“What Will We Do With His Clothes?”

40 years ago February 8th, my brother Daniel died. I was 11 1/2 at the time. He was 18. It was a car wreck. He crashed his souped-up mini-van into a tree, lingered a week, then died.

The morning of his death, I walked downstairs to see our neighbor, Mrs. Murphy doing the dishes. I turned the corner from the stairs, took the short-cut through the formal dining room to get to the kitchen and saw her back at the sink. That was my first clue something was terribly wrong. She’d never done that before. Lovely lady, to be sure, but she’d never done our dishes for us.

My mother brought me into the formal living room, sat me down on a dusty rose velvet love seat and told me. I don’t remember her exact words but I’m fairly certain they were simply declarative: “Your brother died overnight.” God help me, I was relieved. We didn’t get along. Forty years later I can say that and not feel like a soulless ghoul… almost. I still feel sort of soulless saying it, but it’s what I felt. I can’t lie about it. I can’t change it. It was what it was and is what it is.

I do remember what I said exactly, however: “What will we do with his clothes?”  Now having had a diagnosis of Asperger’s, this response makes sense. I was being very practical about it. I had a question so I asked it. The proper emotion could wait until I could properly process it. I’ve always thought it was sort of funny, in a grim way. I remember asking my mother years ago if she remembered that I had said that. I was shocked she hadn’t. Now I realize that nothing about that time should shock me. The poor woman had just lost her son. Anything she feels or remembers or doesn’t feel or remember is “normal.”

Right after Mom died two years ago this month, Dad and I were talking. He said (roughly quoting here) “She never recovered from that. Never got her spark back.” He was right. She never did. I’m “glad” she’s with him now. It’s got to be a great comfort to her.

Something else happened at that time. I lost my faith. Or, the teachings of the church lost me. That’s actually a better way to describe it, because I do believe in a Supreme Being, deeply. I’m just homeless. A spiritual wanderer. No church. Why? Because Mom (and every other well-meaning Catholic around me) said and kept saying this:

“God wanted him.”

Really? I’m 11 1/2 years old and I’m looking around at everyone crying and Mrs. Murphy doing the dishes and I’m supposed to worship THAT?

Nuh-uh.

Something else happened that I remember like it was yesterday: the coldness of his corpse. To this day I cannot go to a wake without being spooked. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have gone to the wake. My poor parents couldn’t have known how “literal” my brain was, how painful all the incoming sensations would be to me. They made the right decision, but it echoes. The coldest thing I ever felt was Daniel’s hand in that casket. It was a unique cold, unlike anything else I have ever felt before or since and I don’t ever want to feel it again. That wasn’t my brother. His spirit had flown.

His spirit had flown as surely as my mother’s did two years ago this month. She looked over my left shoulder as she died. Her eyes had been closed, but she opened them for a few seconds, as if to respond, as if to say “I see you (or it). I’m coming. I’m glad to come. I’m scared but I’m not scared…” It seemed like that to me. Who knows if it was.

I do know they are at rest in each other’s company now. And that’s enough.

Roe v. Wade, an Analog Decision.

Would Roe v. Wade have been affirmed if ultrasound had been widely available in 1973? One wonders. This essay at NRO reminds us that that momentous decision was made 15 years prior to the advent of the fetal ultrasound. Roe was decided on “privacy” grounds but one can’t help but wonder. Excerpts from the much longer essay are below.


When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense
By Frederica Mathewes-Green — January 22, 2016
Via National Review Online

At the time of the Roe v. Wade decision, I was a college student — an anti-war, mother-earth, feminist, hippie college student… and volunteering at the feminist “underground newspaper” Off Our Backs. As you’d guess, I was strongly in favor of legalizing abortion. The bumper sticker on my car read, “Don’t labor under a misconception; legalize abortion.”

The first issue of Off Our Backs after the Roe decision included… (an essay asserting that) it didn’t go far enough… because it allowed states to restrict abortion in the third trimester. The Supreme Court should not meddle in what should be decided between the woman and her doctor. She should be able to choose abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

But, at the time, we didn’t have much understanding of what abortion was. We knew nothing of fetal development. We consistently termed the fetus “a blob of tissue,” and that’s just how we pictured it — an undifferentiated mucous-like blob, not recognizable as human or even as alive. It would be another 15 years of so before pregnant couples could show off sonograms of their unborn babies, shocking us with the obvious humanity of the unborn.

