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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 barrelhouse blues piano player William "Piano Red" Perryman, who also recorded as "Dr. Feelgood."  Enjoy!



Piano Red - The Right String, Baby, But the Wrong Yo-Yo


A DEAD STATESMAN

"I could not dig: I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?”

  -- Rudyard Kipling (Epitaphs Of The War 1914-18)


News and Opinion




Justice Dept. official won’t say whether NSA collects Obama’s phone data

A US official acknowledged Tuesday that the NSA likely scoops up data on congressional phone communications, but stopped short of saying whether such action extends to calls made by President Barack Obama.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, hesitated when asked whether the controversial NSA program that gathers the numbers, call times and lengths of virtually every US phone call extended to communications by members of Congress and executive branch officials.

Congressman Darrell Issa, a House Republican known for his staunch criticism of the Obama White House, asked specifically whether the program was scooping up information from “202-225-and four digits” — the phone exchange for House of Representatives offices.

“Without going specifically, probably we do, congressman,” Cole said.

Issa then asked whether the president’s phone calls were targeted by the program.

“I believe every phone number that is with the providers that get those orders comes in under the scope of that order,” Cole said, without clarifying whether the president’s phones fall within such an order.

Some in Congress see just one option for NSA spying: Scrap it

Democrats and Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee blasted the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records on Tuesday and said it’s a misuse of authority granted by Congress under the Patriot Act.

“Congress never intended to allow bulk collections,” said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., author of the 2001 Patriot Act.

Debate is intensifying in Congress over whether to scrap the massive data collection effort or to modify it. There’s widespread skepticism among both parties over President Barack Obama’s plans for the program’s future and a desire for Congress to curb the National Security Agency.

“In my district, and many others, NSA has become not a three-letter word but a four-letter word,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said at a Tuesday hearing on the surveillance effort.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said Congress needs to end the bulk collection.

“Consensus is growing that it is largely ineffective, inconsistent with our national values, and inconsistent with the statute as this committee wrote it,” said Conyers, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

War on Anonymous: British Spies Attacked Hackers, Snowden Docs Show

A secret British spy unit created to mount cyber attacks on Britain’s enemies has waged war on the hacktivists of Anonymous and LulzSec, according to documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News.

The blunt instrument the spy unit used to target hackers, however, also interrupted the web communications of political dissidents who did not engage in any illegal hacking. It may also have shut down websites with no connection to Anonymous.

According to the documents, a division of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British counterpart of the NSA, shut down communications among Anonymous hacktivists by launching a “denial of service” (DDOS) attack – the same technique hackers use to take down bank, retail and government websites – making the British government the first Western government known to have conducted such an attack. ...

The documents also show that JTRIG infiltrated chat rooms known as IRCs and identified individual hackers who had taken confidential information from websites. In one case JTRIG helped send a hacktivist to prison for stealing data from PayPal, and in another it helped identify hacktivists who attacked government websites.

Top Secret GCHQ Hacker Team Engaged in Nefarious Web Attacks

Among the methods used by the British spy agency were jamming communication lines and masquerading as an enemy in "false flag" operations

In his latest reporting based on leaked documents by Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald, along with colleagues at NBC News, revealed Wednesday that British intelligence officials at GCHQ used a top secret team of government hackers to infiltrate hacktivist groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec and went so far as to level a 'denial of service' (DDOS) attack in order to disrupt their operations. ...

While the GCHQ and government officials defend the practice, critics say that the government's use of the very tactics they claim to being trying to stop creates a "slippery slope" for law enforcement and that shutting down networks with DDOS style assaults punishes thousands of people for the alleged misbehavior of a few.

Anonymous, Lulzsec, and a handful of other hacker collectives have promoted the idea of challenging government and corporate wrongdoing in recent years by infiltrating the digital networks of agencies and companies they accuse of abusive practices or anti-democratic inclinations. While some of their acts of digital dissidence are clearly protest oriented, the government has lumped the behavior of criminal hackers in with the larger groups as the shadowy—and yes, anonymous—world of hacking blurs the lines of who is who in the online world. ...

“Targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs,” said Gabriella Coleman, an anthropology professor at McGill University and author of an upcoming book about Anonymous. “Some have rallied around the name to engage in digital civil disobedience, but nothing remotely resembling terrorism. The majority of those embrace the idea primarily for ordinary political expression.” Coleman told NBC that he estimated that the number of Anonymous hackers engaged in "illegal activity was in the dozens, out of a community of thousands."

Coleman added, “Punishing thousands of people, who are engaging in their democratic right to protest, because a couple people committed vandalism is … an appalling example of overreacting in order to squash dissent.”

Is Glenn Greenwald a Criminal?

In 1798, the Federalist Party leveraged fear of French spies and domestic traitors to pass the Sedition Act, making it a crime to publish “any false, scandalous and malicious writing” that would bring Congress and the president into “contempt or disrepute.” ...

The Sedition Act was one of the first challenges to the First Amendment, which asserts freedom of speech and the press. The act expired after Thomas Jefferson won the presidency and reaffirmed citizens’ right “to think freely and to speak and write what they think.”

More than two centuries later Representative Mike Rogers, the Republican in charge of the House Intelligence Committee, has come up with a new way to silence reporters responsible for stories he considers threatening to national security. In a lengthy exchange in a hearing on Tuesday with FBI director James Comey about the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, Rogers suggested that because reporters are profiting from stories based on these stolen documents, they have committed crimes. ...

This is dangerous terrain. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has now repeatedly called on Snowden’s “accomplices” to return stolen materials, presumably referring to journalists. Rogers picked up Clapper’s term on Tuesday to reinforce his accusations of criminal liability. Comey, for his part, went so far as to suggest that journalists working with the Snowden documents may be implicated in an “active investigation.” He told Rogers, “We are looking at the totality of circumstances around the theft and promulgation.”

Mike Rogers Tries To Make The Case That Glenn Greenwald Should Be Prosecuted For 'Selling Stolen Material'

During a House Intelligence Committee in which many members (from both parties) angrily criticized the intelligence community, Rogers continued to do everything possible to defend them, including pushing the bogus argument that Glenn Greenwald "sold stolen goods" in questions to FBI director James Comey:

REP. ROGERS: You -- there have been discussions about selling of access to this material to both newspaper outlets and other places. Mr. Comey, to the best of your knowledge, is fencing stolen material -- is that a crime?

DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY: Yes, it is.

REP. ROGERS: And would be selling the access of classified material that is stolen from the United States government -- would that be a crime?

DIR. COMEY: It would be. It’s an issue that can be complicated if it involves a news-gathering and news promulgation function, but in general, fencing or selling stolen property is a crime.

REP. ROGERS: So if I’m a newspaper reporter for -- fill in the blank -- and I sell stolen material, is that legal because I’m a newspaper reporter?

DIR. COMEY: Right, if you’re a newspaper report and you’re hocking stolen jewelry, it’s still a crime.

REP. ROGERS: And if I’m hocking stolen classified material that I’m not legally in possession of for personal gain and profit, is that not a crime?

DIR. COMEY: I think that’s a harder question because it involves a news-gathering functions -- could have First Amendment implications. It’s something that probably would be better answered by the Department of Justice.

REP. ROGERS: So entering into a commercial enterprise to sell stolen material is acceptable to a legitimate news organization?

DIR. COMEY: I’m not sure I’m able to answer that question in the abstract.

REP. ROGERS: It’s something we ought to think about, is it not?

DIR. COMEY: Certainly.

REP. ROGERS: And so if there are accomplices in purveying stolen information, shouldn’t we be concerned about that?

DIR. COMEY: We should be concerned about all the facts surrounding the theft of classified information and its promulgation.

REP. ROGERS: Hmm. And interesting that over the -- again, the Munich Conference, where we had individuals tell us that in fact there are individuals who are saying to be in possession of this information who are eager to sell this information to other news organizations, would that be a legitimate exercise on behalf of a reporter?

DIR. COMEY: That’s a question -- now you’re getting from the general to the particular. I don’t want to talk about the case in particular because it’s an active investigation of ours.

REP. ROGERS: It’s an active investigation for accomplices brokering in stolen information?

DIR. COMEY: We are looking at the totality of the circumstances around the theft and promulgation.

Glenn Greenwald is not named, but that's clearly who they are targeting. A few folks have brought up the ridiculous charges of him "selling" the Snowden leaks to news organizations, but that's clearly bullshit. Greenwald has been doing freelance journalism work for a while. Publications pay him in the same way they pay any freelancer. He's not selling any documents at all -- and in fact has shared many of the documents with multiple publications for their own reporting activities.

