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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 zydeco musician Boozoo Chavis.  Enjoy!

Boozoo Chavis - Paper In My Shoe


News and Opinion

Here is proof that the Obama administration at the highest levels cannot be trusted to fairly, prudently and honestly wield the powers they have arrogated unto themselves in the name of national security.  Not only are they a bunch of fucking liars, they are people that lack the honor and decency to admit when they have made a simple mistake and apologize for it.

How Obama Officials Screamed ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error

After seven years of litigation, two trips to a federal appeals court and $3.8 million worth of lawyer time, the public has finally learned why a wheelchair-bound Stanford University scholar was cuffed, detained and denied a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii: FBI human error.

FBI agent Kevin Kelley was investigating Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004 when he checked the wrong box on a terrorism form, erroneously placing Rahinah Ibrahim on the no-fly list.

What happened next was the real shame. Instead of admitting to the error, high-ranking President Barack Obama administration officials spent years covering it up. Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and a litany of other government officials claimed repeatedly that disclosing the reason Ibrahim was detained, or even acknowledging that she’d been placed on a watch list, would cause serious damage to the U.S. national security. Again and again they asserted the so-called “state secrets privilege” to block the 48-year-old woman’s lawsuit, which sought only to clear her name. ...

In his declaration, Holder assured Judge Alsup that the government would not be claiming national security to conceal “administrative error” or to “prevent embarrassment” — an assertion that is now nearly impossible to square with the facts.

At one point, Judge Alsup dismissed the case. A federal appeals court reinstated it in 2012, more than a year after Alsup tossed it. A month before Ibrahim’s trial, the judge said he learned the Kafkaesque truth. “I feel that I have been had by the government,” he said in a November pretrial conference.

Last week he laid it out all in his final order in the case, ruling for Ibrahim following a five-day, non-jury trial that was conducted largely behind closed doors in December.

At long last, the government has conceded that plaintiff poses no threat to air safety or national security and should never have been placed on the no-fly list. She got there by human error within the FBI. This too is conceded. This was no minor human error but an error with palpable impact, leading to the humiliation, cuffing, and incarceration of an innocent and incapacitated air traveler. That it was human error may seem hard to accept — the FBI agent filled out the nomination form in a way exactly opposite from the instructions on the form, a bureaucratic analogy to a surgeon amputating the wrong digit — human error, yes, but of considerable consequence.
The Terrible Toll of Secrecy

The Intercept’s inaugural exposé, by my colleagues Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, illuminates the deeply flawed interaction between omnipresent electronic surveillance and targeted drone killings –- two of the three new, highly disruptive instruments of national power that President Obama has pursued with unanticipated enthusiasm.

All three (the third being cyberwar) have a lot in common. Despite their staggering implications, Obama has proceeded to establish the rules for them unilaterally, almost entirely in secret, based on dubious legal arguments, largely unchecked by judicial or congressional oversight, and with a seemingly unshakeable yet remarkably unfounded faith in their value. ...

The White House’s record of truth-telling when it comes to drone warfare is appalling. Years of administration arguments that civilian casualties in drone attacks have been inconsequential have proven again and again to be specious. Before Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s March 2013 assurance to Congress that the government wasn’t collecting data on Americans in bulk, the administration’s single biggest whopper might have been White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan’s assertion in June 2011 that over the previous year there had not been a single collateral death from drone strikes. ...

Obama himself is hardly unaware of the dreadful downside of errant drone strikes. As Daniel Klaidman reported in his book, “Kill or Capture,” Obama authorized his very first drone strike on the third full day of his presidency, after having been assured by then-CIA director Michael Hayden that the targets were high-level al Qaeda and Taliban commanders. The Hellfire missile he sent into a compound in Pakistan instead killed a prominent pro-government tribal elder and four members of his family, including two children. ...

How Obama’s faith in his military and intelligence leaders was restored or remained unflagging after all these incidents, despite the skepticism that he so clearly displayed during his first presidential campaign, is surely one of the great mysteries facing his supporters today, and historians tomorrow.

