The Evening Blues - 6-20-24


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

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Louisiana swamp pop singer King Karl. Enjoy!

Guitar Gable, Vocal King Karl - Walking in the park

“Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.”

-- Edward Abbey

News and Opinion

Why Won't the US Help Negotiate a Peaceful End to the War in Ukraine?

For the fifth time since 2008, Russia has proposed to negotiate with the U.S. over security arrangements, this time in proposals made by President Vladimir Putin on June 14, 2024. Four previous times, the U.S. rejected the offer of negotiations in favor of a neocon strategy to weaken or dismember Russia through war and covert operations. The U.S. neocon tactics have failed disastrously, devastating Ukraine in the process, and endangering the whole world. After all the warmongering, it’s time for Biden to open negotiations for peace with Russia.

Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. grand strategy has been to weaken Russia. As early as 1992, then Defense Secretary Richard Cheney opined that following the 1991 demise of the Soviet Union, Russia too should be dismembered. Zbigniew Brzezinski opined in 1997 that Russia should be divided into three loosely confederated entities in Russian Europe, Siberia, and the far east. In 1999, the U.S.-led NATO alliance bombed Russia’s ally, Serbia, for 78 days in order to break Serbia apart and install a massive NATO military base in breakaway Kosovo. Leaders of the U.S. military-industrial complex vociferously supported the Chechen war against Russia in the early 2000s.

To secure these U.S. advances against Russia, Washington aggressively pushed NATO enlargement, despite promises to Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin that NATO would not move one inch eastward from Germany. Most tendentiously, the U.S. pushed NATO enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia, with the idea of surrounding Russia’s naval fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea with NATO states: Ukraine, Romania (NATO member 2004), Bulgaria (NATO member 2004), Turkey (NATO member 1952), and Georgia, an idea straight from the playbook of the British Empire in the Crimean War (1853-6).

Brzezinski spelled out a chronology of NATO enlargement in 1997, including NATO membership of Ukraine during 2005-2010. The U.S. in fact proposed NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia at the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit. By 2020, NATO had in fact enlarged by 14 countries in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union (Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia in 2004; Albania and Croatia, 2009; Montenegro, 2017; and Northern Macedonia, 2020), while promising future membership to Ukraine and Georgia.

In short, the 30-year U.S. project, hatched originally by Cheney and the neocons, and carried forward consistently since then, has been to weaken or even dismember Russia, surround Russia with NATO forces, and depict Russia as the belligerent power.

It is against this grim backdrop that Russian leaders have repeatedly proposed to negotiate security arrangements with Europe and the U.S. that would provide security for all countries concerned, not just the NATO bloc. Guided by the neocon game plan, the U.S. has refused to negotiate on every occasion, while trying to pin the blame on Russia for the lack of negotiations.

In June 2008, as the U.S. prepared to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed a European Security Treaty, calling for collective security and an end to NATO’s unilateralism. Suffice it to say, the U.S. showed no interest whatsoever in Russia’s proposals, and instead proceeded with its long-held plans for NATO enlargement.

The second Russian proposal for negotiations came from Putin following the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, with the active complicity if not outright leadership of the U.S. government. I happened to see the U.S. complicity up close, as the post-coup government invited me for urgent economic discussions. When I arrived in Kiev, I was taken to the Maidan, where I was told directly about U.S. funding of the Maidan protest.

The evidence of U.S. complicity in the coup is overwhelming. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on a phone line in January 2014 plotting the change of government in Ukraine. Meanwhile, U.S. Senators went personally to Kiev to stir up the protests (akin to Chinese or Russian political leaders coming to DC on January 6, 2021 to rile up the crowds). On February 21, 2014, the Europeans, U.S., and Russia brokered a deal with Yanukovych in which Yanukovich agreed to early elections. Yet the coup leaders reneged on the deal the same day, took over government buildings, threatened more violence, and deposed Yanukovych the next day. The U.S. supported the coup and immediately extended recognition to the new government.

In my view, this was a standard CIA-led covert regime change operation, of which there have been several dozen around the world, including sixty-four episodes between 1947 and 1989 meticulously documented by Professor Lindsey O’Rourke. Covert regime-change operations are of course not really hidden from view, but the U.S. government vociferously denies its role, keeps all documents highly confidential, and systematically gaslights the world: “Do not believe what you see plainly with your own eyes! The U.S. had nothing to do with this.” Details of the operations eventually emerge, however, through eyewitnesses, whistleblowers, the forced release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act, declassification of papers after years or decades, and memoirs, but all far too late for real accountability.

In any event, the violent coup induced the ethnic-Russia Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine to break from the coup leaders, many of whom were extreme Russophobic nationalists, and some in violent groups with a history of Nazi SS links in the past. Almost immediately, the coup leaders took steps to repress the use of the Russian language even in the Russian-speaking Donbas. In the following months and years, the government in Kiev launched a military campaign to retake the breakaway regions, deploying neo-Nazi paramilitary units and U.S. arms.

In the course of 2014, Putin called repeatedly for a negotiated peace, and this led to the Minsk II Agreement in February 2015 based on autonomy of the Donbas and an end to violence by both sides. Russia did not claim the Donbas as Russian territory, but instead called for autonomy and the protection of ethnic Russians within Ukraine. The UN Security Council endorsed the Minsk II agreement, but the U.S. neocons privately subverted it. Years later, Chancellor Angela Merkel blurted out the truth. The Western side treated the agreement not as a solemn treaty but as a delaying tactic to “give Ukraine time” to build its military strength. In the meantime, around 14,000 people died in the fighting in Donbas between 2014 and 2021.

Following the definitive collapse of the Minsk II agreement, Putin again proposed negotiations with the U.S. in December 2021. By that point, the issues went even beyond NATO enlargement to include fundamental issues of nuclear armaments. Step by step, the U.S. neocons had abandoned nuclear arms control with Russia, with the U.S. unilaterally abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002, placing Aegis missiles in Poland and Romania in 2010 onwards, and walking out of the Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty in 2019.

In view of these dire concerns, Putin put on the table on December 15, 2021 a draft “Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Security Guarantees.” The most immediate issue on the table (Article 4 of the draft treaty) was the end of the U.S. attempt to expand NATO to Ukraine. I called U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the end of 2021 to try to convince the Biden White House to enter the negotiations. My main advice was to avoid a war in Ukraine by accepting Ukraine’s neutrality, rather than NATO membership, which was a bright red line for Russia.

The White House flatly rejected the advice, claiming remarkably (and obtusely) that NATO’s enlargement to Ukraine was none of Russia’s business! Yet what would the U.S. say if some country in the Western hemisphere decided to host Chinese or Russian bases? Would the White House, State Department, or Congress say, “That’s just fine, that’s a matter of concern only to Russia or China and the host country?” No. The world nearly came to nuclear Armageddon in 1962 when the Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba and the U.S. imposed a naval quarantine and threatened war unless the Russians removed the missiles. The U.S. military alliance does not belong in Ukraine any more than the Russian or Chinese military belongs close to the U.S. border.

The fourth offer of Putin to negotiate came in March 2022, when Russia and Ukraine nearly closed a peace deal just weeks after the start of Russia’s special military operation that began on February 24, 2022. Russia, once again, was after one big thing: Ukraine’s neutrality, i.e., no NATO membership and no hosting of U.S. missiles on Russia’s border.

Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky quickly accepted Ukraine’s neutrality, and Ukraine and Russia exchanged papers, with the skillful mediation of the Foreign Ministry of Turkey. Then suddenly, at the end of March, Ukraine abandoned the negotiations.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, following in the tradition of British anti-Russian war-mongering dating back to the Crimean War (1853-6), actually flew to Kiev to warn Zelensky against neutrality and the importance of Ukraine defeating Russia on the battlefield. Since that date, Ukraine has lost around 500,000 dead and is on the ropes on the battlefield.

Now we have Russia’s fifth offer of negotiations, explained clearly and cogently by Putin himself in his speech to diplomats at the Russian Foreign Ministry on June 14. Putin laid out Russia’s proposed terms to end the war in Ukraine.

“Ukraine should adopt a neutral, non-aligned status, be nuclear- free, and undergo demilitarization and de-nazification,” Putin said. “These parameters were broadly agreed upon during the Istanbul negotiations in 2022, including specific details on demilitarization such as the agreed numbers of tanks and other military equipment. We reached consensus on all points.

“Certainly, the rights, freedoms, and interests of Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine must be fully protected,” he continued. “The new territorial realities, including the status of Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions as parts of the Russian Federation, should be acknowledged. These foundational principles need to be formalized through fundamental international agreements in the future. Naturally, this entails the removal of all Western sanctions against Russia as well.”

Let me say a few words about negotiating.

Russia’s proposals should now be met at the negotiating table by proposals from the U.S. and Ukraine. The White House is dead wrong to evade negotiations just because of disagreements with Russia’s proposals. It should put up its own proposals and get down to the business of negotiating an end to the war.

There are three core issues for Russia: Ukraine’s neutrality (non-NATO enlargement), Crimea remaining in Russian hands, and boundary changes in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. The first two are almost surely non-negotiable. The end of NATO enlargement is the fundamental casus belli. Crimea is also core for Russia, as Crimea has been home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet since 1783 and is fundamental to Russia’s national security.

The third core issue, the borders of Eastern and Southern Ukraine, will be a key point of negotiations. The U.S. cannot pretend that borders are sacrosanct after NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 to relinquish Kosovo, and after the U.S. pressured Sudan to relinquish South Sudan. Yes, Ukraine’s borders will be redrawn as the result of the 10 years of war, the situation on the battlefield, the choices of the local populations, and tradeoffs made at the negotiating table.

Biden needs to accept that negotiations are not a sign of weakness. As Kennedy put it, “Never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate.” Ronald Reagan famously described his own negotiating strategy using a Russian proverb, “Trust but verify.”

The neocon approach to Russia, delusional and hubristic from the start, lies in ruins. NATO will never enlarge to Ukraine and Georgia. Russia will not be toppled by a CIA covert operation. Ukraine is being horribly bloodied on the battlefield, often losing 1,000 or more dead and wounded in a single day. The failed neocon game plan brings us closer to nuclear Armageddon.

