Out of an urgent need for escapism, N and I started watching Peaky Blinders. Brits should be commended for keeping things realistic, finding actors who look like underfed, ugly degenerates to play gangsters. If these were Americans, they’d flash $80,000 perfect smiles and sport dewy, flawless skin as they crawl around in miserable slums.

I particularly like American TV cowboys who have soft, gentle skin that has never seen direct sunshine and trailer park girls whose hair is a product of three generations of wealth.

Unnecessary Books

I’ve had a very long, hard week. And it’s devilishly hot here, which saps my already depleted stocks of energy. But I finally met in person some great people I’ve only known from online communication before and this gives me energy to do something nice for myself. I’ll go to the bookstore and buy a completely unnecessary book that’s utterly unrelated to work. Or even two books.

Overseas Correspondents

Particularly frustrating is the wailing and gnashing of teeth among overseas acquaintances and corespondents who haven’t bothered to find out how the American system of government works but feel compelled to have opinions.

“Abortion has been banned in the US!” This is untrue and deeply ludicrous. But one has to wade through miles of this silliness on social media and in personal conversations. It’s worse when Americans, who really should know better because it’s their own country, do this. “Women are going to start dying immediately!” Stop clamoring about death whenever you feel upset, you extraordinary dummy. Haven’t we witnessed already how this death talk can be used to lock us up and rob us?

I dread going to my Spanish discussion group because it’s going to be the same tragic-voiced rehashing of uninformed and panicky talking points.

And by the way, I just now received an email from a colleague who has to change her professional name (which is very hard for an academic to do for obvious reasons) because her husband has become a judge. He’s conservative, and they are afraid for the family. They have 3 young children. This is what irresponsible death talk does. (If you are an overseas correspondent, you need to know there was a recent assassination attempt on a Supreme Court justice.)

All that’s happened today is that the states will have to resume the legislative process on a controversial issue. And that’s a good thing. Nobody is about to die over it.

More on Roe

It is deeply wrong, very dangerous, and completely anti-democratic to use the judiciary to circumvent the legislative process. The judiciary should not legislate. SCOTUS should interpret the Constitution, which is its only role. It should not invent new rights whenever these rights can’t be passed legislatively. It should not abrogate rights already in the Constitution when these rights can’t be curtailed legislatively.

The people who are upset about the repeal of Roe should lay the blame at the feet of their lazy politicians who didn’t want to bother to do the work of legislating and instead farmed off the task to SCOTUS.

Whatever you feel about abortion itself, finding a right to it in the US Constitution was egregiously wrong and set a terrible precedent. We should all walk away from that immediately. And then hash out the issue where it belongs, which is state legislature.

If we don’t have our time-tested and effective system of government with its three separate branches, we have nothing. Preserving that system is more important than anything.

Again, I’m saying this as somebody who always supported abortion rights. In the phrase “abortion rights” the word “rights” is the most important. We won’t have any rights at all if we ditch our democratic system of government. There’s too much discussion of the merits and demerits of abortion and precious little of what really is at stake here.

What Will Save Us

One thing that helps us prevail over the creeping insanity is the human factor. When my parents were trying to return to Canada without the ArriveCan app, a border guard saw that my father was very unwell and made a personal decision to let them through. When I went to Canada to bury my Dad, the government officials started hassling me over not being fully vaccinated. I told one of them what happened, and I heard in her voice that she was shaken. There was a moment of a human contact between us, and she said, “that’s OK, forget about these requirements. We won’t bother you anymore.” My brother-in-law forgot to bring one of the documents out of a pile he needed for passport renewal but the official who talked to him saw he was distraught and still have him an appointment.

This is what will save us. Human kindness and human feelings.

Roe v Wade

Has been overturned. It’s completely symbolic but Roe was always legally unsustainable. It’s good that it should go. Of course, now we’ll see many states hyper compensating and legalizing abortion until the child’s retirement age.

I’m pro abortion rights but very much against finding rights in the constitution that can’t remotely be in there.