstrations), it seems Mrs. Alito acted after being subjected to a torrent of abuse from neighbors, including being called the C-word and accused of being responsible for J6.   

Funny how the Left is more upset with Alito’s wife flying a flag than they were about one of their own trying to murder fellow Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump Wants Biden to Take Drug Test Before Their Debate

Donald Trump wants Joe Biden to take a drug test before their first debate in a few weeks, convinced his rival was juiced up with something before his State of the Union address earlier this year. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) also suggested Sunday that Biden be tested. Whether Trump is serious or just trolling, he and Donalds do raise the question of what is being pumped into the leader of the free world before he makes appearances. (Sure, it’s just adrenaline. And AOC and MTG are besties.)

Meanwhile, when Trump heads back to court tomorrow, he should thank District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the U.S. Department of Justice. They’ve given him all the debate prep he needs.

What was Trump’s problem debating Biden in 2020? His annoying need to constantly, combatively interrupt when Biden said something false. Trump has now spent weeks being forced to sit quietly in a courtroom, biting his tongue while others testify. Staying quiet and letting Biden hang himself during the debate should be easy-peasy, since he only has to manage that for a couple of minutes at a time, rather than four hours at a stretch. In unscripted moments, Biden continually proves to be angry, loud, and unable to conceal his nasty side. If Trump takes that in stride, with good nature, and is the nice one on stage, there goes Biden’s only advantage.

My advice to Trump: Treat the debate like a round of golf. A bit of good-humored trash talk is acceptable, but mostly just smacking Biden’s record down the fairway and driving your own record to the green is what will give you the W. Biden will be left bumbling, stumbling around in the rough, looking for his ball.

Still Time to Join Bunni Pounds for Christians Engaged’s Trip to DC

There are still a handful of slots open for Christians Engaged’s annual trip to the Nation’s Capitol July 27-31. Three jam-packed days filled with exclusive tours of the Capitol, meetings and prayer sessions with members of Congress, museum tours, yummy meals with Washington movers and shakers, moonlight tours of the monuments, and so much more. I covered last year’s trip for The Stream, and I promise it is worth every penny. You’ll have fascinating experiences with like-minded believers with a passion for America. More crucially, you will have a chance to pray over specific members of Congress. The impact of last year’s prayer sessions still echoes on Capitol Hill. 

Last year, one of the people we heard from and prayed over was a little-known congressman named Mike Johnson. Just sayin’. Check here for the details and to register. 

Hopefully I’ll see you there. 

On The Stream

Earlier today, John Zmirak gave us the provocatively titled piece “Donald Trump Should Go to Jail.” 


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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