EPISODE 43 – THE POEM WE SIGN

In our 43rd episode, we catch up with none other than Bethanee Epifani. We talk inauguration, Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb,” vaccination in Los Angeles, and even $100,000 dollars. That’s right. If you’d like to support more of the work at jimbotimes.com, you can join us for a new adventure on Patreon at patreon.com/jimbotimes.

J.T.

Defund Jeff Bezos for your Health and nothing less

If there’s still any question as to how serious this year’s health crisis has become, particularly in the richest nation on earth, consider that according to a report from the Washington Post, after the deadliest war in U.S. history, the four-year U.S. Civil War from 1861 – 1865, an estimated 750,000 lives were lost.

This year alone, as cases from the virus continue to surge, the U.S. has already lost at least 276,000 people to the crisis and counting. THAT’S ABOVE 1/3RD of the total lives lost during the Civil War in a fourth of the time that conflict lasted.

Consider also just a few differences between now and the U.S. 155 years ago:

In the 1860s, when the U.S. was made up just 33 states and less than 31 million people, “germ theory of disease was still a controversial idea and not yet widely accepted” among the predominantly white (27 million), working-class nation.

At the federal level in the 1860s, the 13th amendment, which outlawed chattel slavery–except where people convicted of a crime were concerned–was proposed only during the last year of the civil war in 1865 and not ratified until December of that year, seven months after the war was concluded; also in the 1860s, the 14th amendment, which granted citizenship to any persons born on U.S. land, was only passed by the U.S. Senate a year after the civil war in 1866 and not ratified until two years later in 1868.

More locally in Los Angeles, by 1860, when the county was made up of no more than an estimated 12,000 people (more than 11,000 of which were white, according to records), the L.A. County Sheriff’s department was only ten years old.

Likewise, the L.A. City Council, then known as the Common Council, was made up of just seven members and was also just ten years established; the LAPD, by contrast, originally made up of only six armed patrolmen, would not be founded until 1869.

In effect, as Jeff Bezos alone stands to add nearly $100 billion to his portfolio from the pandemic this year, the U.S. healthcare system is on track to count more casualties than the deadliest conflict in U.S. history in the 1860s, at the time of which the nation’s population count was only about 1/10th its size today, and before the advent of the telephone, mass production of Colgate toothpaste, or Ford automobiles, as well as 100 years before Lyndon B. Johnson would sign Medicare and Medicaid into law.

That’s the world we’re living in in 2020, and the one that, if communities and the “silent majority” don’t continue to demand change for, future generations across this country will have the unenviable burden of coming to grips with. If U.S. history shows anything, it’s that 100 years–or even 200 years–of discrimination can go by very quickly.

J.T.

Survivors in Japan: Hiroshima

“My mother entered the center of Hiroshima three days after the bombing. She was four months pregnant with me. I was very sickly in my childhood, suffering from many kinds of infectious diseases, which might have been because of a weak immune system.

My mother developed bladder cancer in 1992, but recovered completely. Fourteen years later, she was bedridden half a year and could not stand up or walk at all. But she is now 99 years old and healthy. We live together.

My grandfather was in the center of Hiroshima. He was buried alive underneath a house, but returned home late at night. Ten days later many purple spots appeared on his body. He became weaker and weaker, [and] had a lot of bloody diarrhea and vomited excessively…

He could not eat or speak, and died twenty-seven days later.”

Mito Kosei, In-Utero (before birth) Survivor

Hiroshima, Japan