Pence in Israel. Vice President Mike Pence is getting a warm reception in Israel this week, in part because he brings news that the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is ahead of schedule. “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Pence said in a speech before the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. “In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem—and the embassy will open by the end of next year.” The vice president visited Egypt and Jordan before landing in Israel on Sunday evening. On Monday, he had dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Pro-Life Democrats? At a pro-life event in Chicago last week, Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski spoke. He was the only Democrat to do so. When the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act passed the House of Representatives on Friday by a vote of 241-183, only six Democrats – including Lipinski – voted for the bill. It’s tough to be a pro-life Democrat, and it’s getting tougher. Lipinski, a seven-term congressman, is getting serious primary opposition this year. In a rare move, two members of the Illinois delegation have already endorsed Lipinski’s primary opponent. A poll released last week says that about 25 percent of Democrats are pro-life, but you sure can’t tell that by looking at the policies of the party.
Remembering Lance Sijan. Lance Sijan died 50 years ago this week, on Jan. 22, 1968. His name is not well known to most Americans, but Air Force Academy graduates must commit his story to memory, as he is the only USAFA graduate so far to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. In late 1967 his F-4 was shot down over Vietnam. Sijan was badly wounded but nonetheless evaded capture for 46 days before being taken prisoner. Following brutal torture, escape and recapture, and other remarkable acts of courage and heroism, Sijan died in captivity. He was 25 years old. Sijan was posthumously promoted to captain. In 1976, President Ford presented his family with his Medal of Honor. At the Captain Lance P. Sijan Plaza in his hometown of Milwaukee is a monument with these words from the Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton: “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” You can read more of his story here.
To Spank or Not to Spank. Singer Kelly Clarkson attracted a firestorm of media attention when she said she occasionally spanked her 3-year-old daughter. This celebrity news was often paired in the media with a recent study from the University of Texas saying spanking is bad for kids. Most Americans, though, are siding with Clarkson. The General Social Study found that two-thirds of Americans agree with the statement, “It is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking.” According to WORLD, “Spanking is legal in all 50 states. Some states have restrictions on how parents can spank, and some states have outlawed spanking in schools, but no state has completely banned spanking at home.”
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