on Sarah Silverman’s comments


Life News picks up a previous post I wrote discussing Sarah Silverman referring to the unborn as “goo.”

Here’s video of the comments:

May 27, 1942: Dorie Miller received Navy Cross for Pearl Harbor heroism


From the AP’s Today in History article for May 27:

In 1942, Navy Cook 3rd Class Doris “Dorie” Miller became the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for his “extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety” during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

Dorie Miller was born in 1919 in Waco, Texas. Miller dropped out of school and was turned down for the Civilian Conservation Corps. He worked on the family farmer until his enlistment. He enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and became a Mess Attendant, 3rd Class. That was one of the only ratings open to African-Americans at the time.  After his training, he was assigned to the ammunition ship Pyro before being assigned to the USS West Virginia and eventually being promoted to Ship’s Cook, Third Class.

On December 7, 1941, Miller served breakfast and then was collecting laundry when the first Japanese torpedo hit the ship. Miller’s battle station had been destroyed so he aided officers in moving the wounded Captain and then helped man an anti-aircraft machine gun.  He also helped move wounded shipmates to the quarterdeck before eventually abandoning ship as West Virginia sank.

About a week later, he was transferred to the USS Indianapolis. A list of commendations released in January 1942 included “an unnamed Negro” and the NAACP asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt to award that unnamed man a Distinguished Service Cross. When Miller’s identity was discovered, there was legislation suggesting he be given the Medal of Honor and a newspaper pushed for him to be sent to the U.S. Naval Academy. 

On May 27, 1942, aboard the USS Enterprise, Admiral Chester Nimitz awarded the Navy Cross to Dorie Miller.

From the citation:

For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. While at the side of his Captain on the bridge, Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of a serious fire, assisted in moving his Captain, who had been mortally wounded, to a place of greater safety, and later manned and operated a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge.

Miller came back to the U.S. and went on a war bond speaking tour. He was also featured on recruiting posters. On May 15, 1943, he was promoted to Petty Officer and assigned to the USS Liscome Bay. A Japanese submarine sank the ship in November 1943 and Miller was declared missing action. A year later he was officially presumed to be dead.

There have been several pieces of popular culture focused on Miller. In 2010, he was featured on a postage stamp and in 2007 a new biography of Miller was published. In 2001, Cuba Gooding, Jr. portrayed Miller in the movie Pearl Harbor.

Only 28% of Americans think abortion should be legal “under any circumstances”


If you look at the Gallup results for the question above, 71% of Americans want at least some restrictions on abortion:

A second long-term Gallup trend, this one measuring Americans’ views on the extent to which abortion should be legal, finds 50% saying abortion should be “legal only under certain circumstances,” or in other words, favoring limited abortion rights. This stance has prevailed since 1975. However, a combined 49% of Americans takes a more hardline position, including 28% saying abortion should be legal in all circumstances and 21% believing it should be illegal in all circumstances.

Support for the strong anti-abortion rights position has hovered around 20% since 2011, just below the record-high 23% seen in 2009. Support for strong pro-abortion rights is a notch below the highest levels seen from 1990 to 1995 when it consistently exceeded 30%, but support is up from four to five years ago when it had dipped into the low 20s.

About the poll:

These results are based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 8-11. Gallup’s trend on this question stretches back to 1995, when Americans tilted significantly more toward the pro-choice label. The balance generally remained more in the pro-choice direction until 2009 when for the first time more Americans identified as pro-life than pro-choice. Since then, these attitudes have fluctuated some, but remain roughly split.

46% of Americans identify as “pro-life” while 47% identify as “pro-choice.”

More details:

Americans’ identification with the two abortion politics labels differs somewhat by gender and age, with women and 18- to 34-year olds tilting pro-choice, and men and Americans aged 55 and older tilting pro-life. Middle-aged adults are evenly split on the issue.

Regionally, Easterners are the most unified, with 59% calling themselves pro-choice, whereas in all other regions, no more than 50% identify with either label. However, Southerners lean toward the pro-life position (49% to 41%), while those in the Midwest and West are about evenly split.

