Dean Clough

May 4, 2022

Portico Darwin: Roe v. Wade


Flag of Ukraine.jpg

Well, I had a typically wonderful blog all ready to roll for today - there was even a chart!  You'll have to wait until Friday.  

Because, as I'm sure you've heard, the US Supreme Court looks poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has stood on the books for nearly 50 years.  Shocker, but I have opinions of my own on the matter.  Some I've published here before, after that awful person Governor Greg Abbott enacted a back-door approach to banning abortion in the great state of Texas.  No matter; here are some random thoughts on this debacle, and naturally, some rants.  What are yours?

  • The leak is egregious (see below); but the decision (if it comes down) to overturn Roe v. Wade is much, much worse.

  • I get it:  some think it's murder.  In all cases.  Full stop.  I completely understand that perspective.  

  • But isn't an abortion just different enough from murdering someone that's been born that you'll compromise?  And also because of the fact that no woman wants an abortion?  And that there's no more personal a decision?  Maybe here we could compromise?
    • Increase sex education and birth control availability
    • Increased focus on adoptions
    • No or strictly limited abortions beyond 4 - 5 months of pregnancy?
    • And you certainly understand why an abortion must be available for a woman that's been raped or is a victim of incest, or where carrying through with the pregnancy could kill or forever harm the mother? 

  •  Isn't this settled law?  I will be interested in understanding the current Supreme Court's rationale in the complete obliteration of a previous court's decision.  A woman's right to an abortion is A LOT MORE DEBATEABLE than something like the moral illegitimacy of "separate but equal" (codified by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, and overturned by Brown v. Board of Education in 1954).  In other words, it's pretty rare for the Supreme Court to completely blow away the landmark decision of another.  It's also the first time - I believe - a right is broadly being restricted, not expanded.

  • McConnell is just the worst.  He stole the Neil Gorsuch seat from President Obama by wanting "to leave it up to the voters" when Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, only to toss that concept out of the fucking window when he ramrodded Amy Coney "Island" Barrett into the Supreme Court two weeks before the November 2020 election.  Shameless.  Shameful.  But sadly effective.

  • Invasion of privacy - my God, the mental gymnastics here.  I just don't get when it's OK for the government to interfere (DeSantis in Florida, and now as it appears, the end of legal abortion in many states), and when it is not.  Wouldn't this be the one area you'd think people would want the most freedom from government interference?

  • The leak:  I believe the focus must be on the decision itself, but this getting out early is an American tragedy.  It's the final nail in our now fully politicized coffin, with the penultimate being Ginni Thomas and her text convos with Mark Meadows.  The Supreme Court joins the growing and very depressing list of organizations we used to believe in as Americans.  But it's the case, not the leak, that really matters.

  • And why are Republicans almost uniform in their focus on the leak, but not the decision itself?  Put another way:  where are the celebrations from Congressional Republicans on this?  Most have pushed overturning Roe v. Wade since entering the arena, yet the majority are mum now.  It's because most Americans believe in the right of women to have safe abortions.  And wow, we wouldn't want to let sucking up to evangelical Christians get in the way of serving the country.

  • And wow, enough already:  you had me at Ukraine.  I long for a very bored period in the USA.

And lastly:  tell me again why the Republicans are going to be swept into power in Congress this fall?  

Are you still voting Republican?  Do you know people that are?  How low do taxes have to go before the "peripheral" damage isn't worth it?  

Trump, January 6, and now this seem like a pretty steep price for those tax cuts, but maybe it's just me.

This is a very bad transition.  No matter, because Alden and Katie Marina Michaels just welcomed their new daughter, Natalie Karen Michaels, into the world on 5/2.  Everyone, including the myriad brothers, sisters and other stakeholders, are all doing great.  And I heard the proud grandma Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels even had put down action on the baby's arrival date - and won.  Congrats!

"Polly's" hot tub cohort, Primo Harvey PhD (do we call him a "step grandfather" at this point?), was so moved by my RV and station wagon dreams, that he responded, but with flair.

Here are a few pictures in response to a couple of recent Portico Darwin posts. First are two examples in the camper category.  Below is an extreme version of the camper "conversion," seen on BLM land west of Sedona.  Maybe we could call this a "survivalist conversion."  I bet the mountain graphics are stunning when this baby is in popped-down mode. 

Next is the rig that a friend and I used on our recent Utah desert trip.  This roof-top tent requires a bit of set-up but is surprisingly stable, as we discovered during a very windy night.  These tents are quite popular - once you start looking for them you see quite a few on the road.  One big drawback is the need to negotiate the ladder when nature calls in the middle of the night.  Of course, there are ways around the need to climb down, but I chose to brave the ladder for the opportunity to see the stars, which are awesome in Utah.


Lastly is a photo of my older sister, Amy, washing the "H-Mobile" (1965 Ford Country Sedan) which transported the Harvey family of six on many trips around the West, as well as a trip to the East coast pulling a pop-up trailer.  When Dad bought a new used station wagon, the H-Mobile became the Kid's car, excelling as a ski car and a make-out machine.


Which brings me to my only quibble with your station wagon post:  could a couple really stretch out and luxuriate in the back of any of those fancy-schmancy foreign numbers?  Seems unlikely to me.

ON FIRE!  So much to unpack!  The macho rig at the top seems like it's making up for shortcomings elsewhere; your rooftop camper looks cool, but "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme song keeps playing in my head; and agreed:  the H-Mobile has far more room than my swish Eurotrash station wagons.  For anything! 

One more on wagons and then I'll let it go.  It's a bad photo, and you can't see that the car on the right is a wagon (trust me, it was), but here's one Steven Simon will enjoy.  This is from a boy's road trip we made to the Adirondacks in January of 1981.


Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

Understanding how the Roe v. Wade thing impacts women feels to me as a white man the same as trying to relate to what black Americans experience.  It is impossible, but one must try. 

In honor of women and their personal freedom, here is Carole King and Tapestry.


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.