Month Archives: June 2010

Dawn Johnsens Failed Self-Reinvention

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 11, 2010

In an op-ed in today’s Washington Post (Restoring Leadership and Integrity to the Office of Legal Counsel), President Obama’s former nominee to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel Dawn Johnsen writes that “There is no simple answer to why my nomination failed.” However, she argues that her “torture memo” regarding the Bush Administration’s position on handling terrorists was essential to the collapse of her attempted appointment.

Perhaps her view of the way to treat combatant prisoners was a source of consternation to conservatives. But there is another reason why ultimately she withdrew her nomination: Ms. Johnsen is a pro-abortion zealot, and a sufficient number of pro-life Senators found her views outside the mainstream that she finally gave up her more than 14 month effort to achieve Senate confirmation.

Ms. Johnsen began her career working as Legal Director of the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League (currently NARAL Pro-Choice America). Her affinity for abortion at any time and for any reason is clearly documented. Consider a few choice (pun intended) quotes:

Granting rights to fetuses in a manner that conflicts with womens autonomy reinforces the tradition of disadvantaging women on the basis of their reproductive capability. By subjecting womens decisions and actions during pregnancy to judicial review, the state simultaneously questions womens abilities and seizes womens rights to make decisions essential to their very personhood. The rationale behind using fetal rights laws to control the actions of women during pregnancy is strikingly similar to that used in the past to exclude women from the paid labor force and to confine them to the ‘private’ sphere.” — Dawn Johnsen, The Creation of Fetal Rights, 95 Yale Law Journal, 624-25.

To clarify: In Ms. Johnsen’s view, women’s autonomy (her ability to do whatever she wants with her body) trumps any possibility that the unborn child she is carrying has value independent of her mother and merits legal protection as a living person.

Here’s another gem:

In practice, both consent and notification laws amount to a parental veto power over a minors decision to an abortion. Do not, as part of an affirmative legislative strategy, introduce even a liberalized version of a parental consent or notification law. — Internal NARAL memo quoted in William Saletan, Bearing Right, p. 289 (Memo, Dawn Johnsen and Marcy Wilder to NARAL Staff and Consultants, Pro-Choice Legislative Strategy for Minors Access to Abortion Services, 9/5/89)

To clarify: Parents are not to know if their minor daughters have a major medical procedure that could permanently alter their lives. One can only wonder if parents should, in Ms. Johnsens view, be informed of such things as their childrens heroin addiction, membership in the KKK or attendance at a satanic worship service. Or even, as under current law, if the school nurse gives them aspirin.

One more: Ms. Johnsen wrote in a legal brief (Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 [1989], signed by the National Womens Law Center) that requiring a woman to carry a child to term is disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude.

Ms. Johnsen would be quite right if pregnancy was merely a physical burden similar to a sack of potatoes belted around ones waist. She is quite wrong, however, because pregnancy is the carrying of a distinct person within ones womb, the most sacred of trusts, the most noble of callings.

We can be grateful that a person of Ms. Johnsens dark moral vision is not working in the federal government. Given her view of the unborn, for her to dispense justice would be a virtual oxymoron.

President Roosevelt: The Hand that Held the Dagger

by Robert Morrison

June 11, 2010

The marvels of the Internet continue to stun us. We now have at our fingertips the power to reach deeply into our own past and to pull it into our own day. We can access the spoken words of our long-dead leaders and compare them with what we hear today.

And we can visit the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. There, we will have a chance to smile, perhaps to laugh, at the parody magazine cover theyve displayed. It shows President Barack Obama riding in an open car, a battered fedora atop his head, his head thrown back, and his dazzling smile radiating throughout the room. In his brilliant teeth is clenched a cigarette holder, held at a jaunty angle.

Its a sight gag. Its a throwback. Its a pose so familiar to older Americans that its instantly recognizable.

Franklin D. Roosevelt died when I was still in my mothers womb. Still, I grew up with stories about him. His voice was familiar in our home—if not on records, certainly from TV documentaries of World War II. My relatives would delightedly mimic his head-tossing delivery and his stentorian eloquence.

