“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” —Thomas Jefferson (1809)
Our office will be closed Monday, May 25th in honor of Memorial Day, and our editions will return Tuesday. We’re eternally grateful to the Patriots who gave their all in defense of our great nation.
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- About That Roe v. Wade ‘Documentary’
- Philadelphia Fraud ‘Em
- Why Florida and New York Have Very Different Records
- Minnesota Nice? Not for Residents of Nursing Homes
- World-Renowned Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias Has Died
- Memorial Day — Lest We Forget
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
This week, media outlets are promoting a new documentary (let’s call it a “mockumentary”) titled, “AKA Jane Roe.” Ostensibly, it tells the story of Norma McCorvey, the real-life “Roe” in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Apparently, this production is newsworthy three years after her death and a half-century beyond the circumstances that made her the anonymous plaintiff in the case because of a recorded “deathbed confession.” Not only does the production feature her assertion that her pro-life posture was fabricated but also that she received some financial support from pro-life organizations (“anti-abortion” as the MSM frames it).
Before addressing McCorvey’s personal life, a little historical context is due. While Roe v. Wade is a widely recognized case, its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, is little known but far more consequential. Doe was also a pseudonym, protecting the identity of yet another woman. “Mary Doe” was impoverished, abused, and pregnant, circumstances that made her a convenient plaintiff for aggressive lawyers seeking to establish abortion on demand as the virtual law of the land. While the Roe decision established the familiar trimester status for classifying restrictions on ending the lives of children before birth, the Doe decision effectively overruled those restrictions by allowing abortion at any point in pregnancy if it was deemed necessary to protect the health of the mother. In effect, that constituted abortion on demand.
In my various roles as a founder of AAA Women’s Services (now Choices Pregnancy Resource Center) and the Pro-Life Coalition in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I met both Jane Roe and Mary Doe, Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano, respectively, and spent time with each of them. When I first met them in the mid-1990s, they were both middle-aged women, 25 years past the circumstances that had made them plaintiffs in two of the most important Supreme Court cases in U.S. history.
Neither woman had an abortion. While Norma was a willing participant in the Texas case, she was never told that the length of time necessary for the case to proceed far exceeded the months of her pregnancy. Sandra, on the other hand, was an unwitting victim of her case, which originated in Georgia. She was a poor teenage girl, pregnant by her imprisoned husband and, in her words, exploited by her own mother. It was only after the 1973 decision was announced that she was made aware of her role. Her circumstances were the basis of the case, but she wasn’t seeking to end the life of her child.
The stark irony of the documentary’s claims about McCorvey being “used” by pro-life advocates is that both McCorvey and Cano were used by abortion advocates for these SCOTUS cases.
In the documentary, an obviously ailing McCorvey says, “I took their money and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. I did it well, too. I am a good actress. Of course, I’m not acting now.” A couple of progressive leftists, who identify themselves as Christians, bolster the claims that McCorvey was paid by some organizations to promote their cause. That may or may not be true, because in Norma’s condition, her perspective was malleable.
Obviously, this “revelation” will be used by the largest abortion mills in the nation, including Planned Parenthood, to bolster their insistence that children before birth have no value.
Recall that 50 years before Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood’s “inspirational” founder, Margaret Sanger, asserted that ministry to the poor, a fundamental tenet of Christianity, is responsible for excessive numbers of “unwanted” ethnic breeds. According to Sanger: “Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding, and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. … These dangers are inherent in the very idea of humanitarianism and altruism, dangers which have today produced their full harvest of human waste.”
Regarding Sanger’s eugenic plan to rid the nation of the unwanted breeds she called “human waste,” she declared, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
Totally rejecting that gross devaluation of human life, when we opened the gates of the National Memorial for the Unborn in the mid-90s, a place where grieving mothers and fathers of aborted children could tangibly memorialize their babies, both Norma and Sandra arrived eager to renounce their participation in the 1973 decisions.
Norma was genuinely glad to take part and her testimony was sincere. But years of physical and substance abuse were very evident in Norma’s demeanor and communication. Her life had been hard, and it showed in all sorts of ways. On the other hand, Sandra’s testimony was equally compelling and was composed and articulate. She was much simpler in her sincerity. That her life had been hard was evident, but it had not taken the toll on her that it had on Norma. (For the record, neither Norma nor Sandra were paid for their participation in the opening of the National Memorial for the Unborn.)
