When I wrote “Florida under Siege“ published May 14, the official Florida Covid-19 death count stood at 1,898 (among 42,402 confirmed cases). Today the death score is 3,546 dead out of 146,341 cases. On May 14th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had just appointed his Re-Open Florida Task Force. Now we reap the harvest.
In mid-May, an excessively charitable person could have ascribed his action to stupidity. Today, as the body-count spirals out of control, it is nothing less than murder.
So here is the Problem that I saw firsthand while at the site in Minneapolis where George Floyd was lynched and murdered by Police. White Evangelicals, who are otherwise supporting an openly racist and fascist President — the Orange Julius Caesar Trump —come to the sacred site of where George Floyd was murdered … and try to convert people to Jesus. Not the real Revolutionary Jesus, a person of color, of Indigenous people enslaved by an Empire, who overturned the Merchandisers in the Temple, and destroyed property, but instead the Jesus of the sweet bye and bye. Just like the white slave masters did to the slaves.
Then they preach love, without real repentance on the part of White privilege. I witnessed them being sectarian, as they drove away some Muslims, and others who weren’t “Christians.” I witnessed a young Trans person, who I interviewed, express their hurt, their heart break, as so called Christians stood in judgment of them.
The smoke is beginning to dissipate. The chants and the echoes of the chants are starting to fade. Now the real fight begins. The fight over what all this means. The horrific murder, the headlines, the jam-packed streets spreading across the country, and the heavily armed troops prowling the streets of America — all will reverberate for years. And the flames. Don’t forget the flames.
Why does the spectre of Insurrection haunt America?
Sez Donald Trump: “Our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, or, arsonists, looters, criminals, rider rioters, Antifa and others … acts of domestic terror … If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem.” He would invoke an 1807 law called the Insurrection Act.
Say the Democratic Party politicians: “Something inappropriate has happened.”
We say it was murder. Again. Even now, Donald Trump says he plans to send in the troops. If looting starts, he will start killing more of the people of Minneapolis and anywhere else where the rule of capitalism is threatened.
We stand with the people of Minneapolis and all Black and Latino people in defense of their communities.
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”