We also thought, back then, that few abortions would ever be done. It’s a grim experience, going through an abortion, and we assumed a woman would choose one only as a last resort. We were fighting for that “last resort.” We had no idea how common the procedure would become; today, one in every five pregnancies ends in abortion.

Nor could we have imagined how high abortion numbers would climb. In the 43 years since Roe v. Wade, there have been 59 million abortions. It’s hard even to grasp a number that big. Twenty years ago, someone told me that, if the names of all those lost babies were inscribed on a wall, like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the wall would have to stretch for 50 miles. It’s 20 years later now, and that wall would have to stretch twice as far. But no names could be written on it; those babies had no names.

We expected that abortion would be rare. What we didn’t realize was that, once abortion becomes available, it becomes the most attractive option for everyone around the pregnant woman. If she has an abortion, it’s like the pregnancy never existed. No one is inconvenienced. It doesn’t cause trouble for the father of the baby, or her boss, or the person in charge of her college scholarship. It won’t embarrass her mom and dad.

Abortion is like a funnel; it promises to solve all the problems at once. So there is significant pressure on a woman to choose abortion, rather than adoption or parenting.

A woman who had had an abortion told me, “Everyone around me was saying they would ‘be there for me’ if I had the abortion, but no one said they’d ‘be there for me’ if I had the baby.” For everyone around the pregnant woman, abortion looks like the sensible choice. A woman who determines instead to continue an unplanned pregnancy looks like she’s being foolishly stubborn. It’s like she’s taken up some unreasonable hobby. People think: If she would only go off and do this one thing, everything would be fine.

[snip]

I changed my opinion on abortion after I read an article in Esquire magazine, way back in 1976. I was home from grad school, flipping through my dad’s copy, and came across an article titled “What I Saw at the Abortion.” The author, Richard Selzer, was a surgeon, and he was in favor of abortion, but he’d never seen one. So he asked a colleague whether, next time, he could go along.

Selzer described seeing the patient, 19 weeks pregnant, lying on her back on the table. (That is unusually late; most abortions are done by the tenth or twelfth week.) The doctor performing the procedure inserted a syringe into the woman’s abdomen and injected her womb with a prostaglandin solution, which would bring on contractions and cause a miscarriage. (This method isn’t used anymore, because too often the baby survived the procedure — chemically burned and disfigured, but clinging to life. Newer methods, including those called “partial birth abortion” and “dismemberment abortion,” more reliably ensure death.)

After injecting the hormone into the patient’s womb, the doctor left the syringe standing upright on her belly. Then, Selzer wrote, “I see something other than what I expected here. . . . It is the hub of the needle that is in the woman’s belly that has jerked. First to one side. Then to the other side. Once more it wobbles, is tugged, like a fishing line nibbled by a sunfish.”

He realized he was seeing the fetus’s desperate fight for life. And as he watched, he saw the movement of the syringe slow down and then stop. The child was dead. Whatever else an unborn child does not have, he has one thing: a will to live. He will fight to defend his life.

The last words in Selzer’s essay are, “Whatever else is said in abortion’s defense, the vision of that other defense [i.e., of the child defending its life] will not vanish from my eyes. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?”

The truth of what he saw disturbed me deeply. There I was, anti-war, anti–capital punishment, even vegetarian, and a firm believer that social justice cannot be won at the cost of violence. Well, this sure looked like violence. How had I agreed to make this hideous act the centerpiece of my feminism? How could I think it was wrong to execute homicidal criminals, wrong to shoot enemies in wartime, but all right to kill our own sons and daughters?

For that was another disturbing thought: Abortion means killing not strangers but our own children, our own flesh and blood. No matter who the father, every child aborted is that woman’s own son or daughter, just as much as any child she will ever bear.

[snip]

Many years ago I wrote something in an essay about abortion, and I was surprised that the line got picked up and frequently quoted. I’ve seen it in both pro-life and pro-choice contexts, so it appears to be something both sides agree on.

I wrote, “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.”

Strange, isn’t it, that both pro-choice and pro-life people agree that is true? Abortion is a horrible and harrowing experience. That women choose it so frequently shows how much worse continuing a pregnancy can be. Essentially, we’ve agreed to surgically alter women so that they can get along in a man’s world. And then expect them to be grateful for it.

Nobody wants to have an abortion. And if nobody wants to have an abortion, why are women doing it, 2,800 times a day?

[snip]

And so we come around to one more March for Life, like the one last year, like the one next year. Protesters understandably focus on the unborn child, because the danger it faces is the most galvanizing aspect of this struggle. …I understand all the reasons why the movement’s prime attention is focused on the unborn. But we can also say that abortion is no bargain for women, either. It’s destructive and tragic.

