Saturday, April 11, 2020

Changes of mind in the cadres of Bernie

We knew it was coming, and now that it’s finally here — the start of the general election season — we can enjoy one giant exhale (masks or face coverings in place, of course).

“It” was the much-expected suspension of the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, “suspension” the operative word for pulling the plug on a bold, influential campaign. On Wednesday, in a video from Burlington, Vt., the irascible, disciplined Democratic socialist senator ended a bid for the presidency that had early strength and acquired more over time, thanks to the broad popular support of the Bernie or Bust crowd, which Sanders held mostly intact from his 2016 campaign.

But despite a strong start to the year, the Sanders campaign never gained sufficient traction in the primaries, actually losing ground in terms of actual support, and committing numerous unforced errors, ultimately making Sanders’ 2020 bid more and more quixotic as the year went along. ...

Read the full piece at Daily Kos

Image credit: Daily Kos logo: © 2020 Kos Media LLC.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Once upon a time in another world

The great brake started almost imperceptibly, freezing the world slowly, then suddenly. Its random swiftness swept through as if a death angel passed in silence over the planet, all at once. Before we fully realized what was under way, the agent of a vast deceleration was everywhere, a ubiquitous virus on the air, microns in size but capable of disrupting lifestyles, businesses, economies, governments, lives.

The tally of the viral specter, case load and body count, grew exponentially. The virus traveled like the weather; the pundits and analysts charted its movements on maps similar to the ones they used for benign local forecasts. Wave after wave was predicted, and those waves arrived, continent by continent. Over time — days stretching to weeks — the natural world and the animal kingdom did what should have been expected. They returned, abiding by an irresistible law: Whenever a displaced species finds the opportunity to return to the wider habitat it was once a part of, that species flows back in.

Thus liberated by the profound and tantalizing absence around them, coyotes strolled the streets and alleys of San Francisco with impunity. Wild boars wandered the urban centers of Italy; sika deer were discovered in the streets and subway stations of Nara, Japan; monkeys held meetings in a plaza in Thailand. The environment made its own comeback. Satellite images showed the skies over Europe cleared of pollution; the water in the canals of Venice was said to have been completely refreshed, thanks to an absence of the city’s legendary boat traffic.

The world of humans was something else again ...

Read the full essay at The Omnibus at Medium
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