Steps Towards Reducing the Suffering


One of my main reasons for being on planet Earth is to help minimize and alleviate the world's suffering — among my fellow humans as well as among the animals and plants.

As president, Joe Biden will be in alignment with my goal: He will markedly reduce suffering.

If Donald Trump is re-elected, he will continue to do what he has already done: dramatically increase suffering.

As columnist Maureen Dowd wrote, "Biden is an empath, Trump a sociopath."

So yes, I endorse Joe Biden for President. And I endorse every Democratic candidate for the US Congress, both the Senate and the House.

I endorse every Democratic candidate for governor and every Democratic candidate for every state legislature.

The collusion of the Republican Party with Donald Trump's Reign of Error and Terror shows that it has become, at least temporarily, a party without scruples or integrity.

We can hope that once Trump has left office, the GOP might regain its commitment to actual conservative principles and shed its devotion to a malicious tyrant with no principles.

While I am not and have never been and will never be a member of the Democratic Party, I believe that in this election it is key to the health of democracy and the well-being of Americans that Democratic candidates win.

P.S.: I supported Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primaries. I would have LOVED it if one of them had gotten the nomination. But they didn't. And now I am wholeheartedly behind Joe Biden.


One Hundred Good Reasons to Vote for Joe Biden


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Wherever you live, here's how to vote in the election

More info on how to vote

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Donald Trump is the greatest threat to the rule of law and American democracy in our lifetimes. The only way to defeat him is for voters to turn out in such massive numbers that even his cheating and malfeasance will not be enough to distort the results. If you're an American, please vote!

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A reader asked me: "What do you think it means for the election that Mercury is now in retrograde and comes out of it on Nov. 3?"

Here's my response: It's a highly favorable time for us to meditate on the fact that the personal is political and the political is personal; the spiritual is political and the political is spiritual.

We will gain integrity, authenticity, and power by deploying the truth articulated by journalist Martha Gellhorn: "People say with pride, 'I’m not interested in politics.' They may as well say, 'I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, job, rights, freedoms, future.' If we mean to keep control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics."

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“A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history.

"On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness ... will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions."

—Andrew Harvey

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It's only a matter of time before Progressives are the majority in American politics

More info

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We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

—Elie Wiesel


If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

―Desmond Tutu


Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

—Paulo Freire


Intellectual neutrality is not possible in a historical world of exploitation and oppression.

—Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza

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I've been a progressive since the age of 16. And so I disagreed fiercely with George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan; likewise with John McCain and Mitt Romney. Except for Bush's great work in Africa, their policies and philosophies were inimical to my own spiritual and political vision.

But they all had an asset that Trump doesn't. Bush, Reagan, McCain, and Romney were and are not broken, monstrous, vicious, vile psychopaths without any redeeming features. Bush, Reagan, McCain, and Romney were and are decent human beings.

If you're conservative, voting Trump out of office doesn't mean you're being disloyal to your conservative principles. In fact, just the opposite: You're declaring that your conservative principles are so important to you that you won't continue to allow a monster to hijack them.

Many Republicans, some very powerful, have made that exact determination. They include:

Dan Coats, who served as Trump's Director of National Intelligence;

Jim Mattis, who served as Trump's Secretary of Defense;

John Kelly, who served as Trump's Chief of Staff;

George Will iconic conservative columnist for more than 40 years;

Michael Steele, former Chairperson of the Republican National Committee.

P.S.: Remember that the Republican Party had no platform this election year. It offered no policies whatsoever; expressed no ideas about the world it wants to create. By doing so, it showed it has become a personality cult with no larger vision.

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Anger is a righteous response to the mayhem and violence the American president and his cronies and enablers have engendered. Being enraged can mobilize us to make constructive responses; to refrain from endorsing violence and mayhem as we resist his evil, and instead to engage in vigorous and compassionate action to diminish his power to hurt people.

But it’s also crucial to completely feel the grief that rises up in us in the wake of the Trumpocalypse. To assure that our anger guides us well, we must register the sadness and tragedy of the sickness that has been unleashed in the land.

Believe it or not, crying can empower us to see truly and act wisely.

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Some readers tell me with straight-faced delusional certainty that astrology and politics shouldn't be combined. They don't know much about history! Many political leaders throughout the ages have regularly consulted astrologers. As just one example, US President Ronald Reagan consulted the astrologer Joan Quigley about every decision he made.

Here's a partial list

For example: In ancient China there was a doctrine called the "Mandate of Heaven." Because of it, a ruling dynasty often gave way to new leadership when many planets gathered in one astrological sign. In May, 1059 B.C., for instance, a large conjunction in Cancer signaled the end of the Shang kings, who had grown corrupt. Wen, a rebel with great integrity and wisdom, ascended to the throne.

For example: In 1226, Mongol astrologer Yeh-lu Ch'uts'ai saved 100,000 lives. His boss, Genghis Khan, had ordered a massacre of the Tangut people, but the sage insisted that a heavenly sign—a colossal planetary conjunction in Capricorn—was a clear omen not to proceed with the plan. Amazingly, Khan agreed.

For example, as mentioned above, President Ronald Reagan made extensive use of the services of astrologer Joan Quigley. Here's a quote from a memoir by Donald Regan, who was Reagan's Chief of Staff:

“Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.”


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Amy Gardner writes: "Black Americans have already been voting in striking numbers, helping to drive historic levels of early voting as mail ballots have flooded election offices and people have endured huge lines to cast ballots in person across the country.

In interviews in 10 states where early voting is underway, Black voters said this year’s presidential election is the most important of their lifetime

"They spoke of a sense of urgency to protect the nation’s democracy, and their role in it, which they believe a second Trump term would erode beyond repair.

"Many said they view the president as a racist who cannot bring himself to disavow white supremacists or the year’s spate of police killings of unarmed Black Americans, and they believe the country is less safe for themselves and their families.

"Over and over again, Black Americans described their vote this year as much more than a choice between two presidential candidates, but as an urgent stand in the long fight against racial injustice in America, which the year’s events have made clear is not yet over."

— Amy Gardner


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Numerous science journals have taken the unprecedented step of endorsing a presidential candidate in this year's election: Joe Biden, of course.

For example, the prestigious journal Nature wrote the following: "Trump has damaged science — and it could take decades to recover. His actions have exacerbated the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States, rolled back environmental and public-health regulations and undermined science and scientific institutions. Some of the harm could be permanent."

More info.

Here are other science journals that have taken editorial stances against Trump: the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Science, Scientific American, PLOS, PNAS, CellPress, and JAMA.

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489 national security experts, including 22 four-star officers, have endorsed Joe Biden for president, saying the "current president" is not up to "the enormous responsibilities of his office."

Read more.

Read even more.

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George Will is a conservative columnist who has been writing rightwing musings since 1974. The conservative Wall Street Journal once called him "perhaps the most powerful journalist in America." He won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977.

And yet George Will has been steadfastly and vociferously critical of Donald Trump's presidency. In a recent column, he wrote, "Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers." George Will, A staunch conservative for over 50 years, is voting for Joe Biden.

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Marine General John Kelly served as the White House chief of staff for Donald Trump. Before that he served as Secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration.

But now Kelly says that Trump "is the most flawed person" he's ever known. According to Kelly, "The depths of Trump's dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else."

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Here's a message to Republicans from four long-time Republican leaders, Stuart Stevens, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt and Reed Galen:

Trump is a boor, incapable and unfit for office.

As Republicans, will you stand with Trump, or will you stand with, and stand up for, America? Will you protect democracy or protect a single person and his family?

You know what Republican elected officials have said about Trump behind closed doors from the start because you are often — maybe always — behind those doors. You’ve seen the haunted look in a colleague’s or a boss’s eyes after a meeting with the unstable, unfit man who is our president. You know in your heart that Trump should not be president for another day.

As conservatives, we long argued that culture was the soul of America. We were right, but it is Trump who now assaults our nation’s soul.

Trump's failures have cost nearly 220,000 Americans their lives and tens of millions their jobs. His instability is increasing; you see it every day. The choice now is: America or Trump? Now is the time to stand with the country you love.

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Michael Steele has served as chairperson of the Republican National Committee and several other political offices as a Republican. In 1995, the Maryland Republican Party selected him as their Republican Man of the Year. But in this election, he's voting for Joe Biden.

Steele has been a fierce critic of Trump throughout his administration, accused the president of exacerbating division, seeking the favor of dictators, and embracing outdated economic principles.

“Trump has posited a single purpose for the GOP — the celebration of him,” he added, lamenting how the Republican Party had “given up its voice on things that mattered and instead bent the arc of the party towards the baser motives of one man, who is neither a Republican nor a conservative.”

Read more.

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The Atlantic magazine sums it up:

Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan, or perhaps ever.

Trump has brought our country low;

he has divided our people;

he has pitted race against race;

he has corrupted our democracy;

he has shown contempt for American ideals;

he has made cruelty a sacrament;

he has provided comfort to propagators of hate;

he has abandoned America’s allies;

he has aligned himself with dictators;

he has encouraged terrorism and mob violence;

he has undermined the agencies and departments of government;

he has despoiled the environment;

he has opposed free speech;

he has lied frenetically and evangelized for conspiracism;

he has stolen children from their parents;

he has made himself an advocate of a hostile foreign power;

and he has failed to protect America from a ravaging virus.

