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 saxman A.C. Reed. Enjoy!
A.C. Reed - Reedman's Boogie
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
News and Opinion
"Massacre" in Egypt Destroys Hope for Peaceful Transition
More than 40 people are reported dead and hundreds wounded in Cairo on Monday following pre-dawn violence in which supporters of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were fired upon by Egyptian military and security personnel outside the military barracks where the ousted president is being held.
Witnesses at the scene describe differing accounts of what led to the shootings, but the violence is a troubling sign that tensions are likely to increase as the country seeks to negotiate its way out of a complex political crisis.
The military removed Morsi from power last week following the largest popular protests in Egypt's modern history. While many welcomed his ouster, including members of Egypt's pro-democracy left, the fear of deepening violence and instability has left many on edge as the country's military council has reasserted its authority.
"We're Not Leaving": Opposing Factions Face Off in Cairo
Tensions in Egypt continued to escalate Sunday as factions on both sides of the ideological divide gathered in Cairo, both groups digging in their heels to preserve—what they believe to be—the goals of the 2011 revolution.
Reporting from Cairo University, Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid said she had seen crowds moving towards Tahrir Square, carrying Egyptian flags and chanting slogans in favor of the armed forces and against the Muslim Brotherhood.
The youth-led Rebellion Movement which was behind the protests that sparked the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi have dubbed Sunday's rally in Tahrir the "Dawaran Shubra" march to protect the gains of the revolution.
Meanwhile, a crowd of thousands of Morsi supporters have begun to assemble in Nasr City while approximately 1,000 regime supporters have completely blocked Salah Salem, the main artery that connects the city to the airport, reports Al Jazeera's Matthew Cassel.
Egypt: 8 Wounded in Clashes as Salafi Fundamentalists Object to Elbaradei as PM
Amid a general calming on Saturday in Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula remained a hot spot, when a gas pipeline was bombed, probably by Muslim radicals who have announced an insurrection against the military after it deposed President Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Likewise in Sinai, a Coptic Christian priest was shot dead. Some Muslim radicals unfairly blame the Coptic Christian minority for the overthrow of Morsi. ...
Interim appointed president Adly Mansour attempted to make Mohamed Elbaradei his prime minister on Saturday, but put the process on hold when the ultra-fundamentalist Salafi Nur Party objected.
Nur said that Elbaradei is too ‘secular’.
Turkey: Protesters Face Tear Gas, Water Cannons, and Machete-Wielding Assailants in Taksim Park
Tear gas and water cannons rained down on roughly 3000 protesters Saturday as Turkish police attacked a group of demonstrators assembled in Istanbul's Taksim Square.
The demonstrators were attempting to enter the adjacent Gezi Park, a section of green space that the government had planned to raze and replace with a shopping center sparking a month of protests and fierce backlash by law enforcement.
According to AFP, Saturday's organizers were planning to break through police cordons of the park and serve a notice to authorities of a court decision that has annulled the redevelopment plans—what many are considering a victory for the protests, though the court's decision is not yet final.
AFP continues:The nationwide protests have largely dwindled although thousands of demonstrators have been gathering at Taksim every Saturday for the past three weeks, demanding justice for a protester who was killed by police fire.
This time, some protesters argued with police standing guard at the entrance of Gezi Park. Police then pushed protesters away from the square with pressurized water and tear gas. They also chased protesters down two main streets off Taksim, firing tear gas.
State Dept. whistleblower’s lawyers targeted by ‘Watergate-style’ break-ins
Two burglars spent last weekend repeatedly breaking into a Dallas law firm and stealing three computers while leaving other valuables behind. The attorneys said Sunday that this was no ordinary break-in: it may have been politically motivated.
The law firm targeted is Schulman & Mathias, which represents State Department whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, formerly with the department’s office of inspector general. Fedenisn revealed to CBS News earlier this year that she’d seen internal investigations called off or misdirected by higher ups, drawing a rapid and terrifying response from law enforcement, with a specific focus on her family and children.
In an email to Foreign Policy, the State Department accused her of removing “highly sensitive, internal documents” containing “personal information and unsubstantiated allegations,” and explained that it was working to secure the documents once again.
