Please visit our sponsor!

Bookmark and Share
In This Edition

Nick Turse explains, "How The Pentagon Uses "Jeopardy" To Train Its Special Operations Forces."

Uri Avnery opens, "The Bizarre Case Of Bashar."

Glen Ford reports, "Trump Competes With Hillary In U.S. War Of Lies And Terror Against Syria."

Chris Hedges examines, "The Battle Over What It Means To Be Female."

Jim Hightower asks, "Why Can't Our Economy Promote Equality And Shared Prosperity?"

William Rivers Pitt says, "Sad But True: The Republican Party Somehow Still Exists."

Glenn Greenwald returns with, "CNN Warns It May Expose An Anonymous Critic If He Ever Again Publishes Bad Content."

David Sirota finds, "The Department Of Justice's Corporate Watchdog Resigns In Disgust, Slams Trump On The Way Out."

Norman Solomon goes over, "The Trump-Putin Meeting And The Fate Of The Earth."

David Suzuki concludes, "Nature Offers The Best Defence Against Flooding."

Charles P. Pierce deduces, "This 21st Century Modern Presidency Is A Spectacular Sh*tshow."

David Swanson finds, "U.S. War Justification Is In The Eye Of The Beholder."

Amy Goodman presents, "Trump's Man With A Plan ... To Suppress The Vote Nationwide."

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich explores, "Trump's Escalating Assault On The Press."

Matt Taibbi announces, "Finally Everyone Agrees: Health Care Is A Human Right."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Will Durst returns with, "Best Radioactive Spider Ever," but first Uncle Ernie introduces, "President Psycho."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Clay Jones, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from Ruben Bolling, Mr. Fish, Tom Tomorrow, Dr. Seuss, cpolitic, Kurt Bauschardt, Andrew Rosenthal, John Moore, Eric Thayer, Kevin Hagen, Devin, Shutterstock, The New York Times, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments...

The Quotable Quote...
The Vidkun Quisling Award...
The Cartoon Corner...
To End On A Happy Note...
Have You Seen This...
Parting Shots...

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

Bookmark and Share

President Psycho
By Ernest Stewart

"It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see." ~~~ Anthony Perkins

"Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming." ~~~ Al Gore

"No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck." ~~~ Frederick Douglass

"Nothing is easy, nothing good is free
But I can tell you where to start
Take a look inside your heart
There's an answer in your heart."
Fight The Good Fight ~~~ Triumph

After careful observation of Trump I titled this column "President Psycho" as it fits Trump to a T. The common definition of a Psychopath is someone who exudes insincere charm. Just as an actor dons many roles, a psychopath will put on what professionals refer to as a "mask" of normality that is likable and pleasant.

Psychopaths will often believe they are smarter or more powerful than they actually are. They like to cozy up to successful and powerful people because it raises their own status. They believe they are owed special treatment over others.

Their inflated sense of self-importance often leads to one crack in their mask of normalcy. They will step on your toes if you don't have any value or status to offer them.

Their modus operandi is impulsivity and irresponsibility. Both of those characteristics are evidence of psychopathy. They tend to see nothing at all wrong with their way of being in the world. Psychopaths are infamous for their refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the decisions they make, or the outcomes of their decisions. In fact, a refusal to see the results of one's bad behavior as having anything to do with oneself consistent irresponsibility.

They are self-centered, acting on a whim based on their own emotional state. They do whatever they want, whenever they want to. This may result in them cheating, lying, and stealing-just because. They may be sexually promiscuous with a string of relationships or infidelities.

They may even quit jobs out of the blue because it was beneath them, of course. We can but hope Trump finally gets to this stage!

Psychopaths loathe authority and typically view themselves as above rules. Perhaps this is why an estimated 25% of male criminals behind bars qualify as psychopaths.

Still, others are able to avoid prison while still stepping over laws and not having any hang-ups about doing so. In general, psychopaths lack any sort of moral compass. They will do whatever they need to advance, and they really don't care who they hurt in the process.

Individuals with psychopathy have a general absence of any guilt or remorse. Callousness is one of the primary characteristics used to describe them. A psychopath may feign guilt over bad behavior in order to manipulate a person into not becoming angry.

A psychopath will never genuinely admit to being wrong or owning up to mistakes and errors in judgment. When pressed, they may admit to making a mistake, but manipulate others so as to avoid any consequences.

Psychopaths are experts at manipulating your emotions and insecurities into causing you to view them as the victim. This helps lower your guard and makes you vulnerable for future exploitation. If the psychological resource of the victim mentality is continually combined with unacceptable and evil actions, you should be warned about this person's real nature.

Psychopaths love to create chaos and drama. Because they tend to bore easily, it's important that things stay interesting. They may provoke arguments and then come off as the victim. They wreak havoc on others' lives and sit back and watch innocently.

Some psychopaths have many short-term marriages. They will blame marital problems on their ex-spouses, and never suggest that they played a role in the marriage's failure.

And finally, a psychopath will tell all sorts of lies, little lies to trip you up or whopping made-up stories intended to mislead. Even when telling the truth would be painless, they still default to lying. Surprisingly enough, this doesn't cause shame. They take pride in their lies. And if you think you've caught them up, they simply switch around the facts to appear truthful.

Does this ring any bells, America? Does this remind you of someone? Even a casual glance at Trump's antics of the last six months will show you our President is a major league Psychopath. You can go back to the 60s and Trump is the same man he is today, a Psycho! While this is bad enough, remember, this psycho has the launch codes!

In Other News

I see where global warming is giving a boost to the searing temperatures that blanketed Western Europe earlier this month, a heat wave that helped fuel deadly wildfires in Portugal.

The greenhouse gas-driven warming of the atmosphere has made the intensity and frequency of such extreme heat up to 10 times as likely, according to a new analysis from researchers working with Climate Central's World Weather Attribution program and several outside partners.

It is the latest such attribution analysis to show that the warming that has occurred over the last century - nearly 2-F (1-C) - has already had a clear influence on such extreme heat events.

"Global warming has already put a thumb on the scales; it's already tipped the odds," said Noah Diffenbaugh, a Stanford University climate scientist who wasn't involved with the work.

The heat wave was the result of hot, dry air moving northward from over northern Africa much earlier in the summer season than is typical for such heat events, especially in northwestern Europe. London's Heathrow Airport had its hottest June day in more than 40 years on June 21, with the temperature reaching 94-F (34.5-C).

"It was really, really hot for Oxford" in England, climate scientist Friederike Otto, part of the WWA team, said.

Spain and Portugal saw the highest temperatures, with much of the southern Iberian Peninsula surpassing 104-F (40-C). One of the highest temperatures recorded was 109-F (43-C) in Evora, Portugal, on June 18.

The heat and accompanying dry conditions helped to fan the flames of a wildfire thought to have been triggered by lightning from dry thunderstorms in the area. A fire in the central Pedrogao Grande area killed 64 people who were trapped in their cars trying to flee the flames.

France and the Netherlands activated their respective heat action plans, the former of which was put into place after a 2003 heat wave that contributed to hundreds of deaths. That heat wave was also found to have a climate change influence in one of the first attribution studies.

The difference, of course, between the US and Europe is that their leaders are doing whatever they can to lessen the global warming, while Trump and his Junta are doing everything that they can to make it worse. While Trump may get some of us killed by his stupid actions, global warming will kill us all. Maybe not you and me but our children and grand children will have to pay the price for our inaction!

And Finally

On this 4th of July I am recalling the words of Frederick Douglass. Douglas was born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro." He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. Frederick said:
Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, to-day, pour forth a stream, a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and the crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
In the 165 years since, not a lot has changed, sure no one can own a slave anymore, no one, that is, except the government. The 13th amendment outlawed the private ownership of slaves, not slavery in general. Ask the millions of people behind bars if slavery has been outlawed? We still have a two tiered system for most. Yes, the ever shrinking middle class is still barely hanging on, keeping up the appearences of three tiers, but not for long. Don't believe me, just go ask your average Blacks, or Latinos, or Muslims, or Women or, an Indian, if you can find one, and ask them how excited the 4th of July makes them feel, I dare ya!

Keepin' On

As Canada's Triumph is often wont to sing: "Fight the good fight every moment. Every minute, every day." That's exactly what we try to do, folks, constantly stand up to our over lords for the rights of the people! Your rights, your children's rights, for all the peoples of planet Earth!

And as Ringo and George sang, "You know it don't come easy." What with spirally costs, fighting against the corpo-rat media, who have the total financial backing of the 1% it sure as hell don't come easy, and that's where you come in, helping us live to fight another day, against overwhelming odds. Nothing we can't do and have done for going on 17 years, but we need your help to do it.

Even though we are a non-profit, (boy are we ever a non-profit) we still have bills to pay for being on the Internet and bringing you the best authors, cartoonists, videos and liberal thought around, it ain't cheap ya'll! We're still $400 short with time running out on our next payment, so please help us if you can with as much as you can as often as you can, and we'll keep kicking ass and taking names in your honor. To help us just go here and follow the instructions, you'll feel better when you do, and your karma will shine like a newborn babies!


09-09-1973 ~ 07-04-2017
Thanks for the music!


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

****** We've Moved The Forum Back *******

For late breaking news and views visit The Forum. Find all the news you'll otherwise miss. We publish three times the amount of material there than what is in the magazine. Look for the latest Activist Alerts. Updated constantly, please feel free to post an article we may have missed.


So how do you like Trump so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2017 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, 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.

How The Pentagon Uses "Jeopardy" To Train Its Special Operations Forces
By Nick Turse

Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, Delta Force operators. You know them for night raids and assassinations and drone strikes. They're the tip of the spear, the elite of the elite, shadow warriors fighting shadow wars from Somalia to Syria, Iraq to the Philippines.

U.S. Special Operations forces use special weapons and employ special tactics, of course. What you probably didn't know is that they also employ a special version of the $25,000 Pyramid game show. And a special version of the game show Jeopardy. And before their actual secret missions, they may well have played a video game called "Secret Mission." But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let's start at the start. U.S. Special Operations Command operates a school to teach courses that are germane to special operators. The self-professed mission of Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) at MacDill Air Force base in Florida is "to prepare Special Operations Forces (SOF) to shape the future strategic environment by providing specialized joint professional military education."

To that end, JSOU offers courses like "Strategic Utility of Special Operations"and "Covert Action and SOF Sensitive Activities." It also offers a course that is called "Introduction to Special Operations Forces." Think of it as Special Ops 101. Its goal, Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw told me, "is to educate the student about the core activities, primary functions, organizations, capabilities, and doctrinal employment of U.S. Special Operations forces along with key concepts and terms." An online course, it runs continuously and, says McGraw, is geared toward those "who have been identified to serve on a joint special operations staff, staff members at U.S. Special Operations Command, its subordinate commands and theater special operations commands."

