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 Godfather of Austin (Texas) Blues W. C. Clark. Enjoy!
W. C. Clark - Standing Here At The Crossroads
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
-- Dick Cheney
News and Opinion
Syria: from revolution to all-out war
Syria’s uprising has shifted from popular street protests against President Bashar al-Assad to a full-fledged war, increasingly influenced by armed Islamists, in a far cry from the idealism of the Arab Spring. ...
Now nearly 21 months into the revolt, the insurgents control large swathes of rural territory as well as a number of medium-sized towns, say AFP correspondents on the ground. ...
Having failed to recover lost ground, the regime’s military strategy has switched to defending the capital, major cities, strategic main roads and the Alawite heartland on the Mediterranean coast. ...
War-hardened, the rebels have also been strengthened by hundreds of foreign volunteers pouring in from Turkey, which openly calls for Assad’s fall.
But the past six months have been marked by a growing Islamisation of the conflict as Al-Nusra Front, suspected of ties to Al-Qaeda, takes a prominent role in the battle for Syria.
Al-Nusra has become active on all the front lines, threatening a takeover of the revolution.
Israel Implicated in Leaking Misleading Info on Iran Nuke
A largely misleading and vastly exaggerated "exclusive" "leak" published by the Associated Press last week, which boasted that the news agency had obtained information proving that Iran was working on a nuclear bomb, and was quickly debunked by the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald and several others, was likely given to AP by Israeli officials, the Guardian reports Monday.
"Western diplomats" told the Guardian they believe Israel leaked the slipshod documents to AP, which included a "graph" that was as Greenwald wrote, "only slightly less hilariously primitive than the one Benjamin Netanyahu infamously touted with a straight face at the UN," from an incomplete and inaccurate excerpt of an ongoing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation in Iran in a "bid to raise global pressure on Tehran."
On the graph, Greenwald wrote:...even if one assumes that this graph is something other than a fraud, the very idea that computer simulations constitute "evidence" that Iran is working toward a nuclear weapon is self-evidently inane. As John Glaser extensively documents, "experts from across the spectrum have agreed with the military and intelligence consensus [from the US and Israel] that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and presents no imminent threat." Buried in the AP article is a quote from David Albright explaining that though "the diagram looks genuine [it] seems to be designed more 'to understand the process' than as part of a blueprint for an actual weapon in the making."Nonetheless, AP ran with the story, all the while granting anonymity to the source's country who leaked the faulty information—as doing so would have revealed ulterior motives.
U.S. to launch military space drone on Tuesday
The United States is planning a new launch of its tiny, pilotless military space plane on Tuesday as part of a futuristic Air Force program that has fueled speculation over its mission.
The X-37B, which weighs five tonnes and is 29 feet (8.9 meters) long, can return material to Earth in the way of the retired shuttle Orbiter program but is designed to stay in orbit for much longer at 270 days.
The last X-37B returned in June after orbiting for 469 days in a test of endurance. ...
The secretive nature of the equipment on the X-37B has led to speculation in the media over its true nature, with some experts saying it could eventually be designed to tamper with satellites from rival nations.
Wow! Look at this! Outside of America, some banksters can get arrested and taken to jail for their criminal activities! Those devilishly clever Brits must have some kind of criminal laws against fraud or something...
British police arrest 3 in Libor-fixing scandal
British police and investigators arrested three men on Tuesday on suspicion of manipulating the interbank landing rate Libor, the Serious Fraud Office said.
The Budget Thugs: What Do They Know About the Economy?
The line from Fix the Debt, an organization that includes the CEOs of many of the country's largest corporations, and allies like the Washington Post is that we better have cuts to Social Security and Medicare because they say so. Note that they did not try to push this line in the elections. Everyone knows that cuts to these programs are hugely unpopular across the political spectrum. ...
It is worth repeating the "they say so" part; because this is the only way we could know that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are necessary. It is possible to tell stories about countries where a meltdown in financial markets forced sharp budget cuts, but there is zero evidence of that for the United States. Investors are willing to lend the U.S. government vast amounts of money at extremely low interest rates. The only reason that we have for believing that financial markets will panic if we don't have the Social Security and Medicare cuts the Debt Fixers want is because they say so.
For this reason it is worth considering what the Debt Fixers know or don't know about the economy. This meaning bringing up a still fresh wound; why did none of these people see the housing bubble whose collapse wrecked the economy? ...
The Debt Fixers and their allies will have to explain for themselves how they managed to miss something as huge and important to the economy as the housing bubble. However missing an $8 trillion housing bubble is not a small mistake. It is the sort of thing that in other lines of work gets you fired and sent looking for a new career. ...
This means that when we get a whole bunch of seemingly important and knowledgeable people telling us that we must cut Social Security and Medicare because the markets demand it, we have to remember that these are people who just recently were shown to be completely out to lunch in their economic judgment. If the Debt Fixers expect the country to take their pronouncements seriously, they should be forced to answer one simple question: when did you stop being wrong about the economy?
Prison Labor Booms As Unemployment Remains High; Companies Reap Benefits
The American government has been critical of China's forced-labor policies, but the United States has a burgeoning prison labor pool of its own.
Russia Today filed a report on Sunday that said hundreds of companies nationwide now benefit from the low, and sometimes no-wage labor of America's prisoners.
Prison labor is being harvested on a massive scale, according to professors Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman.
"All told, nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day," the professors write.
Michigan GOP Push Through Anti-Union, Elite-Backed "Right to Work" Law Before House Majority Shrinks
FBI data: Hate crimes against LGBT people on the rise
One in five reported hate crimes in the United States last year were directed at gays and lesbians, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation released Monday.
Law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crimes, down slightly from 6,628 in 2010.
There were 7,713 victims and 5,733 offenders, according to the federal law enforcement agency, which maintains the national Uniform Crime Reports statistics.
Nearly half — 46.9 percent — of the incidents were motivated by racial bias.
But for the first time, crimes directed against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation came in second at 20.8 percent, overtaking crimes based on religious bias at 19.8 percent.
Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Industry Pollute the Nation’s Underground Water Supply
Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation's drinking water.
In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer exemptions in Western states now stricken by drought and increasingly desperate for water.
EPA records show that portions of at least 100 drinking water aquifers have been written off because exemptions have allowed them to be used as dumping grounds. ...
As part of an investigation into the threat to water supplies from underground injection of waste, ProPublica set out to identify which aquifers have been polluted.
We found the EPA has not even kept track of exactly how many exemptions it has issued, where they are, or whom they might affect.
What records the agency was able to supply under the Freedom of Information Act show that exemptions are often issued in apparent conflict with the EPA's mandate to protect waters that may be used for drinking.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
A Little Night Music
W.C. Clark & Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little Thing
W.C. Clark & Jimmie Vaughan - Talk Talk To Me
W.C. Clark - Funny How Times Slips Away
W.C. Clark - Cold Shot
W.C. Clark Blues Review - Take Me To The River
W.C. Clark - Just The One I'm Looking For
W.C. Clark - Ain't Lost Nothin'
W.C. Clark - Midnight Hour Blues
W.C. Clark - Let It Rain
W.C. Clark Blues Review - Lovers Plea
W.C. Clark - Hideaway
Gary Clark Jr w/ W.C. Clark - Shake For Me
WC Clark - What I'd Say
WC Clark - Don't Mess Up A Good Thing
W.C. Clark - Georgia
W. C. Clark - Heart Of Gold
W.C.Clark, Kim Wilson & Angela Strehli - Big Town Playboy
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky