Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 7:00 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.
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Willie Kent - Last Night
"Diplomacy means the art of nearly deceiving all your friends, but not quite deceiving all your enemies."
-- Kofi Busia
The new robber barons: how taxpayers subsidise CEOs' multimillion salaries
Lanai, a tiny resort island in Hawaii, has 18 miles of secluded beaches, no traffic lights and a population of just over 3,000. This summer, Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, a California-based software company, bought 98% of the island for a sum reported to exceed $500m.
The Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington DC thinktank, says that a chunk of the money Ellison spent buying Lanai should have paid for elementary school teachers and clean energy jobs, instead of fulfilling the billionaire CEO's vacation fantasies. That's one conclusion of their new report, "The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam's Pocket: How Our Tax Dollars Subsidize Exorbitant Executive Pay", which points out that Oracle took advantage of a 1993 loophole in tax law to designate $76m of Ellison's income as "performance-related pay", which allowed him to avoid paying any taxes on the money.
Dozens of US CEOs have cashed in on this major tax incentive at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of $9.7bn last year. Statistics provided by National Priorities Project suggest that the same amount of money could have paid for 142,625 elementary school teachers, or healthcare for 4.96 million low-income children.
UN Investigator to US: End 'Conspiracy of Silence' on Drone Strikes
The secrecy surrounding the U.S. use of drone attacks must end, and each drone strike carried out by the U.S. should be independently investigated, London barrister and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson said Sunday.“We can't make a decision on whether it is lawful or unlawful if we do not have the data. The recommendation I have made is that users of targeted killing technology should be required to subject themselves, in the case of each and every death, to impartial investigation. If they do not establish a mechanism to do so, it will be my recommendation that the UN should put the mechanisms in place through the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly and the Office of the High Commissioner.”
“The Obama administration continues formally to adopt the position that it will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the drone program, whilst allowing senior officials to give public justifications of its supposed legality in personal lectures and interviews. In reality the administration is holding its finger in the dam of public accountability. There are now a large number of law suits, in different parts of the world, including in the UK, Pakistan and in the US itself, through which pressure for investigation and accountability is building.”
US Drone Strikes Target Rescuers in Pakistan – and the West Stays Silent - Attacking rescuers – a tactic long deemed by the US a hallmark of terrorism – is now routinely used by the Obama administration
The US government has long maintained, reasonably enough, that a defining tactic of terrorism is to launch a follow-up attack aimed at those who go to the scene of the original attack to rescue the wounded and remove the dead. Morally, such methods have also been widely condemned by the west as a hallmark of savagery. Yet, as was demonstrated yet again this weekend in Pakistan, this has become one of the favorite tactics of the very same US government. ...
This has now happened yet again this weekend in Pakistan, which witnessed what Reuters calls "a flurry of drone attacks" that "pounded northern Pakistan over the weekend", "killing 13 people in three separate attacks". The attacks "came as Pakistanis celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the festival of Eid al-Fitr." At least one of these weekend strikes was the type of "double tap" explosion aimed at rescuers which, the US government says, is the hallmark of Hamas:"At least six militants were killed when US drones fired missiles twice on Sunday in North Waziristan Agency.An unnamed Pakistani official identically told Agence France-Presse that a second US drone "fired two missiles at the site of this morning's attack, where militants were removing the wreckage of their two destroyed vehicles". (Those killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan are more or less automatically deemed "militants" by unnamed "officials", and then uncritically called such by most of the western press – a practice that inexcusably continues despite revelations that the Obama administration has redefined "militants" to mean "all military-age males in a strike zone".)
"In the first strike, four missiles were fired on two vehicles in the Mana Gurbaz area of district Shawal in North Waziristan Agency, while two missiles were fired in the second strike at the same site where militants were removing the wreckage of their destroyed vehicles."
First Chinese ship crosses Arctic Ocean amid record melt
An icebreaker has become the first ship from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, underscoring Beijing's growing interest in a remote region where a record thaw caused by climate change may open new trade routes.
The voyage highlights how China, the world's no.2 economy, is extending its reach to the Arctic which is rich in oil and gas and is a potential commercial shipping route between the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, arrived in Iceland this week after sailing the Northern Route along the coast of Russia.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
Follow the link in OPOL's fine diary and help free a poltical prisoner...
A Little Night Music
Willie Kent - How Long
Willie Kent & Billy Branch - Sweet Home Chicago
Willie Kent - Do You Love Me
Willie Kent - A Man and The Blues
Johnny B. Moore & Willie Kent - Ludella
Willie Kent, J. Littlejohn, C. Bell, L.Burton & C. Jones - Bloody Tears
Bonnie Lee (w/Willie Kent on bass) - Got the blues 'bout my baby
All Stars Chicago Blues - The Sky Is Crying
Blues Queen Sylvia - Wonder Why
Blues Queen Sylvia with Jimmy Dawkins - I'm Hurtin'
Queen Sylvia - Have You Ever Been Mistreated
Queen Sylvia - After Work
Blues Queen Sylvia - Life and troubles
Blues Queen Sylvia - Party
We are ready for some serious change. We are ready to take up the tools of a free and analytic press to peacefully undermine the stranglehold of the kleptocrats on our battered democracy. We are ready to expose and publicize their greed, lies and illegal machinations and hold their enablers in government and the media to account. Are you in?
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead