Mycroft facepalm meme

I was doing research online the other day and managed to trigger a pop-up ad “Sponsored by Compassion and Choices” (formerly the Hemlock Society), the well-funded group behind the push to legalize assisted suicide. I won’t reproduce the ad here, although I made sure to take a screenshot, but it’s a fairly sophisticated ad with a picture and quote from Stephen Hawking above some text and an e-mail sign-up form. There were two things I found startling about it: first of all, it claims that

Death-with-dignity opponents will stop at nothing to prevent choice at end of life, even calling Hawking “stupid.”

Groan. Yeah, that’s it. We want dying people to have no dignity and no choices…is my sarcasm coming across loudly enough?

Second, it mentions Connecticut. Openly, specifically, by name.

If you are thinking “What the…?” you are not alone.

Back in September of last year, Hawking did a 180 on his previously-held position against assisted suicide. C&C gushed over his fame as if the unified opposition of at least 15 advocacy groups for people with disabilities* meant nothing. I couldn’t remember who would have called him stupid, though (and had to figure it out myself, since they ever-so-helpfully provided no citation). After poking around the webs a bit, I concluded that they meant this piece by Stephen Drake of Not Dead Yet.

Now, come on. If you’re going to argue that Drake called Hawking stupid, you have to concede that Drake first called him a genius. While it may be too fine a distinction for C&C, I think average folks recognize that brilliant people can say, think, and do stupid things. In fact, most of us can humbly admit that we have had our own share of folly.

It is our understanding that Drake himself will respond in the due course of time, and we would be happy to share his response when it becomes available.

Now that we’ve cleared up once and for all the difference between persons and ideas, what in the heck does any of this have to do with the upcoming hearing on H.B. 5326, or with the myriad objections to it that can be raised?

The answer is…nothing. It’s a complete red herring meant to smear legitimate opposition, rile people up and become a distraction from the real issues. Tactics like this are born out of the weakness of one’s position — but this is what we have come to expect from an out-of-state, astroturf organization that has already spent $65,000 on advertising in a little over a year, according to documents that the Office of State Ethics makes available online.

Let’s stay focused and send C&C a message that we don’t buy what they’re selling. If they are willing to mislead the public about something this simple, why trust them on matters of life and death?

*Second Thoughts-CT fact sheet

Green carpet-1

the act of creating a small organization and making it appear to represent something popular for the purpose of promoting a particular entity, cause, etc. (a play on grassroots in the sense of a popular movement originating among the common people, ultimately from AstroTurf, a brand of artificial grass) –

In keeping with the theme of today’s post, we can confirm that our Public Health Committee will hear testimony on the assisted suicide bill, H.B. 5326, on St. Patrick’s Day.

Compassion & Choices – formerly known by its more colorful (and more honest) moniker The Hemlock Society – is the major organization promoting assisted suicide. For the past six months, this well-funded out-of-state group has been holding screenings of the film “How to Die in Oregon” around Connecticut, trying to gin up petition signatures and the appearance of an authentic movement. Recently, they made it very convenient for me to crash one of these screenings by having it at a location minutes from FIC’s Hartford office. I have the ticket stub to prove it.


Parts of the morbid and sometimes macabre film left me pretty creeped out, but C&C’s choice of venue was a different kind of eye-opener. The theater seats 150. By my count, taken at several intervals, there were no more than 25 people there – and surely fewer new recruits to the cause, since one of those people was established activist Ilene Kaplan, and one was me. A theater that size with such a dearth of patrons looks a bit like this:

Ghost town-1

The embarrassment doesn’t end there. Just as one must break a few eggs to make an omelet, it takes money to feign “momentum.” What was the cost of this disappointing turnout? Based on my own inquiry using my real name, real e-mail address, truthful information and totally legitimate premises, I have reason to believe our opponents spent twelve hundred dollars or about $50 a head for a two-hour, prime Saturday afternoon spot. Believe it or not, that includes their break for being a nonprofit. Perhaps it’s a drop in the bucket to an organization whose major donor has a net worth of $23 billion, but this is exactly the kind of money a genuine grassroots movement doesn’t usually have to waste.