Then, last weekend, security cameras caught two unknown people repeatedly burglarizing Fedenisn’s attorney’s office in north Dallas. ... Speaking to Foreign Policy on Sunday, attorney Cary Schulman said he suspects the crime was political in nature.
Denouncing US 'Empire' Latin American Leaders Step Up to Protect Snowden
Two South American nations, Venezuela and Nicaragua, indicated Friday that there may be some relief for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who for the past 14 days has unsuccessfully sought political asylum from a number of nations, all the while remaining trapped in the purgutory of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport.
"As head of state of the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela, I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young Snowden [...] to protect this young man from the persecution launched by the most powerful empire in the world," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said—alluding to the United States—during an independence day speech in Caracas on Friday.
"I announced to the friendly governments of the world that we have decided to offer this international human right to protect this young man," he continued, adding that several other Latin American governments have also expressed their intention of taking a similar stance by offering asylum for the cause of "dignity," AP reports.
The speech followed an earlier statement by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during which he announced: "We are open, respectful of the right to asylum, and it is clear that if circumstances permit it, we would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua."
How Do You Know When President Obama is Lying?
So there I was watching Obama’s lips move about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden at a June 27 press conference. Saying he wouldn’t be “scrambling military jets to go after a 29-year-old hacker,” Obama added that he would not “start wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues, simply to get a guy extradited.”
I didn’t believe a word of it. ...
As his lips were moving, Obama knew well that he would go to extreme lengths to prevent this articulate young man from securing asylum in some Latin American country, where he could continue to inform the world’s media about the Surveillance State that has blossomed alongside the Warfare State under the Bush and Obama administrations.
That Obama wasn’t truthful became clear when the U.S. campaign of “wheeling and dealing” led to possible asylum countries retreating in fear one after another (Vice President Biden was deployed to pressure Ecuador’s president by phone). And even clearer with last week’s outrageous, international law-breaking that effectively forced down the presidential plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales.
And if Obama eventually does scramble jets to force down a plane with Snowden on board, the commander-in-chief will be applauded for taking bold and decisive action by mainstream TV talking heads, “national security” experts and the opposition he seems most intent on pleasing: conservatives. Criticism from civil libertarian and peace voices (or unions and environmentalists, for that matter) has rarely daunted Obama.
Forcing down Evo Morales's plane was an act of air piracy
Imagine the aircraft of the president of France being forced down in Latin America on "suspicion" that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an epic scale.
Imagine the response from Paris, let alone the "international community", as the governments of the west call themselves. To a chorus of baying indignation from Whitehall to Washington, Brussels to Madrid, heroic special forces would be dispatched to rescue their leader and, as sport, smash up the source of such flagrant international gangsterism. Editorials would cheer them on, perhaps reminding readers that this kind of piracy was exhibited by the German Reich in the 1930s.
The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane – denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to "inspect" his aircraft for the "fugitive" Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.
Snowden fate in balance as Cuba backs asylum bid
US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden won support from Cuba for his bid to seek asylum in Latin America as he began his third week in limbo at a Moscow airport on Monday.
Cuba, a key transit point from Russia on the way to Latin America, supported the leaders of Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua, who have offered the 30-year-old fugitive a possible lifeline as he remains marooned without documents in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
“We support the sovereign rights of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and all the regional states to grant asylum to those who are being persecuted for their ideals or their fight for democratic rights, in accordance with our traditions,” Cuban leader Raul Castro said on Sunday.
Speaking to Cuba’s national assembly, Castro did not say whether his country, which has been showing signs of mending ties with Washington, would itself offer refuge to Snowden.
NSA and GCHQ spy programmes face legal challenge
Privacy campaigners file claim saying laws used to justify data trawling by Prism and Tempora programmes are being abused
The British and US spy programmes that allow intelligence agencies to gather, store and share data on millions of people have been challenged in a legal claim brought by privacy campaigners.
Papers filed on Monday call for an immediate suspension of Britain's use of material from the Prism programme, which is run by America's National Security Agency.
They also demand a temporary injunction to the Tempora programme, which allows Britain's spy centre GCHQ to harvest millions of emails, phone calls and Skype conversations from the undersea cables that carry internet traffic in and out of the country.
Lawyers acting for the UK charity Privacy International say the programme is not necessary or proportionate. They say the laws being used to justify mass data trawling are being abused by intelligence officials and ministers, and need to be urgently reviewed.
Privacy International has submitted a claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which is supposed to review all complaints about the conduct of Britain's spy agencies. The organisation hopes for a public hearing and early rulings because of the seriousness of the situation.
America, Passive Nation -- Why Can't We Stand Up for Ourselves When Our Rights Are Stolen?
America's founders would be horrified at our United States of Surveillance.
I'm a longtime subscriber to an Internet mail list that features items from smart, thoughtful people. The list editor forwards items he personally finds interesting, often related to technology and/or civil liberties. Not long after the Guardian and Washington Post first started publishing the leaks describing the National Security Agency's vast surveillancedragnet, an item appeared about a White House petition urging President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. The post brought this reply, among others:"Once upon a time I would have signed a White House petition to this administration with no qualms. Now, however, a chilling thought occurs: what 'watch lists' will signing a petition like this put me on? NSA? IRS? It's not a paranoid question anymore, in the United States of Surveillance." ...As we Americans watch our parades and fire up our grills this 4 July, the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence – the seminal document of the United States – we should take the time to ask ourselves some related questions: how did we come to this state of mind and behavior? How did we become so fearful and timid that we've given away essential liberties? Do we realize what we're giving up? What would the nation's founders think of us?
Chicago sees stunning 72 shootings over Fourth of July weekend
The Fourth of July weekend was an especially bloody time in Chicago this year, where 72 people were shot over the course of just four days according to local media.
Of that 72, NBC Chicago reported that 12 men were killed. A 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy were also seriously injured in separate events, as was a 72-year-old woman who was reportedly shot in the ankle.
Many of the shootings appear to have been the result of gang violence and NBC Chicago noted that at least three individuals who took bullets over the weekend are refusing to cooperate with police.
The Chicago Sun-Times observed over the weekend that 64 of the shootings had already taken place by Saturday.
Lac-Mégantic: Environmental impact impossible to predict
MONTREAL — As the human toll of the explosion in Lac-Mégantic remains uncertain, so too does the environmental impact.
While Urgence Québec has confirmed that both the town’s namesake lake and the Chaudière River have been contaminated, an assessment of the impact isn’t possible without knowing what type of oil the 72-car train was carrying to an Irving refinery in Saint John, N.B., said Steven Guilbeault, co-founder and deputy director of environmental group Équiterre.
“We suspect that the oil is coming from North Dakota, and that would means it’s shale oil,” he said. “It’s not the oil people are used to. Beyond that, (it’s a question of whether) it’s light crude or heavy crude. ... Depending on the type of crude oil, the environmental impacts, safety issues, decontamination issues are very different because of what’s in the oil.”
Concerns over an environmental disaster have followed a recent boom in rail-transported oil that has taken place over the last five years. Meaghan LaSala is a member of 350 Maine, a group based in that state that raises awareness for climate change. On June 27, the group blockaded a railway passing through Fairfield, Me., that, similar to the line passing through Lac-Mégantic, carried crude oil to the Irving refinery.
“We wanted to call attention to the safety risk that we believe transporting this stuff by rail posed, which now, devastatingly and tragically, has been shown to be a real concern,” said LaSala.
“We know that the rails are not properly maintained,” she added. “The pressure to transport this stuff, because of the oil boom that has been taking place in the last few years, has really exceeded the infrastructure that exists to transport it safely.”
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
Albert Collins & A.C. Reed - Instrumental Jam
A. C. Reed - I Am Fed Up
Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Phil Guy, A.C. Reed - Mystery Train
A.C. Reed - I Can't Go On This Way
A.C. Reed (Feat. Stevie Ray Vaughn) - Miami Strut
A.C. Reed - Talkin' Bout My Friends
A.C.Reed & Bonnie Raitt - She`s Fine
A. C. Reed - Boogalo Tramp
A C Reed - My Baby's Been Cheating
AC Reed - Big Woman
A.C. Reed - Junk Food
A.C. Reed - I Got Money To Burn
A.C. Reed - Oh Wee...These Blues is Killing Me!
AC Reed + Maurice John Vaughn - I got money
A.C. Reed & Big Wheeler - I'm a Jealous Man
A.C. Reed - Roadhouse Blues
It's National Pie Day!
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