The Evening Blues - 8-16-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Big Maceo Merriweather



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues and boogie woogie piano player Big Maceo Merriweather. Enjoy!



Big Maceo Merriweather - Kid Man Blues

“Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.”

-- Abbie Hoffman


News and Opinion


As Twitter Suspends Alex Jones, Should We Worry About Silicon Valley Regulating Speech?

Alex Jones responds to his Twitter ban by posting a 13-minute video to Twitter

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones responded to Twitter’s seven-day platform ban Wednesday by posting a video to Twitter in which he blasted the company for its ineffectual attempt to shut him down.

Twitter announced its decision late Tuesday, saying it had restricted Jones’ personal account after he posted a link to a Periscope video in which he told supporters to get their “battle rifles” ready against antifa, the mainstream media, and “Chicom operatives.” The network said the tweet violated its rules, and they asked Jones to delete the post. He did, and that triggered a seven-day period during which he won’t be able to tweet, retweet, or like any messages.

But hours after the restrictions went into effect, Jones posted a 13-minute video via the Infowars Twitter account, decrying what he sees as another part of Silicon Valley’s efforts to censor him. [Click the link if you want to see the video, I will not post it here.- js] ...

Jones can also still reach an audience via Infowars.com, though the website did come under attack earlier this week and was knocked offline for a short period. Jones accused a cabal of Chinese communists, Hollywood and the left for the “hack attack.”

Framing media restrictions on his output as a war, Jones said Wednesday: “Infowars is now a rallying cry for free speech in Americana, so I am very honored to be under attack.”

‘Brennan’s erratic conduct & behavior’: Trump revokes security clearance of ex-CIA chief

Trump just revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance

President Donald Trump yanked the White House security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday, and he could target others critical of him next. The move was announced by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who cited “the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.”

Brennan, CIA chief from 2013-17, has been vocal about his disdain for Trump on the president’s most-used social media platform, tweeting Tuesday that he would “never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our nation.” He echoed those comments in an MSNBC appearance Tuesday night. ...

Brennan’s verified [Twitter] account has been pretty much tweeting only about Trump over the past several months, often criticizing him for attacking the Russia investigation.

Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, wasn’t consulted before Trump’s move to revoke, according to CNN. ...

Trump is also reviewing the security clearances of other former officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, the Washington Post reported. Comey apparently no longer has his security clearance anyway. The White House is also considering revoking security clearances from former director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, among others.

Shed Not a Tear for War Criminal John Brennan, Say Legal Experts, But Also Recognize Danger of Trump Abusing Power to Punish Critics

While Democratic senators, corporate talking heads, former national security officials, and Twitter pundits issued dire proclamations about the "dangerous precendent" President Donald Trump set on Wednesday by revoking former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance for obviously vindictive and political reasons, critics of America's far-too-powerful intelligence apparatus were quick to express how little sympathy they feel for Brennan, given his utterly horrendous track record of defending torture and masterminding the Obama administration's deadly drone program.


But while well-established critics of the American national security state refused to shed a single tear for Brennan—or, for that matter, any of the other former intelligence officials on Trump's so-called enemies list—the very fact that Trump has such a list and is using the power of the presidency to punish the individuals on it sparked alarm among journalists and civil libertarians. "The First Amendment does not permit the president to revoke security clearances to punish his critics," Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, argued in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the fact that the officials on Trump's list have frequently denounced the president on television.

"Brennan's record is full of grave missteps, and we have been unsparing in our criticism of his defense of the CIA torture program and his role in unlawful lethal strikes abroad," Wizner added. "But Trump's revocation of Brennan’s clearance, and his threats to revoke the clearances of other former officials for the sole reason that they have criticized his conduct and policies, amount to unconstitutional retaliation. They are also part of a broader pattern of seeking to silence or marginalize critics, which includes forcing staff to sign unconstitutional non-disclosure agreements."


Brennan hits back at Trump and calls denials of Russian collusion 'hogwash'

John Brennan has called Donald Trump’s repeated denials that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election “hogwash,” and accused the president of revoking his security clearance as part of a “desperate” attempt to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation.

The war of words between the former CIA director and the president escalated on Thursday, as Brennan hit back after being stripped of his security clearance by the White House the previous day – an unprecedented presidential intervention that has prompted widespread criticism. A statement from Trump said he had taken the step due to Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior”.
Brennan, who was CIA director during the Obama administration, has increasingly criticized Trump in recent months.

