The Evening Blues - 3-24-23


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: B.B. King

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features The King of the Blues B.B. King. Enjoy!

B.B. King - The Thrill Is Gone

:"The point of public relations slogans like "Support Our Troops" is that they don't mean anything ... that's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody is going to be against and I suppose everybody will be for, because nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. But its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something, do you support our policy? And that's the one you're not allowed to talk about."

-- Noam Chomsky

News and Opinion

US Officials Really, REALLY Want You To Know The US Is The World’s “Leader”

In response to questions he received during a press conference on Monday about Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin cementing a “new era” in strategic partnership between China and Russia, the White House National Security Council’s John Kirby made no fewer than seven assertions that the US is the “leader” of the world.

Here are excerpts from his comments:

  • “The two countries have grown closer. But they are both countries that chafe and bristle at U.S. leadership around the world.”
  • “And in China’s case in particular, they certainly would like to challenge U.S. leadership around the world.
  • “But these are not two countries that have, you know, decades-long experience working together and full trust and confidence. It’s a burgeoning of late based on America’s increasing leadership around the world and trying to check that.”
  • “Peter, these are two countries that have long chafed, as I said to Jeff — long chafed at U.S. leadership around the world and the network of alliances and partnerships that we have.”
  • “And we work on those relationships one at a time, because every country on the continent is different, has different needs and different expectations of American leadership.”
  • “That’s the power of American convening leadership. And you don’t see that power out of either Russia or China.”
  • “But one of the reasons why you’re seeing that tightening relationship is because they recognize that they don’t have that strong foundation of international support for what they’re trying to do, which is basically challenge American leadership around the world.”

  • The illusory truth effect is a cognitive bias which causes people to mistake something they have heard many times for an established fact, because the way the human brain receives and interprets information tends to draw little or no distinction between repetition and truth. Propagandists and empire managers often take advantage of this glitch in our wetware, which is what’s happening when you see them repeating key phrases over and over again that they want people to believe.

    We saw another repetition of this line recently at an online conference hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, in which the US ambassador to China asserted that Beijing must accept the US as the “leader” of the region China happens to occupy.

    US empire managers are of course getting very assertive about the narrative that they are the world’s “leader” because that self-appointed “leadership” is being challenged by China, and the nations which support it with increasing openness like Russia. Most of the major international news stories of our day are either directly or indirectly related to this dynamic, wherein the US is struggling to secure unipolar planetary domination by thwarting China’s rise and undermining its partners.

    The message they’re putting out is, “This is our world. We’re in charge. Anyone who claims otherwise is freakish and abnormal, and must be opposed.”

    Why do they say the US is the “leader” of the world instead of its “ruler”, anyway? I’m unclear on the difference as practically applied. Is it meant to give us the impression that the US rules the world by democratic vote? That this is something the rest of the world consented to? Because I sure as hell don’t remember voting for it, and we’ve all seen what happens to governments which don’t comply with US “leadership”.

    I’m not one of those who believe a multipolar world will be a wonderful thing, I just recognize that it beats the hell out of the alternative, that being increasingly reckless nuclear brinkmanship to maintain global control. The US has been in charge long enough to make it clear that the world order it dominates can only be maintained by nonstop violence and aggression, with more and more of that violence and aggression being directed toward major nuclear-armed powers. The facts are in and the case is closed: US unipolar hegemony is unsustainable.

    The problem is that the US empire itself does not know this. This horrifying trajectory we’re on toward an Atomic Age world war is the result of the empire’s doctrine that it must maintain unipolar control at all costs crashing into the rise of a multipolar world order.

    It doesn’t need to be this way. There’s no valid reason why the US needs to remain in charge of the world and can’t just let different people in different regions sort out their own affairs like they always did before. There’s no valid reason why governments need to be brandishing armageddon weapons at each other instead of collaborating peacefully in the interest of all humankind. We’re being pushed toward disaster to preserve “American leadership around the world,” and I for one do not consent to this.

    Russia Fast Progress Avdeevka, Advances Bakhmut, UK MoD Admits Russia Progress Kupiansk

    IMF staff reaches agreement with Ukraine for $15.6bn loan

    The International Monetary Fund says it has reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine for a four-year financing package worth about $15.6bn, offering funds the country needs as it continues to defend against Russia’s invasion.

    The agreement – which must still be ratified by the IMF’s board – takes into consideration Ukraine’s path to accession to the European Union after the war. The fund said on Tuesday its executive board was expected to discuss approval in the coming weeks.

    “The overarching goals of the authorities’ program are to sustain economic and financial stability in circumstances of exceptionally high uncertainty, restore debt sustainability, and support Ukraine’s recovery on the path toward EU accession in the post-war period,” IMF official Gavin Gray said in a statement announcing the agreement.

    IMF staff on Tuesday briefed board members on the deal – which would be Ukraine’s biggest loan package since Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022 – and the board was supportive, a source familiar with the matter said.

    If approved, as expected, the Ukraine programme would be the IMF’s biggest loan to a country involved in an active conflict.

    Blinken, Belarus envoy for regime change. Massive protests France. Macron's 80,000 EURO watch.

    US Navy rejects China claim that warship ‘illegally’ entered part of South China Sea

    The United States has denied Chinese claims that a US destroyer was driven out from waters around the contested Paracel Islands after it “illegally” entered the area in the South China Sea.

    In a statement on Thursday, the Chinese military said the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius illegally intruded into China’s territorial waters, without the approval of the government, undermining peace and stability in the busy waterway.

    The United States Navy, however, declared this to be false.

    “The USS Milius is conducting routine operations in the South China Sea and was not expelled. The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows,” a statement from the US Navy 7th Fleet said.

    The Paracel Islands are a disputed archipelago spread across about 7 square km in the South China Sea. China has de facto control of the islands and has built installations and outposts, but Taiwan and Vietnam also claim ownership.

    Scores arrested on Israeli day of protest as parliament passes judicial changes

    Israel’s two-month-old protest movement took to the streets for a “day of disruption” as the parliament passed the first part of the hardline government’s controversial judicial changes into law.

    The legislation, designed to protect the position of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was approved early on Thursday, after a heated all-night debate, by 61 votes to 47 – the minimum majority required.

    On Thursday evening, Netanyahu made a televised address in which he called for unity, pledging to protect civil rights and democracy. “We can’t let any disagreement, however fierce, endanger our joint future,” he said. “To avoid a rift in the people, each side must take seriously the claims and concerns of the other.

    “Until now, my hands were bound. Now, I am getting involved,” he said, referring to a now obsolete decision by the attorney general’s office banning him from involvement in the judicial overhaul on the grounds of potential conflict of interest given his corruption trial.

    "France Is Furious": Anger Grows at Macron for Raising Retirement Age as Millions Strike & Protest

    Bordeaux city hall set on fire amid nationwide protests against French pension changes

    Emmanuel Macron felt the full force of French anger on Thursday as protesters gathered across the country to demonstrate their opposition to the pension age being raised from 62 to 64. Unions claimed 3.5 million people turned out across the country, while the authorities suggested the figure was much lower, at just under 1.1 million.

    In Paris, union leaders claimed that a record 800,000 people took part in a mostly peaceful march through the city – the police gave the figure as 119,000 – to demand that the government drop the fiercely contested change.

    However, the national day of action was marred by outbreaks of violence and vandalism. In the south-western city of Bordeaux, the front door of the city hall was set on fire, while in Paris police and groups of protesters clashed late into the night. ...

    Elsewhere, a woman reportedly had part of her hand blown off by a teargas grenade in the city of Rouen, where between 14,800 and 23,000 protesters gathered, according to figures from police and unions. There were large protests in Marseille, Lyon, Besançon, Rennes and Arles, as well as other French towns and cities.

    At least 457 people arrested, 441 security forces injured in violent French pension protests

    Macron brazenly defends decision to impose pension cuts without parliamentary vote

    Yesterday, in a mid-afternoon TV address, President Emmanuel Macron defended his move to impose pension cuts opposed by 80 percent of the French people without a vote in parliament. ... Macron’s address totally exposed those, like the leaders of France’s union confederations or the Unsubmissive France (LFI) party, who argued for impotently imploring Macron not to promulgate the law he had just imposed. Even as millions of workers strike and protest today, it is evident that Macron intends to run roughshod over basic social and democratic rights.

    His address, timed to fall at a time when few workers could watch it, confirmed that there is no “democratic” way forward in the struggle against Macron. He is trampling public opinion underfoot to impose the diktat of the banks, diverting tens of billions of euros from pensions to bank bailouts and the military build-up for war with Russia. His actions have torn the “democratic” veil off the state, which is a naked dictatorship of the capitalist oligarchy that impoverishes the masses via presidential fiat and police violence.