It's pretty clear that Rogers is continuing his desperate, despicable and downright McCarthy-like arguments in an attempt to create chilling effects and to protect his friends in the intelligence community.

Not Waiting for Feds, 'Fight Back' Against Surveillance Goes Local, Global

State lawmakers take action in the US as individuals prepare a globalized mobilization against encroaching digital surveillance

Concerned about the government's increasing surveillance powers but unimpressed with the congressional response in Washington so far, state lawmakers from both major political parties are now taking it upon themselves to protect the online and communication privacy of their constituents. ...

As the Associated Press reports Wednesday, efforts are now underway "in at least 14 states are a direct message to the federal government: If you don't take action to strengthen privacy, we will."

According to AP:

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have joined in proposing the measures, reflecting the unusual mix of political partnerships that have arisen since the NSA revelations that began in May. Establishment leadership has generally favored the programs, while conservative limited government advocates and liberal privacy supporters have opposed them.

Supporters say the measures are needed because technology has grown to the point that police can digitally track someone's every move.

Devices such as license plate readers and cellphone trackers "can tell whether you stayed in a motel that specializes in hourly rates, or you stopped at tavern that has nude dancers," said David Fidanque, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.

"It's one thing to know you haven't violated the law, but it's another thing to know you haven't had every one of your moves tracked," he said.

daywefightback

Next week, on February 11, privacy advocates and online freedom groups are mobilizing against NSA and other government surveillance in a day of action they've dubbed 'The Day We Fight Back.'

CIA chief pressed to support annual count of drone casualties

The CIA director and other intelligence chiefs were urged to increase transparency over covert drone operations by members of the House intelligence committee yesterday. ...

Brennan has repeatedly attacked ‘misinformation’ over civilian death tolls from drone strikes but the US administration has consistently refused to publish anything more detailed than lump-sum estimates of deaths. Where the US has published such estimates they are significantly below all independent estimates, including those assembled by the Bureau, Washington think-tank the New America Foundation, and security blog the Long War Journal. ...

Jan Schakowsky said that public attempts to debate the use of drones were ‘thwarted by a lack of transparency’.

She added: ‘This year both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have conducted serious research and raised very legitimate concerns about the consequences of the drone programme on US security yet the government has not responded.’

The hearing opened with committee chair Mike Roberts criticising Obama’s drone policy guidelines, introduced in May 2013, as an ‘utter and complete failure’. He claimed they were ‘today, right now, endangering the lives of Americans at home and our military overseas’.

Use of aerial drones spreading to other countries and private companies as cost falls

The falling cost of acquiring drones will see them increasingly used in warfare and surveillance, a leading think tank said Wednesday, although it believes citizens are unlikely to accept fully autonomous deadly attacks.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) made the claim in its annual assessment of global military capabilities. ...

The report said that drones were once seen almost exclusively in Western armed forces, but the proliferation of smaller systems had reduced costs, enabling greater use by private companies, individuals and countries with limited financial resources.

UAVs have been used overwhelmingly in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, in effectively uncontested airspace, the IISS noted.

However, such calculations may change if they were up against active air defence weapons. Russia and China have been developing GPS-jamming technology, the IISS said.

US warns France against business with Iran after trade trip to Tehran

The US has warned France against doing business with Iran after a large trade delegation representing more than 100 French companies travelled to Tehran this week.

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, called the French foreign secretary, Laurent Fabius, to say the visit was "not helpful" in backing up America's preferred message to Tehran: that while sanctions have been eased, they have not been dropped, and "it is not business as usual", a US official said. ...

As Iranian scientists halted all enrichment of uranium to 20% inside the country, the EU reciprocated by announcing moves to ease restrictions on trade in petrochemicals, precious metals and the provision of insurance for oil shipments. This week, the US released $550m to Iran, the first instalment in $4.2bn worth of frozen oil revenues which the Islamic republic is expected to receive over a period of time as part of the Geneva deal.

Despite these developments, the US has warned France that it will seek fines against any country – ally or not – that breaks the US and EU sanctions.