[snip]

One day, the tide is going to turn. With that Supreme Court decision 43 years ago, one of the sides in the abortion debate won the day. But sooner or later, that day will end. No generation can rule from the grave. The time is coming when a younger generation will sit in judgment of ours. And they are not obligated to be kind.

— Frederica Mathewes-Green is the author of Real Choices: Listening to Women; Looking for Alternatives to Abortion.

###end###

Good (Clean!) Post-Obama Joke

Came across this quite by accident and thought it was cute. Enjoy.


One sunny day in January, 2017, an old man approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’d been sitting on a park bench. He speaks to the U.S. Marine standing guard and says, “I would like to go in and meet with President Obama.” The Marine looks at the man and says, “Sir, Mr. Obama is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The old man says, “Okay,” and walks away.

The following day the same man approaches the White House and says to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Obama.”  The Marine again tells the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Obama is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The man thanks him and again walks away.

On the third day, the same man approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U.S. Marine, saying, “I would like to go in and meet with President Obama.” The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looks at the man and says, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Obama. I’ve told you already that Mr. Obama is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”
The old man looks at the Marine and says,“Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.” The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, and says, “See you tomorrow, Sir!”

😉

 

At Least They’re KKKonsistent

These people.

From slavery to today, Democrats have a very low opinion of our black brothers & sisters. Then they paid their own money to keep those dumb n__ros on the plantation. Now they use taxpayer money. And in-between they founded the KKK as their domestic terrorist arm. And still, today, they continue to think blacks are somehow, as a group, too stupid to get Voter ID or any number of other “white” things “privilege” brings.

You have to hand it to them. They’re survivors. They’ve mutated well. But they still suck. They still think of pigmentation as destiny, and that by dint of their own fair skin, their destiny is to “help” those po’ blacks.

Lord, it’s hard not to hate them. I try every day to remember “hate only corrodes the can it’s carried in” but daaaaaamnskippy they make it hard.

American Thinker took a nice little walk through the remarkably consistent racism of the Democrat Party this morning. It won’t take long to read, and it’s worth it. Enjoy.


The Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats are trying to assume the high ground against President Trump by rubbishing his nominees. Consider the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. The sum total of arguments against Senator Sessions are that at one time, many decades ago, he may have made a flippant offhand comment about the Ku Klux Klan and that he has suggested that the radically leftist NAACP and ACLU may be radically leftist.

His record of prosecuting Klansmen, desegregating Alabama schools, and generally upholding the law is, of course, totally ignored. So are Senate Democrats concerned about placing the former Klansmen to the highest levels of our legal system? No, not at all! The record of Senate Democrats and the brutal suppression of blacks in the South is stunning – and largely ignored by the leftist establishment media and educational systems.

In 1937, leftist icon Franklin Roosevelt appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States Attorney General Hugo Black, a man who had actually been a member of the Ku Klux Klan and never denied that fact. Senate Democrats, from the North as well as the South, voted overwhelmingly to confirm Hugo Black to the Supreme Court.

Harry Truman, the Democrat president who himself had briefly joined the Ku Klux Klan, appointed as his attorney general Tom Clark, widely believed to have been a Klansman and whose racism was so well known that black leader Paul Robeson described it as “a gratuitous and outrageous insult to my people.” Truman later nominated Clark also to the Supreme Court.

So clearly Senate Democrats have no problem with men who had actually belonged to the Ku Klux Klan being put in charge of the Department of Justice or placed on the United States Supreme Court. But, of course, Senate Democrats could not control whom a president nominated, but only whether they voted to confirm a presidential nomination or not.

House Democrats chose for majority whip a man who openly and clearly advocated “white supremacy,” John Sparkman. Senate Democrats chose Sparkman to be chairman of three important Senate committees. His overt racism and links to the Ku Klux Klan were publicly called out by Republicans, but Democrats simply ignored these.

How openly did Democrats accept this Senate Democrat who was overtly opposed to civil rights for blacks? Senator John Sparkman was selected by Adlai Stevenson to be his running mate on the 1952 Democrat presidential ticket, and not one single Senate Democrat opposed this ticket. So much for Senate Democrats’ concern about the Ku Klux Klan.

Klansmen Harry Truman, John Sparkman, and Hugo Black were all Senate Democrats who rose to higher posts by their party with no concern at all about their open sympathy for white supremacy and their membership in that most notorious association of white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan. But Senate Democrats, of course, could not pick Truman and Sparkman as their party’s vice presidential nominees, nor could Senate Democrat nominate justices to the Supreme Court.