Now, you can hear him, too. The Miller Center at the University of Virginia has archived many original recordings. Included in their collection is President Roosevelts great speech from June 10, 1940, delivered seventy years ago this week to the graduating class at U.Va.

For context, you must realize that the British Expeditionary Force, the main British army, had just been evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk, France. The French army was in a state of stunned collapse, reeling from the powerful blows of German panzers rolling swiftly through Northeastern France and strafed from above by Nazi Stukas. Hitlers Luftwaffe chief, the hugely menacing Marshal Goering, had fitted sirens to the wings of his dive bombers for the express purpose of terrifying the women and children upon whom their wicked fury was wreaked.

The peoples of the Americas looked on as newsreels and newspaper photos showed fleeing refugees. These refugees—old men and women and little children crowded the roads and market squares of quiet Belgian, Dutch, and French villages. French reinforcements couldnt get to the scene of the battle.

It would not have been surprising if young people in America—those like the U.Va. Class of 1940 —felt that the world was just too threatening a place and retreated from it.. But that is not how they reacted. Despite the terrors of war—in the air, on the seas, under the oceans—the reaction of President Roosevelts audience that day was strong, thunderous, and like Roosevelt himself, confident.

He had the gift of putting the great conflicts of his day into the perspective of Americas long struggle for freedom. He summoned the heroes of the past to give courage to the people of his own time. Soon, all too soon, they would be called upon to prove themselves heroic. And led by FDR, they would.

The Presidents words of scorn for the duplicity, the treachery, of Italys self-annointed Duce, Benito Mussolini, are unforgettable. On that very morning—June 10, 1940, despite his protestations of peace, and only when he saw that Hitler had struck the killing blow, the jackal Mussolini attacked France from the South. The hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor. In FDRs Hyde Park accent, that came out nay-bah. Stirring stuff.

Our current President has a young speech writer, Jon Favreau, who is not yet thirty.

Mr. Favreau has no sense of Americas storied past, no feeling for what the National Archives calls the glory and romance of our history. He does not reach back to Jamestown or Plymouth Rock. Nor does he evoke the trials of Valley Forge, the landscape turned red at Antietam, or the sands of Iwo Jima.

Does Jon Favreau even know that Americans walked on the Moon and through the Brandenburg Gate? He churns out words for President Obama that are sonorous and silky, but which evaporate upon contact with the hard and cold reality of the world.

Heres a challenge: Try to recall even one line from President Obamas Normandy speech of just one year ago. Can even Jon Favreau do it?

If the President is really convening a committee of experts to tell him whose a— to kick, I have a suggestion: Jon Favreau.

If President Obama really wants to connect with the American people, its time he learned something of how we got here. It is this failure to form a bond of the heart with Americans past, present, and future, that led the Wall Street Journals Dorothy Rabinowitz to call him the Alien in the White House.

No one—no matter how much they hated his gaudy guts—could ever have said that about Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Unless President Obama learns—and learns quickly—how to make this vital connection with the people he hopes to change, that failure will doom his presidency.

Andrea, my Mother, and Me

by Robert Morrison

June 10, 2010

My younger sisters name is Andrea. She gave me a wonderful present this year for my birthday: two amazing framed photos of the Brooklyn Bridge. They now grace the entry hall in our home. They may date from the 1940s.

Theres another Andrea who figures in our familys story: Andrea Bocelli. Our late mother absolutely loved the amazing talent of this Italian tenor who is blind. We gave her all of his CDs. She was as moved by his story as we all were.

Andrea Bocelli is in the news this week. Hes expressing gratitude that his mother did not abort him.

Pro-abortion people are outraged. They are usually outraged. They are castigating the great Italian tenor, saying he is lying. Their proof: Why abortion wasnt even legal in Italy when Andrea Bocelli was born in 1958. Well, now isnt that persuasive?

Arent the pro-abortion people the very ones who said there were hundreds of thousands of back alley abortions before they heroically made them all legal? Before, that is, the abortionists moved their signs from the back alleys to their Main Street entrances.

