Tuesday, April 28, 2020

...And I Feel Fine

(It's the End of the World as We Know It)
...And I Feel Fine
by C.A. Matthews

Sometimes it just feels like everyone is on the same page. This is one of those times. Just about every podcast I listened to, every article I read, every Facebook discussion I stumbled upon this week shared the same topic. This has to be the universe telling me--all of us, really--that this is something important.  We're all on the same page, at the same time for a purpose, and we need to cooperate to bring about its fruition.

What is this purpose? Why, it's the end of the world as we know it.

Immediately, the chorus of the R.E.M. song starts playing in your head: "It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine."

You know what? I do.

I feel fine that our world is experiencing a strong paradigm shift. It's about time. Sure, it's sad that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) are dying, have died and will die of a horrible virus during a pandemic, but perhaps these are the only conditions that can shake humankind up enough to admit the old ways have to die so that the entirety of humanity may live.

This harsh new reality is particularly necessary for Americans. We are experts in self-delusion. We love to fool ourselves into thinking that everything will be all right, that we can trust our leaders, that "We are the best country on Earth!" If recent events haven't exposed the man behind the curtain to be an immoral ignoramus of unspeakable proportions, then what will? Our fellow citizens drinking bleach because said ignoramus told the American public during a press conference that pouring U.V. light and disinfectant into your body may cure COVID-19? 

Oops! They already have. This false worship of "Our president, right or wrong!" has got to go before anyone else gets hurt.

But the major un-brainwashing task that Americans, and most Westerners, need to undergo is clinging to the silly notion that somehow capitalism is the superior economic model, and it will eventually save us from our self-destructive ways. If your neighbors hoarding toilet paper and Trump pedaling an ineffective (if not downright deadly) anti-malarial drug he owns stock in to cure the coronavirus doesn't convince you of the evils of capitalism, then nothing will. (But the following song could help.)



A system that rewards the rich with more material wealth at the expense (and oftentimes the death) of the poor isn't "superior" by a long shot. In fact, it's nothing but pure bullshit. 

It's time to break out of this abusive relationship with capitalism and finally admit it: Capitalism never really loved We the People in the first place. It doesn't care whether we live or die so long as we keep buying worthless crap and making the billionaires muchos buckolas forever. It has always been about protecting the select few, the elites of our society. It was never about us.

Sure, "a rising tide carries all boats," but when the tsunami of a pandemic hits, it becomes more than obvious that the "tide" of capitalism is capsizing and sinking the vast majority of us "boats." How else do you explain 17 million unemployed Americans, many with no way to afford medical treatment during a time of mass illness?

The rising tide of capitalism has always been about how the rich will float above the rest of us in their luxury yachts while we simply drown. It's time to blow the f*cking yachts of the elite out of the water so we can all enjoy a swim, free and open to all and not just the so-called privileged classes, don't you think?

Once the true ugliness of our corrupt economic system and the elitist-driven government whose immoral practices it upholds are exposed, the true healing of the Earth and all its people can begin. In fact, many environmental experts claim that it is impossible under capitalism to maintain and provide a healthy planet for human beings and other lifeforms. A system that allows Big Oil companies to continue to frack, drill, pollute and suck the life's blood from the planet (while the price of a barrel of crude oil crashes to less than $0)
demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that capitalism is more about death and profiteering than life and building a future for all to thrive in.

It's time. Let's allow capitalism and fascism to die now so we can get on with truly living and not simply surviving. 

I'll feel fine watching the bonfire of MAGA caps go up in flames as we burn the whole sick and twisted motherf*cker to the ground. Pass the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers... It's going to be one hell of a conflagration. And then we'll all feel fine.


