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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In the final episode of 2019, Chuckles joins Jaye for a countdown and discussion of the five most downloaded episodes of 2019. They also talk about the 2020 presidential election, including the Trump impeachment, predictions for the Democratic nomination, and if Trump will be re-elected.

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NOTE: Potstirrer Podcast will be on break in the month of January, to prepare for the 2020 election cycle, but will be back in early February!

In the third installment of America’s Drug War, Richard Nixon makes good on his second chance at becoming president of the United States in 1968, instituting his “law and order” policies during his president, chief among them sweeping anti-drug policy. These policies concentrated mostly on cannabis and opiates such as heroin, but also overhauled the way the federal government addressed drugs. Jaye provides context to the America of the 1960s, and discusses Nixon’s War on Drugs as key to his crusade to end the social and political change the 1960s represented.

CONTENT WARNING – This episode discusses mature themes, including illicit drug use and political assassinations. Listener discretion is advised.

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This Patreon bonus episode, originally released March 2019, is being released free this month as part of Flying Machine’s Flyer Drive! To learn more and become a Patron, go to http://flyingmachine.network/support. Enjoy this episode!

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is famous for several iconic statements, including the admonishment of “white moderates.” But did you know that the “white moderates” Dr. King was referring to were specific local clergymen in Birmingham who had written an open letter opposing the protests he helped to organize? These clergy are dubbed “The Birmingham Eight.” Who were these men? What did it mean for them to be “moderate,” and how did they respond to Dr. King’s letter? And what can this incident in American history teach us about allyship?

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With the proliferation of abortion bans passed into law in several states designed to trigger a US Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade (1973), what are the real dangers of these laws? Jaye reconsiders her earlier position on fetal personhood and outlines her view regarding the tension between the rights of the woman versus the rights of the fetus. She delves into infant and maternal mortality in the US, mass shootings, and discrimination by faith-based charities, making the argument that the anti-abortion movement has no real interest in protecting the sanctity of life.

CONTENT WARNING: Miscarriage, stillbirth, medical procedures, death, child molestation, sexual and physical violence

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As several states are passing extremely restrictive anti-abortion laws, and civil rights are increasingly being denied to a number of groups in the United States, Jaye discusses the conservative evangelical Christianity that got us here. Is conservative evangelicalism “real Christianity” and why does the answer to that question matter? How does evangelicalism lead its adherents to support authoritarian, regressive, and cruel politicians and public policies? Jaye shares her personal experience in evangelical Christianity for first-person insight into the methods and teachings that lead evangelical Christians to extreme stances on issues that may have little to no basis in the Bible they claim is inerrant.

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