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In This Edition

Chris Walker reports, "Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas 5 GOP Members Of Congress -Including Kevin McCarthy."

Ralph Nader considers, "The Super Immunity Of Our Fabulously Wealthy Corporate Dictators."

Margaret Kimberley examines how, "Liberals Drive State Censorship."

Jim Hightower wonders, "Can The Rest Of The Nation Follow Alabama?"

William Rivers Pitt concludes, "Capitalism Is To Blame For How Quickly US COVID Deaths Reached 1 Million."

John Nichols says, "Killing Of Palestinian-American Journalist Demands Investigation And Accountability."

James Donahue finds, "Beef Eaters A Major Threat To The Earth."

David Swanson wonders, "What If Western Saharans Mattered?"

David Suzuki says, "Green Living Is Good For You -And The Planet."

Charles P. Pierce explores, "Our Out-of-Control Political Moment Has Been Joined To Our Insane Attraction To Firearms."

Juan Cole finds, "Tucker Carlson's 'Great Replacement' Theory Comes From an Anti-US Nazi French Thinker."

Robert Reich reports, "The Second American Civil War Is Already Happening."

Thom Hartmann explains, "How Minority Rule Is Killing America."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Andy Borowitz reports "Susan Collins Calls 911 After Receiving Copy Of Constitution In Mail," but first, Uncle Ernie warns of, "The Horrors That Are To Come."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of David Horsey, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Tom Tomorrow, Rogan Ward, Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post, Win McNamee, Priscilla Du Preez, Joe Raedle, Bilal Hussein, John Normile, Janos Kummer, Anna Moneymaker, Hannah Beier, Sarah Richter, Jim Hightower, Twitter, 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 -

The Quotable Quote -
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To End On A Happy Note -
Have You Seen This -
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Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

A general view of a mudslide which destroyed several houses during flooding in Mzinyathi near Durban, South Africa, April 17, 2022.

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The Horrors That Are To Come
Global warming strikes again!
By Ernest Stewart

"Twenty-five years ago, people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse." ~~~ Desmond Tutu

I see where global warming made the heavy rains behind South Africa's devastating floods last month twice as likely as they would have been if greenhouse gas emissions had never heated the planet.

Flash floods around the east coast city of Durban killed 435 people, left tens of thousands homeless and caused 10 billion rand ($621.73 million) worth of damage to roads, power lines, water pipes and one of Africa's busiest ports.

The World Weather Attribution group analysed weather data and digital simulations to compare today's climate to that of before the industrial revolution in the late 1800s, when the world was about 1.2 degrees C cooler.

"The results showed that an extreme rainfall episode such as this one can now be expected to happen about once every 20 years," a report on the study said.

"Without human-caused global warming, such an event would only happen once every 40 years, so it has become about twice as common as a result of greenhouse gas emissions."

It added that when extreme downpours do happen, they can be expected to be 4-8% heavier than if no human-induced global warming had occurred.

Attributing specific weather events to climate change is a tricky business that deals in probabilities, never certainty. But co-author Friederike Otto, from Imperial College London, said the study had examined data from the wider region, not just Durban.

"Looking at the larger region is actually a very meaningful way of assessing the impact of climate change. (The study) means that, in any given year, there is a 5% likelihood of such an event occurring," she told a news conference, versus 2.5% in the absence of global warming.

Africa's southeastern coast is on the front line of seaborne weather systems that climate change is making nastier, scientists say. South Africa's tropical northern neighbour Mozambique has suffered multiple cyclones and floods in the past decade, including one in April that killed more than 50 people.

"The patterns we see in southern Africa are consistent with what we are seeing elsewhere in the world," Jasper Knight, a geoscientist at Johannesburg's University of Witwatersrand, not involved in the study.

"It confirms that climate change is real, it is happening right now and it's impacting the most vulnerable."

Trouble is, we're right at the point of no return, and the creatures who are the leaders down in "foggy bottom" have been bought and paid for to look the other away. It's at times like this that I'm glad I'm old, and won't have to face the horrors that are to come!


05-21-1984 ~ 05-17-2022
Thanks for the film!

06-10-1944 ~ 05-17-2022
Thanks for the music!


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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.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, right, speaks with Rep. Jim Jordan as they walk to a press conference on November 17, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas 5 GOP Members Of Congress -Including Kevin McCarthy
By Chris Walker

The House select committee investigating the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol building has issued five new subpoenas to Republican lawmakers in the House, including GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

In addition to McCarthy, the select committee is sending subpoenas to Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) -individuals whom committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) said in a statement have "information relevant to our investigation into the attack on January 6th and the events leading up to it."

The subpoenas come one month ahead of the committee's plan to hold public hearings to directly inform the American people about its findings on the Capitol attack, which was carried out by a mob of Trump loyalists to interrupt the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The subpoenas follow previous requests from the committee for the Republican lawmakers to voluntarily testify before them. "Regrettably, the individuals receiving subpoenas today have refused and we're forced to take this step to help ensure the committee uncovers facts concerning January 6th," Thompson said.

The committee's statement also details why it is seeking the testimony of each of the five Republicans.

McCarthy was "in communication with President Trump before, during, and after the attack on January 6th," the committee noted. In one of those discussions, the House Minority leader reportedly got Trump to admit "some culpability for the attack." The committee will likely ask McCarthy questions regarding his promise to Republican caucus members that he would ask Trump to resign from office due to what had transpired that day.

The statement lists a number of reasons why the committee wants the other GOP House members to testify:

Perry was involved in a plot to install Jeffrey Clark, a Trump loyalist within the Department of Justice (DOJ), as acting Attorney General, in order to make the department more open to promoting state investigations into Trump's false claims of election fraud, or investigating such claims itself;

Jim Jordan spoke with Trump numerous times in the days surrounding the attack, including on January 6, and was involved in meetings about overturning the 2020 presidential election results;

Andy Biggs attended meetings regarding the planning of events on January 6, and helped coordinate plans to bring Trump loyalists to Washington D.C.; according to the committee, he was also "involved in efforts to persuade state officials that the 2020 election was stolen";

And Mo Brooks spoke at the same "Stop the Steal" rally where Trump instructed his followers to go directly to the Capitol building; in his speech, Brooks encouraged the mob of Trump loyalists to "start taking down names and kicking ass." The committee also wants to speak to Brooks regarding his discussions with Trump about rescinding the election results and reinstalling the former president as commander in chief.

The committee was originally reluctant to issue subpoenas to the five Republicans due to time constraints, as lawmakers will likely sue to avoid complying with the subpoenas. Such litigation could take several months and extend beyond the 2022 midterms; if Republicans win the midterms, they'll likely dissolve the select committee, rendering the subpoenas moot.

The committee has also expressed concern that Republicans could retaliate against committee members if the GOP wins the House during the midterm races.

These subpoenas are rare in that congressional committees don't typically seek to compel other members of Congress to testify. But committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) says that the lawmakers' testimonies could shed light on the events of January 6, as well as the plot to keep Trump in office.

"These are people who participated in the rally, were on the phone with the president, who the president reportedly told to rescind the election and one of whom may have been pursuing pardons for those involved," January 6 committee member Schiff said. "It's hard to imagine witnesses with more directly relevant evidence for our committee and more important information for the American people."

(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.