Senate Democrats do, however, choose their own leadership. The Democrat floor leader in the Senate is picked only by Senate Democrats, the very same politicians who are trying to smear Jeff Sessions, a man who no one has suggested ever had anything to do with the Ku Klux Klan. These Senate Democrats chose Robert Byrd, a high-ranking official in the Ku Klux Klan, to successively higher posts in the Senate Democrat leadership.

In 1971, Senate Democrats ousted Teddy Kennedy as Democrat whip and elected Klansman Robert Byrd in his place. Ten years later, when President Reagan was elected, Senate Democrats promoted Robert Byrd to Democrat floor leader in the Senate, the highest office they could give him in the Democrat leadership. Then in 1989, Senate Democrats chose Robert Byrd for the highest constitutional office the Senate can elect anyone to be, president pro tempore of the Senate, third in line for presidential succession, and Senate Democrats also made this Klansman into chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, giving him extraordinary power over federal spending.

The record of Senate Democrats toward the Klan is extraordinary, considering the attacks this gaggle has been making against a man who actually fought the Klan. Perhaps if Senate Democrats passed a resolution apologizing to America for producing out of their number Klansmen who became president, vice presidential nominee, attorney general, Supreme Court justice, Democrat floor leader and president pro tempore of the Senate, then the rest of America would pay a bit more attention to their silly attacks on Senator Jeff Sessions.

### end ###

Tired of Feeling Like an Idiot re: Israeli “Settlements”? Here’s Your Fix.

I’m 51 years old. I’ve had a reasonably good education. I’m no genius, but I’m smarter than the average bear.

And I will freely admit I haven’t had a firm grasp on the fuss about Israel and her borders. Like many, I have had a vague understanding of it, mostly boiling down to “They’re surrounded by people who want to kill them. They’re the only western democracy in a sea of anti-western sh*tholes. I’m with them.”

Here’s your fix. It’s part of a larger article editorial at NRO I heartily recommend, Obama’s Shameful Parting Shot at Israel, but here’s your pull quote:

In short, the lines informally agreed upon when Israel became a country were never made formal and they’ve been fighting about it ever since. What’s not said here is what I heard Charles Krauthammer say on Fox last night. It really captures the insidious evil of what Obama just engineered at the United Nations Security Council on Friday, December 23rd:

To give you an idea of how appalling this resolution is, it declares that any Jew who lives in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, the Jewish quarter, inhabited for 1,000 years, is illegal, breaking international law, essentially an outlaw, can be hauled into the international criminal court and international courts in Europe, which is one of the consequences. The Jewish quarter has been populated by Jews for 1,000 years. In the war of Independence in 1948, the Arabs invaded Israel to wipe it out. They did not succeed, but the Arab Legion succeeded in conquering the Jewish quarter. They expelled all the Jews. They destroyed all the synagogues and all the homes. For 19 years, no Jew could go there. The Israelis got it back in the Six-Day War. Now it’s declared that this is not Jewish territory. Remember, it’s called “the Jewish quarter,” but it belongs to other people. And any Jew who lives there is an outlaw. That’s exactly what we supported. The resolution is explicit in saying settlements in the occupied territories and in east Jerusalem.

It’s worth reading the entire text of Krauthammer’s Take: Abstention on Anti-Israel Vote a Disgrace: ‘U.S. Joined the Jackals at the U.N.’  here.

There. Now if you encounter someone over the holidays who says, “Isn’t that awful what Obama did at the U.N. the other day?” you’ll be able to do something other than, “Oh! I see your drink needs refilling. Can I get you another?”

⇒ Exit Question: If Obama were a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, what would he have done differently?

I’ve long said if he isn’t technically Muslim (I actually believe Obama’s only true God is himself) he’s at least functionally Muslim. Let’s remember: he was raised until 10 in Indonesia, where he attended a Muslim school – those are critically formative years.  Then from 10 to 18 was mentored by the (literal!) card-carrying Communist Frank Marshall Davis at the behest of his white grandfather in Hawaii, who felt he needed a black male “role model.” This guy didn’t live in the lower-48 until he went to college at 18, having spent half his life in Muslim Indonesia and the other half in a state-still-with-that-new-car-smell tropical paradise in the middle of the Pacific. He did not marinade in mom, the flag, and apple pie. White picket fences and 4th of July parades did not become “normal” for him until he was 18. Think about it…