Sunday: Hili dialogue

June 26, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Sunday, June 26, 2022: National Chocolate Pudding Day, a dessert ineluctably connected with Bill Cosby, who used to advertise it for Jello-O. One ad (takes on a whole different cast now, doesn’t it?)

It’s also International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking,World Refrigeration Day , International Day in Support of Victims of Torture,and Ratcatcher’s Day (in Hamelin, Germany).  The last holiday is in honor of the apocryphal tale of The Pied Piper of Hamlin, a tale that dates back to the Middle Ages (in German it’s der Rattenfänger von Hameln).

Here’s a postcard from 1902 featuring the legend. I won’t translate the whole thing, but the big words say “Greetings from Hamelin”. 

Wine of the Day: AT $40, this is a pricey bugger, and I drank it only because I ran out of cheaper white wines at home. But it was serendipitous as this Vouvray (100% chenin blanc) turned out to be fabulous. I always tell people who are tired of chardonnay to try chenin blanc or good sauvignon blanc, and this is a great specimen of the former. I paired it with a foot-long sandwich of young goat cheese and sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil–a great sandwich and a great pairing.

I’m not good at describing flavors, but this highly rated wine smelled to me like pears nestled in a bed of hay, with a bit of minerals. Is that pretentious enough? In fact, I’ve never smelled a wine like it before. I drink my share of Chenin Blanc, but never had a pedigreed high-class one from Vouvray, especially from the Le Mont vineyard. It was off-dry, a light straw color and lasted well until the next day. I have no idea how it will age, but it’s drinking wonderfully now. I was unable to find online reviews of this specific wine.

Stuff that happened on June 26 includes:

As you may know, Richard’s body was found in 2012 in a car park in Leicester and identified by morphology and later by DNA. Here’s his skeleton in situ:

  • 1541 – Francisco Pizarro is assassinated in Lima by the son of his former companion and later antagonist, Diego de Almagro the younger. Almagro is later caught and executed.

Curiously, Pizarro is buried in the Cathedral of Lima; I’ve seen his tomb though the picture below is from Wikipedia:

  • 1843 – Treaty of Nanking comes into effect, Hong Kong Island is ceded to the British “in perpetuity”.
  • 1886 – Henri Moissan isolated elemental Fluorine for the first time.

Here’s a photo from Wikipedia labeled “Moissan trying to create synthetic diamonds using an electric arc furnace”. He actually succeeded! But he got the Nobel for fluorine.

The Yanks marching past Buckingham Palace in 1917:

He was a very bad man. Here he is with Stalin and Stalin’s daughter Svetlana on his lap. He kidnapped and raped dozens of women, and ordered the death of many people. Eventually he was tried and shot:

Here’s a video showing the victory by Johansson. (Warning: boxing!):

  • 1974 – The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
  • 1977 – Elvis Presley held his final concert in Indianapolis, Indiana at Market Square Arena.
  • 1997 – J. K. Rowling publishes the first of her Harry Potter novel series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in United Kingdom.

The rest is history. Below is a photo from Wikipedia labeled: “A California bookshop five minutes before Deathly Hallows was released.” It must be nice having that kind of public, with kids showing up at midnight.  I admire Rowling’s courage in standing up against the excesses of trans activism; she’s neither a TERF nor a transphobe:

Here’s the full announcement at the White House with President Clinton, Francis Collins, and Craig Ventner. It’s long (40 min), so you don’t have to watch the whole thing. Tony Blair appears by satellite video at about 10:30.

And it’s the anniversary of three good Supreme Court rulings:

  • 2003 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
  • 2013 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • 2015 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Ah, those were the days of the (narrowly) liberal Supreme Court. The 2015 ruling was in Obergefell v. Hodges, and, despite Clarence Thomas’s dissent yesterday, I don’t think same-sex marriage is in danger.

This is a great photo showing plaintiff Jim Obergefell (center, holding green folder) and attorney Al Gerhardstein (left) reacting to the decision. Obergefell had married another man in Ohio but the case got started when the state wouldn’t recognize the marriage:

Da Nooz:

It’s really almost too depressing to looks at da nooz. Here’s yesterday evening’s banner headline from the NYT (click to read):

Across the United States, doctors immediately halted procedures and canceled scheduled weekend appointments, even as patients were sitting in waiting rooms at abortion clinics. Women scrambled to face the new legal reality, abruptly making plans to cross state lines into places where abortion was still allowed — traveling from Missouri to Illinois, from Wisconsin to Minnesota.

Americans said they were steeling themselves for a fight in the wake of the court’s decision, whether that meant pushing for still more restrictions on abortion, or working to elect politicians in the midterm elections who favor abortion rights.

“I fear for my child. I worry that she isn’t going to have choice,” said Abbye Putterman, 36, who stood outside an abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kan., on Saturday and spoke of the impact the decision could have on her 12-year-old daughter. “I feel like a whole bunch of white men are trying to decide what my daughter should do. Those men don’t know anything about what it’s like to carry a child — what pregnancy does to your body.”

The NYT has a series of maps, beginning with how far a person had to drive to reach an abortion clinic under Roe v. Wade. White is 50 miles or less, dark purple is 400 mile or more.  (The map on the front page is also animated.)

Within a few weeks, the map will look like this. And look at south Texas for chrissake!

Somebody asked me today what we’re going to do about this. My answer was that we live in Illinois, where abortion is legal, and the only other thing we can do is lobby Congress to pass legislation that would legalize abortion on a national scale, and that ain’t gonna happen.

Last night’s NBC Evening News had a short interview with a Planned Parenthood official in a clinic, and she recounted, almost in tears, that she had to go into the waiting room and tell women that they were not going to get their abortions. I imagine the pro-lifers would be jubilant at that. It makes me ill.

*The Washington Post has a story about what happened in a Women’s Reproductive Services Clinic in Houston, Texas:

The phones started ringing, as they always did, moments after Houston Women’s Reproductive Services opened for business at 9 a.m. on Friday — with patients in need of abortions calling to secure a spot on the schedule.

Then, 12 minutes later, it all came to a stop. The Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Can we still do abortions today?” asked patient advocate Marjorie Eisen, thinking about the 20 women they had booked for appointments.

Several were already in the waiting room, scrolling through their phones as they waited.

“No,” said Kathy Kleinfeld,a co-owner of the clinic. “We’re done.”

A silence settled over the staff as they reckoned with the stunning news — and what it would mean for the patients they served every day.

The cartoon below appeared in a post here a decade ago. It’s a powerful image by artist Clay Bennett.  One image summing up the GOP platform, and even truer now than in 2012:

*On the science front, the AP reports the discovery of the word’s largest bacterium:

Olivier Gros, a co-author and biologist at the University of the French West Indies and Guiana, found the first example of this bacterium — named Thiomargarita magnifica, or “magnificent sulfur pearl” — clinging to sunken mangrove leaves in the archipelago of Guadeloupe in 2009.

But he didn’t immediately know it was a bacterium because of its surprisingly large size — these bacteria, on average, reach a length of a third of an inch (0.9 centimeters). Only later genetic analysis revealed the organism to be a single bacterial cell.

“It’s an amazing discovery,” said Petra Levin, a microbiologist at Washington University in St Louis, who was not involved in the study. “It opens up the question of how many of these giant bacteria are out there — and reminds us we should never, ever underestimate bacteria.”

Do not underestimate bacteria! Now how big is it?

Most bacteria are microscopic, but this one is so big it can be seen with the naked eye.

The thin white filament, approximately the size of a human eyelash, is “by far the largest bacterium known to date,” said Jean-Marie Volland, a marine biologist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of a paper announcing the discovery Thursday in the journal Science.


(Partial from AP): This microscope photo provided by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in June 2022 shows thin strands of Thiomargarita magnifica bacteria cells next to a U.S. dime coin. A team of researchers at the Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the Laboratory for Research in Complex Systems (LRC), and the Université des Antilles, characterized the bacterium composed of a single cell that is 5,000 times larger than other bacteria. (Tomas Tyml/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory via AP)

This is apparently a whole bacterium, though it looks like it’s dividing:

Part of a Thiomargarita magnifica bacteria cell. (Olivier Gros/Université des Antilles via AP)

*Things aren’t going well in Ukraine as the Russians cement their gains in the eastern part of the country and are beginning to fire missiles on the west. The Associated Press reports:

Russian forces were seeking to swallow up the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the eastern Luhansk region, while pressing their momentum following the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the charred ruins of Sievierodonetsk. The military said Saturday that Moscow-backed separatists were now in full control of the chemical plant that was the last Ukrainian holdout in the city.

Russia also launched dozens of missiles on several areas across the country far from the heart of the eastern battles. Some of the missiles were fired from Russian long-range Tu-22 bombers deployed from Belarus for the first time, Ukraine’s air command said.

The bombardment preceded a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, during which Putin announced that Russia planned to send the Iskander-M missile system to Belarus.

*I have a gazillion airline miles on American, United, and Southwest, but I never use them because redeeming them is not at all straightforward. But I need to use them. If you’re in my situation, the Wall Street Journal has a useful article called “8 tips for making the most of your airline miles.” It’s pretty depressing, especially this part (emphasis is mine):

Get a sense of what your mileage balance is worth. That’s harder now that most airlines have stopped publishing fixed award charts, moving to a “dynamic” model with ever-changing redemption levels. Depending on whom you ask, your miles are worth at least a penny or two each, maybe more. “It all depends on how you redeem them,“ said Mr. Leff. Airlines also have added fees to many of these “free” award tickets, making the calculation even more difficult to nail down. If you’ve got miles banked in a specific airline program, check out what your carrier offers in the way of tools to help simplify the process. United Airlines has added mileage-award searches to its interactive route map; American Airlines has a “Miles Finder” map.

There are also “points concierges” who, for a fee, will help you make the best use of your points.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign:

A: May I make up the bed?
Hili: There is no need to.
In Polish:
Ja: Czy mogę posłać łóżko?
Hili: Nie ma powodu.


From Divy:

From Charles: a cookie in honor (?) of yesterday’s overturning of Roe v. Wade:

Kudos to the cartoonist, but I can’t make out his/her name. Readers?

If commentator Van Jones is anything, he’s a liberal who works hard for social justice. But he’s not keen on promulgating nonsense.  Here he talks about the schism among Democrats.

One I found from The Onion:

And Simon sent this tweet of The Onion‘s front page. It’s funny and sad:

Along those lines. . . see second tweet (I’m not worried too much about Thomas’s stupid addition to the decision):

From Satan (second tweet):

From Simon, whose 21-year-old moggie had to be put down this week. This video is cheerier, and I might have shown it before. If you know what the duck is, let me know. Condolences to Simon.

From Richard Dawkins. This remarkable coincidence might be called the “Misanthropic Principle”:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: A survivor’s words on his 96th birthday:

Tweets from the famous Professor Cobb. He’s starting writing the text of his bio of Francis Crick, and has hit the point, which I know well, when everything sounds like crap. The answer is that the writing gets fun when you’re on about the 12th draft. I’m sure the book will be excellent.

I really haven’t followed the theological position of Jews on abortion (there are so many sects!), but this big group seems pro-choice:

Retweeted by Bette Midler:

43 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. > dark purple is 400 mile or more.

    Wow, that reminds me of the map of Europe of how far people have to travel to have access to legal and destigmatized suicide. Some people in Switzerland initially complained about ‘suicide tourism’, people travelling there to carry our their final wishes, but most people in Switzerland seem to be content to be a destination now. It’s the other pro-choice battle people don’t acknowledge; imagine seeing a new 911-style phone number for people considering having an abortion. *sigh*

    1. Thanks for posting the link. I have not seen his work before. I was particularly moved by the one with the little girl tying her shoes. No caption. None needed.

  2. I hope this SC decision will be the event turning things around in the US. I cannot think of a better way to galvanise the Democratic voters to drag their complacent bodies to the polling station. And the shocking January 6 hearings, of course.
    I hope the new House will have an overwhelming majority in favour of women’s health, and there I would say, we have a good reason to ditch the filibuster. Note, if the blue wave materialises, it might not even be necessary to ditch the filibuster, some Republican Senators might think twice before blocking such popular legislation, they know where their bread is buttered.
    But maybe I’m way too optimistic. After all, petrol prices will remain pretty high.

