The Evening Blues - 5-17-21



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Jimmy Liggins

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b guitarist and bandleader Jimmy Liggins. Enjoy!

Jimmy Liggins & His Drops of Joy - I Can't Stop It

"In this society, dominated as it is by the profit-seeking ventures of monopoly corporations, health has been callously transformed into a commodity - a commodity that those with means are able to afford, but that is too often entirely beyond the reach of others."

-- Angela Davis


News and Opinion

Big Ag’s Wedding to Big Data

Producers and consumers seem helpless as food all over the world comes under fast growing corporate control. Such changes have also been worsening environmental collapse, social dislocation and the human condition. The recent joint report – by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) and the ETC Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration – is ominous, to say the least. “A Long Food Movement,” principally authored by Pat Mooney with a team including IPES-Food Director Nick Jacobs, analyses how food systems are likely to evolve over the next quarter century with technological and other changes.

The report notes that hi-tech data processing and asset management corporations have joined established agribusinesses in reshaping world food supply chains. If current trends continue, the food system will be increasingly controlled by large transnational corporations (TNCs) at the expense of billions of farmers and consumers.

The Davos World Economic Forum’s (WEF) much touted “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (IR4.0), promoting digitization, is transforming food systems, accelerating concentration in corporate hands. New apps enable better tracking across supply chains, while “precision farming” now includes using drones to spray pesticides on targeted crops, reducing inputs and, potentially, farming costs. Agriculture is now second only to the military in drone use. Digital giants are working with other TNCs to extend enabling “cloud computing” infrastructure. Spreading as quickly as the infrastructure allows, new ‘digital ag’ technologies have been displacing farm labour. Meanwhile, food data have become more commercially valuable, e.g., to meet consumer demand. Big Ag profits have also grown by creating “new needs.” Big data are already being used to manipulate consumer preferences. ...

Meanwhile, hi-tech and asset management firms have acquired significant shareholdings in food giants. Powerful conglomerates are integrating different business lines, increasing concentration while invoking competition and “creative disruption.” The IPES-ETC study highlights new threats to farming and food security as IR4.0 proponents exert increasing influence. The report warns that giving Big Ag the ‘keys of the food system’ worsens food insecurity and other existential threats. Powerful corporations will increase control of most world food supplies. Big Ag controlled supply chains will also be more vulnerable as great power rivalry and competition continue to displace multilateral cooperation.

Palestinian and Israeli hostilities

Israel Is Trying to Destroy Us: Gaza Father & Writer Speaks Out as Palestinian Death Toll Nears 200

Israel and Palestine heading for ‘uncontainable’ crisis, UN chief warns

The eruption of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is heading for an “uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis”, the UN secretary general has warned after a day of significant escalation with 42 Palestinians killed by airstrikes in Gaza. The death toll made it the deadliest single attack since fighting broke out between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas a week ago. Fifty Palestinians were injured. Meanwhile, air-raid sirens sounded for the seventh consecutive day across southern Israel as Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza launched more rocket attacks into the country – and reaching further – than in the entirety of the 2014 war.

As the UN security council met in a specially convened session, foreign ministers and ambassadors called for a ceasefire and for both sides to respect international humanitarian law, but there was no sign of even a temporary truce to allow medics in Gaza to recover people – alive and dead – from under collapsed buildings. “The fighting risks dragging Israelis and Palestinians into a spiral of violence with devastating consequences for both communities and for the entire region,” António Guterres told the council. “It has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole.”

The UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, summed up the week’s dark balance sheet: 950 Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have killed 181 Palestinians, including 52 children. Over the same period, more than 2,900 rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad killed 10 people, including two children.

Wennesland said 40 schools and four hospitals were completely or partially destroyed in Gaza and 18 buildings including four high-rise towers, including one housing several press offices, had been razed. The Norwegian diplomat also warned of the impact of loss of power supply inside the Palestinian enclave. “The lack of electricity has resulted in a decrease of clean water and sewage treatment affecting hundreds of thousands,” he said, adding that the Gaza health system “will likely be unable to meet the needs of those injured during the violence”, particularly as hospitals face potential electricity shortages.

Gaza Journalist: Israel Is Deliberately Targeting the Media by Bombing AP & Al Jazeera Offices

Joe Biden feels political ground shift as Israel-Gaza conflict rages on

In his staunch defence of Israel, Joe Biden is sticking to a course set decades ago as a young senator, and so far he has not given ground on the issue to the progressive wing of his party or many Jewish Democrats urging a tougher line towards Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden has even been prepared to face isolation at the UN security council, at the potential cost of his own credibility on multilateralism and human rights. But analysts say that as the death toll rises with no sign of a ceasefire, the domestic and international pressures on the president could become impossible to ignore.

American Jews have grown increasingly sceptical of Netanyahu and his policies. A Pew Research Center survey published last week found that only 40% thought the prime minister was providing good leadership, falling to 32% among younger Jews. Strikingly, only 34% strongly opposed sanctions or other punitive measures against Israel. The liberal Jewish American lobby, J Street, has growing influence in the Democratic party and has urged Biden to do more to stop the bloodshed and the Israeli policies that have helped drive the conflict. ...

However, he cannot afford to alienate the progressive wing of his own party. It was progressive enthusiasm, and the support of prominent figures such as Bernie Sanders, that helped Biden win the presidency where Hillary Clinton failed. Congressional progressives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been more and more outspoken in their criticism of the Biden line of emphasising Israel’s right of defence “If the Biden admin can’t stand up to an ally, who can it stand up to? How can they credibly claim to stand for human rights?” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Biden worked hard to cultivate the progressives during the campaign and afterwards, setting up policy workshops with them, but the current crisis has brought that honeymoon in an end.

“Terror from the Skies”: UNRWA Condemns Israeli Bombing of Gaza Refugee Camp, Killing 10 Relatives

Israel-Palestine: US can end Gaza assault, claims former Israel intelligence chief

Israel would halt its deadly assault on Gaza if the United States asked it to do so, the former chief of Israeli military intelligence has said in a private meeting with South African Zionists, Middle East Eye can reveal.

In a meeting with the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) on Thursday, Amos Yadlin, the former IDF Military Intelligence Directorate chief and former Israeli military attache to the US, claimed that President Joe Biden's administration was growing impatient with Tel Aviv's ongoing bombing campaign and said he would "not surprised if this will all stop in 48 hours".

"When the Egyptians ask Israel to stop, Israel doesn't want to stop. But if the Americans will ask Israel to stop, Israel will have to listen," Yadlin said in a video streamed on Facebook but taken down minutes after it had ended.

The event, called "The situation on the ground", was organised by the SAZF and the Jewish Agency for Israel, and aimed to provide answers about Israel's position in the light of public outrage unfolding in South Africa at Israeli actions in Jerusalem and Gaza.

Yadlin, currently director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel, said that whereas Trump gave Israel "an open cheque to everything" because he thought "Palestinians were to blame basically for everything", he described the Democratic Party as more balanced.

Trita Parsi: How Middle East Politics Are Shifting Over Israel-Palestine

Human waste spills on to Gaza’s blacked-out streets as crisis looms

A week of relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has destroyed power lines, smashed water pipes beneath roads and left human waste spilling out of the ground. With 188 Palestinians having been killed, and families trapped under rubble, fears are mounting of a deepening humanitarian crisis in the enclave, where 2 million people live under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade in place for 14 years. ...

Throughout its intense bombing campaign, Israel has blocked access to the territory, including for aid workers, and prevented fuel from entering, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Supplies of vital animal feed sitting in trucks are being held on the Israeli side of the frontier waiting to go in, OCHA said, adding that Gaza’s stockpiles would run out on Sunday. It said the Palestinian ministry of agriculture had warned that without deliveries, livestock and poultry farms would run out. In turn, the strip’s main protein source would be affected. Israel has also prevented fishers from sailing off the Gaza coast and has bombed farms, OCHA said.

A seawater desalination plant is out of action, leaving 250,000 people without proper supplies of drinking water. In the northern town of Beit Lahia, “sewage and solid waste are accumulating in the streets”, OCHA said. ...

According to the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, more than 17,000 people have fled their homes and are sheltering in roughly 40 schools. The agency warned of a secondary threat during the Covid pandemic, saying it had to consider “how to minimise the risk of people crowding in a very confined space and spreading the virus”. Gisha, an Israeli rights group, said the decreasing supply of electricity had affected the production of oxygen needed for respirators. Israel, which has vaccinated most of its citizens, has said it is not responsible for giving inoculations to all Palestinians in the occupied territories, including the West Bank and Gaza.

Rank-and-File Democrats Slow to Call for Restricting Aid to Israel

American Jewish group IfNotNow was among numerous groups pushing for more Democratic support for Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum’s bill to prohibit Israel from using U.S. military aid to demolish Palestinian homes, arrest Palestinian children, and annex Palestinian land amid Israel’s assault on Gaza and Israeli police brutality targeting Jerusalem’s Palestinians. The bill, which would impose “end-use restrictions” on how Israel can employ U.S. aid, currently has 19 co-sponsors. As part of the bill’s push to prohibit U.S. military aid from being used to subsidize Israeli human rights abuses, the legislation would implement unprecedented transparency measures that would account for how Israel uses U.S. military aid in the occupied Palestinian territories. The U.S. government sends Israel an annual check of $3.8 billion in military aid, but there is little done to prevent Israel from using such aid to violate human rights, despite U.S. laws prohibiting exactly that.

“Everyone wants peace, but peace will not happen without clear limits placed on how Israel uses our aid. Now is the time to send a clear message to the Israeli government: Not one dollar more of U.S. military aid can be used to demolish Palestinian homes, annex Palestinian lands, and torture or kill Palestinian children,” McCollum told The Intercept, while emphasizing that she supports U.S. support for Israel’s Iron Dome, the U.S.-funded system that shoots down Palestinian-fired rockets. “Members need to decide if they want to talk peace and perpetuate conflict or if they want to really work toward reducing violence and conflict while actually taking a stand to advance human rights.”

Palestinian rights activists have spent the week emailing and calling their representatives in Congress in a bid to garner support for McCollum’s bill. Advocacy group Jewish Voice for Peace Action told The Intercept that its supporters had sent over 10,000 emails to congressional offices in recent days, while supporters of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights sent over 51,000 emails since Wednesday. ... But McCollum’s bill faces an uphill battle. Only one member of Congress, Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., has joined since the current crisis in Israel-Palestine began. Huffman declined an interview request from The Intercept. The Intercept contacted 10 Democratic members of Congress to inquire about whether they would support McCollum’s bill. Nobody offered a comment. ...

The campaign to impose conditions on aid to Israel has run into a wall of opposition from Israel lobby groups. Last month, more than 300 representatives signed an American Israel Public Affairs Committee-supported letter against conditioning aid, which stated that “reducing funding or adding conditions on security assistance would be detrimental to Israel’s ability to defend itself against all threats.” Among the signatories to AIPAC’s letter were Progressive Caucus members such as Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who has been a particular target of the Palestinian rights movement. While Khanna, in 2017, co-sponsored McCollum’s bill to prohibit U.S. funding of Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children, he has so far refused to support her current bill. ...

Continued refusals to co-sponsor the McCollum bill would send a disappointing message, said Zaha Hassan, a Palestinian American human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The message if they don’t act is, Israel has a blank check when it comes to U.S. support,” said Hassan. “At this moment, when you’re seeing mobs attacking Palestinian citizens of Israel, beating them on the streets and in their homes, that can’t be the message we want to send — that Israel has a blanket right to ‘self-defense’ while it’s dropping U.S.-made bombs on civilian buildings.”

Afghanistan: fighting resumes in south after three-day ceasefire for Eid

Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has resumed in the southern province of Helmand, officials said, ending a three-day ceasefire agreed by the warring sides to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

There were clashes on Sunday on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, which has seen intense fighting since the United States began its final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 May, an Afghan military spokesperson and a local official said.

“The fighting started early today morning and is still ongoing,” Attaullah Afghan, head of the Helmand provincial council, told AFP. He said Taliban fighters attacked security checkpoints on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah and other districts. An Afghan army spokesperson in the south confirmed fighting had resumed. ...

Taliban political spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said the negotiating teams of the government and the Islamic Emirate, as the Taliban refer to their ousted regime, met briefly Saturday in Qatar. They renewed their commitment to finding a peaceful end to the war and called for an early start to talks that have been stalled, he said.

Russia officially dubs US and Czech Republic ‘unfriendly’ states

The Russian government has officially deemed the United States and the Czech Republic “unfriendly” states, and announced that US diplomatic missions could no longer employ local staff while Czech missions could employ a maximum of 19.

Moscow first announced the ban on the US hiring local staff last month as part of its retaliation for a slew of new US sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2020 US presidential election and for involvement in the SolarWind hack of US federal agencies. A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said the United States has until 1 August to comply with the new requirements.

Relations between Russia and the Czechs were badly hit last month when the Czechs accused Russian military intelligence of being behind a 2014 blast at an ammunition depot, and expelled dozens of Russian diplomats. Russia rejected the allegations and retaliated by expelling Czech diplomats, and also ordered the Czechs to dismiss the majority of their local employees in Moscow, many of whom have staffed a Czech hospitality and business centre in the city.

Russian bailiffs show up at US broadcaster’s office

Russian court bailiffs showed up Friday at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Moscow bureau to notify it about the launch of enforcement proceedings over unpaid fines as part of mounting pressure on the U.S.-funded broadcaster. RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said the broadcaster’s Moscow bank accounts were also frozen Friday in what he denounced as a serious escalation in the Russian government’s campaign to drive it out of the country.