Writing in an article for the New York Times published on Thursday, Brennan described the decision as “politically motivated” and “an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him”.

Making Analysts Nervous, Trump Reportedly Relaxing Cyber-Warfare Rules

In a move that immediately sparked alarm among national security analysts, President Donald Trump on Wednesday reportedly scrapped a classified Obama-era memo that set detailed restrictions on how and under what circumstances cyberweapons can be used.

According to the Wall Street Journal—which first reported Trump's move late Wednesday—the rollback was described by one administration official briefed on the decision as an "offensive step" toward loosening constraints on the military's ability to deploy cyberweapons against foreign "adversaries."

One anonymous official told the Journal that Trump's ultra-hawkish national security adviser John Bolton began calling for the elimination of the Obama-era memo shortly after he arrived in the White House in April. "The Trump administration has faced pressure to show that it is taking seriously national-security cyberthreats—particularly those that intelligence officials say are posed by Moscow," the Journal noted. "Top administration officials are also devising new penalties that would allow stronger responses to state-sponsored hacks of U.S. critical infrastructure... a mounting worry due to Russia's efforts to penetrate American electric utilities." ...

White House officials told the Journal that Trump has replaced Obama's directive with his own rules, but they refused to provide any details.

Saudi-Canada Diplomatic Row Obscures Canada’s Support for the Deadly War on Yemen

Yemen school bus bombing 'one of 50 strikes on civilian vehicles this year'

The bombing of a bus full of schoolchildren last week was just one of more than 50 airstrikes against civilian vehicles by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen so far this year, according to new data. The data also shows that the monitoring body set up in Riyadh purportedly to investigate incidents of civilian casualties has supported the Saudi military version of events in almost every case.

The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) has not issued comprehensive statistics but has instead issued periodic press statements. And according to an analysis by Human Rights Watch (HRW), out of 75 incidents where civilian casualties were reported, JIAT has admitted Saudi rules of engagement may have been broken in only two.

In 10 more cases, JIAT has conceded that civilians may have been killed in error and said that compensation would be paid, but human rights advocates said there was so far no sign of any payments being made. “None of the victims’ families we reached out to said they had been contacted,” said Kristine Bekerle, a HRW researcher, noting that the cases where compensation had been promised were up to two years old.

Statistics collated by an independent monitoring group, the Yemen Data Project, suggest that the targeting of the schoolbus was part of a wider pattern. According to its records, there have been 55 airstrikes against civilian vehicles and buses in the first seven months of this year – a higher rate than in 2017. The group’s analysis of over 18,000 strikes from March 2015 to April 2016 found that almost a third (31%) of the targets were non-military – civilians or civilian infrastructure – 36% were military, while another third were classified as having an unknown target.

Brazil's jailed former leader Lula registers as presidential candidate

Senate Dems Demand 'Immediate Action' to Reunite Immigrant Families Torn Apart by Trump

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), joined by 16 other Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday demanding "immediate action" to reunite the immigrant families torn apart and detained under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy.

More than 500 immigrant children remain separated from their parents—many of whom already have been deported—despite a June federal court order requiring the administration to reunite all families by July 26. Since the administration missed that deadline, immigrant rights groups and critical lawmakers have, as the letter (pdf) puts it, expressed "extreme frustration" over the prolonged separation. ...

The letter presents Nielsen three solutions to speed up the process:

  1. DHS should use humanitarian parole to reunify families with deported parents abroad;
  2. DHS should adopt a presumption of reunification for families with parents now deemed "ineligible"; and
  3. DHS should ensure that no parents who relinquished their rights to reunification under coercion or duress are removed.

More than 70 percent of the 539 children that remain in government custody, according to the letter, are there because their parents have been deported, and "many such parents are now hiding in their home countries from the very persecutors they fled in coming to the United States to seek protection"—hence the suggestion that DHS offer these parents humanitarian parole.

Another 87 children's parents have been deemed "ineligible" for reunification, yet in many cases, "the government has failed to provide detailed information regarding its allegations." The letter demands that the agency immediately provide such details, and provide parents the opportunity to offer a rebuttal, with the help of an attorney.

The remaining 34 children are in custody because their parents relinquished their right to reunification. The letter states that lawmakers are "alarmed" by allegations which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has put forth in court that Trump officials misled or coerced these parents to sign such waivers ahead of their deportation.

John Carlos Frey: Deported Parents Say Trump Administration Is Still Separating Families at Border

Chief of U.S. immigration agency is totally cool with helping ICE deport people

The man responsible for removing the words “We are a nation of immigrants” from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ mission statement spoke at an event Wednesday hosted by a hard-line anti-immigration think tank. Lee Francis Cissna, who has served as USCIS director since October, sat down with Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group on account of its record of publishing false or misleading information about immigrants. ...

The appearance came just days after USCIS was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, who accused the agency of coordinating a plot with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to trap and arrest individuals seeking legal residency. ... “USCIS is, like it or not, part of a cycle,” Cissna said, defending cooperation with ICE. “That involves our sister components in immigration, like ICE, CBP, etc. Together we adjudicate and handle the lawful immigration program.”

Cissna also took advantage of the appearance at the National Press Club in Washington to defend his decision to alter the agency’s mission statement. “The first thing I did, what I wanted to do, was to redefine, clarify, what the purpose of the agency is,” Cissna said. “I looked at the old mission statement and I concluded it didn’t really do that. So I started from scratch.” The previous statement affirmed a dedication to securing “America’s promise as as nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers,” as well as granting immigration and citizenship benefits. Now, thanks to Cissna, the mission of USCIS is to administer “the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values."

In short, he has transformed the agency from a service accommodating those hoping to obtain visas or greencards, to an American guard dog. ... Under Cissna’s leadership, the backlog of naturalization applications at USCIS has skyrocketed by 87 percent, which critics suggest is a ploy to delay citizenship for individuals during a critical midterm election year. “The Trump admin has built a second wall that prevents legal immigrants in the U.S. from becoming voting U.S. citizens,” Joshua Hoyt, the executive director of an immigrant advocacy group, told NBC News.

Donald Trump Isn’t Just Slashing the Refugee Quota, He’s Dismantling the Entire Resettlement System

It has been four years since Deborah Jane was attacked by a gang of men led by her abusive ex-husband. The men scalded the then-39-year-old mother of four with acid as punishment for speaking out about the domestic abuse suffered by many women in her rural Ugandan community. Maimed and fearing for her life, Jane fled to Nairobi, Kenya, where, after a lengthy process, she won a coveted spot on the list of refugees to be resettled in the United States. She arrived alone in Columbus, Ohio, in January 2016, and immediately applied to have her children — the youngest of whom was 4 years old — to join her in the U.S. A year later, around the same time Donald Trump assumed the presidency, her paperwork was approved. “We just needed the children to do interviews, medical — a few things, and then they’d be able to come,” Jane told The Intercept, “But since then, there has been only silence.” ...

She has lobbied numerous times at the offices of both Ohio senators — Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman — and has sought legal help from refugee advocacy groups and local churches, but feels no closer to an answer. “No one can tell me what the real problem is — only that their cases are not moving. I think the current administration just doesn’t want refugees like me to come here. ...

As the world’s already-unprecedented refugee population continues to climb, the Trump administration is considering slashing the annual refugee cap to 25,000 for the 2019 fiscal year, down from this year’s historic low of 45,000, the New York Times reported earlier this month. The administration last year suspended all refugee resettlement for 120 days and diverted resources and personnel away from refugee processing, further weakening an already-backlogged system. These disruptions have caused a cascade of delays and interagency confusion, while a lack of transparency leaves refugees and advocates alike at the mercy of an increasingly antagonistic system. Sources familiar with the program describe chaos amid shifting security protocols, with particular detriment to refugees from the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries.

The president is expected to announce his recommended refugee quota in September, ahead of the October 1 start of the fiscal year. Regardless of what he decides, however, advocates report that the refugee quota is no longer a reliable indicator of actual refugee admissions. At the current pace, the administration is on track to settle about 20,000 refugees — out of a global population of roughly 25 million — by September 30, the end of the fiscal year. In 2017, the U.S. admitted only 33,000 refugees, marking the first time that the country resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world. “In the past, refugee numbers fluctuated at times, but it was always understood to be temporary, with the goal to return to the normal numbers around 95,000,” said Adam Bates, policy counsel for the International Refugee Assistance Project, “but this is different. It seems as if the administration is trying to rewrite the status quo — a status quo that is very hostile to refugees, and immigrants in general.” ...

The drastic decrease in refugee admissions has led to the weakening of decades-old systems that help refugees transition to life in their new home, making it likely that the program will have to be rebuilt if a future U.S. administration moves toward welcoming more refugees.

Aretha Franklin, 'the queen of soul', dies aged 76

The great American soul singer Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76, her representative has said. She was reported to have been gravely ill with her family at her bedside. ...

Franklin had been in ill health since 2010, when she was diagnosed with a tumour but returned to intermittent live performance after undergoing surgery. She died of advanced pancreatic cancer. Despite having announced her retirement from performing in 2017, she was due to headline two shows at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest this April but cancelled on doctor’s orders. Her last performance was at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during Elton John’s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John Aids Foundation on 7 November 2017.

Known as “the queen of soul”, Franklin sold more than 75m records in her lifetime and won 18 Grammy awards. She had 77 entries in the US Billboard Hot 100 and 20 No 1 singles on the R&B chart. ...

Franklin was born on 25 March 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. The family moved to Buffalo, New York, when Franklin was two years old, and settled in Detroit, Michigan two years later. It was in Detroit, shortly after her mother’s death, that the 10-year-old Franklin started singing solos at New Bethel church, where her father was a preacher whose political sermons led Martin Luther King to stay with the family when he visited Detroit.

Clarence LaVaughn (CL) Franklin began managing his daughter and included her in his “gospel caravan” church tours. He assisted Franklin in signing first to JVB Records, which released her debut, Songs of Faith, in 1956, then to Columbia to pursue a pop career. After a first flush of success in the early 1960s, Franklin signed to Atlantic in 1966, where she flourished with an extraordinary run of singles including her cover of Otis Redding’s Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say a Little Prayer. In 1972, she released the live album Amazing Grace, which showcased her gospel background.





the evening greens


These families are at the mercy of pipeline companies that want to build across their backyards

Louisiana has over 100,000 miles of pipeline, and the most recent addition, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, is causing major headaches for homeowners along the route. Just like with the Dakota Access Pipeline, not everyone wants it crossing their backyard. Like Pat Trahan. When she raised concerns about potential environmental damage and tried to negotiate with the company building the Bayou pipeline, her family was threatened with a lawsuit.

“It just sounded like they have more lawyers than we could ever have, and they'd eventually win,” Trahan told VICE News. “They wore my husband down.”

The pipeline is part of a huge network that includes the Dakota Access Pipeline, and moves crude from Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to refineries and export terminals hundreds of miles south. In Louisiana, oil pipeline companies have almost unlimited powers of eminent domain, meaning they can take private property in court when landowners refuse to sell. And Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind Bayou Bridge, hasn’t been shy about using this right along the pipeline’s 163-mile route. ...

Anne Rolfes, executive director of environmental group the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said property owners ultimately have no option to object to a pipeline crossing their land. “We've realized that there isn't any oversight and that the state isn't carrying out its function regarding eminent domain,” said Rolfes. “I think it's an issue on which really conservative lawmakers are quite concerned because it's about companies seizing private property.”

The NSA’s Role in a Climate-Changed World: Spying on Nonprofits, Fishing Boats, and the North Pole

NSA’s interest in environmental issues is limited, it’s wide-reaching and has grown over the years. Unsurprisingly, the agency is driven not by an imperative to avoid climate-induced ecological crises, but by a need to respond to such crises as they threaten U.S. political and economic interests or explode into violent clashes.

According to the documents, the NSA targets its surveillance at disputes over natural resources, from the dwindling fisheries of the South China Sea to the newly opened shipping channels of the Arctic. It also plays a role in monitoring natural disasters, including by gathering intelligence after an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011. Documents previously reported on show the agency routinely surveils climate talks, giving U.S. negotiators an edge as they avoid committing to the dramatic emissions reductions necessary to avoid the most dire potential effects of climate change. Intelligence is shared not only with diplomats and emergency responders but also with officials from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department.