By far the biggest differences in these views are political, with over two-thirds of Republicans calling themselves pro-life and about as many Democrats identifying as pro-choice. Independents fall squarely in the middle.

Gallup’s summary discusses November implications:

 Indeed, Gallup finds that a quarter of Republican voters (24%) and 19% of Democratic voters claim they will only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion, making these voters prime targets for party turnout efforts. While their impact could result in a draw on the abortion issue, it is a battle neither party can afford to ignore.

Watch Video of the 2014 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage


New Advent embeds the Catholic News Agency video below showing veterans and military personnel making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes:

I previously wrote about this pilgrimage.

From the pilgrimage website:

The 2014 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage for Wounded or Disabled Military Personnel for the 56th Annual International Military Pilgrimage will take place on May 13-19, 2014.

The pilgrimage, sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA and the Knights of Columbus, is the latest event in a long history of both organization’s involvement in Lourdes and in service to the military.

Wounded or disabled military personnel and their essential companion-caregivers will travel to the Marian shrine for a time of resting, praying, and healing. The five-day pilgrimage will consist of a number of spectacular and spiritual events, including: a war memorial ceremony, special Masses and events for the American pilgrims, Eucharistic procession and benediction, and a grand closing ceremony that draws tens of thousands to the sacred shrine.

Sarah Silverman refers to the unborn as “goo” on Bill Maher


Mediaite reports on Sarah Silverman’s appearance on Friday night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. The report indicates that Silverman told Maher about her pro-abortion fundraiser in Texas that was picketed by Westboro Baptist Church. Silverman seems to compare all pro-lifers to those protesters and shows her opinion on unborn children:

She said her aim is show these people “a human face to this side that they only know as ‘people who want to murder babies.’ And meanwhile, it’s goo. It’s goo that they’re so worried about. And they’re born, and it’s you’re on your own, slut.”

Silverman also said she had never had an abortion and was mocked by Maher about the way she admitted that fact:

“And the truth is, and I don’t like to admit this,” Silverman continued, “I’ve never had an abortion and I don’t know if I would. But it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t fight to the death for women to make their own choices for their own human bodies.”

“Thank you for being brave enough to admit you’ve never had an abortion,” Maher joked in response.

The fictional version of Sarah Silverman she portrayed on Comedy Central’s The Sarah SilvermanProgram in 2007 spoke of having had 3 abortions.


2014 Memorial Day Weekend Wrap-Up

A recap of my Memorial Day Weekend posts:

  • There are a lot of people who either don’t know the difference (or don’t want to know) between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. I addressed that issue, and since then there have been a couple of people in the comments insisting the holidays are the same. I’ll be nice and not say what I really think of that.
  • I did also write about one blogger who apparently didn’t know the difference between the two holidays and then promptly politicized it.
  • One person who got it right for Memorial Day was Senator John Cornyn.
  • I wrote about the service and sacrifice of Neil J. Damato and Anthony P. Damato. The Damato brothers were my wife’s great-uncles who gave their lives in World War II. Neil was bombardier on a B-17 that was shot down in November 1943. Anthony threw himself onto a grenade to save his fellow Marines in February 1944. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor.
  • I also wrote about Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Kapaun. Father Kapaun was a Chaplain who died as a prisoner of war in Korea. He has been declared a Servant of God by the Catholic church – which means he is at the first step of the journey to sainthood.
  • Clemson University has 448 fallen alumni on its Scroll of Honor. Iwrote about some of those men, including Rudolf Anderson and Jimmy Dyess. Dyess was a Medal of Honor recipient who died in the Battle of Kwajalein. Anderson was the first recipient ever of the Air Force Cross and died when the U-2 he was piloting was shot down over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • I previewed the National Memorial Day Parade and the celebrities participating in it. I also wrote about the Grand Marshal of the parade, Dick Cole, who was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Doolittle Raid.
  • I also offered a prayer for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day: Clemson’s Scroll of Honor includes Rudolf Anderson and MOH recipient Jimmie Dyess

Scroll of Honor

484 Clemson alumni gave their lives in service of the United States military. Clemson was  second only to Texas A&M in the number of commissioned officers provided (6,475) during World War II. Three alumni received the Medal of Honor, including one who was killed.  All 484 of the fallen alumni are listed in the Scroll of Honor. Memorial Park honoring them is behind Memorial Stadium.

Here’s the breakdown by war or conflict:

  • WW I – 27; Nicaraguan Campaign – 1
  • WW II – 376; Korean War -19
  • Cuban Missile Crisis – 1
  • Vietnam War – 31
  • The Cold War – 26
  • Global War on Terrorism – 3

Taking a closer look at some of the facts related to the Scroll of Honor:

  • The whole Class of 1917 volunteered en masses for WWI.
  • 12 of the 27 WWI deaths were of Spanish influenza or pneumonia.
  • Five alumni (out of eight forced to participate) died as a result of the Bataan Death March during WWII.
  • Aubrey Rion,  starting quarterback from the 1939 football team that went to the Cotton Bowl (Clemson’s first bowl game), was killed defending Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944.
  • Major Malcomb Edens, Class of 1947, was a pilot and a POW in the Korean Conflict.
  • Colonel Wesley Platt had been a prisoner of the Japanese in WWII and died in the Korean Conflict.
  • Colonel Albert Smarr served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was a POW after the B-17 he was gunner on was shot down by the Germans. He was freed by the Soviets during the liberation of Berlin.  He graduated Clemson after the war in 1950 and was assigned to a Tank Battalion in Korea. He was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam in 1972.

I decided to take a closer look at Rudolf Anderson, who was shot down over Cuba in 1962, and Jimmie Dyess, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

rudolf-andersonMajor Rudolf Anderson, Jr. was the only death of the Cuban Missile Crisis caused by enemy fire. He was born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1927. He graduated from Greenville High School and was an Eagle Scout. Anderson graduated Clemson in 1948 and was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

He flew RF-86 Sabres in Korea and received two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross during that conflict. He then transitioned to the U-2 in 1957 and had over 1000 hours in that aircraft. On October 27, 1962, Anderson took off from McCoy AFB near Orlando to fly a mission over Cuba. He was shot down by a surface-to-air-missile (SA-2) near Banes, Cuba. President John F. Kennedy ordered that Anderson be given the first award ever of the Air Force Cross. He also received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, a Purple Heart, and the Cheney Award.

Anderson is buried in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Greenville (Shoeless Joe Jackson is also buried there.) A memorial to Anderson (consisting of a F-86) is located in Greenville’s Cleveland Park.

jimmie-dyessAquilla James Dyess was born in Andersonville, Georgia in 1909. He was an Eagle Scout. He graduated Clemson College in 1932, so he was a rat the same year my grandfather graduated. Dyess was commissioned an infantry officer in the U.S. Army Reserve after his graduation. In 1936, he became an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

On February 2, 1944, Lt. Colonel Dyess was killed during the Battle of Kwajalein on the island of Namur in the Kwajalein Atoll.   He led from the front as his men were under heavy automatic fire. Dyess was initially buried in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll. He was reinterred in Augusta, Georgia in 1948.

Dyess was awarded the Medal of Honorfor his actions at Kwajalein. He is the only American to receive the Carnegie Medal for heroism and a Medal of Honor. He received the Carnegie Medal in 1929 for saving two swimmers off the SC coast.

In 1945, the USS Dyess (DD-880) was named for him. It was a Gearing-class destroyer, the same as the USS Damato. The Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center in Augusta was named for him in 1998.

From his Medal of Honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Twenty-Fourth Marines, Reinforced, Fourth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 1 and 2, 1944. Undaunted by severe fire from automatic Japanese weapons, Lieutenant Colonel Dyess launched a powerful final attack on the second day of the assault, unhesitatingly posting himself between the opposing lines to point out objectives and avenues of approach and personally leading the advancing troops. Alert, and determined to quicken the pace of the offensive against increased enemy fire, he was constantly at the head of advance units, inspiring his men to push forward until the Japanese had been driven back to a small center of resistance and victory assured. While standing on the parapet of an antitank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last enemy position, Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was killed by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire. His daring and forceful leadership and his valiant fighting spirit in the face of terrific opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

David Hood also wrote a piece on the sacrifice of Clemson alumni.