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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 evenings music features R&B songwriter and musician Billy "The Kid" Emerson.  Enjoy!

Billy Emerson - A Dancin' Whippersnapper

"There are some who become spies for money, or out of vanity and megalomania, or out of ambition, or out of a desire for thrills. But the malady of our time is of those who become spies out of idealism."

  --  Max Lerner

News and Opinion

The FBI vs. Occupy: Secret Docs Reveal "Counterterrorism" Monitoring of OWS from Its Earliest Days

FBI Monitored “Anarchist protest” Occupy Wall Street

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund obtained records from the FBI via a Freedom of Information request; many of these records were  highly redacted and you can see them here.  The FBI gave notification to the heads of the New York Stock Exchange over a month in advance of the Occupy Wall Street protests in NYC; the FBI also started notifying businesses to prepare for a potential conflict.  My major takeaway from all of this is that federal agencies infiltrated civil disobedience groups from the very early stages of #OWS, viewed them as potential “domestic terrorists” and alerted corporate institutions and more specifically large banks in advance of any potential protests.

The Digital Journal gives some insight into the documents:

The documents also prove that the FBI worked in concert with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and private corporations to combat the perceived threat from the nascent Occupy movement. A report from the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), which describes itself as “a strategic partnership between the FBI, DHS and the private sector,” labeled last December’s West Coast port protests as “criminal activity.” The DSAC report also contains a “handling notice” that acknowledges the information contained in the report is “meant for use primarily within the corporate security community.”

The Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) also reported to the DSAC regarding cooperation between labor unions and the Occupy movement in staging the port protests.

Perhaps most alarmingly, numerous FBI divisions referred to Occupy protesters as “domestic terrorists.” Among these divisions were: Anchorage, Alaska; Jacksonville, Florida; Tampa, Florida; and Memphis, Tennessee. The Jackson, Mississippi Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a “Counterterrorism Preparedness” alert, in which the Occupy movement is named. The FBI’s Memphis Joint Terrorism Task Force includes Occupy along with the Aryan Nation and Anonymous as potential terrorist threats.

The Other Bradley Manning: Jeremy Hammond Faces Life Term for WikiLeaks and Hacked Stratfor Emails

The government can currently read your email without a warrant.  There was a fix for that and now, whoops, there isn't.  Funny how these things change when Congress thinks that nobody is watching...
Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment attached to the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act (which deals with publishing users’ Netflix information on Facebook pages) that would have required federal law enforcement to obtain a warrant before monitoring email or other data stored remotely (i.e., the cloud). ...

The Senate was set to approve the video privacy bill along with the email amendment, which would have applied to a different law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. But then senators decided for reasons unknown to drop the amendment.

Senators McCain, Graham and Ayotte want in on NDAA detention arguments

Three Republican senators are asking that their lawyer be allowed to make a presentation when a federal appeals court hears oral arguments on the scope of a provision regarding law-of-war detention that Congress passed last year.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire filed a formal motion Wednesday asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to allocate them argument time in the case of Hedges v. Obama.

In September, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest granted a motion by several American journalists, scholars and human rights advocates to block the use of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act against them. They said they feared the provision opened the door to indefinite detention of Americans who have contact with groups or individuals considered to be terrorists by the U.S. Government. However, the 2nd Circuit blocked Forrest's order pending an appeal.

There Is No American Left

America - or at least American politics - has swung violently to the right. The more social class is involved, the further to the right America has swung. Poverty was once a social disease to be cured; it is now an individual crime to be punished. Put it down to individualism, conservatism, neoliberalism, or whatever -ism you want, America is now the world's greatest reactionary force.

Unfortunately, all the evidence is that the rest of the world is following America down the road to perdition. Nowhere are national health insurance schemes, access to free education, and old age pensions being expanded. Nowhere is the world moving forward. Everywhere the social gains of the twentieth century are either being eroded, or destroyed.

The mid-late twentieth century may or may not turn out to have been the highpoint of human civilization. Progress may yet return. But if it does, it will not be led by the United States. It will be resisted by the United States. It's up to the rest of the world to provide the hope for the future that once emanated from Washington, New York, and California.

Locke and unload: Why the NRA doesn't understand rights

According to NRA theology, guns are synonymous with freedom, the very basis of our democracy. But according to John Locke - whose Second Treatise lays out the philosophical foundations for government by consent of the governed - this gets things exactly backwards: It's the inability of guns - or any other private means - to secure our freedom that establishes the foundation for our civil government, and the freedoms it secures. The NRA is not alone in its misunderstanding, of course. But they are in the vanguard of getting the basis of American freedom utterly and totally wrong. ...

As Locke explains (in Chapter IX, Section 123), people will quit the state of nature, even though they are sovereigns beholden to no one, because their unlimited right is so fragile and insecure:

though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very unsecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property. [emphasis added]
It's worth pausing to take note of the bolded passage above. It is no accident that gun fanatics invoke the cry of freedom, but speak a language that "is full of fears and continual dangers". They are, in fact, psychologically living in the state of nature, strikingly oblivious to the fact that we, as a country, do not live in that state, but rather in a civil and political society established precisely to curb those fears and dangers, in order to secure the most precious and fundamental of our rights. ...

Indeed, the peaceful settlement of disputes, without resort to violence, is one of the principle reasons for forming the social contract. Thus, in Section 134 Locke identifies, "The great end of men's entering into society" as "being the enjoyment of their properties in peace and safety, and the great instrument and means of that being the laws established in that society".

Thus, it should be clear that not only are guns in general inadequate to secure our freedom, but also that, to the extent they pose a threat to peace and safety, they undermine, rather than furthering, the secure enjoyment of all the other rights people hold dear. That is precisely the threat that, according to Locke, government is created to curtail. This is, then, not a question of theology (what one believes are "God-given rights") or even of ideology (what one thinks specific rights should be), but of empirical science: What makes us more secure? Security - not gun ownership - is the root right at stake, and the answer to that question is precisely what one might expect in America today: More guns make us less safe.

Florida homeowners foreclose on deadbeat banks

Vigilante homeowners in Florida are turning the tables on banks by foreclosing on them over unpaid homeowner fees, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

Although banks are typically the ones foreclosing on homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages, those same banks sometimes fail to pay the homeowners fees that come with holding those properties after foreclosure, reported CNN.

And when banks fail to pony up, associations have hit back by imposing liens on those properties. If they still fail to pay, associations pursue foreclosures against the banks — a reversal of the process that banks typically pursue against homeowners.

Ben Solomon, an attorney in Miami, told CNN that of the 1,100 liens his firm has filed, 131 led to foreclosure threats, although 90 percent of those resulted in banks settling. In one such suit, JPMorgan Chase owed $20,000 in fees and bills that accumulated over two years.

Congress Delays Aid Bill As Sandy Victims Suffer

EPA head Lisa Jackson resigning

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, who for four years had led the charge on a number of successful moves to increase and strengthen environmental regulations, has announced that she is stepping down from the agency, reported The Hill. ...

Jackson headed the agency as it imposed the first greenhouse gas standards for vehicles, created new limits on soot emissions, went to court for the Clean Air Act, and passed regulations on new power plants.

However, some who believed President Obama would aggressively pursue all-encompassing climate change legislation frame those successes as consolation prizes. As a result, Jackson faced opposition and setbacks not only from Republicans who generally oppose increased regulations, but from Obama himself, as well as environmental groups who grew frustrated when the agency compromised to move its agenda, reported the New York Times.

In 2011, Obama buckled to opposition groups and prevented the EPA from implemented more stringent air quality standards. Environmental groups also want the president to impose new regulations on power plants that already exist, reported the Washington Post.

Hat tip to Cassiodorus for catching this:
RIP Ray Collins

Ray Collins, the singer and co-founder of the Mothers of Invention, died on Monday (Dec. 24) in Pomona, Calif. He had been hospitalized since Dec. 18 after suffering a massive heart attack, and was removed from life support on Saturday. He was 76 years old.

Collins grew up in Pomona and got his musical start singing falsetto in a succession of doo wop groups. Collins was fronting a group called the Soul Giants when he and the band’s guitarist got into an altercation, and when he was looking around for a replacement, he called upon a young musician named Frank Zappa, whom he had met when Zappa played a gig in Pomona.

Zappa’s presence in the band quickly turned them from an R&B and soul cover act into an original group with an emphasis on performing Zappa’s compositions, which were an amalgam of rock, soul, R&B, jazz, classical and virtually every other form of music, with lyrics that satirized modern culture. The group changed their name to the Mothers of Invention, with Collins continuing as their lead singer, and in the counterculture atmosphere of the mid-’60s they were able to land a recording contract.

Blog Posts of Interest

Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.
What's Happenin'

New Year’s Revolution: Connecting the Dots, Coming Together and Fighting Like Hell

Obama's Gift to Al-Qaida, Support for Tyranny, and FBI Monitoring of Dissent

A Little Night Music

Billy Emerson - Red Hot

Billy Emerson - I'll get you, too

Billy Emerson - No Teasin' Around, If Lovin' Is Believing

Billy Emerson - Every Woman I Know

Billy Emerson - Do The Chicken, Don't Be Careless

Billy Emerson - Holy Mackerel Baby

Billy Emerson - Little Fine Healthy Thing, Something for Nothin'

Billy Emerson - Woodchuck

Billy Emerson - When It Rain It Pours, Move Baby Move

Billy Emerson - Move, Baby Move

Billy Emerson - Hey Little Girl, When My Baby Quit Me, Shim Sham Shimmy

Billy Emerson - The Pleasure Is All Mine, Somebody Show Me

Billy Emerson - Do Yourself A Favor, You Never Miss Your Water

Billy "The Kid" Emmerson - Aunt Molly Pt. 1

Billy The Kid Emerson - Cherry Pie


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

mood ring 1

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.


How ya' feelin'?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good evening, Joe (7+ / 0-)

    You know, it's now beginning to look like those that cry "Conspiracy Theorist!" whether there are reports that SS is on the table, in which everyone now knows it is, or that the DHS and FBI have monitored OWS from the beginning and aided its shutdown, which we now know happened in some light, should just admit it's their way of saying, "I don't want to think! I just want to cheer and call people names!"

    So Lisa Jackson finally had enough; it's surprising she lasted this long having to make excuses for this administration bucking her agency to keep polluted air for the profit lines of corporations. I knew since the primary how non serious Mr. Clean coal was; he always had the weakest environmental platform. Now everyone knows that as well.

    Thank you, Joe Shikspack.

    I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

    by priceman on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:15:17 PM PST

    •  evening priceman... (7+ / 0-)

      yep, those people you mention will vociferously deny anything that they take as a negative until it can no longer be denied by a sane person and then they try to magically turn the negative thing into a victorious positive.  i think we've seen their act too often now.  it's predictable and boring.  they will never join the reality based community.

      there are rumors that lisa jackson is interested in running for governor of new jersey.  i was tremendously disappointed by the performance of the epa under her management, but it's hard to determine how much of the blame for that should rightly fall on her shoulders.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:25:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, Joe. That song remains the same (4+ / 0-)

        And I want to just change the station on some days.

        Ahh, interesting about her run for NJ Governor. I have also been very dissapointed in her run as head of the EPA(and her excuses and evasion), but it is hard to determine how much of it is her fault as the POTUS is head of the executive branch and has the final say to the dismay of everyone who wishes they could excuse away like they do with every bad pick of this administration that does a terrible job administering the executive branch whether on climate change or the Treasury.

        I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

        by priceman on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:39:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I think this Lisa Jackson story... (4+ / 0-)

          ...needs more extensive coverage, both here in this community and in general. I hope she writes about her reasons for leaving in the near future, and in manner that gets her story out to as many folks as possible!

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:47:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hope she doesn't become silent on enviro issues (4+ / 0-)

            in the public sphere because and ex EPA official should be able to garner a lot of press for issues (keystone pipeline, frack baby frack, drill baby drill in the arctic and on 70% MORE public lands), especially when she is free to speak in a way that should have been the trademark of that office.

            "If the president comes out for it, she would be expected to support it," said Tittel. "Whether they told her or not, that's how it works. She was the person who pushed the hardest for the moratorium on the pipeline and now she's leaving."

            "I know she was very frustrated by the White House on a lot of issues," he said, citing a "cap-and-trade" bill to limit carbon emissions that failed in the Senate in 2009.

            A former senior administration official confirmed that disputes over Keystone were central to Jackson's alienation from the White House — though a third source close to Jackson said she also had personal reasons to move on from the Obama administration, a normal step for a cabinet official who has served four intense years.

            "It was all about Keystone for the last 16 months," said the former senior Obama administration official, who said Jackson's opposition to the project — and her defeat in internal arguments — meant that her colleagues had assumed she would leave after the November election, before she would be forced to work on any element of the implementation of Keystone.

            (emphasis mine)

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:11:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ahh, that is true, bobswern (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, ek hornbeck, joe shikspack

            her story and first hand account as to the failings and pressure that caused her to leave from the top brass could be very instrumental and deserves attention. I just hope she will speak more freely now and openly.

            Happy new year, my friend!

            I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

            by priceman on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:10:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's the condo associations that are (5+ / 0-)

    nailing the banks.  A lot of them here in Florida are near bankruptcy with up to 50% or more units in foreclosure and not paying monthly fees.  By the time the bank gets title, most units are 18-24 months behind on fees.  There is a Florida statute that basically says a new owner is only liable for 6 months of unpaid fees and assessments, but an attorney for an association found a loophole last year (that I never fully understood) and since then they've been able to hold up the sales (from the bank to a new buyer) until all fees are paid.  The bluster from the bank's attorneys during the first few cases was a beautiful thing to see.

    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:26:46 PM PST

  •  Hey Joe, may all your good wishes come true (6+ / 0-)

    Sugar Plum Fairy

    Sugar Plum Fairy

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:29:38 PM PST

  •  Joe, how about a little more Stevie Ray? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ek hornbeck, joe shikspack

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:44:55 PM PST

    •  that could be arranged... B) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i've been thinking of doing a texas blues theme one of these days.  i'd been waiting for something interesting to happen there to do it, but i'll probably put it together sometime in january.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:13:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...then add some Delbert McClinton, too! :-) n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 07:47:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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