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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 evening's music features West Coast bluesman Lowell Fulson. Enjoy!

Lowell Fulson - You're Gonna Miss Me

“A murderer is less loathsome to us than a spy. The murderer may have acted on a sudden mad impulse; he may be penitent and amend; but a spy is always a spy, night and day, in bed, at table, as he walks abroad; his vileness pervades every moment of his life”

  -- Honoré de Balzac


The morons that want to turn the internet into a battlefield for their Global War On Terror Civil Rights and Liberties are at it again.  They're trying to ram the same kind of legislation through Congress that was repudiated last year after the concerted efforts of activists.  They hope that they have caught you napping.  Don't let them steal your civil rights and destroy the internet by incorporating the private sector into the already gigantic and intrusive government spying network.


CISPA is back. Take action and contact your representatives at this Electronic Frontier Foundation action page.  Support the #StopCISPA and #CISPABlackout hashtags on Twitter.  Use the social media links at the top of this page to "like" and "tweet" this to spread the word.

News and Opinion

Obama Preaches Stimulus to Europe and Practices Austerity at Home

There's no need for all this economic sadomasochism

The intellectual justification for austerity lies in ruins. It turns out that Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, who originally framed the argument that too high a "debt-to-GDP ratio" will always, necessarily, lead to economic contraction – and who had aggressively promoted it during Rogoff's tenure as chief economist for the IMF –, had based their entire argument on a spreadsheet error.  The premise behind the cuts turns out to be faulty. There is now no definite proof that high levels of debt necessarily lead to recession.

Will we, then, see a reversal of policy? A sea of mea culpas from politicians who have spent the last few years telling disabled pensioners to give up their bus passes and poor students to forgo college, all on the basis of a mistake? It seems unlikely. After all, as I and many others have long argued, austerity was never really an economic policy: ultimately, it was always about morality. We are talking about a politics of crime and punishment, sin and atonement. True, it's never been particularly clear exactly what the original sin was: some combination, perhaps, of tax avoidance, laziness, benefit fraud and the election of irresponsible leaders. But in a larger sense, the message was that we were guilty of having dreamed of social security, humane working conditions, pensions, social and economic democracy. ...

Politicians locate economic theories that provide flashy equations to justify the politics; their authors, like Rogoff, are celebrated as oracles; no one bothers to check if the numbers actually add up.

If ever proof was required that the theory is selected to suit the politics, one need only consider the reaction politicians have to economists who dare suggest this moralistic framework is unnecessary; or that there might be solutions that don't involve widespread human suffering.

Unbelievable! Bowles and Simpson Release New Deficit-Reduction Plan Based on Discredited Austerity Research

On April 19th, just after I had written about how the key academic research used to bolster austerity policies was exposed by a 28-year-old grad student at U Mass-Amherst, I got a surprise in my email inbox: Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson giddily announced their new deficit-reduction plan, which includes, among other things, a recommendation to increase the eligibility age for Medicare. Their plan would reduce debt as a share of GDP below 70 percent by 2023, and as the Washington Post reports, “seeks far less in new taxes than the original, and it seeks far more in savings from federal health programs for the elderly.”

There is no question that Bowles and Simpson were doing their dirty work as the influence of Rogoff and Reinhart’s paper had given rise to a misguided Washington consensus on deficit reduction, and that they regularly cited the paper to add an academic sheen to their political recommendations. ...

Once reporters started to ask for explanations, Bowles came out with a breezy dismissal of those unpleasant incumbrances known as "facts." As reported on The Hill, Bowles said, “I have obviously read the report and have referenced it a number of times. I know they had a worksheet error in the report and my understanding is that does make a difference.”

Undaunted, Bowles and Simpson have launched a campaign to reignite congressional interest in a $2.5 trillion package of spending cuts and tax increases. ... There has never been any economic justification for their cynical attempts to rob ordinary people of more of their hard-earned money, but now, as the intellectual dishonesty of cutting government spending in the name of deficit hysteria is on full display, Bowles and Simpson should be booed off the national stage once and for all.

