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Posts from 2021

Stop the War on Mail-Order Abortion Drugs

Shared Article from Chron

Why Texans won't benefit from FDA's new abortion pill rules

The federal government's recent decision to increase general access to abortive...


The headline here is somewhat more pessimistic than the content of the article justifies. The FDA’s decision to remove restrictions on mail-order medical abortion drugs is an unambiguously positive development, especially for women in states in the South with bad, overly restrictive abortion regulation regimes. The problem for Texas specifically is the recently-enacted Texas SB 4, a repressive and stupid law that Greg Abbot believes to make it so that Mail-order abortion drugs are now prohibited in Texas. Really it is not obvious that this prohibitionist strategy will succeed, even on its own terms — the law does not make it illegal for anyone in Texas to take a mail-order abortifacient, and what the article states (more or less accurately) is that there are thorny legal questions involved in Texas’s ability to enforce Texas state laws (so-called) on out-of-state doctors or pharmacies who ship mail-order abortifacients from outside of Texas. It’s possible that Texas SB 4 effectively limits the availability of abortifacients; it’s also possible it gets struck down as overreach, or simply violated openly or covertly by providers who are willing to take the risk for the sake of their clients. But in either case, like all drug prohibitions, Texas SB 4 is tyrannical, as stupid as it is impudent, and ought to be ignored wherever possible, evaded wherever feasible, resisted wherever necessary, and repealed immediately, completely, and forever.

Stop the War on Drugs. Abortion on demand, and without apology.

Maybe It’s Even Easier for Us To Think That

This episode of Reply All is really an insightful and deeply humane effort to understand what is going on within a fairly wild and hostile political scene that is nevertheless full of real human beings.

Shared Article from Gimlet Media: Reply All

#182. State of Panic

A mystery roils Florida political Twitter: could it be that the governor’s new press secretary is running bots against her political opponents? Emma…

Emmanuel Dzotsi @ gimletmedia.com

EMMANUEL: Darius told me that the surefire way to know if an account is a bot or not is to just DM the account. So I DMed good ol’ DeepThroat, asked them, Are you a bot? And they got back me, told me they were real. . . . I was feeling a little bit like an idiot. But Darius said it totally made sense that really anyone — me, the people in Florida, you — might think accounts like DeepThroat’s were bots.

Maybe it’s even easier for us to think that.

Like we’ve all been hearing for years about how our elections have been impacted by foreign interference, about how disinformation is spreading like wildfire on the internet and ensnaring seemingly reasonable people, and to Darius, that’s exactly why bots have become the perfect boogieman.

DARIUS: I mean, I think it’s a classic moral panic. Just like people think that there’s a massive increase in crime all the time, even when you look at the numbers and the crime numbers have been going down in many places. It’s an easy out. It’s an easy way to point at some nefarious Other, like the bot makers and like, oh–they’re the reason democracy is failing.

EMMANUEL: Obviously, I can’t definitively rule out whether Christina is using bots. But the more I looked into Christina Pushaw herself, the more I became convinced that bots don’t explain her effectiveness in Florida. . . . Here’s my theory — I think Christina is someone with a very specific skill, a skill that any natural politician has. She has this knack for noticing people who otherwise are invisible to the rest of us on Twitter. . . .

— Ep. 182, State of Panic
Reply All, 16 December 2021.

There’s the part where you say it, and there’s the part where you take it back.

Here’s the latest from the New York Times Opinion Section:

Shared Article from nytimes.com

Opinion | We’re Edging Closer to Civil War

I see too many uneasy parallels between what was happening nearly 200 years ago and what is happening now over abortion.


. . . In Calhoun’s view, the states had the right to control and oppress Black bodies as they saw fit, regardless of any actions to the contrary on the federal level. States, he felt, should be able to choose whether or not they wanted slavery.

I see too many uneasy parallels between what was happening nearly 200 years ago and what is happening now. I see this country on the verge of another civil war, as the Calhounian impulse is reborn.

There are enormous, obvious differences, of course. The civil war I see is not the kind that would leave hundreds of thousands of young men dead in combat. That is not to say that we aren’t seeing spates of violence but rather that this new war will be fought in courts, statehouses and ballot boxes, rather than in the fields.

— Charles M. Blow, We’re Edging Closer to Civil War
New York Times, 12 December 2021.

The new civil war that Charles Blow sees is, that is to say, the kind that we call not a civil war at all.[1]

  1. [1]Because it’s not the kind that has any warfare in it. Just a pile of DCCC direct-mail fundraisers overflowing a human postal box, forever.

Let Them Through

Shared Article from 8 NewsNow

Large groups of migrants using drains under border barriers to sneak into U.S.

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Border Patrol agents have been seeing larger groups of undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. at once, putting a stra…

Salvador Rivera @ 8newsnow.com

[Border Patrol Agent Justin] De La Torre said smugglers are pushing the migrants into large drains that have been built to help the flow of water from one side of the border to the other.

Typically, they are entering through storm drains underneath the border fence, De la Torre said. Quite frankly, when they bring in large groups at one time, it drains our resources so now our agents are spread thin and it leaves the border a bit more vulnerable in that period of time.[1] . . . According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the large groups of migrants using the drains are mostly from Brazil and Venezuela, and some from Portugal. . . . They’re bringing people through these storm drains, they risk severe injury drowning, falling from steep terrain. Just this year alone, we’ve had 12 fatalities that we know of in this area of migrants being trafficked and smuggled into the area. The Border Patrol’s job is to keep people safe, keep American people safe, our agents safe and to keep the migrants safe as well.[2] … The smugglers, they don’t have that goal; all they care about is making money.

De la Torre says the gates are kept closed when it’s not raining, but agents must open them when storms arrive as a way to maintain the water’s natural flow from Mexico into the U.S.

On the runoff systems we have grates and have put in bars to keep people from coming through, however, the smugglers go down there with power tools and cut through those bars and facilitate illegal entry for the migrants.

As always, border policies and the border cops who enforce them impose horrendous suffering on innocent people, for the sake of inflicting the deplorable, invasive and violent means to an utterly worthless political end. Then they turn around and look at the humanitarian crisis that they themselves have created, they contort their faces into a grotesque mask of feigned pity, and they talk on and on about how it is all so awful, and the smugglers and traffickers are to blame, and the politicians in Washington and the paramilitary patrol on the border all care so, so much and they are all so, so sorry, and this only shows how much harder they need to work at shutting crossings systematically, relentlessly, and completely. So that they can make damned sure to enforce all the laws that keep forcing peaceful, harmless people into these awful conditions over and over again. There is no policy that is worth this, no system of control and enforcement that could justify or even excuse hunting people and leaving them no escape but to crawl through the drains under a goddamned apartheid wall that never should have been built. There is no crisis on the border that is not the direct result of the crisis of the border, no humanitarian disaster that would not be instantly and forever wiped away just by letting people cross peacefully where they want to cross, and letting them stay anywhere that they can find a place or a person willing to have them. All you need to do is stand down, let these people cross freely and openly where they choose, and leave them alone.

See also.

  1. [1][Good. —R.G.]
  2. [2][Sic. —R.G.]

Let Them Out

Shared Article from undark.org

Opinion: ICE Is Leaving Detainees at the Mercy of Covid-19. It’s Inhumane.

Harrison Goodall and Amy Zeidan @ undark.org

This crisis is worsened by the massive, ugly bureaucratized medical negligence and political cruelty of the U.S.’s jails in general and its immigration detention system specifically. It is also only a crisis in the first place because the U.S. government continues to insist on building institutions to hold migrants captive and keep them around in case the state might decide to deport them. Even if they were better at passing around covid vaccines, and even if all the guards wore masks as they prowled around the jail, and even if they more assiduously handed out conditional releases to people with serious pre-existing health conditions, there is no humane way to jail immigrants or hold people for possible deportation. The crisis is not something that’s happening at the jail; the jail is the crisis, and there is one easy, obvious solution: stand down, let people go, and leave them alone. All of them, immediately, completely, and forever.

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