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.
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This evenings music features R&B singer and songwriter Jesse Belvin. Enjoy!
Jesse Belvin - It Could've Been Worse
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
-- George Orwell
News and Opinion
Aaron Swartz' story is one that can be read at many levels, from the emerging narrative about a couple of overly ambitious prosecutors eager to get their faces and names on teevee to further their careers, also as a story about inadequate legal structures being applied in a manner that does not serve society.
Underneath those narratives, though, is ample evidence that Swartz' experience is a symptom of a deeper problem - a crisis of legitimacy for government. As the two commentaries below point out in different ways, there is a war being made on activists whose impulse is to create an open society and the sort of democracy that can only work if there is real freedom of information.
It is part and parcel of a war being made upon not just computer activists, but anti-war activists, social activists like the Occupiers or anyone who is challenging the status quo that serves the 1%, the banksters and their lackeys in government.
It is a war being waged against people intent on making change by peaceful means who are being met by grotesque forms of government infiltration, surveillance, manipulation and violence.
This cannot be allowed to go on as it is. It is time to see the points of convergence where the government is using its nasty tools of anti-terrorism against the legitimate, peaceful democratic actions of the people and understand the narrative. Surely it is evident now whom it is that is bringing the violence? Surely it is evident now who benefits from the application of this violence and whom the targets of it are?
Prosecutor in Aaron Swartz 'hacking' case comes under fire
Imposing Real Consequences for Prosecutorial Abuse in Case of Aaron Swartz
Obama admin Aids French Bombing of Mali After US Trained-Forces Join Rebels in Uranium-Rich Region.They're at it again. These guys want a war with Iran so badly they can taste it, and regime change in Syria is part of their grand plan to isolate Iran.
France is in its fifth day of an offensive to oust rebels that have held much of Mali’s northern region since March, an area larger than Afghanistan. The strikes have reportedly killed 11 civilians, including three children fleeing the bombardment of a camp near the central town of Konna. The United Nations estimates as many as 30,000 may have been displaced since fighting began last week. The United States has backed the offensive by helping transport French troops and making plans to send drones or other surveillance aircraft. It is aiding a fight against Malian forces that it once helped train, only to see them defect and join the Islamist rebellion.
Neocons, War Hawks Call for 'Overt Preparations' for Attack on Iran
New push in US for tougher sanctions, war threats against Iran
Four U.S. non-proliferation specialists are urging the Obama administration to impose tougher economic sanctions against Iran and issue more explicit threats to destroy its nuclear programme by military means.
In a 155-page report, the specialists, who were joined by the head of a right-wing pro-Israel lobby group, the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies (FDD), said Washington should declare its intent to institute a “de facto international embargo on all investments in, and trade with” Iran, excepting food and medicine, if it does not freeze its nuclear-related work.
The calls come amidst speculation over a critical meeting between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany (P5+1), which have met over the last two months in an apparent effort to unify their positions before meeting with Iran. That meeting has not yet been scheduled, but most observers believe it will take place at the end of the month.
The report, “U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East,” also said Washington should “increase Iranian isolation, including through regime change in Syria” and “undertake…overt preparations for the use of warplanes and/or missiles to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities with high explosives”. ...
Iranian officials have suggested over the last several months that they are willing to make major concessions, including halting their enrichment of uranium up to 20 percent, transferring a substantial portion of their 20-percent enriched stockpile out of the country, and accepting enhanced IAEA inspections, provided they receive major sanctions relief in exchange. But they have also insisted that their right to enrichment of up to five percent is nonnegotiable.
Spanish city names town square after Clash singer
The Spanish city of Granada plans to name a square after the late British punk star Joe Strummer who sang of the town in one of his band The Clash’s classic tunes, an official said Wednesday.
The driving rock anthem “Spanish Bombs” on the band’s 1979 album “London Calling” recalled the Spanish civil war and Granada’s favourite son, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, executed there by nationalist soldiers in 1936. ...
It has identified a small square to bear his name a few hundred metres from the Alhambra palace, the city’s Islamic-era landmark which is one of Spain’s biggest tourist draws. ...
Strummer sang in Spanish and English in the song, evoking “bullet holes in the cemetery walls” as the “ragged army” of the Republicans waged their doomed fight against Francisco Franco’s forces.
Bradley Manning’s Speedy Trial Motion Hearing, Day 1
Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier being prosecuted by the military for allegedly releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, is back in court at Fort Meade in Maryland. The defense will be making its case that Manning has had his speedy trial rights violated.
The defense contends the government has shown a “tremendous lack of diligence in the processing of this case violated that fundamental right.” With regards to request for delays, Court Martial Convening Authority, Carl R. Coffman, “abandoned any attempt to make an independent determination of the reasonableness of any government delay request” ...
Manning is currently scheduled to go on trial on June 3, 2013. By then, Manning will have been in pretrial confinement for 1101 days. Months ago, the defense mentioned, “The Empire State Building could have been constructed almost two-and-a-half times over in the amount of time it will have taken to bring Pfc. Manning to trial.”
EU hints at banning insecticides over threat to bees
The European Commission hinted on Wednesday that it could ban several insecticides, some made by German chemicals giant Bayer, after scientists found disturbing evidence of harm to bees.
The EU’s food safety agency had reported “disturbing conclusions on three types of insecticides,” a spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said.
Following the findings, the Commission would be writing to manufacturers Bayer, Syngenta and Cruiser OSR to seek their response by January 25, the spokesman said, adding that the topic would be taken up again on January 31.
In due course, the “Commission and (EU) member states will take the necessary measures,” the spokesman said, without specifying.
House passes Sandy relief bill despite Republican opposition
The House of Representatives voted in favour of a $17bn Hurricane Sandy relief bill on Tuesday, 11 weeks after the superstorm struck the north-east of the US. Congress was due to vote on a second part of the package, which would add $33.7bn to recovery funds, later on Tuesday. Along with the $9bn package to fund insurance claims passed earlier this month, the total relief funding could total nearly $60bn.
The $17bn will go towards basic needs in areas that were hit hard by the storm. The money will be spent on temporary housing and other urgent measures, mostly in New York and New Jersey, which bore the brunt of the hurricane. Congress was debating an amendment to the bill on Tuesday evening which could add $33.7bn which would be spent on longer term structural issues, such as rebuilding train and subway systems and repairing flood-prevention measures.
There had been some concern that the Republican-controlled House would vote against further federal Sandy relief. Conservatives had proposed a series of amendments to the bill which would impose spending cuts elsewhere in exchange for awarding the funding. An amendment that would have offset the $17bn with a 1.63% cut on appropriations in the 2013 budget was voted down by 258-162. Of the 162 voting for the amendment, 157 were Republicans, five Democrats.
The fight over Sandy relief goes back to 1 January, when the Republican leadership in the House opted not to vote on a $60bn bill which had been passed by the Senate. That delay meant the bill had to be reintroduced in the House, causing lengthy delays at a time when federal relief funds were in danger of running out.
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
Jessie Belvin + his Space Riders - My Satellite
Jesse Belvin - I'll Mess You Up
Jesse Belvin - The Blues Has Got Me
Jesse Belvin/Big Jay McNeely - Don't Cry Baby
Jessie Belvin And The Cliques - I Wanna Know Why
Jessie Belvin - Beware
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