Spacex founder Elon Musk celebrates after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the
manned Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Super Immunity Of Our Fabulously Wealthy Corporate Dictators
The Robber Barons of old have nothing on this new class of digital oligarchs.
By Ralph Nader

Ever since the heads of East India Trading Company (1600) and Hudson Bay Company (1670), were incorporated by English Royal charters, there have been corporate dictators. Their range and actions, have varied widely however. Today's new corporate dictators shatter past restraints.

John D. Rockefeller ruled the Standard Oil Company monopoly until the trust busters from Washington broke up its giant price-fixing and predatory practices into several companies.

Andrew Carnegie was the ruler of the giant Carnegie Steel Company (which became U.S. Steel Corporation). Carnegie violently broke up strikes, such as the 1892 Homestead strike, before he left the company to be a major philanthropist building libraries and universities.

In the post-World War II years, the CEOs of General Motors and Ford had immense power but still had to contend with a strong United Auto Workers union and later with jolting consumer advocacy leading to federal safety and emissions regulation.

Today's corporate dictators are like no others, with unparalleled wealth towering over that held by Rockefeller and Carnegie (adjusted for inflation).

Consider the sheer unchallenged power of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (Meta), Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, the wannabe CEO of a going-private Twitter, Elon Musk, (unless the sinking Tesla stock ends the debt-deep acquisition price), and Sergey Brin and Larry Page still in control of Google. Despite recent stirrings, there are no companywide unions at these companies and the prospect for such is still in the distant future.

These CEOs snap their fingers and their patsy Boards of Directors sign off on huge optimally priced stock options and other goodies. These CEOs don't have to worry about their shareholders because like Zuckerberg, with a large portion of the shares, they have rigged their even larger control of voting shares giving them an unassailable shareholder majority.

They are hauled before Congressional Committees, appearing humble and afterwards they must be breaking open the champagne. Because after the public posturing by the lawmakers, no effective regulation is ever enacted. Antitrust action year after year doesn't materialize, other than some weak consent decrees against Facebook which for a decade it violated while paying laughable civil fines.

No corporate monopolist comes close these days to being prosecuted for jail time. Under both the Democratic and Republican Parties, the Department of Justice cuts sweetheart 'deferred prosecution agreements' (See: Corporate Crime Reporter: with the corporate entity and lets off the bosses. Boeing, after its two criminal 737 MAX crashes, is the latest example (See: Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing by Peter Robison, November 30, 2021).

The dictatorship over consumers is most unprecedented. Whereas the old dictatorial bosses-pre-unions-had control over worker's lives at the workplace, today's corporate dictators can ply their power 24/7. They can get into the minds of people to addict them and have their personal lives invaded and their personal information offered for sale all over the globe. The old bosses used child labor until the early 20th century, but then kids were largely off limits.

Today's dollar dictators have fused children's hands with their iPhones and incarcerated them in their vast gluttonous, nasty, violent Internet world to which they become addicted. For six to ten hours a day, their screen time has become their lifetime-families begone!

Not only do these bosses' avaricious clutches have no "quit time," the little ones are now being lured into the Metaverse Gulag equipped with three-dimensional goggles to distance themselves further from daily reality.

Millions of parents are at their wit's end, trying to recover their children from their screens and their video games at all hours and their digital fantasy worlds. Although there have been dozens of expose' books, documentaries and newly formed citizen groups focusing on these corporate child molesters, the hijacking of little America by these Internet Barons continues unabated.

Suing these commercial dictators for whom enough is never enough has gone nowhere. Judges don't recognize offered causes of action. Moreover, under a special exception (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) from federal communications law, media like Twitter and Facebook are largely immune from suits no matter how violent, defamatory, and false the anonymous hate messages traversing their corporate portals.

The contrast between the old and new corporate dictators is that the latter use, for free, your personal data for a fantastically profitable sale. The profit margins flowing from turning free "products" into big time cash are so high as to stun old-time economists who are used to margins under 10%, not over 50%.

Perhaps a bottom line in the differences between the old and new corporate dictators is twofold. Year after year, there is no number two really challenging their tight controls, no Avis to take on Hertz, as the old phrase went.

Second, the workers in these old industries felt and knew the oppressors or dictators ruling them. They were deep in this corporate reality. They could organize themselves because they knew their co-workers and this proximity gave birth to the union movements that led to fair labor standards and other regulations protecting workers (still much to be done here). How do the users organize to overcome transaction costs (as with Facebook, Google and Twitter) when they never see each other? It's a one-way gold mine ether out there. When several years ago, Facebook users formed a group for enhanced bargaining, Facebook sued for trademark infringement and blocked that nascent effort.

As long as Silicon Valley behemoths continue to rule Washington D.C. and State Capitals, get ready for more refinements of commercial tyranny.

(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).

US Ministry of Truth, Twitter Parody Account, @USMiniTru

Liberals Drive State Censorship
By Margaret Kimberley

Liberals are the force behind censorship efforts. They defend the state and seek to silence anyone who questions its narratives.

Twice in the month of April Barack Obama spoke about "disinformation." First at the University of Chicago and then at Stanford University he claimed that democracy is at risk because of social media. Democracy is certainly at risk but not because of anyone's tweets. His words were really meant to frighten Americans into accepting censorship should anyone dare to present a narrative that differs from the state's. Of course, that isn't what Obama said. He spoke of Trump's claims of election fraud and racist posts and all sorts of things that liberals would support. But neither Trump nor anyone else on the right was his target. The left are his targets and the need to silence the public about Ukraine was the reason for his renewed efforts to address an issue concocted by the democratic establishment.

Less than one week after the Stanford speech the Department of Homeland Security announced the establishment of a Disinformation Governance Board. (They needed Obama to lay the groundwork with his disinformation tour.) Of course only conservatives and those who are truly on the left saw the danger in what some called a Ministry of Truth, as described in George Orwell's 1984.

While republicans deemed lesser lights and the butt of liberal jokes such as Representative Lauren Boebert spoke out against the very problematic entity, liberals said nothing at all.

Bernie Sanders, House members known as "the Squad" and others thought of as progressives or leftists were silent. While democrats go along with and defend every Biden administration policy, republican members of congress held a press conference to share their concerns. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other republicans are seeking to defund the Board. "The President's Ministry of Truth is just an un-American abuse of power, which is a scheme conjured up by Washington Democrats to grant themselves the authority to control free speech." Of course abuses of power are very American but McCarthy's assessment of what Biden and the democrats want to do is correct.

Fortunately there was enough pushback that the Biden administration felt the need to create a Fact Sheet in order to quell doubts about the dubious endeavor. "The working group does not have any operational authority or capability." In other words, it is unneeded. Or rather it is needed to discredit anyone who dares to oppose state narratives, especially now when the Ukraine crisis needs a constant supply of public buy-in.

Yet the question must be asked about liberals' silence. There was a time when they would be the first to oppose governmental overreach, including any efforts to control public discourse or to even give an appearance of limiting what was deemed acceptable to speak and to write.

But liberals are joined at the hip with the democratic party and that means they are the worst purveyors of misinformation and the group most interested in censorship. The Jeff Bezos owned Washington Post represents the democratic wing of the duopoly, and presented the Propaganda or Not hit list after the 2016 Donald Trump political earthquake. The fear that Trump might actually do what working people wanted was the cause of their fear and the need to label him and anyone who rejected the establishment agenda as a Russian bot, Putin puppet, or useful idiot.

