In mid- February 2020, my wife Rose and I were very sick. We of course had heard of the Covid-19 virus outbreak, but that was on the other side of the world, nothing to do with us. We just figured it was the flu or a bad cold. Rose had spells of difficulty breathing. One night, she couldn’t breathe at all. While we considered calling an ambulance, a few hits from an inhaler got her breathing again.
One day, I started getting very weak, to the point where I couldn’t even stand up without desperately clinging to walls or furniture. We called an ambulance, which took us to a hospital. There, the hallways were packed with beds and patients waiting to be admitted. Nothing moved. A doctor told me that admission would take at least 24 hours. Then he quietly confided that at St. Pete General, the waiting time was 72 hours. Three days! I got examined in the hallway, was pronounced not on the verge of death, given a prescription for TamaFlu, and sent home.
Something odd was going on. But we had no idea. We may have been very lucky.
With Florida’s official death toll from Covid-19 standing at 1,898 (among 42,402 confirmed cases), Governor Rick DeSantis has appointed a Re-Open Florida Task Force, chaired by Florida Chamber of Commerce Chairman and CEO Mark Wilson, to get the state back in business in less than a week.
“[I]n this most desperate hour, I could not in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required by all of us.
— Bernie Sanders April 8, 2020
Was this the bitter end? Yes. Did it mark a powerful new beginning? Also yes. Bernie effusively thanked his thousands upon thousands of supporters who had staked their hopes and dreams on his vision. He listed some of his successes. His campaign had valiantly taken “Medicare for All” into the mainstream. And the Green New Deal. He had won the hearts and minds of younger voters to a progressive, if not fully socialistic, vision. He had struck mortal fear into the craven hearts of Wall Street and the Democratic Party establishment.
First of all, our hearts go out to the millions around the world who are sick and dying, whose lives are being dismantled, as even the simplest things like going to the supermarket, or picking up one’s prescriptions, or visiting friends and family, require calculating the risk while bank accounts are vanishing. A chorus of politicians and corporate moguls is insisting that on the big scorecard of points on the Dow Jones versus the body count of dead Americans, Dow Jones must be the winner.
We are facing a Perfect Storm of a crisis. There is the deadly pandemic itself, of course. Meanwhile the economy collapses. And the world is wracked by war, with flashpoints all around the globe.
— Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, 2015
Leftist groups — including the Green Party — have lately been struggling with fissures along identity lines, with race often being the most difficult. A typical conflict goes like this: Alice says Beverly has said or done something with racist overtones. Beverly replies that Alice is the one who is bringing race into it. Alice says that Beverly is suffering from and manifesting white fragility. Beverly answers that actually it is Alice who is now the real racist.
47 years ago women celebrated the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which stated that the right to abortion was a constitutionally protected right. Since then, both the Democratic and Republican parties have colluded to make abortion more and more inaccessible for poor women, women of color, and women in general. I write this in memory of that bitter history. I also write it because 25% of women have had an abortion and yet we’re expected to be shamed into silence about our experiences; being open decreases the stigma attached to those of us who have done nothing more than made a choice about what we wanted to do with our own bodies and lives.
It was autumn of 2004 when I knew something was going wrong with my birth control pills. I had been on the pill for over 9 years; it was effective and kept my cycle very precise, like clockwork. People who have taken the pill know how it works; you have a 21 day supply of active pills and 7 days of placebos that are there to keep you on track with your daily routine. But at some point, my cycle went haywire — I would be 14 days in and my period would begin! Then I’d be 10 days in and another period! I was getting up to 3 periods a month, which essentially had me menstruating more often than not. Something was very wrong. Continue reading “The Fight for Reproductive Independence Requires Political Independence”
The world has gotten a look into the abyss, and doesn’t like what it saw staring back.
As Iran’s General Qassem Suleimani was arriving on a mission of peace — having been invited to Iraq to help mediate relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia — he was brutally ambushed by an American drone on his way from the Baghdad Airport. A leader of Iraq’s own anti-ISIS militias was killed in the same blast.
The Trump administration’s flurry of lies was so brazen as to be a deliberate challenge to the world. “We done it and we’re glad. Whatcha gonna do about it?” The U.S. threatened Iran with nuclear devastation if Iran struck back. People around the world were glued to their TV sets as the official commentators droned on. World War III breaking out was a real possibility. Even if Iran were “turned into a parking lot,” Iran made clear that it would go down shooting and an increasingly fragile imperial economy would go down with it.
Ethical Consumerism aims to gradually reform our economic system into a more moral one by creating market incentives that discourage exploitation while attempting to encourage the creation of a humane version of capitalism. These individual-based solutions might make consumers feel better about participating in capitalism, but they do not address the structural causes of capitalist exploitation or environmental destruction. The choices of individual consumers are ineffectual within the context of capitalist production. The fundamental error of a so-called ethical consumerism is the fantasy that a more compassionate capitalism is possible.
“They’re … going to do third party again. And I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far, and that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up. Which she might not, ’cause she’s also a Russian asset.
“Yeah, she’s a Russian asset, I mean, totally. And so, they know they can’t win without a third party candidate and, so, I don’t know who it’s going to be it but I will guarantee you they’ll have a vigorous third party challenge in the key states that they most need it.”
The Green Party of the United States offers bold alternatives on many fronts. The Democratic Party offers domestic reforms, as long as they don’t challenge fundamental corporate power. Some Democratic presidential contenders call for a Green New Deal, but fail to engage such changes as replacing the sprawling highway system with comprehensive light rail. Democrats have nothing like the Green Economic Bill of Rights which demands healthcare, housing, jobs, income, education, and more as fundamental Human Rights.
But it is in the area of “foreign” policy that the choices are even more stark — as stark as the difference between war and peace! The Democratic Party which fought however tepidly to get the U.S. out of Vietnam, and eventually complained that the murderous invasion of Iraq should be ended forthwith, became upon the election of Barack Obama the party of WAR. Continue reading “The Madness of King Donald.”
Contact: Mark Patterson, Communications Secretary,
The state Coordinating Council of the Green Party of Florida (GPFL) has endorsed the Fair Representation Act (HR 4000), and calls on Congress and the President to swiftly implement this key pro-democracy reform. Originally introduced in the U.S. House in June 2017 and re-introduced in July 2019 by Rep. Donald S. Byer, Jr. (D-VA-8), the measure would:
Establish the use of Ranked Choice Voting in elections for Representatives in Congress;
Require each state with more than one Representative to establish multi-member Congressional districts”; and
Require states to conduct Congressional redistricting through independent commissions.