The Evening Blues - 9-27-23
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features blues and country singer Tracy Nelson. Enjoy!
Tracy Nelson - Same Old Blues
"Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
News and Opinion
Worth a full read. There are a couple of articles in the "Also of Interest" section below which have a great deal more information on Canada's induction of thousands of Nazis post war and their use of them to suppress left wing labor movements.
There is something especially satisfying when one’s opponents help make a case for something they have denied. Recently the Canadian government did just that. Their effort to prop up the failing Ukraine proxy war instead exposed that country’s Nazi past and present. ... It should have been enough to have Zelensky address their parliament, but they couldn’t leave well enough alone. They somehow felt compelled to add a special guest, 98-year old Yaroslav Hunka, who was introduced as “...a Ukrainian Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians…”
An important part of the war propaganda surrounding Ukraine has been to deny that people such as Hunka even exist or that they fought alongside the Germans we are otherwise told to revile. For Canada that also means denying that they brought those forces to emigrate after the war. ...
Canada is happy to be a U.S. partner in crime. If they’re told to recognize a fake president of Venezuela they do it. If they’re told to arrest the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei and create an international incident they will do that too. If the U.S. decides on another occupation of Haiti then Canada is on board with that too. As for honoring a Ukrainian who served the Nazis, they are more than willing because that is what they’ve been doing since 1945. There is a large Ukrainian population in Canada who were welcomed with open arms, just as Hunka was. The Canadian government admitted more than 2,000 members of the Galician Waffen SS. In fact, showing an SS tattoo was a means of entry to Canada as it was eager to enhance its anti-left bona fides. some of these men were recruited to work in mining and undermine left wing union activity. Canada’s Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, is the grand-daughter of Ukrainian collaborator and propagandist Michael Chomiak.
Of course Canada shares the US history of being a white supremacist colonial state. So much so that they sometimes slip up and ruin their fine tuned image as a nicer version of the U.S. and end up showing their true colors.
Scientists investigating the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines have revealed key new details of explosions linked to the event, which remains unsolved on its first anniversary. ... The recently discovered additional explosions took place in an area north-east of the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm about seven seconds and 16 seconds after the two previously known detonations. ...
Two clear seismic events, named Event S and Event N, were identified on 26 September 2022, soon after the attack. The first, on Nord Stream 2, occurred at 02:03:24 (UTC+2), and the second, on Nord Stream 1, at 19:03:50 (UTC+2). ... The newly discovered events, named NB and NC, took place about seven seconds and 16 seconds after the event previously known as Event N, which they now refer to as NA. ...
According to their calculations, the second and third explosions (NA and NB) were 220 metres apart from each other (with the third west of the second) and the fourth was several kilometres south-west of the second. Andreas Köhler, a senior seismologist at Norsar, said the distance between NA and NB “fit very well with the distance between both pipelines of Nord Stream 1 at the westernmost gas plume location northeast of Bornholm.” Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 both have two pipelines each.
The location of the final explosion, however, is less clear because there are less station observations. “This best fits an explosion on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but we cannot exclude a location at Nord Stream 2,” said Kohler. Analysis of the source mechanism from the signals showed they were generated by explosive devices.
This is like calling Ringo Starr a "Beatles-linked musician". He was part of the band, mate. https://t.co/vNMy3gFY9S
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) September 25, 2023
The speaker of Canada’s parliament has resigned after inviting a Ukrainian Nazi veteran to attend a special session of parliament, and then calling the man a “hero” amid two standing ovations.
Anthony Rota stepped down as speaker on Tuesday after meeting with party leaders in Ottawa amid growing cross-party calls for his resignation.
“This house is above any of us,” he told lawmakers.
Earlier in the day, Canada’s foreign minister, Mélanie Joly, called the situation “deeply unacceptable” and an “embarrassment”. The government house leader said Rota should do the “honourable thing” and step down. The Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, also criticized Justin Trudeau for the fiasco, saying the prime minister had “brought shame on Canada” after the government’s failure to have its “massive diplomatic and intelligence apparatus vet and prevent honouring a Nazi”. ...
The focus on Hunka also prompted interest from Poland, where the country’s education minister said he had “taken steps” for Hunka to be extradited. “In view of the scandalous events in the Canadian Parliament, which involved honouring, in the presence of President Zelenskiy, a member of the criminal Nazi SS Galizien formation, I have taken steps towards the possible extradition of this man to Poland,” Przemysław Czarnek said in a social media post on Tuesday.
Russia’s defence ministry has released footage showing Viktor Sokolov, the commander of its Black Sea fleet, attending a defence board meeting via video call, a day after Ukraine claimed Sokolov was killed in an attack on the fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol.
In the video, Sokolov was seen apparently taking part in a video conference with the defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, and senior admirals and army chiefs.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday it had not “receive[d] any information” about Sokolov’s alleged death from the defence ministry.
The defence ministry released a statement that did not name Sokolov and that said the meeting had taken place earlier in the day. In an eight-minute video distributed later by the ministry, Sokolov appears on screen several times without speaking.
Dozens of people are feared dead and hundreds more injured after a powerful explosion at a fuel storage depot in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as thousands of ethnic Armenians streamed out of the breakaway territory after the Azerbaijani military reclaimed full control of it in a lightning offensive last week.
Most of those wounded were in a “severe or extremely severe” condition after the blast at the facility near the regional capital of Stepanakert on Monday evening, according to the Armenian health ministry. The death toll from the blast is expected to rise significantly, with more than 100 still listed as missing.
Armenian authorities also said 125 bodies had been brought from Nagorno-Karabakh for identification, but it was not immediately clear how many of these people died in the fuel explosion and how many were killed in fighting last week.
The cause of the blast, which happened as residents were lining up to get fuel for their cars in order to leave the region, remains unknown.
The Senate took a significant step on Tuesday to extend government funding beyond the end of the month, with just days left to avoid a shutdown that could force millions of federal employees to go without pay.
In a vote of 77 to 19, the Senate advanced a shell bill that will become a stopgap measure to fund the government through 17 November while directing roughly $6bn toward Ukraine’s war efforts and another $6bn toward disaster relief.
The Senate could give final approval to the bill in the coming days, but the proposal faces steep odds of passage in the Republican-controlled House, where hard-right members have denounced efforts to provide additional funding to Ukraine. The ongoing disagreements have elevated the risk that Congress will fail to pass a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, before the 1 October deadline to avoid a government shutdown. ...
During the House floor debate, Republicans dismissed the Senate bill as an insufficient effort to rein in government spending, raising doubts about whether the proposal can pass both chambers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 17 state attorneys general have sued Amazon, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices on other platforms, overcharge sellers and stifle competition. The lawsuit, filed in US district court for the western district of Washington on Tuesday, is the result of a years-long investigation into Amazon’s businesses and one of the most significant legal challenges brought against the company in its nearly 30-year history.
The FTC and states are asking the court to issue a permanent injunction that they say would prohibit Amazon from engaging in its unlawful conduct and loosen its “monopolistic control to restore competition”.
“The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them,” the FTC chairperson, Lina Khan, said in a statement.
The lawsuit is one of the biggest legal challenges the company has faced since its inception in 1994. But it did not come as a surprise. The suit comes after years of complaints that Amazon and other tech giants abused their dominance of search, social media and online retailing to become gatekeepers on the most profitable aspects of the internet. And the US government in recent years has signaled an increasing willingness to challenge the companies’ hegemony.
Observers had wondered whether the FTC would seek a forced breakup of the retail giant, which is also dominant in cloud computing and has a growing presence in other sectors like groceries and healthcare. In a briefing with reporters, Khan dodged questions of whether that will happen.
Open internet advocates across the United States celebrated on Tuesday as Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced her highly anticipated proposal to reestablish FCC oversight of broadband and restore net neutrality rules. ...
Rosenworcel—appointed to lead the commission by President Joe Biden—discussed the history of net neutrality and her new plan to treat broadband as a public utility in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which came on the heels of the U.S. Senate's recent confirmation of Anna Gomez to a long-vacant FCC seat.
Back in 2005, "the agency made clear that when it came to net neutrality, consumers should expect that their broadband providers would not block, throttle, or engage in paid prioritization of lawful internet traffic," she recalled. "In other words, your broadband provider had no business cutting off access to websites, slowing down internet services, and censoring online speech."