  3. Montana stands out on the NYT maps as a red state maintaining reproductive rights, in a sea of red states doing the opposite. I am led to believe (but not sure – if anyone knows please chime in) that this is due to a right to privacy having been incorporated into the state constitution in the late 1970s. So, in essence, the state government can’t know what women and docs are doing. Which seems reasonable – it’s an intensely personal issue.

    If you think the gun and abortion rulings were terrible, there is still a ruling pending on the ability of the EPA to set regulations, which it seems could potentially strip the federal government of the ability to regulate just about anything.

    1. No, the government would still be regulating women’s ability to choose.

      I was there celebrating when abortion was legalized, and I’m here mourning as that right is taken away. But after 50 years, I’m hoping the Court’s ruling will be considered similar to Prohibition. When a government suddenly removes something people are used to, it feels more intrusive — and creates more resentment— than if it’s been forbidden all along.

      1. Yes Sastra, I think you’re right. However, we should not forget that the Prohibition lasted for 13 years. And it made the Mafia powerful. Only the New York Governor (Al Smith? IIRC) always opposed and defied Prohibition.

    2. OMCC (Oh My Ceiling Cat!), I thought that with the firing of Pruitt and the new administration, the EPA could be restored from the gutting. I think Biden could have done better there (well, to be honest, I don’t actually know what he did there, no news headlines), instead of pandering to the trans idiocy.
      Never thought the SC would let itself to be drawn into that, but the present SC… I have no words and we fear the worst.
      I think that the establishment of the EPA was one of the few things Nixon did absolutely right.

    3. The EPA case is about the EPA’s prerogative (assumed during the Obama presidency) to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. The plaintiffs argue that this gives the Agency the authority, which Congress did not intend, to tell the states how they may generate electricity because there is no way to reduce CO2 emissions from coal and gas (or ethanol or wood pellets) except not to burn them at all.

      The EPA’s mandate has traditionally been to compel industry to reduce incidental emissions of traditional pollutants like mercury and carbon monoxide and myriad other chemicals that are a demonstrated or possible threat to human health or, in some cases, endangered non-human species. Regulation to serve climate-change goals exceeds the Congressional mandate, say the plaintiffs. If Congress wants to prohibit burning of coal and gas for electricity, it should just do so by legislation and pay the political cost itself of the risk that weather-dependent generators will be unable to prevent blackouts.

      My disclosure for my interest in what your Supreme Court decides in this case is that (unlike for guns, God, gays, and gestation), Canada’s regulatory environment for energy tends to stay in step with that of the United States to reduce capital flight. Even though little of our electricity comes from coal and gas, our regulators still use the “CO2 is a pollutant” rubric in their efforts to extinguish our important oil-and-gas industry, used largely for transportation, space heating, and export to you. (Despite a pledge by our PM at COP26 that emissions from the sector would never rise and would fall every day after the gabfest, drilling in Alberta is up 134% this year. High gasoline prices are never worse than a mixed blessing in Canada.).

      A judicial rebuke to the EPA would send a reality check to regulators in Canada if only they are listening.

  4. Currently about 54% of abortions are done chemically. The drugs used are Mifepristone and Misoprostol to be taken in early pregnancy which can be mailed to a patients home address. It is expected that in states outlawing abortion, the use of this method will increase dramatically. The red states will undoubtedly try to restrict the method, but it’s hard to see how they could enforce laws against it.
    I think the other good news is that this may galvanize liberal voters who will throw a lot of the bums out of office who created these draconian laws.

    1. In fact, the Mifepristone and Misoprostol combination works well in later pregnancies too, probably even better. I foresee a great black market there.
      It should be noted though, that they also have some possible complications, such as retention of foetal/placental tissue. Women who use it would do well to have some medical follow-up.
      Infinitely better than coat hanger, knitting needle or douche bag though.

  5. … it’s the anniversary of three good Supreme Court rulings …

    All three of those majority opinions were written by Reagan-appointee Anthony Kennedy (who also coauthored the rare three-justice plurality opinion — along with Republican appointees Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter — affirming the right to abortion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey).

    Current justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh both clerked for Anthony Kennedy (Gorsuch becoming the first justice to sit alongside the justice he’d clerked for, and Kavanaugh replacing Kennedy on the bench). There was some feeling when Gorsuch and Kennedy were appointed that, as his former law clerks, the two might be chary to undo Kennedy’s primary legacy on the Court, but we see how that’s working out so far.

