Life is Winning in America

A few videos, scenes, not to mention words that moved me relating to The March for Life in Washington last Friday. Enjoy!

Over at Life News, there is an amazing time-lapse video of the people streaming the streets.

One more video maybe

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, wrote an op-ed in the National Review last Friday.

In short, life is winning in America again. It’s winning because of the policies of our administration, and because of the commitment and compassion of those who gather today in our nation’s capital, and in marches, meetings, and homes all across the country.

Life is winning through the steady advance of science that illuminates when life begins.

Life is winning through the generosity of millions of adoptive families, who open their hearts and homes to children in need.

Life is winning through the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis-pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations who bring comfort and care to women, in cities and towns across this country.

And life is winning through the quiet counsel between mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, between friends across kitchen tables, and over coffee on college campuses, where the truth is being told, and hope is defeating despair.

We must continue to be a movement that embraces all and cares for all out of respect for the dignity and worth of every person. We must recommit ourselves to be a movement of compassion, not confrontation, of generosity, not judgment, and above all else, we must continue to be a movement of love.

This I know we’ll do – because I have faith.

I have faith in the goodness of the American people. I have faith in the president they elected. And I have that other kind of faith – the faith that moves mountains, and that, even now, stirs all across America.

And Senator Mike Lee with a floor speech in the United States Senate.

Mr. President, today hundreds of thousands of Americans from all walks of life will participate in the 45th annual March for Life.

Why do these citizens march, year after year?

It certainly isn’t for their health … Or for the media coverage.

No, these Americans march on behalf of those who cannot.

They march for uniquely vulnerable members of the human family. For the unborn. For those threatened by abortion. And for the countless innocent lives already lost.

These Americans march to protest the legal regime that sustains abortion.

The cornerstone of that crumbling edifice is Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that invented a so-called “right” to abortion in the Constitution, and in so doing stripped the unborn of their right to life.

The principal effect of Roe on our culture has been to cheapen the value of humanity itself. 

Roe has insinuated into the law a poisonous notion, the notion that some human beings may be treated as things. As objects to be discarded when they are inconvenient. We’ve seen this before in human history.

But an unintended effect of Roe has been to kick-start a movement that has lasted for four-and-a-half decades.

Roe did not resolve the abortion debate — although it tried to. Rather it intensified the debate.

The nation’s conscience was not deadened by Roe’s euphemisms and evasions; rather it was brought to life.

Like a firebell in the night, Roe awakened a generation of Americans to the injustice of abortion.

Countless thousands of them are marching in Washington, Salt Lake City, and cities across the country today.

But the institution of abortion still has its defenders. Vociferous defenders, even.

Why does this issue arouse such anger and passion?

I argue it is because the pro-life and pro-abortion rights movements offer competing moral visions for our society. Indeed, competing arguments about human dignity and what it means to be human in the first place.

Both moral visions are as old as the nation. They have appeared in various guises all throughout our history.

But there is a consistent trend in how the clash of visions has played out in every era.

The vision advanced by the pro-life movement has inspired righteous protests. The other vision has been used to rationalize hideous injustices.

The pro-life vision embraces our country’s noblest truth. The pro-abortion vision twists it.

Let me explain what I mean.

Our Declaration of Independence contains one of the most succinct and revolutionary statements in human history.

“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.”

We know that the United States has not always acted on this high principle. We have denied life, liberty, and opportunity to our fellow man in countless cruel and unfortunate ways.

But even in the darkest times, patriots and reformers have looked to this passage as a guiding light, because it is the conscience of our nation.

Abraham Lincoln referred to the Declaration constantly in his speeches, calling it the “sheet anchor of American republicanism” and the “Father of all moral principle.”

He called the Declaration’s statement on human equality the “electric cord” that links patriotic Americans through the ages.

Now that electric cord has reached us. It is a direct line that runs from the Founding Generation to the very heart of the pro-life movement.

The core conviction of the pro-life movement is that “all men are created equal.” That all have a right to life.

We believe that every human being has dignity and merits protection simply by virtue of being human.

You will often hear pro-lifers emphasize the human features of unborn children, as well we should.

We point out that the human heart begins to beat as early as 16 days after conception. We point out that the unborn child can yawn, react to pain, and suck her thumb. And we point out that that thumb even has a one-of-a-kind fingerprint.

But we do not mention these characteristics because they are what give unborn children worth. It is not our fingerprints or even our beating hearts that make us people.