After a decade of policymaking and litigation, net neutrality rules were finalized in 2015. However, a few years later—under former FCC Chair Ajit Pai, an appointee of ex-President Donald Trump—the commission caved to industry pressure and repealed them.
"The public backlash was overwhelming. People lit up our phone lines, clogged our email inboxes, and jammed our online comment system to express their disapproval," noted Rosenworcel, who was a commissioner at the time and opposed the repeal. "So today we begin a process to make this right."
The chair is proposing to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act, which "is the part of the law that gives the FCC clear authority to serve as a watchdog over the communications marketplace and look out for the public interest," she explained. "Title II took on special importance in the net neutrality debate because the courts have ruled that the FCC has clear authority to enforce open internet policies if broadband internet is classified as a Title II service."
"On issue after issue, reclassifying broadband as a Title II service would help the FCC serve the public interest more efficiently and effectively," she pointed out, detailing how it relates to public safety, national security, cybersecurity, network resilience and reliability, privacy, broadband deployment, and robotexts.
Rosenworcel intends to release the full text of the proposal on Thursday and hold a vote regarding whether to kick off rulemaking on October 19. While Brendan Carr, one of the two Republican commissioners, signaled his opposition to the Title II approach on Tuesday, Gomez's confirmation earlier this month gives Democrats a 3-2 majority at the FCC.
Early on Monday, an off-duty Texas highway patrol officer thought someone was trying to break into his apartment in Houston, according to authorities. He pulled his gun out, shot the person behind his shuttered door – and realized it was his neighbor, officials said.
The latest case of an off-duty law enforcement officer encountering and shooting a member of the public took place after midnight at an apartment complex just outside Minute Maid Park, where Houston’s professional baseball team, the Astros, plays.
Yasar Bashir, assistant Houston police chief, told reporters that it was unclear why the man who was shot had gone to the apartment. But the highway patrol officer feared the neighbor was trying to gain entry.
The trooper reportedly gave “several commands” for the man to step away from the door before the trooper fired his gun. The neighbor, a 35-year-old Black man who also lived in the building, was hit in his right shoulder but survived.
No charges had been immediately filed in the shooting. The case echoed other similar encounters in which people shot others who went near their residences without understanding why those who were shot had approached.
Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House, a New York judge ruled on Tuesday in a strongly worded rejection of the former president’s bid to throw out a civil lawsuit against him.
Judge Arthur Engoron found that Trump and executives from his company, including his sons Eric and Donald Jr, routinely and repeatedly deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork.
His ruling came in a civil lawsuit brought by Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, days before the start of a non-jury trial that will hear accusations that Trump, and the Trump Organization, lied for a decade about asset values and his net worth to get better terms on bank loans and insurance.
“The documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business,” Engoron wrote.
James has said Trump had effectively engaged in a “bait and switch” operation, inflating his net worth by as much as $2.23bn, and by one measure as much as $3.6bn, on annual financial statements given to banks and insurers.
The US supreme court has rejected a last-ditch request from Alabama to continue to use a congressional map that diluted the influence of Black voters in the state, a significant decision signaling the justices are not backing away from a surprise ruling in June that upheld the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The court’s brief, unsigned order on Tuesday offered no explanation, which is typical in cases that come to the justices on an emergency basis. It had no noted dissents.
Black voters comprise about a quarter of Alabama’s population but only had a majority in one of the state’s seven congressional districts. A three-judge panel struck down the map last year, deciding the state could have easily drawn a reasonably configured district that gave Black voters a majority in a second district. The supreme court agreed with that determination in June, with chief justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joining the three liberal justices to form a majority.
In response, the Republican-controlled Alabama legislature drew a map that again only gave Black voters a majority in one district. A three-judge panel again struck the map down, saying it was “disturbed” by the way lawmakers had defied its orders. It ordered a court-appointed special master to draw the map.
Alabama made an emergency request to the court, asking it to step in and block the redrawing of the map. The court’s ruling on Tuesday rebuffed that.