Now Ukraine is the focus of their fervor. The Biden administration needs to misdirect attention from its instigation of the crisis. They want the public to accept every claim without question and believe that Vladimir Putin is evil, that the Ukrainian military can defeat the bigger, better equipped, and better staffed Russian army, and keep silent when $40 billion is spent on the effort. They don't want the public to question why their needs are deemed to be too expensive while Ukraine is turned into a forever war and cash cow for the military industrial complex. Biden is forced to create a stupid expression such as, "Putin's price hikes" to explain sanctions that can't hurt Russia but also hurt Americans too.

Liberals are the heart of the establishment. The prestigious schools, think tanks, and high positions in corporate media are populated largely by democrats. It is democrats who have the power to declare certain thoughts unthinkable and make sure that inconvenient narratives do not see the light of day.

It is liberals who are most closely allied with the state and who most vigorously defend it. They are silent about a Disinformation Governance Board, and also went along completely with the plan to steal $40 billion in public money and send it to Ukraine, or rather to defense contractors and Ukrainian oligarchs.

Sneer at Lauren Boebert if you like. Her reasons for opposing censorship are not those of the left but she doesn't go along with wholesale war propaganda either. In that regard she has more to say for herself than Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The people making fun of Boebert would be far more effective if they made demands of fake heroes in the liberal class. Of course if they did that they wouldn't be liberals any more. They just might have become true leftists.

(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.

Can The Rest Of The Nation Follow Alabama?

By Jim Hightower

Here are two terms you don't expect to see together: "The state of Alabama" and "progressive leader." (Ok, I'm a Texan, so I have no standing to point at the rank regressiveness of any other state government ... but still, Alabama?) And yet, the Camellia State has flowered as a model of strong progressive action in one area of critical public importance: Quality child care.

It's a cliche to say "our children are our future," but it's also true. Why, then, do we invest so little in our littlest ones, our future? America's childcare system is a national disgrace, failing to provide safe places for children of working parents, and failure to boost the education of pre-kindergarten tykes. Moreover, the abject failure of state and national officials to meet this basic social need is spreading inequality, rolling back opportunities for women, and severely restricting economic progress.

Yet, Alabama officials have recently been setting the national standard for effective pre-K programs by making a major investment in its 4 & 5-year-olds, operating a statewide child care network in about 1,300 neighborhood and rural areas. A major factor in its success is a two-generation approach, not only educating the kiddos, but also providing support materials and coaching so that parents engage as their children's "first teachers."

Producing demonstrable results year after year, the state's public network gets bipartisan support and funding from the Alabama Legislature. The program is free and available to all, with special attention devoted to enlisting often overlooked families in rural, poor, and people-of-color communities. Rather than treating teachers as low-pay babysitters, Alabama is paying (and respecting) them as the professionals they are and investing in their career development.

If one of our poorest states can rise to meet this basic human need, what's wrong with the richest country in the history of the world?

(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

Flags at the base of the Washington Monument fly at half-mast on May 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C., as the United States nears 1 million deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Capitalism Is To Blame For How Quickly US COVID Deaths Reached 1 Million
By William Rivers Pitt

I got my second COVID booster shot this morning, so if I do catch this damned thing, it won't be for lack of ducking. The CVS worker who dosed me seemed an affable sort and the coffee had just kicked in, so I decided to have a bit of sport at the expense of the medical industry. When he brought the tray with the syringe over, I asked if it was the one with the Bill Gates microchip or the one that glows to let Satan know where I am. He stared at me a long moment, looked left and right, then leaned close and said, "5G, man. 5G."

It's laughing or screaming at this point, when the mention of one brain-bending far-right conspiracy theory is parried with another - in this case, the outrageous idea that 5G cellphone towers are to blame for COVID-19 - and that is the ignoble truth.

With solemn tone and a truly daunting dot-matrix map of the lost, The New York Times put forth the question that nobody seems prepared to deal with at this juncture: How did this country suffer 1 million COVID deaths, the most of any country in the world, in less than three years?

The answers are spread across a broad palette of shame and disgrace that, brushstroke by bloody brushstroke, combined to paint a mural of a nation in pinwheeling decline. COVID did not do this to us. Like water, it made for the lowest places and flooded the gaps until the walls crumbled, the floors cracked, and the "exceptional" country was forced to confront just how drab and subpar it really is... which may serve to explain the silence enveloping this grim and monstrous milestone.

"This is how it happens," writes Indrajit Samarajiva, who watched as his home country of Sri Lanka collapsed after years of civil war. "Precisely what you're feeling now. The numbing litany of bad news. The ever rising outrages. People suffering, dying, and protesting all around you, while you think about dinner. If you're trying to carry on while people around you die, your society is not collapsing. It's already fallen down."

It was capitalism, of course, that made sure this thing would rule the day. The idea of obeying science to the point that multibillion dollar corporations might lose custom and market share for a time was more than intolerable; it was heresy spoken against the faith of the free-marketeers and their trickle-down pabulum. Minimum-wage workers behind plexiglass at the Piggly Wiggly were hailed as heroes in the media, but they weren't heroes... or at least they didn't want to be. They needed the money and the insurance (if any was actually available), and so they worked. Thousands were infected, and hundreds died.

The gruesome details of COVID and the meat-packing industry are a perfect metaphor for the collision between greed and disease. According to a report by ProPublica, a cohort of meat-packing concerns combined their efforts and lobbied the Trump administration for exemptions that would allow their plants to remain open while shielding them from legal liability. Soon enough, Trump complied.

"The effect that the meatpacking plant outbreaks had on the early spread of COVID-19 is staggering," reads the report. "ProPublica and other news outlets tracked cases and deaths involving meatpacking workers. But academic researchers have found that by July 2020, about 6 percent to 8 percent of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. were tied to packing plant outbreaks, and that by October 2020, community spread from the plants had generated 334,000 illnesses and 18,000 COVID-19-related deaths." Notwithstanding the towering courage and perseverance of the doctors and nurses who fought COVID on the front lines - wearing garbage bags and masks hosed down with Lysol in the early days because of supply snafus - the bleak truth of this country's garbled medical industry has been exposed. This reaches beyond the overworked hospitals all the way down to the manner in which we as a nation care for our elders. COVID is exceptionally dangerous for older people, to be sure, but hundreds of thousands of elders died warehoused in "homes" staffed by brutally undertrained workers.

This, again, was capitalism at work, the "for-profit" medical industry championed by capitalists as the best in the world. The dead know better.

Speaking of sham capitalism, no critique of the last three years would be complete without a long look at Donald Trump himself, whose performance as president during the crisis will go down in history as one of the more spectacular failures since Icarus told his dad, "Just a little higher."

Everything you need to know about Trump's long bungle of COVID can be found in the first public statement he made on the pandemic, on the last day of February 2020:

At this moment, we have 22 patients in the United States currently that have coronavirus. Unfortunately, one person passed away overnight. She was a wonderful woman, a medically high-risk patient in her late 50s. Four others are very ill. Thankfully, 15 are either recovered fully or they're well on their way to recovery, and in all cases they've been let go, and they're home.

Additional cases in the United States are likely, but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover, and I think that will be a statement that we can make with great surety now that we've gotten familiar with this problem. They should be able to recover should they contract the virus. So healthy people, if you're healthy, you will probably go through a process and you'll be fine.

First of all, the deceased person he referred to was a man, not a woman, setting the tone for the fact-free avalanche of calamity his administration became in the ensuing months. The happy talk, though, is the tell: he made this statement weeks after telling journalist Bob Woodward, "You just breathe the air and that's how it's passed. And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flus. This is deadly stuff."

