The Evening Blues - 6-18-19


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: O.V. Wright

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features deep south soul singer O.V. Wright. Enjoy!

O.V. Wright - Drowning On Dry Land

"Just as a person who is always asserting that he is too good-natured is the very one from whom to expect, on some occasion, the coldest and most unconcerned cruelty, so when any group sees itself as the bearer of civilization this very belief will betray it into behaving barbarously at the first opportunity."

-- Simone Weil

News and Opinion

How a Right-Wing Attack on Protections for Native American Children Could Upend Indian Law

A law key to preventing state welfare agencies from separating Indigenous children from their families is at risk of being overturned thanks to the yearslong effort of a network of libertarian and right-wing organizations. In the 1970s, between a quarter and a third of Indigenous children across the United States had been removed from their homes. Social services often cited neglect or deprivation — euphemisms for poverty — as grounds for placing children in the custody of non-Native families and institutions, offering birth parents little opportunity for redress. Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 in order to reform a system designed to destroy Indigenous people.

Last October, a U.S. district judge in Texas declared the law unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection clause, arguing that it creates a separate set of practices for a so-called racial group. The federal government and four tribes appealed the decision, which is currently pending before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. If the ruling is upheld and the case makes its way to the Supreme Court, it could not only upend protections for the nation’s most vulnerable children, but also undermine a foundational concept of Indian law: that to be Indian is political, not racial.

The campaign against the Indian Child Welfare Act fits into a wider right-wing effort to legally challenge civil rights-era gains that have remained instrumental in shielding marginalized communities from America’s foundational systems of discrimination and genocide.

Leading the charge against the law is the Goldwater Institute, which brands itself as a “free-market public policy research and litigation organization” that supports limited government and private property rights. The institute has participated in 12 cases challenging ICWA in the last five years. The Texas decision is its biggest victory yet. The Cato Institute and the Project on Fair Representation, founded by the strategist responsible for two major Supreme Court cases challenging affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act, also filed briefs in the Texas case.

Tribal leaders, child advocates, and attorneys specializing in Indian law worry that if the Texas ruling is upheld, it could open the door to constitutional challenges of a range of federal laws based on Native American tribes’ political relationship with the U.S. government, including the Major Crimes Act, which establishes the federal government’s law enforcement role on reservations; the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which governs casinos on tribal land; federal policies that allow tribes to regulate the oil and gas industry; and programs that offer housing and health care to Native American communities.

'If This Is True, They Are Even Bigger Lunatics Than We Realized': UN Officials Reportedly Believe Trump Planning 'Massive' Bombing Campaign in Iran

As the Trump administration prepares to deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in a move critics warned will heighten the possibility of all-out war with Iran, United Nations officials reportedly believe the U.S. is also planning a major "aerial bombardment" of an Iranian nuclear facility.

United Nations officials are "assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran," the Jerusalem Post reported Monday, citing anonymous diplomatic sources at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

"According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives, and advisers to President Donald Trump," the Post reported. "The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program."

One "Western diplomat" told the Post that the bombing campaign would be "massive" but "limited to a specific target."

The reported plans come after the Trump administration blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, citing video and photographic evidence that has been characterized as inconclusive at best and completely false at worst.

While raising concerns about the sourcing of the Post's report, critics raised alarm at the possibility that the Trump administration is planning to bomb Iran, noting that even a single airstrike would likely prompt a devastating military conflict in the Middle East. ...

Ryan Costello, policy director at the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), noted that the Post's reporting "tracks with what Pentagon officials said is [the] most likely option last month."

US to send 1,000 more troops to Middle East, citing 'hostile behavior' by Iran

The US is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to “hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups”, Patrick Shanahan, the acting defence secretary, announced on Monday. The move further heightens tensions between the two nations. Last week Washington blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tanker ships, which came more than a year after Donald Trump announced that the US was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal and restoring economic sanctions.

“I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Shanahan said in a statement. “The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region.” ...

Officials told the Associated Press the deployment included security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering and was among options initially laid out to US leaders late last month. Those options included as many as 10,000 troops, along with Patriot missile batteries, aircraft and ships.

