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In This Edition

Norman Solomon says, "Grassroots Organizing Should Dump Biden And Clear The Path For A Better Nominee In 2024."

Ralph Nader considers, "Students, Campuses And Dominant Corporate Power."

Jessie Jackson returns with, "Emmett Till Case Demands Simple Justice."

Jim Hightower examines, "The Sunshine State's Dark Bully."

William Rivers Pitt finds, "The Coup Allegations Against The Secret Service Are Astonishing."

John Nichols says, "Republicans Finally Get Comfortable With Socialism."

James Donahue wonders, "How Did Human Racial Diversification Happen?"

David Swanson explores, "Most Shocking From Jan. 6 Hearings: U.S. Comes Out Against Coups."

David Suzuki says, "Reducing Methane Is A Quick Climate Solution."

Charles P. Pierce reports, "The World Burns While Joe Manchin Makes Bank."

Juan Cole warns, "Climate: Scientists Stunned To Find Atlantic Plankton 90% Gone; Marine Life, Our Oxygen Imperiled."

Robert Reich says, "As A 76-Year-Old Let Me Say: Joe Biden Is Too Old To Run Again."

Thom Hartmann wonders, "Can America Pull Off A Second Reconstruction?"

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Andy Borowitz reports, "Marjorie Taylor Greene Accuses James Webb Telescope Of Making Other Galaxies Available To Jewish Lasers," but first, Uncle Ernie exclaims, "The Worlds On Fire!"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of RJ Matson, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Tom Tomorrow, Tom Fisk, NASA, Josue Decavele, Natasha Moustache, Ruthie Hauge, Loic Venance, Ariel Schalit, Tumisu, Library of Congress, Jim Hightower, Twitter, Pixabay, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, YouTube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments -

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The Worlds On Fire!
By Ernest Stewart

I see where they're dropping like flies in Europe, some 1000 or so dying from the heat wave with the scorching temperatures have reached as far north as Britain, where its weather agency has issued its first-ever "red warning" of extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures in southern England may reach 104 fahrenheit for the first time, to 117 degrees fahrenheit in Portugal, both temperatures broke records, and since few people in Europe have air conditioning you can see why. Remember all those folks that died last year in western Canada?

At least a 100,000 or so folks were forced to evacuate from forrest fires raging in Spain, Portugal, France, Hungary, Croatia and the Greek island of Crete, while Morocco was battling a deadly forest fire in its northern mountains and in the Marmaris in western Turkey, a region struggling against its deadliest wildfires in decades. Europe sets on fire each summer, especially around the Mediterranean. On average, about 1500 square miles of the E.U. burn every year. But last year fires burned nearly three times that much, killing 66 people in Portugal and Spain and stretching the firefighting efforts and budgets thin across the continent.

Authorities in the French Alps urged climbers bound for Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, to postpone their trip due to repeated rock falls caused by "exceptional climatic conditions" and "drought."

The call comes after a section of Italy's biggest Alpine glacier gave way at the start of the month, killing 11 people, in a disaster officials blamed on global warming.

Now here's a surprise California is battling it's own forrest fires. Some 40 fires are burning through out the state, with dozens more burning in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana and Utah. Currently there are almost 1,000 fires burning in the United States. Not to mention over 200 wild fires in Alaska and a couple more in Maine!

So how do you like global warming so far, America? And with the help of the Rethuglicans and Manchin, it's only going to get worse!


07-07-1951 ~ 07-19-2022
Thanks for the music!

05-10-1940 ~ 07-21-2022
Thanks for the film!

09-03-1977 ~ 07-21-2022
Thanks for the film!


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Until the next time, Peace!

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

Grassroots Organising Should Dump Biden And Clear The Path For A Better Nominee In 2024
By Norman Solomon

Pundits are focused on Joe Biden's tanking poll numbers, while progressives continue to be alarmed by his dismal job performance. Under the apt headline "President Biden Is Not Cutting the Mustard," last week The American Prospect summed up: "Young people are abandoning him in droves because he won't fight for their rights and freedom." Ryan Cooper wrote that "at a time when Democrats are desperate for leadership -- especially some kind of strategy to deal with a lawless and extreme Supreme Court -- he is missing in action."

Yes, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema team up with Republicans to stymie vital measures. But the president's refusal to issue executive orders that could enact such popular measures as canceling student debt and many other policies has been part of a derelict approach as national crises deepen. Recent events have dramatized the downward Biden spiral.

Biden's slow and anemic response to the Supreme Court's long-expected Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade spotlighted the magnitude of the stakes and the failure. The grim outlook has been underscored by arrogance toward progressive activists. Consider this statement from White House communications director Kate Bedingfield last weekend as she reacted to wide criticism: "Joe Biden's goal in responding to Dobbs is not to satisfy some activists who have been consistently out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party. It's to deliver help to women who are in danger and assemble a broad-based coalition to defend a woman's right to choose now, just as he assembled such a coalition to win during the 2020 campaign."

The traditional response to such arrogance from the White House toward the incumbent's party base is to grin -- or, more likely, grimace -- and bear it. But that's a serious error for concerned individuals and organizations. Serving as enablers to bad policies and bad politics is hardly wise.

Polling released by the New York Times on Monday highlighted that most of Biden's own party doesn't want him to run for re-election, "with 64 percent of Democratic voters saying they would prefer a new standard-bearer in the 2024 presidential campaign." And, "only 26 percent of Democratic voters said the party should renominate him."

A former ambassador to Portugal who was appointed by President Obama, Allan Katz, has made a strong case for Biden to announce now that he won't run for re-election. Writing for Newsweek under the headline "President Biden: I'm Begging You -- Don't Run in 2024. Our Country Needs You to Stand Down," Katz contended that such an announcement from Biden would remove an albatross from the necks of Democrats facing tough elections in the midterms.

In short, to defeat as many Republicans as possible this fall, Biden should be seen as a one-term president who will not seek the Democratic nomination in 2024.

Why push forward with this goal? The #DontRunJoe campaign that our team at RootsAction launched this week offers this explanation: "We felt impelled to intervene at this time because while there is a mainstream media debate raging over whether Joe Biden should run again, that discussion is too narrow and lacking in substance -- focused largely on his age or latest poll numbers. We object to Biden running in 2024 because of his job performance as president. He has proven incapable of effectively leading for policies so badly needed by working people and the planet, including policies he promised as a candidate."

It's no secret that Republicans are very likely to win the House this November, probably by a large margin. And the neofascist GOP has a good chance of winning the Senate as well, although that could be very close. Defeating Republicans will be hindered to the extent that progressive and liberal forces circle the political wagons around an unpopular president in a defense of the unacceptable status quo.

While voters must be encouraged to support Democrats -- the only way to beat Republicans -- in key congressional races this fall, that should not mean signing onto a quest to renew Biden's lease on the White House. RootsAction has emphasized: "While we are announcing the Don't Run Joe campaign now, we are urging progressive, anti-racist, feminist and pro-working-class activists to focus on defeating the right wing in this November's elections. Our all-out launch will come on November 9, 2022 -- the day after those midterm elections."