Yet Biden still refuses to negotiate. Following Putin’s speech, the U.S., NATO, and Ukraine firmly rejected negotiations once again. Biden and his team have still not relinquished the neocon fantasy of defeating Russia and expanding NATO to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian people have been lied to time and again by Zelensky and Biden and other leaders of NATO countries, who told them falsely and repeatedly that Ukraine would prevail on the battlefield and that there were no options to negotiate. Ukraine is now under martial law. The public is given no say about its own slaughter.

For the sake of Ukraine’s very survival, and to avoid nuclear war, the President of the United States has one overriding responsibility today: Negotiate.

Oh, my. The White House is angry yet again at Netanyahu. But the arms are still flowing at a rapid pace.

White House disputes Netanyahu’s claim that US is withholding weapons from Israel

The Biden administration has reacted furiously to criticisms by Benjamin Netanyahu that the US is holding back weapons and ammunition from Israel in its war in Gaza, reportedly cancelling a high-level meeting with Israeli officials on Iran in retaliation.

Netanyahu made the claims of a supposedly deliberate weapons delay in a video posted on X in which he implied that Israel’s ability to prevail in the nine-month war with Hamas was being hampered as a result. ...

The broadside appeared to blindside US officials. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters: “We genuinely don’t know what he is talking about.”

At a later news conference, Blinken said that the only delayed weapons were 2,000lb bombs that Joe Biden had ordered to put under review because of concerns over an Israeli plan for an incursion into Rafah in southern Gaza, where up to 1 million people are sheltering. “That remains under review. But everything else is moving as it normally would,” said Blinken. ...

Senior administration officials were said to be angry behind the scenes. Axios, citing two unnamed sources, reported that a bilateral meeting scheduled for 20 June had been called off to send Netanyahu a signal. The report said the US envoy to Israel, Amos Hochstein, had delivered the message to the prime minister personally, telling him that his accusation was “inaccurate and out of line”.

Scott Ritter : Netanyahu Destroying Israel

UN Human Rights Office Condemns Israel's Use of 2,000-lb Bombs Against Gaza Civilians

The United Nations Human Rights Office released a report Wednesday concluding that the Israeli military's repeated use of heavy weaponry—including 2,000-pound bombs supplied by the United States—in the Gaza Strip has likely violated international laws of war barring the targeting of civilians and disproportionate attacks.

The new report specifically examines six Israeli attacks that the U.N. Human Rights Offices says are "emblematic" of the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) broader assault on Gaza, which has killed more than 37,000 people, unleashed a hellish humanitarian crisis, and destroyed much of the Palestinian enclave's infrastructure—including education, healthcare, and water facilities.

The attacks analyzed by the U.N. took place between October 9 and December 2 of last year and involved the use of 2,000-pound, 1,000-pound, and 250-pound bombs on residential buildings, a market, refugee camps, and a school. At least 218 people were killed in the six Israeli attacks, the U.N. found, and evidence suggests the actual number of fatalities "could be much higher."

The report says Israeli forces used roughly nine 2,000-pound bombs in a December 2 attack on a neighborhood in Gaza City, causing destruction across a distance of 130 meters.

"These attacks of an apparent indiscriminate nature are among hundreds of a similar nature, giving rise to the appearance of a pattern of attacks over months," the report states. "The pattern of Israeli strikes exemplified by the six incidents above indicates that the IDF may have systematically violated the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack—fundamental principles of international humanitarian law on the conduct of hostilities—in the course of its attacks in Gaza since 7 October 2023."

Volker Türk, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement Wednesday that "the requirement to select means and methods of warfare that avoid or at the very least minimize to every extent civilian harm appears to have been consistently violated in Israel's bombing campaign."

The human rights office's report is the latest of several recent U.N. analyses accusing Israeli forces of committing grave war crimes in Gaza—including torture, using starvation as a weapon of war, and genocide—as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands more weaponry from the U.S. to continue its devastating assault.

Reuters reported Wednesday that "Israeli tanks backed by warplanes and drones advanced deeper into the western part of the Gaza Strip city of Rafah," killing at least eight people and forcing more residents to run for their lives. At least a million people have fled Rafah since Israel began invading the city last month.

"Residents said the tanks moved into five neighborhoods after midnight," Reuters noted Wednesday. "Heavy shelling and gunfire hit the tents of displaced families in the Al-Mawasi area, further to the west of the coastal enclave... Residents said Israeli army forces blew up several homes in western Rafah, which had sheltered over half of Gaza's 2.3 million people before last month, when Israel began its ground offensive and forced most of the population to head northwards."

'NO WHERE IS SAFE:' Hezbollah Threatens MASSIVE War

Hezbollah leader: Cyprus will be target if it lets Israel use its territory in conflict

The leader of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, warned of a war “without rules or ceilings” in the event of a full-scale Israeli offensive against the Lebanese militia, as he threatened that Cyprus could become a target if it allowed Israel to use its territory in any conflict.

Cyprus and Israel have a bilateral defence cooperation agreement which has seen the countries conduct joint exercises.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” the Hezbollah chief said.

Nikos Christodoulides, the island’s president, responded on Wednesday evening: “Cyprus remains uninvolved in any military conflicts and positions itself as part of the solution rather the problem.” ...

Nasrallah’s remarks came a day after Israeli generals said they had signed off on planning for a wider offensive against Hezbollah, and Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, suggested the country was on the brink of deciding whether to expand the war.

