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In This Edition

Chris Walker reports, "Amendment To Florida "Don't Say Gay" Bill Would Force Teachers To Out Students."

Ralph Nader says, "California Advocates Counterattack Corporate Crime And Control."

Margaret Kimberley covers, "Terrell Starr And Black Support Of Imperialism."

Jim Hightower says, "Should We Trust Corporations To Save Our Democracy? Ha! Just kidding."

William Rivers Pitt examines, "Mask Mandates Lift While Uncertainty About New Subvariant BA.2 Hangs In The Air."

John Nichols tells, "The Dirty Secret Of Inflation: Corporations Are Jacking Up Prices And Profits."

James Donahue wonders, "Can We Escape Doomsday?"

David Swanson explains, "What Russia And Ukraine Could Do Better."

David Suzuki says, "This Black History Month, Help End Environmental Racism."

Charles P. Pierce explores. "The Curious Case Of Ginni Thomas."

Juan Cole reports, "Cancun Cruz Dares Say Biden Is Weak On Putin, When He Supports 'Vladimir's Lapdog' Donald Trump."

Robert Reich explains, "Why The White House Stopped Telling The Truth About Inflation And Corporate Power."

Thom Hartmann with another must read, "Like A Bizarre Johnny Appleseed, Trump Has Planted The Seeds Of Extreme Antisocial Behavior-And It Cannot Be Ignored."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Andy Borowitz reports, "MyPillow Customer Finds Classified Documents Inside Duvet," but first, Uncle Ernie sez, "Thanks To The Republicans Global Warming Is Only Getting Worse."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of John Cole, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Tom Tomorrow, Aziz Acharki, Scott Olson, Federico Parra, Drew Angerer, Nicholas Kamm, Alamy, Jim Hightower, Pixabay, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments -

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Thanks To The Republicans Global Warming Is Only Getting Worse
Global warming strikes again!
By Ernest Stewart

"In case we have forgotten because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I asked the chair, do you know what this is? It's a snowball just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out. Very unseasonable." ~~~ Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma

The term "global warming" refers to the heating of the Earth caused by the long-term increase in the planet's average air and ocean surface temperatures.

These temperatures have been on the rise since 1880 at a rate of 0.14 degrees F (0.08 degrees C) per decade, rising to 0.32 degrees F (0.18 degrees C) per decade since 1981. In fact, the warmest years in the records of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are 2016, 2020, and 2019.

Average global temperatures are currently around 0.98 degrees C (1.76 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels, and this will probably reach 2.7 degrees C (4.9 degrees F) by the end of the century -with all of what that implies for the Earth's climate- if individuals and industries don't reduce their carbon footprint and act to reduce global warming.

Although there are a few natural causes of global warming - such as volcanic eruptions and changes in solar activity - 97% of scientists agree that natural causes cannot explain the statistics by themselves. Research has demonstrated clearly that human activity has been accelerating the process of global warming since the Industrial Revolution. In fact, global warming is believed to have started in the 1830s. But why?

The main cause of global warming is the greenhouse gas emissions that absorb radiation and trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere, producing the greenhouse effect. These gases are mostly carbon dioxide (72%), methane (19%), and nitrous oxide (6%). Carbon dioxide mainly comes from the combustion of fossil fuels (such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum) that we use for activities such as transportation, heating, manufacturing, and the production of electricity.

In addition to this, deforestation means there are fewer trees to absorb the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which they use to perform photosynthesis. Therefore, forest clearance is a contributing cause of global warming, due to the lower absorbance of carbon dioxide emissions.

Methane comes from the production of oil and natural gas, coal mining, organic waste in landfills, and livestock. Methane is even more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide, but it has a shorter atmospheric lifetime (12-15 years vs 300-1000 years).

Nitrous oxide comes primarily from the agriculture sector, particularly from animal waste and fertilizers. It is 300 times more damaging than carbon oxide and stays in the atmosphere for 114 years.

Global warming is leading to a rise in the Earth's average temperatures that can have dramatic effects on the climate system and directly affect ecosystems. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when averaged, absolute sea levels have risen at a rate of 0.06 inches (1.15 mm) per year from 1880 to 2013, however, "since 1993, average sea level has risen at a rate of 0.12 to 0.14 inches per year-roughly twice as fast as the long-term trend."

This is because the Earth's warmer temperatures are already melting the glaciers and ice sheets, especially in Greenland and West Antarctica, and, as the water warms, it expands slightly.

Already, rising sea levels have contaminated the groundwater in some low-lying areas, making agriculture difficult or impossible, and this is set to increase as waters rise. Rises in sea levels also increase the threat of flooding, which could have a severe impact on cities and coastal communities, including along the U.S. Gulf Coast and heavily populated cities like Tokyo and New York.

Permafrost, a subsurface layer of soil that remains below freezing point throughout the year, is also at risk of thawing due to global warming. Many northern villages in Russia, Canada, Greenland, and Alaska are built on it. People in these places are already losing their homes and infrastructure due to the loss of permafrost. Their health can also be in danger because permafrost contains toxic mercury and antique pathogens that are released into the environment when it thaws. If you think Covid is bad, imagine having to deal with pathogens that were carried by the dinosaurs!

Last but not least, permafrost contains organic carbon that can turn into carbon dioxide and methane, two greenhouse gases that increase global warming.

The oceans absorb much of the excess heat that the greenhouse gas emissions trap in the atmosphere. This way, they reduce some of the effects of global warming at the expense of rising ocean temperatures-something that is highly detrimental to marine ecosystems. While the ocean absorbs around one-third of the atmosphere's excess carbon dioxide, this also results in a more acidic ocean.

For example, changes in the temperatures of the ocean surface are already stressing corals and leading to mass bleaching and die-offs. In response to that stress, corals release the symbiotic algae that live in the coral polyps-which leads to coral bleaching. Corals need algae to carry out photosynthetic processes and obtain energy and nutrients. When they lack it, they're weak and susceptible to disease and starvation.

This is important because coral reefs support the development of many marine species, such as sea turtles, starfishes, crabs, shrimps, etc., providing food to other marine animals, sea birds, and humans.

Coral reefs also act as natural seawalls that reduce the impact of waves on the coast. Without them, seaside towns are at higher risk of storm floods.

Another example is the impact on species that need specific water temperatures to thrive. For example, the most abundant tuna species, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna prefer water temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius (60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). As ocean temperatures rise, there will be fewer of these tuna, and those that remain are predicted to migrate eastward, affecting the livelihoods of the people who rely on ocean fisheries.

Ocean warming also contributes to ice melting at the Earth's poles, with all of the subsequent effects this will have on marine ecosystems.

Global warming is not the same as climate change. It is, in fact, a cause of climate change.

Due to global warming, hot weather can be more intense and long-lasting as soil moisture is reduced. This can lead to extreme water shortages, drought, dried-out vegetation and wildfires, which affect flora and fauna.

Heatwaves can also impact human health due to a higher risk of heatstroke. They can decrease economic productivity and cause problematic water and power outages. They can also lead to droughts, which can last longer, causing shortages of drinking water and crop losses (which affect food supplies). Ergo we are screwed, America, and remember when you go to the polls who screwed you, the Republicans who have been fighting for their corpo-rat boses who have been causing global warming in order to make an extra buck!


05-29-1945 ~ 02-19-2022
Thanks for the music!

03-10-1948 ~ 02-21-2022
Thanks for the film!

09-09-1958 ~ 02-22-2022
Thanks for the laughs!

06-02-1937 ~ 02-24-2022
Thanks for the film!


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can?


Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2022 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand -up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

Florida state capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida.

Amendment To Florida "Don't Say Gay" Bill Would Force Teachers To Out Students
By Chris Walker

Legislation aimed at curtailing conversations relating to LGBTQ issues in Florida classrooms may become more restrictive than originally planned, as the bill's author has placed an amendment on the proposal that would require teachers to "out" their students to their parents if they discover their sexual orientation is anything but heterosexual - even if doing so produces predictable harms to a child's well-being.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, bans discussion of LGBTQ issues in primary school classrooms and places severe limits on how such topics can be talked about in older grades, subjecting a wide range of discussions to an undefined age-appropriate litmus test.

"The likely outcome of the bill would be to deter teachers from addressing these issues and to chill open discussions and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students," Ryan Thoreson, a researcher at Human Rights Campaign, wrote earlier this month.

The bill also originally required teachers to disclose to parents or guardians information about a student's sexual orientation if they found out that a student is gay, transgender, or anything other than a cisgender heterosexual person. But the bill as it was initially written allowed for teachers to hold back on releasing that information to parents if they believed doing so could result in abuse or neglect of the student.

Harding's latest amendment removes that option, instead requiring teachers or other school staff to "out" students to their parents or guardians within six weeks of discovery, regardless of possible detrimental and harmful outcomes.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is supportive of the bill, said he backs the amendment, saying recently that he opposes keeping parents "out in the dark" about their children's LGBTQ status. But activists said the idea is a dangerous one that could cause harm to children in the state.

