When I wake early, I usually relish the quiet. I enmesh myself in the peace of early morning darkness. I try to control my environment by focusing on the serenity of solitude. I am not completely successful with every attempt, but most of the time when I devote my full energy to beginning a calm day, it materializes. Today, though, I woke from a disturbing dream. The dream, along with the vestiges of last night’s PBS Newshour, left me brittle, frustrated, and angry. Anger is draining. It drinks up one’s positive energy, leaving only a dull negativity in its wake. I think I would rather not wake up, if this kind of morning awaits me.


As I see political appointees misuse their positions to further their personal “moral” agendas, I realize the fragility of our freedoms. Yesterday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, ordering a hold on federal approval of the abortion medication, mifepristone, surprised me. Given the massive efforts by conservatives to criminalize abortion, regardless of the process employed, I should have expected such a move. The ruling, in response to a lawsuit filed by the ironically-named Alliance Defending Freedom, provides another example of judicial overreach; this time, a single judge decided he was better-suited to deciding the legitimacy of a drug than was the Food and Drug Administration. The ironically-named Alliance Defending Freedom, which also was involved in arguing to overturn Roe vs. Wade, petitioned the court to strip medical professionals of their freedom to prescribe, and patients of the freedom to use, a drug that passed the FDA’s approval process more than twenty years ago. If allowed to stand, Kacsmaryk’s decision will offer evidence that freedom in the United States of America is a privilege given to the politically powerful, not a right guaranteed by the Constitution.


While complaining about the illusion of freedom, another example of the abuse of power was on full display in Tennessee when the Republican House of Representatives expelled two young Black lawmakers for breaching decorum by leading a protest against the chamber’s refusal to consider measures to control access to guns.  Interestingly, a third member of the House, a sixty-year-old White woman, was not expelled; does that not speak volumes of the racism in the House and its intolerance to views contrary to its hyper-conservative majority? If I  had absolute power, I would imprison for ninety days every House member who voted in favor of expulsion; during that time, I would prohibit providing them with food and water. I wonder whether my action would be labeled “murder by omission?” Bastards!


I will try to sleep some more. There is no point in being awake when consciousness is as grueling as it is right now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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