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Sunday, July 31, 2022


From the PBS Newshour. Women who have miscarriages are being denied medical treatment because of abortion bans. Welcome to Republican America, where fetal remains are more important than a woman's life.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Keith Ward

Watching this lecture from 2017 by Keith Ward ...

an English philosopher, and theologian. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a priest of the Church of England. He was a canon of Christ Church, Oxford, until 2003.

I really like him. If you search for his name in my blog, you will find many posts on his articles, books, and lectures. This lecture above is about his book, Love Is His Meaning: Understanding The Teaching Of Jesus.

Friday, July 29, 2022


An Indiana Doctor Speaks Out on Abortion, and Pays a Price

[...] Dr. Bernard, who catapulted into the national spotlight for providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim last month, delivers babies and provides contraceptive care, pap smears and other routine obstetric and gynecological care. She is also one of a small number of doctors in her state with specific training in complex reproductive care, including second-trimester abortions.

But some of her riskiest work takes place outside her hospital, advocating publicly for abortion access.

Her outspokenness has extracted a price. Dr. Bernard, 37, has been criticized across right-wing media, faced harassment and is the subject of an investigation by the Indiana attorney general. She’s landed at the center of a post-Roe clash that the medical community has been dreading — one in which doctors themselves are the focus of political and legal attacks.

“Physicians who provide abortion have been harassed, they have been murdered,” Dr. Bernard said on Tuesday in an interview with The New York Times. “And for too long, I think, because of that, they’ve had to be silent to protect their families, and it’s created an idea that we’re doing something wrong or something illegal. And we’re not. And I feel compelled to say that.” ....

Abortion has always been just a part of the typical OB/GYN doctor's work of caring for women's reproductive health. It was not until the rise of the violent pro-life movement ... the harassment, kidnappings, bombings, murders ... that less and less doctors felt safe enough to provide abortions, and clinics like Planned Parenthood became one of the few remaining providers.

And Planned Parenthood is not an "abortion clinic". Planned Parenthood runs reproductive health care clinics that provide everything from contraception to OB/GYN exams to abortions to vasectomies for men, and more. I know this because I was a volunteer at a PP clinic, and what I did there had nothing to do with abortions.

Here is a past episode of NPR's Fresh Air ... The Abortion Debate Through a Son's Eyes ... It's worth a listen.


How cute is he?! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2022


In the news: it seems that most Republican politicians won't vote to protect the rights to marriage equality or contraception. I watch the pundits on the tv news flummoxed at why Republicans would be against protecting such incredibly popular rights. I just want to yell at them ... "catholicism is why". The church has taught and continues to teach that marriage for gay people is wrong and that using contraception is wrong.

The church isn't just stating a viewpoint, though. It has for decades tried to change our laws through political lobbying and bringing suits. The church has spent a lot of time and money trying to keep gay people from marrying (Church lobbying effective in NJ same-sex marriage debate ... Most U.S. Catholics Back Marriage Equality, But Knights of Columbus Pour Millions into Opposition ... Political activity of the Catholic Church on LGBT issues), and to keep women from being able to access contraception (Hobby Lobby decision and Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania).

And of course, btw, the church has spent millions of ddollars lobbying against the loosening of statutes of limitation that would allow victims of clergy sex abuse to sue them: Catholic Church spent $10.6 million to lobby against legislation that would benefit victims of child sex abuse.

And this effort has worked out for the church. it's no coincidence that the majority of Supreme Court Justices who overturned Roe are Catholic. It's no coincidence that the Justice who has threatened to overturn marriage equality and the right to contraception is Catholic.

The irony is that while the Catholic church stands on the brink of forcing its minority religious teachings on our whole country, it has failed utterly to convince its own members on these issues.

Mot Catholics support marriage equality for gay people (U.S. Catholics Have Backed Same-Sex Marriage Since 2011). And the number of Catholics who use contraception is virtually 100% (Pew: More than nine-in-ten [Catholic] adults think using birth control is either morally acceptable (36%) or not a moral issue at all (57%); just 4% say using contraception is morally wrong.).

Expanding the Court is the only way I can see to keep the religiously extremist Justices from dragging our country back to the metaphorical Dark Ages.

Monday, July 25, 2022


Pope apologizes for ‘catastrophic’ school policy in Canada

A little over a year ago, when news of the Catholic-run Indiginous school deaths came out, the pope expressed sadness but he didn't apologize. I wrote that I didn't believe he ever would, but I was wrong. Good on Pope Francis.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Al Gore

All the Republicans of the Senate (and Manchin) voting against Biden's climate change legislation, and of course the extremist Republicans on the Supreme Court gtting the EPA. Congratulations conservatives - you're not just destroying our own country, you're now destroying the whole planetary ecosystem.

I assume Republican politicians do know that climate change is real, even if they have to pretend they don't to get the votes of their brain-dead base. But I'm still surprised that the money they get from oil/coal companies and their conservative donors is more important to them than the conditions their own children and grandchildren will be forced to live in.

Oh, but I forgot ... they only care about the unborn, not actual people.

Saturday, July 23, 2022


In the news, the sequoia tress are in danger from another fire: California’s fast-moving Oak Fire burns nearly 12,000 acres and forces evacuations outside Yosemite National Park

That area is so beautiful. As I mentioned before, that's where I spent my honeymoon - visiting Yosemite and camping by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (and a day at Disneyland too).

Here are two Expedia videos about the area ...

Sometimes it feels like everything good is being lost :(

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Day 8

Just finished watching the 8th hearing from the January 6 committee. This one was about what Trump was doing in those 187 minutes between his speech at the Ellipse in the morning and his creepy video asking the rioters to disperse at 4pm.

There were two in-person witnesses and many video/taped witnesses. What I have found so inexplicable during all the hearings is how so many seemingly intelligent and decent people spent 4 years working for a psychopath, and never noticed what he was until the very end (if even then). I could listen to Trump speak for 5 minutes and know he is a bad guy. I don't get it.

Oh well, here are some videos from the hearing ...

Republican senator and Trump suck-up Josh Hawley, showing us who he is ...

Listen to the radio traffic of Mike Pence's security detail during the riot ...

Trump, taping the speech he gave the day after the riot (see what I mean about sizing him up after 5 mins?) ...

Please, God, keep the monster from ever being in power again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The Bible

What the Bible actually says about abortion may surprise you

Interesting article. As I've mentioned before, the bottom line is that the Bible doesn't say anything about abortion.

It doesn't matter, though. To Republicans and the pro-life movement, perception is more real than facts. And it just seems like Jesus would be against abortion, doesn't it?

But the Jesus of the Bible was portrayed as liking women, being on their side, even if they did outré things. Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, the woman at the well, the woman who touched Jesus' garment, the Canaanite woman, the widow of Nain, the adulterous woman, etc.

Conservatives don't own Christianity, and their interpretation is just an interpretation.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Life of the mother

Another state, Idaho, is ready to sacrifice women's lives for the "unborn". I'm not surprused, because I have spent over a decade visiting online Catholic sites, reading their articles, communicating with their visitors.

Most of those sites tried to soft pedal the ulltimate goal. They would call women the "second victim of abortion" and advocte helping the poor dears escape the clutches of those evil "abortionists". This was all disingenuous.

But the commenting visitors to these sites would let it all hang out. They were for a total ban on abortion, no exeptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, and they were for criminalizing women, and terrorizing doctors and clinics. At least they were honest.

Now they're all happy. They think they have won. They seem to believe this will last. That is just nuts. No society would allow a minority group of religious extemmists to drag them backwards 50 years without challenge. Women and those men who care about them will not let this stand.

Sunday, July 17, 2022


Bernie Sanders on the news this morning. I agree with all he said.

Saturday, July 16, 2022


I have never been to a Scandinavian country, but that's where I would go if I could. I came upon a really great travel video of Norway by Anton (of Ukraine). It's quite long and I'm still in the process of watching it. Norway is so beautiful! :)


My sister and I saw The Kinks when they came to our town in 1965 (I was 13). We waited outside the stage door, as one does, and got to talk to them a bit :) One of their songs I liked back then: Tired of Waiting for You ...

Friday, July 15, 2022


Remembering one of my favorite science fiction characters - Vic Fontaine ...

a fictional character who appeared in the sixth and seventh seasons of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Portrayed by James Darren, he is a holographic representation of a 1960s-era Las Vegas Rat Pack–style singer and entertainer, as part of a program run in the holosuites at Quark's bar.

Vic sang the kind of songs I liked to sing to the cats. One of their favorites (I believe) was It's Only a Paper Moon. Zillions of people have sung it, from Paul McCartney and James Taylor to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, but I like Vic's version ....

Thursday, July 14, 2022


We women and girls really are worthless in the eyes of conservatives ...

Texas sues Biden administration for requiring abortions in medical emergencies

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) sued the Biden administration over federal rules that require abortions be provided in medical emergencies to save the life of the mother, even in states with near-total bans ....

This doesn't come as a surprise. The Catholic church has already made it clear that a fetus is much more worthwhile than a girl or woman, and that if it comes to a showdown, the fetus should live and the girl/woman should die.

Off the top of my head, there was a case some years ago in Brazil where a 9 year old rape victim was pregnant with twins and doctors said her life would be in danger if she didn't get an abortion. The church tried to prevent the girl from getting life-saving treatment. The archbishop was really peeved when the courts decided to save the little gitl ...

"Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored." (Nine-Year-Old's Abortion Outrages Brazil's Catholic Church)

Then there's that saint, Gianna Beretta Molla, who let herself die rather than get a life-saving abortion, leaving behind a husband and three children. Just a little teaching moment for the faithful to let them know what's expected of women and girls in Catholic world (and now, in the U.S. too?). You know the one thing this saint had that conservatives are trying to take away from women in America? The opportunity to make her own choice of what to do with her pregnancy.

P.S. Please, conservatives, point out the place in the Bible where God says he likes "innocent" embryos and fetuses better than girls and women, 'cuz I never got that scriptural memo.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


A suspect in the rape of a 10 year old girl (who was denied an abortion) has been arrested. Conservatives have spent all the time since the rape became public saying that the story was made up by pro-choice liberals. Projection from the professional liars of the pro-life movement.

Let's be clear: this is the world the Republican party, the pro-life movement, and the Catholic church want so badly ... one in which a 10 year old rape victim is forced to carry her rapist's fetus to term.

National Right to Life official: 10-year-old should have had baby

Get Back

The documentary about The Beatles by Peter Jackson - The Beatles: Get Back - has finally come to video and I'll get it soon from Netflix. Here's what 60 Minutes has to say about it ...

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Day 7

I watched the 7th hearing from the January 6 committee today. There was a lot of interesting stuff, but what I found most intriguing was the recounting of a six hour long "unhinged" meeting that took place late at night on Dec. 18 at the White House.

It began in the Oval Ofice and ended up in Trump's residence. The meeting included Trump and "team crazy" .... Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell (the kraken lady), retired general Michael Flynn, and the Overstock guy. They were later joined by the White House counsel's office crew - Pat Cipollone and Eric Herschmann (the panda).

It was later that night, after this meeting, that Trump posted his"will be wild" tweet (‘Unhinged’: The White House meeting that preceded Trump’s ‘will be wild’ tweet ).

The January 6 committee made a short video of the testimonies of some of the participants describing the meeting ...


Relevant because of the burgeoning pro-life personhood laws in red states.

Monday, July 11, 2022


From The Atlantic ...

The Harshest Abortion Restrictions Are Yet to Come

First, states will stretch the reach of their abortion penalties outside their borders .....

Second, people seeking abortions and the people assisting them, not just providers, will be targets of civil and criminal punishment ....

Third, legislation will seek to confer the rights of personhood at conception and thus redefine abortion as well as pregnancy. For example, Louisiana recently considered a bill that would confer legal rights “from the moment of fertilization.” Alabama passed a statute in 2019, which soon should take effect now that Dobbs has been decided, that defines life as beginning at conception. Such measures provide prosecutors with a new arsenal of ordinary criminal laws because abortion could be murder, and anyone who helps with an abortion could be liable as a conspirator. Further, defining life at conception means anything that endangers a fertilized egg could be an abortion, even if the embryo has not yet implanted. This change, at the level of state legislation, could sweep into a ban on certain forms of birth control and fertility services and cause risk-averse providers to refuse to prescribe women drugs that could cause miscarriage ....

Sunday, July 10, 2022


Spent my honeymoon at Yosemite. Depressing to see this :(

Saturday, July 09, 2022


UN report says climate change might be pushing more than a million species into extinction, calls for First Nations intervention

We're destroying all the other species of the earth. But, hey, not to worry: we can use all that freed-up space to house the forced human births the conservatives are imposing on women. Yep, it's all good.

Friday, July 08, 2022


Impassioned Biden signs order on abortion access

The executive order doesn't really add anything to existing oprions, and it doesn't even mention the possibility of women using military hospitals for reproductive services.

This whole topic of abortion really preys on my mind. It's almost impossible to talk to people on the other side about it because their stance seems to be based on religious doctrines. My stance probably has beliefs mixed in it too, but I try to have it make logical sense, if only to myself. Maybe that's part of being a former philosophy student.

Here's a video from Big Think of I. Glenn Cohen, a professor of bioethics at Harvard, discussing the philosophical arguments around personhood and abortion ...

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Close Your Eyes

James Taylor and Carly Simon sing You Can Close Your Eyes, 1977.

The 10 year old

Though Republicans want you to forget about her, let's recall the 10 year old rape victim who was denied an abortion in Ohio. Here is the Indiana OB-GYN doctor, Caitlin Bernard, who helped that little girl ...

Wednesday, July 06, 2022


I need a mental health break! Brooks Falls in Alaska's Katmai National Park ...

Tuesday, July 05, 2022


- the endangered gray whale

Endangered Species Act restored by federal judge after Trump-era weakening

A federal judge in California has overturned a 2019 Trump administration move to gut the landmark Endangered Species Act, vacating that administration’s changes and restoring protections for hundreds of species.

The move is a win for environmental and conservation groups and climate advocates. The restoration of the protections could also be a boon for climate groups that argue oil and gas drilling in certain areas could harm threatened wildlife ...

One of the most painful things about the Trump administration was the damage they did to animals and the environment. So glad that is being reversed.


Another mass shooting with an assault rifle, this on the 4th of July, brought to you by the Republican party.

Any sane country would ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines, and we have done it before and we would do it again, except for the Republican voters, lawmakers, and judges standing in the way.

The "pro-life" party.

Monday, July 04, 2022


Saw this in the news today: Death and Suffering: The Story Behind Ireland’s Abortion Ban and its Reversal

The abortion situation in Ireland first came to my attention when Savita Halappanavar died there in 2012. She had a miscarraige but the fetus was not expelled. The hospital refused to remove it ("This is a Catholic country") and Savita died of sepsis.

You'd think a church that had sexually and physically abused so many Irish childre, that had sold women's babies to the highest bidders at the Magdalene Laundries, would stop there, but they wanted to impose an abortion ban on Irish women as well with the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign. It resulted in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. The law they crafted made the right to life of the fetus equal to the right to life of the mother.

It took 35 years, but the ban was finally overturned by a referendum in 2018 that passed with a 2/3 majority (Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism ...

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Justices on the Supreme Court who voted to overturn Roe were all raised Catholic (Anti-Roe justices a part of Catholicism’s conservative wing).

I hope it doesn't take us 35 years to get back women's constitutional right to full reproductive care.

Sunday, July 03, 2022

10 yeas old

10-year-old rape victim forced to travel from Ohio to Indiana for abortion

This ten year old child, a vicrim of rape, was denied an abortion in her own state but was able to travel to another state for an abortion.

But if Republicans get majorities in Congress after the mid-terms, they will vote for a federal ban of abortion in all states, and the next raped child will be forced to carry her attacker's fetus.

Welcome to the God conservative extremists worship. He cares more about embryos and fetuses than he does about actual children, or, well, anyone.

This used to be the thing you would read about happening in some benighted Catholic-dominated country like Brazil or Ireland .... now they have more humane laws, and *we* are the ones living in a throwback theocracy.

Saturday, July 02, 2022


- Bowie & Frampton

OK, I'm going to admit it before all the world ... I did and still do like Peter Frampton :) And I am not alone ...

Friday, July 01, 2022

Expand the Court

Expand the Court while we still have something left to save!

Crazy On You

God, the neighbors are already starting with the fireworks. Poor outdoor cats. Inside, Yoda is worried and Vicky is hiding under the bed. Need some music to drown out the noise. Heart, on TopPop ... ...