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In This Edition

Chris Walker reports, "2 Conservative Justices Hint At Letting Challenge To TX Abortion Law Go Forward."

Ralph Nader recalls, "'On Liberty' - Judge Learned Hand's Wisdom From 1944 More True Today."

Margaret Kimberley reports, "Russell "Maroon" Shoatz Is Free, But Other Political Prisoners Languish."

Jim Hightower says, "Working From Home - While Your Boss Watches You On Video."

William Rivers Pitt says, "Manchin Refuses To Support Reconciliation Bill If It Contains Words."

John Nichols says, "Meet The Socialist Candidate For NYC Mayor."

James Donahue says the, "'Ardi' Discovery Slams Genesis Creation Myth."

David Swanson finds, "Rotary Divests From Weapons Companies."

David Suzuki concludes, "Trade And investment Rules Shouldn't Undermine Climate Ambition."

Charles P. Pierce warns, "The Supreme Court May Execute Steve Bannon's Plan To Destroy The Administrative State."

Juan Cole explores, "Top 3 Ways Biden Can Restore Iran Nuclear Deal If He Really Wants To."

Robert Reich wonders, "What Happened To The Party Of Limited Government?"

Bill McKibben returns with, "As Biden Speaks At The Glasgow Climate Summit, Manchin Muddles The Message."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News reports, "Hot Air Generated By Leaders At COP26 Climate Summit To Be Used To Heat Homes," but first, Uncle Ernie wonders, "Three Or Four Or Five Degrees Celsius Warmer By The End Of This Century?"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Joep Bertrams, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Robert Alexander, Robot Brainz, Kent Nishimura, Los Angeles Times, Anadolu Agency, Rojas for Mayor Campaign, Erin Schaff, Robert Reich, Jim Hightower, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments-

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Three Or Four Or Five Degrees Celsius Warmer By The End Of This Century?
Global warming strikes again!
By Ernest Stewart

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

I see where if nothing is done to seriously stop global warning we maybe on the path to double 1.5 degrees C before the end of the century! According to Kim Cobb a climate scientist at Georgia Tech and one of the authors on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "I fear that without science-based policy, and that most ambitious target being achieved, we will be facing a 3 degree C world by later this century. It's almost unimaginable, frankly."

Daniel Swain of the University of California, Los Angeles says, "Bad for humans. Bad for ecosystems. Bad for the stability of the Earth systems that we humans depend on for everything."

You'll remember that this summer, the Northwest Pacific heat wave brought Death Valley-like temperatures to British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington, killing hundreds of people in an event that scientists agree would have been "virtually impossible" without climate change. Then a record-setting downpour dropped about 9 inches in the middle of Tennessee, killing about two dozen people. And last weekend, more than 5 inches dropped in a day in California's capital city of Sacramento, setting a new record.

"What I think about is: What would the shocking event be in a 3-degree-warmer world?" There are very few places on Earth that are not going to see an increase in the maximum precipitation intensity," Swain said, later adding: There are "very likely zero places that are not going to experience an increase in the most extreme hot days."

A way to envision what this might look like in the places in which we live is to consider the projected number of days where the local temperature hits or exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Earlier this century, Arizona experienced roughly 116 days of such high temperatures, Texas experienced about 43 days, Georgia about 11 days, Montana approximately 6 days, and Massachusetts just 1 day, according to modeling by the Climate Impact Lab. Were global temperatures to rise by an average of 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, those numbers would spike to an estimated range of 179 to 229 days of at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit days in Arizona, 135 to 186 days in Texas, 85 to 143 days in Georgia, 46 to 78 days in Montana, and 26 to 66 days in Massachusetts, per the same analysis.

By the end of 2100, sea levels are expected to rise by about 2 feet on average. That would be near catastrophic for small island nations. Most of Maldives, large swaths of the Bermuda archipelago, and some of Seychelles island, including its airport, could be underwater. So too could large parts of Thailand's capital of Bangkok, home to more than 5 million people; the Netherland's Amsterdam, the Hague, and Rotterdam cities, which are, combined, home to about 2 million people; and much of the US Gulf Coast, including sections of the big cities like New Orleans and Texas's Galveston. These examples are based on mapping by the research group Climate Central, whose projections do not account for current or future defenses constructed to counter rising water levels.

"An estimated 12% of the current global population living on land could be threatened."

Water will continue rising next century and the one after. So jumping to 2,000 years in the future, Robert Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University, expects water levels to be somewhere between 13 feet to more than 30 feet above current levels. That much water, assuming there's no defenses in place against the rising levels, would likely inundate parts of California's Bay Area and Los Angeles and reconfigure much of the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida coasts, according to Climate Central mapping.

"An estimated 12% of the current global population living on land could be threatened under long-term future sea level rise under the 3 degrees Celsius scenario," said Scott Kulp, a principal computational scientist at Climate Central. "So that amounts to 810 million people."

The window to keep within the 1.5 degree warming target is closing, COP26 president Alok Sharma has warned the climate summit in Glasgow.

Scientists say that keeping global warming below 1.5C - a target world leaders agreed to work towards in 2015 - will avoid the worst climate impacts.

"We know our shared planet is changing for the worse, and we can only address that together," said Mr Sharma.

Sunday was day one of COP26, which was postponed from 2020.

In his opening speech at the summit, Mr Sharma said: "During that year climate change did not take time off."

A report by the World Meteorological Organisation, launched to coincide with the start of COP26 , said that extreme weather events - including powerful heat waves and devastating floods - are the new normal.

Mr Sharma said: "We need to hit the ground running to develop the solutions that we need. And that work starts today - and we succeed or fail as one."

The Conservative MP added that COP26 was "our last best hope" to meet the aim originally set by world leaders in Paris six years ago.

"Where Paris promised, Glasgow delivers," he said.

Mr Sharma, who was appointed to the role of COP26 president on 8 January, said the "rapidly changing climate is sounding an alarm to the world."

"I believe we can move negotiations forward and launch a decade of ever increasing ambition and action."

He earlier said, "this is on leaders" and they needed "to come forward." Prime Minister Boris Johnson says, "the biggest threat to humanity," saying it posed a "risk to civilisation basically going backwards."

From what I've seen I wouldn't be surprised if the temperature rose to 4 or 5 degrees C by the end of the century. It certainly will, if Joe Manchin and Mitch McConnell have their ways!


08-25-1944 ~ 11-01-2021
Thanks for the music!

07-29-1948 ~ 11-03-2021
Thanks for the music my friend!


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


Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2021 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

2 Conservative Justices Hint At Letting Challenge To TX Abortion Law Go Forward
By Chris Walker

Update: Two members of the conservative bloc of justices who originally sided with a majority order issued by the Supreme Court in September, allowing a restrictive Texas abortion law to remain in place, suggested in arguments heard on Monday that they were now skeptical over the law.

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have insinuated that their opinions on the statute may have shifted. Two months ago, they joined with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito in allowing the law to stand without granting a stay to its implementation. However, the justices recently asked lawyers questions that hinted at the possible endorsement of the belief that abortion providers had a right to sue Texas directly over the law's design.

Kavanaugh worried that the strategic design of the law, which places the onus of enforcement on individuals rather than the state by incentivizing private citizens to sue those who help others obtain an abortion, could be used to block other constitutional rights, such as the Second Amendment right to gun ownership. Barrett, meanwhile, expressed concern over whether the law was crafted in a way that would prevent a "full constitutional defense" of protections already conferred on people seeking an abortion within state courts.

"I'm wondering if, in the defensive posture in state court, the constitutional defense can be fully aired," she said.

No ruling has been issued on the matter as of yet, and it's not guaranteed that Barrett or Kavanaugh will join with three liberal bloc justices and Chief Justice John Roberts in placing an enjoinment on the law while it's settled in lower courts.

The original article appears below.

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in the cases challenging Texas's repressive abortion law, which effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The Court, which granted expedited review of the law in late October, will hear two cases relating to the statute, examining whether the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) and/or abortion providers in Texas have legal standing to challenge the law.

The law, which contains no exceptions for rape or incest, is uniquely cruel in that it places the onus of enforcement on private individuals rather the state, incentivizing individuals to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a person access an abortion for sums of up to $10,000. Because of this strategic framework, the conservative bloc majority of the Supreme Court refused to place a hold on the law's implementation in a 5-4 decision in September.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the four justices dissenting with the order, described the Court's decision to enable enforcement of the law as "stunning."

"Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand," she wrote.

Texas is planning to continue asserting that neither abortion providers suing the state or the DOJ have standing to challenge the law - a dubious claim considering that abortion providers are directly targeted by the law, facing lawsuits from individuals who allege that they helped someone procure an abortion. The Justice Department, meanwhile, is invested in continuing the precedent protecting abortion rights set in past cases.

Texas's abortion law "is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in September. "The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that no state can deprive individuals of their constitutional rights through a legislative scheme specifically designed to prevent the vindication of those rights."

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit against Texas on behalf of providers in the state, condemned the law for impeding a person's right to undergo a safe and routine medical procedure.

"Here, [where] a state enacts a blatantly unconstitutional statute, assigns enforcement authority to everyone in the world, and weaponizes the state judiciary to obstruct those courts' ability to protect constitutional rights, the federal courts must be available to provide relief," the organization said.

(c) 2021 Chris Walker is based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Focusing on both national and local topics since the early 2000s, he has produced thousands of articles analyzing the issues of the day and their impact on the American people.

Judge Learned Hand

'On Liberty' - Judge Learned Hand's Wisdom From 1944 More True Today
By Ralph Nader

When I was in Law School, among the most revered legal opinions were those by Judge Learned Hand of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. They were precisely reasoned, not verbose, and reflected a very cultivated sense of justice, in the judgment of my law school professors. We were, nonetheless, encouraged to critique them in class.

What impressed me most about Judge Hand was a brief address he delivered in 1944, in the midst of World War II, to an audience gathered in New York's Central Park on the occasion of "I Am an American Day."

There was every temptation to give a "red, white and blue" speech of exuberant patriotic rhetoric. After all, the battles on the European and Pacific fronts were furious and producing mass casualties on all sides. Judge Hand resisted narrating the customary, nationalistic exaltations. Instead, he provided gentle transcendental wisdom for the ages. He spoke of people as being either the progenitors or destroyers of 'liberty,' as he broadly and deeply defined that abused word. We give birth or foster the light or darkness of a society. We are responsible, by clear inference, for allowing the concentrations of tyrannical exercises of power by the avaricious, despotic few over the many.

Judge Hand was fallible in his short discourse. Immigrants started to come to settle in America in the 17th century seeking various freedoms from oppression and want. Unfortunately, these freedoms were collectively exercised at a deadly price to the First Natives of the continent - who bore the brutal brunt of genocide, terror, and armed seizure of their lands.

Read Judge Hand's entire remarks below and note their prophetic pertinence for addressing today's entrenched power brokers who put excessive profits over principle as they deepen and expand the ravaging corporate state.

The "Spirit of Liberty"

A speech given by Judge Learned Hand on May 21, 1944, in celebration of I Am an American Day.

We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land. What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty; freedoms from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This we then sought; this we now believe that we are by way of winning.

What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.

What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.

And now in that spirit, that spirit of an America which has never been, and which may never be; nay, which never will be except as the conscience and courage of Americans create it; yet in the spirit of that America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America I ask you to rise and with me pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country.

(c) 2021 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Russell "Maroon" Shoatz Is Free, But Other Political Prisoners Languish
By Margaret Kimberley

The demand for freedom of political prisoners must be consistently made for their sakes and for all at risk of joining them in the future.

Russell "Maroon" Shoatz has been granted compassionate release after 50 years in prison. The length of his sentence is outrageous but it is hardly unique. The United States not only has the dubious distinction of being the country with the largest population of incarcerated people, but it also has political prisoners held longer than anywhere else in the world. Shoatz is now 78-years old and suffering from cancer. To be blunt, he is being released so that he can die outside of prison walls.

Of course there is deeply felt happiness that Shoatz will be freed for whatever time remains in his life, but no one should forget the tortures he suffered, including 22 years in solitary confinement. No one should forget the other prisoners such as Mumia Abu Jamal, Ruchell Magee, Sundiata Acoli, and Dr. Mutulu Shakur. They are the best known, but there are hundreds of people imprisoned since the days of the liberation movement. That movement was crushed in part because its most committed fighters were locked away.

As the late Glen Ford pointed out, we must say their names while they are still alive. We must say their names because they still live, instead of only remembering those who are dead at the hands of the police. Our remembrance should not be restricted to those who have passed but should be expanded to include the men and women whose lives were taken from them by imprisonment under brutal conditions.

There is also an element of self defense in advocating for these elders. The members of the Black Liberation Army and Black Panther Party were obvious targets so many years ago, but so were people who took to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. Six of them died mysteriously in the years that followed. Others are serving long sentences for minor offenses. Anyone who makes themselves known as an activist is a potential political prisoner. The noble act of fighting for their freedom is also necessary self protection.

