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!
Tonight's music features Charles Mingus, jazz composer, bandleader and bassist. Enjoy his amazing music!
Charles Mingus - Devil Blues
Surely in a democracy it's time for us to quit being sentimental and say that the question we settle in an election is not whether elites shall rule, but which elite.
-- George Will
News and Opinion
US documents reportedly refer to Assange, WikiLeaks as 'enemy'
The U.S. Defense Department has formally declared WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange an enemy on par with al-Qaida, according to documents that an Australian newspaper said Wednesday it had obtained under freedom of information laws.
The Sydney Morning Herald, the flagship of the Fairfax Media chain, reported that the declassified Air Force counterintelligence documents declare that military personnel who make contact with WikiLeaks or "WikiLeaks supporters" are at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy" — an article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that carries the death penalty.
The TPP: A Quiet Coup for the Investor Class
The secrecy surrounding the negotiations is breathtaking. In July, 134 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk requesting that the appropriate congressional committees be consulted and that a draft of the text be released. The members reminded Kirk that draft texts were circulated and congressional committees consulted throughout the NAFTA negotiations in the early 1990s. Their letter received no response. A month later, House members petitioned Kirk to allow a congressional delegation to observe the negotiations—as in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the launch of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization, and numerous NAFTA rounds. Despite its persistence, Congress has not been granted any significant oversight or insight regarding the negotiations.
While Congress, the press, and the public have had to make do with leaked chapters of negotiations, Just Foreign Policy reports that 600 corporate lobbyists were granted access to the negotiated text. American democracy is in a sorry state when corporations are granted more access to even the text of sweeping government agreements than the public and its elected officials. Although corporate influence on U.S. trade policy is hardly a new phenomenon, the simultaneous waning of congressional oversight is all the more unsettling.
In May, Democratic Reps. Barney Frank and Sander Levin wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to express their concern about the TPP’s provisions entrenching capital mobility. Their letter requested “an official written statement of the U.S. policy” concerning the ability of parties to the agreement to deploy capital controls in the face of a financial crisis. If the leaked drafts accurately reflect the direction of the negotiations, countries that instituted capital controls could be taken to court by private corporations and could be held liable for damages. Hundreds of economists signed letters in January and February 2011 opposing these provisions, yet the investment chapter leaked in June suggests that neither their concerns nor Frank’s and Levin’s were taken into consideration.
U.S. expands its secret war in Africa
President Barack Obama's "secret wars" against al-Qaida are steadily widening, most notably in Africa, with the U.S. military's Special Forces Operation Command doubling in size and the CIA's strike capabilities undergoing a radical expansion, international analysts said. ...
This marks a significant shift in the U.S.-led strategy in Afghanistan from conventional military power, as the Americans and their allies scale down forces in Afghanistan after an inconclusive 11-year-old war.
As al-Qaida's organization has broken into regional networks because of heavy losses suffered by al-Qaida Central from drone strikes in Pakistan, these groups have become independent operationally and have had some successes in North and West Africa.
The Americans' ability to wage Special Operations wars on a global scale has been strengthened by the creation of relatively small, often unobtrusive, military bases. ...
These include facilities in Kenya, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. Western military sources say the Americans are seeking to establish a base in newly independent South Sudan as well.
Spain Recoils as Its Hungry Forage Trash Bins for a Next Meal
As Spain tries desperately to meet its budget targets, it has been forced to embark on the same path as Greece, introducing one austerity measure after another, cutting jobs, salaries, pensions and benefits, even as the economy continues to shrink.
Most recently, the government raised the value-added tax three percentage points, to 21 percent, on most goods, and two percentage points on many food items, making life just that much harder for those on the edge. Little relief is in sight as the country’s regional governments, facing their own budget crisis, are chipping away at a range of previously free services, including school lunches for low-income families.
For a growing number, the food in garbage bins helps make ends meet.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
A Little Night Music
Charles Mingus - Better Git It In Your Soul
Charles Mingus - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Charles Mingus - Boogie Stop Shuffle
Charles Mingus - Oh Lord Don't Let them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me
Charles Mingus - Flowers For A Lady
Charles Mingus Sextet featuring Eric Dolphy Take The A Train
Charles Mingus - Haitian Fight Song
Charles Mingus - Work Song
Charles Mingus - Moanin'
Charles Mingus - Shortnin' Bread
Charles Mingus - Hog Callin Blues
Joni Mitchell - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
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