Monday in a new America.
Note: I'm on the road this week. Delivery will be sporadic.
Welcome to your first case of the Mondays in a new America that's borrowing heavily from a much older America. This week, there are more guns being carried on the streets, fewer separations between church and state, and the absence of equal health care rights for women in what amounts to government mandated pregnancy. If you're among the majority of Americans who disagree with these court decisions, what's next? First, and this is important, while I feel it as much as the next person, it's critical to note that despair is a value-less currency in this fight. Second, the decades-long plot to overturn Roe and turn back the clock on American social progress has been remarkably effective, but there's a chance that overturning Roe—a move made possible by Mitch McConnell's court packing and justices who overtly lied during confirmation hearings and in private conversations with senators—will be viewed as a step too far. Between inflation, gas prices, and usual midterm trends, the November elections were looking bleak for progressives. Abortion (along with the additional rights now threatened) becoming a key political issue might change that. And third, the second item will only hold water if we find leadership capable of harnessing the surge of political energy. Like the characters in the Matrix, proponents of a modern America need to find their Neo; in this case that means a political leader with the (youthful) energy and aggressiveness to convince voters of the extreme seriousness of this moment in American history, when everything from health rights to maintaining a habitable planet is on the line. How will we know when we've found The One? For starters, they'll agree with what Ron Brownstein explains in The Atlantic: America Is Growing Apart, Possibly for Good. "What’s becoming clearer over time is that the Trump-era GOP is hoping to use its electoral dominance of the red states, the small-state bias in the Electoral College and the Senate, and the GOP-appointed majority on the Supreme Court to impose its economic and social model on the entire nation—with or without majority public support. As measured on fronts including the January 6 insurrection, the procession of Republican 2020 election deniers running for offices that would provide them with control over the 2024 electoral machinery, and the systematic advance of a Republican agenda by the Supreme Court, the underlying political question of the 2020s remains whether majority rule—and democracy as we’ve known it—can survive this offensive."
+ Adam Serwer sums up a similar point in this lede. "The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, allowing state governments to force women to give birth, is the result of decades of right-wing political advocacy, organizing, and electoral victory. It is also just the beginning of the Court’s mission to reshape all of American societyaccording to conservative demands, without fear of public opposition."
+ 18 Ways the Supreme Court Just Changed America.
+ Supreme Court backs a high school coach's right to pray on the 50-yard line. (That's what they're there to do, folks.)
2. Miscarriage of Justice
The Supreme Court decision on Roe is not just about abortions. It's about women's health. The best way to understand this is to look back at the case that ultimately changed abortion laws in Ireland. "In 2012, Savita Halappanavar, age 31 and 17 weeks pregnant, went to a hospital in Galway, Ireland. Doctors there determined that she was having a miscarriage. However, because the fetus still had a detectable heartbeat, it was protected by the Eighth Amendment. Doctors could not intervene – in legal terms, ending its life – even to save the mother. So she was admitted to the hospital for pain management while awaiting the miscarriage to progress naturally." While she was waiting, she died. And make no mistake, women in America will die because of our new reality. Death and Suffering: The Story Behind Ireland’s Abortion Ban and its Reversal. And a more recent example from Malta where abortion is banned. US woman left traumatized after Malta hospital refuses life-saving abortion. "I just want to get out of here alive. I couldn’t in my wildest dreams have thought up a nightmare like this." (A majority of Americans suddenly know the feeling.)
+ The Turning Point: LA Times: Gasps, tears and fear: Inside a Texas abortion clinic the moment Roe was overturned. The New Yorker: Roe’s Final Hours in One of America’s Largest Abortion Clinics. NYT: The Final Days of Mississippi’s Last Abortion Clinic. NBC News: Inside a Tennessee abortion clinic after Roe’s fall.
3. I Know Why (When and Where) The Caged Bird Sings
"Across China, the police are buying technology that harnesses vast surveillance data to predict crime and protest before they happen. The systems and software are targeting people whose behavior or characteristics are suspicious in the eyes of an algorithm and the Chinese authorities, even if they’ve done nothing wrong." The NYT(Gift Article) goes deep on "An Invisible Cage" - How China Is Policing the Future. "They are recorded by police cameras that are everywhere, on street corners and subway ceilings, in hotel lobbies and apartment buildings. Their phones are tracked, their purchases are monitored, and their online chats are censored. Now, even their future is under surveillance."
4. The Sky is a Neighborhood
"'We get a lot of people that think they have a bird problem, and they don’t. And then I have a lot of people that say they have 'a little bird problem,' and I see this.' He returned a few days later in his Ford F-150 pickup with a lone, white-and-gray mottled gyr prairie falcon, an adolescent named Tilda. Swanson guided the raptor — a hybrid of the Arctic gyrfalcon and Western U.S. prairie falcon, which can dive at speeds of around 100 miles per hour — onto his leather-gloved fist and walked ... up onto the boardwalk. The mood in the sky suddenly changed." NYT: (Gift Article) The Ancient Art of Falconry at the Jersey Shore. How Ocean City cleared the gulls from its boardwalk — with falcons and hawks.
5. Extra, Extra
Moscow Maller: "A shopping centre in east Ukraine with more than 1,000 people inside has been hit by a Russian missile strike." With the G7 meeting in progress, Putin sends a message. More war crimes.
+ Hoop Schemes: "Shackled and looking wary, WNBA star Brittney Griner was ordered to stand trial Friday by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about 4 1/2 months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team. The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial. Griner could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted."
+ New Episode Drops: "The Jan. 6 select committee, in a surprise announcement with about 24 hours’ notice, said it will hold a Tuesday hearing 'to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.'"
+ Independence Daze: "Some items on the menu have particularly surged. A half-gallon of vanilla ice cream is up by 58.6% to $4.69, according to the report. And an eight-pack of hamburger buns has increased by 55.4% to $1.66. The price of chicken breasts and pork chops to throw on the grill also rose by 30% or more." Sizzling inflation is raising the cost of July 4th BBQs by almost 21%.
+ Progress Bump: 'You get goosebumps from the data’: hopes rise for new malaria vaccine.
+ Color Background: "Schreiber was confused: He hadn’t used T-Mobile’s name. He hadn’t appropriated the company’s logo or tagline. Hell, he wasn’t even in the cell phone business. But as he read on, he realized his 'crime' was using the color magenta." The Hustle: Can a corporation 'own' a color?
6. Bottom of the News
"I’m definitely physically attracted to this fence and I would like to get to know this fence better." I am sexually attracted to a fence and love it as a companion. (New love is always bliss until you start to splinter.)
+ Look at this crazy Tim Petrovic putt at the US Senior Open