The Jury Talks Back


Harvard Rescinds Acceptance of Parkland Survivor Kyle Kashuv Due to Racist Writings at Age 16

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Kyle Kashuv is one of the Parkland shooting survivors. Unlike many of the survivors, he remained against gun control. According to Ben Shapiro, Kashuv’s academic qualifications were extraordinarily impressive:

Kashuv was ranked second in his class, with a weighted GPA of 5.345 and an unweighted GPA of 3.9; he scored a 1550 on his SATs.

He applied to Harvard and was accepted. Then some folks upset about his acceptance found things he wrote in a group study chat at age 16, with the n-word all over them.

Now Kashuv’s acceptance has been rescinded.

Ben Shapiro says:

This is, to put it mildly, gutless. There are ex-convicts who, quite properly, have been admitted to Harvard — they earned forgiveness. There are current students who undoubtedly have said things privately that would shock the conscience. There are likely administrators who have said things when they were 16 years old that embarrass them now. Is the new standard that if you said something on a private message board when you were 16 years old that we should deny you the possibility of a degree at a top college, so long as those who join you on that message board decide to out you?

It appears it is the new standard.

Sorry, Kyle, but Harvard utterly rejects any form of bigotry and discrimination, except of course against Asians. Then it’s totally cool. If at age 16 Kashuv had mocked Asians as overly studious and hardworking, Harvard admissions officials would have swooned.


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 129

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is Trinity Sunday. Today’s Bach cantata is “Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott” (Praised be the Lord, my God).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 16:12-15:

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, praising the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my light, my life,
my Creator, who has
given me my body and soul;
my Father, who has protected me
from my mother’s womb,
who at every moment
does much good for me.

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my light, my life,
the most beloved Son of the Father,
who gave Himself for me,
who has redeemed me
with His precious blood,
who in faith presents
Himself to me, the highest good.

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my comfort, my life,
the worthy Spirit of the Father,
which the Son gave to me,
who revives my heart,
who give me new strength,
who in all trouble
creates wisdom, comfort and aid.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


President Trump: “All In” On Amendment To Ban Desecration Of American Flag

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 11:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday was Flag Day and the White House appeared to be a little confused about what the holiday commemorates:


Flag Day was also the day that Republicans Sens. Steve Daines (MT) and Kevin Cramer (ND) introduced a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag:


Daines commented:

Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom. Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due.

Cramer also weighed in, explaining why he sees such an amendment as worthwhile:


This morning, President Trump announced his support for Daines and such an amendment:


It’s not at all surprising that President Trump threw his support behind this, given that soon after being elected, he made it very clear that he believed no one should be allowed to desecrate the flag, and that if they did, there should be severe consequences:


This despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that desecration of the U.S. flag is free speech protected under the First Amendment. (Texas v. Johnson) Given that efforts to add an amendment have failed before, and given that each chamber of Congress would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority, and three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to vote to approve the amendment for any change to the Constitution to be made, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. But really, is the push for such an amendment a good idea? Clearly some GOP lawmakers think it is. However, consider that this makes the GOP as a whole vulnerable to criticism of being anti-speech, or at the very least, the Party that attacks freedom of speech. This becomes an even more credible line of attack as prominent voices on the Right are currently demanding the government police social media platforms, and tell them what speech can be allowed.




African-American Lawmaker Removed From Keynote At Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last month I posted about the mind-boggling selection of Hillary Clinton giving the keynote speech at the 2019 Cyber Defense Summit.


Still mind-boggling.

And now this: Just one day after it was announced that Rep. Will Hurd would be a featured keynote speaker at this year’s Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Black Hat caved to pressure, and ungraciously dumped him because he he thinks for himself, and doesn’t walk in lockstep with conference attendees and supporters:

Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer and an advocate for cybersecurity on Capitol Hill, was invited to speak at Black Hat, one of biggest cyber security conferences in the country, being held in Las Vegas in August. But Tech Crunch security editor Zach Whittaker highlighted on Thursday what he described was Hurd’s “terrible voting record on women’s rights.” It includes voting against funding for Planned Parenthood, programs supporting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and his support on restricting late-term abortions.

Black Hat initially defended its decision to invite Hurd, saying in a statement “Hurd has a strong background in computer science and information security and has served as an advocate for specific cybersecurity initiatives in Congress,” adding that he will offer a “unique perspective” at the conference.

That did not, however, halt the uproar from the cybersecurity community, with some threatening to pull their involvement in the conference.

