"Choice" Doesn't Include the Right to Assemble

Steve alerted me to this recent event in Harrisburg:

TFP: Pro-Lifer Seriously Injured

Newsbusters: Abortion Supporter Knocks 69 Yr. Old Pro-Lifer Unconscious

Catholic Online: Pro-lifer Seriously Injured: Clinic Receptionist Shouts: “He got what he deserved!”

When veteran pro-lifer Ed Snell was counseling women entering the Hillcrest Abortion Clinic in Harrisburg, Penn. from atop his car, he was thrown to the ground and seriously injured. He suffered internal hemorrhaging in his head, four compression fractures of vertebrae, a broken shoulder and two broken ribs. Doctors even feared he might die.

Despite these injuries, a receptionist at the abortion clinic angrily responded: “He got what he deserved!” when asked for a statement.

After the attack, the police arrived and although Mr. Snell was unconscious and being rushed to the hospital, they allowed his assailant to go free. A police officer then argued with and threatened to arrest Mr. Snell’s fellow pro-lifers, who asked them why the assailant was let free. So far the media has been silent about the incident.

Mr. Snell’s assailant was apprehended days after the attack, when the full extent of his injuries became known, and will be charged with a felony assault.

I wonder how long it will be before the assailant is declared a hero of civil rights? If he is sentenced to jail time, pro-aborts will probably protest outside the jail, complaining about the “theocrats” who would dare to throw someone in jail for assaulting and seriously wounding a pro-lifer.

Interestingly enough, Mr. Snell was once arrested for merely handing out pro-life literature. This was during a pro-life event in York in which another act of violence was committed against a pro-lifer:

In John McTernan v. City of York, a District Judge John E. Jones III ruled against McTernan and upheld Planned Parenthood’s claim to the public property in front of the clinic. The case is being appealed, however, and the district attorney has decided to continue with criminal trespass charges against Ferguson.

McTernan told WND another protester was attacked and hit over the head with a board by a pro-choice protestor. “She suffered injury to her neck as a result of this blow that she received, but yet, they trump up charges against us,” he said.

Another pro-life advocate, Ed Snell, was charged with disorderly conduct after attempting to hand tracts to pregnant women who were entering the clinic. The charges were later dropped.

“Ed was injured during the arrest,” McTernan said. “They ratcheted the cuffs on him real tight. He took pictures after the arrest and you could see the marks and swelling where they had cuffed him. He told them they were tight and they refused to do anything.”

Yet for some reason, Snell’s attacker was not immediately arrested for truly violating somebody’s “civil rights”.

December 29, 2007 at 4:37 pm Comments (0)

Biggest Losers of 2007

2007’s Biggest Losers

Some tasks are really tough. With so many idiots in politics, sports, entertainment, and the news, it’s not easy to decide who should make Freindly Fire’s coveted Loser List. But here goes:

Gerry and Kate McCann: These esteemed British parents (and I use that term very loosely), while on vacation in Portugal, decided to go out on the town with friends. Which would be fine if they didn’t have children. But they did. So rather than pay a babysitter (the McCanns are both doctors, so life is tough), they made the decision numerous times that week to leave their three children, with a combined age of seven, alone, in their unlocked resort room. Their three year old daughter, Madeleine, disappeared, and still hasn’t been found. Was she kidnapped? That’s the McCann’s story, although evidence to that is lacking. Was there foul play, or was it possibly an “accident”? Maybe, since blood was found and police dogs detected the scent of death in the room.

Bottom line: the McCanns are either directly responsible for Maddy’s death (accident or otherwise), as Portuguese authorities believe, or they are complicit in her disappearance by their irresponsibility in leaving her and her siblings alone. The world has finally caught on, which is why they only have about four supporters left. Newsflash—Madeleine isn’t one of them.

