The Evening Blues - 3-29-23


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

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b/soul singer Ben E. King. Enjoy!

Ben E. King - Stand By Me

"Imperialism creates the illusion of wealth as far as the masses are concerned. It usually serves to hide the fact that the ruling classes are gobbling up the natural resources of the home territory in an improvident manner and are otherwise utilizing the national wealth largely for their own purposes. Eventually the general public is called upon to pay for all of this, frequently after the military machine can no longer maintain external aggression."

-- Jack D. Forbes

News and Opinion

U.S. inconvenienced by peace breaking out. Worth a full read:

US Occupiers Lash Out as Syria War Draws to an End

The circumstances surrounding the flare-up in Syria between the U.S. occupation forces and pro-Iranian militia groups remain murky. President Joe Biden claims that the U.S. is reacting, but there are signs that it is likely being proactive to create new facts on the ground. The U.S. Central Command claims that following a drone attack on an American base near Hasakah on the afternoon of March 23, retaliatory air strikes were undertaken later that night, at Biden’s direction, against “facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.”

This version has been disputed by the spokesman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, however, who accused Washington of “creating artificial crises and lying.” The Iranian official alleged that “over the past two days, American helicopters have carried out several sorties with the aim of increasing instability in Syria, and transferred Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists in the territory of this country.” ...

Is the U.S. deliberately ratcheting up tensions in Syria as the China-brokered, Saudi-Iranian rapprochement is radically changing the security scenario in the West Asian [Middle East] region in a positive direction?

There is optimism that Syria stands to gain from the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement. Already, the Saudi Foreign Ministry has revealed that talks are going on with Syria for resuming consular services between the two countries, which will pave the way for the resumption of diplomatic relations, making it possible to reinstate Syria’s membership of the Arab League. ... The backdrop is that the normalization of relations between Syria and its estranged Arab neighbors has accelerated. It must be particularly galling for Washington that these regional states used to be active participants in the U.S.-led regime change project to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The Saudi-Iranian rapprochement badly isolates the U.S. and Israel.

From such a perspective, it stands to reason that the U.S. is once again stirring up the Syrian cauldron as Russian aircraft have been reported to be frequently flying over the U.S. military base At Tanf on the Syrian-Iraqi border where training camps for militant groups are known to exist.

Israel too is a stakeholder in keeping Syria unstable and weak. In the Israeli narrative, Iran-backed militia groups have been increasing their capability in Syria in the last two years and the continued U.S. occupation of Syria is vital for balancing these groups. Israel is paranoid that a strong government in Damascus might start challenging its illegal occupation of the Golan Heights.

A key factor in this matrix is the nascent process of Russian mediation between Turkey and Syria. With an eye on the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary election in Turkey in May, President Recep Erdogan is keen to achieve some visible progress in improving ties with Syria. Erdogan senses that Turkish public opinion strongly favours normalization with Syria. Polls in December showed that 59 percent of Turks would like an early repatriation of Syrian refugees who are a burden on the Turkish economy, which has an inflation rate of 90 percent. ...

Significantly, Erdogan telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday and the Kremlin readout mentioned that amongst “topics concerning Russian-Turkish partnership in various fields,” during the conversation, “the Syrian issue was touched upon, and the importance of continuing the normalization of Turkish-Syrian relations was underlined. In this regard the President of Türkiye highlighted the constructive mediatory role Russia has played in this process.” ...

If Turkey ends its military presence in Syria, the spotlight will fall on the U.S.’ illegal occupation of one-third of Syrian territory and the massive smuggling of oil and other resources from Syria in American military convoys. ... Thus, the U.S. needs an alibi to justify remaining in Syria to fight “terrorism” when dialogue and reconciliation is in ascendance in West Asian politics.

Washington’s intention could be to confront Iran on Syrian soil — something Israel has been espousing — by taking advantage of Russia’s distraction in Ukraine. The U.S. would also like to disturb improving Russian-Iranian ties. The specter that is haunting Washington is that the stabilization of Syria following Assad’s normalization with the Arab countries and with Turkey will inexorably coalesce into a Syrian settlement that completely marginalizes the “collective West.”