Take a moment to imagine how you would have used $1200 to help improve the situation for people who are sick. Are you turning green, or seeing red?


As you know from FIC Action’s email alerts, the Public Health Committee has until Friday, March 28th to vote on HB 5326, the Assisted Suicide bill. Please contact the members of the Committee and ask them to vote NO on HB 5326.

You can use FIC Action’s two fact sheets on the dangers of Assisted Suicide in general and the dangers of HB 5326 in particular. Below is an UPDATED list with the Committee members’ DIRECT contact information (or their legislative aides).


Name: Gerratana, Terry  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0584
Name: Slossberg, Gayle  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0482
Name: Musto, Anthony  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0498
Name: Holder-Winfield, Gary  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0393
Name: Welch, Jason  Email: Phone: (860) 240-0567
Name: Kane, Robert  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8875
Name: Johnson, Susan  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8378
Name: Miller, Philip  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8378
Name: Alexander, David  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0182
Name: Arconti, David  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0182
Name: Cook, Michelle  Email: Phone: (860) 240-1467
Name: Conroy, Theresa  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0082
Name: Demicco, Mike  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8532
Name: Maroney, James  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8583
Name: Riley, Emmett  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8583
Name: Ryan, Kevin  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8458
Name: Sayers, Peggy  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8531
Name: Tercyak, Peter  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8387
Name: Widlitz, Patricia  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-0464
Name: Zoni, David  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8542
Name: Srinivasan, Prasad  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8734
Name: Betts, Whit  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8398
Name: Davis, Christopher  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8725
Name: Hovey, DebraLee  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8723
Name: Klarides, Themis  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8718
Name: Perillo, Jason  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8389
Name: Scribner, David  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8718
Name: Ziobron, Melissa  Email:  Phone: (860) 240-8725


[Nancy Elliott is a former member of New Hampshire House of Representatives. – PW]

Yesterday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives rejected HB1325, which would have instituted Assisted Suicide in that state. After careful investigation representatives decided this practice is just too dangerous for its people. With one voice, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians joined forces to soundly defeat this bill 219 to 66.

Once legislators understand how abusive Assisted Suicide is, as thinking individuals they see it is too dangerous for our society. Elder/Disabled Abuse is on the rise and this allows for a new very final avenue to abuse. Once the lethal dose is delivered, there is no witness at the death. Even if someone struggled, who would know? Just to suggest to someone that they should kill themselves is abusive! These bills promote discrimination. One group of people are discouraged from suicide, while others are encouraged to commit suicide based on age, sickness or disability. Remember almost all that are eligible for this, at that point in their lives have a disability. Also eligible people are not necessarily dying. They could have many more years to live with treatment. This would include for example, a person with diabetes who stopped taking their insulin. We must also recognize that doctor predictions are not always correct. (Jeanette Hall is alive and well after 13 years, because her doctor wouldn’t give up on her and talked her out of suicide to have treatment instead.). When Assisted Suicide is in the mix, medical care is lowered. In Oregon patients have been denied treatment and offered a lethal dose instead. For these reasons and many more Assisted Suicide is just too dangerous and legislators in New Hampshire agreed and defeated this bill in a bipartisan show of unity.

Vermont, which passed Assisted Suicide last year, is having buyers remorse at this time and efforts are under way for a repeal. Once intelligent people recognize how abusive and discriminatory this practice is, they want no part of it. I am sure the same will be true in Connecticut. As legislators go beyond the little slogans that sound so attractive, but do not mean what the words say, they will see that these are just like the old little jingles that used to sell cigarettes. As they dig deeper into the harm that these bills can cause they will recognize that Assisted Suicide is just not good public policy.