Drone on Your iPhone: Apple Drops Objections to App Tracking U.S. Strikes Overseas

Appelbaum: 'No belief that president has control'

Q: Yet it doesn't seem that there is any real oversight of the intelligence community. In a recent article published in the New Yorker, Ryan Lizza quoted US Senator Ron Wyden who used to quip: "What do I know? I'm only on the Intelligence Committee." Can anybody rein anything in, does anyone have checks on the NSA?

A: I went to Senator Wyden's office a couple of years ago and said, ‘I know what the secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act is, and I'd like to talk with someone about that because I think this is a problem.' And I told them what I thought this secret interpretation was, which is that basically everything is fair game and the ‘business records' provision is perhaps the scariest part because it makes corporations essentially agents of the state ...basically [they've] been told to give up their work product in secret to the intelligence agencies and that if they don't do that, they are violating some alleged legal power. And all of this happens in secret and they're not allowed to talk about it.

And Wyden's office was a little surprised - the staffer I told this to, he sort of dropped his jaw when I said this, I think, because I'm not supposed to know ... And it's inevitable, when you create structures that have access to this kind of power in secret, you can't have democratic oversight of them because by the very definition they exist outside of the rule of law, in terms of oversight.

We ask General Alexander and Clapper and Holder and Obama and then they lie to us. They lie to people that are on the intelligence committees. And that's because the system itself, the structure of the system is fundamentally an unjust structure. And so I don't have a lot of hope about the US reining in the intelligence community in this regard. In fact, I have almost no belief that the president has control over these things. It's really depressing to say that, but I think that that's true.

The Semantics of Obama's 'Targeted Killing'—Er, 'Assassination' Program

obama nobel drone strikesIn an interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald and subsequent discussions with prominent news outlets, the Washington Post's Erik Wemple explores why Monday's headline by Greenwald and colleague Jeremy Scahill felt comfortable using the term "assassination" as they described the manner in which the U.S. government targets and executes individuals it has accused of terrorists activity overseas.

The term the White House and Department of Justice have used to describe the controversial activity is "targeting killing," and most major media outlets—including the Associated Press, New York Times, and the Washington Post itself—have taken the government's lead on that choice of phrase.

Greenwald, however, disagrees and was adamant that the term "assassinate" is the both accurate and important.

“What we’re trying to do is use the accurate term rather than the euphemistic term that the government wants us to use,” Greenwald told Wemple, adding that “most media outlets wouldn’t do it.”

If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a US Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination

President Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That’s big news this week. But hidden in plain sight is the fact that Amazon would be an accessory to the assassination.

Amazon has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide the agency with “cloud” computing services. After final confirmation of the deal several months ago, Amazon declared: “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”

The relationship means that Amazon -- logoed with a smiley-face arrow from A to Z, selling products to millions of people every week -- is responsible for keeping the CIA’s secrets and aggregating data to help the agency do its work. Including drone strikes. ...

As the largest Web retailer in the world, Amazon has built its business model on the secure accumulation and analysis of massive personal data. The firm’s Amazon Web Services division gained the CIA contract amid fervent hopes that the collaboration will open up vast new vistas for the further melding of surveillance and warfare.

Amazon is now integral to the U.S. government’s foreign policy of threatening and killing.

Karim Khan, Anti-Drone Activist Who Lost Family Members to U.S. Strike, Goes Missing in Pakistan

Prominent Anti-Drone Activist Kidnapped in Pakistan

A prominent Pakistani anti-drone campaigner and journalist whose son and brother were killed by drones was abducted February 5th by over a dozen men [who were wearing police uniforms and plain clothes], just before he was set to travel to Europe to testify to lawmakers about the war crimes wrought by U.S. drone strikes. He is currently missing, according to his family. ...

Kareem Khan lost his 35-year-old brother, Asif Iqbal, a teacher, and his 18 year-old son Zaneullah Khan, who had just graduated high school and was a staffer at a government school and construction worker, when a U.S. drone struck his home in Machikhel, a village in North Waziristan, on December 31, 2009. The third man who died in the attack was a stonemason who had come to town to work on the village mosque.

Khan stated in a previous interview with CNN, "When my house was attacked, it flashed on the news that militants have been killed. There were no militants in my house, neither on the day of drone strike nor before. My house wasn't a training center, either. Only innocent people were killed."

