The supreme arrogance of a court, and a public, that pretends to believe in self-rule!  Can morality be forced?    Unless we are willing to allow for diversity, we will kill democracy.  No group will ever completely agree, so society must be able to flex to remain stable.  None of us is as smart as all of us!  Have we learned nothing from prohibition, from attempting to outlaw alcohol?  Jesus himself said “let both [tares and wheat] grow together until the  harvest.” (Matt 13)

SIX Catholic jurists should not get to dictate to the entire populace without announcing they have thrown the First Amendment under the bus.  (A sixth Catholic justice, Chief John Roberts did not concur completely with the other five, but wrote a separate opinion supporting the demise of Roe v. Wade.)  Sonia Sotomayor, a seventh Catholic justice, seems balanced about democracy’s nature, and need for tolerance.  The remaining two justices are Jewish.  One, Justice Stephen Breyer, has announced his retirement at the end of the court’s term this year.  So, seven Catholics; two Jews. (I wish separation of church and state were more highly respected; and believers were more inclined to illustrate their ideals with their lives, rather than by enforcing their ideologies onto others.)

Conclusion: the First Amendment is now dead, and America is a theocracy, ruled by a half dozen Catholic lawyers.  Welcome to Banana Republic of America, where the religionista-majority judges do all the driving, and choose the route.

Photo by Liz O’Neil



If you’ve read Richard Power’s OVERSTORY, you will recall a character named Patricia Westerford, who is modeled after this author, Suzanne Simard, a forester who is now a professor.  She’s written a brilliant book which is structured like a mystery and a life quest for the holy grail of Nature’s nature — communication between species.   In my view, her discovery is worthy of a Nobel prize.  Here’s a quote from the book:

We emphasize factions instead of coaltions.  In forestry, the theory of dominance is put into practice through weeding, spacing, thinning, and other methods that promote growth of the prized individuals.  In agriculture, it provides the rationale for multimillion-dollar pesticide, fertilizer, and genetic programs to promote single high-yield crops instead of diverse fields.

She goes on to tell her account of her own radical research to prove that some forest species communicate and cooperate through fungal networks, rather than competing, as long asserted.  She faced a male-dominated culture dedicated to waging chemical warfare against nature, and was able to prove that their methods largely lacked basis or merit.  Her research has changed the industry, and the planet.

Her storytelling is lively and gritty, while her vocabulary is a bit lofty at times.  But Suzanne Simard‘s victory is sweet, and profound — earth shaking, even.

Amazon book link:  FINDING THE MOTHER TREE:  Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

For those not inclined to read, here’s an 18-minute TED Talk by her.