"Introduction to Special Operations Forces" offers five interactive lessons that guide the student through the basics of special ops. Not, that is, the artful application of camo face paint or how to use an M-32 grenade launcher, but what sets commandos apart from conventional forces, the difference between "low visibility" and "clandestine" missions, and a discussion of the increased strategic, physical, and political risk of special ops missions. The course then moves to a more advanced curriculum with lessons on everything from the composition of SOF to the concept of "Special Operations Forces Peculiar" (their unusual gear). This curriculum includes a recycled interview of former SOCOM commander Admiral William McRaven by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, as well as a mind-paralyzing explanation of the funding mechanism that pays for all the command's rifles, night vision goggles, and floppy emerald headgear.

In many ways, however, the introductory course is more shadowy than the Special Operations forces themselves. We know a great deal about where these forces are deployed around the world (138 nations in 2016), and where they've been involved in firefights this year (Somalia, for example), and where they prop up allies (the Philippines, for one), and where they train and advise allies and proxies (like Syria). But it's a mystery who dreamed up the idea of using game show knockoffs to instruct America's elite warriors.

"We do not," McGraw told me, "have the information about who created the course, when it was created, how much it cost, or how many have used it."

The command might just want to forget the whole thing. The Intercept got its hands on a copy of Special Ops 101 through the Freedom of Information Act and its video games are lame - what you might expect from a low-bid government contract, except for the capstone tests. The video games are epic but not in a good way. Those of a certain age - the Reagan and Rubik's Cube set - will remember PC games like this.

There's a rudimentary quiz done up like the game show Jeopardy - "Humans are more important than hardware ... What is one of the five SOF truths?" - right down to its earworm of a theme. There's also, inexplicably, another Jeopardy clone with the (ironic?) title "Game Show Game." Then there's a special ops version of "$25,000 Pyramid" that looks like it cost 25 cents to program. Instead of Jamie Farr (of M*A*S*H fame) offering clues to get a contestant to say the words "things that are packed" (try "suitcase"), the Special Ops version just asks straightforward questions like: "What is the primary mission of the AC-130H Spectre and AC-130U Spooky airplanes?" In this version, you get a "Correct!" instead of $25,000 for the right answer.

Yes, this is some of the training for the most elite forces, from the most elite military school, run by the most elite command, in the "finest fighting force in the history of the world." Sad but true, your grandmother probably wouldn't deign to play these video games on her flip phone. Except maybe "Secret Mission" - a quiz game where you take on the role of a sapper (sort of) on a military base loaded with fighter jets, tanks, barracks and bombers (sort of). You'll be asked: "What are actions taken directly against terrorist networks and indirectly to influence and render global and regional environments inhospitable to terrorist networks?"

If you answer B - counterterrorism - get ready for the fireworks (sort of).
(c) 2017 Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch and a fellow at the Nation Institute. An award-winning investigative journalist, he has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Nation, and is a contributing writer for The Intercept. His latest book is Next Time They'll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. His website is

The Bizarre Case Of Bashar
By Uri Avnery

CONAN DOYLE, the creator of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, would have titled his story about this incident "The Bizarre Case of Bashar al-Assad."

And bizarre it is. <> It concerns the evil deeds of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator, who bombed his own people with Sarin, a nerve gas, causing gruesome deaths of the victims.

Like everybody else around the world, I heard about the foul deed a few hours after it happened. Like everybody else, I was shocked. And yet...

AND YET, I am a professional investigative journalist. For 40 years of my life I was the editor-in-chief of an investigative weekly magazine, which exposed nearly all of Israel's major scandals during those years. I have never lost a major libel suit, indeed I have rarely been sued at all. I am mentioning this not to boast, but to lend some authority to what I am going to say.

In my time I have decided to publish thousands of investigative articles, including some which concerned the most important people in Israel. Less well known is that I have also decided not to publish many hundreds of others, which I found lacked the necessary credibility.

How did I decide? Well, first of all I asked for proof. Where is the evidence? Who are the witnesses? Is there written documentation?

But there was always something which cannot be defined. Beyond witnesses and documents there is something inside the mind of an editor which tells him or her: wait, something wrong here. Something missing. Something that doesn't rhyme.

It is a feeling. Call it an inner voice. A kind of intuition. A warning that tells you, the minute you hear about the case for the first time: Beware. Check it again and again.

This is what happened to me when I first heard that, on April 4, Bashar al-Assad had bombed Khan Sheikhoun with nerve gas.

My inner voice whispered: wait. Something wrong. Something smells fishy.

FIRST OF ALL, it was too quick. Just a few hours after the event, everybody knew it was Bashar who did it.

Of course, it was Bashar! No need for proof. No need to waste time checking. Who else but Bashar?

Well, there are plenty of other candidates. The war in Syria is not two-sided. Not even three- or four-sided. It is almost impossible to count the sides.

There is Bashar, the dictator, and his close allies: the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Party of God (Hizb-Allah) in Lebanon, both Shiite. There is Russia, closely supporting. There is the US, the far-away enemy, which supports half a dozen (who is counting?) local militias. There are the Kurdish militias, And there is, of course, Daesh (or ISIS, or ISIL or IS), the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Al-Sham is the Arabic name for Greater Syria.)

This is not a neat war of one coalition against another. Everybody is fighting with everybody else against everybody else. Americans and Russians with Bashar against Daesh. Americans and Kurds against Bashar and the Russians. The "rebel" militias against each other and against Bashar and Iran. And so on. (Somewhere there is Israel, too, but hush.)

So in this bizarre battlefield, how could anyone tell within minutes of the gas attack that it was Bashar who did it?

Political logic did not point that way. Lately, Bashar has been winning. He had no reason at all to do something that would embarrass his allies, especially the Russians.

THE FIRST question Sherlock Holmes would ask is: What is the motive? Who has something to gain?

Bashar had no motive at all. He could only lose by gas-bombing his citizens.

Unless, of course, he is crazy. And nothing indicates that he is. On the contrary, he seems to be in full control of his senses. Even more normal than Donald Trump.

I don't like dictators. I don't like Bashar al-Assad, a dictator and the son of a dictator. (Assad, by the way, means lion.) But I understand why he is there.

Until long after World War I, Lebanon was a part of the Syrian state. Both countries are a hotchpotch of sects and peoples. In Lebanon there are Christian Maronites, Melkite Greeks, Greek Catholics, Roman Catholics, Druze, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims and diverse others. The Jews have mostly left.

All these exist in Syria, too, with the addition of the Kurds and the Alawites, the followers of Ali, who may be Muslims or not (depends who is talking). Syria is also divided by the towns which hate each other: Damascus, the political and religious capital and Aleppo, the economic capital, with several cities - Homs, Hama, Latakia - in between. Most of the country is desert.

After many civil wars, the two countries found two different solutions. In Lebanon, they agreed a national covenant, according to which the president is always a Maronite, the prime minister always a Sunni Muslim, the commander of the army always a Druze and the speaker of the Parliament, a powerless job, always a Shiite. (Until Hizballah, the Shiites were on the lowest rung of the ladder.)

In Syria, a much more violent place, they found a different solution: a kind of agreed-on dictatorship. The dictator was chosen from among one of the least powerful sects: the Alawis. (Bible-lovers will be reminded that when the Israelites chose their first King, they took Saul, a member of the smallest tribe.)

That's why Bashar continues to rule. The different sects and localities are afraid of each other. They need the dictator.

WHAT DOES Donald Trump know about these intricacies? Well, nothing.

He was deeply shocked by the pictures of the victims of the gas attack. Women! Children! Beautiful Babies! So he decided on the spot to punish Bashar by bombing one of his airfields.

After making the decision, he called in his generals. They feebly objected. They knew that Bashar was not involved. In spite of being enemies, the American and Russian air forces work in Syria in close cooperation (another bizarre detail) in order to avoid incidents and start World War III. So they know about every mission.The Syrian air-force is part of this arrangement.

The generals seem to be the only half-way normal people around Trump, but Trump refused to listen. So they launched their missiles to destroy a Syrian airfield.

America was enthusiastic. All the important anti-Trump newspapers, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post, hastened to express their admiration for his genius.

In comes Seymour Hersh, a world-renowned investigative reporter, the man who exposed the American massacres in Vietnam and the American torture chambers in Iraq. He investigated the incident in depth and found that there is absolutely no evidence and almost no possibility that Bashar used nerve gas in Khan Sheikhoun.

What happened next? Something incredible: all the renowned US newspapers, including the New York Times and The New Yorker, refused to publish. So did the prestigious London Review of Books. In the end, he found a refuge in the German Welt am Sonntag.

For me, that is the real story. One would like to believe that the world - and especially the "Western World" - is full of honest newspapers, which investigate thoroughly and publish the truth. That is not so. Sure, they probably do not consciously lie. But they are unconscious prisoners of lies.

Some weeks after the incident an Israeli radio station interviewed me on the phone. The interviewer, a right-wing journalist, asked me about Bashar's dastardly use of gas against his own citizens. I answered that I had seen no evidence of his responsibility.

The interviewer was audibly shocked. He speedily changed the subject. But his tone of voice betrayed his thoughts: "I always knew that Avnery was a bit crazy, but now he is completely off his rocker."

Unlike the good old Sherlock, I don't know who did it. Perhaps Bashar, after all. I only know that there is absolutely no evidence for that.
(c) 2017 Uri Avnery ~~~ Gush Shalom

Trump Competes With Hillary In U.S. War Of Lies And Terror Against Syria
Trump joins the War Party with the fervor of a convert.
By Glen Ford

Donald Trump is the very embodiment of why the undeserving rich must no longer be allowed to reproduce themselves, as a class. They are the fuse that, if not removed, will ignite a fiery doom for the species. Decisively kettled in the White House by a bipartisan War Party that feared he might weaken the momentum of the Obama-Clinton military offensive in Syria, Trump appears to have opted to outdo his tormentors in mad brinksmanship.

On Monday, seemingly out of the blue, the White House announced that the U.S. had "identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children." Press secretary Sean Spicer provided no substantive details, only a warning that if "Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price."

Amazingly, nobody seemed to have broken the potentially apocalyptic news to the Pentagon, and even the White House National Security Council behaved as if it were out of the loop. The New York Times, a ferocious proponent of regime change, ever ready to amplify and embellish the wildest fictions about Syrian government use of chemical weapons "against its own people" -- and they have all been fictions -- spent the whole day in fruitless search for authoritative voices to flesh out the story. Not until Tuesday did the Pentagon release a statement, weakly claiming that the U.S. had observed "what looked like active preparations for a chemical attack" at the Syrian air base that Trump bombed on April 6, in supposed retaliation for the non-existent Syrian sarin gas attack on an al-Qaida-controlled town in Idlib province. But even the warmongering Times could see that the Pentagon was ad-libbing, attempting to "shore up" the surprise White House statement of the day before. "That statement, wrote the Times, "appeared to take defense officials off guard. An official with the United States Central Command, which oversees combat operations in the Middle East, said Monday night that he had 'no idea' what the White House statement was referring to."

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone "play-crazy" -- acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon. However, the "play-crazy" gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain't Donald Trump -- a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a "puppet" and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all.

Psycho-babble masquerading as political analysis is usually useless, but Trump is a babbler who is acting psycho. Hillary Clinton gives the impression of being more disciplined than Trump, but is nevertheless criminally insane, a howling homicidal fiend who would have issued an unacceptable ultimatum to the leaders of Syria and Russia long before hitting the 100-day mark in her presidency. The world might have been a cold cinder by now, had Hillary been allowed to return to the White House. The planet's epitaph would read: Humans evolved, Clinton became president, everybody died.

There is no good way out of terminal crisis for U.S. imperialism, other than to surrender to the verdict of history - which, for the imperialist, is an unthinkable horror that drives them to risk suicide while routinely murdering millions. "Better dead than Red" remains the imperialist maxim, even though their antagonists are mainly capitalists, these days. It is actually quite logical that the heads of both imperial parties are bonkers, and that the politician considered by millions to be the "progressive" alternative is also an imperialist pig -- the only kind of animal that is allowed on this farm.

Donald Trump was always pretty dumb, but there was a time less than a year ago when he was sufficiently in control of his meager faculties to understand, in a twisted "cracker" kind of way, that Barack Obama was "the founder of ISIS" and his co-founder is Hillary Clinton. That's an essentially correct statement, in that President Obama and his secretary of state unleashed such a torrent of weapons and money to favored jihadists that the emergence of ISIS, impatient to establish a caliphate on captured territory, was both inevitable and predicted. The Defense Intelligence Agency tried to set off the alarms in 2012, in cables that were declassified years later. The DIA analysts reported that the security situation in Iraq, in particular, was deteriorating:

"This creates the ideal situation for AQI [al Qaida in Iraq, which became ISIS] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters [meaning, Shia Muslims]. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory."
"Thus," in an article titled "Yes, Obama and Clinton Created ISIS - Too Bad Trump Can't Explain How It Happened," we wrote: "a year after Obama and his European and Arab friends brought down Libya's Gaddafi and shifted their proxy war of regime change to Syria, U.S. military intelligence saw clearly the imminent rise of ISIS -- and that 'this is exactly' what 'the West, Gulf countries and Turkey...want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.'"

Last summer, Trump perceived the basic outlines of the U.S.-sponsored jihadist wars in Libya and Syria. But, the not-so-tough-little-rich-boy finally recanted under the relentless assault of the War Party, and is now "all in" with every lie about Russia and the Syrian state. Trump joins the War Party with the fervor of a convert, guaranteeing an even bloodier mess than usual.

Trump hopes that his dramatic conversion will compel the Democrats and corporate media to release him from purgatory. At this point, he craves "normality" - which, under imperialist terms, requires that he wage endless warfare abroad. (Trump is far more comfortable waging domestic wars against Blacks, Mexican immigrants and Moslems.)

Most of the world knows full well that the U.S. and western Europe have grown dependent on Islamic jihadists to buttress imperial interests in the Muslim world. In 2015, a BBC-commissioned poll found that 81 percent of Syrians believe the U.S. created the Islamic State. An even higher percentage of Iraqis think so.

The people of Syria and Iraq are intimately familiar with the political-theological movements that have emerged from the madness imposed on their societies by the United States. The people of the United States have easy access to the truth of their country's criminal role in the world -- the evidence is everywhere, and not really hidden -- but choose to believe in U.S. "exceptionalism" because it infers that they, the citizens of empire, are also exceptional creatures.

Black folks used to be largely immune to such essentially race-based delusions, but the Obama presidency altered many Black people's perceptions of their relationship to imperial power. Only three Black congresspersons (Barbara Lee-CA, John Conyers-MI, and Bobby Rush-IL) are among the five Democrats and eight Republicans that have co-sponsored Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R. 608). The bill prohibits the use of federal funds to assist "Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or any individual or group that is affiliated with, associated with, cooperating with, or adherents to such groups," and would halt all U.S. assistance to governments that aid such groups.

Gabbard's bill would outlaw Washington's policy in Syria and render U.S. arms sales and aid to the Sunni Gulf monarchies and Israel illegal.

It is too fine and elegant a bill to ever become law in the belly of the beast - which is why the genuine Left should make support for Gabbard's legislation a litmus test for politicians, to weed out the beasties.
(c) 2017 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

The Battle Over What It Means To Be Female
By Chris Hedges

Patriarchy, across the globe, plagues humankind. In some regions female fetuses often are aborted because they are considered less valuable than male fetuses. Girls are sometimes smothered in infancy. Many women and girls are sold to men as rape and breeding slaves. Many endure genital mutilation. Many are trafficked and forced into prostitution. Many are denied abortions and access to birth control. Many, to survive economically, sell their eggs to donors or hire their wombs out to couples who cannot produce babies. In some countries, including Saudi Arabia and parts of India, women are considered the property of male guardians. There are villages in India where women have only one kidney because their husbands have sold their other one. Women are often denied education and, even in industrial countries, are paid less for carrying out the same work as men.

How, in an age in which some born with male bodies self-identify as women, can those born female define their unique oppression based on their experience? As laws in Europe, Canada and the United States are rewritten to broaden the definition of what it means to be female or male, how will such change affect the struggle for equality by those born as females?

The debate over gender identity pits the trans narrative against radical feminists. It is one of the most bitter and acrimonious battles on the left. Radical feminists are castigated by many on the left as reactionary for their insistence that those born female hold a unique and separate identity as an oppressed group, one that requires them to form protected spaces and organizations.

"Freedom of association is especially important to the oppressed," Alice Lee, a co-founder of Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, said when I reached her in Vancouver by phone. "It is absolutely necessary for oppressed people to be able to group together. It allows us to dare to identify and vocalize our shared experiences and find ways to effectively strategize to overthrow our oppressors. The formation of such civil rights groups, anti-racism groups, women rape crisis centers and shelters, caucuses, clubs, associations and religious organizations is a hallmark of a democratic civil society. Decisions about group membership must be a process of self-determination. Having the criteria dictated to us by the state, or by those who belong to the oppressor groups, means defeat at the outset."

"The neoliberal approach centers on individual feelings and choice at the expense of shared group experience," Lee continued. "It is a deliberate strategy to prevent the development of any effective challenge to male supremacy, white supremacy, heterosexual supremacy, and rule by those who control capital. Forcing us to open our groups to those who do not share the basic experiences of our reality cuts off the potential for revolution at the root."

Many members of the trans community strongly disagree. One is Misty Snow, a Utah Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in last November's general election and the first transgender woman to run as a nominee for such a seat. [Click here to read and hear an interview of Snow that Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer conducted for his KCRW podcast, "Scheer Intelligence," in October 2016.] She recently announced her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives.

When I spoke to Snow by phone, she said:

The argument that the inclusion of trans people in spaces traditionally reserved for girls and women somehow infringes on the rights of girls and women presupposes a collective sisterhood that does not exist.

Women of color, who have long been marginalized by white feminists, face different forms of oppression, in the same way trans people face different forms of oppression.

This recycles the old feminist argument from the 1950s when women of color were excluded from the feminist movement. A lot of this is about privileged women, especially white women, clinging to the status quo.

The equal rights of girls and women in the United States are protected under Title IX, but new laws are blurring the lines of what it means to be female. Feminists say these laws, passed in the name of inclusivity, amount to an erasure of what it means to be female. They charge that such change is a gift to patriarchy and the corporate state, which seeks to turn everyone, especially the most vulnerable, into disempowered, atomized commodities. As societies break down, it is girls and women, along with children and the elderly, who bear the worst abuse and violence. The need for collective strength, given the global unraveling of civil society and the rise of authoritarian and protofascist governments, is vital, these feminists say.

"Patriarchy is a millennium-old system of male supremacy by which male-bodied people are exploiting female-bodied people for reproductive, sexual and domestic labor," feminist MaryLou Singleton told me during a conversation in New York. "When power and property are held by men and passed to the heirs of men, men need to police and control women's bodies to know who their heirs are. Now it's global in scope, where women don't have control over their own reproduction and are dependent on men in terms of having and raising our children."

The consumer culture grooms women through female socialization, which it defines as gender, to participate in their own subjugation. Prostitution and pornography, for example, are sold by patriarchy as liberating and empowering for women. Those who meet the rigid standards of female socialization are rewarded and celebrated. Those who do not are dismissed, marginalized and often attacked.

"Capitalism thrives on promoting extreme individualism and this idea that we are all separate, unique individuals," Singleton said. "We are at a point in late-stage capitalism where identity is for sale. People take on consumer identities. I believe this particular [trans] identity is being marketed to our young people who are at an age where they experience a lot of questioning naturally about their identity. It's always been acknowledged that children and teenagers and young adults question who they are and what they want to be."

Trans activists, however, dispute the idea that being trans is a manufactured identity.
(c) 2017 Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, spent seven years in the Middle East. He was part of the paper's team of reporters who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism. Keep up with Chris Hedges' latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at

Why Can't Our Economy Promote Equality And Shared Prosperity?
By Jim Hightower

You don't have to be in "Who's Who" to know what's what. For example, if a tiny group of Wall Street bankers, billionaires, and their political puppets are allowed to write the rules that govern our economy and elections, guess what? Only bankers, billionaires, and puppets will profit from those rules.

That's exactly why our Land of Opportunity has become today's Land of Inequality. Corporate elites have bought their way into the policy-making backrooms of Washington, where they've rigged the rules to let them feast freely on our jobs, devour our country's wealth, and impoverish the middle class.

There's good news, however! A growing grassroots coalition of churches, unions, civil rights groups, citizen activists, and many others is organizing and mobilizing us to crash through those closed doors, write our own rules and reverse America's plunge into plutocracy. Called "Take On Wall Street," the coalition's structural reforms include:

Getting the corrupting cash of corporations and the superrich out of our politics by repealing Citizens United and providing a public system for financing America's elections.

Stopping "too big to fail" banks from subsidizing their high-risk speculative gambling with the deposits of us ordinary customers, making them choose to be a consumer bank or a casino, but not both.

Instituting a tiny "Robin Hood Tax" on Wall Street speculators to discourage their computerized gaming of the system, while also generating hundreds of billions of tax dollars to invest in America's real economy.

Restoring low-cost, convenient "postal banking" in our Post Offices to serve millions of Americans who're now at the mercy of predatory payday lenders and check-cashing chains.

To learn more about this campaign and its reform agenda to democratize America's financial system, go to
(c) 2017 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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with other Senate Republicans
during a news conference on Capitol hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017.

