Please visit our sponsor!

Bookmark and Share
In This Edition

Dahr Jamail examines, "The Growing Challenge Of Living And Working On A Sweltering Planet."

Uri Avnery considers, "Adolf And Amin."

Glen Ford takes, "The Bizarre Facebook Path To Corporate Fascism."

Norman Solomon warns, "GOP And Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin."

Jim Hightower considers, "Babies On Trial."

John Nichols finds, "Ron Dellums Maintained A 'Relentless Faith in Our Ability to Make a Better World.'"

James Donahue sees, "World Wealth A False Illusion."

William Rivers Pitt says, "We Are The Lorax. We Speak For The Trees."

Heather Digby Parton explores, "Puppet POTUS."

David Suzuki says, "The Future Isn't In Plastics."

Charles P. Pierce wonders, "What, Exactly, Makes This A 'Fringe' Position?"

Brad Reed joins us with, "Russian Mob 'Made Its Move' On Trump In 2002 When He Was In The Hole After A 'Series of Bankruptcies.'"

Jane Stillwater reports, "Madam Jane Predicts."

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich gives us, "6 Reasons For Hope In Trump Times."

Pepe Escobar explains, "How BRICS Plus Clashes With The US Economic War On Iran."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Will Durst observes, "Putin's Puppet" but first Uncle Ernie examines, "The Manchurian President."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Joel Pett, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Roger de la Harpe, Jessica McGowan, Miguel Villagran, Gianluigi Guercia, NBC News, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments...

The Quotable Quote...
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

Visit me on Face Book

The Manchurian President
By Ernest Stewart

"Our troops didn't die in Yorktown, didn't take Normandy beach, didn't rebuild Europe and secure the postwar peace that you are now destroying, Mr. President, for you to live as a Manchurian candidate in our White House." ~~~ Michael Avenatti

"This is something that society can and should prepare for -- but equally there is no doubt that we can and should constrain the increasing likelihood of all kinds of extreme weather events by restricting greenhouse gas emissions as sharply as possible." ~~~ Friederike Otto ~ director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.

"I never voted for anybody. I always voted against" ~~~ W.C. Fields.

"...tiptoe into your parents' bedrooms and remove those funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents from their pants and pocketbooks. Then put them in an envelope and mail them to me, and I'll send you a postcard from Puerto Rico!" ~~~ Soupy Sales

Back in 1962 a film was released right in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis when Khrushchev and Kennedy were standing toe to toe and many feared the outcome would be WWIII. The film was The Manchurian Candidate about a platoon of American soldiers in the Korean War that were captured and brain washed by the Chinese and sent back a couple of days later with the sergeant brainwashed into becoming a communist sleeper agent ready to strike at their command. His target turned out to be a US Senator running for president. Remind you of anyone in today's world?

Is tRump the "Manchurian President?" If he is wouldn't that explain a lot of tRumps actions as of late? Wouldn't it? It's obvious even to a blind man that Putin has someting on tRump and plays him like a violin. Whether it the pee tapes or someting as simple as Russia and China are tRumps only source of credit, Western banks wouldn't give tRump the money for a used car loan and we know that Russian gave tRump $30 million during the presidential campaign washed through the NRA. And folks that's just the tip of the iceberg!

As Michael Avenatti put it about the Helsinki summit: "A foreign power - Russia - waged an operation to sow discord among our citizenry and interfere with our electoral system. It worked to openly put Donald Trump in the White House. And yesterday, one of the most disgraceful days in our history, Trump rewarded Russia by siding with it over his own people, especially the intelligence professionals who sacrifice so much to keep us safe."

Maybe it's just that tRump gets a 'hard on' whenever he's around a dictator whether it's Putin, Kin Jong Un, Xi Jinping or Benjamin Netanyahu. The strong men get whatever they want and we get nothing in return. Either way, if tRump is the Manchurian President or just a fascist groupie we're are sooooo screwed America!

In Other News

I see where in Europe climate scientists used computer models to link this summer's ongoing heatwave with global warming. The simulations showed global warming doubled the odds of a prolonged heatwave.

Researchers compared current temperatures with previous record highs from weather stations throughout Northern Europe, including three stations inside the Arctic Circle.

For each year in the historical record, scientists isolated the hottest three days of the year. These snapshots showed the planet is getting hotter over time. The data also showed this summer's heatwave is unprecedented.

"We found that for the weather station in the far north, in the Arctic Circle, the current heat wave is just extraordinary -- unprecedented in the historical record," Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, said in a news release.

Among the stations in the far north of Europe, scientists were unable to establish a trend or quantify the impact of global warming on this summer's heat, due to the high variability of Arctic summer temperatures.

"But for the three stations further south -- in the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland -- the historical record does allow us to make a calculation, and it shows that climate change has generally increased the odds of the current heatwave more than twofold," van Oldenborgh said.

Meanwhile, back in the far west, California has been suffering hundred degree temperatures for most of the summer and the result is that what hasn't already burnt to the ground in the last five years is burning to the ground today. From California to Alaska there are currently major fire storms burning in California, Oregon, Washinton state, British Columbia and Alaska, all do to lack of rain and high temperatures. Some western states are in their 18th year of drought! And, of course, tRump still denies global warming, man made or other wise. Your tax dollars at work, America!

And Finally

If you live in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state then Tuesday August 7th you've got to get out and vote in your states primary election. I'm in Michigan so I'll be there come hell or high water. Last time around in 2014 on average only 50% of the eligible votes went out and voted, pretty much of how tRump got elected in 2016. Of course, tRump had the help of that 1% moron Alexander Hamilton who decided a direct election by the people wouldn't do for folks like Washington and Jefferson, i.e., slave holders. In every election where the electoral college has over ruled the peoples vote a fascist like tRump (who lost the popular vote by some 3 million votes) benefited.

But this time around the college isn't involved so your vote will count providing some seditious Rethuglican hasn't removed your name from the voting list, and if you didn't make sure your name was still on the list then it's as much your fault as it is his! As my father used to say, "You may not know who to vote for, but you always know who to vote against!"

If we don't take back the House or the Senate then the America that we knew is gone for good. If the Rethuglicans continue to hold all of government come November 7th just do what we were taught to do back in the 1950s and 1960s in case of an A Bomb attack. Just duck and cover, place your head between your legs, and then kiss your ass goodbye, America!

Keepin' On

They say be careful what you wish for, so I am, and I got it, a nice check from a first-time contributor; beyond that, she's a newbie to the magazine, too; it's Carolyn, from my old stomping grounds around Asheville. Thank you so much for your help, Carolyn. With Carolyn's help we're just $2300 short of paying off our bills for the year; in fact, they'll be payed up until next June.

We got to talking about dead Presidents in group the other day; and I said my favorite was the only President of the United States, who was never the President of the United States. I'm talking about my favorite revolutionary, old, Ben Jamin' Franklin. If I could just get a bunch of you to send me all the pictures of old Ben that you might be carrying in your wallet or purse or in your husband's or wife's wallet or purse or your mommy or daddy's wallet or purse and send them to me, I could stop begging for the rest of the year!

Seriously, if you think what we do for you week after week, year and after year, should be supported and encouraged, then please go to the donation's page and follow the simple directions; and thanks! Remember, we do all of this for you and yours, so you can know what the truth is, so you can figure out what to do about it! Is the truth important to you, America? It's very important to us!


11-24-1935 ~ 07-30-2018
Thanks for fighting the good fight!


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) 2018 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.

A man watches an animated projection showing different acidity levels in the ocean, inside the US Center 09
during the second day of the United Nations climate change conference on December 8, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Growing Challenge Of Living And Working On A Sweltering Planet
By Dahr Jamail

The Northern Hemisphere's summer is showing how far along the planet is with human-caused climate disruption, as record high temperatures are shattered and sweltering heat waves kill dozens of people.

Globally, June was Earth's fifth-warmest ever recorded, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.

The same NOAA data also showed that the only warmer June months on record were those from the previous four years.

As the planet continues to warm, it is becoming clear that the heat it is bringing along with it the challenge of how to live and work safely.

Making Life Unbearable

A brief glance around the world gives one a view of how rapidly and how intensely the planet is warming as human-caused climate disruption continues apace.

In the US, 41 high-temperature records have already been set in July, and a recently published study in Nature Climate Change predicts that increasingly higher temperatures will cause an increase in suicide rates, and warns that as many as 26,000 people could commit suicide in the US by 2050. These deaths would be attributable to human-caused climate disruption generating increasingly hotter temperatures.

In May, dozens of people in Pakistan died from record-high temperatures.

In July, at least 70 deaths were attributed to a heat wave that swept across Canada's Quebec Province.

At the time of this writing, a heat wave in Japan bringing record high temperatures had killed at least 65 people and caused another 22,000 to be taken to the hospital for heat stroke. The government there declared a natural disaster because of the extreme heat.

This unprecedented heat is causing myriad problems, especially for workers.

In the US, activists are working to push UPS to install air conditioning in their trucks, as numerous drivers have succumbed to heat stroke.

Recently, the United Farm Workers Foundation, Farmworker Justice, and the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen joined another 130 public health and environmental groups in pressuring the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require employers to do a better job of protecting workers from the heat.

"This is a public health issue. This is a justice issue. The people who feed us, who feed America, deserve strong protections from the effects of climate change," Jeannie Economos, a project coordinator with the Farmworker Association of Florida, told InsideClimate News. "We're calling on OSHA not to delay anymore."

In India, government officials are now discussing how some cities will become unlivable if a solution to the ever-increasing warm temperatures isn't found.

According to the Urban Climate Change Research Network, globally, the number of cities with summer high temperatures of at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit is expected to nearly triple by the year 2050.

We should expect these issues to deepen and spread further around the world as the planet warms, and life on a hotter planet becomes increasingly challenging and other heat-related health issues continue.

A recent study published by Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that high temperatures could even be bad for our brains. The study linked cognitive impairments to warmer temperatures, even among young, healthy populations.

Further underscoring this global issue is the fact that nighttime high temperatures are actually increasing faster than daytime high temperatures. This is a dangerous new phenomenon because it doesn't give the body a chance to cool down during the nighttime, which makes the sick, elderly, younger children and people who work outside during the day particularly susceptible to the heat.

For many years now, heat waves have been killing more Americans than any other natural disaster annually, and this trend is expected to increase as human-caused climate disruption continues apace.
(c) 2018 Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

Adolf And Amin
By Uri Avnery

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU is a perfect diplomat, a clever politician, a talented leader of the army.

Lately, another jewel has been added to his crown: he is also a gifted story-teller.

He has provided an answer to a question that has perplexed historians for a long time: When and how did Adolf Hitler decide to exterminate the Jews?

There was no agreed-upon answer. There were those who thought that it happened already in his youth in Vienna, others guessed that it happened after World War I in Munich, or when he wrote his book Mein Kampf in Landsberg prison in 1924.

Now Bibi has uncovered the circumstances, the exact place and time.

It happened in Berlin, when Adolf Hitler met the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, on November 28, 1941.

Netanyahu has not condescended to tell us how he arrived at this revolutionary discovery. There is no indication in the official protocol of the Hitler-Husseini meeting which was prepared by the Germans, in their famous exactitude. Nor is it mentioned in the entry of the Mufti himself in his private diary, which was captured by Western intelligence. The two documents are almost identical.

SO WHAT did Netanyahu discover?

According to his story, until the meeting Hitler did not even think about exterminating the Jews, but only about their expulsion from Europe, preferably to Madagascar, then a French colony. But then came the Mufti and told him something like "if you expel them they will come to Palestine. Better kill them all in Europe."

"What a wonderful idea!" Hitler must have answered, "Why did I not thing of that myself?" A thrilling story. The trouble is that it contains not one word of truth. In the jargon of these Trumpian days, it is "alternative truth". Or, simply put, a complete lie.

Worse, it could not have happened.

Anyone who has a minimal knowledge of the period, of the "spirit of the time" and of the personalities involved, must know that this is an imagined event.

LET'S START with the main hero: Adolf Hitler.

Hitler had a solid "Weltanschauung" (world view). He acquired it in his youth - it is not clear exactly when and where. It was called "anti-Semitism".

Note: "anti-Semitism", not "anti-Judaism".

The difference is significant. Anti-Semitism was part of the Race Theory, which claimed to be an exact science and was at the time at the height of its world-wide popularity.

This was not just an ideological fad, an invention of demagogues. It was a branch of science that was assumed to be as objective as, say, mathematics or geography. The basic assumption was that every race of human being, like every breed of horses or dogs, has specific characteristics, good and bad.

This "science" was taught at universities, respected professors conducted experiments, measured skulls and analyzed body-build, It was all very serious. Quite a number of Jews were devotees. Such as, for example, Arthur Ruppin, who later became a leading figure in the Zionist settlement organization in Palestine.

According to the German race theory, there is a master race, the Aryan, which originated in India and from which the Germans are descended, and there are inferior races, the "Semites" and "Slavs" for example. According to the race theorists, this is not a matter of opinion. It is solid scientific fact, a fact that cannot be changed.

Hitler believed in all this nonsense, as a pious Jew believes in the scriptures. The Mufti was a Semite. Not one of those upright princes of the desert described in the stories of the No. 1 German author of children's books, Karl May (who mainly wrote about American Indian chieftains), but a wily, shifty politician, who was not very prepossessing.

Hitler did not like him at all. He did not want to receive him, but his propaganda people insisted. In the end, he received him, talked with him for an hour and a half, had a picture taken and never agreed to meet him again.

It was definitely not the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

AT THE meeting, two translators were present. The Mufti spoke French - a language he had learned as a boy, when for a time he was a pupil of the French-Jewish "Alliance" school. The Mufti had also been a student at Cairo's al-Azhar, the famous religious university, but never finished his studies there.

The Husseini clan is the most distinguished in Jerusalem. Nowadays, it numbers about 5000 members. One of my best friends was Faisal al-Husseini, a wonderful person with whom I organized several demonstrations against the occupation and for peace.

For many generations, scions of the family held the position of Mufti - the highest religious authority in the city, the third holiest in Islam. Before him, both his father and half-brother had been Mufti. Amin himself made the pilgrimage to Mecca already as a boy. Hence the title Haj.

Haj Amin was a natural leader. From an early age he was famous as an Arab nationalist and political activist. During World War I he was an officer in the Ottoman army, but saw no combat and deserted. Then he was active in the Arab rebellion of the Sherif of Mecca (with "Lawrence of Arabia"), and agitated for a united state of Syria, Palestine and Iraq.

Very early on he saw the danger of the Zionist settlement in Palestine and called for resistance. After Palestine became British, the Mufti organized the armed clashes of 1921, which can well be considered as the mother of the war that is still going on.

On the Jewish side of that event, the outstanding personality was Vladimir (Zeev) Jabotinsky, the spiritual father of today's Likud, who prophesied that Arab resistance to the Zionist project would never end: no indigenous people has ever peacefully accepted a colonialist enterprise. (His answer was to build a Zionist "Iron Wall").

Yielding to local pressure, the first British High Commissioner of Palestine, the Jew Herbert Samuel, appointed the rebellious young leader as the Mufti of Jerusalem, hoping to quieten him down. He was to be disappointed. After organizing several rounds of "disturbances", the Mufti called for the "Great Rebellion" of 1936 against the British and the Zionists, which developed into a major campaign with many casualties.

The Mufti had to flee, first to Lebanon, then to Iraq. When the British were preparing to enter Baghdad, he fled to Italy, met Benito Mussolini and broadcast to the Arab world. He was asked to come to Germany and help a propaganda campaign to win over the Arab world. It was then that he met Hitler.

THE MUFTI had prepared in advance a statement that he hoped Hitler would sign. It was an ambitious plan for a United Republic of Palestine[,] Syria and Iraq under German protection, and the appointment of the Mufti as leader of the Arab world.

Hitler glanced at the paper and put it aside. He refused to consider it. First of all, Vichy France was a German ally, and Hitler would not hint that the French colonies would be taken from France. He also did not like the mufti.

All he promised was that after the German army reached the South Caucasus, he would make such an announcement. At the time, the Wehrmacht was at the northern gates of the Caucasus, a long way from the south. It never got there.

In the conversation, the Jews did not come up at all, except for a mention by the Mufti of "the British, Jews and Bolsheviks" as the enemy, and a vague remark from Hitler that the "Jewish question" must be solved "step by step".

The meeting was photographed, as was a later meeting of the Mufti with Muslim volunteers of the Waffen-SS. All in all, the Mufti played a minor role in the German propaganda effort aimed at the Arab world.

