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 evening's music features Texas bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland. Enjoy!
Johnny Copeland - Flying High
“You don't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.”
-- Margaret Thatcher
News and Opinion
Did a Spreadsheet Error Just Cost You Your Job?
Did an Excel error cost you your job? This is what people around the world should be asking after researchers at the University of Massachusetts uncovered a serious calculation mistake. The mistake was in an enormously influential paper by Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, two prominent economists, which purports to show that high levels of government debt lead to slow economic growth.
This paper has been widely cited by political figures around the world who have been pushing the case for cutting back government spending and raising taxes. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan famously cited Reinhart and Rogoff when he laid out his budget earlier this year. So have many of the politicians now pushing for cuts in Social Security and Medicare.
Reinhart and Rogoff’s work has had an extraordinary impact for an academic paper. This is why the calculation error is so important ... Its findings were being used to provide cover by those who wanted to cut Social Security, Medicare and other programs that enjoy high levels of public support. It would be impossible to garner the political support needed for cuts to these programs on the merits, so the politicians pushing these cuts were happy to use the erroneous findings from Reinhart and Rogoff to advance their agenda.
The Reinhart and Rogoff paper was not used only to argue for cuts to popular social insurance programs, it was also used to argue against government efforts to boost the economy and create jobs. The opponents of these policies argued that efforts to spur the economy would prove to be counterproductive because Reinhart and Rogoff showed us that higher debt levels would mean slower growth.
America Keeps Honoring One of Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry Kissinger
Adolph Hitler dreamed of conquering and Stalin of communizing the world. Mr. Kissinger destroyed millions of lives primarily to further his career by preventing a communist takeover while he held office. And it is this kind of institutional, bureaucratic mentality, combined with new machines of secret war, which threatens the humanity today far more than the crazed ideologies of the past.
Henry Kissinger's quote recently released by Wikileaks,"the illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer", likely brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Oh that Henry! That rapier wit! That trademark insouciance! That naughtiness! It is unlikely, however, that the descendants of his more than 6 million victims in Indochina, and Americans of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. For his illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated, amoral U.S. Executive warfare which haunts the world until today.
And his conduct raises even more fundamental questions: to what extent can leaders who act secretly ,illegally and unconstitutionally, lying to their citizenry and legislature as a matter of course, legitimately claim to represent their people? How much allegiance do citizens owe such leaders? And what does it say about America’s elites that they have honored a man with so much innocent blood on his hands for the past 40 years? ...
There is a word for the aerial mass murder that Henry Kissinger committed in Indochina, and that word is “evil”. The figure most identified with this word today is Adolph Hitler, and his evil was so unspeakable that the term is by now identified with him. But that is precisely why it is important to understand the new face of evil and moral depravity that Henry Kissinger represents. For evil not only comes in the form of madmen dreaming of 1000 year Reichs. In fact, in our day, it is more likely to be committed by sane, genial and ordinary careerists waging invisible automated war in far-off lands against people whose screams we never hear, whose faces we never see, and whose deaths go unrecorded and unnoticed. It is critical to understand this new face of evil, for it threatens not only countless foreigners but Americans in coming years. And no one has embodied it more than Henry Kissinger.
This Is Our Chance For Peace
Today we are Bostonians. Tomorrow let's be Iraqis.
At the same instant that Obama publicly condemned the Boston bombings as “heinous and cowardly acts of terror,” Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a Yemeni prisoner at Guantanamo bay, is on hunger strike, tied to a bed and force-fed through tubes painfully thrust 18 inches into his stomach. He has been at Guantanamo for over 11 years. He has never been charged with any crime.
On the same day as the Boston bombings, a series of deadly car bombs went off in Iraq, where routine violence is the ongoing result of the destruction seeded by U.S invasion.
In Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, drones inflict terror almost on a daily basis. Hundreds of civilians are killed with impunity.
Where is the media coverage there? Why is there not the same lamenting on social media that we see for Boston?
Reporter asks White House Press Secy. if Afghan blast was "terrorism"
REPORTER: I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?
JAY CARNEY: Well, I would have to know more about the incident and then obviously the Department of Defense would have answers to your questions on this matter. We have more than 60,000 U.S. troops involved in a war in Afghanistan, a war that began when the United States was attacked, in an attack that was organized on the soil of Afghanistan by al Qaeda, by Osama bin laden and others and more than 3,000 people were killed in that attack. And it has been the President’s objective once he took office to make clear what our goals are in Afghanistan and that is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda. And with that as our objective to provide enough assistance to Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government to allow them to take over security for themselves. And that process is underway and the United States has withdrawn a substantial number of troops and we are in the process of drowning down further as we hand over security lead to Afghan forces. And it is certainly the case that I refer you to the defense department for details that we take great care in the prosecution of this war and we are very mindful of what our objectives are.
