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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 jump blues singer, guitarist and the younger brother of Brownie McGhee Stick(s) McGhee.  Enjoy!

Stick Mcghee - Drinkin Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of.  In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of."

  -- Confucius

News and Opinion

Homeless in High Tech's Shadow

“American Dream”: Food loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry Americans Restrained by Police

Hundreds of poor people waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened.

Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.

The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”

Waste Amid Want: Tons of food binned as thousands struggle to subsist

As Austeriy Tightens, Alternative Currencies Spring Up In Spain

MÁLAGA, Spain - Wholemeal rye bread, lettuce and chard are some of the products on offer from the El Caminito urban vegetable garden at the small organic produce market in this southern Spanish city, with prices set in “comunes”, one of more than 30 social currencies circulating in the country.

“The aim is to find an alternative to the curse of unbridled capitalism and to sow the foundations of a more just and compassionate society,” activist David Chapman of the Málaga Común platform, the network responsible for the market, told IPS. ...

Spain’s economic and financial crisis is encouraging experiments in social exchange, which may use alternative currencies, barter or time banking, “because people are seeking different ways of life,” said Gisbert, the author of “Vivir sin empleo” (Living Without a Job) and the blog of the same name.

According to Gisbert, there are more than 300 time banks in Spain, so called because they do not bank money but hours. When a person performs a service, he or she is credited with the appropriate number of hours in return.

Crack Within: Germans cash-stripped by...Germans?

Portugal's prime minister plans more cuts to health and education spending

Pedro Passos Coelho chooses not to raise taxes again in order to meet stringent targets set by international lenders

Portugal's prime minister has announced plans for further cuts to health and education spending rather than raising taxes again, in order to meet tough targets set by international lenders after the constitutional court threw out budget measures on Friday.

"I shall instruct ministries to implement necessary reductions in functional spending to offset what the court ruling prohibited. It will certainly be a very difficult process," Pedro Passos Coelho said in a live broadcast on Sunday evening.. He added that while he respected the court, its ruling would hamper government plans to take back control of its own finances from international lenders next year. ...

Passos Coelho survived his fourth vote of no confidence last Wednesday but faced renewed calls to resign over the weekend. Opposition Socialist leader António José Seguro accused the government of breaking campaign promises and said dole queues of almost a million people showed austerity had merely locked the country into a recessionary spiral, which might yet lead to a second bailout. Portugal's economy shrank by 3.2% last year.

Portugal PM warns nation's eurozone position could be put in jeopardy

Obama’s Historic Assault on Social Security

President Obama and his Republican partners in austerity have choreographed a kind of bi-partisan ballet, in which the dancers reach out to each other in slow motion, their fingers almost touching, teasing the audience. These cheap and transparent theatrics are designed to transmit a soap opera-like sense of drama: “Can the two parties come to a compromise for the sake of the country?” But, the fact is, Obama and the Republicans reached most of their grand bargain more than a year ago, when they slashed $1.7 trillion out of domestic spending over a decade. As liberal Obamite Robert Kuttner, of Demos, points out, there’s very little left to cut except Medicare and Social Security.  ...

At this point it must be said that Obama’s insistence on making Social Security a budget deficit issue shows that he has always intended to make drastic cuts to the program. One of the reasons Social Security has long been thought of as “untouchable” is because President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal Democrats purposely insulated it from the conventional budget process. However, President Obama has largely neutered Social Security’s traditional congressional defenders, who know perfectly well what their president is up to, but will not directly oppose him.

UN: Guantanamo a 'Clear Breach of International Law'

The failure of the U.S. to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility is a "clear breach of international law," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated Friday, and slammed the "continuing indefinite incarceration" of detainees and the "systemic abuse of individuals’ human rights" there.

“Allegedly, around half of the 166 detainees still being held in detention have been cleared for transfer to either home countries or third countries for resettlement. Yet they remain in detention at Guantánamo Bay," she said. ...

Noting the double standard on human rights violations by the U.S., Pillay said, "We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold. When other countries breach these standards, the US – quite rightly – strongly criticizes them for it.”

Activists Take Protest to the Heart of the 'Drone Zone'

CODEPINK takes resistance to drone industry CEO who 'literally makes a killing out of killing'

Anti-drone protesters made their presence known in one of the epicenters of the drone technology industry, San Diego, Calif., over the weekend—protesting in several locations including the home of Neal Blue, chief executive officer of General Atomics which manufactures the Predator drone.

Starting on Friday morning, dozens of protesters from the anti-war group CodePink took to the neighborhood of La Jolla in San Diego, gathering in front of Neal's residence—a man who "literally makes a killing out of killing," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin.

The group then continued on to protest in front of General Atomics offices also in San Diego and later at Northrop Grumman, whose products include the Global Hawk.

The protests, which will continue Sunday, are part of the "April Days of Action"—a month long series of anti-drone protests coordinated in dozens of cities nationwide through a coalition of peace and justice groups called the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare (NSDSW).

Wikileaks publishes 1.7m US diplomatic records

Wikileaks has published more than 1.7 million US diplomatic and intelligence reports from the 1970s.

Much of the work has been carried out by the website's founder Julian Assange while he has been holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Mr Assange told Britain's Press Association that the latest collection, entitled the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), reveal the "vast range and scope" of US diplomatic activity around the world.

The data comprises diplomatic cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence running from the beginning of 1973 to the end of 1976.

Much of the correspondence is either written by or sent to Henry Kissinger, who was US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser during that period.