Worth a full read:
It’s little known to the throngs of tourists who gawp at the wonder of the Great Lakes but at the meeting point of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, a combined system that forms the largest lake in the world, there is a 70-year-old pipeline, battered and dented by dropped boat anchors. The pipeline pushes a million gallons of oil each hour through the heart of this vast ecosystem. The operators of this pipeline, which is called Line 5, now wants to embark upon an enormous tunneling project to burrow the exposed section that lies on the lakebed underneath the Great Lakes and prolong its life for another century, starting a labyrinthine battle that has enmeshed the governments of the US and Canada, the state of Michigan and various industry and fishing interests.
At the centre of this maelstrom are the native Great Lakes tribes that cherish the Straits of Mackinac, the four mile-wide stretch of water the ageing pipeline bisects, in creation stories as the birthplace of North America itself. They claim Line 5, which cuts through swathes of native land in its 645-mile route, is a “ticking time bomb” that imperils the Great Lakes, which contain a fifth of Earth’s entire surface fresh water, and risks severing deep, existential bonds of cultural connections that stretch back millennia.
“An oil spill would be catastrophic for all of North America, this place would become a toxic wasteland that would be contaminated for years,” said Whitney Gravelle, an Ojibwe person who is president of the Bay Mills Indian Community. “People often can’t even believe there is a pipeline going through the Great Lakes. It seems crazy that we just have this heart attack waiting to happen.
“I am terrified every day about an oil spill and what that would mean for our ability to fish, to gather, to eat together. It would destroy our relationship with the land and the water. If that is destroyed, how can we continue to be Indigenous? It’s emotional to even think about it.”
Last month, Gravelle spearheaded a delegation representing a dozen tribes whose ancestral lands surround the Great Lakes in a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, to address diplomats at the UN human rights council. The tribes’ official complaint alleges that Line 5 is a “current and foreseeable threat to a broad range of human rights” and that Canada has “repeatedly violated” its international obligations by intervening on behalf of the pipeline’s operator, Enbridge, a Canadian company. In 2021, the Canadian government invoked an obscure 1977 treaty with the US to ensure the continuance of the pipeline after Michigan ordered that it be shut down due to the risk it poses to the Great Lakes – an order that Enbridge has so far defied amid a crossfire of different lawsuits that may take years to resolve. ...
The battle over this 70-year-old pipeline may drag on for several more years but the anxiety of the Great Lakes tribes won’t easily abate. ... “Anything manmade breaks, and that pipeline will break,” said Jannan Cornstalk, an Odawa woman who has organized this festival for the past five years. “And once it breaks, that’s it. Game over.”
Banks including some of Europe’s largest lenders have helped fossil fuel companies to raise more than €1tn (£869bn) from the global bond markets since the Paris climate agreement, according to an investigation by the Guardian and its reporting partners.
In the push to zero carbon, Europe’s biggest lenders face growing pressure to limit their financial support for fossil fuel companies through direct loans and other financing facilities.
But analysis of thousands of transactions since 2016, when more than 190 countries agreed at a UN summit in Paris to limit global warming by curbing pollution, has revealed that lenders including Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Barclays have continued to profit from the expansion of oil, gas and coal by supporting the sale of fossil fuel bonds.
The findings have raised concerns among sustainable investment campaigners that banks are continuing to offer “hidden” financial support to energy companies that are responsible for increasing the world’s carbon emissions – even as they pledge publicly to phase out direct lending for new projects. ...
The investigation focused only on bonds from energy companies identified by the campaign group Urgewald as having publicly disclosed their aims to increase their production of fossil fuels, and only since the Paris climate agreement. The agreement enshrined the goal to limit rising temperatures to well below 2C above pre-industrialised levels. Climate experts have warned that no new fossil fuel projects are compatible with the Paris accord.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Tracy Nelson – Time Is On My Side
Tracy Nelson – It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
Tracy Nelson - Nothing I Can't Handle
Tracy Nelson - Yonder Come The Blues
Mother Earth – What Are You Trying To Do
Tracy Nelson - Mother Earth
Tracy Nelson - Strange Things Happening Every Day
Tracy Nelson - Going To Tennessee
Mother Earth – Wait, Wait, Wait