My friend Mark Alexander, who was involved with the National Memorial project from its inception, noted that even in the mid-90s, “Norma showed all the signs of decades of alcohol and drug abuse.”
Alexander said this week: “When I first met Norma, she was deeply troubled by her role being used as a pawn to pave the way for killing pre-born children. But it was apparent then that she also suffered substantial cognitive impairment from years of addiction and her ability to process thoughts would get muddled. That muddling devolved into dementia over the next two decades until her death in 2017. Consequently, I am sure that her comments were far more scripted by the ‘documentary’ producers at the end of her life than the producers suggest they were scripted by pro-life advocates decades earlier when she was more lucid.”
Perhaps the singular most influential person in Norma McCorvey’s life was Father Frank Pavone, who heads Priests for Life. I know Father Frank and have great respect for him.
Regarding the documentary, he said this week: “I was privileged to be by her side for her journey for 22 years, from her baptism in 1995 to the day of her death in 2017 — a day on which we had our final conversation and she urged us all to keep pushing forward in the pro-life cause. I received her into the Catholic Church in 1998, led her through an intense spiritual and psychological healing process from the wounds she incurred in the abortion industry, had thousands of conversations and spent countless hours both in public and in private. Her life can’t be summarized in an interview or an article. One had to see the whole pattern, all the ups and downs, to identify her center of gravity. She was wounded and erratic, and yet knew she was a new creation in Christ; she was needful of help and yet fiercely independent, tender of heart and yet capable of fierce anger and rebellion.”
Frank added, “I don’t know what the interview was that the documentary is touting, or what was said leading up to it. What I do know is that the conversion and commitment, the agony and the joy I witnessed firsthand for 22 years, was not a fake. If anything, what the other side has to face up to is that Norma rejected abortion before she became pro-life. The day before the pro-abortion press conference in which she was first revealed as the ‘Roe’ of Roe v. Wade, she told Gloria Allred that she thought abortion was wrong. And while working in abortion clinics, she talked women out of their abortions. If there was any ambiguity, it was about her commitment to pro-choice, not to pro-life.”
“AKA Jane Roe” is scheduled to run on FX today. But her “deathbed confession,” released three years after her death when there is no way to ask her about the context for her words, changes nothing. Her life was significant in its own right as an image bearer of God, but it was insignificant in how the Court determined to overturn abortion restrictions across the land. Her circumstances were simply a useful tool in the hands of clever lawyers, and now, clever documentarians.
That she may have been used by either “side” changes nothing in the scope of the abortion debate. No one’s opinion changes the reality that an uninterrupted pregnancy results in the birth of a human child. To end a pregnancy ends a life. It cannot be argued otherwise. Now, some 60 million abortions after Roe v. Wade, the issue far transcends Norma’s life and her words.
Patricia Lindley is nationally recognized for her leadership and advocacy for the lives of children before birth, which she has passionately pursued for decades.
Yesterday, we noted that Michigan had taken a giant leap toward electoral fraud when its secretary of state, Democrat Jocelyn Benson, sent 7.7 million absentee ballot applications to Michigan voters.
Remember, though: Voter fraud “isn’t a thing.” As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists, it’s merely a trumped-up issue that Republicans are using to suppress voter turnout. Pelosi, it seems, would prefer that we simply movealongnothingtoseehere. She’d prefer that we pay no attention to stories like the one that broke yesterday, wherein a former Philadelphia judge — a judge of elections, no less — was convicted of accepting bribes as payment for fraudulently stuffing ballot boxes in Philly’s 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections.
As Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division points out, “Domenick Demuro put a thumb on the scale for certain candidates, in exchange for bribes. As public trust in the electoral process is vital, the FBI’s message today is clear: election interference of any kind, by hostile foreign actors or dishonest local officials, won’t be tolerated. This is an active, ongoing investigation and we’re asking anyone with information on election fraud to contact the FBI.”
Anyone with information? Agent Driscoll, since we’re talking about voter fraud in Philadelphia, you might want to check with former MSNBC talkinghead and Philly native Chris Matthews, who used to brag about his hometown’s uncanny knack for mustering just enough votes to put Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes into the Democrats’ column. “How many do you need?” he’d laugh.
Demuro’s ballot stuffing may seem like small potatoes, but remember: A little bit of fraud can make a big difference. And in a presidential election year with numerous battleground states, a relative handful of extra votes in Philadelphia, Detroit, or Milwaukee could be decisive.