Sad But True: The Republican Party Somehow Still Exists
By William Rivers Pitt

"Modern science says: 'The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future.' From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom." ~~~ Nikola Tesla

Under normal circumstances, in a normal time, on a normal planet, this would be an article about the cataclysmic self-inflicted demise of the Republican Party as a functioning political entity in the United States of America ... and if we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs. These are not normal circumstances, this is not a normal time and gadzooks, this is not a normal planet.

Consider the facts in hand: The Republicans nominated and then elected a farcical caricature of a buffoon, a vulgarian oaf, a serial liar of Brobdingnagian proportions, a confessed misogynist and serial assaulter of women, a fact-free ignoramus too ego-blinded to recognize how much he doesn't know, to the highest office in the land. To the surprise of virtually no one, he has bollixed up the job so comprehensively that his approval rating currently hovers somewhere below pig offal, and in five short months he has become the most despised world leader since Caligula.

For a moment let's leave aside the deliberate deconstruction of the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. Set aside his recent assault on clean water and press freedom. Forget for the time being his incomprehensible disdain for climate science, even as he has walls built to protect his golf courses from the encroaching ocean. Temporarily ignore the distinct possibility that he sold our democracy down the Volga River because he owes money to a bunch of Russian oligarchs. Let's talk Twitter, and "What It All Means" in the main.

Plenty of critics have rightly slagged the mainstream press for focusing too much on Trump's tweets, but there is a Rorschach test aspect to his use of the medium that, on occasion, blows the lid off the reality that is the bowl of rancid pub cheese currently disgracing the White House. Thursday morning provided one such opportunity.

For reasons passing understanding, Trump decided to take to Twitter before 9:00 am DC time -- presumably when he should have been getting a security report, reading briefing papers and generally preparing for the challenges inherent in maybe the hardest job in the world -- to launch a barrage of insults at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of the MSNBC show "Morning Joe." He called Scarborough "psycho" and Brzezinski "crazy," even though the pair hauled a fair amount of water for him both during and after the election. Worse, he went on to say that Brzezinski wasn't allowed into Mar-a-Lago because she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift."

Full stop. Wait, what? The president of the United States apparently has a real obsession with bleeding female television personalities. Why would he do this? What is the goal? Mr. Trump seems to believe in that old adage about no press being bad press, a thoroughly disproven idea that his doppelganger, Richard Nixon, learned about the hard way.

This Mika/Joe tweet thing with Trump took a dark turn this morning. Brzezinski and Scarborough revealed on their show that the National Enquirer (owned by a Trump loyalist) was harassing Brzezinski's daughters and friends, and staking out her house. Scarborough said he got calls from White House officials saying the Enquirer was going to run a hatchet job story on Brzezinski and him, but if he called Trump and apologized for his coverage, Trump would have the story spiked.

Scarborough correctly called it "blackmail" this morning, and Brzezinski stated flatly that the alleged Enquirer story didn't exist, and dared them to run it. After this was broadcast, Trump tweeted that Scarborough had called him and asked him to kill the story, and Trump refused. Scarborough tweeted back saying, essentially, you're a liar, that didn't happen, and I have the phone records.

This indeed sounds like blackmail -- blackmail directed from the highest office in the administration. The fact that Trump tweeted about Scarborough asking for the story to be killed and his refusal to do so is an open assertion that the story exists and that he had the power to stop it. This is actually a pretty big damn deal.

Twitter, for its part, ate Trump's breakfast and lunch in less time than it takes to fart in an elevator:

"Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America." ~~~ GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham

"Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office." ~~~ GOP Sen. Ben Sasse

"Seriously dude, SHUT UP." ~~~ Conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro

Such high dudgeon from the moral brigade of the GOP over Trump's ghoulish lack of judgment is nice fodder for the TV people, but never forget the core truth of all this, summarized to lethal effect by Albert Burneko of The Concourse: "Imagine fretting over what does or does not empower women while your own party conspires to strip prenatal care from mothers. Imagine wringing your hands over civility while plotting to bankrupt and ruin the families of sick children so that a few billionaires can bleed just a little more cash out of the society they're destroying."

On the other side of the city, GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is sitting in his office with an ice pack on his head because the Capitol dome fell on him this week. He put his status and leadership on the line to pass a health care reconciliation bill so thoroughly twisted that, according to Quinnipiac, it is supported by only 16 percent of the populace, with only 6 percent of Republicans strongly supporting it.

You have to get up bright and early to achieve numbers so astonishingly low, even in these strange days. If you read the thing, though, it should come as no surprise: The bill is so utterly repulsive, McConnell should have named it "The Soylent Green Is People Reconciliation Act of 2017." For those who don't get the reference, it's from a movie about eating people. The shoe fits.

In doing this, particularly in the sneaky secretive manner he chose, McConnell has blown his own caucus to shreds and tatters. Hard-line Republicans like Rand Paul revolted because the proposed bill looks too much like the Affordable Care Act, while more moderate senators like Dean Heller of Nevada balked because of the massive attack on Medicaid the bill represents. In other words, McConnell managed to piss off pretty much everyone, and no one seemed eager to charge to the bill's defense. In fact, a whole slew of fence-sitting Republican senators came out against it in a true profile in courage after McConnell yanked it from consideration on Tuesday.

The forecast has not improved. The last nose count had between 15 and 20 GOP senators defecting. There was chatter for a time that McConnell would try to stuff some new cobbled-together version of the bill through the Congressional Budget Office's mail slot today for yet another scoring, but with GOP senators fleeing DC en masse for the July 4 recess, the prospect seems exceptionally dim. I'm not sure why he's so anxious; the other two scores were torpedoes below the waterline for the GOP's concept of "health care reform." The idea that a new one will be made of sunbeams and flowers all of a sudden is quite the stretch.

Republicans and the White House can once again try to undermine the integrity of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) work, but that argument remains a tough sell. The director of the CBO is a man named Keith Hall. He was George W. Bush's Chief Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers before Bush tapped him to run the Budget Office. Painting him as some lily-livered liberal partisan is what they call "a hard dollar."

So, yeah ... how? How does this groaning calamity of a political party continue to thrive? These people control the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Supreme Court, along with state legislatures and governors' offices from sea to shining sea, yet they can't seem to legislate themselves out of a wet paper sack. If the GOP were an animal in the wild, it would have been devoured by chickadees long ago. The fact that it still exists at all is the best parlor trick since "Lazarus, come forth."

Oh, right. Citizens United. Brutally racist voter suppression across a variety of vital states, combined with outright election theft in a number of instances. Partisan gerrymandering. Decades of right-wing domination of the media. A Democratic Party "opposition" beholden to most of the same corporate interests as the Republicans. A system so deeply mired in wildly discredited economic mythologies that it refuses to recognize its own imminent collapse. A population so thoroughly disgusted and dispirited by it all that only half of them bother to show up at the polls on a good day.

I get it.
(c) 2017 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.

Newsroom at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

CNN Warns It May Expose An Anonymous Critic If He Ever Again Publishes Bad Content
By Glenn Greenwald

A controversy erupted late Tuesday night after CNN published an article announcing that it had uncovered the identity of the anonymous Reddit user who created the video of President Donald Trump punching a CNN logo. CNN and other outlets had previously reported that this user, who uses a pseudonym, had also posted anti-Semitic and racist content on Reddit, including an image identifying all of the Jewish employees of CNN, designated with a Jewish star next to their photos.

Though CNN decided - for now - not to reveal his name, the network made clear that this discretion was predicated on the user's lengthy public apology, his promise not to repeat the behavior, and his status as a private citizen. But in its article, the network explicitly threatened that it could change its mind about withholding the user's real name if his behavior changes in the future:

CNN is not publishing "HanA**holeSolo's" name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.

CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.

Several of the objections made to CNN's conduct here appear to be false. That includes the claim by the president's son, Donald Trump, Jr., that the user threatened by CNN is 15 years old (the CNN reporter, Andrew Kaczynski, said the Reddit user is an adult). The claim that CNN "blackmailed" the user into apologizing - expressed by a Twitter hashtag, #CNNBlackmail, that still sits at the top of trending topics on the site - seems dubious at best, since there is no evidence the user spoke to CNN before posting his apology (though CNN itself says it contacted the user the day before he posted his apology, which presumably means he knew CNN had found out his name when he posted it).

But the invalidity of those particular accusations does not exonerate CNN. There is something self-evidently creepy, bullying, and heavy-handed about a large news organization publicly announcing that it will expose someone's identity if he ever again publishes content on the internet that the network deems inappropriate or objectionable. Whether it was CNN's intent or not, its article makes it appear as if CNN will be monitoring this citizen's online writing, and will punish him with exposure if he writes something they dislike.

There is also something untoward about the fact that CNN - the subject of the original video - was the news outlet that uncovered his identity. That fact creates the appearance of vengeance: If you, even as a random and anonymous internet user, post content critical of CNN, then it will use its vast corporate resources to investigate you, uncover your identity, and threaten to expose you if you ever do so again.

The reality here is likely more complicated. The most offensive passage here - "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change" - sounds like classic lawyer language that executives or corporate lawyers would demand be included. It does not sound like something a typical journalist would write on their own. (CNN did not respond to The Intercept's inquiries about who inserted this language or what future behavior on the part of the user might trigger CNN's threat to expose him; we will update this article if any response is received.)

And CNN's role in discovering this user's identity is likely more a by-product of Kaczynski's well-established internet-sleuthing skills than a corporate decision to target a critic. Indeed, the decision to withhold the person's name - had it been made without the threat to expose it in the future - could arguably be heralded as a commendable case of journalistic restraint.

In response to the controversy last night, Kaczynski argued that "this line is being misinterpreted. It was intended only to mean we made no agreement [with] the man about his identity." That may have been CNN's intent, but that is not what the sentence says.

Whatever the intent, this is a case where one of the nation's most powerful media corporations is explicitly threatening a critic with exposure should he publish material that the network deems - based on its own secret standards - to be worthy of punishment. And the threat comes in the wake of his groveling public apology, posted less than a day after he learned CNN had discovered his identity.

There is also a real question about whether a news organization - when deciding what information is newsworthy - should take into account factors such as whether someone is remorseful for what they said and whether they promise not to express similar views in the future. Those considerations seem to be the province of those vested with the power to punish bad behavior - a parent, a police officer, or a judge - rather than a news outlet. All of this has a strong whiff of CNN deciding who is a good boy and who is a bad boy based on the content of their views, and doling out journalistic punishments and rewards accordingly.

Moreover, if this person's name is newsworthy - on the ground that racists or others who post inflammatory content should be publicly exposed and vilified - does it matter if he expressed what CNN executives regard as sufficient remorse? And if his name is not newsworthy, then why should CNN be threatening to reveal it in the event that he makes future utterances that the network dislikes?