“RFE/RL will continue to fight these desperate attempts by the Kremlin to censor uncomfortable truths,” Fly said in a statement. “We will not be silenced by these heavy-handed tactics and we will not abandon our Russian audience.”

Last year, Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor ordered the media designated as foreign agents, including RFE/RL, to add a lengthy statement to news reports, social media posts and audiovisual materials specifying that the content was created by an outlet “performing the functions of a foreign agent.” The move, which applies to nongovernmental political organizations and media receiving foreign funding, has been widely criticized as aiming to discredit critical reporting and dissent. The term “foreign agent” carries strong pejorative connotations in Russia.

Roskomnadzor has filed 520 violation cases against RFE/RL, which could entail fines totaling $2.4 million.

Guantánamo Detainee Agrees to Drop Call for C.I.A. Testimony

A detainee at Guantánamo Bay has agreed to a deal intended to lead to his release in the next few years in return for giving up the right to question the C.I.A. in court about its torture program, United States government officials said.

The deal, negotiated by the Pentagon official who oversees the military commissions that serve as a court for some detainees, was reached in recent weeks, and comes as a number of those who have been charged at Guantánamo are seeking to cite their abuse at the hands of the C.I.A. as part of their defense.

Under the deal, the prisoner, Majid Khan, 41, who has pleaded guilty to serving as a courier for Al Qaeda, would complete his prison sentence as early as next year and no later than 2025 and then could be released to another country, assuming one will take him, according to people who have seen the terms or are familiar with its details.

In exchange, Mr. Khan will not use his sentencing proceedings to invoke a landmark war court decision that allowed him to call witnesses from the C.I.A.’s secret prison network to testify about his torture.

The arrangement means that the C.I.A. for now will avoid a further accounting in court for its use of what it called “enhanced interrogation techniques” under the Bush administration after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Intercept Smears WRONG Reporter For Doing Reporting

New York City Pride organisers to ban police from marching until 2025

Organisers of New York City’s Pride events say they will ban police and other law enforcement personnel from marching in their annual parade until at least 2025 and will also seek to keep on-duty officers a block away from the celebration of LGBTQ+ people and history.

In a statement released on Saturday, NYC Pride urged members of law enforcement to “acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward”.

“The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason,” the group said.

It will also increase the event’s security budget to boost the presence of community-based security and first responders while reducing the police department’s presence.

Police will provide first response and security “only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials,” the group said, adding it hoped to keep police officers at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible.

Brooklyn Center approves policing changes after Daunte Wright shooting

Elected officials in the Minneapolis suburb where a police officer shot dead Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April have approved a plan to dramatically change policing practices. The Brooklyn Center city council voted 4-1 on Saturday for a resolution to create new divisions of unarmed civilian employees to handle non-moving traffic violations and respond to mental health crises.

The resolution also limits situations in which officers can make arrests and requires more de-escalation efforts by police before using deadly force. A new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention is envisioned, to oversee efforts on community health and public safety, led by a director with public health expertise.

The city attorney has said adopting the resolution isn’t a final action, but commits the city to change.

Several police groups have raised concerns, saying parts of the resolution conflict with state law and will put public safety at risk. No police officers spoke at Saturday’s meeting.



the horse race



The Democrats' new Republican Resistance heroine:

Liz Cheney Lied About Her Role in Spreading the Discredited CIA "Russian Bounty" Story

In an interview on Tuesday with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) denied that she spread the discredited CIA "Russian bounty” story. That CIA tale, claiming Russia was paying Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was cooked up by the CIA and then published by The New York Times on June 27 of last year, right as former President Trump announced his plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The Times story, citing anonymous intelligence officials, was then continually invoked by pro-war Republicans and Democrats — led by Cheney — to justify their blocking of that troop withdrawal. The story was discredited when the U.S. intelligence community admitted last month that it had only “low to moderate confidence” that any of this even happened.

When Baier asked Cheney about her role in spreading this debunked CIA story, Cheney blatantly lied to him, claiming “if you go back and look at what I said — every single thing I said: I said if those stories are true, we need to know why the President and Vice President were not briefed on them.” After Baier pressed her on the fact that she vested this story with credibility, Cheney insisted a second time that she never endorsed the claim but merely spoke conditionally, always using the “if these reports are true” formulation. Watch Cheney deny her role in spreading that story.

Liz Cheney, as she so often does, blatantly lied. That she merely spoke of the Russian bounty story in the conditional — “every single thing I said: I said if those stories are true” — is completely and demonstrably false. Indeed, other than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), there are few if any members of Congress who did more to spread this Russian bounty story as proven truth, all in order to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In so doing, she borrowed from a pro-war playbook pioneered by her dad, to whom she owes her career: the former Vice President would leak CIA claims to The New York Times to justify war, then go on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, as he did on September 8, 2002, and cite those New York Times reports as though they were independent confirmation of his views coming from that paper rather than from him. So having CIA stories leak to the press that fuel the pro-war case, then having pro-war politicians cite those to justify their pro-war position, is a Cheney Family speciality.

On July 1, the House Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Cheney is a member, debated amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that authorized $740.5 billion in military spending. One of Cheney's top priorities was to align with the Committee's pro-war Democrats, funded by weapons manufacturers, to block Trump's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020 and to withdraw roughly 1/3 of the 34,000 U.S. troops in Germany. To justify her opposition, Cheney — contrary to what she repeatedly insisted to Baier — cited the CIA's Russian bounty story without skepticism. In a joint statement with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, that Cheney published on her website on June 27 — the same day that The New York Times published its first story about the CIA tale — Cheney pronounced herself "concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces.” There was nothing conditional about the statement: they were preparing to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited this story as proof that “Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan.”

Hillary Clinton's War Monger Appointed By Biden



the evening greens


Magic! No emissions up muh sleeve...

Half of emissions cuts will come from future tech, says John Kerry

The US climate envoy, John Kerry, has said 50% of the carbon reductions needed to get to net zero will come from technologies that have not yet been invented, and said people “don’t have to give up a quality of life” in order to cut emissions.

He said Americans would “not necessarily” have to eat less meat, because of research being done into the way cattle are herded and fed in order to reduce methane emissions.

“You don’t have to give up a quality of life to achieve some of the things that we know we have to achieve. That’s the brilliance of some of the things that we know how to do,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show. “I am told by scientists that 50% of the reductions we have to make to get to net zero are going to come from technologies that we don’t yet have. That’s just a reality.

'Reckoning for Roundup Rolls On': Ninth Circuit Court Upholds Verdict in Case Against Monsanto

"The reckoning for Roundup rolls on."

So said George Kimbrell, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, on Friday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco affirmed a lower court ruling against Monsanto (since acquired by Bayer) which found the chemical giant responsible for the cancer suffered by users of its signature herbicide Roundup.

The 9th Circuit rejected an appeal by Bayer in Hardeman vs. Monsanto, in which Edwin Hardeman accused the company of failing to disclose the dangers glyphosate poses to human health. Hardeman was awarded $80 million in the case, which was later reduced to $25 million.

Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015 after two decades of using Roundup as an herbicide on his 56-acre property. His case was one of several high-profile lawsuits against Monsanto over its use of glyphosate. The company agreed to pay $10.9 billion to a total of about 125,000 people last year, all of whom alleged the use of Roundup was to blame for their cancer diagnoses.

The Environmental Protection Agency backed Bayer in its latest appeal in Hardeman's case, in which the company claimed the jury verdict should be nullified because states don't have the authority to deviate from federal regulations for herbicides.

The three-judge panel ruled that California's failure-to-warn law was consistent with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

"FIFRA did not impliedly preempt Hardeman's state failure-to-warn claims," the court said.

Bayer also claimed that the World Health Organization's classification of glyphosate as a carcinogen should not have been entered into the court record as evidence. The judges ruled that "that the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting" the evidence.

Eighteen elephants found dead in Indian forest reserve

Authorities are trying to establish how 18 wild Asiatic elephants died in a remote corner of India’s north-east.

The elephants, including five calves, were found dead in the protected Kondali forest reserve in the state of Assam, Jayanta Goswami, a wildlife official, told Associated Press. The forest guard reached the area on Thursday and found 14 elephants dead atop a hill and four at its bottom.

Forest officials and a local lawmaker, Jitu Goswami, told Agence France-Presse they believed the elephants died after lightning struck the forest. But Soumyadeep Datta, a prominent conservationist with the environmental activist group Nature’s Beckon, said that was unlikely, based on images shared on social media.

“Poisoning could be behind the death of the elephants,” Datta said. “We have to wait for the autopsy report, which the forest department will do soon.”


Also of Interest

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

Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass

Netanyahu Says Gaza Campaign ‘Is Not Over Yet’

Settlement Push in East Jerusalem Neighborhood Shows Israeli “Apartheid”

Gaza under attack: Israeli apartheid with Ali Abunimah, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal

Why are Palestinians protesting? Because we want to live

‘No safe place’: Associated Press reporter describes Gaza office attack

Jobs Report Coverage Lacked Context, Worker Perspective

Michael Lewis: ‘We were incentivised to have a bad pandemic response’

The Idea That Deficit Spending Is a Burden on Our Children Is the Dumbest Propaganda

Arizona Republican calls Trump ‘deleted database’ statement ‘unhinged’