Q Poll Flawed



For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, March 6, 2014
Contact: Peter Wolfgang

Quinnipiac Poll Showing Support for Assisted Suicide is Flawed

The following statement may be attributed to Family Institute of Connecticut Action president Peter Wolfgang:

“The poll released this morning by Quinnipiac University purporting to show that 61% of Connecticut voters support legalizing assisted suicide is flawed. The poll’s headline declares ‘Connecticut Voters Back Suicide Bill’ but the word ‘suicide’ was never used in the question. Poll results shift by almost 20% when people are asked if they support legalizing ‘assisted suicide.’ Why was the word ‘suicide’ used in the Q poll’s headline but not in its actual question? In fact, the question was worded in a way that could give the person answering it the false impression that it is a doctor that administers the lethal drugs, rather than the patient himself.

“Further, unlike follow-up questions, the initial question omitted the definition of ‘6 months to live’ when referring to ‘terminally ill’. When included, personal support for such measures is drastically reduced to 33 percent. Why was the definition omitted from the first question? Most people do not oppose providing comfort measures to the terminally ill in the final days of their lives, even if such comfort measures inadvertently cause a loss of consciousness or even death. But 6 months out, providing lethal medication for those people who are very much alive, sounds an awful lot like ‘assisted suicide’, which other polls have shown are opposed by people and doctors, and reflected in the subsequent questions.

“Even taking the poll on its merits shows the people of Connecticut support assisted suicide for other people but not for themselves, contradicting the reason the assisted suicide bill has been proposed. The poll shows bias when it subsequently asks those who do not support assisted suicide for themselves if they would change their mind if they were in great pain, flipping more respondents to favor assisted suicide for themselves. But studies show that the vast majority of people who procure assisted suicide, do so for reasons other than pain. How many respondents would have been flipped in the other direction if the poll had mentioned the possibility of elder abuse or misdiagnosis of terminal illness by doctors?

“Politicians who see in the Q poll an excuse to legalize assisted suicide should beware. The pro-assisted suicide Ballot Question 2 in Massachusetts in 2012 polled as high as 68% but was defeated on Election Day. Indeed, even if we take as valid the two flawed polls purporting to show majority support for assisted suicide in Connecticut–Compassion and Choices’ May, 2012 poll showing 67% and Quinnipiac’s February 2014 poll showing 61%, then support for assisted suicide in Connecticut is actually dropping. While many people support assisted suicide upon first hearing of it, once they learn more details about it they have second thoughts.”

The Family Institute of Connecticut Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to creating a family-friendly environment in our state. We are working to encourage and strengthen the family as the foundation of society and to promote sound ethical and moral values in our culture and government. You can learn more about the Family Institute of Connecticut Action at our web site,, or by calling our Hartford office at (860) 548-0066 or toll-free (877) 33-FAMILY.

Peter is 'that guy'


(Photo above: Our Executive Director demonstrates why he is the life of every party…)


For those who aren’t familiar with me, I am known as the Public Policy Assistant at FIC Action. I’m just going to put this out there: I have an awesome job. I am writing when I should definitely be sleeping, because my mind won’t quit for the excitement of sharing some of what has happened in the past week.

New Haven/West Haven Special Election
I had the privilege of being present when last Tuesday’s poll results came in. Would I prefer for our candidate to have won? Of course. It was a valiant effort in an off-season race though, and as I have been telling anyone who would listen, we have long vision. First, endorse a solid candidate; second, he or she must raise the money; third, encourage FIC Action Committee members to volunteer; etc. We may absolutely keep our heads held high, and anticipate a bright career for Steven Mullins.

Me with Steve Mullins

(With my new friend, Steven Mullins.  He asks, “Do you normally wear heels?”)

Assisted Suicide Hearing Postponed
This remains a high priority. The heat is off for the moment, but we are far from idle. We still expect a hearing this month and will be holding volunteer training on Monday, March 10th. Be sure to sign up for our e-mail alerts and “Like” us on Facebook to stay informed.

Common Core Forum
It is true that we have had an almost single-minded focus on defeating Raised Bill 5326, the assisted suicide bill. Lest anyone think we have forgotten other topics, I attended Friday’s session at the Capitol to hear what was being said about the controversial education standards that seem to be uniting the right, left, and center. I was pleased that our representatives are asking, in my opinion, good, skeptical questions – not pitching softballs. In particular, Danté Bartolomeo showed courage in calling out a Common Core spokesperson’s insinuation that people with misgivings simply need to find the guts to put them aside. I thought that the two spokesmen demonstrated remarkable naiveté regarding the financial incentives for states to adopt the standards and the tendency to focus on objectives that are spelled out versus objectives that aren’t; I was also irrepressibly shocked at the number of times one of them applied the words “I hope” to his own child’s education. What do you mean, you hope something is being taught? You aren’t sure? …More to come on this issue.

Women on Fire: Connecticut Black Republicans & Conservatives
On Saturday evening, I-91 and I bonded further as I returned to New Haven. There I had the great honor of meeting Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and a civil rights champion in her own right. (Peter heard her speak at Yale in the morning; he was “that guy” asking “those questions”…in other words, the Peter we know and love.) The most memorable part of King’s speech in acceptance of the award from the Connecticut Black Republicans & Conservatives, for me, was a great heart’s transcendence of the genuinely petty aspects of partisanship to look with love upon one’s opponents. Challenged and inspired is how I feel.

Me with Alveda King

My father taught me that an old Chinese curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” These times certainly qualify by most standards. It’s still a very joyful life. Always remember, it was for just such a time that we were made!


The front page of Monday’s Waterbury Republican-American reads:

Litchfield High School senior Hannah Arnold plans to be one of the 406 students who take part in an anonymous ‘Profiles of Student Life’ survey March 13, but that doesn’t mean she’s happy about the [sic] some of the questions she’ll be asked. “It’s an invasion of privacy,” she said after school on Friday.

The school board’s mandate was to study the prevalence of substance abuse, but the survey covers a wide variety of topics such as home life, violence (both directed at others and at oneself), eating disorders, sexual activity, and concepts of sexuality and gender.  (You can read the sample questions here.)

I do understand why it was designed this way: at first glance the issues may appear tenuously connected, but it is not surprising that risk-taking behaviors are correlated. Drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t happen in a vacuum; a successful intervention strategy must consider the whole person.

Nevertheless, I am personally, totally sympathetic to Miss Arnold’s “this is none of your business” reaction. In the face of legitimate resistance and distrust, going forward is problematic. Neither the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse or the Litchfield Prevention Council support doing the survey. Kelly Garden, a member of the latter, explained,

High school students have openly said they would not be honest with these questions. I haven’t found a parent yet that endorsed this.

A letter to parents from superintendent Deborah Wheeler states, “The value of a study of this kind depends upon the participation of every student.” I agree. The survey’s integrity seems already compromised beyond repair: nearly 20% of the 500 eligible students have opted out. Some who remain are doing so under protest, like Miss Arnold. Even parents who did not opt their children out expressed concerns about exposure to certain messages and the difficulty of ascertaining students’ honesty about intimate personal details. The information could prove very enlightening, if it were trustworthy. However, I remember being a middle-schooler and I can vouch that, if I felt I had to answer a bunch of dumb questions, I would be tempted to write outrageous responses to skew the results (I can’t claim not to have been immature at times, but I had a keen sense of outrage when schools or teachers wasted my time).

Preserving children’s beautiful innocence is a parent’s prerogative, honor, and solemn duty; that bears repetition. Unfortunately I am not sure I agree with the Prevention Council’s assertion that children in grades 7 and up are necessarily too young for basic familiarity with the topics, although it is alarming that the very first sample question, How old are you? lists 11 or younger as a choice. Remember the old PSA phrase, “Talk to your children about…before someone else does”? It’s a cliché for a reason. Still, the wisest course here would be for the school district to drop it.


From our friend, Nicole Peck:

Reggie Littlejohn is Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition to expose and oppose forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. Reggie also led the international effort to free blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who arrived in the US on May 19, 2012. Reggie received the National Pro-Life Recognition Award at the 40th March for Life in Washington DC, January 25, 2012. She was the keynote speaker at the March for Life in Ottawa, Canada in May, 2013. She was recently named as one of the Vatican’s “Top Ten People of 2013” and received the Cardinal John H. O’Connor Award on February 7, 2013 from Legatus, a membership organization for top-ranking Catholic business leaders.

She is prominently featured in “It’s a Girl”, the authoritative documentary film about gendercide in China and India. She premiered the film in European and British Parliaments in November, 2012 and in Washington DC in April, 2013 and at the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women in March, 2013.

Reggie has briefed officials at the White House, the US Department of State and the Vatican. She is a dynamic keynote speaker and has spoken at the Harvard and Stanford Law Schools, the Johns Hopkins and George Washington Universities, The Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and the Victims of Communism Memorial Commemoration. (COULD DELETE THIS PARAGRAPH)

Reggie is a graduate of Yale Law School and has represented Chinese refugees in their political asylum cases.

Reggie is is visiting Connecticut and will be sharing her insights and expertise on China’s War on Women at:

St. Andrew Church
128 Norwich Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415


Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm.

The event is sponsored by Silent No More Awareness and St. Gerard Center for Life. A free will offering will be taken.

For further evidence – if any were needed – of who is truly politically disenfranchised in the state of Connecticut, check this out:

Screen shot 2014-02-15 at 9.10.14 AM

In the world of four out of five of our delegates, goofy poses (Chris Murphy coming toward me with a fist and a roll of duct tape is something I hope to never see again, including in nightmares) and goofier platitudes trump the wisdom of centuries, sound logic, and social science.

It probably is overkill to detail every egregious fallacy contained in the post from NoH8, but let me take on this one:

Today we show our gratitude for those in government who use their platform to speak out for the rights of all people.

This is so laughably, patently, transparently false I don’t know how anyone typed this sentence with a straight face. Do any of our delegates really believe they’re speaking for the rights of all people? First of all, they’re certainly not speaking for the rights of children to be raised by their married mother and father. They’re not speaking out for you and me when they won’t defend our position, even when it’s their job. They’re not even speaking out for people in a variety of romantic relationships who see in the language of the post nothing that would specifically exclude them – but actually, our delegates don’t mean them, they’re really only talking about same-sex couples.

How scary is it that every one of them fundamentally misrepresents our motives and intentions? How does one even begin to have a dialogue under such hostile conditions? It would appear that to our representatives, we are the enemy. That is perhaps worse than no representation at all.

Who Hates Who?

Screen shot 2014-02-15 at 9.10.14 AM

If you were one of the many constituents who travelled to Washington DC last month but couldn’t meet with your congressperson because they were in a “very important meeting”, please know your disappointment was not in vain. You see, we’ve had same-sex “marriage” in Connecticut since November 2008, but our fair elected officials have no, not one thing, more pressing than to meet with a photographer, make-up person(s), stylist and wardrobe person (no, sorry, not that) and finger-wag at New York? . . no. Philadelphia? . . no. Maybe Boston or even Providence? . . no. They took time away from other things . . like the spending cap or Syrian insurgencies . . to mock and vilify the people of Russia. Notwithstanding the questionable affect Yankee elected officials will have over Russian policymakers, and the probable tactic of using, . . hate to fight “hate”, we really want to know what possible message Rosa is trying to convey. Is she communicating directly with her hipster friends in Russia – I think Sochi has exactly 3. And what’s up with Chris “life begins at birth” Murphy and the tape. Did he tape Rosa’s mouth?

Speaking of our congresspeople’s stance on hatred. If they believe the people of Russia are full of “hate” because they prefer their marriages between a man and woman (where, in Sochi right now some gay Olympians, at worst, experience feelings of being left out) to what emotion should we ascribe their feelings about the unborn . . who because of permissive laws on abortion supported by these elected officials, regularly get their limbs torn off and decapitated. Should we ask . . do our congresspeople “hate” the unborn?

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