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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.  

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This evening's music features one of the Delta's most influential contributors to modern music Robert Johnson.  Enjoy!

Robert Johnson - Me and the Devil Blues

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”

  -- Franz Kafka

News and Opinion

Happy Birthday, Franz Kafka!

Bolivia's presidential plane re-routed over Snowden
OAS Secretary General Expresses Deep Displeasure over Airplane Incident involving President Morales in Europe

July 2, 2013

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, expressed his deep displeasure with the decision of the aviation authorities of several European countries that denied the use of airspace to the plane carrying the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales, from Moscow to La Paz.

The leader of the hemispheric Organization said that in his opinion nothing justifies an act of such lack of respect for the highest authority of a country.

For that reason, said Insulza, the countries involved must give an explanation of the reasons why they took this decision, in particular as it endangered the life of the leader of a member country of the OAS.

The Guardian's live feed reports:

Our Washington bureau chief, Dan Roberts, has been at the State Department briefing. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki has confirmed that the US has been in contact with countries that had a "chance" of Snowden flying through their air space:

We have been in contact with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country but I am not going to outline what those countries were or when this [contact] happened.
She refused to confirm or deny any specific involvement with Morale's flight or address questions on whether it was a breach of diplomatic protocol, saying these were matters for Europeans to address.

Austrian plane search for leaker Snowden enrages Bolivia

Bolivia accused Austria of "kidnapping" its president, Evo Morales, on Wednesday after authorities searched his plane during a stop-over in Vienna on suspicion he was taking fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden to Latin America.

A senior Bolivian diplomat said the Austrians had acted at the bidding of the United States, which has been trying to get its hands on Snowden since he revealed details of its secret surveillance programs last month. ...

Austria said however that Morales had agreed to a voluntary inspection of the plane. Deputy Chancellor Michael Spindelegger confirmed Snowden had not been on the plane.

"Our colleagues from the airport had a look and can give assurances that no one is on board who is not a Bolivian citizen," Spindelegger told reporters at Vienna airport. ...

U.S. President Barack Obama has warned that an offer of asylum from a country would carry serious costs. ...

Bolivia, which is part of a Venezuelan-led leftist alliance which has challenged U.S. political and economic influence in Latin America, denounced the Austrian action as an act of aggression and violation of international law. ...

Bolivia will lodge a complaint at the United Nations.

'Imperial Skyjacking': Bolivian pres. jet grounded in Austria over rumours Snowden on board

Fury After Bolivian President's Plane Forced to Land over Snowden Suspicions

Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra said the U.S. State Department may have been behind the decisions to not allow Morales' plane to land in Portugal or fly over French air space.

"We have the suspicion that they (the two European governments) were used by a foreign power, in this case the United States, as a way of intimidating the Bolivian state and President Evo Morales," he said.

EU play-acting

Then we come to the leaders of various EU states. These leaders spent the last week feigning all sorts of righteous indignation over revelations that the NSA was using extreme measures to spy indiscriminately not only on the communications of their citizens en masse but also on their own embassies and consulates - things they learned thanks to Edward Snowden's self-sacrificing choice to reveal to the world what he discovered inside the NSA.

But on Tuesday night, the governments of three of those countries - France, Spain and Portugal - abruptly withdrew overflight rights for an airplane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales, who was attempting to fly home from a conference in Russia. That conduct forced a diversion of Morales' plan to Austria, where he remained for 13 hours before being able to leave this morning.

These EU governments did that because they suspected - falsely, it now seems - that Morales' plane was also carrying Snowden: the person who enabled them to learn of the NSA spying aimed at their citizens and themselves that they claim to find so infuriating. They wanted to physically prevent Bolivia from considering or granting Snowden's request for asylum, a centuries-old right in international law. Meanwhile, the German government - which has led the ritualistic condemnations of NSA spying that Snowden exposed - summarily rejected Snowden's application for asylum almost as soon as it hit their desks.

A 2013 report from Open Society documents that Spain and Portugal were among the nations who participated in various ways in rendition flights - ie kidnapping - by the US. ... So these EU states are perfectly content to allow a country - when it's the US - to use their airspace to kidnap people from around the world with no due process. But they will physically stop a plane carrying the president of a sovereign state - when it's from Latin America - in order to subvert the well-established process for seeking asylum from political persecution (and yes: the US persecutes whistleblowers).

'Embarrassing' Holes as US Govt Rests Case Against Bradley Manning

Defense team now expected to motion for dismissal of charges for 'lack of evidence'

After 14 days and 80 witnesses, the United States government prosecuting Pfc. Bradley Manning in the long-awaited trial against the military whistleblower has rested their case.