Hundreds of thousands of deaths, along with millions of infections, lay at Trump's spray-tanned feet, but the dying has continued through the entirety of the Biden administration. In this, we have the perfect storm: A president weighed down by the failures of his predecessor and beset by a Republican opposition that has been more than happy to use a lethal pandemic for political purposes. It also has not helped that Biden and his fellow Democrats have raised snatching defeat from the jaws of victory into a form of performance art.

In the face of all this, frustrated silence reigns. There's no mystery to it; a great many myths about greatness have been shredded and burned in the passage of COVID, and here we are once again confronted with a new wave of infections. New cases are exploding across the country, especially in areas where the GOP convinced people that vaccinations and masks are some sort of liberal Trojan Horse. There were more than 90,000 new infections yesterday alone, a two-week increase of 60 percent.

Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-mast to honor the million we have lost. It is as bland a recognition as any other we have seen. The longer we refuse to face what this really is - a pandemic that has attacked us at our weakest places that were supposed to be our strongest places - the longer this will continue. It is a reckoning that must be both national and personal, or there will be no recovery at all.

(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.

Lebanese journalists hold portraits of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a protest in front of United Nations headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon on May 11. Abu Akleh
was shot and killed last week while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank. The broadcaster and two reporters who were with her blamed Israeli forces.

Killing Of Palestinian-American Journalist Demands Investigation And Accountability
By John Nichols

Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who earned international respect for her thoughtful, fact-based reporting on conflicts in the Middle East, was killed last Wednesday in East Jerusalem when she was covering an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Journalists who were on the scene said Israeli forces fired on them. "We were going to film the Israeli army operation and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming," recalled Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samoudi, who was wounded by a bullet in the back.

As someone who has reported frequently over the years from Israel and Palestine, I was horrified by the news of the killing of Abu Akleh, an American citizen who had spent most of her career covering the Middle East. I've been familiar with her work for decades, as she was one of the first field correspondents for Al Jazeera, a network that has - with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the regional website Al-Monitor - provided consistently well-reported and insightful coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

My horror was compounded on Friday afternoon, when the funeral procession that preceded Abu Akleh's burial in the Melkite Catholic Cemetery in Jerusalem's Old City was disrupted by Israeli police. As the great Palestinian journalist and media activist Daoud Kuttab reported, "Israeli security forces used stun grenades and tear gas and charged at pallbearers with horses and batons."

"Israeli police suddenly attacked the huge crowd that had come to the French Hospital just outside (the Old City's) New Gate," explained Kuttab, a recipient of the International Press Freedom Award from the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. "It was clear that the Israeli police were involved in an attempt to block and remove any signs of Palestinian nationalism. Israeli soldiers ripped off Palestinian flags that surrounded her and used tear gas to prevent pallbearers from marching with her body. In the end, the coffin was put in a waiting hearse, and the Israelis tried to separate the vehicle carrying the coffin from the sea of people who had tried to take a last glimpse at a TV news idol who had become a household name since the second Palestinian intifada."

Even the U.S. State Department, which has historically been cautious about calling out the Israelis, condemned the killing of Abu Akleh and announced, "We were deeply troubled to see the images of Israeli police intruding into her funeral procession today. Every family deserves to be able to lay their loved ones to rest in a dignified and unimpeded manner."

Hadar Susskind, a former Israeli Defense Forces soldier who now serves as president and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, was blunter. After watching the police assault on the funeral he said, "This is absolutely horrific. Waiving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans (even if you don't like them) is not illegal. Even if it was, it doesn't justify this."

There have been many calls for independent investigations into the killing of Abu Akleh, and of the disruption of her funeral. I am especially sympathetic to those that have come from the International Federation of Journalists, a group I have worked with over the years.

"While the full details of this horrific murder are still emerging, testimony from journalists who were with her when she was killed point towards this being another deliberate and systematic targeting of a journalist," IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said last week. "Yet again journalists, wearing press vests, clearly identified, were targeted by Israeli snipers. They were not alongside demonstrators, they were not a threat - they have been targeted to prevent them bearing witness and telling the truth about the Israeli action in Jenin."

Bellanger announced, "We will seek to add this case to the ICC complaint submitted by the IFJ, detailing such systematic targeting. If we demand justice for the Russian targeting of Ukrainian journalists we must demand an end to, and justice for, Israeli targeting and killings of Palestinian journalists."

The calls from journalists around the world for investigation and accountability have been echoed by several Democratic members of Congress. "Veteran American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was simply doing her job when she was shot and killed early this morning," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut. "Her heartbreaking death should be considered an attack on freedom of the press everywhere. There must be a thorough investigation and full accountability for those responsible."

Several members of Congress suggested accountability could take the form of restrictions on U.S. aid to Israel. "She was killed by the Israeli military, after making her presence as a journalist clearly known," explained U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota. "We provide Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually with no restrictions. What will it take for accountability for these human rights violations?"

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat who has traveled to Israel and Palestine on several fact-finding missions, called the U.S. government's condemnation of the killing of an American journalist "a welcome reaction to an untenable situation in Israel and Palestine." But, he added, "Restrictions on aid may be necessary if human rights and universally acceptable norms can't be followed."

(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.

Beef Eaters A Major Threat To The Earth
By James Donahue

Statistics show that the cost of raising cows to produce meat as a food commodity is so high that it is non-productive when it comes to feeding the hungry people on this planet.

A recent news clipping not only gives the statistics that bear this out, but explains how cattle ranches that produce meat also are generating deadly greenhouse gas. Cows pass methane gas. Thousands of cows packed in one feed lot generate a lot of methane.

The article notes that Japanese scientists used a range of data to calculate that producing 2.2 pounds of beef generates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car non-stop for three hours.

The story in New Scientist magazine noted that most of the greenhouse gas emissions are in the form of methane released from the cow's digestive systems. But more than two-thirds of the energy used goes for producing and transporting cattle feed. That is because farmers use tractors and gasoline or diesel-powered harvesters to grow the feed, and trucks to transport it.

The scientists said they calculated the energy used in all of the processes involved in growing, feeding, slaughtering and processing the meat, then packaging and distributing it for retail sale, and determined that four average sized steaks generated greenhouse gases with a warming potential equal to 80.25 pounds of carbon dioxide.

They calculate then that a 2.2 pound serving of beef is responsible for the same amount of greenhouse gas as the carbon dioxide released from a car traveling 50 miles an hour for 155 miles. The same amount of energy would light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days.

"Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints," said Su Taylor, press officer for the Vegetarian Society. "One of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat."

Indeed, we have advocated a vegetarian diet for years, based upon the knowledge that cows all over the world are being fed dangerous hormones, antibiotics and bone marrow from slaughter houses to fatten them up faster and raise profit margins for the industry. The appearance of mad cow disease, believed caused by the cannibalized diet from other carcasses, is yet another problem linked with remaining on a meat diet.

That we also inherit the cellular memory of the animals we feed upon when we consume parts of animals that die in terror in modern slaughterhouses, is still another cause for alarm.

Thanks to the work of this team of Japanese scientists, we now have an even stronger case for saving the animals.

(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 If Western Saharans Mattered?
By David Swanson

If I object, in the United States, to the Israeli government's brutal occupation of Palestine, most people will not only know what I'm talking about but also understand immediately what a hateful antisemite I must be.