The NSA’s eco-spying coincided with repeated findings within the intelligence community that environmental concerns had national security implications. The military has long recognized climate change as a major threat, and over the years, the Defense Department has framed it as a “threat multiplier,” enflaming conflicts by adding to the mix issues like drought, loss of access to drinking water or irrigation, rising sea levels, migration and die-offs of wild game, wildfires, catastrophic storms, and the human displacement that comes with all such issues. A previously published NSA document, dated May 14, 2007, quoted then-Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James Clapper at an internal NSA conference saying, “Increasingly, the environment is becoming an adversary for us. And I believe that the capabilities and assets of the Intelligence Community are going to be brought to bear increasingly in assessing the environment as an adversary.”

The U.S. intelligence community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment, released in February 2018, dedicates a section to the issue of climate change. “The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possibly upheaval—through 2018,” the assessment said. But under President Donald Trump, security officials have sometimes avoided talking about climate change. Neither the Defense Department’s 2018 defense strategy nor the president’s national security strategy highlight the issue as a security threat. Nonetheless, Trump’s military, intelligence, and border agencies are responding to issues whose links to climate change may not be outwardly apparent — from the war in Syria, which has been linked to an earlier drought; to the hurricanes that ravaged Houston and Puerto Rico; to emigration from Central America, where a prolonged period without rain in recent years made agriculture in the region’s Dry Corridor extremely difficult. The documents hint at, but do not fully capture, the potentially vast role of the surveillance state in a climate-changed world.

Stalling Trump's 'Illegal Rubber-Stamp' of Keystone XL, Federal Court Orders Full Environmental Review

Rejecting what critics have called the Trump administration's "illegal rubber-stamp" of the Keystone XL pipeline, a federal court in Great Falls, Montana has sided with opponents of the project and mandated a full environmental impact review for the proposed route. "This is a huge win for the landowners and Tribal Nation members whose water and environment would be forever threatened by this dangerous tar sands project," declared Jackie Prange, senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council.

"The court saw through the sham fast-track environmental review that TransCanada and the State Department were trying to shove past Nebraska landowners and Tribal Nations," responded Mark Hefflinger of Bold Alliance. "We'll continue to stand together against this tar sands export pipeline that threatens our land, water, and climate at every opportunity, and at every public hearing during the new court-ordered review of Nebraska."

After President Donald Trump reversed the Obama administration's decision to block the TransCanada pipeline—which would run through Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada as well as Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska—regulators in Nebraska approved a path that was not part of the federal government's 2014 environmental impact statement. Last month, the Trump State Department issued a draft assessment (pdf) for the Mainline Alternative Route (MAR) through Nebraska, but U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on Wednesday ordered a full review.

While opponents of Keystone XL continue to fight both in court and beyond—by organizing protests, installing solar panels along the planned route, and returning land to local tribes—they celebrated Morris's ruling as a step toward permanently blocking the project.

With Only One Percent of Leases Sold, Even Fossil Fuel Industry Understands Trump's Offshore Drilling Plan Is Ridiculous

In yet another rebuke to the Trump administration's claims that opening wide swaths of the ocean to the ravages off fossil fuel production is wise or necessary, an auction for more than 14,000 offshore drilling leases on Wednesday received little enthusiasm from oil and gas companies.

The Interior Department managed to sell fewer than one percent of the tracts, making the auction even less successful than its last sale in March, when just over one percent of leases went to buyers.

The sale will bring in $180 million, but with offers from only 30 companies, climate action groups took the largely failed auction as a sign that there is an end in sight for the destructive method of oil extraction, as progressive leaders call for a shift to renewable energy sources. ...

The leases sold in Wednesday's auction are in the Gulf of Mexico. The Center for Biological Diversity joined other green groups in applauding the Trump administration's failure to sell more leases to corporate polluters—but noted that even the 144 tracts the Interior Department auctioned off have the capacity to damage wildlife habitats and endanger lives as companies extract oil and gas.

Glyphosate—It's What's for Breakfast

A study of dozens of popular oat-based breakfast foods delivered sobering news this week when almost all of the products examined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) were found to contain the chemical glyphosate.

"We're very concerned that consumers are eating more glyphosate than they know," said Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs at EWG, in a statement. Glyphosate is classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization and was listed last year as a chemical known to cause cancer by California.

Out of 45 products "made with conventionally grown oats," all but two were found to contain glyphosate. EWG also tested two organic brands, detecting the chemical in five samples. Thirty-one of the breakfast foods were found to contain levels of glyphosate that were higher than the level that EWG deems safe for children.

Quaker Simply Granola, Giant Instant Oatmeal, Quaker Dinosaur Eggs Instant Oatmeal, and Quaker Steel Cut Oats had some of the highest levels of the chemical.

Canada Celebrated for Banning Bee-Killing Neonics While US Backslides

While the Trump administration recently moved to roll back a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides in U.S. wildlife refuges, conservationists are celebrating Canada "for recognizing the overwhelming body of scientific evidence on neonics and phasing out these dangerous pesticides."

"These bee-killing pesticides pose a serious threat to public health, the environment, and our entire food system," declared Tiffany Finck-Haynes, a senior food futures campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.S., applauding the Canadian government's new policy.

Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency on Wednesday unveiled plans to phase out two of the three main neonics currently allowed in the country. As The Canadian Press noted, "The agency has already announced plans to phase out the third pesticide in all outdoor uses, meaning it can't be sprayed or used to pre-treat seeds before planting."

Although scientists and activists have urged the Trump administration to follow suit, disgraced former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt positioned himself as a lackey of the chemical industry, and his replacement, former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, isn't expected to be much better.

"Unfortunately, it looks like the EPA is trying to be the last agency on Earth to recognize that these pesticides should be banned," concluded Finck-Haynes, who also blamed "leading food retailers" that "continue to disregard science."



Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Chicago Faces a Defining Moment in Police Reform and Civil Order

NSA Cracked Open Encrypted Networks of Russian Airlines, Al Jazeera, and Other “High Potential” Targets

Here’s Paul Manafort’s last-ditch effort to avoid 305 years of jail time


A Little Night Music


Big Maceo Merriweather w/Tampa Red - Worried Life Blues

Big Maceo Merriweather w/Tampa Red - I´m So Worried

Big Maceo Merriweather w/Tampa Red - Won't Be a Fool No More

Big Maceo Merriweather - Big City Blues

Big Maceo Merriweather w/Tampa Red - Since You Been Gone

Big Maceo Merriweather w/Tampa Red - Texas Stomp

Big Maceo Merriweather - Without You My Life Don't Mean a Thing

Big Maceo Merriweather w/Tampa Red - Anytime For You

Big Maceo Merriweather - Detroit Jump

Big Maceo Merriweather - Have You Heard About It?



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Comments

Eagles92's picture

This evening, to include a tribute to the Queen of Soul. RIP Aretha.

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19 users have voted.
JekyllnHyde's picture

@Eagles92

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19 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture

@Eagles92

thanks for the tune. she was certainly one of the world's greatest soul singers. in my opinion, she had few equals and there was none better.

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6 users have voted.
JekyllnHyde's picture



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28 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

heh, he was a piece of work and one of america's best political organizers. i loved the fact that in a world of very serious political activists, he had a sense of humor and wasn't afraid to use it.

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7 users have voted.

fantastic, but it was only two days ago that I gave my heart to Cripple Clarence Lofton and even I ain't that fickle. (-;

In the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic, a very young Lewis and his cousin, Jimmy Swaggart (yeah, him) are shown listening outside the door of a "honky tonk." I have to believe that Lofton and Merriwether were among the musicians they heard. Young Swaggart supposedly concludes that kind of music must be sinful and runs away; young Lewis agrees and listens more eagerly. Nonetheless, IRL, Swaggart did a lot of that kind of piano tinkling during his religious broadcasts.

I did not appreciate Lewis until a few years ago, when I watched a PBS program about Sun records during which Lewis played piano. Now, I am a fan of the music, though not necessarily of the man. (Must grudgingly admit that I even enjoyed Kid Rock's singing during that program, as did Jerry Lee Lewis.)

In this video, Quaid portrays Lewis upstaging Chuck Berry by setting his piano on fire ("Follow that, Killer."), but the piano and vocal is by Lewis.

Despite the shirt, the two videos below are not the same.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@HenryAWallace

well, i have been wrong a few times. Smile

jerry lee grew up in louisiana, a place that had tons of great piano players - some known, some whose names and music have been lost to time. he wouldn't have been short of opportunities to find influences among blues and boogie-woogie piano players.

while i've never had much of a warm spot for jerry lee lewis as a person, he really had something as a musician, songwriter and entertainer. that is undeniable.

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5 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

Then again, I haven't been mining for errors.

Please ping me if it happens again. (-:

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2 users have voted.

@joe shikspack JLL the man is an unapologetically difficult person who I think is probably equal parts devil and angel. (The fight between the secular and the sacred is huge in his story.) No denying the talent though. Sam Philips always said he was the biggest talent he ever worked with and intent to believe him.

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1 user has voted.
mimi's picture

with Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. Darn it, the year 1967 was just the greates year evah...

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11 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@mimi but I won't. Here now.

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7 users have voted.

Question authority = civil disobedience

mimi's picture

@QMS
What was good about that? 1967 was my personal best and worst year. So, there, I argue, here, now. Wink

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6 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@mimi we all should have a good one in there somewhere? It's tough to put a value on time, though, as you say, some memories are better than others.

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9 users have voted.

Question authority = civil disobedience

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

heh, it's hard not to like a person with great musical taste. Smile

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5 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

Not by site, but rather by the gatekeepers that we use to spread our message.

I recently went to Steven_D's feed on Twitter to take a look at all the C99 links I've remembered him posting. NOT ONE showed up over the last 2 weeks. I know I saw multiple over the past few days.

The only workaround to this is to DIRECTLY share the work with an @. It works fine for a bit, but the next day, the link's GONE. In that case, ONLY the person who is @'d seems to see the work. If they Retweet, ONLY the people who are watching at the time see the retweet.

No real point in using it any more. Going to connect with my best online friends but keep the twitter feed running, but only because the Cafe needs a social media presence.

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8 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

joe shikspack's picture

@detroitmechworks

i can't say as i'm too surprised at that. the only thing that is mildly surprising is the apparent thoroughness of the censors.

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

clearance--but, didn't get to 'take it with me' ;-)--I find the MSM hysteria to be amusing.

As I see it, DT's Administration is absolutely not likely to call on the expertise of a Brennan (Clapper, etc.). And, I rather doubt that any other Administration--of either Party--in similar circumstances, would consider reaching out to any of the folks on the list.

As far as I know, the next Administration--if they should value Brennan's expertise--can reinstate his clearance. Also, I'm totally against the ability of any/all of these 'spook' Dudes/Dudettes being able to monetize their clearances--as some have clearly done--i.e., grabbing up 'talking head' jobs, serving on corporate Boards, writing books, etc.

(That sentiment applies to all retired/former public servants--including lawmakers, if they are accorded the same privilege.)

Without a current clearance, their 'currency' will definitely be diminished.
Tough. I believe that it was Brennan who admitted to using his security clearance for the purpose of reviewing material that he wanted to include in a book (for profit). That kind of activity is not the intended purpose of this privilege, IMO.

Now, what I would have a problem with, is if they (DT or his Administration) actually try to shut down any of these spooks, or, in any way block them from speaking their minds--in any medium! If that day comes, I'll be screaming from the rooftops with the best of them, rest assured.

Thanks for tonight's OT, Joe. Had a very hectic day, and expect tomorrow to be far worse. So, just in case, will wish folks a nice weekend in advance!

(Luckily, so far, those severe thunderstorms have not materialized. Fingers crossed!)

Bye

Blue Onyx


"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
~~Lao Tzu

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15 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
degree, you do not take it with you. Grunts, at any rate don't. When you no longer have employment requiring it, it goes bye bye and it should, especially if you are going to abuse it, or if you have a job as a private spook or media talking head, both of which Brennan has done.

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12 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@enhydra lutris

to crouch in the corner after posting that comment. Biggrin

Seriously, glad someone else feels the same way!

Blue Onyx


"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
~~Lao Tzu

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9 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

frankly, this should not be an issue. security clearances ought to be paired with employment and terminate when employment does. even in the case of people switching jobs, it would seem that there ought to be a clearance review to make sure that the clearance level matches the needs of the new employment.

if clearances were handled properly in the first place, trump would not have the opportunity to use them as leverage or for retaliation.

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11 users have voted.

@Unabashed Liberal

surprise, MSNBC.

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4 users have voted.
orlbucfan's picture

She was born with a set of 'pipes.' I have an original promotional copy of the vinyl LP signed by the DJ doing the promotion.

You tell them sister!

May she rest in much deserved peace! Rec'd!!

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10 users have voted.

Some yahoos make me want to change species!

QMS's picture

@orlbucfan freedom of the soul. Gone beyond restrictions and pain. Left behind a whole lotta love. Were it to be we could do as much as she.

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9 users have voted.

