A reporter takes a picture of a protester in front of Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg 4-29-18

On Saturday in Fitchburg I attended one of the Defund Planned Parenthood protests that took place around the country as the speaker.

While nationally the effort ran afoul of GOP senators John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski In Massachusetts the effort is a tad different as it is necessary to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to do so here. So there is a need to obtain signature to get a ballot question started.

She spoke to a reporter from the Telegram earlier

Gardner resident Shelley Austin said that Massachusetts is one of only 15 states that use tax dollars to pay for abortions, which she said are a covered procedure through MassHealth.

She said that the Massachusetts Alliance to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortion is trying to put the issue of taxpayer-funded abortion before Massachusetts voters. They are working to collect the 65,000 signatures required to get a question on the ballot.

I spoke to Shelly after the rally.

The reporter for the Telegram and Gazette spoke to several of us before the event including me.

Fitchburg resident Pete Ingemi, a longtime member of St. Bernard’s Church, said fighting taxpayer-funded abortion is the first and most logical step to ending abortions.

“What is abortion? It is the abandonment of hope,” he said. “And the argument is always that it isn’t a real life, but it is a life, and it’s a life of value. You never know what great things that human being was going to make happen.”

and stayed for most of the rosary but not for either Shelly talk or my speech

In Fitchburg, a similar, but smaller prayer protest was held on Main Street near the Planned Parenthood office. A small group, some holding rosary beads, shared their commitment to stopping abortion.

Situated under the shade of a tree, the group got plenty of support in the form of thumbed-up hands sticking out of passing cars, beeping horns and the occasional affirmative shout. There were also passers-by who strongly disagreed — though just one or two — and organizer Joyce Aucoin said this is nothing new.

The detail left out here was man who repeatedly approached Joyce as she spoke, loudly loudly asking her for condoms, he left when it was clear she was not going to let him provoke her.

As for my speech I pointed out that Planned Parenthood was built on the same lies that justified slavery from the days of ancient Egypt, to Roman times, to the Barbary Pirates to the slave trade. The idea that those enslaved were either of lesser values or not actual human beings. It is no coincidence that like most other places it operates, Planned Parenthood moved into Fitchburg as the “Hispanic” population increased.

Furthermore I pointed out that the easiest way to reveal the lie is to ask any counter-protester supporting “choice” if it is OK to abort a child in the womb because it was gay. Suddenly the woman’s choice argument isn’t good enough and the person always has to think, why? Because in their mind that person might be of their group which suddenly confers a value on that life that they didn’t before.

But the easiest way to show how carefully the lie has to be taught was illustrated by a model of a 20 week old baby in the womb.

Put that model in front of any child and ask what it is, and the answer will be “a baby”. To produce a different answer, you have to be carefully taught.

Will it make a difference? It will be tough to win this fight in Massachusetts, particularly when a lot of the GOP leadership has been carefully taught to run away from this issue, but as the man who actually wrote the Constitution of Massachusetts once said, facts are stubborn things.

To say he would be appalled at how partisans have rewritten and reinterpreted his words in their image while still claiming it was his work and not theirs, is an understatement.

St. Bernards Parish at St Camillus Church 333 Mechanic St in Fitchburg is hosting Fr. Carlos Martin of the Companions of the Cross in Corpus Christi. TX. He will be here with his special ministry hosing a teaching lecture and exposition of Sacred Relics tonight at 6 PM.

150 relics of the saints, some as much as 2000 years old will be displayed for veneration.

Among the treasures will be relics of St. bernard, St. Maric Goretti, St Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower) St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua. St. Thomas Aquanis and St. Faustina Kowalska.

There will also be part of Our Lady’s Veil and one of the largest remaining pieces of the True Cross in the world.

Attendees can examine and venerate each relic and you are encouraged to bring articles of devotion and pictures of ill family and friends to the reliquaries as a means of intercession.