    Before his TV address, speaking to members of his own Rennaissance party, Macron provocatively asserted that the people do not have the legitimacy to challenge his government. He said, “If you believe in the democratic and republican order, riots do not trump the representatives of the people, and crowds have no legitimacy against the people whose sovereignty is expressed through its elected officials.” This is a conception of elections with which any dictator could agree. According to Macron’s argument, being elected president means that until the next elections, one is free to trample the will of the people underfoot. Mass protests with overwhelming popular support must bow, in this view, to diktat of the president and his hordes of thousands of heavily-armed riot police.

    During his TV interview, Macron maintained this anti-democratic pretense, ludicrously claiming that by slashing pensions and living standards, he is defending democracy against the people. “The reform will pursue its democratic path,” Macron claimed about his pension cuts, adding: “This reform is necessary, there are not 36 solutions. … I am ready to be unpopular.” Asked if there is anything he regretted or would have done differently, Macron said he regretted “not having succeeded in convincing people of the need for the reform.”

    In fact, the justifications Macron advanced for his cuts failed to convince the population because they were all lies. These included above all the claims that the pension system is bankrupt, and that there is no more money to be found. In reality, the pension system has a balanced budget; if there is no more money for it, it is that Macron is raising military spending by nearly 100 billion euros over the rest of the decade, while leaving his billionaire backers like Bernard Arnault at a zero percent effective tax rate.

    NLRB Says Amazon Illegally Union-Busted by Limiting Worker Access to Warehouses

    The Amazon Labor Union celebrated Wednesday as a lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board in Brooklyn determined that Amazon acted illegally when it adopted a rule barring warehouse workers from being present at their workplace when they were not scheduled to work—a transparent effort, the board said, to limit union activity.

    The company reached a settlement in 2021 with the NLRB, agreeing to notify workers of their right to form a union and to organize on company property.

    Organizers with the ALU say the settlement was crucial in allowing off-duty workers to engage with their colleagues as they prepared to vote on unionizing—a vote that they ultimately won on April 1, 2022 in a result that one labor reporter called a "tremendous upset."

    As the union prepared to vote last year, said Christian Smalls, a co-founder of the ALU and former Amazon employee, on Wednesday, "we were allowed to organize in the break room, feed the workers, feed our colleagues, let them know that we're building a culture that's here to represent the workers."

    "Unfortunately, after our victory Amazon rolled a policy out that allowed no access to the building, meaning workers cannot report before or afterwards unless they're scheduled for shifts," he added. "We weren't allowed to organize because they were targeting us, retaliating, firing, writing people up."

    The new policy, introduced last summer, barred workers from being in the building 15 minutes before or after their scheduled shift. The ALU says it made it more difficult for the union to engage with workers and enlist them to help pressure Amazon to bargain with them.

    The company has claimed that it instituted the off-duty access rule only as a security measure and applied the rule fairly.

    "The employer violated the [National Labor Relations] Act in implementing its off-duty access rule at the end of June in response to union activity," said the NLRB in a letter to the ALU. "The off-duty access rule has further been applied discriminatorily as relates to the disciplines pursuant to the rule which have been issued for union activity."

    The board's announcement that it found merit in the ALU's charges regarding the rule could be "a precursor to the agency issuing a complaint or taking other formal actions," Bloomberg Law reported.

    'Never Seen Anything Like This': US Librarians Report Book Bans Hit Record High in 2022

    Librarians from across the United States released a report showing that pro-censorship groups' efforts to ban books with LGBTQ+ themes and stories about people of color have driven an unprecedented rise in the number of book challenges, with right-wing organizers pushing library workers to remove works ranging from the dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale to children's books about foods enjoyed in different cultures.

    According to the American Library Association (ALA), a record-breaking 2,571 unique titles were challenged in 2022, a 38% increase from the previous year.

    The organization recorded 1,269 demands to censor books from various groups and individuals, compared to 729 challenges counted in 2021.

    "Each attempt to ban a book by one of these groups represents a direct attack on every person's constitutionally protected right to freely choose what books to read and what ideas to explore," said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. "The choice of what to read must be left to the reader or, in the case of children, to parents. That choice does not belong to self-appointed book police."