Khan is currently in the midst of legal proceedings against the Pakistani government for its failure to investigate the deaths of his family members, which he charges constitute murder under Pakistani law, according to the UK-based charity Reprieve. A hearing before the Islamabad High Court had been scheduled for Tuesday.

Khan was also scheduled to meet with German, Dutch and British parliamentarians later this week to testify on his personal experience and journalistic reporting of U.S. drone strikes.

Rand Paul to sue Obama administration over NSA

Sen. Rand Paul will sue President Barack Obama and top officials in the National Security Agency over surveillance.

Paul's political action committee, RandPAC, announced plans by the Kentucky senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate to file a class-action challenge on Wednesday.

The suit also will name National Intelligence Director James Clapper, outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander, and FBI Director James Comey.

Rush Holt: Stop treating Americans as suspects

At long last, New York City is abandoning the discriminatory and counterproductive practice of “stop-and-frisk.” ... The New York Police Department also was guilty, in recent years, of targeting Muslim places of worship, restaurants and community groups for special scrutiny. Infiltrating college Muslim organizations or surveilling shoppers at halal markets even far outside New York City is enforcement out of control.

And on a much broader scale, the National Security Agency is collecting a vast and ever-expanding trove of even personal records on nearly all Americans: phone calls, emails, text messages and even records from World of Warcraft and Angry Birds. ...

Decades of evidence show the wastefulness of mass surveillance. Only 2 percent of the people “stopped-and-frisked” were found to be carrying weapons. The NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim communities identified zero terrorists. Meanwhile the NSA’s surveillance program has — according to several Senate Intelligence Committee members, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and a White House panel — stopped zero terrorist attacks. ...

These examples underscore the lessons that Americans first learned 40 years ago, the last time the federal government turned its surveillance powers on its own citizens. In 1975, the NSA was revealed to be intercepting all incoming and outgoing telegraphic and other electronic traffic from the United States.

The Americans targeted were political dissidents, anti-war activists, politicians, journalists and others deemed threatening to existing government policies. Few if any unlawful acts were uncovered, but vast law enforcement resources were wasted investigating the innocent, and a generation of Americans grew to fear their government’s actions and motivations. ...

The questions before us now are these: Will we learn from his example and rein in the surveillance state once more? Will Congress pass legislation to repeal the laws that enabled the newest abuses of mass surveillance?

US Plummets in Press Freedom Rankings

It may be the 'country of the First Amendment,' but the United States once again received an abysmal ranking from Reporters Without Borders, an international press monitoring and journalism advocacy group, in its annual review of how well nations protect the rights of individual journalists and overall press freedoms.

According to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, the U.S. rank fell from 32nd overall in 2013 to 46th this year, a drop of 13 places which the group said was was a reflection of the detrimental effect on journalism caused by the Obama administration's "hunt for leaks and whistleblowers"—which was highlighted by the fallout over NSA disclosures made possible by Edward Snowden.

Attacks on journalists and individuals working to inform the public of government misdeeds, said the group's report, has chilled dissent and journalism by issuing a de facto "warning to those thinking of satisfying a public interest need for information about the imperial prerogatives assumed by the world’s leading power."

U.S. Plunges in Global Press Freedom Rankings As Obama Wages "War on Whistleblowers"

The Next Big Thing You Missed: A Would-Be Dropbox Meant to Thwart the NSA

BitTorrent was best known as an internet protocol that let people swap pirated movies and music at the expense of big Hollywood studios and record labels. But then came a Belarusian engineer named Konstantin Lissounov.

About a year ago, Lissounov joined a hackathon sponsored by his employer, BitTorrent Inc., a company that seeks to transform the peer-to-peer protocol into a legitimate means of file-sharing for both consumers and businesses, and in a matter of hours, he slapped together a new BitTorrent tool that let him quickly and easily send encrypted photos of his three children across dodgy Eastern European network lines to the rest of his family. The tool won first prize at the hackathon, and within a few more months, after Lissounov honed the tool alongside various other engineers, the company delivered BitTorrent Sync, a Dropbox-like service that lets you seamlessly synchronize files across computers and mobile devices.

