The Supreme Court Takes Away a Long-Held Constitutional Right


Nathan Howard/Getty

We have known for some time that this Supreme Court’s manifest destiny was to overrule Roe v. Wade. Now it has fulfilled it. In the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Samuel Alito, writing for a five-Justice majority, eliminated the constitutional right to abortion and handed the states the power to restrict the procedure as they wish. There was little suspense, owing to a leak of the draft opinion last month, from which the Court’s final opinion is not substantially different, but the decision still came down as a surreal shock. The three liberal Justices dissented “with sorrow—for this Court, but more importantly, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection.”…

The difference between preserving and eliminating a long-held constitutional right involves a crude reality of political machinations and contingency in filling these seats—which makes it galling to read the Court’s righteous condemnation of Roe v. Wade as an exercise of “raw judicial power,” and its self-portrayal as a picture of proper judicial restraint. It is hard to imagine something more like an exercise of raw judicial power than the Court’s removal of the right to abortion, which is precisely what these Justices were put on the Court to achieve. As the dissent put it, the Court is “rescinding an individual right in its entirety and conferring it on the State, an action the Court takes for the first time in history.”

Worthy of all the contempt that we, the people, can muster!

Republicans aren’t heading back before ROE v WADE. It will be worse!

…A slogan has been revived: “We won’t go back.” It has been chanted at marches, defiantly but also somewhat awkwardly, given that this is plainly an era of repression and regression, in which abortion rights are not the only rights disappearing. Now that the Supreme Court has issued its final decision, overturning Roe v. Wade and removing the constitutional right to abortion, insuring that abortion will become illegal or highly restricted in twenty states, the slogan sounds almost divorced from reality — an indication, perhaps, of how difficult it has become to comprehend the power and the right-wing extremism of the current Supreme Court.

Support for abortion has never been higher, with more than two-thirds of Americans in favor of retaining Roe, and fifty-seven per cent affirming a woman’s right to abortion for any reason. Even so, there are Republican officials who have made it clear that they will attempt to pass a federal ban on abortion if and when they control both chambers of Congress and the Presidency. Anyone who can get pregnant must now face the reality that half of the country is in the hands of legislators who believe that your personhood and autonomy are conditional—who believe that, if you are impregnated by another person, under any circumstance, you have a legal and moral duty to undergo pregnancy, delivery, and, in all likelihood, two decades or more of caregiving, no matter the permanent and potentially devastating consequences for your body, your heart, your mind, your family, your ability to put food on the table, your plans, your aspirations, your life.

“We won’t go back” — it’s an inadequate rallying cry, prompted only by events that belie its message. But it is true in at least one sense. The future that we now inhabit will not resemble the past before Roe, when women sought out illegal abortions and not infrequently found death. The principal danger now lies elsewhere, and arguably reaches further. We have entered an era not of unsafe abortion but of widespread state surveillance and criminalization — of pregnant women, certainly, but also of doctors and pharmacists and clinic staffers and volunteers and friends and family members, of anyone who comes into meaningful contact with a pregnancy that does not end in a healthy birth. Those who argue that this decision won’t actually change things much — an instinct you’ll find on both sides of the political divide — are blind to the ways in which state-level anti-abortion crusades have already turned pregnancy into punishment, and the ways in which the situation is poised to become much worse.

It’s going to get worse. Republicans are prepared to become a uniformly oppressive fascist party. The Democratic Party, one of the few mass organizations capable of mounting a fightback – ain’t very capable. Personally, I’m sticking with Planned Parenthood. They committed to backing me years ago when I got my vasectomy – which, BTW, is also illegal under most laws banning abortion. Either way, things may change rapidly, in a most dynamic fashion. My options are open. My heart and mind are ready to do battle at any level.

Back to the Republican Dark Ages

That 2/3s of Americans oppose reactionary anti-women decisions like this … means nothing to the Trump supreme court or the backwards beancounters in the Republican Party. Today marks our fascist-minded conservatives overturning Roe v. Wade.

The time for fightback has arrived – down to the most basic grassroots level. It takes politics of the greatest extremes to poke this sleeping bear of a nation into motion. Hopefully, Democrats, unaffiliated Independent voters will move beyond trivialized norms and throw Republican bigots out of elective office, kick our meager 2-party tapdance politics into serious action.

Bitcoin investors take historic bath!

In just three days last week, Bitcoin investors saw the largest realized loss ever—losses locked in by trading—as a Bitcoin sell-off saw investors bleed $7.3 billion, according to blockchain analytics provider Glassnode. The last month has seen a sustained crash that pushed Bitcoin’s price below $20,000 for the first time since 2020.

About 555,000 Bitcoins were traded between prices of $18,000 and $23,000, according to the firm. Long-term holders liquidated about 178,00 bitcoins at prices below $23,000, with a number of them realizing losses as high as 75 percent. “The last three consecutive days have been the largest USD denominated Realized Loss in Bitcoin history,” Glassnode wrote in a tweet on June 19.

Bitcoin miners have been feeling the pain beyond wallet balances, however. The Financial Times reported that shares in listed mining companies like Marathon Digital and Hut 8 have fallen around 40 percent over the past month, with some firms having to take machines offline as energy costs increase, Bitcoin’s price drops, and funding has dried up from capital markets…

To quote the late, great, Jerry Lester…”And away we go!”

Suspect in 5,000-acre wildfire was burning used toilet paper


Felicia Fonseca/AP

A 57-year-old man arrested on suspicion of sparking a 5,000-acre forest fire in Arizona told deputies he was burning used toilet paper Saturday while living in the Coconino National Forest…

Less than an hour after the fire was reported, a sheriff’s deputy spotted a Chevrolet pickup driving away from the area. The deputy pulled over the driver, who initially said he was camping when he spotted the wildfire, according to charging documents filed in court.

The driver, later identified as Matthew Riser of Louisiana, then said he had burned used toilet paper with a lighter at noon the day before and placed it under a rock. He told the deputy he didn’t think the fire would smolder all night and did not see the “No campfires” signs posted throughout the area…

Riser showed a deputy where he had burned his toilet paper near the campsite. The deputy found human feces under a rock.

Riser was booked on suspicion of building an illegal fire, living on U.S. Forest Service land and possessing a controlled substance, according to federal charging documents.

Correct spelling of his last name should be L-O-S-E-R.

Frozen polygons on Mars


NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

The most powerful camera ever sent to another planet has snapped a mesmerizing picture of a bizarre springtime phenomenon on Mars, which paints the red planet with dramatic bright fans of dry ice that erupt from vents in its polar regions.

This patterned alien landscape was imaged in March by NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HIRISE), onboard its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The terrain has been sculpted into these polygons by water ice that is frozen into the soil at the planet’s high latitudes. The borders of these shapes, which stretch like white stitches across the Martian surface, are further frayed during springtime by ice transforming directly from a solid to a gas, a process called sublimation, which produces blasts of dry ice…

HiRISE first arrived at Mars in 2006 and has taken many stunning images of these polygonal polar regions of Mars. In addition, the advanced camera has snapped pictures of other strange Martian features, including an avalanche, the planet’s “chaos” terrain, and even NASA’s rovers at the surface.

Next best thing to being there in person. IMHO.