Iran Says It’s 10 Days Away From Breaching the Nuclear Deal

Iran issued an ultimatum to Europe on Monday, warning that unless the bloc did more to circumvent crippling U.S. sanctions, Tehran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium would exceed the limits agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal by the end of the month. Tehran announced it has increased low-enriched uranium production fourfold and would exceed the limit of 300 kilograms by June 27. Iran will now enrich uranium “based on the country’s needs” Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran's nuclear agency, said Monday.

Kamalvandi said Iran needs 5% enrichment for its nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr and it also needs 20 percent enrichment for a Tehran research reactor. Anything up to 20 percent is considered low enriched. Weapons-grade uranium is typically 90 percent enriched. Tehran could theoretically use 20 percent enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, but so much of it would be needed that it would not be practical. ...

Iran on Monday called on the European signatories to do more, saying that it was willing to reverse the new measures if France, Germany and the U.K. were willing to help the country circumvent U.S. sanctions. “I think til now the Europeans have not done their part and they've wasted a lot of time,” Kamalvandi said during the press conference. “They have given us a lot of good words but not deeds.”

US secretary of state declares “military response” to Iran “being considered”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday continued the Trump administration’s belligerent threats against Iran, declaring in an interview on CBS “Face the Nation” that the US was “considering a full range of options.” Asked if that included “a military response,” he declared “of course.” ...

Last Friday, Yukata Katada, the president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company that owns the Kokuka Courageous tanker, rejected the claim that the ship had been damaged by limpet mines. “The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They saw something flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel. Then some crew witnessed a second shot.” Confronted with these remarks yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Pompeo simply dodged the question, declaring that “the intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence” and “the American people should rest assured we have high confidence with respect to who conducted the attacks.” He provided no evidence or data, however.

The Secretary of State gave a similar response when asked on CBS about comments by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas that the video was “not enough.” Pompeo baldly declared that Maas had seen “a great deal more than just the video” but did not elaborate. In a not-so-subtle swipe at Germany, he added that “there are countries that just wish this should go away and they want to act in a way that is counterfactual.” Germany is not the only country to question the lack of evidence. Japan Today reported yesterday that the Japanese government had also requested further proof. ... Another source close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the website: “These are not definitive proof that it’s Iran. Even if it’s the United States that makes the assertion, we cannot simply say we believe it.” ...

In what amounted to a blunt threat, Pompeo implied that the threat of war would force other countries to line up with the US. On Fox News Sunday, he noted that “very little of our crude oil comes through the Gulf,” then added that other countries—China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia—were highly dependent. “I am confident that when they see the risk, the risk to their own economies and their own people… they will join us,” Pompeo boasted. At this stage only Britain and several Gulf States have backed the US claims.

Pentagon claims new photos show Iran responsible for tanker attacks

The Pentagon on Monday released more photographs related to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, claiming the images provide evidence Iran was responsible. ...

Nothing in the photos or accompanying documents reveal evidence of the placement of the magnetic mines on the ship. But in a statement, the Pentagon claimed that "Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine."

Worth a full read:

U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage That Is Deadly, Illegal, and Ineffective

While the mystery of who is responsible for sabotaging the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman remains unsolved, it is clear that the Trump administration has been sabotaging Iranian oil shipments since May 2, when it announced its intention to “bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue.” The move was aimed at China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, all nations that purchase Iranian oil and now face U.S. threats if they continue to do so. The U.S. military might not have physically blown up tankers carrying Iranian crude, but its actions have the same effect and should be considered acts of economic terrorists.

The Trump administration is also committing a massive oil heist by seizing $7 billion in Venezuela’s oil assets--keeping the Maduro government from getting access to its own money. According to John Bolton, the sanctions on Venezuela will affect $11 billion worth of oil exports in 2019. The Trump administration also threatens shipping companies that carry Venezuelan oil. Two companies--one based in Liberia and the other in Greece--have already been slapped with penalties for shipping Venezuelan oil to Cuba. No gaping holes in their ships, but economic sabotage nonetheless. ...

The U.S. sanctions against Iran are particularly brutal. While they have utterly failed to advance U.S. regime change goals, they have provoked growing tensions with U.S. trading partners across the world and inflicted terrible pain on the ordinary people of Iran.  Although food and medicines are technically exempt from sanctions, U.S. sanctions against Iranian banks like Parsian Bank, Iran’s largest non-state-owned bank, make it nearly impossible to process payments for imported goods, and that includes food and medicine. The resulting shortage of medicines is sure to cause thousands of preventable deaths in Iran, and the victims will be ordinary working people, not Ayatollahs or government ministers.

U.S. corporate media have been complicit in the pretense that U.S. sanctions are a non-violent tool to inflict pressure on targeted governments in order to force some kind of democratic regime change. U.S. reports rarely mention their deadly impact on ordinary people, instead blaming the resulting economic crises solely on the governments being targeted. ...

Since the use of military force, coups and covert operations to overthrow foreign governments have proven catastrophic in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, Honduras, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, the idea of using the dominant position of the U.S. and the dollar in international financial markets as a form of “soft power” to achieve “regime change” may strike U.S. policymakers as an easier form of coercion to sell to a war-weary U.S. public and uneasy allies. But shifting from the “shock and awe” of aerial bombardment and military occupation to the silent killers of preventable diseases, malnutrition and extreme poverty is far from a humanitarian option, and no more legitimate than the use of military force under international humanitarian law.

Denis Halliday was a UN Assistant Secretary General who served as Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq and resigned from the UN in protest at the brutal sanctions on Iraq in 1998. "Comprehensive sanctions, when imposed by the UN Security Council or by a State on a sovereign country, are a form of warfare, a blunt weapon that inevitably punishes innocent citizens,” Denis Halliday told us. “If they are deliberately extended when their deadly consequences are known, sanctions can be deemed genocide. When U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright said on CBS ‘Sixty Minutes’ in 1996 that killing 500,000 Iraqi children to try to bring down Saddam Hussein was ‘worth it,’ the continuation of UN sanctions against Iraq met the definition of genocide.” ...

Twenty years ago, as economic sanctions slashed Iraq’s GDP by 48% over 5 years and serious studies documented their genocidal human cost, they still failed to remove the government of Saddam Hussein from power.

Pompous Maximus kneels and kisses the ring Saudi ass again:

Pompeo blocks inclusion of Saudi Arabia on US child soldiers list

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has blocked the inclusion of Saudi Arabia on a list of countries that recruit child soldiers, dismissing his experts’ findings that a Saudi-led coalition has been using underage fighters in Yemen’s civil war, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The decision, which came after a fierce internal debate, could prompt new accusations by human rights advocates and some lawmakers that the Trump administration is prioritizing security and economic interests in relations with Saudi Arabia, a major US ally and arms customer. ...

State department experts recommended adding Saudi Arabia to the soon-to-be released list based in part on news reports and human rights groups’ assessments that Riyadh has hired child fighters from Sudan to fight for the US-backed coalition in Yemen, the four sources said. ...

Pompeo rejected the recommendation from the experts, who are from the state department’s anti-human trafficking office, said the four sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. The office has a key role in investigating the use of child soldiers worldwide.

Mohamed Morsi: Six Years After Coup, Egypt’s First Democratically Elected President Dies in Court

Mohamed Morsi buried as detention conditions denounced as torture

Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi has been buried in a remote area of Cairo as his treatment in custody before his death was denounced as torture.

Morsi, the only democratically elected civilian leader in Egypt’s history, fainted in court on Monday and was pronounced dead on arrival in hospital. He was prosecuted on numerous charges after his one-year rule was brought to an end by a military coup in 2013. His burial in the outlying Nasser City district took place under heavy security. Morsi’s son Ahmed told the Associated Press that Egyptian authorities had refused to allow a burial at the family grounds in Sharqiyah province.

The UN called for an independent investigation into Morsi’s death and his treatment in custody. Crispin Blunt, the former chair of the foreign affairs select committee in the UK parliament, also called for an investigation. Blunt led an independent review by British MPs in March last year which concluded that the conditions in which Morsi was being kept were likely to lead to his premature death, and which condemned his treatment as cruel, inhumane and degrading.

Blunt said his main concern was that Morsi’s liver disease and diabetes were not being treated. “Dr Morsi’s death in custody is representative of Egypt’s inability to treat prisoners in accordance with both Egyptian and international law,” he said. ...

Rights groups say political prisoners including accused members of the Muslim Brotherhood are targeted for mistreatment while in mass incarceration. According to the US state department, this includes deliberate prolonged solitary confinement lasting almost six years in some cases, where prisoners are forbidden to leave their cells for more than an hour a day. Authorities have denied accused Brotherhood members and supporters full access to legal assistance, visits from their families and medical treatment.

Julian Assange Indictment “Criminalizes the News Gathering Process,” Says Pentagon Papers Lawyer

Worth a full read, transcripts of some chats at link.

Brazilian Judge in Car Wash Corruption Case Mocked Lula’s Defense and Secretly Directed Prosecutors’ Media Strategy During Trial

Brazil’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro, while serving as a judge in a corruption case that upended Brazilian politics, took to private chats to mock the defense of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and direct prosecutors’ media strategy, according to newly unearthed chats from an archive obtained by The Intercept Brasil. The new revelations, which were published in Portuguese by The Intercept Brasil on Friday, have added fuel to a weeklong political firestorm in Brazil. The country’s largest circulation newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, said the reporting suggests that officials “ignored the limits of the law,” while UOL, a news website, said jurists view the revelations as “grave.” The site quoted the head of a national criminal law association saying, “This is unthinkable in any democracy. It’s scary.”

In the newly revealed chats with a senior prosecutor — a member of the team working on the Operation Car Wash corruption case — Moro said, “Maybe, tomorrow, you should prepare a press release” to point out inconsistencies in Lula’s arguments, adding, “The defense already put on their little show.” Moro’s advice was a major deviation from their previous communications strategy, but prosecutors did as he asked — further evidence of bias and unethical collaboration between the two parties in the case that sent Lula to prison on corruption charges, making the most popular politician in Brazil ineligible to run in the 2018 presidential election.

The newly published chats come from an archive of documents, provided to The Intercept Brasil by an anonymous source, which includes years of private communications from the prosecutorial task force responsible for the Car Wash case, the largest anti-corruption investigation in Brazilian history. ...

In an interview on Friday with the Estado de São Paulo newspaper, Moro said, “The Brazilian legal tradition does not prevent personal contact and such conversations between judges, lawyers, detectives, and prosecutors.” This type of communication is “absolutely normal,” he added. However, the chats published by The Intercept Brasil show that the communication went far beyond “personal contact” and “conversations” to include directives as to how the prosecutors should operate inside and outside of the courtroom.

FBI Never Saw CrowdStrike Unredacted or Final Report on Alleged Russian Hacking Because None was Produced

CrowdStrike, the controversial cybersecurity firm that the Democratic National Committee chose over the FBI in 2016 to examine its compromised computer servers, never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, the Justice Department has admitted. The revelation came in a court filing by the government in the pre-trial phase of Roger Stone, a long-time Republican operative who had an unofficial role in the campaign of candidate Donald Trump. Stone has been charged with misleading Congress, obstructing justice and intimidating a witness.

The filing was in response to a motion by Stone’s lawyers asking for “unredacted reports” from CrowdStrike in an effort to get the government to prove that Russia hacked the DNC server. “The government … does not possess the information the defandant seeks,” the filing says. In his motion, Stone’s lawyers said he had only been given three redacted drafts. In a startling footnote in the government’s response, the DOJ admits the drafts are all that exist. “Although the reports produced to the defendant are marked ‘draft,’ counsel for the DNC and DCCC informed the government that they are the last version of the report produced,” the footnote says.

In other words CrowdStrike, upon which the FBI relied to conclude that Russia hacked the DNC, never completed a final report and only turned over three redacted drafts to the government. ... At a time of high tension in the 2016 presidential campaign, when the late Sen. John McCain and others were calling Russian “hacking” an “act of war,” the FBI settled for three redacted “draft reports” from CrowdStrike rather than investigate the alleged hacking itself, the court document shows.

Then FBI Director James Comey admitted in congressional testimony that he chose not to take control of the DNC’s “hacked” computers, and did not dispatch FBI computer experts to inspect them, but has had trouble explaining why.

Russia thwarts U.S. cyber attacks on its infrastructure

Russia has uncovered and thwarted attempts by the United States to carry out cyber attacks on the control systems of Russian infrastructure, Russian news agencies cited an unnamed security source as saying on Monday.

The disclosure was made on Russia’s RIA and TASS news agencies days after the New York Times cited unnamed government sources as saying that the United States had inserted potentially disruptive computer code into Russia’s power grid as part of a more aggressive deployment of its cyber tools. ...

The Kremlin had said earlier on Monday that the U.S. newspaper report was worrying and showed that a cyber war was, in theory, possible.

Israel names a settlement in the occupied Golan Heights after Donald Trump

Netanyahu Just Put Up a Giant Gold “Trump” Sign in the Golan Heights

There’s a Trump Tower in New York, and one in Chicago, and one in Las Vegas. There was nearly one in Moscow. And now, thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there will likely be a settlement bearing Trump’s name in the disputed Golan Heights.

“Trump Heights” will be built in a region that Israel annexed from Syria more than 50 years ago. Golan Heights has never been internationally recognized as Israeli territory — that is, not until Trump tweeted out his announcement that the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the area.

Since the Six Day War in 1967, the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights have been occupied by Israel, while the eastern third has been under Syrian control. It’s estimated that about 130,000 Syrians were expelled from the Golan during the war and haven’t been allowed to return. The construction of Israeli settlements there had been internationally condemned.

The construction of 100 homes is slated to begin later this year. Haim Rokach, head of the Israeli Golan regional council, said he hopes that eventually they’ll build 400 homes there, according to the Guardian.

Keiser Report: Our Risk, Their Reward

'Shameful' Milestone: Congress Goes Record 3,615 Days Without Raising Federal Minimum Wage

Thanks to continued inaction by Congress, even in the face of soaring living costs and worsening inequality, Sunday marked a staggering 3,615 days since the last federal minimum wage increase.

That's the longest period of stagnation since the federal minimum wage was enacted under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, HuffPost reported. The minimum wage was last raised on July 24, 2009, from $6.55 an hour to the current rate of $7.25.

David Cooper, deputy director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), noted in a blog post on Monday that while the federal minimum wage has remained the same, its purchasing power has eroded significantly due to inflation.

According to CBS, "cost of living has jumped 18 percent" since the last miminum wage increase, "eroding the buying power of that $7.25 an hour to $6." ...

In an op-ed for CNBC on Saturday, Patriotic Millionaires chair Morris Pearl wrote that by failing to raise the minimum wage for nearly a decade, "Congress has left 11.4 percent of working Americans living with poverty wages despite working full-time jobs."

"16 Shots": Chicago Police Killing of Laquan McDonald Exposed a System Built on Lies

It Looks Like Germany’s Worst Fear Just Happened: a Far-right Political Assassination

For years, experts have warned that Germany’s increasingly radicalized far right would one day lash out with deadly violence against a politician. Now it appears this nightmare scenario has finally happened, underlining the arrival of a dangerous new political reality for the country.

German authorities announced Monday that the country’s federal prosecutor had taken over the investigation into the June 2 murder of Walter Lübcke, a prominent pro-refugee local politician, who investigators suspect was killed in a politically motivated assassination by a right-wing extremist. A 45-year-old man, arrested on Saturday on suspicion of having shot Lübcke, has a long track record of right-wing extremist associations, and a history of violent and xenophobic crimes, German media outlets reported.

Lübcke, 65, who served as the regional council chief in the western city of Kassel, was found with a gunshot wound to the head on the terrace of his home earlier this month. He was a constant target for far-right extremists and had previously received death threats for his pro-immigration comments; his death was celebrated online by neo-Nazis. The acknowledgment of a potential far-right connection in his killing has only amplified the shock over the popular politician’s death.

the evening greens

Because 'This Is a Public Health Crisis,' Pennsylvania Gov. Urged to Investigate Link Between Fracking and Childhood Cancers

More than 100 environmental groups and over 800 concerned citizens sent a letter on Monday urging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to investigate the link between fracking and growing cancer diagnoses, citing recent reports of rare forms of childhood cancer emerging in counties located near fossil fuel development projects.

The letter (pdf), which calls on Wolf to suspend drilling permits until a thorough investigation is conducted, comes after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette documented nearly 70 cases of childhood and young adult cancer diagnoses in rural Pennsylvania counties.

"This is a public health crisis that requires immediate and significant action," reads the letter, which was signed by local and national environmental leaders, including founder Bill McKibben and Concerned Health Professionals of New York co-founder Dr. Sandra Steingraber.

"Obviously, this high number of cancer cases among children in four counties in southwest Pennsylvania over the last eleven years is not only heartbreaking but extremely unusual," the letter states. "Scientific evidence about the harmful toxic chemicals used in gas drilling and fracking activities strongly suggest a connection. Many of the chemicals used in these activities are known carcinogens."

In its series on the public health effects of fracking in rural Pennsylvania counties, the Post-Gazette found 27 cases of the rare bone cancer Ewing sarcoma since 2008. The newspaper also documented more than a dozen children and young adult deaths from cancer during this period.

Emily Wurth, organizing co-director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement that the Post-Gazette's reporting confirms that "fracking presents clear threats to our drinking water, our air quality, and to the health and safety of residents in these sacrifice zones."

The Story of Water

Photograph lays bare reality of melting Greenland sea ice

Rapidly melting sea ice in Greenland has presented an unusual hazard for research teams retrieving their oceanographic moorings and weather station equipment.

A photo, taken by Steffen Olsen from the Centre for Ocean and Ice at the Danish Meteorological Institute on 13 June, showed sled dogs wading through water ankle-deep on top of a melting ice sheet in the country’s north-west. In the startling image, it seems as though the dogs are walking on water.

The photo, taken in the Inglefield Bredning fjord, depicted water on top of what Olsen said was an ice sheet 1.2 metres thick.

Melting events such as the one pictured would normally not happen until later in the summer, in late June or July. Ruth Mottram, climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute said it was too soon to say what role global warming had played, because although these temperatures were unusual, the conditions were not unprecedented and “still a weather-driven extreme event, so it’s hard to pin it down to climate change alone”. In general, however, she said: “Our climate model simulations expect there to be a general decline in the length of the sea ice season around Greenland, [but] how fast and how much is very much dependent on how much global temperature rises.”

On Saturday, the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang said weather models showed that temperatures over parts of Greenland peaked at 4.4C (40F) above normal last Wednesday, the day before the photo was taken.

'The New Normal': Ten of Thousands Flee Extreme Heatwave in India as Temperatures Topping 120°F Kill Dozens Across Country

Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation. Officials in Bihar reported that as of Monday, 76 people in total had died of heat-related conditions as temperatures in the region hovered around 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Hospitals have increasingly overflowed with patients reporting heatstroke since the heatwave began in early June. ...

About two-thirds of India is facing the heatwaves at the same time that roughly half of the country is struggling through its worst drought in six decades. ...

Thermometers registered 118 degrees in Dehli last week, while in Rajasthan, residents suffered through a 122-degree day last week.

The Australian organization Climate Council tweeted that human activity and the climate crisis are fueling the record-breaking rise in temperatures and drought, while Business Insider reporter Eliza Relman suggested that such heatwaves may represent a new normal for India and other parts of the world. ...

The Times in the U.K. reported that tens of thousands of residents in northern states have fled their homes in recent days, escaping communities where police have begun guarding water supplies as fighting has broken out over resources.

But as one observer, British Green Party politician Alex Armitage, pointed out, Indians who are able to flee their homes in search of cooler temperatures are likely in the minority and most will be forced to wait out the heatwave. Bihar, where many of the weekend's deaths were recorded, is one of the poorest states in the country.

Galápagos Islands: outcry after Ecuador allows US military to use airstrip

The Galápagos Islands are at the centre of political row in Ecuador after the government agreed to allow US anti-narcotics planes to use an airstrip on the archipelago which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Dozens of people demonstrated outside the main government office in Quito on Monday to protest against a plan they described as a threat to the world heritage site’s unique environment – and an attack on Ecuador’s sovereignty.

The Galápagos Islands, 563 miles west of the South American continent, are renowned for their unique plants and wildlife. Unesco describes the archipelago – visited by a quarter of a million tourists every year – as a “living museum and a showcase for evolution”.

Ecuador’s defense minister, Oswaldo Jarrín, provoked patriotic and environmental outrage last week when he said that US aircraft would be able to use the airbase on San Cristóbal Island, and described the islands as a “natural aircraft carrier”.

Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa tweeted: “Galápagos is NOT an ‘aircraft carrier’ for gringo use. It is an Ecuadorean province, world heritage site, homeland.” Correa – once a close ally but now a bitter enemy of his successor, Lenín Moreno – accused the government of capitulating to US pressure. Correa closed a US military base in Manta in 2008, changing the constitution to ban foreign military bases on Ecuadorean soil and in 2014 ordered all US defence department staff to leave the country.

Environment reporters facing harassment and murder, study finds

Thirteen journalists who were investigating damage to the environment have been killed in recent years and many more are suffering violence, harassment, intimidation and lawsuits, according to a study.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which produced the tally, is investigating a further 16 deaths over the last decade. It says the number of murders may be as high as 29, making this field of journalism one of the most dangerous after war reporting.

On every continent reporters have been attacked for investigating concerns about abuses related to the impact of corporate and political interests scrambling to extract wealth from the earth’s remaining natural resources.

Also of Interest

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

Washington state takes landmark step on missing Native American women

Chris Hedges: The Coming Show Trial of Julian Assange

Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: An Opposition Front Group is a Go-to Monitor for Western Media

Iran To Exceed Some Nuclear Deal Limits - EU Under Pressure To Fulfill Its Commitments

Trump Heights on Stolen Golan an Indictment of Colonial White Privilege

Trump’s Bipartisan Support for Eradicating the Palestinian Cause

'All-Out Assault on Science': Latest Executive Order by Trump Puts Expert Advice on the Chopping Block

Family Held at Gunpoint by Phoenix Cops Say Apologies Are a “Slap in the Face”

'Virginia Voters Are Finally Getting Fair Maps': Rights Advocates Celebrate US Supreme Court Ruling on Racial Gerrymandering

How Trump's census question could transform America's electoral map

Where does your plastic go? Global investigation reveals America's dirty secret

The Story of Bottled Water

A Little Night Music

O.V. Wright - Don't Let My Baby Ride

O.V. Wright - Working Your Game

O.V. Wright - Rhymes

O.V. Wright - I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled And Crazy

O.V. Wright - Ace Of Spades

O.V. Wright - Memory Blues

O.V. Wright - You're Gonna Make Me Cry

O.V. Wright - When You Took Your Love From Me

O.V. Wright - I'm In Your Corner

O.V. Wright - Poor Boy

O.V. Wright - A Nickel And A Nail

16 users have voted.


Unabashed Liberal's picture

and say 'hi,' and thanks for tonight's EB, before I attempt a reload of a couple of software apps (which have given me a problem, in the past).

Pluto mentioned having a bit of interest in Medigap insurance, so, if everything goes well this afternoon, may try to explain my concerns with the proposed 'reforms' that are part of the UMFA proposals, and, even, some of the Buy-In proposals. Like the so-called "Cadillac Tax" (on employer-sponsored health insurance) they will position insurers to jack up the premiums to the stratosphere--and, justifiably so (unfortunately).

Having to dodge foul weather--thunderstorms and rain--to get Rambo Kaity out, all day. Smile Looks like it'll be this way for several more days. Ugh!

Anyhoo, Everyone have a nice afternoon. Stay cool, and dry, if you can.


“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

good luck ducking the foul weather! give the dog a scritch for me.

it was hot and humid here again and i spent the afternoon mowing the grass and trying to trace an electrical problem under the hood of the truck. excitement galore with extra sweat. Smile

i'll be interested to see whatever you come up with regarding medicare/medigap insurance as i will be delivered to the tender mercies of the medicare system a lot sooner than i would like.

6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack

for a good bit longer than expected, will post the Medigap info tomorrow. (If I'm gonna do it, prefer to do so fairly early, so, hopefully, more folks will see it.)

While I'm at it, may include a screenshot of one of 'the B's' maintenance meds that went up astronomically, as a result of the ACA. (according to several local pharmacists) It amuses me to no end, to hear them prattle on about their proposals to bring down drug costs, when their past policies are (partly, if not fully) responsible for driving them up in the first place.

Hey, at least you have the capability of trying to figure out the source of an electrical problem, which I understand is no easy feat. I'm impressed! Biggrin

Got somewhat lucky today--the 3 thunderstorms have been spaced out, and, more thunder, than precipitation. A relief, since 'K' appears to think that water puddles are meant to play in--after which she immediately, with much glee, jumps up, and plants her paws on the front of my T-shirt.


6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

11 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

joe shikspack's picture


there were a lot of times at orange state where i felt like i had been sucked into the activity room of some florida nursing home for a political argument.

on the other hand, i always felt like there was an undertone of corporate/wall street support on orange state, which makes warren's popularity there sort of out of step.

6 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

Rick Snyder and his goons should be publicly executed. There, I said it.

6 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

unruhe does a great job of stating the obvious. i guess we'll see if the system performs a miraculous shift and goes after snyder and the rest of his criminal administration. i won't be holding my breath, though.

6 users have voted.

Obviously 1,000 troops won't do jack if sent into Iran. However, they might be used in Syria or Lebanon in conjunction with Israeli troops. The Iraq invasion helped Bush politically, but can't see how starting a shooting conflict with Iran is going to help Trump politically. Maybe neocons want to start a war before the election fearing Trump may lose, and then the democrat stopping the war. But if enough carnage, then hard to pull out without loosing face.

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, the thousand troops are just scenery dressing. when an incompetent boob like trump wants to hide his impotence in the face of an enemy that has him boxed in, he ships a thousand troops off to look like he's doing something.

the last thing that trump really wants to do is commit troops to a ground war in the middle east. in order to fill out the ranks in order to successfully mount a ground war in iran, military conscription would have to be reinstated.

a proxy war with hezbollah, syria (and inevitably iraq) would also require large numbers of ground forces if the goal was to take territory as opposed to killing lots of people and destroying all of the infrastructure.

trump has painted himself into a corner and it's going to be interesting to see if he can extricate himself without breaking the u.s. military and leaving the middle east in flames.

7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

6 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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

have a great evening!

3 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Windy and warm here. Dry heat moving in for a while.

Thanks for the tunes Dance 4 ~ it makes the news somewhat bearable to get through.

Enjoy your evening, everyone! Pleasantry

5 users have voted.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

heh, would really like to have some of that dry here, would you like some free humidity? Smile

have a great evening!

4 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

great tunes... great singer, great voice.

Always loved Roy Buchanan's Drowning on Dry Land

Roy must have really liked him beause he also covered "A Nickel and a Nail".

Maybe if all the other countries boycotted the US, the oligarchs would learn then?

6 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture


buchanan was great at putting his spin on old soul/r&b classics. drowning on dry land was first recorded by albert king (though king didn't write it) who did a nice job of it. i like the out front rhythm guitar and the understated drums.

Maybe if all the other countries boycotted the US, the oligarchs would learn then?

it may be the only way to rein in the empire. it worked quite well at getting the sun to set on the british empire.

6 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

@joe shikspack That was great, I love Albert King. Very nice version. Thanks!

5 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein