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 St. Louis blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, Charley Jordan. Enjoy!
Charley Jordan - Keep It Clean
"Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts."
-- Nelson Mandela
News and Opinion
Rice, Clinton parrot Israeli rhetoric that Palestine's new UN status "creates obstacles to peace"
The United States warned Thursday that a UN vote granting Palestine observer state status would create “obstacles” to peace between the Palestinians and Washington’s close ally Israel.
“Today’s unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace,” the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, told the UN General Assembly after the historic vote.
Speaking separately in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, used exactly the same language to denounce a decision that she said “places further obstacles in the path to peace.” ...
Rice said that “only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and the Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve.”
Fake AP Graph Exposes Israeli Fraud and IAEA Credulity
That Associated Press story displaying a graph alleged to be part of an Iranian computer simulation of a nuclear explosion — likely leaked by Israel with the intention of reinforcing the media narrative of covert Iranian work on nuclear weapons – raises serious questions about the International Atomic Energy Association’s (IAEA) claim that it has credible evidence of such modeling work by Iran.
The graph of the relationship between energy and power shown in the AP story has now been revealed to contain absurdly large errors indicating its fraudulence.
Those revelations indicate, in turn, that the IAEA based its publication of detailed allegations of nuclear weapons-related Iranian computer modeling on evidence that should have been rejected as having no credibility.
Sanders: Wall Street CEOs are the 'Faces of Class Warfare'
Incredulous that Wall Street investment bankers and billionaire CEOs have descended on Washington in the midst of ongoing budget talks to tell Americans that they should "lower their expectations" when it comes to the security of their retirement and future health care, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday to call out the audacity of corporate-minded millionaires and billionaires, calling them the new "face of class warfare" in the United States.
Fiscal cliff negotiations stall as Republicans refuse to budge on tax rates
US Democrats and Republicans bickered on Thursday over whether to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, as crunch negotiations on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff stalled.
Republican speaker John Boehner met Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, after a Wednesday phone call with President Barack Obama, but warned there had been “no substantive progress” in averting drastic tax hikes and spending cuts.
“I’ve got to tell you that I’m disappointed in where we are and disappointed in what’s happened over the last couple of weeks,” he said, urging the White House to “get serious” about cutting federal spending, including entitlements.
Bradley Manning testimony: “I Remember Thinking I’m Going to Die”
In a highly anticipated moment, PFC Bradley Manning took the stand in his pre-court martial hearing today, for the first time presenting the court and the world the story of his confinement in his own words. Manning sounded a little nervous and off-balance at the start of his testimony, but quickly grew comfortable and more relaxed, smiling and speaking confidently.
In his testimony Manning recounted his arrest in Iraq and subsequent confinement in Kuwait. He said he was held in one of two “cage-like cells,” for the first 72 hours of his captivity. Responding to reports that he made a noose out of his bed sheets, Manning said “I don’t recall making it, but I remember thinking I’m going to die, I’m stuck in this … animal cage.”
Manning described his time in confinement in Kuwait as his lowest point. “I didn’t want to die, but I also wanted to get out the cage,” he recalled. “I felt trapped in the cage all the time. … [I had] pretty much given up on a lot of things. My world had shrunk to this eight-by-eight foot metal cell.”
Senate strips ‘indefinite detention’ for Americans from 2012 NDAA
The U.S. Senate approved an amendment on Thursday that strips a controversial provision from the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that allows the “indefinite detention” of American citizens within the U.S. by the military.
The amendment passed by a vote of 67 to 29. All but four of the Senators who voted against civilian trials for Americans were Republicans. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) crossed over to oppose the amendment, and they were joined by Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
The amendment reads: “An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.”
A similar amendment put forward by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2011 failed to clear the Senate by a vote of 45 to 55. In that vote, 11 Democrats crossed over to oppose civilian trials for American citizens.
Obama's FCC Set to Give Rupert Murdoch a Media Monopoly
Unsatisfied with his media empire in the UK and Australia and his several media holdings in the United States like TheWall Street Journal, the New York Post, and Fox News, Rupert Murdoch wants more. He wants a media monopoly.
Murdoch is currently jockeying to buy the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, which just so happen to be the largest newspapers in the nation’s second and third largest cities. That will add to his current media empire in the United States, which includes the most watched cable news network in the nation, Fox so-called News, and the most circulated newspaper in the nation, The Wall Street Journal.
The only thing standing in Murdoch’s way of full-spectrum media domination in America are Federal Communication Commission rules that forbid one company from owning both a newspaper and a television station in one community. Murdoch already owns local television stations in both Chicago and Los Angeles.
But according to sources within the FCC, Chairman Julius Genachowski is quietly planning to scrap those rules. Under pressure from major media moguls like Murdoch, who see big bucks and huge political power in a consolidated national and local media, Genachowski circulated a new order to other FCC Commissioners that would allow for cross-ownership of TV and newspapers in the nation’s twenty biggest media markets. ...
President Obama’s FCC is expected to consider these rule changes again in December. And if Americans don’t get involved in this issue and pressure the FCC to say “no,” then Murdoch and his billionaire buddies will likely get what they want, which is complete domination of our news media.
In rare strike, NYC fast-food workers walk out
After a Black Friday action at Wal-Mart, NYC fast-food workers walk out, challenging a nearly union-free industry
At 6:30 this morning, New York City fast food workers walked off the job, launching a rare strike against a nearly union-free industry. Organizers expect workers at dozens of stores to join the one-day strike, a bold challenge to an industry whose low wages, limited hours and precarious employment typify a growing portion of the U.S. economy.
New York City workers are organizing at McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Papa John’s. Organizers expect today’s strike to include workers from almost all of those chains, with the largest group coming from McDonald’s; the company did not respond to a request for comment.
But employees were clear about their reasons for walking out. “They’re not paying us enough to survive,” McDonald’s worker Raymond Lopez told Salon in a pre-strike interview. Lopez said he decided to join today’s strike because “This company has enough money to pay us a reasonable amount for all that we do … they’re just not going to give it to us as long as they can get away with it. I think we need to be heard.”
School System deploys $300,000 biometric scanners in cafeterias
Instead of paying for their lunches with crumpled dollar bills and loose change, students in Carroll County schools are having their palms scanned in a new check-out system — raising concerns from some parents that their children's privacy is being violated.
The county is one of the first localities in Maryland to use the PalmSecure system, in which children from kindergarten to 12th grade place their hands above an infrared scanner. It identifies unique palm and vein patterns, and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records a sale.
Though the school system does not store those images, some parents have complained about the implications of having their children's hands scanned. About 20 percent of parents have declined to participate in the program, said supervisor of food services Karen Sarno.
"I didn't appreciate how they handled it," said Mike Richmond, who has two children at Westminster's Cranberry Elementary School. He said that the school scanned their hands before sending the opt-out form. "I'm concerned about it. I know it's the way of the future, but it's fingerprinting, it's palm-printing."
Ecuadoran villagers drag Chevron to Canadian court
A 19-year court battle that resulted in a staggering US$18.3-billion judgment from an Ecuadoran court against Chevron last year moved to Canada on Thursday as the plaintiffs seek to collect.
Ecuadoran villagers who brought the original lawsuit over decades of oil pollution in the Amazon are asking an Ontario Superior Court to force Chevron to hand over CAN$12 billion in Canadian assets held by subsidiaries.
The oil company, which has refused to pay, alleging fraud and bribery was used to obtain the ruling, says its Canadian subsidiaries are wholly independent and have nothing to do with this case.
After two days of hearings this week, the judge is expected to decide in January whether to recognize the Ecuadoran ruling.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
Bloomberg Attempting to Evict Occupy Sandy Aid Hub: Take action
AoT has an important diary up with suggestions of ways to protect Occupy Sandy (and by extension all of the people that they are serving) from actions by Mayor 1% Bloomberg to handicap their efforts. Please check it out and do what you can to help.
A Little Night Music
Charley Jordan - Hunkie Tunkie Blues
Charley Jordan - Pork Chop Blues
Charley Jordan - Just A Spoonful
Charley Jordan - Dollar Bill Blues
Charley Jordan - Santa Claus Blues
Charley Jordan + Henry Brown - Titanic Blues
Charley Jordan + Henry Brown - Preacher Blues
Charley Jordan - Stack O'Dollars Blues
Charley Jordan - Workingman's Blues
Charley Jordan - Cherry Wine Woman
Charley Jordan - Hell Bound Boy Blues
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky