The Evening Blues - 6-8-23
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features Chicago blues guitarist Jimmy Dawkins. Enjoy!
Jimmy Dawkins - Lonely Guitar Man
"Imperialism is a system of exploitation that occurs not only in the brutal form of those who come with guns to conquer territory. Imperialism often occurs in more subtle forms, a loan, food aid, blackmail . We are fighting this system that allows a handful of men on earth to rule all of humanity."
-- Thomas Sankara
News and Opinion
Heh, so if you western elites don't allow scrappy little Ukraine into our organization so that we can all destroy our nations more rapidly, several of our members will impale themselves on Russia and destroy themselves at a faster rate than the western elites are destroying their own countries ...
A group of Nato countries may be willing to put troops on the ground in Ukraine if member states including the US do not provide tangible security guarantees to Kyiv at the alliance’s summit in Vilnius, the former Nato secretary general Anders Rasmussen has said.
Rasmussen, who has been acting as official adviser to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on Ukraine’s place in a future European security architecture, has been touring Europe and Washington to gauge the shifting mood before the critical summit starts on 11 July.
He also warned that even if a group of states did provide Ukraine with security guarantees, others would not allow the issue of Ukraine’s future Nato membership to be kept off the agenda at Vilnius. He made his remarks as the current Nato chief, Jens Stoltenberg, said the issue of security guarantees would be on the agenda at Vilnius, but added that Nato – under article 5 of the Washington treaty – only provided full-fledged security guarantees to full members.
The US ambassador to Nato, Julianne Smith, said: “We are looking at an array of options to signal that Ukraine is advancing in its relationship with Nato.”
Rasmussen said: “If Nato cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action. We know that Poland is very engaged in providing concrete assistance to Ukraine. And I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that Poland would engage even stronger in this context on a national basis and be followed by the Baltic states, maybe including the possibility of troops on the ground.
Ukr Offensive, Rus Repels Attacks, Heavy Ukr Losses; Putin MbS Oil Cut, ex NATO Chief: Troops to Ukr
Kyiv knew nothing about a plan to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said, amid growing speculation that Ukraine was behind the blast.
In an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, Zelenskiy said that as president, he had the power to give orders, but that he would “never do that”, referring to the attack on the pipeline.
“I believe that our army and our intelligence services did nothing like that,” he said, adding that he would “like to see proof”.
“We know nothing about it, 100%,” he said.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that a European spy agency told the CIA that it knew of a Ukrainian special operations team’s plan to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipeline – and that the Biden administration was briefed on the matter.
The White House on Tuesday said it could not say conclusively what caused the destruction of a massive dam in Ukraine, but was assessing reports that the blast was caused by Russia, which has been occupying the dam since last year.
Spokesman John Kirby said it was clear that the destruction of the dam on the Dnipro River that separates Russian and Ukrainian forces in southern Ukraine had likely caused "many deaths" and the evacuation of thousands of Ukrainians.
Kirby told reporters the damage could have a devastating impact on Ukraine's energy security.
"We've seen the reports that Russia was responsible for the explosion at the dam," he said. "We're doing the best we can to assess those reports, and we are working with the Ukrainians to gather more information, but we cannot say conclusively what happened."
A gaping hole punched in Ukraine's Nova Kakhovka dam that unleashed a wall of floodwater means that the canal which has traditionally met most of Crimea's water needs is receiving drastically less water, the Kremlin warned on Tuesday. ...
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov alleged on Tuesday that one aim of what he cast as a Ukrainian attack was to deprive Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, of fresh water. Kyiv, which wants to retake Crimea, says Russia was behind the breach. Neither offered immediate evidence proving who was to blame. ...
The reservoir feeds the Soviet-era North Crimean Canal - a channel which has traditionally supplied 85% of Crimea's water. Most of that water is used for agriculture, some for industry, and around one fifth for drinking water and other public needs.
Peskov said the breach looked like a calculated Ukrainian attempt to choke off water supplies to the peninsula.
Journalists for Sale: US Troops to Peru, Castillo’s Coup and the Future of Latin America (w/ Ben Norton)
[Transcript at link. -js]
United States government’s anti-China semiconductor strategy thrown into disarray by congressional budget cutting
The recent “crisis” over the US debt limit has exposed the contradictions tearing apart the US state. Currently at stake is one of the Biden administration’s flagship pieces of legislation, the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to shift the vast semiconductor supply chain back inside the US in preparation for war with China.
The CHIPS Act provides roughly $280 billion in funding to create a domestic manufacturing capability for semiconductors, a crucial component in nearly every facet of the economy. However, $170 billion of that funding requires yearly appropriation by Congress and is thus subject to the new spending limits agreed upon by the Democrats and Republicans.
This money is split between the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, and is intended to fund workforce development, STEM education, and research and development over the next three years. Already funded is $52 billion in direct subsidies to chip manufacturers in exchange for beginning work on US-based foundries. Even before the theater surrounding the debt ceiling, Congress had already declined to provide the full funding authorized by the CHIPS Act. For the 2023 fiscal year the NSF received $9.87 billion out of a maximum $11.9 billion, and the DoE received $8.1 billion out of a maximum $8.9 billion. With the new spending limits agreed to by the Democrats and Republicans, this shortfall is likely only to grow in the coming years.
While semiconductors are vitally important to the economy as a whole and the money authorized by the CHIPS Act is officially non-defense spending and thus subject to the new spending limits, the law is at its core a foreign policy measure aimed at China. The US ruling elite reacted with trade war measures to the CCP’s “Made in China 2025” program, which aims to make China a center for manufacturing semiconductors and most other advanced technology products.
The US is also concerned that the dominance of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which produces the bulk of the most advanced chips, poses an obstacle to its efforts to provoke a war with China. Almost any open military conflict in or around Taiwan would end the production of semiconductors on the island, with massive ramifications for the global economy. Washington is hoping to induce TSMC to move much of its production to the US, so it has a freer hand in turning Taiwan into a battlefield.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who is under fire for lavish gifts he and his relatives received from billionaire Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow—has been granted a 90-day extension to file his 2022 financial disclosure report, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.
Thomas, who according toBloomberg "typically files his financial disclosures by the May 15 deadline," requested an extension—as did Justice Samuel Alito—giving them more time to report their income, investments, gifts, and spousal salaries.
This is bullshit, this means that he’ll be sitting there forever, putting off filing his supposed disclosures, which will probably be more BS anyway. You can’t expect much out of a country with a corrupt high court. https://t.co/9CCLvBLiPg
— RC deWinter (@RCdeWinter) June 7, 2023
Atlanta, Georgia is no mecca. The idea that it is a “good for Black people” city is a lie. Atlanta is little more than a glorified plantation where powerful white people give directions to the Black people they choose to be overseers. The power of the latter group is severely limited of course. They can always be counted on to act on behalf of the white power structure they serve. No one should be shocked that members of the Atlanta City Council listened to hours of impassioned testimony from their constituents opposing what they call a Public Safety Training Center yet still voted to approve an initial $31 million expenditure by a vote of 11 to 4. The center is commonly and more accurately known as Cop City and thousands of people have mobilized to keep it from being built.
In the days before the vote the degree of official perfidy was revealed when the public were informed that the estimated cost for the center was more than double what they had been told. The cost to the city is $67 million , and not the $30 million figure that has been stated ever since the project was announced.
The state of Georgia and their Atlanta lackeys swung into action after the budgetary fraud was exposed and arrested three organizers of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a bail fund used to support protesters who have been arrested. The city and state had already mobilized brute force, killing one protester, Manuel Paez Teran, with 57 bullet wounds and charging others with terrorism. Before the bail fund arrests, three other organizers were charged with felony intimidation of an officer when they shared already public information which identified the killer police. ...
Cop City would be more than a police training center. The 85-acre site would be a mock city, used to train police in “crowd control,” methods. It would be a militarized policing center training law enforcement from around the country. Cop City is a response to the 2020 protests which sprang up across the country after the police killing of George Floyd and the protests in Atlanta which took place after the killing of Rayshard Brooks. The reaction against the new movement was swift and Atlanta’s local oligarchs demanded that their Black figureheads do something to ensure that any further protests be met with the harshest measures possible.
Yet the people of Atlanta weren’t fooled, and they lined up for hours to give testimony before their so-called representatives who don’t really want to hear from them. Atlanta resident Robell Awake spoke for many when he said, “I cannot believe I am standing here, pleading with you not to spend the tax dollars of a Black city, to tear down a forest in a Black neighborhood, to increase the policing and caging of more Black people. All this in a city with Black leadership. It breaks my heart.”
Great, now indict Biden, Clinton, Pence and scads of other muckety-mucks.
Federal prosecutors formally informed Donald Trump’s lawyers last week that the former president is a target of the criminal investigation examining his retention of national security materials at his Mar-a-Lago resort and obstruction of justice, according to two people briefed on the matter.
The move – the clearest sign yet that Trump is on course to be indicted – dramatically raises the stakes for Trump as the investigation appears to near its conclusion after taking evidence before a grand jury in Washington and a previously unknown grand jury in Florida that was impaneled last month.
Trump’s lawyers were sent a “target letter” days before they met on Monday with the special counsel Jack Smith leading the Mar-a-Lago documents case and the senior career official in the deputy attorney general’s office and argued that prosecutors should not indict the former president in the matter.
Toronto has long been known as “the Big Smoke” for its history of heavy industry, but the nickname took on a different meaning on Wednesday when residents donned masks outside, following alerts from officials that the city’s air quality would continue to deteriorate. Outdoor school events were delayed and city officials warned vulnerable groups to remain inside when possible. In the nation’s capital of Ottawa, Environment Canada said the air quality was “very high risk”, alongside the nearby cities of Kingston, Cornwall and Belleville. In much of southern Ontario, the poor air quality is expected to persist into the weekend.
The bulk of the smoke in eastern Canada is coming from the province of Quebec, where crews are contending with more than 150 fires, many of which are considered “out of control”. Winds have also carried the wildfire smoke southward, prompting air-quality alerts throughout the US. On Wednesday, both Detroit and New York City had some of the world’s worst air quality of a major city. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has previously issued poor air quality alerts for New England, parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 415 active wildfires across Canada and 238 were considered out of control. Since the fire season began, 2,214 blazes have already burned more than 3.3m hectares of the country, well above the 10-year average of 1,624 fires and 254,429 hectares burned. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says it had been an “unprecedented” year for wildfires and resources were being exhausted across the country.
Canada’s ongoing wildfire season is a harbinger of our climate future, experts and officials say.
The fires are a “really clear sign of climate change”, said Mohammadreza Alizadeh, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal, who is also a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Research shows that climate change has already exacerbated wildfires dramatically. A 2021 study supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association found that climate change has been the main driver of the increase in hot, dry fire weather in the western US.
By 2090, global wildfires are expected to increase in intensity by up to 57% thanks to climate change, a United Nations report warned last year.
Canada is on track to experience its most severe wildfire season on record, national officials said this week. It’s part of a trend experts say will intensify as climate change makes hotter, drier weather and longer fire seasons more common.
UN climate talks this year might skirt the vital question of whether and how to phase out fossil fuels, as nations have not yet agreed to discuss the issue, one of the top officials hosting the talks has said.
Majid Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Cop28 climate talks for its host nation, the United Arab Emirates, said governments were not in agreement over whether the phaseout of fossil fuels should be on the agenda for the conference, which begins in November.
“Remember, there are two sides of this discussion. There are many on one side of the discussion who would like to see the kind of language of phasing out fossil fuels,” he said. “But there are others in other different circumstances in different situations, who have different views on how that language should be formulated. And I think that that’s what the process is about – bringing everybody together with differing views and finding that common ground that works for everyone.”
Al Suwaidi has attended many conferences of the party (Cop) meetings under the UN framework convention on climate change. The UAE has come under fire for its choice of Sultan Al Jaber, the head of the country’s national oil company, Adnoc, as president of Cop28.
Adnoc is planning major increases in its oil and gas production capacity. On Thursday, civil society groups in Bonn will protest against “conflicts of interest” over Al Jaber’s dual role in the negotiations. A preparatory session for Cop28, is being held this week in Bonn.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Jimmy Dawkins - Triple Trebles
Jimmy Dawkins & Jimmy Johnson ~ I Want To Know
Jimmy Dawkins - It Serves Me Right To Suffer
Jimmy Dawkins - Cold As Hell
Jimmy Dawkins - You Just a Baby Child
Jimmy Dawkins - Instrumental Shuffle
Jimmy Dawkins - Alley Mae
Jimmy Dawkins - So Good To Me
Jimmy Dawkins - Goin Down