Ironically, participants were concerned about his lack of concern for women, as evidenced by his votes to protect unborn women, as well as citing his lack of support for minorities*:

One person who we asked for permission to quote said Hurd’s voting record was “simply awful” for women’s rights.

Others in tweets said the move doesn’t reflect well on companies sponsoring the event.

Kat Fitzgerald, an infosec professional and regular conference speaker, told TechCrunch that Hurd’s choosing was a “painfully poor choice” for a keynote speaker. “Simply put, in 2019 women and *minorities continue to be ignored,” she said.

Although abortion rights and cybersecurity may seem like unrelated topics, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate social issues from technology and gatherings. It’s also valid for attendees to express concern that the keynote speaker at a professional security conference opposes what many will consider a human right.

*Psst: Will Hurd is an African-American male.

Hurd’s office eloquently set the record straight in response to the decision to disinvite Hurd:

“Representative Hurd was honored to be invited and hopes that the Black Hat Conference is a success,” said Katie Thompson, Hurd’s communications director, via email.

“Congressman Hurd has always sought to engage groups of people that don’t necessarily agree with all of his votes or opinions. That’s why Rep. Hurd is one of the loudest voices for bipartisanship in Congress.”

She continued: “This Congress alone he voted for equal pay for equal work, for the Violence Against Women Act and the Equality Act.”

Hm, given the obvious lack of self-awareness, the email response may have sailed right over all the black hats involved:

Black Hat vowed that the conference is “still fully dedicated to providing an inclusive environment and apologize that this decision did not reflect that sentiment.”

Because dumping an independent, free-thinking African-American from a keynote is reflective of an inclusive environment, am I right?? Idiots. I’ll say this though: They’re absolutely right that their decision does not reflect their claimed sentiment.


Lineup for First 2020 Democratic Debate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Debate season is just about upon us. Hoo boy, anything is possible in the Thunderdome.

Of the 20 qualifying candidates, these are the top five contenders at this point in time: Biden, Sanders, Harris and Buttigieg and Warren. The two nights of debate will be held in Miami.

Here is the lineup for June 26:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan

Here is the lineup for June 27:

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
California Sen. Kamala Harris
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
Author Marianne Williamson
California Rep. Eric Swalwell
Businessman Andrew Yang
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

How disappointing that Sanders and Warren won’t be on stage together to entertainingly try and out-socialism each other. Of course, his “Americans would be delighted to pay more taxes” silliness is still fresh in people’s minds, and her American Indian issues are still making the news. They’ve got problems. Clearly front-runner Biden will be the main target of the other contenders on the second night. And boy, has he given them some stuff to work with: flip-floppingon abortion, finger-wagging condescension toward women, flip-flopping on China threat, etc. I’m surprised that “spirituality guru” Marianne Williamson made the cut while Governor Bullock of Montana didn’t. Bullock being the only candidate to win a statewide election in a state won by Trump…But then again, we’re talking California and Montana.

Here is some background on how the matchups were decided:

According to NBC, the media sponsor for the first debate, a representative from NBC News Standards & Practices conducted the drawing.

Each campaign was invited to send one representative to NBC headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York for the noon drawing. According to people in the room, the names were drawn and then NBC determined which set of Democratic hopefuls would debate on either night.

NBC announced that candidate podium placements would be based on polling and announced closer to the debates.

Candidates had to qualify for the first debate by either receiving at least 1% support in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or received campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states.
Three Democratic hopefuls — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — did not qualify for the first contest.

Let the games begin.



Sarah Sanders To Leave White House At End of The Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:28 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Comments from President Trump about Sarah Sanders’ upcoming departure from the White House:

“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” Mr. Trump wrote Thursday afternoon. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”

Sanders tweeted:

“I am blessed and forever grateful to @realDonaldTrump for the opportunity to serve and proud of everything he’s accomplished,” Sanders followed up in a tweet. “I love the President and my job. The most important job I’ll ever have is being a mom to my kids and it’s time for us to go home. Thank you Mr. President!”

Apparently she is leaving the door open to a possible run for governor of Arkansas…hiya Dad! However, since Asa Hutchinson was just re-elected as governor, Sanders won’t be able to run until 2022.

After bringing Sanders on stage at an event this afternoon, she spoke fondly of her boss and her job:

“I’ll try not to get emotional because I know that crying can make us look weak sometimes right?” Sanders said, looking at the president and smiling. “This has been the honor of a lifetime, the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder to have had the opportunity to serve my country and particularly to work for this president. He has accomplished so much in these two and a half years and it’s truly been something I will treasure forever.

“It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have, I’ve loved every minute. Even the hard minutes, I have loved it,” she added.

Interestingly, the last White House press briefing was more than 90 days ago. There is no word about who might replace Sanders. So, given that 90 days is the longest time any administration has gone without holding a press briefing, does Trump really even need to fill the position? After all, he’s got his own virtual megaphone and can tweet directly with the people, right?? Let’s not forget, too, that it was Trump himself who inspired Sanders to kill the daily press briefing:


I really don’t have much to say about Sanders and her unwavering, blind loyalty to President Trump, so I’ll just say this: she really does do a great smokey eye.


Office of Special Counsel: Kellyanne Conway Should Be Removed From Federal Service For Hatch Act Violations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:26 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From Politico:

The independent federal agency that oversees compliance with the Hatch Act has recommended that President Donald Trump’s top aide Kellyanne Conway be removed from her job after she repeatedly used her office for political purposes.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to Trump on Thursday that said Conway violated the law numerous times by criticizing Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media. It is the first time the office, which is not affiliated with former special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation, has made such a recommendation for a White House official.

The letter from the OSC described Conway as a “repeat offender,” and cautioned:

“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”

Back in May, when asked about the Hatch Act, Conway told reporters:

Blah, blah, blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.

President Trump is reportedly supportive of Conway and has no plans to either discipline her or remove her from her position.

In an official response, the White House suggested that the OSC recommendation was politically influenced:

“The Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC’s unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees,” deputy press secretary Steven Groves said in a statement Thursday.

“Its decisions seem to be influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations – and perhaps OSC should be mindful of its own mandate to act in a fair, impartial, non-political manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act.”

Some background on the Hatch Act:

The law, enacted in 1939 and named for New Mexico Sen. Carl Hatch, takes aim at federal employees using their perch to push political candidates. At the time, Democrats were facing allegations of deploying Works Progress Administration employees to influence the 1938 elections. Today, the behavior that could come under scrutiny might include tweeting political messages, speaking about candidates, diverting official travel to attend political events and fundraising. The president and vice president are exempt from the law.

When the government receives a complaint, it investigates and often resolves them with a simple warning letter. In some cases, the oversight office will discipline the employee — perhaps with a fine or suspension — or allow them to fight the case in front of a board. Of the 286 cases closed in fiscal year 2018, 49 employees were issued letters, 10 took some corrective action for their behavior and six faced discipline.

Only in rare instances does the president determine if a staffer should be punished, according to the person at OSC. Trump has only been asked to determine the punishment for one staffer, Conway.

George Conway, a frequent critic of President Trump and husband of Kellyanne Conway, has not made a public comment about the recommendation concerning his wife. The two have not been shy about jousting publicly when the issue concerns this White House and the President. Just two days ago, George Conway wrote an op-ed (with law professor Neal Katyal) in the Washington Post responding to President Trump’s argument that Congress cannot investigate a president except possibly in impeachment proceedings:

It’s a spectacularly anti-constitutional brief, and anyone who harbors such attitudes toward our Constitution’s architecture is not fit for office. Trump’s brief is nothing if not an invitation to commencing impeachment proceedings that, for reasons set out in the Mueller report, should have already commenced.

Every principle behind the rule of law requires the commencement of a process now to make this president a former one.

Note: The House Oversight Committee announced that it would hold a hearing with the OSC on June 26 to review the allegations. Conway will be invited to attend.

President Trump On Taking Information From Foreign Sources

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:59 am

[guest post by Dana]

This is a portion of an interview that President Trump did with George Stephanopolous of ABC News:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Your son, Don Jr., is up before the Senate Intelligence Committee today. And again, he was not charged with anything. In retrospect though-

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: By the way, not only wasn’t he charged, if you read it, with all of the horrible fake news- I mean, I was reading that my son was going to go too jail — this is a good young man — that he was going to go to jail. And then the report comes out, and they didn’t even say, they hardly even talked about him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Should he have gone to the FBI when he got that email?

TRUMP: OK. Let’s put yourself in a position. You’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, “Hey, I have information on your opponent. Do you call the FBI? I don’t think-

STEPHANOPOULOS: If it’s coming from Russia, you do.

TRUMP: I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do-

STEPHANOPOULOS: Al Gore got a stolen briefing book. He called the FBI.

TRUMP: Well, that’s different, a stolen briefing book. This isn’t a stolen- This is somebody that said, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The FBI director says that’s what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI director is wrong.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

TRUMP: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. I don’t- There’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country — Norway — “We have information on your opponent.” Oh. I think I’d want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It’s not interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research. “Oh, let’s call the FBI.” The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it. They always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.

