GUEST WORDS--Jane Doe, the 17-year-old pregnant immigrant girl held hostage and harassed for six weeks by rabid anti-choice Trump officials in Texas acting out an obscene dystopian drama in which they would force her to give birth, has received an abortion - or in the words of Jane's Due Process, "Jane has gotten justice."

Before being awarded her Constitutional rights, she was held by the feds in a detention center for unaccompanied minors, forced to make four court appearances, had her privacy rights violated when officials told her abusive parents who had beaten her pregnant sister so badly she miscarried, subjected to unwanted religious counseling and viewings of her sonagram images, blocked from seeing her lawyers and court-appointed guardian, and made to face the doubled risk, pain and duration of a 2nd-trimester abortion procedure - all while "pro-life" cretins hoped to drag out the case long enough to make that procedure illegal, after which they could have her and her newborn baby deported. Because all life is sacred, right?

Thankfully, multiple courts - state, federal, panel of appeal judges and full appeals court - all stepped up to say Jane Doe was entitled to have an abortion and it's none of the government's business and  leave this poor girl alone. 

GUEST COLUMNIST--What happened this weekend: Sgt. La David Johnson, killed in Niger under still-murky circumstances and dismissively dubbed "your guy" in last week's calamitous "condolence" call to his widow, was buried, as his family and fellow soldiers wept. 

In still-devastated Puerto Rico, 85% of island residents remain without power, over 30% have no power, experts are worried about water-borne diseases descending, and former governor Alejandro García Padilla posted a photo of a gloomy operating room where surgeons worked by cellphone flashlights. (Photo above.)  

To help stricken residents, all five former presidents hosted an unprecedented "Deep from the Heart: One America Appeal" benefit concert of country music in Texas; stressing the need for unity, they raised $31 million. Trump was M.I.A, except for a weird recorded message he beamed to the crowd from a teleprompter that bore no resemblance to reality. "The American people have done what we do best," he shouted. "We came together, we helped one another, and through it all, we remained resilient."

GUEST WORDS--I spent the last few days traveling across the country to North Dakota to join others in supporting a gentle man who tried to help everyone. For that he was convicted of several crimes and will be heading to a North Dakota prison.

Michael Foster was born and raised in Texas, in an oil family. His crime in North Dakota was turning off the Keystone pipeline in a symbolic but real call to all of us to do what we can to stop global climate chaos. 

That North Dakota valve turn was one of five similar actions last October–two women, three men, five valves on lines in Washington state, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota, all done in resonance with the Break Free from Fossil Fuels campaign.

We see the buck-naked consequences of paying no attention to our oil consumption; Harvey drowns Houston, fires rip through the West, every hurricane is more intense than it otherwise would be, droughts last longer, lakes are drying up, the seas are rising and surging, and with fracking even earthquakes are no longer a pure act of God. Most previously natural disasters are now unnatural disasters, made worse by our hand more than the hand of God or Mother Nature.

GUEST WORDS--The Voice of America reports that on Thursday, Trump met with US military leaders to discuss Iran and North Korea, then staged a photo opportunity with them. He asked the journalists, 

“You guys know what this represents? . . . Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”

What storm?

“You’ll find out.”

Trump has menaced North Korea with “fire and fury” and is now said to be determined to decertify Iran on compliance with the nuclear deal (the International Atomic Energy Agency, which inspects Iran’s nuclear facilities, says Iran is in compliance).  

GUEST WORDS--“I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us?”—Eve Ensler

Forget Harvey Weinstein. And Bill Cosby, and Bill O’Reilly, and Roger Ailes. But do remember the women. Remember all the women, famous and unknown, who have survived everything from catcalls to rape for as far back as well, forever.

The playwright and activist Eve Ensler is right to be past feeling impatient, to be so “over the passivity of good men.” She’s honed in on the question men have to answer: “Where the hell are you?” As of now, we’ve mostly been absent.

GUEST WORDS--Two weeks ago, the equivalent of a bomb exploded in my life.

I’ve had personal problems of various sorts for 30 years, and daily migraines for 22 of them. Three years ago, I finally realized my symptoms were those of trauma. I didn’t know what happened to me, but clearly something had.

I began therapy for trauma, and it’s been gradually helping. Then, out of the blue, two weeks ago I realized what the original trauma was. When I was six, I had just learned about female anatomy, and I was saying my new favorite word over and over.

A lot of kids go through a similar phase, and the parent’s job is to teach the child what’s appropriate — and what’s not. Whatever was said to me instead was so shaming I experienced it as a trauma.

Once I realized this, I began to put the puzzle pieces together about my own life. I basically shut down my entire sexuality when the trauma occurred. Now it’s starting to come back. I’ve always assumed I was straight — but am I?


GUEST WORDS--FDR speaking about the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941: "Today we pray for the dead and for the swift recovery of the survivors. It's not the time to talk about Japanese aggression. 

George W. Bush speaking about the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001: Today we pray for the dead and for the rapid recovery of the survivors. It's premature to talk about Al-Qaeda's aggression. 

Donald Trump when asked about gun control on October 4, 2017: "We're not going to talk about that today.  . . . We won't talk about that." 

Which of these three quotes is accurate? 

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