“How Far Should Biden Go?” a recent piece in The Atlantic asked. The answer, in my opinion, is as far as he and his administration can over the next several years, keeping in mind all that’s on their plate. Atlantic staff writer James Fallow rightly underscored the need for prioritization and triage in planning, quoting the head of Jimmy Carter’s transition team James Watson: “You have to separate what must be done, soon, from all the other things you might want to do later in the administration.”

I’d like to see a number of issues tackled once the Biden administration…


“They are not European immigrants celebrated at Ellis Island, but they are our continent’s immigrants, here, now. I don’t have a lamp, and there is no golden door, but I lift my eyes to meet them, to see them, and to say, Welcome.”

Those words brought tears to my eyes. They were uttered by Steve Crofter, founder of the Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP) in Windham County, Vermont, and they speak volumes about the mission of a volunteer-driven organization begun four years ago to provide basic needs and support for people in the process of seeking asylum in the U.S.


It started with a ride down an escalator. And it’s been escalating ever since. From the first cries of rapists invading our country to dog whistles like “Stand back, stand by” Donald Trump’s dangerous delusions of power and control have brought this country to the brink of collapse, and everyone who has allowed that to happen is an enabler and a collaborator.

From White House cronies who share in Trump’s power fantasies and who are incapable of running a government especially during a crisis, to his equally evil children, to Republicans in the Senate led by Mitch McConnell, to America’s…


Some of us have heartburn. Others feel nauseous or sick to their stomach. A few experience a chronic pain in the neck, while sleep escapes us and night terrors abound. We are irritable and angry, sad and scared, quietly terrified, and decidedly depressed. We weep easily and work to keep anxiety at bay.

These are just a few of the somatic and psychological symptoms our shared stress serves up as we try to survive in an era of Covid isolation, massive political crime and corruption, the unimaginable possibility of living in a dictatorship, and natural and manmade disasters, all of…


“Keep your hands off my uterus!” That’s an often-repeated placard and plea at women’s marches I’ve attended over the past forty years. In the U.S. and abroad, it’s a common, continuing refrain because government sanctioning of abuse of women’s bodies has been occurring since well before the Second Wave women’s movement exposed it in the 1970s.

I worked in the women’s health movement then alongside Our Bodies, Ourselves and other national organizations. One of the myriad issues we dealt with was the sterilization of poor, black and brown women. We helped raise awareness of the medical abuse of Puerto Rican…


That was a question put to a TV reporter by Rev. William J. Barber II after the Democratic National Convention last month. Barber, founder of the Moral Monday movement and now a notable political activist, is President of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. His is a voice and a vision to be reckoned with as he calls for concern grounded in morality for the poor and working poor.

Why, Rev. Barber asks, are poor and low-income people never targeted in Democratic ads? Why are their issues never talked…


Last May, when militants in Afghanistan killed new mothers and their babies in a Kabul maternity hospital, the world’s women shuddered. Afghan women mourned, wept, and worried. Women in Afghanistan have borne the brunt of that country’s brutality in ways few people can imagine. Now worries about what comes next in the face of an incomplete, drawn out peace agreement loom large for the females who live there.

The U.S. and the notorious Taliban signed a preliminary peace agreement in February that aimed at ending two decades of war, but things have not gone smoothly. Insurgent activity added to problems…


Call for submissions! For poetry/prose chapbook or anthology, “A 21st Century Plague: Poetry and Prose of a Pandemic,” I am seeking submissions. 36 single spaced lines max poetry, counting spaces. Short prose 1000 words max, double spaced. Include all contact information, brief bio, and attribution if work was published elsewhere. Deadline: Nov. 30. Please submit via email with work embedded. eclift@vermontel.net/www.elayne-clift.com


Every day I feel guilty numerous times, not because of something I’ve done wrong. It happens because of something I haven’t done. Although I’m an activist worried about what is happening in the world in which we now live, I don’t sign online petitions, answer surveys, or vote on Facebook posts or in emails, no matter how urgent the issue. Nor do I answer phone calls if I don’t recognize the number.

These sins of omission are easily explained. I don’t respond to requests or calls to “make a difference” because it’s very likely I am being surveilled. It’s likely…


What will it be like, I wonder, when this terrible pandemic ends? Sure, we will never take toilet paper, pasta, or flour for granted again. We may feel less guilty about binge watching TV. Maybe we’ll even say “I love you” more often. But how will we be changed personally, professionally, culturally? What lifestyle changes will we choose to make? What will “community” look like? Where will we work and how will we play?

No one knows for sure how we will be irrevocably altered by what has happened, but sociologists, psychologists, writers, and homespun “experts” are beginning to suggest…

Elayne Clift

Elayne Clift is an award-winning writer, journalist, lecturer and workshop leader. She has worked internationally in health communications & gender issues.

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