With all the bad news and negative polling about Biden in recent weeks, the folly of touting him for a second term has come into sharp focus. While the president insists that he plans to run again, he has left himself an escape hatch by saying that will happen assuming he's in good health. But what we should do is insist that -- whatever his personal health might be -- the health of the country comes first. Democratic candidates this fall should not be hobbled by the pretense that they're asking voters to support a scenario of six more years for President Biden.

It's time to create a grassroots groundswell that can compel Joe Biden to give public notice -- preferably soon -- that he won't provide an assist to Republican forces by trying to extend his presidency for another four years. A pledge to voluntarily retire at the end of his first term would boost the Democratic Party's chances of getting a stronger and more progressive ticket in 2024 -- and would convey in the meantime that Democratic candidates and the Biden presidency are not one and the same.

(c) 2022 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."

Students, Campuses And Dominant Corporate Power
By Ralph Nader

When it comes to corporate power and control over their lives, now and into the future, today's college students are perilously dormant. When it comes to putting pressure on Congress to counter the various dictates of corporatism, there is little activity other than some stalwarts contacting their lawmakers on climate violence.

Much of campus activity these days focuses on diversity, tuition, student loans, "politically correct" speech demands and conforming conduct.

This campus environment is strangely oblivious to the corporate abuses of our economy, culture and government. This indifference extends to the endless grip of corporate power over the educational institutions that the students attend.

Companies see universities and colleges as profit centers.

Corporate vendors influence or control the food students eat on campus, down to the junk in vending machines, along with their credit cards, iPhones, very expensive textbooks and, of course, student debt.

College Boards of Trustees are dominated by corporate executives or corporate affiliated people. Corporate science is - as from drug companies, biotech, military weapons and fossil fuel companies - co-opting, corrupting or displacing academic science which is peer-reviewed and unencumbered by corporate profiteering (See Professor Sheldon Krimsky's books:

Corporate law firms dominate law schools, with few exceptions, seriously distorting the curriculum away from courses on corporate crimes and immunities and courses that show how corporations have shaped public institutions such as Congress, state legislatures, and the Pentagon along with state and federal regulatory agencies.

Business schools, except for a few free-thinking professors, are finishing schools for Wall Street and other businesses. They operate in an empirically starved environment regarding what is really going on in the world of global corporate machinations while feeding their students dogmatic free-market fundamentalism.

Engineering departments narrowly orient their students toward corporate missions, without educating them about the engineering professions' ethical and whistleblowing rights and duties. (See, Ethics, Politics, and Whistleblowing in Engineering by Nicholas Sakellariou and Rania Milleron, CRC Press, 2018).

Social science courses are largely remiss as well. There are very few courses on plutocratic rule and uncontrolled big-business ways of getting commercial values to override civic values. Teachers may be wary of raising such taboo topics, but the enthusiastic student response to Professor Laura Nader's course on "Controlling Processes" at UC Berkeley over the years might indicate deep student interest in courses on top-down power structures.

Active students in the nineteen sixties and seventies took their environmental, civil rights and anti-war concerns directly to Congress. They, with other citizen groups, pushed Congress and got important legislation enacted.

Students in about twenty states created lasting full-time student advocacy groups called Public Interest Research Groups or PIRGs (See:

Today the PIRGs are still making change happen in the country (See, Right to Repair Project: However, few new PIRGs have been established since 1980. Students need to embrace how important, achievable and enduring such nonprofit independent PIRGs can be. With skilled advocates continuing to train students in civic skills and provide students with extracurricular experiences for a lifetime of citizen engagement, the PIRGs create a vibrant reservoir for a more functioning democracy.

As a leading European statesman, Jean Monnet said decades ago - "Without people nothing is possible, but without institutions nothing is lasting."

Students need to think about the civic part of their years ahead and focus on building the pillars of a democratic society that dissolve the concentrated power of giant corporations and empower the citizenry as befits the "We the People" vision in our Constitution.

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

A woman holds a sign in honor of Emmett Till during a protest on June 13, 2020 in Chicago.

Emmett Till Case Demands Simple Justice
The original arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant Donham should be served. Justice demands she not evade accountability in Till's lynching.
By Jesse Jackson

"The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine," goes the saying. For the brutal killing of Emmett Till in 1955, just how fine those wheels will grind remains to be seen even to this day.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy growing up in Chicago. In 1955, he traveled to Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region to visit with relatives. His mother warned him before he left to show respect and deference to whites in those days of segregation and virulent racism. In Money, Till apparently encountered a 21-year-old married white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, in the local family grocery store. She claimed that the 14-year-old grabbed her and tried to molest her. She said she yelled for help in the little store, but no one ever testified to hearing her screams.

After she returned home and told her husband, Roy Bryant, her tale, he and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, abducted Till in the middle of the night, brutally beat and mutilated him, shot and killed him, and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River. It was recovered a few days later.

Till's mother demanded that the body be brought back to Chicago. Destroyed by the vicious damage done to her son, she insisted on an open-casket funeral. Literally tens of thousands lined up to see the body. Pictures were distributed across the country. Emmett Till's lynching became not just a national scandal, but a spur to the civil rights movement. When Rosa Parks refused to go to segregated seating in the back of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, she triggered a bus boycott, galvanized by a young minister named Dr. Martin Luther King. When asked why she had refused, Parks said that "I thought of Emmett Till and I just couldn't go back."

In Mississippi, however, justice went AWOL. Roy Bryant and Milam were arrested and indicted for murder. In September 1955, they were tried before an all-white, all-male jury - women and African Americans were excluded. Despite overwhelming evidence of their guilt, they were acquitted in little more than an hour. One juror said if they hadn't stopped to drink cola, the verdict would have come much quicker.

A few months later, Bryant and Milam admitted to murdering Emmett Till, selling their story to Look Magazine for $4,000. They were never held accountable for their actions. According to historian Timothy Tyson, Carolyn Bryant Donham later recanted her story, admitting that she lied about Till accosting her. Then she later disavowed that recantation.

A case that spurred an entire generation

Although a warrant was issued for her arrest in the murder, it was never served. She initially claimed she knew nothing about the kidnapping. Recently, her memoir was found and in it, she admits to knowing about the kidnapping, saying that when her husband and Milam brought Till back to her house she tried to help him by saying that he's not the one. Then she alleged, fantastically, that Till, who had been dragged from his bed in the middle of the night, then spoke up and identified himself as the culprit. What's clear is that she knew and was involved in the kidnapping. Her family is calling on Mississippi and the Department of Justice to arrest and try her. Her false allegations led directly to the murder, which she helped to cover up. She is the only living accomplice to the crime. Justice remains to be done.

Till's brutal murder, and the acquittal of the murderers, outraged people of conscience across the country. The Montgomery bus boycott continued until segregated buses were ruled unconstitutional.The outrage contributed to the pressure that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 authorizing the Department of Justice to intervene in local law enforcement when individual civil rights are trampled.

Till became a spur to an entire generation of young people, with thousands joining drives to register voters and to break the hold of segregation and terror on African Americans in the South. The injustice resonates to this day. Only this March, after decades of congressional inaction, Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, making lynching a federal crime.

The reaction to Emmett Till's brutal lynching has helped make America a more perfect union, and helped free the South of the American version of apartheid. Yet, justice has not yet been done. The perpetrators have not been held accountable.