European Officials Pushing Austerity in Spain to Boost Corporate Profits By Repressing Unions and Wages

The New York Times calls this "Saving Ukraine."  It looks more like an attempt to make the Ukraine beholden to western neoliberal institutions (IMF) that will use debt to control Ukraine.  Such a choice the Ukrainians face.  Economic "salvation" from Putin or from Neoliberal technocratic bankster swine.
Inserting the Economic Hit Men Into Ukraine

The United States and Europe may finally be ready to put some real emergency aid on the table as part of an effort to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine and to tie the country more closely to the West. Without such an offer of financial support, Russia will continue to have leverage to bully Ukraine into its geopolitical orbit. The standoff over economic policy and whether Ukraine will ally with Europe or Russia is more than two months old and has led to violent protests in which at least six people were killed.

Details of the aid package are still under negotiation in Europe and the United States, but there should be little doubt about the need. Ukraine’s economy is on the brink of failure and its politics has been in turmoil since the president, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected an economic pact with Europe in favor of an offer from Russia for $15 billion in assistance. Russia, playing hardball after Mr. Yanukovych announced plans to replace his cabinet to appease protesters, last week suspended a portion of the aid and thus left an opening for the Americans and Europeans to make their own offer.

The Western package is mainly intended as bridge financing to get a new Ukrainian government, if one is formed, through a transition period so it can make the sufficient reforms needed to qualify for a long-delayed loan from the International Monetary Fund. The West is looking for a government of experts, possibly led by an opposition leader.

Tea Party teams with union leaders to fight Obama’s trade plan

Normally the bitterest of enemies, labor unions and the Tea Party are reaching out to each other to defeat President Obama’s trade agenda.

The groups are at separate poles when it comes to taxes, ObamaCare and who should be the next president, but they agree that making it easier for the administration to negotiate and win congressional approval of trade deals is a bad idea.

“This is one of those issues that 90 percent of the left and 90 percent of the right agree on,” Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation, said. ...

The AFL-CIO, Tea Party Nation and other groups privately acknowledged working together to stop a trade promotion authority law. Labor officials and Tea Party activists are working behind the scenes to build a coalition of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans to block Obama’s priority.

Fast Track to Income Inequality

[T]he major fight over fast track is in the House. Fast track is a revenue measure and thus must start in the House. The GOP leaders are seeking the needed bloc of Democratic votes to ensure passage of the Rep. Dave Camp-
Sen. Max Baucus fast track bill introduced two weeks ago.

That bill went in without a single House sponsor, but the corporate and White House pressure campaign is gearing up. Their goal is to find 40-50 Democrats votes to combine with GOP support. GOP votes alone cannot pass fast track because tea party opposition to fast track is peeling away some GOP votes. Bottom line: our goal is to ensure the House GOP leadership can never count anything close to 217 votes.

A letter released last week signed by a stunning array of more than 550 Democratic base organizations reiterates the perverse situation. Despite widespread early opposition to fast track from many congressional Democrats and Democratic base groups, and consensus from economists that our trade policies increase income inequality, Obama is asking for Congress to delegate fast track authority to him. ...

Who supports TPP and fast track? The corporate lobby that worked its butt off to defeat Obama’s re-election. ... Meanwhile, last week’s letter [against TPP and fast track authority] was signed by a veritable who’s who of the organizations that worked their tails off to elect Obama and/or who provide his policy initiatives the support to pass. ...

What could unite the A-Z of the Democratic base and conservative grassroots activists? Um, could be the 20 devastating years of damage by the North American Free-Trade Agreement experienced by American workers and communities across the political spectrum.

Reality bites the middle class

The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday, Feb. 2:

A new study by the Pew Research Center reports that many Americans have begun to figure out the new economic reality. About a third of Americans who self-identified as part of the middle class in 2008 now identify themselves as part of the "lower-middle" or "lower" classes. ...

When Americans read that the richest 1 percent of households took home 95 percent of all the income gains after the 2007-2008 recession; that the world's richest 85 people control the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world's 7 billion people; and that since the Great Recession, median household income has dropped $4,610 (to what it was in 1996), then reality starts to sink in. ...

The Pew survey found that in 2008, 21 percent of Americans self-identified as being in the upper-middle or upper classes. Today that number is 15 percent.

That number speaks to how well the richest 10 percent - and in particular, the richest 1 percent - did after the recession. Between 2009 and 2012, the top 1 percent saw their incomes grow by 31.4 percent, accounting for 95 percent of all the post-recession income gains. The rest went to those in the 90 to 98 percent tier. ...

