Taken for granted, no longer granted.

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than 50 years for the story around abortion to go from “Did you hear about X? I heard she was on the flight to New York” last Tuesday to driving your best friend to the clinic to putting your daughter/granddaughter/niece on a flight to New York. Legal abortion, nationwide, 1973-2021.

I’m speaking, of course, of the Privileged Woman version of abortion in the U.S., of course. The flight to New York out of Columbus was well-known in my suburban high school. It left early, which left you all day to visit the clinic, get the procedure, wait through recovery and get back to LaGuardia in time for the late-afternoon plane back home. I knew a few women — girls — who did that. A woman my sister’s age told me about her own pre-Roe abortion; it took place in a hotel room in Missouri, and it was awful, but it was as safe as a hotel-room abortion can be.

Then came Roe, and for a while we had three clinics in Columbus to choose from. The women I know preferred the one near Ohio State, for the protective coloring of blending in with a bunch of other college-age women. The peace and quiet didn’t last long, because once the anti-abortion movement got ramped up, you had to run a gantlet of screaming lunatics. Early in my career, you could call up a doctor you knew worked in a clinic, do an interview, and he wouldn’t have to worry about being shot in the head at church. That didn’t last long, either. By the time I got to Fort Wayne, those people feared for their lives, and why shouldn’t they? “Pro-life” activists shot up their clinic. So they stopped doing abortions at all (one was my own gynecologist) and left it all to the sad clinic downtown, with the circuit-riding doctor who came in from Illinois one day a week. Eventually, that clinic had to relocate, and then shut down.

Hoosiers, what was the name of that Operation Rescue guy? Wait, it’s coming back — Wendell Brane. As I recall, he and his wife suffered from secondary infertility, i.e., they had one child, but couldn’t conceive another. So did the main editorial writer at my newspaper who most often inveighed against abortion. His wife was a real piece of work; at a work party she whined to me about how unfair it was that this reporter and that editor were pregnant out of wedlock, but she couldn’t have a second. I thought of telling her the Lord works in mysterious ways, but just nodded and held my tongue.

Anyway, anecdotally I’ve noticed a lot of infertility issues among anti-choice activists: It’s not fair! They also believe that every woman who has an abortion spends the rest of her life In Quiet Mourning, waiting for her breast cancer to arrive. I’ve never had an abortion, and I can’t speak with certainty about anyone else’s interior life, but the ones I’ve known who seemed OK afterward. Mad at the men in their lives, who often behaved abominably, yes. But the idea that they weep for their lost little angel? Haven’t seen it, myself. (Miscarriages are another story, although even that varies wildly along a continuum of gestational age and religious devotion. I wonder if the serious Catholics who’ve miscarried ever ask themselves why God aborted their baby. Probably not.)

So this week Roe was effectively overturned. I mentioned above that I speak from the Privileged Woman’s perspective, and still do. If Kate or another young woman of my acquaintance needs this service, I’m fully prepared to buy — and able to buy — a plane ticket or drive across the bridge or whatever else I have to do to help them out. The unborn bay-beeeez (sorry, that’s always how I say it in my head) that will be born due to this will be born poor and disadvantaged, although maybe a lucky few will be adopted by Betsy DeVos types, at least as long as their mothers took good care of themselves through their pregnancies.

I expect Susan Collins is terribly, terribly disappointed in Brett Kavanaugh right now. Well, fuck her. Fuck them all.

If you’re looking for something to get a sense of what we’re up against now, I recommend “Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always,” which you can probably find on a streaming service somewhere.

Why am I so low-level angry today? This is why. Also, at this:

OK, then. Tomorrow is Friday, and I think this will be the last one for the week for me. See you Sunday/Monday, and have a great weekend.

Posted at 1:37 pm in Current events |

53 responses to “Taken for granted, no longer granted.”

  1. Sherri said on September 2, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    The Texas law is so comically absurd that it’s almost unbelievable that even this right-wing court let it stand. But there is nothing that right-wingers won’t do in pursuit of their agenda.

    Theoretically, this opens up a path for a blue state to effectively ban guns by allowing people to sue neighbors who own guns, but we know in reality that the right wingers would never apply the same principles in such a case. However, expect trans kids to be next in the crosshairs.

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  2. Heather said on September 2, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    I have no patience for all these male pundits who are like “I’m shocked at the Court’s reasoning and decision.” Um, why? Women have been screaming that this would happen since 2016. You just thought we were “hysterical.”

