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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 the prolific jump blues and r&b songwriter, Jimmy McCracklin.  Enjoy!

Jimmy McCracklin w/Ry Cooder + Wayne Bennett - The Walk

News and Opinion

Ferguson: 31 arrested as huge show of force fails to quell unrest

Police arrested 31 as they clashed with protesters in another night of gunfire, teargas and chaos in Ferguson 10 days after the shooting of an unarmed teenager ignited an uproar over race in America.

A massive show of force by riot police and newly arrived national guard units failed to quell agitators who fired gunshots and threw Molotov cocktails on Monday night and early on Tuesday morning.

Missouri national guard troops entered the protest zone and police ordered the media to leave as officers in armoured vehicles fired teargas and stun grenades and engaged with gunmen.

The mayhem dashed hopes that the deployment of the national guard, and greater community efforts to control the small minority of violent protesters, would ease a crisis which flared after a local police officer shot Michael Brown, 18, on 9 August. ...

At a 2.20am press conference, Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri state highway patrol said 31 people had been arrested, some who had come from as far afield as New York and California. He said two people were shot and displayed two handguns and a Molotov cocktail he said had been confiscated by police. ...

Adding that police had at one point come under gunfire, and that several officers had been injured by rocks and bottles, Johnson urged peaceful protesters from now on to limit their demonstrations to daytime and not give cover to criminals at night.

Hat tip Colorado is the Shiznit:
St. Louis police fatally shoot man who brandished knife

A man, 23, was inside the Six Stars Market, 8701 Riverview, where he took items and left. A market employee followed him outside and said he would have to pay for the items.

The man started throwing the items on the street and sidewalk. St. Louis Alderman Dionne Flowers, who works at a nearby beauty shop, witnessed the encounter and told officers the man was acting erratically and was grabbing at his waistband.

"The store owner and the alderwoman said the suspect was armed with a knife, acting erratically, pacing back and forth in the street, talking to himself," said [Police Chief Sam] Dotson.

Employees at the market and the beauty shop called 911. Two arriving officers ordered the man to get down, but he became more agitated and walked toward them, reaching for his waistband. Witnesses told police the man was yelling "Shoot me, kill me now," during the encounter, Dotson said.

The officers drew their weapons and ordered the man to stop. He did stop, but then pulled out a knife and came at the officers, gripping and holding it high, Dotson said. They ordered him to stop and drop the knife. When he got within two or three feet of the officers, they fired, killing the man. ...

The officers were not hurt, police said. They were put on administrative duty pending an investigation. ...

Asked why the officers didn't use Tasers, Dotson said police have the right to defend themselves from a deadly weapon. “Officers have a reasonable expectation to go home at the end of their shift,” he said.

Pastor: In Ferguson Police Crackdown, I Need a Gas Mask More Than My Clerical Collar

Blacks, whites sharply divided over response to Ferguson shooting

Blacks and whites are starkly divided over reactions to the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, in Ferguson, Missouri, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

By a 4 to 1 margin, blacks said the incident “raises important issues about race that merit discussion.” Whites, by a 47 to 37 percent margin, said “the issue of race is getting more attention that it deserves.” ...

“Whites also are nearly three times as likely as blacks to express at least a fair amount of confidence in the investigations into the shooting,” Pew found. About half said they had a lot or a fair amount of confidence, but three of four blacks had little or no confidence.

Police in Ferguson Try to Shut Down Don Lemon's Live Broadcast

As another long night in Ferguson begins, the National Guard is on the scene, but so too are the local police, who continue to demonstrate great judgment and a keen grasp on how they're coming across to the outside world. A few minutes ago, police tried to shut down CNN anchor Don Lemon's live broadcast as he stood on a sidewalk in the middle of a group of protesters.

"I think we're about to be arrested because we're standing on a sidewalk," Lemon told a studio anchor in New York, sounding quizzical. A police officer began to shove him backwards while shouting "Move out of the way!" Lemon added, with a bit of understated 'tude, "You can see what's happening. We've been standing here all day. They told us to come here. I can't move. I'm not going to resist a police officer."

After a little more jostling, the officer stomped away and began to corral people who aren't Don Lemon.

Ferguson Police also arrested a Getty photographer:

... and in downtown St. Louis at a solidarity rally in front of Gov. Nixon's office, they arrested a 90-year old Holocaust survivor:

Intercept Reporter Detained and Shot With Beanbags While Covering Ferguson Protests

Intercept reporter Ryan Devereaux was detained this morning while on the ground covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer David Carson, who witnessed the apprehension, Ryan and a German reporter he was with were both taken into custody by members of a police tactical team. They were handcuffed and placed in a wagon, and Carson was told they were being taken to St. Louis County jail. ...

Update: Johnson and his colleagues did not take the “proper action.” Ryan spent the night in St. Louis County Jail, where he remains this morning. According to officials there, he is due to be released without charge—the initial pretext for his detention was “failure to disperse”—within the hour. Ryan and Lukas Hermsmeier, a reporter for the German newspaper De Bild, were both apprehended last night—and shot with beanbags and rubber bullets—while attempting to return to their car after a night of reporting. When they were shot at, they had their hands raised in the air and were shouting, “Press! Press! Press!”

Second Update: Ryan has been released. And a correction: While the situation is still not entirely clear, I believe now that both Ryan and Hermsmeier were hit with beanbags, but not rubber bullets as reported above.

Activist: For a New Generation, Ferguson Marks Historic Nonviolent Resistance to Police Repression

This is just an amazing story. What's really amazing, after reading this, though is how long it took Ferguson, Missouri to explode.
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him.

“On and/or about the 20th day of Sept. 20, 2009 at or near 222 S. Florissant within the corporate limits of Ferguson, Missouri, the above named defendant did then and there unlawfully commit the offense of ‘property damage’ to wit did transfer blood to the uniform,” reads the charge sheet.

The address is the headquarters of the Ferguson Police Department, where a 52-year-old welder named Henry Davis was taken in the predawn hours on that date. He had been arrested for an outstanding warrant that proved to actually be for another man of the same surname, but a different middle name and Social Security number.

"Overpoliced & Underprotected": In Michael Brown Killing, Neglect of Black Communities Laid Bare

Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

With images of heavily armed police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Mo., sparking a national debate about police militarization, a campaign finance research organization has released a study showing how much defense industry money House members got before a June 19 vote that rejected Rep. Alan Grayson’s amendment to block military equipment transfers to local law enforcement. The organization, MapLight, found that those who voted against it got 73 percent more in defense industry donations than those who voted in favor.

But there are probably bigger reasons for the vote going the way it did. And the issue could come up again in Congress — Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., promised Friday to review the program before his committee’s fiscal 2015 defense policy bill comes to the floor; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., has put forward new legislation; and others are calling for hearings. So it’s worth reviewing the motivations for those votes.

MapLight ... cited an American Civil Liberties Union report that the 1033 program is providing new equipment in 36 percent of the cases.

The most important reason lawmakers might have voted against Grayson’s amendment, however, and they did so in droves (355 said no; 62 said yes — once it finally came to a vote after a failed bid), is that they tend to back anything that sends free federal equipment to cash-strapped locals. That made the Department of Homeland Security’s grant programs for first responders to buy equipment to respond to terrorist attacks so popular for so long, even amid questions about wasteful spending.

The Black Scare and the Democratic Party

Heh. Click the link and read the whole thing.
How we'd cover Ferguson if it happened in another country

FERGUSON — Chinese and Russian officials are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in the restive American province of Missouri, where ancient communal tensions have boiled over into full-blown violence.

"We must use all means at our disposal to end the violence and restore calm to the region," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments to an emergency United Nations Security Council session on the America crisis.

The crisis began a week ago in Ferguson, a remote Missouri village that has been a hotbed of sectarian tension. State security forces shot and killed an unarmed man, which regional analysts say has angered the local population by surfacing deep-seated sectarian grievances. Regime security forces cracked down brutally on largely peaceful protests, worsening the crisis.

America has been roiled by political instability and protests in recent years, which analysts warn can create fertile ground for extremists.

Missouri, far-removed from the glistening capital city of Washington, is ostensibly ruled by a charismatic but troubled official named Jay Nixon, who has appeared unable to successfully intervene and has resisted efforts at mediation from central government officials. Complicating matters, President Obama is himself a member of the minority sect protesting in Ferguson, which is ruled overwhelmingly by members of America's majority "white people" sect.

Israel launches fresh air strikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire

The temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was in jeopardy on Tuesday after rockets were fired from Gaza, triggering a swift military and political response from Israel.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it was targeting "terror sites across the Gaza Strip" in retaliation, and the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, ordered his negotiating team to pull out of talks to find a durable ceasefire agreement in Cairo.

Gaza has been relatively quiet for the past eight days as two successive ceasefires have been in place to allow negotiations to be conducted. A further 24-hour ceasefire – due to expire at midnight on Tuesday – was agreed in Cairo late on Monday night.

Israel accused Hamas of breaching the ceasefire after three rockets fell near the city of Be'er Sheva in southern Israel. There were no reports of casualties or damage. ...

The negotiations in Cairo have struggled to secure a long-term deal to end the six-week conflict. On Monday, the Palestinian delegation claimed the two sides were still some way from an agreement, and hinted that the ceasefire would not be extended again if a lasting truce still could not be finalised on Tuesday.

"Until now there is no progress," said Azzam al-Ahmad, the chief Palestinian negotiator. "There are hidden voices who are trying to put obstacles in our way. We have agreed on an extension for another day – just one day. Whether we agree or not, just one day."

What's Needed for a Just Solution to the Gaza Conflict?

Israel Bars Amnesty, Human Rights Watch Workers from Gaza

Israel has been refusing to allow employees of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to enter the Gaza Strip in order to conduct their own independent investigations into the fighting, using various bureaucratic excuses.

Both human rights organizations have been trying to obtain permission from the Civil Administration to enter Gaza since July 7. Two different reasons have been cited for the refusals: The first is that the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip is closed and no entry permits are being granted until further notice; the second is neither group is registered with the Social Affairs Ministry as a humanitarian aid organization.

In fact, Erez was open throughout most of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which began on July 8. Among others, journalists, United Nations employees and Palestinians needing medical care or returning from abroad (with special permits), were allowed to pass through. ...

Both organizations had hoped to have researchers in the Strip during the fighting, accompanied by weapons and munitions experts with military backgrounds: Figures in the NGOs said there are no Palestinians in Gaza with the requisite professional military knowledge to independently evaluate claims being made by both the Palestinians and Israelis. While testimonies can be taken and cross-checked after the fact, physical evidence such as shell impact craters or traces from munitions is usually removed quickly.

Ukraine crisis: 'Refugees burned alive' as convoy hit by missile strike in eastern Ukraine

Refugees travelling in a convoy in eastern Ukraine have reportedly been killed by a missile strike as they tried to escape fierce fighting between government forces and rebels.

There has been no independent confirmation of the attack, which the Ukrainian military said killed “many people”, including women and children on Monday.

The column of vehicles was reportedly travelling through the rebel stronghold of Luhansk, which has seen fierce fighting between separatists and government forces, when it was hit.

"The force of the blow on the convoy was so strong that people were burned alive in the vehicles - they weren't able to get themselves out," military spokesman Anatoly Proshin told Ukrainian news channel

Around 500 people a day have been fleeing Luhansk, which has been battered by months of fighting between rebels and Ukrainian forces and left almost entirely without water and electricity for more than two weeks. ...

[P]ro-Russian rebels were quick to deny that they were behind the strike, saying they did not have the military capability for such an attack.

Moscow and Kiev may both need a deal over Ukraine soon

As the conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its nastiest phase yet, with reports of a convoy of refugees coming under fire on Monday and civilian casualties increasing by the day, there are signs that both Moscow and Kiev are looking for a way out. What is unclear, however, is whether there is any compromise to be found that would be acceptable to both capitals. ...

But despite the developments on the ground, there is the unmistakable sense that something is going on behind the scenes. A number of rebel leaders, including the top commander Igor Strelkov, have been pulled out, perhaps back to Russia. Strelkov was "going on holiday" according to others in the rebel movement, while other leaders have simply disappeared. ...

The heads of the Russian and Ukrainian presidential administrations met in the Black Sea city of Sochi on Friday, especially significant because the Russian head is Sergei Ivanov, a leading Kremlin hawk and very close to Vladimir Putin. ... The talks do not seem to have borne much fruit. Ukraine's Pavlo Klimkin wrote on Twitter that the country had refused to cross "red lines", suggesting that Russia's offer of compromise involved concessions unacceptable to Kiev. ... Kiev is unlikely to agree to this given it has made serious gains against the rebels in recent weeks and has pushed them into the two strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.

What is becoming clear is that the Russia-backed rebels cannot win the war with Ukraine without direct Russian intervention. The Ukrainian army is in chaos but has regrouped in recent months and been augmented with controversial volunteer battalions, making it simply too much for the rebels to handle, even with the covert help from across the border. Thus for Russia, the two unappealing choices appear to be to abandon the rebellion entirely or to send in a proper Russian invasion force.

In Iraq, U.S. is spending millions to blow up captured American war machines

In Iraq, U.S. is spending millions to blow up captured American war machines

Islamic State [has] captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL? The ones who dropped their uniforms, and rifles and ran away?

They left behind the bigger equipment, too, including M1 Abrams tanks (about $6 million each), 52 M198 Howitzer cannons ($527,337), and MRAPs (about $1 million) similar to the ones in use in Ferguson.

Now, U.S. warplanes are flying sorties, at a cost somewhere between $22,000 to 30,000 per hour for the F-16s, to drop bombs that cost at least $20,000 each, to destroy this captured equipment.

That means if an F-16 were to take off from Incirclik Air Force Base in Turkey and fly two hours to Erbil, Iraq, and successfully drop both of its bombs on one target each, it costs the United States somewhere between $84,000 to $104,000 for the sortie and destroys a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $12 million in U.S.-made equipment.

Majority of Self-Identified Democrats Back Obama's Bombing of Iraq

Despite rising criticism of his foreign policy– even from his former secretary of state – U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision last week to carry out airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) militants in northern Iraq enjoys relatively strong public support, at least so far.

Over half (54 percent) of respondents in a poll released here Monday by the Pew Research Center and USA Today said they approved of the airstrikes, which appear to have helped reverse some of the gains made by ISIS fighters against Kurdistan’s pesh merga earlier this month.

Thirty-one percent said they disapproved of the strikes, while 15 percent of the 1,000 randomly selected respondents who took part in the survey, which was carried out between Thursday and Sunday, declined to give an opinion. ...

However, a majority (57 percent) of Republicans said they were concerned that Obama was not prepared to go “far enough to stop” ISIS, while a majorities of Democrats (62 percent) and independents (56 percent) said they worried that he may go too far in re-inserting the U.S. military into Iraq three years after the last U.S. combat troops were withdrawn. Overall, 51 percent of respondents expressed the latter fear.

That concern was felt particularly strongly by younger respondents, members of the so-called “millennial” generation, whose foreign-policy views have tended to be far more sceptical of the effectiveness of military force than those of other generational groups, according to a number of polls that have been released over the past two years.

Nicaraguans, safe at home, feel little reason to flee to U.S.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and, like its Central American neighbors, a transhipment point for cocaine headed to the United States.

But unlike El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to the north, Nicaragua hasn’t sent a wave of children and teenagers fleeing north. Of the 62,998 unaccompanied children who've been detained at the U.S. border between Oct. 1 and the end of July, only 194 have been Nicaraguan, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures.

The reason? In part, it’s because while Nicaragua is poor, it’s also the safest country in Central America. Nicaragua’s homicide rate is slightly lower than neighboring Costa Rica, a nation known as the Switzerland of Central America. Vicious transnational street gangs that have overwhelmed police forces elsewhere have no presence in Nicaragua.

Experts looking for why point to a national police force widely seen as more engaged with the citizenry _ perhaps too much so, some might argue _ than its counterparts elsewhere. ... Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, a former leftist revolutionary who now leads an authoritarian pro-business government, takes pride in the low crime.

RIP Don Pardo

Few would recognize his face, but most would know his voice: that booming baritone that for nearly four decades would introduce the lineups on Saturday Night Live.

Don Pardo, the durable television and radio announcer whose resonant voice-over style was widely imitated and became the standard in the field, died on Monday in Arizona at the age of 96.

Pardo – a handsome man with a strong chin and confident smile that were overshadowed by his majestic delivery – graced newscasts, game shows and TV programs for more than 60 years. During the original version of Jeopardy, his answers to the question, “Tell ‘em what they’ve won, Don Pardo,” became a memorable part of the program.

The Evening Greens

Iceland volcano eruption risk level raised to orange for aviation

Intense seismic activity at the Bardarbunga volcano indicates the potential for a disruptive ash event similar to 2010

Iceland's meteorological office has raised its risk level to the aviation industry for an eruption at its Bardarbunga volcano to orange, which is the fourth level on a five-grade scale.

Ash from the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days, affecting more than 10 million people and costing $1.7 billion.

There has been intense seismic activity at Bardarbunga since August 16, although there are no signs of eruption yet. ...

Bardarbunga is Iceland's largest volcanic system, located under the ice cap of the Vatnajokull glacier in the southeast of Iceland. It is in a different range to Eyjafjallajokull.

The met office said in a statement it measured the strongest earthquake in the region since 1996 early on Monday and it now had strong indications of ongoing magma movement.

Wildfire bears down near Yosemite

Authorities have sent evacuation orders to some 13,000 phone numbers as an out-of-control wildfire bears down on a foothill community near Yosemite National Park in central California.

Sheriff John Anderson issued the evacuation orders late Monday and declared a local state of emergency in Madera County. ...

The 1,200-acre blaze had burned at least two structures but it wasn’t immediately clear what they were, officials said.

State Route 41 toward Yosemite was closed down in the area and travelers would need to use different routes into the park, authorities said.

'Not for Shale': UK Protesters Launch Widespread Actions Against Fracking

Targeting everything from government offices and university research facilities to gas company headquarters and fracking sites, hundreds of concerned citizens across the United Kingdom on Monday unleashed a series of direct actions calling attention to the government-backed push to "frack the future" of the UK.

The coordinated demonstrations kicked off a six-day "Reclaim the Power" camp in Blackpool, England at which over 1000 people including a coalition of climate, social and economic activists are expected to join. During the event, participants will take part in protests as well hold workshops to "connect the dots" between various government and industry efforts to expand shale gas drilling in the UK and "challenge the undemocratic, unjust and unsustainable system" to implement more sustainable energy solutions instead.

In London, three activists superglued themselves to the main entrance of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to protest the government's attempt to keep the dangers of fracking hidden from the public. The activists specifically called for the complete release of a heavily-redacted government report on the impacts of fracking made public last week. ...

Protesters in London also blockaded the front entrance to the iGas headquarters, the drilling company whose exploratory wells in Barton Moss have been the target of numerous demonstrations against the government's "new wave" of drilling sites and gas-fired power stations.

Blog Posts of Interest

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

Marcy Wheeler - A Tale of Two Alleged Iran Nuke Leakers

The American Cult of Bombing: Why You Should Expect More Bombs to be Dropped Everywhere

A Symptom of a Greater Sickness: How Ferguson's Roots Run From Our Schools To The Supreme Court

Eleven local fairness campaigns

A Little Night Music

Jimmy McCracklin - At The Club

Jimmy McCracklin - The Walk

Jimmy McCracklin - I'm To Blame

Jimmy McCracklin - Georgia Slop

Jimmy McCracklin - Whats That

Jimmy McCracklin - Get Together

Jimmy McCracklin - Think

Jimmy McCracklin - Trottin

Jimmy McCracklin - R.M. Blues

Jimmy McCracklin - One Track Love

Jimmy McCracklin - Let's Do It

Jimmy McCracklin - Let The Door Hit You

Jimmy McCracklin-Gotta cut out

Jimmy McCracklin- Steppin' Up In Class

Jimmy McCracklin - Everybody Rock

Jimmy McCracklin and His Blues Blasters - I Wanna Make Love To You

Jimmy McCracklin - Blues Blasters Shuffle

Jimmy McCracklin and His Blues Blasters - Reelin and Rockin

Jimmy McCracklin - Just Got To Know

Jimmy McCracklin - My Answer

Jimmy McCracklin - Stay Away From That Monkey

Jimmy McCracklin - The Wobble

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 Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.

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