The defeat of the movement created amnesia for some and a genuine lack of knowledge for the generations that followed. Demanding community control of the police or defunding or abolition are logical steps in a process begun by the freedom fighters who have been locked away for so long. Today's struggle against the state is a continuation of what Shoatz and others carried out decades ago.

Lest anyone forget, the state is no less dangerous now than it was 50 years ago when he and others were first imprisoned. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks the FBI changed tactics and began initiating crimes that were then prosecuted. Once again, draconian sentences were dispensed to Black people such as the Newburgh Four and the Liberty City Seven. They and others were entrapped by agent provocateurs who ensnared them in crimes they had created themselves and then testified against them in court.

Police departments all over the country surveil activists by old fashioned means and with the use of modern day technology. The Patriot Act was created in the days after September 11 and is regularly renewed by congress with as little scrutiny as when it was passed. The National Security Agency has records of every American's electronic communications, from phone calls to emails. The FBI created a new designation, the Black Identity Extremist, which can mean anything they want it to mean, and gives them the ability to ensnare anyone they like for any reason at all.

The word fascism is bandied about frequently and often incorrectly. But it certainly applies in any description of Black people's interactions with law enforcement. The mass incarceration state has quadrupled since 1970 and it can be said that most of those imprisoned are in fact political prisoners. The prison system grew so large in direct response to political activity. The end of legal segregation demanded a new means of control. It can be said that the more than one million incarcerated Black people are all political prisoners, locked away not because most of them are dangerous, but because the resistance of the 1960s and 1970s demanded harsh reaction.

We are grateful that Shoatz will be free but there are many more left behind bars. We can't celebrate the release of the surviving members of the MOVE 9 or Shoatz or anyone else unless all of the names are lifted up. "What's the call? Free 'em all!"

(c) 2021 Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-mail at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.Com.

Working From Home - While Your Boss Watches You On Video

By Jim Hightower

If you're a corporate employee, you know that something unpleasant is afoot when top executives are suddenly issuing statements about how committed they are to their employees, making sure that all of them are treated with dignity and respect.

For example, the PR chief of a global outfit named Teleperformance, one of the world's largest call centers, was recently going on and on about how "We value our people and their well-being, safety, and happiness." Why did the corporation feel such a desperate need to proclaim its virtue? Because it's been caught in a nasty scheme to spy on its own workers.

Teleperformance - a $6.7 billion global behemoth that handles customer service calls for Amazon, Apple, Uber, etc. - saves money on overhead by making most of its 380,000 employees around the world work from their own homes. That can be a convenience for many workers, but a new corporate policy first imposed in March on thousands of its workers in Columbia, is an Orwellian nightmare. Teleperformance is pressuring them to sign an eight-page addendum to their employee contracts, allowing corporate-controlled video cameras, electronic audio devices, and data collection tools to be put in their homes to monitor their actions. "I work in my bedroom," one employee noted. "I don't want to have a camera in my bedroom." Neither would I, and I doubt that Teleperformance's $20 million-a-year CEO would allow one in his mansion. Uglier yet, the privacy-obliterating contract requires that even the children of employees can be spied on at home. Nonetheless, the Columbian worker signed, because her supervisor said she could lose her job if she refused.

Of course, Teleperformance Inc. assures us that the data it collects on children is not shared elsewhere. But how do we know that? Trust us, they say.

This is Jim Hightower saying... Do you?

(c) 2021 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

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks during a news conference on the Senate Side of the U.S. Capitol Building on November 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Manchin Refuses To Support Reconciliation Bill If It Contains Words
By William Rivers Pitt

When all is said and done, there's nothing left to say or do. That's how I'm feeling abut the descriptive powers of the English language as it pertains to the ongoing one-man hostage crisis known as Joe "Freaking" Manchin. How many new and novel ways are there to say it? THE MAN WANTS TO DESTROY THE BUILD BACK BETTER ACT, period, and he will keep moving the goal posts until he (and his coal-soot paymasters) gets what he wants.

How many times has this snake shed its skin? First it was the money, but then the money came down, so it became about his fear of creating an "entitlement nation." That was a good one, coming from a senator whose West Virginia home takes in more federal aid for its citizens than any other state except New Mexico.

Manchin did active, palpable harm to thousands of his own people when he slashed his way through the Medicare, prescription drug pricing, child care and tax reforms that one sat at the heart of President Joe Biden's social agenda. He put life on Earth as we know it in peril by stomping out the most effective climate measures contained within the legislation. Late last week, after even more concessions from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the bill looked like it had a chance. Right on cue, Manchin moved the goal posts, again.

First, though, he let everyone dangle over the weekend off the barbed hook he offered instead of a straight answer when asked if he would support the proposed legislative framework. Progress, progress, we're making progress, muttered the Democratic crowd, but all were nervously looking over their shoulders like swimmers in well-chummed waters, waiting for the fin and the teeth and the eyes that roll over white before the chewing starts.

On Monday morning, Manchin told CNN, "I think there needs to be clarity on where everybody stands." By the end of the day, everyone knew where he stood, which was nowhere, again, while the bill was once more left thrashing on the deck like a boated marlin dying of fresh air in broad daylight.

"I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact it will have on our national debt, our economy and the American people," Manchin told the assembled media on Monday afternoon. "Every elected representative needs to know what they are voting for and the impact it has, not only on their constituents, but the entire country. I'm open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward. But I'm equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country." Fine, noble talk... and complete bullshit. Manchin knows what is and was in this legislation. The man caterwauling about its price tag was all too happy to attack and destroy all the parts of the bill that were meant to pay for the bill. There is nothing ideological about this beyond the profit ideology of his donors. If you want to kill something, you go for the heart and lungs. That is what Manchin and his pharmaceutical cohort Kyrsten Sinema have been doing all along, and that's what Manchin did again on Monday.

The most crass part of Manchin's little Monday homily came when he attacked the CPC for holding the bill "hostage" because they want it passed simultaneously with the infrastructure bill. All of Congress wants the infrastructure bill: It is toothlessly bipartisan, and has already passed in the Senate by a wide margin. Yet the CPC knows that passing infrastructure without the Build Back Better Act will all but doom the Act to defeat, which is what Manchin and his money people have sought from the beginning.