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  3. Julie Robinson said on September 2, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    It’s hard to find new ways to express my outrage. We are living in A Handmaid’s Tale. The stories coming out of Texas are absolutely heartbreaking.

    In other, much more trivial matters, our invitation for the NOLA wedding came today, and here’s the dress code: “We chose black tie optional because we are hoping to cultivate a evening where everyone feels their best; whether that be tuxedos and ball gowns or something more casual. Our main concern is your comfort.”

    So, anyone not in a tux or a ball gown will be uncomfortable and branded as the poor relations. I own nothing anywhere like this, and because of my foot issues, no dressy shoes. Mark Twain’s quote about being wary of situations requiring new clothes comes to mind.

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  4. David C said on September 2, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    The next DoD funding bill needs to have a provision slipped in to allow any woman to sue any man who doesn’t keep track of his sperm $100,000 if he lets it fertilize an egg when the owner doesn’t want it fertilized.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on September 2, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    The Texas law is si vague that, presumably, Nancy could be charged with “aiding and abetting” an abortion and be charged by an anonymous tipster. So could the Uber driver who takes her to her appointment. So could the motel manager who rented her a room. It’s absolutely insane and the “law” will be enforced by vigilantes. Fuck Texass.

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  6. susan said on September 2, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    This— —

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  7. Bella said on September 2, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    About 4 years ago, I decided to tell my abortion stories to anti abortion friends. I tell them that at 39, I had to terminate a pregnancy at 18 weeks due to fetal abnormalities. After that I couldn’t get pregnant so we started IVF. Because of my advance maternal age (41) the doctor put in all 6 embryos. Unfortunately I became pregnant with sextuplets. The outcome of a sextuplets pregnancy is normally terrible so we reduced to twins. Awful situation but the outcome was two healthy babies. I tell this story because most people think women that have abortions are sluts and use abortion as birth control. If I lived in Texas and had no money, I would of been screwed.

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  8. Deborah said on September 2, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    I checked to see if LB helped a woman from Texas to travel to NM to exercise her choice as her constitutional rights allow, LB would not be in trouble. Only someone in Texas who would help her could be subject to a law suit. If someone from another state sends the pregnant woman money directly to travel to another state would also not be hampered by the draconian law. I don’t know if that’s actually true. Does anyone else know?

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 2, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    They’re going to fundraise off of this as fast as they can, knowing the Supreme Court will overturn it as soon as they get a case with standing. The bill is legislative malpractice from top to bottom.

    The Republicans have given themselves the leading role in a reboot of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. It’s not a sequel you’d think anyone would want to produce.

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  10. Suzanne said on September 2, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    I hope the media and the Dems focus on the vigilante part of this law. More moderate Pro-lifers won’t be swayed by sob stories of women who couldn’t have an abortion. Focus on how someone could accuse any of them of aiding and abetting an abortion and even if it isn’t true, it’s up to the accused to prove it, court costs and all, which might make some of them stop and think.

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  11. Peter said on September 2, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    I’m stating the obvious, but we’re on the crazy train when IRELAND has a more progressive stance on reproductive rights than we do.

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  12. susan said on September 2, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    And, of course, not to be outdone by not-quite-the-olde-south, Floriduh follows Texastan down the Taliban Road

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  13. alex said on September 2, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    On the bright side, if there is one, a lot of single-issue GOP voters probably won’t bother going to the polls anymore now that they think the battle has been won.

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  14. Sherri said on September 2, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that this court will overturn it. They’ve already got a case on the docket, Dobbs, that they sat on for months and only added to the docket after Barrett was confirmed to the bench.

    Sure, the vigilante aspect of the Texas law might get thrown out, but Dobbs is about the Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, well before the viability standard of Roe. For context for those of you who have never gone through pregnancy, an ultrasound in a normal pregnancy, the kind you see on TV, typically happens at 16-18 weeks.

    I think that now that Roe has been breached, there’s no going back to status quo ante. The five justices who refused to stay the Texas law are not going to restore Roe.

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  15. Dave said on September 2, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    That’s a good point, Alex, I hadn’t thought of that.

    I’ve been reading about Texas lately, not today’s Texas but the Texas of the Alamo, the fantastic story of how Davy Crockett and William Travis, oh, and a very sick Jim Bowie, fought for Texas independence. Yeah, right.