If you're someone who believes that media corporations should expose the identity even of random, anonymous internet users who express anti-Semitic or racist views, then you should be prepared to identify the full list of views that merit similar treatment. Should anyone who supports Trump have their identity exposed? Those who oppose marriage equality? Those with views deemed sexist? Those who advocate Communism? Are you comfortable with having corporate media executives decide which views merit public exposure?

Whatever else is true, CNN is a massive media corporation that is owned by an even larger corporation. It has virtually unlimited resources. We should cheer when those resources are brought to bear to investigate those who exercise great political and economic power. But when it is used to threaten and punish a random, obscure citizen who has criticized the network - no matter how objectionable his views might be - it resembles corporate bullying and creepy censorship more than actual journalism.

UPDATE: CNN just issued a statement in response to the controversy its article provoked:

All of these claims are already included in this article, but note two key points: 1) while the Reddit user's apology was posted before he spoke to any CNN reporter, he posted it after he was contacted by CNN, which means he knew when he publicly apologized that the network had unearthed his identity; and, more importantly, 2) CNN's claim that it merely meant to convey that there was no deal" is squarely at odds with what its article actually warned: "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change."
That sentence - which can only be read as a threat to reveal his name should he post more offending material in the future - is what has triggered the anger at CNN, and the network's statement does not address that at all. Finally, CNN apparently refuses to say whether this threatening language was included by its reporter (who has borne the brunt of the public anger) or by its lawyers and executives demanding that it be included.
(c) 2017 Glenn Greenwald. was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. His most recent book is, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy," examines the Bush legacy. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism.

The Department Of Justice's Corporate Watchdog Resigns In Disgust, Slams Trump On The Way Out
I wanted no more part in it.
By David Sirota

One of the Justice Department's top corporate crime watchdogs has resigned, declaring that she cannot enforce ethics laws against companies while, she asserts, her own bosses in the Trump administration have been engaging in conduct that she said she would never tolerate in corporations.

Hui Chen -- a former Pfizer and Microsoft lawyer who also was a federal prosecutor -- had been the department's compliance counsel. She left the department in June and broke her silence about her move in a recent LinkedIn post that sounded an alarm about the Trump administration's behavior.

"Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome," Chen wrote. "To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it."

Chen came to the Justice Department in 2015, after officials there created a compliance counsel position to help guide the agency's enforcement of criminal laws against corporations.

A department announcement at the time said Chen would guide the fraud section of the Criminal Division in "the prosecution of business entities, including the existence and effectiveness of any compliance program that a company had in place at the time of the conduct giving rise to the prospect of criminal charges, and whether the corporation has taken meaningful remedial action." The release also said Chen would help the department make sure that corporations who had negotiated agreements with prosecutors were following through on their commitments to stop violating laws.

In recent months, Chen had attracted attention for tweets she posted that were seen as critical of the Trump administration. Chen tweeted her LinkedIn post slamming the Trump administration. In that post, Chen also asserted that she had been muzzled by Justice Department officials.

"My ability to do good at a more micro-level, by exchanging ideas with the compliance community on ways to assess the effectiveness of compliance programs, was severely limited," she wrote. "The management of the Criminal Division, of which the Fraud Section is a part, has persistently prohibited me from public speaking."

Chen was recently interviewed about her LinkedIn post by Matt Kelly of Radical Compliance, which covers compliance laws and policy and which has been reporting on Chen's battle with Trump officials.
(c) 2017 David Sirota is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, magazine journalist, a staff writer at PandoDaily and the best"selling author of "Hostile Takeover" and "The Uprising." He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at E"mail him at David Sirota is a former spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee. Follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

If the presidents of the United States and Russia spiral into escalating conflicts between the two countries, the world is much more likely to blow up.

The Trump-Putin Meeting And The Fate Of The Earth
This moment in human history is not about Trump. It's not about Putin. It's not about whether you despise either or neither or both. What's at stake in the dynamics between them is life on this planet.
By Norman Solomon

Any truthful way to say it will sound worse than ghastly: We live in a world where one person could decide to begin a nuclear war-quickly killing several hundred million people and condemning vast numbers of others to slower painful deaths.

Given the macabre insanity of this ongoing situation, most people don't like to talk about it or even think about it. In that zone of denial, U.S. news media keep detouring around a crucial reality: No matter what you think of Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin, they hold the whole world in their hands with a nuclear button.

If the presidents of the United States and Russia spiral into escalating conflicts between the two countries, the world is much more likely to blow up. Yet many American critics of Trump have gotten into baiting him as Putin's flunky while goading him to prove otherwise. A new barrage of that baiting and goading is now about to begin-taking aim at any wisps of possible detente-in connection with the announced meeting between Trump and Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany at the end of this week.

Big picture: This moment in human history is not about Trump. It's not about Putin. It's not about whether you despise either or neither or both. What's at stake in the dynamics between them is life on this planet.

Over the weekend, more than 10,000 people signed a petition under the heading "Tell Trump and Putin: Negotiate, Don't Escalate." The petition was written by RootsAction to be concise and to the point: "We vehemently urge you to take a constructive approach to your planned meeting at the G-20 summit. Whatever our differences, we must reduce rather than increase the risks of nuclear war. The future of humanity is at stake."

A war between the world's two nuclear superpowers could extinguish human life on a gigantic scale while plunging the Earth into cataclysmic "nuclear winter."

"Recent scientific studies have found that a war fought with the deployed U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals would leave Earth virtually uninhabitable," wrote Steven Starr, a senior scientist with Physicians for Social Responsibility. "In fact, NASA computer models have shown that even a 'successful' first strike by Washington or Moscow would inflict catastrophic environmental damage that would make agriculture impossible and cause mass starvation."

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explains why, since last year, it has moved the risk-estimate "Doomsday Clock" even closer to apocalyptic midnight -- citing as a major factor the escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russian governments.

So, the imminent meeting between Trump and Putin will affect the chances that the young people we love-and so many others around the world-will have a future. And whether later generations will even exist.

I put it this way in a recent article for The Nation: "Whatever the truth may be about Russian interference in the U.S. election last year, an overarching truth continues to bind the fates of Russians, Americans and the rest of humanity. No matter how much we might wish to forget or deny it, we are tied together by a fraying thread of relations between two nations that possess 93 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. Right now it is not popular to say so, but we desperately need each other to enhance the odds of human survival."

In that overall context, stoking hostility toward Russia is, uh, rather short-sighted. Wouldn't it be much better for the meeting between Trump and Putin to bring Washington and Moscow closer to detente rather than bringing us closer to nuclear annihilation?
(c) 2017 Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State."

Nature Offers The Best Defence Against Flooding
By David Suzuki

Spring flooding in Canada this year upended lives, inundated city streets and swamped houses, prompting calls for sandbags, seawalls and dikes to save communities. Ontario and Quebec's April rainfall was double the 30-year average. Thousands of homes in 130 Quebec municipalities stretching from the Ontario border to the Gaspe Peninsula flooded in May. Montreal residents raced to protect their homes and families as three dikes gave way and the city declared a state of emergency. The Ontario government had to boost its resources for an emergency flood response.

In Atlantic Canada, some parts of New Brunswick recorded more than 150 millimetres of rain during a nearly 36-hour, non-stop downpour. In B.C.'s Okanagan, rapidly melting snowpack and swelling creeks caused lake levels to rise to record heights. The City of West Kelowna declared a state of emergency and evacuated homes.

Floods have become one of the most visible signs of the effects of climate change in cities, towns and rural areas throughout Canada.

Spring floods aren't unusual, but the intensity and frequency of recent rains are breaking records. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international body for climate change assessment, anticipates a significant increase in heavy precipitation events and flooding in many parts of the world, including Canada. When temperatures rise, the atmosphere carries more moisture so when it rains, it dumps. The Insurance Bureau of Canada found one in five Canadians faces some level of flood risk, and 1.8 million households are at very high risk.

Climate change-related events - including floods, drought and fires - are a drain on personal finances and the economy. With more than 80 significant floods in Canada since 2000, insurance costs are skyrocketing. The 2013 Alberta floods alone cost more than $6 billion. Canadians personally shoulder about $600 million each year in losses related to flooding. Around the world, insurers have paid out more than $200 billion over the past decade in claims for damages caused by coastal floods.

Deforestation, wetland destruction and artificial shoreline projects worsen the problem. Insurance agencies recognize that, compared to expensive infrastructure, keeping ecosystems healthy prevents climate disasters, saves money and improves resiliency. Lloyd's of London encourages insurers to consider the value of natural coastal habitats when pricing flood risk. One study found ecosystems such as wetlands are more effective than seawalls in protecting against coastal storms. Insurers say conserving nature is about 30 times cheaper than building seawalls.

Still, many jurisdictions focus on engineered structures such as rock walls or even giant sea gates for coastal flooding, dams and levees to hold back rivers, and draining to prevent wetlands from overflowing. But built infrastructure costs cash-strapped municipalities money, requires more maintenance and is less flexible than keeping natural areas intact.

Urban concrete and asphalt surfaces prevent water from infiltrating into the ground and increase storm-water runoff. Rain gardens, bioswales and permeable pavements better manage flooding by reducing runoff and protecting flood plains and foreshore areas. Nature absorbs rainfall and prevents excess water from overwhelming pipe networks, backing up sewers and pooling in streets and basements. Restored river channels, parkways and beaches reduce costs, add valued amenities, increase access to nature and improve community health.

Many local governments are trying to keep up by limiting development in flood zones, better managing flood plains and updating flood-management systems. Some, such as Gibsons, B.C., are using a new approach that considers nature as a vital part of the town's infrastructure and puts "natural capital" assets on equal footing with built assets. The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative helps local governments across Canada test this approach by giving them tools to identify and account for community natural assets and improve management.

The federal government has set aside $2 billion to help local governments defend against natural disasters like fire and flooding. It should allocate a significant portion to natural infrastructure solutions. This would create the foundation for a national study of how much natural infrastructure contributes to biodiversity conservation, economic productivity and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Despite recent investments, Canada lags behind other G7 nations in flood preparation and climate change adaptation. It's time we recognized the importance of intact nature and built green infrastructure as central to flood-prevention efforts. Nature can help us - if we let it.
(c) 2017 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

This 21st Century Modern Presidency Is A Spectacular Sh*tshow
And not just on Twitter
By Charles P. Pierce

While we were all beginning the celebration of the nation's founding by plumbing the depths of 21st Century Modern Day Presidenting, which looked a great deal like 20th Century Modern Day SummerSlam, and while Chris Christie embarked on a new stage in his effort to end his governorship with an approval rating in negative numbers, the administration was engaged in making sure that there would be even fewer inconvenient facts presented to unsettle the president*'s fragile little mind or to stand in the way of the general grift. From the International Business Times:

Hui Chen -- a former Pfizer and Microsoft lawyer who also was a federal prosecutor -- had been the department's compliance counsel. She left the department in June and broke her silence about her move in a recent LinkedIn post that sounded an alarm about the Trump administration's behavior.

"Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome," Chen wrote. "To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it."

Meanwhile, over at the EPA, the war against empiricism continues apace. As EcoWatch informs us, Scott Pruitt, the energy-industry sublet who runs the agency, has gone well past simply ending the country's efforts to combat the climate crisis.
The program will use "red team, blue team" exercises to conduct an "at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science," the official said, referring to a concept developed by the military to identify vulnerabilities in field operations. "The administrator believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organize a specific process in which these individuals ... provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science," the source said. "We are in fact very excited about this initiative," the official added. "Climate science, like other fields of science, is constantly changing. A new, fresh and transparent evaluation is something everyone should support doing."
We will now have an exercise in taxpayer-funded climate denialism. The oceans will not give a damn about whatever this exercise produces.

For any number of reasons, from sheer ignorance all the way to deliberate sabotage, the administration has decided to give the federal government a pre-frontal lobotomy. Maybe they're just trying to reduce its function to a level that is comprehensible to the president*. That's terrifying.
(c) 2017 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...

"It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms."
~~~ John Stockwell ~ former CIA official and author

U.S. War Justification Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
By David Swanson

The idea that the United States has a problem with war propaganda is typically scratched in a bad-apples manner with a story that the U.S. has set up a new propaganda agency, such as the Global Engagement Center, or hired a company, such as the Lincoln Group, to plant articles in foreign media. Or we'll read a report that former generals are secretly picking up their talking points from the Pentagon and their income from weapons companies while appearing as objective commenters on television. Or occasionally we'll hear the recognition that some particularly obvious or disproven set of lies (such as those regarding Iraq in 2003) were the result of a well-meaning slip-up.

But how do we explain the failure of any significant section of the population in the foreign country involved to start believing the planted articles? The U.S. public would have believed them. They were printed in the newspaper and looked completely official. How do we explain that the former generals quietly on the take are indistinguishable from any of the other "experts" discussing foreign affairs on CNN? If those bribed to promote war sound just like everyone else, is the bribery the primary problem? How do we come to terms with President George W. Bush's pre-war proposal to Tony Blair that they paint a plane with UN colors and fly it low hoping to get it shot at, or his post-war remark that it really didn't matter if any of the claims made about Saddam Hussein were true or not? If that's a well-meaning slip-up, what does all-out malevolence look like?

When the Rendon Group manufactured the story of the heroic rescue of Jessica Lynch, it looked just like all the Hollywood movies made in collaboration with the Pentagon, and also just about like virtually all of the Hollywood movies made without any such input. When Donald Trump threatens to bomb some more people, the "journalists" who fall in love with him are falling for adherence to a familiar, expected, and accepted role.

Could it be that we need a 12-step program that begins with the recognition of a deeply entrenched problem, minus the 7 steps that amount to relying on a deity to clean up our mess?

I think so. I think belief in war lies is an addiction, and that those who get hooked do so not so much because of the quality of the lies as because of a predisposition to believe them. War lies have been around for millennia. I wrote a book categorizing them, called War Is A Lie. But why did Colin Powell's package of war lies at the United Nations look like such obvious fakery to much of the world and appear so solemn and convincing to so many in the United States? War propaganda's success is not primarily determined by the quality of the propaganda, any more than drug addiction rates are determined principally by the quality of the drugs available. Rather, as logic and scientific studies bear out, basic attitudes produced by fundamental educational practices predispose people to believe or not believe in war lies.

Let's begin with the obvious. Belief in the justification of a war is quite openly irrational. Unlike other questions of belief, on which people urge us to consider facts, with war we are quite often urged to believe as a matter of duty, obedience, patriotism, and citizenship. Promoters of war lies shamelessly appeal to any existing tendency to believe on command. An insistence on reviewing the facts of the matter is often characterized as support for a designated enemy in the desired war. Asking for evidence that Syria used chemical weapons or Russia attacked Ukraine or Libya threatened a massacre is not met with a presentation of evidence so often as with an accusation of believing that the Syrian, Russian, or Libyan government is a saintly manifestation of heaven that should be assisted in its longstanding goal of slaughtering every U.S. citizen.

When someone accused the coffee corporation Starbucks of not supporting a war, the company went to great lengths to prove that it supported "the troops" and to conflate that with supporting the war, without ever mentioning the slightest justification for or benefit from the war. As thoughtless participation is expected of members of the military, thoughtless war support is the duty of any business not wishing to face the wrath of the warmongers. Asked why it had a coffee shop at the U.S. torture camp at Guantanamo, Starbucks replied that not to have one there would constitute a political statement.

Further evidence that belief in war lies is generally irrational is found in the total disregard by war makers and war supporters for consequences, the desire to blow things up for the sake of blowing them up. A humanitarian war, if such a thing existed, would consider the human costs of the war and calculate how they might be outweighed by some imagined human benefit of the war. Instead, even knowing the costs of a war is widely considered to constitute a demand to end the war and opposition to ever having started it. "We don't do body counts!"< explained General Tommy Franks.

A rational decision to drop a giant bomb on Afghanistan would be part of some sort of plan to accomplish something or other beyond purely dropping the bomb. When Hillary Clinton laughed about having killed Muamar Gadaffi, she wasn't expressing some rational decision of necessary evil for the greater good, but an irrational urge - and the consequences for the people of Libya and the world be damned. When Madeleine Albright claimed killing a half-million children was "worth it" she clearly meant that anything at all was "worth it," not that she'd figured out a way to save 500,001 or more kids by killing 500,000 of them. When Donald Trump proposes to kill more families, it is not because there exists any evidence of anything humanitarian or even profitable resulting from such action. The point is purely and simply to kill more families, or at least to start speaking more about all the families being killed. War lies are not only accepted as a matter of duty, but identified with as a matter of pride in a conception of one's self. Freedom isn't free, these colors do not run, I support the troops, and this brain will not tolerate opposition to mass murder when that sacred crime is committed by the U.S. military. Remember that believers in Iraq WMDs were shown evidence to the contrary, and as a result strengthened rather than weakened their beliefs in the WMDs. Rationality was not at work here, rather identity - and faith.

A further hurdle for any claim that war justifications can be rationally argued for, or that they are accepted on their own merits, lies in the fact that the claims made regarding atrocities or weapons possession are typically completely irrelevant to any legal, moral, or practical case for the war advocated. If every lie about Iraq or Libya or Syria had been perfectly true, there would have been zero justification for those wars. The United States possesses WMDs, commits atrocities, and uses weapons most of the world has banned or shunned, none of which would justify anyone in bombing the United States. Nor would bombing the United States do any good for anyone living in the United States. (And yet war opponents go on focusing on doubts that the Syrian government really used chemical weapons, rather than opposing the supreme crime of launching war, a crime whose illegality and immorality remain untouched by anyone having used or not used chemical weapons.)

Then there is the problem of acceptance of carefully selected partial and ahistorical information. If your kid comes home from school, your wonderful noble and beloved child, and says "Michael jumped on me and hit me and called me names," you are likely to ask, without yet drawing any conclusions: "What started that? Did you do anything to make him mad at you?" It's a logical, almost inevitable question. It doesn't rely on acceptance of Michael's violence. It doesn't assign blame or innocence. It just suggests that the universe is often comprehensible, that effects often have identifiable causes. But when North Korea builds a nuclear weapon or test fires a missile, it is almost a patriotic duty in the United States to banish from one's mind any question of context.

Certainly we can blame the U.S. propaganda system for its careful omission of context and selection of news. That North Korea complied with an agreement to halt its nuclear weapons program until U.S. President George W. Bush tossed that agreement out and declared North Korea part of an axis of evil, and destroyed another member of that axis, might have been missed because you were shopping at the time or because U.S. media outlets were focused on the exciting destruction of Iraq. That North Korea has repeatedly proposed to halt its nuke program if the U.S. and South Korea will stop practicing to bomb the North hasn't been widely reported. What the U.S. did to North Korea during the Korean War or that the war has never been officially ended or that the U.S. has been building up all kinds of weaponry in South Korea that North Korea and China see as threatening may be easy to miss. But not to even ask is inexcusable. The U.S. tests missiles all the time. Yet when North Korea tests a missile the U.S. media loses its collective mind. Why not ask for an explanation of the double standard? Why not ask what motivated, rightly or wrongly, North Korea to commit such an outrage? Not to ask is to want to not know.

This is a typical progression of information. The United States arms and props up a dictator, outsources torture to him, and buys his fossil fuels for years. But you're watching football or busy working, so you miss most of that. Then the U.S. begins threatening an overthrow, and you're in support of that but want to know a good reason in order to make the peaceniks see the light. The dictator makes all sorts of pleas for nonviolent resolution, the rule of law, a chance to stay in power and alive. But there's a U.S. election on, so you can't be expected to notice. Then the U.S. accuses the dictator of having killed his own people with an uncivilized weapon or of having repressed women's rights or of having devised a doomsday machine. Instantly you're a fully informed pundit on world affairs prepared to denounce any request for independent verification of the claims and to explain that, as former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese put it in a domestic context, if you're accused of a crime then you're not innocent.

While supporters of war can often be spotted waving flags and shouting in ecstasy, they will almost universally tell you that each war is a last resort. This is true even among the vast majority of them in the United States who cannot list for you each of the current U.S. wars. In fact, it's proven quite easy for Youtube to fill up with videos of good Americans solemnly informing us that bombing some fictional nation they've been asked about is absolutely necessary and unavoidable. Spy magazine once asked Congress Members if Freedonia needed to be bombed. Jay Inslee was one Congress Member who assured them that it did.

Studies have found that U.S. citizens typically assume, quite nonsensically as well as falsely, that any war has been launched only after having exhausted all alternatives. This is nonsensical because it is always possible to propose another alternative. It's false because arriving at an actual war requires actively fending off every opportunity for peace - and fending off recognition or understanding of doing so.

In the case of Syria, the United States has spent years sabotaging U.N. attempts at peace, while on the contrary fueling the war. To imagine the U.S. riding in to rescue the hopelessly violent (and somehow armed with U.S.-made weapons) from themselves requires avoiding any knowledge that the United States dismissed out of hand a Russian peace proposal for Syria in 2012, as it had done others before it. Supposedly the United States is killing people with drones as a last resort, even though in that minority of cases in which the United States knows the names of the people it is aiming for, many (if not all) of them indisputably could have been easily arrested. Before it could attack Libya in 2011, the U.S. had to fend off a plan for peace advanced by the African Union.

Prior to the 2003 attack on Iraq, the Iraqi government had approached the CIA's Vincent Cannistrato to offer to let U.S. troops search the entire country. The Iraqi government had offered to hold internationally monitored elections within two years, and offered Bush official Richard Perle to open the whole country to inspections, to turn over a suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, to help fight terrorism, and to favor U.S. oil companies. Hussein offered, in the account that the president of Spain was given by the U.S. president, to simply leave Iraq if he could keep $1 billion. Similar accounts of avoiding peace at all costs can be given for the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in 2001 or the First Gulf War or the war on Vietnam or that on Mexico or that on the Spanish empire and the Philippines, etc.