Question authority = civil disobedience

joe shikspack's picture

@orlbucfan

she did indeed have a fine set of pipes. thanks for the tunes!

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4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

me. Helps build strong bodies 12 ways. I am mystified, however, how this can be since study after study found no material evidence of material overspray, drift or contamination of non-GMO crops. Could it be that those studies were faulty?

At any rate, it is now in the hands of I.G. Farben Bayer A.G., who, with their vast expertise on the appropriate and inappropriate use and application of poisons like (cough) zyklon B, will see to it that everybody is kept safe and healthy.

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11 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

divineorder's picture

@enhydra lutris We had not eaten oatmeal in some years until a recent visit with my uncle, now 84.

He treated us to a breakfast of the Old Fashioned Quaker. We enjoyed it so much, bought some when we got home. Ate that and just bought more.

Glad to see this list published. Think we will bury the new batch and try out one of the others on the list.

Hate to tell my Uncle. He is a widow and now lives alone, really enjoys this breakfast.

Heh.

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

enhydra lutris's picture

@divineorder
oats. Looks like plain old rolled oats, even Quaker, isn't on the max ugly list, so why not go for it, it's probably in damn near everything else too.

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8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

@enhydra lutris

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

since glyphosate is in virtually everything, one has to wonder if oatmeal is more of a risk than, say, soy products - tofu anyone?

Glyphosate is present at all levels of the food chain: in water, plants, animals, and even in humans. Every single study that has measured human contamination with glyphosate has found it.

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LeChienHarry's picture

@joe shikspack Levels because it is so prevalent. The labs accept that every specimen checked for glyphosate has a certain amount. This is a world wide level.

The other thing that does not happen is that each chemical is checked individually before being set loose on us, but not checked for interactions or new compounds and their influence on us collectively.

Pears are sprayed with industrial strength RoundUp along the tree rows to reduce grass/weed growth near tree trunks and drip irrigation. After picking the skins are checked for residue but not the meat of the fruit. I have been told by growers that they feel there has to be uptake into the fruit.

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3 users have voted.

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

joe shikspack's picture

@LeChienHarry

the chemical industry is the poster child for industries that wield too much political power. the government agencies that are responsible for protecting human health from these corporate behemoths test far too little. this is certainly intentional.

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2 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

thank goodness i have always despised oatmeal. well, except for oatmeal raisin cookies and oatmeal stout. Smile

heh, it might be retrospective justice if monsanto goes down and takes i.g. farben with it.

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smiley7's picture

ten thousand strong on Franklin Street with Hoffman, at least six professions ago. Not sure at times we've progressed at all; especially when attempting to wade through this new social media.

The evening blues has been an oasis, thank you.

For some years, i've found comfort in Nessun Dorma when times are dark and challenges overwhelming:

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

i'm not sure if we've progressed at all either, but the contradictions have certainly been sharpened to a pretty fine edge.

have a great evening!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

spending/costs from Kaiser.

https://twitter.com/jcubanski/status/1027624608948613120

Hopefully, I'll be able to post the line graph as an embed next week. Sorry!

[Edit: This is nuts! Now, I can't get a Tweet to embed in this (FireFox) browser--although it worked yesterday. (May just delete app, and download it again.) Anyhoo, I'll temporarily post the URL.]

Have a good one!

Blue Onyx


"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

how's this?

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

be difficult to post a Tweet in FireFox. In a minute, I'm going to see if I have any luck, turning off the virus containment function for the browser window.

Can't remember if I posted the other Tweets in a regular window--not using that function, IOW. Wish me luck! Wacko

Blue Onyx

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

good luck! Smile

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3 users have voted.
janis b's picture

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

a sad loss, indeed. thanks for the tune!

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

https://twitter.com/tricia_neuman/status/1026441759465922560

and

Fingers crossed!

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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Blue Onyx


"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

up
3 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

lotlizard's picture

I bet this story doesn’t get big national exposure (even spilling over onto the German tax-supported TV news) — unless, of course, they can find a way to fit this into the narrative that all open expressions of racism after 2015 are the 45th president’s fault.

Detroit Rep. Bettie Cook Scott on Asian opponent: “Don't vote for the ching-chong!”

 
Both are Democrats.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

wow. that's pretty disappointing behavior. glad to hear that scott lost to her primary challenger.

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2 users have voted.