876 Comments

So here is my suggestion: since women cannot be sued if they seek an abortion but anyone around them can, sue every male over the age of puberty--especially every male member (I use that term advisedly) in the state legislature and TX administration that voted in favor of these laws--as abetting the potential for women to have abortions by the fact that they are the only half of the species that can impregnate women. If these fuckers (and no: I cannot this morning moderate my language) are going to have sex with women, then they should be sued for potentially encouraging women to have abortions.

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'A class action suit has been filed by the country's Lysistrata Movement against Texas Male member legislators and Male member administrative staff 'fuckers' who voted, supported and or funded anti-democratic laws passed in the state. Linda Mitchell and Ellie Kona are the brilliant masterminds behind this startling new campaign against America's Dystopia.' (ANONYMOUS source)

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We should just have a 'Dick tax' to fund all abortions.

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Oh, Stephen, thank you for the much needed laughter!!

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So funny, and even more so, coming from a guy! Almost made my blinding headache go away.

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I know. It was so brilliant that a Stephen, a man (assumption) made that suggestion!!

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You mean, not a Richard?!?

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HAHAHA! I have a friend named Dick and the only time he uses "Richard" is at a restaurant or where they might call his name across a crowd, loudly. I think, in this day and age, I would change my name to Rich or Ritchie.

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'Manchin calls on Democrats to ‘pause’ and cut their $3.5 trillion spending plan, dealing potential blow to Biden agenda' (Washington Post)

OK, Stephen from Sunny Seattle and all subscribers, WHAT DO WE DO TO JOE?

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I am more sanguine about Senator Manchin than are many of you. He was governor of WV then senator in a state that voted 70% for Trump. He is slow stepping some of the more rambunctious proposed Democratic initiatives. On voting rights, he stated that the stronger bill had no chance, but supported the John Lewis bill. I think that his intention to whittle down the $3.5 trillion (over ten years) human infrastructure bill reflects some moderate realization. I wonder, when push comes to shove, whether he would nibble at the filibuster to get a moderate voting bill. Remember, it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.

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Keith, I cannot wait until it's over.

National voting rights legislation is the first and most urgent priority for citizens who support democratic principles. The speed with which bills have been passed in states dominated by Republican legislatures, which reduce access to voting by minorities, while making it easy to subvert elections couldn't be more threatening to our election process. The need to pass effective national legislation to counteract this abuse is not political. What the Republicans are doing, however, is a power grab.

You may know a great deal about this issue, nevertheless, I encourage you to pursue information on this subject from The Brennan Center for Justice. I am providing a link below. If you would like me you send you a few articles from reputable sources, please let me know. I would also appreciate hearing from you again about this matter.

'The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to presidential power in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution – part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group – the Brennan Center combines scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector.

At this critical moment, the Brennan Center is dedicated to protecting the rule of law and the values of Constitutional democracy. We focus on voting rights, campaign finance reform, ending mass incarceration, and preserving our liberties while also maintaining our national security. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

https://www.brennancenter.org/

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Thank you! Given the current sociopolitical climate crisis, I hope and pray your efforts pay off.

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Keith, is Manchin slow stepping a wise strategy, though? You have experience and insight far beyond me, however, is tiptoeing through the minefield of US politics and decision making the best option for the country at this time?

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Darian It’s a long game, with November, 2022 a plausible deadline. I’m not sure of anything. Still, Senator Manchin still is capable of fourth quarter semi-heroics. I have hope, but no certainty.

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Why am I not shocked? I'm so deflated by everything that has happened this week that I'm currently unable to come up with anything clever or funny to say, and if I suggest bodily harm, I'll be barred from comments. Maybe later. Stephen?

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There is a time for humour, there is a time for hunkering down in the trenches and doing research, there is a time for action. Most of my time is spent in the trenches.

Lincoln's Bible is on fire today.

https://twitter.com/LincolnsBible/status/1433773254246690823

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Wow, Stephen, you delivered! Quite an impressive lineup, and you have talked me off the ledge. There are some really heavy hitters prepared to do battle, so maybe we're not doomed to fail after all. Thanks for this.

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Yes. 😆

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No Sexin' for Texans!

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My sister came up with an idea for a t-shirt/sticker: TEXANS ❤️ RAPISTS!

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Women in Texas need to revolt and according to Texas law arm themselves if anyone tries to attack them. Texas wants women under their thumb, work full time to help support a family, and barefoot, pregnant and chained to the kitchen sink. It's not the 1950s anymore. If women refused sex, real men would care and help reverse this law.

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Our own Linda Mitchen and Ellie Kona!! Hooorayyy! How can we support this?!!

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Oops- sorry, Linda Mitchell! Seriously, can we submit class actions suits? Women are protected federally, I thought. It is hard for me to not think of a large posse for America's democracy right now.

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Poor Linda. Too much Manchin on the mind. Unless the morph works for Linda to set Joe straight!

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I know, cross between Mitch and Manchin. A THOUSAND apologies to dear Linda!

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Fantastic. As I said….DO NOT devalue, demote, disenfranchise, or deregulate a woman’s worth.

Good morning, Fern.

We’ve made it to our own war room to give our piece about peace.

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Hi ya, pal, We've got many miles to go. Roe v Wade will be decided by the un Supreme Court when the following case is decided:

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The Court granted certiorari to the petition on May 17, 2021, limiting the case to the single question "Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional." The case is expected to be heard during the 2021–22 term.

TC is providing us with some current material for a seminar for what is in front of us re democracy. We've got the highest mountain to climb. The seeds of this began decades ago.

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Sorry Fern, Roe v. Wade is dead, we’re just waiting for the Republican SCOTUS to write the obituary. Mitch McConnell won. The Supreme Court does not represent America, it’s a partisan, Christian fascist tribunal.

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JR, It is easy to write an obituary. If you must, please wait to send me another when it is factual. I don't write this an an optimist, because that is not my flavor. If you read my comments, they are generally informative, encouraging and I hope spirited.

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It’s not easy for me to write an obituary. It’s also not helpful to pretend a flat-lined patient is going to recover. Roe v. Wade died last night. It went into the ICU in2016 when McConnell quashed the Garland nomination. It went critical when Kavanaugh and Bryant were crammed down our throats. The plug was pulled last night, when the Christian Taliban majority on the court endorsed the Texas abortion bounty law. It’s over. Abortion is now, or soon will be, illegal in 3/4s of the US. Now what do we do, is the question.

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I replied to you with two links concerning information, which may be of interest. Given your rude response to me, perhaps, you didn't see the post or open it.

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I really, really wanted this to be true.

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Yes, that and the very idea that males who impregnate women without their consent can be sued for contributing to the need for abortion ...

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I LOVE that idea!

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Ayyyy, you really had me going in the first line! Thank you, Fern, for a welcome laugh in dark days of rage.

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Best comment I've read in a looooong time!

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Old school is the new school!

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Fern, thank you for this info! Brilliant is so right!!

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How about a Texas Sex Strike. No more sex until the law is repealed.

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Yes. The Lysistrata Option. I've been advocating that since yesterday.

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Of course, it would be more effective if implemented by the wives and mistresses of TX lawmakers, but they will always be able to hop on a plane to California or New York and receive the best of care while doing some shopping.

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There is a movie from last year "Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always", which is about a young teenage woman who travels out of state to get an abortion. When she gets there, the interviewer asks her to answer questions with one of the four words of the title. Perhaps wives and mistresses of the TX lawmakers could ask the guys questions of how those guys treat them.

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There is a fine line between a courtesan and a prostitute. In this case, I bluntly suggest the latter.

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courtesans get to negotiate conditions and are better paid?

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Thanks, Sharon, I just posted the story but made the point that I couldn't remember her name. Lysistrata is a great play to see.

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I hope it is going to be produced everywhere this year, as Julius Caesar was after the Former Guy was elected. In high schools as well as on Broadway and in local theaters!

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A great Greek author wrote a play, the title of which I forget, before the alleged birth of Jesus that did just that. In the play, the men were always going to war, and the women decided to get them to stop it. The woman, whose name is the title, convinced all of the women to tell the men that they wouldn't have sex with them until they stopped warring.

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Lysistrata, by Aristophanes.

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Women in Africa did the same - and it worked.

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Gay people can have sex though.

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Sad to say, given the Republican autocratic individuals in legislatures and SCOTUS members, I can easily imagine the next law in line for Republicans across the country could well be a law to forbid artificial insemination &/or surrogacy specifically for gay couples and SCOTUS saying it's OK to discriminate against LBGTQ persons seeking those procedures, but would be OK for white "Christians".

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I approve of your verbal rage this morning. All people should be enraged. We have fought this fight before. But, our African Americans and Native Americans and other POC have never stopped having to fight. So, we are back in good company and need to zero in on the out of control white, male patriarchy right now with all of power and our votes.

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Agree, Linda. That is definitely a road and I hope the capable legal leaders of Planned Parenthood and such are on it. And moderating your language? I applaud your abandonment of moderation.

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned" is the full quotation from William Congreve's 'The Mourning Bride' (1697). Probably the fundamental message in this story is a lesson for life.”

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Women here in Portugal have mostly decided not to marry because the marriage laws are so unfavorable to them. Instead, they find a likely partner, move in, have a baby and move out. If he refuses to pay for her and her baby’s exlenses, she sues and is awarded

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…payments from his income by the courts or goes to prison. And Portuguese prison is no joke.

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Curious. You are ex-Pat? How long in Portugal. Is it as beautiful as they say?

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Portugal has always been on my travel list for some reason. Just added a real one. Brava!

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Making a woman angry after getting her pregnant could go very badly for men. <eg>

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Linda, you have spotted the problem. Lorena Bobbit had a point!

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I'm putting a Bobbit-head figurine of Abbot on my car's dashboard.

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HAHA!

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Thanks for that clever comment that put a smile on my face!

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Brava - absolutely yes!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Your suggestion to sue every male beyond puberty is delightfully clever. I wish I had thought of that.

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I'm no lawyer, but that sounds like dickhead abatement to me.

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It really is up to the women in Texas to fight for their individual rights and safety. I'm wondering if they will.

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Well, Martha, they might need help since no matter what they do they might be turned it or held at gun-point or whatever. The white cowboys of Texan have laid down the final gauntlet as has half of the corrupt Supreme Court which has castrated our democracy with this decision. Women around the world need help- but we have to start on our own soil today.

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Amen, Penelope! We women must stick together. By the way, there will be another Women's March on 10/2. Please check your local areas to attend one.

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Thanks, Marlene! I am a member of The Women's March and this time they sent me a notification, way in advance so we can plan!! Thank you so much, I will get the word out! And dust off my M95 (mask!).

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You can help them by donating to former Congresswoman Katie Hill’s "HER TIME PAC.”

And while I'm typing, It surprised me that my comment to the effect that “any woman who votes for any Republican whatsoever should have her head examined” bothered some because it didn’t include men as well and was therefore in a convoluted way, sexist. Of course, no responsible, thinking, American regardless of gender should vote for today’s Republicans but the monstrous legislation passed in Texas, which the SCOTUS is letting slide by, was specifically directed at abortions, a procedure which a woman might choose to undergo, and that is why I directed my comment to women.

In any event, a donation to "HER TIME PAC” might be helpful in supporting candidates opposed to such bad legislation. I don’t object to the fact that the candidates they support are all women.

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Thanks for the suggestion, Jack, and I see no reason to apologize for your prior comment.

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I LOVE this idea. LOVE it!

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I love you , Linda! And Ellie too! Lysistrata is my most favorite plays of all times. The only one that spoke directly to me when I was studying the Great Books.

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So be it.

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Every woman knows, and I’m old enough to remember, that anti-abortion laws do not stop abortion—they only stop SAFE abortion. Desperate women will always find ways to end their pregnancies. The challenge is not to end their own lives in the process.

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Karen, I know that personally. I watched a sister come close to death after my mother took her for an illegal abortion. My parents knew it was wrong, so they let my sister hemorrhage for a week until I came home from school one day and found her crawling to the bathroom; she couldn’t walk. I threatened my mother with taking her to the doctor myself if she didn’t come home to take her. By the time she got her to the hospital, the doctor said less than 24 hours and she would have died. 1971.

Making abortion illegal doesn’t stop it. It just kills women. And these men don’t care.

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There are so many absolutely horrid and unconscionable things at play here, Cheri, but I think that this aspect is the very worst. We must hope that these self-righteous and heartless monsters have now taken this a bridge too far and that there will be a hurricane of pushback. I am appalled and, I daresay, ashamed to be a member of the same species as these monsters. I am this morning reminded of Aristotle's words, something close to “Educating your mind without educating your heart is no education at all”

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The truth is John, there are good men everywhere and there are ignorant women everywhere. It does little good to think all women are pro-abortion rights or that all men are libertine fuckers (literally!) Ignorance is the enemy as I see it, followed closely by adherence to beliefs without logic.

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absolutamente, Hope

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I would add that, with most male "pro-life" supporters, there's a huge dose of control freak going on.

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Not sure I understand what you mean, Nancy. I'd like to. Can you explain?

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I think that many males who are pro-life actually want to control women, and use children to accomplish that. While I understand that many people are against abortion, mostly for religious reasons, for the others, the old saying "barefoot and pregnant" is their motivation.

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My mother worked the night shift in admissions at a hospital during the1940's. She had horror stories about women coming in late at night after a disastrous abortion either self-administered or done buy some back alley quack. Women are in a world of danger right now. Welcome to our Third World moral/medical/political status. Time to take to the streets until that, too, becomes illegal.