If, on the other hand, I object, in the United States, to Morocco's brutal occupation of Western Sahara, most people will have no idea what I'm talking about. Isn't that actually worse?

Remarkably, the Moroccan government is armed, trained, and supported by the U.S. government, and escalated its brutality in response to a tweet by then-President Donald Trump, never corrected by Joe Biden.

Yet the presence of unarmed U.S. civilian protectors in Morocco prevent rapes and assaults and all sorts of violence simply by virtue of their being from the U.S. Even in the midst of atrocities committed with U.S. weapons, it is U.S. lives that matter.

Meanwhile, virtually nobody in the United States has any idea what's going on.

Among the U.S. activists I've spoken with via video calls to Western Sahara in recent weeks are Tim Pluta (normally a World BEYOND War organizer in Spain) and Ruth McDonough, a former teacher from New Hampshire. Ruth is currently fasting, and the Moroccan military just showed up pretending to be concerned medical personnel able to whisk her off to a hospital. They failed.

Tim and Ruth are in the town of Boujdour, in the home of human rights activist Sultana Khaya, whose house was under siege for over a year, who was raped in her home with her mother tied up and watching, who earlier had one eye gouged out by the Moroccan military. Activists in Western Sahara are viciously attacked if there are no U.S. citizens present. When a group of U.S. citizens stealthily broke the siege by entering the Khaya house in March, the Moroccan military generally backed off. Elated friends even started visiting, until it became known that they would be attacked and beaten afterwards.

If there were U.S. corporate media outlets that cared, they'd have a far easier demonization job than they have with Vladimir Putin. The U.S.-backed ruler of Morocco is named "His Majesty the King Mohammed the Sixth, Commander of the Faithful, May God Grant Him Victory."

King Mohammed VI became king in 1999, with the unusual qualifications for the job of his father dying and his own heart beating -oh, and being a descendant of Muhammad. The King is divorced. He travels the world taking more selfies than Elizabeth Warren, including with U.S. presidents and British royalty.

May God Grant Him Victory's education included studying in Brussels with then-President of the European Commission Jacques Delors, and studying at the French University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. In 1994 he became Commander in Chief of the Royal Moroccan Army. The King and his family and government are famously corrupt, with some of that corruption having been exposed by WikiLeaks and The Guardian. As of 2015, Commander of the Faithful was listed by Forbes as the fifth richest person in Africa, with $5.7 billion.

Somebody explain to me why U.S. citizens should have to abandon their lives and go sit by as shields, as lives-that-matter, in Western Sahara, to prevent the thugs of a corrupt billionaire from brutalizing people with U.S. weapons and U.S. backing.

(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.

With good information, anyone can make informed choices and adopt sustainable practices.

Green Living Is Good For You -And The Planet
By David Suzuki

It's hard not to despair over the state of the world, but one well-known, proven antidote is action.

And though what you do every day to avoid environmental damage may seem small and ineffectual -especially if you feel no one else is doing anything -know you're not alone. Green living is coming onstream faster than ever before, and many people taking many actions add up to a world of difference.

Of course, confronting major issues like climate disruption, pollution and species extinction requires top-down actions from governments, industry and societal institutions, but each of us can contribute to the tidal wave of change the planet needs. After all, humanity's utter interdependence with nature means that how we treat our surroundings affects us all.

Personal action is a great entry point into making the world a better place. With good information, anyone can make informed choices and adopt sustainable practices. Mindfully considering your habits and their effects on nature can also help you develop a deeper understanding of complex challenges our species faces.

Linking environmental issues to everyday activities makes environmentalism easy, accessible and tangible. And simple steps like walking, cycling or taking transit instead of driving, or growing your own food and making your own home cleaners and personal care products, can save money and improve your health and quality of life.

Get out of your car. Plant gardens for butterflies and bees. Take part in climate strikes. All are ways to connect with others, build relationships and ignite hope -important for mental health. Learning about and practising sustainable habits will also help you more confidently participate in conversations on topics you care about.

It can be a challenge to live sustainably, though. That's because many of our systems are deliberately designed to promote excessive consumption and waste for the sake of profit and economic growth. Making changes in your life can catalyze deeper involvement in activism -in your community and beyond -to improve those systems.

With so much going on in our lives, it can be difficult to know where to start, or find ways to step up our efforts. Joining a local organization is one option, but lots of online resources can also steer you in the right direction.

For almost two decades, the David Suzuki Foundation's Queen of Green program inspired thousands to adopt Earth-friendly habits. Recognizing the need to remove barriers from participating in sustainable lifestyles and to seek input from diverse segments of society to identify solutions, the Foundation recently launched a renewed Living Green program.

Growing awareness of social and justice consciousness has brought problems in the eco-lifestyle community to light. It hasn't always accurately reflected the true cross-section of society and, historically, could be considered sexist, classist, colonial and gendered.

Marginalized people and those living in remote or rural communities often face greater barriers to adopting green lifestyles -including lack of safe and sustainable transportation infrastructure, food insecurity, precarious work or housing, income insecurity, affordability of everyday goods, access to green spaces and environmental racism.

Disproportionately shouldering the role of nurturer in households and communities -including workplaces -women are also more likely to champion environmental causes and support sustainable lifestyles. Studies show some men won't adopt green behaviours such as carrying reusable tote bags because they could be perceived as "too feminine."

It doesn't have to be that way.

Diverse communities in all socioeconomic circumstances have long traditions of practising sustainable lifestyles for economic, cultural and survival reasons. And to overcome environmental crises, we all have to contribute. We can learn from each other, and the beauty and strength diversity brings is not just theoretical; it's proven by science. As humans, we must embrace diversity -in our families, organizations and communities.

It's important to push for changes to the institutional and societal structures and beliefs fuelling the climate, biodiversity, pollution and other environmental crises, and the changes we make in our individual lives signify support for those large-scale shifts needed to protect nature's diversity and the well-being of all life. They can also get us to question our values, an important step in a world where wealth and unbridled consumerism are often prioritized.

Live green. You'll feel better for it. Let's all be part of the solution!

(c) 2022 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Our Out-of-Control Political Moment Has Been Joined To Our Insane Attraction To Firearms
Milwaukee, Laguna Hills, Buffalo. American life in 2022.
By Charles P. Pierce

Do not be alarmed, but I suspect that the Tree of Liberty is dangerously close to being overly refreshed, and not with the blood of patriots and tyrants, either, but rather with the blood of ordinary folks celebrating a basketball game, or people going to church on Sunday, or some just stopping in to pick up last-minute provisions for Sunday dinner. Ordinary people, living ordinary lives, until they weren't anymore.

Milwaukee: None dead, 21 wounded.

Laguna Hills: One dead, five wounded.

Buffalo: 10 dead, three wounded.

And how was your weekend, America?

This country has gone to Bedlam and lost its way back. Decades of making sure that Americans are armed to the teeth, and decades of making sure that it was easy to set one subset of citizens against another, have now combined to make a madhouse of the world's oldest representative democracy.

Three mass shootings in three days.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

A 16-year-old girl and two men, ages 29 and 26, were shot near the corner of North Martin Luther King Drive and Highland Avenue. A 19-year-old man was arrested. Then, about 10:30 p.m., a 20-year-old man was shot and injured on Water Street near Highland Avenue. That prompted an "all-city assist" meaning every available officer responded downtown to deal with the crowds and the attention from the shootings, Waldner said. "It just drew more people to the area," she said of the shooting.