All the rest is the fruit of the vivid imagination of Binyamin Netanyahu - who was born eight years after the event.
(c) 2018 Uri Avnery ~~~ Gush Shalom

The Bizarre Facebook Path To Corporate Fascism
By Glen Ford

Facebook has assumed additional political police powers, disrupting a planned counter-demonstration against white supremacists, set for August 12th in Washington, on the grounds that it was initiated and inspired by "Russians" as part of a Kremlin campaign to "sow dissention" in the U.S. The Facebook intervention is a qualitative escalation of the McCarthyite offensive launched by the Democrat Party and elements of the national security state, and backed by most of the corporate media, initially to blame Hillary Clinton's 2016 defeat on "collusion" between Wikileaks, "the Russians" and the Trump campaign to steal and publicize embarrassing Clinton campaign emails.

After failing to produce one shred of hard evidence to support their conspiracy theory, the anti-Russia hysteria mongers switched gears, focusing on the alleged purchase of about $100,000 in Facebook ads by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a St. Petersburg-based Russian company, over a multi-year period. The problem was, most of the ads had no direct connection to the presidential contest, or were posted after the election was over, and many had no political content, at all. The messages were all over the place, politically, with the alleged Russian operatives posing as Christian activists, pro- and anti-immigration activists, and supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller was forced to flip the script, indicting 13 Russians for promoting general "discord" and undermining "public confidence in democracy" in the United States - thus creating a political crime that has not previously been codified in the United States.

In doubling down on an unraveling conspiracy tale, the Mueller probe empowered itself to tar and feather all controversial speech that can be associated with utterances by "Russians," even if the alleged "Russians" are, in fact, mimicking the normal speech of left- or right-wing Americans -- a descent, not into Orwell's world, but that of Kafka (Beyond the Law) and Heller (Catch-22).

Facebook this week announced that it had taken down 32 pages and accounts that had engaged in "coordinated and inauthentic behavior" in promoting the August 12 counter-demonstration against the same white supremacists that staged the fatal "Unite the Right" demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, a year ago. Hundreds of anti-racists had indicated their intention to rally against "Unite the Right 2.0" under the banner of Shut It Down DC, which includes D.C. Antifascist Collective, Black Lives Matter D.C., Hoods4Justice, Resist This, and other local groups.

Facebook did not contend that these anti-racists' behavior was "inauthentic," but that the first ad for the event was purchased by a group calling itself "Resisters" that Facebook believes were behaving much like the Internet Research Agency. "At this point in our investigation, we do not have enough technical evidence to state definitively who is behind it," said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy. "But we can say that these accounts engaged in some similar activity and have connected with known I.R.A accounts."

"The Mueller probe empowered itself to tar and feather all controversial speech that can be associated with utterances by 'Russians,' even if the alleged 'Russians' are, in fact, mimicking the normal speech of left- or right-wing Americans."

Chelsea Manning, whose prison sentence for sending secret documents to Wikileaks was commuted by President Obama, said the counter-protest was "organic and authentic"and that activists had begun organizing several months ago. "Folks from D.C. and Charlottesville have been talking about this since at least February," Manning told The New York Times.

"This was a legitimate Facebook event that was being organized by Washington, D.C. locals," says Dylan Petrohilos, of Resist This. Petrohilos was one of the defendants in the Trump inauguration "riot" prosecutions. He protested Facebook's disruption of legitimate free speech and assembly. "DC organizers had controlled the messaging on the no UTR fb page and now FB made it harder for grassroots people to organize," he tweeted. The organizers insist the August 12 counter-demonstration -- "No Unite the Right 2 - DC" -- is still a go, as is the white supremacist rally.

Whoever was first to buy a Facebook ad -- the suspected Russian "Resisters," or Workers Against Racism, who told the Daily Beast they decided to host their own anti-"Unite the Right 2.0" event because they thought "Resisters" was an "inexperienced liberal organizer" - there was no doubt whatsoever that the white supremacists would be confronted by much larger numbers of counter-demonstrators, in Washington. Nobody in Russia needed to tell U.S. anti-racists to shut the white supremacists down, or vice versa. The Russians didn't invent American white supremacy, or the native opposition to it. Even if Mueller, Facebook, the Democratic Party and the howling corporate media mob are to be believed, the "Russians" are simply mimicking U.S. political rhetoric and sloganeeriing - and weakly, at that. The Workers Against Racism thought the "Resisters" weren't worth partnering with, but that the racist rally must be countered. The Shut It Down DC coalition didn't need the "Resisters" to crystallize their thinking on white supremacism.

The Democratic Party and corporate media, speaking for most of the U.S. ruling class -- and actually bullying one of its top oligarchs, Mark Zuckerberg -- is on its own bizarre and twisted road to fascism. (Donald Trump's proto-fascism is the old fashioned, all-American type that the white supremacists want to celebrate on August 12.) With former FBI Director Robert Mueller at the head of the pack, they have created a pseudo legal doctrine whereby "Russians" (or U.S. spooks pretending to be Russians) can be indicted for launching a #MeToo campaign of mimicry, echoing the rhetoric and memes indigenous to U.S. political struggles, while the genuine, "authentic" American political voices -- the people who are being mimicked -- are labeled co-conspirators in a foreign-based "plot," and their rights to speech and assembly are trashed.

That's truly crazy, but devilishly clever, too. If "Russian" mimics (or cloaked spooks) can reproduce the vocabulary and political program of U.S. dissent, then all of us actual U.S. lefties can be dismissed as "dupes of the Russians" or "co-conspirators" in the speech crimes of our mimics -- for sounding like ourselves.
(c) 2018 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

"It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a
hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home."

GOP And Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin
Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more
By Norman Solomon

Progressives should figure it out. Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more. Echoing the racket of blaming Russia for the USA's severe shortages of democracy plays into the hands of Republicans and corporate Democrats eager to block progressive momentum.

When riding on the "Russiagate" bandwagon, progressives unwittingly aid political forces that are eager to sideline progressive messages. And with the midterm elections now scarcely 100 days away, the torrents of hyperbolic and hypocritical claims about Russia keep diverting attention from why it's so important to defeat Republicans.

As a practical matter, devoting massive amounts of time and resources to focusing on Russia has reduced capacities to effectively challenge the domestic forces that are assaulting democratic possibilities at home -- with such tactics as state voter ID laws, purging of voter rolls, and numerous barriers to suppress turnout by people of color.

Instead of keeping eyes on the prize, some of the Democratic base has been watching and trusting media outlets like MSNBC. An extreme Russia obsession at the network has left precious little airtime to expose and challenge the vast quantity of terrible domestic-policy measures being advanced by the Trump administration every day.

Likewise with the U.S. government's militarism. While some Democrats and Republicans in Congress have put forward legislation to end the active U.S. role in Saudi Arabia's mass-murderous war on Yemen, those efforts face a steeper uphill climb because of MSNBC.

This week, under the headline "It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?"

The FAIR report says: "What seems most likely is MSNBC has found that attacking Russia from the right on matters of foreign policy is the most elegant way to preserve its 'progressive' image while still serving traditional centers of power -- namely, the Democratic Party establishment, corporate sponsors, and their own revolving door of ex-spook and military contractor-funded talking heads."

Corporate media have been exerting enormous pressure on Democratic officeholders and candidates to follow a thin blue party line on Russia. Yet polling shows that few Americans see Russia as a threat to their well-being; they're far more concerned about such matters as healthcare, education, housing and overall economic security.

The gap between most Americans and media elites is clear in a nationwide poll taken after the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, which was fiercely condemned by the punditocracy. As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States."

Yet most Democratic Party leaders have very different priorities. After investing so much political capital in portraying Putin's government as an implacable enemy of the United States, top Democrats on Capitol Hill are hardly inclined to help thaw relations between the world's two nuclear superpowers.

It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home.

National polling underscores just how out of whack and out of touch the party's top dogs are. Last month, the Gallup organization asked: "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" The results were telling. "Situation with Russia" came in at below one-half of 1 percent.

The day after the Helsinki summit, the Washington Post reported: "Citing polls and focus groups that have put Trump and Russia far down the list of voter priorities, Democratic strategists have counseled candidates and party leaders for months to discuss 'kitchen table' issues. Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Prominent corporate Democrats who want to beat back the current progressive groundswell inside their party are leading the charge. Jim Kessler, a senior vice president at the "centrist" Third Way organization, was quick to proclaim after the summit: "It got simple real fast. I've talked to a lot of Democrats that are running in purple and red states and districts who have said that Russia rarely comes up back home, and I think that has now changed."

The Democratic National Committee and other official arms of the party keep sending out Russia-bashing emails to millions of people on a nearly daily basis. At times the goals seem to involve generating and exploiting manic panic.

At the end of last week, as soon as the White House announced plans (later postponed) for Vladimir Putin to meet with President Trump in Washington this fall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off a mass email -- from "RUSSIA ALERT (via DCCC)" -- declaring that the Russian president "must NOT be allowed to set foot in our country." The email strained to conflate a summit with Russian interference in U.S. elections. "We cannot overstate how dangerous this is," the DCCC gravely warned. And: "We need to stop him at all costs."

For Democrats who move in elite circles, running against Putin might seem like a smart election move. But for voters worried about economic insecurity and many other social ills, a political party obsessed with Russia is likely to seem aloof and irrelevant to their lives.
(c) 2018 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."

Babies On Trial
By Jim Hightower

We Americans believe everyone has a right to have their day in court. Right?

But what if the Court is turned into a loony bin, making a mockery of justice? Welcome to the federal immigration courts that are struggling to deal with the insanity of Trump's imperious "zero tolerance" decree that all Latino asylum seekers will be jailed and prosecuted as criminals.

How insane is it? Toddlers, separated from their parents by Trump's border guards, are being put on trial for entering illegally. "We were representing a 3-year-old in court," said a dismayed defender of a migrant kiddo, "and the child - in the middle of the hearing - started climbing up on the table." It really highlighted the absurdity of what we're doing with kids.

Not just doing "with" them, but to them. Fleeing unimaginable trauma in their home country, then suffering the pain of being torn away from their parents inside our border, the expectation that these little ones can mount a legal defense has rightly been labeled "unconscionable" and "grossly inappropriate" by experts. But I would add, inexpertly, that it is insane and evil.

Here's a bit of Trumpian evil for you: Johan, a 1-year-old Honduran boy taken from his amnesty-seeking father by border agents was hauled into federal immigration court in July. A one-year-old! As an AP reporter wrote, the baby briefly played with a ball, drank from a bottle, then "cried hysterically." The law doesn't even require that children have a lawyers to represent them! The judge said he was too "embarrassed" to try explaining this judicial proceeding to anyone: "I don't know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a 1-year-old could learn immigration law," the judge said in exasperation.

This is Jim Hightower saying... Maybe he could try explaining it to the US president who has foisted this lunacy on us. It's a case of the inmates having taken charge of the insane asylum.
(c) 2018 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

Ron Dellums at the US Conference of Mayors in January 2016.

Ron Dellums Maintained A 'Relentless Faith in Our Ability to Make a Better World'
The former congressman, who has died at 82, was a proud battler for peace and justice who took the activism of the streets to Congress.
By John Nichols

When Ron Dellums ran for Congress in 1970, Vice President Spiro Agnew campaigned against him. Richard Nixon's political hitman decried Dellums as an "out-and-out radical" who would bring the protest politics of the streets to the Capitol. Dellums did not object. Indeed, when he won the election, the new congressman from California told the cheering crowd: "One person I forgot to thank-my public relations agent, Spiro T. Agnew."

Agnew got a lot of things wrong in those days. But he was right to fret about Ron Dellums.

Within months of his arrival in Washington, Dellums became so enraged with the failure of Congress to confront the horrors of the Vietnam War that he held an unofficial hearing where US Army veterans spoke of war crimes they said had committed against the people of Vietnam. One newspaper declared, "The hearings included some of the most damning statements of American conduct in war ever heard on Capitol Hill."

The New Left had arrived in the US House of Representatives.

For the better part of three decades (1971-98) as the congressman from a California district that included Oakland and Berkeley, Dellums was the rare member of Congress who could be honestly identified as both an activist and a statesman. After he left Congress, Dellums served four years as mayor of Oakland. Now he has died at age 82, leaving a legacy, in the words of his former aide and successor, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, as "a great warrior and statesman."

"The contributions that Congressman Dellums made to our East Bay community, the nation, and the world are too innumerable to count," said Lee. That is certainly true. But, surely, the list includes his battles against illegal and immoral wars, as well as the military-industrial complex that he fought to constrain as a leader of congressional campaigns against the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber program and the MX Missile project.

As Lee is today recognized as the most ardent anti-war activist in Congress, so Dellums was in his day.

"What shaped my politics regarding war and peace was Martin Luther King Jr., the most extraordinary person that I ever heard. And when he began to talk about the issues of war and peace with such eloquence and such passion, I was drawn to that like a magnet," Dellums recalled. A popular community activist in the Bay Area who bridged the gap between the Black Panthers and more traditional social-service agencies, Dellums agreed to run for the Berkeley City Council in 1967 only if local Democrats would get out of his way and let him practice politics on his own terms.

"That stipulation became the major tenet of Dellums's political career," observed The Oakland Tribune when Dellums announced his retirement plans. Running on a radical anti-war platform in 1970, the Berkeley councilman challenged and defeated a liberal incumbent congressman in the Democratic primary.

Dellums's victory drew national headlines. It became the symbol of a rising new politics that no longer would compromise on issues of war and peace.

"I took the Vietnam War on very strongly. And a number of people said to me, 'Well, you know, the black community's not interested in the Vietnam War.' My response was that black people in America, historically, carried the burden of racial and economic oppression, but they do not have to carry the burden of ignorance. To be in public life, you have to be part of the educative process, and my job is to go out there and help people understand the connection between waging war and spending billions of dollars on military apparati that detracted from the priorities of this country," Dellums explained years later in a discussion sponsored by the progressive Center for Defense Information.

Dellums became a national symbol of the anti-war movement, but he had to battle for respect in Congress. He won a place on the House Armed Services Committee, but not a chair-the chairman, a Southern segregationist, forced him to share a seat with someone else.

"They saw me as a caricature," he recalled. "And they saw Berkeley as 'Berserkeley,' so whoever represented that area has to at best be flaky. They saw the Bay Area as this hotbed of left-wing communist thought. Therefore, Ron Dellums, at a bare minimum, had to be a 'commie pinko extremist.' So here comes this black guy from the Bay Area talking about peace, feminism, challenging racism, challenging the priorities of the country, and talking about preserving the fragile nature of our ecological system. People looked at me as if I was a freak. And in looking back, I think the only crime that we committed was that we were 20 years ahead of our time."

Instead of storming out of the committee and struggling on the periphery, however, Dellums stuck it out. "I did not join the Armed Services Committee to learn about missiles, planes, and ships. I joined because I knew I would need to become an expert in this field in order to argue successfully for military-spending reductions that would free up resources for the desperate human needs that I see every day in my community," said Dellums.

So he became an expert. Even Dellums's critics came to accept his skill as an analyst of Pentagon budgets. In 1993, he rose to the ranking position on the Armed Services Committee, becoming the first African American and the first anti-war activist ever to serve as its chair.

"At that moment, he became a historic figure in Congress," said former US senator George McGovern, who talked with me a number of years ago about his great admiration for the California congressman with whom he served for a decade and often made common cause. "To rise to the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee as a self-described radical from Berkeley is something that most members of Congress in my time would have said was impossible. But Ron did it. If the Democrats had maintained control of the House, who knows what he might have accomplished."

Dellums was not able during his two-year tenure as chairman to achieve his goals of reorienting federal budget priorities from defense to domestic concerns, converting defense industries to nonmilitary production, or developing a foreign policy that would lead the United States to walk gently in the world.

But Dellums had his successes. He was the prime mover behind efforts to cut back or cap weapons programs-most notably the MX missile and the B-2 bomber. His pioneering work to expose and prevent racial discrimination and sexual harassment in the military had a dramatic impact, as did his work to promote peacekeeping as a legitimate role for the US military.

The alternative budgets that Dellums developed as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus-budgets that proposed massive shifts in spending from military to human needs-became rallying points for progressive activists. "On budget issues, he really has been the voice of the left in Congress," Alan Charney, of Democratic Socialists of America, observed when Dellums announced he was leaving Congress.

But Dellums went beyond budgets and defense issues. No one fought harder for an ethical US foreign policy. In 1983, Dellums sought a congressional investigation of the Reagan administration's invasion of Grenada. And when the administration set out to send US aid to the Nicaraguan contras, Dellums filed a lawsuit charging that the move violated the Neutrality Act.