Remember the Ukraine and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign??? George Stephanopoulos, who obviously has long and deep ties with both Bill and Hillary Clinton, uh, forgot to mention that during the interview. But so did President Trump.

Even on Trump-friendly turf, there was pushback as Brian Kilmeade at Fox & Friends took co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earnhardt to task for their defense of President Trump’s comments:

…Kilmeade threw cold water on Earnhardt’s mockery of Trump criticism saying, “Put it this way, nothing is free in this world.”

He continued, “You don’t want a foreign government or foreign entity giving you information because they will want something back. If anybody knows that it is the president. There is no free lunch. If someone wants information, they want influence. I think the president has to clarify that I’m glad he is coming on tomorrow. He opened himself wide up to attacks.”

On a side note, Kevin Drum scolds the Washington Post, Vox, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times for being misleading in their writeup of the interview (and giving Trump red meat to cry Witch Hunt!) by claiming that the President said he would be “willing to accept information on his political opponents from a foreign government.” Except neither the President, nor Stephanopolous used that term.

President Trump defended his comments this morning:




Juicebox Vox Millennial: Trump Sure Is Bizarre for Thinking Tractors Use the Internet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:02 am

Juicebox Vox millennial Aaron Rupar:

You know what’s beyond parody? Some juicebox Vox millennial has never heard of tractors using the Internet, so he proclaims the notion “bizarre” based on his vast wealth of agricultural expertise. Meanwhile, it’s not bizarre at all.


Besides being able to drive themselves, tractors now-a-days have internet capability, which allows them to send data directly to the farmer.

“They can see all of their data almost in real-time,” Dorsey said. “They can see where the machine is located and how much fuel they’ve used, how hard their machines are working and how much cotton they’re pulling out of the field,” he added.

. . . .

“The landscape of agriculture has changed,” Dorsey said. “There are less people farming but they’re farming more acres so because of that you have to have bigger machines that can hold bigger pieces of equipment and can cover more ground,” he said.

The future of these monster-truck sized farm machines looks like they will continue to get smarter and smarter.

. . . .

“Most people don’t realize how complicated it is, so a lot of our farmers are making very very complicated decisions for their farm and their business and they are using data to do that and make sure in the smartest way possible that they are profitable and helping to feed everyone,” he said.

And still more:

Rapid urbanization, aging farm populations, and depleting rural labor resources pose serious threats to our global food security. As rural labor resources come under continued pressure, tractors are the answer. When available, tractors can work 40x faster and be significantly less expensive than off-farm labor. Most farmers, however, can’t afford to own their own tractors and most tractor service providers operate well below their potential.

Hello Tractor has developed a solution to address these problems. The company has developed a low-cost monitoring device that when placed on a tractor provides the owner with powerful software and analytics tools to ensure tractors are both profitable and properly cared for. The software connects tractor owners to farmers in need of tractor services – just like Uber for tractors. Hello Tractor also works with financial institutions and technicians to ensure tractor owners have the financing and spare parts needed to grow and protect their fleet. All of this work is being done to ensure that smallholder farmers have the resources they need to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing global agricultural market.



New York Times: No More Political Cartoons

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:45 am

[guest post by Dana]

Back in April, I posted about a cartoon published in the international edition of the New York Times that depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dachshund wearing a Star of David collar, leading a blind President Trump, who holds a leash and wears a yarmulke. The cartoon was widely condemned, and the publication eventually apologized for running it. The decision to publish the cartoon was blamed on a lack of editorial oversight.

The New York Times has now announced that the publication will be doing away with all political cartoons in their international edition (the national edition does not print political cartoons):


This seems like an extreme reaction. While the NYT may have been considering doing away with political cartoons before the Netanyahu cartoon kerfuffle, given that the decision comes so soon after having to apologize for its publication, it’s reasonable to assume that it tipped the scales. But here’s the thing, if the Netanyahu cartoon was run because of a decision made by “a production editor who did not recognize its anti-Semitism,” wouldn’t the solution be for the NYT to hire more experienced and informed editors who could provide the necessary oversight? Giving the NYT the benefit of the doubt here, I’ll ask, why is it so difficult for a leading publication to avoid the appearance of peddling anti-Semitism that they have to throw the baby out with the bathwater?


