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crickets's Journal
crickets's Journal
September 17, 2021

Your point is well taken. I had questions about the same issue until I ran across this piece

which points out how many medications have been retested since they were first introduced. The following was written by a Catholic priest opining on the hypocrisy of objecting to vaccines that had only been tested, not manufactured, using fetal cell lines. He prepared his thoughts with the help of Dr. Lisa Gilbert, MD.


Dr. Gilbert also shared some info on why HEK-293 testing is so ubiquitous.

This is often used in basic research, which helps to establish how diseases cause bad effects at the cellular level, such as on the cell receptors, ion channels or protein expression and folding. This knowledge allows researchers to look for or even create new medications to counteract these specific diseases more precisely, by targeting the cause and effects of diseases at the cellular and molecular level. More directly, HEK is used to test various medications and evaluate see their effects on the cells in-vitro.

This allows safety and efficacy testing to be done in the lab before medications are given to patients in clinical trials. Or HEK call lines may be used to study old medications that are already available and FDA approved. There may be new applications for these medications; knowledge of how these medications work at the cellular level will help in targeting diseases better. These medications may also have side effects or cause interactions on cells when combined with other medications. Studying this in the lab allows for side effects to be understood and mitigated. New medications in the same class can be developed that are safer or more effective. But all of these research possibilities require living cell lines and one of the most common ones chosen for such research is HEK.

Apparently, older medications are being retested in the lab all the time, either to improve them, or to develop replacements that are just as/more effective with fewer side effects. Hope this helps.
September 14, 2021

So true. Thank you, Tim Kaine.

Great response:


Justin Jaws 44 (@House building) @44Jaworski
Replying to @therecount

That's the basic truth right there. We have our hands full getting our own house in order. And really, the best thing we can do for the rest of the world is improve the U.S., and the residual effects will do more positive than any of our military occupations will do.

1:56 PM · Sep 14, 2021
September 14, 2021

Omg, I thought the phone call was part of the joke

until I looked it up to be sure. Mike Pence is an idiot.


So intent was Pence on being Trump’s loyal second-in-command — and potential successor — that he asked confidants if there were ways he could accede to Trump’s demands and avoid certifying the results of the election on Jan. 6. In late December, the authors reveal, Pence called Dan Quayle, a former vice president and fellow Indiana Republican, for advice.

Quayle was adamant, according to the authors. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” he said.

But Pence pressed him, the authors write, asking if there were any grounds to pause the certification because of ongoing legal challenges. Quayle was unmoved, and Pence ultimately agreed, according to the book.

We have truly reached a bizarro world situation when Dan Quayle has a heroic moment in this story. Wow.
September 14, 2021

This is a good thing, long overdue.

I ran into another article about this last night, with a more in-depth exploration of how the name change came about. It's an interesting read.


A year ago, a woman who is a member of the Washoe Tribe told me that every time she sees the "s-word," she feels a full-body reaction. The word, "squaw," is a painful reminder that historic violence against Indigenous people continues to linger in our daily lives, she said, as I was reporting a story for the Tahoe Quarterly.

The word has no ties to the language of the Washoe Tribe, whose ancestral land encompasses Lake Tahoe and the surrounding region; their word for women is damumóˑʔmoʔ. But it traveled across the country with settlers more than 150 years ago and was used to assert power over Indigenous people. Today, the slur is still displayed prominently in Washoe ancestral land. [snip]

For decades, the Washoe Tribe has been asking the ski resort to change its name. And now, they are welcoming the announcement of Palisades Tahoe. But more than the new name itself, the tribe has expressed gratitude that the slur will be removed from their ancestral land.

Tribal Chairman Serrell Smokey, in a statement, calls the name change a “positive step forward.”

“The Washoe people have lived in the area for thousands of years,” said Smokey. “We have great reverence for our ancestors, history and lands. We are very pleased with this decision; today is a day that many have worked towards for decades.”

Darrel Cruz, historic preservation officer for the Washoe Tribe, gives credit for the decision to change the name of the ski resort to Ron Cohen, the former chief operating officer of the ski resort.
September 5, 2021

Amy Coney Barrett Knows Exactly What She Did in 2000


Anyway, as the delay rolled on, I was musing about the nominee's bizarre insistence that she could express no opinion on anything at all regarding our national elections. On Tuesday, she refused to say definitively that the president*—any president—cannot unilaterally delay an national election. Neither would she say definitively that she feels that the president* should commit to leave office peaceably if he loses in November. And, in a by-play on Wednesday with Senator Amy Klobuchar, she declined to commit to the defense of absentee ballots, but not before having a glitch in her memory every bit as spectacular as the audio glitch that later silenced the committee entirely.

KLOBUCHAR: I want to turn to something we talked about yesterday... You worked on the recount in Florida that was related to the Bush v. Gore case, including on an absentee ballot issue on behalf of the Republican side of that case, is that right?

BARRETT: I did work on Bush v. Gore on behalf of the Republican side. To be fully honest, I can't remember exactly what piece of the case it was.

Oh, come on, Your Honor.

That was the greatest and bloodiest politico-legal brawl since the 1800 presidential election. Working on the Republican side of it was a terrific career move for ambitious conservative lawyers. (How terrific? Two of Barrett's prospective bench mates on the Supreme Court—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh—were both members of the Bush legal team.) Are we seriously to believe that Barrett doesn't remember what work she did during that historical moment? Apparently, Klobuchar knows what it was.
September 4, 2021

What is and is NOT an 'abortion pill'

Abortion and contraception opponents love to conflate the so-called "morning after pill" and the abortion pill. Do not let them do this. Do not help them by not making the distinction. These two pills are not the same.

Plan B is NOT an abortion pill. It is a contraceptive taken in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring. It does not require a prescription.

Plan B: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-plan-b-works-906842

The FDA labeling for the Plan B emergency contraceptive says Plan B may work by preventing implantation of the fertilized egg. This has created controversy over its use. Research, however, shows that Plan B does not work this way. Instead, it works by preventing ovulation and fertilization of the egg.

More about Plan B: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception/whats-plan-b-morning-after-pill

RU486 is an abortion pill. It is taken to end a pregnancy after it has already occurred. It requires a prescription.

RU486: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-use-ru486-the-abortion-pill-906958

Once you have signed a consent to have a medical abortion, you will be given three pills (200 mg each) of the abortion pill to be taken by mouth while you are at the doctor's office.2 The hormonal action of mifepristone works against progesterone, a pregnancy hormone, to make the fertilized egg unable to remain attached to the lining of the uterus. This step induces a medical abortion about 64 percent to 85 percent of the time.

More about RU486: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill

Finally found a Plan C website link (https://www.plancpills.org/) at the very end of this article:


September 4, 2021

Fantastic summation of how women should be allowed to control their own bodies.

Women are still fighting to be seen fully and equally as people, with absolute rights over their persons.


This spring marks the fiftieth anniversary of the case that went forward instead: Griswold v. Connecticut. (“We became the footnote to the footnote,” Trubek told me.) In Griswold, decided in June, 1965, the Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that Connecticut’s ban on contraception was unconstitutional, not on the ground of a woman’s right to determine the timing and the number of her pregnancies but on the ground of a married couple’s right to privacy. “We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights,” Justice William O. Douglas wrote in the majority opinion. “Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred.” [snip]

Banning contraception at a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans used it was, of course, ridiculous. (Justice Potter Stewart, who dissented in Griswold, called the Connecticut statute “an uncommonly silly law.”) The law was little enforced. Condoms were openly sold in drugstores, and people of means could get other forms of contraception out of state. (Estelle Griswold once asked whether the police intended to “put a gynecological table at the Greenwich toll station” and examine every woman who crossed the state line.) The ban was a real hardship, though, for the poor, and especially for poor women in relationships with men who refused to use condoms. And if the law was ridiculous it was also intransigent. For decades, Planned Parenthood had tried to get it overturned in the Connecticut legislature, to no avail. So the question was: What legal argument could be used to challenge its constitutionality?

The Constitution never mentions sex, marriage, or reproduction. This is because the political order that the Constitution established was a fraternity of free men who, believing themselves to have been created equal, consented to be governed. Women did not and could not give their consent: they were neither free nor equal. Rule over women lay entirely outside a Lockean social contract in a relationship not of liberty and equality but of confinement and subjugation. As Mary Astell wondered, in 1706, “If all Men are born free, how is it that all Women are born Slaves?” [snip]

There is a lesson in the past fifty years of litigation. When the fight for equal rights for women narrowed to a fight for reproductive rights, defended on the ground of privacy, it weakened. But when the fight for gay rights became a fight for same-sex marriage, asserted on the ground of equality, it got stronger and stronger.

September 3, 2021

Tweet has a share link to NYT. It loaded fine for me from there.

Here's hoping it works for you, because this is an important article.

The latest and perhaps most powerful example came just before midnight on Wednesday, when the court ruled 5 to 4 to leave in place a novel Texas law that bars most abortions in the state — a momentous development in the decades-long judicial battle over abortion rights.

The court spent less than three days dealing with the case. There were no oral arguments before the justices. The majority opinion was unsigned and one paragraph long. In a dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the case illustrated “just how far the court’s ‘shadow-docket’ decisions may depart” from the usual judicial process and said use of the shadow docket “every day becomes more unreasoned, inconsistent and impossible to defend.” [snip]

Criticism of the use of the shadow docket has been building for years but rose to a new level with the Texas abortion case. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, denounced the ruling, saying it allowed what he portrayed as a “flagrantly unconstitutional law” to take force and calling it “shameful” that the court’s majority did so without hearing arguments or issuing any signed opinion. He announced hearings.

“Because the court has now shown repressive state legislatures how to game the system, the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to shine a light on the Supreme Court’s dangerous and cowardly use of the shadow docket,” he said in a statement. “Decisions like this one chip away at our democracy.”

Linked in the article is written testimony of Samuel Bray, a University of Notre Dame law professor who testified about the shadow docket this summer before President Biden’s commission studying possible Supreme Court changes:


More for those who can't get past the paywall:


eta - great find, BeckyDem! Thanks for posting it.
September 2, 2021

From the tweet, link to information for women in Texas:

Lilith Fund @lilithfund
Replying to @lilithfund

Our message to everyone who may need an abortion in Texas is this: Abortion funds are here to affirm that no matter what barriers you are facing, you have the right to access abortion and we will keep fighting for you. http://needabortion.org

1:58 AM · Sep 1, 2021

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