Planet of the Humans is a great documentary that clearly shows how capitalism is killing our planet (and us along with it). It's now available free online at You Tube and is a must see. Clear a couple of hours from your schedule so you can watch it uninterrupted, and I promise it will open your eyes. (Be sure to have a tissue for the last scene. It'll have you in tears.) https://youtu.be/Zk11vI-7czE

Related links to check out:

How To Start A Successful Strike During Crisis

Pandemic is Not Just a Crisis, It's a Gift

Trump Goes Peak Batshit Crazy Urging UV Irradiation and Chlorine Injections and Cable TV Greedily Broadcasts It

Trump Suggests Injecting Disinfectant as Coronavirus Cure (video)

The End of An Empire (video)

UHM Coronavirus Update (video)

In-depth interview with Chris Hedges (from The Jimmy Dore Show)

Make no mistake-- we are living in unprecedented times. Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment. Students and teachers are struggling to continue the school year online. Cities across the country are sheltering in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. Families are wondering where their next meal will come from. Some don’t have a place to call home. Many of you know someone who has been affected by Coronavirus and are concerned about your own health. 

The bottom line is: people are hurting. And the last thing we need to worry about is making rent.
That’s why we’re calling for a national rent strike. Covid-19 has made it clear that “business as usual” is far from what we need going forward. This pandemic has shed a light on this country’s many failings-- from racial disparities, to inadequate access to healthcare, wage inequality, unprotected rights for workers, and unaffordable housing. It’s time to be bold and fight for real, long-lasting change.

Whether you can afford your rent/mortgage payment this month or not, take the pledge to withhold your payment on May 1st. Many cities across the country have eviction moratoriums in place, but that is not enough. Families and individuals living paycheck to paycheck will not be able to afford months of owed rent when the moratoriums are lifted, which is why experts are predicting an even worse housing crisis post-pandemic. 

We need to act now. Housing and advocacy organizations including ACRE are coming together to help organize the biggest rent strike in recent history. Nearly a third of Americans didn’t pay rent on April 1st, and the numbers are only expected to climb once rent is due again in May. Take the pledge and join the next wave of rent strikers.

The time to take a stand is now. Over the next few days, we’ll be collecting stories from local rent strike leaders, zip codes from all who are striking or planning to strike, and resources from housing organizations and experts. It will all be compiled in a centralized location for easy access and to show our elected officials, corporate landlords, and big banks, that the strength in our collective struggle is greater than the sum of its parts. 

In solidarity always,

Maurice BP-Weeks and the ACRE team
PS - We rely on you to produce our ground-breaking reports that help inform movements on the ground. Want us to continue to hold Wall Street and big banks accountable? Please donate and join the fight! 

The United States is facing a massive public health crisis. As states respond to the shortages, strained budgets, and discordant responses in providing care to their constituents, national priorities demonstrate a lack of understanding of what Americans really need.

It’s time to rethink our national priorities and prepare for real threats like pandemics. One way to do this is divert the billions of dollars that are currently fueling the nuclear arms race.

Will you write a Letter to the Editor calling on the U.S. to shift its priorities?

Instead of building up our dangerous nuclear arsenal — which only puts the world more at risk — we need true leaders who will focus on healthcare, education, infrastructure, and other life-affirming services.

In 2019, the United States spent $35.1 billion on nuclear weapons. Imagine that money being redirected to the COVID-19 response or preparedness. According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, one year of U.S. nuclear weapons spending would pay for 300,000 beds in intensive care units, 35,000 ventilators, and the salaries of 150,000 U.S. nurses and 75,000 U.S. doctors.

Write a Letter to the Editor

We cannot go back to business as usual after the pandemic. This crisis has proven what we’ve been saying all along — the system is unsustainable and we need to shift our priorities.

In solidarity,
Colleen and the Beyond the Bomb team


As an Iranian-American, I worry every day about my family and the people of Iran. Will you help call on Congress to pressure Trump? Already, there is a lot of momentum. Senators Feinstein, Sanders, and Warren, and Reps Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar and others have raised their voices. Now is the moment to escalate. Please act.