    The Office for Intellectual Freedom said that starting in 2021, a rising number of challenges began targeting large numbers of titles, suggesting they were coordinated efforts from national groups like Moms for Liberty. Previously, the vast majority of book challenges were focused on a single book to which a parent or group of parents objected.

    In 2022, 90% of the books challenged were part of attempts to censor multiple titles, the ALA reported.

    Cop City: Judge Denies Bond to People Rounded Up in Mass Arrest for Opposing Police Training Camp

    Police sue rapper Afroman for using footage of home raid in his music videos

    Police officers who conducted a botched armed raid of rapper Afroman’s home last year have filed a lawsuit against him for invasion of privacy and emotional distress after he used footage of it in his music videos. Earlier this month, police officers Shawn D Cooley, Justin Cooley, Michael D Estep, Shawn D, Grooms, Brian Newland, Lisa Phillips, and Randolph L Walters, Jr, filed the lawsuit in Adams county, Ohio, against Afroman, alleging that the rapper and others including his record label used the officers’ persona for commercial purposes.

    According to court documents, police officers conducted a search of Afroman’s residence last August, “pursuant to a lawfully issued search warrant”. According to the warrant, the search was carried out as part of an investigation into drug possession and trafficking, as well as kidnapping.

    Following the raid, Adams county prosecutor’s office said officers found no probative criminal evidence, and Afroman faced no charges. At the time of the raid, Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Edgar Foreman, was not home but his wife was. In addition to Afroman’s wife recording parts of the raid on her phone, security video cameras installed at their home also caught portions of the search, including the faces and bodies of many of the officers involved.

    The rapper went on to use the footage recorded by his wife and house cameras as part of several music videos which were released online. Afroman also posted content from the raid onto his social media accounts including Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, the lawsuit said.

    the horse race

    The Candidate and the Spy: James Bamford on Israel's Secret Collusion with Trump to Win 2016 Race

    Witness expected to testify for defense at Proud Boys trial was government informant

    Federal prosecutors disclosed on Wednesday that a witness expected to testify for the defense at the seditious conspiracy trial of the former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four associates was a government informant for nearly two years after the January 6 US Capitol attack.

    Carmen Hernandez, a lawyer for Zachary Rehl, a former chapter leader in the far-right group, asked a judge to schedule an immediate emergency hearing and suspend the trial “until these issues have been considered and resolved”. Lawyers for the other four defendants joined in Hernandez’s request.

    Hernandez said in court papers the defense was told by prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon the witness they were planning to call on Thursday had been a government informant.

    The judge ordered prosecutors to file a response to the defense filing by Thursday afternoon and scheduled a hearing for the same day, putting testimony in the case on hold until Friday. The US attorney’s office did not immediately comment.

    the evening greens

    UN conference hears litany of water disasters linked to climate crisis

    Water is at the heart of the climate crisis, with an increasingly dire carousel of droughts, floods and sea level rise felt “making our planet uninhabitable” the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has warned.

    On the second day of the first UN water conference in almost half a century, countries lined up to describe how they are suffering from water disasters linked to human-made global heating. “We seem to either have too much water, or too little,” said Senzo Mchunu, South Africa’s water minister. “We will fail on climate change if we fail on water.”

    Last year more than 40,000 people, half of them children, died from drought in Somalia while a third of Pakistan was inundated after catastrophic floods. Agricultural yields have fallen sharply in parts of Europe and China after a string of drought years, and last month Cyclone Freddy brought catastrophic floods to southern Africa.

    “Humanity faces a difficult truth – climate change is making our planet uninhabitable,” said Guterres on Thursday. “As countries hurtle past the 1.5C limit (2.7F), climate change is intensifying heatwaves, droughts, flooding, wildfires and famines, while threatening to submerge low-lying countries and cities and drive more species to extinction.”

    On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which holds the presidency for Cop28, came under pressure to put water front and centre of the UN climate talks to be held in Dubai in November. About 90% of climate impacts are related to water – too much, too little or too polluted – yet currently only 3% of climate finance is dedicated to water resources.

    Climate Change Enables the Spread of a Dangerous Flesh-Eating Bacteria in US Coastal Waters, Study Says

    Cases of a potentially fatal infection from a seawater-borne pathogen have increased off the U.S. Atlantic coast as ocean waters warmed over the last 30 years, and are expected to rise further in future because of climate change, according to a study published on Thursday by Scientific Reports, an open-access journal for research on the natural sciences and other topics.

    The incidence of infections from Vibrio vulnificus, a pathogen that thrives in shallow, brackish water, was eight times greater in the eastern U.S. in 2018 than it was in 1988, and its range shifted northward to areas where waters were previously too cold to support it, according to the paper, “Climate Warming and Increasing Vibrio Vulnificus Infections in North America,” by academic researchers in the U.S., England and Spain.

    By the middle of the 21st century, the pathogen is expected to become more common in major population centers, including New York City, and by the end of the century, infections may be present in every U.S. Atlantic coast state if carbon emissions follow a medium- to high-level trajectory, the report said.

    Infections can enter the body through skin wounds or by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, and can turn necrotic in as little as one or two days. That requires, in about 10 percent of cases, the surgical removal of infected flesh or the amputation of limbs. The mortality rate is as high as 18 percent, and fatalities have occurred as soon as 48 hours after exposure, the report said.

    “Our projections indicate that climate change will have a major effect on V. vulnificus infection distribution and number in Eastern USA, likely due to warming coastal waters favoring presence of bacteria and elevated temperatures leading to more coastal recreation,” the study said.

    Also of Interest

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

    The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel

    BP Extracted £15 Billion of Iraqi Oil After British Invasion

    From Bush to Blix: what happened to the key figures in the Iraq war?

    Dennis Kucinich: From Iraq Into the Abyss?

    The 'Junior Partner' Meme Gives No Insight To Real Changes

    Israeli Army Conducted Online Psy-op Against Israeli Public During Gaza War

    German Public Sector Workers Continue Strikes

    A Little Night Music

    BB King - Why I Sing The Blues

    BB King - When It All Comes Down

    BB King - Better Not Look Down

    BB King - Never Make Your Move Too Soon

    B.B. King - Rusty Dusty Blues

    BB King - Hummingbird

    BB King - Worry, Worry, Worry

    Albert King, BB King, Willie Dixon, Etta James, Koko Taylor - Let the Good Times Roll

    Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King & Albert Collins - Texas Flood Live In New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

    BB King - Nobody Loves Me But My Mother And She Could Be Jivin' Too

    16 users have voted.


    loves but my mother. . .


    9 users have voted.

    Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

    Explain Bldg #7. . . still waiting. . .

    If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
    Now you know. . .
    sign at protest march

    joe shikspack's picture

    @Tall Bald and Ugly

    ... and she could be jivin' too. Smile

    have a great weekend!

    7 users have voted.
    ggersh's picture

    might be differs greatly from Kirby, to put it mildly

    Thanks for the EB's Joe and to all the bluesters have
    a great weekend

    12 users have voted.

    I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
    those born Jewish

    "Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
    now it's someone who Jews don't like"

    Heard from Margaret Kimberley

    joe shikspack's picture


    yep, i wonder what sort of meds they have biden on to keep him seeming coherent for an hour or so at a time.

    have a great weekend!

    9 users have voted.

    especially enjoy the Texas Flood recording with SRV.

    Thanks for all the music joe!

    6 users have voted.
    joe shikspack's picture


    yep, bb was often imitated but he had a particular feel and phrasing that was his own. when you hear bb king play, you always know it's him.

    have a great weekend!

    5 users have voted.
    enhydra lutris's picture

    Gotta luv the way the old rules based order crowd just casually steps to the mike and tells the whole world that they're going to take another shot at overthrowing the government of Belorussia, even though, of course, it is a gross violation of international law to even try that kind of shit. And of course, neither the UN nor the ICC would even think of speaking up about it. Gawd what a scurvy pile of assholes is in charge of the whole consolidated west.

    Hey, have a wonderful weekend.

    be well and have a good one.

    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

    yeah, it's kind of funny that it's an open secret that the u.s. interferes in other countries' elections but our politicians get the vapors when there is the faintest hint that some other country might mess with our elections. well, unless of course that other country is israel which is unmentionable and not investigable.

    have a great weekend!

    8 users have voted.

    And everything else you posted is worth a listen or a read.
    Thanks for all you do.
    I am hoping Texas once again says, "Come and take it". At least they are talking about it.
    I am signed up for a Continuing Legal Education course webcast next week. It involves the cases and pending case that wipes out the 4th Am. I will let you all know if it means anything to deny cop entry into your home, car, or computer, without a warrant that establishes the Gold Standard: "Get a warrant, you f*ing cop!

    9 users have voted.

    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    joe shikspack's picture

    @on the cusp

    it's funny how they seem to think that getting a warrant is such an obstacle. the fact that there is not an adversarial process renders the search prohibitions of the 4th kind of useless already.

    oh well, let us know how the fascist takeover is proceeding after the webinar.

    have a great weekend!

    7 users have voted.

    @joe shikspack privacy. Something is goin' on, joe. Sounds bad.
    I absolutely will post something after I attend that class.
    Have a great evening, my friend.

    5 users have voted.

    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    enhydra lutris's picture

    @on the cusp

    pretty much in shreds and tatters as is the meaning of "probable cause"

    be well and have a good one

    2 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 --

    @enhydra lutris to tell a cop to get a search warrant if they pulled me over for a busted tail light. What does searching my vehicle to look for contraband have to do with a broken tail light?
    I see videos of arrest fairly frequently. Over and over, after they are given the perp's drivers license, they start asking about drugs and weapons. The perps just go along with it.
    I doubt an attempt to suppress the evidence obtained would be futile. In the future, I think suppression of evidence will become an obsolete procedure.

    2 users have voted.

    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    soryang's picture

    ....has all the trappings of 19th and 20th Century gunboat diplomacy. Abe is credited with originating the Indo-Pacific strategy. His historical revisionism was consistent with his desire to resurrect Japan as a "normal country" with regular armed forces removed from restrictions of Article 9 and WWII guilt. Abe's grandfather one of the leaders of postwar "democratic" Japan, was a class A war criminal. I read one account somewhere that Abe learned politics on his grandfather's knee.

    Nobusuke Kishi (岸 信介, Kishi Nobusuke, 13 November 1896 – 7 August 1987) was a Japanese bureaucrat and politician who was Prime Minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960.

    Known for his exploitative rule of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in Northeast China in the 1930s, Kishi was nicknamed the "Monster of the Shōwa era" (昭和の妖怪; Shōwa no yōkai).[1] Kishi later served in the wartime cabinet of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō as Minister of Commerce and Vice Minister of Munitions,[2] and co-signed the declaration of war against the United States on December 7, 1941.

    After World War II, Kishi was imprisoned for three years as a suspected Class A war criminal. However, the U.S. government did not charge, try, or convict him, and eventually released him as they considered Kishi to be the best man to lead a post-war Japan in a pro-American direction. With U.S. support, he went on to consolidate the Japanese conservative camp against perceived threats from the Japan Socialist Party in the 1950s. Kishi was instrumental in the formation of the powerful Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) through a merger of smaller conservative parties in 1955, and thus is credited with being a key player in the initiation of the "1955 System", the extended period during which the LDP was the overwhelmingly dominant political party in Japan.[3][4]

    Taro Aso is another LDP leading figure. During WWII his family used slave laborers in the family mines during WWII, including Allied POWs. Taro Aso's admiration for Nazis slipped out on at least one occasion. He has a reputation for making indiscrete comments. The Abe and Aso factions between them dominate the political machinery of the LDP that represents the interests of the traditional Japanese oligarchy. Kishida is their man. Kishida's family made a fortune in business in Manchukuo and Taiwan during the imperial era. The whole focus of US-Japan policy is to reconstitute the old Japanese Pacific Empire in the Pacific under US hegemony. The places to begin are Taiwan and Korea, the old Japanese colonies, by wresting them back into the imperial fold.

    PM Kishida's popularity went through the roof after the spectacle of President Yoon adopting Japanese revisionist positions on its history, in which it was victim, not Korea nor the other Asian nations conquered and occupied during WWII. Bringing conquered nations under their heel was good for them. Yoon's bow to the Japanese flag and his one sided concessions to Japan catered to the far right Japanese stereotype of Koreans as their subordinates.

    If the head of state denies national identity, then he has given up the right to represent the country. Similarly, if a Korean president aims for a future far detached from international peace or peaceful unification, this goes against his constitutional obligations. President Yoon Suk-yeol has denied the identity of the Republic of Korea itself.

    On March 6, Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin announced the government's plan to provide compensation to the victims of Japan’s colonial-era forced labor through payments made by a third party. Regarding the controversial plan, Yoon called it “a decision to move toward a future-oriented South Korea-Japan relationship.”

    The most important problem with this “solution,” however, is that Yoon-helmed South Korea has now erased the illegality of Japanese colonial rule on its own. It has also denied the legitimacy of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, the legal traditions which form the foundation of South Korea’s current Constitution.

    Why is Seoul playing dumb about Japan’s unlawful colonial rule?
    Hankyoreh Mar 21

    American "leaders" think this history doesn't matter any more, they couldn't be more wrong. What they really mean is that is doesn't matter to them. I heard Wendy Sherman from the US State Department say not too long ago, "When are they going to get over it?" The US didn't care about it when they let war criminals Kishi, Yakuza boss Yoshio Kodama, and Ryōichi Sasakawa a fascist, his cellmates, out of prison.

    The Chinese have no option really other than friendship and cooperation with Russia, the US-Japanese Indo-Pacific policy is to "strangle China" by cutting off its sea lanes of communication in the event of conflict over Taiwan or the South China Sea. The objective of "securing Taiwan" is an essential component of the "strangle China" strategy. It was Japan's idea to spread the confrontation to the South China Sea to widen the front of confrontation. The object isn't freedom of navigation it's just the opposite, to cut China off from its markets and sources of raw materials. Therefore China's BRI and the strategic relationship with Russia, has to be, in order to counter the traditional imperial gunboat diplomacy. The Russian-Chinese alignment for China isn't "tactical" as some westerners would wish, it's strategic.

    What are the Japanese going to say, "oh forget about history while we double up on our armed forces and go with an offensive military?" What will the US say to turn China away from Russia? Oh forget about our "strangle China strategy" and our "first island strategy" which puts Taiwan inside our defense perimeter. "We didn't mean any of that. Take our word for it." Why would China ever believe either one of them? China is not in a position to abandon Russia as long as they are surrounded by US military bases. The only thing that could change any of this is if the US started dismantling its base structure in East Asia.. But what is it doing? It's actively expanding the number of bases.

    Really enjoyed this OT Joe, the articles and videos here and hearing the BB again, who accompanied me on the satellite radio for many lonely miles over the road in 美國 (beautiful country, USA). MoA, Caitlin, James Bamford, Alex X2, it's too much. Thanks for bringing it all to one place. It's always about the oil and gas. In the SCS too.

    I guess this is BTS using the Jo Yong-pil recording, Come back to Busan Port, to produce this video with some nice Busan scenery. Went there twice, years ago, it was spectacular then. Went to Chinhae a couple of times, once for the cherry blossom festival. I did some research on the song once. There was a plagiarism suit over it at one point. The theme is similar to that in the novel Pachinko.

    These lyrics bring to mind the colonial period when Koreans may have traveled to or been transported to Japan for (forced) labor or military service. Also during periods of domestic hardship and repression after the Japanese defeat in WWII and the Korean War where such distress may have prompted such travels back and forth by Koreans.

    1. 꽃피는 동백섬에 봄이 왔건만
    Spring came to Camelia Island where flowers bloom but
    형제 떠난 부산항에 갈매기만 슬피우네
    at Busan port where my brother left, only the gulls sad cry
    오륙도 돌아가는 연락선마다
    As each ferry goes around Oryuk island
    목메어 불러 봐도 대답 없는 내 형제여
    I call out until hoarse, but there is no word of my brother,
    돌아와요 부산항에 그리운 내 형제여
    Return to Busan, my dear missed brother.

    2. 가고파 목이 메여 부르던 이 거리는
    I want to go, I called until choking, caught
    그리워서 헤매이던 긴긴날의 꿈이었지
    yearning, wandering in a former dream of a long, long day.
    언제나 말없는 저 물결들도
    As always, without words, those waves too,
    부딪혀 슬퍼하며 가는 길을 막았었지
    sadly break blocking the way to go,
    돌아왔다 부산항에 그리운 내 형제여
    I returned to Busan port, my dear missed brother.

    6 users have voted.

    語必忠信 行必正直

    orlbucfan's picture

    "You Don't Know Nothin' 'Bout Love" and how! joe s, I just finished reading Robert Gordon's excellent bio on Muddy Waters. What an education! Jazz to Blues to Rock 'n' Roll. Needless to say, BB was a fanboy of the great bluesman from the Mississippi Delta. REC'D!!! Smile

    4 users have voted.

    Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.