Several regions around the globe have been battling the scourge of a novel coronavirus, a highly contagious virus that leads to an illness the World Health Organization has named COVID-19. The virus leads to mild symptoms, or even no symptoms, in most people, but can lead to serious complications in a small but significant percentage of people, in some cases leading to death. COVID-19 has arrived in an real way in the United States, with tens of thousands officially confirmed positive for coronavirus, and hundreds of deaths.

Jaye reviews a brief timeline of the pandemic and the response of Donald Trump to the coronavirus threat in the US. Also, Jaye argues that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly change America, and discusses a few possible futures, including reason for hope among the current wave of fear, uncertainty, darkness and despair.

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CONTENT WARNING: The following episode includes discussion of terrorism, hate crimes, disasters, & public health crises that have involved illness, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised. None of the content of this episode is a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.

After a strong showing by US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the early contests of the Democratic nomination season, former Vice-President Joe Biden has gained the momentum, starting in South Carolina and thru Super Tuesday. Is this a positive turn of events for the Democrats in terms of moving away from a democratic socialist as their standard-bearer, or is having a centrist candidate as the frontrunner a bad sign for the party’s chances of beating Donald Trump in the general election?

Jaye discusses the 2020 model of election forecaster Rachel Bitecofer, reasons behind Joe Biden’s support among African-Americans, and why it is imperative that – regardless of ideology – the Democratic nominee must give voters, including those ideologically predisposed to vote for Democrats, a reason to vote for them, not simply that they are a superior alternative to Trump.

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The presidential nomination season is underway, and the Democratic race is heating up. As US Senator Bernie Sanders has received some early momentum, many Democrats, especially moderates, are concerned about Sanders, who is not a Democrat, and his democratic socialist ideology. Should Democrats be worried about the “socialist” label? Also, do Democrats have the right to feel entitled to votes from groups within their base, such as progressives and black Americans?

This is the last podcast episode under the Flying Machine banner, as Flying Machine is shutting down. Potstirrer Podcast will continue unaffiliated.

The experience as part of Flying Machine has been wonderful, and it was an honor to be in community with other amazing content creators. Over time, we became not only fellow creatives, but also friends.

Special thank you to our dear leaders, Malcolm & Justin, for the amazing network and community they built and cultivated, and allowing me to be a part of it. Here’s to new beginnings for all of us who have been part of this adventure. Cheers!

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In the final installment of America’s Drug War, Jaye discusses recent trends in the American drug landscape, including cannabis decriminalization and legalization in several US states, and the opioid epidemic sweeping suburbs and rural areas. How did the War on Drugs, particularly its focus on the “usual suspects,” lead to the opioid crisis? Will cannabis be legalized on a federal level, and should harder drugs also be legalized?

CONTENT WARNING – This episode includes discussion of mature themes, including illicit drug use, prescription drug abuse, and both legal and illicit drug addiction. Listener discretion is advised.

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In the penultimate installment of America’s Drug War, President Ronald Reagan and his successors take the mantle of drug warrior in the 1980s and 1990s. Jaye discusses campaigns and programs designed to reduce drug use in children, such as Just Say No and DARE, as well as the crack epidemic of the 80s, and the shift to punitive measures that the federal government took to win the War on Drugs. Were these efforts successful – and what did “success” truly mean?

CONTENT WARNING – This episode discusses mature themes, including detailed discussion of illicit drug use. Listener discretion is advised.

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