Now, with the uncovering of the original arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant Donham and her own memoir confessing to her involvement, simple justice demands that the warrant be served and she not evade accountability.

(c) 2022 Jesse Jackson is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to form Rainbow/PUSH.

The Sunshine State's Dark Bully

By Jim Hightower

How about Ron DeSantis? The Florida governor is the new darling of the right-wing media, funders, and other establishment powers who're pushing him to be your next president.

"Ron DeSantis is the new Republican Party," gushed one arch-conservative media maven. That's odd, since what characterizes Ron's tenure (and is causing a collective swoon for him within the rightist hierarchy) is his Big Government authoritarianism. Just yesterday, these same so-called conservatives said such use of government power was evil. But here comes DeSantis, who puts the bull in bully - bellowing "culture war" hooey, demonizing immigrants, fabricating claims of voter fraud, promoting Covid lies, and so forth. Then he imperiously asserts government power to bully local communities, workers, the poor, Florida's environment, truth, fairness, honesty, and democracy.

Consider one of his recent maneuvers to overturn the people's democratic will. Like most other Republican-run states, DeSantis's Florida keeps trying to block African-Americans from the polls. In 2018, however, Floridians themselves rebuked the suppressors by approving a ballot measure to expand the electorate. A whopping 65% said YES to eliminating a vindictive lifelong ban on voting by ex-felons - people who had served their time. This long overdue measure of simple justice (approved, in fact, by a much bigger margin of voters than DeSantis got that year) re-enfranchised about 1.4 million former felons.

But wait - DeSantis had old Jim Crow up his sleeve! In 2019, he rammed a technical gotcha into state law, preventing former felons from voting until they pay in full all court fines (many arbitrarily and unfairly assessed years ago for things like marijuana possession). The fines can run thousands of dollars, so DeSantis' new law created a partisan poll tax to price a big percentage of these newly eligible voters out of democratic participation.

Remember, he's the "new" Republican Party.

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

Secret Service agents during Vice President Kamala Harris and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamattei's
visit at the National Palace of Culture on June 7, 2021, in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The Coup Allegations Against The Secret Service Are Astonishing
By William Rivers Pitt

"I made my peace with the Secret Service early in '72," journalist Hunter Thompson recounted to High Times magazine in a 1977 interview, "when I went to a party in the Biltmore Hotel here in New York after McGovern's primary victory, and there were about ten agents in a room. Three of them were obviously passing a joint around. The look on their faces when I walked in there, all of them turning to look when I walked in, it was a wonderful moment of confrontation."

The idea of Secret Service agents existing as patriotically robotic steely-eyed bullet eaters - despite the best efforts of the movie industry - was exploded a while ago. "Another way to put it," reports The Atlantic, "is that the Secret Service has been a rolling disaster, with almost too many breaches to keep track of."

Most of these blunders have involved grossly inappropriate behavior abroad, drunken foolishness at home, a consistent failure of leadership, and more than a few disturbing breaches in White House security. As bad as it has been, if there is even a whisper of truth to the new accusations being leveled against the Secret Service, the entire agency should be razed to the ground and salted with quicklime.

It began with a report by The Intercept detailing how the service "erased text messages from January 5 and January 6, 2021," the day before and the day of the insurrection attack on the Capitol. This erasure was part of a planned equipment upgrade, according to agency officials, but took place after oversight officials had ordered that all communications from those days be preserved. The House Select Committee on the January 6 attack has issued a subpoena for all deleted texts.

After the deletion of these texts was revealed, a number of disturbing pieces began falling into place. On the day of the attack, as former Vice President Mike Pence was being led away from the violence, his Secret Service detail tried to get him into a limo. "I'm not getting in the car," Pence replied; he knew that if he left the building, the process of certifying the election would falter, and Pence suspected such an end was the ultimate goal.

"[Pence] uttered what I think are the six most chilling words of this entire thing I've seen so far." committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin said at a recent Georgetown appearance. "He knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do." For its part, the Secret Service has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

The two men in charge of Donald Trump's public appearances, like the rally held that day, were present and former senior Secret Service agents. Their allegiance to Trump was absolute; in fact, President Biden was required to take on a whole new security detail when he took office, as the one that had served Trump before him had become entirely politicized.

This train of evidence - incomplete as it presently stands - leads to some truly bleak possibilities. The worst of them would have the Secret Service in cahoots with Trump's efforts to thwart Pence's duties that day by removing him from the scene. In this scenario, when the plot failed, text message evidence of the plotters in action was deliberately deleted, with the explanation for why jumping around like a frog on a hot plate.

Even if none of this proves true, the agency still tried to obliterate evidence needed by the Select Committee, evidence it had been directly ordered to preserve. The best of all possible outcomes still makes this perhaps the most gruesome scandal in Secret Service history.

What may prove to be the final hearing of the Select Committee will take place at 8 pm on Thursday night. Part of the anticipated program is a minute-by-minute breakdown of Trump's actions - and specifically, his inactions - over the hours the violence unfolded at the Capitol. Raskin has this Secret Service story in his teeth, however, so don't be surprised if these allegations receive the airing they deeply deserve.

The essential nature of the story of January 6 is as straightforward as it is grim: The more we look into it, the worse the story gets. What began with a president apparently not caring about a violent attack on democracy has metastasized into a deep plot driven by that president to deliberately crash the presidential election and deliver him, tyrant-like, back into power. Now, we are faced with the distinct possibility that the government's own watchers on the walls may have been at least peripherally involved in the coup attempt.

Dog only knows what Thursday night will bring.

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

Sun shines on "The Calling", a sculpture by Mark di Suvero, in downtown Milwaukee.

Republicans Finally Get Comfortable With Socialism
By John Nichols

"No city in America has stronger ties to socialism than Milwaukee. And with the rise of Bernie Sanders and the embrace of socialism by its newest leaders, the American left has come full circle," warned Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party when it was announced that the 2020 Democratic National Convention would be held in Milwaukee.

Ron Johnson amplified the point when he grumbled, "It's only fitting the Democrats would come to Milwaukee," where the Republican senator from Wisconsin said Democratic conventioneers would get a "firsthand look" at "the risk of Democrat socialistic tendencies."

Despite all the past criticism of Milwaukee socialism, it looks like Republicans are on track to hold their 2024 national convention in, of all places, Milwaukee.

Last week, a GOP site-election committee named Milwaukee as the preferred host city for a convention that could well nominate Donald Trump for a new term as president.

Trump's last presidential bid famously suggested that voters faced a choice of "American vs. Socialist," with the candidate warning, "Joe Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism." The Democrat, who defeated Trump by more than 7 million votes, was not a socialist. But that hasn't prevented Trump and his delusional partisans from claiming - as did Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in a recent Biden-bashing interview - that "Socialism doesn't work! It has produced misery, suffering, poverty, and death wherever it's been applied."

Welcome to Milwaukee, Comrade Cruz.

Wisconsin largest city does not elect as many socialists as it once did, but its reputation as a historic hotbed of socialism remains intact. It even earned mention in the movie "Wayne's World," in which rocker Alice Cooper explained, "I think one of the most interesting aspects of Milwaukee is the fact that it's the only major American city to have ever elected three Socialist mayors."

