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Tonight's music features seminal Chicago blues piano player Big Maceo Merriweather.  Merriweather's first recording, "Worried Life Blues," was a major contribution to the repertoire of virtually every blues performer. Merriweather recorded for a very few years in the 1940's before he was felled by a stroke, but left a style that influenced virtually every blues piano player since.

Big Maceo Merriweather - County Jail Blues, Ramblin' Mind Blues + Texas Blues

"You read constantly that banks are lobbying regulators and elected officials as if this is inappropriate. We don't look at it that way."

 -- Jamie Dimon

"People are getting smarter nowadays; they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guide."

 -- Will Rogers

News and Opinion

United States of ALEC

In Shell Case, Will Supreme Court’s View of Corporate Personhood Mean Liability for Crimes Abroad?

The Supreme Court opens its 2012-2013 term today with a landmark case to decide whether survivors of human rights violations in foreign countries can bring lawsuits against corporations in US courts. The case centers on a lawsuit that accuses the oil giant Shell’s parent company, Royal Dutch Petroleum, of complicity in the murder and torture of Nigerian activists. Some legal analysts are comparing this case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, to the landmark campaign finance ruling in Citizens United. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled corporations have broad rights under the First Amendment and can directly fund political campaigns. The Court is now being asked to decide if corporations have the same responsibilities as individuals for violations of international law. The Court’s ruling will also impact numerous other human rights cases being heard by lower courts.

Financialization and the World Economy

Chinese authorities shut down Weiwei firm

Chinese authorities are closing down the firm handling Ai Weiwei‘s affairs, the outspoken artist said on Monday, possibly saving him from paying the remainder of a 15m yuan (£1.5m) tax fine. ...

Officials said this weekend they were removing Fake Cultural Development’s business license because it had not met annual registration requirements. The company has been unable to do so because police confiscated all its materials and its stamp when they detained Ai last year.

“I think it could be an excuse not to give us a fine,” the artist added. Ai’s lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan, said it was not clear how Fake could pay the 6.6m yuan outstanding if it had no licence. But he added that he had filed a request for a hearing into its closure.

TSA hired priest accused of molesting girls to do pat downs

The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) didn’t bother to do a background check on a priest who had been defrocked for molesting girls before they gave him a job, which included doing pat downs on children at Philadelphia International Airport.

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday reported that the agency confirmed that 65-year-old Thomas Harkins had been forced out of the priesthood over allegations that he had sexually abused two grade-school girls.

But the TSA took no actions because “[a]n allegation alone does not warrant dismissal or automatically disqualify applicants from employment with the TSA,” spokesperson Ann Davis told the Inquirer.

ACLU: Docs Reveal "Exponential" Growth of Domestic Spying - New Justice Department documents show huge increase in warrantless electronic surveillance

The release of new Department of Justice documents obtained by the ACLU reveal that federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.

Though there is a long history of legal (and not so legal) surveillance by federal and local authorities, the new documents—released by the DOJ following Freedom of Information Act requests by the ACLU and presented in this report—show that under the Obama administration, the rate of surveillance has risen "exponentially" in many key areas, including information gathered from telephone, email, and other Internet communications.

Wall Street is getting good value for its political "donations":
Obama administration accused of spreading misinformation about Financial Transaction Tax

On Friday, 62 civil-society organizations charged the U.S. State Department with spreading “misinformation” regarding the feasibility of levying a small tax on stock sales and other financial transactions, revenues from which could be used for national and international public goods.

Referring to a July meeting of the United Nations that discussed long-term financing options to help countries deal with the effects of climate change, a letter sent Friday to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accuses a member of the U.S. negotiating team of “misstatements”. The letter requests that the U.S. government “not discourage other countries from supporting this tax”.

Calls for such a levy, known as a financial transaction tax (FTT, also called a Robin Hood tax), have been gaining strength in the United States and abroad in recent months. Proponents suggest that such an approach could not only raise hundreds of billions of dollars for use in mass-scale efforts towards health, education or climate change, but could also cut down on the type of computerized high-speed trading that facilitates damaging commodities speculation.

French Protesters March in 'Resistance' to Austerity - Thousands take to the streets of Paris

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to protest against the spread of economic "austerity" in France and Europe.

Chanting "resistance, resistance", the crowds had been rallied by around 60 organisations, including the leftwing Front de Gauche and the French Communist party, which oppose the European budget treaty.

"Today is the day the French people launch a movement against the politics of austerity," said the Front de Gauche president, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Deepwater Horizon settlement talks stall as US demands $18bn from BP

Talks between BP and the US government over a settlement for the 2010 oil spill have stalled because the US is insisting that the British oil giant pay at least $18bn, according to reports.

BP, which declined to comment on the story, has always denied any liability for the United States' worst offshore environmental disaster.

The newspaper said that BP's board is split over whether to pay $18bn or continue to push for a settlement at $15bn, the level it is widely reported to be hoping to settle at.

Virginia Residents Fight Back Against Nuclear Industry Effort to Lift Ban on Uranium Mining

Virginia residents are organizing against a push by the nuclear industry to lift a three decade-long ban on uranium mining. The ban went unchallenged until recently, when the cost of uranium began to rise. Virginia residents have expressed concern about the dangers uranium mining poses to drinking water, air quality, farm products, fishing, and tourism. They say allowing mining of the one uranium deposit already identified would open the door for exploration of other sites across the state. Almost all of Virginia’s major cities have passed resolutions to oppose lifting the ban.

Blog Posts of Interest

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

The return of Droney

Krugman to Obama: Don't fall for the Simpson-Bowles Trap   

Success in Quebec Speaks to Power of Mass Movements

Afghanistan 1 out of 5 combat deaths are insider attacks

World Heritage Site Destroyed: Another Casualty of War

Drone War Crimes Accusations An October Challenge For President?

A Little Night Music

Big Maceo Merriweather - Worried Life Blues

Big Maceo Merriweather - Chicago Breakdown

Big Maceo Merriweather w/ Tampa Red - If You Ever Change Your Ways

Big Maceo Merriweather - Worried Life Blues #2

Big Maceo Merriweather With Tampa Red: Texas Stomp

Big Maceo Merriweather + Tampa Red - Poor Kelly Blues

Big Maceo - Big City Blues

Big Maceo Merriweather + Tampa Red - Kid Man Blues

Eric Clapton - Kid Man Blues

Big Maceo Merriweather + Tampa Red - I Can't Get Along With You


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~ Aristotle

mood ring 1

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.


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