Many could become class allies

Image for post
Image for post
Image: David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

A 74-year-old reality TV star ex-President is apparently the most dangerous man in America. Nothing is more important than keeping Donald Trump out of politics and off Twitter and surveilling or jailing his extremist supporters.

At least, liberals and Democrats seem to feel that way. Mr. Trump has millions of followers who strongly disagree. They see him as someone who stood up for regular people like them, who resisted the ongoing de-industrialization of America, who wanted them to be Great Again.

I live in San Francisco and am a lifelong radical, so most of my friends are in the “Trump…

Hint: It’s the opposite of free markets.

Image for post
Image for post
(Photo by Tech Daily on Unsplash)

Conservatives believe the United States is a capitalist country, and they like it that way. They say government should stay out of people’s business, so free markets can create the best possible society. Anyone who advocates that government do more is labeled a socialist, a communist, or worse.

When we try to find such a free market, though, we see that capitalism in the U.S. does not mean free markets at all. It means government and markets run by people with capital, meaning big money and other financial assets, dedicated to making themselves richer.

We do have markets, but they…

The power of sharing our stories

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” — Edith Wharton

COVID -19 shutdowns haven’t really hurt me; I didn’t have a job anyway. So, when Congress was debating their pathetic $600 relief payments, I promised I would donate mine to people who needed it more. I planned to give half to homeless people in my home of San Francisco and half to hungry refugees in other countries. Problem was, I had no idea how to get money to homeless people. Because of disability, I…

Everyone will be safer, including cops

Image for post
Image for post
(Photo by Thomas Def on Unsplash)

In 2020, police killed over 1,000 Americans, possibly as many as two thousand. According to, 28% of the victims have been African-Americans — who make up only 13% of the population — but people of all kinds die too often in police encounters.

This rate of police gun violence is more than ten times that of any European country. Fear between police and citizens makes our streets meaner, harsher places for everyone, including the police themselves.

After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Black Lives Matter movement put out the slogan ‘Defund the Police.’ While far too…

Like Health care, UBI, free college, climate healing, and COVID relief

money falling from the sky into waiting hands
money falling from the sky into waiting hands
Image: via

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) demanded that Congress pay people to stay home during Corona virus shutdowns, Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, tweeted:

“AOC, Are you suggesting you want to pay people to stay home from the money you take by defunding the police? Or was that for the student debts you wanted to pay off, the Green New Deal or Medicare for All? #WhereIsTheMoney”

Where is the money? What about the deficit? What about inflation? Conservatives always ask those questions to dismiss demands for needed programs…

A germ’s eye view of a dysfunctional society

Image for post
Image for post
Food banks are booming during the pandemic (Photo by Joel Muniz)

Coronavirus is having a grand old time, exploiting areas where American society is divided and disorganized, problems that have been damaging us for years but went largely ignored. Now, with the pandemic shining light on these dysfunctions, we may have a chance to address them. Here are seven problem areas that prevent our controlling COVID-19, while creating suffering every day.

1. A disorganized government split into federal, state, and local levels, all divided by partisanship, corrupted by lobbyists, not valuing competence

While some Asian countries brought the pandemic under control in a couple of months, as reported by John Power in the South China Morning Post, the U.S., …

We’ll never deal with COVID-19

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

My friend Gladys takes care of her 94-year old mother Sylvia, who has Alzheimer’s. Gladys tries to keep mother up with the world and so was telling her about COVID-19. Sylvia said, “I want that.” Thinking she had misunderstood, Gladys replied, “Oh, no, Ma, it’s a terrible disease that kills old people.” And Sylvia said, “Take me to where they have it.”

Sylvia’s request may sound demented or depressed to you, but it would have seemed normal in previous generations. Back then, pneumonia was called “the old person’s friend.” Before antibiotics and medical supports for breathing, like oxygen and respirators…

Limit and divide us

Image for post
Image for post
Image Martin Woortman

Have you wondered why different people: white and Black, liberal and conservative, American Christians and Middle Eastern Muslims, see the world so differently? It’s because we’re not seeing the same world at all. Each of us sees reality through a series of boxes, made of stories we inherited from our ancestors, have learned since birth, and have had reinforced every day by society and the media.

If we stay inside our boxes, we suffer in two ways. We can’t see the world as it really is, so we keep being hurt by it, and we miss its beauty. Second, everyone…

It could save your life

Image for post
Image for post
Image: Iva Rajovic

Do you ever feel like some unseen force is blocking you? Self-help books, therapists or coaches might help you find a different way forward, but wait! Maybe the world wants you to do something else. That happened to the prophet Balaam, and we can still learn from his 3000-year old story.

Like all Bible stories, Balaam’s is best read as poetry, not as literal truth. You don’t have to believe in God to learn from it. Like other spiritual wisdom, Balaam has several layers of meaning that will speak to us at different stages of our lives. …

How the rich keep getting richer

Image for post
Image for post

Rich people love to tell us about the dangers of giving people money for nothing. If people don’t work for everything they get, they become lazy. Giving them something without work corrupts their morals.

Somehow, that advice only applies to working people. Rich people make nearly all their money without working. A capitalist folk saying goes, “Your money should work for you; you shouldn’t work for your money.” A DuckDuckGo search for that phrase brings up pages of web sites teaching people who already have money how to get more.

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah famously alleged that 47% of…

David Spero Rn

Writer, fighter, lover, friend, listener. Based in San Francisco. Write about Health, Economics, Spirit, Psychology, Politics

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store