That shooting did not appear to be connected to the third shooting which left 17 people wounded and took place at the same location, Waldner said. Five of the people who were injured were armed and taken into custody, she said.

Reporters in this country must take great pains to distinguish between three distinct incidents of mass gunfire of a Friday night. That is where we are in the madhouse that America has become.

Of course, the Buffalo supermarket massacre drew most of the attention. The body count was the highest and the suspect, Payton Gendron, who was taken into custody alive, is a walking advertisement for violent right-wing extremism, marginally coherent manifesto and all. He's an 18-year-old who drove 200 miles to kill people who never did anything to him, except be where Payton Gendron, in the wisdom of his 19 years, thinks they shouldn't be. Which is to say...America. From the Buffalo News:

"It was straight up, a racially motivated hate crime," Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said. "This person was pure evil." Of the 13 people shot, 11 were Black and two were white, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. "We have evidence in custody right now that shows there is some racial component to these actions," Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said.

Payton Gendron, who officials said traveled "several hours" claimed in a 180-page diatribe that he was "radicalized" on the internet while he was bored during the early days of the pandemic, not by any people he has met personally. Through his "research," the self-described white supremacist and anti-Semite came to see low white birth rates around the world as a "crisis" that "will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people," he wrote.

According to the manifesto, as reported by the New York Post, Gendron planned this thing right down to his breakfast order for his big day.
Investigators believe the manifesto is authentic and matches key personal details of the suspect and how the crime unfolded, law enforcement sources told The Post. They are still waiting to get a computer owned by Gendron, the sources said. He said he started planning the attack in January and chose the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo because "it has the highest black population percentage" by Zip code and it wasn't far away from his Southern Tier home.

A section of the manifesto details his step-by-step plans for the day, including the corned beef hash he would eat for breakfast, how he would drive to Buffalo and scout out the supermarket, the way he would wear his body armor and carry his gun and how he would post a livestream online. He allegedly carried out the attack at 3 p.m. instead of the planned 4 p.m. [Gendron] also stopped his attack before a planned rampage through the neighborhood.

The one thing about the manifesto that is completely coherent is the fact that Gendron has drunk deeply of the paranoid wormwood popular on the American right. It is peddled by mainstream Republican politicians like Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking Republican in the House, and by mainstream conservative commentators like Tucker Carlson. The Great Replacement is now as significant a part of the GOP platform as deregulation and supply-side economics. Not that it's a particularly new formula. Old dog, as the late Molly Ivins once put it, still hunts. From the Washington Post:
But while the great replacement theory has inspired horrific violence in the past five years, it's a lot older than that. More than 70 years ago, a U.S. senator published a book warning of the same destruction of White civilization. Theodore G. Bilbo, a Democrat, had twice been governor of Mississippi before he served in the U.S. Senate from 1935 to 1947, when "the growing intolerance among many whites toward public racism and anti-Semitism" led to his fall, according to an account in the Journal of Mississippi History.

Bilbo saw an existential threat in the growing ranks of American-born descendants of enslaved Africans. His solution? Ship them back. "The great civilizations of the ages have been produce[d] by the Caucasian race," he wrote. When Black people moved in, he wrote, mighty societies such as ancient Egypt were destroyed and mongrel races were created. "The mongrel not only lacks the ability to create a civilization, but he cannot maintain a culture that he finds around him," he wrote. "A White America or a mongrel America -you must take your choice!"

So we have this weird, violent, and barely controllable political moment now joined to the country's insane attraction to its firearms. It can't have escaped everyone's attention that, just as the 18-year-old Payton Gendron was setting out on the way to Buffalo, a federal appeals court was throwing out a California law that forbade the sale of weapons like the one Gendron used to anyone under 21 years of age. From NPR:
In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday the law violates the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and a San Diego judge should have blocked what it called "an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles" for young adults. "America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army," Judge Ryan Nelson wrote. "Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms."
Apparently, this gift to the federal judiciary from the former president* believes that the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo was regularly patronized by Redcoats. I have no wisdom to offer beyond that observation.

(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 -

"Finally, let understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary.

Tucker Carlson's 'Great Replacement' Theory Comes From an Anti-US Nazi French Thinker
People like Tucker Carlson are pitifully ignorant of history and so are wielding an anti-American, highly unpatriotic notion for the sake of their television ratings.
By Juan Cole

A hate-filled 18-year-old murdered 10 and wounded 3 African-Americans in Buffalo on Saturday, having penned a rambling screed about replacement theory. The most common version of this whiny idea, imported from the more hysterical fringes of the French Right wing, holds that Jewish capitalists are importing cheap immigrant labor to replace more highly-paid white workers. Notoriously, the Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 against the removal of Confederate statues chanted "Jews will not replace us."

These useful idiots of the far right are symbolically still deployed around Hitler's bunker, defending it from the approaching Allies.

The shooter who killed 11 Jewish Americans at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 espoused the idea of the "great replacement." The hateful ideology is shamelessly promoted by Fox Cable News, the CEO of which is Lachlan Murdoch, with the worst offender being the Lord Haw-Haw of the twenty-first century, Tucker Carlson, who exposed his audience to the great replacement excrement 400 times in the past year.

Republican legislators across the US have been putting in laws against the teaching of critical race theory, which helps us understand the hold and the effect of ideas like the great replacement, and which hasn't killed anyone. They don't seem to be as eager to legislate against Nazi ideas. (It is a Nazi idea.)

The racist notion of the "great replacement" originated in Europe and had many exponents of various stripes. Contrary to what is sometimes alleged, however, the phrase itself was not coined by Maurice Barres in early twentieth-century France, though he certainly believed in the ideas behind it.

The phrase, and the most extensive elaboration of the theory, originated with the French Nazi Rene Binet (1913-1957), who served during WW II in The Waffen Grenadier Brigade of the SS Charlemagne, which consisted of French collaborators. You don't get more fascist than that-the Charlemagne Brigade were the last troops to defend Hitler's bunker before his suicide, and staged a failed, desperate fight against the Soviet army's advance into Berlin.

Binet fulminated after the war against "the invasion of Europe by Negroes and Mongols," by which he meant Americans and Soviets. He saw Americans as an impure mestizo "race" (he was a biological racist). He also launched diatribes against unbridled capitalism and the ways in which Jews were using it to abet the replacement of civilized white Europeans.

So this supposedly far right American nationalist idea actually originated in hatred for Americans and a denigration of their supposed "whiteness" by the European Right, which did not see Russians as "white" either.

It is worth noting that unlike cowardly boot-lickers like Benet, the true patriots were the multi-cultural French. The French Army and then De Gaulle's Free French Army included thousands of riflemen (Tirailleurs) from Senegal. explains: "During World War II the French recruited 179,000 Tirailleurs; some 40,000 were deployed to Western Europe. Many were sent to bolster the French Maginot Line along its border with Germany and Belgium during the German invasion in 1940-where many were killed or taken prisoner. After the fall of France, others served in the Free French army in Tunisia, Corsica, and Italy, and in the south of France during the liberation."

I had two uncles who served in WW II, one at the Battle of the Bulge. In my family, we are not in any doubt that it was the Allies who were the good guys. And, yes, the Allies were multi-racial. They included the Tuskegee Airmen, who bombed Nazi targets, The Allies were the diverse American rainbow, and it was their diversity that gave them the strength to prevail.