Nowhere was Dellums's contribution more meaningful than in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. When he came to Congress in 1971, Dellums introduced the first bill proposing sanctions against the African nation's white racist government. The anti-apartheid movement in the United States was only beginning to develop at the time, but Dellums's bill began a process that 15 years later would lead to the House vote to enact the measure.

When President Ronald Reagan vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, Dellums and his allies succeeded in getting the Democratic House and a Republican-led Senate to reject the president's wrongheaded position. For the first time in the 20th century, Congress overrode a presidential foreign-policy veto.

After Nelson Mandela was freed from the prisons of South Africa, he toured the United States in 1990. In Washington, it was Dellums who escorted Mandela onto the floor of the US House.

Mandela's final stop was in Oakland, where he was greeted by Dellums. The man who would become president of South Africa embraced his comrade and declared to a crowd of almost 60,000, "We are at a crucial historical juncture. We shall not turn back."

Dellums never turned back. When he retired from the House, he said, "If people are upset by my not being here, that's a good thing. Without pressure from the street, without pressure from the community, without clear, responsible ideas being articulated, you leave elected officials to make decisions based on what's in their best interest."

Ever the activist, he warned that the pressure would continue to be needed. "The struggle to end racism, sexism, and homophobia; to provide for a fully accessible society; to ensure that the children are educated, our families housed, our communities safe, and our environment sound; and to secure the post-Cold War peace dividend all remain urgent national priorities," he said in 1998.

That is still the case today. And that is why the most important legacy that Ron Dellums leaves us is the inspiration to fight on. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) responded to the news of the former congressman's passing by thanking Dellums for his "relentless faith in our ability to make a better world."

It is that faith, the faith of Ron Dellums, that we need now more than ever.
(c) 2018 John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. 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.

World Wealth A False Illusion
By James Donahue

There is an implication via daily media reports that rising values on the world stock exchanges reflects a healthy and growing economy. The stock market numbers go up when world events suggest that the big corporations will be in a position to make more profit. When the opposite is true, the value of stock plunges.

Television anchors faithfully report to us every day just what the stock markets are doing . . . as if that is news that we need to know. In truth, the only people that have an interest in the fluctuations on the stock exchanges are the wealthy individuals who invest their money in business. Most of us are struggling to earn enough money to feed our families with nothing left to think about investing in anything.

So why does the media devote so much time to reporting on the health of Wall Street? It is because there is a constant illusion of wealth that has been drilled into our heads for years. It is all designed to make us feel secure . . . that all is well among the big corporations that control our lives. And if all is well with the people who provide our jobs, then perhaps our jobs are secure.

But it is all a lie. If we would stop for a moment and think about our position in the lop-sided business ventures occurring all around us, we could easily understand the complex game of manipulation that is occurring. In truth, we are all slaves to the few people that control the money.

Even the illusion of freedom that we in the United States claim to cherish is false. While we still are relatively free to express our opinions without too much chance of being arrested and charged with sedition, terrorism or treason, we are reading stories about investigative journalists that are being jailed for refusing to name their sources, or because they publicized some "classified" secret that high government or military officials did not want the public to know about. Consequently, there are not many true investigative journalists operating for the contemporary media.

Since Donald Trump came to power even the free press has come under constant assault. The recent killing of five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, appears to reflect the public reaction to Trump's verbal attacks. The term "fake news" has become a common phrase among newspaper readers and television news watchers. Many now wonder if they can trust daily news reports.

The serious patriots in this country are beginning to go underground. The group known as "Anonymous" is a perfect example of what is happening. They operate in secret and appear publicly behind the masks of Guy Fawkes, a Seventeenth Century English renegade who attempted to kill King James in 1605. The mask was popularized by the Hollywood film V for Vendetta, and has grown as a universal symbol of protest.

What is troublesome is the rapid change that has occurred in the United States since the 9-11 attack. The Bush creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and the passage of the dreaded Patriot Act that gave police and federal authorities the freedom to spy on Americans at home and abroad without a court order has created a police state right under our noses. The police departments have been equipped with military equipment. Even the colors of the uniforms changed from friendly blues and browns to a sinister black.

We now have a growing problem of police shooting unarmed civilians, which seems to be endorsed by the courts. These incidents have sparked mass public demonstrations from New York City to San Francisco. Should we be surprised that police officers are unexpectedly shot to death while doing their daily jobs?

The United States is no longer a Republic or even a Democracy. It has shifted to a plutocracy; a state ruled by the wealthy class.

There are occasional efforts to fix this mess. Vermont's Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the few political figures standing up in support of the needs of the people, made an unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2016. Sanders ran as a Democrat but faced stiff party opposition.

Sanders says a grassroots political movement is needed to make things right. As he prepares for yet another run in 2020, he is calling for a "radical increase and improvement in public consciousness in this country, in political consciousness."

Sanders supports a diversion of the nation's wealth from the military and big corporations to caring for the sick, homeless and hungry. He supports action to fight climate change. He wants to see the nation's infrastructure rebuilt.

To have these things, however, Sanders says there needs to be a mass mobilization by millions of people willing to engage in "a real struggle against the billionaire class."

If such a struggle evolves, it must be something that develops from the grassroots. While Sanders still enjoys a large following, the National Democratic Party appears to be blocking him from running on a party ticket a second time.
(c) 2018 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.

A Whistling Thorn Acacia at the Satao Elerai Conservancy, near Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

We Are The Lorax. We Speak For The Trees
By William Rivers Pitt

The temperate rainforests of North America were once so dense, it is said, that a squirrel could travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River without ever touching the ground. Today, of course, that same squirrel would have to navigate the vast East Coast megalopolis, the rolling farmlands of the Midwest and South, and a spaghetti bowl of state and federal highways from here to there and there to here before it could dip its tail in the big river.

Places yet remain, however, where the trees still hold sway. Oregon and Washington State still enjoy vast swaths of forest untouched and unseen by the steel diligence of modern enterprise. My little town in rural New Hampshire floats on a verdant sea of foliage that changes color in time, withers, dies and returns each spring in a bellowing of green. The town itself was zoned so that every neighborhood has its own small forest, a thought unheard of in places like Boston or Manhattan, where the land would have been plundered long ago for its real estate value. Here, it was instead decided that the trees, to quote Dr. Seuss, are what everyone needs.

Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, was in the news after the election of Donald Trump, despite having passed away more than a quarter century ago, and for good reason. The contradictions of Seuss's canon - which oscillates between presenting the sort of virulent racism and stereotyping embraced by Trump's base, and delivering a searing progressive critique of the military-industrial complex, authoritarianism, fascism and corporate-led environmental destruction - somehow capture the entire spectrum of the current political moment.

Geisel last surged into the news in September, when First Lady Melania Trump excoriated a librarian's decision to decline the Trump family's donation of Seuss books due to racist caricatures of Africans and Asians contained in books such as If I Ran a Zoo.

At the time, the librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro of Cambridge, Massachussetts, wrote, "Many people are unaware ... that Dr. Seuss' illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes," drawing attention to an aspect of the children's author that often gets underemphasized in progressive circles due to the degree of childhood nostalgia that many readers feel in relation to his works. Melania Trump responded by calling Soeiro "divisive," setting off a predictable firestorm between Trump's base and the librarian's defenders.

This week, however, Seuss is back in the news for a very different reason: Anthropology professor Nathaniel Dominy, who teaches at Geisel's alma mater, Dartmouth, believes he has found the Lorax ... or, more specifically, the orange-furred monkey that inspired Geisel's famous character.

For those unacquainted with The Lorax, a brief synopsis: An industrialist called The Once-ler discovers a gorgeous forest made of Truffula trees, which he proceeds to chop down in order to make and sell a nonsense product called a "Thneed." The Once-ler's brutal deforestation displaces birds, fish and forest animals to the point that the Lorax, a mystical creature who "speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues," magically appears to try and stop The Once-ler's destructive behavior.

Alas, The Once-ler's greed cannot be sated, and the Truffula forest continues to fall. The Lorax must send all the animals away to find new homes, lest they perish in the onrushing devastation. In the end, when the last tree is finally down, the Lorax disappears "through a hole in the smog" with only "a sad, sad backward glance."