Ukraine’s Clear Pattern Of War Crimes Condemned By Amnesty International

Russia obsession drives Blinken to warn India ahead of G20

The curiously incurious congress strikes again:

Senate Votes Down Amendment to Create Special Watchdog for Ukraine

The Senate on Tuesday night voted down an amendment to create a special inspector general to oversee the over $113 billion that the US has authorized to spend on the war in Ukraine.

The amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), failed in a vote of 26-68, with 24 Republicans and only two Democrats voting in favor of more oversight for the billions in weapons that are being shipped to Ukraine.

Briahna Joy Gray: Identitarian Left FACEPLANT? Neoliberals Want Grandma To Work To DEATH

French retirement overhaul showdown has united all walks of life in 'widespread broad based protest'

French protesters and police clash in marches against pension changes

Protesters and police clashed on the edges of street demonstrations in France on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of people took part in marches against Emmanuel Macron’s use of constitutional executive powers to push through an unpopular rise in the pension age to 64. While demonstrations in Paris and Nantes were peaceful, with the majority of demonstrators chanting and calling for the pension changes to be scrapped, on the margins in some cities, men in masks or hoods clashed with police.

In Paris, police fired teargas and launched a charge after some people at the head of the protest, dressed in black with their faces covered, raided and looted a supermarket and then started a fire as the march approached Place de la Nation in the east of the city. At least 22 people were arrested in the capital by the afternoon, Paris police said.

In the western city of Nantes, protesters threw projectiles at security forces who responded withtear gas, AFP reported. A bank branch was set on fire and rubbish bins were set alight near a court building. Police in Lyon in southeastern France used water cannon. In Lille, police used teargas after bus stops were smashed. In Bordeaux some hooded people lit fires and projectiles were thrown. In Toulouse, police used water cannon.

Turnout at the street protests across France appeared to be slightly lower than the last day of strikes and protests last Thursday. The interior ministry said 740,000 people took part in protests across France.

French grassroots movement challenges executive power in name of 'democracy' and 'freedom of speech'

Israeli crisis continues as fired minister apparently refuses to quit

Israeli politics has descended into disarray with questions over whether a fired defence minister is refusing to step down and concerns Benjamin Netanyahu may have promised too much to far-right politicians in exchange for a deal aimed at quelling nationwide demonstrations. ...

Aides to the fired defence minister said that despite his dismissal, Gallant would remain in his post. While the termination would have ordinarily gone into effect by Tuesday, Gallant’s aides said he had never been formally notified. Spokespeople for Netanyahu and his party, Likud, made no immediate comment.

Meanwhile, protest organisers have promised to continue to rally, accusing the prime minister of deception. Adding to their anxiety and that of the opposition, the ruling coalition on Tuesday tabled a final reading of a bill that would give Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges he denies, greater control of the system for selecting judges.

Corbyn gives strong hint he will stand against Labour as independent

Jeremy Corbyn has given his strongest hint yet that he will stand as an independent candidate, saying he has “no intention of stopping the fight” to represent his north London constituents. The former party leader was on Tuesday formally blocked from standing for Labour at the next election, prompting leftwingers to fiercely criticise Keir Starmer’s “authoritarian” and “divisive” move.

Corbyn is unable to put himself forward for selection in his Islington North constituency Labour party (CLP), where he still has a solid support base, because the party’s national executive committee (NEC) signs off on all candidate lists. He released a statement hours after the NEC backed Starmer’s motion to block him from standing as a party candidate, with 22 votes to 12.

“The NEC’s decision to block my candidacy for Islington North is a shameful attack on party democracy, party members and natural justice,” Corbyn said. “Now, more than ever, we should be offering a bold alternative to the government’s programme of poverty, division and repression. Keir Starmer has instead launched an assault on the rights of his own Labour members, breaking his pledge to build a united and democratic party that advances social, economic and climate justice.

“I will not be intimidated into silence. I have spent my life fighting for a fairer society on behalf of the people of Islington North, and I have no intention of stopping now.”