America's New Math: 1 Wall Street Hour = 21 Years of Hard Work For the Rest of Us

The new Rich List is out - yet another example of financial pornography. While nearly 15 million Americans still can't find jobs due to the 2008 Wall Street-created crash, the top hedge manager, David Tepper, earned $1,057,692 an HOUR in 2012 -- that's as much as the average American family makes in 21 years!  

America's new math: 1 Wall Street hour = 21 years of hard work for the rest of us.

Together the top 10 hedge fund managers waltzed off with $10.1 billion in 2012, which is more than enough to hire 250,000 entry level teachers or 196,000 new registered nurses.

It's not just that these financial gurus are filthy rich. It's that they are the richest of the rich and we don't even know what they do. Overall, hedge fund managers make 50 to 100 times more than our top athletes, movie stars, CEOs, lawyers, writers, doctors and celebrities.

New York DA ♥ ♥ ♥ jack-booted thugs, drops criminal charges against Tony Baloney and Johnny Cardona.
New York Thug Cops That Pepper-Sprayed and Punched Peaceful Occupiers Let Off On Criminal Charges by DA

The Manhattan District Attorney will not prosecute a pair of high-ranking cops seen on video pepper-spraying and punching Occupy Wall Street protesters more than a year ago, they said Friday.

NYPD Deputy Inspectors Anthony Bologna and Johnny Cardona came under fire after videos of their alleged misconduct surfaced in late 2011.

Bologna was seen firing the crowd-control spray liberally at a seemingly calm group of people near Union Square on Sept. 24, and protester Felix Rivera-Pitre was slugged in the face by Cardona on Oct. 14 during a demonstration in the financial district.

“After a thorough investigation ... we cannot prove these allegations criminally beyond a reasonable doubt,” said the DA’s chief spokeswoman, Erin Duggan.

Every 28 Hours 2012 Report: Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes

George W. Bush: 'No Need to Defend Myself'

Former US president says that history will be his judge

Ahead of the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center later this week on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the controversial former president says that the library and museum dedicated to his two terms in office will be a place "to lay out facts" but not—as USA Today phrased it—a place that will seek to "explain" or "defend" his policies.

"There's no need to defend myself," Bush said in a phone interview with the newspaper. "I did what I did and ultimately history will judge." ...

As the tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion was marked last month, a group of policy experts, anti-war activists and historians—including Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies and Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice—wrote:

The US war against Iraq was illegal and illegitimate. It violated the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and a whole host of international laws and treaties. It violated US laws and our Constitution with impunity. And it was all based on lies: about non-existent links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, about never-were ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, about Iraq’s invisible weapons of mass destruction and about Baghdad’s supposed nuclear program, with derivative lies about uranium yellowcake from Niger and aluminum rods from China. There were lies about US troops being welcomed in the streets with sweets and flowers, and lies about thousands of jubilant Iraqis spontaneously tearing down the statue of a hated dictator.

    And then there was the lie that the US could send hundreds of thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars worth of weapons across the world to wage war on the cheap. We didn’t have to raise taxes to pay the almost one trillion dollars the Iraq war has cost so far, we could go shopping instead.

US Resumes Trend of Drone Attacks on Yemen

Sunday's attack marks second drone strike on country in less than a week

A US drone strike in Yemen killed two people described in corporate media as suspected al Qaeda militants on Sunday, the second such attack in the country in less than a week.

The strike hit a house in Wadi Adeeda in the Marib province, east of the capital, which was reportedly storing weapons.

Agence France-Presse adds: "A tribal source said the strike was followed by ground clashes in which two Yemeni soldiers and a militant were killed."

The two strikes in the past several days break a nearly three-month lull in US drone strikes on Yemen.

US Admits 16 Guantanamo Detainees Being Force-Fed

Half of the 166 detainees as the Guantánamo Bay prison are on hunger strike and 16 of them are being force-fed, a US military official stated Saturday, a further acknowledgement that the detention facility is engaging in an act considered by many a form of torture.