Anonymous set to establish news website after successful fundraiserIrony department. The Senator who worked tirelessly with the Obama administration to turn the Affordable Care Act into corporate welfare for insurance industry before any other concern is now worried that implementation of the law that he screwed up might be a "trainwreck."
An online donations-pledge drive on behalf of online hacktivist group Anonymous easily surpassed its initial goal, ushering forward a project by one of its largest Twitter subset groups to establish a news website run by and for the organization. ...
An initial attempt to fundraise for the new venture seems to have been a outright success, with over $54,000 having been crowdsourced, far exceeding the two-thousand-dollar goal. ...
While it is difficult to point to any central hierarchy within Anonymous, this latest project to establish a news web presence may further coalesce the group - which is known for its distaste for corporate media.
According to YAN’s announcement, the website will seek to capitalize on what the group is best at doing: collecting individual contributions and coalescing around certain news items and activist drives.“We will engineer a new website which will allow us to collect breaking reports and blogs from the best independent reporters online. We’ll provide feeds for citizen journalists who livestream events as they are taking place, instead of the 10-second sound bites provided by the corporate media. Likewise, we know it would be beneficial to our followers to exist as a community beyond simple social media interactions.”
Baucus Worries Health Care Implementation Could Be a “Huge Train Wreck”Wow, this story brings back memories of Ronald Reagan and his callous disregard for the mentally ill:
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who is arguably the prime author of the Affordable Care Act, is “very concerned” that implementation of it is not going well.
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Baucus repeatedly expressed concerns that the administration has completely failed to do proper outreach and that most of his constituents are still very confused about the law. Baucus said small businesses have “no idea what to do” and he sees a “huge train wreck coming down.”
Nevada buses hundreds of mentally ill patients to cities around country
Over the past five years, Nevada's primary state psychiatric hospital has put hundreds of mentally ill patients on Greyhound buses and sent them to cities and towns across America.
Since July 2008, Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has transported more than 1,500 patients to other cities via Greyhound bus, sending at least one person to every state in the continental United States, according to a Bee review of bus receipts kept by Nevada's mental health division. ...
In recent years, as Nevada has slashed funding for mental health services, the number of mentally ill patients being bused out of southern Nevada has steadily risen, growing 66 percent from 2009 to 2012. During that same period, the hospital has dispersed those patients to an ever-increasing number of states.
By last year, Rawson-Neal bused out patients at a pace of well over one per day, shipping nearly 400 patients to a total of 176 cities and 45 states across the nation.
More Children in Greece Are Going Hungry
ATHENS — As an elementary-school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.
“He had eaten almost nothing at home,” Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup.
“Not in my wildest dreams would I expect to see the situation we are in,” Mr. Nikas said. “We have reached a point where children in Greece are coming to school hungry. Today, families have difficulties not only of employment, but of survival.”
The Greek economy is in free-fall, having shrunk by 20 percent in the past five years. Unemployment is more than 27 percent, the highest in Europe, and 6 of 10 job seekers say they have not worked in more than a year. Those dry statistics are reshaping the lives of Greek families with children, more of whom are arriving at schools hungry or underfed, even malnourished, according to private groups and the government itself.
Greek gov’t seeks military camp to serve as prison for state debtors
Gradually, Greece turns into the 21st century version of the dark and gloomy world of Charles Dickens: with households burning wood for heating, with workers working for nothing, … and to put the icing on the Greek cake, soon also with debtors’ prisons. What we reported in January, turns into reality: tax prisons! ...
“The state is seeking a military camp within the limits of Attica prefecture for the housing of state debtors charged with prison penalties, ” deputy Justice minister Kostas Karagounis told MPS adding that the special prison for debtors will improve their detention conditions that will be more humane.
Yes, the humane factor will be that they won’t be held together with murderers, drug dealers or robbers.
The plan to build economic prisons is inevitable after the relevant decisions and circulars issued by the Finance Ministry. Last February, the ministry decided to impose even prison penalties to debtors owing the state more than 5,000 euro. Debtors will have a chance to start paying their debts in installments - deadline up to 4 months – before they will be put behind bars.
Keystone XL And Native Americans: South Dakota Tribes Fight The 'Black Snake'
Along the project's path, critics say, lie sacred and sensitive lands and waters that Native tribes rely on -- physically, culturally and spiritually. A growing number of tribes such as the Oglala Lakota are now pledging to stand their ground, fighting Keystone XL in defense of Mother Earth and future generations. ...
The latest to join the fight in South Dakota are the Yankton Sioux, who vowed this month to block the Keystone XL Pipeline "by all means possible."
Tribal government officials will deliver two resolutions to the State Department hearing on Thursday in Grand Island, Neb. The Yankton resolution attempts to prove ties to the land that would be affected by the pipeline, but that aren't necessarily in the modern boundaries of their reservation. They also renounce a "flawed" process of consultation by the Department of State in its review of the proposed project. ...
The pipeline path skirts federal tribal land boundaries in South Dakota, Baker said, yet will still cut "almost through the heart" of a large protion of the land set aside for exclusive use by tribal nations, as recognized by the 1851 and 1868 Laramie Treaties. The pipe would cross native spiritual sites, burial grounds, hunting lands and sources of drinking water, including the Mni Wiconi pipeline, which transports water to the Oglala Lakota from the Missouri River.
Stalling on a Burning Planet: World's Energy as Dirty as it Was 20 Years Ago
The world's lack of progress on low-carbon energy should be "a wake-up call" to avoid a path towards catastrophic global warming, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a grim assessment on Wednesday.
“Despite much talk by world leaders, and despite a boom in renewable energy over the last decade, the average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago,” stated IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.
IEA gave its sobering findings in its annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial, a forum representing countries that produce 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“As world temperatures creep higher due to ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide – two thirds of which come from the energy sector – the overall lack of progress should serve as a wake-up call,” van der Hoeven said.
Remember CISPA? We killed it once but it's a zombie!
Fresh off the press from the Electronic Freedom Foundation:
U.S. House of Representatives Shamefully Passes CISPA; Internet Freedom Advocates Prepare for a Battle in the SenateFind out how your rep voted here
It's critical that you contact your Senators because, Obama Veto Threat Likely Untrue Making Senate Key Battleground!
Senate voting could begin as early as tomorrow.
Click here to contact your senators and tell them to stand with their constituents in voting NO on CISPA.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
#NOKXL Blogathon: April 12 - April 22, 2013
860,000 Comments Submitted!
As of today, around 860,000 comments have been submitted so far and forwarded by our coalition partners to the United States Department of State. Please help us reach and, even, exceed our goal of one million comments opposing this pipeline.
The deadline for submission of public comments is April 22, 2013.
You Can Make a Difference
The Daily Kos Blogathon Team is working with a coalition of environmental organizations in a campaign to obtain one million public comments in opposition to the XL Tar Sands pipeline. We hope that this blogathon will make submission of public comments easier.
This effort is being coordinated with Bill McKibben of 350.org and in coalition with the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, and Bold Nebraska.
We have an exciting line up of prominent lawmakers, environmental activists, and Daily Kos diarists. Each one of them will be posting a diary in opposition to the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline. Some guests will be including a brief "sample comment" that readers can customize into their own voice. This is important because government reviews the unique and substantive comments and dismisses comments that appear to be form letters.
Please submit your comments at one of these 3 sites rather than the State Department, which is not providing transparency in this public comment process:
Let your voice be heard. Our Daily Kos community organizers are Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, boatsie, rb137, JekyllnHyde, Onomastic, citisven, peregrine kate, DWG, and John Crapper, with Meteor Blades as the group's adviser.
Diary Schedule - All Times Pacific
More helpful details are in this diary - DK Blogathon Hosts Eco Coalition in #NOKXL Public Comment Campaign by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse. Use hashtag #NOKXL to tweet all diaries posted during this blogathon.
1:00 pm: #NOKXL Blogathon: Your voice on the Keystone XL pipeline matters by DWG.
11:00 am: Keystone XL: Wildlife in the Crosshairs by Target Global Warming, Peter LaFontaine is the Energy Policy Advocate for the National Wildlife Federation.
Note: All diaries for this day were rescheduled due to the Boston Marathon bombings.
8:00 am: KXL will carry as much carbon as all the cars on the West Coast, plus Michigan, NY, and Florida. by Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org.
11:00 am: My government doesn't believe in climate change by Tzeporah Berman, Canadian Environmentalist and Co-Founder of Forest Ethics.
11:00 am: Kelly Rigg, Executive Director of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA).
Photograph Credit: Fast For The Earth. A victim of the recent tar sands oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, the above oily bird says it all. Please remember to republish these diaries to your Daily Kos Groups. You can also follow all postings by clicking this link for the Climate Change SOS Blogathon Group. Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.
A Little Night Music
Johnny Copeland - Devil's Hand
Johnny Copeland - Honky Tonkin'
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Johnny Copeland - Tin Pan Alley
Johnny Copeland - Cut Off My Right Arm
Johnny Copeland - Houston
Johnny Copeland , Albert Collins , Robert Cray / Black Cat Bone
Johnny Copeland - Ghetto Child
Johnny Copeland - Down On Bending Knees
Johnny Copeland - Wella Wella Baby
Johnny Copeland - Rock and Roll Lilly
Johnny Copeland - I Make My Home Where I Hang My Hat
Johnny Copeland - Every Dog Has His Day
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!