Abortion Activist Hears Abortion Survivor’s Testimony, Still Refuses To Condemn Infanticide

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:38 am

[guest post by Dana]

Melissa Ohden is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion. In 2012, she founded the Abortion Survivors Network (ASN) to reach out to other survivors. The organization provides emotional, mental and spiritual support to those who have found themselves in a similar situation as Ohden’s. Ohden has written about how the grim event shaped the mission of her life:

I am the survivor of a saline infusion abortion attempt. When my 19 year old, biological mother entered the hospital for the abortion attempt in August of 1977, she estimated herself to be 18 to 22 weeks pregnant. Medical review of my birth records indicate that she was likely closer to 24 to 28 weeks pregnant.

Over the course of a five day period, I endured the deliverance of this toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid around me, while numerous rounds of Pitocin were delivered to my mother with the intent to induce labor and dispel my dead body from the womb. When I was delivered in bed by a nurse that fifth day, I was believed to be dead. However, instead of being scalded to death from the outside-in, I had survived!

Gratefully, the doctors and nurses stepped in and provided me with the medical care that I needed to survive the abortion attempt and my premature birth. Although doctors believed that I would likely not live for very long, and if I did survive, would be disabled, I am now 32 years old and am perfectly healthy, happy and successful.

Last week, Ohden testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee about abortion legislation. Also speaking to the committee was Hollywood actress, Busy Phillips. Phillips, who had an abortion at age 15, testified that, had she aborted in her native Arizona today, she would have had to obtain parental consent, wait 24 hours, undergo informed-consent counseling, and, most offensively, “give the state a reason why.” :

“Well, here is mine: my body belongs to me, not the state,” she declared. “Women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions about what is best for them. No one else.” Phillips falsely claimed that criminalizing abortion won’t “stop anyone” from committing one, and is only about “shaming and controlling women’s bodies.” She asserted that she has the right to abort other human beings because “I am a human being that deserves autonomy in this country that calls itself free.”

As if involving responsible parents would be a terrible thing. As if it isn’t a parent’s very job to help their children wisely navigate the painful landmines in life and to be able to come out of it as unscathed as possible. And what is wrong with waiting 24-hours? Is there a problem with a woman reconsidering her decision, and perhaps even changing her mind about having an abortion? Finally, if Phillips herself claims that women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions, wouldn’t informed-consent counseling provide even more information critical to making said informed decision? It seems fairly important to understand all aspects of a medical procedure, especially one designed to end a pregnancy. Since when isn’t the empowerment of women vital?

In response to Phillips’ statements, Ohden asked her:

“How do you reconcile my rights as a woman who survived a failed abortion with what’s being discussed here today?” she asked. “There’s something wrong when one person’s right results in another person’s death. There’s something deeply disturbing about the reality in our world that I have a right to an abortion but I never had the simple right to live.”

It was a compelling question, and one that Phillips was unable to answer. In fact, she worked hard to dodge and dance around the question. I suspect her efforts at avoidance were not unlike Ohden in the womb, attempting to escape the needle piercing her little body with toxic saline, poisoning her from the inside out as her delicate skin was burned. Here is the exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Phillips:

Gohmert referred back to Ohden’s testimony when questioning Phillips, asking her if “somebody who has survived an abortion like Melissa Ohden has a right when she’s born to life, to control her body when someone else doesn’t take her life.” Phillips responded by “thank[ing] her for sharing her story,” … quipping that “although I played a doctor on television, sir, I am actually not a physician.”

“No, but you’ve given very compelling testimony, and I appreciate you’ve obviously given these issues a lot of thought,” Gohmert replied.

Phillips tried to deflect again with the standard pro-abortion refrain that “I don’t believe that a politician’s place is to decide what’s best for a woman and, you know, it’s a choice between a woman and her doctor,” and claiming she “can’t speak to [Ohden’s] experience because I was not there.”

“Well I just wondered how far your feeling about that went, because once she’s born, would you agree that she is a person in being?” Gohmert asked.

“Yeah, see, I’m not speaking about birth, sir, I’m speaking about abortion,” Phillips replied.

The willful disconnect is jarring. While I understand that it is a necessary disconnect for rationalizing abortion, one has to consider the foul root of decay dwelling deep in the heart and mind for one to be unable to agree that, yes, Ohden was a person who was born alive, and that Ohden, the tiny, living baby had a right to more than “comfort care” – she had a right to live. It’s very troubling that someone could be in such close proximity of Ohden giving first-hand testimony about her miraculous survival, yet still be unable to admit that yes, when she was born, she was a person in being. Phillips’ level of self-deception and denial is the stuff that haunts the soul when there are no distractions and one is alone with only their seared conscience in the middle of night when darkness has fallen.



Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 74

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:04 am

It is the Day of Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten” (He who loves me will obey my commands).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 14:8-17, (25-27):

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Whoever loves Me will keep My Word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

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