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.
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Hey! Good Evening!
Tonight's music features boogie woogie piano player Pete Johnson.
Also tonight take a gander underneath the news for Occupy's Rolling Jubilee Telethon. Join Occupy in a bailout for the rest of us.
Pete Johnson, Big Joe Turner - Roll 'Em Pete
“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”
-- Oscar Wilde
News and Opinion
The Petraeus Legacy: A Paramilitary CIA
While much of the media focus on l’affaire Petraeus has centered on the CIA director’s sexual relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, the scandal opens a window onto a different and more consequential relationship—that between the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command. In a behind-the-scenes turf war that has raged since 9/11, the two government bodies have fought for control of the expanding global wars waged by the United States—a turf war that JSOC has largely won. Petraeus, an instrumental player in this power struggle, leaves behind an agency that has strayed from intelligence to paramilitary-type activities. Though his legacy will be defined largely by the scandal that ended his career, to many within military and intelligence circles, Petraeus’s career trajectory, from commander of US military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to the helm of the CIA, is a symbol of this evolution.
"I would not say that CIA has been taken over by the military, but I would say that the CIA has become more militarized,” Philip Giraldi, a retired career CIA case officer, told The Nation. “A considerable part of the CIA budget is now no longer spying; it’s supporting paramilitaries who work closely with JSOC to kill terrorists, and to run the drone program.” The CIA, he added, “is a killing machine now.”
Did Skype Give a Private Company Data on Teen WikiLeaks Supporter Without a Warrant
Skype’s privacy credentials took a hit in July over a refusal to comment on whether it could eavesdrop on conversations. Now the Internet chat service is facing another privacy-related backlash—after allegedly handing over user data without a warrant to a private security firm investigating pro-WikiLeaks activists.
The explosive details were contained in a report by Dutch investigative journalist Brenno de Winter, published on NU.nl earlier this week. Citing an internal police file detailing an investigation called “Operation Talang,” Winter wrote that PayPal was attempting to track down activists affiliated with the hacker collective Anonymous. The hackers had attacked the PayPal website following the company’s controversial decision to block payments to WikiLeaks in December 2010.
As part of that investigation, PayPal apparently hired the private security company iSight to help find those responsible. Headquartered in Texas and with a European base in Amsterdam, iSight describes itself as a “global cyber intelligence firm” that “supports leading federal and commercial entities with targeted and unique insights necessary to manage cyber risks.” iSight’s Netherlands-based director of global research, Joep Gommers, followed an online trail in an effort to track down the hackers, ultimately leading to a number of Dutch citizens, among them a 16-year-old boy operating under a pseudonym. Gommers reportedly contacted Skype, also a client of iSight, and requested account data about the teenager. According to Winter’s report, “the police file notes that Skype handed over the suspect's personal information, such as his user name, real name, e-mail addresses and the home address used for payment.” It adds that Skype disclosed the information voluntarily, “without a court order, as would usually be required.”
A 'Grand Bargain' or a Grand Uprising?
In the Greek economy, international banks own the debt-based currency and most of the debt, which means endless bailouts from the government to prop up those banks whenever they piss away the last bailout. To pay for the bailout, the Greek government demands endless cuts from Greek public services. This can only lead to thousands of Greeks out of work, putting thousands of Greeks into the streets. This could all be avoided if the Greeks simply controlled their currency, punished the bankers, and drafted a new constitution that establishes Greek sovereignty over banks.
Right now in America, the Federal Reserve is buying up $40 billion a month in worthless mortgage-backed securities during what is known as QE3. In layman's terms, this means that a private banking cartel that owns our currency, unaccountable to any government agency, is forking over $40 billion a month to the same Wall Street bankers that wrecked our economy with risky bets on imaginary financial instruments.
While this great robbery is happening, President Obama and Congress are preparing to sell us a "Grand Bargain" in January that will ask us to give up more of our already meager Social Security and Medicare benefits, to avoid a manufactured "fiscal cliff" that doesn't even really exist in the first place. The only difference between Americans and Greeks right now is that the Greeks have turned their streets into war zones to protest the aforementioned injustices, while we're all watching the NFL.
Regulators cut JPMorgan's ability to trade powerIn a richly symbolic act President Obama's Keystone XL pipeline destroys a renewable energy business:
U.S. federal regulators temporarily banned JPMorgan Chase & Co's energy trading arm from a segment of the domestic power market, the first time such a penalty has been imposed for making factual misrepresentations during an investigation into market manipulation.
The move will prevent the U.S. bank from receiving competitive market prices for physical power it sells for six months starting in April 2013, though it will still be able to sell the power at cost. ...
FERC dealt the punishment to JPMorgan after a months-long investigation into complaints that JPMorgan traders may have manipulated electricity prices in California and the Midwest by some $73 million.
In investigating the complaint, FERC said the JPMorgan unit, JP Morgan Ventures Energy Corp, "made factual misrepresentations and omitted material information" in filings to the commission and statements to California power authorities.
That, alone, was enough to take away the company's right to trade electricity at so-called market-based rates, FERC said, because "the Commission grants market-based rate authority to companies on the presumption that they will not engage in fraud, deception or misrepresentation."
TransCanada Bulldozes Texas Farmer’s Renewable Biofuels Business
Right now TransCanada is bulldozing Nacogdoches local landowner, Michael Bishop’s property for its Keystone XL pipeline. Mr. Bishop has been a vocal opponent of the tar sands pipeline for years and has filed several lawsuits against the multi-national corporation to prevent them from destroying his home and small business. Mr. Bishop is a pioneer of growing renewable biofuels on his property for the fuel of the future. Today the toxic energy sources of the past are literally plowing his business and crops into the ground.
Fracking Boom Will Create Energy Insecurity, not the Opposite: Report
Despite gas industry claims that the natural gas extraction "revolution" will create energy security and affordable fuel for US consumers, fracking will in fact benefit those in the US very little, as the natural resource will most likely be shipped offshore to those who will "pay the highest price," according to a new report released Wednesday by Food and Water Watch.
Market proposals by gas and oil companies revealed in the report will likely cause skyrocketing prices for US consumers and only vast amounts of pollution in the industry's wake.
The report U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil and Natural Gas is a False Solution shows that as of October 26, 2012 the Department of Energy has received 19 proposals from various US fossil fuel companies to export liquefied natural gas to foreign bidders. These companies stand to profit greatly by selling "huge amounts of natural gas overseas—as much as 40 percent of current U.S. consumption."
“The hype over fracking is giving Americans a false sense of energy security,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The industry is making empty promises about U.S. energy security to prolong America’s destructive dependence on fossil fuels. At the same time, it is laying the groundwork to sell natural gas overseas to maximize profits. The gas will go wherever it can fetch the highest price—and right now that’s not the United States.”
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
Occupy's Rolling Jubilee Telethon
A bailout of the people by the people
Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.
A Little Night Music
Pete Johnson - Rocket Boogie
Pete Johnson - Dive Bomber
Pete Johnson - Basement boogie
Pete Johnson - Death Ray Boogie
Pete Johnson Piano & Sextet - Rocket Boogie 88
Pete Johnson - Let 'Em Jump
Pete Johnson Blues Trio - Barrelhouse Breakdown
Pete Johnson & Albert Ammons - Walkin' The Boogie
Pete Johnson & Albert Ammons - Boogie Woogie Man
Pete Johnson And His Boogie Woogie Boys - Lovin' Mama Blues
Pete Johnson - Atomic Boogie
Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons - Boogie Woogie Prayer
Albert Ammons / Meade "Lux" Lewis / Pete Johnson - Lady Be Good
Pete Johnson & Albert Ammons - Sixth Avenue Express