Now that’s not something you get in town every day (and wouldn’t you know I’m stuck working)!

by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

A friend sent me this LA Times link from 2016.

Escalating their battle to stamp out an unprecedented spread of street encampments, city officials have begun seizing tiny houses from homeless people in South Los Angeles.

Elvis Summers, who built and donated the structures, removed seven of the gaily painted wooden houses — which come with solar-powered lights and American flags — on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of a scheduled city sweep.

Summers, an L.A. resident who says he was once homeless, had placed them within encampments on overpasses along the 110 Freeway, for homeless people to use instead of tents.

But three structures impounded earlier this month remain in a city storage lot, a Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman said, and the city notified occupants they would be “discarded.” (…)

Councilman Curren Price, who represents the neighborhood, said the houses pose serious health and safety risks.

“I’m getting complaints from constituents who have to walk in to the streets to avoid them,” Price said.

Authorities destroyed needles, drug setups and a gun seized from one or more of the houses and tents during an earlier cleanup.

I don’t know what the ultimate solution to this problem should be. I do know, from my own experience in homelessness – I was never on the street — is that many people who are on-the-street are there because they are alcoholics and/or addicts who are unwilling to go without their given substance. This precludes them living in structures provided by LA County for the homeless. The County offers free detox as well. But a potential customer must want to be free.

Thing is, isn’t it better for all concerned for an on-the-street homeless person to live in a solid structure rather than in a tent or a makeshift tarp shack?

It seems to me that Elvis Summers understands his limitations. He cannot solve such a huge problem but can only improve the situation in small steps using his own personal skills. Would that we all thought like that.

And leave it to government to hinder it.

I’m going to search for a more up-to-date report on this and I may update.

(Thanks to Jason Minks.)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Our Panel Mike LaChance, Chip Faulkner, Dianna Ploss & Christopher Maider

A week ago today in conjunction with the Worcester Tea Party we held our 2nd Event together at Tang Dynasty Restaurant President Trump a Year in Review and Looking Ahead.

There were some similarities with our first event with Stacy McCain last year, the venue, the fact that both the Worcester Tea Party and Granite Grok recorded the event and that the food was served a little later than expected (about 12:30) which delayed the proceedings and as before once the food was served everyone enjoyed it tremendously which practically guarantees our next event will be at the same spotl

Unlike the last event we had a few people unexpected guests show up.  One of them was Dr. Scott Lively who made a few remarks to the crowd before things got started.

Dr. Lively is going to challenge Charlie Baker from the right for the GOP nomination.

Also speaking was one of the many candidates vying for the nomination to challenge Elizabeth Warren this time around, Heidi Wellman who I interviewed after the event.

I didn’t record the event myself as both WTP and Granite Grok were doing so (and frankly I was too busy with the event itself to bother with that side of it.) As of today only the Granite Grok raw feed is up which I include below. The speeches begin at 12:46

There were some lively exchanges and disagreements on the panel particularly on the subject of the president’s tweets but things flowed very well. We passed out index cards so the crowd could submit questions and it wasn’t long into the event that I went to them. The audience had great questions and it led to a lively and interesting event right to the end at which time Matt O’Brien who did yeoman’s work getting things going gave the closing remarks

Once things were all done came the interviews. First I spoke to Chip Faulkner from Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Chip’s warnings about the latest attempt for the state to try to tax us bear listening to.

Next came Mike LaChance (who some of you might know as Alester from American Glob) who now writes at Legal Insurrection

and we finished up with Dianne Ploss from Ma for Trump and Act For America

Her MA for Trump Christmas party will be tomorrow (it was delayed due to illness in the family but you can still catch it) It’s only $25 which includes a DJ and Chinese food. You can find details for the party here.

It was a good time and a good discussion and as before people left knowing a lot more than when they came.  If you were one of those folks thanks so much for coming.  If you missed it, make sure you show up for our next event.

