Happy New Year to a Broken Seattle
Two years into the pandemic and Joe Biden absolutely owns this disaster. Frighteningly, the lack of a powerful organized left in this country means that the ongoing failures of government to protect our citizens might lead to some dark times, much like what happened to Europe in the 1930s. Right now policy, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, is basically “those of you who are not rich - get back to work and school and let’s keep this profit machine running, regardless of how much needless sickness and death occurs.” Rise and grind and get cracking at your minimum wage job, because we have to keep the economy open! Get your ass to school - because your parents need to be at their minimum wage job and can’t afford child care! Unreal.
When ossified old fool Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 he was 86 years old. Joe Biden - the man who refuses to come out of his senile coma and do anything about the pandemic other than turn the matter over to the states, who refuses to forgive student loans, or decriminalize cannabis, or extend child tax credits or unemployment benefits or stimulus payments - will turn 80 shortly after the Democrats are blown out in the November elections. He is too old to be presiding over a dying empire. Had Bernie been elected he would also be presiding over a dying empire (and also be too old), but you can sure as hell bet he would have accomplished more than Joe has (nothing) in his first year.
Did anybody else find it sickening when Democrats recently lined up to hug Dick Cheney? Who do we think both parties serve? The corporate class of corrupt war criminals and Wall Street profiteers, or people who are struggling? Just ask someone who pays $650 for an EpiPen®, or $400 for their insulin.
In 2024 there’s a good chance that Republicans will control ALL branches of our government. If you think neoliberal centrist do-nothing Democrats are bad at governing now just wait until the Republicans have total control.
When people talk about the future in terms of whether we have a choice between socialism or barbarism - we are already living in barbarism. There’s no other explanation for a system that, as the pandemic has exposed, does not care whether you live or die, especially if you are old or sick or poor or in prison or a combination of those things.
The Seattle Algorithm of Failure
An algorithm that describes our failures as a city would look something like this: Rich city in rich country + multimillionaire Mayor elected with right wing pro-business money + failure of public schools to protect students and faculty from a deadly disease + a murderous police department filled with white supremacists that soaks up a huge percentage of the city budget + corporate, for-profit hospitals turning away sick people (even hospitals with non-profit tax-free status sue people for unpaid medical bills) + thousands of people living in tents = Seattle 2022. Apply this algorithm to any major city in America.
Today (Martin Luther King Day) the Seattle Police set up a table on the MLK parade route with “community service officers” or as Divest SPD correctly calls them “public relations officers.” Totally laughable. (Tip of the hat to Twitter: @DivestSPD).
Our first meal delivery of the year went to Jesse (Twitter: @jessecooksfood) who distributes meals in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood once a week. Also donated $40 to them via Broadway mutual aid (Venmo: @broadway-aid).
Bought five pounds of Yakisoba noodles at US Foods ($7), added some goodies ($20) all cooked separately on the wok and packaged up for Jesse to re-heat. Also donated a space heater and other dry goods. Jesse says they served 35 meals that night.
These kids, like Jesse and some of my leftist podcasting buddies, give me hope for the future. They do not suffer fools gladly, whether they be big city mayors, presidents, or anybody else who can’t understand or won’t admit that the global catastrophes of climate change and the pandemic can’t be solved under capitalism.
As a certain completely disingenuous network TV newscaster likes to say when he signs off from his show that is mostly sponsored by big pharma: “take care of yourself, and each other.”