"Just want to make sure I have the past 24 hours right," tweeted HuffPost senior politics reporter Kevin Robillard. "Progressives move towards doing what Joe Manchin wants, then he holds a press conference and says a bunch of stuff basically guaranteeing progressives won't do what he wants."

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post was even more pointed. "Ugh," he tweeted. "Just nonstop bad faith from @Sen_JoeManchin, cloaked in phony pieties casting him as the only responsible party in town."

For its part, the CPC continues to say all the right things about making progress and having hope. "We are taking the president's word at the fact that he believes he can get 50 votes in the Senate," CPC Chair Pramila Jayapal said just after Manchin's Monday presser. Jayapal made it clear that none of Manchin's actions, now or going forward, will affect the CPC's demand that both bills be passed together. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to maintain that a vote on one or both will take place this week, even as she said the same thing last week, and the week before.

Everyone involved is going to have to have a little come-to-Jesus moment with themselves and this whole process regarding the machinations of Joe Manchin. The man wants everything, which means he wants nothing, as in no Build Back Better Act with its pesky $550 billion in climate rescue funds. As a funny friend noted the other day, Manchin will only support a bill that contains no words. Hilarious, right? Also God's own truth.

(c) 2021 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.

Cathy Rojas is a socialist teacher and organizer running for mayor of New York City.

Meet The Socialist Candidate For NYC Mayor
Frontrunner Eric Adams, who is all but certain to win the New York City mayoral race Tuesday, is facing a field of rivals, including Cathy Rojas, a public school teacher from Queens.
By John Nichols

"This is not a socialist country; let's be clear on that," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City, on "Real Time With Bill Maher," in July, following a hotly contested Democratic primary. Throughout his campaign, Adams has made it abundantly clear that he is not aligned with the left. Indeed, just a few days before the Maher interview, he took a swipe at supporters of democratic socialism by announcing, "I'm no longer running against candidates. I'm running against a movement," referring to democratic socialist activists in New York and nationally.

But that's not quite true. Adams is running against a number of candidates in the November 2 election, and one of them proudly identifies as a candidate of a socialist party. Indeed, with several New York election contests featuring candidates who identify as democratic socialists, and with socialists bidding on Democratic lines outside the city, the country might be a bit more socialist than Adams realizes.

While his main opponent is Republican Curtis Sliwa, a talk radio host and longtime leader of the Guardian Angels, Adams faces seven other contenders from across the political spectrum. There's a Conservative. There's a Libertarian. And there's Cathy Rojas, a 30-year-old public school teacher from Queens who is running as the candidate of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.

"I'm running as a socialist," said Rojas.

We've been sold a lie that socialism is something scary. Socialism is the future where workers have power, can live with dignity and where the basic necessities to survive are guaranteed rights, not under daily threat. Socialism is where we, the workers who create the wealth and profits, can dictate how resources are spent based on community solutions that work, not the politicians in the pockets of big business and real estate developers."
Rojas's campaign promises "A City for All, Not the Rich." She developed her platform in collaboration with a volunteer campaign team made up of "working-class women of color who sat down to create a socialist platform that works," she said. It calls for using city funds to create sustainable jobs for the unemployed and under-employed, for free transportation, and for defunding the police. She's got a detailed plan to address the housing crisis, with real rent controls that prevent landlords from charging more than 20 percent of tenants' household income. And she wants the city to seize vacant properties to create permanent affordable housing.

As a community activist who has been involved in mutual aid projects to provide support for families that were hard hit by Covid-19, she wants to fully fund existing public hospitals and open new public hospitals in low-income neighborhoods and areas most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rojas would fund this transformational agenda by imposing higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires, and by creating a Public Bank of New York City to provide affordable financial services for working-class families and to make equitable investments.

Her vision has struck a chord not just with independent activists but with at least some Democrats. Rojas has earned endorsements from several prominent political figures in the nation's largest city. Kristin Richardson Jordan, a Democratic City Council candidate from Central Harlem's District 9, said Rojas is "the best mayoral candidate for Harlem and her policies are truly in service to Black liberation and in the vein of breaking systemic racism, white supremacy and patriarchy." Another backer, state Senator Julia Salazar, a Democrat who is a member of the group Democratic Socialists of America, which has not made an endorsement in the contest, hails Rojas as a working-class public school teacher who "has demonstrated her commitment to empowering our most vulnerable neighbors."

Salazar said, "It's crucial that we challenge political hegemony by supporting Cathy: an inspiring, socialist candidate who is running to truly be the voice for the people."

Despite the support she's attracted from elected officials and activists, Rojas has had a tough time overcoming the political hegemony Salazar refers to. Rojas's low-budget campaign has raised a little over $20,000. That's just a fraction of the more than $19 million Adams has collected with aggressive fundraising efforts targeting wealthy donors who are attracted to the candidate's Wall Street-friendly promise that "New York will no longer be anti-business."

Particularly rankling for Rojas was her exclusion from the mayoral debates involving Adams and Sliwa. "I'm working full-time while campaigning with a team of dedicated volunteers. Because we didn't raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, I'm barred from the debates," Rojas declared at a protest over her exclusion on October 20.

"In a society where money equals power and the media is necessary to get messages out to the most people, a person like me, a worker, isn't taken seriously unless the ultra-rich support my message. This is outrageous. The working class also deserves to have their side represented in the debates! If the media truly cared about what the nurses, custodians, and line cooks cared about, they would like our side on that debate stage."
So Rojas won't be able to directly challenge Adams on his assertions regarding socialism's appeal, nationally or in New York. But it is worth noting that several democratic socialists are expected to be elected to the New York City Council on Tuesday. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is expected to be reelected with ease on Tuesday, said in an interview with Jacobin Magazine, "I have no problem saying I'm a democratic socialist."

It's also worth noting that former Mayor David Dinkins was an active member of DSA, that former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was once elected to Congress on the Socialist Party line, and that Socialist Party candidates such as Norman Thomas and Morris Hillquit won over 150,000 votes in their bids for the mayoralty in the late 1920s and early 1930s. And, of course, in New York state's second largest city, Buffalo, a democratic socialist, India Walton, is the Democratic nominee for mayor.

(c) 2021 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

'Ardi' Discovery Slams Genesis Creation Myth
By James Donahue

The discovery of the fossilized remains of 36 ancient pre-human creatures that walked the Earth some 4.4 million years ago has been said to have toppled the "missing link" theory and obviously has fundamental Jews and Christians scratching their heads.

This amazing revelation, unveiled recently by an international research team led by paleoanthropologist Tim White of University of California, Berkeley, has held up as its showpiece the skull and bones and haunting drawing of a female member of this ancient tribe identified as "Ardi."

Described as neither ape nor human, Ardi is being identified as a member of an ancient pre-human species the scientists are calling Ardipithecus ramidus. The team notes they aren't the oldest known fossils of huminids but comprise the most complete and compelling set of bone fossils discovered to date.

White said the discovery, first unearthed in 1994, "gives us a new perspective on our origins. We opened a time capsule from a time and place that we knew nothing about."

A discovery of this magnitude does a lot to support Darwin's evolutionary theories, and which is more, it eliminates the idea that humans evolved from apes. It appears that humanoids and apes broke off from the evolutionary tree a very long time ago, probably long before Ardi and her tribe appeared on the scene.

Among the information already gleamed from the fossil record is that this species of hominid walked upright and since the bones were located in the same area, may have developed some kind of social, if not family relationships.

The discovery also leaves the door open for alien intervention that created the spark that turned hominid-type primates into god-like, thinking, bicameral-brained humans that build monuments, religious belief systems, languages and find unique ways to use natural elements of the planet to make choices of either dominating the world or go into self-destruct.

It is obvious that the story of Adam and Eve suddenly appearing in a garden and starting the human race an estimated 8,000 years ago is pure mythology from a people who could think of no better explanation of how or why we came into existence.

Yet the mystery of the real age of man and his ancestors, and the very origins of life remain in the realm of religious thought. Miracles like that don't just happen by chance. They demand the work of a higher intelligent power that put all of this together.

For those of us on the outside looking in, the overall mystery is just where do we find and identify this higher intelligent power. Is it within ourselves, or are we but a minute part of the whole which may be all of the known universe and even beyond?

(c) 2021 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.

Rotary Divests From Weapons Companies
By David Swanson

A Rotarian has just made me aware that Rotary quietly adopted a policy in June of not investing in weapons companies. This is worth celebrating and encouraging all other organizations to do likewise. Here is the policy, excerpted from a document pasted below:

"The Rotary Foundation . . . will typically avoid investment in . . . companies that derive significant revenue from producing, distributing, or marketing . . . military weapons systems, cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, and nuclear explosives."
Now, I'll admit that declaring what you will "typically" not do is weak compared to declaring what you will never do, but it does create leverage to make sure that in fact the "typical" behavior is at least mostly what is done.

And it is certainly odd that after "military weapons systems" three particular types of military weapons systems are added, but there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to read that as excluding other types of military weapons systems. They seem to all be covered.

Below is appendix B from the minutes of a Rotary International board meeting in June 2021. I've bolded a bit of it:



The Rotary Foundation acts responsibly and invests responsibly.

The Rotary Foundation recognizes that environmental, social and governance factors are material to the performance of investment portfolios, the objective of generating high long-term returns, and managing investment risk and aligns with its mission to act responsibly and create lasting positive change.

The Rotary Foundation will invest its financial resources and:

promote alignment with its mission to act responsibly and create lasting positive change.

incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into the investment analysis and decision-making process.

consider investments which deliver tangible, measurable positive social and environmental impact in addition to the required financial return.

be active and engaged owners and incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into the exercise of shareholder rights.

Selection and retention of investments Maximum economic return is the primary criteria for selection and retention of investments, except in cases relating to the disposition of securities in certain circumstances described herein.

At no time will an investment be selected or retained for the purpose of encouraging or expressing approval of specific activities or, alternatively, for the purpose of placing The Rotary Foundation in a position to contest specific activities.

The Rotary Foundation will generally invest in companies demonstrating sound business practices, including a commitment to environmental sustainability, progressive work-place policies, responsible business operations particularly in jurisdictions that may not have a well-developed regulatory framework, ethical and visionary leadership, and strong corporate governance practices.

The Rotary Foundation will avoid investing in companies that have systematically failed to protect the environment, human rights, workers, or prove unwilling to engage in a meaningful process of change and will typically avoid investment in companies with egregious environmental profiles, direct involvement with severe human rights abuses, pervasive or long-standing patterns of discriminatory behavior, a record of not addressing labor issues, and companies that derive significant revenue from producing, distributing, or marketing firearms, tobacco, pornography, or military weapons systems, cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, and nuclear explosives.

Exercise of shareholder rights

The Rotary Foundation will exercise its right to vote on corporate matters and take such action to prevent or correct societal harm or social injury caused by a company's actions, products, or policies.

Where a finding has been made that a company's activities cause societal harm or social injury,

The Rotary Foundation will vote, or cause its shares to be voted, for a proposition which seeks to eliminate or reduce the societal harm or social injury caused by a company's activities or develop a risk management regime,

The Rotary Foundation will vote against a proposition which seeks to prevent such elimination, reduction, where a finding has been made that the activities which are the subject of the proposition cause societal harm or social injury, except in cases in which the proposition seeks to eliminate or reduce social injury by means which are found to be ineffective or unreasonable.

The Rotary Foundation will not vote its shares on any resolution which advances a position on a social or political question unrelated to the conduct of the company's business or the disposition of its assets.

Divestment (sale) of individual securities held

Where applicable, The Rotary Foundation will sell a security in circumstances where a finding has been made that a company's activities cause grave societal harm or social injury and:

it is unlikely that, within a reasonable period of time, the exercise of shareholder rights will succeed in modifying the company's activities sufficiently to eliminate the societal harm or social injury, or

it is unlikely that modification of the company's activities will, within the near future, have a sufficiently unfavorable economic impact on the company to cause The Rotary Foundation to sell the security under maximum economic return criterion, or

it is likely that, in the normal course of portfolio management, the security in question will be sold before the action initiated by The Rotary Foundation can be completed.

The office of investment will implement these guidelines in a commercially prudent manner based on its reasoned judgment and consideration of the facts and circumstances.

(c) 2021 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Canada's approach to global trade and investment has immensely benefited extractive and petrochemical industries and worked against our national climate ambitions.

Trade And investment Rules Shouldn't Undermine Climate Ambition
By David Suzuki

If world representatives at the UN climate conference in Glasgow put talk into action, we could forestall the worst impacts of the rapidly accelerating climate crisis. But we have to look beyond the Conference of the Parties - COP26 this year. If agreements under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are undermined through other international structures, we could face a grim future.

Negotiations at COP26 - from October 31 to November 12 - are critical to building on and strengthening measures set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. They include raising climate finance and finalizing rules on international carbon markets, agreeing on transparency and a global goal for adaptation and more.