The amendment is an "all-out attack on LGBT students and families," said Michael Womack with Equality Florida, adding that Republicans have "doubled down on the cruelty of this bill with this new amendment and it's disgusting."

"Discovering one's sexuality and sharing that information (or not) is for an individual to decide, not for a school administrator to creep around, seeking to weaponize their 'findings,'" the Color of Change Twitter account opined.

Alejandra Caraballo, clinical instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic, also noted that the bill as proposed could result in a new way for bullies to harass their peers in the hallways, without a way for LGBTQ students to tell school staff about it, lest they get outed to their parents, too.

"A horrific aspect of the new Don't Say Gay bill amendment is that it creates a massive incentive for students to extort and blackmail queer students," Caraballo wrote. "They couldn't tell a teacher because the school staff will still be forced to out the kids. How much abuse will this bill enable?"

A plurality of Floridians have stated that they are against the implementation of the "Don't Say Gay" legislation, even before the new amendment was added on. According to findings from a Public Opinion Research Lab survey, nearly half (49 percent) of Florida residents oppose adopting the measure, while just 40 percent say they want it passed.

(c) 2022 Chris Walker is based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Focusing on both national and local topics since the early 2000s, he has produced thousands of articles analysing the issues of the day and their impact on the American people.

Bank of America has algorithms that measure how long they can keep customers waiting on hold so as to have fewer workers needed to answer the calls.

California Advocates Counterattack Corporate Crime And Control
By Ralph Nader

Want to unite conservatives and liberals in the Red and Blue states? Just mention those unreadable computer-generated bills we all get online or in the mail. Overflowing with abbreviations and codes, they are inscrutable, especially health care bills.

If you call the vendors for an explanation, be prepared to wait and wait and wait for any human being to answer or call back, even after you've pushed all the required buttons to leave a voice mail message. The vendors are counting on you to surrender, mumbling that you've got better things to do with your time.

If you're lucky enough to get a human and you disagree about the bill, you know that if you persist against their assurances of accuracy, your credit score can go down. Algorithms can be made to work so impersonally.

A few months ago, the syndicated consumer columnist for the Washington Post, Michelle Singletary, tried to correct errors in her credit bureau's file. She called trying to get through a "hellish nightmare," a "journey to automation hell." Service by algorithm doesn't differentiate between ordinary and prominent customers. Everyone gets the same shaft.

One of the worst companies in not getting back to customer inquiries or complaints is the Bank of America. Sources tell us the Bank has algorithms that measure how long they can keep customers waiting so as to have fewer workers needed to answer the calls.

The very design of computerized bills is a premeditated endeavor by the cheaters. The nation's expert, applied mathematician Malcolm Sparrow - a Harvard professor - wrote an entire book on this subject titled "License to Steal" in which he conservatively estimated that the billing fraud in the health care industry is 10% of all expenses or about $360 billion this year alone!

The anonymous cheaters, hiding behind the corporate web of complexity, keep getting bolder. They bill you for things you never bought or wanted. The Wells Fargo Bank did this to millions of their customers over the years. The bank opened unwanted credit card accounts and billed for auto insurance, for example, imposing sales quotas on their employees. The media caught the bank, finally. Wells Fargo had to pay out money in fines and restitution. The company easily absorbed the payments as part of the cost of doing business. No executive was criminally prosecuted; a few resigned. The Board of Directors was not replaced. And Wells Fargo is flying high today, pretty much unscathed.

Many consumers don't even look at their bills anymore. They just give up and let the sellers, such as the utilities, get direct electronic payments from their bank accounts.

On July 30, 2014, Senator Jay Rockefeller's consumer subcommittee held hearings on "cramming." Here customers are billed for things on their telephone bill they never ordered by firms that somehow got the phone companies to add their charges. The testimony described what has to be seen as criminal billing. Members of Congress turned their backs on the proposed legislation to end this scam while keeping their pockets open to campaign contributions from the wrongdoers.

Credit scores, credit ratings, and grossly one-sided fine print contracts are resulting in the financial and contractual incarceration of the American consumer. In many instances, the corporate lawyers who create these contractual handcuffs make sure that you've "consented" to your "jailing," to your rip-offs, to your giving up your rights to go to court to challenge marketplace abuses. They point to some deeply buried sentence in these contracts that you have never even seen.

Maybe someday such deceit by these lawyers, who are deemed "officers of the court," will be considered legal malpractice.

Well, someone cares! In a groundbreaking report accompanied by a comprehensive proposed model act for state legislatures to enact, California consumer advocates Harvey Rosenfield and Laura Antonini document the thousand and one "non-stop thefts of our money, safety, time and privacy."

If you read through the waves of documented corporate rip-offs, billing frauds, and deceptive promotions, you'll be nodding so much, from your own experience, that you may have to stop and rest your neck.

The authors don't just expose the fraudsters, however. They have drafted legislation to stop the corporate crooks and to protect and empower you in the perilous marketplace of corporate crime, fraud, and abuse.

Read the report (four years in the making) for yourself by visiting the Represent Consumers website. You will see how the eroded civil justice system can be toughened across the board to represent you.

Those of you who wish to listen to Harvey and Laura talk about their battle for American consumers, turn to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour where their interview will be available as a podcast on Saturday, February 26, 2022.

You'll want to take your righteous fury straight to your state legislator with the model statute in hand.

(c) 2022 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super -Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Terrell Starr And Black Support Of Imperialism
By Margaret Kimberley

Black Agenda Report's analysis of the US instigated crisis in Ukraine makes clear that imperialism is the source of turmoil in that country. The US role in heightening tensions must be exposed and the servants of US empire must be exposed as well.

In recent weeks Black Agenda Report contributors have regularly commented on the United States instigated crisis in Ukraine. "Ukraine: What Does It Have to Do With Black Folks," "Crisis or Confusion: A Brief Guide for Black Folk on Ukraine," Ukraine and U.S. War Propaganda," and "The Black Political Class and War" are efforts to clarify what the U.S. is doing and why. Black Agenda Report is committed to news and analysis from a Black left perspective and must explain how the imperatives of imperialism and full spectrum dominance drive U.S. actions abroad.

Of course contributors on this site are not the only Black people commenting on Ukraine. Terrell Jermaine Starr is among the most prominent of those who defend United States imperialism itself. He is very useful in this role as he is a Black person who claims to hold progressive views. As such he gives cover to a dangerous policy which perpetuates state violence.

Starr is a correspondent at The Root and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center. The Atlantic Council describes itself as "a nonpartisan organization that galvanizes US leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges." In short, it is the propaganda arm of NATO. Donors include the British Foreign Office, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the ministries of defense of Finland, Lithuania, and Norway, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, the Rockefeller Foundation, Airbus, Google, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Raytheon, and NATO itself. The list is a who's who of governments, international financial institutions, the military industrial complex, and wealthy individuals who want to protect the status quo.

Starr is the perfect person to make the case for the latest rogue state action. His Atlantic Council profile page shows that he is a public relations dream come true. He is a Russian speaker with the twitter handle @Russian_Starr. Not only is he a Black man, but also a graduate of an HBCU, who wrote a book about his drug dealing uncles, and who also wears a t-shirt with an image of Angela Davis. The image making should not be dismissed, as it gives him credibility in making the case for US hegemony.

Starr's narrative includes supposedly progressive politics, as he states in "Why Progressives Should Help Defend Ukraine," conceding US "mistakes" and admitting that the US is an imperialist power. "The United States isn't the only imperialist nation out there, and Moscow and Beijing won't transform into paragons of good behavior with Washington off the scene."

His arguments about Russian power fall apart when one acknowledges that US defense spending is twelve times greater than Russia's. The US has 800 military bases in 80 countries while Russia has between 26 and 40 in nine countries. One nation is expansionist, destroying nations like Libya, attempting the same in Syria, sanctioning Venezuela, Cuba, and Iran and causing great suffering to their people. Russia did not interfere in Ukraine's affairs as the US did in the 2014 coup. All of that country's problems stem from the US decision to side with the most retrograde factions, driving wedges amongst an already divided population and starting a civil war that has killed 14,000 people. The U.S. did Ukraine no favors as it is now the poorest country in Europe, a de facto colony of Washington living on its largesse, prevented from carrying out the peace that its people want, and forcing it to commit dangerous acts in order to justify an attack on Russia.

Comparisons of US and Russia military power prove that ginned up fear mongering is a ploy meant to frighten the public into supporting military expenditures, and silencing them about what the US is up to around the world. Starr doesn't bother with such mundane issues. In his article, "Why Black People Should Care About Ukraine Explained ," he repeats US talking points about election interference in Trump's 2016 victory and throws in a few more of his own that will resonate with his intended audience. "Ukrainians are essentially seen as slaves in Putin's eyes. But, like Black folks in America, Ukrainians got a taste of that good ol' freedom and have no interest in going back to Massa's house."

He conveniently leaves out any mention of the fascist Ukrainian proxies who helped the US during the 2014 coup which brought down an elected president. The Azov Battalion and Right Sector are key players in Ukraine, preventing the country from fulfilling its pledge to engage with the Donbas republics in the eastern regions, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2202. Of course Starr has plenty of help from international media, who in their zeal to follow their governments' commands to create war propaganda about civilian militias in Ukraine also clearly show the Azov Battalion's Nazi inspired Wolfsangel insignia without comment of any kind.

Starr's prominence is an indication that war propaganda can leave no stones unturned. It isn't enough to have corporate media repeat US assertions that Russia plans a Ukrainian invasion without question or analysis. It isn't enough to have members of congress, even those who claim to be on the left, accept the narratives and censor any misgivings they may have.

It isn't necessary to recount all of Starr's missives. It is important to restate how anti-imperialists must approach these issues. People in this country must condemn all of its aggressions. Every act of interference, every invasion, coup, sanction, and proxy war must be condemned. There is no need to defend or explain on behalf of the targeted country. The job of the anti-imperialist is to be unswerving in their opposition to terrorizing people around the world.

The United States is doing just that. It threatens its ally Germany because it dared to negotiate an agreement to build the Nord Stream II gas pipeline with Russia. The entire adventure is a dangerous and misguided effort to short circuit any European plan to integrate with Russia. Doing so cuts the U.S. out of the picture and makes claims of Russian danger a lie, and makes the claims for the need of the NATO alliance a lie as well.

NATO can and should be disbanded. It is an arm of U.S. aggression and causes devastation from Afghanistan to Donbas. The entire project is a facet of white supremacist policy, which says that the US and Europe can make decisions for everyone on the planet. Ukrainians suffer too as panic destroys their economy and puts them at risk as the US goads their government into taking action that would create a pretext for some sort of attack on Russia.

If there is clarity on these issues, the Starrs of the world can be ignored. Until that time any effort to tie the fate of Black people in this country to another imperialist misadventure must be exposed. Strengthening the Black radical peace tradition is a political necessity that can save this country and others from great dangers.

(c) 2022 Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e -mail at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.Com.

Should We Trust Corporations To Save Our Democracy? Ha! Just kidding.

By Jim Hightower

Corporate CEOs are mostly sedentary, well-heeled money people who would hardly be considered athletic. Yet, every now and then a few of these soft elites bust out as championship players of an old game called Duck & Dodge.

It's a sport of political finesse played when social conditions reach a boiling point, threatening problems for the corporate order. In such moments, executives sometimes leap forth as social activists, claiming to side with the aggrieved. Ducking and dodging their own responsibility for the grievances, these corporate players insist that they'll fix the system. But when public attention drifts, so do the fixers, returning to business as usual.

Remember a year ago, for example, when our very democracy was under siege, not only by seditious right-wing extremist groups that stormed the US Capitol, but also by a clique of pusillanimous, right-wing congress critters who joined the coup attempt. "Outrageous!" shouted members of the corporate establishment, pledging that they would save our democracy. How? By cutting off the huge campaign donations they'd been giving to those 147 Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the election.

But wait - these born-again democracy champions are the very same corporations that use special-interest cash to purchase lawmakers wholesale and steal the people's political power. Yet they now want us to believe they're our saviors?

Sure enough, they quickly reverted to their true selves. Within weeks of so sternly chastising the seditious members of Congress, the corporate donors quietly returned to lavishing bribery bucks on them. AT&T, Boeing, Citigroup, GM, and Pfizer are among the 700 corporate phonies that slipped $2.4 million in donations last year to members of Congress they were publicly condemning as unAmerican.

It'd make more sense to trust a coyote to guard your last lamb chop than to think that corporations value anything but their own profit.

(c) 2022 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates,"is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

A respiratory therapist checks on a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Rush University Medial Center on January 31, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois.

Mask Mandates Lift While Uncertainty About New Subvariant BA.2 Hangs In The Air
By William Rivers Pitt

As the world crouches in anticipation of whatever fresh hell is preparing to jump from the Russia/Ukraine border, some seem to have forgotten that COVID-19 is not yet over. There have been more than 28,000 COVID deaths in the U.S. over the last two weeks, and more than 1.2 million new infections over that same span. The fact that this represents significant progress in the fight against the virus only underscores the horror of the body count. Were this pandemic a shooting war, those numbers would be bluntly unendurable.

In November 2020, still early on in the pandemic, Atlantic writer Uri Friedman wrote a penetrating article about the concept of national strength within the context of the crisis. For generations, he explained, the measurement of national strength came down to a number of distinct categories: Military power, economic health, food security and more recently cybersecurity, all are ways we have historically judged our national standing. To this, Friedman proffered an additional metric, one aptly suited for the times: national resiliency.

"And the new era ushered in by COVID-19 has done so as well," writes Friedman, "revealing the salience of 'resilient power': a country's capacity to absorb systemic shocks, adapt to these disruptions, and quickly bounce back from them. As the scholar Stephen Flynn once told me, the aim of resilience is to design systems not just so they can endure shocks, but also so they can 'fail gracefully and recover nicely'.... And right now, it's a measure of power where the United States is clearly falling short."

That was written 16 months ago, and every day of that ghastly run of months has seen this country, in one way or another, fail Friedman's resiliency test. A segment of the population has abandoned all pretense of care for neighbors and family, and embraced a confounding new anti-mask/anti-vaccine movement that vexes logic to dust. Among many of the rest, a boiling sense of exhausted resentment runs free, dangerously so. After two long, patient years, even the most formidable COVID warriors are flying on the vapor left in their gas tank.

Plus, of course, there is the klaxon scream of capitalism ordering all and sundry to walk over the bones of nearly a million dead and get back to work. The economy is more important than the people who constitute and sustain it, you see? No workers outweigh the value, nay authority, of the places they work. If the wealthiest among us are not making money every minute of the day, the fundamental pillagers' philosophy that undergirds our national mythology goes unfulfilled. Perish the thought.

If I sound as if I am laying judgment on people, I'm not. Well, mostly. I'm deep in the soup along with the worst of them/us, and I can easily see this "revolution" against science and common sense has its roots in fear, uncertainty and a sense of deep betrayal. Seeking solace and guidance from the loudest tough-guy voice in the room makes similar sense: Flocking to strength when threatened is as old as the birds in the sky.

Yet all the empathy and understanding in the world cannot wash away the glaring fact that, as a country, we have failed the resiliency test in grotesque fashion. COVID did not break America; it has kicked America, hard, in all the broken places, and watched as so much came tumbling down.

Three of the major cruise line companies - Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian - will be downgrading their on-board mask mandates to "recommended but not required." British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is about to lift all mask mandates in England. Here at home, masks have become a dwindling sight as people try to transition - tentatively yet inexorably - back into what they remember to be a "normal life."

This isn't entirely without reason, either. Two years is a long time to ask anyone to live in a box. While the country has fallen badly short on total vaccination, the vaccines have done a stellar job of knocking back the mortality rate, even in the face of variants like Delta and Omicron. Indeed, new data strongly suggests that if you get the two shots and the booster, you may not have to get any new shots for months, if not years. At this moment, people are generally safer than they have been since early last summer.

And that's the rub, isn't it? What happened last summer and fall: Delta, and then Omicron, and a hot ticket straight back to where we started. That's when the exhaustion and inchoate rage really began to manifest itself, the moment when our national resilience - our ability to take a punch - went a big wobbly one... and we are still wobbling, like a boxer with a bump on his head and ball bearings in his ankles, asleep in our shoes.

For millions of immunocompromised people - those fighting cancer or dealing with MS, for example - this national shrug is as infuriating as it is potentially lethal. "People with weakened immune systems or other high-risk conditions argue that now is the time, as the omicron surge subsides, to double down on policies that protect vulnerable Americans like them," reports Victoria Knight for KHN. "'The pandemic isn't over,' said Matthew Cortland, a senior fellow working on disability and health care for Data for Progress, who is chronically ill and immunocompromised. 'There is no reason to believe that another variant won't emerge.'"

...and, as if on cue, another new subvariant is on the rise, this one a child of Omicron called - until they, perhaps, give it its own Greek letter - BA.2. NPR explains:

As the omicron surge continues to decline in the U.S., infectious disease experts are keeping a close eye on an even more contagious version of the variant that could once again foil the nation's hopes of getting back to normal. The virus, known as BA.2, is a strain of the highly contagious omicron variant that appears to spread even more easily - about 30% more easily.

