Curtain Raiser

Real Change Comes at a Cost, Colltalers

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg won many women’s rights battles in her life. In the past years, she became a leading dissenter at the Supreme Court and a hero for her progressive stands. She beat cancer too. But not even her could’ve pulled this one off: when the time came, she crossed it like a champion.
Her death may’ve upended the election – and vaporized Joe Biden’s polling numbers. It’s also topped the week’s other staggering news, from revelations that the U.S. immigration agency forced hysterectomies on asylum seekers, to seven million Americans sick of Covid-19, or climate-change wildfires.
The superstition-inclined sees the ongoing mass die-off of migratory birds across the U.S. and Mexico as an omen for what’s coming. Theories abound but there’s no clear scientific answer to what’s going on. Maybe they took off too early, or maybe it was the wildfires. It’s quite a sight to suddenly see a bird drop lifelessly from the sky, but it does happen. On a related plea, can we be done with the weirdness and heartbreak of this year already? Thanks.
As for the coronavirus, it’s still doing its thing: it passed the 30 million worldwide mark, and daily cases are still on the rise in many countries. Worse, there are unfounded expectations that a vaccine will suddenly deliver us from this scourge. As with most things these days, from rallies ‘for freedom’ against lockdowns to mostly American skirmishes of people refusing to wear masks, it’s all pre-fab and its purpose is to instill confusion and fear.
That’s Trump’s strategy to win. So perhaps getting as many people to vote as to take it to the streets and protest may be the perfect counter-strategy. He wants the chaos that may frighten his base into voting for him; but when the unrest is for racial and social equality, for dignity to dissent and freedom to protest, if it’s all to fulfill citizens’ constitutional right to choose their own leaders, then be it. We’ll be out there too, at the pavement and at the polls.
Speaking of it, Italians are choosing regional representatives today, but the biggest draw is a referendum on whether

to reduce the Parliament’s size. It’s a move that shows a high level of voter education since such an important issue completely lacks mass appeal. Perhaps other countries with oversize congresses may consider a similar call, as size and number of parties almost never reflect diversity or choice. For more on that, see (Brazil, Congress).
The surprising issue of animal rights is causing a stir in Poland and may force an early parliamentary vote on last week’s ban of fur farming and the ritual slaughter for the Kosher market. Rather than Covid-19 – 80,000 cases, 2,000+ deaths -, the European Union, Belarus, or relations with Russia, what has tickled the Polish and may break up the ruling coalition has, of course, involved a cat: PiS party leader’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski is a cat lover.
The news that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement gynecologist was performing hysterectomies without consent of detained women fell like a cruel and unnecessary sucker punch at the end of a fairly brutal beating. What? kids in cages, families split, mass arrests, deportations, subhuman jail conditions, deaths, virus outbreaks, and who knows what else goes in those concentration camps, learning about this make us all gag in disbelief.
We’re now in Joseph Mengele territory, and quickly turning the unredeemable tragedy of the Holocaust into a practical guide to terrorize immigrants. But let’s not even ask what’s next, just dismantle this new Gestapo, and put in jail all psychopaths at the service of White House before it’s too late.
I’ve had several inmates tell me that they’ve been to see the doctor and had hysterectomies and they don’t know why they went or why they’re going.’ revealed the whistleblower, nurse Dawn Wooten. She declined to tell the doctor’s name but news organizations reported that he’s Dr. Mahendra Amin.
The loss of Justice Ginsberg, who once said, ‘Enduring change happens one step at a time,’ quickly threw the elections down the stairs and prompted one of the most unkind and dirty politics-driven moves by a man who came to embody unkindness and dirty politics, Mitch McConnell. The Senate majority leader wouldn’t wait for a humane ‘five-minute warning’ of her passing to rally his troops and rush to name her replacement at the Supreme.
By the way, that’s what he does: he won’t pass relief legislation for working Americans hit by the pandemic but has given no-strings-attached billions to Big Oil. By naming dozens of anti-abortion and pro-Trump judges for lifetime court benches throughout the land, he puts Roe v Wade on notice  – an Evangelical wet dream – along with the Obamacare, besides assuring top of the line legal counsel for his boss and party in case they lose at the polls.
His attitude elicited an unrequited 2000s flashback and just the coordinated Republican mobilization has already caught Democrats off guard. The only way to assure that a new justice will be named only after the vote goes through convincing some spineless politicians, especially those up to reelection, that they must listen to their constituency. And surely, popular mobilization; every one of the 165 million American women must be on board for that.
The late Justice couldn’t have picked a more meaningful time to depart: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and/or the ‘universe’s birthday.’ And the Autumn Equinox, when days and nights have the same time length. Maybe as the late great Prince put it, ‘This is what it sounds like when doves cry.
It’s so hard to lose Ruth, John, and last year, Elijah, so close to an election with potential for saving the world, or watching it going down in flames. Hooray to whistleblowers, and dissenters, and conscientious objectors; they’ve given us their best and that now lives on inside us. So please, vote. WC


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