All posts by tedglick

Day 31 (5)

About three weeks ago I was interviewed by Josh Fox for his show on The Young Turks network. At one point he asked me what the difference was between a hunger strike and a fast, after I had used them pretty much interchangeably. I said that a hunger strike was more political, issue-oriented; a fast had more of a spiritual dimension to it, even if it was also political.

I’ve increasingly called this “Fast to Defeat Trump” a hunger strike as it has gone on, now in its next to last day. I’ve called it that in large part because it has not been a very “spiritual” experience for me, as distinct from most of the other long fasts I’ve done. I remember, for example, while fasting in Brooklyn, NY back in the 70’s feeling a real sense of connection to other people and to other living things in what can only be described as a “spiritual” way. I really could identify with Gandhi’s statement that “fasting is the sincerest form of prayer.”

Yesterday, while making get-out-the-vote phone calls to Georgia and Florida, I spoke to someone in Georgia who choked me up and made me think about this issue. He was an elderly African American man, a military veteran. When I asked him if he had voted for Biden he said yes, and when I asked him if he was talking up voting with other people he said, yes, that he lived in a retirement community and he and others had gone on buses to do early voting, and they were always talking about the election. He went on to say, “I’ve voted and talked to people and as far as myself, all I can do is pray and put it in God’s hands.”

I sputtered my thanks and appreciation through my choked-up voice and hung up, and then shed some tears. I think in part it was an emotional release from all the anxiety and tension that it is impossible not to feel right now. But maybe it was more. If I believed in such things, I’d wonder if this man was an angel telling me to “relax, God is in charge.”

I believe in a higher power in the universe, what I call The Great, Unknown, Creative Force That Rules the Universe, or the Great Spirit in short. I very much identify with the Native American approach to spirituality. On my wall I have a sentence I once read referencing that approach: “Every step was a prayer of thanksgiving.”

It is difficult to comprehend a loving “God” foisting devil Trump upon the world for another four years as President. Of course, “God” doesn’t work like that. The Great Spirit works through human beings and all of the various mysterious and unknown processes that keep the universe evolving and the world spinning on its axis, creating and sustaining life, advancing humanity, hopefully, toward a world truly based upon love in all of its best manifestations.

The Great Mystery of life unfolds through the thoughts and actions of each of us as individuals, no other way. And it will do so no matter what the results of this critical, oh so critical, election. I pray that we, the people, the multi-racial rainbow people, will see the victory the world needs so, so much.

Personally, I’m fine. I’m being more disciplined with my consuming of fruit and veggie liquids. I’m looking forward to eating steamed potatoes and carrots tomorrow evening after the polls close and to working my way back to normal, post-Trump-presidency life.

Day 30 (4)

I had a minor scare yesterday. As I was washing dishes in the early evening, I felt the need to relieve my bladder. As I went to the bathroom and began doing so I started to feel a strong pain in my lower back on the right side. It really hurt, and I started sweating. I came out of the bathroom and just lay down on the floor. Within 15 seconds my stomach started heaving and for the next few minutes threw up a good bit of clear liquid. After a particularly strong stomach contraction and upchuck, everything changed. The pain subsided, as did my body’s rising temperature, I was able to breathe normally again, and for the rest of the evening I had no problems. Same with sleeping, and I just had a morning “meal” of liquefied organic veggie soup. All my vitals–temperature, pulse and blood pressure–were and are normal.

I figure the reason for this not-fun episode was either my too-closely mixing the consumption of fruit and veggie liquids, or just having too much of them, possibly both. I need to be much more conscious going forward to avoid doing either of these.

I’ve decided I’m going to go today to the local church I’ve been attending for four years, the Brookdale Reformed Church. I haven’t been there in a month because I was too weak. Now, despite last evening’s episode, I’m definitely better since shifting to a fruit and veggie liquids diet. It’ll be nice to see the many people in the congregation who I’ve come to appreciate.

I did four hours of phone calling yesterday via the Biden/Harris website to potential voters in Georgia and Florida. Most of the time it wasn’t very easy going. It seemed like the list that I was calling from was a list of people who are not regular voters. It would make sense that, given that over 90 million people nationally have already voted and with only a few days left, this might be the list the campaign would be using.

I plan to do four more hours of calling today, and probably the same thing tomorrow. This is the work I couldn’t do when fasting on water, and I’m glad I now have the energy to do so.

Day 29 (3)

Day 29 (3)

This is the beginning of the fifth week of the fast, day three of the fruit and veggie liquids part of the fast, with three and a half days to go until I begin to chew food. I’m glad to report that I have gotten my energy back thanks to the nutrients in the fruit juices and veggie liquid soups I’ve been consuming. But, surprisingly, my weight this morning was only two pounds up from the low point a few mornings ago at a 30 pound weight loss since day one. I guess that’s because much of what I’m consuming is just going through me as water; last night, for example, for probably the first time ever, I woke up every two hours, four times, needing to relieve my bladder.

However, I’m not complaining. In addition to getting my energy back, I’m also able to do the voter turnout phone calling that is so important. I spent two hours doing so last evening, and I plan to do about four hours of it today and four hours tomorrow.

I had difficulty getting the Our Revolution system to work for me last evening, so I went to Indivisible, which I used to do phone calling back in September, and I was surprised that there didn’t seem to be any way to connect with doing that work at their site. So I ended up going to the Biden/Harris site and quickly got myself connected and on the phone to voters. It was strange to be following the script and saying to everyone in Florida that I was calling that “I’m calling for the Florida Democratic Party,” given that I’m a progressive Independent, not a Democrat, but it was a tactical compromise for the greater good that I had no problem with.

Lots of nervousness all over as the big election day is just about here. Despite a number of reasons to be nervous, I continue to believe that the good guys should win, if all of us do everything we can to turn out the progressive and liberal and decent people vote. There are more of us than there are of the people taken in by Super Spreader Don, including in most of the battleground states.

Day 28 (2)

My energy is returning, after 26 days without it, because I’m consuming fruit juices and liquid veggie soups for the second day. It’s very noticeable, and very welcome. Yesterday I worked pretty much straight through from 8 am to 8 pm, and I felt OK afterwards and had a good night’s sleep. And when I stepped on the scale this morning I had gained back about four of the 30 pounds I lost while on water only.

I find myself longing for solid food more than when I was on water. Without any calories or nutrition, I was of necessity focused on being aware of how I was feeling, controlling my body so that I didn’t fall or slip, and constantly reminding myself why I was putting myself through this ordeal (to defeat Trump). Now that I’m getting some nourishment, and knowing that election night, four and a half days from now, I’ll begin actually eating solid food (steamed vegetables), my orientation toward food is changing.

With my returned energy from the liquids, I really enjoyed getting on the phone last evening for an hour and a half making get out the vote calls to Minnesota through Our Revolution. It would have been two hours but I needed to stop early to work with a Democracy Now technician to record a 30-second spot for their show this morning about why I’m doing this fast. It was good to hear that on the air an hour ago. That’s about the 25th media outlet that I know of that has carried info about this action.

Making the calls, I found that almost everyone I spoke to had already voted, so the calls ended up being, in most cases, pitches for people to keep talking up the need to vote to friends, co-workers and family, which everyone was receptive to, most already doing. I enjoy making these calls, as I did during the primaries for Bernie when it was much harder. There’s something about having direct contact with regular folks in all their variety and difference, but also their commonalities, that feels good. It’s why I like door to door canvassing, too.

One of the many striking things I saw on the news yesterday was Republican Senator Rand Paul being brought up to the stage by Trump at a rally in Arizona. Maskless, the two of them clasped hands as Paul arrived, at which point his word of greeting was “immunity,” as in “herd immunity”, as in “let millions die if necessary.” It was grotesque, and the latest reminder of how truly evil Donald Trump is, how he turns all around him into their worst. Thank God that we have a chance to bring him and all he represents down four days from now.

Day 27 (1)

This is day 27 of what’s going to be 32 days without solid food, but it’s day one of six days of a liquids, not water-only, fast. Yesterday I decided, for several reasons, to go from water-only to fruit and veggie juices and all-liquid soups. Last evening I had three bowls of a really good tasting, organic vegetable soup I made myself a couple of days ago.

I was therefore surprised when I stepped on a scale this morning and saw that I had lost another pound since yesterday, now up to a 30 pound weight  loss since the beginning of the fast. In addition, I have not felt stronger with some nourishment in me, not yet, though I know that will come.

Why did I do this? One reason is the number of friends who have been supportive of me but have also told me they have been concerned about impacts on my health, especially because of my 71 years. Another is that I have noticed that, as distinct from the middle period of the fast, there’s not been much recent press interest despite my daily outreach efforts.

I’ve done OK on that front; there are at least 20 progressive and other media outlets that have interviewed me or carried stories about this action, but only a couple in the last week. So when I was watching a news story about the massive voter turnout happening Tuesday evening, the idea came to me that maybe it was time for me to switch to nourishing liquids so that I would have the energy to do what I was doing in September before the fast—phone outreach to battleground states to encourage turnout. As I thought about that idea, it just made more and more sense. Thus this change. And this evening I’ll begin that phone calling work through the group Our Revolution.

It’s important that we each do what we can in these last six days to maximize voter turnout! There are signs everywhere that this could be a big defeat for Trump and his Republican enablers; let’s not let up!

Historic Voter Turnout, Historic Trump Defeat?

I’ve decided to switch from a water-only to a liquids fast. Here’s why:

In national elections past, the key to Democrats defeating Republicans has been voter turnout. If there is a big one, Democrats are likely to win, overall, whether it be for President and Congressional seats or, in off year elections, just for Congress.

Is there any reason to think it will be any different this year? It doesn’t seem likely to me.

All indications are that Trump’s hard-core base of about a third of the population is very enthusiastic about returning Super-Spreader Don to the White House, and the Trump campaign has registered hundreds of thousands of new voters, perhaps more. Those are two things in Trump’s favor as far as turnout.

But Trump has been doing all he can to depress voting by mail, something which is much more widespread this year because of the pandemic, So when it is reported that just about 70 million people, as of this morning, have early voted nationally, either by mail or in person, which is more than half of the 139 million people voting in 2016, and there’s still six days until election day, it’s reasonable to expect that many of these early voters are Democrats. And they are, with the biggest news being what’s happening in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania. There, more than three times as many of the early voters are Democrats as compared to Republicans.

According to the Washington Post, in 16 of the 19 states that provide data, Democrats are ahead.

Then there’s the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School poll which found that 63% of voters 18 to 29 intend to vote. If true, that would be 16 percentage points higher than the youth vote in 2016. And that poll found that Biden was favored among that constituency by a 63 to 25 percent margin.

And finally, there’s Black voter turnout, which is big, as this CNN story reports: “By Tuesday, more than 601,000 Black Americans had voted early in Georgia compared with about 286,240 two weeks before the 2016 election. In Maryland, about 192,775 had voted compared with 18,430. And California had over 303,145 — up from more than 106,360 two weeks before the election four years ago. That’s according to Catalist, a data company that provides analytics to Democrats, academics and progressive advocacy organizations.”

These are absolutely huge developments. The best defense against attempted voter suppression and Trump election-stealing before, during and after November 3 is exactly what is happening, a massive turnout of people of color, women, young people, progressives, workers and the majority of the population who reject what Trump and the Trumpublicans are all about.

But we can’t let up. The larger the vote for Biden, the stronger the mandate will be post-election for the kinds of progressive action so desperately needed right now. And a big turnout means more down-ballot victories for progressives and liberals, from the Senate down to very local races.

If you’re not already involved in voter turnout work in the battleground states, there’s still time to take part in these last six days. Some of the national groups I know which are doing good work are the Biden campaign, Indivisible, Our Revolution and Peoples Action.

After doing this work in September, I had to stop once I began my month-long, water-only Fast to Defeat Trump on October 3, not having the energy for phone-calling or writing letters/post cards. But I’ve decided that the best contribution I can make in these last six days is to get personally involved in the phone calling, so later today I will shift from water-only to a liquid fast, drinking fruit and vegetable liquids. I’ll begin getting the nourishment I need for the last six days ‘til election day, the last six days of my fast, to keep building the turnout momentum.

The people are rising, and there ain’t no power like the power of the people in motion and standing up. Let’s defeat Trump bad!

Ted Glick is currently on a month-long Fast to Defeat Trump until November 3. He is the author of the recently-published “Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War.” More information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick

Day 26

In national elections past, the key to Democrats defeating Republicans has been voter turnout. If there is a big one, Democrats are likely to win, overall, whether it be for President and Congressional seats or, in off year elections, just for Congress.

Is there any reason to think it will be any different this year? It doesn’t seem likely to me.

All indications are that Trump’s hard-core base of about a third of the population is very enthusiastic about returning Super-Spreader Don to the White House, and the Trump campaign has registered hundreds of thousands of new voters, perhaps more. Those are two things in Trump’s favor as far as turnout.

But Trump has been doing all he can to depress voting by mail, something which is much more widespread this year because of the pandemic, So when it is reported that just about 70 million people, as of this morning, have early voted nationally, either by mail or in person, which is more than half of the 139 million people voting in 2016, and there’s still six days until election day, it’s reasonable to expect that many of these early voters are Democrats. And they are, with the biggest news being what’s happening in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania. There, more than three times as many of the early voters are Democrats as compared to Republicans.

According to the Washington Post, in 16 of the 19 states that provide data, Democrats are ahead.

Then there’s the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School poll which found that 63% of voters 18 to 29 intend to vote. If true, that would be 16 percentage points higher than the youth vote in 2016. And that poll found that Biden was favored among that constituency by a 63 to 25 percent margin.

And finally, there’s Black voter turnout, which is big, as this CNN story reports: “By Tuesday, more than 601,000 Black Americans had voted early in Georgia compared with about 286,240 two weeks before the 2016 election. In Maryland, about 192,775 had voted compared with 18,430. And California had over 303,145 — up from more than 106,360 two weeks before the election four years ago. That’s according to Catalist, a data company that provides analytics to Democrats, academics and progressive advocacy organizations.”

These are absolutely huge developments. The best defense against attempted voter suppression and Trump election-stealing before, during and after November 3 is exactly what is happening, a massive turnout of people of color, women, young people, progressives, workers and the majority of the population who reject what Trump and the Trumpublicans are all about.

But we can’t let up. The larger the vote for Biden, the stronger the mandate will be post-election for the kinds of progressive action so desperately needed right now. And a big turnout means more down-ballot victories for progressives and liberals, from the Senate down to very local races.

If you’re not already involved in voter turnout work in the battleground states, there’s still time to take part in these last six days. Some of the national groups I know which are doing good work are the Biden campaign, Indivisible, Our Revolution and Peoples Action.

After doing this work in September, I had to stop once I began my month-long, water-only Fast to Defeat Trump on October 3, not having the energy for phone-calling or writing letters/post cards. But I’ve decided that the best contribution I can make in these last six days is to get personally involved in the phone calling, so later today I will shift from water-only to a liquid fast, drinking fruit and vegetable liquids. I’ll begin getting the nourishment I need for the last six days ‘til election day, the last six days of my fast, to keep building the turnout momentum.

The people are rising, and there ain’t no power like the power of the people in motion and standing up. Let’s defeat Trump bad!

Ted Glick is currently on a month-long Fast to Defeat Trump until November 3. He is the author of the recently-published “Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War.” More information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick

Day 25

Twenty-five days consuming only water; I haven’t done this since 2007. Back then the focus was solely on the climate crisis. A stimulus for my doing it was the unexpected takeover by the Democrats of the House of Representatives in the November, 2006 elections. Soon afterwards Nancy Pelosi said she wanted legislation on global warming passed by July 4th, but when it hadn’t happened by then I thought it was time for my first long fast since 1992.

This climate emergency fast ended up going 107 days. The last 82 were on fruit and vegetable juices and, for the last 47 days, liquid soups. I discovered that you can persist a long time on liquids if you make sure to get the proteins and vitamins and minerals you need.

One of the interesting things that happened on this fast is that Nancy Pelosi’s office called me several times during it to see how I was doing. I appreciated that. And as the fast evolved it became a fast supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation that Pelosi was leading an effort to pass. It was called the Energy Independence and Security Act, and it was finally passed and signed into law by President George Bush on December 19, at which point I began to eat.

I’ve now lost 29 pounds, If I don’t begin eating until a week from now, on election day, the total weight loss will be between 30-35 pounds, which is what I expected when I began 25 days ago. Otherwise I’m hanging in there. My pulse is steady and my blood pressure, though with some variation, is pretty steady too. I am definitely resting and working less than I ordinarily do, listening to what my body is telling me.

Day 24

It feels good to be beginning the last week of this hunger strike, and also the last week before the huuuuuge election. It is encouraging to see the massive early voting turnout in many parts of the country. It’s an historic fact that the larger the voter turnout, the better progressive and liberal candidates for office do, the worse Republicans do.

It’s looking like the Trumpites don’t have any last minute disruptions to undercut the Democratic campaign—no late October letter from FBI Director James Comey about reopening a probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server, and no public dumping of John Podesta’s emails with Russian government assistance. They tried last week to get the mass media to pick up the story Rudolph Giuliani has been pushing about Biden supposedly working with son Hunter to get millions of dollars for personal gain from corporate actors in Ukraine and China, but other than the right-wing media echo chamber, no one saw it is as credible.

We’ll see if some new Hail Mary allegation is thrown out there this week, but even if it is, the fact that about 60 million people have already voted, and Trump is so widely hated or distrusted for so many reasons, including his abject failure to lead on the pandemic, should mean that it won’t have much impact.

On a personal level, I’m hoping to get a second blood test today to see how things are looking health-wise. Assuming that happens, I’ll then see what my doctor says about the results and decide on that basis at the end of the week if I stay on water-only through election day or take some vegetable and fruit liquids for the final several days. In any case, I am definitely looking forward to the end of this fast, and the end of Trump in the White House.

Day 23

I’m feeling better today than I did at this time yesterday. One reason could be because I consciously took it easy yesterday, less time at the computer, more time reading and, yes, time cooking for Jane in the kitchen, something I’m doing on an almost daily basis. I really enjoy it. My mind is very fixed on hunger striking and getting Trump out, and that overrides any desire to eat my delicious, according to Jane, home-cooked dishes.

Another reason I’m feeling better could be that I’m now ingesting more salt. I spoke with a nurse friend yesterday and told him that a blood test report I received a couple days ago said that I was dehydrated, which was a big surprise since I’ve been both taking salt and drinking a lot of water, really forcing it down (tasteless water when you’re not eating food really isn’t enjoyable). My friend said I should be taking more like two teaspoons rather than just the one I’ve been taking, and so that’s now what I’m doing. I hope that helps.

The blood test report indicated a few other abnormalities, but nothing serious. I’m planning to take another test as soon as I can, hopefully tomorrow, and see what the results are and then decide, after talking it over with my doctor, if I need to modify the fast in the last 4-5 days, perhaps add additional liquids besides water.

The latest Presidential campaign news is about three of Pence’s top aides having the virus. Poetic justice. This, in addition to the skyrocketing number of new cases all over the country, will keep this issue at the top of the news up through the election, which is bad news for pandemic-denier (and climate change denier) President Chaos. This election really could be a huge one, a very big swing of the pendulum, if everyone who gets it on how disastrous a second Trump term would be does all they can to get everyone they can out to the polls between now and November 3.