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The insensitivity of people, both men and women, to this REAL horror of our past in a so-called civilized country twists my guts, Patricia. I think that many zealots, either not alive or seriously misinformed before Roe v Wade, must not remember or simply chose to forget this aspect. How else could they wish to return us to it? It is clear that a large majority of Americans favoured access to abortion under reasonable conditions at the time of the 7-2 Roe v Wade decision in 1973, and today's polls show that support has fallen only a little since. So much for democracy. Making it illegal will not stop abortions. Children of the rich will continue to have them in safe places. Children of the poor and the poor themselves will die on coat hangers in the allies. I hate to put it so starkly, but this is how it seems to me.

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You are absolutely right. As someone else commented, this really isn't about protecting the unborn. It's about men controlling women. I appreciate your take on this and that you support the rights of woman. Men need to stand up and be counted.

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I am posting the picture on my FB page of the GOP elephant made from a coat hanger.

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I've found one on Reddit and it is as stated there, 'one of the best political cartoons I've ever seen', even if it brings tears to my eyes.

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Stephen, you’re a wonderful salve as we process through this diabolical insanity!

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I wish I could see it.

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Just Google "elephant GOP clothes hanger" and click on 'images'.

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Actually, John, you are a breath of fresh air!

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Thanks, Marlene. I TRY but it is so hard to understand what these folks are thinking and why.

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They would use your sister's situation as a "see, you deserved this." Republican false judgement is first and foremost in every decision they make.

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We already have the highest number of women that die during/from childbirth.

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Oh my God.

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The Party of Sedition the do not care about women's lives. They only care about white power.

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Exactly. This really isn’t about not killing the unborn. It’s about controlling women.

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... from what I see, the most effective way to control young females is to get them pregnant - keep them so busy trying to care for children their hands are tied, feet bound, hearts broken and minds bent beyond repair ... young people (male and female) need to know their lives and inborn talents are worth more and deserve better ....

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Possibly we’re seeing that now. The birth rate is declining. All of my young women daughters finished college, were over 30, some with graduate degrees, before having children. One with two children, the others have one each. Myself and some friends just had a discussion about how we pulled ourselves up from families with different types of abuse and now are witnessing the change in our children. I’m hoping the women of Texas will not stand for this.

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Not ALL the women of Texas clutch their pearls and let their men takeover.

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My twin daughters are over 39, are educated, compassionate and carve their own paths. I couldn’t be prouder of them - though I’d like to see them more often.

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I have two daughters in their 30's. They have both opted not to have children because they told me they think it is unfair to the child that they be born in this present society. I will be the grandparent to their animals and that's that!

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White male power.

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There are also some pretty creepy women who like that white male power. Sadists or just ignorant?

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They like that white male power because they benefit when their man benefits. More than half of white women voters voted for Trump in 2016.

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How many of these women are the “housewife”. They stay at home and are taken care of by men. The crazy neighbor I have who voted for Trump only had tiny clerical jobs her whole life and her husband didn’t even want her to work. I was always amazed at how little she knew about the real world. She preached her religion at me. She didn’t care if Trump was a sexual predator. I don’t talk to her anymore and we used to walk every morning. She was also very obsessed by money and did everything they could to avoid paying taxes. The majority of Democratic friends we have don’t look for every loophole to avoid paying taxes. They understand that’s where services and infrastructure come from. They don’t try to circumvent the laws.

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Several years ago I registered voters for the League of Women Voters. I was at an event where there were a lot of women in attendance. One of them I approached actually turned up her nose at me and replied, "Oh, I *never* vote. I leave that to my husband."

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Sadly, most republican women I know are college-educated professionals. They weren't very vocal or loud about their support of Trump but ended up voting for him anyway.

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Not really. Their "man" benefits an they get to see their man as winner for a moment (which often temporarily interrupts their mistreatment at his hands), but later will feel the reality. The reality is that they lose, their loser "man" loses (losers lose, it's a rule) and beatings (if that is the case) often resume.

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Not in 2020.

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They benefit from it until they decide that they are being dominated. Then they pay for their submissiveness.

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Stepford mentality plain and simple. Surrender self worth for subjugation.

Call to arms, Penelope. On our terms.

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Sadists, ignorant, resentful...

Take your pick, it's a mixed bag of nuts.

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Both.

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Of the same mindset. There are some pretty creepy mothers of children who engage in power struggles long into their adulthood, never ever grasping the concept of mutual respect.

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Yes, I have spent my career educating youth, cleaning up after abusive parents who should never had had kids, taking them in as foster children and one adoption. And I have seen plenty in my therapy of people dealing with mental health, substance abuse and self-esteem issues due to parents—who should not have been.

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"...cleaning up after abusive parents who should never had had kids" (cough cough Stephen Miller cough cough)

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In a large part it matters how they are treated by their caregivers as their egos are developing in the earliest years. Neural pathways in the brain.

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White Christian male power (particularly for the wealthy and affluent)

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... including an endless supply of babies and children with no homes or parents to protect them ... to satiate the boundless appetite for "fresh meat" - the younger and fresher the better ... sick, sick sh!t ....

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And for those of us who have been foster parents and worked with adopted kids...the costs of unwanted children on a society are immense., more so on the children themselves who will need food, shelter, clothing, mental health support, hospitalization, education, and most of all love. How will the fascist-leaners provide all of that when they hate socialism and socialist democracies?

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The focus is on getting a fetus to taking its first breath. After that, who cares? Our society demonstrates this daily.

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Would these anti-maskers, pro-lifers wear a mask to protect a newly breathing baby during a global epidemic?

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Nope!

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They won't see a need to provide all of that, Penelope ... in their sadistic, malicious playbook, such youngsters will submit to the rapist agenda, or be farmed out to global "big box" markets, or die. I'm working to uphold a creative outlook, so won't even start to paint the verrry ugly picture of what that agenda could be ... thanks to you for outspoken concern and willingness to help those in need ... blessings, strength and perseverence to you ....

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Many thanks for your words and strength and roundedness to all of us as we persevere.

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That was supposed to be "groundedness!" But I have grown slightly rounder in the past six years due to stress.

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They gladly won't provide anything if they can help-they want brainless drones.

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Appears they have done a great job cultivating them. Geeze, the Matrix has nothing on the Party of Sedition.

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I am encouraged to read your characterization of "sick, sick sh!t ....".

Remain clear-eyed about what's going on and survive.

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Thank you Daniel.

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White male power.

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A desperate girl when my kids were in high school threatened her boyfriend she would tell his parents she was pregnant if he didn’t help her. We’ll never know what help she wanted because he killed her! It was so extremely awful! My daughter knew the boyfriend through his previous girlfriend. The previous girlfriend wouldn’t give into him and he dumped her. Literally dodging that bullet! Texas. It’s just scary for women!

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Hope he is or was in jail. And guess what—his parents found out, didn’t they?

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So true. Affluent Texas women will get their abortions safely while on expensive vacations. Poor women will find some way to do what their survival requires. And it will be a lot less safe.

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This is a pretty ingenious law. They had better not get a ride to the airport for that expensive vacation. Even from an Uber. And had better hope their husband or lover is on board with the Expensive Vacation.

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Before I was born, my mom was forced to submit to a back street coat hanger style abortion. She damn near bled to death. This is at the heart of my advocacy for women’s rights to choose.

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Correct! Safe and legal a abortion is the issue. I am old enough to remember women dying from self induced abortion and, those with resources having "appendicitis" to hide an illegal abortion before passage of abortion rights legislation in NYS followed by Roe vs. Wade in the 1970's. Poor women and those without resources always suffer the greatest burden.

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My mom had an abortion, when married to dad (a mutual decision) in a hotel with a nurse. Thankfully all turned out well.

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Those laws only legally stop abortions for women who can’t afford them. Well-to-do women can afford to check into a hospital and have a D+C (dilation and curitage). Has always been this way.

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Yes. Poor people will suffer most. And this makes absolutely no sense in a state where white men fear the rising population of anyone unlike themselves.

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Please think again about the difficulties of doing this without incriminating anyone else—or giving them an opportunity for bounty hunting. Including Uber drivers.

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I'm seeing (in my mind) a rise in home abortion kits, with full technology thrown at it. Cameras on goosenecks, suction machines, YouTube videos, etc.

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New Orleans, 1968. A girl I was having sex with got pregnant. We were great in bed but not compatible as life partners, yet the only option then and there was I said we could get married. She knew better and disappeared for a week and was no longer pregnant. IDK if she went to New York (an option back then) or if our mutual pharmacist friend (who was also a candidate for father) helped her end it, but that is now the State of Texass.

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Rob, "A girl I was having sex with got pregnant" almost sounds as if you had nothing to do with it and some bad juju happened to her. How about "I got a girl pregnant" or "A girl and I started a pregnancy" or "I impregnated a girl". I don't think you meant to divorce yourself from your part in the pregnancy, but see how important semantics are? This underlying dissociation of men from the process is part of the problem!

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Maybe you missed the part about the pharmacist who was a candidate for fatherhood. He introduced me to her and like everyone of those years he was having sex with her before I met her (and possibly while we were dating). So, I stand by the FACTS of the situation as stated. Explicitly, a girl I was having sex with got pregnant and I MAY have caused it.

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Well, we know that Governor Abbott cares about women's health, don't we?

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Well, I guess there are 2 things that have to be done right now. Firstly, the Supreme Court needs to have 4 new members tomorrow to overturn this "originalist" majority and it must go back to its "original", less intrusive, constitutional role. Secondly the Filibuster must go for being the anti-democratic rule that it is.....a majority decides and that means 50%+1...;so that this country can be saved from its own worst instincts. This can not be allowed to take any time to put in place. Heavan and earth must be moved.

There is no time to waste now as there is only one year left for the little democracy that we now know. Otherwise we are back not only to "full Jim Crow" but also to systematic repression of all and sundry not agreeing with the new GOP fascist dictators....and not rich! At this rate, inaction by the SCOTUS is treasonable action but inaction by the Democrats is also treason....a betrayal of the trust of the People and the interests of the Nation. I trust that those saying that one should obey the rules to show a good example to those breaking the rules .....and be "nice"...can now see where that leads. The road to hell.......

Vigilantism marks the end of the rule of law...and with the Supreme Court's "silent" approval. It has been used in the past to kill Native Americans (The founding philosophy of the Texas Rangers et al). It has been used to kill blacks in the slave states and beyond. Tomorrow it will be used to kill you. A call to action!

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Yeah like didn’t Texas have a zillion gun deaths before this law? I love Biden but getting more SupremeCourt judges is no simple solution. I had a trip to Provence all set for the end of this month. Had to cancel it all because of The EU’s reaction to the US Covid numbers. Remember when the title The Ugly American was popular— guess what? Now I would add Stupid to the moniker.

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Liz there is a phrase I use (and I think I have posted here, and not my original phrase) - You can medicate crazy but you can’t fix stupid. And this is what we live with - the ignorance of the GOP and their followers. 10+ years back I remember being called a “bleeding heart liberal”because I support programs that lift individuals but my response was always - at least I have a heart. The GOP lacks a heart, brain, and balls . . .I mean courage. The Texas Taliban indeed.

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Amen Laurie— down with the a—holes!

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I was just in Provence at the end of July (it was HOT!). Didn’t realize it was a small window to travel but glad I got the chance when I did.

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Good for you— I’m tres disappointed but still hoe for next year

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Ugly, stupid, selfish, self-destructive.

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So Stuart, I agree with you, but being here in the US, with each state having its own issues that its citizens need to pay very close attention to, it is hard to know what legislative evils are being concocted in other areas of the US. Texas, for some reason, is particularly bad right now, but there are other states trying to follow closely in those footsteps. As just one person, I don't have the money to add to every fight, and since I still work, I don't have extra time to try to ferret these things out. When "polls" show that a majority of the citizenry in a state do not agree with a new law going into place, why is it being allowed to pass and be signed into law? Maybe that is a question we should start working on an answer to..that and so many other things. The far-right Republican rise is foreshadowing much evil in this country, and I am fearful for my grandchildren.

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It's happening because we give our elected politicians too much "discretionary" power. They have to be put on a "referendum leash" .

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And then look at what's happening in California. A recall that may succeed in putting a Republican in the Governor's chair with a tiny minority. Talk about upside down political mechanisms!!

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A legal obligation to vote goes with the package. The people then decide.

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A legal obligation to show up and turn in a ballot, even a blank one (as a sort of protest) if you really cannot choose the lesser evil.

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And a legal obligation to allow all the people to do it.

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This "legal obligation" is a fantasy, right?

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Not following your response - please claify

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The only current worry of the Dems in California is that people will not be bothered to turn out...not taking their responsibilty might allow a minority GOP candidate to slip through.

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I'm a New Yorker, but I Love California too. Oh. My. God. If that nincompoop Elder gets the governorship, I won't know whether to sh*t or go crazy. It would be unimaginable in a sane universe for that to be possible. And yet, here we are.

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Tell me about it! Can't stand Elder! Gavin isn't perfect but by God, he has navigated us through Covid rather beautifully. If we had Elder, we all would be sick as dogs! NO on the Recall!

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Not just "a Republican" but someone with absolutely no experience and many holding extreme right-wing beliefs. Some are plain bizarre. I just saw, on the morning local news, that of the number of mail ballots returned, more than twice the number of Democrats than Republicans have voted to date. Still almost 2 weeks to final vote, September 14. We'll see. https://ktla.com/news/california/recall-election-ballots-returned-so-far-show-that-more-than-twice-as-many-democrats-have-voted-than-republicans/

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"Among the list of 47 candidates, an ABC 10News/Survey USA poll from early August showed six candidates are among the lead by voters polled: Democrat Kevin Paffrath (27%) and Republicans Larry Elder (23%), John Cox (10%), Kevin Faulconer (5%), Caitlyn Jenner (4%), and Kevin Kiley (3%).

Here's a look at these candidates and their arguments for why they should be the next governor of California." https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/your-voice-your-vote/california-recall-election-a-look-at-the-frontrunners

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Yes, Ned, totally insane. Only in America, land of masochists.

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It happens because elected Republicans do their own will, not the will of the people who elected them. They join the club and are radicalized to do the will of the party instead of what their constituents elected them to do.

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Hi Stuart. I agree referendums have their uses, but the devil is in the details of how they are... regulated, for lack of a better word. I worry when a loud but small minority of voters can get something on the ballot which is unclear or dishonestly formulated or financed by big money sources hiding in the shadows, or simply not thought through sufficiently. Also, how many people must vote for a referendum for the result to be considered legal? How many voters are a quorum? Should there be a simple majority to pass it or two thirds or what? How is the result translated into enforceable law and who does that? (The Congress that couldn't pass the legislation the people needed?) Are referendum results subject to judicial review? How soon after a referendum becomes law can there be a "counter" referendum. Can a referendum change the Constitution in addition to changing laws?

Here in Italy there are sometimes referendums that fail because not enough people show up to vote, or because the parliament ignores them and they never become law. Also, the highest court here can disqualify referendums it considers unconstitutional, and has done so on several occasions I can remember. Sometimes the signatures of the people and organizations proposing a referendum have been falsified.

In any case, as the Italians say, referendums can be a real "casino", which in everyday conversation means "mess", but was earlier used to refer to brothels.

I would lessen our politicians' discretionary power by amending, rewriting and otherwise updating and clarifying our amazing Constitution. At this point the risk of a Constitutional convention is certainly no worse than just letting the GOP complete its Fascist .transformation.

I guess I see no point in having representative democracy if what we really want is direct democracy.

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All very good questions which have to be addressed. I keep coming back to Switzerland who severly limit what politicians can decide for themselves and it works very well. Once you have a party that scraps the rulebook, the people have to tie them up...like a rabid dog.

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Totally.

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The people need to take back that power by requiring laws to be voted on by the people. If they want less government let’s give them less. Take away the gerrymandering local state legislatures and let the people vote. Even at the federal level, require the people to vote on infrastructure, stimulus, voting rights, etc. and remove all the voting roadblocks.

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Amen. What action can we take? It is outrageous, plus as you say, there are so many things going down the drain it is difficult to know where to direct our actions.

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When HCR sounds pessimistic, you know things are bad. TC in LA and others have been quite open about the current dangers. Democrats will fail as every progressive group or government has in the past when faced with a determined fascist opponent. They argue among themselves instead of facing the real problem. They allowed Lenin to come to power in 1917 and Hitler in 1933. O'Toole and the CPC in Canada in 2021, and Trump/DeSantis/Hawley in 2024. Ukraine seems like not a bad place to live.

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Similar tendencies here too.

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All against all. Nasty, brutish, and short. I'm glad I am old. I worry about my kids and grandkids. Moderates may not live long enough to worry about global warming killing them directly.

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Many moderates have already been killed directly by climate change, along with people of other political persuasions. In floods and fires, from heat stroke etc.

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You are right about that. There just haven't been too many killed for being moderates...yet. And we haven't even begun to see shooting wars over resources like water. I guess places like Syria were triggered by drought driving rural people into urban centres. Whiskey's for drinkin', Water's for fightin' over.

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"And we haven't even begun to see shooting wars over resources like water."

That's for sure. Water is the most primal human need for survival, and we disrespect and abuse it at every turn. There are already serious problems in the U.S. with drought. And polluted water is a problem throughout the country--whether it be from toxic dumps of factory chemicals or from rusted out toxic storage dumps or intentional dumps of toxic chemicals or mercury from coal mining which has toxified so many natural waterways and on and on.... For example, seven years ago when 300,000 residents of Charleston, WV woke up to radio/tv warnings not to drink, bathe, shower, or cook with their water due to severe chemical pollution of the city water. Or consider the lead pollution of the water in Flint, MI. The problems of available water and polluted water are bound to get worse.

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For the last 30 years at least, Republicans have executed too very simple strategies. First, they have manufactured or adopted extreme positions with the goal of dividing and conquering. Second, they oppose, challenge, and crucify every single thing the Democrats do or say. Truth, facts, and evidence be damned!

As a result, every piece of legislation, and every executive action is carefully crafted and parsed to gain political advantage or mute potential fallout. In other words, good policymaking always takes a backseat to political repercussions. Most politicians prioritize the impact on their tenure over what's best for the country. There are literally tens of thousands of examples of this having occurred, especially in the last 30 years. This is the primary reason why this country is ungovernable and why democracy is fundamentally extinct.

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Seems as though crystal clarity comes from the outside looking in! (Paris France) We have so many answers to our own country’s atrocities, but where’s the action? How is it that these unfair inhumane laws get put into action? How is it that Republicans can get away with voting Against the will of the majority of their constituents? I am flabbergasted!

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They’ve been on this mission for awhile. Citizen’s United. Gerrymandering. Packing the courts. It takes evil to see evil. Until it’s impossible to not see it.

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Yes, this has been a plan being set up since Reagan's days.

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In full view of anyone who reads the news.

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Right —well many of them are rich aided by dark money and they’re focused on keeping power. Life is easier because they don’t care about much else.

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Still, they should not be able to mess with our voting rights. They should be the most protected thing we have in a democratic republic.

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In reply to Penelope:

They should be.

But they are not!

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The Texas Dems were heroic when they left the state twice to prevent quorum when their voter suppression legislation came up. Where were they when this draconian anti-abortion law was on the table? Where was the media?

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The media was busy berating Biden for leaving Afghanistan.

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Press critic Eric Boehlert tells us everything we need to know about the media's stunning dereliction of duty.

https://pressrun.media/p/afghan-obsession-how-the-press-missed

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Yes, this about the media's definitely stunning dereliction of duty re Texas SB 8. But why were the Texas Dem legislators not sounding the alarm??? When this bill was being proposed, BEFORE it passed???

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Hardly surprising that after a Trump administration Mafia tactics involving media-assisted diversions and shyster lawyers with a perfect sense of opportunistic timing should become par for the course, as throughout the conman’s entire career.

Mob lawyers always strike during vacation time or when some incident (planned or seized upon) has distracted attention.

As for the media, when it’s not Rupert Moloch et al conducting a propaganda jamboree (sticking needles into a Biden effigy) they’re aiding and abetting crime by, at best, sleeping through it, at worst turning a blind eye to it. And there’s nothing like the profit motive to drug both writers and readers into ignoring real issues.

And now, the highest court in the land acting in concert with Texan shysters.

Someone proposed a “dick tax”. How about compulsory insurance for both guns… and dicks? On the lines of insurance for driving motor vehicles… Higher premiums in Texas to pay for paternity… or bounty hunters.

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Don't be surprised by SCOTUS-the Federalist Society which primes them, takes Dark money and has for years. Please read this piece by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI): https://medium.com/senator-sheldon-whitehouse/the-third-federalist-society-f8a3ff2e19fd

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I just wanted to add that my thanks to you, Barbara, for providing this treasure trove of information, somehow got lost when I drafted my reply, and I can't thank you enough.

On reviewing the information, what strikes me forcefully is the deeply self-destructive character of all this cart-before-horse activity.

Essentially, the enterprise is grounded in narcissistic perversion, but it is interesting how the beautiful abstraction of the closed legal mind can lend itself to such adventures in the undermining of justice and the real subversion of society.

The mind in question has no doors and no windows. In their place, marvelous representations of an ideal reality -- ideal from the point of view of the all-powerful.

[Like Benozzo Gozzoli's gorgeous frescoes on the walls of the Medici Palace in Florence...]

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It is a pity that this veritable goldmine of information should be buried in an obscure corner of HCR’s thread, in answer to a lackluster and rather snide comment of mine. It should be broadcast from the rooftops.

Of course, we still don’t know who owns us, but we’re getting warmer…

When I say “us”, I am of course referring here to the citizens of the United States (if such a term may be used for nonentities destined for serfdom). I fear, however, that in my own country, Britain, it may be even more difficult to trace dark money, including that provided by Putin’s people.

Perhaps the Supreme Court and courts of law throughout America should be offered copies of Flemish painter Gerard David’s horrific paintings, The Judgment of Cambyses and The Flaying of Sisamnes.

http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/a/corruption/judgment-of-cambyses-flaying-of-sisamnes.pdf

Note the appendix to this item, about reproductions of these paintings being sent to Russian judges… In that country, the judiciary is simply an arm of the corrupt executive. Like the “courts” of Vyshinsky in Moscow and Freisler in Berlin…

Plainly, our owners intend the US to become a pure oligarchy, like Russia today (except that no ruler since Ivan the Terrible has both controlled and owned as much of the country as the current Tsar). Maybe I was not so mistaken in expecting both regimes to develop a Tweedledum and Tweedledee relationship…

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To further the expansion of slavery, we fought the Mexican War in 1848, giving Texas its independence and ultimately statehood. It's time to give Texas back to Mexico, from whom we stole it, if they will take it back. If not, we can throw in Mississippi and Alabama as sweeteners to the deal.

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I agree. It seems that if we don't act NOW, we will lose the opportunity to save our democracy.

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I think we can use Afghanistan's collapse as an example: democracy fails if we don't fight for it.

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Well said Stuart! A time to action!

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Sing it, Brother! Absolutely on target.

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What do you think are the chances of the Democrats rising to the occasion? I’m not optimistic. May be time to get serious about supporting antifa.

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