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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!

Now that I've been at this thing for a while and have featured a lot of great folks,  I had been thinking about a means of making sure that a lot of musicians got featured and I didn't forget a lot of folks.  So the scheme that I've hit on is to feature artists on or about their birthdays.  This evening's music features one of the great voices of r&b, one of the lead singers of the Temptations, David Ruffin.  Enjoy!

David Ruffin - My Girl

News and Opinion

Watch this.  It's long but it's completely worth it:

Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s New Film Exposes Hidden Truths of Covert U.S. Warfare

On Monday, President Obama declared a decade of war is now ending and that lasting peace does not require perpetual war. But he never mentioned the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan by name.

There was also no mention about the secret drone war that’s vastly expanded under President Obama. On the same day he gave his inaugural address, a U.S. drone strike killed three people in Yemen east of the capital, Sana’a. Also Monday, President Obama officially nominated John Brennan to be director of the CIA, succeeding retired Army General David Petraeus, who resigned. Nicknamed the "assassination czar" by some, Brennan was the first Obama administration official to publicly confirm drone attacks overseas and to defend their legality. Four years ago, John Brennan was a rumored pick for the CIA job when Obama was first elected but was forced to withdraw from consideration amidst protests over his role at the CIA under the Bush administration.

Yemeni Official Condemns US Drones

Yemeni human rights minister Hooria Mashhour voiced a rare public criticism by a government official as she condemned the US use of drones and urged for justice and a renewed regard for human rights.

Though Mashhour did not explicitly mention the US or assert that any specific strike had killed civilians, when asked for her position on the use of unmanned drones she told Reuters:

We're committed to fighting terrorism but we're calling for changing the means and strategies...These means and strategies can be applied on the ground without harming civilians and without leading to human rights violations.

This is our idea, to do this through the judiciary. But the United States said that it's in an open war with them and they declared the U.S. as an enemy. The (U.S.) declared (militants) as enemies who could be targeted wherever they are found.

All we are calling for is justice and reliance on international regulations with regard to human rights and to be true to our commitment to our citizens in that they all deserve a fair trial.

CIA and Pentagon have long-running influence over Hollywood’s representation of military

The CIA and the Pentagon pulled out all the stops for the creators of “Zero Dark Thirty,” staging interviews with officials and a Navy SEAL for an inside account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. ...

Although the assistance offered to the “Zero Dark Thirty” crew sparked accusations that the White House used the movie as a propaganda tool, cooperation between Hollywood and the Pentagon or CIA is nothing new.

The first film ever to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, “Wings” in 1929, featured dogfight scenes with bi-planes thanks to help from the army.

It was the beginning of a relationship that has grown over decades.

The film industry covets access to hardware and expertise that only the armed forces can provide, while in return, defense officials want to burnish the military’s image on the big screen.

The Pentagon’s criteria for justifying cooperation on any film or television project is loosely defined, but until recently has never been seriously questioned by Congress.

EU panel seeks power to fine, censor and fire journalists

A series of recommendations issued Monday (PDF) by the European Union’s “High Level Group” proposes the establishment of “media councils” in every member state that would be monitored by the European Commission and given the power to fine, censor and even fire individual journalists if deemed appropriate.

“Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status,” one of the group’s recommendations suggests. “The national media councils should follow a set of European-wide standards and be monitored by the Commission to ensure that they comply with European values.”

Another recommendation pertaining to media councils advises that they be staffed “with a politically and culturally balanced and socially diverse membership,” with lawmakers — not journalists or publishers — making the nominations.

The document also proposes the extension of libel laws uniformly across the EU, along with the establishment of an Internet user database that would identify and track “those responsible for harming others through the media, even in the online space.”

“Having EU officials overseeing our free press – and monitoring newspapers to ensure they comply with ‘European values’ – would be quite simply intolerable,” British MP Douglas Carswell told The Telegraph. “This is the sort of mind-set that I would expect to find in Iran, not the West. This kooky idea tells us little about the future of press regulation. It does suggest that the European project is ultimately incompatible with the notion of a free society.”

Israel's Labor Party Plays Desperate Game to Elections

Why Cornel West Is Upset Obama Was Sworn In On Martin Luther King's Bible

Keystone XL Decision Will Show If Obama's Climate Promises Are Real or Just Rhetoric

President's inaugural delivers fine words on meeting the challenge of global warming, but action needed and fast

If you want to know if the lofty rhetoric on climate change included in Obama's second inaugural address on Monday was all talk or a projection of a real shift in policy priorities, environmental campaigners say the evidence will be available soon enough.

For real evidence that there's serious intent behind his words, groups say people need look no further than his upcoming decision to approve or deny permission for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The president's words on climate change were welcome by green advocates following the speech, but only with the caveat that meaningful and swift action—not empty words—is what's needed to face the dire and immediate challenges we face. ...

There was widespread agreement among many that this was the president's most forceful language yet on the subject, but that didn't keep observers from recognizing that—due to the urgency dictated by growing warnings from climate scientists and the almost daily examples of global warming's impact on extreme weather, rising ocean levels, inland flooding, and prolonged droughts—words by themselves will do nothing to solve the crisis.

That nice Lloyd Blankfein is "doing God's work again;" whoda thunk God needed so many self-dealing, cruel bastards on the payroll?
Goldman bankers get rich betting on food prices as millions starve

Bank criticised for making $400 million after destructive spikes in global food market

Goldman Sachs made more than a quarter of a billion pounds last year by speculating on food staples, reigniting the controversy over banks profiting from the global food crisis. ...

Goldman made about $400m (£251m) in 2012 from investing its clients' money in a range of "soft commodities", from wheat and maize to coffee and sugar, according to an analysis for The Independent by the World Development Movement (WDM).

This contributed to the 68 per cent jump in profits for 2012 Goldman announced last week, allowing it to push up the average pay and bonus package of its bankers to £250,000.

The extent of Goldman's food speculation can be revealed after the UN warned that the world could face a major hunger crisis in 2013, after failed harvests in the US and Ukraine. Food prices surged last summer, with cereal prices hitting a record high in September.

Christine Haigh of the WDM said: "While nearly a billion people go hungry, Goldman Sachs bankers are feeding their own bonuses by betting on the price of food. Financial speculation is fuelling food price spikes and Goldman Sachs is the No 1 culprit."

2 million without drinking water as Chilean capital officials turn off supply

More than two million people in the Chilean capital were without drinking water Tuesday because of contamination in a river that supplies the city with water, officials said.

Water was shut down to more than 593,000 homes in the metropolitan area, beginning early Tuesday until at least midnight, forcing the closure of restaurants, offices and playgrounds in areas affected by the cutoff. ...

Aguas Andinas said a landslide in the Maipo river, the city’s main source of water, had fouled the company’s water processing plants.

Ontario Phases Out Coal, First in North America to Do So

Blog Posts of Interest

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

MLK's Vehement Condemnations of US Militarism are More Relevant Than Ever

Book review: Derber's "Greed to Green"

Born this way?

A Little Night Music

David Ruffin Montage - Ain't Too Proud To Beg

David Ruffin, E.Kendricks, D. Edwards - I Wish It Would Rain

David Ruffin + Eddie Kendricks - I'm Losing you

David Ruffin - I Want You Back

Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin , Hall & Oates - The Way You Do The Things You Do

David Ruffin + Eddie Kendricks - Just My Imagination

David Ruffin - Smiling Faces Sometimes

David Ruffin - One Of These Days

The Temptations - Get Ready


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 Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.


Did Obama's inagural rhetoric signal a real progressive change in policy direction?

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