One shortcoming of the COP process, though, is that the Paris Agreement's system of accountability doesn't allow for enforcement of "nationally determined contributions," which spell out each country's plans to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. Many countries are filling this gap through national climate laws and litigation.

But climate plans and initiatives can sometimes bring nations into dispute with other international bodies and agreements.

Even though the UNFCCC is the primary arena for global climate co-operation, other international instruments could play a greater role in our climate future. Rules accepted under World Trade Organization and various other trade and investment agreements often benefit destructive, extractive industries to the detriment of national and international climate goals and ambitions.

Multilateral and bilateral trade and investment agreements facilitate the flow of commodities, services, intellectual property and foreign investments between nations. Under these, private corporations and national governments have been able to sue countries, including Canada, for enacting public-interest environmental regulations that could affect the companies' monetary interests.

Citing the example of a U.K. oil company suing the Italian government for loss of "future anticipated profits" after Italy banned new oil drilling in coastal waters, Guardian writer George Monbiot says the widely adopted "investor-state dispute settlement" process "makes effective action against climate breakdown almost impossible."

Canada's approach to global trade and investment has immensely benefited extractive and petrochemical industries and worked against our national climate ambitions. Moreover, under the WTO dispute system, governments have systematically challenged one another's renewable energy subsidies. For example, in response to complaints from Japan and the European Union, the WTO ruled in 2013 that Ontario's "feed-in tariff" program for renewable energy discriminated against foreign suppliers by requiring a percentage of materials and services be from Ontario.

While trade obligations and legal action around subsidies for renewable energy slow the urgent global energy transition, subsidies for oil, gas and coal - even some that could be considered illegal under WTO rules - haven't been subjected to much scrutiny. G7 nations have been promising to phase out fossil fuel subsidies since 1990 but have made little progress.

As long as the world has been crafting climate rules under the UNFCCC, we've also been creating climate-destroying rules at the WTO and other spheres of economic "co-operation."

It's not that we weren't warned. Before the 2015 Paris COP21 summit, the European Parliament seized on a solution proposed by Canadian professor and investment and trade law expert Gus Van Harten for a "legal carve-out" that could be put into the Paris Agreement to ensure investor-state dispute settlement claims against countries wouldn't apply to climate change measures. Despite a European Parliament resolution, it wasn't included.

James Bacchus, former chairman and chief judge of the WTO appellate body, has also proposed a WTO climate waiver to harmonize the international trade regime with UNFCCC commitments. Climate diplomacy has been going on for decades. Since the Paris Agreement was adopted, it's enjoyed enormous popularity. In light of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, expectations are high for ambitious government action at COP26.

But it's crucial to ensure that progress on the climate crisis isn't being undermined by trade and investment bodies and agreements, and other international entities, that promote continuous growth, consumerism, fossil fuels and extraction at the expense of our collective health and survival.

Above all, COP26 delegates must understand and impress upon the world and all its organizations that it's time to leave coal, oil and gas in the ground and quickly transition to better energy sources, regardless of challenges from those who profit by fuelling the climate crisis.

(c) 2021 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Bankruptcy Is A Well-Appointed Fallout Shelter For Corporations
Reviving the "nondelegation doctrine" would imperil the American government's ability to govern.
By Charles P. Pierce

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard challenges to the draconian Texas anti-choice law, a proceeding that might well be the first tolling of the death knell for the reproductive freedom that ensued after the Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. This is undoubtedly a momentous bit of business, especially in the context of how we came to this 6-3 conservative majority on the high bench. However, on Friday, when very few people were watching, the Court took another action that is equally terrifying. Remember when Steve Bannon was yammering about destroying "the administrative state?" Members of the Supreme Court do. From the New York Times:

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear appeals from Republican-led states and coal companies asking it to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. "This is the equivalent of an earthquake around the country for those who care deeply about the climate issue," said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard.
This is an admirably concise summation of the immediate facts. But the decision to grant certiorari in these cases carries a formidable threat behind those immediate facts, a threat Bannon and god knows how many American oligarchs have been making consistently ever since it dawned on folks that self-regulation was not working in America's slaughterhouses and within its patent-medicine industry. At issue is a dust-covered, cobweb-draped constitutional doctrine called "nondelegation," which oligarchs of the past leaned on to keep the national government from stopping their profitable business of poisoning people in various ways. Simply put, the doctrine holds that Congress may not "delegate" its powers to administrative agencies. From the >A HREF="">Regulatory Review: The U.S. Supreme Court has not invoked the nondelegation doctrine to strike down a statute since 1935. This past summer, in Gundy v. United States, the Court voted 5-3 to-yet again-uphold a statute against a nondelegation challenge. But Justice Alito concurred only in the judgment, saying that "if a majority of this Court were willing to reconsider the approach we have taken for the past 84 years, I would support that effort." Justice Kavanaugh did not participate in the Gundy case, but issued a statement a few months later indicating that he would be willing to revive the long-defunct doctrine. Justice Elena Kagan blew the whistle on what was going on here.
With the support of Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Alito, a majority of the Court would appear to be in favor of limiting Congress's ability to delegate major policy decisions. Five votes in favor of the nondelegation doctrine could have major consequences. As Justice Kagan wrote, if the law in Gundy is unconstitutional, then "most of government is unconstitutional."
To which our carefully engineered 6-3 Supreme Court majority replies, "And your point is?"

(We pause here to return to the thrilling days of Justice Neil Gorsuch's nomination, when we here in the shebeen discussed longstanding family vendettas. His mother was the late Anne Gorsuch, whom President Ronald Reagan tasked with running the EPA into the ground. Gorsuch was such a good soldier at her mission that she wound up being cited for contempt of Congress. Revenge is a dish best served from a lifetime gig.)

Is nondelegation a constitutional fiction? Signs point to yes, but it was a constitutional fiction that obtained until the 1930s, when the New Deal and the crisis of the Depression overwhelmed it.

