Friday, March 31, 2023

Quote of the Day

[In response to the indictment of Donald Trump, many are] relieved that this matter is finally going to be in a court of law rather than just in the media, because it’s so important to affirm the idea that we have a rule of law and that no one is above the law. So, we’ll wait and see what a jury does when they hear the facts and they apply the law.

. . . Last Tuesday, when Donald Trump announced that he was going to be indicted, he wanted many people to come and demonstrate. There were not that many people [who showed up]. It’s unclear how many people will be there this Tuesday [when Trump is expected to surrender to authorities and appear in court], assuming he shows up, but the police will be prepared, the DA’s Office is prepared, New York City is prepared. We’re not going to succumb to mob rule. We have got to uphold the rule of law.

– Ellen Yaroshefsky
Excerpted from “Indicted: Trump Faces Criminal Charges in NY;
Three Other Investigations into Ex-President Continue

Democracy Now!
March 31, 2023

Related Off-site Links:
Trump Criminally Charged in New York, a First for a U.S. Ex-president – Karen Freifeld, Luc Cohen and Tyler Clifford (Reuters, March 30, 2023).
New York Grand Jury Votes to Indict Trump – Masood Farivar (Vox, March 30, 2023).
Five Key Takeaways From the Trump Indictment News – Emily Olson and Emma Bowman (NPR News, March 31, 2023).
The Donald Trump Problem – Chris Hedges (Scheer Post, March 26, 2023).
Trump, Russia, Biden: The U.S. Has 3 Special Counsel Investigations at Once. What Are They? – Bart Jansen (USA Today, March 3, 2023).

UPDATES: In a Historic First, Former President Donald Trump is Charged With 34 Felony Counts – Carrie Johnson (NPR News, April 4, 2023).
History in the Making: David Cay Johnston on Why Trump’s Arraignment May Renew American DemocracyDemocracy Now! (April 4, 2023).
The “Man of Lawlessness” Gets Indicted in New York – David Gushee (Baptist News, April 4, 2023).
“Now Do Bush”: Trump Arraignment Contrasts Typical Impunity for U.S. Leaders – Jessica Corbett (Common Dreams, April 4, 2023).
Donald Trump Charged with 34 Felonies; He Intensifies Attacks on Judge, DA and Their FamiliesDemocracy Now! (April 5, 2023).
Ralph Nader: Trump Arrest Was “Massively Overdue” After Turning White House Into a “Daily Crime Scene”Democracy Now! (April 5, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Chauncey Devega on the Ongoing Danger of the Trump Cult
Historian Nancy MacLean: The Threat to American Democracy Is at “Red-Alert”
William D. Lindsey: Quote of the Day – August 12, 2022
Donald Trump’s Open and Shameless Criminality

Thursday, March 30, 2023


Australian Sojourn – March 2023 • Part 7

Mum and I recently traveled inland from Guruk to the place we were both born, the northwestern New South Wales town of Gunnedah in the heart of Kamilaroi country.

Gunnedah and its surrounding area were originally inhabited by Indigenous Australians who spoke the Kamilaroi (Gamilaraay) language. The area now occupied by the town was settled by Europeans in 1833. Through my maternal grandmother’s family, the Millerds, my family can trace its connection to Gunnedah back to the town’s earliest days. For more about the town’s history and my family’s connection to it, see the previous Wild Reed posts, My “Bone Country” and Journey to Gunnedah.

Above: A memorial to Gambu Ganuurru, “Red Kangaroo,” the Indigenous Australian warrior and leader of the Gunn-e-dar people of the Kamilaroi tribe. After his death in the late 1700s, he was buried in the traditional way inside a carved tree.

Above: Gunnedah’s town hall clock tower and the former Acropolis Cafe (right).

Above: Mum (right) with her sister Ruth and brother Michael – Friday, March 24, 2023.

Above: With Aunty Ruth’s grandson Henry (right) and a mate of his. We’d just finished a game of Snakes and Ladders, a favorite of Henry's and mine.

Above: With my cousin Therese – Friday, March 24, 2023.

Above: Mum and I with longtime friends and former neighbors John and Heather Sills – Friday, March 24, 2023.

Left: With my childhood friend and neighbor Jillian. In the summer of 2018, Jillian and her husband visited me in Minneapolis. For some pics of their time there, click here.

Above: Standing at left with (from left) my aunt Ruth, cousin Alicia, cousin Therese, Mum, and Alicia’s son Alex – March 24, 2023.

Right: A chance encounter with my godmother, Rita Groth, in the main street of Gunnedah – March 25, 2023.

Above: And here I am with Rita in 1965.

Above: At left with childhood/school friends (from left) Therese, Sue, Jo, Louise, and Di – Friday, March 24, 2023.

Above: Mum and I with Mum’s cousin Joan and Joan’s son Matthew – March 25, 2023. We’re at Mum’s sister Ruth’s place enjoying the Australian tradition of afternoon tea. 😄

Above: Mum with our longtime friends Peter and Delores Worthington – Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Above: On our last morning in Gunnedah, our friends Louise and Russ hosted a lovely morning tea for Mum and I and friends Jo and Sue – Sunday, March 26, 2023.

The jacaranda tree behind us is in the backyard of my childhood home. As a child, I loved to climb high up into its branches. It always kept me safe.

Above: Louise’s morning tea included delicious homemade scones with jam, cream, and golden syrup. . . . Thanks, Louise!

Above: Mum – March 23, 2023.

NEXT: Last Days in Australia

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Photo of the Day – March 25, 2023
Across the Mountains . . . From Guruk to Gunnedah (2019)
Family Time in Gunnedah (2019)
A Visit to Gunnedah (2017)
Australian Sojourn, May 2016 – Gunnedah
Australian Sojourn, March 2015 – Gunnedah
A Visit to Gunnedah (2014)
Journey to Gunnedah (2011)
This Corner of the Earth (2010)
An Afternoon at the Gunnedah Convent of Mercy (2010)
My “Bone Country” (2009)
The White Rooster
Remembering Nanna Smith
One of These Boys is Not Like the Others
Gunnedah (Part 1)
Gunnedah (Part 2)
Gunnedah (Part 3)
Gunnedah (Part 4)

For previous installments in the “Australian Sojourn – March 2023” series, see:
Central Station

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Something to Think About . . .

Related Off-site Links:
Florida Principal Resigns After Parents Decry Michelangelo’s “David” as Pornography – Maya Yang (The Guardian, March 26, 2023).
Visitors Flock to See Michelangelo’s “David” Sculpture After School Uproar in Florida – The Associated Press via NPR News (March 29, 2023).
Nashville Shooter Bought Seven Guns Before Attack on The Covenant School in TennesseeABC News (March 28, 2023).
If Only We Loved Our Children as Much as Our Assault Weapons – Steven Day (Common Dreams, March 30, 2023).

UPDATES: Gun Violence Is a Proxy War on the American Public – Quentin Young (Colorado Newsline, March 30, 2023).
The Deep Sadness of the Renaissance Art Controversy – Algernon D’Ammassa (Deming Headlight, March 30, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Social Roots of Yet Another American Tragedy
Something to Think About – December 14, 2012
Quote of the Day – December 15, 2012
Phil Attey: Quote of the Day – October 2, 2015
“I Pray, I Pray”
Prayer of the Week – June 19, 2016
Jamelle Bouie: Quote of the Day – October 2, 2017
Signs of the Times
The Student-Activists of 2018 – Leading Us to the Future
Emma González: Quote of the Day – February 17, 2018
Jason Stanley: Quote of the Day – May 16, 2022
Something to Think About – May 26, 2022
“For the Love of Our Children, Let’s Not Shut Up”

“The Mistreatment and Discrimination Against Palestinians Is Not Unprecedented. . . . It's Baked Into the Foundation of the Political System in Israel”

Yousef Munayyer on how Palestinians continue to pay the price in the midst of unprecedented protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to empower the far right.

Yousef Munayyer is a Palestinian-American analyst and senior non-resident fellow at the Arab Center in Washington DC. He appeared earlier today on Democracy Now! where he shared his perspective on the massive protests in Israel in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to overhaul and weaken the country’s judiciary.