BA.2 has now been found from coast to coast and accounts for an estimated 3.9% all new infections nationally, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It appears to be doubling fast. "If it doubles again to 8%, that means we're into the exponential growth phase and we may be staring at another wave of COVID-19 coming in the U.S.," says Samuel Scarpino, the manager director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation. "And that's of course the one we're really worried about. We're all on the edge of our seats," he says.

Maybe BA.2 will come to be a menace, and maybe it will sink back into the COVID waters like other mutations of its kind. The point is this: You can unmask on your cruise or party like Boris, you can simply hope for the best like all those Democratic governors who couldn't wait to lift COVID protections during an election year, you can pretend immunocompromised people are not your problem as you la-la-la-la-la your way past this particular graveyard.

In the end, the graveyard wins. So, for now, does COVID. If BA.2 comes to nothing, it still serves as a vivid warning that the variants can come at any time and from any direction. If it gets serious, we will all get to test our resilience again. Maybe, the fourth time around, we might get it right.

(c) 2022 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

An Amazon Prime truck pulls away after a delivery in Washington, D.C., on February 17.

The Dirty Secret Of Inflation: Corporations Are Jacking Up Prices And Profits
Democrats are failing to speak to the realities of the economic moment-and it could cost them in the midterms.
By John Nichols

President Biden and his fellow Democrats need to learn to talk about inflation if they hope to maintain congressional majorities in this year's midterm elections. They can't deny that costs for consumers are rising at a jarring rate-up 7.5 percent compared to a year ago, according to the latest figures. But they can, and must, make the connection between surging prices and surging corporate profits.

The US Department of Commerce reported at the end of December that corporate profit margins had hit the highest level in 70 years. You'll hear a lot of complex, and often conflicting, explanations for why this is happening now.

But recent news stories speak for themselves.

From CNBC:

Oil giant BP reports highest profit in 8 years on soaring commodity prices

From Reuters:

Cereal maker Kellogg Co. forecast full-year profit growth above market expectations on Thursday, riding on higher product prices that helped overcome labor strike disruptions and soaring input costs in the fourth quarter.

From The New York Times:

Procter & Gamble's sales jump as consumers brush off rising prices.

From The Ticker:

McDonald's to raise prices despite record revenue

From Yahoo Finance:

Amazon stock soars 15% after earnings, will hike Prime membership fee

US Senator Elizabeth Warren put the pieces together when Fed chair Jerome Powell appeared last month before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Offering a lesson in what she referred to as "Econ 101," the senator from Massachusetts led Powell through a series of questions related to inflation.

"If you're a corporation that has eaten up most of the competition and cornered the market, is it easier for you to raise prices on your customers and maximize your profits because you don't have to worry about losing your business?" asked Warren.

Powell replied, "In principle, if you don't have competition and you're a monopolist, yes, you can raise your prices."

"Okay," Warren continued. "Over the past year, we know that prices have risen because of supply chain problems, unexpected shifts in the demand for goods, and even higher labor costs. But if corporations were simply passing along these costs in highly competitive markets, would the companies' profits margins have changed much?"

After mumbling something about varying factors that impact such calculations, Powell concluded, "But, in principle, you could be right." With that answer in hand, the point was made:

Senator Warren: Well, it's very much not what we're seeing right now. Today, nearly two out of three of the biggest publicly traded corporations in the country are reporting fatter profit margins than they reported before the pandemic which doesn't sound like they're just passing along costs. So let me ask you: Does that increase in profit margins, combined with greater market concentration in industry after industry, suggest to you that some corporations may be passing along increased costs and, at the same time, charging more on top of that to fatten their profit margins?"

Chair Powell: "That, that could be right. It could also just be, though, that demand is incredibly strong and that, you know, they're, they're raising prices because they can."

Senator Warren: "Well, that's the point. They're raising prices because they can, and they're not being competed down. You know, market concentration has allowed giant corporations to hide behind claims of increased costs to fatten their profit margins. So the consumer pays more both because the corporation faces higher costs and because, as you put it, because the corporation can increase prices. The reason I raise this is that higher prices have many causes, and we can't overlook the role that concentrated corporate power has played in creating the conditions for price gouging."

Warren made the vital connection that all Democrats should be making as debates about the causes of inflation heat up. Instead of letting Wall Street apologists create the impression that inflation is simply the result of supply chain kinks and pent-up consumer demand after two years of pandemic lockdowns, and instead of letting Republicans suggest that federal and state investments in health care and housing are the problem, Democrats should be speaking like Warren. And like former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a congressional candidate who declared Thursday:

It's not "inflation," it's price-gouging.

Exxon and other Big Oil corporations are price-gouging us at the gas pump.

Grocery chains are making record profits price-gouging us at the register.

Corporations are bleeding working people dry. Enough.

Progressive leaders such as Warren, Turner, and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) understand that "explanations" of inflation that don't address monopoly abuses and corporate greed fail to speak to the economic and political realities of the moment. As Sanders said last week in response to news of rising food prices:
Corporate greed is Chipotle increasing its profits by 181% last year to $764 million, giving its CEO a 137% pay raise to $38 million in 2020 and blaming the rising cost of a burrito on a minimum wage worker who got a 50 cent pay raise. That's not inflation. That's price gouging.
There are still plenty of Democrats who are cautious about calling out corporate greed. A failure to be blunt about profiteering leaves a void that will ill serve their party in 2022.

History makes it clear that midterm elections are tough for the party that controls the White House and Congress. Voters take out their frustrations on those who are in positions of power. And that is doubly true in moments of economic turbulence, as Jimmy Carter and the Democrats learned in 1978, as Ronald Reagan and the Republicans learned in 1986, as Barack Obama and the Democrats learned in 2010.

There have been only a few instances of a president's seeing his party's position in Congress improve in a midterm election. Yet, remarkably, one such moment did occur during the Great Depression. In the midterm election year of 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt put the blame for hard times on self-serving speculators, greedy bankers, and profiteering CEOs. Said FDR, "The fault lies with Wall Street."

Instead of letting corporate spin form the narrative of the Great Depression and the New Deal response to it, Roosevelt used his 1934 State of the Union address to speak "of those individuals who have evaded the spirit and purpose of our tax laws, of those high officials of banks or corporations who have grown rich at the expense of their stockholders or the public, of those reckless speculators with their own or other people's money whose operations have injured the values of the farmers' crops and the savings of the poor."

Throughout 1934, FDR never let up when it came to calling out speculators, monopolists, and price gougers. He promised that New Deal Democrats with increased congressional majorities would hold the bad actors to account. Voters approved. In November, they gave Democrats nine more seats in the House and nine more in the Senate, where the party achieved a rare supermajority.

For years, Bernie Sanders has been arguing that Democrats should take more cues from FDR. That's what the senator is doing now, as he responds to news of rising prices-and Republican attempts to blame them on modest wage hikes for workers and even more modest government interventions.

Employing language that Democrats should emulate, "The problem is not that a low-income worker got a 50 cent raise two weeks ago and a $1,400 check last year. The problem is that corporations are using 'inflation' as an excuse to jack up prices so that they can make record-breaking profits to enrich CEOs and wealthy shareholders."

(c) 2022 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

Can We Escape Doomsday?
By James Donahue

A news report recently suggested that public belief in a looming apocalypse is one of the reasons people are flashing their credit cards so freely, workers are walking off their jobs and the stock market is acting erratically.

Largely thanks to the Christian church, which is steeped in prophecy of a doomsday event in "the end times," millions if not billions of people all over the world have been expecting something terrible to happen ever since our calendar hit the 2000 mark. The onset of the COVID medical assault on people all over the world during 2021 and spilling over into 2022 has only intensified this belief.

Television documentaries are laced with doomsday scenarios that suggest this event may range from a collision with a stray asteroid to a planetary polar shift. The programs examine the effects of global warming, the possibility of another ice age caused by increased volcanic action, or perhaps a nuclear war.

A lot of would-be soothsayers predicted the return of Jesus on or about New Year's Day, 2000. Small cult groups flocked to Jerusalem and literally set up housekeeping, awaiting the appearance of their messiah. Naturally, the Israeli government found them to be a nuisance and did all it could to discourage them from making public spectacles of themselves.

When Y2K passed and Jesus failed to make his appearance, I suspect some thought the apocalyptic date would happen on January 1, 2001. Purists, of course, saw this as the official start of the 21st Century. But that date also passed without a showing by a savior and a promised rapture of the chosen. In the meantime, the world has been plunging rapidly toward some kind of cataclysmic event, as seen by the increased solar flares, the melting ice caps, the super storms, burning forests and onset of killer diseases.

Then there was the 2012 theory. This was based on the ancient Mayan calendar uncovered in the jungles of Central America. This amazing calendar, which recognized 365 days in each year plus one extra leap-year day every fourth year, reached an abrupt end on Dec. 22, 2012.

Armed with this piece of information, many doomsday prophets said they believed this calendar marked the day the world would end. I found a web site that claimed that the Mayans were given special knowledge by the Annunaki, an alien race of beings that allegedly invaded the Earth thousands of years ago. The site suggested that a pole shift was going to occur on or about this date, causing mass death and destruction of most, if not all life.

It is obvious that the doomsday prophet who developed that particular web site didn't consider the Jesus factor a valid piece of the futuristic puzzle. That might be the only area where I might agree.

Actually, scholars who study the Mayan culture, find the calendar to be a complex and highly accurate record of not only the Earth's yearly cycles, but also movements of the planets and even certain star clusters. The Mayan calendar measures thirteen 144,000-day Earth cycles, with its final cycle, or "baktun," ending on the day of the winter solstice in 2012.

But the conclusion of the Mayan calendar did not mark the end of the world, or the beginning of a new cycle. It appears that the people who carved the calendar on the rock just ran out of room for a larger calendar. And this begs the question: could there not be a new beginning for those of us fortunate enough to survive the deadly obstacle course we seem to be preparing for ourselves in the years to come?

There were reasons for the keen interest in the year 2012. People who study the astrological charts noticed something very interesting about the year 2012. It was a year filled with perfect alignments involving the Sun, Moon, Venus and the Earth. Two solar eclipses occurred. The first was astrologically in conjunct with the star cluster Pleiades, which was of special interest to the Mayans. This star cluster was somehow linked to the Mayan belief in the serpent, which also is an important symbol to contemporary mystics. The second eclipse brought the sun and moon in alignment with the constellation Serpens, recognized by the Mayans as the head of the serpent.

The serpent, or kundalini, is recognized among many native tribes as a phallus. In reality it represents the energy transmitted along the human spine. It is the electrical force that links the body's chakras. And it may be the channel through which we find our escape from the doomsday scenario developing in the old reality we have known in the third dimension. I think the Mayans understood this distinction.

The winter solstice of 2012 was the last in a series of solstices that have the Sun aligned with the equator of our own Galaxy, or the Milky Way.

So did we shift dimensions in 2012 without noticing the change? People who can look into the future believe that something important was about to happen, and this particular moment had all of the elements of being an especially magical event.

I personally believe that some humans . . . at least those who are awake and aware of the fantastic changes occurring all around them . . . have already passed through an important evolutionary process.

(c) 2022 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

What Russia And Ukraine Could Do Better
By David Swanson

There are a number of things that have to be said first. They have to be said because virtually no U.S. television viewer knows or is likely ever to know them. They have to be said because if I'm going to suggest any flaws in the actions of the Russian government, I have to establish at least the possibility of doubt that I'm bought and owned by NATO or the Pentagon. Here are those things:

Ukraine has in common with Yemen, Iran, Taiwan, Korea, Syria, and every other global hotspot, a central role by the U.S. military.

The U.S. globally dominates weapons sales, base building, military alliance building, dictator-arming, coup-facilitating, and war launching.

Russia's military costs 8% what the U.S. military does.

The U.S.-driven expansion of NATO and militarization of Eastern Europe is at the root of the crisis.

The new U.S. bases in Slovakia, tank sales to Poland, and giant weapons sales to Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe are not incidental here.

Russia's demands to get the weapons and troops and war pacts out are perfectly reasonable and exactly what the U.S. would demand if there were Russian troops and missiles in Ontario, and exactly what it did demand when there were Soviet missiles in Cuba.

That being said, there remains the problem of my lack of permission to say anything to Russians or Ukrainians. Having the particular responsibility that is bestowed on anyone who lives in the United States to go after the dominant military machine on Earth, it might be reasonably supposed that I don't have any free moments to outrageously dare to criticize any of the victims of the massive death force that my neighbors and I fund, generally fail to restrain, and - truth be told - in most cases know virtually nothing about. And yet, even as I devote myself to shutting down U.S. militarism and implore the rest of the world to help, I find that I can spare a few moments for Russian militarism too.

Both sides have predictably escalated violence in Donbas. The immediate cause of this is each side piling up arms, each side swearing that the other will attack at any moment, each side promising to counter-attack, each side piling on nationalistic and ethnic identity and hatred, and each side either stupidly imagining that peace can survive such actions, or imagining that machismo requires mirroring the other side's militarism, or imagining that non-military alternatives don't exist, or actually wishing for war.

Each side has enough nukes to destroy all life on Earth. Each side has been massing armies and engaging in war rehearsals - even nuclear war rehearsals, and talking about moving nuclear weapons into new countries (Belarus on the one hand and Ukraine on the other).

The most effective moves by the Russian government have not involved its military. They have been: (1) making clear their very reasonable demands, (2) mocking the ridiculous predictions of a Russian invasion on particular dates by the U.S., and (3) evacuating people from Donbas to protect them from war as violence escalated at the Western border of Donbas.

These most powerful actions have been overshadowed by quite counterproductive military posturing and preparations. For what Russia spends on its military, it could do all of the following:

Fill Donbas with unarmed civilian protectors and de-escalators.

Fund educational programs across the world on the value of cultural diversity in friendships and communities, and the abysmal failures of racism, nationalism, and Nazism.

Fill Ukraine with the world's leading solar, wind, and water energy production facilities.

Replace the gas pipeline through Ukraine (and never build one north of there) with electric infrastructure for Russia and Western Europe.

Kick off a global reverse arms race, join human rights and disarmament treaties, and join the International Criminal Court.

Yes, but then couldn't the U.S. do all of that for 8% of what it spends on its military? I'm glad you asked. Why, yes, it could. And that should be the top demand of every person on Earth. But we shouldn't be blind to the fact that Russia could do it too, that Russia is not a model for sainthood, and that pretending Russia can do no wrong pretty well eliminates the possibility of making anyone in the U.S. or Europe believe that it is possible to oppose war without supporting the Enemy in war.

Yes, but how dare some ignorant idealistic jackass in the United States sit comfortably at his key board and ask people living in a war zone to kneel down and politely ask to be smacked? I'm not asking anyone anywhere to ever do that. And I'm not asking anyone in Ukraine or Russia to do a damn thing. But, just as there is a danger in denying that the Earth's climate is collapsing, there is a danger in denying the evidence that nonviolence succeeds more often than violence does, that it works better against dozens of oppressive governments, that it works better than war in Palestine, that it works better than war in Western Sahara, that it works better than war in the streets of the United States, that . . .

In Lebanon, 30 years of Syrian domination was ended through a large-scale, nonviolent uprising in 2005.

When French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr in 1923, the German government called on its citizens to resist without physical violence. People nonviolently turned public opinion in Britain, the U.S., and even in Belgium and France, in favor of the occupied Germans. By international agreement, the French troops were withdrawn.

In Germany in 1920, a coup overthrew and exiled the government, but on its way out the government called for a general strike. The coup was undone in five days.

In Algeria in 1961, four French generals staged a coup. Nonviolent resistance undid it in a few days.

In the Soviet Union in 1991, Gorbachev was arrested, tanks sent to major cities, media shut down, and protests banned. But nonviolent protest ended the coup in a few days.

In the first Palestinian intifada in the 1980s, much of the subjugated population effectively became self-governing entities through nonviolent noncooperation.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia freed themselves from Soviet occupation through nonviolent resistance prior to the USSR's collapse.

Nonviolent resistance in Western Sahara forced Morocco to offer an autonomy proposal.

In the final years of German occupation of Denmark and Norway during WWII, the Nazis effectively no longer controlled the populations.

Nonviolent movements have removed U.S. bases from Ecuador and the Philippines.

Gandhi's efforts were key to removing the British from India.

When the Soviet military invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, there were demonstrations, a general strike, refusal to cooperate, removal of street signs, and persuasion of troops. Despite clueless leaders conceding, the take-over was slowed, and the credibility of the Soviet Communist Party ruined.

Even within Donbas within recent years, we've seen nonviolent action free areas from military occupation by one side or the other.

Now, we have absolutely no business whatsoever expecting the lousy governments of Russia or Ukraine to act with the enlightenment of nonviolent activists, when merely raising the idea of the lousy U.S. government or some lousy Western European government modeling such behavior could risk causing fatal laughter among local citizens.

I'm not expecting anything, apart from absolute catastrophe. But we should at least be aware of what is possible. We should be clear that if either the U.S. or Russia had invested, not in winning Ukrainians to its side, but in educating and training people in nonviolent noncooperation, there would be little possibility of either side effectively occupying and controlling any part of Ukraine even without a single weapon of war in the country.

For the price of what either the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. spent destroying just the one little impoverished nation of Afghanistan, Ukraine could be made a paradise on Earth. We ought to be capable of recognizing how unlikely that is to happen without losing the ability to be aware of it as a road available and not taken.

(c) 2022 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

The term "environmental racism" was coined in the late 1970s in the U.S. to describe the fact that groups with
power unfairly expose less privileged groups to pollution and the adverse effects of climate change.

