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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 Louisiana musician Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. - Lead Belly.

Lead Belly- Pick A Bale Of Cotton

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

  -- Howard Zinn

News and Opinion

UN launches probe into drone strikes

UN Launches Major Investigation Into Civilian Drone Deaths

A UN investigation into the legality and casualties of drone strikes has been formally launched, with a leading human rights lawyer revealing the team that will carry out the inquiry.

The announcement came as the latest reported US drone strike in Yemen was said to have mistakenly killed two children.

Ben Emmerson QC, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, told a London press conference that he will lead a group of international specialists who will examine CIA and Pentagon covert drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The team will also look at drone strikes by US and UK forces in Afghanistan, and by Israel in the Occupied Territories. In total some 25 strikes are expected to be examined in detail.

The senior British barrister will work alongside international criminal lawyers, a senior Pakistani judge and one of the UK’s leading forensic pathologists, as well as experts from Pakistan and Yemen. Also joining the team is a serving judge-advocate with the US military ‘who is assisting the inquiry in his personal capacity.’

The Case Against Kerry

Palestine: Continued Settlements Would Leave Us 'No Other Choice' But to Take Israel to ICC

Continued settlement expansion in Jerusalem would leave us "no other choice" than to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the UN Security Council, Malki said:

If Israel would like to go further by implementing the E1 (settlement) plan and the other related plans around Jerusalem then yes, we will be going to the ICC. We have no other choice. It depends on the Israeli decision.
The proposed E1 area settlements would slice key portions of Palestinian land away from the occupied West Bank and further thwart a two-state possibility. ... The UN views all West Bank settlements as illegal, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that any "settlement plans for E-1 must be rescinded."
What's Next for Palestine?

Two Anonymous members jailed over PayPal hack in London

Two computer hackers were jailed by a London court on Thursday for a series of cyber-attacks by the hacking group Anonymous that cost the US online payments giant PayPal millions of dollars.

Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year-old student, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty last month of carrying out attacks on PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and other companies that refused to process payments to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

Ashley Rhodes, 28, admitted the same charge of conspiring to impair the operation of computers between August 1, 2010 and January 22, 2011 and was jailed for seven months.

Another hacker, 24-year-old Peter Gibson, had also pleaded guilty but was deemed to have played a lesser role in the attacks and was given a six-month suspended sentence.

A fourth man, 18-year-old Jake Birchall, who also admitted his involvement, will be sentenced later.

PayPal was repeatedly attacked in December 2010 after the website decided not to process payments made to the Wau Holland Foundation, an organisation involved in raising funds for WikiLeaks.

"Gideon’s Army": Young Public Defenders Brave Staggering Caseloads, Low Pay to Represent the Poor
Senate Democrats Really Don’t Want to Govern

Millions of voters  across the country gave Democrats a majority in the Senate this past November.  They gave Democrats the power to fully govern the chamber. Democrats in the Senate were handed the ability to pass any bill they wanted and approve any nominee by President Obama they deem qualified.

Today the Senate Democratic caucus decided that is a duty they don’t really want. Instead of truly reforming the Senate rules, the Democrats decided to adopt only a temporary bipartisan package of minor rules changes that are so inconsequential they are not even worth describing in detail.

The important thing is that Senate Democrats chose to leave in place a 60 vote threshold for everything. ... Senate Democrats are so scared of being held responsible that they effectively decided they would prefer to continue playing a majority party on TV than actually be one in real life.

After Tiller: 40 Years Since Roe v. Wade, Abortion Providers Continue Work of Slain Kansas Doctor
Seattle Teachers' Boycott of High Stakes Tests Spreads

Goldman Sachs, Shell 'Named and Shamed' in Public Eye 'Award'

As leaders from the world's top banks and corporations continue to meet this week at the World Economic Forum, protesters also gathered in Davos to announce this year's Public Eye "Shame Awards." And the winners are...Goldman Sachs and Shell.

Goldman Sachs "is a key player in financially driven globalization, which pays for profits of a few with exploding inequality and the impoverishment of broad strata," the groups said in a joint statement.

"Shell has invested $4.5 billion into a senseless, highly risky plan and only produced problems. The Public Eye Award vote shows that the public keeps an eye on Shell and that its pig-headedness will continue to be sanctioned by public opinion," Greenpeace International director and Shame Award jury member Kumi Naidoo stated.

Professor William K. Black, economist and former banking regulator and speaker at the award ceremony, added:

The central point that I want to stress as a white-collar criminologist and effective financial regulator is that Goldman Sachs is not a singular 'rotten apple' in a healthy bushel of banks. Goldman Sachs is the norm for systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) (the so-called 'too big to fail' banks).
Silencers are Golden

53 Senators Urge Pipeline Approval Amid Groundswell Against Tar Sands

Ignoring warnings from the world's most prominent climate scientists who say that pursuit of mega-carbon projects like development of Alberta's tar sands will lead to 'climate chaos' and irreversible tipping points, 53 US Senators signed a letter on Wednesday urging fast-track approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

The letter, spearheaded by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), employed what has widely been called a false dichotomy by asserting that protecting the environment and moving away from a fossil fuel dependent energy system was incompatible with job creation or economic prosperity.

The letter proves that a majority of lawmakers in the upper chamber of Congress have not been swayed by the sizable groundswell of environmental activism around the Keystone XL project and climate change more broadly.

Blog Posts of Interest

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

Obama to the Left? Media Avoid Reality Behind Inaugural Rhetoric

Blocking a bad idea that enriches the rich: Peterson, Austerity, and the Washington Consensus

Timothy Geithner Says Justice Is Nice but Banks Are Just the Best

Senators backing Keystone XL pipeline got lots of campaign cash from fossil fuel donors

A Little Night Music

Leadbelly - Good Mornin' Blues

Lead Belly - In The Pines

Leadbelly - House of the Rising Sun

Leadbelly - Black Betty

Leadbelly - The Gallows Pole

I've always wondered what Leadbelly would have thought of this:

Gallows Pole - Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, live in Paris

Leadbelly - Mr. Hitler

Leadbelly - Cotton Fields

Lead Belly - I'm alone because I love you

Lead Belly - Rock Island Line

Lead Belly - Goodnight Irene

Leadbelly - Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On

Leadbelly - The Bourgeois Blues

Leadbelly - Jim Crow Blues

Leadbelly - Midnight Special (With The Golden Gate Quartet)

It's National Pie Day!

The election is over, it's a new year and it's time to work on real change in new ways... and it's National Pie Day.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to tell you a little more about our new site and to start getting people signed up.  

Come on over and sign up so that we can send you announcements about the site, the launch, and information about participating in our public beta testing.

Why is National Pie Day the perfect opportunity to tell you more about us?  Well you'll see why very soon.  So what are you waiting for?!   Head on over now and be one of the first!

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.


What will the UN drone probe find?

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