People like Tucker Carlson are pitifully ignorant of history and so are wielding an anti-American, highly unpatriotic notion for the sake of their television ratings. Ironically, Tucker's intellectual forebear, Binet, would have considered him a mongrel "Negro." As defenders of illiberalism and implicitly of hatred of Jews, these useful idiots of the far right are symbolically still deployed around Hitler's bunker, defending it from the approaching Allies.

(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.

'One America is largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young. The other is largely rural or exurban, white and older.

The Second American Civil War Is Already Happening
America will still be America. But it is fast becoming two versions of itself. The open question is: how will the two be civil toward each other?
By Robert Reich

The US supreme court's upcoming decision to reverse Roe v Wade (an early draft of which was leaked last week) doesn't ban abortions; it leaves the issue to the states. As a result, it will put another large brick in the growing wall separating blue and red America.

The second American civil war is already occurring, but it is less of a war than a kind of benign separation analogous to unhappily married people who don't want to go through the trauma of a formal divorce.

One America is largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young. The other is largely rural or exurban, white and older.

The split is accelerating. Red zip codes are getting redder and blue zip codes, bluer. Of the nation's total 3,143 counties, the number of super landslide counties -where a presidential candidate won at least 80% of the vote -jumped from 6% in 2004 to 22% in 2020. Surveys show Americans find it increasingly important to live around people who share their political values. Animosity toward those in the opposing party is higher than at any time in living memory. Forty-two per cent of registered voters believe Americans in the other party are "downright evil".

Almost 40% would be upset at the prospect of their child marrying someone from the opposite party. Even before the 2020 election, when asked if violence would be justified if the other party won the election, 18.3% of Democrats and 13.8% of Republicans responded in the affirmative.

Increasingly, each America is running under different laws.

Red states are making it nearly impossible to get abortions but easier than ever to buy guns.

They're also suppressing votes. (In Florida and Texas, teams of "election police" have been created to crack down on the rare crime of voter fraud, another fallout from Trump's big lie.)

They're banning the teaching of America's history of racism. They're requiring transgender students to use bathrooms and join sports teams that reflect their gender at birth.

They're making it harder to protest; more difficult to qualify for unemployment benefits or other forms of public assistance; and almost impossible to form labor unions.

And they're passing "bounty" laws -enforced not by governments, which can be sued in federal court, but by rewards to private citizens for filing lawsuits -on issues ranging from classroom speech to abortions to vaccinations.

Blue states are moving in the opposite direction. Several, including Colorado and Vermont, are codifying a right to abortion. Some are helping cover abortion expenses for out-of-staters.

When Idaho proposed a ban on abortions that empowers relatives to sue anyone who helps terminate a pregnancy after six weeks, nearby Oregon approved $15m to help cover the abortion expenses of patients from other states.

Maryland and Washington have expanded access and legal protections to out-of-state abortion patients. One package of pending California bills would expand access to California abortions and protect abortion providers from out-of-state legal action.

After the governor of Texas ordered state agencies to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide certain medical treatments to their transgender children, California lawmakers proposed making the state a refuge for transgender youths and their families.

Another California proposal would thwart enforcement of out-of-state court judgments removing children from the custody of parents who get them gender-affirming health services.

California is also about to enforce a ban on ghost guns and assault weapons with a California version of Texas' recent six-week ban on abortion, featuring $10,000 bounties to encourage lawsuits from private citizens against anyone who sells, distributes or manufactures those types of firearms.

Blue states are also coordinating more of their policies. During the pandemic, blue states joined together on policies that red states rejected -such as purchasing agreements for personal protective equipment, strategies for reopening businesses as Covid subsided, even on travel from other states with high levels of Covid.

At one point, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut required travelers from states with high positivity rates -Arkansas, Florida, North and South Carolina, Texas and Utah -to quarantine for two weeks before entering.

But what will happen to the poor in red states, who are disproportionately people of color?

"States rights" was always a cover for segregation and harsh discrimination. The poor -both white and people of color -are already especially burdened by anti-abortion legislation because they can't afford travel to a blue state to get an abortion.

They're also hurt by the failure of red states to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act; by red state de facto segregation in public schools; and by red state measures to suppress votes.

One answer is for Democratic administrations and congresses in Washington to prioritize the needs of the red state poor and make extra efforts to protect the civil and political rights of people of color in red states. The failure of the Senate to muster enough votes to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, let alone revive the Voting Rights Act, suggests how difficult this will be.

Blue states have a potential role here. They should spend additional resources on the needs of red state residents, such as Oregon is now doing for people from outside Oregon who seek abortions.

They should prohibit state funds from being spent in any state that bans abortions or discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender. California already bars anyone on a state payroll (including yours truly, who teaches at UC Berkeley) from getting reimbursed for travel to states that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.

Where will all this end? Not with two separate nations. What America is going through is analogous to Brexit -a lumbering, mutual decision to go separate ways on most things but remain connected on a few big things (such as national defense, monetary policy and civil and political rights).

America will still be America. But it is fast becoming two versions of America. The open question is like the one faced by every couple that separates: how will the two find ways to be civil toward each other?

(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

Abortion: Why Is The Court Using Religious Belief To Alter What Should Be Secular Law?
Republicans not only cling to minority rule, they now want to go to the next step and impose a neofascist Taliban-style government on America run by the morbidly rich and fanatically religious
By Thom Hartmann

Minority rule is killing America. This is most obvious in our Senate and Supreme Court, although it's also hurt the credibility of the presidency and is damaging many of our states.

It's happening because of two issues dating back to the founding of our republic, which brought us the Electoral College and unequal representation in the US Senate.

First, here's how the Electoral College came about, stripped of all the mythology (hint: it mostly had to do with avoiding somebody like Donald Trump ending up in the White House):

After the Revolutionary War, the nation was abuzz about one of that war's most decorated soldiers, Benedict Arnold, once considered a shoo-in for high elected office, selling out to the British in exchange for money and a title.

Arnold's name had been floated for president, and it raised the question of how we could make sure that a stooge working for a foreign government -or just for his own enrichment -didn't end up in the White House.

Back then, America was so spread out it would be difficult for most citizen/voters to get to know a presidential candidate well enough to spot a spy or traitor, Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 68. Therefore, the electors -having no other governmental duty, obligation, or responsibility -would be sure to catch one if it was tried.

"The most deadly adversaries" of America, Hamilton wrote, would probably "make their approaches [to seizing control of the USA] from more than one quarter, chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils."

A hostile foreign power influencing public opinion or owning a senator was nothing compared to having their man in the White House. As Hamilton wrote:

"How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy [presidency] of the Union?"
But, Hamilton wrote, the Framers of the Constitution "have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention."

The system they set up to protect the White House from being occupied by an agent of a foreign government was straightforward, Hamilton bragged. The choice of president would not "depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes."

Instead, the Electoral College would be made up of "persons [selected] for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment" of president.

The electors would be apolitical because it would be illegal for a senator or house member to become one, an injunction that is still in the Constitution.

Hamilton wrote:

"And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors."

This, Hamilton was certain, would eliminate "any sinister bias."

Rather than average but uninformed voters, and excluding members of Congress who may be subject to bribery or foreign influences, the electors would select a man for president who was brave of heart and pure of soul.

"The process of election [by the electoral college] affords a moral certainty," Hamilton wrote, "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."
Indeed, while a knave or rogue or traitor may fool enough people to even ascend to the office of mayor of a major city or governor of a state, the Electoral College would ferret out such a con man or traitor.

