Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 8:00 PM Eastern) where we hang out, share and talk about news, music, photography and other things of interest to the community.
Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here. This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.
Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features guitarist Ronnie Earl. Enjoy!
Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - Moanin'
In lieu of a quote from a person tonight, I am going to quote nature itself. On my walk yesterday, I passed through a swampy area next to the rail trail that is one of my favorite walks, though it has gotten so popular with joggers and bicyclists I call it, "The Great Spandex Highway." Anyway, if you check out the video that I took with my cellphone, you'll hear the spring peepers singing to the wood frogs and vice versa.
News and Opinion
Anwar al-Awlaki: NYT Details How Obama Admin Justified & Carried Out the Killing of U.S.-Born Cleric
New York Times Exposé a 'One-Sided' Account of al-Awlaki, Drone Strikes
Accountability for the Government’s killing program missing in 'selective' disclosures
A Sunday edition New York Times article which traces the origins of drone strikes on three U.S. citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, and al-Awlaki's sixteen year old son Abdulrahman, presents itself as a fair and balanced narrative, but actually serves as an overall "one-sided, selective" account, giving aid to the U.S. government's shadowy justifications for its extra-judicial killings across the world, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights said Sunday.
On the article How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs, the ACLU states:In anonymous assertions to The New York Times, current and former Obama administration officials seek to justify the killings of three U.S. citizens even as the administration fights hard to prevent any transparency or accountability for those killings in court. This is the latest in a series of one-sided, selective disclosures that prevent meaningful public debate and legal or even political accountability for the government’s killing program, including its use against citizens."By the time the missile found him," the New York Times writes, al-Awlaki, 40, "had been under the scrutiny of American officials for more than a decade." However, as the article goes to lengths to highlight evidence that al-Awlaki's beliefs, language and speeches were 'anti-American' and potentially incendiary– al-Awlaki never partook in acts of violence against the U.S. and was never officially indicted for a crime before he was killed by the U.S. drone missile.
This did not dissuade the U.S. government from claiming the extra-judicial authority of taking out al-Awlaki as an "imminent" threat, nor the articles's apparent complacency with its reasoning.
Three Democratic Myths Used to Demean the Paul FilibusterBen Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism is pushing forward with what appears to be a fairly comprehensive investigation or the US post 9/11 actions including torture and other war crimes. He has been pressing lately for the Obama administration to live up to its responsibilities under international law to prosecute war crimes committed by Americans, as he does in this article:
Last week's 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director by GOP Sen. Rand Paul was one of the first - and, from the perspective of media attention, easily among the most effective -Congressional efforts to dramatize and oppose just how radical these Terrorism-justified powers have become. For the first time since the 9/11 attack, even lowly cable news shows were forced - by the Paul filibuster - to extensively discuss the government's extremist theories of power and to debate the need for checks and limits.
All of this put Democrats - who spent eight years flamboyantly pretending to be champions of due process and opponents of mass secrecy and executive power abuses - in a very uncomfortable position. The politician who took such a unique stand in defense of these principles was not merely a Republican but a leading member of its dreaded Tea Party wing, while the actor most responsible for the extremist theories of power being protested was their own beloved leader and his political party. ...
Meanwhile, a large bulk of the Democratic and liberal commentariat - led, as usual, by the highly-paid DNC spokesmen called "MSNBC hosts" and echoed, as usual, by various liberal blogs, which still amusingly fancy themselves as edgy and insurgent checks on political power rather than faithful servants to it - degraded all of the weighty issues raised by this episode by processing it through their stunted, trivial prism of partisan loyalty. They thus dutifully devoted themselves to reading from the only script they know: Democrats Good, GOP Bad.
To accomplish that, most avoided full-throated defenses of drones and the power of the president to secretly order US citizens executed without due process or transparency. They prefer to ignore the fact that the politician they most deeply admire is a devoted defender of those policies. After stumbling around for a few days in search of a tactic to convert this episode into an attack on the GOP and distract from Obama's extremism, they collectively settled on personalizing the conflict by focusing on Rand Paul's flaws as a person and a politician and, in particular, mocking his concerns as "paranoia" (that attack was echoed, among others, by the war-cheering Washington Post editorial page).
Reconciliation in Iraq is impossible without US truth about its dirty warThe New York Times Editorial this past Sunday called for the repeal of the AUMF:
On Tuesday this week, I presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva calling on the US and other states, including the UK, to secure accountability for the crimes committed by the Bush-era CIA and its allies in pursuit of the counterproductive campaign of rendition, secret detention and torture. To the list of international crimes committed by that administration must now be added the evidence uncovered by the Guardian and the BBC.
As long ago as 2006, during its last periodic review by the UN Human Rights Committee, the US was heavily criticised for adopting a policy of impunity towards the officials who committed these grave and systematic crimes. It is due for its next periodic review in the autumn of this year, and I have every confidence that the committee will expect to see the results of a full investigation into these new allegations. This would have the objective of bringing those responsible, including the politicians who authorised this conduct, to justice.
Taken with the compelling evidence that is now available concerning the crimes of torture and rendition that were committed internationally, this latest investigations presents an image of lawlessness and hypocrisy that is antithetical to building international co-operation with the Islamic peoples of the Middle East and North Africa. The urgent and imperative need to develop an international consensus in favour of ethical counter-terrorism was underlined by William Hague in a recent speech on ethical to the Royal United Services Institute in London, in which he said that where allegations of this kind are made, they must be fully investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. One can only hope that he will be impressing upon the US Department of Justice the need for an investigation into the allegations against David Petraeus and others.
Failure to address the past inevitably generates the misperception that the perpetrators remain as beneficiaries of official toleration or collusion.
Repeal the Military Force Law
Three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force. It was enacted with good intentions — to give President George W. Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda and the Taliban rulers who sheltered and aided the terrorists who had attacked the United States.
But over time, that resolution became warped into something else: the basis for a vast overreaching of power by one president, Mr. Bush, and less outrageous but still dangerous policies by another, Barack Obama. ...
The concern that many ... expressed about the authorization is coming true: that it could become the basis for a perpetual, ever-expanding war that undermined the traditional constraints on government power. The result is an unintelligible policy without express limits or protective walls. ...
The right solution is for Congress to repeal the 2001 authorization.
End the AUMF - Repeal the "War on Terror"
After more than 11 years the Authorization for Use of Military Force -- the congressional resolution that launched the "war on terror" -- has not been repealed.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee has introduced a bill (HR 198) to repeal it.
Life Expectancy Up... For the Rich
The debate surrounding cuts to popular social programs often neglects disparity between poor and more wealthy seniors
An increase in overall life expectancy is one of the justifications many offer when they try to defend making benefit cuts to key social programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Due to the fact that these programs are aimed at creating safety nets and secure retirements for aging members of the society, the gains in life expectancy are used to argue that the age limits for receiving access to such programs be increased.
The problem? Life expectancy is calculated as an average among the population, but what all the deeper research and math show is that not all members of society are achieving these gains equally. Specifically, it is the rich and well-to-do who are living longer, while those who work in more physically demanding jobs or live a life in perpetual poverty—those who need these programs the most—are also the ones most likely to die younger. ...
As the Post reports, "the nation’s life expectancy has marched steadily upward, reaching 78.5 years in 2009." But, citing a large and growing field of research, "those gains are going mostly to those at the upper end of the income ladder."
U.S. companies keeping $166 billion in offshore tax shelters
US companies are keeping more of their profits offshore, choosing overseas tax havens amid talk in Washington about closing corporate tax loopholes, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The business newspaper said its analysis of 60 big American companies had found that they had collectively parked a total of $166 billion offshore last year.
That shielded more than 40 percent of their annual profits from US taxes, the report said.
Each of the 60 companies chosen for the analysis had held at least $5 billion offshore in 2011, according to The Journal.
Spaniards hold mass street protests against austerity government
Angry workers staged mass demonstrations in Spanish cities on Sunday, protesting the country's high unemployment rate and demanding political reform.
Thousands of demonstrators including health, transport and administrative workers marched in central Madrid and Barcelona, to the din of horns, drums and yells of "Government resign!"
Similar demos were called in 60 cities in a nationwide movement led by the two main trade unions, CCOO and UGT, and a wide collective of other civil groups.
They were the latest in months of strikes and protests against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's austere economic reforms in a recession that has driven the unemployment rate over 26 percent.
Sunday's actions were called "against unemployment and for the renewal of democracy," the UGT said in a statement.
Fukushima's Fallout Is Already Harming Our Children
Thyroid abnormalities have now been confirmed among tens of thousands of children downwind from Fukushima. They are the first clear sign of an unfolding radioactive tragedy that demands this industry be buried forever.
Two years after Fukushima exploded, three still-smoldering reactors remind us that the nuclear power industry repeatedly told the world this could never happen. ...
Last month the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey acknowledged a horrifying plague of thyroid abnormalities, thus far afflicting more than forty percent of the children studied.
The survey sample was 94,975. So some 38,000 children are already cursed with likely health problems. ...
Fukushima's airborne fallout came to our west coast within a week of the catastrophe. It's a virtual certainty American children are being affected. As health researcher Joe Mangano puts it: "Reports of rising numbers of West Coast infants with under-active thyroid glands after Fukushima suggest that Americans may have been harmed by Fukushima fallout. Studies, especially of the youngest, must proceed immediately."
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
hat tip to oaktown girl:
A Little Night Music
Ronnie Earl - T-Bone Boogie
Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - Blues For the West Side
Roomful of Blues w/Ronnie Earl- 3 Hours Past Midnight
Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - Rush Hour
Ronnie Earl with Bobby Radcliff - A Man and the Blues
Jimmie Vaughan & Ronnie Earl "Texas Flood"
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - You Give Nothing But the Blues
Ronnie Earl with Bobby Radcliff - All Your Love
Ronnie Earl - Backstroke
Ronnie Earl - Bobby's Bop
Fabulous Thunderbirds w/Ronnie Earl - Stranded In St. Louis
It's National Pie Day!
The election is over, it's a new year and it's time to work on real change in new ways... and it's National Pie Day. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to tell you a little more about our new site and to start getting people signed up.
Come on over and sign up so that we can send you announcements about the site, the launch, and information about participating in our public beta testing.
Why is National Pie Day the perfect opportunity to tell you more about us? Well you'll see why very soon. So what are you waiting for?! Head on over now and be one of the first!