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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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Jodan is 38

JODAN, my nephew, is 38 years old and this is my present to him and those of you with the uncanny feeling you've read those words before are not victims of a strange and lingering deja vu: you have indeed – although you may not remember, it was so long ago.

In 1988, Jodan, our family’s first grandchild, was five years old when I first wrote about him “in the papers”. For the seven years between his fifth and 11th birthdays, in lieu of a birthday present, I wrote about him using the same opening sentence above, changing only his age. In Jodan is 11, I wrote, “Up to this sentence, I didn't even write this paragraph, just copied it out of last year's birthday present and added a year. I wrote exactly the same thing around this time last year, and the six years before that, when he was five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten.”
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Black Friday Blues

TODAY IS the only Black Friday of the year, so there’s another thing the Democrats in the USA can protest against. It’ll be trending on Twitter in no time. It’s surely got to be some sort of elitist old white male conspiracy that would cough up only one measly Black Friday from a possible 12! How much more will black people have to put up with?

Now I’m joking, of course – but you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be people on Facebook convinced that there being only one Black Friday this year is yet another proof of systemic racism in Western liberal democracies swallowing the lies of lame-stream media and that political correctness gone wild will continue defending the patriarchy until we all understand that NATO expansionism forced Vodka Hitler to bomb Mariupol to smithereens. Once you pick a social media side, you apparently have to stick with it, no matter how foolish a proposition you end up defending.
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Alito’s Way

CARLITO’S WAY was a 1993 Al Pacino/Sean Penn movie about a Puerto Rican ex-con trying to go straight after his release from prison and Alito’s Way is about a US Supreme Court Justice this week trying to make any woman who doesn’t carry a pregnancy to term go straight to prison; so the two are connected, even if Pacino and Penn are a lot more palatable than Alito.

Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion of what is likely to become the majority judgement of the US Supreme Court overruling an American woman’s half-century old constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy was leaked this week, as is now well known by everyone in the world who is not desperately fighting to make a living (or, in Ukraine, Palestine and other places, fighting for life itself).
In near-hysterical language no one could think was judicial, except people who believe every zygote is exactly the same as Zoe Kravitz, Alito declared the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade (which, with Planned Parenthood v Casey, recognised the constitutional right) was “egregiously wrong from the start… its reasoning.. exceptionally weak and.. far from bringing about a national settlement.. Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division” on abortion. We hold, wrote Alito, that Roe must be overruled.


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