What's even worse about Justice Alito's draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade? That it opens the door to our Supreme Court doing so much more harm! As one observer writes, the ruling "disavows the entire line of jurisprudence upon which Roe rests: the existence of 'unenumerated rights' that safeguard individual autonomy from state invasion. Alito asserts that any such right must be 'deeply rooted' in the nation’s history and tradition, and access to abortion has no such roots." Of course abortion was legal in the United States until the early 1900s, so it actually has "deep roots." But can you think of any other rights they'll say aren't "deeply-rooted" enough? Yes, reader, you can! Like the right to gay and interracial marriage, the right to use birth control, and the right to keep your government out of your bedroom. As another observer put it: "Requiring civil rights to be 'deeply rooted in history' is a great way to say 'if you didn’t always have civil rights, then you should never have them,'" never mind that there is such a thing as arguing you should always have had these rights in the first place.
You heard Justice Barrett wonder why we even need abortion when we've got adoptions and no-questions-asked baby drop-offs? Kathryn Joyce at Salon tells us why that's more ignorant than it sounds. Long story short: relinquishing a baby for adoption is actually very traumatic, to the point that almost no one does it at a drop-off, plus the processes we've used for adoption (including "homes for unwed mothers" and, more recently, "shepherding families") have brutalized women, plus a lot of families want the "right" babies and you know what that means. Too often our Supreme Court Justices sound like aliens from another planet -- remember how Antonin Scalia asked what's the big deal with taking a day off to get your voter ID sorted? I'll bet that man never have had to ask for a day off in his life! So Barack Obama wasn't so dumb to say a Supreme Court Justice have a sense of what someone else's life is like. The right-wing majority on our Court sure doesn't have enough of a sense of that.
What is The Hidden Reason for Starbucks Worker Organizing, according to Armando Vega at The American Prospect? The pandemic, of course! A lot of Starbucks cafés shut down at pandemic's onset, which cut the workforce and, perhaps more importantly, cut workers off from each other. Then the sharp increase in mobile ordering didn't drop off once cafés reopened, meaning Starbucks had far more work than it had workers to do the work. Then Omicron hit, and workers made dozens of reasonable suggestions for protecting themselves from the vastly increased risk of contracting COVID -- only to have management "laugh() in our face," in the testimony of one worker. So it goes far beyond workers simply getting a little distance from their jobs and seeing things more clearly.
Four writers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation discuss ways Elon Musk could improve Twitter, and yes they're all good ideas, even though I already know how Mr. Musk feels about "less automation" and more humans in content moderation, "humans" being something only to be "authenticated" in his now-infamous phrase. (And authentication has its own problems, as you know if you know people in any kind of trouble anywhere on Earth.) But why isn't "starve the beast and let it die" an option? I think Facebook, terrible as it is today, was a net positive 10 years ago, but Twitter is a swamp and has always been a swamp, even in those days it wasn't particularly eager to amplify the voice of white supremacists. I'd advise everyone on Twitter to leave and go back to using email listservs. It's harder work, but so are most things worth doing. And photos and videos don't slow down your connection as much as they used to.
Kimberly Tower and Camille Gélix at The Conversation discuss how Marine LePen "gain(ed) ground with youth voters" -- and why American right-wingers have so far failed to do same. They don't come out and say it, but where American politicians make a show of fighting corporate power, Ms. LePen makes a better show, with actual proposals supporting French "economic self-sufficiency," financial assistance for student workers, and tougher food-safety regulations on meat. Meanwhile, American right-wingers love energy exports more than energy independence, lambaste college students for not bootstrapping enough, and want corporations to do their own food inspections. Broadly speaking, Ms. LePen lost more decisively to Mr. Macron than I expected, but she also lost by less than she did in 2017, and unless folks like Jean-Luc Mélenchon can get more traction, I don't see this story ending well.
Finally, a Democrat decisively wins a special election in a Michigan state house seat that has been in Republican hands since time immemorial -- at least partly because her Republican opponent has lately said rape victims should "lie back and enjoy it," a "joke" I first heard 40 years ago and one which sure doesn't play well given, ah, recent developments at our Supreme Court. And yeah, that's not the only stupid thing that guy has said lately, but more interestingly, Carol Glanville seems fairly focused on things that might actually get people to vote for her! Now, I'm not saying this is a bellwether race. But I am saying that defeating evil is possible in any district, anywhere, if we but imagine it.