When I researched the campaign to liberalize abortion in Washington state, the one that voters grudgingly approved in 1970, I was surprised to learn that A. Frans Koome, a confessed illegal abortionist, had provided fully twenty percent of the funding for the legalization campaign.

I should not have been surprised. The main difference that legalization provided was that those illegal operators—the ones cleverly denounced by liberals as back alley butchers could now come out of the shadows and do their killing legally.

The last time I saw my mother, before cancer claimed her life in 2005, she told me how she and her young sisters-in-law used to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge—at midnight—back in the 1940s. I was stunned. Wasnt that dangerous? Not in the least, my mother said, not in those waning days of World War II.

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan had confirmed my mothers witness in his famous essay called Defining Deviancy Down. Moynihan recorded how there were only eight homicides in all of New York City in 1944, when my mother and my aunts walked across the Bridge.

By 1994, there were 1,200 homicides annually in the city. Moynihan wrote that the mind reels at such figures, we just cant cope, so we define deviancy down, and respond to those lethal numbers as we might to daily precipitation reports, to Dow Jones industrial averages.

My mother added a clincher to her story of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at midnight: Oh yes, and I was carrying you then. Yes, it may have been a world at war, but in Brooklyn, there was amazing peace on our streets. Attending a family wedding on Long Island recently, I persuaded my wife to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with me. This time, I told her, I want to see the view. What a view it is.

I wish I could talk to my mother about Andrea Bocellis wonderful witness for life. She was, until her dying day, pro-choice. She and I agreed to disagree about that. I loved her all the same. But no man can hear Andrea Bocellis amazing expressions of gratitude to his own mother for not aborting him without thinking of what a gift his own life is. Thank you, Nan, for choosing life for Andrea and me.

I have to think that the daily toll of homicides in our great cities—the toll Daniel Patrick Moynihan so eloquently described—has not been helped by the legalization of homicide in abortion. How can we teach the young to respect life while promoting these violent assaults on young life at its most vulnerable?

Moynihan, too, is gone. Ill never have the chance to thank him for his votes against the horrors of partial-birth abortion. Nor to point out, gently, I hope, that his and his partys condoning the slaughter of innocents is a major reason why so many of our cities streets are killing fields.

Now, I can listen to Andrea Bocellis Time to say Goodbye and try not to tear up. I remember all the wonderful things about my mother and the love she gave to my sister and me. I can be grateful for the courage with which she faced her own death. And I also thank God for the fact that she didnt leave an absentee ballot for her other favorite star—Barack Obama!

Video: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Press Conference

by Carrie Russell

June 7, 2010

Excerpts from a news conference to discuss how overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will seriously undermine the religious liberties of those serving in the all-volunteer force, most particularly military chaplains.

In attendance:

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA)

Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ)

Congressman Steve King (R-IA)

Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO)

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Congressman Todd Tihart (R-KS)

Douglas Lee, Chaplain (Brigadier General) USA (Ret)

Kevin Theriot, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

Pastors from Key States

May 27, 2010, Washington, DC.

Forgetting Who We Are

by Robert Morrison

June 7, 2010

If we forget what we did, we will forget who we are. So said President Reagan in his Farewell Address to the Nation in 1989. That year would see the collapse of the evil empire that Reagan fought all his adult life. When confronted by the fact that the Catholic Church would surely oppose his occupation and rule over Poland, Soviet dictator Joe Stalin had cynically asked: How many divisions has the Pope? In 1989, the world found out how many divisions the Pope had. Millions of Poles cried out We want God. Poland became the fulcrum for Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and the Polish Pope John Paul II to move the world.

The good folks in Bedford, Virginia, are trying desperately to make a go of their troubled D-Day Memorial. They have just put up a statue to Josef Stalin. They claim, defensively, that they are merely trying to complete a quartet of Second World War leaders which includes Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Charles de Gaulle.

Minus the frosty Frenchman, the Big Three did meet—at Tehran, at Yalta—to map out grand strategy for the allied victory against Hitler. The Anglo-American allies worried all the while they dealt with dictator Stalin that he might change sides once again and team up with Hitler. Stranger things had happened. It was Stalins 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, after all, that allowed Hitler to launch the Second World War just weeks after the pact signatures had dried. It was at that time that the young Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, fleeing eastward with his ailing father, would turn back to live under the Nazi occupation rather than risk life under the Soviets. Stalins NKVD henchmen captured some 22,000 Polish army officers and shot them, each one with a single bullet to the back of his skull, and buried their bodies in the Katyn Forest.

And this was just the beginning. FDRs ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph Davies was all-out for Stalin. He even made a Hollywood propaganda movie titled Mission to Moscow. When he lived in Moscow, Davies tried to quiet his wifes concerns. Housed in their elegant embassy residence, Mrs. Davies could hear the sharp crack-crack-crack all night. Davies said it was heroic Soviet workers, using jackhammers, eager to meet their production quotas. In truth. was Stalins NKVD execution squads, working through the nights, eager to meet a different kind of quota.

We do need to remember our unholy alliance with Stalin during World War II. It was necessary for the survival of the West to make a marriage of convenience with this most brutal of dictators.

The Russian proverb says when you go to dine with the devil, make sure you take a long spoon.

Churchill carried a long spoon and, typically, said it better: If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. When Hitler invaded Stalins empire built on bones, he did indeed invade hell.

The D-Day Memorial folks in Bedford might have remembered the wartime alliance with a photo of FDR, Churchill, and Stalin. They might even have rendered the photo as a sculpture.

But in erecting a bust of the beast, they have dishonored themselves and the United States of America.

It was President Reagan who spoke in Normandy at Pointe-du-Hoc in 1984, praising the Airborne Rangers who reclaimed a continent for freedom:

Something else helped the men of D-day; their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause.

And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer, he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what were about to do. Also, that night, General Matthew Ridgeway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: I will not fail thee or forsake thee.

Thus did Ronald Reagan teach us how to remember D-Day and the Boys of Pointe-du-Hoc. Thus he led us in holding aloft the torch of freedom.

One year ago, President Barack Obama stood at Normandy D-Day observances and, in the words of Newsweeks Evan Thomas, hovered above the nations, like a sort of God. What did Mr. Obama say there? Can even his strongest advocates recall a single line the President delivered there? Erecting a bust of Stalin in America—anywhere in America—would only be possible because we are now forgetting what we did, forgetting who we are.

U.S. Changing Sides on Israel

by Chris Gacek

June 4, 2010

During a radio interview a couple of months ago I was talking about the Obama Administration and its deeply worrying policies with respect to Israel. I commented that if the Administration continued down this path the wolves would soon be circling Israel. Unfortunately, as recent events have shown that prediction has turned out to be far truer than I could ever have imagined.

I now feel that it is quite possible that Israel will have to fight an existential war during President Obamas tenure because the Arab and rising Islamist powers (i.e., Iran, Turkey) know that the period until January 2013 will probably present their best window to destroy the Jewish state. The fact of the matter is that under President Obama the United States is moving from a position of strong support of Israel to weak support or neutrality at best. Israels enemies know this and are preparing to act accordingly it seems.

Here are some pieces of evidence for this shift much becoming evident in the last week.

First, the newswire headline from Breitbart / AFP read, Israel Recoils as U.S. Backs Nuclear Move. See the article. The first paragraphs reads:

Washingtons unprecedented backing for a UN resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel has both angered and deeply worried the Jewish state although officials are cagey about openly criticizing their biggest ally.

The resolution adopted by the United Nations on Friday calls on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and urges it to open its facilities to inspection.

Iran was not identified in the resolution approved last Friday in the last session of a month-long U.N. review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Second, the American response to the contrived blockade-busting attempt to enter Gaza by a Turkish Islamist organization bordered on condemnation of Israel. Why did the U.S. do this? As Elliot Abrams correctly observed in the Weekly Standard (you can read it here.):

The White House did not wish to stand with Israel against this mob because it does not have a policy of solidarity with Israel. Rather, its policy is one of distancing and pressure.

