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Nevilledog's Journal
Nevilledog's Journal
July 17, 2023

A.R. Moxon: What you find "understandable" depends on who it is you choose to understand


So let’s say you’re on the subway and it’s crowded, and let’s say a guy gets onto your car and crowd in next to you. And let’s say he steps on your toes.

And you think, hey, it’s a crowded car, that’s just a mistake. It hurt, but it didn’t injure. You assume no ill will. You might not even say anything about it. It’s city living.

Say he does it again, so you clear your throat, to make sure he’s aware of you. And then again. And so you break your silence, and politely ask him to please take care.

And then he tells you that he didn’t step on your toes, and while he tells you that, he makes eye contact with you, and steps on them again—hard. And you yell at him, because you now know it is intentional. And he loudly protests that he has no intention of stepping on feet, he doesn’t even see feet, and that the place where your feet are is his area of the car anyway. He is only concerned about equality. This is a question of integrity in matters of subway floor-plan fairness, he says, and if you’re getting your little toes stepped on—which you aren’t—it’s because you’re putting yourself somewhere where you shouldn’t be, which means that you are actually the one infringing on the space of others. And, having said this, he steps on your toes.

So you shove him away.

Now let’s say I see this, and come over.

Say I scold you that violence is never appropriate, and explain that you are adding to the overall polarization and division on the subway car. Say I tell you that while you have the right to your opinion, he has the right to his, because this is a free country, and we all have to exist together on this subway car, and his position is perfectly understandable, if you’ll just listen to it. And if you won’t, then you are actually causing him to kick you.

July 7, 2023

Inside Moms for Liberty's summit: Big money and even bigger conspiracy theories


Last weekend’s Moms for Liberty summit cemented the group as a key player in Republican politics, with the party’s presidential primary front-runners Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis addressing attendees both at the conference and at home via livestream. But it’s what happened in the breakout strategy sessions that were closed to the press that reveals why the group has become so effective — and dangerous.

In session after session, speakers offered a warped view of reality aimed at manipulating parents into believing they’re righteous liberators battling some ambiguous enemy located in public schools. They warned audience members that the teachers unions and other school officials that are “indoctrinating our kids” are on a mission to do everything from grooming their children to securing “world domination.”

I’ve been following Moms for Liberty for over two years, and it’s now the fastest-growing self-described “parental rights” organization in the United States, hiding behind the innocuous descriptor to covertly push a far-right agenda. Its meteoric rise has coincided with an alarming increase in harassment and threats directed at teachers, administrators, and school officials across the country — so much so that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated Moms for Liberty as an extremist group this year.

What always strikes me about Moms for Liberty is the leadership’s ability to provoke such intense and hateful reactions from members, like threatening gun violence against librarians and bringing a 10-year-old to tears. I was morbidly curious about what exactly they were telling them. Although I pieced together a decent enough picture by viewing recorded meetings, streamed events, documents, and interviews, I felt like I was missing something because I was behind a desk, not on the ground.

Until I attended this year’s summit.


July 5, 2023

Jessica Valenti: Abortion Exceptions Don't Exist


As 2024 approaches, Republicans are struggling with how to defend abortion bans to the American people. Polls continue to show that the laws are deeply unpopular, and support for abortion rights is at the highest it’s ever been in the country’s history. It’s not so easy to talk up legislation that the vast majority of voters oppose—but conservative lawmakers and strategists think they may have the answer: Exceptions.

The only thing that Americans want more than broad access to abortion is access to abortion for sexual violence victims and those whose health and lives are in danger. The polling is downright astronomical—even in red states, even among Republicans. And so it makes sense that conservatives would focus on exceptions; they desperately need an abortion stance that’s popular.

Best of all for the GOP, exceptions aren’t real. They’re deliberately designed to be unusable. So when Republicans announce their support for so-called exceptions—loudly proclaiming that they’re willing to meet in the middle—they’re presenting a compromise that doesn’t actually exist. For them, it’s a win-win.

Inexplicably, Democrats have spent little time pointing out that exceptions aren’t real—even though they have all the proof they need.

Since Roe was overturned, horror story after horror story has come out of states with ‘exceptions’ to their bans. A woman in Texas going septic, a Missouri woman with a doomed and deadly pregnancy, a 10 year-old rape victim in Ohio. All lived in states where their circumstances should have qualified them for abortions, yet none were able to access care. One woman in Louisiana even had a fetus with a fatal condition that was specifically listed in the state’s exceptions, yet had to leave her home state for an abortion.


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