Israeli regime preparing for all-out war with Hezbollah in Lebanon

A drastic escalation of tensions between Israel and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon over the past week has brought the prospect of an expansion of war across the Middle East ever closer. Following Israel’s assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander and a retaliatory rocket barrage fired on northern Israel, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) released a statement Tuesday declaring that operational plans for a war in Lebanon have been approved.

Since the beginning of its genocidal onslaught on Gaza, Israel has exchanged almost daily fire with Hezbollah across the border. To date, Israeli air strikes and shelling have killed over 340 Hezbollah members and dozens of civilians in southen Lebanon, while Hezbollah rockets have killed 10 Israeli civilians and 15 IDF soldiers. But the exchanges intensified markedly last week after Israel assassinated Taleb Abdullah, the most senior Hezbollah commander to be killed since October. Hezbollah responded by striking the Mount Meron air traffic control base in northern Israel on Saturday, prompting the IDF to insist that “no harm to the unit’s capabilities” was caused by the attack.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah released drone footage of military sites and civilian infrastructure in Haifa in what was seen as an exposure of the limits of Israel’s much-vaunted air defences in the north. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded in a statement:

We are getting very close to the moment of deciding on changing the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely beaten.

Later in the day, the IDF issued a statement indicating that an offensive into Lebanon is looming. It declared:

As part of the assessment of the situation, operational plans for the attack in Lebanon were approved and implemented and decisions were made to continue accelerating the readiness of the forces in the field.

The Biden administration dispatched its special envoy for the Middle East, Amos Hochstein, to the region, where he held talks Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and President Isaac Herzog, before travelling on to Lebanon on Tuesday. Herzog reportedly discussed with Hochstein “the urgent need to restore security to the northern border,” a euphemism for destroying Hezbollah.

While media reports presented Hochstein’s trip as an attempt to “deescalate” the conflict, the reality is that American imperialism is playing the most provocative role in propelling the Middle East towards a catastrophic region-wide war. Washington appears to be temporarily applying the brakes on its Israeli ally above all because it would prefer to have more time to cobble together an anti-Iranian alliance that includes the Arab Gulf states for war against Tehran. If its attack dog launches a war in Lebanon, however, American imperialism will undoubtedly back it to the hilt.

The entire Israeli political establishment wants war in Lebanon. The Zionist agenda of a greater Israel, to be realised through the genocide in Gaza and further expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, also necessitates the crushing of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Netanyahu and his far-right government are determined to continue the genocide in Gaza and at the same time unleash a war on the northern front.

Dying Empire: Biden Gaza Pier CRUMBLES In US Humiliation

Israel kills many in overnight strikes in central Gaza despite 'pause'

Israeli bombing of several areas in central Gaza killed at least 17 people overnight on Tuesday, according to local media reports, despite Israel's army declaring a "pause" in activities. The attacks included a strike on the al-Rai family’s home in Nuseirat, in central Gaza, which killed at least eight people.

Palestine’s Wafa news agency also reported Israeli strikes on Rafah, southern Gaza, despite the Israeli army previously having declared "tactical pauses" in fighting to facilitate the flow of aid.

The intense bombing of central Gaza comes as a senior Israeli negotiator told AFP that dozens of the captives held by Hamas are alive “with certainty”. The negotiator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Israel cannot end the war before ensuring the release of all captives as he believes Hamas could “breach their commitment... and drag out the negotiations for 10 years”. ...

The Palestinian group previously stated that they would only accept a deal that guarantees a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, as they worry Israel might continue its attacks after the first phase of the plan is carried out.

The Israeli official said that should no deal with Hamas be reached, then the Israeli army will “continue to fight in the Gaza Strip in a no less intense fashion than it's fighting now”.

'SCREW YOU BIDEN': Putin, North Korea COLD WAR Pact

Russia and North Korea sign mutual defence pact

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, have signed a pact that includes a clause requiring the countries to come to each other’s aid if either is attacked, a move that has raised western concerns about potential Russian aid for Pyongyang’s missile or nuclear programmes.

The inclusion of a mutual defence clause in their comprehensive strategic partnership, which Kim described as an “alliance”, will add to the west’s alarm over growing economic and military ties between North Korea and Russia. The deal was finalised on Wednesday after hours of talks in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

The pact has also magnified western concerns about potential Russian aid for North Korea’s missile or nuclear programmes.

NBC News on Wednesday reported that US intelligence officials believe Putin is providing North Korea with nuclear submarine and ballistic missile technology in exchange for arms for his war in Ukraine. Citing six senior US officials, the US news network said the Biden administration was concerned Russia might help North Korea complete the final steps needed to field its first submarine capable of launching a nuclear-armed missile.

It was not immediately clear whether Russian support for ballistic missiles would indicate intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the mainland United States, or the short-range ballistic missiles that North Korea has reportedly supplied Russia with during the war and also could use in the event of a large-scale conflict with South Korea.

Putin in North Korea & Vietnam, driving collective west crazy

Defending "Democracy?": Western Media Acknowledges Ukraine's History of Stifling Dissent

NYPD complaints surge under Adams to reach highest level since 2012

The New York City police department’s disciplinary issues are coming to a head during the third year of tough-on-crime Mayor Eric Adams’s administration, with complaints at their highest since 2012, stop-and-frisk encounters soaring and displays of impunity by rank-and-file officers, according to interviews and data from the city’s independent police watchdog agency.

Disciplinary records and interviews with sources also reveal a persistent problem with instances of NYPD officers wearing morale patches on their bulletproof vests containing possible white supremacist imagery.

This is an uncomfortable echo of four years ago, when the NYPD’s riot squad pummeled protesters and cops openly wore pro-Trump imagery, flashed white supremacist symbols while on duty and were discovered in membership lists of extremist militias. ...

Michael Sisitzky, assistant policy director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, expressed alarm at the extremist imagery issue but noted it fit into a longer pattern. “These complaints are not entirely new, we’ve heard similar reports of officers sporting those patches or making white supremacist gestures at protests. Most recently, our monitors have seen really aggressive activity by the department towards the George Floyd and Palestinian solidarity protests,” Sisitzky said.

More alarmingly, Sisitzky said, the NYPD’s command staff under Mayor Adams’s term has taken a hard turn to the right. “The adversarial and hostile tone and rhetoric towards New Yorkers from the command staff have been really troubling – figures like [Chief of Department] Jonathan Chell and [Assistant Commissioner] Kaz Daughtry have been using social media to attack members of the city council and judges, recently called out protesters as ‘anti-American’, and are slurring folks as supporters of terrorism.” The behavior of senior NYPD officials like Chell and Daughtry has provoked rebukes from the city council and prompted New York City’s department of investigation to open an inquiry into the use of social media by the police department. Adams, for his part, unequivocally supports the NYPD’s new aggressive approach towards its political opponents.

the horse race

Georgia becomes first state to require election law training for police

Georgia is the first state to mandate training in election law in order for police to become state certified, a reflection of lessons learned in the aftermath of the state’s 2020 race.

The new requirement for police trainees to take a one-hour course on election laws is meant to keep officers from trying to guess at how to enforce the law on election day, said Chris Harvey, deputy executive director for the Georgia peace officer standards and training council.

“Cops just really need to know what are some of the basic ground rules around elections and voting, because they’re very specific,” he said. “In my opinion, the worst thing that can happen is if you have a partisan person or partisan force trying to manipulate the police, and have the police not have any idea what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Harvey’s long career as a police officer took a side road in 2015 when then-secretary of state, Brian Kemp, named him Georgia’s director of elections. He carried the experience from 2020 into his recent appointment to the state body certifying police officers.

“Having seen the threats to election officials, having seen things happen to polling places, having myself been threatened during the 2020 election, I know that … it was likely that election officials were going to be calling the police,” Harvey said.

Biden Praises Racists & Segregationists – Happy Juneteenth!

the evening greens

US admits dams in Pacific north-west have devastated Native Americans

The US government, in a report published on Tuesday, acknowledged for the first time the harms that federal dams have inflicted on Native American tribes in the US Pacific north-west. The report by the interior department details the “historic, ongoing and cumulative impacts of federal Columbia River dams on Columbia River Basin Tribes”, including how dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers have devastated salmon runs, inundated villages and burial grounds, and deprived tribal members of the ability to exercise traditional ways of life.

The Columbia River basin, an area roughly the size of Texas, historically supported abundant wild salmon, which play an important role in tribal identity and spirituality, as well as steelhead and native resident fish. The construction of large hydroelectric dams throughout the basin at the turn of the 20th century impeded fish migration and flooded entire villages and towns, forcing people to relocate and transforming the ecosystem.

Of the 16 stocks of salmon and steelhead that once populated the river system, four are extinct and seven are listed under the Endangered Species Act, according to the Associated Press. Tribal communities were “disproportionately harmed” by the dams, the report says, resulting in “profound losses” that have had “traumatic” impacts including by altering traditional diets and lifestyles and “fundamentally changing how Tribal members teach and raise children”. Those cultural, spiritual and economic detriments continue to this day.

The government “downplayed or accepted” the risk to salmon in its drive to bring electricity, irrigation and jobs to nearby communities other than the tribes, transferring wealth away from the tribes to non-Native people, the report says.

Chemicals from East Palestine derailment spread to 16 US states, data shows

Chemicals released during the East Palestine train wreck fires in February 2023 in Ohio were carried across 16 US states, new research of federal precipitation and pollution data shows. Analysis of rain and snow samples collected from northern Wisconsin to Maine to North Carolina in the weeks following the crash found the highest levels of pH and some compounds recorded over the last ten years. That includes chloride, which researchers say was largely released during a controversial controlled burn of highly toxic vinyl chloride carried by the train.

Researchers expected to find some evidence of the burn 50 miles from the site, and the high levels of contamination in the samples across the vast range that it was spread was “very surprising” said David Gay, a University of Wisconsin researcher and lead author. “We saw the chemical signal from this fire at a lot of sites and far away,” he added. “There was more than we ever would have guessed.” ...

The pollution also spread far and wide because the wreck’s fires burned for so long, and the controlled vinyl chloride burn was extremely hot and concentrated, Gay said. It sent a towering plume into the earth’s free troposphere, where winds often blow between 50 to 100 miles per hour. “That can distribute pollution a long way … and it was a nasty little fire with lots of emissions,” Gay said.