Between the sanctions and the pandemic, there is a medical catastrophe in Iran. As an Iranian-American, I worry every day about my family and the people of Iran. My two nieces are doctors in Iran and they tell me that many health workers in the Iranian hospitals lack personal protection equipment. Medicine is scarce, there is a shortage of disposable parts such as ventilator tubes, and the ventilators are overused and breaking down. Medical equipment cannot be replaced and ventilator parts and connectors cannot be bought due to the sanctions. There have been some international donations, but these donations are not nearly enough because Iran has a population of 83 million, and is the most affected country in the Middle East. 

That’s why we MUST call for an end to U.S. sanctions.

Before COVID-19, sanctions were already hurting the most vulnerable Iranians—the poor, the sick, the marginalized. Take cancer medication, for example. The chemo medicines that are available in hospitals are low quality and the side effects, like nausea, are extreme. I know this only too well because I lost my sister to cancer. Her children had to buy chemo meds on the black market and carry them in iceboxes to the hospital for their mother. These medicines are extremely expensive, which means that many people are not even able to buy them on the black market.

I think that my sister’s cancer, like thousands of Iranians, was also related to the sanctions. The rate of cancer in Iran has increased significantly, mainly because Iranians are breathing air that has ten to eight hundred times more toxins than the international standard. That is because the sanctions have prevented the Iranian state from sending crude oil to be refined outside. As a result, the state has created home-grown technologies that produce extremely poor quality gasoline. 

Now, the sanctions are killing the Iranian people even faster, because of the Corona pandemic. Tell your Senators and Representative in Congress to join the growing voices — including Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders, AOC, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar — demanding U.S. sanctions on Iran be lifted

Even though the Trump administration claims that medicine and medical equipment are exempt from the sanctions, in reality most pharmaceutical companies, as well as banks, insurance companies, and shipping companies, do not do business with Iran because they fear penalization by the U.S. 

From the need for cleaner air and cancer medicines to the COVID-19 pandemic, sanctions on Iran MUST be lifted. Contact Congress right now and tell them to add their voices to this urgent call

The sanctions are not helping the Iranian people’s legitimate protests against austerity measures and the rise in gas prices. If anything, they hurt the social movements and set their achievements back. The sanctions are war by another name. During war, the state deploys the rhetoric of national security to accuse protesters of collusion with the U.S. The Iranian people are caught between the appropriation of the Iranian protests by the opportunistic U.S. hawks and opposition groups such as MEK, and the Iranian state’s crackdown of the protests in the name of national security. The U.S. claims that the sanctions help the Iranian people’s freedom is paradoxical at best. How can the U.S. promote rights and democratization in Iran while depriving the Iranian people of the basic right to food and life-saving medicine? And how can one advocate for human rights but be in favor of sanctions during a pandemic? 

Iran is certainly no model of democracy, but then neither is the United States. During this pandemic, we see more clearly than before how race and class determine who is most exposed to the virus and who has access to affordable healthcare. The level of houselessness, mass incarceration (the U.S. has 5% of the world population and 25% of world’s prisoner population), the ICE detention centers,  the historic and present-day violence against indigenous peoples, police violence against black communities, and lack of universal healthcare are all reasons why the U.S. is not in the position to impose sanctions on other states for the violation of human rights. Historically, the U.S. is the only country that has dropped nuclear bombs, and its ally Israel has never signed the non-proliferation treaty. Yet, the U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran based on the claim that the Iranian state is developing nuclear weapons. We saw that this claim was false in the case of Iraq. The sanctions in Iraq killed more than 500,000 Iraqis. Now the Iranian people (and not the state) are paying with their lives for the unjust U.S. sanctions. 

Right now, the moral issue is clear: Sanctions and the coronavirus are killing the Iranian people. We must urge Congress to speak out and pressure the Trump administration to lift the sanctions. Ending sanctions will not only help Iranians get jobs, open businesses, have access to food, clean water, clean air, and life-saving medicine, but it will open more space for civil society movements — women’s movement, student movement, labor movement, environmental justice movement — to push for the changes they want to see. You can help them achieve their goals by asking your representatives to lift the deadly sanctions on Iran.

