The Hideous and the Beautiful: A Good News Newsletter on the Two and the Infinite Sides of Humanity

There’s so much in our society and world right now that angers or frightens me, but also so much that is providing optimism, maybe, or at least, reassurance, that what we need or wish for is possible. I’m often tempted lately to write a good news newsletter to cheer up and energize myself and others.

 

First, there is the news that our legal system is greatly damaged but not broken. In 2021 and 2022, the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty of murder and hate crimes. The DOJ has also increased its efforts to prosecute hate crimes.

 

Secondly, it has been so jarring and has created such anxiety in so many of us to see DJT’s obvious criminal, unjust, even traitorous actions escape any legal consequences, until, maybe, now. The Jan. 6 Hearings have and will continue to present for all to see (if they’d look) new and old evidence of DJT working to violently overthrow our constitutional democracy. Then there’s the evidence collected at Mar-A-Lago that DJT illegally took government documents, including classified files, with him as he left office. He obstructed investigations into that theft.  And the DOJ has opened investigations into his election interference, and issued over 40 subpoenas to people in DJT’s orbit. He faces a very good chance of a criminal indictment.

 

The GOP cry they must enact controls on voting (i. e. suppress the vote) due to voting fraud, but the evidence shows their claims are disinformation. Such fraud is a GOP created myth.

 

The biggest voting fraud is by DJT followers, some of whom are now being held accountable. For example, GOP officials and lawyers, such as Sidney Powell, have been exposed for breaching and illegally sharing voting information. In Michigan, DJT’s pick for attorney general is being investigated for a conspiracy to get access to voting machines. There is Representative Scott Perry in Pennsylvania and a GOP election official in Troy, New York, named Jason Schofield. According to the DOJ, Schofield “was arraigned on an indictment charging him with unlawfully using the names and dates of birth of voters to fraudulently apply for absentee ballots for elections held in Rensselaer County in 2021.”

 

Then we have criminal investigations against DJT in Georgia, fraud investigations in New York. And the investigation into DJT fraudulently raising money to fight a fraud that never happened, but he spent the money for his own personal uses. Some of these charges could result in jail time and/or disqualification from running for office.

 

Thirdly, with abortion, the GOP have exposed their heartlessness. Having an abortion is an awful choice to make, but it’s a mother’s choice. The GOP are not only trying to rip from women the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies; they’re demonizing mothers who want the right to decide when, how many, or if they have children. They’re trying to ensure women are legally considered second to men.

 

This has frightened and angered so many people. And GOP Senator Lindsey Graham’s call for making abortion illegal nationally just increased that anger. The number of those registering to vote to protect the right to abortion even in red states like Kansas has increased dramatically, and with young people as well as women. The whole election calculus is changing. In many states, the number one concern motivating women and young people to come out and vote is abortion, second only to protecting democracy. This is happening in many other states as well.

 

People are saying, “enough.” …

 

**To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

Raging Metaphors: Are We in A Race? A War? Or on the Verge of a New Revelation of Who We Are?

How do we communicate what we’re going through right now? How do we select from the infinity of choices and realities that we face where to focus, and where to begin any narration?

 

We are certainly in an age of superlatives and metaphors. Ordinary language or speaking as we did maybe just 10 years ago, feels inadequate. The news often leaves us mute, if not angered, fearful, crying, or laughing at the craziness. It can feel like language itself is on the edge of failing us. Or maybe we are failing it; maybe we humans, or many of us, are failing in how we use one of our greatest inventions, namely complex, structured, and symbolic language.

 

We think of the primary job of words as helping us communicate and thus survive, but to do that it must aid us in perceiving reality more clearly and in better communing, coming together with others. The words we use, and the metaphors we create, shape how we perceive, understand, and act. Metaphors, as George Lakoff and Mark Johnson explain in their book Metaphors We Live By, are not just beautiful or extravagant ways of talking, but the way we define and frame reality. Truth. And relate with others. If we think of a moment talking with another person as a battle instead of an exchange of views, we are more likely to become physically embattled.

 

Or maybe words are working too well. Words could always be manipulated to deceive, distract, and hypnotize as well as utilized to analyze and focus. So maybe today our words are succeeding more in hiding than revealing. Maybe our words are failing to bring us together because too many of us are not examining our words to discern if they are bringing us closer or further away from the reality we are talking about.

 

And I realize I’m being contradictory, using language to point out how our language use is possibly failing us.

 

Today, too many political leaders are spreading disinformation, flagrantly distorting words, butchering language, and by doing so bringing us to the edge of butchering each other. The GOP have built a wall of lies dividing this nation of millions of real people into saviors vs devils, two sides in a war, 2 ends of a rope.

 

They are striving to win, to seize power at any cost, even if it means treating fellow political leaders, who used to be colleagues or at worst opponents, as enemies. The GOP lie about the 2020 election even though this undermines faith in, and the workings of, the government they swore to protect and serve. For example, they called a violent attack on Congress to stop a democratic election “legitimate political discourse.”

 

DJT labeled the FBI as an agency with a long, unrelenting history of corruption. Yet, while in office, he tried to force the FBI to serve his personal interests over the nation’s, and fired the FBI director partly to stop an investigation into himself and his own long legacy of corruption. DJT and his GOP sycophants attacked the FBI’s legal seizing of documents he had illegally taken from the White House and secure quarters by saying if they can go after an ex-President, they could go after anyone⎼ when that is precisely the point of a law, that it applies or should apply neutrally to everyone. Their blatant, malignant distortions sometimes evoke an anger so deep we can shout but not speak.

 

So which metaphors fit best?…

 

 

*To read the whole post, please go to The Good Men Project.

Sometimes, It Seems I’m Split in Two: Taking Us Where We’ve Always Wanted to Go but Never Knew We Needed to Go There

Sometimes, it seems I’m split in two. Did you ever feel that? Don’t we all at times feel divided against ourselves?

 

I hear a catbird complain and a cicada call out, continuously. A background concert the universe plays for me right now. Other birds join in. A car races down the road. A raven responds raucously. And I write about that. I write a blog about the comfort of nature, love, meditation, art, overcoming fear, feeling at home.

 

Then I hear the news, about DJT, the Supreme Court, Jan 6, new legislation in Congress, climate emergencies, people being flooded or burned from their homes. All accentuated, fueled by a warming planet that so much industry and GOP politicians want to hide from us. I feel anxious. I feel a desire to meet people and bring us together, to act, to speak. To change it all and resurrect justice. And I write about that.

 

And the two sides of me can feel so different, in opposition even. I feel wonderful after writing the first blog. There’s so much appreciation, gratitude, joy there. So much anxiety, worry, anger in the second. Concern. Care. I am so glad I wrote not only the first but the second blog. I feel I had to write it. There is power, strength in saying it. But it hurts.

 

There is care in both. Compassion. I touched on this in my last blog. They are both fueled, I realize, from the same yearning.

 

There are not two sides, but many. Maybe an infinite set. And maybe we always wish to be one being in agreement with ourselves, but we’re not so easy to pin down. Maybe it’s not that I’m split in two, meditative on the one hand, angry on the other. Maybe it’s just that since the universe itself is so indescribably complex, interconnected and ever-changing, it presents us with so many different faces that our face must change, too⎼ a new face with each meeting.

 

Sometimes, we’re just damn lucky. We see a person smile. The wind bends two trees together, so we hear them speak. Or it rains, and instead of a flood, it ends the drought, and the air feels lovely, cooling. Or we read a passage in a book, and it takes us right where we’ve always wanted to go but never knew we needed to go there. Nothing in or around us stands in our way or fights with us. We see it all up close and personal and the person we see or passage we read goes right to our heart and beats for us.

 

Other times, it’s more difficult to see how we and the universe fit together. But who said life would or should be easy?

 

In the first blog, ‘I’ disappear. It’s not just that my being at peace and yours are not separate. Looking at the tree in my front yard, hearing the catbird, the cicada⎼ that is home. It is where I live. And in the second type of blog, ‘I’ jump to the forefront clothed in fear, hurt, and pain.

 

Pain so easily closes us into ourselves or consists of us closed into our self. But what if we noticed some space between the beats of pain? Or we felt how much space there was around us, in whatever location or whatever room we were in? Or instead of taking in less, we took in everything? Then the pain becomes just one beat out of many, one place in a vast universe….

 

**To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

Nothing Improves Our Sense of Strength, Or Expresses Better Our Ability to Care and Love, Than Helping Others ⎼ And Helping Others Vote.

Bob Dylan’s song, the “Masters of War,” has been in my mind lately, about the “masters” who do nothing but destroy and create unspeakable fears, the worst fear being to bring children to life⎼ or to love.

 

Since 2011 or so, levels of fear and anxiety have been increasing in this country and most of the world. We know this too well. And lately, it’s been getting worse, and not due just to the pandemic. Remember “Trump anxiety disorder”? Even though DJT is no longer in office, he and his supporters have continued to make the world more frightening. Then add economic strains, the climate emergency, and the war in Ukraine and what we face is increasingly disturbing.

 

More and more people have been feeling they have no future, or that our political system can no longer handle the problems we face. Especially young people feel political leaders can no longer do anything good for them. Many are furious at Biden for various reasons, for not pushing more for the elimination of the filibuster in the Senate so laws to protect voting and abortion rights, and our right to a world that is not burning up, could be passed. And in the past, for his role in limiting Senate investigation of claims of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas to Anita Hill, thus allowing him to be seated in the Supreme Court. Biden actually voted against Thomas’ confirmation.

 

Biden can in one moment be so competent and caring, such a relief from the GOP who came before him, and in the next can seem to not get it at all. He often distances himself from the progressive wing of his party. He met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman, who is responsible for so many malignant actions including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. So, yes, pressure the President. We need to hold politicians responsible for actions they have actually done. But I fear this anger might lead some people to not vote Democratic.

 

In the case of meeting with the Crown Prince, Biden was using old fashioned politics when what we needed was courageous leadership. But we need to remember he was responding to those suffering from, and holding him responsible for, high gas prices and inflation. Should we hold those yelling about gas prices responsible for Biden talking with Ben Salman to get more oil?

 

We must remember that it is the would-be “masters” and the anti-democratic mass of the GOP who are manipulating this fear and it is they who need to be held the responsible.

 

Their goal is to shock us, get us to turn away from speaking out and political action. The GOP  not only try to directly suppress but also control the counting of votes. They are trying to convince us voting does nothing, there’s no power there. Or convince progressives that Democrats and Republicans are the same or convince moderates that Biden Democrats are too progressive….

 

*For information on GOTV campaigns, click on the GOTV links.

**To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

 

Acting So We and Our World Awaken Together: Patience is Powerful

We all know we’re living through one of the craziest, most dangerous times in recent or maybe all of human history. I keep asking myself, what am I missing? What more could I do? Where is it all going?

 

We understand mostly by placing one moment in the context of time and memory, by discerning implications and possible futures. But so many of the possible futures being predicted by the news, social and intellectual media are too dismal to consciously consider. Maybe we can help change the future we are seeing by changing how we think about the   present we are living.

 

I am drawn here to a book I mentioned in an earlier blog, The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers, by Eric Weiner, and his chapters on two philosophers not often paired together: Simone Weil and Mahatma Gandhi.

 

The chapter on Simone Weil is about “How to Pay Attention.” Our culture is hooked on speed⎼ and speed, according to Weil, is the enemy of attention, careful consideration, and even joy. Due to the speedy pace of our lives, we can lose so much. We can get caught in, addicted to this repeating cycle, speeding up to catch what is speeding by. And what makes this even worse is the pandemic, added to the injustices, lies, shocks and constant chaos manipulated by DJT and his allies to undermine our sense of stability and our belief in democracy.

 

Desiring is not the problem. The problem with desire is that we can lose ourselves in it, lose even the object we desire in the desiring itself. It robs our attention. A heroin addict doesn’t crave heroin, Weil argues, but the experience of having it. Even more then heroin, the addict craves the relief of the mental and physical agony of not having it. Buddhist teacher, author, philosopher David Loy explained that desire, craving can cause us to feel we are lacking, wrong, powerless, or deficient.

 

The Latin roots of patient are suffering and endurance. When we are more patient, we feel stronger, more in control. We can endure even suffering, and find ourselves happier, clearer in mind, calmer in heart. We can be present in the moment, and thus feel more open to what might come.

 

And then we pay better attention to what or who happens. Weil shows us that inattention is in fact selfishness. When impatient, we reduce others to what we can get from them. When patient, others are fellow travelers who teach us about our own journey.

 

When impatient, we focus on the fruits and yoke action to results. When patient, we make progress even if there are no visible fruits.

 

And how do we fight, now, for our rights, our freedom, and our world?

Gandhi was the father of the movement to free India from British rule and establish an independent nation. He believed he must try to root out the disease of oppression even if it meant suffering hardship himself….

 

*To read the whole article, click on this link to The Good Men Project.

GOP Trying to Replace Constitutional Law with Vigilante Injustice

We use the expression break the law to mean violate or disobey the law. But there is also break as in break into tiny, meaningless pieces. (And violate as in abuse or rape.) The Supreme Court is actively involved in breaking the law in this second sense. GOP controlled State Legislatures and Governors are doing this. DJT is and has been breaking the law in both senses for years in his asserting that anything that serves his immediate, short-term self-interest is truth and the law, anything that opposes him is criminal and evil.

 

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner argued recently that the Supreme Court, which used to and is needed to represent stability, fairness, and temperance has now “become headquarters for a majority group of highly partisan, reactionary players who make clear that they are uninhibited by history, precedent, or the will of the majority of the American people.” Their actions are about asserting power, not fostering the rule of constitutional law.

 

In one decision they argued for originalism, for the impossible task of sticking with the founding fathers’ original viewpoints. This view ignores the fact that the founding fathers lived in a very different time, where slavery was legal, women and men who didn’t own land couldn’t vote. Where the weapon of choice on the battlefield was a flintlock musket, there were no computers, and the world wasn’t threatened by a climate emergency. And they were all fathers, men.

 

In another of last week’s rulings, Oklahoma v Castro-Huerta, regarding Indigenous American sovereignty, the Court went against originalism. The ruling asserted a state’s jurisdiction over crimes committed on Tribal Lands. This, as even Justice Gorsuch wrote, violates not only precedent but founding-era understanding of law.

 

In 1832 the court ruled in Worcester v Georgia that the federal government had exclusive power to manage relations with Native nations, not states. Thus, this new court ruling violated its own legal opinions and destabilizes the rule of law and the court’s function of upholding the stability of the law. Instead, it asserts minority rule.

 

A Washington Post article by Colby Itkowitz and Isaac Stanley-Becker revealed the Court has agreed to hear a case involving the “independent legislature theory,” a conservative legal theory that asserts state legislatures should have virtually unchecked power over federal elections. It would erode basic tenets of American democracy including applying the rule of law equally to everyone and basing the ultimate source of all law in the people.

 

“[I]n its most far-reaching interpretation, it could cut governors and state courts out of the decision-making process on election laws while giving state lawmakers free rein to change rules to favor their own party. The impact could extend to presidential elections in 2024 and beyond, …making it easier for a legislature to disregard the will of its state’s citizens.”

 

Texas and other states have joined in this effort to undermine the rule of law. In its 2021 anti-abortion legislation, it created a sort of vigilante justice by deputizing citizens to sue and enforce the law instead of government officials. And it would pay the vigilantes $10,000 for each successful suit. According to a New York Times article by Sabrina Tavernise, whereas if Texas had put enforcement in the hands of state officials, those officials could be sued by abortion advocates aiming to bring their case to court….

 

*To read the whole article, please click on the link to The Good Men Project who first published it.

The GOP Would Sacrifice Us on the Altar of their Power and Profit: What if, Instead, We Created a Better World?

What if we, or I, have been looking at this all wrong? I often feel like we’re on the verge of losing almost everything. But what if we’re on the verge of⎼ well, winning. Or maybe not winning but at least making things better? Maybe we must re-think our thinking about  what’s possible.

 

The GOP, and even some Democrats, or the financially well-off financiers of some Democrats, have become totally desperate. The immorality of many GOP, their willingness to sacrifice everything and everyone for their greed and power, has become totally upfront and obvious to anyone not blinded by lies and an unwillingness to question their beliefs or recognize the humanity of those holding views different from their own.

 

Desperation is a sign of weakness, not strength. Unwillingness to change one’s views or listen to others is a weakness, not a strength.

 

On May 30th Sonali Kolhatkar, host and founder of Rising With Sonali, a tv and radio show that airs on Free Speech Radio and Pacifica stations, wrote an article for the Independent Media Institute arguing very cogently that the very rich are making a very dangerous calculation⎼ that it is worth sacrificing millions or even billions of lives in order to preserve corporate and individual profits.

 

She cites a new poll by the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment which found that “there is no longer skepticism among the public that the effects of climate change are real, as 76 percent of respondents—the highest on record since the poll started—’believe there is solid evidence that temperatures on the planet have risen over the last four decades.’”

 

Yet, despite overwhelming support for doing all we can to halt climate change, “corporate profit-based considerations have constantly dictated our energy use and climate policies, [and] we have effectively decided that major sacrifices of lives—most likely poor people of color—will be worth the pain of relying on fossil fuels for energy.”

 

And the same holds true with the pandemic. “Today, even as COVID-19 infection rates are skyrocketing, with cases having risen by 58 percent in the last two weeks alone, mask mandates are being dropped all over the country and COVID-19-related restrictions are ending. This is not because the virus is under control—it is clearly not—but because it’s no longer financially viable for corporate America to sacrifice profits for lives. So, it will sacrifice lives for profit….”

 

Greg Sargent wrote in the Washington Post back in September about how the GOP would exploit the pandemic, sacrifice lives by lying about vaccines, for example, to resurrect their power. Millions of people were tricked, made sick, and many died due to the anti-vaccine propaganda of DJT and the right.

 

*This blog was syndicated by The Good Men Project.

 

The Relationship of All Humans, Revisited: A Stable Society Is Like a Loving Relationship

A relationship with another person, even one of long standing, with a friend, colleague, even a spouse, can seem so strong but, in reality, be so delicate. It is important to recognize this. We expect emotional ties to bear so much, to tie people, families, groups together. But emotions are just thoughts, feelings, and sensations. They are ephemeral; like air, they can be moved or changed so easily.

 

I look at my wife, Linda, and realize how much better my life is because of her. I think more clearly and gain new perspectives because we talk so easily together. The more I feel love, appreciation, and gratitude, and the more I allow her in, the more I enjoy my day. Yet, despite all that, sometimes I lose it. I don’t feel the connection. I feel what I feel and think what I think but what she feels, or thinks is beyond me. I relate to her as if she were a means to an end, my own projection, simply the source of my own satisfaction, or pain. I mentally accuse her of being the cause of what hurts me.

 

And then I become aware of what I’m doing. I feel our separation, the fragility of our life together and how easily I could lose her. I shudder and wake up.

 

Society is also a relationship. Of course, there’s more to it than that, just like there is more to a marriage than emotion. There’s history, commitment, often there are children, homes, possessions, and for a society, institutions, buildings, roads, laws, and social processes. But what do any of these mean without the sense of relationship?

 

We spend most of our time each day in human constructed environments with other human beings. The beauty and necessity of our cooperation with others surrounds and envelops us. Yet often we lose it. We treat other people as means to our own ends. We treat cashiers like the machines they control. We treat other drivers as obstacles to pass. We treat people we barely know with the briefest of recognitions and people we don’t know are ignored or worse. There are so many people around us. How can we do anything else?

 

The more we harden our personal borders and think of ourselves as separate from others, the more pain we feel, and the easier it is to go from indifference or ignoring others, to hurting.

 

Or to lying to ourselves. Telling and recognizing the truth means getting as close as we can to what’s real, what is happening in ourselves and the world. A lie hides and distorts, pushes away what’s real, by intent. It substitutes a fiction, an idea for reality. Of course, it can get complicated. I don’t know if it’s best or not to always tell the truth. But in general, knowing and speaking the truth, or knowing as best we can what’s actually going on in ourselves and others, fosters healthy relationships. When problems arise, as they must, we can only face them if we notice them. We can only face what we allow ourselves to perceive….

 

**To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

When the Air Sings to Us: What Makes a Good Relationship?

It’s truly a spring day and a beautiful morning. For once, the sky is clear, and the quality of sunlight is so alive. I love the early morning light even though I rarely get up to see it or hear it. There’s a hum in the air.

 

Early, for me nowadays, means 8:00 or 9:00 am, not 6:00. And the birds. Amazing. Right now, a male cardinal is singing. They sing love songs to their mate or hopeful mate. And we, lucky humans, get to hear it⎼ if we’re quiet enough, or our neighbors are. Imagine one creature making love to another with its voice and we get to listen in.

 

What is it in the song, what quality attracts one bird to another? Biologists often talk about ‘fitness,’ but I think that’s bunk. What does ‘fittest’ mean in terms of a bird song?  I’m not an ornithologist but I don’t think a female cardinal picks the gruffest or toughest sounding male. Being gruff, at least in a human, limits the vocal range.

 

Even Darwin, who is often misquoted as saying or implying it is aggression or a “selfish gene” that makes beings fittest, actually spoke in his book The Descent of Man only twice about survival of the fittest. Of course, we humans can be selfish. We’d have to be blind not to see it. But many of us act like we are helpless before our selfish impulses and blind to other aspects of ourselves, aspects that Darwin named as essential to our survival.

 

Systems scientist David Loye pointed out in his research on Darwin’s Lost Theory of Love: A Healing Vision for the New Century, that Darwin included 24 entries on the importance of mutual aid, 24 on reason and imagination, 61 on sympathy, 90 on a moral sense, and 95 on love.

 

Especially since cardinals mate for life, and males feed the females both before and after she lays her eggs, wouldn’t ‘fitness’ in a voice be its beauty, its subtle and yet lingering notes? Wouldn’t it be the ability of a vocal vibration to make a listener feel warm inside, safe?

 

Imagine we let ourselves feel loved by the world around us. So much would change, I think. Maybe fewer of us would have a cavalier attitude toward nature and treat it as mere “equipment” to exploit for our own immediate purposes. We’d feel the life around us more intimately. Maybe we’d feel more valued and loved ourselves. More powerful, alive, engaged. We’d feel everything speaking to us. Not just birds but trees, rivers, clouds, the air we breathe, the other people around us.

 

We’d feel the streams of the earth as the veins of our body. The air as the fuel that animates us….

 

**To read this whole post, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

Last Night, A Dream: About The Handmaid’s Tale? The Supreme Court? Or Depths I haven’t Yet Realized?

I woke up from one dream and found myself in another. The first dream, which I barely remember, returned me to when I was a teacher. A school trip I was helping lead had gone bad. In the dream, a young man I don’t remember ever knowing was caught trying to steal from our group. I was holding him by the upper arm⎼ and then I was catapulted into a totally new scene.

 

I was in a city, like Manhattan, still holding the upper arm of the young man from the previous dream. We looked around us at a world gone crazy and which neither of us knew. It had all the energy of a war movie. Many people were running, rushing fast through the streets. There was a group of 5 or so white men, dressed in dark, maybe black clothes, walking deliberately, and carrying signs. “Join the chorus.” “Become a chorister.”

 

The apparent leader of the men with signs approached me and said, “You look like you could do it. Join us. We need you.” I didn’t respond and the group moved on.

 

We turned a corner of the street. I let go of the arm of the teenager and we talked about what we were seeing, and what we should do. “What do you think is going on?” I asked him. We were now allies, refugees together. I thought to myself maybe I should find the man with the sign and ask him what was going on. What is the chorus, besides people singing together? The horror of the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale  came to mind. Would it be better for me to be a chorister or leader than a foot soldier? Or maybe not? Could I be a leader? And of what?

 

I imagined myself reading books of fighting strategy. And then I woke up to daylight, morning. In my bed.

 

Is this related to the white men (and one woman) in dark robes now trying to turn our society into a Gilead, a patriarchal, white supremacist, totalitarian Christian state that treats women as property? The dream came to me a few days before news reports revealed a draft of a decision by 5 Conservative Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe vs Wade.

 

Was my subconscious giving me a warning? Or trying to wake me from a sleep of inaction? Was the dark robed man in the dream trying to get me to join other white men as oppressors? Or to fight them?

 

Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, said the story just exposes trends that she saw happening back in the 1980’s in the US. Her work was a response to people saying such events could happen in other nations, but never here. But here we are. We have 5 Supreme Court Justices taking away rights and health care from one half of all of us.

 

And how do they justify this? They say they are saving the lives of unborn children. They don’t seem to care about the lives of children once they are born, since many support executing people, including women who have had abortions. Many in the supposed “pro-life” movement supported cuts in programs to feed hungry children and deny affordable healthcare coverage to those with “pre-existing conditions.”

 

In the leaked draft opinion on the issue, Justice Samuel Alito relied heavily on 17th century English judge Matthew Hale. As Deanna Pan writes in an article for the Boston Globe, Alito argued that prohibiting abortion should be upheld because it has an “unbroken tradition” in the law. But slavery, in the 17th Century, had an unbroken tradition as did denying women the right to own property. So did, according to Hale, sentencing women to death for witchcraft and allowing husbands to escape criminal liability for raping their wives.

 

Human rights, democratically elected governments, also television, computers, baseball goes against what was established tradition in the 17th century.

 

Alito ignores the fact that Roe has been accepted legal precedent since 1973, almost 50 years. It was upheld in three previous cases, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Whole Women’s Health v. Herllerstedt, and in 2020, June Medical Services v. Gee. Alito’s arguments come from a time when only a few white men had any political power.

 

Or maybe the dream had nothing to do specifically with denying women the right to control their own body. There have been so many reasons we have protested lately, including Black Lives Matter, ending gun violence, and calling for DJT to be held accountable for treasonous acts. But there also are people forced to run through the streets due to the horror of Putin’s war against Ukraine.

 

Maybe the dream was about the need for action by anyone who thinks the whole drift toward Gilead is not only wrong but threatens the very future of democracy. And because many of those who push an anti-women agenda that criminalizes abortion also deny human-caused climate change, they threaten the ability of our planet to support the life not only of human children but of all living beings.

 

So, we must all ask ourselves: if we think this attack on women is wrong, what are we ready to do? How can we speak out? What creativity or specific skills do we have to make our speech heard and honored? What tactics have we read about in the past that have led to successful political actions or in evoking the attention and compassion of the nation?

 

Brian Resnick wrote an article for VOX outlining 4 Rules for Making A Protest Work, like keeping the protest nonviolent and more proactive (preventing an action) than reactive, making the message very clear and salient, joining different groups or issues under one banner, and aiming for specific actions or legislation.

 

We might think of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. We might think Lacie Wooten-Holway, a mom and neighbor of Justice Kavanaugh, standing outside his home holding a candle of protest. We might think about the protests against the GOP Graham-Cassidy Health Denial Bill in 2017; the women’s wall in India in 2019, or the wall of Moms in Portland in 2020. Or the first Earth Day events in 1970 or maybe placing flowers in gun barrels and levitating the Pentagon during the anti-war movement in the sixties.

 

And especially joining the upcoming Women’s March on May 14 and working to protect and get out the vote this November.

 

The fight here is first for a woman’s right to abortion. But it is equally for equal justice for all before the law, voting rights and protections, environmental justice and protections, healthcare for all, and the advancement of public education.

 

**This article was syndicated by The Good Men Project.