I mentioned earlier this month that GOP candidate Dean Tran had won the state senate seat left vacant by Jen Flanagan but before I leave the subject I’d like to say something about the former State Senator now on the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission.

I had covered and interviewed Senator Flanagan several times in the past my last had been after the 2014 debate in Leominster

As you might guess while I had little in common politically with Ms. Flanagan it’s worth noting that Flanagan never shrunk away from those who opposed her politically.  She was happy to appear at Tea Party forums to engage and make her case to political opponents at a time when Democrats and media Nationwide were demonizing the Tea Party.

Fortunately for the GOP most Democrats nationally weren’t classy or smart enough to do the same.  Which is one of the reasons the GOP have a majority today.

She was a class act and will do an excellent job on the commission, I wish her luck.

Sheriff-Lew-Evangelidis-Dean-Tran-Charlie-Baker-and-friend 2016

This story is what we call “News”

Robert Stacy McCain The Power of Simple Sentences May 31st 2011

Yesterday I promised an example of a Newsworthy story it now follows:

On Tuesday morning before I was headed off to what would be, unknown to me, my last day of work before I was laid off, I headed to the St. Bernards activity center in Fitchburg Ma’s ward six with my son to vote in a special election for the Massachusetts State Senate vacated by Democrat Jennifer Flanagan of Leominster after Governor Charlie Baker appointed her to the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission.

If this had been the US Senate the idea of a GOP governor appointing a Democrat Senator from a district that went for Scott Brown in the past might have made some waves, but as Flanagan had successfully defended her seat both during the 2010 big red wave and the smaller 2014 red wave that elected Charlie Baker Governor (I covered the debates back then) and the fact that a republican hadn’t held that seat since the first George Bush was president (Mary Padula) there wasn’t a lot of worry over it in Democrat circles.  Particularly since her GOP opponent Dean Tran had previously lost a special election for State Rep in Fitchburg where he was a longtime city counselor even though popular GOP sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Governor Charlie Baker had appeared on his behalf then and would do so in this race too.

The primary was held on the day of the General election and despite two wild cards longtime Leominster city counselor Claire Freda (a self described Conservative Democrat / Liberal Republican) running as unenrolled and Green / Rainbow candidate Charlene DiCalogero the smart money was on Susanne Chalifoux Zepher who had won a three way Democrat primary on election day and had outspent Tran by more than 6-1 .

But election day Tran’s supporters turned out:

Leominster resident Sarah Tatro said she was more swayed by Tran’s Republican convictions, which she said were more in line with her own views.

“He’s way more of a conservative than Sue Chalifoux Zephir and he lines up with a lot of the policies I care about and my beliefs,” she said, referring to his pro-life stance and support of the Second Amendment.

And when I got home that night after midnight I was delighted to find out that Dean had won with 46% of the vote in the four way race to Chalifoux-Zephir’s 42% Freda picked up 10% of the vote (lower than I expected) and green candidate DiCalogero 1%. This gives the GOP its seventh seat out of forty in the Massachusetts senate and gets them half way toward the 14 seats needed to break the Democrat senate super majority.

Now I will grant you in terms of the composition of the Massachusetts senate it’s not going to make a huge difference this year.

But it seems to be that a Republican candidate,  and not just a republican but a Minority pro-life 2nd Amendment republican, flips a senate seat, and not just a senate seat but a seat that Democrats have held since 1992, to represent three cites (Fitchburg Leominster & Gardner) that all went for  Hillary in a state she won by over 27 points  might, just might, be a Tad newsworthy.

But in fairness that’s the opinion of a blogger who has never been employed in the MSM.  What would professional reporters say?  Tomorrow I’ll share with you the opinions of a few I spoke to on the subject.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer and would make an excellent Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list.