"The Kissinger Cables": Three Years After "Collateral Murder," WikiLeaks Explores U.S. Diplomacy

Hat tip to Juan Cole
Climate denial to prevent an oil-lubricated collapse

HSBC Securities’ analysis shows that oil companies will lose up to 60 percent of their value if a policy aiming for the internationally-recognised two-degree climate policy objective is implemented.

Map Shows Vast Regions of Ocean Are Warmer

ocean heat

PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently it says a lot more when it’s a photo of frackers fracking. In Pennsylvania recently, the battle to control the images used to depict the national debate over shale gas drilling has officially heated up.

In February, 2013 PA House Bill 683 was proposed by nine Pennsylvania lawmakers ... Steve Todd was among the first to report on it in his February 26 post, PA State House Judiciary Committee: NO on HB683. This bill would prohibit people from photographing oil and gas operations because they are occurring on agricultural lands. By fracking farmland, gas drillers would gain new impunity under a piece of anti-whitsle blower legislation, commonly known as an “Ag-gag.”

Yes, you’re reading it correctly. PA HB683 would make it illegal to photograph images of gas drilling operations – the good, the bad, the mundane and the incendiary. ...

The bill is currently in committee, but environmentalists are keeping an eye on it. HB 683 is exactly the sort of legislation the PA GOP tucks into other bills and passes late at night.

Activists claim Arkansas oil spill diverted into wetland

Activists with the group Tar Sands Blockade published new videos on Sunday showing oil from the Arkansas pipeline rupture purportedly diverted from a residential neighborhood into a wetland area to keep it out sight and, most importantly, out of the media.

While it’s not clear if the oil was intentionally moved into the wetland, the company says it is cleaning pavement with power washing devices, which could cause some of the oil to be pushed off neighborhood streets and into other areas.

Activists also interviewed a local resident who claimed the oil has continued “flowing” into Lake Conway since the spill happened. ...

Video of Lake Conway’s wetlands shows thousands of what Exxon called “absorbent pads” — which appear to be nothing more than paper towels — littering the blackened landscape as thick, soupy crude bubbles across the water’s surface. The company insists that air quality in the affected region is being measured by the Environmental Protection Agency, and that tests show “levels that are either non-detect or that are below any necessary action levels.” Exxon also says that the area’s drinking water remains unaffected.

InsideClimate News Reporter Threatened With Arrest at Ark. Oil Spill Site

InsideClimate News reporter Lisa Song was threatened with arrest on Wednesday after she entered the command center for the cleanup operation in Mayflower, Ark., where a major oil pipeline spill occurred on Friday.

Song went to the command center in hopes of reaching representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. She had been told they were working out of the command center, but had been unable to get their names or contact information despite multiple requests to the agencies. ...

Song had tried to enter the command compound on Tuesday, but was turned away by a security guard. On Wednesday, however, a different guard was on duty and he waved her through the gate. Inside, a second person directed her to the warehouse that houses the command center.

Inside the building, Song went to a table with a sign that said "public affairs," where she was given the name and contact information for Austin Vela, the EPA spokesman at the site. Before she could get the name of a DOT representative, however, Exxon spokeswoman Kim Jordan spotted Song and told her to leave. A second person arrived and said, "You've been asked by security to leave. If you don't you'll be arrested for criminal trespass." ...

The EPA, which is the designated on-scene coordinator for the investigation in Mayflower, did not respond to questions about whether Song should have been evicted from the command center.

'All Risks, No Reward': New Ad Campaign Calls Out Keystone XL

A coalition of environmental groups in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline launched a new national TV ad campaign on Sunday morning, hitting many of the morning talk shows, to tell a broad audience that Keystone is “putting us at risk, while big oil gets the rewards."

"Oil spills. It’s not if, it’s when,” states one of the ads. The ads bring to light the likelihood of catastrophic oil spills, such as the recent massive leak from an Exxon pipeline in Arkansas, which has spilled thousands of barrels of toxic tar sands oil.

The coalition behind the ads includes the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Bold Nebraska, Oil Change International, the Nebraska Farmers Union and other groups.

“There is no reward of energy independence with this pipeline. Only risks to our land and water. The jobs will soon disappear, the energy independence will be on a ship to some unknown destination, but the scar on America’s landscape will be with us forever,” writes Randy Thompson, a Nebraskan farmer featured in one of the ads and chair of All Risk No Reward Coalition to Stop Keystone XL, on Sunday.

Action Center

Tell Congress: Defend Social Security or Else

President Obama wants to cut Social Security benefits. And Medicare benefits.

Signing a petition is not enough.

Click to send an unambiguous message to your representative and senators:

If you vote to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, I will oppose your re-election.

Blog Posts of Interest

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

Two years ago: Archaeologists announce discovery of 5000-year-old transgender skeleton

The Mythology of Capture vs. Kill

Hell No! Dan Pfeiffer: "The President's Budget Shows That He is Serious About Solving Deficits"

The Farm II: Changing People

Hell No! Stop crushing the poor

Hell, No! Social Security Contributes Nothing To Deficit

A Little Night Music

Stick Mcghee - One monkey don't stop no show

Sticks McGhee - Venus Blues

Stick Mcghee - Let's do it

Sticks McGhee Whiskey, Women & Loaded Dice

Stick McGhee - Double Crossing Liquor

Sticks McGhee - Head Happy With Wine

Stick McGhee - Six To Eight

Stick McGhee - I'll Always Remember

Stick McGhee - Housewarmin' Boogie

Sonny Terry & Sticks McGhee - My Baby Done Gone

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 Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.


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