Alice Cooper and Ron Johnson may not agree on everything. But they share an a parallel understanding of Milwaukee's history. The city does, indeed, provide insight into the influence of "socialistic tendencies" on municipal governance.

Most historians, as well as a great many Milwaukeeans, will tell you that socialism worked very well under the trio of Socialist mayors who shaped the city as it is now known during the period from 1910 to 1960. Indeed, the longest serving of those mayors, Daniel Hoan, was widely hailed as the finest municipal leader in the country. Time magazine identified Hoan in a 1936 cover story ("Marxist Mayor") as "one of the nation's ablest public servants, and, under him, Milwaukee has become perhaps the best-governed city in the U.S."

Hoan, who served from 1916 to 1940 as the second of Milwaukee's Socialist Party mayors, was a proud radical who was recognized for his good working knowledge of Marxist economics. He was also a brilliant financial manager whose steadfast refusal to let the city get indebted to big banks during the Great Depression helped Milwaukee to avoid a measure of the misery, suffering and poverty that buffeted the nation from 1929 into the 1930s. During that period, Hoan's "sewer socialism" earned praise from President Franklin Roosevelt, and recognition for landmark achievements on issues ranging from improving public health to battling racism.

Hoan took on the Ku Klux Klan at a time when politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties were compromising with the violent racists who sought to extend their reach from the South to Northern cities. "The Ku Klux Klan will find Milwaukee a hotter place to exist in than Hades itself," declared the mayor in 1921.

Hoan's integrity, along with his managerial skills, would eventually earn him recognition as one of the 10 finest municipal leaders in American history. In 1999, Melvin Holli wrote a groundbreaking book called "The American Mayor," a 1999 assessment of municipal governance in cities across the country. In it he wrote: "Although this self-identified socialist had difficulty pushing progressive legislation through a nonpartisan city council, he experimented with the municipal marketing of food, backed city-built housing, and was a fervent but unsuccessful champion of municipal ownership of the street railways and the electric utility. His pragmatic 'gas and water socialism' met with more success in improving public health and in providing public markets, city harbor improvements, and purging graft from Milwaukee politics."

Socialist Mayors Emil Seidel (1910-1912) and Frank Zeidler (1948-1960) served before and after Hoan. The city's voters also elected dozens of Socialists to the City Council, County Board, School Board, state Legislature and Congress. The Milwaukee Socialists were so fiscally and socially responsible that historians to this day hail them as exemplars of a uniquely American form of democratic socialism. Some years ago, an aging Zeidler explained to me: "Socialism as we attempted to practice it here believes that people working together for a common good can produce a greater benefit both for society and for the individual than can a society in which everyone is shrewdly seeking their own self-interest."

That worked well for Milwaukee in the 20th century. So much so that the word "socialism" ceased to be frightening for Milwaukeeans. Zeidler saw this as a form of political evolution that might even come to influence Republicans.

"There is always a charge that socialism does not fit human nature. We've encountered that for a long time. Maybe that's true," explained Zeidler. "But can't people be educated? Can't people learn to cooperate with each other? Surely that must be our goal, because the alternative is redolent with war and poverty and all the ills of the world."

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

How Did Human Racial Diversification Happen?
By James Donahue

If the Tower of Babel story is incorrect and a mythological god didn't magically change humans into a hodge-podge of unique races with different skin color, language, and general bodily appearance, how did we end up so different from one another?

One theory suggests evolutionary differences caused among tribes living in different climates and in different parts of the world. Yet archaeological discoveries reveal that the ancients may not have been as separated from one another as we once thought. Copper mined in Northern Michigan has been found in South America and portions of Europe. The similarities of the mounds and other architectures found in China, India, Egypt and Latin America strongly suggest ancient contact and exchange of information.

Another theory is that there was a diversity of humanoid evolution among early primates. This would explain the radical differences in skin colors, body appearances, languages and social behavior among the various races of the world. Strangely, these races are so genetically alike that they can easily cross breed and become racially mixed. How could this be explained? And if the ancients did travel, conduct trade and exchange information, what prevented them from cross breeding and blending all of the races? Why have they remained so uniquely different?

A third theory suggests genetic manipulation of the genetic makeup of various primates by visiting alien races and leading to different circumstances. This idea may be supported by the fact that a wide variety of bones of early primates have been discovered that were neither ape nor human, but something in-between. It suggests there may have been a lot of genetic experimentation going on before there was success.

A final theory suggests that all humans on this planet are the descendants of various alien races that visited Earth and established colonies. If this were true, it would mean that there is a basic genetic blueprint for the intelligent humanoid that occurs throughout the universe. This theory is strangely supported in ancient legends and mythology passed down from the distant past.

The failure by archaeologists and geologists to find that "missing link" proving evolutionary progression from ape-like creatures living in caves to civilized humans building monuments and shelters, seems to rule out a natural evolutionary process. The sudden appearance of Neanderthal humanoids followed by intelligent homo sapiens supports some kind of rapid change that either came magically from a creator in the clouds, or from genetic intervention from some outside source.

Some supporters of the genetic experimentation theory believe this may have been going on for a very long time.

Support for a progression of experiments can be found in the fossilized remains of a wide variety of humanoid creatures that once existed, ranging from Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a creature that lived over 7 million years ago, to Homo neanderthalensis, or Neanderthal man, who existed from about 230,000 years ago and then disappeared as late as 30,000 years ago.

Thus it is evident that a lot of thought and experimentation went on before modern Homo sapiens made an appearance. Our arrival triggered a sudden avalanche of archaeological evidence. Not only tools but pottery, clay and carved stone figures of humans and animals, and the foundations of buildings are found almost at the same level of the geological spectrum.

Almost overnight, we were turned from animals to thinking creatures that clearly proved an awareness of ourselves through monument building.

The blemish in this picture is, of course, the racial diversity. The problem isn't that we have a variety of races, languages and cultures, but that these different races seem to be naturally involved in spiritual warfare with one another.

The blacks and whites have been at odds for as long as history has been recorded. The yellow skinned races have perhaps blended best with the others, although there have been many wars throughout history.

Aboriginal tribes throughout the world remain unique unto themselves and rarely, if ever, mix with the other races.

That we can all breed with each other and create successful offspring is proof that we sprang from the same humanoid stock, however. The difference seems to be found in slight alterations in the genetic batch used to put us all together in the first place.

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

Most Shocking From Jan. 6 Hearings: U.S. Comes Out Against Coups
By David Swanson

The Jan. 6 hearings are clearly running over a month. Let's call it a month. There are many countries in which the U.S. has organized, facilitated, or supported one or more coup attempts. Let's count each country just once. And let's go back only to the year 2000. Here's a list of countries and the dates of attempted or successful overthrows. An asterick indicates success:

Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *

Ecuador 2000 *

Afghanistan 2001 *

Venezuela 2002 * and 2018, 2019, 2020

Iraq 2003 *

Haiti 2004 *

Somalia 2007 . . .

