A month into isolation …

For the first time in many years, the Himalayan range is visible from India, as the shutdowns caused by quarantine clear pollution worldwide.

Isolation, Day 29: It’s hard to believe I’ve been home for four weeks.

I still have plenty to do every day, thanks to the water disaster in my garage, the fact that the big mower is broken and won’t be fixed for another two weeks (we’re using the reel mower, which is great exercise) and the beginning of gardening season. Plus, I still have about a quarter of my granddaughter’s wedding quilt to finish, if the cats will let me work on it.

Around the world, there are reports of pollution being reduced, the air and water clearing, because we’re not out driving, rushing around to buy more stuff, much of it utterly useless. I have hope that we’ll realize there are more important things in life than consuming just to consume.

I’m doing OK except for the moments of utter panic, when I realize how serious this is and how unprepared we are to face it.

Republican friends all think I’m just blaming the current occupant of the Oval Office, but it started way before he ever schlumped into office. We as a society believed we were so smart and knew so much science that a pandemic like the 1918-19 flu couldn’t happen again, even though scientists warned us it was not just likely, but absolutely certain to happen again

But our policymakers knew more than the scientists and, starting with Reagan, we cut funding to public health and the CDC. We denied millions access to care in the name of profit, and allowed tens of thousands of people to die unnecessarily. We cut spending on public health so rich people could get more tax breaks and amass more and more and more money.

Both Republicans and Democrats did it, and now we have a presumptive presidential nominee in the Democratic Party who vows he will not allow Medicare for all to happen, even while 70 percent of Americans want it, and we’re being told that if we don’t vote for this deeply flawed old white man — a man who refuses to apologize for the way he treated Anita Hill or his support of welfare reform and other policies that have proven destructive — that WE’RE the problem.

Since 1980, even the Democratic Party leadership hasn’t believed in Democratic Party ideals of strengthening labor, building up public infrastructure, of government funding of scientific research, of doing things for the common good instead of just for profit. Even the Democratic administrations attacked workers’ rights, refused to take profit out of essential services like health care and education — in fact, they helped the process of de-funding essential services, slashing the social safety net and cutting taxes on the rich.

And now you want to criticize me for saying this nominee is so deeply flawed it may be impossible for him to defeat the most corrupt, the most ignorant, the most despicable man ever to set foot in Washington.

You say I have to get in line to vote for someone who won’t even begin to work on climate catastrophe, which is unfolding before us in the form of global climate change and the unleashing of pathogens like the novel coronavirus because of the way we have encroached upon the habitats of animals we once rarely encountered but now eat.

This candidate is a man who went silent at the beginning of the pandemic, while Bernie Sanders had encouraging words for us and pushed for policies that would help more of us survive.

I’m not saying I won’t vote for him. I waver between saying, OK, I’ll hold my nose and do it, and saying I’m only going to vote down-ticket — although I’m not happy with many of my choices there, either.

I’m seeing people attack me because I think Biden won’t be able to win in November, and I do think he will lose, even if I do cast my vote for him.

The moment Sanders suspended his campaign, I started seeing threatening messages from moderates, demanding we all get in line and not complain about our only choice being this 1960s-era Republican.

I was a Democrat in the 1960s, when the party platform called for universal health care, before Reagan came alone and made “liberal” a dirty word and raised greed to the level of a religion.

I left the party several years ago, when my resolution to include an immediate wage hike to $15 so those making minimum wage could survive on a full-time job, was changed to a raise to $10 an hour over five years. I walked out and never looked back.

This month at home has given me a lot of time to think about where we need to go as a nation, and it isn’t in the direction of do-nothing moderation.

We need to be bold. We need to take the reins away from the fascists and moderates and build a society where everyone can thrive. I will support nothing less, and neither should you.

If we can move Biden to support Medicare for all, a living wage and free tuition for community college, I will be happy to vote for him. Otherwise, I will make no promises, even though I’m likely to be frightened enough by the prospect of President for Life Trump to cast my vote for the slightly-less-bad alternative.

Thing is, I’m not the problem here. The Democratic Party, the Republican Party and all their ultra-wealthy controllers are. Our corporate overlords have stacked the cards against us again.

It’s time to get serious about opposing the oligarchs

We need a strong, progressive candidate who will illustrate the real difference between the parties.

 

Matt Coffay has dropped out of the race for the 11th District Congressional seat in North Carolina.

Now what?

There is another candidate named Phillip Price and I have e-mailed him to request a meeting. I want to know where he stands because I’m not ready to vote for another moderate who won’t work for my interests.

I don’t want someone who’s happy with the Affordable Care Act; I want someone who will push for a single-payer system.

I want someone who will push to regulate Big Pharma and rein in the drug companies’ abuses.

I want someone who will fight to raise the minimum wage to $18. Three years ago, $15 would have been adequate, but time marches on, as does inflation. $18 now, not in five years.

I want someone who will work for universal voter registration. Everyone in, no one out, just like I want in health care.

I want someone who will understand the dire risk of global warming and who will demand action immediately, in spite of what Big Oil wants. I want to see solar panels and wind turbines popping up in the landscape like weeds in my garden.

I’m looking for a candidate who will work on re-funding education and strengthening schools, colleges and universities.

I want someone who will actually reduce spending on the war machine.

I want to see someone who’s unashamed to support Planned Parenthood.

I want someone who’ll work to stop the militarization of our local police forces.

I’m tired of moderates who aren’t willing to challenge the corporate overlords. Nothing will change until we the people make those changes. and moderates won’t work with us.

I voted for Hillary Clinton, not because I agreed with her on everything, but to try and keep the Orange One out of the White House. She is qualified to be president, but she is in bed with the big corporations.

She doesn’t get Black Lives Matter. The issue of institutional racism is somehow out of her grasp.

She doesn’t get the need for an immediate hike in the minimum wage to make it a living wage. If you’re making $7.25 an hour, you need that raise now. It’s only about 40 percent of what’s needed to live in any city in the United States and less than that in many places. If you’re in business, you don’t get to enrich yourself on the backs of others. If you can’t pay a fair wage, you shouldn’t be in business.

She wasn’t for an immediate move to single-payer because the insurance overlords don’t want it and they would have withdrawn support.

It was, in part, purists who put this clown in the White House because they wouldn’t vote for someone who disagreed with any of their stands. I get that and I’m not a purist.

I do, however, want a candidate I can back wholeheartedly. I want a true progressive because more and more Americans are beginning to understand the need for progressive policies.

So, can we at least try to recruit a progressive without the Democratic Party getting its panties in a bunch?

Mark Meadows is an oligarch. He has no idea how we struggle with bills or how terrified we are of getting sick in one of the worst health care systems in the world. He cares only about himself and his little circle of the pampered and privileged.

We need someone strong to run against that. We need to be able to show people there is a very real difference between the parties because if there isn’t, we truly are lost as a nation.

 

 

 

We have the Congress the non-voters deserve

These to NC State Representatives got sent home on Election Day because people came out to vote.

These two NC State Representatives got sent home on Election Day because people came out to vote. When people vote, change is possible.

To all of you who stayed home on Election Day because you felt your vote wouldn’t count, well, it damn well didn’t.

Thanks a lot.

Now we have a right wingnut Senate to go along with the right wingnut House in Washington.

Did you see the damage voter apathy caused in North Carolina these last two years? Well, get ready for it on a national scale. The Democratic-controlled Senate won’t be there to fight the right-wing agenda.

There will be attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, federal nutrition programs, education, jobs programs, Social Security — everything people who don’t make a living wage need to stay alive.

Oh, and we won’t see any increases in the minimum wage, either.

So, how did this happen?

First of all, only about one-third of eligible voters came out on Election Day. Someone who’s good at math told me the Senate changed hands with only 19 percent of the popular vote.

So, now we have the crazy legislative branch of a corrupt third-world country, and they own the judiciary.

So, why did the Democrats lose?

Well, how many did you hear stand up and say they were proud to have helped expand access to health care? How many told stories of the people whose lives are being saved every day because of the Affordable Care Act?

Most of the Dems ran away from President Obama, who has accomplished so much despite having both hands tied behind his back by an obstructionist Congress.

No one stood up and said they were proud to stand with the president who rescued a collapsed economy, saved the auto industry, ended two wars, presided over the longest period of uninterrupted job growth in history, halved the national deficit, expanded access to health care for millions of Americans, saving tens of thousands of lives a year in the process.

Instead we let the mainstream (corporate) media write the narrative, and our candidates ran away from an “unpopular” president.

We need to stop being ashamed of what we want for America and its people. We should stand proudly with this president, and let me point out that those candidates who did that won elections.

For those candidates who shied away from progressive values, let me just say you helped elect people who believe in evolution and deny science on every level. You helped elect people who see pregnancy resulting from rape as a blessing. We have elected officials in Washington who believe climate change is a hoax and who think fracking is good for the economy and the planet.

We have lawmakers who think only sluts want to use contraception.

Here in North Carolina, we sent a man to the US Senate who had just a 9 percent approval rating in his previous job.

This can NOT end well.

Let me end by saying we here in Buncombe County, NC, showed the country how to get it done this election.

Two of our three representatives in the state House of Representatives were right-wing politicians who voted not to expand Medicaid and to fast-track fracking, among other damaging laws. They both had big money behind them, and one was slated to become Speaker of the House.

But two local men, Brian Turner and John Ager, decided to oppose them. Neither took corporate money, both went door-to-door, held marathon phone banks, activated the grass roots. John Ager’s campaign made 2,000 phone calls on Election Day to remind people to get out and vote. We told the truth while big money lied, and the voters came out in force.

We turned out the vote for these two men and they won. They beat the big-money candidates by letting people know their votes could make a difference.

That’s how you get it done, and that’s how we need to get it done on a large scale.

 

 

a world of progress site | woven by WEBterranean