The difference is that, thanks to the BitTorrent protocol, which connects machines without the help of a central server, the service isn’t controlled by Dropbox or any other organization, including BitTorrent itself. This means it could be less vulnerable to surveillance by the NSA and other government organizations, and that seems to have struck a chord with many people across the net. Each month, according to BitTorrent, about 2 million people now use Sync, including not only individuals but businesses looking for simpler, safer, and more secure ways of sharing data across systems. “It immediately proved magical,” says BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker.

Utah lawmaker floats bill to cut off NSA data centre's water supply

The National Security Agency, already under siege in Washington, faces a fresh attempt to curtail its activities from a Utah legislator who wants to cut off the surveillance agency’s water supply.

Marc Roberts, a first-term Republican lawmaker in the Beehive State, plans this week to begin a quixotic quest to check government surveillance starting at a local level. He will introduce a bill that would prevent anyone from supplying water to the $1bn-plus data center the NSA is constructing in his state at Bluffdale.

The bill is about telling the federal government “if you want to spy on the whole world and American citizens, great, but we’re not going to help you,” Roberts told the Guardian. ...

The logic of the Utah campaign is straightforward. Running the data center requires a lot of water – some 1.7m gallons daily, the activists estimate – to cool the anticipated 100,000 square feet of powerful computers and support equipment the NSA needs for storing a tremendous amount of data. The Wall Street Journal estimated this to be in the range of exabytes or even zettabytes (an exabyte is a billion gigabytes.)

Making it illegal to supply the water will cripple the data center, already beset with electrical problems, before it opens and complicate the NSA’s plans for expanding its storage capacity. For an agency that hoovers up a wide swath of the data communicated across the internet, not to mention the phone records of Americans that it can store for up to five years, it’s a problem.

Lights Out for NSA? Maryland Lawmakers Push to Cut Water, Electricity to Spy Agency Headquarters

The National Security Agency’s headquarters in Ft. Meade, Md., will go dark if a cohort of Maryland lawmakers has its way.

Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency “material support, participation or assistance in any form” from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts.

The bill would deprive NSA facilities water and electricity carried over public utilities, ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.

State or local officials ignoring the NSA sanctions would be fired, local governments refusing to comply would lose state grant funds and companies would be forever barred from state contracts.

The bill was filed as emergency legislation and requires support of three-fifths of delegates to pass. It was referred to the chamber’s judiciary committee.

NSA facilities in Maryland use a massive amount of water and electricity, the supply of which might be jeopardized by the legislation.

Sex, Virus & Computer Hack: GCHQ spy arsenal revealed

Bing caught censoring search results in US

No comment.

That’s Microsoft’s response to new revelations that the search engine is censoring Chinese searches in the United States — not just in China. Searches on Chinese topics in the U.S. now produce markedly different search results than Google, results that mimic those  in China. China broadly censors the Internet, blocking topics like the Dalai Lama and Tiananmen Square.

The censorship blog was the first to point out  that Bing’s search results display information propagated by Chinese authorities. A Chinese language search in Bing for the Dalai Lama produces two results from China’s Wikipedia (Baidu Baike) and one from the state-owned television station CCTV. In Google, the same search returns two Wikipedia entries and the Dalai Lama’s official site.

Even more shocking, a search for the anti-censorship software FreeGate produces the result: “Due to restrictions on Chinese laws and regulations, we removed the results of these search terms. For more information, see here.”

Microsoft responded to a request from Charlie Smith’s Greatfire to explain the discrepancy. At first, the  software juggernaut replied: “We’ve conducted an investigation of the claims raised by First, Bing does not apply China’s legal requirements to searches conducted outside of China. Due to an error in our system, we triggered an incorrect results removal notification for some searches noted in the report but the results themselves are and were unaltered outside of China.”

But after finding the “due to Chinese laws and regulations” search result, Microsoft replied: “Thanks for your inquiry. We have no comment on this topic.”

Microsoft’s claim of an incorrect results removal doesn’t seem to hold water. When conducting the same search Wednesday, Raw Story found that Bing produced the same results.

The Jet that Ate the Pentagon

Leaked phone call on Ukraine lays bare Washington’s gangsterism

The US media has shown remarkably little interest in the tape of a telephone call between Victoria Nuland, the State Department’s top official on Europe and Eurasia, and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, which was posted on YouTube and became the subject of international controversy beginning last Thursday. ...

In his State of the Union speech last month, Obama declared: “In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully, and to have a say in their country’s future.”

What the tape makes clear, however, is that Washington is employing methods of international gangsterism, including violence, to effect a political coup aimed at installing a regime that is fully subordinate to US geo-strategic interests. This operation has no more to do with democracy than the US-orchestrated coups in countries like Chile and Argentina some 40 years ago. ...

Nuland personifies the continuity of US foreign policy, from the crimes of the Bush administration to the deepening of these crimes under Obama. She served as a chief foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney when the then-vice-president was spearheading the policies of aggressive war, rendition and torture abroad and erecting the infrastructure of a police state at home.

Her husband is Robert Kagan, the right-wing foreign policy pundit who served as the founding chairman of the Project for a New American Century, the neo-conservative Washington think tank that played a key role in the political and ideological preparation for the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

Secret Tape Reveals US-backed Plot to Topple Ukraine's Democratically-Elected President

Washington is at it again, up to its old tricks. You’d think that after the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascos someone on the policymaking team would tell the fantasists to dial-it-down a bit. But, no. The Obama claque is just as eager to try their hand at regime change as their predecessors, the Bushies. This time the bullseye is on Ukraine, the home of the failed Orange Revolution, where US NGOs fomented a populist coup that brought down the government and paved the way for years of social instability, economic hardship and, eventually, a stronger alliance with Moscow.

That sure worked out well, didn’t it? One can only wonder what Obama has in mind for an encore.

Let’s cut to the chase: The US still clings to the idea that it can dominate the world with its ham-fisted military (that hasn’t won a war in 60 years) its scandalized Intel agencies, its comical Rambo-style “Special Ops” teams, and its oh-so-brilliant global strategists who think the days of the nation-state will soon be over hastening the onset of the glorious New World Order. Right. Ukraine is a critical part of that pipe dream, er, strategy which is why the US media puts demonstrations in Kiev in the headlines while similar protests in the US are consigned to the back pages just below the dog food ads. In any event, the crisis is likely to intensify in the months ahead as Washington engages in a no-holds-barred tug-o-war with Moscow over the future of civilization.

For bigwig strategists, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ukraine is a war that Washington must win to maintain its position as the world’s only superpower. As he sees it, the US must establish outposts throughout Eurasia to diminish Russia’s influence, control China, and capitalize off the new century’s fastest growing region. ... It’s the Great Game all over again and Ukraine is one of the biggest trophies, which is why the US has allied itself to all kinds crackpot, rightwing groups that are stirring up trouble in Kiev.

Victoria Nuland: US Has Invested $5 Billion In The Development of Ukrainian, "Democratic Institutions"

This is a really good article. It's well worth a read.
The real problem with US Common Core: it further outsources education

There's a pretty good chance that up until last week, you'd never heard of the Common Core national standards and curriculum. That changed recently when New York State became the largest state thus far to see a sharp reversal in the adoption of the standards. A bipartisan group of legislators proposed suspending the use of the Common Core assessment tests, based largely on the rebellion of the state's largest teacher's union. After endorsing a plan three years ago that would link teacher evaluations to student test scores, the union has now seen the actual testing results – available for the first time last fall – and isn't so sure. ...

The Common Core was formulated and promoted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and brought to national implementation by the National Governors Association. The Department of Education (DOE) has promoted heavily. More importantly, the Obama administration has essentially drafted it as a de facto set of official national standards. Barred by federal law from "directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials", the DOE has used the promise of "Race to the Top" grants in exchange for adopting the Common Core standards and process. ...

The Gates Foundation spent $170m to create the program, largely independent of input (financial or intellectual) from actual school systems, but with the suggestions and guidance of corporations. The non-profit company that actually authored Common Core, Achieve Inc, boasts that it is "the only education reform organization led by a board of directors of governors and business leaders".

Corporations continue to support the Common Core as a part of workforce development. ... At least Achieve Inc and the Gates Foundation are non-profits. The companies contracted to administer the Common Core assessment tests – the key to the entire system – are the same for-profit entities that have been doing a none-too-successful job of testing America's students for the past few decades: in the past 10 years, Pearson, one of those companies, has paid out over $20m in fines because of lost, misgraded, or otherwise mishandled student tests. ...

Perhaps the most alarming report out of New York wasn't how badly students were doing on the tests, but that Pearson Inc "included corporate logos and promotional material in reading passages". ... I am not so conspiracy-minded as to think that the Gates Foundation is consciously shaping the educational system to some malicious intent, but I am concerned that the Common Core, successful or not, will normalize the idea of simply outsourcing education and bring to a whimpering end one of the final refuges Americans have against the modern era's non-stop assault of marketing and commercial persuasion.

The Evening Greens

Up To 2,000 Gallons Of Oily Water Spilled In Puget Sound By Navy

Officials are responding to a spill of oily bilge water in Washington’s Puget Sound. The spill occurred at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and has spread 10 miles north to Hood Canal.

State agencies estimate that up to 2,000 gallons spilled Monday when a ship was pumping out oily discharge at the naval facility. The pier-side transfer system failed and overflowed.

Chevron lights up Southwestern Pennsylvania with fracking explosion

An explosion at a natural gas fracking well in Pennsylvania on Tuesday has sent one person to the hospital, left one person injured and sparked a fire that could take days to contain.

According to a statement from well operator Chevron, the fire broke out at approximately 6:45 Tuesday morning at their well in Dunkard Township in Greene County, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. ...

A team from Wild Well Control, a company that specializes in dealing with well blowouts, has been called in to assist with the efforts, and state police have set up a half mile perimeter as a safety precaution.

West Virginia Hit Again as Rupture Spews Coal Slurry Into Creek

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry poured into an eastern Kanawha County stream Tuesday in what officials were calling a "significant spill" from a Patriot Coal processing facility.

Emergency officials and environmental inspectors said roughly six miles of Fields Creek had been blackened and that a smaller amount of the slurry made it into the Kanawha River near Chesapeake.

"This has had significant, adverse environmental impact to Fields Creek and an unknown amount of impact to the Kanawha River," said Secretary Randy Huffman of the state Department of Environmental Protection. "This is a big deal, this is a significant slurry spill."

"When this much coal slurry goes into the stream, it wipes the stream out." ...

For most of the day, the DEP was operating under the assumption that MCHM, the chemical that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians last month, was included in the spilled slurry. Huffman said that they learned late in the day that the facility had stopped using MCHM just a few weeks ago, so a different coal-cleaning chemical was involved. ...

Coal slurry contains a variety of substances that are likely more toxic than Crude MCHM or polyethylene glycol. It contains heavy metals, like iron, manganese, aluminum and selenium.

December train derailment spilled 475,000 gallons of oil, data show

New numbers in a federal database show that a Dec. 30 train derailment near Casselton, N.D., spilled nearly 475,000 gallons of crude oil, more than officials originally estimated.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration maintains a database on such spills going back to 1975. A McClatchy analysis of the data last month showed that more crude oil was spilled from trains in 2013 than in the previous four decades combined.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident, in which a derailed grain train caused the derailment of a crude oil train traveling the opposite direction on an adjacent track. The spilled oil ignited a massive fire, causing hundreds of nearby residents to evacuate. ...

The new total means that more than 1.2 million gallons of crude oil spilled from railcars last year, not including the Quebec disaster. Only 800,000 gallons were spilled from 1975 to 2012.

Blog Posts of Interest

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

You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi.

Five surveillance myths stalling NSA reform, debunked

Federal Prosecutions Fail to Bring Justice in New Orleans

Clapper Reads From the Bush/Cheney/Nixon Playbook to Fear-Monger Over Transparency

A Little Night Music

Boozoo Chavis - Johnny Billy Goat

Boozoo Chavis - Goin' to The Zydeco

Boozoo Chavis - Lula Lula Don't You Go To Bingo

Boozoo Chavis - Sassy One-Step

Boozoo Chavis - I'm Ready Me

Boozoo Chavis - Motor Dude Special

Boozoo Chavis - Dance All Night

Boozoo Chavis - Ramble

Boozoo Chavis - Boozoo Stomp

Boozoo Chavis - Keep Your DressTail Down

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 12, 2014 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.

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