This Black History Month, Help End Environmental Racism
By David Suzuki

The David Suzuki Foundation is proud to partner with the Black Environmental Initiative to highlight the importance of fighting environmental racism, which exists in Canada and elsewhere. It is a facet of environmental injustice, which manifests itself when development, policies or practices intentionally or unintentionally lead to increased pollution or health risks in Black, Indigenous and racialized communities. It also manifests itself in unequal access to environmental benefits such as clean water and air and proximity to parks. Environmental racism has serious implications for health and well-being. That's why we're committing during this Black History Month, and every month, to raising awareness of this issue and solutions to address it.

This lack of power in these less privileged communities makes them more vulnerable to the impacts of polluting industries and projects. Often, underserved people do not have the means to resist and are rarely heard or valued by the authorities or broader society.

This Black History Month, talking about environmental racism is key to understanding the history that has led so many communities - Black, Indigenous, immigrant, etc. - throughout Canada to be disproportionately affected by pollution and the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis.

Environmental racism... an ugly legacy, yet the story continues

Before industrialization, Africa was not only the cradle of humanity; it was also the cradle of many civilizations. History shows us that industrialization and colonization have economically and culturally impoverished Black communities, and that the devaluing of so-called "Black" people is rooted in cultures around the world where capitalism has taken hold.

As a result, people of African origin are often displaced and settled away from their original homes, relegated to the bottom of the social ladder, assigned to depreciated environments and left vulnerable to spatial violence.

Black communities in garbage dumps

The design and layout of our urban and rural spaces - often informed by the most polluting industries - have tended to use the environments of the poorest communities as their dumping grounds.

Most consumer products are designed to be thrown out or abandoned after one or a few uses. The concept of the "disposable product" not only affects how we think of our products, but also how we treat humans who are part of their life cycles.

None of this would be true if our consumer products, cities and systems were designed keeping in mind the impacts of our choices on disadvantaged communities, including Black communities.

There is perhaps no better example of environmental racism in Canada than that of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Its struggle against a landfill was immortalized in the film There's Something in the Water. Available on Netflix, the film was co-produced by Ingrid Waldron, co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Climate and Environmental Justice, which we launched together in 2021 to fight environmental racism on a national scale.

Death by pollution

In 2021, following the murder of George Floyd, we saw a shift in societal norms in the way issues of racism were viewed and talked about around the world.

Unlike police brutality, when a Black person is killed by air pollution, it makes no noise and cannot be spontaneously captured on film. Ella Kissi-Debrah may be one of a few exceptions to that rule. Tragically, she will go down in history as the first person to have air pollution listed as a cause of death. The nine-year-old girl lived near South Circular Road in southeast London, one of the city's busiest roads. After Ella died in 2013, her mother and the coroner involved urged the British government to reduce national pollution limits to prevent future deaths by air pollution. An Environment Bill is being debated in the British Parliament. How many Ella Kissi-Debrahs will we see in Canada, before we clean up our act?

We don't need to look far to find examples of racialized communities in Canada suffering from the effects of pollution and climate change:

Communities in Montreal North deal with heat islands and a lack of green space (3.9 per cent green space in Montreal North compared to 11.4 per cent elsewhere in Montreal).
That's also the case for residents of Riviere-des-Prairies, where, in addition to historical problems with water quality due to poor water treatment in Montreal, residents deal with putrid stenches coming from nearby plants and factories (against which the authorities rarely take any corrective action), as well as incidents of illegal dumping of contaminated soil.
Black communities in Limoilou, Quebec, are affected by high levels of nickel and the recent threat that allowable level of nickel in the air will be increased.
In Toronto, in addition to the fact that air pollution is concentrated in highly racialized areas like Scarborough and Etobicoke North, the notorious case of the McLure radioactive site led a group of immigrant citizens who had been given radioactive land without warning into a decade-long legal battle with the Ontario government.
Anecdotally, a Black intern at the Black Environmental Initiative, Alyson (who lives in Scarborough), reports that many of her neighbours living with in close proximity to the Pickering nuclear plant are visible minorities. Nuclear operators are required to distribute potassium iodide pills to everyone living within 10 kilometres of a nuclear power plant in case of a radiation emergency - an acknowledgement of the heightened risk that Alyson's family and neighbours face.
The next chapter of Black history in Canada will be experienced by recent immigrants. The environmental quality of neighbourhoods and environments in which they live must be a barometer of the health of Black communities in Canada.

Solutions to environmental racism

Global industrialization was achieved on the backs of Black and Indigenous communities. Sadly, the devaluing of these communities has also helped enable destruction of the planet's life-support systems. If we are to repair the damage done to Earth, it will be crucial to also repair the injustices done to Black and racialized communities.

In 2022, we must ensure Black voices are at decision-making tables, to help counter perspectives that only support the greedy, cost-saving agenda of capitalism. The future of the planet, and all life on it, depends on it.

Together, we must do what we can to reduce the cost of environmental racism and the cost that Black, immigrant and Indigenous communities have to unjustly pay for an industrialization that has not favoured them.

Lastly, beyond this Black History Month, the environmental movement must commit to better understanding and better explaining environmental racism so that this cause, which affects thousands of humans, can resonate even more and gain more motivated allies in Canada and around the world.

Here's how you can help!

Learn about the current bill(s) aimed at ending environmental racism in Canada, and make your voice heard by taking action online today.
Find out more information on environmental racism.
Learn more about the Black Environmental Initiative.
(c) 2021 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

The Super Bowl's Sexual Anarchy(!) May Have Distracted You From The CIA's Hijinks
One does not idly accuse the Supreme Court of corruption, but come on.
By Charles P. Pierce

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker beat The New York Times to this story by a month, but they're now on the curious case of Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, all-around wingnut whackadoo, and walking, living, breathing conflict of interest. One does not idly accuse the Supreme Court of being corrupt but, seriously, come on. I'd much rather that Ginni Thomas take payoffs in plain white envelopes from oil companies and pharmaceutical firms than engage in the kind of ideological corruption in which she is plainly complicit:

The Thomases have long posed a unique quandary in Washington. Because Supreme Court justices do not want to be perceived as partisan, they tend to avoid political events and entanglements, and their spouses often keep low profiles. But the Thomases have defied such norms. Since the founding of the nation, no spouse of a sitting Supreme Court justice has been as overt a political activist as Ginni Thomas. In addition to her perch at the Council for National Policy, she founded a group called Groundswell with the support of Stephen K. Bannon, the hard-line nationalist and former Trump adviser. It holds a weekly meeting of influential conservatives, many of whom work directly on issues that have come before the court.

Ginni Thomas insists, in her council biography, that she and her husband operate in "separate professional lanes," but those lanes in fact merge with notable frequency.

I am a longtime fan of that dry NYT wit.

This situation is appalling. As the NYT points out, it has been a gaping wound in the Court's ethical reputation ever since Thomas was elevated to the bench in the wake of his, ahem, contentious confirmation process. (And who can forget the episode Ginni Thomas made an X Files late night phone call to Anita Hill? That was cool.) The Times also illustrates that Justice Thomas himself has the same devil-may-care attitude toward rules of conduct that his wife has.

The reporting uncovered new details on the Thomases' ascent: how Trump courted Justice Thomas; how Ginni Thomas used that courtship to gain access to the Oval Office, where her insistent policy and personnel suggestions so aggravated aides that one called her a "wrecking ball" while others put together an opposition-research-style report on her that was obtained by The Times; and the extent to which Justice Thomas flouted judicial-ethics guidance by participating in events hosted by conservative organizations with matters before the court. Those organizations showered the couple with accolades and, in at least one case, used their appearances to attract event fees, donations and new members.
So this ideological corruption was set in stone for the couple long before Ginni Thomas apparently waded hip-deep into the institutional side of the January 6 insurrection. It is now abundantly clear that the effort to overturn the election had a violent side and a sub rosa judicial strategy as well. Whether this constitutes one insurrection or two, they shared the same goal-preventing the elected president from taking office, and inflicting El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago on the nation for at least another four years.
But her role went deeper, and beyond C.N.P. Action. Dustin Stockton, an organizer who worked with Women for America First, which held the permit for the Ellipse rally, said he was told that Ginni Thomas played a peacemaking role between feuding factions of rally organizers "so that there wouldn't be any division around January 6." "The way it was presented to me was that Ginni was uniting these different factions around a singular mission on January 6," said Stockton, who previously worked for Bannon. "That Ginni was involved made sense-she's pretty neutral, and she doesn't have a lot of enemies in the movement."
By contrast, and regardless of what you may think of John Roberts, as the NYT piece makes clear, the Chief Justice has taken a radically opposite-and far more savory-tack.
He refrains from attending partisan legal forums, like those at the Federalist Society. And his wife, Jane, stepped down as a litigator at her law firm after his appointment. Justice Thomas, however, "believes that human beings have free will to chart our own course," said Helgi Walker, a former Thomas clerk and a partner at Gibson Dunn. "And I have no doubt that applies, perhaps especially so, to his wife." That said, she added, he "takes direction from no one but the law."
This, of course, is all my bollocks. There is no more predictable vote on the Court than that of Clarence Thomas. He "takes direction" from his own calcified ideology, and from his bone-deep sense of personal grievance from his confirmation process. And, if the Times is to be believed, he doesn't have to "take directions" from his wife, the wingnut whisperer. They walk in each other's footsteps.

(c) 2022 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote -

"Progressives know there is something very wrong when a nation divided politically has one major network operating as a propaganda arm of the Republican Party and 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Cancun Cruz Dares Say Biden Is Weak On Putin, When He Supports 'Vladimir's Lapdog' Donald Trump
By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - The Hill reports that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is saying that Joe Biden is the best thing that ever happened to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Cruz is trotting out the tried and true Republican tactic of Chickenhawk Macho. He does not have any credibility in this regard, since he ran away to Cancun to escape the Texas electricity blackouts (caused by natural gas plant failures) during a cold snap last year this time, as millions of his constituents suffered without heat. This behavior gives an excellent indication of how he would behave on a battlefield, something he's never seen in his life. Putin would snack on Cruz's lily liver as an appetizer.

The United States is lucky to have the level-headed Joe Biden in office during the current crisis between Russia and the Ukraine. Biden's long foreign policy experience and his ability to rally allies, along with his careful but firm handling of Russia, contrasts wildly with the erratic and cowardly performance of his predecessor, the head of the Republican Party, Donald J. Trump.

Trump told the G7 that the Crimean Peninsula, which Putin seized from Ukraine in 2014, was Russian because it is Russian-speaking. He revealed classified intelligence secrets to the Russian Foreign Secretary, and ordered the CIA to share more. He defended Putin from charges that the latter interfered in the 2016 US election (the GRU or military intelligence certainly did interfere). Trump continually rolled over for Putin.

We are lucky that Putin did not just ask for Alaska back, since Trump would have gladly relinquished it.

Trump was a coward with other world leaders, as well. When Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Trump get US troops out of northern Syria and allow the Turkish army to attack US allies, the Kurdish troops in the Syrian Democratic Forces who defeated the ISIL terrorist organization alongside US Special Forces, Trump turned tail and gave Erdogan the green light. US troops withdrew to Iraq, being pelted with rotten eggs and vegetables by the disappointed Kurdish population, and then Turkey invaded, displacing tens of thousands of Kurdish villagers who had stood with the US against ISIL when Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other so-called allies would not.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis tendered his resignation to Trump over the betrayal of America's Kurdish allies.

So the Republicans' fantasy that they are the tough guys and Democrats are weak on national security has been blown out of the water by their ass-kissing of Coward-in-Chief Trump, and they should be red-faced with embarrassment to bring up national security after having put a man in the White House who tried to overthrow the US government. That's national security?

As for Biden, he has moved expertly to confront a dangerous and difficult situation, one that he actually understands. Trump seems to have thought that Putin stole the Crimea from Barack Obama. Look it up.

Vladimir Putin provoked the current crisis by massing combat troops on Ukraine's borders. Russia faced no danger from Kyiv. I presume he is smarting from losing his asset, Trump, in the White House, and it testing Biden's mettle as the new president.

Al Jazeera English: "Biden, Putin agree to 'in principle' summit amid Ukraine tensions"

Biden has responded with diplomacy and has agreed to meet Putin for a summit on condition that Russia not do anything drastic before then. As Winston Churchill said, "Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war." Unlike Trump and Cruz, Churchill was not a coward.

Biden had earlier responded by making it clear that the US will not go toe-to-toe with Russia in the Ukraine with its own troops, since that would risk nuclear holocaust. He was criticized for saying so, but it is the truth, so why not be transparent? Despite the Washington elite's current meme about spheres of influence being passe, in fact such spheres are very much alive. Observers have pointed out that the US still enforces the Monroe Doctrine, which made the entire Western Hemisphere a US sphere of influence. In contrast, Eastern Europe has never been a US sphere of influence and the US won't go to war with another nuclear power over a country that is not even a formal US ally.

Not only would Biden not fight such a war, but Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, the former Supreme Allied Commander who helmed the successful effort to defeat the Thousand-Year Reich in Europe, sat by and let Moscow invade Hungary in 1956. Not a US sphere of influence, any more than Czechoslovakia was in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson kept on the sidelines as Moscow put down the Prague Spring.

Biden has also, however, armed Ukraine, sending two big shipments of arms, the most recent amounting to 80 tons. He has convinced some other NATO allies also to send arms. While such shipments are symbolic, they are powerful symbols of resistance, and it may not be easy for Russia to invade and immediately sequester all the arms depots, in which case they will become resources for a guerrilla resistance.

Since Biden has correctly forsworn military intervention, his other deterrent option is to make it crystal clear to Mr. Putin that there will be severe economic consequences for any invasion, and what those will be.

Biden is threatening to do to Russia what the US did to Iran on more than one occasion, which is to entirely disrupt its energy sales and perhaps even kick it off the world's banking exchanges. The Russian methane gas industry had been salivating over the Nordstrom II pipeline through the Baltic Sea to Germany, and Biden has made it clear that an invasion of Ukraine will kill that project. Russia's petroleum, like that of Iran, is a stranded asset and probably cannot be sold after ten to fifteen years, so if the industry goes under sanctions during its last profitable years, it will be a significant blow to Russia's future.

The Magnitsky Act also allows Biden to sanction Putin and his circle of oligarchs, something the Russian president appears genuinely to fear.

If anything, Biden should be criticized, contrary to what Cancun Cruz says, not for being insufficiently belligerent with Putin but for so far declining to seek a compromise. Ukraine is not a serious candidate for membership in NATO for many years, so why not say so, instead of insisting that Kyiv is free to join any time? Germany opposes its candidacy, which makes the question moot. The US insistence that NATO could still expand further apparently enrages Putin and the Russian elite. Why pursue it? Is it really worth a war to scoop up Georgia in the Caucasus into NATO? I'm old enough to remember the Cold War and what I remember was that Austria was neutral. I can't remember anything bad happening to Austria or anybody else because of that.

(c) 2022 Juan R.I. Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

Starbucks is raising prices to consumers, blaming the rising costs of supplies.

Beware Of This Deadly Mix: Oligarchic Economics And Racist, Nationalist Populism
Starbucks, McDonald's, Chipotle, Amazon - all protect profits by making customers pay more. We need the political courage to say they can and should cover rising costs themselves
By Robert Reich

The Biden White House has decided to stop tying inflation to corporate power. That's a big mistake. I'll get to the reason for the shift in a moment. First, I want to be clear about the relationship between inflation and corporate power.

While most of the price increases now affecting the US and global economies have been the result of global supply chain problems, this doesn't explain why big and hugely profitable corporations are passing these cost increases on to their customers in the form of higher prices.

They don't need to do so. With corporate profits at near record levels, they could easily absorb the cost increases. They're raising prices because they can - and they can because they don't face meaningful competition.

As the White House National Economic Council put it in a December report: "Businesses that face meaningful competition can't do that, because they would lose business to a competitor that did not hike its margins."

Starbucks is raising its prices to consumers, blaming the rising costs of supplies. But Starbucks is so profitable it could easily absorb these costs - it just reported a 31% increase in yearly profits. Why didn't it just swallow the cost increases?

Ditto for McDonald's and Chipotle, whose revenues have soared but who are nonetheless raising prices. And for Procter & Gamble, which continues to rake in record profits but is raising prices. Also for Amazon, Kroger, Costco and Target.

All are able to pass cost increases on to consumers in the form of higher prices because they face so little competition. As Chipotle's chief financial officer said, "Our ultimate goal ... is to fully protect our margins."

Worse yet, inflation has given some big corporations cover to increase their prices well above their rising costs.

In a recent survey, almost 60% of large retailers say inflation has given them the ability to raise prices beyond what's required to offset higher costs.

Meat prices are soaring because the four giant meat processing corporations that dominate the industry are "using their market power to extract bigger and bigger profit margins for themselves", according to a recent report from the White House National Economic Council (emphasis added).

Not incidentally, that report was dated 10 December. Now, the White House is pulling its punches. Why has the White House stopped explaining this to the public?

The Washington Post reports that when the prepared congressional testimony of a senior administration official (Janet Yellen?) was recently circulated inside the White House, it included a passage tying inflation to corporate consolidation and monopoly power. But that language was deleted from the remarks before they were delivered.

Apparently, members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers raised objections. I don't know what their objections were, but some economists argue that since corporations with market power wouldn't need to wait until the current inflation to raise prices, corporate power can't be contributing to inflation.

This argument ignores the ease by which powerful corporations can pass on their own cost increases to customers in higher prices or use inflation to disguise even higher price increases.

It seems likely that the Council of Economic Advisers is being influenced by two Democratic economists from a previous administration. According to the Post, the former Democratic treasury secretary Larry Summers and Jason Furman, a top economist in the Obama administration, have been critical of attempts to link corporate market power to inflation.

"Business-bashing is terrible economics and not very good politics in my view," Summers said in an interview.

Wrong. Showing the connections between corporate power and inflation is not "business-bashing". It's holding powerful corporations accountable.

Whether through antitrust enforcement (or the threat of it), a windfall profits tax or price controls, or all three, it's important for the administration and Congress to do what they can to prevent hugely profitable monopolistic corporations from raising their prices.

Otherwise, responsibility for controlling inflation falls entirely to the Federal Reserve, which has only one weapon at its disposal - higher interest rates. Higher interest rates will slow the economy and likely cause millions of lower-wage workers to lose their jobs and forfeit long-overdue wage increases.

(c) 2022 Robert B. Reich is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Then-President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28, 2019
in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids was the final city Trump visited during his 2016 campaign.

Like A Bizarre Johnny Appleseed, Trump Has Planted The Seeds Of Extreme Antisocial Behavior-And It Cannot Be Ignored
We've always had authoritarians among us, but they've been given an opening they never had before.
By Thom Hartmann

Violent behavior on airplanes has reached such epidemic proportions that the President of Delta Airlines last week asked the Department of Homeland security to allow the airlines to submit passengers who have terrified or otherwise abused flight crews for placement on the government's no-fly list.

This is a symptom of the much deeper problem: Donald Trump has planted authoritarianism across America like some kind of bizarre Johnny Appleseed, and only his humiliation and conviction will pull it out by the roots.

Eight Republican senators have now come forward to defend the air-crew abusers, as astonishing as that may seem. In doing so, they're making common cause with thousands of authoritarian followers who've adopted Donald Trump as their behavioral role model.

Why would eight GOP senators support abusers on airplanes? Because these senators also view Trump as their own personal role model and believe they draw power, prestige and safety from their association with him. They, like the people abusing flight crews, are authoritarian followers.

This explosion of "air rage" is a symptom of a much larger problem in contemporary America, one we may be on the edge of resolving.

A June, 2021 Morning Consult poll found that about 26 percent of Americans now embrace authoritarian leanings, about twice the proportion found in other democratic nations. The reason, I believe, is that Donald Trump has socially encouraged and authorized their behavior, resulting in a nationwide acceptance and amplification of antisocial activities.

Were it not for Trump, most of these people would have simply taken out their authoritarian tendencies in smaller and often unnoticed ways on their dog, spouse, employees/co-workers or neighbors. Trump's example elevated them, in their minds, to actors on the national stage so now they're acting out in a variety of public venues, including on airplanes.

We've always had authoritarians among us. These are people who paradoxically love to submit to an authority figure above them while at the same time desperately need to assert their own authority over others "below them" in order to feel safe.

They see the world in binary terms: there are those in control and those who are controlled, those who lead and those who follow, those who dominate and those who are dominated. And when a severe authoritarian leader has significant success in society, authoritarianism becomes, essentially, a contagious mental and cultural illness.

Our airline crews, politicians and teachers now find themselves on the front lines, seeing that illness play out in their own work and lives.

While the vast majority of authoritarians are authoritarian followers, a small percentage are authoritarian leaders. They exist together with their followers in a symbiosis like pilotfish and shark, gang leader and gang, alpha dog and pack.

When authoritarian leaders emerge and are celebrated in the broader society authoritarian followers are drawn to them, realigning their worldview, value system, and behavior to mirror those of the authoritarian leader.

Authoritarian followers submit to control by their chosen leader because it makes them feel like they're drawing power (and, thus, authority) from that person.

They're often drawn to hierarchical and violent professions where they can both submit to their own leaders while also routinely assert their own authority over those they view as beneath them. Thus authoritarians are over-represented in professions like policing, while only rarely seen among similarly public-service jobs like becoming firefighters.

In their personal lives, authoritarian followers are constantly on the lookout for people they can assert their own power over, particularly people they think should either serve them (like a restaurant server or flight attendant) or should simply defer to them because they think they have higher social status (whites going off on people of color, tyrannical bosses, husbands beating their wives and/or children).

Authoritarian follower Michael Cohen described his relationship with Donald Trump in stark terms. "He's very much like a cult leader," Cohen told Joy Reid, adding, "When you're in his good grace, you believe that you have this enormous amount of power..."

Authoritarian followers crave that feeling of power, often seizing it by acting out violently as so many do daily on airliners, in Uber cars, and at school board meetings.

In a society where more than half of all families would be devastated by an unexpected $1000 expense, where a single illness can force a family into homelessness, a justified and all-pervasive feeling of powerlessness is rampant.

Forty years of Reagan's neoliberalism have gutted the American middle class; while around two-thirds of us were middle class when Reagan came to power in 1981, today that number is well below half of us, a milestone noted by NPR in 2015 in an article titled The Tipping Point: Most Americans No Longer Are Middle Class.

The loss of economic security translates into a loss in social status and economic power; when fifteen percent of 330 million people experience an economic and social loss like that, about 50 million people become far more vulnerable to authoritarian leaders who glibly tell them that petty authority figures like flight attendants, election workers and unionized teachers are the ones really responsible for their fate.

Authoritarianism, like its sibling of violent physical abuse, tends to run in families. The abuse of flight attendants is simply a symptom of a larger cancer within our society: the elevation of an authoritarian leader to the presidency, becoming the father figure of our national family.

Trump is now facing accountability for exploiting the power he had as an authoritarian leader, both in his business, his family and our nation.

Like all authoritarian leaders, he's not handling it well. Hitler, for example, committed suicide rather than submit to the Allied authorities.

Mussolini being shot and then hanged upside down shows the most extreme fate of authoritarian leaders who lose their power and thus their authority over their followers. Most will, therefore, use every last lever they have to escape the loss of the status, prestige or actual legal power that lets them hold their followers in thrall.

As Trump's various crimes and grifts are exposed, he is right now fading in status and prestige. That translates directly into a loss in power, as we're seeing with Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell and a handful of other Republicans feeling safe enough to openly rebuke him. As his power fades, so will his grip over all but the most fanatical of his followers. If history is any guide, that will translate into a drop in air rage incidents, murders, spousal abuse and trashing of public servants like teachers and election workers.

That 2021 Morning Consult study mentioned earlier found that 25.6 percent of Americans now score high on tests that tease out highly authoritarian worldviews and behaviors. But this isn't a reflection of humanity at large.

The same study found that authoritarianism at its most virulent levels ran only 13.4% in Canada, 12.9% in Italy and Australia, 10.7% in France, 10.4% in the UK, 9.2% in Spain and a mere 6.7% in Germany, the country with the deepest and most personal living memory of the damage an authoritarian leader can do to a nation.MO<> The bad news, as the old saying goes, is that America is experiencing an authoritarian moment, and that's a brutal experience for any society (for the most extreme example of how this plays out, look at countries once dominated by ISIS).

The good news is that when Trump and his immediate circle are finally held to account and stripped of their status, prestige and power the authoritarian movement in America will similarly lose much of its reach and power.

The testosterone-like fuel of affiliation with Trump will no longer drive air rage and all the other symptoms of a society that's been, like Germany, Italy and Spain in the 1930s, temporarily dominated by an authoritarian leader.

It seems bleak at the moment, with authoritarian followers forming armed militias, stalking and harassing people both online and on airplanes, and trying to seize local positions of power on school boards and elections commissions, all while authoritarian followers already in positions of power use the authority they now have to thwart good-faith efforts to return America to normal.

But this season of madness-if Garland, James and others in a position to hold Trump to account succeed at doing their jobs-will pass. Then begins the real work of rebuilding our republic and fortifying it against the next authoritarian leader aspiring to the highest office in the land.

(c) 2022 Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of "The Hidden History of Monopolies: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream" (2020); "The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America" (2019); and more than 25 other books in print.

The Cartoon Corner -

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ John Cole ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

A white duvet and two pillows.

MyPillow Customer Finds Classified Documents Inside Duvet
By Andy Borowitz

AKRON, OHIO (The Borowitz Report)-In a remarkable discovery, a customer who purchased a MyPillow duvet found it stuffed with classified documents from the desk of Donald J. Trump.

Carol Foyler, who lives in Akron, Ohio, said that, after she accidentally tore open the duvet, a trove of shredded documents came spilling out.

After she began taping together the documents, she found several relating to national defense, including an order from Trump to send a birthday cake to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

Foyler said that, once she finishes reconstituting the documents, she will send them to the National Archives in Washington for safekeeping.

"Obviously, it's not ideal to find classified documents inside a random duvet, but so far I haven't seen the nuclear codes," she said.

(c) 2021 Andy Borowitz


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 08 (c) 02/25/2022

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