Trump is not responsible for all of the 220,000 COVID-19-related deaths in America. But through his avarice and ignorance and negligence and titanic incompetence, he has allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suffer and die, many alone, all needlessly. With each passing day, his presidency reaps more death.


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Prominent leftist veterans, including Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Cornell West, and Frances Fox Piven, say vote Biden-Harris, then keep organizing


“November is about stopping fascism in the U.S. and that is what Donald Trump represents,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). She has made the point that if Biden is elected, the fight will still carry on for universal health care, living wages, free college tuition, and justice for immigrants.


Center for a Progressive Democracy director Jennifer Epps-Addison hopes to convince those active in the streets that the next step to take is voting.

For her, the choice was simple. “What is going to put us in the best position to really transform the fundamental structures of this country towards freedom?” she asked. “Is it continuing to battle for our lives with Donald Trump, as he amasses more and more authoritarian power? Or is it negotiating and pushing and organizing under a Biden administration?”


“I’m excited,” said Angela Davis of Biden’s historic pick of Harris for vice president. “Now this isn’t to say Kamala Harris doesn’t have problematic areas of her record. But I think it’s a feminist approach to be able to work with those contradictions, to be able to dwell there. So, in that context I can say I’m very excited.”


Roots Action, a group headed by Norman Solomon, was critical of Biden during the primaries but now supports the former vice president.

“Donald Trump is waging a war on truth, on decency, on our planet, and on working people,” their website says. “For the sake of everything we care about, we have to get him out of the White House in 2020.”


“Another four years of Trump may literally lead us to the stage where the survival of organized human society is deeply imperiled,” Noam Chomsky warns. “The most important issue that humans have faced in their history is the impending catastrophic climate disaster. Trump is the worst person in the world on this issue.”


Organizing Upgrade editor Max Elbaum has argued against the strategy of electoral abstention or third-party voting. “The central polarization in the country today is between a Trumpist bloc driving toward authoritarian rule vs. a majority opposition that, for all the vacillations and differences within it, is defending the democratic space that movements for justice, peace, and radical change require to advance,” wrote Elbaum.

“Our goal should be turning out the largest possible working class and people of color vote for Biden with the message that removing white nationalism from political power is an indispensable step in the long- term battle for transformative change,” he wrote.


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Activist David Ferree offers 100 reasons to vote for Biden and Harris:

1.) $15.00 federal minimum wage

2.) Reinstate DACA – allowing new applicants to apply

3.) 12 Weeks federal paid family leave

4.) Universal Pre-Kindergarten/Childcare for ages 3 and 4

5.) Tuition free college for those with household income less than $125,000.00

6.) Allow student loans to be relieved in bankruptcy

7.) LGBTQ+ Equality Act in the first 100 days in office

8.) Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords

9.) Decriminalize cannabis use and expunge convictions

10.) Eliminate cash bail system

11.) Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences

12.) Outlaw all online firearm and munition sales

13.) Restore the voting rights act

14.) Create a new $20 billion competitive grant program to spur states to shift from incarceration to prevention.

15.) He’ll triple funding for Title I Programs

16.) Appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court of the United States

17.) Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

18.) Ensure the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050

19.) Protecting Biodiversity, slowing extinction rates and helping leverage natural climate solutions

20.) Develop a plan to ensure that America has the cleanest, safest and fastest rail system in the world, for both passengers and freight

21.) Expand the safety net for survivors

22.) Confront online harassment, abuse and stalking

23.) End the rape kit backlog

24.) Address the deadly combination of guns and domestic violence

25.) Change the culture that enables domestic violence

26.) Support the diverse needs of survivors of violence against women

27.) Protect and empower immigrant women

28.) Lead the global effort to end gender-based violence

29.) End capital punishment [federally]

30.) End federal private prisons

31.) End all incarceration for drug use alone and divert individuals to drug courts and treatment

32.) Invest in public defenders’ offices to ensure defendants’ access to quality counsel

33.) Expand and use the power of the US Justice Department to address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices

34.) Reform qualified immunity for officers

35.) Ban choke-holds/neck restraints by police

36.) Launch a national police oversight commission

37.) Stop transferring weapons of war to police force

38.) Free access to testing for all with national testing board

39.) Double drive through testing sites

40.) 100,000 contact tracing workforce

41.) Guarantee first responders have priority access to PPE

42.) Emergency paid leave for anyone who gets COVID or needs to take care of a loved one

43.) Free housing for health care workers to quarantine

44.) Ramp up large scale manufacturing of as many vaccine candidates as necessary

45.) Nationwide vaccination campaign to guarantee fair distribution

46.) Ask every American to wear a mask

47.) End the mismanagement of the asylum system, which fuels violence and chaos at the border

48.) Surge humanitarian resources to the border and foster public-private initiatives

49.) End prolonged detention and reinvest in a case management program

50.) Rescind the un-American travel and refugee bans, also referred to as “Muslim bans.”

51.) Order an immediate review of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in their countries ripped apart by violence or disaster

52.) Ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel abide by professional standards and are held accountable for inhumane treatment.

53.) Revitalize the Task Force on New Americans and boost our economy by prioritizing integration, promoting immigrant entrepreneurship, increasing access to language instruction, and promoting civil engagement.

54.) Convene a regional meeting of leaders, including from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Canada, to address the factors driving migration and to propose a regional resettlement solution

55.) Raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.

56.) Requiring a true minimum tax on ALL foreign earnings of United States companies located overseas so that we do our part to put an end to the global race to the bottom that rewards global tax havens. This will be 21% — TWICE the rate of the Trump offshoring tax rate and will apply to all income.

57.) Imposing a tax penalty on corporations that ship jobs overseas in order to sell products back to America.

58.) Imposing a 15% minimum tax on book income so that no corporation gets away with paying no taxes.

59.) Raising the top individual income rate back to 39.6 percent.

60.) Asking those making more than $1 million to pay the same rate on investment income that they do on their wages.

61.) Tackle the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

62.) Ensure tribal nations will have a strong voice and role in the federal government

63.) Restore Tribal lands and safeguard natural and cultural resources

64.) Joe will dramatically increase funding for both public schools and Bureau of Indian Education schools.

65.) Invest $70 billion in Tribal Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.

66.) Ensure full inclusion of people with disabilities in policy development and aggressively enforce the civil rights of people with disabilities.

67.) Guarantee access to high-quality, affordable health care, including mental health care, and expand access to home and community-based services and long-term services and supports in the most integrated setting appropriate to each person’s needs and based on self-determination.

68.) Expand competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

69.) Protect and strengthen economic security for people with disabilities.

70.) Ensure that students with disabilities have access to educational programs and support they need to succeed, from early interventions to post-secondary education.

71.) Expand access to accessible, integrated, and affordable housing, transportation, and assistive technologies and protect people with disabilities in emergencies.

72.) Advance global disability rights

73.) Double the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals in our schools so our kids get the mental health care they need

74.) Invest in our schools to eliminate the funding gap between white and non-white districts, and rich and poor districts

75.) Improve teacher diversity

76.) Support our educators by giving them the pay and dignity they deserve.

77.) Invest in resources for our schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults, and educators can focus on teaching.

78.) Ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability.

79.) Provide every middle and high school student a path to a successful career.

80.) Start investing in our children at birth.

81.) Double funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

82.) Expand the New Markets Tax Credit, make the program permanent, and double Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) funding

83.) Improve and expand the Small Business Administration programs that most effectively support African American-owned businesses.

84.) Increase funding for the Minority Business Development Agency budget.

85.) Make sure economic relief because of COVID-19 reaches the African American businesses that need it most

86.) Reserve half of all the new PPP funds for small businesses with 50 employees or less

87.) Help families buy their first homes and build wealth by creating a new refundable, advanceable tax credit of up to $15,000

88.) Protect homeowners and renters from abusive lenders and landlords through a new Homeowner and Renter Bill of Rights.

89.) Establishing a $100 billion Affordable Housing Fund to construct and upgrade affordable housing

90.) Fully implement Congressman Clyburn’s 10-20-30 Plan to help all individuals living in persistently impoverished communities

91.) Expand access to $100 billion in low-interest business loans by funding state, local, tribal, and non-profit lending programs in Latino communities and other communities of color and strengthening Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

92.) Expand broadband access to every American.

93.) Protect and build on the Affordable Care Act to improve access to quality health care in rural communities.

94.) Expand access to high-quality education in rural schools.

95.) Transform our crumbling transportation infrastructure – including roads and bridges, rail, aviation, ports, and inland waterways.

96.) Expand bio-based manufacturing to bring cutting-edge manufacturing jobs back to rural America.

97.) Strengthen antitrust enforcement

98.) Introduce a constitutional amendment to entirely eliminate private dollars from our federal elections

99.) End dark money groups

100.) Ban corporate PAC contributions to candidates, and prohibit lobbyist contributions to those who they lobby

Written by David Ferree