According to Army Lt. Col. Samuel House, 84 prisoners are now on hunger strike, though lawyers representing the detainees have said that most of the 166 prisoners are on hunger strike to protest the cruelty of their indefinite detention. ...

Last weekend, guards at the detention facility fired four "non-lethal" rounds at prisoners to force them from communal cellblocks into isolated one-man cells in an attempt to end the ongoing hunger strike.

Earth Day Exclusive: Tim DeChristopher Speaks Out After 21 Months in Prison for Disrupting Oil Bid

Entering a Resource-Shock World

Brace yourself. You may not be able to tell yet, but according to global experts and the U.S. intelligence community, the earth is already shifting under you.  Whether you know it or not, you’re on a new planet, a resource-shock world of a sort humanity has never before experienced.

Two nightmare scenarios -- a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change -- are already beginning to converge and in the coming decades are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict.  Just what this tsunami of disaster will look like may, as yet, be hard to discern, but experts warn of “water wars” over contested river systems, global food riots sparked by soaring prices for life’s basics, mass migrations of climate refugees (with resulting anti-migrant violence), and the breakdown of social order or the collapse of states.  At first, such mayhem is likely to arise largely in Africa, Central Asia, and other areas of the underdeveloped South, but in time all regions of the planet will be affected. ...

In March, for the first time, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper listed “competition and scarcity involving natural resources” as a national security threat on a par with global terrorism, cyberwar, and nuclear proliferation. ...

There was a new phrase embedded in his comments: “resource shocks.” It catches something of the world we’re barreling toward, and the language is striking for an intelligence community that, like the government it serves, has largely played down or ignored the dangers of climate change. For the first time, senior government analysts may be coming to appreciate what energy experts, resource analysts, and scientists have long been warning about: the unbridled consumption of the world’s natural resources, combined with the advent of extreme climate change, could produce a global explosion of human chaos and conflict.  We are now heading directly into a resource-shock world.

People of the South to the North: Will You Face Up to Climate Catastrophe?

Where is your threshold for resistance?

Since 2011, when I first read Deep Green Resistance by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Aric McBay I’ve been haunted by a question Jensen posed in the book’s preface.

He asks, “Where is your threshold for resistance?”

He goes on to write that 90 percent of the large fish in our oceans are gone. At what point do you get angry and fight back? “Is it 91 percent? 92? 93? 94? Would you wait till they killed off 95 percent? 96? 97? 98? 99?” he writes. “How about 100 percent? Would you fight back then?”

The question doesn’t just pertain to fish. “There is 10 times as much plastic as phytoplankton in the oceans, 97 percent of native forests are destroyed, 98 percent of native grasslands are destroyed, amphibian populations are collapsing, and so on,” he writes. “Two hundred species are driven extinct each and every day.” ...

“We're not breaking records anymore; we're breaking the planet,” Bill McKibben wrote this month in Rolling Stone. “In 50 years, no one will care about the fiscal cliff or the Euro crisis. They'll just ask, ‘So the Arctic melted, and then what did you do?’”

Sandra Steingraber’s War on Toxic Trespassers

Blog Posts of Interest

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

From Jail on Earth Day

How Monsanto Went From Selling Aspirin to Controlling Our Food Supply

The Siegelman Case and why it should trouble you

A Little Night Music

Lowell Fulson - Black Nights

Lowell Fulsom - Tramp

Lowell Fulson & Lloyd Glenn - Reconsider Baby

Lowell Fulson - Low Society

Lowell Fulson interview

Lowell Fulson - Check Yourself

Lowell Fulson - Guitar Shuffle

Lowell Fulson w/ Henry Oden and the St Vitas Dance Band

Lowell Fulson - San Francisco Blues

Lowell Fulson - Three O'Clock Blues

B.B. King and Lowell Fulson - Little by Little

Lowell Fulson - A Sinners Prayer

Lowell Fulson - Texas Blues

Lowell Fulson - Working Man

Lowell Fulsom - Talkin' Woman

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 Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.



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