  6. Hi, Jerry. I found the following short wine review from Rebecca Gibbs at

    “Vinous Media 97
    “The pure and intriguing nose of the 2020 Le Mont Sec is fine and focused, offering a flinty, smoky note as well as white flowers, pineapple and just-ripe pear. A taut and precise style that delivers plenty of concentration yet conveys a sense of delicacy in the mouth. It has a fine, structured, lengthy finish, an element of tension holding the palate with confident grip. Unfinished sample.”~Rebecca Gibbs”

    Did you experience it like that?

    1. Well, I can’t say it in those fancy words, but I did get the pear and minerals. It really is a wine that’s hard to describe, but it’s superb. Thanks for finding the review!

      1. My pleasure! Thanks for the wonderful wine posts. It helps when I’ll looking for a special gift for family and friends. Of course some are hard to find, as I only shop at my local wine store, but they have this one!

  7. Those maps are stunning, in a negative way.
    As far as Southern Texas is concerned, what is the abortion legislation in Mexico? I think that since 2021 it is no longer a crime there, basically legalised, but I’m not sure about the details. I’m also not sure how difficult it is to get into Mexico.
    Input from someone better informed?
    Same questions for North Dakota and Michigan regarding Canada.

    1. As I said in a comment further down this page, I saw a news clip interview of doctors in a Mexican clinic who had already seen a huge rise in US patients in recent months. I guess it works though I have no idea what it costs or whether anyone has to break/ignore any laws.

    2. Abortion is available to all in Canada if you can find someone willing. Only residents get it free, of course. Entry to Canada for tourism purposes* is visa-free to American citizens, just bring your passport to get back into the U.S. An undocumented person, patient or support person, would not be able to enter Canada. There is no government prohibition on our treating foreigners as long as Canadians aren’t made to wait in line behind a foreigner flashing a wad of cash. Discrete scheduling after the clinic’s last Canadian patient would be do-able.


      Our malpractice insurance cooperative tells us it will not provide assistance—defence or damages— if we are sued by a patient who is not a resident of Canada, reason being that she would normally exercise her right to have her case heard in her home country. The only exception is for a visitor who requires emergency care while traveling or in some cases working in Canada. Traveling to Canada to obtain care explicitly does not meet this exception. So in practice Canadian doctors would not offer to do abortions on foreign patients as the medical-legal consequences could be ruinous.

      That’s likely why our PM’s denunciation of your Supreme Court decision didn’t end with, “Come to Canada. The door is open.”
      * Edit: Entry of any non-citizen is always at the discretion of the Canadian Border Services agent you meet, who has the sole right to refuse any person whose entry would not be in Canada’s best interests. Even though abortion is legal everywhere in Canada, the agent could determine that a person seeking to enter Canada to evade an American law would be inadmissible. If the agent was suspicious of the purpose of your visit, she could search your effects, including your phone, to figure out what you are up to.

      Or, she could just say, “Know what you’re going through. Proceed and be well.”

  8. … despite Clarence Thomas’s dissent yesterday, I don’t think same-sex marriage is in danger.

    As I said in a comment the other day, I think the Court’s same-sex and interracial marriage decisions can be upheld as rooted in the language of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

    Not so the other decisions listed above. So if the theocrat wing of SCOTUS gets its way and overrules Lawrence v. Texas, which held state anti-sodomy statutes unconstitutional, same-sex couple might find themselves prohibited by state law from consummating their marriages (and straight couples might find themselves prohibited from engaging in anything other than a quick hump in the missionary position with the lights off for procreative purposes only).

    I wouldn’t put it past the neo-Puritans on the Court and in state legislatures.

    1. “and straight couples might find themselves prohibited from engaging in anything other than a quick hump in the missionary position with the lights off for procreative purposes only”
      How would anybody know? Would that involve cameras in the bedroom? Or the kitchen table?
      Well, I can imagine something like “he (or she) insisted on anal sex” in divorce cases, or even doggy style non-anal, if we follow your dystopian (but not really unrealistic, it appears) scenario.

    2. …and straight couples might find themselves prohibited from engaging in anything other than a quick hump in the missionary position with the lights off for procreative purposes only.

      That would sink the porn industry, especially the restrictions on positions and lighting. I hope the porn lobby is strong. Maybe they should put some hot stuff in the library of congress to get the politicians interested. Where is Jesus when we need saving?

  9. Several comments:
    •”Do not underestimate bacteria!” Indeed! I’ve been meditating on this, having just cracked Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes.
    •”Misanthropic Principle” Love it!
    •I can also attest to the challenges of rewriting, but I must say that that is my favorite part of the writing process. Still, I’m with Dorothy Parker when she says, “I hate writing; I love having written.”

  10. I thought women in South TX would cross the border into Mexico for an abortion. I saw a news clip interviewing doctors at a clinic somewhere just over the border and they had said the number of patients they were already seeing from the US had grown tremendously.

  11. Van Jones great as usual. Loved the doggy support group and the bear arms😹 As to Roe, thankful that my three little granddaughters will grow up in Canada, and not my birthplace.

  12. 1977 – Elvis Presley held his final concert in Indianapolis, Indiana at Market Square Arena.

    I’m going to the theater today to see the new Elvis movie. The deciding factor for me is to see Tom Hanks cast as that scoundrel “Col.” Tom Parker. (I’m expecting a bit of reprise of his role as the swindling professor in the Coen Brothers’ The Ladykillers — a film that wasn’t a hit with audiences or critics, but, if you ask me, Hanks’s best performance to date, better than his Oscar-winning turns in Philadelphia or Forrest Gump.)

  13. Please consider using the “proper” term for so-called pro-lifers. It is “pro-birther.” They don’t give a rat’s hind end about the child after s/he is born, only until that time.

    1. You didn’t go far enough — the correct term is is not pro-birther, it is forced-birther. These people are not pro anything.

        1. You think wrong, Jeremy.

          The State of Ohio proposed a bill in 2019 that would have obligated a surgeon operating for ectopic pregnancy to attempt reimplantation of the ectopus, a procedure that is impossible. It died after much outraged ridicule.

          1. The word came into my head. I’m not sure now if I read it in the Ohio bill or if it’s an actual surgical shorthand for ectopic products of conception that I might have heard many years ago. I know I didn’t create it.

            Doctors decide early on in their careers if they are going to do abortions or not. If you go into a specialty like surgery other than ob-gyn, or any of the subspecialties of internal medicine you never have to think about abortion again. But if this bill had passed into law, every general surgeon in Ohio called to ER to see a woman with abdominal pain would be taking the risk of being charged with the new offense of “abortion-murder” and facing the death penalty if he didn’t make a bona fide attempt to reimplant the (likely now dead) products somewhere. There are 101 reasons why this is impossible. The surgeons must have just put their feet down. NFW!

            When this was in the news I didn’t believe it until I looked it up in the Ohio legislative hopper and that’s exactly what it said.

  14. Map of Canada (with accompanying story) showing driving time to get an abortion here. The large gray areas are regions of Canada with very low (but not zero) population density. Note that intercity bus and train service has for all intents and purposes died out except for Southern Ontario and Quebec and along a chain of remote villages in Northern Ontario served by train because there are no roads. Private car (or flying) is pretty well it.
    June 24, not paywalled just now.

  15. the only other thing we can do is lobby Congress to pass legislation that would legalize abortion on a national scale, and that ain’t gonna happen.

    Non American here, so please be patient.

    Firstly, it has always seemed odd to me that abortion rights in the US rest on a single precedent in case law that could be overturned by the wrong court. Why is it impossible to get a proper national law passed? Has it always been the case? Was there a time in Obama’s term you might have got a law through.

    1. Getting any kind of national law passed, proper or not, was deliberately made to be very difficult by the Framers, especially in domains of State responsibility like the Criminal Code (which governs abortion wherever it is not freely available.)

      We have similar turf wars here between Ottawa and the Provinces but the British parliamentarians who wrote our Constitution, the British North America Act of 1867, did a better job making the division of powers litigation-proof. The Criminal Code, things you can do long penitentiary terms for, is the same everywhere. But we didn’t legalize abortions through legislation. The law against it was struck down by a Supreme Court challenge similar in some ways to Roe v Wade.

      President Obama spent all his modest political capital on the Affordable Care Act, nothing left for abortion, which of course was considered a solved problem then, given Roe.

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