Researchers looked for a range of inorganic compounds in rain and snow water samples collected at 260 sites around the nation as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. The analysis included inorganic compounds because the federal government does not check precipitation samples for organic compounds, like dioxin or PFAS, which were also likely emitted and spread far from the fire’s site. Chloride, or chlorine, can be a potential health and environmental threat, Gay said, but the levels researchers found “wasn’t melting steel or eating paint off buildings”.

“But these concentrations were very extreme for what we usually see,” he added.

France urged to step in to spur TotalEnergies’ transition from oil

The French government should intervene in TotalEnergies and spur faster climate action, a senate inquiry commission has concluded. The commission, set up to explore ways the state could guarantee that the oil conglomerate complies with French climate commitments, recommended 33 steps the government should take to “encourage a rapid, orderly and effective transition”.

The actions include taking a “golden share” in Total that would grant the government more influence over strategic decisions and a potential right of veto that could stop the company moving its headquarters to the US. It also called on the French government to provide incentive for faster and greater investments from Total in renewable energy. “The commission recommends that the state re-enters into the capital of TotalEnergies to have a right to review what is happening there,” said Yannick Jadot, a senator with the Greens who served as the rapporteur.

The commission, which was set up at the request of the Greens but contained senators from a range of political parties, praised Total for making greater efforts to transition to clean energy. But it said the energy company – and others like it – should move away more quickly from fossil fuels and increase its investments in renewable energy. ...

Total is one of several energy companies linked to “carbon bomb” projects, whose vast emissions are set to blow past internationally agreed temperature targets. In 2021, the International Energy Agency found no room for new oil and gas fields if the planet was to be kept from heating 1.5C (2.7F) above preindustrial levels by the end of the century, but its warnings have not been heeded.

Also of Interest

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

Uncle Sam Wants You, to Kill and Die for the Empire

Biden's 'Exceptionalism' Is Likely To Stay

Everything In Our Civilization Is Stacked To Keep Us Believing The Propaganda

The kibbutzniks blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza

Wikipedia declares Anti-Defamation League 'unreliable' on Israel, antisemitism

Wow: Wikipedia BANS the ADL as a Source on Israel/Palestine Conflict

FBI knew since 2016 Hunter Biden’s team nearly scored $120 million Ukrainian deal while Joe was VP

Why Do I Talk About Real Food Shortages In The Future?

Clare Daly's SHOCKING Defeat: The End Of An Era

Pentagon Ran a Secret Anti-Vax Campaign to Undermine China at the Height of the Pandemic: Reuters

The Worst News Possible For Big Pharma!

Christian Nationalists SCORE a VICTORY! 10 Commandments Must Now Be POSTED in LA Schools

Max Blumenthal standup set at Icarus Fest 2024

Dr. Gilbert Doctorow : Putin’s Peace Plan Panned

A Little Night Music

Guitar Gable With King Karl - Cool Calm Collected

Guitar Gable feat. King Karl - No Matter Who

Guitar Gable with King Karl - This should go on forever

King Karl - Goodbye Whiskey

King Carl - Blues For Men

King Carl - Everybody's Feelin' Good

King Karl - Baby Baby Come To Papa

"Chuck" Brown (King Karl) - Hard Times At My Door

King Carl - Do You Like To See Me Cry

Guitar Gable & King Karl - Irene

12 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture

i won't be around this evening as i am taking ms. shikspack off to a concert out of town. take care and have a great evening!

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

Thanks for the EBs.
be well and have a good one

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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 --

ABOARD THE USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER IN THE RED SEA - The combat markings emblazoned on the F/A-18 fighter jet tell the story: 15 missiles and six drones, painted in black just below the cockpit windshield.
As the jet sits on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the Red Sea, its markings illuminate the enemy targets that it's destroyed in recent months and underscore the intensity of the fight to protect commercial shipping from persistent missile and drone attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

But they also hint at the fatigue setting in, as the carrier, its strike group and about 7,000 sailors close in on their ninth month waging the most intense running sea battle since the Second World War. That raises difficult questions about what comes next as U.S. military and defence leaders wrangle over how they will replicate the carrier's combat power if the ship returns home to Norfolk, Virginia.

Already, the carrier's deployment has been extended twice, and sailors post dark memes around the ship about only getting one short break during their steadily growing tour. Some worry they could be ordered to stay out even longer as the campaign drags on to protect global trade in the vital Red Sea corridor.

At the Pentagon, leaders are wrestling with what has become a thorny but familiar debate. Do they bow to Navy pressure to bring the Eisenhower and the other three warships in its strike group home or heed U.S. Central Command's plea to keep them there longer? And if they bring them home — what can replace them?

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snoopydawg's picture


And if they bring them home — what can replace them?

Why has the Eisenhower's mission been extended for so long?

Because the newest razzy dazzy ships built are not up to doing their job. I wish I had saved the article explaining this, but like many of our new wonder weapons they only look good on paper. Remember that Ukraine threw away the new javelins because they were so complicated to use on top of them not working properly. But hey defense CEOs are shareholders sure have more money in their pockets. That’s what counts right?

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soryang's picture


...from saying anything about this. As far as I'm concerned I'm impressed with their actual intercept performance so far. The problems are the excessive costs and why our government doesn't act to make this completely unnecessary. I'll just link to this article below where the comments are pretty interesting. I thought the whole idea of F-35s, particularly the naval variant was to make use of smaller ships LHAs still capable of projecting power and intercepting incoming. This is one example-

Few changes are required to better use the aviation centric LHA-6 platform as a "Lightning Carrier". IMHO we need at least two more. For the cost of one CVN-78 class carrier we can build EXCORTS and augment the carrier force with multiple "Lightning Carrier" platforms that can be in more than ONE PLACE at a time. Now . . . who is using the public funds for defense of the nation efficiently.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Busiest U.S. Carrier Over Last 5 Years, Deployment Data Shows

The discussion/criticism in the comments section below the article reveals the kinds of problems in design and procurement that the Cockburn article on excessive MIC costs (posted by snoopydawg recently I think) discussed.

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語必忠信 行必正直

snoopydawg's picture


The Greenbratt guy wrote an article on how it was okay for Israel to support the Ukraine neo Nazis. I posted it a year or so ago. Whitewashing Nazis.

This is an interesting article about Israeli moms protesting against their kids being sent to murder fight Palestinians.

Ritter says that 70,000 Israelis have been permanently injured in 8 months. The women call out Netanyahu smiling a shit eating grin on the Same day 10 soldiers were killed.

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snoopydawg's picture


A Washington Post columnist thinks President Biden would ease concerns about his advanced age by kicking unpopular Vice President Kamala Harris off the ticket and replacing her with Hillary Clinton
said that the 76-year-old former secretary of state who lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump would extricate the US from its “old-White-men dilemma.” (Ehh? Wasn’t Kamala fulfilling that role?)

Parker cited the 81-year-old Biden’s “steady decline the past few years” which have been made more apparent through “his stumbles, his search for words, his occasional blank stare” — all of which are now “impossible to ignore.”
(Oh so we’re admitting that now? You know like they were before Obama cleared the field all talk of Biden’s dementia cleared up faster than Ukraine’s Nazi problem before the war.)

Parker argued that having Harris on the ticket would deter already-skeptical voters due to the vice president’s “competency, or lack thereof.” Smile

“At 76, she might want no part of it, but it’s hard to retire when you feel your job isn’t done,” the columnist wrote.

“If Biden needs to step down, even those who didn’t vote for Clinton would have confidence in her ability to keep the country on track.”
(Ready for that 3 am phone call)

She noted that Clinton was “inserting herself into the news cycle” by endorsing Westchester County Executive George Latimer in his race to unseat Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

She mentions that this might alienate black voters, but they would vote for Democrats anyway because where else would they go? they want to advance a worldview consistent with their values.

Well, Kamala is the new Dan Quayle.

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“At 76, she might want no part of it, but it’s hard to retire when you feel your job isn’t done,” the columnist wrote.

Yah sure! They would have to twist Hillary's arm for this to happen.

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snoopydawg's picture


the spotlight ever since she lost to Trump. And she weekly whines that Putin cheated her out of the election. Yep she has to keep reminding people that she’s still here ready to be called on if needed. No other person who lost an election has done what she has.

The media has kept Trump in the spotlight too since he lost to Biden. But has he been playing along with them like the good little patsy I think he is?

I’d love to see dems replace Kamala with Hillary just to see shitlibs heads explode. Heh..I wonder if K-hive is still around?

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snoopydawg's picture


You left out…

Twist my arm!


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The rest of the tweet:

The United States is incapable of fighting a sustained conflict against a peer-level force. The United States cannot fight and engage China and win. We will not beat the Chinese. We cannot beat the Chinese. We know this and yet we’re using the Philippines to create the conditions of potential conflict with the Chinese. Please understand that for the Filipino people, this is a recipe for disaster.

You think America is your friend. So too did the Ukrainian people. They are dying by the hundreds of thousands. Friends don’t let friends die in those quantities. The Ukrainians have been displaced by the tens of millions. Friends don’t let friends have their cities destroyed in this manner. Friends don’t let friends have families separated, have mothers and children destined to a life of refugee status and perpetual poverty. That’s not how friends behave.

America has never been the friend of the Ukrainians and we are not the friends of the Filipinos. We don’t like you! If we did like you we wouldn’t be doing this to you. We are using you! You are a tool! Nothing but a tool! And when the tool ceases to be useful we will discard you. And “discard you” means, usually, after a war that devastates you! We are using you to gain some sort of momentary leverage over the Chinese. We will fail. The Chinese will win. And you will be destroyed! End of story!

It’s high time the Filipino people pressure their government to start sitting down and engaging the Chinese government responsibly. China is not your enemy! China is your neighbor! China is your friend! China doesn’t want war! And if you would engage China in diplomacy, and as we’ve all indicated here, America has long since lost the skill set necessary to carry out diplomacy, but the Filipinos—the Philippine people—can reignite this to relearn it, to use this skill, to prevent a war.

But if you continue to behave as colonial subjects, and I know that’s a sore subject in the Filipino because you were the colonial subjects of America. We still view you as our colonial subjects. We don’t like you, we don’t care about you, we just want to use you.

