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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.
Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.

Good Morning!

Flowers of Sophia
Flax, chicory, scabious—
flowers with ugly names,
they grow in waste ground, sidewalk edges,
fumes, grime, trash.
Each kind has a delicate form, distinctive;
it would be pleasant to draw them.
All are a dreamy blue,
a gentle mysterious blue,
wise beyond comprehension.                                        
Denise Levertov

Drop in any time, day or night to say hello.

"Former Glory" by Ron Sexsmith at Austin City Limits



UPDATE 1-Tropical Storm Isaac takes aim at New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Isaac had nearly reached hurricane strength as it bore down on the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday and appeared to be taking direct aim at New Orleans, almost seven years to the day since the Crescent City was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Isaac's swirling winds and rain will pose a major test of the region's new flood control systems, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The center's forecasts showed the storm likely to make landfall late on Tuesday near southeastern Louisiana.

More Than 1,000 March in Albany Against Fracking
ore than 1,000 people took to the streets of downtown Albany Monday, targeting Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a march against natural-gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Protesters marched for nearly a mile, where they were escorted by three mounted police officers through some of downtown’s busiest streets. The makeshift parade made stops at the state Capitol and the Department of Environmental Conservation headquarters, where they filled an entire city block while stopping to watch a skit with a message against hydrofracking.

The protest was organized by various groups opposed to the technique used with gas-drilling.

Keystone XL pipeline containing tar sands dirty oil coming to a neighborhood near you?
Keystone pipeline clears a hurdle

A judge in Lamar County, Texas, ruled Wednesday night that TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline has the right of eminent domain, rejecting a plea by farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford and dealing a blow to landowners and environmentalists who have been trying to block construction of the pipeline.
The ruling by Judge Bill Harris removes yet another potential obstacle for TransCanada, which already has permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for the southern leg of the pipeline, which starts in Cushing, Okla., and runs to Port Arthur, Texas. TransCanada has said it will start building as soon as possible.

Carnegie Endowment Report
In Search of the Global Middle Class: A New Index

Measuring the middle class, however, is no easy task. There is no widely accepted definition of what constitutes the middle class, and the commonly used income-based measures suffer from a number of deficiencies.

Yet, there is an easy-to-understand and as-yet-overlooked metric available: the number of passenger cars in circulation can act as a direct measure of the middle class in developing countries.1 Whereas in advanced countries, even households classified as poor own cars, in developing countries, car ownership is almost synonymous with at least middle-class status. It separates those with the ability to purchase nonessentials from the wider population. Moreover, car statistics are generally reliable and frequently updated and contain information by type of car that can be used to further segment the middle class.

Springsteen sings with 10-year-old Ontario girl

An Ontario girl briefly stole the spotlight from Bruce Springsteen during his stadium concert in Toronto on Friday. The 10-year-old’s singing ability and stage presence even had some wondering if she had been planted.

"It was not staged, I can promise you that," said Springsteen fan and proud father Sender Tator, who carried his daughter Halle on his shoulders hoping she’d be spotted by “The Boss.”

Blog Posts of Interest

Why is Fracking dangerous? on Artists Against Fracking

1. Aquifer
To drill down to the shale, one must drill through the aquifer. These drills are known to leak and sometimes even explode, releasing chemicals into this precious source of water. [...]

26 Things We Can All Agree On on Tree Hugger

The Best Laid Plans
How Quickly Will the U.S. Leave Afghanistan?
on TomDispatch
In the wake of several deaths among its contingent of troops in a previously peaceful province in Afghanistan, New Zealand (like France and South Korea) is now expediting the departure of its 140 soldiers.  That’s not exactly headline-making news here in the U.S.  If you’re an American, you probably didn’t even know that New Zealand was playing a small part in our Afghan War.  In fact, you may hardly have known about the part Americans are playing in a war that, over the last decade-plus, has repeatedly been labeled “the forgotten war.”

Still, maybe it’s time to take notice.  Maybe the flight of those Kiwis should be thought of as a small omen, even if they are departing as decorously, quietly, and flightlessly as possible.  Because here’s the thing: once the November election is over, “expedited departure” could well become an American term and the U.S., as it slips ignominiously out of Afghanistan, could turn out to be the New Zealand of superpowers.

Pueblo Indian Council Calls for Removal of Custer-Loving New Mexico GOP Official on Daily Kos
The Evening Blues - 8-27-12 by joe shikspack on Daily Kos
7 --Environmental Groups Join To Stop Washington [State] From Killing Wolves on OPB


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."
 ~ Margaret Mead

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks.

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