Welcome! "What's Happenin'?" is a casual community diary (a daily series, 8:30 AM Eastern on weekdays, 10 AM on weekends and holidays) where we hang out and talk about the goings on here and everywhere.
We welcome links to your writings here on dkos or elsewhere, posts of pictures, music, news, etc. Just about anything goes, but meta and pie fights are not welcome here. This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.
Water has no taste, no color, no odor; it cannot be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself. It fills us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1939
BBC 16 August 2012 Last updated at 08:47 ET
Julian Assange: Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum
Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.
It said there were fears Mr Assange's human rights may be violated.
Foreign minister Ricardo Patino accused the UK of making an "open threat" to enter its embassy to arrest Mr Assange.
Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.
Announcing Ecuador's decision, Mr Patino said the country believed Mr Assange's fears of political persecution were "legitimate".
U.S. Opens Alaska Reserve to Onshore, Offshore Drilling
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, August 13, 2012 (ENS) – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today proposed to allow additional oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, NPR-A.
The NPR-A is one of the Arctic’s greatest migratory bird nesting and molting areas and is the summer home for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds, including critical molting areas for up to 30 percent of the entire population of Pacific Flyway brant goose.
The NPR-A provides calving areas and insect relief areas for the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, Alaska’s largest herd at roughly 325,000 animals, and the 55,000 animal Teshekpuk Caribou Herd. These populations are a subsistence resource for over 40 northern and western Alaska Native villages.
'A Great Victory': Controversial Brazilian Dam Construction Halted
Brazilian Federal court finds Belo Monte hydro-electric dam licenses invalid, indigenous peoples were not consulted
The impacts of the dam, which would have been the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world, had long been slammed by indigenous groups and environmental activists who said that it would have displaced thousands and wreaked havoc upon the ecosystem while contributing to greenhouse gases.
When the Brazilian Congress gave approval for the dam in 2005, there were no consultations with the indigenous peoples about the environmental impacts, a fact that Judge Souza Prudente found in violation of the Brazilian Constitution.
Peace Laureates Call on NBC to Cancel New Show: 'War Isn't Entertainment'"
Nine Nobel Peace Laureates on Monday joined a growing chorus of critics calling on NBC entertainment to cancel the new “reality” show—“Stars Earn Stripes”—saying that “war isn’t entertainment” and challenged NBC’s promotional line that that such a television program would be “pay[ing] homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-line responder services.”
The show, co-hosted by retired US General Wesley Clark and promoted heavily by NBC during its Summer Olympics telecast is scheduled to begin Monday night and stars actor Dean Cain, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince, former WWE champion Eva Torres, former boxer Laila Ali, singer Nick Lachey, former Olympic gold medallist Picabo Street, actor Terri Crews, and Sarah Palin’s husband Todd.
Two per cent of Canadians don't believe climate change is happening, poll shows
REGINA — Only two per cent of Canadians who responded to a new opinion poll believe climate change is not occurring.
The findings are in a survey conducted by Insightrix Research Inc. for IPAC-CO2 Research Inc., a Regina-based centre that studies carbon capture and storage.
The online poll of 1,550 people was done between May 29 and June 11. The results were to be released on Wednesday.
“Our survey indicates Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly believe climate change is real and is occurring, at least in part due to human activity,” centre CEO Carmen Dybwad said.
America’s Deficit Attention Disorder
To realistically address the nature of the public financial deficits at the center of the current political debate, it is crucial to understand the nature of money and debt. Money is just a number, a system of accounting useful in facilitating economic exchange. A deficit occurs when expenditures exceed income. If, as a result, financial liabilities come to exceed financial assets, we go into debt. It is all basic accounting.
The key point, which the deficit debates rarely address, is that one person or entity’s financial debt is another person or entity’s financial asset. We can only borrow money from each other. The idea that we borrow money from the future is an illusion.
Blog Posts of Interest
On TomDispatch.com Nick Turse gives a list of Pentagon assisted Hollywood films that go from "Birth of a Nation" to "Sargeant York" to "Blackhawk Down."
Nick Turse, The Pentagon Goes Hollywood
Al Jazeera's Listening Post
The Pentagon's grip on Hollywood
Video - 9:48 min
Empire - Hollywood: The Pentagon calls the shots
UK Poising to Arrest Assange is Completely Contrary to Asylum & Non-Refoulement by Jesselyn Radack on dailykos
Evening Blues -8-15-12 by joe shikspack on DKos
115°F World Record Hot Rain Hits Needles CA & Storm Starts Fire
by FishOutofWater on DKos
Going Home dedicated to three writers we have lost this year:
Robert Hughes, 74, writer and "the most influential art critic of his own, tarnished age."
Gore Vidal, 86, A prolific and versatile novelist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, social critic, and political activist and "among the last, great entitled writers."
Maurice Sendak, 83, children's book author of Where the Wild Things Are and "widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century."
We are ready for some serious change. We are ready to take up the tools of a free and analytic press to peacefully undermine the stranglehold of the kleptocrats on our battered democracy. We are ready to expose and publicize their greed, lies and illegal machinations and hold their enablers in government and the media to account. Are you in?
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."