Alone now but for his regrets, The Once-ler is left to grow old and sad in the ecological ruins of his own making, but finds one final chance for redemption in the guise of a little boy. On the book's final page, he gives the boy the last Truffula seed and orders him to plant a forest, to "protect it from axes that hack," in hopes that "the Lorax, and all of his friends, may come back."

The Lorax, published in the earliest days of the environmental movement, has been celebrated for decades for its haunting ecological warning. It had long been believed that the cypress trees of California served as the basis for Geisel's beautiful Truffula trees, but now Professor Dominy and his co-authors have proffered that Geisel was inspired to write the book in 1971 after seeing the patas monkeys of Kenya and the whistling thorn acacia trees they live in. The patas monkey does bear a striking resemblance to Geisel's Lorax, and the book's artwork depicts trees that closely match the whistling thorn acacia.

While many environmental activists have great affection for the Lorax, mainstream interpretations of Geisel's book have often held the character to be something of an angry pest, a "bossy, pedantic guilt-tripper" according to Atlantic journalist Joe Fassler, interested only in hugging trees and disrupting the march of progress. Writer Emma Marris, in the journal Nature on the 40th anniversary of the book's publication, called the Lorax a "parody of a misanthropic ecologist."

These descriptions are hardly baseless; the Lorax is vocally pissed and makes no bones about it. So was Geisel when he wrote it. "The Lorax," he told the Children's Literature Association Quarterly in 1994, "came out of me being angry. In The Lorax, I was out to attack what I think are evil things and let the chips fall where they might."

Professor Dominy's interpretation turns more than 40 years of accepted understanding of The Lorax on its ear. "Our argument," says Dominy in an interview quoted by The Boston Globe, "is, no, if the Lorax is based on a living animal that has this tight, co-evolved relationship with a tree, then it's better to think of the Lorax not as some indignant steward of the environment but as a participating member of the environment. And then this anger is so much more understandable."

Indeed, we should all be so angry. The weekend newspapers were filled to bursting with stories that would make the Lorax tear off his mustache. "Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act" blared The New York Times. Not to be outdone, the Washington Post ran a lead headline that read, "Trump Administration Officials Dismissed Benefits of National Monuments."

In combination, these reports were yet another litany of ongoing environmental dissolution. Here was more deep damage done by an administration that has deliberately styled itself the sworn enemy of all living things, should those things perchance to vex the pursuit of cheap profits at the expense of silly liberal trivialities like clean air, un-poisoned water and un-plasticized oceans not bent on retaliatory murder.

Anyone who has read even half an inch of Truthout reporter Dahr Jamail's Climate Disruption Dispatches knows all too well that the planet is on fire, the seas are becoming acid, the sky is actually falling, and the Once-lers of the world are greedily stoking the flames. One such squats in the White House, another does his soot-stained bidding at the EPA (which should now stand for Easy Profits Available) and all of them, in the Post's words, seek to "emphasize the value of logging, ranching and energy development" to the inexorable despair of us all.

At the conclusion of The Lorax, The Once-ler is left to brood over the endless ruin of stumps and smoke he created. "And all that the Lorax left here in this mess," he intones, "was a small pile of rocks with the one word ... UNLESS." As he contemplates the young boy to whom he gives the last Truffula seed, The Once-ler finally perceives the possibility of redemption both for himself and for the world he so thoroughly despoiled.

"But now," he exclaims to the boy, "Now that you're here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

I have read that story to my daughter hundreds of times, and she pins me with her eyes each time we reach that line. When we explore our neighborhood forest, she collects fallen acorns and announces, "I found another Truffula seed, Daddy!" whenever she finds one. During one exploration, we came across an ancient tree with five trunks growing from the bole, and she climbed up in between them, hands pressed to the bark. "She stood there timeless," I wrote upon return, "three feet of eternity conducting the energy passing through her, speechless, rigid in bliss. She was in the palm of a living thing, and if she didn't know it, the tree did."

"I am the Lorax," she has told me more than once, and she's right. She is the Lorax, as am I, as are you, as are we all. Unless and until we all care a whole awful lot, the Trump-lers manufactured by this sad, strange society of ours will continue to run rampant, and the Truffula trees will fall. The Lorax was not some curmudgeonly environmentalist complaining for the sake of complaining. He was fighting for his life. As are we all.

Dedicated to my daughter, and to everyone else who speaks for the trees.
(c) 2018 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.

Puppet POTUS
By Heather Digby Parton

Visitors to the gallery of US presidents in the Colorado state Capitol could be excused if they did a double take this week.

There, displayed near paintings of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and in a space set aside for President Donald Trump, was a portrait of a very different president:

Vladimir Putin.

According to the group that funds the portraits, the mug of the Russian leader was placed in Trump's would-be spot by an unknown prankster Thursday morning. It was discovered during a tour.

This might not have happened but for one problem: The state hasn't raised the $10,000 needed for a Trump portrait, leaving an empty spot on the third-floor rotunda in Denver.

Colorado Citizens for Culture, an arts-advocacy group that collects donations for the paintings, said that before the Putin prank it had raised exactly $0 for Trump's portrait. Since news of the stunt spread, two donors had chipped in a total of $45 by midday Saturday.

Colorado State Sen. Steve Fenberg, a Democrat, tweeted a photo of the Putin painting, writing, "As seen in the Colorado State Capitol Hall of Presidential Portraits today...#putinpotus."

Even this level of mockery doesn't move him. And this is a man who felt the need to defend the size of his penis on national television during a presidential debate. It just doesn't make any sense.
(c) 2018 Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

The Future Isn't In Plastics
By David Suzuki

People in Canada discard about 57 million plastic drinking straws every day. In my hometown of Vancouver, we toss out 2.6 million disposable cups every week. It's a global problem. Plastic products are choking landfills and waterways and causing devastation in the oceans. In 2014, scientists even found a new kind of stone in Hawaii, made of sand, shells, coral, volcanic rock and plastic.

That's why Vancouver is set to join cities and countries worldwide in banning single-use items made from plastic and other materials. The ban, which will begin to take effect in fall, will cover plastic and paper shopping bags, polystyrene foam cups and takeout containers, disposable hot and cold drink cups, take-out food containers and disposable straws and utensils from all city-licensed restaurants and vendors.

The city says it costs about $2.5 million a year to collect single-use items from public waste bins and parks, streets and green spaces.

Plastics are durable, which is both a benefit and a problem. Products made from plastics can last a long time but most are discarded after a short time - very short in the case of single-use items - and take a long time to break down. When they do break down, they don't biodegrade; rather, they break into increasingly smaller pieces, many of which end up in the oceans as microplastics that harm aquatic life and birds.

From manufacture to disposal and beyond, these items wreak havoc on the environment. Almost all plastic products are made from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels. Producing them requires a significant amount of resources and pollutes air and water with toxic chemicals. When they're thrown away, they litter landscapes and clog landfills. Often they're carried by wind and waterways to the oceans, where they can be found everywhere, including in massive swirling gyres and in most of the animals that live in or on the seas. Additives in plastics can also leach into food and beverages, harming human health.

When plastics do break down, they don't biodegrade; rather, they break into increasingly smaller pieces, many of which end up in the oceans as microplastics that harm aquatic life and birds.

Plastics haven't been around for long, and their use really only took off after the Second World War, mirroring the boom in fossil fuel use. People have produced more than nine-billion tonnes of plastic in less than 70 years, more than half of it over the past 13 years, according to a study in Science Advances. Only about nine per cent gets recycled, although the figure is higher in countries like China, which produces the most plastic but recycles about 25 per cent. More than half of discarded plastic is packaging.

We're showing no signs of slowing down. According to research by the U.S.-based Center for International Environmental Law, the boom in cheap shale gas production is fuelling "a massive wave of new investments in plastics infrastructure in the US and abroad, with $164 billion planned for 264 new facilities or expansion projects in the US alone, and spurring further investment in Europe and beyond." Companies are marketing plastic packaging and other products to countries that haven't been as reliant on them and are not always as aware of the problems. That could drive production up by a third.

Center staff attorney Steven Feit notes, "Fossil fuels and plastics are not only made from the same materials, they are made by the same companies. Exxon is both the gas in your car and the plastic in your water bottle." He noted that plastics will account for 20 per cent of total oil consumption by 2050 if consumer and production trends continue.

Fossil fuels and plastics are not only made from the same materials, they are made by the same companies. Exxon is both the gas in your car and the plastic in your water bottle.