    I honestly didn’t know this but that fight was about slavery. Cotton growers throughout the south had moved to Texas and brought their slaves with them but Texas was part of Mexico and Mexico had abolished slavery as soon as they’d shook themselves free of Spain. Santa Anna was a bloody fellow but not the villain so portrayed most broadly in about every film depiction I’ve ever seen. This book is interesting and I guess it’s angered many Texans, including their governor: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/16/1006907140/forget-the-alamo-texas-history-bryan-burrough

    I remember when we were in Colorado at Rocky Mountain National Park in 1981, we attended some sort of evening presentation by a park ranger and there were Texans there. They were so full of themselves, it struck us, only because they were Texans and special somehow.

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  16. LAMary said on September 2, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Texan tourists are not liked in NM, Colorado and Utah. Too many of them live up to the stereotype.

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  17. Deborah said on September 2, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Yeah LAMary gov good hair served 3 terms, that should tell anyone what they need to know about Texans. If Abbott wins a third term you don’t need to know anything else.

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  18. Connie said on September 2, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Twice a woman that I knew surprised me by telling me her abortion story. One took a Greyhound bus to New York state pre Roe, a high school girl alone on a bus. The other was a prominent local politician who quietly went to Bloomington IN for a legal abortion, who had two young sons diagnosed with Marfan syndrome and told me that despite her desire for a girl she wasn’t willing to take a chance on another genetically inflicted boy.

    I found both stories very sad.

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  19. David C said on September 2, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    The birth control is the same as abortion lie will probably be the next thing they use to stir up the fundies. The trouble with that is except for the quiverful nuts, I don’t thing it plays that well. The forced birthers say they’re against it but they still manage to have only 1.9 kids.

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  20. Deborah said on September 2, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Some people have been accused of being alarmist and I’ve been guilty of being one of those people who poo poo what has eventually turned out obviously to be happening to our fragile democracy. I’ve learned my lesson to look at the handwriting on the wall. It’s desperate now and I need to be doing whatever I can do to correct it. I just wish I knew what I can do.

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  21. Sherri said on September 3, 2021 at 1:16 am

    A good explainer of what the court did: https://www.vox.com/22653779/supreme-court-abortion-texas-sb8-whole-womans-health-jackson-roe-wade

    Jeff(tmmo)@9 implies that this is a temporary state of affairs. This is in keeping with his opinion expressed at other times that both sides prefer the status quo in order to fundraise rather than to actually change anything. I think that’s bullshit. Roe is dead, and if you live in a state controlled by right-wing crazies, you have no reproductive rights.

    It’s about preserving white male Christian power at the top of the hierarchy. The rest of us are supposed to know our place.

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  22. Dexter Friend said on September 3, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Empowering mad ex-boyfriends to sue anyone assisting their exes’ abortions is just one absurdity of this. And Susan Collins is just despicable. So was McCain, Romney, who favored legal abortion rights to get elected in MA, only to switch to get the Republican presidential nod later on. George W. Bush was another one. And Kavanaugh, the drunk now seated on the bench, made sure he was heard on this issue. It’s a big stinking mess and Florida and all states with repugg governors are champing at the bit to proceed.
    I had a friend who’s wife had three kids and aborted a 4th in an Indianapolis rented room with a doctor who actually used a coat hanger. Infection set in…not pretty…recovered. Shaky.

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  23. JIm said on September 3, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Liz Brown filed a notice of intent to file a Texas type ani-abortion bill in Indiana yesterday.

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  24. JodiP said on September 3, 2021 at 9:08 am

    I had an abortion at age 20, in 1985. I’d decided by then that I wasn’t going to have children. I was in a relationship with a huge power imbalance (not realized at the time) so didn’t feel comfortable advocating for protection. (And don’t @ me that I could have gone on the pill.) Six months previously, I’d had to quit college as my dad lost the farm. I moved to NYC to become a nanny and was in the relationship with the guy for a few months. Looking back, there was so much I was dealing with but I carried on.

    I have never had regrets, only profound gratitude I was able to make an appointment, the guy paid for it, and I was able to go on with my messed up life until I got things figured out. That stint in NYC was profoundly life-altering for many reasons.

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  25. Deggjr said on September 3, 2021 at 10:02 am

    If the Texas law has to exist at all, it should at least allow the vigilantes to sue the father of the aborted child.

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  26. rb said on September 3, 2021 at 10:21 am

    I second Dave’s recommendation of “Forget the Alamo”. Entertaining and informative read.
    As a Texan, I was taught the legend instead of the truth, and yes, as a 7th grader my class traveled from Dallas to visit the Alamo.
    Also, as a Texan, I can confirm that we are usually the most obnoxious people in the room.
    Gawd, I miss Ann Richards and Molly Ivins.

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  27. Jenine said on September 3, 2021 at 10:34 am

    @rb: yeah, I’ll raise a glass to the memory of Molly and Ann. That was an era.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 3, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Sherri, I’ve said on some issues there’s been a fundraising quid pro quo on both sides; not on this one. I think the attack on Roe is coming through Dobbs, which will result in some sort of change. I still think the Texas law will be overturned, and it’s quite one-sided that it’s opportunistic in its flimsy weirdness, legislatively speaking, and designed to fail after a a period of back-and-forthing. Refusing to block isn’t the same as upholding, though you wouldn’t think it to read headlines; the Dobbs case in Jackson MS is the one where something significant is likely to happen to the jurisprudence on the Roe precedent.

    And yes, the political energy on the right is more and more clearly coalescing around protecting white male Christian power, which is an increasingly short term play which has no real lasting strategy behind it. Like a dwindling congregation in a changing neighborhood, the GOP rump caucus seems to have no plan beyond hold on until after their own funeral, at which point who cares . . . which is itself an oddly un-Christian, non-faith-perspective oriented point of view, but one I find quite common across my local landscape. In the end, it’s “I just want the place to stay open but also unchanged until my memorial services are held, even when it’s clear keeping things frozen that way ensures closure fifteen minutes after the benediction, if not two weeks before while I’m semi-conscious at Shady Acres.” Lots of grim endgames playing out, at least around middle America. I scent the same rot out of Texas on the south wind.

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  29. susan said on September 3, 2021 at 10:42 am

    and Barbara Jordan.

    Those three Texas women… I wonder if there are any more like them.

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  30. Suzanne said on September 3, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Do not think for one second they won’t go after contraception. Most pro-lifers think the pill, the IUD, and the morning after pill are abortifacients and need to be outlawed. You will not change their minds with facts. For them, the second that sperm enters that egg, you have a baby.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see mandated screens that go over the toilet bowl to catch the remnants of a natural abortion which happens often but most women don’t even know it so those “remains” can be properly buried. We will have to inspect all bodily fluids just in case there is a baby hiding in there.

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  31. Sherri said on September 3, 2021 at 11:25 am

    The only reason the court refused to block is because the five justices agreed with the outcome. There’s no way they would have applied the same standard and refused to block had the law been about handguns instead of abortion.

    Yes, the vigilante idea in the Texas law will probably get struck down, closing off that avenue of chicanery, but the damage will have been done, *which is why these laws are blocked.*

    There may not be a strategy to hang on past their own funeral, but it’s clear the Republicans are just fine with taking the rest of us to our funerals along with them.

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  32. LAMary said on September 3, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Lift an ice tea for Molly. Her sobriety was a real point of pride for her.

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  33. Deborah said on September 3, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Beto O’Rourke and Wendy Davis are current Texans that are decent. Also Joaquin Castro and his twin brother Julian, and their mother Rosie too are decent. There are probably lots more we don’t hear about. Oh yeah, and Dan Rather, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett etc. LB was born in Dallas.

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  34. LAMary said on September 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Jim Hightower seems like a good guy.

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  35. Suzanne said on September 3, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    I can guarantee you that prolife women who are cheering this law are not considering things like this:

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  36. Scout said on September 3, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Many of you already read Heather Cox Richardson’s daily essays, but for those who don’t, the aftermath of the TX abortion bill one is worth a read on so many levels: the history, the ramifications and the crickets from Fox Noise and the rest of the GQP who may have realized they are the dog who caught the car.

    And if you’re up to some mischief, maybe you want to help the TX Taliban to stay really, really busy.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on September 3, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Cruelty for its own sake is part of the Republican brand. For example, a QOP-controlled school board eliminated free lunches for poor kids. A board member argued this would only create dependency for those hungry kids.

    I honestly believe I’ll never be persuaded to vote for a fucking Republican for the rest of my life.

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  38. David C said on September 3, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Fortunately, the school board in Walkersha got so much shit about the free lunch thing that they reversed it but only just barely.


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  39. Catherine said on September 3, 2021 at 1:59 pm


    “40% of the 5 people who just gutted Roe v Wade have been credibly accused of sexual assault or harassment.”

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  40. Scout said on September 3, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Crap, my comment must have gone into moderation because I posted two links.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on September 3, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    This is kind of delicious. Trump Tower has lost several of its lucrative tenants, and relies on his own PAC, which pays hefty rent on offices that are usually https: https://tinyurl.com/bstdfk8a. So much winning!

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  42. Deborah said on September 3, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Tonight they have this traditional weird event in Santa Fe, the burning of Zozobra. It’s a 40′ high effigy of doom and gloom that is stuffed with messages of people’s misery from the year. They burn it and thousands upon thousands of people watch. It used to be a drunken brawl with guns and whatnot. They’ve cleaned it up over the years, and now they charge an admission to watch. We can hear it from our place, it is a loud groaning broadcast from the effigy and the roar of the crowds as it burns. We’ve never attended and don’t ever have any desire to do so. You can google it and see lots of images. It is bizarre.

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  43. Littlebird said on September 3, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    I would like to point out that in the 9 years I’ve lived here I’ve never attended a Zozobra. Even before the pandemic I didn’t do crowds. Apparently they close down the plaza during and that whole night. You can only get through if you can prove you’re staying in one of the hotels.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on September 4, 2021 at 2:04 am

    All kinds of stuff streaming about every angle of 9-11. I always learn a little bit more from each show. I never get tired of it, just the opposite; I want to know every angle. Tora Bora, the ignoring of hot chatter for months, the non-exchanging of intel between agencies…then the lies in the aftermath. I lost all respect for Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, Tenet, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush….

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  45. Deborah said on September 4, 2021 at 3:33 am

    Well this is interesting, I got an email from Lyft, as I have an account with them. The email states their disgust with the new Texas law regarding the danger their drivers may be in if they drive a woman to an abortion destination. It went on saying how how awful the law is and how devastating it is to women etc. They pledged a million dollars to planned parenthood. Good for them, even though this may be a marketing ploy, it’s putting their money where their mouths are. I started out with an Uber account but changed to Lyft when I read about some of Uber’s business practices. I’m glad I did.

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  46. Connie said on September 4, 2021 at 7:36 am

    So last Sunday hub and I went out to eat with his sister and her spouse, all four vaccinated. On Thursday sister’s spouse tested positive. Yikes. We both feel fine but are on the lookout.

    BIL and I both have birthdays around now, our steak dinner plan is cancelled.

    OTOH moving is done and I sold the big card catalog, so have a nice wad of bills in my pocket.

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  47. Deborah said on September 4, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Here’s a description of last night’s Zozobra event in Santa Fe, so you can see for yourself how weird it is https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/zozobra-burns-in-santa-fe-for-the-97th-time/article_c4334e94-0aa5-11ec-9020-7f49014f10a8.html

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  48. LAMary said on September 4, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Uber is doing the sane thing, Deborah. They’ll pay the legal expenses of any of their drivers who get named by some good citizen who accuses them of giving someone a ride to get an abortion.

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  49. Deborah said on September 4, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Yes LAMary, I read that Uber did that as well, but they were spurred on by Lyft to do it and they admitted as much. Good for them for doing it too.

    We’re about to drive to the Albuquerque airport to take my husband for his flight back to Chicago. I have 2 more weeks here partly because of all kinds of interesting things happening with the A-hole owner. It’s hitting the fan big time. She is writing all caps and millions of exclamation point emails and accusing us of threatening and bullying her. We aren’t communicating with her except through our lawyer. She’s not used to this, she usually screams and intimidates and gets her way.

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  50. David C said on September 4, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    It could be BS, but I read someone has sued Abbott for causing her to have a miscarriage when she got Covid. It said the law is so poorly written it doesn’t eliminate suits for spontaneous abortions. It could also be that they didn’t want to eliminate them for maximum woman hating power. I hope it gets to be a they’ll rue the day time.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 4, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    If you want to catch a glimpse, late 1940s style, of the whole Zozobra festival in the streets and set in a thinly veiled Santa Fe, which was almost entirely filmed there, find the movie “Ride the Pink Horse.” I think it’s a noir classic but with very little noir to it; plenty of green chile, shots inside the LaFonda upstairs and down, with Zozobra on his way to a fiery demise woven into the story:


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  52. Deborah said on September 4, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks for that Pink Horse link Jeff, definitely ordering that.

    It was nearly 90 in Albuquerque today when we dropped my husband off at the airport. We stopped at a little shop in Old Town where LB dropped off some soap for sale, for maybe 15 minutes and it was hot. Meanwhile back in Santa Fe now it’s 71 and raining. Things are shut down at the Abiquiu cabin now for the fall, won’t be back there until November.

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  53. LAMary said on September 6, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    The kid is in Indy doing G’n R. He had a side trip to Tulsa to do a festival featuring Rob Zombie, Anthrax, and a band from Hungary called The Hu. He overheard a conversation between two guys waiting to buy overpriced festival t shirts. Guy one: I found my father in the phone book. Guy two: I found my father in a bar.

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