The urgency of national news sometimes casts local politics into the shade. Watch out for that. I spent the last election season preaching “downballot” to anyone who would listen. I have no regrets, in view of some of the issues coming up in my area at the state and local levels that are sure to be reflected in federal policy a few years down the road. Furthermore, the candidates succeeding locally are apt to look to higher office sooner or later.

This came to mind as my Facebook feed kicked up a new ad, inviting me to “like” a Model Citizen’s new page. My internal alarms went off. This MC ran last cycle for mayor of the largest city in the state, and lost by a whisker. She’s back for another crack at it.

Ms. Model Citizen was endorsed last time around by EMILY’s List, which was established for exactly one reason: to elect pro-abortion women. Ms. MC downplayed that in her last campaign. The EMILY’s List material promoting her, knowing that the unrestricted-abortion line wouldn’t play well in the city, emphasized her aldermanic experience. I’m betting on the same game plan this time.

And when that happens, it’ll be last time all over again: ask any ten likely voters in that city if they’d support a pro-abortion candidate for mayor, and most would say no. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of EMILY’s List, and nine of them would go “huh?” But ask them if they’d support the alderman from ward X, and it’s a different story.

The last time the mayor of the largest city in the state ran for higher office, he wound up in Congress. Local experience and name recognition counted heavily.

It’s not just the prospect of upward mobility that gives me pause; it’s the more immediate effect on local policy. Who determines local school policies, as least as far the feds allow? Who lends credibility to certain groups by marching or volunteering with them? Who names volunteers to local committees? Who determines the priorities in municipal budgets?

Yup: the locals. While Sean Spicer is briefing reporters about developments in Washington, there’s plenty going on in your own town, without much publicity.

Watch those candidates, whenever your local elections may be. Watch those campaign finance reports. Shine a light on stealth efforts, like EMILY’s List mailings that fail to mention abortion advocacy. Care now, because you can be sure there are interest groups who would be happy for you to leave the caring to them.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

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Kirk: Spock, find anything?
Spock: Negative, Captain. Anything from our guest?
Kirk: According to him, there’s a creature of some sort down here, a humanoid.
Spock: Lieutenant Uhura communicated that information. I ordered re-confirmation on our sensors. They indicate no living creature on this planet. I suggest, Captain, that you’ve been lied to.

Lazarus: Captain, you yourself said there were no other explanations. Why do you give credence to this man?
Spock: I fail to comprehend your indignation, sir. I’ve simply made the logical deduction that you are a liar.

Star Trek: The Alternate Factor 1967

There is an interesting bit of news concerning funding for Planned Parenthood,

The White House has made an informal offer to Planned Parenthood that it could keep federal funding if it agreed to stop providing abortion services

For Planned Parenthood this would seem to be a no brainer. They have asserted for years that Abortion is but a tiny piece of what they do (the figure they keep throwing around is 3%) and we’ve seen stories like this

On a recent afternoon, a 22-year-old woman stopped by to pick up birth-control pills. Another, age 20, dropped in to find out about Depo-Provera, the birth-control injection that lasts three months, and other options. Another arrived with her boyfriend, for reasons she did not want to discuss with a reporter.

Thirty patients a day, five days a week, visit the center. They come for family-planning information and supplies; tests for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; screenings for cervical cancer; and, in some cases, medication that induces an abortion, or a referral to a center that performs one.

and this

A small brown paper bag in her hand, Julie walked out of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Roseville with a new supply of birth control. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have health insurance.

“It’s awesome to have Planned Parenthood,” said Julie, who did not wish to give her last name for privacy reasons. “To go to a regular health clinic like this would have cost $100, which would make you think twice about having to go.”…But if the effort were to prevail, California Planned Parenthood would lose $260 million a year in federal funds — approximately 80 percent of its operating budget. Unless it found a way to replenish that money elsewhere, the organization warns, it might have to close its 82 California sites furnishing basic health care and family planning services to mostly low-income patients.

and this

When Everette was a graduate student aging out of her parent’s health insurance, she was unable to afford the hormonal birth control that was essential to managing her endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects the uterine lining and can cause infertility. She was able to secure access through her local Planned Parenthood and, years later, learned from her doctors that had she not managed her care as prescribed, she would not have been able to conceive children.