While driving down Route 55 in Lagrangeville, New York (about 60 miles north of New York City) on the way to a medical appointment yesterday, I spotted a sign outside of Kelly’s Steaks and Spirits that sure lifted mine! The sign announced that they DO NOT air NFL games in that establishment and the sign further went on to say:

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

If I were not driving at the time I would have taken a picture.  I do not have the resources to go out for dinner, but that sign alone (in NEW YORK) is enough reason for me to want to check that place out if the opportunity to dine out should ever present itself to me. Predictably, the Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting people has caused an outbreak of hatred and poor reviews for this establishment.  At the top of their page, Facebook highlights certain words they think we need to know people are using:

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

After White Nationalists and their counterparts caused violence to erupt in Charlottesville, Virginia back in August, Americans witnessed a very odd occurrence. Suddenly, Virginia bureaucrats sought to impinge on our constitutional right to bear arms.

First, Va governor Terry McAuliffe very publicly and very falsely alleged that “eighty percent of the people here had semiautomatic weapons,” and even went so far as to say that the white supremacists in attendance “had better equipment than our state police.”

As if all of that wasn’t exaggeration enough, Governor McAuliffe claimed that these supremacists had weapons “stashed around the city.”

Not only was his allegation of citywide conspiracy the stuff of comic books but his entire speech missed the mark completely in terms of bedrock reality. As a matter of cold, hard fact, the white supremacists in the Charlottesville incident utilized nearly every form of weapon imaginable…save for guns.

As anyone who’s followed the news can tell you, the chief offender at the Unite the Right rally implemented a motor vehicle as his assault weapon. One witness at the rally was Hunter Wallace, a Right wing blogger at Occidental Dissent who reported being attacked with “mace, pepper spray, bricks, sticks and foul liquids.” But nowhere does he mention firearms.

Much of the anti-gun rhetoric surrounding the incident has to do with a paramilitary group that was photographed at the scene, each of them outfitted with camouflage gear and brandishing assault rifles. But the problem here is one of false identification.

At the height of the tension in Charlottesville, the governor announced a State of Emergency and members of the National Guard were deployed. As such, there is no reason to believe that those who were armed at the protest weren’t actually members of the National Guard or a private security firm.

In fact, state police have even renounced the governor’s claims, insisting that they searched for stashed weapons and came up short. “No weapons were located.”

Despite this, the Internet blew up with rumors that a gun-toting militia had silenced free speech when, on the contrary, those in attendance were more than capable of speaking their minds. And they did. Quite loudly and violently.

Nevertheless, the public outcry over the event triggered a domino effect and, in no time at all, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) was deferring to the Left, announcing that they would no longer “defend hate groups seeking to march with firearms.”

In other words, they are threatening to strip Americans of their First Amendment right to march if we exercise our Second Amendment freedoms. It’s a dangerous precedent that they are setting in the name of placating the gun-hating PC police.

What the ACLU’s decision tells us is that even those legal watchdogs who we trust to defend our civil liberties are, in the end, out to save face rather than protect our inalienable right to civil disobedience or organized demonstration.

Their announcement is also an arbitrary one since there are already numerous legal restrictions that limit the places and situations in which bearing arms is acceptable. This is true in multiple jurisdictions. Any responsible gun owner is already fully aware of the consequences he or she faces if they violate extant firearms laws.

The ACLU’s proclamation is one that runs counter to those laws, one that says they refuse to represent organizations that are compliant with those laws. In the case of Charlottesville, the gun laws are less restrictive than in other states. Any person 21 years of age or older can apply for a five-year concealed carry permit.

Granted, the ACLU is a private organization and they have every right to select the clients they represent at their own discretion, but their decision in the wake of Charlottesville is one that perpetuates the current rash of myopic, partisan arguments dividing our great nation.

People want to point fingers at the alt-right, they want to point fingers at the “snowflakes,” they want to shame everyone other than themselves. But what many people are failing to notice is the real danger at play here.