As we warned last month, “Switching to a national vote-by-mail scheme for a presidential election that is barely six months away in a country with approximately 160 million registered voters is just asking for trouble.”
Vote-by-mail is indeed a Democrat scheme. And we are asking for trouble.
Brian Mark Weber
Anyone following the news these days might conclude New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is setting a standard for future leaders to respond to the next pandemic, while thinking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is foolish for opening up his state’s economy. In reality, the reverse is true.
People in Florida are resuming their lives not based on a rejection of the science but in response to understanding it. As a result, Floridians are beginning to thrive while keeping the coronavirus in check. Florida’s virus deaths are minuscule compared to New York’s, even though Florida has more than three million more residents, including 20% more elderly people. Moreover, this is despite the fact that many New Yorkers fled to the Sunshine State since the outbreak of the virus.
Meanwhile, Cuomo had his state, including hard-hit New York City, endure one of the nation’s strictest lockdowns all while experiencing the nation’s highest death toll. The consequence is millions of New Yorkers have lost their jobs, homes, businesses, and savings. No wonder a headline in the New York Post this week read, “It Needs to End. Now.”
Making matters worse, Cuomo wants the rest of America to bail out his state, and it’s not all due to the virus. It’s due to the Democrat governor’s decade of mismanagement.
According to The Wall Street Journal, since 2010, when Cuomo took office, the contrast between New York and Florida couldn’t be more stark. Florida’s population grew by nearly three million; New York’s increased by just 75,000. And yet Florida’s budget since 2010 has grown by $28 billion, while New York’s has increased by $43 billion. Part of that is because New York spends three times as much as Florida on Medicaid. Oh, and the Journal notes, “New York has a top state-and-local tax rate of 12.7%, while Florida has no income tax.”
Those are but a few examples of contrast. But in short, the Empire State is losing residents, spending too much money on worker benefits and Medicaid, maintaining high taxes, and failing to keep up with states like Florida in terms of job growth. And now, instead of unleashing the economic power of its own people, Cuomo wants to send a bill to Washington.
Despite this decade-long history of failed policy, the national media portray Cuomo as a political genius, when all he’s really done during the pandemic is govern by fear. But the coverage of DeSantis is just the opposite.
The national media was apoplectic when DeSantis allowed beaches in Jacksonville to open up to the public in April, warning that he was risking lives, threatening to spread the virus to other states, and acting “recklessly.” DeSantis was mocked by many media and political figures alike. And they shamed Floridians as halfwits for daring to live their lives and trying to save their businesses.
But the DeSantis administration was acting thoughtfully and strategically to tackle the virus. Rather than implementing sweeping lockdowns based on dire predictions, the governor discovered a significant percentage of COVID-19 patients and deaths in other countries occurred in elderly populations. So he removed seniors with positive coronavirus tests out of nursing homes. At the same time, Cuomo was moving them into nursing homes, which resulted in thousands of deaths.
This week DeSantis defended his actions and reminded the Leftmedia of its desire to see Florida turn into New York. He told a reporter, “A lot of people in your profession waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York. ‘Wait two weeks. Florida’s going to be next!’ ‘Just like Italy. Wait two weeks!’ Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened.”
Florida is hardly alone. So far — and we emphasize so far — reopening states are doing alright. The Washington Examiner reports, “States that have reopened their economies appear to be faring no worse in terms of coronavirus cases than those that have not.”
What’s happening in New York and Florida today should be a case study for the next pandemic. Let’s hope the next generation of Americans learn from New York’s failed response that the cure can be worse than the virus and the best way to recover is to follow Florida’s model.
New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo has some undistinguished company. Back in March, Cuomo’s Health Department ordered that the state’s nursing homes must accept recovering COVID-19 patients. The result: Well over 5,000 deaths in nursing homes to date, or roughly 5% of New York’s nursing-home population. (No wonder the state has now switched to undercounting those deaths.) The death toll is numerically far lower in Minnesota, but proportionately it might be even worse.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Early in the pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Health turned to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to relieve the burden on hospitals that were at risk of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.”
Again, the results were predictable: “Statewide, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus has killed more than 600 Minnesotans at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. That is a staggering 81% of the deaths from the pandemic statewide. No other state in the nation that reports such data has such a high percentage of deaths in long-term care.”
The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman sums up the Minnesota approach, writing, “The essence of the plan is to forcefully reduce the income of people at low risk, while simultaneously increasing the chances of virus exposure for those at high risk.” Call us crazy, but that sounds unwise. Nevertheless, Minnesota Democrat Governor Tim Walz is so please with his state’s government that he’s going ahead with planned pay raises for state workers in July.
Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias went to Heaven on Tuesday after a short bout with cancer that was discovered on his spine in March. He was 74 years old.
Born in India, Ravi was a skeptic of Christianity and had declared himself an atheist. But at the age of 17 and in the hospital recovering from a failed suicide attempt due to his despairing of life, he was given a Bible, and he came upon John 14:19: “Because I live, you also will live.” Ravi was awakened to faith in Jesus Christ and he became a Christian. From that moment on, Ravi’s life changed, and he become passionately dedicated to sharing and defending the truth of Christianity and Jesus his Savior.
At 20 years old, Ravi and his family emigrated to Canada, where he graduated from Ontario Bible College and then Trinity International University. After that, Christianity Today says he “was commissioned as a national evangelist for the United States in 1977 and ordained in the CMA in 1980.”
Seeing the need to help Christians develop a more robust ability to defend their faith, in 1984 Ravi founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Its mission was teaching Christians how to engage skeptics and show how Christianity addresses and answers the most fundamental and essential questions of life.
During his 48-year career in ministry, Ravi authored more than 30 books and preached in more than 70 countries, impacting millions both directly and indirectly with his passionate, gracious, gifted, and winsome defense of the Gospel.
Vice President Mike Pence expressed sorrow over the news, stating that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ravi Zacharias.” Pence noted, “Ravi was a man of faith who could ‘rightly handle the word of truth’ like few others in our time & he was my friend.” He added, “Upon the death of Abner, the Bible tells us David said ‘do you not know that a prince & a great man has fallen today?’ Ravi was such a man & he will be missed. Karen & I send our deepest sympathies to his family and know he heard ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”
Ravi’s eldest daughter, Sarah Davis, may have summed up her father’s life best. “It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about,” she wrote. “Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done. He perpetually marveled that God took a seventeen-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture — a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years.”
Ravi is now reveling in eternity and speaking face to face with Jesus. He will be sorely missed by the millions who have benefitted from his God-given insights and passion. Yet, like many pillars of the Christian church before him, his legacy will live on until that day when Christ returns and faith will be turned to sight.
Grassroots perspective by Roger Helle
It’s that time of year again. A long holiday weekend with cookouts, picnics in the park, and blockbuster commercial sales. At least that’s what many think Memorial Day weekend is all about. As much of the country is still shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re stuck at home longingly pondering years past.
It was originally called Decoration Day when it was first celebrated right after the Civil War, a four-year conflict during which the two sides lost a combined 620,000 men. This figure is more than all of America’s other wars combined. In 1868, members of the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day to honor fallen Union soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers. Confederate veterans began to do the same.
Congress passed legislation in 1968 making the last Monday in May “Memorial Day.” The law went into effect in 1971. Most younger Americans have not been taught the incredible sacrifice made to keep our nation free from tyranny. We need to change that.
From the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, brave men and women have placed themselves in harm’s way to defend freedom — ours as well as that of others. WWII freed countless millions across the globe from fascism and Japanese imperialism. The “only” land we took was what we needed to bury our dead. Including those who died of disease or starvation, more than 1.3 million Americans have died defending freedom since the founding of our nation.
I know there are some who think war is unnecessary. Those who have fought sure wish that were true, but the reality is there will always be tyrants who prey on the weak. The famous British philosopher John Stuart Mill described it this way:
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth a war is much worse. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
If you have never been to a communist or socialist country, you might be tempted to think all nations are alike. But America is not like any other nation. Our experiment in a republican form of government is unlike any other country on the planet. Many have tried to imitate it but never accomplished it. I have seen the bitter fruits of both communism and socialism first hand. These nations do not have the freedoms we enjoy each and every day. Speaking out against your government — including protesting and burning the flag of that nation — could cost your freedom or even your life.
This Memorial Day weekend, take time to remember those on the frontlines of freedom who stand ready to put their lives on the line so you can enjoy the life you have. Think about the 1.3 million who laid down their lives for you. Freedom is never free!
Something to think about?
More Great Analysis
Michael Swartz explains why the pandemic has Students Exploring the ‘Gap Year’.