Michael Vick: This talented NFL quarterback apparently grew tired of making millions and being a celebrity. So he opened up a dog-fighting ring, and personally saw to it that losing dogs were shot, electrocuted or drowned. While dogfighting isn’t funny, some of the reactions to Vick’s actions are. The head of the Atlanta NAACP couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, since he compared dogfighting to hunting deer, which is perfectly acceptable. But best of all was Vick’s former teammate who appeared at a recent game wearing a “Free Michael Vick” shirt. Help me out on this one. He pleaded “guilty”, and, contrary to the sentiment of some in the NAACP, this has nothing to do with race. Vick got sacked big-time, and he may never make it back to the huddle.

Michael Nifong: This District Attorney prosecuted the white Duke University lacrosse players for rape crimes he knew they didn’t commit. Why? To pander to the black community for votes in the next election. This is the worst one of all. When any law enforcement official willfully breaks the law to imprison innocent people for political gain, we become a third-world nation. Nifong’s punishment? He was disbarred and made to serve one day in jail. Somehow, that just doesn’t cut it. It wasn’t nearly enough time for him to become a prison wife.

Runner-up in this category is Dick Brodhead, Duke University President. He threw the Constitution out the window when the rape story was first reported, and joined the lynch mob ready to burn the three players at the stake. His actions berated and humiliated the students, and amounted to a downright conviction of a crime—before the facts were in. And then he had the gall to act like he was in their corner all along—but only after Nifong’s actions came to light. Note to Duke: Fire Brodhead, restore your reputation.

Bud Selig: Major League Baseball’s cowardly Commissioner takes the cake for hypocrisy. He rode on the backs of players, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, making billions for baseball, with full knowledge that steroid use was rampant in the game. Then he commissioned the Mitchell Report, a damning indictment of steroid use, although one with scant evidence. Selig postures himself as a decisive leader, speaking of “punishments” for steroid transgressions. One small problem: steroid use wasn’t against baseball’s rules until 2004. He won’t dole out sanctions because he can’t.

Selig loved baseball’s records, including attendance, being shattered, ignoring the fact that steroids made this possible. But when the world started paying attention, he played both sides, and didn’t even have the class to dignify Bonds’ home run record. His new-found piety is a joke, and everybody knows it. Unfortunately for Bud, this issue, and his hypocrisy, isn’t going to fade away. Is Clemens’ lawsuit an idle threat? Let’s hope not. Selig needs to be benched. Permanently.

Jim Matthews: This Montgomery County Commissioner was elected last month as a Republican, along with top vote-getter Bruce Castor, then stabbed Castor in the back by announcing his alliance with, and allegiance to, Democrat Joe Hoeffel. This isn’t about partisan politics, and it’s not even about issues. It’s about loyalty and honor, and voters abandon people who lack these qualities. Matthews is finished, and Castor will rise again. I threw out an open-ended question last week: Who would want to share a fox-hole with Matthews? Interestingly, no one responded. People who have character and loyalty know better—and ironically, so do fellow traitors. Matthews has pleased none and alienated all. Can’t wait for his next trick.

Alycia Lane: The Philadelphia anchorwoman has undoubtedly broadcasted her way out of a job. She allegedly punched a New York police officer, then announced for all to hear that she was an “(expletive) reporter”. After being arrested, she proclaimed her innocence. Fine. I have always defended those prematurely convicted in the Court of Public Opinion, from Paris Hilton to Don Imus to Barry Bonds. But then she made a personal call to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. That’s not just incredibly dumb, it’s also taboo in journalism. While this is the final strike for Alycia, she could always become a bikini model, based on the skimpy pictures of herself she had previously sent to married sports anchor Rich Eisen (and unintentionally, to his wife).

Honorable Mention: Presidential candidates opposed to water-boarding, Brian Westbrook for failing to return an Eagles’ overpayment—for almost two years, Don Imus for becoming politically correct, and Congressman Allyson Schwartz, who voted for a resolution recognizing Ramadan and the Muslim religion, but not for a resolution recognizing Christmas and Christianity. Can you say Grinch?

Happy New Year!

Chris Freind can be reached at

December 28, 2007 at 12:28 am Comments (0)


Millions headed to NePa as a result of this year’s budget.

President Bush was not thrilled with it, but he signed a $555 billion spending bill Wednesday that funds the federal government through September and the war in Iraq and sends millions of dollars toward Northeastern Pennsylvania for local pork-barrel projects.

The projects range from flood control and military research to downtown development and rural education.

Included is $3.27 million for the Scranton Flood Control Project protecting the city’s Plot section, $826,000 for construction of the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, $1.37 million for the planning of the widening of Interstate 81 between Waverly and Nanticoke and $1.3 million to continue planning the passenger train from Scranton to Hoboken, N.J.

But Larry Smar, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., told The Times-Tribune the president was being hypocritical.

“There’s less earmarks than there were in the previous Republican Congress,” Mr. Smar said. “Complaining about the lack of fiscal responsibility is totally bogus. It’s totally bogus. When the Republicans were in charge, there was no fiscal responsibility.”

The Democratic Congress’ decision to force disclosure of which member of Congress is behind an earmark has cut the number, Mr. Smar said. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit group that tracks earmarks, estimates the number of earmarks is down 25 percent, but says that is not good enough.

“But we’re also finding funds for good programs,” Mr. Smar said. “All the programs that Sen. Casey pushed for are good programs.”

Fiscal hawk Senator Jim Demint would disagree with Senator Casey.

Less earmarks than the previous Congress?

Earmarks: Instead of reducing the number of pork projects in the federal budget, the bill drives the number of earmarks up from last year. The bill contains over 8,000 earmarks, bringing the total for 2008 up to over 10,000 earmarks compared to just 2,658 in 2007.

More fiscal responsibility than the previous Congress?

Spending Gimmicks: Instead of cutting wasteful spending out of the bill to bring its cost down to the President’s level, the bill uses budget tricks and gimmicks to hide at least $14 billion in extra domestic spending.

At least he didn’t say “more honest.”

Policy Riders: Instead of limiting the package to spending needed to fund government operations, the bill includes unrelated policy items. Many of these riders are backed by special interests, such as organized labor, and could not win passage on their own.

More on earmarks and this years budget here ->

December 27, 2007 at 12:58 pm Comment (1)

Williams – Out, Leach to Senate(?)

Some reshuffling in the Dem ranks in Montco.

State Sen. Connie Williams, D-Montgomery, announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election next year, and state Rep. Daylin Leach wants to replace her.

“I will be running for the Senate next year,” Leach, D-Montgomery, said yesterday, as he unveiled an all-star cast of Democrats to lead his 2008 campaign in the 17th District.

Gov. Rendell, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Williams herself will co-chair Leach’s campaign. U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak will chair the Delaware County effort and Commissioner Joe Hoeffel will run the show in Montgomery County.

You might remember Rep Daylin Leach’s blog, “Leachvent” where he amused constituents with his wit and humor.

While cross dressing and doing drugs are fun (and funny), I really enjoyed the post about “Keeping Busy” in the State House.

Being in the legislature is sort of the same thing. We’re not actually voting on anything substantive, but we don’t want to look like we’re not earning our salary, so we do completely mindless things that approximate activity on TV. For example, as mentioned in previous Vents, we vote on “Resolutions,” like declaring 2004 “The Year of the Ferret” and passing commemorations of the “Invention of the Speculum” and “Partridge Family Awareness Month.”

Sometimes we just give passionate, but utterly meaningless self-serving speeches to make us look good to the people back home. I gave into that temptation myself recently and talked for 20 minutes about how I found terrorism “distasteful,” and how I strongly believed that every child should have a mother and a father, at least biologically.


December 27, 2007 at 10:29 am Comment (1)

Padding Their Independence

Um, this is kind of dishonest.

But they’re Freshmen Democrats in the most ethical Congress in the history of Western Civilization, so I repeat myself.

Half a dozen freshman Democrats took to the House floor one late-October morning to cast their lot with Republicans.

Their actions went unpunished by the Democratic leadership that day, as they have on many other occasions in recent weeks. The symbolic gesture — casting nay votes on approving the House Journal, essentially the minutes of the previous day — would have no bearing on the leadership’s agenda.

While they overwhelmingly support that agenda, the bloc of freshmen has begun casting votes against such minor procedural motions in an effort, Democratic sources and Republican critics say, to demonstrate their independence from their leadership.

Pray tell, are any of these honest Democrats from Pennsylvania?

I’m glad you asked.

Chris Carney from the Northeast and Jason Altmire from the Pittsburgh area.

“I’m viewed as an independent. I’m viewed as a conservative Democrat,” said Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.), the first freshman to regularly oppose his party’s leadership on the journal vote.

Like several others, Altmire offered no explanation for voting against all but one of 18 roll calls on the routine measure, adding that he had no “pre-planned” rationale for the votes. “I’m certainly not going to win or lose my reelection based on my journal votes,” he said.

Surprisingly Patrick Murphy wasn’t listed.

At least he’s an honest liberal.

Tip to Jean-Paul, who pointed me to Paul Mirengoff @ Powerline who writes.

But it’s difficult to believe, in this political age, that “nay” Journal votes will convince constituents that these clowns are independent voters, not reliably liberal members. The ad that backs out the meaningless procedural votes and informs voters of the real extent to which a given member of this crew votes with Speaker Pelosi virtually writes itself. I’d call it “Liberal and Gutless.”


December 27, 2007 at 10:06 am Comment (1)


Why haven’t we heard anything officially from the MontcoGOP about the Matthews – Hoeffel situtation?

There’s nothing on the website.

The inbox is empty.

Pa State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason found time to speak publicly the other day.


December 26, 2007 at 11:56 pm Comments (0)

Re: Another Christmas Tradition


“Tonight we cross back into Jersey,” said Rinaldi, speaking in the role of Washington to troops assembled along the shores of the Delaware. “The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct that you show … I am resolved that by dawn both Trenton and victory shall be ours.”

After boarding the boats, Rinaldi and the crews of two other boats waited to cross, and watched as the first boat attempting the short voyage got carried downstream. A rescue craft stationed in the river snared the boat and returned it to the Pennsylvania shore. About 25 re-enactors were aboard.

The rowing portion of the event is scrapped if the river is running too fast or it is too windy, but the current apparently caught organizers by surprise.

Hilary Krueger, director of Pennsylvania’s Washington Crossing Historic Park which hosts the re-enactment, said safety is usually the first priority in determining whether the crossing can go forward.

“We’re kind of at the mercy of the river,” she said.

December 26, 2007 at 10:59 pm Comments (0)

Another Christmas Tradition

Whuppin the English and Germans.


Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware to attack Hessians at Trenton was 222 years ago today.

It’s been reenacted every year since 1976 at Washington’s Crossing in Bucks County (and Trenton, natch)

In the Dec. 25, 1776 crossing some 2,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 18 cannons ferried across the cold Delaware River. The Continental soldiers, many ill-prepared for the cold weather and poorly trained compared to the troops they were about to face, then marched eight miles downriver.

They soundly beat the German mercenary soldiers based there, capturing 1,000 prisoners, killing 30 troops and only losing two Continental soldiers — and both of them froze to death.

The event was a turning point for the bedraggled Revolutionary forces, showing the mighty British that they were a military force to be reckoned with, giving hope to civilians, and boosting morale with Continental soldiers readying to go home.

“If they didn’t win this battle, that would have been the end of the American Revolution,” said Hilary Krueger, director of Pennsylvania’s Washington Crossing Historic Park which hosts the re-enactment.

December 25, 2007 at 11:39 am Comments (0)

Yes, Virginia

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

December 25, 2007 at 12:00 am Comments (0)

Yule Log


December 24, 2007 at 11:11 pm Comments (0)

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