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First take

I wondered what the acronym for BASE, as in BASE jumping, was. Turns out it refers to the places from which you would be able to jump: a building, antenna, span, or Earth. It is highly dangerous, without doubt, far more than skyjumping. Twin Falls, with its high Perrine Bridge to the immediate north, has become a favored spot, and people have died. Local officials have become concerned, as they should be, and have been trying to get a handle on the situation. Today, however, front-page news reports around Idaho highlight a BASE community (if that’s what it is) that seems to be looking toward spreading out, moving to more widespread and less regulated locations. Is that better than having them do their thing in one place? No easy answers here.

Traditionally, the line not crossed by most political people who were on the pro-life side of the abortion was to call for bans on abortion in the case of rape and incest. There’s political reason for that; while many of the time-related decisions about abortion deeply split the American public, abortion in the case of rape and incest does not, in a meaningful way: About 70% favor allowing it in those cases. In Wisconsin, likely presidential candidate Governor Scott Walker has said he will sign a bill banning abortion in the 20th week – which in itself will be controversial but likely not overwhelmingly so – even in cases of rape or incest, which may be another matter. (A 20-week bill recently passed by the U.S. House did include those exceptions.) For decades now the pro-choice public (as opposed to the activists) have been the proverbial frog in the pot of water brought to a slow boil, never quite hitting the peice of legislation or administrative action that rouses them to action. Might this one be it, when signed into law by a presidential candidate? Keep a close look.

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