Steven Feit, Center for International Environmental Law

Plastic can and has been made from other sources, including plant-derived molecules, fibres and starches, but fossil fuels are still relatively plentiful and inexpensive, and plant-based products also come with environmental baggage.

The best way to avoid the massive damage that comes with plastics and fossil fuels is to stop using so many. We can avoid overpackaged products, bring reusable bags and containers to stores and coffee shops and use alternatives. For example, people who need to use straws because of disabilities can carry straws made from biodegradable paper or reusable metal, bamboo or glass.

Cities like Vancouver and the 60 countries moving to ban or impose levies on single-use plastic products are taking a step in the right direction.
(c) 2018 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co_founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Holds Primary Night Event In Atlanta

What, Exactly, Makes This A 'Fringe' Position?
False equivalence strikes again in the pages of The New York Times.
By Charles P. Pierce

As I've mentioned, I hope profoundly that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is allowed to find her own way as a freshman congresscritter and doesn't spend too much of her time as A Symbol. However, her ascent is making so many of the right people completely crazy that I'm starting to become a genuine fan. It's certainly clear that the elite political press in quite transported with the vapors, and one lovely piece of evidence is this very weird New York Times story about the race for governor of Georgia.

(By the way, the meeting held between the NYT's publisher and its editorial-page editor and El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago was both admirably broad-minded and incredibly stupid.) In Georgia, a Democrat named Stacey Abrams is running against this Brian Kemp guy, who is a public loon. This is my interpretation of the election. This is the one in the NYT:

More starkly than in most midterm campaigns, the contest between Mr. Kemp, the two-term Republican secretary of state, and Ms. Abrams, a former Democratic leader in the State Legislature, has come to mirror the disorienting polarization of the Trump era and expose the consequences of a primary system that increasingly rewards those who appeal to the fringes.
Fringes, you say?
Each side frames the election of the other in doomsday terms. Mr. Kemp, the Democrats fear, will take Georgia the way of North Carolina and Indiana, which were tarnished by recent legislative battles over issues like gay rights and the use of public restrooms by transgender people. Republicans warn that Ms. Abrams, who hopes to expand Medicaid health coverage for the poor and disabled, will raise taxes they have cut, reverse the state's job growth, deplete its rainy-day surplus and threaten its superior bond ratings.
Georgians have consistently supported Medicaid expansion, and by large margins, too, right from jump. By what possible standard is this a "fringe" position? I hate it when all the editors show up drunk.

Meanwhile, brother Kemp is the guy who ran this campaign commercial.

Poor Georgia "centrists." Forced to choose between a (black) woman advocating for an enormously popular program that provides health-care for poor people, and some gun-humping maniac who has a big old truck in case he has to drive criminal illegals back to Honduras. Whatever could The Third Way be?
(c) 2018 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...