Then there's the problem of wars that don't happen. They've also always been marketed as a last resort. But when they're prevented - as was the proposed bombing of Syria in 2013 - some other resort is pursued instead. Numerous U.S. Congress Members said in 2015 that the nuclear deal with Iran needed to be rejected and Iran attacked as a last resort, until the deal wasn't rejected. No mention was made in 2015 of Iran's 2003 offer to negotiate away its nuclear program, an offer that had been quickly scorned by the United States.

Are you yet persuaded that war support requires not a type of thinking but the absence thereof? Consider that each new war depends on having learned no lessons from any of the previous ones. Find a supporter - it's not hard - of the idea that the U.S. government lies from morning to night about all non-war topics, and ask them for an explanation of how the topic of war functions as a truth serum. Or do this: review the opinion polls on a war that hasn't yet happened (as was at the time the proposal to bomb Syria in 2013) and something that has already been done (such as the U.S. bombing of an air strip in Syria in 2017). When something has already happened, millions of people find that they support it, regardless of any coherent rationale, even as the same people tell pollsters that they don't want any more bombing to occur.

Or consider this: statistically, women are less supportive of wars than are men. Nobody has explained this as the result of greater or lesser intelligence or information or insight or wisdom. Rather it is indisputably, as common sense and studies I'll come to in a second both establish, a question of levels of acceptance of war in general playing out on the question of a particular war.

Or consider the important role played by fear. In 2013 millions of people across the U.S. political spectrum opposed bombing Syria, many objecting to the U.S. entering (as if not already in it) a war on the same side as al Qaeda. In 2014, following the release of frightening ISIS videos, millions of the same people supported escalating U.S. involvement in that war, despite the official explanations from the U.S. government making clear that it was participating in the war on both sides. Fear appears to increase acceptance of war and of illogic in general.

Or observe the growing opposition in the U.S. public to Israeli wars that is not matched by any similar consideration of the problem of U.S. wars. A similar gap can be found between the war support of many Americans when the U.S. president belongs to one party and when he (or a hoped-for she) belongs to another. Asking many supporters of bombing a predominantly dark-skinned country where a terrorist incident has occurred whether they'd support bombing a European country in similar circumstances can be equally revealing.

Richard C. Eichenberg and Richard Stoll recently published an academic article titled "The Acceptability of War and Support for Defense Spending: Evidence from Fourteen Democracies, 2004-2013," put into straightforward English by the War Prevention Initiative. In addition to other studies reviewed, people in 14 countries were asked annually "Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following-Under some conditions war is necessary to obtain justice."

"In survey responses from all countries, when paired against current events or short-term threats, people's attitudes towards war were more strongly and consistently related to their fundamental values and life experience. As an example, although respondents considered the extent to which they viewed the Iran nuclear program or China, for instance, as military threats, these threat assessments did not play as important a role in the formation of their attitudes on war and defense spending as did their beliefs, values, and experiences. Gender was also a strong factor. . . . The United States was found to be the . . . society whose citizens accepted war as an instrument of their foreign policy the most."
This lines up with a 2013 Gallup poll in dozens of countries that found a relatively high percentage of respondents in the United States claiming that they "would" fight in a war for their country (as if there weren't a half-dozen wars available to join if they really wanted to).

It also lines up with the geographic and academic presence of the alternative system of facts known as "just war theory." I wrote a book rejecting that whole field, called War Is Never Just, and sent it with friends to discussions at the Vatican of whether the Catholic Church should finally reject one of its most destructive creations. The most interesting feedback I received was the report that members of the Catholic Church from outside the Western world had never actually heard of "just war theory" - a creation, after all, of empire.

The skillful propagandizing of the U.S. public, with many of those techniques dating back to the government propaganda effort during World War I has, no doubt, played a major role. Yet I suspect that, not only is the general culture and the system of childhood education more at fault than particular propaganda in any given case, but the problem also dates to much earlier than World War I in a country that grew out of colonies founded on the basis of war.

The lesson to be drawn by the fact-based community from the irrationality of war support is not that all is hopeless, but that the danger is greater than might be imagined, as much war support knows no limits - a danger that grows with every day that the U.S. government works toward the deployment of more and smaller and "more usable" first-strike nuclear weapons; and key to building resistance to each particular war is educating young and old people to oppose the entire institution of war.

I recently spoke to a college class and asked them to name some justified wars. It absolutely made my day that for the first time in my experience nobody said "World War II." But they did say "the revolution" as if there had only ever been one, and "the civil war" as if these young people had had the good fortune to be born into the one country where both of the justifiable wars in world history had happened. This line of thinking is no different from imagining one's parents, by virtue of being one's parents, to have possessed and bestowed on you the one true religion.

When a Florida school district this past year announced that it would evict from its sporting events anyone who failed to properly honor the U.S. flag, it was engaging in a policy of holy excommunication, and it was doing as much or more for the support of coming wars as any forged documents that any future Karl Rove might commission.
(c) 2017 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.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Trump's Man With A Plan ... To Suppress The Vote Nationwide
By Amy Goodman

President Donald Trump can't seem to get over the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. He lost massively, by over 2.8 million votes, but he won the Electoral College, and thus the presidency. Yet he has repeatedly claimed that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, a number that, if true, would mean that he also won the popular vote. The problem is, it's not true. So, in order to bolster his fantastical claims, Trump announced on May 11 that he was launching the "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" to investigate fraudulent voting. He named Kansas' controversial and fiercely anti-immigrant Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the commission's vice chairperson.

On June 28, Kobach sent a letter to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with a sweeping request for voter rolls with details about every voter in the country: name, address, Social Security number, party affiliation, voting history, military status and more. The response was swift and bipartisan: Forty-four states and D.C. partially or fully refused to hand over the data. Mississippi's Republican secretary of state, Delbert Hosemann, replied that Kobach can "go jump in the Gulf" of Mexico, and suggested Mississippi would be a good place from which to jump.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said: "I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally. California's participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach." Even Kobach himself is not fully complying with his own request. He admitted in an interview: "In Kansas, the Social Security number is not publicly available."

What is most troubling to voting-rights and civil-rights activists is the potential that this commission is ramping up and institutionalizing voter suppression, which has long been central to Republican electoral strategy. In the fall of 1980, Paul Weyrich, a conservative Republican activist who went on to found such right-wing institutions as The Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the American Legislative Exchange Council, addressed a conference in Dallas. "I don't want everybody to vote," he said. "Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Think of Kris Kobach as the new Paul Weyrich. "The ACLU has sued Kobach four times on voter suppression-and won every case," the American Civil Liberties Union wrote about Trump's new election commission. "The problem we have in this country isn't voter fraud-it's voter suppression. And on that front, Kobach is Public Enemy No. 1." Ari Berman is a journalist who has been writing about voter suppression for years, and has written a book on it. "Kobach is really the leading architect of voter-suppression efforts nationwide," he said on the "Democracy Now!" news hour. "Before he was a leading proponent of voter suppression, he was a leading proponent of restricting immigration ... basically what he was saying was that all of these people were in the country illegally and that they were voting illegally, as well. So he combined anti-immigrant sentiment with policies that would restrict voting rights."

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has filed a Hatch Act complaint against Kobach. "This is a law that was passed by Congress in 1939 ... it prohibits federal employees from using their official government position to engage in political activity," Kristen Clarke, the group's president and executive director, told "Democracy Now!" The complaint names numerous instances where Kobach has violated the law. "There are 200 million registered voters in our country, and we've never seen an effort like this to comb and pull together this extensive and vast amount of data on individuals in our country." The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed an emergency motion to block the disclosure of state voter information to the commission, arguing it's a violation of the constitutional right to privacy, and that the mere transfer of the data puts private information of the entire American electorate at risk. Yes, Donald Trump lost the 2016 popular vote. But if Kris Kobach and his Republican allies get their hands on the data and succeed in suppressing the vote, then Trump may well be on his way to a landslide victory in 2020.
(c) 2017 Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now,!" a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 750 stations in North America. She is the co"author of "Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times," recently released in paperback and "Breaking The Sound Barrier."

The Dead Letter Office...

Rons gives the corporate salute!

Heil Trump,

Dear Uber Fuehrer Johnson,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Kyle Busch, Anheuser Busch, Vidkun Quisling, and last year's winner Volksjudge John (the enforcer) Roberts.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your fight to keep babies with pre-existing conditions from getting affordable healthcare, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Iran and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Corporate whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Trump at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 07-29-2017. We salute you herr Johnson, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

Trump's increasingly incendiary tweets and messages constitute an
overt assault on freedom of the press, the cornerstone of our democracy.

Trump's Escalating Assault On The Press
By Robert Reich

On Sunday morning Trump seemed to promote violence against CNN.

He tweeted an old video clip of him performing in a WWE professional wrestling match, with a CNN logo superimposed on the head of his opponent.,P> In it, Trump is shown slamming the CNN avatar to the ground and pounding him with punches and elbows to the head. Trump added the hastags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN, for "fraud news network."

The tweet culminated a bizarre week of Trump attacks on the media.

The night before, Trump used a portion of his speech at the "Celebrate Freedom" rally at the Kennedy Center to denounce the press. "The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them. The people know the truth," he said. "The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I'm president and they're not."

Trump's words drew a standing ovation from the crowd, which waved miniature American flags.

On Thursday, Trump posted a crude tweet blasting the co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," who have been critical of him - calling Mika Brzezinski "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and Joe Scarborough "Psycho Joe," and claiming that when they visited him New Years Eve, Brzezinski "was bleeding badly from a facelift."

On Wednesday, Trump charged that ‪"The AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!" It wasn't exactly clear what Trump meant by this, except to take a jab at Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who purchased the Post in 2013. (Trump's blast seems to have been provoked by a Post story the previous day revealing that a TIME Magazine cover featuring Trump hangs in at least four of his golf clubs around the world, but the cover is a fake.)

What's going on here?

Maybe Trump's attacks on the press were his way of distracting public attention from a week of embarrassing news - the Congressional Budget Office's conclusion that the Senate's version of Trumpcare would cause 22 million Americans to lost their coverage, and the inability of Senate Republicans to pass it; the refusal of election officials in most states to cooperate with Trump's commission on voter fraud; and the news that Republican financier Peter W. Smith last fall assembled a team of computer experts to contact hackers connected with the Russian government, saying he was working with Trump campaign advisor Michael Flynn.

