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Posts from 2022

a path / on the waves, gilded invitation, the parchment moon

(From Poetry Foundation, Poetry, December 2022, and Audio Poem of the Day Podcast, 16 December 2022.)

Moon Ghazal

By Dorianne Laux

I can’t remember the first time I saw it, seems it was
always there, even with me in the womb, the moon.

It must have been night, above the ocean, making a path
on the waves, gilded invitation, the parchment moon.

Or the day moon, see-through-y wafer over desert, caught
in the arms of saguaro, thin-skinned, heart-stuck moon.

Blue as new milk, aquarium water, Mexican tile, blue
as cold-bitten fingertips, nailbeds’ quick-blue arcs, half-moons.

How I felt when I saw my first grown boy, round-eyed,
all sinew and muscle, his calves, his biceps, plump as moons.

Buttons, doorknobs, volleyballs, clocks, egg yolk, orange
slice, violet iris, our planet a pupil, mote in the eye of the moon.

The cell inside me splitting and splitting, worm of the fetus,
tadpole, the glazed orb of the eye, my belly taut as the moon.

The blood-streaked moon of her head pushing through, moons
of the faces above me, urging me, pulling, promising the moon.

There are earthquakes on the moon, water, not geologically dead,
still acting like a planet: upheaval, turmoil, shaking her head, the moon.

When I see the earth of you I still feel moonquakes, even now, after
so many moons my round breasts swoon, your fingertips, small moons.

— Dorianne Laux, Moon Ghazal
Poetry (December 2022)

Sharon Presley (1943-2022), RIP

To my deep sorrow, I learned that Dr. Sharon Presley died last week on October 31, at the age of 79. Sharon was a lifelong libertarian and feminist activist, writer and lecturer, the author of Government Is Women’s Enemy and numerous other essays and books, a member of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, co-founder of Laissez-Faire Books, co-founder and long-time coordinator for the Association of Libertarian Feminists (ALF), co-editor of Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre, and author of many articles on de Cleyre, Suzanne LaFollette and the individualist feminist tradition. I will miss her thought and her voice immensely. My deepest sorrow and condolences to everyone who knew her and loved her.

Shared Article from Notablog

Sharon Presley (1943-2022), RIP

My dear friend, Ellen Young, announced today that Sharon Presley, lifelong libertarian feminist writer and activist, died on Monday, October 31, 2022,…

Chris Matthew Sciabarra @ notablog.net

About 6,500 people will be cleared of charges. None of those people are currently in jail.

Shared Article from nytimes.com

Biden Pardons Thousands of People Convicted of Marijuana Possess…

The president urged governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of possession.


This is a good thing to do. It is part of a larger set of policies which are intended to halt new prosecutions and to systematically reconsider the categorical federal prohibition on marijuana, which are really important. It would be a lot better to also pardon the people currently in federal prison for dealing marijuana. I hope that this is the beginning and not the end of serious moves against prohibition and imprisonment in the heretofore endless, failed War on Drugs.

The well-intentioned law seeks to cut down on waste and single-use plastics…

This month in unintended consequences:

Shared Article from nytimes.com

Why Do Some People in New Jersey Suddenly Have Bags and Bags of …

A ban on single-use plastic and paper bags in grocery stores had an unintended effect: Delivery services switched to heavy, reusable sacks — lots of…


Why Do Some People in New Jersey Suddenly Have Bags and Bags of Bags?

By Clare Toeniskoetter
Sept 1, 2022

Nicole Kramaritsch of Roxbury, N.J., has 46 bags just sitting in her garage. Brian Otto has 101 of them, so many that he’s considering sewing them into blackout curtains for his baby’s bedroom. (So far, that idea has gone nowhere.) Lili Mannuzza in Whippany has 74.

I don’t know what to do with all these bags, she said.

The mountains of bags are an unintended consequence of New Jersey’s strict new bag ban in supermarkets. It went into effect in May and prohibits not only plastic bags but paper bags as well. The well-intentioned law seeks to cut down on waste and single-use plastics, but for many people who rely on grocery delivery and curbside pickup services their orders now come in heavy-duty reusable shopping bags — lots and lots of them, week after week.

While nearly a dozen states nationwide have implemented restrictions on single-use plastic bags, New Jersey is the only one to ban paper bags because of their environmental impact. The law also bans polystyrene foam food containers and cups, and restricts restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless they’re requested.

Emily Gonyou, 22, a gig worker in Roselle Park who provides shopping services for people through Instacart, said she was surprised when she learned the delivery company had no special plans for accommodating the ban. They pretty much said, OK, do exactly what you’re doing, but with reusable bags, she said.

. . . Compared to single-use plastics, the more durable reusable bags are better for the environment only if they are actually reused. . . . [A] typical reusable bag, manufactured from polypropylene, must be used at least 10 times to account for the additional energy and material required to make it. . . .

The goal of bag bans is to reduce reliance on single-use plastics like the thin bags that became ubiquitous decades ago . . . . Paper bags are sometimes seen as an eco-friendly alternative because they are more recyclable and made from trees, a renewable resource, yet they take significantly more energy to produce.

The ban in New Jersey, which applies to grocery stores 2,500 square feet or bigger, is meant to encourage in-store shoppers to skip single-use plastic and paper entirely, and instead bring their own reusable bags.

But that, of course, doesn’t work for most online orders. . . .

. . . Dr. Miller said the bag situation in New Jersey was emblematic of a lot of environmental policies. If we don’t pay attention to the unintended impacts of policies such as the plastic waste ban, we run into the potential of playing environmental Whac-a-Mole, she said. We solve one environmental problem only to create or exacerbate another problem.

— Clare Toeniskoetter, Why Do Some People in New Jersey Suddenly Have Bags and Bags of Bags?
New York Times, 1 September 2022.

OC OTC, 2022 Edition

Shared Article from Ms. Magazine

The Case for Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills - Ms. Magazine

Over-the-counter birth control pills would help millions of U.S. women who experience barriers to contraception access.

Mimi Zieman @ msmagazine.com

Once againof course birth control should be available over-the-counter.

There is no reason but pure control-freak politics to require prescriptions from medical gatekeepers to pharmaceutical gatekeepers. — Oh, but what about side effects? The side-effects are minimal for most women, well-known after six decades of research, and not worse than the health effects of unplanned pregnancies. In any case the information is easy to understand and communicate, and ordinary women are perfectly capable in ordinary circumstances to come to their own decisions and make their own choices about the risks they want to take when it comes to their own bodies and their own health. — *Oh, but how will the insurance pay for it? If insurance won’t pay out without an Rx, then there’s no law that says a doctor can’t write an Rx for an over-the-counter medicine. In any case over-the-counter availability will also make oral contraceptives a lot cheaper and practically more accessible, even if it does become somehow harder to get insurance specifically to pay for them. This problem has already been solved in many cases with contraceptive products that are already available over the counter (like Plan B emergency contraceptives), and it shouldn’t be hard to figure out how to extend it to this case.

If there’s no victim, there’s no crime. If it’s your body, it should be your choice. Free the Pill, and all political prisoners.

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