Friday, May 6, 2022

"Beauty as Beauty"#AbortionRights #LGBTQrights #KeepYourLawsOffMyBody


All day Monday, I ran about, drafted notes, and prepped for classes.

Read through Micah’s Book of Tiny Prayers,

Kafka like aphorisms and poetics is well worth your time. 

And some bad news came across the internet. 


Posts started getting bleak. 

Vague references to riots.


It was over. Roe was over said a leaked brief authored by Samuel Alito.  

We’d known it was coming but it was still hard to read. 

The debate had been there my entire life, control vs self determination, the war on sex, on bodies, on women.


Michael J Crumpler, another Judsonite, posted:


“The immorality of conservatism is so brazenly obvious. It took about 250 years and a war to abolish slavery ... yet only 50 years to revert back to the same dehumanization and fascism that empowers a government to control people's bodies. Hear me folks, banning abortion is not about life, viability, or religion. It's about control. Such control will not end with banning abortion. It will begin with banning abortion. What you eat. Who you fuck. How you wear your clothes. How you move in your body. This is about to become an even sadder year than it already is.

What's even more sad is that before us, we have a very, very real opportunity to bury these bastards this November, by punishing them for an insurrection that unfolded right before our eyes.

Rather than heeding Maya Angelou's words, "When people show you who they are ... Believe them," we will not. The brutality on display is the conservative agenda. The cruelty is the point. They will go through any lengths to beat back progress.

Storm the capital.

Enact laws.

Manipulate the courts.

Suppress the vote.

Get ready to be killed for what they BELIEVE in! 🤬

God help us.”


 The careful 5/4 moderate court, with a sensible center, that kept Casey at 5-4, had tilted under Trump, another Republican president who didn’t even win the popular vote, nominating judges for life. One moderate after another replaced by hard liners, who don’t cross lines. 


"Its settled law," they said, one after another during their hearings, referring to Roe, and Susan Collins voted for them.  They saw their moment and took it. Six supreme court judges for Reagan and Trump.  Bush Senior got two in one term, his son two, although he lost the popular vote in the 2000 election.  Trump three in one term. Eisenhower appointed five members for the Supreme Court.  Kennedy got two. LBJ got two judges. Nixon four, that's right four and he retired before being impeached. Carter zero in one term. Obama and Clinton, two terms, two each.  One of Clinton's judges did not think any other women could do what she did. So she held off from retiring and was replaced by a conservative who immediately voted to overturn her legacy.  Liberal lion Thurgood Marshall stepped down early, replaced by  conservative Clarence Thomas, whose wife supported the Capital Hill Riot of Jan 6th. Joy oh joy.  And make no mistake, this is not the last  case based on 14th Amendment that we will see go.  Gay Marriage, who knows, interracial marriage, they could all go with a 6 - 3 majority on the court. It's an opening for any number of attacks on rights.  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the Supreme Court risks appearing as a partisan branch of government instead of supporters of the Constitution.


And the collateral damage, poor kids, having more poor kids, growing up, possibly abused; neglect follows, along with crime.

Dad always said there was no way the court could do this.  It would be like pulling a whole tree and all its branches, decades of cases out of the ground.  Well, they just did Dad.  They have been debating this my whole life.  The world is different now. The internet changes the game.  States take over.  I hope the kids in Texas have good cars and excuses for the sudden three day road trips they are going to be having to do with their girlfriends, much less the hookups whose Friday night dates fail to take their calls.

I hope the hackers have computers ready to telemedicine with friendly providers.

And those emails, can't forget those emails. Oh but those emails.

My friend Jay Walker reminds us:

“If you're as pissed off as I am, join me today at Foley Square at 5. Folks in BK, head to Barclay's at 7.

Folks in the LGBTQIA2S+ communities, this is a moment for solidarity. These justices are coming for us amd our rights next, starting with Trans folks.

Oh, and in case you aren't aware, they are also about to eviscerate tough concealed carry gun licensing laws in New York and across the country (look up NYSRPA v Bruen.)


  • Ben Maurer

  • One other common thread of the 3 judges Trump picked are all members of the federalist society. Yes the kochs and mercers, the Jesus schtick is secondary, the southern strategy to l use the public as such!!


  • Lynn Lewis

  • Yes to all of this! I teach today at 6 but will keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities to maximize resistance to these fascists. This is NOT about right to life it’s about control over our bodies and minds.





And that's why we do yoga said my yoga teacher in the AM. 


I ran into friends all day Tuesday. None of us had slept very well. 


All of New York was alive, rallies outside my classes for the climate, at City Tech, at Foley Square, where I rode after class. 

Alice, the star of last week’s blog was there. 

So was Ken, who was with me on the road trips to DC to defend the ACA and fight off Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barret. 

At Foley Square, I ran into Virginia, who told me about taking kids to appointments to get abortions when she was 15. 

Jonathan Walker was with her. He told us about his grandmother:

"Talked to my Mom the day after the supreme court draft leak, said I was going to a rally downtown.  She expressed her rage, despair and bewilderment and then tells me that her Mother, my Grandmother, worked for a time in Margaret Sanger's clinic in NY, probably late 19th century, early 20th in its first years, and that Granny, as we called her, told the story of a woman with a very large family at the clinic obtaining safe contraception and abortion information and services with tears running down her face saying, "you mean... I don't have to have any more babies??"   


“Make no mistake about it, they are coming for me next!!”


“Warning red alert. 🔥. They are coming for LGBT Americans next. Sobering yes worth fighting for absolutely”

Viki Noe 

“Griswold v Connecticut predates Roe v Wade, so that could be challenged soon. Along wth Obergefell v Hodges and Loving v Virginia. This is just the first domino.”

“Get your rosaries off my ovaries!”

All week, I found myself thinking of thousands of talks about the case, the college demos, the court hearings, going to DC to fight the Kavanaugh appointment, Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, the tilt we saw happening that we could not stop. 

So many fights. 

And had to step back to the openings and closings. 


Found myself reading the I Ching.


“When everyone in the world knows beauty as beauty

Ugliness appears.

When people see some things as good,

other things become bad.


Being and non-being create each other.

Difficult and easy support each other.

Long and short define each other.

High and low depend on each other.

Before and after follow each other.


Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


It's been the fight of our lives, demo after demo, year after year, with direct action, clinic defense, acting up for reproductive autonomy, beautiful and ugly, good becoming bad, being and non being, on and on, new fights mixing with old, on and on.


@jaywwalker and I met on Thursday, talking for hours about love and mentors, New York and Roe, rise and resist and gag... and reclaim pride and intersectional struggles

.... on and on ... through the mystery of time...


Raymond Diskin Black pic and caption: Benjamin Heim Shepard being interviewed yesterday st the abortion rights rally at Foley Square. I always like a sport coat at a protest.

Jay and I talking about it all.

Burton Watson, I think, in De Bary's Sources of Chinese Tradition.
While we were at the Foley Square, Ken was testifying at City Tech.

Ken Schles is at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) News.noosStMy name is #KenSchles. I’m a father of 2, a 3rd generation Brooklynite and a lead volunteer with @fwwnewyork —a group with over 80k supporters in NYC.I grew up suffering with asthma, which nearly took my life several times. In 2016 I nearly died from a heart attack. [Both diseases precipitated and exacerbated by PM2.5, a byproduct of #fossilfuel combustion.] Last year my home was flooded by Hurricane Ida. Last month I contracted Covid, [a zoonotic disease that has killed nearly 1MM Americans to date. A study in Nature finds that #climatechange exponentially increases cross-species viral transmission. Expect more to come.] I endure the continued consequences of climate pollution and climate inaction. But for how much longer?
For clean air and a healthy environment, we must electrify. NY must choose scenario three of the Climate Action Council’s recommendations. [A proposal to end NY’s reliance on fossil fuels across sectors.] Methane based solutions need to be avoided. Bio-derived or fossil extracted methane remains a carcinogen 85x more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. It’s proven to leak profusely in homes and up and down the distribution stream. Similarly, energy intensive “green” hydrogen, another false solution, has no place in our energy future.
Promoted by the same industry lobbyists and monopoly utilities who fought against the CLCPA and every environmental bill introduced since, these expensive, energy intensive options only serve to delay and distract. They are schemes to protect shareholder profit, and continue environmentally destructive legacies of extraction. Schemes that slow walk us toward an apocalyptic future, wasting time we don’t have, condemning many along the way to a premature death.
The Scoping Plan must ensure that mandates by the Climate Action Council contain emissions reduction timelines enforceable by law. Move immediately to enact a state-wide gas ban to meet the Climate Action Council’s goal of 1-2MM electrified homes by 2030. Build Public renewables—because market solutions have failed. Ban proof of work crypto-farms, because polluting sectors have no place in NY’s transition.
New York needs a rapid, just transition now.

Ken Schles is at Hart Senate Office Building.
Elevator doors closing on silenced protesters who wrote #wedissent on their palms… from protests during Kavanaugh hearings on #capitolhill September 7, 2018.

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