The Momentum founder, Jon Lansman, who was once one of Corbyn’s closest allies, said Starmer was “behaving like some kind of Putin of the Labour party” who had failed to fulfil his leadership promise of ending factionalism. ... The Islington North CLP has publicly rejected Starmer’s move to block Corbyn, saying north London voters “deserve a free and fair vote on who gets to represent them”. Many leftwing MPs have resorted to sharing the CLP’s statement, instead of outrightly condemning Starmer’s leadership.

Price gouging at the pump? Oil firms will have to pay up for higher prices

California lawmakers on Monday approved the nation’s first penalty for price gouging at the pump, voting to give regulators the power to punish oil companies for profiting from the type of gas price spikes that plagued the nation’s most populous state last summer. The Democrats in charge of the state legislature worked quickly to pass the bill on Monday, just one week after it was introduced. It was an unusually fast process for a controversial issue, especially one opposed by the powerful oil industry that has spent millions of dollars to stop it.

The Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, used his political muscle to pass the bill, which grew out of his call last October for a special legislative session to pass a new tax on oil company profits after the average price of gas in California hit a record high of $6.44 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. Taking on the oil industry has been a major policy priority for Newsom, who is widely viewed as a future presidential candidate. ... He is expected to sign the bill into law on Tuesday.

Newsom and lawmakers agreed to let the California energy commission decide whether to penalize oil companies for price gouging. But the crux of the bill isn’t a potential penalty. Instead, it’s the reams of new information oil companies would be required to disclose to state regulators about their pricing. The companies would report this information, most of it to be kept confidential, to a new state agency empowered to monitor and investigate the petroleum market and subpoena oil company executives. The commission will rely on the work of this agency, plus a panel of experts, to decide whether to impose a penalty on oil company profits and how much that penalty should be.

“If we force folks to turn over this information, I actually don’t believe we’ll ever need a penalty because the fact that they have to tell us what’s going on will stop them from gouging our consumers,” said Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, a Democratic state representative from Orinda.

TikTok Ban Bill Is PATRIOT ACT 2.0 Trojan Horse

US court reinstates Adnan Syed murder conviction in Serial podcast case

A court in Maryland has reinstated the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, the Baltimore man whose alleged involvement in the 1999 murder of 17-year-old Hae Min Lee was the subject of the hit podcast Serial. ... In September last year, state prosecutors revealed they had uncovered new evidence they said undermined Syed’s conviction and pointed to two alternative suspects.

A circuit court judge then threw out Syed’s conviction, saying that the state had failed to turn over exculpatory evidence with the defense. Prosecutors declined to recharge the case, entering what is known as a “nolle prosequi” in the court record.

In December, Young Lee, Hae Min’s brother, filed an appeal arguing that prosecutors violated state law requiring them to give sufficient notice of hearings to victims or their representatives so they may attend in person.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the Maryland appeals court agreed with Lee that the state violated his rights by giving him just one business day’s notice, and said “this court has the power and obligation to remedy those violations, as long we can do so without violating Mr Syed’s right to be free from double jeopardy”.

But the ruling also suggests Syed will not remain convicted for long and that the reinstatement will be temporary until the hearing is repeated.

the horse race

Mike Pence must testify before grand jury investigating January 6 – reports

Former US vice-president Mike Pence must testify in front of a grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s election subversion and incitement of the January 6 attack on Congress, a federal judge reportedly ruled on Tuesday.

Multiple news outlets reported the ruling, which remained under seal.

Trump and Pence himself have both sought to stop Pence from testifying in the justice department investigation of Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. ... Lawyers for Trump cited executive privilege, the concept that communications between a president and aides are protected.

Lawyers for Pence argued he was protected by the separation of powers, via the vice-president’s role as president of the Senate, which he performed on 6 January 2021, the day supporters who were told to “fight like hell” by Trump tried to block certification of Biden’s win.

On Tuesday, James E Boasberg, a judge in federal district court in Washington DC, reportedly rejected both arguments.

the evening greens

Plastics cause wide-ranging health issues from cancer to birth defects, landmark study finds

Plastics are responsible for wide-ranging health impacts including cancers, lung disease and birth defects, according to the first analysis of the health hazards of plastics across their entire life cycle – from extraction for manufacturing, through to dumping into landfill and oceans. Led by the Boston College Global Observatory on Planetary Health in partnership with Australia’s Minderoo Foundation and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, the review found “current patterns of plastic production, use, and disposal are not sustainable and are responsible for significant harms to human health … as well as for deep societal injustices”.

“The main driver of these worsening harms is an almost exponential and still accelerating increase in global plastic production,” the analysis, published in the medical journal Annals of Global Health, found. “Plastics’ harms are further magnified by low rates of recovery and recycling and by the long persistence of plastic waste in the environment.”

Coalminers, oil workers and gas field workers who extract fossil carbon feedstocks for plastic production, along with plastic production workers, were at particular risk of harm, the report found. These workers “suffer increased mortality from traumatic injury … silicosis, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer,” the report said.

“Plastic production workers are at increased risk of leukaemia, lymphoma … brain cancer, breast cancer, mesothelioma … and decreased fertility. Plastic recycling workers have increased rates of cardiovascular disease, toxic metal poisoning, neuropathy, and lung cancer.” Meanwhile, residents of communities adjacent to plastic production and waste disposal sites experience increased risks of premature birth, low birth weight, asthma, childhood leukaemia, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. The report referred to evidence that infants in the womb and young children were at particularly high risk.

UK ‘strikingly unprepared’ for impacts of climate crisis

The UK is “strikingly unprepared” for the impacts of the climate crisis, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which said there had been a “lost decade” in efforts to adapt for the impacts of global heating. The CCC, the government’s official climate adviser, said climate damages will inevitably intensify for decades to come. It has warned repeatedly of poor preparation in the past and said government action was now urgently needed to protect people and their homes and livelihoods.

The extreme heatwave in 2022, when temperatures surpassed 40C for the first time, was both an example and a warning, the CCC said. More than 3,000 people died early and 20% of hospital operations were cancelled at the peak of the heatwave, while rail lines buckled, wildfires raged and farmers struggled with drought. “It won’t be long before those kinds of very hot summers are a normal summer,” said Chris Stark, CCC chief executive.

Areas where needed action is missing include heat-proofing homes, stemming leaks from water supply pipes and preparing for flash floods and shortages of food and other imports from nations struck by climate impacts.

“The government is not putting together a plan that reflects the scale and the nature of the risks that face the whole country,” said Stark. “This is completely critical. There is no option but to adapt to the change in the climate. The question is only whether we do that well by doing it early or wait until later.”

Baltimore Blocks EPA Plan to Dump Toxic Wastewater From East Palestine

A local Democratic lawmaker in Baltimore on Tuesday credited community members and clean water advocates for helping to secure an environmental victory, as the City Council unanimously approved a resolution to block shipments of contaminated wastewater from East Palestine, Ohio.

Days after water treatment company Clean Harbors informed Baltimore and Maryland officials that it intended to receive 675,000 gallons of contaminated wastewater containing vinyl chloride and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the site of a toxic train derailment in February, Councilmember Zeke Cohen introduced a resolution on Monday to stop the shipment.

The treatment facility where the wastewater would be going, the resolution noted, has been operated by the state since March 2022 "due to catastrophic failures at the facility that led to illegal releases of partially treated sewage."

"Ongoing sludge management issues" have also been identified as a cause of a recent explosion at the plant, which treats water that ultimately flows into the Chesapeake Bay, and the neighborhoods surrounding the facility "have an air toxics risk in the 80th-100th percentile and wastewater discharges in the 90th-100th percentile, nationally."

"The decision to send at least 675,000 gallons (that's at least 20 train cars) of contaminated water to an already environmentally overburdened community is reckless," tweeted Cohen on Monday as he introduced the resolution. "We stand in solidarity with the people of East Palestine. We understand all too well the long-term costs of environmental injustice."

"But now is not the time, and our city is not the place to clean up Norfolk Southern's mess," he added, referring to the rail company responsible for the derailment in East Palestine.

Environmental justice group Blue Water Baltimore demanded to know last week why U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials "believe it is appropriate to send the toxic waste that is too dangerous for East Palestine to the shores of Baltimore."

"It is entirely inappropriate to further stress-test this facility by adding even more toxic contaminants to the waste-stream from wastewater produced outside of the watershed," said the group.