Mauritania 2008

Honduras 2009

Libya 2011 *

Syria 2012

Mali 2012, 2020, 2021

Egypt 2013

Ukraine 2014 *

Burkina Faso 2015, 2022

Bolivia 2019

Guinea 2021 *

Chad 2021 *

Sudan 2021 *

This is clearly a partial list. Did the U.S. support a coup attempt in Belarus in 2021 or Kazakhstan 2022? Should one include Gambia 2014 because of U.S.-trained troops or exclude it because the FBI opposed it? Hearings would help answer such questions. Add your additions to the comments below. This list intentionally does not include countries brutally sanctioned with the stated purpose of overthrowing leaders, not even Russia, Iran, North Korea, or Cuba. It includes only particular coup attempts at least as quintessentially recognizable as such as that of January 6, 2021 - coup attempts carried out with the support of the U.S. government or by people trained by the U.S. government. This is not a list of coup attempts that involved U.S.-made weapons, as that would be virtually all coup attempts.

But even starting with this list, we're looking - now that the U.S. Congress has come out against coups - at 19 months of hearings just on these. The remarkable thing about these hearings is the intense level of detail we will learn about the perpetrators and their victims, more (I think it's safe to say) than has been learned about non-U.S. people within the United States Capitol and on live unending television since before Russiagate, since before those imaginary Kuwaiti infants and their incubators, since quite possibly ever.

Of course these hearings will have the advantage of occupying Democrats in Congress with work while they avoid governing, legislating, or accomplishing anything else. The trick will be figuring out how to blame all of the U.S. aid to all of these coups exclusively on the Republicans. But I have faith that it can be done. The simplest way to make sure that the vast majority of these are Republican coups, though it's a bit unorthodox, would be to expand the Jan. 6 hearings to include Hillary Clinton's support for Trump's nomination in 2015 and declare Clinton an honorary Republican. But there are other more laborious ways to go about it.

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

It's time to bring methane emissions - and the entire fossil fuel industry - under control.

Reducing Methane Is A Quick Climate Solution
By David Suzuki

One of the quickest, most cost-effective ways to slow global heating is to reduce methane emissions. That's because, although methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, it remains in the atmosphere for a much shorter time.

Methane is around 85 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period, but most is removed from the atmosphere through oxidation within about 12 years. CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds or thousands of years, so its warming effects continue long after emissions are reduced or eliminated. When more methane is released into the atmosphere than the amount removed, it contributes to climate change.

Methane accounts for a third or more of global heating since pre-industrial times and is also a main source of ground-level ozone pollution, which causes at least a million premature deaths every year.

More than 60 per cent is produced by human activities, mainly agriculture and oil and gas production and distribution, along with biogas burning and landfills. Natural sources include wetlands, permafrost, wildfires and termites. Atmospheric methane levels have increased by more than 150 per cent since industrialization and intensive agriculture began - and they continue to increase.

Although a good percentage of anthropogenic methane emissions come from agriculture, this methane starts as atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is captured by plants through photosynthesis and often released as methane by animals that eat the plants. Methane emissions from fossil fuels, on the other hand, start out deep in the earth, where they've been stored away from the atmosphere for millions of years.

Regardless of the source, keeping excess methane from the atmosphere is crucial to resolving the climate crisis and to reducing pollution. There are many practical ways to do so and the effects would be quickly evident. Unfortunately, as with many climate solutions, they're meeting with resistance from industry.

According to the UN Environment Programme, "Human-caused methane emissions could be reduced by as much as 45 per cent within the decade. This would avert nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045, helping to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C and putting the planet on track to achieve the Paris Agreement targets" - and "would also prevent 260,000 premature deaths, 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat and 25 million tonnes of crop losses."

Agricultural solutions range from improving livestock feed and cultivation practices to encouraging people to switch to more plant-based diets and alternative protein sources.

For fossil fuels, the ultimate solution is to shift quickly from coal, oil and gas to renewable energy, along with energy efficiency and conservation. Shorter-term solutions include reducing leakage from coal mines, oil and gas production and pipelines, and recovering and using methane from operations.

But we're going in the opposite direction. Methane emissions have been increasing rapidly over the past 15 years, and hit record highs in 2021. A recent study shows that, as more methane is emitted into to the atmosphere, less is being removed than previously, in part because increasing wildfires are affecting the ability of hydroxyl radicals to break it down.

As the world heats, sources like melting permafrost are also releasing methane. And rather than slowing fossil fuel production, industry and governments have been ramping up, especially with fossil gas, often misnamed "natural gas" and "liquefied natural gas" (LNG) - which is mostly methane. Industry has been reluctant to take responsibility for numerous leaking abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells, and to address other leaks.

Governments and industry have also consistently underreported methane leaks, even as they support and promote rapid LNG expansion.

In Alberta and elsewhere, industry executives have lobbied behind closed doors to relax regulations around monitoring and reporting leaks. And despite B.C.'s plan to increase royalty rates and reduce some credits for LNG projects, the government is fully supporting the industry. The European Union is even considering labelling some fossil gas as "green," despite opposition.

The push for continued and expanded reliance on fossil gas (mostly obtained through hydraulic fracturing or "fracking") is also causing global geopolitical instability.

It's time to bring methane emissions - and the entire fossil fuel industry - under control. Reducing methane in the atmosphere will ensure rapid benefits for the climate and human health.

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

The World Burns While Joe Manchin Makes Bank
Take a good look, Joe, at the world you want to keep.
By Charles P. Pierce

Those clever Chinese climate hoaxsters have taken their act on the road, and now they're entertaining most of Europe and North Africa with their full repertoire.

From the BBC:

The Portuguese authorities say at least 238 people have died from the heat over the past week. Fires are ravaging areas of France's south-western Gironde region, where over 12,000 people have been evacuated. Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to carbon emissions. The French weather service has forecast temperatures of up to 41 degrees in parts of the country's south on Sunday and new heat records are predicted for Monday. Late on Saturday the country placed 22 more regional departments mostly along its Atlantic coast on high orange alert. One resident in south-west France described the forest fires as feeling "post-apocalyptic" - "I've never seen this before," Karyn, who lives near Teste-de-Buch, told news agency AFP [...]

Other parts of the Mediterranean are affected too. In Italy, the government has declared a state of emergency in the desiccated Po Valley - the country's longest river is no more than a trickle in some places. In Greece, firefighters are tackling blazes in the Feriza area, about 50km (31 miles) south-east of Athens, and near Rethymno, on the north coast of Crete. Seven villages have been evacuated near Rethymno. In northern Morocco, several villages had to be evacuated as fires swept through the Larache, Ouezzane, Taza and Tetouan provinces. One village was totally destroyed in the Ksar El Kebir area and at least one person died in a blaze.

According to the World Bank, which calculates such things, approximately 12 percent of the land area in Morocco is forested, and yet that 12 percent is burning down, too, and taking entire villages with it. Elsewhere, Northern Ireland is experiencing its hottest weather, with temperatures hitting triple digits on the Fahrenheit scale.

NASA's Earth Observatory is keeping track of the overall scorecard:

In Italy, the record heat contributed to the July 3 collapse of a portion of the Marmolada Glacier in the Dolomites. The avalanche of snow, ice, and rock killed 11 hikers.

In the U.K., the Met Office issued extreme heat or amber warnings as temperatures were expected to continue to climb, possibly breaking all-time highs. In North Africa, Tunisia has endured a heatwave and fires that have damaged the country's grain crop. On July 13 in the capital city of Tunis, the temperature reached 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit), breaking a 40-year record. In Iran, temperatures remained high in July after reaching a scorching 52 degrees Celsius (126 degrees Fahrenheit) in late June. In China, the summer has brought three heatwaves that have buckled roads, melted tar, and popped off roof tiles. The Shanghai Xujiahui Observatory, where records have been kept since 1873, recorded its highest temperature ever: 40.9 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) on July 13, 2022. High humidity and dewpoints, along with warm overnight temperatures, created potentially deadly conditions.

In China, desperate improvisation is barely keeping up with the ramifications of living in a convection oven. From CNN:
Vendors in the city reported surging sales of ice cream, melons, and crayfish chilled in liquor -- a popular summertime dish. At a sprawling Shanghai wildlife park, eight metric tons of ice are used each day to keep lions, pandas and other animals cool [...] In the city of Chongqing -- which has issued a red alert -- the roof of a museum melted, with traditional Chinese tiles popping as the heat dissolved the underlying tar. The city has deployed trucks to spray water in an effort to cool its roads.

Elsewhere, residents are trying to cool off in various ways. On Sunday, huge crowds in the city of Qingdao, in eastern Shandong province, flocked to the beach for a dip in the sea. Children in Nanning, in the Guangxi region, played barefoot in public fountains. In Nanjing, Jiangsu province, residents instead headed for an air raid shelter to escape the heat, reading newspapers and watching TV to pass the time in the Wifi-equipped wartime bunkers.

In related news, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-Bituminous), who effectively scuttled recent attempts to deal through Congress with the climate crisis, rang the bell on contributions from energy industries again this quarter.

From Politico:

Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, has long been a top recipient of campaign contributions from the energy sector, and last quarter's campaign finance data shows that trend has continued. The senator received donations from executives at Georgia Power, including the utility's CFO Aaron Abramovitz, and from Dominion Energy CEO Robert Blue.

- Energy services firm Concord Energy CEO Matthew Flavin gave Manchin the maximum allowable amount of $5,800, as did Southern Company Gas CEO Kim Greene and Harvest Midstream CEO Jason Rebrook. Southern Company's chair and CEO Chris Cummiskey gave Manchin $2,000, while three other company executives gave at least $1,000. An in-house lobbyist for the company donated $1,000 as well. Kara G. Moriarty, president of the Alaska Oil & Gas Association, gave $1,000, too, along with two executives from the energy storage company Form Energy.

- Manchin also took in more than $19,000 from political action committees belonging to fossil fuel or energy companies and their trade groups, including the Coterra Energy, NextEra Energy, North American Coal Corp., the American Exploration & Production Council's PAC. The PACs for private equity giant the Carlyle Group and AT&T contributed $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

You get what you pay for. And on this, the rest of the world gets what the fossil fuel industry paid for, too.

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

The Quotable Quote -

"I believe strongly that we can protect our people without undermining our constitutional rights and I worry very, very much about the huge attacks on privacy that we have seen in recent years - both from the government and the private sector. I worry that we are moving toward an Orwellian society, and this is something I will oppose as vigorously as I can."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Climate: Scientists Stunned To Find Atlantic Plankton 90% Gone; Marine Life, Our Oxygen Imperiled
By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - Mark Howarth, writing in the stalwart weekly from Dundee, Scotland, The Sunday Post, has a blockbuster scoop.

The Global Oceanic Environmental Survey, led by Edinburgh University marine biologist Howard Dryden at the university Roslin Innovation Centre had estimated that the plankton in the oceans had been halved in the past 40 years, and that all of it could be gone by 2040.

Dryden and GOES were off by twenty years.

Plankton is a blanket term for the billions of tiny sea organisms living close to the surface of the oceans, which are eaten by krill, small crustaceans, which are in turn eaten by fish and whales. No plankton, little or no marine life.

And while trees hog all the credit, plankton generate 70% of our oxygen.

Howarth reports that the GOES team just sampled the ocean water surface along the French and Portuguese coasts before heading across the Atlantic to Colombia. They and volunteers gathered 500 data points.

They expected to find five patches of plankton in every ~2.5 gallons (10 liters) of ocean water.

They found an average of one.

So in 1982 there would have been 10 patches of plankton in every 2.5 gallons of surface ocean water, and now there is one. That isn't a 50% reduction.

If Dryden and his team's survey is borne out by the scientific community, that is a 90% reduction.

It is like going to the zoo and finding nine in every ten of the animals there - the giraffes, the tigers, the reptiles - dead on the ground.

You would wonder, what happened here? Were they exposed to poison gas? Were they given poison to drink?

What is killing the plankton?

First, you know those billions and billions of tons of carbon dioxide we put up into the atmosphere every year, and how we have been doing that for decades? That is a big part of the problem and will get bigger.

Carbon dioxide dissolves into sea water, becoming bicarbonate ions and hydrogen ions. The accumulation of bicarbonate ions makes the ocean acidic, lowering the PH factor.

Plankton don't do well with an acidic environment. Imagine if you dumped hydrochloric acid into your fish tank. Although many of the plankton organisms offset extra acid when their shells dissolve, providing extra calcium and raising the PH, they seem likely to be overwhelmed in this regard, and it is anyway not a function they can perform if they are all dead.

Other things are killing plankton, like petroleum spills and other industrial pollution, and the run-off from farms of fertilizer.

The goal of stopping carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 isn't good enough. We need to stop them now.

By the way, another function of phytoplankton is to absorb carbon dioxide into their little shells, which sink to the bottom of the ocean when they die, where subduction processes can bury them forever They are a major carbon sink.

If they are gone, the carbon dioxide will just go straight into the oceans, which will be even more acidic than would otherwise have been the case.

Some 870 million people, 10-12% of the global population, substantially depend on marine life for their nutrition

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

As A 76-Year-Old Let Me Say: Joe Biden Is Too Old To Run Again
By Robert Reich

I'm sure the president is experiencing some diminution in the memory department. I know I am. "I'm also noticing less patience, perhaps because of an unconscious 'use by' timer now clicking away. I'm less tolerant of long waiting lines, automated phone menus, and Republicans."

At 79, Joe Biden is the oldest president in American history. Concerns about his age top the list for why Democratic voters want the party to find an alternative for 2024.>{?} I don't think this reflects an "ageist" prejudice against those who have reached such withering heights so much as an understanding that people in their late 70s and 80s wither.

I speak with some authority. I'm now a spritely 76 - light years younger than our president. I feel fit, I swing dance and salsa, and can do 20 pushups in a row. Yet I confess to a certain loss of, shall we say, fizz. Joe Biden could easily make it until 86, when he'd conclude his second term. After all, it's now thought a bit disappointing if a person dies before 85. Three score and ten is the lifespan set out in the Bible. Modern technology and Big Pharma add at least a decade and a half. "After 80, it's gravy," my father used to say.

Joe will be on the cusp of the gravy train.

Where will it end? There's only one possibility. I find myself reading the obituary pages with ever greater interest, noting "Older Than Me" or "Younger Than Me."

Most of the time I forget my age. The other day, after lunch with some of my graduate students, I caught our reflection in a store window and for an instant wondered about the identity of the short old man in our midst.

It's not death that's the worrying thing about a second Biden term. It's the dwindling capacities that go with aging.

When I get together with old friends, our first ritual is an "organ recital" - how's your back? heart? hip? eyesight? hearing? prostate? hemorrhoids? The recital can run (and ruin) an entire lunch.

The question my friends and I jokingly (and brutishly) asked one other in college - "getting much?" - now refers not to sex but to sleep. I don't know anyone over 75 who sleeps through the night.

When he was president, Bill Clinton prided himself on getting only about four hours. But he was in his forties then. (I also recall cabinet meetings where he dozed off.) How does Biden manage?

My memory for names is horrible. I once asked Ted Kennedy how he recalled names and he advised that if a man is over 50, just ask "how's the back?" and he'll think you know him.

I often can't remember where I put my wallet and keys. Certain proper nouns have disappeared altogether. Even when rediscovered, they have a diabolical way of disappearing again.

Biden's secret service detail can worry about his wallet, and he's got a teleprompter for wayward nouns, but I'm sure he's experiencing some diminution in the memory department.

I no longer feel great enthusiasm for travel and, like Philip Larkin, would like to visit China on condition I could return home that night. Air Force One makes this possible under most circumstances. It also has a first-class bedroom and bathroom, so I don't expect Biden's trips are overly taxing.

I'm told that after the age of 60, one loses half an inch of height every five years. This doesn't appear to be a problem for Biden but it presents a challenge for me, considering that at my apex I didn't quite make it to five feet. If I live as long as my father did, I may vanish.

Another diminution I've noticed is tact. I recently gave the finger to a driver who passed me recklessly. Nowadays, giving the finger to a stranger is itself a reckless act.

I'm also noticing less patience, perhaps because of an unconscious "use by" timer now clicking away. I'm less tolerant of long waiting lines, automated phone menus, and Republicans.

How the hell does Biden maintain tact or patience when he has to deal with Joe Manchin?

The style sections of the papers tell us the 70s are the new 50s. Septuagenarians are supposed to be fit and alert, exercise like mad, have rip-roaring sex, and party until dawn.

Rubbish. Inevitably, things begin falling apart. My aunt, who lived far into her nineties, told me "getting old isn't for sissies." Toward the end she repeated that phrase every two to three minutes.

I remain upbeat - notwithstanding the seditious Republican Party, the ravages of climate change, near record inequality, a potential nuclear war, and a stubborn pandemic - largely because I still spend most days with people in their twenties, whose fizz buoys my spirits. Maybe Biden does, too.

But I'm feeling more and more out of it. I'm doing videos on TikTok and Snapchat, yet when my students refer to Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez or Jared Leto, I don't have a clue who they're talking about (and frankly don't care).

And I find myself using words - "hence," "utmost," "therefore," "tony," "brilliant" - that my younger colleagues find charmingly old-fashioned. If I refer to "Rose Marie Woods" or "Jackie Robinson" or "Ed Sullivan" or "Mary Jo Kopechne," they're bewildered.

The culture has flipped in so many ways. When I was 17, I could go into a drugstore and confidently ask for a package of Luckies and nervously whisper a request for condoms. Now it's precisely the reverse. (I stopped smoking long ago.)

Santayana said old people have forebodings about the future because they cannot imagine a world that's good without themselves in it. I don't share that view. To the contrary, I think my generation - including Bill and Hillary, George W, Trump, Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Biden - have f*cked it up royally. The world will probably be better without us.

Joe, please don't run.

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

Can America Pull Off A Second Reconstruction?
Barack Obama's election in 2008 was the tipping point for millions of racist Republicans trying to maintain over 200 years of legal white supremacy...
By Thom Hartmann

America today is in the midst of our second attempt at creating a truly pluralistic, multiracial democracy. The GOP is doing everything they can to sabotage the effort: can we pull it off despite their treachery?

Kali Hollaway is reporting at the DailyBeast:

"A Southern Poverty Law Center poll from April found nearly 70 percent of Republican voters believe in the Great Replacement Theory,"" and the Cato Institute finds that more than 7 in 10 Trump supporters think that "discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against Blacks and other minorities." The GOP has led on the white racist CRT-social panic, with Republican legislatures in at least 24 states successfully passing anti-CRT measures."
Racism is now the single most powerful force in the Republican Party, and the tipping point was the election in 2008 of America's first Black president.

Republicans on the Supreme Court, the white supremacist GOP base, and a broad and well-funded international campaign to replace liberal democracies around the world with racial ethnostates are all working to block efforts to make our Founding promise available to all Americans.

It's a cliche to note that the American ideal of "all men are created equal" really meant all white men, but cliches are cliches because they're usually grounded in self-evident truths. While America was founded on radical and egalitarian democratic principles, almost all of the Founders were quite clear that equality and the right to self-governance were strictly limited to one racial group.

That changed for the first time in American history immediately following the Civil war: we tried a multiracial democracy for about 12 years during a period referred to as Reconstruction.

South Carolina legislature, 1868 (photo Library of Congress)

But when over 1500 African American men achieved elective office during that 1866-1876 decade - over 600 of them in state legislatures and 17 in the US House and Senate - white backlash ripped across the nation.

It was so intense it led straight to the "compromise" of 1877, giving the White House to Rutherford B. Hayes, who lost both the popular and the Electoral College vote, ending the entire multiracial democracy experiment, and legally relegating Black Americans back to second-class status.

Lincoln was long dead when the Supreme Court nailed white supremacy back into law in 1896 with their Plessy v Ferguson "separate but equal doctrine," blocking African Americans from holding any meaningful elective or appointed office or judicial positions.

This rigid racial hierarchy only started to crack again a century after Reconstruction, in the 1960s, after the Brown v Board decision overturned Plessy and LBJ pushed through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Those two laws, along with ending racial immigration quotas in 1965, saw the steady "browning" of our population and a dramatic increase in Black and Hispanic participation in our elections.

At that time, in the late 20th century, white racists across the country - although uneasy about the state of affairs - were still largely relegated to the Klan- and militia-type fringes of society.

Until America elected her first Black president in 2008.

Much like the massive and widespread white backlash to Reconstruction over a century earlier, a new generation of white racists moved from simply muttering about Black people to sonic-boom levels of freak-out.

New York real estate grifter Donald Trump led the charge that year, asserting that this bright, charming, Black new president couldn't possibly be a real or "natural born" American who got to the White House on his own: his presidency had to be an international plot by Kenyan and international socialists (including Jews led by George Soros) to install a Black fifth column in American government.

With a huge assist from Fox "News" and rightwing hate radio, Trump's 2008 "Birther" grift moved from the fringes into the mainstream of the Republican Party, galvanizing around Obama's effort to provide affordable or free health insurance to all Americans, including Black people.

Former slave states still under the control of white racists had, up until then, successfully resisted implementing LBJ's Medicaid program for low-income working people and the poor.

As I detail in The Hidden History of American Healthcare: Why Sickness Bankrupts You and Makes Others Insanely Rich, their racism was so deep they were willing to consign their own poor white people to disease and death, so long as Medicaid's free healthcare was also out of reach for the Black people in their states.

Obamacare would have extended Medicaid to every state in the union, including giving every Black person in the country free or low-cost access to healthcare regardless of income, a situation the white racists who control the GOP, their white billionaire funders, and the white base that keeps them in power declared intolerable.

"Tea Party" groups, funded by white supremacist billionaires, popped up in state after state and were given breathless wall-to-wall media coverage by a then-almost-entirely-white press.

In 2012, in the case of NFIB v Sibelius, five Republicans on the Supreme Court stepped into the act, declaring that former slave states that wanted to continue to deprive their citizens of medical services were perfectly within their right to do so.

To this day 12 mostly former slave states, with America's largest Black populations, continue to withhold federal Medicaid funds and services from their working poor: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The Obama years also saw an explosion of white supremacist militia activity and associated gun sales. Starting in 2016, when Trump encouraged the Oathkeepers to act as election monitors across the nation, the entire GOP began a warm and official embrace of these racist militia groups, the 21st century version of the Klan.

Republican members of Congress and high-profile figures associated with the MAGA movement began using white supremacist militias as security.

Here in Oregon the statewide Republican Party voted to officially "utilize volunteers from the Oregon Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, and other security groups" to intimidate protesters at their events, as did Michigan Republican leaders.

Multiple Republican members of Congress, most famously Marjorie Taylor Greene, now routinely use white supremacist militias to provide security for their events.

In this exploitation of racism to gain and hold political power, the GOP is following the examples of Russia's Putin and Hungary's Orban, who both proudly describe their nations as white ethnostates.

Maintaining white rule in America got a massive boost in 2013 when five Republicans on the Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which had been re-ratified by a 98-0 vote in 2005.

Racism has ended in America, Chief Justice John Roberts cynically proclaimed in his decision, so it is no longer necessary to restrain white racists' behavior in former slave states. His proof was the election of Barack Obama to the White House.

When the Voting Rights Act came up for re-ratification last year, every single Republican in the House and Senate voted against it, in sharp contrast to 2005 when every Republican in the Senate voted "Yes."

They also voted as a block against the We The People Act which would have expanded the Voting Rights Act's protections.

This is how radically the GOP changed after that singular event of a Black man stepping foot into the White House. Now they're looking to overseas ethnostates for inspiration.

White supremacists like Tucker Carlson have repeatedly praised and defended Putin's white nationalism and even broadcast their shows from white supremacist Hungary, openly endorsing white control and claiming a plot by Democrats to "replace" white people.

The simple reason white voters still cling to Trump, after all his lies and scandals, is his open racism; the reason they're willing to go with DeSantis as an alternative is because he's also proven his racist chops with his anti-CRT laws, book bans, and attacks on "BLM."

The GOP has, since Obama's election in 2008, become a racist anti-democratic insurgency rather than a pluralistic and legitimate political party.

Under the lie of "voter fraud" they're now criminalizing both voting and registering voters in the states they control.

With big money from rightwing billionaires and corporations, and the support of an explicitly white supremacist media machine, just by May of last year Republicans had passed 34 laws in 18 states restricting the right of citizens to vote. This year 229 new laws have been introduced in 33 states to limit minorities' right and ability to vote.

As Ki Lerner writes for the Iowa Capitol Dispatch, Republicans are trying to terrify potential Black voters with a threat of prison:

"In total, states enacted more than 60 new felonies and more than 50 new misdemeanors [all related to voting].

"The new offenses, made law in dozens of voting bills, range from low-level misdemeanors to felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison."

Foreign governments run along white supremacist lines are getting into the act, too, since the Supreme Court legalized foreign election interference with their 2010 Citizens United decision. The Russian propaganda and influence campaign directed at the GOP has worked: Republicans in Congress are now, in increasing numbers, voting and speaking out in favor of white supremacists Putin and Orban and against American aid to Ukraine and other nations and programs that support multiracial democracy around the world.

Before 2008, Republicans were willing to work with (and work around) democracy but avoided trash-talking it or letting foreign autocrats influence American domestic politics. Nixon, Reagan, and Bush all took the White House under highly dubious circumstances, but still generally supported democracy and the elections that underpin it, both here and abroad.

No high-profile Republican was willing to tear apart Americans' confidence in our democracy by claiming a president was illegitimate or won a election through criminal action - until a Black man, Barack Obama, got elected to the presidency and triggered their racist frenzy.

Today there's a worldwide movement toward race-based autocracy (aka fascism) with which the GOP has aligned itself. From Hungary to Russia to China, in each case, governments openly maintain and elevate the status and power of racial majorities while crushing racial minorities.

That was also true of our entirely-white-run nation until, in the 1960s, we chose to again try multiracial and multiethnic democracy; that second American experiment, a second Reconstruction if you will, is now under direct assault by the white supremacists who have taken over every level of the GOP.

The modern Republican assault on our post-1965 pluralistic democracy began when Blacks in America "got too much power" - specifically, the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008 - just as happened in the 1870s when large numbers of African Americans achieved elective office, provoking the white backlash that ended the first Reconstruction.

Today's backlash is also aided and promoted by rightwing billionaires and giant corporations who recognize the core racism of the GOP base but continue to pander to it to retain their fat tax cuts and the deregulation of their industries.

These white billionaires like the status quo given them by 42 years of Reaganomics; as Senator Bernie Sanders noted Friday on my program:

Today three white men own as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of Americans; the top 1% has more wealth than the bottom 92 percent; and three Wall Street firms own assets worth more than the entire GDP of our nation.
Racism's damage to democracy in this country - facilitated by Republicans on the Supreme Court and now openly pushed by Republicans in Congress - has succeeded in tearing our nation apart while producing legislative paralysis.

It's going to take a generation or more to finally cut out this cancer of racism, but if enough Americans stay awake and politically active it still is possible.

It's going to require massive citizen engagement and voter mobilization to produce that peaceful multiracial revolution, but it's possible.

The last time we tried, in the 1870s, we failed at achieving our founding goal of all Americans being "created equal." Racism froze our semi-democratic republic in place for the following century.

Now we're in America's second era of Reconstruction, an new attempt to reinvent our country in line with the ideals expressed in our founding documents.

This time, as more and more white Americans awaken to the damage the poison of racism has done all these 240+ years, it's possible we can pull it off. For the first time in our nation's history, as many nonwhite children are entering elementary school as white ones.

We have a hell of a big job ahead of us, but a new and fully multiracial generation, the Zoomers, is stepping up toward leadership. Let's hope, pray, and work to help them make it happen.

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

The Cartoon Corner -

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ RJ Matson ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

An image taken by NASAs James Webb Space Telescope which reveals neverbeforeseen details of galaxy group "Stephans Quintet"

Marjorie Taylor Greene Accuses James Webb Telescope Of Making Other Galaxies Available To Jewish Lasers
By Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)-Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has accused NASA's James Webb telescope of finding new galaxies for Jewish space lasers to destroy.

"It's bad enough that the Rothschilds' lasers are wreaking havoc on our own solar system," the Georgia congresswoman told reporters. "Now, thanks to the so-called Webb telescope, no corner of the universe will be safe from the international banking family's ravaging space-beams."

Declaring her solidarity with "all galactic victims of interstellar Hebraic weaponry," Greene proposed defunding NASA unless it "stops doing the bidding of the Jewish laser cartel."

"I stand with the people of the Carina Nebula," she said. "I, too, am from another planet."

(c) 2022 Andy Borowitz


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 28 (c) 07/22/2022

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