Towards peace and health in Iran, Sima Shakhsari, Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

"Why I Adore Joe Biden"

Before we get to our featured blog,  here are some photos from a recent motorcade protest.

Even in this day of "social distancing,"  it's still possible to make your voice heard. Non-violent inmates need to be released from jails where the coronavirus can spread quickly. Toledo-area protestors donned their masks, placed their posters and banners on their vehicles and circled the block, honking and chanting until the prisoners in the Lucas County Jail banged on their windows in response. 

Will the Sheriff release these prisoners to their families until their trial dates? We'll see. But time is of the essence, and compassion is every bit a part of justice and rehabilitation.  Human beings shouldn't be locked up simply because they cannot afford bail. There is no reason to let these non-violent detainees be exposed to and possibly die from COVID-19.  Keep shouting at the walls until they come crumbling down!

And now our guest blogger shares why she can't wait to vote for the former vice president.

"Why I Adore Joe Biden"
By A. Riche-Persson
I’m excited! I can’t wait to cast my vote for President of the United States for Joe Biden. He’s the man who represents everything I know and love. Things will stay the same under good ol’ Uncle Joe, and that’s the way it should be. We can’t be changing everything to suit the whims of the public, can we? They didn’t go to Ivy League schools, and they can’t even manage an invite to my yachting club regatta. We need to keep things in the hands of those who know best, don’t you think?
And all this blah-blah-blah from the Bernie Bros about Medicare for All —who needs it? I have great private health insurance. It even covered my Botox injections and my tummy tuck last year with just a mere ten thou deductible. Couch change! All red-blooded Americans everywhere love their private health insurance according to Joe. Nobody worth anything would be caught dead walking into a hospital with a Medicare card. You wouldn't catch me doing something so lowbrow! It doesn’t go well with my designer purse and matching heels, either.
These hippie peaceniks who keep saying things about Joe voting for the Iraq War and that he never met a war he didn’t like and that he was a friend of segragationalists in the past? Well I say, “Pfft!” War is great for business and that’s what America is all about – business. My Raytheon stocks skyrocket every time dear Donald rattles his sword, and I’m certain Joe will do the same. He’s got an interest in seeing those stock prices go up and up, especially after all this unnecessary shut down of our economy with this coronavirus hoax. It’s just like the flu I hear. And nobody wants their kids to attend school with ghetto scum. Joe was dead right on that issue. Get over it, crybabies.
Where was Joe during all these coronavirus town halls that Bernie put on? Does it really make a difference that he was taking a nap? Who needs all these extra people crowding up the place anyway? I think we could stand to lose a few thousand hoboes sleeping on our park benches and who would miss a few thousand old people or grocery stockers or cashiers or daycare workers here or there? (I get my food delivered to my door, the back door, I think... I let my cook and housekeeper handle that sort of thing.)  

What I’m saying is that America has more than enough people, so let the virus get rid of a few of them. It’s back to work the rest of you lazy bums so my company can realize a good dividend by the quarter’s end. Joe will make sure America is up and working. What I mean by that is that you all will be back to work so I can continue to live off the money you make for me.
Oh, and you’re begging for free money because you lost your job, along with free health care from the government? Who told you to get sick? Nobody! What do you think government is for? Looking out after your health and safety? No, it’s for keeping business people like me afloat and bailing out our banks when they make a bad decision or two. We are the “job creators” after all. All those million of small businesses in small town America just get in the way of our big monopolies making a bigger profit. The government needs to protect us from these annoying little challengers to the free market system. Go big or go out of business is what I say!
Yes, I do like how Joe believes the oil, gas and coal companies deserve to be given massive tax breaks, and we should hinder solar and wind energy technologies from growing and expanding. We don’t want to use up all the sunlight and wind too quickly—what would we do at the beach if we didn’t have sun and wind? Our sailboats wouldn’t work, and I’d have to go to the salon for a fake tan. No way am I going to turn myself orange like you-know-who!

Speaking of colors, Green New Deal? What kind of deal is that? (I look better in black.) The Earth was put here for our plundering. And gasoline is cheap--I filled up my three Escalades for next to nothing this past week.  The Obama Administration was the leader in bringing fracking to the world. Joe will continue that legacy, no fear. So, frack away and let's enjoy the open road in big thirsty cars. Vroom-vroom!
We want Joe to be in office so he can put in a Supreme Court justice replacement for Ruth Ginsburg who will stand up for a woman’s right to… do something. I know Joe said something about how this old-fashioned Roe v. Wade decision could be let out to pasture. It’s not like women can’t easily jump on a plane or a yacht and go elsewhere for an abortion, right? We don’t want to be paying for  poor women’s mistakes or paying to feed and clothe all their baby mistakes. They need to get off their lazy welfare queen butts and get a job waiting tables. Pull themselves up by their own bootstraps! Government money should be put to better use for the good of all—like bailing out the banks again when they need it in the future.
I certainly want to commend Joe for doing a great job to putting conservative-business-minded men like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court back in the day. Joe raked that Anita Hill over the coals for saying the same things about Justice Thomas that some are saying about Joe nowadays—that they sexually harassed women who worked under them. 

There’s the problem right there. These women work under them, and so they deserve to have their butts pinched and be kept in their place. We can’t have uppity-types telling wealthy, powerful men to keep their hands to themselves. They have the money after all. They pay your wages. They own you, you good-for-nothings!
At the end of the day, how can I resist that sexy way Joe comes right up behind me at a thousand dollar a plate fundraiser and breathes in my hair? Ooo! I get shivers down my spine just thinking about his presidential hands all over me. Just call me "Monica," haha! All these people who get bent out of shape because of a few gals who didn’t care for his pawing just haven’t enjoyed having sex with a rich and powerful person before, and they’re just plain jealous of those of us who have. LOL!
I hope you can see now why Joe Biden would make a super president for people like us. He’s older and wealthy and white—so he understands how it feels to have to put up with the rabble that Bernie guy and other Lefties roused up. Joe was a huge supporter of Bill Clinton's wonderful crime bill in 1994 that locked up all those naughty black and brown people who smoked too much marijuana (not sold by our new corporate cannabis operations). He’ll continue to militarize the police so they’ll keep things the way they should be and deal with those troublemakers. We’ll all prosper and not have to worry about our share prices dropping precipitously under a Biden administration.
That’s all we really need in a president anyway, right? More of the same, 'cause happy days are here again! Even Republicans like Joe Biden and say they'll vote for him. With Donny or Joe in the Oval Office, we'll all be raking in the cash and rolling in the dough like we are now. And a healthy stock market is a great thing for all Americans, don't you agree?  

Don't believe me? Well, this gal says she'll vote for Joe (holding her nose) https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/62473-focus-i-cant-believe-i-have-to-vote-for-joe-biden

But this guy says you actually have a choice and you don't have to vote for him if you don't want to. As if!  https://medium.com/@danielca/dont-vote-for-joe-biden-the-case-for-the-green-party-in-2020-fcae946e0ffc

:BIO: "A. Riche-Persson" (or Ayn to her friends) is a member of the country club down the road and thinks she knows what's best for those who haven't been blessed with her good looks (and face lifts) and brains (she attended Yale, but married a millionaire and forgot to finish her degree). Heed her advice and you, too, can become well-connected in a corporate-owned-and-operated establishment party like the DNC. Just leave your conscience at the door with the coat check girl.

For more on Biden's background, check out this informative blog post from last year -- Biden: My Time? https://bernie2016.blogspot.com/2019/04/biden-my-time.html

UPDATE: New Evidence Supporting Credibility of Tara Reade's Allegation Against Joe Biden Emerges: https://theintercept.com/2020/04/24/new-evidence-tara-reade-joe-biden/ 

Now for a different viewpoint of what's happening in the world. Lee asks, "Will things ever be the same?" (And will we ever see that $12,000 yearly we've all been paying out to the 1% since 1980?)

Families Belong Together

For families locked away in the Trump administration's detention centers, there are zero options to stay safe from the coronavirus. Even in the middle of a pandemic, authorities are keeping dozens of families away from their loved ones in facilities with limited access to soap or adequate medical treatment.
Two of the largest U.S. private prison profiteers have already recorded cases of COVID-19 among their staff and the people they've detained. [1] 

There is no time to waste: Rush an urgent message to state and federal legislators and DEMAND that they IMMEDIATELY end the use of private prisons and release vulnerable populations so they can reunite with their families and socially distance safely.

When an outbreak occurs in a detention center, the families there won't be the only ones at risk: the staff who work in these facilities could take the virus home, and put their entire communities at risk of exposure.
By demanding an end to the use of private prisons, we can help thousands of children and their families escape conditions that will condemn them to needless suffering and death from COVID-19. 70% of all immigrants detained by the Trump administration are held in private prisons. Ending the use of private prisons would release many migrant children and families in federal detention, and seriously affect the Trump administration's ability to separate more families in the future. 

This pandemic reminds us that we are intertwined. You can't cage a virus; the only way to ensure our collective health is to care for each other. To do that, we have to fight back against this administration's abusive policies that endanger families in federal detention and beyond. 

Tell federal and state lawmakers to end the use of private prisons and protect incarcerated people from COVID-19.
Thanks for all you do,
Jess Morales Rocketto
Families Belong Together

[1] A Second ICE Detainee in Louisiana has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Don't let the coronavirus make us homeless. Demand an end to rent and mortgage payments during the crisis.


Sign Now


Over ten million U.S. citizens filed unemployment claims in just two weeks due to the intentional economic shutdown to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Unemployment websites are crashing, many people are not even eligible, and the one-time $1,200 checks promised by the government will not even cover many people's rent. In short: millions of Americans have no way to pay their rent or mortgage right now. That's why we need to demand leaders put a freeze on rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic for both individuals and businesses. Sign the petition if you agree!
A national landlord association reported that a full one-third of renters in the U.S. failed to pay their rent during the first week of April and May is going to be even worse. While some cities have put a moratoreum on evictions, that just means rent and mortgage payments will pile up during that time and folks will be evicted as soon as those moratoreums are lifted. The only ethical, humane answer is for lawmakers to put a freeze on rent and mortgage payments, and they have the power to do it. Please sign on to help make sure no one ends up homeless due to this global crisis.
Thank you,
Kelsey B.
The Care2 Petitions Team

From Color of Change:

We just received great news to provide us all with a glimmer of hope! Since the outbreak of COVID, we knew we had to fight hard for incarcerated people because our elected leaders failed to make a humane plan to address those who would be hardest hit. 

So we decided to launch our fight.

Thousands of Color Of Change members joined us in pushing to make all communication free of charge for incarcerated people and their families during this crisis, and forever. As of last week, people incarcerated at federal prisons have finally been granted free phone calls during the pandemic, up to 500 minutes a month. Before we launched our campaign and more than 18,000 people signed our petition, many incarcerated folks were only given two fifteen-minute free calls per week, some received even less.

This is what’s possible when we unabashedly fight for those most impacted, in the face of elected leaders who show indifference for incarcerated people. We win and keep families connected!

But C.A., we know we have much more to do to ensure ALL incarcerated people receive the humane response needed to ensure their wellbeing. Here is what we need you to do to continue fighting with us:

  2. Start or join a local campaign and demand your elected leaders implement a humane plan for incarcerated people. We need mass releases and an end to the constant churn of people in and out of facilities across the country.

Until justice is real,
Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Clarise, Erika, Malachi, Leonard, Marybeth, Madison, and the rest of the Color Of Change team