Thomas Gallatin slams Columbia Law School for his gross Model of #MeToo Hypocrisy regarding Joe Biden and Brett Kavanaugh.
And J. Adams Clymer says it’s time for Patriots beware the Eye of the Demos’ 2020 Hurricane.
Above the Fold
Robert Mueller’s hound, a.k.a. top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, “is headlining a virtual fundraiser for former vice president Joe Biden’s campaign in June,” according to National Review. Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh acutely responded: “It’s no surprise that a guy who tried to take down the President through the sham impeachment would also help Joe Biden’s campaign. It doesn’t get any swampier than this: trying to stage a partisan coup against the President and then raising money for his political opponent.”
Citing Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s recurrent infractions, “The United States announced its intention on Thursday to withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies treaty allowing unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, the Trump administration’s latest move to pull the country out of a major global treaty,” Reuters reveals. The report adds, “Senior officials said the pullout will formally take place in six months, based on the treaty’s withdrawal terms.” This is hardly what we would describe as going “soft” on Russia.
Government & Politics
Curious timing: Trump to honor coronavirus victims by flying flags at half-staff … over Memorial Day weekend (Washington Examiner)
Strong, solid pick: Senate confirms John Ratcliffe as next director of national intelligence (Fox News)
“We’re not going to close the country; we’re going to put out the fires”: Trump says America won’t shut down afresh over second COVID-19 wave (The Hill)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia orders Michael Flynn judge to explain his roguishness (Politico)
Twenty-seven GOP senators ask Attorney General William Barr to investigate Planned Parenthood getting PPP funds (Fox News)
Trump administration approves arms sale to Taiwan — China denounces move (The Daily Caller)
FBI says Texas naval base shooting is “terrorism-related” (AP)
Culture & Heartland
The man who took video of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery is arrested on felony murder charge (USA Today)
Phased reopenings in California and Minnesota discriminate against religious services (The Daily Signal)
Peloton is problematic again, and this time the problem is “racism” (Hot Air)
2020 Atlantic hurricane season may be “extremely active,” NOAA says (Fox News)
China to impose sweeping national-security law in Hong Kong, bypassing city’s no-longer-autonomous legislature (The Washington Post)
Policy: COVID-19, regulatory recalibration, and learning for the long run (American Enterprise Institute)
Policy: Do lockdowns work? Mounting evidence says no (Mises Institute)
Humor: Florida ruled to be in violation of science for not having more people die (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: Obama Blames COVID Disparities on Systemic Racism — “A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have.”
Video: Mike Rowe’s Trade-School Commencement Speech — “Thanks for resisting the temptation to borrow vast sums of money.”
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “Bodies grown fat through sloth are weak, and not only labour, but even movement and their very weight cause them to break down. Unimpaired prosperity cannot withstand a single blow; but he who has struggled constantly with his ills becomes hardened through suffering; and yields to no misfortune; nay, even if he falls, he still fights upon his knees.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC-AD 65)
For the record: “The media’s focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party. China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949. For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us — through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the World Trade Organization as a developing nation. That didn’t happen. We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations.” —Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Food for thought: “The Big Apple is dying. Its streets are empty. The bars and jazz clubs, restaurants and coffeehouses sit barren. Beloved haunts, storied rooms, perfect-slice joints are shuttered, many for good. The sweat equity of countless small-business owners is evaporating. Instead of getting people back to work providing for their families, our mayor talks about a fantasyland New Deal for the post-coronavirus era. Open the city. All of it. Right now. Broadway shows, beaches, Yankees games, the schools, the top of the freakin’ Empire State building. Everything. New Yorkers have already learned to socially distance. Businesses can adjust. The elderly and infirm can continue to be isolated.” —New York Post columnist David Marcus
Upright: “Mail-in ballots are a very dangerous thing. They’re subject to massive fraud.” —Donald Trump
Non compos mentis: “Voting is under assault. It is both from a systemic … nationwide campaign of voter suppression and from the coronavirus. The fear of getting sick threatens some not to go to the polls. People should not have to choose between voting and preserving their good health and that of their families. Because no matter what you do when you go out, you bring it home. Again, no one should be forced to vote for their health or vote.” —Nancy Pelosi
And last… “The media have made a bigger deal about Trump taking hydroxychloroquine than they did about Obama using cocaine!” —Gary Bauer
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis