The Evening Blues - 1-16-18



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Little Mack Simmons



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Chicago blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter Little Mack Simmons. Enjoy!



Little Mack Simmons - Never Leave My Homework Undone



News and Opinion


Chris Hedges: You Don’t Need a Telescope to Find a ‘Shithole Country’

I covered the war in El Salvador for five years. It was a peasant uprising by the dispossessed against the 14 ruling families and the handful of American corporations that ran El Salvador as if it was a plantation. Half of the population was landless. Laborers worked as serfs in the coffee plantations, the sugar cane fields and the cotton fields in appalling poverty. Attempts to organize and protest peacefully to combat the huge social inequality were met with violence, including fire from machine guns mounted on the tops of buildings in downtown San Salvador that rained down bullets indiscriminately on crowds of demonstrators. Peasant, labor, church and university leaders were kidnapped by death squads, brutally tortured and murdered, their mutilated bodies often left on roadsides for public view. When I arrived, the death squads were killing between 700 and 1,000 people a month.

An insurgent army arose, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (known by the Spanish-language abbreviation FMLN), named for the leader of a peasant uprising in 1932 that was crushed through the slaughter of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, many of them killed in summary executions. The FMLN seized huge parts of the country from the corrupt and demoralized military. In the fall of 1983, the rebels, supplied with weapons from the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, were on the verge of capturing the country’s second largest city. I did not, at first, travel with the army. It was too dangerous. It was far safer to go into combat with the FMLN. Without outside intervention, the rebels would have seized control of El Salvador within months and ousted the oligarchs.

But, far to the north, was a shithole country ruled by a former B-list movie actor who had starred in “Bedtime for Bonzo” and who was in the early stages of dementia. This shithole country, which saw the world in black and white, communist and capitalist, was determined to thwart the aspirations of the poor and the landless. It would not permit the profits of its companies, such as United Fruit, or the power of the pliant oligarch class that did its bidding in El Salvador, to be impeded. It had disdain for the aspirations of the poor, especially the poor of Latin American or Africa, the wretched of the earth, as writer Frantz Fanon called them, people who in the eyes of those who ruled the shithole country should toil in misery all their lives for the oligarchs and the big American companies allied with them. Let the poor, brown and black people go hungry, watch their children die of sickness or be murdered. Power and wealth, those who ruled this shithole country believed, was theirs by divine right. They, as the lords of shithole-dom, were endowed with special attributes. God blessed shithole countries. ...

The leaders of the shithole country would oversee the murder of 80,000 people and 8,000 disappeared in El Salvador. Intelligence officials from the shithole country were, it appears, complicit in the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Romero, organized by a former Salvadoran army officer named Roberto D’Aubuisson—known affectionately as “Blowtorch Bob”—who was one of the shithole country’s favorite killers. The shithole country protected those who ordered the murder and rape of four American churchwomen in December 1980. They protected the officers of the Atlacatl Brigade—which in 1981 had massacred more than 700 civilians in El Mozote—when in 1989 they gunned down six Spanish Jesuit priests, one of whom was the rector of the University of Central America, plus their housekeeper and her teenage daughter, on the university campus. The Salvadoran officers who oversaw these massacres, and countless others, had been selected and trained in the shithole country’s U.S. Army School of the Americas. The war would destroy much of the infrastructure. El Salvador never recovered. It is awash in weapons. It experiences a murder every one and a half hours. Let the blood flow, the leaders of the shithole country said. The blood of brown and black people does not matter.

Max Blumenthal: How ‘Russiagate’ helped secure a “dangerous arms deal.”

European foreign ministers are being forced to side with Iran over Trump whether they like it or not

Just as Iran looks as if it is going to draw less and less economic benefit from the JCPOA, its political gains from agreement are increasing at home and abroad. President Hassan Rouhani can blame austerity, rising prices and unemployment squarely on Trump and the US. Spontaneous protests inspired by economic grievances that erupted across Iran in the days after 28 December can be demonised as plotted by or playing into the hands of foreign foes since the chief foe, in the shape of Trump, is cheering them on.

Another potential political benefit for Iran has become more evident in the last few days as the issue of the Iranian nuclear deal returns to the top of the news agenda. European states had put a lot of effort since Trump won the presidential election in 2016 into pretending that he was not “the mad woman in the attic” who had somehow taken control of the White House. There were hopes that Trump would simmer down or the great American ship of state would sail on under its own momentum, regardless of the weirdness of the new man at the helm. Foreign governments half-convinced themselves that if you held your nose and pretended that Trump was like other American presidents then he might become like one or else people would not notice that he was not.

But the pretence is getting pretty thin. Just how thin was visible this week as European foreign ministers met with their Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Brussels with the supposed purpose of persuading Iran to curtail its destabilising activities in the Middle East that impact on the nuclear deal. But it did not look like that: if Zarif was indeed being held to account, he was showing no sign of discomfort as he sat beaming at the British, French and German foreign ministers and they beamed back at him. It looked much more as if Iran and the powerful European states, aside from Russia, which is already in the Iranian corner, were presenting a common front against the US in defence of the nuclear deal. “Strong consensus in Brussels today,” tweeted Zarif cheerfully. “Iran is complying with JCPOA.”

Trump may eventually sabotage the nuclear deal, but the US will pay a heavy political price. The Europeans are embarrassed by being pushed into the Iranian corner along with Russia and China, but they do not have a lot of choice on the JCPOA and, increasingly, on other issues. Reluctantly, they are deciding that Trump is the great destabiliser and a far more potent threat to the international order than any danger posed by Iran.

Syrian Army Vow to End US Presence in Syria

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has responded negatively to the US pledge to create a new “border” force in northern Syria of some 30,000 US-backed fighters, saying not only are they violating Syrian sovereignty, but the Syrian Army’s goal must be to end the US presence in the country outright.

Syria has long opposed the US military presence in the country, which was deployed without Syrian permission, and which Pentagon officials say will last long after the outright defeat of ISIS.

Syrian Kurds mobilise civilians as Erdogan warns of attack 'at any moment'

Syrian Kurdish officials are mobilising citizens to defend the town of Afrin as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday that an attack was imminent.

“The Self Administration in Afrin has taken all measures,” said Egid Rashid, head of the media office of the Democratic Self Administration, the local government associated with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD. “The citizens of the district are guarding its borders and are ready to sacrifice everything to protect Afrin. If Turkey attacks Afrin, then Afrin will be a powerful and unforgettable lesson for Turkey,” he said.

Mr Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to attack Afrin, which is held by the PYD militia known as the People's Protection Units, or PYG. Turkey considers the Kurdish force to be affiliated with Turkish Kurds battling for autonomy in Turkey’s south-east.

Mr Rashid said Afrin had "for years now been under a systematic siege posed by mercenary groups supported by the Turkish occupation”. He said Turkish forces had been shelling Afrin from positions inside Syria and from positions in Turkey since Saturday, and the YPG had responded to movements by Turkish-backed forces with heavy machine gun fire.

Here's a teaser for the interview:

‘Is whistleblowing worth prison or a life in exile?’: Edward Snowden talks to Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, the US whistleblower celebrated in Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Post, was called “the most dangerous man in America” by the Nixon administration in the 70s. More than 40 years later, the man he helped inspire, Edward Snowden, was called “the terrible traitor” by Donald Trump, as he called for Snowden’s execution. ... The Post deals with Ellsberg’s 1971 leak of the Pentagon Papers, which revealed presidents from Truman to Nixon lying about the Vietnam war. It deals, too, with the battle of the US media, primarily the Washington Post and the New York Times, to protect press freedom.

During a two-hour internet linkup between Ellsberg in Berkeley, California, Snowden in Moscow and the Guardian in London, the whistleblowers discussed the ethics, practicalities and agonised internal debate involved in whistleblowing and how The Post has a special resonance today in Trump’s America. They are worried about Trump’s assault on press freedom and express fear that journalists could be indicted for the first time in US history. And they are alarmed by the prospect of a US nuclear strike against North Korea, urging a new generation of whistleblowers to come forward from the Pentagon or White House to stop it.

“It is madly reckless for this president to be doing what he is doing. Whether he is, in some clinical sense, crazy or not, what he is doing is crazy,” says Ellsberg. His book based on his experience as a defence analyst and nuclear war planner, The Doomsday Machine, was published in December.

Chelsea Manning Announces Senate Run - Democrats Smear Her

Why Senator Cardin Is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ben Cardin [Md.], has become a big star in national media by routinely denouncing Russia as a dire threat to American democracy. The senior senator from Maryland personifies the highly dangerous opportunism that has set in among leading Democrats on the subject of Russia. ... [Chelsea Manning's] campaign has real potential to raise key issues. One of them revolves around the kind of bellicose rhetoric that heightens the dangers of conflict between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.

In a typical foray into reckless hyperbole, Cardin told a public forum in November: “When you use cyber in an affirmative way to compromise our democratic, free election system, that’s an attack against America. It’s an act of war. It is an act of war.” ... Last week, Cardin upped the ante with the release of a report that he commissioned. In effect, it’s a declaration of red-white-and-blue jihad against Russia.

The report — which accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of “a relentless assault to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe and the United States” — received massive coverage in U.S. news media. Conservative and liberal punditry voiced acclaim. “Never before in American history has so clear a threat to national security been so clearly ignored by a U.S. president,” a solo statement by Cardin declares on the opening page. With the truly repugnant President Trump in its crosshairs, the report’s most polemical claims — no matter how debatable or ahistorical — have predictably gotten a pass from mass media.

But the much-ballyhooed report is a carefully selective and distorted version of history.

The expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders, the U.S. interference in dozens of countries’ elections (including in Russia during the Clinton administration), Washington’s support for repressive regimes in the past and present — such realities didn’t merit consideration or mention. Nor did facts such as the USA’s role as the world’s biggest arms merchant. Or the aggressively deadly U.S. military interventions in the recent past and present, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya. Such omissions are essential to the self-righteous tone of the Russiagate frenzy. Only with silence about basic truths of U.S. foreign policy can officials in Washington pose as leaders of an angelic nation that must confront satanic Russia.

Madrid to maintain direct rule if self-exiled Catalan separatist reelected

Spain rejected as absurd suggestions that Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont could lead the region from exile if elected president by the new Catalan parliament, and said if he were chosen Madrid would maintain direct central rule.

Puigdemont fled to Brussels in October after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fired him as Catalonia’s leader for declaring an independent republic following an illegal referendum. He faces arrest and possibly decades in jail if he returns to Spain.

With only days before Catalonia’s parliament convenes to elect a new regional government, separatists said Puigdemont was their candidate to lead the region again.

They are exploring the possibility he could do so by video link from Brussels.

But Rajoy, in a speech at his centre-right People’s Party (PP) Madrid headquarters, derided the idea and the Catalan parliament’s own legal advisory body said it was not possible without changing the law.

“When They Call You a Terrorist”: The Life of Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Twelve charged for defying California city's ban on feeding homeless

A California city has brought charges against 12 people who defied a ban on feeding homeless people at a neighborhood park, as officials try to rein in a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed 20 people and prompted mass vaccinations and the bleaching of streets. Officials in El Cajon, east of San Diego, argue that the ordinance aims to protect the public from hepatitis A, which has mostly affected those who are homeless or use drugs, by preventing the person-to-person transmission of pathogens. But activists have decried it as a draconian measure to criminalize homeless residents. ...

In El Cajon on Sunday, a volunteer organization named Break the Ban manned tables offering breakfast bars, oranges and bananas, hygiene supplies and socks at a local park. Within an hour, the police arrived threatening to arrest those who defied the ban. Volunteers shouted angrily at them, and they began issuing misdemeanor citations.

Scott Dreher, an attorney to the organizers who was present at the event, described the ordinance a restriction on his free-speech rights. “It prevents me from exercising my right to share food with those people in need, which is an expression of speech by action,” he said. “There are other, non-first-amendment-restrictive, ways to accomplish the city’s stated goal of preventing the spread of hep A, namely, by cleaning up the parks and providing and encouraging use of public restrooms and hand-washing.”

Almost 600 people in the county have been infected with the disease, which is spread via fecal contamination, a symptom of the fact that homeless people have few places to use the bathroom and then wash their hands.

Government shutdown: Trump blames Democrats as deadline looms

Donald Trump on Tuesday raised the specter of a government shutdown over immigration, with just four days remaining before federal funding expires and with lawmakers in Washington still scrambling to reach a deal. The president preemptively cast blame on Democrats, who have demanded that any bill to fund the government be accompanied by protections for the nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.

“The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all and Border Security,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever. We need a merit based system of immigration, and we need it now! No more dangerous Lottery.”

Trump’s comments came as congressional leaders looked increasingly unlikely to agree on a long-term spending bill, amplifying concerns that the US government might be poised for its first shutdown since 2013.

During a shutdown, vital government services such as law enforcement and air traffic control would continue, as would benefit programs like social security, Medicare and Medicaid. But national parks would close, and many federal bureaucrats would be sent home. Analysts have projected that the cost of furloughing federal employees could total $6.5bn a week and “possibly snuff out any economic momentum”.



the horse race



Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Mueller’s Russia probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating ties between Russia and President Trump’s presidential campaign, last week subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify before a grand jury, a source told the New York Times.

The subpoena calls for Bannon to testify about possible links between Trump and the Kremlin, but the Times points out that Mueller may be employing a negotiation tactic to get Bannon to agree to be questioned by investigators in a less formal setting at the special counsel offices in D.C.

US officials 'briefed Jared Kushner on concerns about Wendi Deng Murdoch'

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was reportedly warned about his friendship with Wendi Deng Murdoch, amid fears she was using the connection to promote China’s business interests. Early in 2017 US officials urged Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the US president, to exercise caution around Murdoch, according to the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch is a close friend of Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump.

Concerns were raised by US officials about a counter-intelligence assessment that Murdoch was lobbying for a high-profile construction project in Washington funded by the Chinese government, anonymous sources told the US paper. Wendi Deng Murdoch is former wife of Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Wall Street Journal.

The construction project was a proposed $100m (£73m) Chinese garden, which was reportedly declared a national security risk because the design included plans for a tall tower that officials were concerned could be used for surveillance. The garden was planned to be built less than five miles from both the Capitol and the White House. Murdoch’s spokesman said she “has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations”. He also said she “has absolutely no knowledge of any garden projects funded by the Chinese government”.





the evening greens


Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country.

The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries. The regions would be defined by watersheds and geographic basins, rather than individual states and the current boundaries that now guide Interior’s operations. This new structure would be accompanied by a dramatic shift in location of the headquarters of major bureaus within Interior, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation. ...

In a Wednesday interview with The Washington Post, Zinke said reorganization is his largest priority, in addition to shoring up the National Park Service’s crumbling infrastructure, with its $12 billion shortfall for maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges and other projects.

“If you look at the way we’re presently organized, all the bureaus under Interior have different regions . . . and are not aligned geographically,” Zinke said. For example, a single stream with trout and salmon can fall under multiple agencies, one for each fish, another for a dam downstream and yet another to manage the water, and each generates reports that often conflict. ...

Moving thousands of employees around the country would require congressional authorization. Zinke said the Trump administration plans to negotiate the reorganization in the upcoming budget approval process. ... Former interior secretary Sally Jewell was one of several people with knowledge of the department who expressed doubt that such a sweeping reorganization can work.

Facebook revealed info on Dakota pipeline protest group to prosecutor

EU declares war on plastic waste

The EU is waging war against plastic waste as part of an urgent plan to clean up Europe’s act and ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030.

Following China’s decision to ban imports of foreign recyclable material, Brussels on Tuesday launched a plastics strategy designed to change minds in Europe, potentially tax damaging behaviour, and modernise plastics production and collection by investing €350m (£310m) in research.

Speaking to the Guardian and four other European newspapers, the vice-president of the commission, Frans Timmermans, said Brussels’ priority was to clamp down on “single-use plastics that take five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes and it takes 500 years to break down again”.

In the EU’s sights, Timmermans said, were throw-away items such as drinking straws, “lively coloured” bottles that do not degrade, coffee cups, lids and stirrers, cutlery and takeaway packaging.

The former Dutch diplomat told the Guardian: “If we don’t do anything about this, 50 years down the road we will have more plastic than fish in the oceans … we have all the seen the images, whether you watch [the BBC’s] Blue Planet, whether you watch the beaches in Asian countries after storms.



Also of Interest

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

Puerto Rico Utility Workers Charge That Federal Government Is Hoarding Reconstruction Supplies

Nomi Prins’ New Book: Central Banks Have Become the Markets

500 years later, scientists discover what probably killed the Aztecs


A Little Night Music


Little Mack (Simmons) - I Need Love

Little Mack Simmons - Come Back

Little Mack Simmons - Don't Come Back

Little Mack Simmons - Times Are Getting Tougher

Little Mack Simmons - Goose Walk

Little Mack Simmons - Givin' Me A Hard Time

Little Mack Simmons - You've Got To Help Me

Little Mack Simmons - Last Night & Blue Lights

Little Mack Simmons - Just Your Fool

Little Mack Simmons - Snap Your Fingers

Little Mack Simmons - Reefer Head Woman

Little Mack Simmons - Sun Is Shining



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Comments

Azazello's picture

I thought the Keiser Report was really good and, for once, the second half was better than the first.
Here's a good piece: Democrats and the End(s) of Politics

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11 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@Azazello Blumenthal and Keiser. Pitty the poor civilians there, and here.

I was involved with citizens diplomacy back in the Reagan era and it has really galled me to the lies and other developments since.

One memory that really irks me is the pushback at TOP when any criticism of the Empty Suit Administration re the situation in Ukraine.

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10 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Azazello's picture

@divineorder
I remember that well. One time I wasted an entire Saturday arguing with an assortment of ignorant fools and neoliberal apologists. What a buncha' dumbfucks.

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divineorder's picture

@Azazello some were more than just dumbfucks, more like professional opinion makers and thought police, but hey, how could I ever be sure.

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3 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Azazello's picture

@divineorder
I believe they were.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

with your assessment. i smelled a rat (or several) in the top woodpile at the time.

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joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

the ukraine argument brought out two groups of ninnies at top. first the ninnies that had a knee-jerk reflex to protect our beautiful president, his serenity, barack. second there were the neocon ninnies pretending to be progressives that really wanted to get a war on with russia.

once i started recognizing the presence of professionals amongst the interlocutors in the ukraine arguments, i stopped bothering to argue with them.

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack friends in Kiev back in the 80s. Sickens me that in addition to the horrors of dealing with Kremlin fail of Chernoby they now have had the US PTB fucking up their lives.

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1 user has voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

sadly, it appears that the local oligarchs may be worse rulers than the kremlin. i feel very sad for the ukrainians, it seems that they may have a long period of hardship before they can cast out their own oligarchs, fascist dictator wannabes and assorted ne'er-do-wells and create a state that serves the 99%.

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mimi's picture

@Azazello
skipped listening in, though I really like the show. (Just too much to follow these days). I watched it. Max Blumenthal was quite excellent and both Maxes made me lol in this one.. I remember not having quite understood an incidence Blumenthal caused in the German Bundestag in which he involved Gregor Gysi. It became known as (Toilettegate) (You may watch the video to get an idea about what Toiletgate was). Now I found for example an interview of Blumenthal on German RT TV and it became much clearer to me. I can German RT only online, not on our TV. Lately I saw a documentary and longish interview on German TV about and with Gregor Gysi and I got a better feeling about Gysi's enigmatic, but also a bit questionable role he had in the history of his life of former GDR. I am so glad, I finally had found something that helped me understand it. Sorry I glide into Off Topic territory.

This interview today helped me again. As well as Hedges "Shithole" essay. Gosh it's all worth reading it.

Hi, Joe Shikspack. This EB's collection of articles today was what we call "ein Hammer". Very, very good and helpful. If I had a hammer (like you seem to have), I nailed all the articles too, right on the head. Smile

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divineorder's picture

@mimi

Hi, Joe Shikspack. This EB's collection of articles today was what we call "ein Hammer". Very, very good and helpful. If I had a hammer (like you seem to have), I nailed all the articles too, right on the head. Smile

Smile

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1 user has voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

glad you liked the articles tonight. i kinda like that "ein hammer" thing.

i hope it is the sort of hammer that one might philosophize with. Smile

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

the first segment of keiser was ok, but i have come to quite enjoy his segments with max blumenthal, which have been excellent.

thanks for the link to the rob urie piece. i haven't been paying as much attention to counterpunch lately and missed it. urie's pieces are always excellent.

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Meteor Man's picture

I really miss this site:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ryan Avent Joins the Order of the Shrill

Brad DeLong inducts a new member:

Ryan Avent Makes so Much Sense That He Joins the Order of the Shrill, by Brad DeLong: Ryan Avent:

Guns and butter: About that deficit: MARK THOMA has an appropriately succint post up today which reads in its entirety (and I hope he'll forgive my quoting the whole thing):

We have enough money to pay for military action in Libya, but not for job creation?

https://shrillblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/?m=1#4096359639456530507

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

joe shikspack's picture

@Meteor Man

funny how one can be "shrill" for speaking the plain and obvious truth.

frankly, if those are the conditions, chris hedges is in a league of his own. perhaps he should be the "scold of empire." Smile

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The World According to Trump Or How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire By Alfred W. McCoy

Was a very cold day here, never above 29, so spent some extra time catching up some of the reading wanted to do.

Quite a long read but covers a lot of what is being covered in the news here. Scary on the environmental front what Zinke has planned for the Interior department.

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7 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

divineorder's picture

@jakkalbessie paid attention to the TPP developments last couple of years had not followed it lately:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176373/tomgram:_alfred_mccoy,_tweeting_w...

Starting on the campaign trail in 2016, Trump has also hammered away at another pillar of American power, attacking the system of global commerce and multilateral trade pacts that have long advantaged the country’s transnational corporations. Not only did he cancel the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which promised to direct 40% of world trade away from China and toward the United States, but he’s threatened to void the free-trade pact with South Korea and has been so insistent on recrafting NAFTA to serve his “America first” agenda that ongoing negotiations may well fail.

Wonder about the investor state dispute and labor treatments etc.

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

thanks for the link to the mccoy piece, he's an excellent writer and right on target again.

back during the bush (shrubya) administration, the functions of the state department began to be transferred to the department of defense, hollowing out state's role. in the following obama administration, hillary clinton seemed intent on running defense policy from the state department, frequently issuing belligerent calls for military interventions rather than arranging diplomatic solutions to state problems.

trump, having viewed these developments through the lens of fox news, has no example in recent memory to show him the role that diplomacy has played in developing the empire as mccoy so deftly outlines.

i guess the good news is that trump may destroy the empire. the bad news is that he may also destroy a lot of real estate and kill a lot of people in the process.

looks like your weather-enforced reading time was quite productive.

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snoopydawg's picture

People crawl out from their caves and tells her that she doesn't know what she's talking about.

Twits like this person.

How can do many people be so ignorant about what their country does?

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
I like her guts. She showed it too in Iraq.

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Big Al's picture

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mimi's picture

@Big Al
gutsy would have been to oppose the bill that asks for sanctions. She didn't do it, because she needs the money from the Democratic Party's donors. I understand that's not a sign for having guts.

I looked at her record here. At least she opposed the war in Afghanistan and is for a reduction of DD's military spending.

And I do believe that she will change toward more critical view points against her Democratic Party's lack of progressive social and anti-war foreign policies.

Ok, at least I liked her clear pov on Lybia in the above clip. She was in Iraq. Knows how bombs falling on her fellow soldiers feels like. She asked to learn from the mistakes of the Iraq war. Probably compared to threaten some countries with bombs, she prefers doing it with sanctions. Not gutsy for obvious reasons, but understandable. Other representatives from HI are even more loyal to the "Democratic War Party" and as HI is full of military, national security folks and war veterans, I can understand that she is not "more gutsy" and walks carefully.

For some reason I believe she will change. I prefer for her not to lose her seat and she may not believe she can run and win as independent. So, I ask for little, am already glad that somehow she has shown signs of being against the wars the US is involved in or triggers.

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

she's got a record that shows some less than progressive actions. on the other hand, lately, she's been far better and more vocal on some important issues than many of her progressive congressworm colleagues.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

and wondered if you knew that Gabbard authored the bill that outlawed homelessness there.

From Wikipedia,

Gabbard also introduced Bill 54, a measure that authorized city workers to confiscate personal belongings stored on public property.[31][32] The measure overcame opposition from the ACLU[33] and Occupy Hawai'i,[34] and a potential conflict with Hawaii's constitutional law, Kānāwai Māmalahoe, which protects "those who sleep by the roadside". Bill 54 passed[34] and became City Ordinance 1129.

Also, might want to check into her and her Father's stances on LGBT rights. (I've posted several links in the past, but, too pushed this evening to search for them.)

Otherwise, I like a couple of her foreign policy stances. She freaked out George S this past Sunday, by criticizing past US policy regarding Libya, etc. Loved it! (I'll try to post the link to the transcript next week.)

Wink

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu


"Purity test"??
I've come to flag that phrase, like many others, as a tool of neoliberalism in order to shut down intelligent conversation. When someone disagrees with you, their issues are not lesser than yours. The lines that they draw are not inferior to yours. They are not being "pure" when they honor those lines. Rather, they are acting with principle.
--SnappleBC

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

As for her Libya speech, look above Smile
She got a lot of flak for going to Syria too. But so far she hasn't been accused of being Putin's puppet on the Twitter thread. But she's being called a lot of other names. She got applause from Caitlyn.

I'm very sorry to hear about the B. Holding ya'll in my thoughts. I wish no one had to go through this. Hoping for good news from the vet.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

for the kind words. At this point, any positive karma sent 'the B's' way could only be helpful, and is very much appreciated!

Pleasantry

Hopefully, tomorrow will bring some (preliminary) answers.

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

mimi's picture

@Unabashed Liberal @Unabashed Liberal (edit grammar mistakes)
is a bit hypocritical. How can you outlaw homelessness? It's imo a weird name for what the bill does. Hawaii lives of rich folks' tourism, tourists who are appalled looking at the homeless sleeping in Honolulu's streets and camping there or on the beaches permanently. At least on the streets government officials would prefer to not have permanent camping grounds of the homeless. It just reflects badly about Hawaii's social policies and incapability to solve the homeless' problems.

Hawaii has still a humane attitude and allows any Hawaiian to use the beaches and river fronts. They do not push the homeless away from the beaches. But there have been efforts to push them back into the forests and parks, which is quite inhumane, because the homeless have to carry all their drinking water into the woods in shopping cards for miles and miles into hilly areas.

May be Gabbard should support a law that gives homeless folks a basic income and healthcare and land in the forests they could lease at no costs, as long as they grow their own food and live of that kind of farming labor.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@mimi

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

mimi's picture

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

gabbard is quite correct about this. i would not be surprised to see her tarred as a russian dupe for reporting the plain truth.

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earthling1's picture

13 watersheds overseen by 13 water czars, who just happen to be part of the 13 most wealthy families in America.
It explains why the Bush twins purchased dozens of square miles of land in Paraguay on top one of the largest aquifiers in South America.
Water, the next monopoly after peak oil.
And the oligarchs intend to corner it.

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joe shikspack's picture

@earthling1

it's all about rent extraction. the goal of the rentier/oligarchs is to stand astride the most basic survival needs of the masses and collect rents from them.

there is no wealth for the rentiers if the masses can meet their survival needs without wearing the rentier's bridle, bit and saddle.

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divineorder's picture

Thanks js.

Need to send them some love, and order the two books reference in that interview.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

hope you're feeling better! let us know how the book is.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

a 'bot' typing this comment--decided to 'try' doing as you (and a few others) do for expediency--leave out capital letters. can't do without punctuation, though.

Wink

thanks for tonight's eb. been lurking, but things are not good--'the b' is hanging in the balance, right now. missed a phone call this afternoon--dagnabbit!--regarding some of his test results from last week (according to the vet's cryptic message). guess we'll know more tomorrow. referral to a neurologist is in the works. maybe one to an endocrinologist, as well.
fingers crossed!

weather's been a mess--all over the place! actually got several inches of snow. been in such a frenzy, didn't even realize it was coming--whew!

not sure, but think I heard that another cold spell (maybe I should say 'colder') is on the way. it worries me, mostly because of 'the b's' precarious condition. and, of course, because of those folks who are 'at risk' for their lives. what kind of country is this, that allows folks to stay on the streets in sub-freezing temps? don't know the details, but heard that a young woman was released from a hospital in sub-freezing weather (in a hospital gown, or some such garb). someone should lose their job over that--and i don't say something like that, lightly.

everyone have a nice evening--and stay warm and safe!

Bye

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu


"Purity test"??
I've come to flag that phrase, like many others, as a tool of neoliberalism in order to shut down intelligent conversation. When someone disagrees with you, their issues are not lesser than yours. The lines that they draw are not inferior to yours. They are not being "pure" when they honor those lines. Rather, they are acting with principle.
--SnappleBC

up
4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

heh, dispensing with the upper case is helpful in keeping my typing speed up. i generally follow conventions if i am writing something for publication, but use lowercase when i am conversing with someone.

i hope that everything turns out well for the b and i'm sorry to hear about the anxiety that waiting for information is causing you. please give him a scritch and some sympathy for me.

we are supposed to get a couple of inches of snow here overnight and into the morning, it's been in the teens at night and colder than i'd like in the daytime here for a few days now. this sort of weather is par for the course here, though. i'm sort of surprised at how often this winter there has been abnormally cold and nasty weather much further south of here.

i think that the woman who was "released" (more like kicked out) from the hospital happened in baltimore. i heard a brief local news report about it on the radio one afternoon as i was out running some errands. i didn't get the full details, but that sort of thing happens here as hospitals don't want to be on the hook for the costs of caring for indigent patients. it's kind of odd, because maryland does reimburse our hospitals for indigent care, but perhaps it's not as much as the institutions feel they want/need for their services. i'd have to look into that.

stay warm and toasty and good luck to the b!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

quick I 'forgot' to drop the upper case!) Biggrin Scritch given.

If I understood the implication of the vet's brief message, the blood tests did yield negative results. Hopefully, the condition will be treatable. Actually, our 'hope' is that it's partly the reason that his mobility has so seriously deteriorated. IOW, if that portion of his problem can be worked on, maybe it will buy him some more time before he totally collapses (motor ability-wise, that is).

Hey, I can't remember a winter (since the Alaska years) this cold. Since we returned to the Lower 48, we haven't resided further north than Tennessee. Sure, every year we've see 'teens,' and, sometimes, several days of 'single-digit' weather. But, nothing like this year. (Even deeper South, we've experienced record cold.)

Didn't know that the hospital incident happened in Baltimore. It's pitiful that the young woman is probably 'lucky' that she even got health care, since, from what you say, she was probably better off there, than she might have been in many locales.

Mollie

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1 user has voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

from the Maryland hospital.

She was wheeled out of the hospital by 4 people and taken to a nearby bus stop. The article has a video of the people who dumped her that was taken by a psychiatrist. After he called 911 and she was taken back to the hospital, the hospital then paid for a taxi to take her to a homeless shelter.

How anyone could take out and leave her when the temperatures were so low is reprehensible, especially since she was only dressed in a hospital gown that was falling off her!

The hospital is saying that they are looking into this incident and making sure that it doesn't happen again (where people can see them doing it.)

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

enhydra lutris's picture

Little Mack before, a special thanks for that.

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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 --