Hamilton wrote:

"Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence" of the men in the Electoral College who would select him as president "of the whole Union. . ."

Hamilton's pride in the system that he himself had helped create was hard for him to suppress. He wrote:

"It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters preeminent for ability and virtue."
Unfortunately, things haven't worked out that way (as we can see with Trump still clinging to his loyalty to Putin and refusing to condemn Russia's attack of Ukraine). By the time the telegraph was in widespread use in the late 19th century, the Electoral College had long outlived its usefulness. And now in the past few decades we have seen two terrible presidents, Bush and Trump, put into the White House over the objection of the majority of American voters.

The Senate is also profoundly unequal in its representation of the American people; this is mostly because different states have different sizes and resource bases.

While this was a small problem at the nation's founding, today, for example, California's vast resources (unknown in 1787 -Lewis and Clark were still children and thus hadn't even hit the Pacific yet) have turned it into a such an economic powerhouse that if it were independent it would be the sixth richest nation in the world.

California alone contains 39 million people, almost nine percent of the entire population of the United States, larger than Canada's 37 million people, with an economy larger than Russia's.

And yet it is represented by only two senators, the same as Wyoming which has only a half-million citizens (the size of Micronesia), a tiny economy, and few natural resources.

These inequalities have been exacerbated over the past 40 years both because of these 18th century structural errors built into our Constitution, and because, over the past 40 years, a campaign has been undertaken to exploit them by a small group of rightwing billionaires and religious fanatics, with the Powell Memo as their polestar.

They've used the wealth and power they've inherited or accumulated to manipulate and seize control of our lawmaking institutions at the federal level and in nearly every state.

And Americans have noticed that fair competition has died:

Neither of the last two Republican presidents, for example, was elected by the majority of Americans; the Senate is massively out of balance; and almost every House seat has been gerrymandered to the point where it is no longer in play.

Which is creating a crisis for our nation.

Humans, like most animals, are wired for fairness. Give five toddlers a cookie each and everything is fine; give one of them an extra five cookies and all hell will break loose.

Democracy is in our genes, as is the case with virtually every other animal species on Earth.

When fish swim, bees swarm, or birds migrate it seems like their actions are coordinated telepathically. In fact, each wingbeat or tail twitch left-or-right is noticed as a "vote" by those around them. When more than 50% of the group are twitching to the left, for example, the entire school, swarm, or flock veers to the left. Democracy.

When a mob showed up at the US Capitol threatening to murder the Vice President and Speaker of the House, it was because they genuinely believed Donald Trump's lie that the majority of Americans had voted for him. People will put their lives and their freedom at risk to right such a perceived minority-rule wrong.

Minority rule almost always ends up producing unfair results that are resented by the majority. We're seeing this today with a Supreme Court dominated by four rightwing justices who were appointed by presidents who lost the majority vote and who were confirmed by Republican senators who represent 41.5 million fewer Americans than the Senate's Democrats.

Minority rule has taken over the White House:

We saw it when Bush and Cheney lied us into the war in Iraq after being put in the White House by five Republicans on the Supreme Court, despite having lost the vote to Al Gore by a half-million votes. It provoked the largest demonstrations against a presidential action in the history of the world at the time.

Similarly, when millions protested Trump's inauguration it was motivated in large part by the widespread knowledge that he'd lost the 2016 election by nearly 3 million votes. Unfairness infuriates people, and rightly so.

Minority rule has taken over our Supreme Court: A small group of wealthy ideologues spent millions to pack our courts, and we'll see the backlash in our streets this weekend as people across the nation come out to protest Alito's assertion that Sir Matthew Hale's 1670 interpretation of British witchcraft laws should determine the fate of America's 21st century women.

Minority rule has taken over Congress:

Democrats in the Senate represent 41.5 million more Americans than do Republicans. Yet that minority of Republicans, using the filibuster, have been able to stop everything from voting rights to healthcare to rebuilding our nation from the damage of 40 years of Reaganomics' neoliberalism.

A total of 77.3 million Americans voted in 2020 for Democrats for the House of Representatives; only 72.8 million voted for Republicans.

Multiple states where the statewide vote is within a point or three of 50/50 (including Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Wisconsin) send far more Republicans than Democrats to the US House than their votes would dictate because of Republican gerrymanders.

This fall things will get even worse because of 2021 gerrymanders, meaning that when over half of Americans again (if history and polling holds) vote for Democrats for the House, the GOP will nonetheless likely take control of that body.

Minority rule has taken over multiple states:

Most of the states listed above suffer from the same problem in their own legislatures. In statewide elections, because most voters choose Democrats, all but two of those states ended up with Democratic governors; nonetheless, even though only a minority voted for Republicans, their legislatures are still Republican-controlled because of gerrymandering.

Whenever a minority rises up and tries to rule over a majority, particularly if that rule violates basic principles of fair play and empathy, the result is conflict.

In most minority rule situations, that conflict is managed with the power of guns and jail cells: nations that were once democracies -like Russia, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines, Hungary, Venezuela and others -become police states where dissent and political activity are not tolerated.

We saw Donald Trump, who lost the majority vote in 2016, try this when he ordered Defense Secretary Mark Esper to have our military shoot protestors in the streets of Washington, DC.

We humans, like most animals from the simplest to the most complex, are wired by evolution for majority-rule to make the decisions that will best serve our immediate interests as well as preserve our species.

The principal idea of democracy is that there is wisdom in numbers. That the majority is more often right than any minority. As Aristotle wrote in his Politics, "[I]t is possible that the many, though not individually good men, yet when they come together may be better, not individually but collectively..."

If we want to preserve this nation, we must try actual representative democracy.

Whoever wins the majority vote becomes president, as 15 states and the District of Columbia -representing 195 electoral votes -have chosen (states representing another 75 votes are needed to end the Electoral College).

Expanding and unpacking the Supreme Court would restore fairness and balance to the head of that branch of government, and adding Washington, DC and Puerto Rico as states would help ease the unfairness of representation in the Senate.

And Congress must pass a federal mandate that every state cease gerrymandering and use nonpartisan redistricting commissions like California and several other Democratic-controlled states have already done to insure fairness and equal representation.

Republicans not only cling to minority rule, they now want to go to the next step and impose a neofascist Taliban-style government on America run by the morbidly rich and fanatically religious.

If the Democratic Party is serious about preserving America as a constitutional republic, they must put democracy at the top of their priority list.

(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
~~~ David Horsey ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

Susan Collins talks on the phone as she walks outside the U.S. Capitol.

Susan Collins Calls 911 After Receiving Copy Of Constitution In Mail
By Andy Borowitz

BANGOR, Maine (The Borowitz Report)-In what she described as a "genuinely terrifying" incident, Senator Susan Collins called 911 after receiving a copy of the United States Constitution in the mail.

Collins recalled the feeling of abject fear after opening her mail and recognizing the eighteenth-century document.

"I had never read it before, so it took me a moment to figure out what it was," she said. "Once I saw that it had been written in an old-timey way, I put two and two together." After she called 911, a squad car from the Bangor police arrived and carefully removed the Constitution from the premises.

"I exhaled when I realized that the danger had passed," Collins said. "But it was a close call."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the person or persons who mailed the Constitution to Collins.

"I recognize that emotions are running high right now, but there is no excuse for making a United States senator read the Constitution," he said.

(c) 2022 Andy Borowitz


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 17 (c) 05/20/2022

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