Jamie Benner, a mother from upstate New York, described her local Planned Parenthood’s efforts to get testing and Medicaid coverage when she was uninsured and found a lump in her breast. The testing detected her breast cancer in the nick of time, and Jamie is now healthy. “Had Planned Parenthood waited a day, I would have had stage 4 cancer and I wouldn’t be here,” she said. “Planned Parenthood made sure I would be here to be there for my girls.”

and this

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said funding cuts to Planned Parenthood clinics would deprive more than 30,000 women and men statewide of health care services like cancer screenings, birth control, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

The organization said it staged the demonstration after a draft Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act was leaked, revealing plans to take away funding for Planned Parenthood.

“Defunding Planned Parenthood is just simply reckless,” Walsh told the crowd to loud cheers. “We can’t let this happen. America is better than that.”

 

…all over the media highlighting everything they do for women that has nothing to do with abortion.

If these stories about the crisis in woman’s health that defunding would bring are accurate then surely taking this deal makes a lot of sense. After all instead of having to restore funding which would require democrats control of both the house and senate, not to mention a president willing to sign it, Planned Parenthood half billion would have permanent bipartisan support to do all the good they claim to do.

Furthermore if Planned Parenthood assertion that abortion services are only 3% of what they do is accurate leaving such services to other providers who don’t get federal funding would be no burden at all. They could always sell their surgical locations to others and continue to do all the good work for woman’s health that they constantly highly tout. Surely planned parenthood would not risk the health and wellbeing of all these women for a service that can be left to someone else?

Apparently they would

” The White House proposal that Planned Parenthood stop providing abortion is the same demand opponents of women’s health have been pushing for decades, as a part of their long-standing effort to end women’s access to safe, legal abortion,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood has always stood strong against these attacks on our patients and their ability to access the full range of reproductive health care.”

I’m confused, if the majority of planned parenthood’s business has nothing to do with abortion how would their leaving the abortion business to others “end women’s access to safe legal abortion”? Surely if such a tiny bit of Planned parenthood’s business is abortion letting women seeing abortion go elsewhere would not be any trouble at all.

Unless of course that the truth is that Planned Parenthood is first and foremost an abortion mill, that its entire business model is built on abortion and that all of this talk about woman’s healthcare isn’t anything other than propaganda.

We who have been fighting against abortion have been asserting this for years, Donald Trump managed to lay it out for all the world to see in less than two months.


2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

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Mother Angelica: It don’t care what you call it, it’s a kickback. Look sweetheart I’m not going to pay
Peanut concessionaire: Then you lose the concession
Mother Angelica: Look if I’m going to hell it’s isn’t going to be over a peanut.

Mother Angelica Live

By any rational measure, Charlie Baker has been a good governor.

He has brought good government back to Massachusetts, fought for expansion of charter schools, in a hopeless situation against a veto proof majority he’s done what he can.

He has even put himself out there to elect republicans.

If that was the only measure to judge him by I’d say he deserves re-election and there is little doubt that he’d be a better choice than any Massachusetts democrat.

If it was only a temporal issue he’d have my vote.

But let me remind my fellow catholics of the requirements for mortal sin, the type of sin that leads to damnation.

  1. Grave Matter
  2. Full Understanding
  3. Deliberate action

So when I saw this story

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration says it’s prepared to increase state funds for Planned Parenthood clinics if Congress blocks Medicaid funding for the organization.

A spokeswoman for the Republican governor said Baker strongly supports women’s health and believes Massachusetts has a responsibility to make sure Planned Parenthood services remain available for all state residents.

…where Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration states flatly that they will, on their own initiative mind you , not forced to by veto proof margins, increase funding to planned parenthood and abet the murder of children, an intrinsic evil well that changes everything.

Suddenly a vote for Charlie Baker becomes a vote to fund abortion, the murder of children.  Such a vote would be

1..A Grave matter, abortion namely the murder of Children an intrinsic evil
2..Fully understanding that casting such a vote would abet an intrinsic evil (even if Baker himself doesn’t understand it)
3..Deliberately cast in order to elect a person who has publicly stated he would do this.

Now I understand that in practice if I vote 3rd party, or leave the Governor’s space blank it increases the chances of a Democrat winning who will make life in Massachusetts, already hard for a believing Christian on any denomination (no matter what US News & World Report) even harder.

But if that happens it will be the sin of those who do it, they will have to answer the question during the vetting process at the gate, it will not be mine.

Now I’m sure Governor Baker’s team figures there are more votes in Massachusetts by doing this than not and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Republicans, even Catholic ones will,  either considering it a pragmatic choice or wanting to keep patronage in the hands of the GOP will rationalize away such a vote as the best they can do.

And if they want to make that case to St. Peter when the time comes they are welcome to do so.

As for me, I’ve only got one soul and I’m not going to risk it for the sake of keeping a republican in the corner office.

This week the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop called “Biological Extinction: How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend.”  If you read the declaration on the workshop, or look at the workshop agenda, or read any of the articles linked on the Vatican’s website, it doesn’t seem controversial at all, and fits nicely with the role of the Church around the world.

And then…fake news!

The Pope has urged us to have fewer children! claims Life Site News.

I’m not buying it, for a lot of reasons:

  1. There is NO direct quote from the Pope.  Couldn’t find it in the article, couldn’t find it on Vatican.va.
  2. It doesn’t jive with what he’s said earlier: Large Families are a gift to society.
  3. It doesn’t fit with the narrative of the workshop, which was focused on economic inequality, maintaining biodiversity and proper use of the Earth’s resources.

Nothing actually written by the workshop seemed out of line with the Catholic Church.  If someone would like to comment and prove otherwise, please be my guest, I will gladly post again admitting I missed something.

The Pope needs to realize he has a fake news problem, and it’s hurting his Church.  For reference, see the contrast between the media’s portrayal of Pope Benedict’s comments on homosexuality and Pope Francis’ comments.  Despite saying almost the same thing, Benedict’s were largely ignored, while Francis’ comments were seen as changing fundamental Church doctrine.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The media is using fake news to rip apart the Catholic Church from the inside.  By misquoting Pope Francis, it makes traditional-thinking Catholics think he’s extremely liberal, and it reinforces their wrong belief that Vatican II should be completely rejected.  For Catholics who grew up after the 1960s, the media’s portrayal makes it look like it’s OK to accept ideas that are actually heretical (and ideas they have been pushing for some time now).  For those of us in the middle, who like tradition but also try to understand the spirit of the Catechism, we get marginalized by both sides, and the media simply tries to overwhelm us with volume to silence our voices.

It’s nasty.  As a military planner, this is the sort of thing I would want to do to my adversaries.  The media are using fake news to tear down the Catholic Church in a way that could cause almost all persons to turn away from teaching and towards what makes us comfortable.  We would do well to reject it and focus on understanding our Catechism and why we believe what we believe.


The post represents the views of the author alone, and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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Pro-LifeA bit of a hint to the Marxist Feminist groups.  When your philosophy looks like this as described by major feminist writers used in Woman’s studies textbooks nationwide as quoted by Robert Stacy McCain:

The biggest problem with feminism, however, is that its ideology discourages marriage and motherhood (see “Anti-Marriage and Anti-Motherhood: Feminism’s War Against the Family”). All feminism is ultimately anti-male, viewing men as enemies who perpetrate oppression against women and benefit from unjust “privilege.” This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for feminists to reconcile their ideology with heterosexual relationships. Declaring that “marriage constitutes slavery for women” (Sheila Cronan, 1970), feminists have vowed “to destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family” (Andrea Dworkin, 1974), condemning heterosexuality as the “subjugation of women by means of a phallocentric sexuality” (Denise Thompson, 1980) because heterosexuality is “a socially constructed institution which structures and maintains male domination” (Diane Richardson, 2000).  The feminist belief that marriage is “slavery,” that male-female relationships are characterized by women’s “subjugation” under “male domination,” leads feminists to eschew such relationships, and thereby forego any benefit they might derive from having husbands and families.

The end result is a larger population of the young women who grow up raised by parents who eschew your philosophy and make classic videos like this

and become “Planned Parenthood’s worst nightmare

Autumn, a 16-year-old girl who recently released a video commentary on abortion, is eloquent, direct, unafraid, involved, informed and smart.

She is, as the activist organization Students for Life said, Planned Parenthood’s “worst nightmare.”

Students for Life explains.

“Autumn is in high school. She’s passionately pro-life. … This is what the next generation looks like on the issue of abortion – and the abortion industry is going to have real problems facing that down.”

The organization continued: “If we were Planned Parenthood, we’d be terrified of Autumn and the pro-life generation she represents: an educated, articulate and passionate one. A generation that cares deeply about human rights, and the equality of all people, which extends to the preborn. A generation that has successfully incorporated the mission to help women facing unplanned pregnancies into mainstream pro-life movement. … A generation that is truly fearless in the face of Planned parenthood and their allies.”

This is not a surprise it’s simple cause and effect, Stacy McCain again:

The more committed a woman is to feminism, the less likely she is to have children, and vice-versa, so that the feminist movement is at a distinct demographic disadvantage vis-a-vis feminism’s opponents.

Or as Weird Dave at Ace of Spades HQ (hat tip due) who called this video “nine minutes of pure, unadulterated, chrome wheeled, fuel injected, steppin’ out over the line awesome” put it

If children like this are our future, in a hundred years I really do believe that mankind will view abortion the way we view slavery today.

Or to put it another way, in twenty years there will be a lot more Autumns than Emma Watsons.

I suspect I will live just long enough to see it happen, and be glad.


2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

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News comes of the passing of Norma McCorvey. She’ll go down in American history as “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade fame, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that has cost more than fifty million lives so far.

Her decision to become pro-life, that profound change of mind and heart, might not make it into the history books, even as a footnote. I won’t forget it, though. Neither should you.

Last year, during the first Pro-Life Women’s Conference in Dallas, I went to Mass at downtown’s beautiful Chapel of St. Jude. The priest saying Mass knew McCorvey from the days when she sought instruction in the Catholic faith. He spoke of her with fond respect, but he spoke only briefly: “Leave her alone. She’s been too much used.”

Those words struck me. Had McCorvey been at that Mass, I would have wanted to run up and thank her for witnessing for life in defiance of the Court case bearing her pseudonym. The priest’s remark made me consider that Norma McCorvey probably didn’t need fans as much as she needed friends. I hope she had those friendships, refuges in a world of microphones and cameras and attorneys.

Attorneys who wanted to loosen abortion laws used her in the early 1970s. The attorneys succeeded, probably beyond their wildest dreams. They didn’t have much use for McCorvey after that.

McCorvey never had the abortion that her case was about. It takes awhile for court cases to make it to the Supreme Court, and by the time January 1973 rolled around, McCorvey had given birth and placed her child for adoption.

In 1989, the Pittsburgh Press included some quotations from McCorvey in its coverage of yet another pending Supreme Court decision on abortion. “Asked what she would do when she met [her adopted] child, Ms. McCorvey replied, ‘I would just say, “Hello, I’m your mama,” and give a hug.'”

Remember her kindly, and pray for the repose of her soul. I don’t think she had much repose in this life. She did have a kind of courage, though, that gave her the energy to speak out long after she could have been forgiven for seeking seclusion.

Perhaps the best way to memorialize her is not with a monument or a plaque on some wall, but with action. She recommended something specific.

“…it doesn’t make any difference what religion you are, or how young you are or how old you are, I think if they get up and go to these abortion mills, and stand there – and they don’t have to do anything, they can just stand there and pray, I think that would make a lot of difference. We have to be seen in numbers.”

Ellen writes about New Hampshire politics and the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. You can keep independent journalists like her on the job by hitting up Da Tip Jar. Many thanks!

 

At the last minute my scheduled extra shift was cancelled and I found myself able to briefly attended the anti-abortion protest in Fitchburg which while part of a series of national protests for defending planned parenthood was delayed a week by winter storms.

In the seven years that Planned Parenthood has been in Fitchburg there have been many demonstrations there and lots of prayer but over the last year our friends on the left started counting protesting so there were two distinct groups, one near the entrance of the parking garage that was prolife and wanting to defund planned parenthood

And one directly opposite the “clinic” that was in favor of abortion and planned parenthood

When we first started protesting planned parenthood before the building even opened we had no opposition (unless you count the painter working on the building before they opened who told me that said if it gets rid of some of the Spanish in town he’s all for it) the other side never bothered to counter protest. It speaks well of the effectiveness of the pro-life prayers that our foes now, in the last year have found it necessary to counter us (if we had no effect then they’d ignore us) and it speaks even better of us that in a college town in this bluest of states we outnumbered them on a Saturday, but the most interesting part of my brief visit was completely unexpected.

At one point as the rosary began a young lady from the other side walked over and started engaging one of our group, the organizer, not wanting the prayers to be interrupted, asked her to postpone her engagement until the prayer was done at which time they’d be happy to talk to her but I was intrigued, so I walked over to her and we spoke literally between the two groups.

Other than age we had a lot in common, we attended the same university (although it was a college when I was there before she was born) we were both engineers (although she has a double major) but most important of all she was willing to talk to people she disagreed with which suggests both curiosity and a liking for people, this and her civility given what we’ve seen in the land is rare and should always be encouraged.

At this point I offered to interview her and she consented (which given my association with the other side shows a level of trust I’ve rarely experienced when engaging opponents)

I thought she did quite well, particularly on the question of funding and after the interview we talked briefly. She said that I had given her things to think about.

Meanwhile I moved back to my side of the aisle and there I found Olivia who also consented to an interview. She was a few years younger than Natasha and talked about the pressure that she gets from her peers for her open pro-life stance.

It seemed to me in many ways Natasha and Olivia were very alike and as I pondered it something clicked in my head. I asked Joyce (the protest leader for our Pro-life group) If I could speak to the group before leaving and she agreed.

I asked them to pray for the folks on the other side noting that some of the greatest pro-life warriors of our age started out on the other side and for all we know one of those young people (and most of them were college age with a few older feminists sprinkled in) might be leading our protests some day. On my way out I quietly asked a pair of people, strong in faith & prayer to pray for Natasha and found myself not only doing the same but adding her to my lengthy prayer list remembering that God changes hearts.

That very day the news of McCorvey, a.k.a. ‘Jane Roe,’ death broke:

She had a troubled, difficult life, but eventually renounced her pro-abortion views and converted to Catholicism

Her conversion story is here an excerpt in her own words

The sad story of my days as a pro-choice activist, days that I am happy are long gone, is recounted in the book I am Roe. The marvelous story of my journey to a new life in Christ and the pro-life movement is recounted in the book Won by Love. Now it is time to add a new chapter to the story of my life, because God had more in store for me even after He made me 100% pro-life and washed me in the waters of baptism.

He wanted me to “come home,” a message that scared me at first, because I did not know what it meant.

Eventually she would figure it out and become Catholic

The day finally arrived when I would be received into the Catholic Church. I did not have to be baptized again, because the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of baptism by flowing water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So the ceremony, scheduled for August 17, 1998 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dallas, was a Mass during which I would profess my adherence to all that the Catholic Church officially teaches, and would receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and of First Holy Communion.

I did not want this day to be a media event. No part of my journey of conversion was for the media; it was for God. I did not want distractions, or a distortion of the day’s true meaning…The first time Fr. Frank Pavone interviewed me for his radio program, he started by saying, “So you are the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade.” “No Father,” I responded, “I was the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade, but now I am a new creation in Christ. I am Roe no more!”

The primary goal of us in the pro-life movement is to save lives, both the lives of the child (and all those generations that would follow) and the life of the mother, father and all of those who will suffer, sometimes in silence, and sometimes in public over abortion.

But the 2nd goal is to change hearts and minds, because it will be those changed hearts and changed minds that will make the first goal possible and will even more importantly lead to changed souls.

And it’s a changed soul that is the different between eternal life and eternal death which in the end is the bottom line we will all face.

Right now I have a lot on my plate and I suspect so do you but I’d ask that you add a daily prayer for both Natasha and Oliva, may they both, like the brother in scripture, find themselves in the end together in their father’s house, one there from the start, and the other after a wrong turn and a long detour, but both in the end together in celebration.

That’s a result worth praying for.


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This last week I asked everyone to pray for Rebecca, my youngest daughter. She had gone in for open heart surgery on Wednesday to repair an Atrial Septal Defect. The surgery was fairly routine (at least, as far as open heart surgery is concerned), and considering that Yale New-Haven was performing the surgery, we couldn’t have had a better team. But as you know from that same post, she wasn’t recovering well.

On Monday, I went to work, only to get called back to the hospital. My wife and I arrived and consulted with the surgeons, who said Rebecca had gone into heart block, where the heart doesn’t pump well and blood flow is sluggish. They wanted to install a temporary pacemaker so that her heart would keep working, and the surgeons were very hopeful that she would heal out of it. We agreed, and they wheeled her down to surgery.

Thirty minutes later, the nurse came up and said we needed to go downstairs. We were rushed to surgery, where the doctor came in and said Rebecca had gone into cardiac arrest after anethesia. He asked if I wanted to continue compressions or put her on bypass. Either way, she had a high chance of death. I told him “You walk into that room and make the best damn medical decision, and I’ll stand by you.”

Rebecca’s heart recovered on its own. Pacing wires were placed. The Code Blue paging stopped. We went back to recovery, and the local priest came in and performed an emergency Confirmation. The surgeon told us she was critical, but stable. We cleared our Tuesday schedule and drove home, an hour away from Yale, scared, but confident that things would work out.

We pulled into our driveway and called the hospital. They told us to come back. We made it back at 10 pm. I walked in and the heart rate monitor was reading zero. The doctor had his stethoscope on Rebecca’s chest, looked at me, and shook his head.  I clutched her tiny hand, desperately hoping she would squeeze, but that movement never came.  I spent the next hours cradling Rebecca in my arms and crying.

Everyone was in shock. We had the best team of pediatric heart surgeons, cardiologists, NICU and PICU nurses that you could assemble in America.  Rebecca had been recovering.  Her echocardiograms had all been good.  The pacing wires had been firing.  Everything should have worked.  It was like the A Team of cardiology teams was on her side.  They simply don’t lose people, certainly not kids like Rebecca.  But as the head surgeon later told us, “One minute she was fine, the next she was in arrest and would not come back.”

The next few days made me wonder, “Why?”  I’m used to death.  As a Naval officer, I know that I willingly place my life on the line for others.  I work with other members that do the same thing.  I’m OK with that. But Rebecca?  She was just a 7 month old kid.  She spent too much time hooked up to tubes and wires.  She didn’t deserve that.  Honestly, as a Catholic, it depressed me.  It didn’t seem fair.

So we started planning a funeral.  And a wake.  And a reception.  We filled out forms.  We called people and sent emails.  And all of a sudden, I realized that I had missed the point.

Rebecca’s death wasn’t about her. It was about everyone else.

It was about the Yale New-Haven team.  The team of doctors, nurses and surgeons that saw us choose life, saw us pray over Rebecca, and watched her emergency Baptism and Confirmation.  Many of them didn’t share our beliefs on abortion and life.  Some of them do now.  Rebecca had tons of people from Yale that came to visit her even when she wasn’t in their ward or on their floor.  I spied on many a nurse and doctor playing with her and making faces to make her smile.  She touched their lives like no one else could.  Rebecca’s death was about that team.

It was about the Down Syndrome community.  It dawned on us when the Eastern Connecticut Down Syndrome group set up a Go Fund Me page that netted over 1,000 dollars in less than a day.  Rebecca was born with Down Syndrome, and the Down Syndrome community in the northeast mobilized to support us.  So many people that we had never met, or only met briefly, were praying for her.  It brought them together.  Rebecca’s death was about that community.

It was about my Navy command.  My Assistant Officer in Charge told my Sailors the next morning what had happened.  Almost immediately, my Sailors and their families began reaching out, asking what they could do to help.  They didn’t have to.  There are plenty of Navy resources, and often the going assumption is that Navy Officers have it all figured out.  But as one Sailor put it in a text message, “He’s our Officer in Charge, and he always helps us. I want to help him.”  Many of the Sailors had only ever seen Rebecca at the occasional family event, yet they wanted to help.  Our Navy team grew closer.  Rebecca’s death was about my Sailors and their families.

It was about people who lacked faith.  People we didn’t know were suddenly reaching out to my wife.  They said that Rebecca brought them to church and they were praying when they hadn’t done so in years.  A friend of my wife that is a very vocal atheist asked people openly on Facebook to pray for Rebecca.  No clauses in her request.  No “If you believe” or “keep her in your thoughts” disclaimers.  She made a genuine request for prayers.  Rebecca’s death was about her.

It was about our family.  I was honestly frightened about the thought of raising a kid that might live with me forever.  It made me do a lot of research and talk to people.  After meeting people from all walks of life who loved people with Down Syndrome, and seeing kids and adults with Down Syndrome do well in life (even swim the English Channel!), I realized that all life matters, even the ones that we view as disabled.  My kids learned to love Rebecca, despite her being very different from other babies.  Or perhaps, it was because she was so different that they cared even more.  Rebecca’s death was about us.

I realized that I made a mistake.  I focused on Rebecca’s pain.  I watched her cry when she was stuck with needles.  I watched her struggle to finish a bottle because her heart wasn’t strong enough to breast feed.  It made me sad, but what I didn’t realize was that she was changing everyone around her.  My focus on her pain blinded me to how she was an instrument to change those around her.

Many of us spend a large part of our adult lives influencing, or trying to influence, those around us.  We read books, we devise arguments, we make PowerPoint presentations, and we argue on Facebook.  And yet here I had a little girl, not even a year old, who came into my life and changed everyone around her, including people she never met.  Her broken heart was changing those with hardened hearts.

She did it without words, without slides, and without a social media account.

It truly was never about her.  It was always about us, about making us better.  And even though it took her death for me to realize it, I’m glad that I did.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18: 1-5


Rebecca will be buried on Tuesday, with a wake on Monday.  If you are in the Eastern Connecticut area, you are welcome to stop by.  Please follow the link for details.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

It’s been rather amusing watching the left being forced to cover the March for Life particularly when you see things like this get out there

The real story here is that these numbers are not unusual and people are figuring this out very quickly.


President Trump’s executive order on immigration from seven countries were Islamic Terror is a real problem has produced mass hysteria among the left, and an “what has the Roman’s ever done for us” moment from a senior NYT reporter, who asked a question that Guy Benson was kind enough to answer:

So Apart from 9/11, San Bernardino, The Boston Bombers, the Time Square Bomber, the Underwear Bomber the Ohio State attacker, the Chattanooga shooter and numerous plotter who failed, when has a Foreign terrorist every bothered us?

The NYT, the so called “Paper of Record” became Monty Python so quietly I barely noticed

John Cleese would be proud!


A lot of people defending Trump’s move are bringing up the point that Obama quietly restricted immigration, but I think the better point, particularly to those who object to the temporary suspension applying to green card holders were the multiple stories of immigration putting everything on a fast track before the election.

I wonder how many of those card holders were not vetted properly during the Obama Years? Under Trump we are going to find out.


The left is crowing about several federal judges blocking Trump’s latest move as if this was a major earthquake, It seems to me that if after 8 years of Obama appointing federal judges, 2 of them with no restraint in the senate that the shock would be if you couldn’t find three of them willing to block a Trump order. Likewise getting 1000 anti trump protesters in a city of millions that overwhelmingly voted against him at an airport is not a great achievement.

But getting this look on radical congresswoman’s Nina Vasquez’s face by having the person she pushed to get released say on live camera that he “likes Trump

That’s really something!


Stacy McCain writes about a big sexual assault scandal at Baylor involving the Football team and one thing in his piece jumped out at me when I read it:

Two football players — Sam Ukwuachu and Tevin Elliott — were convicted for sexual assaults that occurred in 2012 and 2013.

And as the Waco Tribune also noted

Shawn Oakman, a member of the 2015 squad and Baylor graduate, has been indicted on a sexual assault charge.

Furthermore concerning the civil lawsuit being brought against Baylor we see this:

The woman, identified in the suit by the pseudonym Elizabeth Doe, reports being gang raped by then-Baylor football players Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman after a party on April 18, 2013.
Those football players were previously named as suspects in a sexual assault police report related to that date but were not charged.

The significance of is that rather than one of the many cases of post coitus regret that college tribunals nationwide have used to tar young men, and pols have used to their advantage, you had evidence brought to the attention of law enforcement, including a police report of assault on the date named in the civil suit. Furthermore such evidence was sufficient to convict at least two players and indict at east one more of actual crimes.

This tells me that the accusations against Baylor are credible, because the people making them were willing to go to law enforcement and the court system where the rules of evidence apply as opposed to sticking with a college tribunal where they do not.

Going to the law when a crime is alleged. That’s how things should be done


Don Surber author of Trump the Press is describing donald trump as the “instapresident” and is comparing Donald Trump to the Blogfather Glenn Reynolds:

And as Reynolds heads toward the 20th anniversary of his adopting the handle of Instapundit, readers see the change finally happen.

Follow the money. Online ads have eclipsed newspaper ads. Any blog that made money last year is more profitable than many newspapers in the nation, who are tossing staff overboard to keep from sinking — after wasting all that time earlier rearranging the deck chairs.

Watching Reynolds and his rebel army — read Army of Davids — is inspirational. It also made a pretty good blueprint for a presidential run.

I am sure Donald Trump incorporated the tactics into his campaign. Be quick. Be nimble. Be everywhere.

Be Instapresident — ninja Instapresident.

And one of the results of his tactics has been noticed by Scott Adams who saw all this coming

You’re probably seeing the best persuasion you will ever see from a new president. Instead of dribbling out one headline at a time, so the vultures and critics can focus their fire, Trump has flooded the playing field. You don’t know where to aim your outrage. He’s creating so many opportunities for disagreement that it’s mentally exhausting. Literally. He’s wearing down the critics, replacing their specific complaints with entire encyclopedias of complaints. And when Trump has created a hundred reasons to complain, do you know what impression will be left with the public?

He sure got a lot done.

Even if you don’t like it.

In only a few days, Trump has made us question what-the-hell every other president was doing during their first weeks in office. Were they even trying?

It doesn’t seem possible that Donald Trump has been President for less than 10 days does it?


Here’s a story that deserves a lot more attention:

In an article published by the Saudi daily Al Jazirah newspaper — and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) — Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh wrote that the reliance of radical Palestinian groups on armed resistance “constitutes a kind of political suicide that only political ignoramuses [can] condone.”

According to Al-Sheikh, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the sole option “that can be demanded and which enjoys the support of most of the international community.”

What the Palestinians, Al-Sheikh went on to say, “need to understand is that the Arabs of today are not the Arabs of yesterday, and that the Palestinian cause has lost ground among Arabs. This cause is no longer a top priority for them, because civil wars are literally pulverizing four Arab countries, and because fighting the ‘Islamic’ terrorism is the foremost concern that causes all Arabs, without exception, to lose sleep.

The fact that Donald Trump is taking the left’s arrows also means that Israel can take care of business and nobody is going to notice or care.


I know we’ve talked a lot of Patriots here lately but here is a Red Sox story that caught me by surprise

With David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz and Junichi Tazawa all gone from Boston this offseason, who’s the second longest tenured member of the Red Sox?

“Me!” Bradley said with a smile at the annual Boston Baseball Writers’ Awards Dinner last week. “That’s funny. Who would have ever known?”

Bradley made his major-league debut on Opening Day of 2013, and the only other current Red Sox in the lineup that day was Dustin Pedroia.

It’s quite a shock to realize that Pedroia is all that’s left from the 2007 championship team but it’s always a pleasure to realize that spring training is just around the corner.


A week from today Superbowl 51 will be played and while there seems to be little general interest in the game on sports talk radio there is a lot of trash talk going on, and a fair amount of it appears to be how racist Boston is and how white the Patriots are compared to other teams.

Unfortunately for Atlanta the Patriots players are not letting themselves be distracted by this nonsense because they are less concerned with racial quotas and more interested in working hard to prepare for an Atlanta Team that has already defeated two A list QB who have won Super Bowls over the last two weeks.

And anyways, if we were talking racial quotas since the US is only 11% black wouldn’t a team that had a larger number of white players be a sign of racial equality than disparity, but not only od race baiters gotta bait this tells me that the sports guys pushing this story see Atlanta not having a chance and need something to get some eyeballs.

For myself I don’t think Atlanta is going to win, but they are a good team and if they DID win I wouldn’t be all that shocked, after all when it’s one game anything can happen.


Ironically You might have noticed we didn’t have a Friday Evening Post here and Saturday’s  morning’s post was a tad late, that’s because I ended up with an unexpected 3 hour work shift instead of my normal 8 and as DaWife had the day off I suggested a spontaneous day trip, which is how we ended up at an Indian Casino in Connecticut with her watching me play craps and I watching her play slots. I had packed an overnight with both laptops but she decided she wanted to sleep in her own bed so we left at 9 pm

It has actually been my plan to take a day off & surprises her with such a trip in a few weeks as the 30th anniversary of my hypothetical marriage proposal (that’s a story too long for this post) but not only did this mean I didn’t need to take an unpaid day off but the occasional bit of spontaneous pleasures when she doesn’t see it coming (even if it something small & inexpensive) is an excellent way to stay married for 30 years.

Ironically I felt a bit guilty as I skipped the March for Life because I couldn’t afford the unpaid day and here I was listening to it on the radio while driving to a casino but as my parish priest and spiritual director once reminded me. My primary vocation as a married man is to my wife and that sacrament of Marriage.

Think like that and you’ll find yourself making plans for a 29th anniversary someday.


Vice President Pence speaking at March for Life, from Fox News

I watched Vice President Pence’s speech at the March for Life. It was…OK. As far as speeches go, it was along the lines of “Blah blah, President Trump loves you. Blah blah, you are making America Great Again.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he was there, but I wish he had said something like this:

I am so honored to be the first Vice President to speak at the March for Life. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” the first right he listed was for life, for all Americans.

The right to life is amazing because it cuts across all Americans, regardless of color, gender, or any other subgroup you could come up with. Some in America want us to keep these divisions, and we saw that last week. But today, we unite across those boundaries. Today, we welcome those that see life as a central part of this great country.

We also welcome those that perhaps chose death in the past, but now regret that choice. The right to life is for all Americans, including them. I have heard from those Americans, and the suffering they have gone through after making this choice…it just makes me sad. They have a voice in this movement, a voice that we welcome with open arms, just as we welcome them.

I implore you to carry the life affirming message into the world. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to your doctors. Talk to your family. And yes, even engage on Facebook once in a while. The media is happy to squelch what you say, although President Trump and I will do our best to change that. But changing hearts towards preserving life isn’t accomplished through news media. Changing hearts comes from heart to heart conversations that are full of love. Have those conversations with those you love and care about, and even those that perhaps you don’t.

Thank you for what you do and for what you stand for!


This post represents the views of the author, no the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other agency. If you want more of his professional views, check out his blog here.