As Manning's defense team prepares to present their case next week, they are hoping Manning's prospects have risen after the government was forced to close their portion of the trial with an "embarrassing admission" that the Army had misplaced Manning's military contract, the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) , which laid out the terms of his access to classified information. ...

Ahead of the trial, Judge Colonel Denise Lind stated that in order to prove their charge of 'aiding the enemy' the prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Manning had "a general evil intent," in that he "had to know he was dealing, directly or indirectly, with an enemy of the US."

Lind added that the soldier cannot be found guilty if he acted "inadvertently, accidentally, or negligently." ...

[T]he defense is expected to begin next Monday with a motion to have a number of the charges against Manning dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence.

To counter the 'aiding the enemy' charge, Manning's attorney David Coombs will argue that, rather than premeditation, the soldier was provoked to leak information after witnessing a series of military atrocities and that he specifically chose information "that he believed the public should hear and see, information that would make the world a better place."

If They Can Lie About NSA/Snowden, They Can Lie About Syria & Iran

The Obama Administration has announced that the U.S. is going to arm Syrian rebels, and is considering imposing a "no fly zone" over Syria, which means bombing Syria. The public - Democratic, Republican, and Independent - is overwhelmingly opposed. Congress has neither authorized arming Syrian rebels or imposing a no-fly zone. Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, in the absence of an armed attack on the United States, Congress, not the President, has the power to authorize the use of military force.

The Administration says that it will make sure that U.S. weapons won't fall into the hands of people who want to hurt Americans, or people who execute Catholic priests. Many independent observers think this assertion is bunk.

What basis would we have for believing that the Administration's assertion is not likely to be a lie, if there are no consequences for Clapper's lie about the NSA's domestic surveillance? If Clapper can lie to Congress about the NSA's domestic surveillance without consequence, what incentive does he have to hold back from lying to Congress about Syria? Or Iran? What confidence can we have about Administration statements about Syria or Iran, if there is no Congressional debate or scrutiny?

Like the Fourth Amendment, the War Powers Resolution is not going to enforce itself. If we want the War Powers Resolution to be enforced, Members of Congress have to speak up and take action. That means members of the public have to speak up and take action, because that's what gets Members of Congress to move.

Starving for Freedom: GITMO detainees sue US over force feeding

Egyptian Army says Morsi is deposed

This afternoon, The Guardian's live feed reported:

President Morsi removed, state media reports

Egypt's state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reports on its web site that the army – who exactly is unclear, or how – has informed President Morsi that he is no longer in power.

General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is speaking on state TV.

He's addressing the nation from behind a podium. Sitting behind him are leaders reportedly including Coptic Pope Tawadros, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Mohamed El-Baradei, Tamarad or "rebel" movement leaders and Hizb el-Nour leaders.

Sisi says the army attempted to have a national reconciliation that included the presidency. But that the army felt the people were calling for help. He insists the army does not seek to rule but to reset the national course.

Morsi is out. Sisi announces a transitional government and new presidential elections.

The army warns against unrest in the streets. Sisi says anyone who commits violence will be confronted by the military.

Tahrir erupts in fireworks, cheers. Morsi is out.

Egypt’s Countdown to Meltdown: Morsi Refuses to Deal

The Egyptian military’s ultimatum to the Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi and his left, liberal & centrist political opposition to find a compromise by 4 pm Wednesday Egyptian time was disregarded by both sides, but most spectacularly by Morsi himself. The country was plunged into crisis when some 3 million demonstrators against Morsi came out into the streets and central city squares of the country last Sunday.

Alarmed, the government of Kuwait urgently called on its nationals to leave Egypt and discouraged further travel to the country, for fear it could descend into chaos.

On Tuesday night Morsi gave a defiant speech, praising as “great” the controversial constitution that passed last December by a little over 60 percent of the vote, with only a 30 percent turnout. That constitution is rejected by most Egyptians as having theocratic implications and as the fruit of a non-consensual drafting process in which the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi fundamentalists had undue representation. Morsi used the word “legitimacy” 72 times in a short speech, underlining that he was democratically elected and saying that he has a responsibility to stay in office. ...

Morsi did not offer to revise the hated constitution. He did not offer to form a government of national unity, with cabinet members from the opposition parties. This, even though his cabinet is collapsing, with six resignations, and even his own spokesmen have resigned. He did call for a reconciliation commission, and promised parliamentary elections in a few months. But these are not new ideas and are unlikely to resolve the conflict.

Morsi clings to office amid protests and resignations

Revolution 2.0 or Coup D'Etat? Tahrir Square Roars as Egypt Braces for What Comes Next

The enormous crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square was deafening on Wednesday, as millions of Egyptians opposed to the rule of President Mohammed Morsi continued their defiant stand against the ruling government as they awaited the military council's response to latest statements regarding the political impasse that has engulfed the nation.

Morsi has been defiant against calls for him to step aside by the populist movement opposed to his rule and on Tuesday said he would lay down his life in order to protect the legitimacy of his government.

"My life is the price for protecting the legitimacy [of the constitution]," Morsi said in a televised speech late on Tuesday. His backers are calling the military's assertion of power the precursor to a coup d'etat.

Numerous reports indicate the military has overtaken state television stations, though what they plan to do next remained a mystery as the nation awaited official word from SCAF leader, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Common Dreams Twitter feed

Novelist Ahdaf Soueif: By Ignoring Egypt’s Majority, Morsi Begat the Uprising Against His Rule
Brazilian leader asks for referendum after worst unrest in 20 years

Brazil’s Congress has received a request from President Dilma Rousseff to hold a referendum on political reform in response to the worst social unrest in 20 years. ...

The proposal for a plebiscite was delivered to senate and congressional president Renan Calheiros by Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo and vice president, Michel Temer, state news service Senado said.

“Calheiros announced he would act so that any changes resulting from the referendum take effect from (October) 2014,” a year before presidential elections are to be held, Senado said.

Cardozo said the referendum will include the reform of election campaign financing, the congressional voting system, rules governing coalitions and legislation on secret ballots.

Leftist leader Rousseff last week proposed a national pact with state governors to boost public services and guarantee a balanced budget.

A Datafolha poll showed that 68 percent of Brazilians back Rousseff’s proposals.

New tick-borne illness mimics Lyme disease but often goes undetected

More than 100,000 people in New York state are estimated to have been infected with a newly discovered disease that is carried by deer ticks and which mimics the symptoms of Lyme disease. According to CBS-New York, Borrelia miyamotoi disease looks like Lyme, but is a different illness altogether, one that would explain how some people who appear to be suffering from Lyme disease can continue to test negative for the Lyme bacteria.

Because the patients test negative for Lyme disease, doctors don’t administer antibiotics, said Fallon, “so the patient will have an infection staying in their system longer than it should.”

There is currently no test for Borrelia miyamotoi, but both it and Lyme disease respond to antibiotic treatment if the medicine is administered soon enough. Both diseases are among the array of human-infective diseases carried by ticks.

Lyme and Borrelia miyamotoi are carried by deer ticks, which are native to most wooded areas in the U.S. and usually must feed on a person’s blood for 24 hours before an infection of either disease will take hold.

People Get Ready: 'Unprecedented' Weather Glimpses Century Ahead

The rate of rising oceans has doubled, the heat temperatures for both land and water are on the rise, the melting of the Arctic ice is speeding up, and both the weather extremes the world is experiencing and the overall global warming trends are simply 'unprecedented.'

That's the assessment contained in the World Meteorological Organization's latest report, The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes, which examined the first decade of the 21st century. The report, released Wednesday, arrived with this warning: we better get ready for more.

Blog Posts of Interest

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

Victoria's Rose Gardens

James Clapper is still lying to America

Eurozone crisis blows up again

hashtag morethanmarriage

A Little Night Music

Robert Johnson - Cross Road Blues

Cream Renuion Concert - I Went Down To The Crossroads

Robert Johnson - Kind Hearted Woman Blues

Keb' Mo' - Kind Hearted Woman

Robert Johnson - Come on in my Kitchen

David Bromberg - Come on in my Kitchen

Robert Johnson - Love In Vain Blues

The Rolling Stones - Love In Vain

Robert Johnson - I Believe I'll Dust My Broom

Elmore James - Dust My Broom

Robert Johnson - They're Red Hot

Robert Johnson - Hellhound on my Trail

Robert Johnson - Milkcow's Calf Blues

Robert Johnson - I'm A Steady Rollin' Man

George Thorogood - I'm a Steady Rollin' Man

Robert Johnson - Walkin' Blues

Muddy Waters - Walkin' Blues

Robert Johnson - Stones In My Passway

The White Stripes - Stones In My Passway

Robert Johnson - Travelling Riverside Blues

Led Zeppelin - Travelling Riverside Blues

Robert Johnson - Sweet Home Chicago

Even the President has Robert Johnson's blues running through his head

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 Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.


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