The nondelegation doctrine has "nothing to do with the Constitution as it was originally understood," according to two scholars' review of thousands of pages from earlier Congress. In a new paper, Julian Davis Mortenson and Nicholas Bagley of the University of Michigan Law School argue that the founders had no objection to Congress delegating the power to make rules, as long as it did not permanently abdicate its legislative responsibilities. The distinction between legislative and non-legislative powers would have made little sense to the founders, they suggest, because the founders understood governmental powers in relational rather than binary terms. "You can be an originalist or you can be committed to the nondelegation doctrine. But you can't be both," Mortenson and Bagley conclude.
Which did not stop the current Court from invoking it in a case called Gundy v. United States, the decision that caused Justice Kagan to sound the alarm. Further, a great many state courts, and lower federal courts, seem more than willing to revive it. What would the effect of a resuscitated nondelegation doctrine be? Two scholars examined all the relevant statutes passed since World War II, published their findings in the Washington Post, and those findings were...ah...startling.
What percentage of major laws delegate? The answer is: more than 99 percent of them - so basically all of them. Only four of the 443 laws we examined do not delegate any authority to government agencies - and one of those, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, delegates policymaking power to the states.

Furthermore, most of the laws delegate to several agencies. Nearly half delegate to between two and five agencies, and another third delegate to more than five. And the number of agencies delegated power per law has been growing over time. In other words, when Congress legislates, it delegates.

And, if the majority on the Court wants to take this particular toy out of the attic, this is a target-rich term in which to do so.
The Supreme Court's 2021 docket includes a host of cases about delegation, including American Hospital Association v. Becerra, which challenges the Department of Health and Human Service's authority to set hospital reimbursement rates, and Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga, which takes on federal power to conduct surveillance. In other words, the high court will have numerous opportunities to examine - and potentially strike down - delegation during this term. And of course, other prominent cases, including the vaccine mandate and Kelley v. Becerra, will be winding their way to the court.
Thanks again, everyone.

(c) 2021 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-

"We are going to raise taxes on the billionaire class at a time when large profitable corporations make billions in profit and, in some years, do not pay a penny in federal income taxes."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Top 3 Ways Biden Can Restore Iran Nuclear Deal If He Really Wants To
By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - Diplomacy is the art of the possible, and so far the Biden administration isn't showing a mastery of that art when it comes to Iran and restoring the Joint Plan for Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) or 2015 nuclear deal.

President Joe Biden has not made restoring the nuclear deal a top priority, though on Saturday he and European leaders at the G20 meeting in Rome issued a joint communique on the need to restore the deal. In that connection, Biden offered Iran relief from US sanctions if it returned to abiding by the terms of the original agreement, according to Chris Megerian at the Los Angeles Times. Russia and China were not involved in this joint statement.

Here's what is wrong and how it can be fixed.

1. It isn't very likely to happen, but Washington has to realize that it is in the wrong. The original 2015 JCPOA offered Iran sanctions relief if it abided by the terms of the treaty.

Iran abided by the terms of the treaty.

The US never offered significant sanctions release, but went on interfering in other countries and their firms investing in Iran, threatening them with sanctions. Even so, Iran faithfully observed the provisions of the JCPOA and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency attested to that compliance. Iran did so in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The deal wasn't done for Iran's health. Tehran agreed to it for the sanctions relief. That never came because the Republican Party blocked it in Congress.

Then in May, 2018, Trump abruptly pulled the US out of the JCPOA and slapped a full financial and trade embargo on Iran, stopping its ordinary trade with third countries like South Korea and Japan and devastating its oil exports. This was done despite Iran's observance of the terms of the treaty, which it went on doing through 2018 even though the US stabbed it in the back. What Trump did through banks and Treasury Department threats would have been an act of war if he had used the navy to blockade Iran's oil exports.

Biden has been saying that if Iran goes back into compliance, he will lift Trump's sanctions down the road.

Iran has been here, in 2016, 2017, 2018, and it never happened. Why should Tehran believe in Biden's sincerity? Can he even hope to get sanctions relief through Congress when he can't get his own agenda passed? What if he loses in 2024. Will Trump's blockade be re-instituted, even if Iran is on good behavior?

The Iran daily Keyhan, close to Khamenei, denounced Iranian reformists for pushing for one-sided concessions to the US, according to BBC Monitoring.

2. It isn't clear whether Biden was saying in Saturday's statement that he will lift sanctions first as a good faith gesture. If so, that is the right way forward, because progress requires that Biden lift Trump's sanctions immediately. There was no reason for their imposition, since they were put in place while Iran was in compliance with the JCPOA. Some of those blockades are war crimes, since they interfere with ordinary civilians getting medicine and humanitarian aid. Biden's team is the Blob incarnate and apparently they have gotten to like the Trump blockade on Iran and to imagine, as he did, that it will bring Iran to its knees on the nuclear issue but also on all the other Iranian policies that the US does not like. Trump was wrong and the Blob was wrong, and if Biden wants progress he has to tell them to sit down and shut up. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei simply is not going to scale back Iran's civilian nuclear enrichment program unless he sees a practical sign of earnestness from Biden, and so far there has been none.

3. The Obama administration made the right decision to exclude all issues from its negotiations with Iran except the civilian nuclear enrichment program. Iran is from the US point of view a bad actor in the Middle East. It propped up a Syrian government that Washington would just as soon see fallen. It is developing drones and ballistic missiles. Its support for the Helpers of God (Houthis) in Yemen is seen as threatening by US ally Saudi Arabia. Tehran talks dirty about Israel, although it does not appear actually to have backed up the big talk with any significant action. It does support the Lebanese party-militia Hezbollah, which Lebanese see as a shield against Israeli aggression and occupation, but which the US brands a terrorist organization.

All of those issues have to be set aside if the JCPOA is to be reactivated. They can be important issues (though some, like Iran's supposed activities in Yemen, are vast exaggerations), but they will have to be dealt with down the road and with different tools. If Iran's civilian nuclear enrichment program is the most important issue, then treat it as such.

The Biden administration is acting as though the Iran issue is a low priority. The attitude seems to be that if Iran wants to go back into compliance, we'll see what we can do for them. Maybe. Maybe, we'll just screw them over anyway.

In actuality, the US is on a war footing with Iran and is strangling its economy with no shred of justification in international law. It is dangerous to back an enemy into a corner that way, and wars have been started by less.

Biden is risking conflagration in the Middle East that could spiral out of control at the drop of a hat.

(c) 2021 Juan R.I. Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

What Happened To The Party Of Limited Government?
By Robert Reich

I'm old enough to remember when the Republican Party stood for limited government - when Ronald Reagan thundered "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem."

Today's Republican Party, while still claiming to stand for limited government, stands for government intrusion everywhere:

Republican governors ban masks in schools.

Republican states outlaw abortions. Republican lawmakers prohibit teachers from teaching about America's racist past.

Republican legislators force transgender students to play sports and use bathrooms according to their assigned gender at birth.

And across the country, Republican lawmakers are making it harder for people to vote.

This is not limited government, folks. This is social control. Republicans have a particular ideology and are determined to impose that ideology on citizens holding different views and values.

This is not about freedom, either. Just the opposite: It's Republicans denying people their freedoms: The freedom to be safe from COVID. Freedom over their own bodies. The freedom to learn the truth about our history. The freedom to vote and participate in our democracy.

Once, Republicans had a coherent view about individual liberties and limiting the role of government. That's not to say this ideology was beneficial to the country - far from it. But it was coherent, and they were committed to it.

Now, they only want to get reelected.

They are misusing government to advance a narrow and restrictive set of values - intruding on the most intimate acts, and banning what's necessary for people to exercise their most basic freedoms.

This is not mere hypocrisy. The Republican Party now poses a clear and present threat even to the values it once espoused.

(c) 2021 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

Owing largely to Manchin, Biden arrived in Glasgow without the set of dramatic legislative victories that were supposed to unlock the conference.

As Biden Speaks At The Glasgow Climate Summit, Manchin Muddles The Message
Monday should have been a day of great triumph for America, marking its emergence from the Trump years.
By Bill McKibben

Joe Biden, who had promised to come to the Glasgow climate summit with "bells on," appeared to snooze for a moment as he sat listening to speeches at Monday's session. It was a highly relatable interlude. An inescapable feeling of fatigue has settled in around the summit-barring some useful surprise, much of the air seems to have been sucked from this conclave before it began, not least because of the ongoing antics of Senator Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, whose influence was easy to feel even a (rising) ocean away.

The world arrived at the Paris climate meeting, six years ago, primed for action: recovering economies, a discernible beginning to a drop in the price of renewable energy, and a surge of activism around the globe meant that negotiators couldn't really go home without having reached a groundbreaking agreement. But now that the time has come to strengthen that pact-and the whole point of this Glasgow conference is to get countries to substantially increase the commitments they made in Paris-conditions have changed. We have lived through the hottest years on record since Paris, but the pandemic has driven the climate and other crises out of the headlines, and sidelined (or, rather, Zoom-lined) movements calling for change. The world is also lurching through a cycle of illiberalism, and, although its hold has loosened in the United States, it has left figures such as India's Narendra Modi and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro in positions of power. Modi is in Glasgow, and he announced on Monday that India would get to net zero by 2070-a half century from now. (Granted, meeting even that mark would mean that the country will have generated far less carbon in the course of history than the United States.) Bolsonaro is not attending, but, even as the Amazon region is being destroyed at an ever faster rate, Brazil's representatives announced that the nation is "a longtime champion of the environmental agenda." Xi Jinping, of China, and Vladimir Putin, of Russia, are also skipping the summit; on Monday, China submitted a written statement that basically just repeated its Paris pledges.

And the United States? This should have been a day of great triumph for America, marking its emergence from the Trump years-nothing the former President did caused as much international anger as withdrawing from the Paris accords, and Biden did apologize for that act. But, owing largely to Manchin, Biden arrived in Glasgow without the set of dramatic legislative victories that were supposed to unlock this conference. Manchin is currently the Senate's leading recipient of donations from the fossil-fuel industry, and it is proving a sound investment. He stripped any real guarantees of carbon reduction from Biden's Build Back Better plan, leaving in their place five hundred billion dollars to subsidize the construction of green energy. As Daniel Aldana Cohen, a professor of sociology at Berkeley who focusses on the climate, tweeted on Monday, the basic "economic theory is that half a percent of GDP will be enough of a thirst trap for green capital that private investors will overhaul the economy, guided by invisible hands." And even that is no guarantee-Manchin, having promised "clarity" on his stance Monday morning, said a few hours later that he was "open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward. But I'm equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country." One imagines that the statement quickly made its way through the vast negotiating hall in Glasgow.

Manchin's muddling is why Biden's summit speech sounded fairly flat-it was full of talk about how his stripped-down plan would create jobs, but, in the middle of a labor shortage, that's not the most compelling selling point. A large cast of American advisers accompanied the President to Glasgow, and they did their best to sell the plan-Gina McCarthy, the Administration's domestic climate czar, said that America was "kicking butt" on offshore wind, for instance. America's chief climate envoy, John Kerry, was perhaps more accurate. A month ago, he called the Glasgow conference the planet's "last, best hope"; now he said that "Glasgow was never going to be, you know, the definitive one meeting."

And, of course, he's right. This is a huge war fought on many fronts, and on some of them responsible leaders are on the offensive. The price of renewable energy is now in such free fall that it's clear how the energy future will eventually play out; what's not clear is how fast it will happen. Activists are back on the streets, too late perhaps to change the outcome of this session but with a passion that should worry the big banks and asset managers who are increasingly the target of their efforts. It's still possible that some startling new development could emerge to revitalize this conference. But, for the moment, although the power of Big Oil is much weakened, it isn't broken, and that means that the thirty-year slog toward rational climate policy will have to plod on.

(c) 2021 Bill McKibben is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign and a contributing writer to The New Yorker. He writes The Climate Crisis, The New Yorker's newsletter on the environment. The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Joep Bertrams ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

Hot Air Generated By Leaders At COP26 Climate Summit To Be Used To Heat Homes
By The Waterford Whispers News

CITING research which suggests there will be record levels of hot air generated at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow among world leaders, lobbyists and businesses, energy experts are making plans to use the hot air to solve fuel poverty.

"Guff, bluster and bullshit are set to exceed the expected emissions by a significant amount meaning we can reroute the hot air into billions of homes," confirmed one climate scientist, who admitted it was more than a bit ironic to be hosting a climate conference on an island were the government is happily allowing raw effluent to be poured into its waters.

The jet-setting conference which could have been a Zoom meeting has been widely dismissed as a shameless and craven display by leaders who continue to fail in making large scale changes which could avert climate catastrophe.

"Say what you want about willfully destroying the planet because your cowardice sees you kowtow to business interests, but at least we can do something good with all that hot air now," added the scientist.

"Look here, one world leader is saying 'we will meet our targets' but it's clearly a load of bullshit because they were actually privately pressuring the UN to play down the need for a rapid move away from fossil fuels as outlined in a new UN report climate report," observed one expert of either Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia or a dozen other countries.

Elsewhere, one local man was very much pro-averting years of avoidable climate disasters that will kill and displace millions of people until some dickhead climate protester blocked traffic and delayed him for 30 minutes.

(c) 2021 The Waterford Whispers News

Issues & Alibis Vol 21 # 44 (c) 11/05/2021

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(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."