There are vast inequalities in America, both in wealth and how government treats people. More Americans are beginning to realize it. Now let's see what they do about it.

'Corporate Welfare' Triumphs as Farm Bill Rewards Greedy, Fails the Hungry

Under the guise of cutting subsidies, bipartisan bill increases subsidies to major agribusiness

After years of wrangling, the U.S. Senate voted 68-32 Tuesday in favor of a farm bill currently poised to be signed by President Obama. ...

Though not as drastic as the $40 billion in food stamp cuts that House Republicans had initially demanded, the final bill cuts food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by $8.7 billion over ten years.

Putting that figure in context, MSNBC's Ned Resnikoff writes, "It’s official: 850,000 households across the country are set to lose an average of $90 per month in food stamp benefits."

In contrast to the assistance stripped from struggling families, as Environmental Work Group (EWG) reports, the final iteration of the farm bill hands "largely unlimited subsidies" to the largest and most successful farm operations "at the expense of family farmers and the environment."

Under the guise of cutting subsidies by repealing unpopular direct cash payments to farmers, the bill instead increases crop insurance subsidies by nearly $6 billion. Further, the final bill strips a provision that limited payouts to farmers that made over $750,000 in income.

David Dayen, explains the details well in a easily-digestible, but richly detailed feature:
The Farm Bill Still Gives Wads of Cash to Agribusiness. It's Just Sneakier About It.

[W]hile the parties argued about how much food to take away from poor people, it’s just as revealing to look at the area where they both agreed. Democrats and Republicans alike have pointed to the repeal of $4.5 billion in annual direct cash payments, a long disfavored policy where farmers received a fixed amount of money for every acre they owned, regardless of whether it was planted. The Senate will “end outdated and unnecessary subsidies,” said lead Democratic negotiator Debbie Stabenow on Monday. Her Republican counterpart, House Agriculture Committee chair Frank Lucas, once supported direct payments, but highlighted their repeal upon House passage of the bill. “Don’t underestimate the magnitude of the reforms,” he said last week.

But don’t be fooled: The politicians patting themselves on the back for repealing subsidies to farmers have found a surreptitious way to deposit these savings right back in the pocket of agribusiness. That’s because the farm bill will expand subsidies for crop insurance, which looks like a private-sector program but which actually hands over virtually the same amount of taxpayer money to farmers, mostly wealthy ones, as the old direct payment program. What’s more, the shift from direct payments to crop insurance ensures that those handouts can be distributed in a hidden, more politically palatable way, making it more difficult to ever dislodge them.

Direct payments were not traditionally tied to prices, and were distributed whether farmers planted crops or not. The new system, according to supporters, only delivers payouts if farmers take losses. But this is a bit misleading. Federally subsidized crop insurance programs pay almost two-thirds of a farmer’s premium, as well as most of the insurance claims, guaranteeing revenue regardless of crop failure or even price swings. The current farm bill expands the program to cost the government $90 billion over ten years, an increase of $7 billion. But that’s just an estimate, which may be low. Farmers received $16 billion in crop insurance payments alone during last year’s Midwest drought, most of it paid by the federal government. Despite the poor conditions, net agriculture income increased 15 percent last year, a tribute to the relative pointlessness of the subsidies. ...

Moving away from direct payments and toward indirect insurance subsidies is an example of what author Suzanne Mettler calls “the submerged state.” So many federal social programs lurk underneath the surface that the public cannot get a good handle on who benefits from government largesse. “Appearing to emanate from the private sector, such policies obscure the role of the government and exaggerate that of the market,” Mettler says. And the vast majority of these programs benefit the wealthy, refuting the conceit that the rich boldly succeed without a government safety net protecting them.

Selling Out Detroit

On Thursday, January 16, 2014 in the Detroit federal bankruptcy court, Judge Steven Rhodes issued a decision that promises a measure of justice in the face of Wall Street banks’ toxic threat that they are supposedly “too big to fail” (or jail).

Judge Rhodes denied payments of over $169 million to Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch (BAML) and UBS.   The motion to pay the banks was filed by Jones Day lawyers, supposedly representing Detroit and working in our best interest.  The judge’s decision against the payment proves otherwise. ...

Indeed, this was the second time Judge Rhodes told Jones Day’s $1,000 per hour lawyers and Orr not to pay BAML and UBS their claimed “termination fees” for toxic interest rate “swaps” – predatory Wall Street instruments of financial destruction.  The first time Orr and Jones Day wanted to pay them over $230 million!  That money would have come out of the shares of hard-working and by no means wealthy Detroit retirees as well as city services for residents. ...

But the more significant immediate issue is that this seems to be the final proof that Jones Day and Orr do not really represent the best interests of Detroit or its People. ... After being denied once by the court, they went into a back room on Christmas Eve 2013 and tried to do it again!





The Evening Greens




Indigenous Groups: 'No Keystone XL Pipeline Will Cross Our Lands'

lakota xlNative American communities are promising fierce resistance to stop TransCanada from building, and President Barack Obama from permitting, the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

"No Keystone XL pipeline will cross Lakota lands," declares a joint statement from Honor the Earth, the Oglala Sioux Nation, Owe Aku, and Protect the Sacred. "We stand with the Lakota Nation, we stand on the side of protecting sacred water, we stand for Indigenous land-based lifeways which will NOT be corrupted by a hazardous, toxic pipeline."

Members of seven Lakota nation tribes, as well as indigenous communities in Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, are preparing to take action to stop Keystone XL.

“It will band all Lakota to live together and you can’t cross a living area if it’s occupied,” said Greg Grey Cloud, of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, in an interview with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. “If it does get approved we aim to stop it.”

Fracking is depleting water supplies in America's driest areas, report shows

America's oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found.

Of the nearly 40,000 oil and gas wells drilled since 2011, three-quarters were located in areas where water is scarce, and 55% were in areas experiencing drought, the report by the Ceres investor network found.

Fracking those wells used 97bn gallons of water, raising new concerns about unforeseen costs of America's energy rush.

"Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country's most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions," said Mindy Lubber, president of the Ceres green investors' network. ...

A number of small communities in Texas oil and gas country have already run out of water or are in danger of running out of water in days, pushed to the brink by a combination of drought and high demand for water for fracking. ...

In California, where a drought emergency was declared last month, 96% of new oil and gas wells were located in areas where there was already fierce competition for water.

Hedge Fund Titan Spends $10M to Kill Keystone XL

Snowden revelations of NSA spying on Copenhagen climate talks spark anger

Developing countries have reacted angrily to revelations that the United States spied on other governments at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009. ...

Civil society groups from around the world condemned the US. "The UN climate talks are supposed to be about building trust – that's been under threat for years because of the US backward position on climate action – these revelations will only crack that trust further," said Meena Raman, negotiations expert from the Malaysian-based Third World Network.

"Fighting climate change is a global struggle, and these revelations clearly show that the US government is more interested in crassly protecting a few vested interests," said Brandon Wu, senior policy analyst with development organisation ActionAid in the United States.

US climate activist and founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, called the spying revelations "insane and disgusting".

US diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks in 2010 showed that the CIA had sought intelligence from UN diplomats about the negotiations in advance of the summit, and Snowden documents published last year revealed the US had spied on Indonesia at the Bali climate summit in 2007.








Blog Posts of Interest

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

International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance

Deputy drug czar reluctantly admits marijuana is less deadly than alcohol

Blowup over Scarlett Johansson’s Super Bowl ad highlights Israel boycott movement

Wheeler: “Clapper Confirms NSA Engages In Domestic Surveillance,” It's Not Just “Terrorism”

The New Snowden Revelation Is Dangerous for Anonymous — And for All of Us

Amnesty International report: The State Decides Who I Am



A Little Night Music



Piano Red - Rockin' With Red

Piano Red - Big Rock Joe From Kokomo

Piano Red - Jump Man Jump

Dr Feelgood (aka Piano Red) - Mr Moonlight

Piano Red - Whisky

Piano Red - Diggin' The Boogie

Piano Red - Rock baby

Piano Red - I'm Nobody's Fool

Piano Red - Get Up Mare

Piano Red - The Sales Tax Boogie

Piano Red - Pay It No Mind

Piano Red - Do she love me

Piano Red - Layin' the Boogie

Piano Red - You Ain't Got A Chance

Piano Red - Decatur Street Boogie

Piano Red - This Old World


Piano Red - Underground Atlanta

Piano Red - She's Dynamite






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 Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.

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