“I couldn’t believe it, because they actually did it. The court actually took a constitutional right that has been recognized for half a century and took it from the women of America — that’s shocking when you think about it.” 
* * *
Department Of It’s Baaaaaaaaack….
Attentive and longtime readers may have noticed that for the past eight weeks this disclaimer opened my blog posts:
Thanks for checking in, so to speak (…er, write). I am taking moiself on holiday. From this Friday and through June, I will be posting blogs from the same time period of eight years ago (late May-June, 2014). New posts will return in early-mid July.
That was due to the “exotic” travel schedule of MH and moiself, which began in mid-late May with a trip Florida. 
Here is what our schedule was supposed to be:
* visiting MH’s mother in Florida for several days;
* on to Stockholm, a couple of days to acclimate ourselves to the time change (and all those Swedish meatball variations) before joining….
* a 14 day Rick Steves Tour of Scandinavia, starting in Stockholm and ending in Bergen;
* six days of touring Norway on our own, from Bergen back to Oslo;
* catching a train to join our Swenadian  friends and spending a short week in their Swedish country stuga (cabin), then traveling with them to Gothenburg and vicinity;
* six days in Iceland “on the way back” to Oregon.
Here is what actually happened.
All went as planned until Day 13 of the tour, when MH awoke under the proverbial weather and tested positive for COVID. The next 5 days were spent cancelling and rescheduling train-car rental-ferry-hotel bookings, trying to find a place to lay low for several days while we  recovered. Our dear Swenadian friends, rightfully cautious due to their respective health concerns, came to visit us after we’d recovered. While the afternoon walk we made around the parks of a Swedish town was a far cry from the longer time we’d hoped to have with them, it was good to have at least those two hours together.
What the what – if nothing else, travel teaches you to be flexible. MH and I enjoyed some final days in Oslo and then Stockholm before flying on to Reykjavik, where our Iceland adventures were not impacted by the previous schedule rearranging. Also, there was the blissful ignorance of being removed from everyday news reporting – moiself had remembered that there’d been a pesky leak of a supposed/certain SCOTUS memo….
* * *
Department Of That Which Should Not Have To Be Mentioned
Our return flight last Thursday left Reykjavik a little before 5 pm and arrived in PDX ~ 6 pm. What with traveling east to west, we went back in time 7 hours…. Little did I know the news that would greet moiself upon our return: my country’s legal system had gone back (what seemed like) more than a hundred years.
Really and truly, I knew nothing of this until I checked FB last Friday morning, and saw this post from my beloved nephew, who has been celebrating Pride Month with a series of personal reflections on what “being gay” means:
Being gay is…
…thinking that maybe you should get married on a sooner timescale than you’re ready for, because given how the Supreme Court’s minoritarian rule is going, your current right to do so might have an expiration date.
Sorry to steal the stage from today’s news. Fuck the Supreme Court majority that is not representative of majority public opinion.
Thus, my first FB post after stepping onto Oregon soil:
“Keep our nation on the track
one step forward, three steps back….” 
I just returned last night from 6+ weeks in Europe, to find that certain intellectual, social and moral cretins who unfortunately hold positions of power in this country have effectively decided to turn back the clock, and I’m not talking the end of Daylight Savings time.
SCOTUS justices Thomas; Alioto; Gorsuch; Kavanaugh; Barret – I’d like to do a wire coat hanger D & C on their respective cranial contents.
* * *
As moiself writes this it’s day five for me, back in Oregon, and I’m still in a fog. It’s not the time zone difference that has me discombobulated; rather, it’s the time travel thing, where I returned to find that my country’s legal/human rights system has warped back to the Dark Ages. In case y’all haven’t guessed by now, I refer to the recent SCOTUS decisions involving guns, school employee-led prayer, and of course, Roe v. Wade.
SCOTUS Justices Who Voted to Overturn Roe v. Wade (the justice’s religion)
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (Catholic)
Amy Coney Barrett (Catholic)
Brett Kavanaugh (Catholic)
Neil M. Gorsuch (Catholic) 
and…wait for it…
Clarence Thomas (Catholic)
The fact that a practicing Catholic SCOTUS justice – or judge, of any court – is allowed to vote on this issue; i.e., is not legally and ethically *required* to recuse him or herself on any abortion case, as per their the Catholic sheep daddy Pope’s decrees on the matter…
“…. Roberts was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout Catholic and is married to an ardent pro-life activist. The Catholic Church considers abortion to be a sin, and various church leaders have stated that government officials supporting abortion should be denied religious rites such as communion….
Renowned for his unflappable style in oral argument, Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself.”
(“The faith of John Roberts,” The Los Angeles Times)
Another butt-frosting fact: there are SCOTUS justices who adhere to the judicial philosophy of/refer to themselves as originalists  but who are also Catholic and/or female (hmm, what’s that musty odor, Amy Coney Barrett?), something the original founding fathers would never have imagined nor permitted.
And then, there is the festering turd atop the crumbling cake:
“In nearly 28 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas has been its most unwavering ‘originalist.’ That means that he reads the Constitution as meaning today what he believes those who wrote it meant back then, no matter how conditions may have changed in America in the meantime.”
(“Justice Thomas, originalism and the First Amendment,” National Constitution Center)
Clarence Thomas is an originalist. All righty then: “Justice” Thomas – you should be a slave. And counted as 3/5 of a person, as the Originals intended.
But I have to stop going there. Moiself has to stop applying rational arguments to irrational situations. Therein lies madness.
* * *
Department Of Stories That Need Retelling
This, from my blog post of 5-24-19 (“The Two-Faced, Sanctimonious, Festering Turd-Of-Hypocrisy I’m Not Strangling”)
From the early 1980s – 90’s I worked for (several Planned Parenthood clinics)… and a private OB-GYN practice in the Bay Area….
We (The Practice’s Doc, Nurse Practitioner, and I) developed a personal relationship  and had many interesting conversations on issues re women’s health care. Doc and NP were both staunchly pro-choice, Doc in particular due to his knowledge of what things were like before Roe v. Wade. He told me stories about The Bad Old Days, about how (surprise!) the rich could always get safe care, no matter what. Back in the late 50s – 60s when abortion was illegal, a Japanese airline had a clandestine (but procurable, if you knew the right people) package deal: the fare included flights to and from Tokyo from West Coast airports, overnight lodging in a Tokyo hotel, and the fee for an abortion performed by a Japanese doctor. Sympathetic American doctors whose desperate patients had no safe local alternatives would refer their patients to someone, who would refer them to someone else, who would refer them to…. 
One of The Practice’s OB patients, after a routine exam, asked Doc if he ever performed abortions. Although it was none of her %&!$ business (and moiself wanted him to tell her so) he answered honestly, while tactfully letting her know that he would not be steered down the anti-abortion harangue road she was heading for. After she’d left, Doc signaled to me to follow him to the office’s back room, where old/inactive patient files were kept.
As Doc searched through the files he told me about a former patient of his who’d sought an abortion, back when the procedure was illegal except for “medical reasons.” This woman had had to go before a (male, of course) judge to get approval to have an abortion. Her physicians had to testify as to her mental and physical well-being, and they had lots of material: she had chronic health problems; was depressed to the point of suicide; her husband had left her and their three children…. She’d wanted to get her tubes tied after birthing her second child but could not find a doctor to do so – as per the standards of the time, hospitals would not book a sterilization surgery for a woman unless she met this weird algorithm (criteria included her age, the number of children she had, and other factors I can’t recall). She also needed her husband’s permission for the surgery, which he’d refused. 
The woman won her petition. At this point in the story Doc had found the patient’s chart, and showed me the transcript from her day in court.  I will never forget the sad yet determined look in his eyes as he said,
“Don’t ever let it go back to that.”
And I will always remember how foolishly optimistic it was of moiself to think, “It could never go back to that.”
* * *
Department Of Business As Usual
Of course, no matter the legal restrictions and whatever else happens in the upcoming months, those with money and connections will always be able to wrangle safe medical care. The trail of naïve, drugged and/or abused girls and women knocked up, intentionally or otherwise, by the Brett “I Love Beer” Kavanaughs of the world and their eternal frat bro contingents will always have an out, as powerful men do not want their mistakes publicly aired. The poor and not-so-well connected will have to resort to measures of desperation – unless whatever choice they happen to make involves using a gun.
* * *
Department Of And Yet One Never Fully Goes Back To The Past
There is too much water – and blood – under this particular bridge of human history. Just as in the past, women and men will rise up to help those who need help (“Call Jane”).
Here is the message I recently received from a friend:
“Hope you are holding up with the end of democracy at hand. Yeah.
Would you mind being a reference for me – I am applying to be a volunteer with the Colorado Abortion Doula Network. I’m sure you’ve heard that CO clinics are overwhelmed with patients from OK and Tx….”
How proud I was of my friend; how sick to my stomach I was, for the reason for her (and other women and men) having to take that action.
When MH and I have attended NARAL fundraiser events in Portland, the organization’s staff has mentioned how their peers working in other states are “jealous” of Oregon’s long record of supporting reproductive rights.  Looks like my friends and I may soon be providing the same services, should Oregon experience a migration of patients.
* * *
Department Of, And One More Thing….
Don’t y’all be kidding y’alls’ selves that there is, ultimately or sincerely (ha!), *any* reason for the SCOTUS decision, other than that of controlling women and fearing women’s sexuality and autonomy. I’ve seen firsthand the Scandinavian system and standard of living, and what societies looks like which actually care about children, put people ahead of politics, and relegate theocracy to the governmental dumpster fires of the past.
* * *
Department Of, Unfortunately, There Is Always One More “One More Thing” :
The Quiet Part Out Loud
I am so, so, so sorry, my LGBTQ family and friends and fellow Americans…. You do know you’re next, right?
“Vice President Harris said Monday that she ‘never believed’ the Senate testimony of Supreme Court Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Neil M. Gorsuch, in which they stressed the importance of legal precedent in cases like Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion.
‘I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them….’
Listen, it was clear to me when I was sitting in that chair as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that they were … very likely to do what they just did….”
Harris also addressed Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion, in which he called on the Supreme Court to reexamine cases on LGBTQ rights and contraception. ‘I definitely believe this is not over. I do. I think he just said the quiet part out loud,’ Harris said of Thomas.”
(Vice President Kamala Harris, “Harris says she ‘never believed’ Kavanaugh, Gorsuch would uphold Roe,” Washington Post )
* * *
Punz For The Day
The Death Of Liberty Edition
I was looking forward to returning to this segment of my blog. However, moiself – who looks for the levity in any situation and who sincerely hopes that friends and family entertain me with tasteless jokes should I come down with, say, butt cheek cancer or other dreadful diseases – is at a loss when it comes to being facetious about how religious conservative ideology is raping this country. So, these may have to do:
A priest, a pedophile, and a rapist walk into a bar. He orders a drink.
Q. How many conservative evangelical Christians does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. They just sit in the dark and demand you accept that the light is still on.
Q. How do you teach a bunch of kids about god—who he is, and what he does?
A. Gather them all in a classroom. Then never show up.
* * *
May you find power in the visualization of male SCOTUS justices who voted to overturn Roe V. Wade having yearly colonoscopies performed by unsterilized wire coat hangers;
May you take constructive action where and how you can to your maintain sanity;
May we all soon return to living in the 21st century;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 The most exotic place of all, and as foreign as the state sometimes felt, we were never asked to show our passports.
 A Swede married to a Canadian.
 Yes, we – of course moiself eventually got it as well. We were both glad to have been fully vaccinated, as our symptoms were relatively mild and followed the same course (fever disappearing in less than 48 hours…frankly, if we hadn’t have tested ourselves for COVID we’d have thought we’d contracted a mild influenza virus).
 One of the rallying cries of the SF-based political activists group LAW [“Ladies Against Women”], who used satire – well, it seemed like satire at the time, and now it seems like prescient journalism – to critique the religious/conservative right wing’s anti-women’s autonomy political agenda.
 “Although Neil Gorsuch, appointed in 2017, attends an Episcopal church, he was raised Catholic, and it is unclear if he considers himself a Catholic who is also a member of a Protestant church or simply a Protestant.” (Daniel Burke (March 22, 2017). “What is Neil Gorsuch’s religion? It’s complicated.”)
 “In the context of United States law, originalism is a concept regarding the interpretation of the Constitution that asserts that all statements in the constitution must be interpreted based on the original understanding ‘at the time it was adopted.’ ” (Originalism, Wikipedia).
 Which continued after I left the practice and which exists to this day.
 I later heard about this same service from another doctor who was Doc’s age.
 Yep, that’s right – he knocked her up a fourth time, and then abandoned her and their children.
 Yes, that was way before HIPA laws.