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 blues poet Gil Scott Heron. Enjoy!
Gil Scott-Heron - Work For Peace
"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."
-- George Dubya Bush
News and Opinion
Bush's Legacy of Atrocities Is Nowhere to Be Seen at His New Library
Kill a few, they call you a murderer. Kill tens of thousands, they give you $500 million for a granite vanity project and a glossy 30-page newspaper supplement.
George W. Bush presided over an international network of torture chambers and, with the help of a compliant Congress and press, launched a war of aggression that killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. However, instead of the bloody details of his time in office being recounted at a war crimes tribunal, the former president has been able to bank on his imperial privilege – and a network of rich corporate donors that he made richer while in office – to tell his version of history at a library in Texas being opened in his name.
According to the US government, more than 100,000 people died following the 2003 invasion of Iraq; of that number, 4,486 were members of the US military. Other estimates place the figure at closer to one million deaths as a result of Bush's defining act in office: an aggressive war waged against a non-threat and which even some of his own advisers admit was illegal. So far, the wars started by Bush and continued by his heir, Barack Obama, have cost upwards of $3.1 trillion. That's money that could have been spent saving lives and building things, not ending and destroying them.
But that's not going to be the narrative at the George W. Bush Presidential Library, opening this week in Dallas, Texas. No, that's going to be: 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 (see also: 9/11).
More proof that "Democrat" doesn't mean what it used to. It's time for the Democratic Party to purge these corporate trolls or merge with the Rethugs.
Tool of the 1% NY Governor Cuomo Goes After the Working Families Party
The last few weeks have seen an amazing move by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. In response to a prominent set of arrests of high-ranking Democrats and Republicans, the Governor has proposed a series of proposals to strengthen the power of District Attorneys to investigate corruption. ...
But the Governor has also proposed another response to the corruption scandal. He has proposed banning the Working Families Party. I know, he can’t ban a political party. But he has proposed to eliminate “fusion” voting. He calls it “cross-endorsement,” but fusion is the historical term. ...
The Governor’s stated reason for banning fusion is silly. But his real, unstated reason is not. ...
Three weeks ago, State Senator Malcolm Smith was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe his way into the Republican Primary for Mayor, despite being a registered Democrat. The Governor seized on this and said to the New York Post, “In an ideal world, there would be no cross-endorsements.” In other words, because Smith attempted to bribe his way to a “cross-endorsement,” we ought to ban cross-endorsements. By this logic, as one Working Families Party leader said on television recently, if Malcolm Smith had tried to bribe someone to get his kid a job, would we then pass a law to ban jobs?
The more likely (if unvoiced) reason for this proposal is plain. For reasons both similar and different, the Governor and the real estate/Wall Street/low-wage employer wings of the Democratic Party in New York would like to see the Working Families Party disappear. The WFP is the most persistent threat to the power of business interests in the Empire State, and the Governor doesn’t want anyone to point out that he governs as a centrist on economic issues and a liberal only on social issues. The business lobby is serious about crushing “the little party that could” (a Newsday headline of a few years ago), spending millions of dollars on television and mail against WFP candidates, and even trying to hire well-known progressive public relations firms to wage a PR battle against them. So far, they have failed.
Hundreds of thousands of Bangladesh’s garment workers walk out in protest over factory deaths
Hundreds of thousands of garment workers walked out of their factories in Bangladesh Thursday, police said, to protest the deaths of 200 people in a building collapse, in the latest tragedy to hit the sector.
Grief turned to anger as the workers, some carrying sticks, blockaded key highways in at least three industrial areas just outside the capital Dhaka, forcing factory owners to declare a day’s holiday.
“There were hundreds of thousands of them,” said Abdul Baten, police chief of Gazipur district, where hundreds of large garment factories are based. “They occupied roads for a while and then dispersed.”
Police inspector Kamrul Islam said the workers had attacked several factories whose bosses had refused to give employees the day off.
“They were protesting the deaths of the workers in Savar,” he said, referring to the town outside Dhaka where Wednesday’s collapse of an eight-storey building housing five garment factories took place, injuring more than 1,000 people.
Chileans Rise Up Against Privatization of Nation's Water Supply
Mining and logging companies 'leaving all of Chile without water', due to privatized water management
Major water shortages in Chile are a direct result of the free reign given to mining and logging companies by the Chilean government over the country's dwindling water supplies, more than 100 environmental, social and indigenous organizations and over 6,000 protesters warned at a rally in Santiago this week.
On Monday the groups demanded that the state regain control of the country's privatized system of water management, Marianela Jarroud reports for Inter Press Service and the Guardian, and delivered a letter to President Sebastián Piñera.
The letter slams the current water code, adopted by Augusto Pinochet in 1981, which, Jarroud reports, "made water private property by granting the state the right to grant water use rights to companies free of charge and in perpetuity. The code allows water use rights to be bought, sold or leased, without taking into consideration local priorities for water use, the organizations complain."
"We have discovered that there is water in Chile, but that the wall that separates it from us is called 'profit' and was built by the  water code, the constitution, international agreements like the binational mining treaty [with Argentina] and, fundamentally, the imposition of a culture where it is seen as normal for the water that falls from the sky to have owners," the letter says.
Report: Wealthy Thrive and Poorest Dive as Surge in US Inequality Continues
The great wealth divide in the United States has only become more exacerbated since the recession, as national policies have buoyed only the wealthiest Americans while the remainder have been left adrift.
According to a new analysis (pdf) of Census Bureau data published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, since the economy officially emerged from the recession in mid-2009, the wealthiest 7 percent of households saw soaring gains of an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the remaining 93 percent—111 million households—saw their overall wealth fall by an estimated $0.6 trillion.
“It has been a very good recovery for those at the upper end of the wealth distribution,” said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and co-author of the report. “But there has been no recovery for the lower 93, which is nearly everybody.”
WikiLeaks wins Visa contractor case, Valitor must lift blockade
Iceland's Supreme Court has ruled that Valitor, the Visa contractor, must lift the blockade against payments to WikiLeaks, or pay $204k per month in fines.
Valitor (formerly Visa Iceland) will have to pay WikiLeaks $204,900 per month, or $2,494,604 per year, in fines should the company continue to blockade payments to the whistleblowing site.
The court upheld the decision that Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with the WikiLeaks' donation processor, DataCell. The Icelandic Supreme Court is the highest court in Iceland and thus there is no route of appeal for Valitor.
[wikileaks statement here]
Canadian official attacks U.S. climatologist James Hansen over Keystone pipeline
Canada’s natural resources minister, Joe Oliver, rarely bothers to hide his dislike for critics of the country’s carbon-heavy tar sands or the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
But it still came as a surprise to hear Oliver lash out at one of America’s pre-eminent scientists, climatologist James Hansen, during a visit to Washington DC. ...
In remarks made at a Washington thinktank, Oliver said Hansen should be “ashamed” of his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, and for warning that exploitation of the carbon-heavy tar sands would drive climate change past a point of no return. ...
It’s not clear why Oliver was so vehement. The minister launched his attack on Hansen just 48 hours after a report from the Environmental Protection Agency essentially reaffirmed the climate scientist’s concerns about the development of the tar sands.
The EPA said developing the tar sands would indeed have a negative impact on the environment, releasing as much as an additional 935m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere over the next 50 years.
Fuel Barges Explode on Alabama River
Three people seriously injured in fire ultimately determined too big to fight
In just the latest example of the toxic and volatile nature of the fossil fuel industry's infrastructure in the US, a pair of fuel barges carrying what's call "natural gasoline" on the Mobile River in Alabama exploded late Wednesday night, causing fires that put at least three people in the hospital and closing down the busy waterway to all traffic.
A first round of explosions were followed by others throughout the night as firefighters determined the boats were too dangerous to board and a decision was made to allow the fires to burn themselves out.
"It literally sounded like bombs going off around. The sky just lit up in orange and red," said witness Alan Waugh to the Associated Press. The man, who lives across the river from the scene of the explosions, said the heat from the blast could be felt from where he was and left black soot on his face even from that distance.
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
Gil Scott Heron - "B" Movie
Gil Scott Heron - Inner city blues
Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron - Home Is Where The Hatred Is
Gil Scott Heron - Message to the Messengers
Gil Scott Heron - H2O Gate Blues
Gil Scott-Heron: We Beg Your Pardon
Gil Scott Heron - Bicentennial Blues
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!