Life After Brexit: Things in the United Kingdom have gone from bad to worse since the country voted to leave the European Union last week. David Cameron said he would resign as prime minister by October. Britain’s credit rating was downgraded. The British pound hid a 31-year low against the dollar. And the European Union has refused to hold talks with Britain until it invokes an EU provision that would begin the formal legal process of leaving the 28-member bloc—but so far the government is stalling.
An ‘Undue Burden’ to Women: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a Texas law that imposes restrictions on abortion clinics is unconstitutional, turning back one of the most significant challenges to abortion rights in the country in a generation. The law’s strict requirements had threatened to close all but a handful of the state’s 40 abortion clinics. The regulations rose to national prominence in 2013 after Wendy Davis, then a Texas state senator, filibustered the bill for 11 hours in an attempt to halt its passage.
Juno Is Coming: Five years after it left Earth, NASA’s Juno probe is now just one week away from its arrival at Jupiter. On July 4, the spacecraft will attempt a sophisticated maneuver called an orbital insertion—a move that, if successful, will put Juno in Jupiter’s orbit, and allow humans to get closer to the planet than ever before. Fingers crossed for miraculous views of the planet’s Great Red Spot, a violent anticyclone three times the size of Earth that has been raging for at least 400 years.
“Getting a nicely ripened pear is harder than winning the lottery. The true nature of the fruit hasn’t been explained.” —Amit Dhingra, a horticultural researcher
“Then you park your car and now they're next to the fence telling you how bad you are, and that you’ll be hurt when you go in those doors, or that an ambulance was just here a little while back taking a woman out of the back.” —Karen Hildebrand, former CEO of a Planned Parenthood branch in Texas
“There was a part of just about every song that would pull back and fucking strike out like a cobra, and you’d be slapped upside the head.” —David “Davo” Claassen, a roadie for the band Black Flag
In the days since the British referendum, for instance, there have been numerous reports of people describing their backing of Brexit as a protest vote against the Cameron government, not primarily as a request to leave the European Union. And yet, the cumulative effect of such votes has been to push Britain toward the Brexits. Brennan compared holding the referendum to visiting an ill-informed, irrational doctor who forces you, on a whim, to undergo medical treatment. “To force you to follow the decisions [of an] incompetent and bad faith doctor is unjust,” he wrote. “But this is roughly what happens in democracy.” He proposes an alternative system in which political power is distributed in proportion to people’s political knowledge.
Never mind that Brennan has set a remarkably high—and decidedly undemocratic—standard for the requisite knowledge to cast a ballot. It’s a bit like saying that to properly vote for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election, you’d need to have, at minimum, a basic understanding of the science of climate change, the history of racial injustice in the United States, the sociology of substance abuse, the politics of immigration reform, the economics of subsidizing early-childhood education, and the neuroscience of curing Alzheimer’s disease.
I suppose the Sunday School teacher of the church three houses down the street from ours had just said something crucial to me. Had it been on the morning of that day? Because I remember a day when my field of vision to the right oriented me as being perpendicular to approximate middle C of the keyboard of our upright piano, which I saw out of the corner of my eye as I toddled toward something in our living room, or maybe toward the hallway, which turned to the right and led to my bedroom with the small round mirror on the right wall just inside the room.