June 1, 2009

AP: Tiller Murder Part of a ‘String’; Abort Group’s Own History Shreds Claim

TillerAbortionist0509Last night at about 8 p.m., the Associated Press’s Roxana Hegeman became an early purveyor of the myth that abortion clinic-related violence and violence against abortionists has been a frequent and consistent occurrence during the past two decades when she wrote the following about the murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller (saved here at host for future reference; bold is mine):

There was no immediate word of the motive (of) Tiller’s assailant. But the doctor’s violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff.

But a look at the actual history of such violence accumulated by a pro-abortion group demonstrates that Tiller’s murder is correctly seen as a horrible, isolated incident following a long, sustained decline in violence.

Here is the “History of Violence” accumulated by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), broken down into four categories:

  • Murder and shootings — There were none since 1998 until Tiller was murdered on Sunday. From 1993-1998, seven abortion doctors or abortion clinic employees were killed, and 12 others were injured, many very seriously. One cowardly killing after 11 murder-free and shooting-free years following a period of seven in six years does not signal a trend by any reasonable definition.
  • Arsons and bombings — Starting in 1976, NAF lists 13 such crimes during the remainder of that decade, over 75 during the 1980s, over 100 during the 1990s, and 16 since the turn of the century. Only six arsons took place from 2004-2008. The last arson listed at NAF’s site occurred in December 2007. It should also be noted that arsons set by business owners in general to collect insurance money are not all that infrequent.
  • Butyric acid attacks — Butyric acid is a clear, colorless liquid with an unpleasant, rancid, vomit-like odor. According to NAF, this clinic attack method was used “about 100″ times from 1991-1998, and has not been employed since.
  • NAF lists over 650 antrax attacks and fake anthrax attacks from 1998-2002, and none since then. Over 550 of these occurred in 2001.

Overall, an “Extreme Violence” page at NAF listing activity from 1997-2007 identifies the following number of incidents per year:

AbortionExtremeViolencePerNAF1997to2007

As you can see, Rebecca Hegeman’s alleged “string” has been broken twice in the past three years.

Abortion clinic violence and violence against abortionists has generally been on such a steep decline during the past decade that MSNBC stopped updating a web page dedicated to the topic in the late 1990s.

Without recounting already-known details, the unique specifics of Tiller’s situation also supports the idea that his murder, which should of course be and I’m sure will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, will more than likely not be a part of a new “string” of similar ones throughout the country.

Not that the establishment media types like the AP’s Hegemen, the ever-opportunistic Obama administration, or far-left blogs will particularly care about these facts.

There’s one more thing Ms. Hegemen forgot to note: The pre-born babies that George Tiller murdered were not available for comment.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (060109, Afternoon)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 1:55 pm

Computer problems, namely employing my computer in the cause of salvaging data from another, have kept me offline until now.

A lot can happen in half a business day (/understatement).

Here are some quick noteworthy items, not necessarily all on the ‘Net because of this morning’s events:

Some May car sales figures may be out as I type this, so readers will just have to believe that I haven’t looked for or looked at what they are. I think Ford is going to “surprise” again, while GM and Chrysler, despite what should be better performances in unit volume because of dealership fire sales and inventory trim-downs (profitability is a whole different matter), will still disappoint. I’m guessing that the Japanese transplants will come in between. Each company will probably trail last last year significantly.

GM’s bankruptcy filing lists $172 billion in liabilities, according to CNBC-TV’s news this morning. I know that a Section 363 bankruptcy is legal, but all this talk of carving out a “good GM” from a “bad GM,” and the similar tactic at Chrysler, reeks of potential chicanery. How will they make sure that politically disfavored vendors’ bills don’t get left in the “bad GM” (i.e., the one with virtually no assets) while those on the favored side get paid off or partially paid off by the “good GM”? There wouldn’t be such an overhang in a normal 363 bankruptcy of a truly private entity. 363 never was designed for a Government Motors situation — which is actually a statement you can make about all of bankruptcy law.

Speaking of CNBC-TV, it was somewhat humorous to watch AutoNation’s CEO wax eloquent about the virtues of the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, considering, as I showed a month ago, that his company has been smart enough to be much less dependent on their fortunes than his competitors as a whole. This guy is more like the cat who’s about to eat a virtually dead canary trying to pretend he’s not really hungry.

While we’re on the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, we should never forget that those two companies’ sales, though declining until then, didn’t go into free-fall until early last summer. It’s not a coincidence that this is when Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid brought about the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy. As I said in early July 2008 when I recognized the POR Economy’s onset, we had “A Speaker of the House who insists that we can’t drill our way out of our problems — so we shouldn’t drill at all”; “A Senate Majority Leader who says that we have to get away from coal and oil ASAP because they’re ‘making us sick’”; plus “A presidential candidate with a shot at winning who thinks it’s okay that energy prices are at record highs, but just wishes the increases would have been more gradual”; plus “A presidential candidate with a shot at winning who wants a windfall profits tax on the energy sector.” It’s a wonder that vehicle sales didn’t slow down more than they did. Chrysler and GM, whose product mixes leaned much more heavily towards SUVs and other light trucks than Ford and the Japanese makers, were much more vulnerable than the others. Union and non-union workers idled by these slo-mo catastrophes, their families and their communities, should never forget that Pelosi, Obama, and Reid did more than any three people on earth to push these companies from being on the brink to falling off the cliff. Now they’re have forced or are forcing us to pump what will be at least $70 billion into these two companies, whose post-bankruptcy prospects are dicey at best.

While we’re sort of on the subject of oil, I’m going to steal from Bill Whittle, who frequently, but not fondly, says something similar to this — “We’re the first country in the history of human civilization to decide not to exploit our God-given resources.” And we do it in the name of what is perhaps human history’s biggest hoax.

Positivity: Story of WWII Paratrooper Saved by Unknown Dutch Girl

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Kearneysville, West Virginia:

As the minutes slowly crept past the noon hour above the skies of Nazi-occupied Holland in early fall 1944, nothing could prepare Jefferson County native Allen Russell for what fate had in store for him.

Russell, a Purple Heart recipient, along with 10,000 to 12,000 of his fellow paratroopers with the 101st and 82nd Airborne Division, would soon parachute to the ground below to secure what Allied troops would come to know as “Hell’s Highway.” The fateful jump would mark the start of a journey that would see Russell saved from certain German capture by a courageous village girl, bitter cold and fighting in the Battle of Bulge. His journey would culminate with the occupation of Hitler’s vacation retreat.

“I landed in Holland on the 17th of September 1944, five minutes after 12 in broad daylight, and that’s when all hell broke loose,” Russell said. “From then on I guess it was every man for himself.”

All stories have a beginning, however, and Russell’s began in late November 1943 when he was called up for active duty at the age of 22.

Married and expecting his first child, Russell was sent to Camp Croft, S.C., for basic training After completing basic training he volunteered for paratrooper school and was sent to Fort Benning, Ga. where he completed jump school.

“The only reason I volunteered was because it paid $50 extra a month. I was sending a lot of it home to my wife,” Russell said.

After qualifying, he was sent to communications school and from there was sent to Fort Meade, Md. His journey then led him to New York where Russell and 8,000 to 10,000 other soldiers boarded the Ile De France, a converted luxury liner, for the four-and-a-half week trip by sea to Britain. Once they landed troops began conducting dry runs of forthcoming combat jumps.

“We didn’t know what was going on,” Russell said.

The only thing he and his fellow paratroopers were told, was, sooner or later, they would see combat. The 101st, nicknamed the Screaming Eagles, were to play a vital role in Operation Market Garden, a two-phase operation involving paratroopers and ground forces. The paratroopers were to jump into Holland and secure a corridor for advancing ground forces.

Russell was dropped 120 miles behind enemy lines where paratroopers were tasked with keeping the roadway and bridges open for advancing troops.

“We named it Hell’s Highway because first the Germans had it and then we had it,” Russell said.

His unit’s main objective once they landed was to secure a highway bridge south of the village of Son, which has also gone by the name Zon.

“Our main objective when we jumped into Holland was to take the bridge in Son,” he said. “When the first parachute opened up in the air, the Germans blew the bridge.”

With the bridge destroyed, Allied engineers constructed a wooden plank bridge allowing troops to cross. From there, troops were able to secure the area and later liberated the town of Eindhoven.

At one point during the long campaign in Holland, Russell was tasked with climbing a telephone pole to cut a telephone wire so it could be used it to establish a communications line.

“They had radios, but the Germans could pick up a radio just as well as we could. It’s not like the radios that we have today,” Russell said.

As he climbed the pole, the top suddenly broke off, forcing Russell to jump to the ground. The broken portion of the pole fell across his back, leaving him hardly able to move. At first, the injured Russell was to be taken to a first aid station, but he refused until his fellow soldiers could continue establishing the communications line.

He was eventually carried to an old building filled with straw where he could rest and recover.

“They used it to sleep on. It was the only thing we had,” Russell said.

That night, as Russell lay on the makeshift straw bed recovering from his back injury, German forces staged a counterattack and were able to push forward, retaking the building where Russell lay helpless. That’s when he said a local village girl literally saved his life.

“This girl came over and she put a blanket over top of me and put this stuff over top of me. The Germans didn’t know I was in there and I laid there in that stuff that night,” Russell said.

From his hiding spot that night he spied a crack in the building’s foundation where he saw two German soldiers standing, smoking a cigarettes.

“I laid right there and they didn’t know I was in there,” he said. “They came in right over top of me. That (blanket) was the only thing that kept me from being a prisoner of war.”

Go here for the rest of the story.