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Peace & Life Connections Index

#601 - Peace & Life: Ukraine / Judge Jackson / New Vaccine

Russian Resistance to the War Inflicted on Ukraine

A couple of points among the many that could be made:

We stand in solidarity with the Russian anti-war movement. Under Putin, speaking out is especially brave. We hope for the movement’s expansion.

Russian woman holding a sign at a protest
Russian protester from 2014

For the many Russian soldiers who are refusing to fight – many of them conscripts or otherwise not entirely voluntary, and all of them being lied to – we admire those who lay down arms on principle. We sympathize with those who do so to avoid risks that should never have been imposed on them.

The International Fellowship of Reconciliation has published a list of anti-war statements by civil society groups, including Ukrainian pacifists and a number of Russians.


Ketanji Brown Jackson: Where Does She Stand?

Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

As is our custom with new U.S. Supreme Court nominees, here’s what we know. We expect to find out much more during the hearing starting March 21. Our issues in alphabetical order:


NARAL Pro Choice America applauded her confirmation as appellate judge.

∞ She filed an amicus brief in McGuire v. Reilly supporting a floating 6-foot buffer around those approaching abortion facilities.

∞ She clerked for pro-Roe Stephen Breyer at the time of the Stenberg v. Carhart case on partial-birth abortion, so remarkably chilling words in his opinion, with astonishing callousness to babies, may be ones she wrote. Or are at least ones she didn’t object to.

∞ However, she sat on the board of a Maryland school that opposes abortion.

Death Penalty

∞ She clerked for Stephen Breyer, and Breyer opposes the death penalty. Her own views aren’t known.

Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide

Nothing found.


∞ She served as a public defender, so she has experience working for low-income people in legal trouble. This is a plus, although the structural causes of poverty are more complex.


∞ She was raised by parents active in the civil rights movement and has engaged in anti-racism protests herself. The name her parents chose for her, “Ketanji” is in a West African language (it means “lovely one”).


∞ In her statement at the official announcement of her nomination, she boasted that her brother had enlisted and served two tours of duty in the Middle East.


New Vaccine without Any Taint of Fetal Cell Line

Novavax avoids the taint of ever being associated with fetal cell lines. The Washington Post discusses this in Could Novavax Win Over Some Religious Vaccine Skeptics? While we’ve encouraged life-saving vaccinations, we sympathize with those outraged at using the fetal cell lines in testing (Moderna and Pfizer) and in production (Johnson & Johnson) though none of the actual vaccines contain fetal cells. See Vaccines and Tender Consciences. But it’s good news if there’s finally an effective vaccine without any problem related to fetal cells.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also notes that while diet has nothing to do with preventing Covid, the diet that extends nonviolence to animals and the environment does help prevent co-morbidities that make Covid worse. See Fight Covid with Food.


Our Latest Blog Post

John Whitehead offers his thoughts in A Catastrophe Decades in the Making: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Wars don’t suddenly appear full-blown, but usually require a long build-up. John discusses some specifics of this one – along with the heartbreaking toll it’s taking on the Ukrainian people.


Quotation of the Week

portrait of 18th century Supreme Court Justice James Wilson

On the occasion of the latest Supreme Court nomination

James Wilson, United States Supreme Court Justice, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. "Lectures on Law," 1791

"With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life from its commencement to its close, is protected by common law. . . . By law it is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence."


Responses/News Tips/Questions to share are all welcome.


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