The February 3 derailment involved several train cars carrying vinyl chloride and has so far led Norfolk Southern to remove more than eight million gallons of wastewater from the town, shipping it to facilities in states including Michigan and Texas.

Residents of East Palestine have reported symptoms including headaches and vomiting since leaders told them the town was safe to return to following a brief evacuation. Soil near the crash site has been found to contain levels of dioxin that far exceed the cancer risk threshold recommended by scientists.

Democratic Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said late Monday that following the City Council's unanimous adoption of Cohen's resolution, city lawyers concluded he could legally modify a sewage permit and halt City Harbors' plan, which was overseen by the EPA.

"Thank you to Mayor Scott for taking bold and decisive action to deny Clean Harbors from discharging toxic water from East Palestine into our wastewater collection system," said Cohen.

The council member said the victory "was made possible because elected officials listened to voices on the ground."

Residents of the Houston area spoke out last month about plans to inject toxic wastewater from East Palestine into the ground in a suburban area, and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, blocked a shipment of contaminated soil earlier this month.

"Too often cities with high rates of concentrated poverty and environmental degradation are asked to shoulder the burden for corporate malfeasance," said Cohen on Monday. "East Palestine and Baltimore deserve better."

Also of Interest

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

Will the US-Backed War in Yemen Ever End?

As Longterm Partnership With Us Fades, Saudi Arabia Seeks to Diversify Its Diplomacy – And Recent Deals With China, Iran and Russia Fit This Strategy

Brazil Looks To Strengthen Ties With China, As Taiwan Loses Yet Another Ally in Latin America

Rep. Matt Gaetz Introduces Bill to Withdraw from Somalia

How Should CEOs And Politicians Be Punished For the Evil They Do?

‘The Billionaire Bailout’: FDIC Chair Says the Biggest Deposit Accounts at SVB Held $13 Billion

As Senate Banking Committee Convenes Hearing on Exploding Banks, an FDIC Chart Shows the Banking Crisis Is Far from Over

To Crush Unions, Starbucks Targets Employee Communications

Cop City Coverage Fails to Question Narratives of Militarized Police

Meatball from long-extinct mammoth created by food firm

Woolly mammoth meatball: Will an Australian innovation help create the future of food?

Hillary’s CRINGE Video Announcing Her College Course

"Bootstrapped": Alissa Quart on Liberating Ourselves from the Myth of the American Dream

Shellenberger Calls Out Censorship HYPOCRISY: Would Dems Complain if Social Media SILENCED Liberals?

Bernie Sanders GRILLS Fmr Starbucks CEO On Labor Practices; Schultz WHINES About 'Unfair' Questions

A Little Night Music

Ben E King - Spanish Harlem

Ben E. King - That's when it hurts

Ben E King and The Drifters - This Magic Moment

Ben E. King - Don't Play That Song

Ben E King and The Drifters - Save the Last Dance for Me

Ben E. King and The Drifters - There Goes My Baby

Ben E King - Young Boy Blues

Ben E. King - Too Bad

Ben E King - I'm Standing By

14 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture

i won't be around this evening as i am going to a concert. depending on how late i get back i will try to check in.

have a great evening!

11 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Hi all, Hey Joe,

Loved that Fenton Robinson last night... He was a great player. Always just right. Pretty cool how the Blues Bros. snuck his tune into the movie... playing on the radio when Belushi is in the parole van. Anyway, awesome sauce man!

In news from the future... A Norfolk Southern water barge being towed to an unknown destination has sunk with its toxic waste because someone forgot to put the drain plug in, its cargo has leaked out.

We will not consider talk of a ceasefire from the two countries that are at war? You would think we are selling them BOTH their weapons!

back to the salt mine...

Thanks for the great soundscapes!

Have good ones all!

9 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


heh, my spidey sense tells me that the nofucks given southern water barge sunk off the coast of new jersey.

have a great evening!

4 users have voted.

Edited to add this image:

14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


looks like the world is making significant progress while the u.s. ruling elites are demonstrating their insanity and incompetence.

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


Cops have stepped up their brutality against the people in many countries and so far the people have just taken it, but I’m betting that we see more of this. Cops have no right to assault people for any reason and yet we are seeing them doing it more and more….it’s not the answer, but something has to give.

12 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.


8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


cop behavior in france seems to be all over the place. most of the items that i read are about their brutality, but i've seen one or two items about some of them switching sides.

i would imagine that it would take a long time for the cops to come around to common sense and stop busting heads, but perhaps over time, due to the fact that they have to live among the common folk, they will come to their senses.

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

in college except that he graduated at the bottom, but he also got arrested with Mandela, marched with King in Selma and never plagiarized a speech….

When he goes to Germany he will be called Joe Bidenberg…. In Israel he will be called Joe Bidenstein. It’s his tone of voice that gives away that he’s lying.

7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture


joe biden is the walter mitty of presidents.

whenever i see him making shit up i hear pocketa, pocketa, pocketa in the background.

5 users have voted.

How much does the F-35 program cost?

The Pentagon's latest estimated cost to develop and procure the F-35 fighter jet, the world's most expensive weapons program, has edged up to $412 billion from $398 billion, according to the Defense Department's latest program report.Sep 28, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Only about half of the Pentagon’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets are considered mission-capable, well below the target of 65% and a state of readiness the program manager terms “unacceptable.”

As of February, the monthly average rate of mission-capable jets in the US’s fleet of more than 540 F-35s was 53.1%, according to Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt, the program manager. That means they can fly at least some of their required missions, such as combat, show-of-force flights, training and testing.

The percentage of planes capable of flying all their missions — the so-called full mission capable rate — was less than 30%, Schmidt said in written testimony prepared for a Wednesday hearing of the House Armed Service Committee’s aviation subcommittee.

“This is unacceptable and maximizing readiness is my top priority,” Schmidt said in his prepared remarks. Schmidt said his goal is to increase readiness rates by at least 10% in the next 12 months.

6 users have voted.

I miss you being here, but a concert is of utmost importance and must be attended!
I am gobsmacked with the China/France/LNG/yuan deal! Who KNEW!
TLOML is cooking dinner, inspired by Louis Prima, sort a tribute to our parents.
Texas is Texas, the expected rains are little sprinkles here and there, and won't be a pain in the ass.
Tell us about the concert when you get the chance.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

this evening ms. shikspack scored free, general admission tickets to see suzzy roche (of the roches) and her daughter lucy wainwright at the kennedy center in dc (pretty much next door to the watergate).

we got there a few minutes late due to the usually awful dc traffic, so we had to sit separately. the usher put ms. shikspack about 5 rows from the stage and then deposited me front row, dead center. Smile

on the way out, i stopped by the enormous, sculpted head of jfk to gawk and take a pic with my phone. have you ever noticed how much jfk and james brown resemble each other from the front side angle? Smile

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

me front row, dead center.

I thought you would have gotten stuck at the back end on the side behind a huge speaker…but wonderful that you got front and center! Plus the Kennedy center. Wowzer how’s the air up there?
What did the misses say?

6 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture


the kennedy center is pretty fancy digs, but they tolerate a couple of old hippies like us pretty well. maybe it's because we're old and i don't look as threatening as i did years ago. Smile

over the years i've seen some pretty amazing shows there (chuck berry, doc watson, the campbell brothers and lots more), almost all of them for free. it's one of the best things about living near dc.

4 users have voted.

@joe shikspack the golden seat, right? Lol!
DC traffic sucks. I have driven in it a few times, when I was young and ignorant. I survived, obviously.
Hope the concert was a blast, and just about everything life offers is better than the damn news.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

pffffttt! there really was no opportunity to make that offer without interrupting a bunch of people's enjoyment of the show. besides, my official job when going to concerts of artists that ms. shikspack is interested in is to get as close as possible and get a photo, which of course i did.

4 users have voted.

@joe shikspack EXACT same explanation for prime seating from TLOML. Great minds think alike. (Or is it pure bs?)
We are possibly going to hear some concerts, depends on a couple of variables. We are crossing fingers and toes! I already know who will have the best view for pictures, although I am the one taking a camera.

4 users have voted.

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

Zelensky should have accepted the Minsk Agreement.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin has offered a ten-point list of things the government in Kiev needs to do in order for hostilities to cease. In an interview on Wednesday, Galuzin said the future of Ukraine itself will depend on how soon Kiev and its Western backers come to grips with reality.