Third, a New York Times article (Wednesday, June 2nd) contained this revealing paragraph about our governments policy toward Israels security policies: “The Obama administration considers Israels blockade of Gaza to be untenable and plans to press for another approach to ensure Israels security while allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area, senior American officials said Wednesday.”

This was just weakness and capitulation on the part of the United States. The blockade is used primarily by Israel and Egypt to keep missiles and other dangerous weapons from entering Gaza. So, is Israel not allowed to defend itself according to this American government?

In one week it was no longer possible to fools oneself about the Obama Administration and Israel. Again, in a lengthy paragraph, Abrams captures the ugly reality:

Israelis see clearly the problems they face when the United States is calling for another international investigation and will not defend Israel. They understand that no one is going to investigate Turkey and its role, nor investigate the pro-terror groups on board those shipsnot if the United States fails to insist on it. They realize that, thanks to the Obama policies, it is now open season on Israel in Europe and at the UN. They speak candidly (Israelis of the left, center, and right, not just Likud supporters) in private about all these problems, but they cannot speak openly about them, not when they may have the Obama administration to deal with for six and a half more years. They wonder most about whether their friends see their predicament, and will speak up for them even when they mustto retain a working relationship with the White Houseremain silent or speak very carefully. So this crisis is not only a test for Israel, which faces difficult weeks ahead, and for the Obama administration, which in fact has already failed. It is a test for Israels supporters, facing the combined onslaught of the news media (from BBC coverage to New York Times editorials), scores of governments, UN bureaucrats, and a White House that views excessive solidarity with Israel as a diplomatic inconvenience. The United States abandoned Israel in the United Nations and in the NPT Conference in the course of one week. Israels friends in the United States should say so, say it was shameful, and gear up for a long fight.

And, this leads to another obvious reality. Where is the Republican Party while the radicalization of Turkey, the Administrations acquiescence in the ostracism of Israel at the U.N., and the attempt to strip Israel of its nuclear protection proceeds? The truth seems to be that, at present, the GOP is so focused on President Obamas domestic policy agenda that it has not kept its eye on this growing crisis. The GOP leadership needs to get its head in the game before a war erupts in the Middle East. Perhaps, their efforts could pressure President Obama to be more supportive of Israel and aggressive in deterring bellicose actions against it. If not, at least some part of the American political leadership will have told the American people that our current policies are dangerous and unacceptable.

FRC Statement on H. Res. 1064

by JP Duffy

June 4, 2010

Inaccurate internet reports have been circulating indicating that the Family Research Council lobbied “against” a congressional resolution condemning a bill proposed in Uganda. The Uganda bill would have provided for the death penalty for something called “aggravated homosexuality.” Unfortunately, those spreading these false rumors deliberately failed to obtain the facts first.

FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution. FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.

FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality—nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological, and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.

On the Anniversary of the Death of Late-term Abortionist Dr. Tiller

by Family Research Council

June 2, 2010

Yesterday, the day we celebrated Memorial Day, was the one-year anniversary of the murder of late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller. A troubled man named Scott Roeder walked into Dr. Tillers church in Witchita, Kansas, and shot him in the back of his head during a Sunday morning service. On April 1, 2010, Roeder was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Dr. Tiller was most known for being one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions. While most reasonable people (Congress included) agree that a late-term abortion is a deeply violent and unjust act, Scott Roeder’s act of murder was equally as violent, and equally as unjust. The foundation of the pro-life movement is respecting the dignity of every single human person, from conception to natural death. This holds for the unborn baby in the womb as well as for doctors who perform abortions.

On this one year-anniversary let us pray for a renewed commitment for the sanctity of all persons, born and unborn; for Dr. Tiller and his family and friends; for women and families who suffer the consequences of abortion, including the particular violence of late-term abortion; for Scott Roeder and his family; and for our country.

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