Following is part of what he said.


The protesters in the streets are focused on what they see as a threat to them, and not really a threat to Palestinians, by [Netanyahu’s proposed] legislative reforms, which aim to further weaken the court system in Israel. It’s important to point out that this is a process that did not start with this government and that the court system in Israel has been weakened for some time. But with this government, a religious nationalist government, there are many Israelis who see the government’s agenda as a major power grab that’s attempting to reshape Israeli society in a way that will disadvantage them, [with] “them” being primarily non-religious, nationalist Israelis and secular Israelis. And so, they are perceiving for the first time a threat [. . .] to the court system that will actually weaken their rights. The rights, of course, of Palestinians have not been upheld, whether [they are] Palestinian citizens of Israel or Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza and Jerusalem. They have not been upheld by these courts for a very long time. It was not until, though, that these communities in Israel who are protesting today recognized a direct threat to their own rights that they decided to mobilize in mass in this way.

And I think this really underscores just how deep the consensus is within Israel about the apartheid system and discrimination against Palestinians. Clearly, Israeli society has always had the capacity – we’re seeing it on display now – to challenge their government’s policies when they understand them to be unfair. But it seems that Israeli society does not think its treatment of Palestinians, which, of course, the human rights community and many others, including Israeli human rights organizations, concluded amounts to apartheid – they don’t seem to see a problem with that. What we’re seeing in the streets today is unprecedented as far as Israeli society goes, but the mistreatment and discrimination against Palestinians is not unprecedented at all and is baked into the foundation of the political system in Israel.

Yousef Munayyer also shed light on the significance of Israel not having a written constitution, and how this factors into the situation today.

This is one of the core points here, because you have two different branches of government: the parliament, and the government that was put together through the parliamentary elections, and the courts, which are essentially locked in a battle over power. And the parliament and the government is demanding that it has the authority to essentially claim greater powers over the courts, be able to override court decisions with a simple majority.

These kinds of matters are usually outlined in a foundational document, in a supreme law like a constitution, that limits the powers of different branches of government and makes clear rules about where power lies and in what situations. Israel doesn’t have a constitution, and it doesn’t have a constitution for very important reasons. In fact, when Israel was created and declared in 1948 in their Declaration of Independence, they promised that they would adopt a constitution within a few months after declaring independence, in line with the expectations of the international community and the United Nations when they put forward the 1947 partition plan. And, in fact, the Declaration of Independence copied language from that partition plan about the need to guarantee rights of equality for people regardless of religion and ethnic origin, and so on and so forth.

At the time, Israel was interested in gaining international legitimacy, but what they found was, if they were going to adopt a constitution, they’d have to limit state power in ways that would make it much harder for them to carry out their settler-colonial project in Palestine. If they had to accept equality before the law, they couldn’t take land away from Palestinians and privilege Jews coming in from outside of the country to take their place. And so, they didn’t end up adopting a constitution and allowed the state to have maximum flexibility to carry out the settler-colonial project. And, in fact, that project, which continues to this day, is one of the main reasons why Israeli politics has gone so far right that you see the kind of extremists in government today that in years prior were on the fringes of society.

For the complete March 28, 2023 Democracy Now! segment, “Palestinians to Pay the Price as Netanyahu Pauses Judicial Overhaul While Further Empowering Far Right,” click here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Progressive Perspectives on the Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian “Nightmare”
Something to Think About – July 29, 2018
Noura Erakat: Quote of the Day – May 15, 2018
For Some Jews, Israel’s Treatment of Palestinians is Yet Another Jewish Tragedy
Remembering the Six-Day War and Its Ongoing Aftermath
David Norris: Quote of the Day – August 12, 2014
Something to Think About – July 18, 2014
“We Will Come Together in Our Pain”
Thoughts on Prayer in a “Summer of Strife”

Monday, March 27, 2023


Australian Sojourn – March 2023 • Part 6

I spent most of last Monday, March 20, at Yamba with my friends Mim and Collette. It was a beautiful day to be at the beach, as I’m sure you’ll see by the images I share today.

Yamba is a town on the north coast of New South Wales and is situated at the mouth of the Clarence River.

The Yaegl and Bundjalung people are the traditional custodians of the coastal areas around Yamba, Iluka and Maclean. The ancestors of the present day Yaegl people lived around the mouth of the Clarence River and spoke Yaygirr. There is evidence the Yaegl had permanent settlements and a developed material culture. In 1799, for instance, British navigator and cartographer Matthew Flinders described large bark huts with rounded passageway entrances to protect dwellers from wind and rain. Similarly, Captain Perry in 1839 described canoes of a superior construction.

According to Wikipedia there are two theories as to the meaning of Yamba, one being that it is the local Aboriginal word for “headland.” However, J.S. Ryan, following R.L. Dawson’s early Recollections and Records of the Clarence Aborigines, believes the most likely derivation is an Aboriginal word yumbah meaning a rough edible shellfish the size of a person’s hand that clings to rocks and is similar to an oyster.

At a Yamba surf shop, Mim and Collette helped me find a rashie that is a great fit for me. While I was looking around the store for some shorts, Collette quietly went and paid for the rashie so that it would be a gift from her and her family, all of whom are dear friends of mine. What a sweet and generous thing to do. Thank you!

NEXT: Gunnedah

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
In Northern Rivers Country (2019)
Rising Waters
Yaegl Country

For previous installments in the “Australian Sojourn – March 2023” series, see:
Central Station

Friday, March 24, 2023

More Progressive Perspectives on Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run

Author and activist Marianne Williamson continues her challenging of Joe Biden to be the 2024 Democratic presidential nominee. In doing so, she’s made some impressive appearances on various news and current affairs shows. Her candidacy has also generated a number of informed and insightful commentaries, even as the mainstream media largely avoids any in-depth analysis of her presidential bid.

Following is a second compilation of progressive perspectives on Marianne’s 2024 presidential run. (For the first compilation, click here.)


Marianne Williamson’s policy platform is similar to that of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two candidates she ran against in the 2020 [Democratic presidential] primary. For those on the left of the party in 2020, there was little reason to vote for Marianne Williamson – two sitting Senators were running on virtually the same ideas, and one of them, Sanders, spent the early days of the race as a frontrunner. As it currently stands for the 2024 primary, voters particularly energized by ideas such as Medicare For All and free tuition at state colleges, universities, and trade schools have only one candidate to turn to – Marianne Williamson. Bernie isn’t running and has said he would support Biden if the President seeks re-election, which he is widely expected to do by everyone, including the First Lady. However, Sanders, unlike other Democrats, has not dismissed Williamson. He told Insider, “I know Marianne. I’m sure that she’s going to run a strong campaign and raise very important issues,” and refused to speculate on her chances.

Bernie might know Marianne, but most Americans don’t. Getting herself in front of voters will be Williamson’s biggest challenge. If she can manage to do it, she’s bound to intrigue, as her own political history has shown: after the first Democratic debate in 2020, Williamson was the most Googled candidate – no small feat in a crowded stage of ten. When Williamson is speaking, it’s difficult to look away. Although a prolific and best-selling author, she has made her living off speaking – not to bankers or journalists – but to the regular men and women who pay to attend her seminars. She speaks with a strange but melodic accent – a bit old Hollywood and a bit southern – and she knows how to face a camera. She exudes an explicitly feminine charisma which we often find in media and real life but rarely in politics.

. . . [Williamson’s] willingness to speak in explicitly moral and spiritual terms might elicit scoffs and eye rolls in Washington, but Washington is not America. This is a country where 81% of the population believes in God, and outside of Washington, few have reason to lie about it. American politics has always been driven by religious fervor, from the Great Awakening to Abolitionism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Moral Majority. The decline of regular Christian church attendance has not quelled this impulse.

. . . The dismissiveness showed toward Williamson by Democrats and much of the mainstream press on the basis of her outsider status – baffling, given that Trump barely left office two years ago – only gives her an opportunity to articulate the precise sentiment that attracted voters to Trump and, I believe, will attract voters to Williamson. Take her recent interview with ABCs Jonathan Karl. When Karl, who deployed an audibly patronizing tone throughout the interview, referred to the Associated Press’ description of Williamson as the “longest of long-shots,” Williamson shot back.

“I would bet that the Associated Press also said that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in.”

Jonathan Karl shifted uncomfortably in his chair, “Well, I don’t know if they would have used that language actually I dunno –”

Grinning, Marianne Williamson cut him off. “Maybe not. But that system. You know exactly what I’m saying. The system that is now saying I’m unserious, I’m not credible, or I’m a long shot, is the very system that protects and maintains this idea that only those whose careers have been entrenched within the system that drove us into a ditch should possibly be considered qualified to lead us out of that ditch. My qualification is not that I know how to participate in that system. My qualification is that I know how to disrupt it. And that is what we need right now.”

– River Page
Excerpted from “Biden Shouldn’t Blow Off Marianne Williamson
Pirate Wires
March 14, 2023

Marianne Williamson interviwed by Gerren Keith – The Grio, March 23, 2023 (25 mins) . . .

Williamson’s policy platform, which is remarkably detailed for a candidate just beginning to hit the trail, combines a by-now-familiar list of progressive demands with some unique Williamsonian touches.

Williamson is running on enacting a single-payer health care system, paid family and parental leave, free child care, and tuition-free public college or vocational school, as well as banning the oil and gas extraction method known as fracking and speeding up clean-energy adoption targets.

She is also proposing the creation of a host of new federal agencies, including a Department of Climate Action and a Department of Childhood and Youth. And Williamson wants to provide at least $1 trillion in reparations to Black Americans that would be distributed by a council of Black American leaders.

. . . To call Williamson’s encore presidential run a long shot would be an understatement. Her first bid, conducted in the more accommodating conditions of an open primary field, ended in January 2020 before any votes were cast, and after months of dismal polling and fundraising that kept her off the [later] debate stage[s].

Now, she is the first and only candidate to challenge Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden has not officially stated his plans to seek a second term, but he is widely expected to kick off his reelection campaign in the coming months.

The national Democratic Party is already closing ranks behind Biden. Ahead of Williamson’s campaign launch, the Democratic National Committee signaled to ABC News that it does not plan to sponsor any primary debates ahead of the 2024 election.

For some perspective on the difficult odds that Williamson would face if Biden runs again, it’s worth remembering that the last time a Democrat launched a serious primary challenge against a sitting Democratic president was when Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) ran against then-President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Neither Kennedy’s status as a surviving scion of a political family akin to royalty, nor his prominence as a torch-bearer for late 20th-century liberalism were enough to unseat the Democratic incumbent.

But that does not mean that Williamson’s campaign lacks a purpose. She speaks for a left-leaning segment of the electorate perpetually dissatisfied with Democratic leaders’ incremental policy vision and sees everything to gain – and nothing to lose – in keeping the progressive heat on Biden.

Williamson told HuffPost that she is disappointed in Biden’s failure to push back against the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that the budget reconciliation process could not be used to raise the minimum wage; what she sees as the administration’s complacent response to the expiration of the expanded child tax credit; and the Biden administration’s continued approval of oil and gas drilling permits.

Williamson even dismisses the new law empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for the first time as “slow and incremental change, which still leaves corporations price-gouging the American people.” She wants Biden to take advantage of “march-in rights” that entitle him to require pharmaceutical companies to license the patents for brand-name prescription drugs developed with federal money to other drugmakers.

Williamson also points to a January poll that found that just 37% of Democrats think Biden should run for reelection.

“The issue is not whether I personally am disappointed with the current administration. The issue is whether the agenda of this administration will win the presidency,” Williamson said. “Democratic voters want and deserve an opportunity to decide what agenda they think would be the best one to offer the American people as a choice in 2024.”

. . . [Nathan Robinson, a left-wing author and editor-in-chief of the socialist magazine Current Affairs] is excited about the possibility of a candidate like Williamson who has a following with apolitical “normies” of the kind that progressives might not normally reach.

It’s a potential strength that Williamson acknowledges, even as she seeks to forge a political brand independent of her status as a bestselling [spiritual author].

Williamson’s fans “are voters,” she said. “Politics doesn’t get to delineate between the voters that they think are legitimate versus voters that they don’t think are legitimate.”

Still, I asked her whether Donald Trump’s presidency had taken some of the shine off of installing a political neophyte in the White House.

“The problem with President Trump was not his lack of political experience,” Williamson said. “The problem with President Trump is his character.”

– Daniel Marans
Excerpted from “This Time, Marianne Williamson
Wants to Be Taken Seriously

The Huffington Post
March 13, 2023

Marianne Williamson interviwed by Neil Cavuto – Fox News, March 17, 2023 (12 mins) . . .

The dismissal of Marianne Williamson is unfair. She has a solid [and genuinely progressive] agenda and is an inspiring orator. We should keep an open mind about her candidacy, especially since Biden needs a serious challenger.

. . . Frankly, I want Williamson to do well. Joe Biden needs a progressive challenger. He’s a terrible president, unpopular with the voters. Democratic Party leaders have rallied around him, and are insisting that he has “exceeded expectations” (expectations were virtually zero, making the statement meaningless). But he needs a serious challenger. This is for several reasons. First, Biden is incompetent and conservative, and we need a president who is not willing to destroy the planet to save the oil companies. Second, Biden’s renomination is not supported by the majority of Democrats. I don’t have any confidence that he’ll be able to successfully defeat a Trump-DeSantis ticket. (My greatest fear is that Trump will beat DeSantis in the primary only to make him the vice presidential nominee after a bit of abject groveling from DeSantis.) I happen to believe that voters deserve to have meaningful choices, rather than just rubber-stamping the incumbent. But with most Democrats making it clear they won’t challenge Biden, it looks like Williamson might be his only opponent. If that’s the case, I want her to be a serious contender, because if she runs only to be completely crushed, it will bolster Biden’s case that he has widespread popular support.

. . . Williamson needs to think with ruthless strategic precision about how to get the attention of voters. It won’t be easy. Much of the media will try to ignore her. But I don’t think we should write her off just yet. The incumbent is unpopular. That creates an opening. Williamson is a skilled speaker with a compelling agenda who can inspire listeners. She has a clear set of weaknesses to address. I hope she addresses them. I hope Williamson IS serious about this campaign, because I want people to take it seriously. We need someone to effectively challenge the Democratic establishment and I hope she shows us that it was a mistake for people to underestimate her.

– Nathan J. Robinson
Excerpted from “Marianne Williamson Deserves
to Be Taken Seriously

Current Affairs
March 14, 2023

Marianne Williamson interviwed by John Iadarola and Francesca Fiorentini – The Damage Report, March 21, 2023 (18 mins) . . .

[My campaign] is about ending a 50-year aberrational chapter of American history and beginning a new one. Neoliberalism has devastated not only our economy – creating the greatest income inequality in 100 years – it has infected every aspect of our culture with injustice and despair. It’s time for us to recognize that, cut the cord, and begin again. It’s going to take someone who is not of that machine to smash it.

. . . [That] is key to my strength here and I’ll tell you why: I have dealt in my 40-year career with helping people both endure crises, and transform them. That is exactly what this country needs now: someone who can help us both endure and transform the trauma of these times. The chaos is external, but the trauma created by the chaos is internal. Secondly, because of my experience with all kinds of personality types and all kinds of people, I have a deep understanding of what a sociopath is. A sociopath is someone who simply doesn’t care. . . . It is because of that that I recognize as deeply as I do that an economic system – namely hyper-capitalism, namely neoliberalism – has at its root a deep spiritual darkness. It does not care. It is a sociopathic economic system that prioritizes short-term profit maximization for these huge corporate entities. It is a destructive force. And the political establishment, at its best right now, only tries to stave off its worst aspects. That’s what corporatist Democrats do. They recognize the disease to some extent, and they try to help people survive it. But they refuse to challenge the underlying corporate forces that make the return of all that pain and all that trauma inevitable.

– Marianne Williamson
Quoted in John Nichols’ article,
Marianne Williamson: ‘Anything Is Possible’
The Nation
March 9, 2023

Marianne Williamson interviwed by Kyra Phillips – ABC News, March 15, 2023 (14 mins) . . .

Not all chains are visible. People are shackled by the economic insecurity and anxiety baked into the cake of a system where a stockholder value and short-term profit maximization for huge corporate entities is put before the safety, health, and well-being of people, animals, and the planet. And . . . our government is bought and sold by those [same corporate entities]. The government in Washington DC has become a system of legalized bribery. The government should be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s become a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. You can’t have a democracy and behave that way. Louis Brandeis, the late Supreme Court Justice, said, “You can either have vast amounts of money in the hands of a few, or you can have democracy. You can’t have both.” We have an oligarchy today, and I’m running for president because if somebody doesn’t name it, then there’s no way we can disrupt that system. And if we don’t disrupt that system, we are going to lose our democracy to the neo-fascist threat that is in our midst.

– Marianne Williamson
Quoted in Nathan J. Robinson’s article,
Marianne Williamson on Her
Insurgent Campaign Against Joe Biden

Current Affairs
March 19, 2023

Marianne Williamson interviwed by Adam Sexton – Close-Up, March 12, 2023 (11 mins) . . .

Related Off-site Links and Updates:
Marianne Williamson Says Democrats Need to Fix “Unjust” Economy to Win – Andrew Stanton (Newsweek, March 12, 2023).
Williamson Launches Progressive Challenge to Biden in New Hampshire – Andrew Sexton (WMUR 9 News, March 12, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Responds to Politico Article Alleging Verbal Abuse Toward Staff – Anthony Zurcher (BBC News, March 16, 2023).
Biden Won South Carolina, But Marianne Williamson Tells Democrats to Take Her 2024 Bid Seriously – Javon L. Harris (The State, March 27, 2023).
Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Challenges Biden Status Quo in South Carolina Visit – Chris Day (The Post and Courier, March 28, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Making Gains Against Joe Biden, New Poll Suggests – Jason Lemon (Newsweek, April 1, 2023).
Are We Criticizing Marianne Williamson For the Right Reasons? – Nick Pemberton (CounterPunch, April 6, 2023).
Meet Eris, the Goddess Behind the Force That Is Marianne Williamson – Rayner Jae Liu (Medium, April 8, 2023).
Marianne Williamson, Fusing Bernie Sanders and (Early) Jordan Peterson, Is Taking Over TikTok – Ryan Grim (The Intercept, April 14, 2023).
Democratic Presidential Longshot Marianne Williamson on Challenging Biden: “We Should Have as Many People Running in an Election as Feel Moved” – Victor Reklaitis (Market Watch, April 15, 2023).

See also: Marianne 2024 Official Site | About | Issues | News | Events | Blog | Donate

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Marianne 2024
Marianne Williamson Launches 2024 Presidential Campaign
Progressive Perspectives on Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run
Ben Burgis: Quote of the Day – March 10, 2023
Marianne Williamson: “We Must Challenge the Entire System”
Progressive Perspectives on the U.S. Midterm Election Results
Marianne Williamson on the Current Condition of the U.S.
An Essential Read Ahead of the Midterms
Marianne Williamson’s Politics of Love: The Rich Roll Interview
Celebrating Tuesday’s Progressive Wins in the Midst of the Ongoing “War for the Future of the Democratic Party”
Now Here’s a Voice I’d Like to Hear Regularly on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows
A Deeper Perspective on What’s Really Attacking American Democracy
Marianne Williamson on the Tenth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street
Cultivating Peace
“Two of the Most Dedicated and Enlightened Heroes of Present Day America”
Progressive Perspectives on the 2020 U.S. Election Results
“As Much the Sounding of An Alarm As a Time for Self-Congratulations”
We Cannot Allow a Biden Win to Mean a Return to “Brunch Liberalism”
Marianne Williamson on America’s “Cults of Madness”
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – September 4, 2020
“We Have an Emergency On Our Hands”: Marianne Williamson On the “Freefall” of American Democracy
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – June 2, 2020

For The Wild Reed’s coverage of Marianne Williamson’s 2020 presidential campaign, see the following chronologically-ordered posts:
Talkin’ ’Bout An Evolution: Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Bid
Why Marianne Williamson Is a Serious and Credible Presidential Candidate
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – April 24, 2019
Marianne Williamson: Reaching for Higher Ground
“A Lefty With Soul”: Why Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Deserves Some Serious Attention
Sometimes You Just Have to Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Marianne Williamson Plans on Sharing Some “Big Truths” on Tonight's Debate Stage
Friar André Maria: Quote of the Day – June 28, 2019
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson: “We’re Living at a Critical Moment in Our Democracy”
Caitlin Johnstone: “Status Quo Politicians Are Infinitely ‘Weirder’ Than Marianne Williamson”
Marianne Williamson On What It Will Take to Defeat Donald Trump
“This Woman Is Going to Win the Nomination”: Matt Taibbi on Marianne Williamson in Iowa
Something to Think About (and Embody!)
The Relevance and Vitality of Marianne Williamson’s 2020 Presidential Campaign
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – November 4, 2019
Michael Goldstein: Quote of the Day – November 11, 2019
Marianne Williamson: “Anything That Will Help People Thrive, I’m Interested In”
Marianne Williamson and the Power of Politicized Love
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – December 14, 2019
Marianne Williamson: “I Am Not Suspending My Candidacy”
Marianne Williamson on New Day with Christi Paul – 01/04/20
“A Beautiful Message, So Full of Greatness”
A Thank You Letter to Marianne Williamson
“I Learned So Much From the Experience”: Marianne Williamson on Her Presidential Bid
Deep Gratitude

Opening image: Intelligencer; Photos: Getty Images.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Australian Sojourn – March 2023 • Part 5

I’m currently in Australia where I recently visited friends in Gulmarrad, New South Wales and Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. It was a wonderful time of reconnection and celebration.

Specifically, I reconnected with members of the McGowan family, whom I’ve known since my teaching days in Goulburn, and celebrated the birthday of my friend Raph, one of the McGowan sons.

Above and left: With my dear friends Bernie and Mike McGowan – March 2023.

As I mentioned previously, I first got to know the McGowan family in Goulburn, where Mike had been the principal of the primary school at which I taught from 1988-1993. Before relocating to the U.S. in 1994, I taught two of the McGowan children – Jeremiah (in 1989) and Tess (in 1992). I’ve stayed friends with all the members of the family ever since our shared time in Goulburn, and I always try to catch up with as many of them as I can each time I visit Australia from the U.S.

Mike and Bernie’s second eldest son Raph visited and lived with me in the Twin Cities for a good part of 2004. He visited me again in the U.S. in 2011.

Back in Australia in 2014, Raph cycled over 1900 kilometers in memory of his sister Tess and to raise awareness and funds for melanoma research and prevention. (For more about this inspiring achievement, click here, here, and here.)

In the years since his epic bike ride, Raph has worked tirelessly to create and market the bakslap, a “lotion applicator that makes it easier to protect yourself from the sun when enjoying the outdoors.”

Above: Raphael – Mooloolaba, March 17, 2023.

Mooloolaba derives from the Aboriginal word mulu, meaning snapper fish, or mulla meaning Red-bellied Black Snake. Originally known as Mooloolah Heads, the name was changed to Mooloolaba by Thomas O'Connor in 1919 when he subdivided land for sale in the area.

Left: “Dreamtime Sisters” by Delores Furber Napaltjarri (Boomerang Art – Aboriginal and Contemporary Fine Art, Southport, Queensland).

Above: Mike with Jeremiah and Kristy and their two children.

Above: With Mike and Bernie and two of their grandchildren.

Above: With Collette – Friday, March 17, 2023.

Above: With Iggy and Mim – Sunday, March 19, 2023.

Above: With Mim – Friday, March 17, 2023.

Above: With Collette – Sunday, March 19, 2023.

NEXT: Yamba

For previous related Wild Reed posts, see:
Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast
In Northern Rivers Country
Raph’s Inspiring Journey
Raph’s Journey Continues
A Surprise for Raph! . . . Well, Somewhat
Return to Oz . . . Sydney to Be Exact!
A Day Roving the Mid North Coast
A Bushland Wedding
“Flooded-In But Loving Life”
A Fresh Take on Masculinity
Our Sacred Journey Continues: An All Saints & Souls Day Reflection