The Republic of the United States and its free speech has sustained itself through awful, unspeakable attacks, many of them far more catastrophic than even the disgusting display in Charlottesville. And through it all, we’ve been able to give voice to all opinions, maintaining unity despite our differences.

All of that is compromised when retreat and surrender become the status quo. What the ACLU has done is take a step in that egregious direction, a step toward compromising the core values and liberties of all for the sake of appeasing the few.

It’s almost laughable that the alt-right or the Democrats would get behind such a move since losing our First and Second Amendment rights would rob us of the privilege of calling America a so-called “democracy.” After all, without a voice, you have no say and without a say, you are no longer living in a free country.

Loud-mouthed political wingnuts, whether ultra-liberal or ultra-conservative, will never be a threat to the fabric of our constitution. On the other hand, a culture that places more value on suppression and censorship than constructive debate will. Once we begin undermining our freedoms, we forfeit what it means to be an American.

As President Trump said after the Charlottesville incident, the violence that was wrought could be blamed on “both sides.” And whether you agree with him or not, one thing that we can take away from that is that violence can come at us from any direction, regardless of our political leanings.

Thus, it is imperative that every American retain their right to own and carry a gun. Law-abiding citizens, even those exercising their freedom to sit in and protest, should be able to protect themselves against the berserkers from both sides of the aisle.

Sam Bocetta is a retired defense contractor for the U.S. Navy, specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. He now teaches at Algonquin Community College in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor and is the ASEAN affairs correspondent for GunNewsDaily.com

That is a picture of a Rose Petal that was taken by my son’s Iphone last night at a prayer service in Medford. Said Petal and one other were pressed against his chest by Brother Carmelo a mystic from the Philippians who is in Massachusetts who flew in tuesday and flies out tomorrow.

Here are two videos I shot of the various Petals, my wife, oldest son, and I have two each. 3 of them have the Eucharist on them, one the head of Jesus, one of the Blessed Mother and the children of Fatima and one of St. Francis at the foot of the cross.

This one was about 90 minutes later taken in Leominster at Happy Jack’s restaurant.

Here are two of the pictures I took (the full batch is at the bottom

that’s the same of as above here is my son’s other one.

There were a bunch of people in this room after the blessing Brother Camelo took the white pedals out of the bowl where they had been mixed with water (water that had come from sealed water bottles that were opened in our presence and drank from by people who attended) and pressed them against our chests. The images were viable to the light very shortly afterwards but the letters on the host didn’t become distinct until later. I still have glitter on my chest…

and my head.

My wife took these pictures just now for this post. There is also glitter on my wife’s chest but you’ll have to take my word for it as you aren’t getting any photos of that.

Watching the assorted people aged from late teens to 80’s was like watching a bunch of kids opening up packs of baseball cards to see who they had gotten. The images widely varied from person to person and the sheer amazement of the room was palatable, although given that it was full of faithful Catholics said amazement might be a tad strange.

I should point out that while our host bought a bunch of roses for the event my wife specifically purchased six roses at the Market Basket on John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg and brought them. They were sent to the front and I distinctly saw the petals from those roses taken by the priest (not Brother Carmelo) and plucked for the use in this service. We had gotten there a tad late and nobody had a shot to fiddle with or adjust said roses. Furthermore there was a room full of people (I’d estimate 30-40) people in a room not bigger than 20 x 10 with all eyes on what was going on.

Here are the thumbnails of the pictures we took. My son’s petals are now at his house in his bible and our four are at our house in mine. Brother Camelo said to leave them there for three months and then we can laminate them.

Oh and one other thing. A Bowl was passed full of water that had been clouded by the pedals for us to dip our rosaries in. All three of ours still smell strongly of roses.

Here are the pictures I took along with the four my son took off of his Iphone

As I said, all of this happened right in front of us and I’d say the implications of this is significant for what a person believes and how they choose to live. You are of course free to assume that I’m a liar or a fool and come up with a complicated explanation as to how this happened.


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