Grow up! Grow up and act responsibly! Take control of your own future. America is not here to help you. America is here only to use you until there’s nothing left and then we will discard you on the trash heap of history.

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The United States has called on the European Union to delay a ban on imports of products driving deforestation, saying it would harm American producers unable to comply, the European Commission said Thursday.

The EU law, set to take effect at the end of December, will bar a vast range of goods -- from coffee to cocoa, soy, timber, palm oil, cattle, printing paper and rubber -- if produced using land that was deforested after December 2020.

The US call adds to concerns voiced by Latin American, Asian and African countries, and from within the EU itself, about the administrative burden the new law places on farmers and the forestry sector.

The EU is the second-biggest market for consumption of the targeted products after China.

Firms importing the merchandise in question to the 27-nation EU will be responsible for tracking up their supply chains to prove goods did not originate from deforested zones, relying on geolocation and satellite data.

According to the Financial Times, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote to the European Commission in late May to request a delay.

They argued that the law, adopted in late 2022, posed "critical challenges" for US producers, and asked for implementation to be postponed "until these substantial challenges have been addressed."

"We can confirm the receipt of the letter and, as always, we will reply in due course," a commission spokesman told AFP.

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@humphrey Our government promotes only those green, climate change policies that deprive the 99%. Not the 1%. We might be deprived of gas stoves soon, for the promotion of climate change good. But for Petes sake, do NOT deprive massive lumber companies from chopping down the forests, because that's good for their bottom line and stock prices!
I am damn tired of having billionaires fly their private planes to Davos, make videos of themselves wagging their finger at me, as part of the 99%. "Do as we say!" (Not as we do, because we need fossil fuel more than you poor bastards.) Oh! Stop bathing daily and wear your clothes 3 times before you wash them! (After which they jump in to a pool with 5 call girls.)

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

snoopydawg's picture


Biden has sent Hochstein to threaten hezzbollah to stand down or else. Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging attacks in northern Israel which has caused 60-90,000 illegal settlers to flee their homes. Israeli has said that it has approved a plan to attack Lebanon and drive Hezzbollah back from the border and Hochstein says that if they don’t back down then America will join Israel with their war. Meanwhile Blinken/Biden are telling Netanyahu not to do it….oh what a tangled web beings weaved.

After months of this boring de-administrative work, Hezbollah has finally arrived at the good stuff. The occupation state's northern air defenses today are like a ragged old mosquito net that the dog chased the cat through. It's full of holes, and big ones. Hezbollah can increasingly fire at will, with increasingly accurate weapons. For example, here is Hezbollah taking down a SKYSTAR 330 by drone-striking its Battalion 869 operator.

In this case, Hezbollah targeted not the spy balloon itself, but the balloon controllers, in three locations at the same time. With the operators eliminated, the balloon drifted out of control, landing in Lebanon where some kids recovered it. This is the state of Israel's eyes and ears in the north. They're on the ground.

Israel has nothing worth calling an air-defense in the north anymore. The Iron Dome is done. Hezbollah can fire at will, and has for every single day for seven months now. Iraqi Resistance missiles are flying right over them, towards Haifa. Iran can overwhelm the entire national system whenever it wants. Israel can still offend the conscience, but they're missile defenseless now. Even Hamas is hitting them, from within traumatized Gaza. It's open season, and the settlers know it.



Syria, the Taliban and others are training to enter the fight. America has pissed off too many countries with its wars that the rooster is coming home.

Add that Russia just check mated Biden and his goons on attacking China… Gosh it’s a good thing that the adults are back in charge.

Hezzbollah shot down Israel’s eye in the sky and destroyed other air defense systems in Israel…stay tuned. As the article says this might be the end of Israel.

The article makes much more sense than I have.

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usefewersyllables's picture


it must do next: take down Israel's power grid.

There's a pleasing synergy here, because we taught them everything they need to know about how to do it. It'll just take a few cruise missiles with spools of conductive carbon fiber and a little bitty warhead, just like we did with our Tomahawks during Operation Whatthefuckever. Short out the primary substations and transmission facilities. You don't need to blow them up with big earthshaking bangs, if little bangs and some conductive hairs destroy the transformers and circuit breakers. Those have a lead time measured in years...

Then, with the grid down, they can select the next targets for a more thorough shellacking, pretty much at their leisure.

The interested student will note that this avenue of attack applies to the US power grid, as well. Everything old is new again.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

snoopydawg's picture


The biggest thing Hamas will be known for is removing the fantasy that Israel has unbreakable security and the best military in the Middle East.

Whether Israel let the attacks happen or not it’s now known that their vaunted security didn’t protect Israelis in the kibbutz. Bibi tells Jews to move to Israel because it’s the only safe place for them….oops. Not so much.

And Israel having the best military was always a farce. How hard is to target unarmed civilians? They got Uncle Sam to destroy Iraq and Libya, but their military never had its own skin in the game.
Lastly Iran showed how they could beat the iron dome defense. Hezzbollah took note. Bibi should be showing some humility, but that’s not in his vocabulary. Heh…bring it on.

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janis b's picture

Thanks for the Edward Abbey quote. While revisiting my memories of him I came across this piece which included more great quotes of his, as well as some other interesting info.

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