Another Dangerous Fire Season is Looming in the Western U.S., and the Drought-Stricken Region is Headed for a Water Crisis

Tiny traces of DNA found in cave dust may unlock secret life of Neanderthals

Bill Black: The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One (Part 1/9)

Glenn Greenwald: Intercept Targets Journalists Of Color

Biden Is The End Of #MeToo

Saagar and Ryan Grim: How Politics CHANGED FOREVER On Israel-Palestine

Zaid Jilani: Why Media Coverage Of Israel-Palestine Is DANGEROUS

Saagar Enjeti REVEALS How Private Spies PLAYED Media On Russiagate, Harvey Weinstein, Theranos


A Little Night Music

Jimmy Liggins - Saturday Nite Boogie Woogie Man

Jimmy Liggins - I Ain't Drunk

Jimmy Liggins, his Guitar & Orch. - Blues For Love

Jimmy Liggins - Shuffle Shuck

Jimmy Liggins - Boogie Woogie King

Jimmy Liggins - Come Back Home

Jimmy Liggins - Don't Put Me Down

Jimmy Liggins and his Drops of Joy - The Washboard Special

Jimmy Liggins - I'll Never Let You Go

Jimmy Liggins - Ada From Decatur


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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@humphrey I guess America doesn't have any real friends...which makes sense when you see how it treats everyone who's ever proved they were.

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10 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

that's a great clip of oliver, i hope that it goes viral. i wonder if the u.s. is ready for that kind of common sense.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...insist on capitalizing their assets and lobbying government grifters to do the same with Federal assets — then agribusiness monopolies will put the human species on the path to anti-diversity hunger and starvation. It only takes one strategic mistake to turn out the lights in this sector. When your Primary Goal is Profits, you will be open to risk-taking schemes: You will gamble with people's lives for a chance to advance yourself in the corporation.

The mind set of those judging the use of powerful, advanced technology in agriculture is that it is a bad thing that will be used to harm people. These fearful judges are Westerners, and they know well the greed and disregard that lies at the heart of American-style industry. They believe it is a universal characteristic because all they have ever known is post-industrial Capitalism:

The report notes that hi-tech data processing and asset management corporations have joined established agribusinesses in reshaping world food supply chains. If current trends continue, the food system will be increasingly controlled by large transnational corporations (TNCs) at the expense of billions of farmers and consumers.

The Davos World Economic Forum’s (WEF) much touted “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (IR4.0), promoting digitization, is transforming food systems, accelerating concentration in corporate hands. New apps enable better tracking across supply chains, while “precision farming” now includes using drones to spray pesticides on targeted crops, reducing inputs and, potentially, farming costs. Agriculture is now second only to the military in drone use. Digital giants are working with other TNCs to extend enabling “cloud computing” infrastructure. Spreading as quickly as the infrastructure allows, new ‘digital ag’ technologies have been displacing farm labour. Meanwhile, food data have become more commercially valuable, e.g., to meet consumer demand. Big Ag profits have also grown by creating “new needs.” Big data are already being used to manipulate consumer preferences. ...

Meanwhile, hi-tech and asset management firms have acquired significant shareholdings in food giants. Powerful conglomerates are integrating different business lines, increasing concentration while invoking competition and “creative disruption.”

.

But then, there is post-industrial Communism:

China uses these technologies in agriculture, but it puts them in the hands of millions of small farmers, too. In every farming district, China has installed Science Centers for farmers to use at no cost. There, farmers can test their soils and seeds, identify insects and plant diseases, and acquire new products and technologies, especially drones. One goal of drone usage, for example, is to reduce the use of pesticides, as demanded by Chinese consumers. However, drone usage on farms replaces the need for labor in the fields, to a significant degree. The reduction of farm labor presented China with an opportunity to help laborers acquire higher-paying skills. Local training centers were opened in farming districts and were made freely available to laborers, who were also subsidized with housing and support. Some were sent on to local universities.

Modernizing even the tiniest farms throughout China, bringing utility infrastructure to their doors, and connecting them to agricultural science — electronically and at Science Centers in their neighborhoods — was key to eradicating poverty in China. At the Science Centers, Chinese farmers learn how to use new technologies to refine their crops, increase production, and farm sustainably. This increased farmer profits without increasing consumer costs.

But China didn't stop there. They electronically introduced millions of farmers to each other in order to spur innovation. They they brought high-speed rail to the farming districts, expanding the farmer's customer base to the entire world. Farmers were also taught how to market their crops to these new consumers and food distributers.

The small farm revolution could not have happened without these new technologies. Agricultural technology was a principle milestone to ending poverty throughout China.

This is a real-time demonstration of Post-Industrial Enlightenment in action. It is neither Communism nor Capitalism, however it does require that the government invest money and intellectual resources in the people and their civilization. Such investments are an anathema in the US — a so-called "moral hazard". Thus, the large-scale success of a government that invests in and benefits the People is seen as a threat to the Strategic Interests of the United States. This is a Key reason that the US intends to wage war on China. They are anxious to engage in a cage match between modern Communism and modern Capitalism — because for Westerners, might makes right.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

back before the u.s. government's policy was to force farmers to get big or get out there were lots of busy "science centers" in the u.s. - they were usually called something like, "the (name of state or big state university) agricultural extension service." when i was a kid, i used to go to the extension service office in my town and get advice on all kinds of stuff from identifying the bugs i'd found in the garden to what our garden's soil needed. they were a nice bunch of people who put up with kids pretty well.

anyway, the problem isn't so much technology as the hare-brained ideas that the people who develop it have. the kind of people who are making agriculture policy these days don't seem to understand the idea of being connected to the land and/or living in harmony with it. their values are screwed up and they will destroy our farmland by the time they are through.

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13 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

offices myself. Here in Cal they're tied into the UC system so they're usually right on, and, in a pinch, can take some really deep dives for you.

be well and have a good one.

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10 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

i haven't checked in a while, but the ones in every maryland county used to be part of the u of md system.

have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.

From Angela Davis' correct statement you began with to all the frightening info let me add the most terrifying thing I saw this week.

Israeli TV had a woman with a microchip in each hand extolling the wonders of living without house keys, car keys, bank cards, transit cards, etc.

This person did not seem to understand that if an entity can gain control of the technology, you can be locked out of your car and home and bank accounts and the ability to travel. Or she understood and was very well paid to sell this horror to the rest of us.

Benedicht Cumberbatch starred in a mini-series on BBC years ago called "The Last Enemy." Made in 2008. I recall talking about it on this blog before and it terrified me then and now it seems imminent. Brexit has turned England into an impregnable island from which you cannot leave if your chip is turned off, but you drift in a refugee barge.

"Condemned to drift, or else be kept from drifting." Chimes of Freedom from the prophetic Bob Dylan.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uERruPVshlU Bruce, 1988

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10 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

microchips, eh? i read a lot of dystopian novels when i was younger, but their plots have nothing on the reality that is being formed for us.

heh, i was always partial to the byrds version:

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10 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

and familiar scenes scattered throughout.

Thanks.

be well and have a good one

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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 --

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack are always alright with me. Love them.

However, their version lacks the verse I quoted.

You can find it on Bruce's version just past the 2:50 mark. If this is too picky on my part, just ignore me.

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2 users have voted.

NYCVG

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14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

excellent snark! i hope the israelis understand the concept of sarcasm.

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8 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@joe shikspack ...humorless Jews. Can you imagine (sadly, there's already Gloria Steinem and my aunt)??? I wonder if Fackenheim would've been willing to count that as another "attempt to achieve in one way what Hitler attempted in another"?

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5 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Lookout's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZesLwHGikE (19 min)
The Grayzone journalist, Max Blumenthal, talks about charged, weaponized rhetoric used to ratchet up tensions with China.

Thought this was fun...
Welcome to the official album release concert for Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny’s release of ‘Let’s Get Happy Together’ recorded at the historic Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Hall in Mandeville, Louisiana. Watch what you want of the hour concert.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm0yUQf5Gms

Around and around I come back to, treasure every day. Hope yours was a good one!

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13 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

wow, thanks for the tuba skinny - maria muldaur collaboration. i hadn't heard about that yet. heh, maria muldaur has great taste in favorite bands.

have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout

There goes another hour, ah well.

be well and have a good one

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9 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 --

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...there's a good chance this is actually happening somewhere:
https://www.theonion.com/rich-guy-asks-around-to-find-out-who-the-new-je...

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9 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

i'm sure that epstein wasn't the only guy doing that "special work." after all, matt gaetz seems to have found a procurer. perhaps templeton ought to check in with bill clinton to see who's the new go-to-guy for the superduper rich.

i'm sure that they won't have to frequent dc pizza joints to get their jollies. Smile

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9 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@joe shikspack ...All it takes is saying his name 3 times and drawing a glyph of his former Congressional district in unwholesome yellow ink.

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5 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

enhydra lutris's picture

Busy listening to Maria M's latest thanks to Lookout, so I'll just say

be well and have a good one

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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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

yep, i'm a little more than half-way through. it's a great show.

have a good one!

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6 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Evening all,
Why shouldn't "RFE/RL" have to register as foreign agents in Russia ?
That's what they are.

“RFE/RL will continue to fight these desperate attempts by the Kremlin to censor uncomfortable truths,” Fly said in a statement. “We will not be silenced by these heavy-handed tactics and we will not abandon our Russian audience.”

I wonder how big their Russian audience is.
I can't believe that there very many Russians who don't know exactly what RFE/RL is and what they do.
This is interesting, from Pepe Escobar via The Saker:
Pictures of a Ukrainian Dream

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12 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

heh, if rt has to register here, rfe/rl surely should register there.

that saker article has some interesting/plausible speculation. it will be interesting to see if the story is ever confirmed.

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9 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Azazello

... to a geopolitical glitter bomb that could only be produced out of the surrealistic corruption that is Ukraine. Delivered by Pepe Escobar. If even one word of it actually happened, it means that a large number of Democrats were knowingly rigging the 2016 election out of Kiev while laundering their share of the looting of Ukraine from 2014. "Russia, Russia, Russia" served as their cover; and that includes the CIA and the FBI, who both opened field offices in Kiev, importing a large number of used computers from DC.

Some of the comments at the Saker, on this fantasy shakedown of Zelansky by Blinken, really deliver. Saker readers are awfully knowledgeable. Ukraine is definitely a US-planted stink bomb that will detonate in due time. Apparently, the neo-nazis expect the US to airlift them out when Ukraine implodes on Russia's doorstep — and plan to call any humanitarian efforts "a Russian invasion." Russia wants no part of Ukraine and its radioactive corruption. Putin is smart enough to tell the US "You broke it, you bought it. It's all yours." Hang the weaponized albatross around Europe's neck for collaborating with the Neocons.

In the end, the UN will have to go in and disarm that irredeemable nation. Funny how everything the US touches turns into a long-running shitshow.

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7 users have voted.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-backs-middle-east-ceasefir...

President Biden on Monday expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

It marked the first time the president has publicly called for a cease-fire over the course of a week of intensive diplomatic efforts to ease violence as Hamas rocket fire and Israeli retaliatory airstrikes have terrorized the region.

"The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed U.S. engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end," the White House said in a readout of the call.

Egypt is considered a key interlocutor in dealing with Hamas and negotiating with the Israelis on efforts to achieve a cease-fire. The U.S. does not speak with Hamas, which it considers as a terrorist organization.

Wink! Wink!

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9 users have voted.

@humphrey

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8 users have voted.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-15/chile-votes-for-who-w...

Chilean assets plunged after the ruling coalition suffered a surprise drubbing in the election for a constituent assembly, placing the writing of a new charter firmly in the hands of the left-wing.

The benchmark stock exchange closed down 9.3%, the biggest decline since the start of the pandemic in March of last year, while the peso fell 2.3%. Yields on Chile peso bonds due in 2030 jumped 22 basis points to 3.82%

Candidates from the ruling coalition obtained just 37 of 155 seats on the assembly designed to write the new constitution, according to data consultancy firm Unholster. Contenders unaffiliated with any political parties secured 65 seats. The result means the ruling coalition falls short of the one-third threshold they needed to block market-unfriendly clauses in the new charter.

“The constitutional assembly elections this weekend remind us that market-unfriendly, leftist candidates can do very well in the post-pandemic era,” said Guido Chamorro, a portfolio manager at Pictet Asset Management Ltd. in London.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

i can see why they are plunging. the constituent assembly will write a new constitution. only a quarter of the elected constituents are conservative and people are talking about "the end of neoliberalism."

i'll have a story about it in tomorrow's eb.

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8 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@joe shikspack ...Hot TamaleTamale, THE WOOORRRLD!!!!!

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3 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Just in case anyone was wondering.

Born Dianne Emiel Goldman

June 22, 1933 (age 87)
San Francisco, California, U.S.

Construction start January 5, 1933
Construction end April 19, 1937
Opened May 27, 1937; 83 years ago

I just found out the new suicide net sidewalk safety improvements screech during high winds. LOL Every day is high winds day on the bridge, but yeah. Woo!

The Marin Independent Journal reported that during a bridge board meeting last week, one resident described the noise as "screeching that sounded like torture" and complained that it has caused physiological distress.

“We had no idea that this would happen,” bridge chief engineer Ewa Bauer-Furbush said at the meeting.

That's why Bay Area engineers get paid the big bucks! To have no idea why something they did would happen. aaah

The Golden Gate Bridge Hum

Wait, I like the sound! Save the Golden Hum! There is a twitter vid going over the bridge here: https://t.co/GWdVia1GNS

... and many other recordings out there now that I've gone looking. Old nooz, so last year.
SMILE Keep flushing!
...
littlemanoutofchair.jpg

Peace and Love

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8 users have voted.