For Ukraine to bring about peace, its military forces must stand down and the West must halt all deliveries of weapons to Kiev, Galuzin told the outlet RTVI.

Several other conditions he listed have been on the table since the hostilities escalated in February 2022, such as Ukraine’s demilitarization and “denazification,” a pledge to never join the EU or NATO, and the affirmation of Kiev’s non-nuclear status. Another was added in October 2022, and involves the recognition of “new territorial realities” – commonly understood to mean the decision of Kherson, Zaporozhye and the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk to join Russia.

Ensuring the protection of the Russian language and the rights of Russian-speaking citizens, as well as all other ethnic groups in Ukraine also made Galuzin’s list. Moreover, he said Ukraine needs to reopen the border with Russia and restore the legal framework of relations with Moscow and other ex-Soviet republics, which it renounced following the US-backed coup in 2014.

For the first time, Moscow has demanded the lifting of all anti-Russian sanctions and the “withdrawal of claims and termination of prosecutions against Russia, its individuals and legal entities,” presumably including the recent International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants for President Vladimir Putin and the children’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova.

The last demand on Galuzin’s list was for the West to pay for the reconstruction of civilian infrastructure destroyed by Ukraine’s military since 2014.

Ukraine’s peaceful future depends on respecting the rights of its Russian population, restoring friendly relations with all neighbors, and returning to its founding principle of neutral and non-bloc status, enshrined in the 1990 declaration of independence, Galuzin said.

“The future of the territories of present-day Ukraine should be determined by the inhabitants of this country themselves,” Galuzin told RTVI, noting that this includes “Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Hungarians, Moldovans, Bulgarians, Romanians, Poles, and Greeks.”

Moscow will simply not tolerate “an openly anti-Russian state, whatever its borders,” as a neighbor, said Galuzin. “Neither Russia, nor any other state, would accept this from the standpoint of security.”

The “peace platform” adopted by the government in Kiev includes Russia’s total withdrawal from all territories Ukraine claims as its own, payment of reparations, and war crimes tribunals for the military and political leadership in Moscow.

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


it seems pretty plain that the war in ukraine will only be decided by force. given that russia has a significant advantage in the delivery of force, it seems that the outcome is pretty much set. i would expect that unconditional surrender of the ukrainians will be the price demanded of them by the time this debacle is concluded.

6 users have voted.

Is she trying to build up her public image to run for president again? I can see Biden bowing out and Hillary crushing any other democratic party contender in the primaries. She would make a great war president. Putin would immediately retreat from the Ukraine.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


i'm sure that she wouldn't balk at an opportunity to seize the presidency that she feels she is owed.

oh yeah, the best war president. there would be lots more wars and they'd never end until the u.s. was completely depleted and depopulated.

7 users have voted.

The UK Gov:

The UK and US have imposed sanctions on those responsible for the illicit captagon trade, which is estimated to be worth up to $57 billion to the Assad regime.

Our Gov:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s family members and associates rely on the illicit drug trade to fund his regime’s violent oppression and abuse of the Syrian people. Today, the United States is taking action, in coordination with the United Kingdom, by designating six of these individuals, and two entities owned by one of those individuals, for facilitating the production and export of the amphetamine-type stimulant known as Captagon in Syria and Lebanon.

57 Billion! Can you believe it?

You know that is bigger than the entire budget of Iran. A nation that actually can sell its oil instead of having it stolen by the US (only sanctioned, which slows it down). When Syria could sell its oil before Obama, then Trump, stole it, its GDP was 40 billion. Jordan is less than that. Yet somehow Syria is now making 57 Billion!

We and the UK are getting mocked online for this nonsense. But I doubt you find anyone in the West who don't fall hook, line, and sinker for the lies.

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snoopydawg's picture


How about your illicit trade in stolen oil, Antiny? You effing hypocrite who thinks that your poo doesn’t stink! Well guess what? It does and I can smell it from here.

It’s finally stopped snowing here in the beehive state. Now it’s raining cats and dawgs except for the mountains that will see another 13 feet of snow this week. I’m not going to get into the Uintas until August if by then unless we have some heat waves! In 1983 we didn’t till then and just in time for the wildflowers to bloom. We’re way above that total this year.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture


heh, because those sanctions are working so well these days. /s

4 users have voted.
soryang's picture

...the classic Ben E. King songs. Thanks Joe.

I watched the DN program on the Horatio Alger mythology and "bootstraps" nonsense. Very good. I recall paying high interest virtually my entire life, because I didn't have any money at all when starting out, like most everyone I suppose. Till the date I retired I never had enough in the bank/IRA/401K to think I could retire. I wanted to wait until "full retirement age" but I had to quit from sheer physical exhaustion. Once in a while, when home, I would wish that I could just win the fantasy five, was that too much to ask? Lottery tickets are kind of sick, when you think about it. Those interest rates were really crippling for 35 years or so until the big melt down in 2008 when they finally started to relent. Good luck pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.

During the recent disaster one neighbor a carpenter by trade told me I was privileged. I guess this means he could tell I had a college degree. That seemed funny to me, because my entire life had pretty much consisted of economic hardship, difficulty finding and retaining employment etc. I think he resented that I could pay the somewhat expensive flood insurance on my small home. I didn't have any choice I knew by experience that sooner or later it would be destroyed. I envied him, because he had the skills to rebuild and repair his home himself. I told him that in so many words.

I guess if you don't have the rich old man to start you on the path to success, which is the real Horatio Alger story, life is going to be difficult. The "self made" millionaires among my contemporaries that I had gotten to know well (by chance), had wealthy parents. They made it rather clear to me, I was not in their league. The very successful professionals in my generation related indirectly to my family had extremely wealthy parents. My nuclear family not on that list.

Fortunately, just by luck imo, I have avoided debt for about the last seven years since I paid off the house which by then was literally falling apart. My better half likes to use credit cards for the convenience and the "rewards." That's the new system, you get rewards for "borrowing" rather than saving. She likes the retail discounts and the convenience. She pays it in full every bill.

So while she was away, (just picked her up at the airport) I was looking closely at one of the credit account bills that came in the mail and saw that the interest rate was without exaggeration a loan shark high 29.5 percent. I guess this was one of the changes in one of the notices I didn't bother to read. I can imagine what hardship this most impose on people. It's criminal. In the past, I think we paid 12 to 15 or 16 percent, and that was outrageous. Of course, the car loans were somewhat less say 8.5 percent pre-2008 and then somewhat less after.

So after a lifetime of paying relatively high interest rates, our cohort moving into later years, where presumably after a lifetime of work, one has some savings however modest, got virtually no interest for their deposits. This is just the parasitic nature of the financial class.

Brianna made good arguments on behalf of social security. Her remarks on progressive tax rates in the tax system were also appropriate. One other argument I would make on behalf of increasing progressive tax rates at the higher income levels, and in favor of higher taxes on corporations, is that higher marginal tax rates are associated historically with higher capital investment and economic growth, contrary to the myth that they are bad for business. Low marginal tax rates on the wealthy encourage speculation, financialization, bubbles, and collapse. High marginal rates encourage capital investment in tangible means of production as the wealthy must seek to avoid these taxes through capital investment tax credits, and depreciation for the structures, machinery, and employment that their investments create.

I have to say I heard Thom Hartmann over the years repeat an anecdote he's fond of, that he never made a business or investment decision based upon the potential tax advantages it might present, and that he always regarded these as marginal, when compared to the profit or income he could potentially generate and therefore not important in his economic decision making. I know he's supposed to be a smart guy. This isn't what I learned from my tax professors and business entities professor (paid by GI bill). However the lower the tax rates go, the more what Tom says tends to be true.

I'm afraid I was forced by circumstances to follow an old French custom, that it it is advisable a promising young person, without prominent family ties or money, join the priesthood or military to find steady sustenance. This is not something I recommend for others. Priesthood was out of the question. The dated French tradition in this respect came to my mind because of the Forbes quote on imperialism. The purpose of imperialism is to give restless young men without prospects a mission abroad in the empire, lest they join the disgruntled and dissatisfied "rabble" on the streets at home, looking at the privileged class with enmity in their hearts.

So all this is rather subjective, fwiw.

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語必忠信 行必正直