Rather, we point to these characteristics because they point in turn to something more fundamental.

They point to the inescapable fact that the unborn child is a human being, just like us. A member of our messy family.

It is that endowment, that shared humanity, that gives us all moral worth.

And so, to summarize the pro-life position, we have only to repeat those five words in the Declaration: “All men are created equal.” All are entitled to life.

But to be sure, not everyone shares the belief that all men are created equal.

At various times this belief has been called an “error of the past generation.” It has even been called a “self-evident lie!”

Few today would denounce the Declaration of Independence in such terms.

But defenders of abortion still repudiate the Declaration by their actions, and by the arguments they advance to protect legal abortion.

Defenders of abortion no longer dispute that unborn children are living human beings. How could they? Science testifies unequivocally to our shared humanity.

Most sophisticated defenders of abortion do not even dispute that abortion is a violent act.

If you do not believe me on this point, perhaps you will believe Ronald Dworkin, a prominent apologist for the pro-choice position: “Abortion,” Dworkin writes, “[is] deliberately killing a developing human embryo.”

He goes on to describe abortion as a “choice for death.”

So if abortion defenders do not deny the humanity of the fetus, and if they do not deny that abortion kills the fetus, how then do they defend abortion?

In short, they do it by segregating the human family into two classes: Human beings who are worthy of life — sometimes referred to as “human persons”– and human beings who are unworthy of life — “human non-persons.”

According to this view, human beings do not deserve protection on the basis of their humanity alone.

Rather they gain the right to life when they attain certain characteristics — usually some level of cognitive ability or bodily development.

Since the unborn lack these magic personhood qualities, they lack the right to life and may be dismembered in the womb. They are “human non-persons.” Or so the argument goes.

There are many problems with this chilling view. It has been rebutted at length by smarter men and women than me.

But for the purposes of today, it is enough to point out the track record of this argument.

Because it just so happens that every time mankind has been artificially divided into classes — into “persons” and “non-persons” based on their race, sex, genetic fitness, or any other attribute — the result has been calamity.

Which leads to a very simple question that has never been satisfactorily answered by abortion’s defenders: Why should we believe that this time is any different?

Abortion is a difficult subject matter for so many reasons, but on another level it is quite simple.

Our society has to choose between the two visions of human dignity described above.

Put simply, do we believe that all men are created equal? Or that some are more equal than others?

This simple question deserves a simple response: We must choose the first of those options, and affirm that all human beings are created with dignity.

And we must reject all attempts to separate the human family into higher and lower classes.

Let us see these attempts for what they are: Cruel fictions that cheapen life itself.

Just as there is no such thing as “life unworthy of life,” there is no such thing as a “human non-person.” There are just people. And we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Yes, dignity was ours before we stirred in the womb. It is stamped onto the very fabric of our genome. It is printed onto our soul.

This is the truth so brilliantly proclaimed in our nation’s Founding Documents — even as it is denied by our legal system, starting with Roe v. Wade.

But even though the laws of man are against us (for now!), the truth is with us. And the truth can erode even the most formidable edifice of lies.

And so, on this forty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let us respond to Roe as Frederick Douglass responded to a similar indignity, Dred Scott v. Sandford.

“Happily for the whole human family,” Douglass thundered, “their rights have been defined, declared, and decided in a court higher than the Supreme Court.”

Those words are as true today as they were when they were spoken.

They call us to continue the winding march for justice — and for life –until the unalienable rights of every human being are respected in our land.

Thank you.

 

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Here Come de Judge

So Judge Moore won the Alabama primary very decisively (almost double digits). Trump campaigned for his opponent and Mitch McConnel dumped in a ton million against him as well. Didn’t matter. Why?

Mollie Hemingway’s thoughts parallel mine, so what do we think.

1. Luther Strange Lost Just As Much As Roy Moore Won

Roy Moore is a popular man in Alabama, and he ran a solid campaign that built on his strong level of support. Much of that additional support came from people fed up with the corruption surrounding former Gov. Robert Bentley.

Pretty much of a given, I think. Alabama voters, especially Republican ones, tend to be Christians, and rather conservative ones, not inclined to be voting in people suspected of corruption, at least when they have a choice. And they had a choice, it’s hard to think of a man more incorruptible than Roy Moore, whether you agree with his views or not, he doesn’t change them for any reason, for any pressure. That is impressive.

2. Trump Supporters Showed Independence

That note from the Alabama voter brings us to the second point: this was not a Donald Trump referendum. He did, for reasons only he can explain, side with Mitch McConnell in endorsing Strange. He tweeted for him, talked about him, and campaigned for him, albeit half-heartedly there at the end when he saw the writing on the wall.

That’s a lot of it here, the support for Trump is not entirely (or even mostly) a cult of personality. It is instead a deep-seated dislike (tending towards hatred) of Washington’s business as usual. The people are resuming their sovereignty and it’s going to happen whatever Washinton thinks. Playing the ball, not the man, so to speak.

3. Republican Voters Are Done With the Old Way of Doing Business

While this was a race with Alabama-specific dynamics that may not have been much of a referendum on Trump, it’s not wrong to say there was a bit of a referendum on Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and what he represents to the Republican voter. “Mitch McConnell has had a bad week, and it’s only Tuesday,” political consultant Jordan Gehrke wrote. “There is blood in the water now, and more conservative candidates who are hostile to the establishment are primed to step forward.”

This one is important and ties in with number 2. The real loser here was Mitch McConnell and the Washinton establishment. Both men are more or less Trump supporters. The fact that Luther Strange supported the president in the Senate has much to do with Trump’s endorsement, I think.  But McConnell’s support for Strange was the kiss of death. It’s a stark warning for the GOPe who are just as blind and deaf as the Democrats because Alabamians are hardly the only people in the country that feel that way. 2018 is going to be a most interesting year, The new sheriff we speak of so often is likely to get a bunch of new deputies, and it will matter.

4. NeverTrump Should Not Rejoice

While most pundits think Strange’s failure is bad for Trump, it’s really bad for NeverTrump and other critics. There is a mindset in DC that Trump is a rare disruptive blip, and that once he is taken care of or defeated, everything will return to normal.

Alabama is just the latest example that shows that the disruption that is happening is so much bigger than Trump. The voters are simply sick and tired of how DC is doing business, and they’re willing to do quite a bit to send that message. In retrospect, the defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia back in 2014 was something of a canary in the coal mine. Republican voters have been trying to get party elites to wake up to their frustration for many years now. They launched the Tea Party, they have ousted members of leadership, they have voted for Trump as president. Now they’ve selected Moore, known for his extreme views, over the establishment candidate.

Yup. Nothing to add to that. And

5. Senate Shaping Up To Be Very Different In 2020

Moore will presumably win the special election in December, since Alabama is now a pretty solid Republican state. Trump received 63 percent of the vote in 2016.

Yesterday, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee announced he would not seek re-election. In a few years, the U.S. Senate could lack not just him but a slew of other men and women nearing retirement age, or moving on to other opportunities. That list might include Sens. John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Jim Inhofe, Thad Cochran, Pat Roberts, Susan Collins, Mike Enzi, Lamar Alexander, and others.

Indeed the pitch is on the fire and the pitchforks are out, and the Democrats are not the only, or even the major, targets. Few thing anger Americans more than hypocrisy in government. So we’ll see, but if I were a GOPe Congresscritter, staffer, or consultant, I would be (and should be) very afraid.

Farmers and Senators

So I see that Luke Russert managed to play the fool (again) on twitter the other day with this tweet:

Joni Ernst’s meteoric rise continues. This time last year she was an unknown pig farmer, on Tues she will deliver GOP SOTU response.

Like so many of our elites who have never worked for anything, or learned anything including history, he simply sounded stupid.

Senator Ernst had this to say about her upbringing:

I was born and raised in Montgomery County. I grew up walking beans and feeding hogs. My mom made all of my clothes. We went to church every week, helped our neighbors when they needed it, and they did the same for us. These were the values I was raised with, and they’re the same values I have fought my entire life to promote and protect.

I remember thinking that I like this woman when her first ad came out (yeah, this one)

I’d add

Ernst served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 where her unit was sent to run convoys through Kuwait and southern Iraq. Ernst is still on active duty, currently serving as a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, commanding the largest battalion in Iowa.

In the linked article, Nina Bookout comments:

We know adversity because of weather, banks, taxes, and more. We are resilient and adaptable. We are practical, frugal, knowledgeable, and have a knack for looking at the big picture while taking care of the details. Our day starts at the crack of dawn and doesn’t end until the sun goes down. We check on the livestock and take care of them and the land in every type of weather you could imagine.  We help our neighbors out and don’t expect compensation in return.  In times of adversity we pull together and don’t take the time to wait on the government to “help” us.

Luke, Senator Ernst is all of the above and more.  She is a wife, a mother, a farmer, a solder, and a United States Senator.  You may not be, but this rancher’s daughter is more than pleased to have an “unknown pig farmer” serving her state and this country in the United States Senate.

Senator Joni Ernst: More Than An “Unknown Pig Farmer”.

I would be hard pressed to agree more, as the fourth generation involved in support of production agriculture. She’s one of us, and if she can remain so, she’s going to be a great asset.

And you know there are  precedents in history as well, for a farmer to be a great Senator. quite a while back Jessica reminded us of a very famous farmer/senator, by the name of  Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BC – 430 BC) , one of the greatest of the heroes of the Roman Republic.

And then there is the American president who epitomized those very same virtues, the one who when King George III of England was told by the American Ambassador that at the end of his term, he would retire to his farm said this, “Then he will be the greatest man in the world.” That man was George Washington.

Now to be honest, I doubt Senator Ernst will give either of them a race for their place in history but, she has surely picked an honorable path, and I find it rather scurrilous for her to be mocked by useless mouths like Russert.

Res Publica

The Long Awaited Spring Political Post

americangothicI was just thinking that I needed to do post on the election soon. It’s a difficult year to get excited about in Nebraska.

Senator Johanns is retiring, as some of you may know, and there are four Republican candidates to replace him. All are good conservative men, so much so that most of us don’t have any real preference. I think the Democrats found somebody to perform public suicide as well.

We’re also electing a governor as Dave Heineman is term limited. There are several Republican candidates and a Democrat, it fits the above description as well. So it’s not overly exciting.

But Iowa’s out here in the neighborhood, and they managed to have a little excitement.

I’m not endorsing her but I do tend to like Iowa girls, and that may be the greatest opening to an ad I ever saw. I did find this about her, although I don’t remember where:

 Joni Ernst (born July 1, 1970, Red Oak, Iowa) is a Republican politician, legislator, Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, and candidate for the United States Senate from the state of Iowa.
Ernst served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 where her unit was sent to run convoys through Kuwait and southern Iraq. Ernst is still on active duty, currently serving as a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, commanding the largest battalion in Iowa.

Born and raised in Montgomery County, Iowa, Senator Ernst resides in Red Oak, Iowa with her husband of 21 years, Gail, a Command Sergeant Major in the Army Rangers (retired) and their three daughters.
Ernst is a member of the Montgomery County Republican Women, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2265 (Life Member), Montgomery County Court of Honor, Altrusa, PEO Chapter HB, National Rifle Association (Lifetime Member) and the Montgomery County Farm Bureau. She is a member of the Mamrelund Lutheran Church of Stanton, Iowa.
Ernst is a graduate of Iowa State University and earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbus College.

As a general rule, a Lieutenant Colonel, who served in Iraqi Freedom works for me, although I would have a few questions if she were from Nebraska. But I think she’ll do just fine, particularly since she may end up running against this trash.

Politically, Iowa often leaves us scratching our heads but I think they can figure out that a scum sucker of a trial lawyer is not likely to fix what’s wrong but, a farmer might, even if she is a girl.

And Related: And speaking of Iowa farmers, they’ve unveiled a statue of the greatest Iowa farmer,  ever. A man who saved a billion people from . Yes, you read that correctly 1,000,000,000 did not starve because of this one man. His name was Norman Borlaug, and Iowahawk has the his story.

I do want to feature a quote from the farm boy himself though

[… ]many [environmental lobbyists] are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.

 

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Heritage Saturday

I like both of these and want to share them with you.

First is Technology and Tyranny

And I’ll bet you heard that Kerry signed the UN Arms Control treaty this week, find out more about it.

Have a good day.

 

We the People

[ This first ran last year, on Constitution Day, which is today. It’s just as important today, and every day. You need to know what is in this document. There is a bit more about the “Charters of Freedom” here as well From the Comments, Constitution Day]

Sometimes we forget what a remarkable document the U.S. Constitution is and today is Constitution day.

The United States of America is by a considerable margin the oldest government operating under a single document in the history of the world. Not bad for a bunch of colonial revolutionaries. Now it is up to us to continue the record.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


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