If Trump's goal was deflection, he did a fairly good job. His inflammatory tweets and statements took up a lot of newspaper space and airtime.

Or perhaps Trump is truly losing it. "President Trump is not well," Scarborough and Brzezinski concluded after the Trump tirade against them. Maybe the strain of being a thin-skinned narcissist under the continuous and critical glare of the press is finally tipping him over the edge.

But I fear an even more menacing reality.

Trump began his presidency attacking the press for "fake news." Then he called the networks and publications that criticized him "enemies of the people."

His new attacks seem to be going a step farther - mobilizing his supporters against media personalities and executives that are critical of him.

As the tweets and rallies become shriller and more provocative, their clear message is that Trump's critics are bad people who are conspiring to undo his presidency - people whom Trump supporters must "not let" silence him, who deserve to be slammed the way Trump took it out on CNN in the mock video he posted Sunday morning.

It's a narrative that's showing up increasingly on right-wing websites.

In one recent video from the National Rifle Association, for example, Dana Loesch, an N.R.A. spokeswoman and former editor at Breitbart News, charges that a left-wing cabal "use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again."

As black-and-white images of recent protests play in the background, Loesch says "the only way we stop this, the only way we save our country, and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth."

This "clenched fist" theme is being legitimized by the President of the United States who's on a warpath against news organizations and professionals who criticize him.

Will news organizations be intimidated? Probably not, at least not at this point. But we may be on a slippery path. Trump's increasingly incendiary tweets and messages constitute an overt assault on freedom of the press, the cornerstone of our democracy.

Whether you agree or disagree with Donald Trump's policies, all of us must stand up against this.
(c) 2017 Robert B. Reich 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 website is

Health care activists lift signage promoting the Affordable Care Act during a rally as part of
the national "March for Health" movement in front of Trump Tower on April 1st, 2017 in New York City.

Finally Everyone Agrees: Health Care Is A Human Right
Let's hope we all remember the moral arguments about health care once the Trump administration ends
By Matt Taibbi

Many years ago, while researching a book chapter on health care reform, I visited a hospital in Bayonne, New Jersey that was having problems. Upon arrival, administrators told me a story that summed up everything that is terrible and stupid about American health care.

A patient of theirs suffering from a chronic illness took a bad turn and had to come in for a minor surgical procedure. The only problem was, the patient had been taking Coumadin, a common blood thinner, as part of his outpatient care.

So they brought him in to the hospital, weaned him off the Coumadin, did the surgery successfully, then sent him home. All was well until they billed the insurer. The answer came back: coverage denied, because the operation had not been conducted in "timely fashion."

Of course, had they operated in a more "timely fashion," the patient would have bled to death on the operating table. But such is the logic of the American health care system, a Frankenstein's monster of monopolistic insurance zones peppered with over a thousand different carriers, each with their own (often cruel) procedures and billing systems.

The hospitals I visited all told me they devoted enormous resources - as much as half of all administrative staff, in one case - to chasing claims. Patient care in American is in this way consistently reduced to a ludicrous and irrational negotiation of two competing professional disciplines: medicine, and extracting money from insurance companies.

Patients get trapped between hospitals that overcharge for simple procedures and insurers who deny coverage for serious ones. Administrative costs and profit are two of the bigger factors explaining why Americans spend about twice as much per person or more on health care compared with other industrialized countries, but get consistently worse results.

Ideas like a single-payer system, or ending the antitrust exemption for insurance companies, would be obvious fixes. But when they came up during the Obamacare debate, they were dismissed as politically unfeasible and/or too costly. Because the United States will not do what other countries do as a matter of course - declare health care to be a universal human right and work backward from that premise - we are continually stuck with patchwork political solutions that protect insurance and pharmaceutical company profits while leaving masses of people uninsured.

This is why it's so interesting to see so many of the opponents of universal health coverage attacking the idiotic Trumpcare bill on moral, rather than financial, grounds. Trumpcare is, like most Republican health care concepts, a depraved and transparent effort at slashing coverage and converting the benefits into tax breaks for rich people. This has resulted in howls of outrage from people who seem to have only just discovered that denying people health care might be bad for their health.

Demonstrator opposed to the Senate Republican health-care holds a sign that reads
'Trump Care Will Kill' while marching near the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017.

Take Paul Krugman's piece in the New York Times today, "Understanding Republican Cruelty":

"More than 40 percent of the Senate bill's tax cuts would go to people with annual incomes over $1 million - but even these lucky few would see their after-tax income rise only by a barely noticeable 2 percent.

"So it's vast suffering - including, according to the best estimates, around 200,000 preventable deaths - imposed on many of our fellow citizens in order to give a handful of wealthy people what amounts to some extra pocket change."

This is interesting, because only last year Krugman was telling us we should abandon efforts to seek universal health care and focus "on other issues." As he put it:

"If we could start from scratch, many, perhaps most, health economists would recommend single-payer, a Medicare-type program covering everyone. But single-payer wasn't a politically feasible goal in America."
Krugman then went on to explain that the "incumbent political players" - private insurers, among others - simply had too much power, so it was better to give them something and get some health care than to take something away from them and get nothing.

He also said that additional tax revenue would make a more universal program politically untenable; he said this even as he admitted that such a program would probably reduce costs overall, but countered that "it would be difficult to make that case to the broad public, especially given the chorus of misinformation you know would dominate the airwaves."

Krugman's concession to what he called "Realities" meant that it was OK to leave an expected 31 million people uninsured. This was the argument last January, when most pundits and Vegas bookmakers were sure we were looking at four more years of a Democratic White House.

Instead, the monster Trump is in power, and trying to further roll back coverage in a field he surely doesn't understand through legislation he apparently doesn't even like. Reports say he has "shown little interest in what's in the bill," but that he thought the House version was "mean, mean, mean."

That doesn't mean Trump or the Republican Party plans on doing anything substantive to fix their idiotic health care bill. In a scene straight out of Swift or Gogol, Republican Senators were apparently stunned to their cores to discover via the Congressional Budget Office that their steal-from-the-poor, give-to-the-rich mutant of a bill would push 23 million people off the health care rolls.

"It knocked the wind out of all their sails," a GOP aide told reporters.

While the Republicans scramble to figure out the next step, Democrats continue to hammer the theme that Republicans want to kill their voters. I'm not a big fan of this kind of rhetoric, but I'll take it if it means the party is having an epiphany about the moral aspects of the health care debate. Surely if pushing some people off health care is killing them, then leaving tens of millions more without care is no better.

Health care is an absolute human right. On a policy level we already recognized this decades ago, during the height of the Reagan era, when the Emergency Medical and Treatment Labor Act made it illegal for public and private hospitals alike to turn patients away in an emergency. There is simply no moral justification for denying aid to a sick or dying person. Any country that does so systematically is not a country at all.

Let's hope the awful Trump era awakens us to the broader issue. The sad thing is that doing the right thing is also the smart thing. As other countries have already discovered, universal coverage systems that put the right incentives back into health care greatly reduce costs and waste. Getting there isn't "unrealistic." It's necessary, morally and otherwise.
(c) 2017 Matt Taibbi is Rolling Stone's chief political reporter, Matt Taibbi's predecessors include the likes of journalistic giants Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke. Taibbi's 2004 campaign journal Spanking the Donkey cemented his status as an incisive, irreverent, zero-bullshit reporter. His books include Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion, Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire.

The Cartoon Corner...

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Clay Jones ~~~

To End On A Happy Note...

Have You Seen This...

Parting Shots...

Best Radioactive Spider Ever
By Will Durst

Donald John Trump is keeping people busy. He's got staffers, lawyers, streaming news alert editors, impeachment historians, ethics investigators, hair spray manufacturers, Putin watchers, real- estate interpreters, all frantically flapping and squawking like a flock of seagulls outside a sardine plant at low tide.

Watch any of the network or cable news broadcasts and you instantly note that all the anchors are exhausted. Their "Breaking News" graphic... broke. Half of Washington has gone deaf, what with all the bombshells exploding with little or no warning around their tiny Beltway heads.

A majority of the president's problems seem self-inflicted. Broken-racketed unforced errors. The Apprentice Chief Executive has made more missteps than the last place finisher in a drunken hopscotch tournament with a watch cap pulled over his eyes on cobblestones. Every time someone escorts the blonde bull out of Ye Olde China Shoppe, he sneaks around back and butts his way through another wall just because he loves the sound of breaking crystal.

Immediately after firing FBI Director James Comey, the president called him "a nut job" and shared classified intelligence with two Russian diplomats. But then the White House assured the country that Mr. Trump was never in possession of any intelligence he could have shared. And America is totally willing to believe that whole "not in possession of any intelligence" part.

In defense of this disclosure of classified Israeli intel, Trump claims he can say anything to anybody at anytime because as President he has special powers. Apparently he was bitten by a radioactive spider. But the biggest and best and most beautifulest of any radioactive spider that anyone has ever seen. This was a huuuuuuuge radioactive spider. Everyone is talking about it.

To say his last week was rocky is like intimating the glove compartment of a car crushed by a compactor is not the best place to store beer. Inexplicably, Trump told the Economist magazine he invented the phrase "priming the pump" which according to Webster's has been in general usage since 1933. He's King of the Inexplicable.

Next he'll maintain he's responsible for the phrase "out of control dumpster fire" as well. Of course, he has provided one heck of a high bar for all future comparisons.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein felt compelled to appoint a Special Prosecutor to get to the bottom of possible Russian collusion and obstruction of justice and all-round, random mendacity. The fastest any president in history has been targeted with a special prosecutor. Ever. In less than 4 months, he's gone from zero to Nixon.

Getting the hell out of Dodge, the President embarked on a 9 day, 5 city foreign tour visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium and the Vatican. For a guy who hates to travel and goes off script like a five year old at "Everything's Free Day" at Disneyland, visiting the centers of 3 world religions offers more hidden minefields than walking barefoot in the dark through the western sand dunes of Egypt.

POTUS 45's first overseas trip culminates at the G-7 conference in Taormina, Italy. The G-7 used to be known as the G-8 until Russia was kicked out for annexing Crimea. But now that they've annexed us, are they back in the loop? Perhaps that's a question better suited for the special prosecutor. Time to take the Fifth. Of Scotch.
(c) 2017 Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former dishwasher at Sandburg Hall at UWM. For a calendar of personal appearances including the premiere of his one man show "Durst Case Scenario" at the Marsh in San Francisco on July 11, please visit

The Gross National Debt

Iraq Deaths Estimator

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 17 # 26 (c) 07/07/2017

Issues & Alibis is published in America every Friday. We are not affiliated with, nor do we accept funds from any political party. We are a non-profit group that is dedicated to the restoration of the American Republic. All views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of Issues & Alibis.Org.

In regards to copying anything from this site remember that everything here is copyrighted. Issues & Alibis has been given permission to publish everything on this site. When this isn't possible we rely on the "Fair Use" copyright law provisions. If you copy anything from this site to reprint make sure that you do too. We ask that you get our permission to reprint anything from this site and that you provide a link back to us. Here is the "Fair Use" provision.

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors."