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.

Yesterday was the March for life and one of the signs of the fear of the left was the sudden interest in the twitter Hashtags #march4life and #marchforlife by outraged leftists.

To be sure in previous years you had some but unlike the first 43 years of the March the new president made sure that this was news and the fear, worry and anger of the left online was palatable.

There were many things that might have surprised those who saw the March for life for the first time yesterday, here are the top 3

1. The Number of Women at the March. Anyone who has ever seen a protest in front of Planned Parenthood would know that the pro-life / anti-abortion movement is a movement driven by women, many of who have first hand experience with abortion who deeply regret it and the pain it has causes them. This is completely contrary to the meme pushed by the media and the left that it must have been a real shock to viewers who have been told for decades that pro-life is actually about men wanting to control women’s bodies. This is the exact opposite of truth as any woman who has been pressured to kill her child by the fellow who got her pregnant can tell you.

2. The number of young people at the march.
The amount of youth at these marches is always huge. On TV the left keeps using images of young people when pushing for the right to kill a child but there are always thousands upon thousands of teens and twenty somethings at the march every year. Given that the march has gone on for 44 years there were likely more than a few children and grandchildren of those who have marched in the past there. That’s made possible by not killing them in the womb.

3. Happy, Non-violent and clean:
We have to thank our friends on the left for this one. On inauguration day the American Public saw the Anti-Trump left torch limos and throw bricks thru windows and at police. Earlier this week we saw the so called “woman’s” march (actually the liberal anti-trump march) leave DC covered in trash and signs and heard their leaders shout violent angry and vulgar slogans on national TV.

Yesterday they saw a March larger than either one that had not only had no violence (in fact marchers thanked police for their protection), Signs without body parts (albeit not absent thought provoking images like this one)


Speeches absent of vulgarity or even vitriol,including ones from Kellyanne Conway and the Vice President of the United states and this winner from Mia Love, but a Capital left just as clean if not cleaner that before the marchers turned up.

To those who have followed the March for Life every year, none of that would be a shock, to those discovering it for the first time who have seen the occupods camps on TV or in their own cities and heard the shrieks of angry leftists protesting when Milo comes to town it must have been a revelation.

These sets of facts (Dare I say “Alternative Facts”) that the MSM has never exposed the average news consumer to in the past must have been eye opening. What they choose to do with these facts, well that’s up to them, but it will be a hard thing for the left and their media allies to put that genie back into the bottle.

Update (via Glenn): Bingo

Of perhaps more significant interest, however, is the fact that Keilar and CNN were forced to put the March for Life on the same political footing as the Women’s March on Washington. Equally surprising is the fact that the Women’s March on Washington is already being described as a ‘liberal women’s march’ even by an outlet such as CNN. Instead of being a nonpartisan protest by all women against the tyranny of Trump, all the work and effort put into the Women’s March has been relegated, in the space of less than a week, to a partisan liberal protest that was most prominently associated with Planned Parenthood. All of the supposed moral authority of an entire gender has been wiped aside in favor of a frank and honest acknowledgement that the marchers were merely liberals who were super unhappy with how the election turned out.”

If you can’t make them see the light, make the feel the heat

Ronald Reagan

Before I hit the sack this afternoon the story of some Chili’s Restaurants decision to hold fundraisers for Planned Parenthood, on the eve of the March for Life no less, broke

and the response from pro-life folks, particularly those who unlike Nancy Pelosi actually take that whole: Intrinsic Evil, Mortal Sin business in their religion seriously was not pleasant from their perspective:

This response at their facebook page was typical:

Mark A Byers I regularly patronize Chilis in and around Pasco County, New Port Richey, Trinity, and Palm Harbor. NO MORE! I will not support anyone that contributes to abortions in any state, or country. ADIOS!

So I decided that it was time to get a statement from Chili’s and wrote them the following email:

Good afternoon:

I am working on a piece to be published this week on the reports that Chili’s restaurants in two states were holding promotions to support planned parenthood and have several questions.

1. Does the Chili’s chain support these fundraisers for Planned Parenthood at their restaurant, if so why, if not why not?

2. Given that Abortion is a very divisive issue why did Chili’s decide to jump in the middle of it and are any sanctions planned for the restaurants In question for putting Chili’s in a position where they are likely going to be forced to choose one part of their customer base over another?

3. Are there any plans to make a general statement on any such fundraisers in the future? Will there be guidance to locally owned franchises to avoid cultural war issues in the future?

4. The annual March for life is tomorrow, given the likely reaction of the participants to this news what message do you have to those marchers concerning this promotion?

5. Given that the Catholic Church (and other Christian denominations) consider abortion an intrinsic evil and cooperation[misspelled in original] with abortion a mortal sin what message do you have to believing Catholic / Christian customers who may be ethically required to avoid Chili’s over this promotion?

6. As funding Planned Parenthood is an issue on which the left has attacked President Trump what assurances can you give voters who supported the President that this promotion was not a slap in the face to him and his supporters?

7. Finally if Chili’s argues that it has no position on this issue and values customers who hold pro-life and pro-abortion opinions equally can you give an example of a fundraiser for a pro-life group held at a Chili’s in the past or will you do such a fundraiser to counter balance this one?

I will happily include any statement by Chili’s in my piece if it arrives before it is published, and/or will update or produce a follow up with said statement if it arrives after publication. Be aware that the piece will include the content of this email.

Thank you for your time

Peter “DaTechGuy” Ingemi
Datechguyblog.com
Featuring DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven
Have Fedora Will Travel

Chili’s responded at 1:28 PM, with the following:

Peter,

Please find below a statement that can be attributed to Chili’s® Grill & Bar.

“At Chili’s, we have a longstanding history and take pride in giving back to unite our local communities together. We recognize every community is unique, and encourage our restaurant managers and franchise partners to support causes that help bring communities together and leave a positive impact on our valued Guests, neighbors, friends and families we serve.

Yesterday, we learned that an independent franchise partner of Chili’s in Indiana and Kentucky made the decision to host a Chili’s Give Back Event on behalf of Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky. While our franchise partner had the best intentions; we have received growing feedback and concern from community members regarding the Give Back Event. This feedback does not reflect Chili’s focus on bringing communities together and the event was never intended to be viewed as a partisan event or political statement, therefore we, along with our franchise partner, have decided to cancel the event.

We will more clearly communicate the focus of Chili’s charitable giving efforts, so that our restaurant managers and franchise partners can feel empowered to support local organizations that bring communities together.”

No answers to my questions and a statement which reeks of moral equivalency.  Not a big surprise by a company that doesn’t want to get involved.  Their statement that “every community is unique” and the “best of intentions” suggests that they don’t have a problem with abortion itself, only that we who oppose it might object. It’s the type of statement I’d expect in 1817 if a Kentucky franchise owner held a fundraiser to help a local plantation owner whose slaves had escaped and they wanted to placate outraged abolitionists.

Clearly the only reason consider this a big deal is because of the backlash from Pro-Life potential customers, and I strongly suspect that the local franchises, fooled by the MSM coverage of the so called “March for Woman” thought that of COURSE this would not make any trouble nationwide given how everybody in the MSM was so behind it. So we get a statement attempting to placate pro-life diners without risking offending pro-abortion diners. It’s a statement that is neither hot nor cold, and as I recall there was a good commentary already written concerning those who are lukewarm which I’ll repeat here

I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.

Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. ” ‘”Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me…

Revelation 3:14:20

Did Chili’s have a 1st century  franchise in Laodicea?

Alas for Chili’s, as much as they would put the genie back in the bottle it’s doesn’t work that way anymore the time has come to choose sides and their attempt to choose neither will likely satisfy nobody.

They have a franchise in Leominster just a few miles from my house which, given the proximity and quality of Happy Jacks I’ve not visited in a couple of years.  Given their lukewarm statement I think I’ll follow the example of Mother Angelica who when a supplier tried to extort a kickback from her peanut company that her monastery used to support themselves in the 60’s closed it instead saying

“If I’m going to hell, it’s not going to be over peanuts”

There are plenty of other places where I can eat and I’ve only got one soul.

There’s one overarching philosophy that mainstream media will rarely cover and never in a positive light: social conservatism. If an event or newsworthy occurrence is pro-life, in favor of traditional marriage, or in defiance of the LGTQ agenda, the media will find some way to hate on it while covering up or avoiding altogether any positive message that can come from it.

We’ll get to see this clearly tomorrow as March for Life hits DC. It’s newsworthy by itself, but this year there are three factors that make it an even bigger story. First, it follows last week’s pro-abortion Women’s March. That was covered by every news outlet in America. The only comparison coverage March of Life will receive will be estimates of attendance that makes it look as small as possible.

The second factor is the new President. For the first time in 16 years, there’s a freshly inaugurated President with a pro-life agenda to promote. That should pull in coverage if only to see how hopeful the participants are knowing they have an opportunity this year to truly fight abortion at the national level.

Lastly, this will be the first time that a sitting Vice President speaks at the event. Mike Pence will be on stage. Certainly, that means every network will cover him just as they covered Ashley Judd and Madonna, right? No. They may show him speaking briefly before cutting away and talking about how small the crowd is compared to the Women’s March.

The last eight years have empowered the media to believe their own personal agendas are fair to promote through the free press. Technically, they are correct. From the perspective of an expectant populace that desperately craves unbiased reporting in the age of fake news, it seems like everyone’s now a commentator. Editorializing everything has become the status quo. For Pence and March for Life, that means that they will have any credit they’re due minimized while any criticism they’re open to (whether deserved or not) will be magnified.

The sad state of our national media means that the pro-life movement is on its own. Those of us who fight for life must learn to assume most of mainstream media’s storytellers are against us. That’s why it’s so important to read more from sites like this one and less from the New York Times or TMZ.

Abortion’s legal. So is declining to put it on the public dime. That’s been the uneasy truce for many years between abortion providers (and promoters) and American taxpayers. Uneasy, and shaky: even since 1976 with the Hyde Amendment, children conceived through violence have always been at risk of abortion at public expense.

This week,  the U.S. House has taken a step toward making the Hyde Amendment permanent, and President Trump has reinstated the Mexico City policy. The Hyde Amendment refers to abortion-funding limitations in the domestic Health and Human Services budget, which must be renewed each budget cycle. The Mexico City policy (named for the location of the 1984 U.N. conference where the policy was first adopted) prevents U.S. money sent to the United Nations Population Fund from being used for abortion activity, as distinct from family planning.

The Mexico City policy has been in effect under every Republican president since Reagan. It was revoked by Democrats Clinton and Obama. For a generation, it has been an indicator of one of the differences between the two major parties: Democrats want public money to be available for abortion in all circumstances. Republicans don’t.

There are resisters to the Hyde and Mexico City provisions, of course, who have dusted off the moniker “global gag rule” to describe the Mexico City policy . Let the hashtagging begin. You’re not only trying to keep people from doing abortions, but even talking to women about abortion, say the hashtaggers. No, we’re just trying to keep the hands of abortion providers out of the pockets of people who recognize that abortion terminates human life.

A woman is free to choose abortion. Are you and I free to refuse to pay for it? The opponents of Hyde and Mexico City say no. They defend choice for the abortion-minded woman, but not for the pro-life taxpayer.

The “gag rule” argument is one of two used by coerced-funding fans. The other is the claim that abortion is health care and must be treated as such. Both arguments get more traction every time a politician parrots them without dispute.

Attorney Cathleen Cleaver, speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2001, noted that any “gag” on abortion providers under the Mexico City policy is self-imposed.

…the policy forces nothing: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may choose to apply for U.S. tax funds, and to be eligible, they must refrain from abortion activity. On the other hand, NGOs may choose to do abortions or to lobby foreign nations to change their laws which restrict abortion, and if they choose that path they render themselves ineligible for U.S. money. As we saw the last time the policy was in place [under President Reagan], only two out of hundreds of organizations elected to forfeit the U.S. money for which they were otherwise eligible. But it was and will be entirely their choice.

Hyde has been a legislative action. Mexico City has been an executive action. The judiciary weighed in on this a long time ago, coming down on the side of people who choose not to fund abortion, upholding the Hyde Amendment in Harris v. McRae (1980). Yet public funding of abortion activity is still an open question: Hyde must be proposed anew every two years, use of the Mexico City policy depends on the personal preferences of a president, and what today’s Supreme Court might do if faced with a funding case is anyone’s guess.

This week’s actions by President Trump and the House are most welcome. They may prove to be only passing victories, though, unless the people who want nothing to do with the abortion industry become as noisy and persistent as the people determined to fund the industry publicly.

By the way, I heard Cecile Richards crowing after the election that the advent of Trump has led to a huge increase in donations to Planned Parenthood. How many of those donations were designated for political use rather than clinical care? How much public funding could be offset by these donations, if Planned Parenthood so chose? Are we going to see those figures anytime during this year’s funding debate?

Nerds will recognize this.

by baldilocks

People and Organizations make up all kinds of excuses and conjure all manner of Bravo Sierra to justify what they want.

Over 20 years ago, I had a miscarriage—an ectopic pregnancy. In order to determine whether an ectopic pregnancy exists, an ultrasound must be performed. When it was, the technicians point out my baby’s heartbeat. I was seven weeks along.

Many years later, I was in a polite argument with an ardent abortion supporter. I mentioned that a baby’s heart is beating seven weeks after conception. He wanted to know how I knew this, so I told him.

At first, he contended that I had imagined it.

I replied that the techs showed me the heartbeat; it wasn’t something I would have picked out on my own, since I had no experience in looking at images of in utero human beings. If I recall correctly, the conversation ended after that. I can on hold onto my temper only for so long.

Why is it that we call the openly evil “the villain”–the one who acknowledges that he/she is the Bad Guy? The truly villainous are those who not only justify murder, but who make you out to be the villain for wanting to preserve life and freedom. Or those who tell you you’re crazy or imagined it for believing what your lying eyes saw and what your lying ears heard.

Great Lies are not merely straight-on false declarative statements, but edifices of lies; ideologies and belief systems based on lies.

Start with: “a fetus is not a human being,” and end with “it’s morally legitimate to get rid of those cells,” and sprinkle the top with, “it’s a woman’s right to get rid of those cells, and how dare you say otherwise!!!”

(Especially if you are a man—that is unless you’re a man who agrees that the Big Lie Edifice is the truth.)

These Lie Structures are so insidious that great numbers of Americans—mostly women—were out marching last week for the rights of women. But if you ask any of these women what rights of hers are being infringed upon, she can’t tell you. That inability won’t trouble her, though. Reason: the links of logic which lead to the conclusion that the rights of American women were being violated were never connected in the first place. You can’t reason a person out of something they weren’t reasoned into.

Abortion is murder/but I want it and it’s my body/ so it isn’t murder/ It’s legal/It’s my right!!!/But I’m scared it won’t be legal/So I’ll dress up like a giant vagina….

Not a chain of logic in sight.

And that’s the Current Level of Deception[i]–the Lie–for all too many who will have what they want and will have you like it, too. Or else.

[i] A friend of mine says that he has had reality smash his pre-conceived notions about the world so often that he refers to his contemporaneous way of thinking about the world as his “current level of deception.” I think my friend is one of the blessed ones.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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baldilocks

I firmly believe that abortion is murder.  It is murder of the most helpless and innocent.  I also believe that life begins at conception.  At the time of the writing and ratification of the Constitution every State treated abortion as murder, relying on English Common law, rather than a formal State law.  Abortion is not mentioned in the US Constitution nor is it defined as a crime.  That is of no significance when it comes to allowing the States to criminalize abortion.  Murder is not defined in the Constitution nor is a punishment prescribed, yet murder is illegal in all 50 States.  The only crimes defined by the US Constitution are treason, counterfeiting, piracy and felonies committed on the high seas, offenses against the law of nations, and tax evasion.  These are the only crimes the federal government is authorized to punish by the Constitution.  All other crimes remain the exclusive constitutional domain of the States.  This was done to prevent the federal government from growing large enough to be a threat to the sovereignty of the States.  If there were more federal crimes then the federal government would need a federal police force, federal prisons, and a very large federal court system.  Unfortunately the federal government has ignored the Constitution and seized so much government functions from the States that it now has all of this.  The federal government now dwarfs the States and has become a direct threat to the sovereignty of the States.

It is wrong to say that abortion is a states’ rights issue.  It is more accurate to describe abortion as one of the vast majority of potential crimes that States have the authority to define and prescribe punishment, while the federal government does not.  Here is how James Madison described the relationship between State and federal government when he wrote Federalist paper number 45

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

This principle, which is called federalism, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment.  The federal government is granted only a very limited number of government powers which are clearly spelled out in the Constitution.  The States are denied an even more limited number of powers which are also clearly spelled out.  All remaining powers are retained by the States or the people.  The power to define crimes such as murder is not granted to the federal government nor is it denied to the States; therefore it remains with the States.  The same holds true for the power to outlaw abortion and other similar practices.   Justice Harry Blackmun’s opinion for Roe v Wade violated the principle of federalism and the 10th Amendment.   Here are two excerpts from the opinion which reveal the twisted logic used by Justice Blackmun.

The principal thrust of appellant’s attack on the Texas statutes is that they improperly invade a right, said to be possessed by the pregnant woman, to choose to terminate her pregnancy. Appellant would discover this right in the concept of personal “liberty” embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause; or in personal, marital, familial, and sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights or its penumbras

This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

According to Justice Blackmun, the Supreme Court can overrule the States on abortion because the due process clause of the 14th Amendment incorporated every single right included in the Bill of Rights down to the States.  This would shock those that wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment.  The Bill of Rights never extended to the States, each State has its own Bill of Rights.  The 14th Amendment due process clause is an exact duplicate of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment.  It extended the protection from only that one clause of the Bill of Rights down to the State level.  Not much was written about the due process clause when the Bill of Rights was written because this concept was universally understood.  It dates back to the Manga Carta and was an integral part of English Common Law.  Here is what William Blackstone had to say when he wrote Commentaries on the Laws of England

The law of England regards, asserts, and preserves the personal liberty of individuals. This personal liberty consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or removing one’s person to whatsoever place one’s own inclination may direct; without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law.

The due process clause prevents the government from taking away your freedom, in other words, locking you up, without going through a formal legal procedure.  It was meant to ensure everyone has a fair trial, not allow abortions.  The writers of the 14th Amendment never intended that this Amendment would allow the Supreme Court to overturn State laws preventing abortion.  All 36 States outlawed abortion before this amendment was ratified in 1868.  It was not until 1973 that Justice Blackmun used this amendment to overturn a Texas law.

Every State has a moral obligation to criminalize abortion because no one has a right to commit murder.  Every individual is endowed by God with inalienable rights at conception.  The most important of these rights are life and liberty.  Abortion steals the life of the unborn child and robs it of a life time of deciding for itself.  Liberty is the freedom to do what you want as long as you do not hurt others and do not interfere with the rights of others.  Because abortion violates both principles, no one has a right to an abortion.  President Trump needs to nominate a Supreme Court Justice that will overturn Roe v Wade and we need to work to make sure abortion is outlawed in every State.

If you haven’t watched “Man in the High Castle” and you’re an Amazon Prime member, put it on your weekend “To Do” list.  I’m only on the first season, but it’s an amazing dystopian view of an America that lost World War Two.  One of the most intriguing characters (to me anyway) is John Smith, a Nazi SS agent that is hunting down members of the American resistance movement.

Warning: Spoilers below from Episode 8 of Season 1.

In previous episodes, little things crop up indicating the Nazis continued their ethnic cleansing efforts.  One episode features ash raining down from the incinerators due to a weekly burning of the infirm and cripples.  Other Nazis make references to “cleansing” of all the Semites in Europe.

John Smith gets a nasty surprise in Episode 8. He travels to his son’s school to find out why the school nurse keeps pulling him out of sports.  The school doctor shocks him with news that his son has a form of muscular dystrophy.  As a degenerative disease, this means John will have to kill his son, since he would be crippled by the incurable disease.  It’s definitely hard to watch the doctor pass John vials and recommend that he “take care of this at home.”

Thankfully, we live in a better world, where we wouldn’t make such decisions…or do we?

Currently in Europe, 88% of pregnancies that screen for Down Syndrome are terminated.  Even though people with Trisomy-21 can do everything from hold teaching jobs to swim the English Channel, European families have decided these “infirm” aren’t worth living.

For fans of abortion, this kid isn’t worth fighting for

In America, abortions take on a more genocidal role for African Americans.  Only 13% of the population, African Americans account for about 35% of abortions in America.

Going by the latest CDC data, there were at least 664,435 abortions in 2013. That’s more lives lost than heart disease (see page 5), and that’s without accounting for the fact that not all states report abortion data to the CDC, which would only drive the abortion number higher.

We’ve managed to win the war against the Nazis only to allow part of their ideology to take over. As we sit on the cusp of a new year, perhaps we can find ways to use our medical advances to save lives instead of ending them.


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


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