"A fool and his money are soon elected."
~~~ Will Rogers

Filmmaker Jack Bryan

Russian Mob 'Made Its Move' On Trump In 2002 When He Was In The Hole After A 'Series of Bankruptcies'
Filmmaker Jack Bryan said Trump started getting involved with the Russian mob after he was cut off by major banks.
By Brad Reed

A documentary filmmaker appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday to talk about what he's found while researching "Active Measures," his new movie about Russian connections with President Donald Trump.

Specifically, filmmaker Jack Bryan told the program that Trump didn't really start getting involved with members of the Russian mob until around 2002, when he claims they started "entering the Trump Organization."

Bryan then claimed that Trump had to resort to taking Russian money after a "series of bankruptcies" at Trump properties throughout the 1990s that made it harder for him to raise capital from large American banks.

The Russian mob saw this, Bryan said, and "made their move."

When MSNBC's Willie Geist asked Bryan to clarify what he meant by the mob "making its move" on Trump, the filmmaker elaborated about all the shady money that started pouring into Trump properties after Trump had been cut off by major banks.

"Starting in 2002, whereas before you're seeing incidents of money laundering... you're seeing particularly in buildings like the Trump Soho, the Toronto tower, the Panama tower to an extent, as well, and several others in development where the there is... what certainly appears to be Russian or post-Soviet mafia money going into it," he explained.

Bryan went on to say that the money was coming "particularly from the Ukraine-Russia gas trade, which is an incredibly mobbed up operation" and that "it's been going in there to basically start the building process."

Watch the video below...

(c) 2018 Brad Reed

Madam Jane Predicts:
"You're in the poorhouse now..."
By Jane Stillwater

Madam Jane invited me over for high tea yesterday -- even though she was on a gluten-free kick and the petit-fours were all made from almond flour. I ate them anyway. Not bad.

"In the future," said Madam Jane, "things are going to be different." Of course they will. It's the freaking future. Duh.

"In the old days, cavemen mostly relied on weapons to defend their turf. In the future, however, only smart people will survive. But this is going to be a problem for America in the future. In the future America is going to be a nation of dumb-asses." Oh.

"The most successful nations in the future will only be those who encourage the abilities of all of their citizens." Well you surely can't say that is true about America right now, a country that has systematically ground down the human potential of its Black people, Native Americans, women, Latinos and even poor White people -- systematically ground that potential right into the dirt. Everything tangible and even intangible here has been systematically stolen, funneled, gambled, stripped, given up and/or handed over to America's very top elite.

"A nation that eats its own cannot last," continued Madam Jane. Oh hell. I don't want to be anybody's lunch.

"At this point in time it pretty much looks like America's military power will rule the world forever -- both at home and abroad. But that's just silly." Silly?

"It's just plain silly to think that America's Nazi-like domination will last forever. All people, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or even atheists, will simply get tired of being hit over the head and bossed around. Americans will ultimately end up going from being the world's dominant boss-men to living in the world's biggest poorhouse. You heard it here first."

"Very interesting," I replied. "Thank you for that amazing prediction. Are there any petit-fours left?"
(c) 2018 Jane Stillwater. Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you're at it, please buy my books!

The Dead Letter Office...

Heil Trump,

Dear Unterfuhrer Meadows,

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 plan to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, 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 "Rethuglican 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 09-28-2018. We salute you Herr Meadows, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

6 Reasons For Hope In Trump Times
By Robert Reich

In these darkest of days, here's what gives me hope:

First, Donald Trump has been a giant wake-up call that we can't take democracy for granted. The young people of America get this. I've been teaching for 40 years and I don't recall a generation as committed to social justice, reforming this country, and making it work for all and not just a few.

Look at those kids in Parkland, Florida. Or the millions more who are getting involved in their communities and in politics. They are America's future, and they won't give up.

The second thing that makes me optimistic is occurring at the grassroots of America, where there's more activism than I remember in half a century. The #MeToo movement, Time's Up, #BlackLivesMatter, #Neveragain, the Poor People's Campaign,, They and thousands of other groups and millions of Americans are united by a commitment to end abuses of power - whether by sexual predators, or the police, the National Rifle Association, or billionaires out to undermine our democracy.

Third, Fueled by Trump's election, more women are running for office than ever before. According to Emily's List, more than 36,000 women are interested in running for office in 2018 and beyond. By comparison, 920 women contacted Emily's List in the 2016 campaign.

Fourth, I'm optimistic because America's history shows that every time we've gotten off track, Americans mobilize to get our country back on track. We did this after the Gilded Age of the 1880s and 1890s, when robber barons monopolized the economy; politics was poisoned by money; and poverty, and disease, and horrendous working conditions claimed thousands of lives each year.

We did it again in the Depression decade of the 1930s, after the economy collapsed because of Wall Street's excesses. And again in the 1960s and 1970s, when we embraced civil rights and voting rights, Medicare and Medicaid, and environmental protection. If history teaches us anything, we will again reform this system.

Fifth, I'm also optimistic because these grueling years of the Trump presidency have made us all realize how fragile our democracy really is, and what we need to reform-from the Electoral College and super-delegates to gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and hacker-proof voting machinery.

And most of us now know how important it is to vote.

Finally, I'm optimistic because I don't like the alternative. We must have hope.

The fate of this nation depends on every one of us becoming an activist, joining with others, and reclaiming this land from those bent on destroying it.
(c) 2018 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 web site is

China's President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russia's President
Vladimir Putin arrive for a group picture during the 10th BRICS summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg.

How BRICS Plus Clashes With The US Economic War On Iran
Rhetorical war has far-reaching consequences, including a potential economic slump via the disruption of global oil supplies
By Pepe Escobar

The key take away from the BRICS summit in Johannesburg is that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - important Global South players - strongly condemn unilateralism and protectionism.

The Johannesburg Declaration is unmistakable: "We recognize that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. We underscore the importance of an open world economy."

Closer examination of Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech unlocks some poignant details.

Xi, crucially, emphasizes delving further into "our strategic partnership." That implies increased BRICS and Beyond BRICS multilateral trade, investment and economic and financial connectivity.

And that also implies reaching to the next level; "It is important that we continue to pursue innovation-driven development and build the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) to strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policies, find more complementarities in our development strategies, and reinforce the competitiveness of the BRICS countries, emerging market economies and developing countries."

If PartNIR sounds like the basis for an overall Global South platform, that's because it is.

In a not too veiled allusion to the Trump administration's unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), Xi called all parties to "abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and to settle disputes through dialogue and differences through consultation," adding that the BRICS are inevitably working for "a new type of international relations."

Relations such as these certainly do not include a superpower unilaterally imposing an energy export blockade - an act of economic war - on an emerging market and key actor of the Global South.

Xi is keen to extol a "network of closer partnerships." That's where the concept of BRICS Plus fits in. China coined BRICS Plus last year at the Xiamen summit, it refers to closer integration between the five BRICS members and other emerging markets/developing nations.

Argentina, Turkey and Jamaica are guests of honor in Johannesburg. Xi sees BRICS Plus interacting with the UN, the G20 "and other frameworks" to amplify the margin of maneuver not only of emerging markets but the whole Global South. So how does Iran fit into this framework?

An absurd game of chicken

Immediately after President Trump's Tweet of Mass Destruction the rhetorical war between Washington and Tehran has skyrocketed to extremely dangerous levels.

Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force - and a true rock star in Iran - issued a blistering response to Trump: "You may begin the war, but it is us who will end it."

The IRGC yields massive economic power in Iran and is in total symbiosis with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. It's no secret the IRGC never trusted President Rouhani's strategy of relying on the JCPOA as the path to improve Iran's economy. After the unilateral Trump administration pullout, the IRGC feels totally vindicated.

The mere threat of a US attack on Iran has engineered a rise in oil prices. US reliance on Middle East Oil is going down while fracking - boosted by higher prices - is ramping up. The threat of war increases with Tehran now overtly referring to its power to cripple global energy supplies literally overnight.

In parallel the Houthis, by forcing the Yemen-bombing House of Saud to stop oil shipments via the Bab al-Mandeb port, are configuring the Strait of Hormuz and scores of easily targeted pipelines as even more crucial to the flow of energy that makes the West ticK. If there ever was a US attack on Iran, Persian Gulf analysts stress only Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela might be able to provide enough oil and gas to make up for lost supplies to the West. That's not exactly what the Trump administration is looking for.

Iranian "nuclear weapons" was always a bogus issue. Tehran did not have them - and was not pursuing them. Yet now the highly volatile rhetorical war introduces the hair-raising possibility of Tehran perceiving there is a clear danger of a US nuclear attack or an attack whose purpose is to destroy the nation's infrastructure. If cornered, there's no question the IRGC would buy nuclear weapons on the black market and use them to defend the nation.

This is the "secret" hidden in Soleimani's message. Besides, Russia could easily - and secretly - supply Iran with state-of-the-art defensive missiles and the most advanced offensive missiles.

This absurd game of chicken is absolutely unnecessary for Washington from an oil strategy point of view - apart from the intent to break a key node of Eurasia integration. Assuming the Trump administration is playing chess, it's imperative to think 20 moves ahead if "winning" is on the cards.

If a US oil blockade on Iran is coming, Iran could answer with its own Strait of Hormuz blockade, producing economic turmoil for the West. If this leads to a massive depression, it's unlikely the industrial-military-security complex will blame itself.

There's no question that Russia and China - the two key BRICS players - will have Iran's back. First there's Russia's participation in Iran's nuclear and aerospace industries and then the Russia-Iran collaboration in the Astana process to solve the Syria tragedy. With China, Iran as one of the country's top energy suppliers and plays a crucial role in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Russia and China have an outsize presence in the Iranian market and similar ambitions to bypass the US dollar and third-party US sanctions.

Beam me up, Global South

The true importance of the BRICS Johannesburg summit is how it is solidifying a Global South plan of action that would have Iran as one of its key nodes. Iran, although not named in an excellent analysis by Yaroslav Lissovolik at the Valdai Club, is the quintessential BRICS Plus nation.

Once again, BRICS Plus is all about constituting a "unified platform of regional integration arrangements," going way beyond regional deals to reach other developing nations in a transcontinental scope.

This means a platform integrating the African Union (AU), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the South Asian Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Iran is a future member of the SCO and has already struck a deal with the EAEU. It's also an important node of the BRI and is a key member, along BRICS members India and Russia, of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), essential for deeper Eurasia connectivity.

Lissovolik uses BEAMS as the acronym to designate

"the aggregation of regional integration groups, with BRICS Plus being a broader concept that incorporates other forms of BRICS' interaction with developing economies."

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has defined BRICS Plus and BEAMS as the "most extensive platform for South-South cooperation with a global impact." The Global South now does have an integration road map. If it ever happened, an attack on Iran would be not only an attack on BRICS Plus and BEAMS but on the whole Global South.
(c) 2018 Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His latest book is "Obama Does Globalistan." He may be reached at

The Cartoon Corner...

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Joel Pett ~~~

To End On A Happy Note...

Have You Seen This...

Parting Shots...

Putin's Puppet
By Will Durst

Putin's puppet show was a good one.

It was quite a shock to see the President of the United States bend the knee to Vladimir Putin and act as obsequiously as a Little Leaguer standing next to Aaron Judge. Of course, when Donald Trump spoke while Vladimir Putin drank a glass of water, we all applauded. In their joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland, Donald Trump made Neville Chamberlain look like a historical badass. He's given slobbering lapdogs a bad name. Probably compelled Ronald Reagan to spin in his grave so fast you could light up the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Both conservatives and liberals expressed outrage and confusion to see Trump suck up to Vlad the Impaler so hard, many were surprised the Russian President didn't sport hickeys the size of small manhole covers. Not saying Trump's behavior was a bit smoochy but Melania has to be hoping he wore a condom.

And that was in public. We have no idea what happened at their extra-special, double secret, two-hour meeting alone. They might have dismissed the interpreters and let nature take its course in a joint session of the He Man NATO Haters Club.

Treated themselves to some horizontal refreshments if you catch our drift. Engaged in a little gland-to-gland combat. Played slap the pickle and assault with a friendly weapon. Spent some quality time bumping uglies. Violated the prime directive by engaging in the forbidden polka. Released the Kraken. Or as the kids say: got themselves some serious stank on the hang down.

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta wondered aloud what exactly does Putin have on Trump? Do Russian banks own him? Might there be a video with a live boy or dead goat? Maybe it's his family. Did Eric break a Russian mobster's Tiffany Egg? Is he the Manchurian President? Perhaps has one of those explosive implants under his skin like in a James Bond movie? Maybe his hairpiece is a sentient being designed by Soviet army scientists that has surreptitiously controlled him for decades.

Could it be a Montague/Capulet sort of thing? One theory is he admires the former KGB agent for iron ruling his country for 18 years and wants to grow up to be just like him. More importantly, joining Putin as one of the richest humans on the face of the planet. That would wipe the smirk off Bill Gates' face.

Supporters argue he's playing a long-term game and is a stable genius chess master thinking six moves ahead. Or maybe he gets points for every Russian President suck-up and after accumulating enough he gets to invade one of those little aggressive nations like Montenegro or Albania.

After walking back his walk back and unsaying what he said he didn't say, Trump charged anybody who criticized his groveling as wanting to go to war with Russia. Who knew he was a proponent of Make Love Not War? Besides Michael Cohen, that is.

It's not right for Americans to have to worry our president is so deep in the pocket of Putin, he'll be combing lint out of his hair until the midterms. And with a second summit announced for Washington DC this fall, our only solace is that he is unable to pass on too many critical secrets due to the fact he doesn't know anything.
(c) 2018 Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, "Durst Case Scenario," please visit:

The Gross National Debt

Iraq Deaths Estimator

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 18 # 30 (c) 08/03/2018

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."