The Evening Blues - 1-19-16


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features early blues guitarist and singer Crying Sam Collins. Enjoy!

Crying Sam Collins - Lonesome Road Blues

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”

-- Thomas Pynchon

News and Opinion

Heinous, ideological enemy? The U.S. has been there before

The Red scare of the 1950s had everything going for it. ...

Long after it was over, Americans would marvel at how such an un-American movement had convulsed the land. The remarkable thing about the Red scare, however, is not how far it reached, but how short-lived it was.

It collapsed in dramatic fashion. In 1954, McCarthy was eviscerated on live television by chief counsel for the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, who famously asked: “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” McCarthy slinked off into obscurity, and the nation shook off its paranoia and moved on, determined, defiant and calm.

It's hard to overstate the implications of America's triumph over the Red scare. At its core lay a terrifying premise: The communist ideology was so insidious and toxic that no one — not your neighbors, not your children, not even yourself in your own mind — was immune. McCarthyism told the nation that it was besieged by an unstoppable evil. In finally rejecting that premise; America rejected defeatism.

That uniquely American decision played out repeatedly during the harrowing grind of the Cold War. Each decade — from the Cuban missile crisis, through the horrors of Vietnam, through the arms race and proxy wars of the early 1980s — American society was forced to again reject paralyzing paranoia.

Suddenly, communism suffered a stunning, worldwide collapse; seemingly overnight, the greatest threat to America's national welfare went from thermonuclear warheads to Bill Clinton's sexual peccadilloes. And then, for the first time in 40 years, a generation grew up without an existential threat — but thus also without the mind-set necessary to confront an ideological enemy without descending into panic.

America beat back hysteria before and can do it again.

US Sailors’ GPS Was Working When They Entered Iranian Waters

The questions over last week’s incident in which a pair of US Navy boats and 10 sailors strayed into Iranian waters continue to grow, as the Pentagon’s narrative on a “navigational error” is thrown into serious doubt.

The Pentagon initially claimed mechanical problems, but after the boats were returned changed its story to claim the sailors had no idea they were in Iranian waters. Today, however, Iran revealed that the GPS devices on the two US boats were in perfect working order at the time, and they had no reason not to know they were in Iranian waters.

Shane Bauer, Former US Prisoner in Iran, Spars with Hillary Clinton over Her Call for New Sanctions

Cameron Defends Massive UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Attack on Yemen

While a lot of nations’ governments are being brought to task by human rights groups for their support for Saudi Arabia amid the soaring civilian death toll in their bombing of Yemen, few of shown anywhere near the comfort with continuing their complicity in Saudi actions that British Premier David Cameron did today.

Cameron insisted selling arms to Saudi Arabia is important to Britain’s national security because “they’re opponents of ISIS,” and cheered their continued attacks on Yemen, saying they are working “on behalf of the legitimate government” in Yemen.

The Saudis have been attacking Yemen since last March, and have killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes targeting residential areas. ... Cameron’s support for the Saudis is just part of a growing problem, with the British government’s overseas allies, as recent reports show that out of Britain’s own list of 27 countries “of humanitarian concern,” Cameron has been selling arms to 24 of them.

Saudi Airstrike Destroys Yemen Police Station, Kills 26

Saudi warplanes today attacked and destroyed a police station in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, killing at least 26 people and wounding 15 others. The tolls are expected to rise, with locals saying as many as 30 others are unaccounted for and believed trapped under the debris.

There isn’t a final statement on the identities of the victims, but the indications are that the overwhelming majority of the slain were Yemeni police, with a handful of other members of the Shi’ite Houthi faction that rules the city also present.

Iraq: 19.000 people have been killed by the Islamic State group in nearly 2 years

The Extent of the Islamic State's Atrocities in Iraq Has Been Laid Bare by the UN

More than 18,000 civilians were killed in Iraq between January 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, according to the United Nations, which says violence there remains "staggering."

An estimated 3,500 people, mainly women and children, are believed to be held as slaves and 3.2 million people have become internally displaced, it said.

A UN report released on Tuesday said the Islamic State (IS or ISIL) continued to perpetrate systemic and widespread atrocities that could amount to war crimes and possibly genocide.

IS was killing and abducting people opposed to their ideology, people affiliated with the government, and professionals such as doctors, lawyers and journalists, as well as tribal and religious leaders. About half the deaths took place in Baghdad.

The report, which is based largely on the testimony of victims, survivors, and witnesses, describes how IS made "gruesome public spectacles" out of its killings in the form of "shooting, beheading, burning alive, bulldozing, and throwing off buildings."

Women and children were subjected to sexual violence and sexual slavery, it added.

Gosh, who could have imagined that when Hillary and her Humanitarians got their way and murdered Ghaddafi that the Libyans would not gratefully welcome the US as liberators and cooperate with the US military?

US Frustrated at Lack of ‘Reliable’ Allies in Libya

It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. On December 14, some 20 US special forces troops were sent to Libya to fight ISIS, in a deployment the administration apparently had no intention of telling anyone about. If everything went well, we probably still wouldn’t know about it.

Instead, the Libyan Air Force publicized the arrival of the out-of-uniform but heavily-armed troops, and local commanders quickly expelled the US troops, turning just another little secret war into a particularly embarrassing incident.

And it’s one the US seems increasingly frustrated about, as it’s not just the “miscommunication” they say happened that day, but the overall lack of a compliant and reliable faction for the US to claim its military operations in Libya are centered at helping.

Soaring Desertions Add to Afghan Military Woes

With Afghanistan already facing the huge handicap of 40% of its military flat out not existing, one would think they’d be more careful with the remaining 60%. They’re not, however, and the Afghan military is now facing a growing number of desertions.

Undermanned and poorly trained, many Afghan troops see their involvement in the war as “suicide missions.” In a country whose economy has been all but destroyed by generations of foreign occupation, that’s par for the course, but many say they’re not even getting their meager paychecks on a regular basis.

Being in the Afghan military doesn’t pay well, and widespread corruption means it’s not unusual for those paychecks to disappear long before they make their way to the troops on the ground. That’s similarly the case with ammunition and food, leaving the troops more or less perpetually in dire straits.

Ukraine threatens sanctions against Israelis doing business with Russians in Crimea

The Ukrainian government is threatening to impose sanctions on private Israeli citizens, or Israeli companies, doing business in Russian-occupied Crimea.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Israel published an announcement to that effect on its website on Friday, in English and Ukrainian. The embassy had received information, the announcement said, that Israeli citizens were entering areas of Crimea conquered by Russia and in violation of Ukrainian law, were conducting business collaborations with the "illegal authorities," instead of receiving permits from the Ukraine government. ...

The background to this bizarre announcement remains utterly unclear. A great many citizens live in Israel and some of them are businessmen, and some of those also hold Ukrainian citizenship – dual citizenship is not rare in Israel.

Photographing Drone War Protest Lands Peace Activist, Grandmother 6 Months in Prison

UK Court, in David Miranda Case, Rules Terrorism Act Violates Fundamental Rights of Free Press

A British appeals court has ruled that the United Kingdom’s broad counter-terrorism laws breach fundamental rights in a case involving the seizure of encrypted documents from David Miranda, the partner of Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald, at a London airport in 2013.

Miranda was detained and interrogated for nine hours at Heathrow airport in August 2013 while he was assisting Greenwald’s reporting on documents about government mass surveillance leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Last year, the High Court in London dismissed a legal challenge brought by Miranda over the case on the grounds that it reasonably regarded his actions as “terrorism” as defined by the law. However, that decision was partially overturned Tuesday by the Court of Appeal in a ruling that will be viewed as a major victory for press freedom campaigners.

The ruling finds that the police followed the law when detaining Miranda under a controversial section of the Terrorism Act, Schedule 7. However, crucially, it asserts that the statute itself “is not subject to adequate safeguards against its arbitrary exercise” and is “incompatible” with article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides the right to “receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Global inequality: Top 1 percent richer than rest of world combined

Trudeau Set to Make Sales Pitch at Davos While the Canadian Economy Tanks

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to rebrand Canada's economy on the world stage in Davos, opposition parties are demanding a say on how his government plans on spending its way out of a weak loonie, tanking oil prices, and a sluggish economy.

As Trudeau gets set to board a plane to Switzerland on Wednesday, interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose has requested a meeting with the prime minister "at the earliest opportunity to discuss the rapidly deteriorating economy," in a letter released to the public on Monday.

Trudeau's speech to the World Economic Forum is already receiving hype from the likes of Bloomberg, even despite Canada's precarious financial situation.

His sales pitch to world markets, and a raft of private meetings that will bookend it, is expected to focus on his planned infrastructure and technology investments. Reports suggest that Trudeau will work hard to brand Canada as something more than an oil-reliant energy state, and that he's slated meetings with tech industry giants like Jack Ma, founder of online trading hub Alibaba.

Leaked Recording Upends Case of 'Rogue Trader' Convicted of Losing Bank Billions

New evidence has surfaced in the case of Jérôme Kerviel, a French trader accused of having cost the French banking giant Société Générale nearly 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in one of history's biggest trading scandals, and convicted of fraud in 2010.

The massive loss resulted in 2008 from trades made by Kerviel that the bank described as "rogue" and unauthorized. Kerviel insists that his bosses were aware of his trades, and that they share responsibility.

French news outlets 20 Minutes and Médiapart have now leaked a secret recording of a lead prosecutor on the case that appears to discredit the bank's assertions that Kerviel was acting alone. ...

The controversial recording — described as "explosive" by the news site 20 Minutes — is an excerpt from a conversation between former police chief Nathalie Le Roy and Chantal de Leiris, a former deputy prosecutor on the case. Le Roy made the recording in a café in June 2015 without de Leiris's knowledge. ...

During their chat, de Leiris appears to confirm Le Roy's misgivings about the case, and about the role of the Société Générale. ...

Among the more revealing claims made by de Leiris in the surreptitious recording is the allegation that "no expert assessment" was ever carried out to confirm the figure of 4.9 billion euros put forward by Société Générale.

The recording also implies that the prosecutor believes Kerviel's claim that the bank was aware of the scam.

"The SG knew, they knew," she is heard telling Le Roy. "It's obvious. Obvious!"

IMF cuts global growth forecasts

The International Monetary Fund has added to concerns about the health of the global economy by cutting its growth forecasts for the next two years and warning that recovery from the financial crisis could be derailed altogether if key challenges are mishandled.

The Washington-based body said world output would be 0.2 points lower in 2016 and 2017 compared with forecasts made just three months ago – and that the risks to its predictions were to the downside. ...

The IMF said: “Risks to the global outlook remain tilted to the downside and relate to ongoing adjustments in the global economy: a generalised slowdown in emerging market economies, China’s rebalancing, lower commodity prices, and the gradual exit from extraordinarily accommodative monetary conditions in the United States. If these key challenges are not successfully managed, global growth could be derailed.”

It added that the downward revisions largely reflected a more pessimistic view of the prospects for some countries in the emerging world since October. Brazil’s recession was proving to be deeper and more protracted than previously estimated, while the forecasts for Russian and Saudi Arabian growth have also been cut.

Black Lives Matter protesters block San Francisco's Bay Bridge

Protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement blocked traffic on the westbound span of the Bay Bridge that connects Oakland and San Francisco as part of a long weekend of protests aimed at reclaiming Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy of radicalism.

Shortly after 3.30pm, a caravan of cars slowed to a stop on the five-lane bridge. Passengers in the first line of cars passed chains through their windows and locked themselves to both sides of the bridge, bringing all westbound traffic to a stop.

“Today is the day when we reclaim MLK’s radical legacy,” said April Thomas, who was chained between two cars. “I’m out here for Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, for my mother, myself, for Harriet Tubman.”

Officers from the California Highway Patrol arrived soon after the blockade was in place. Wearing riot gear and carrying less-lethal weapons, the officers ordered onlookers back into their cars. About 4.15pm, the officers began cutting chains and arresting protesters. Some protesters passively resisted arrest and had to be carried to the side of the road.

According to organizers of the protest, 24 people were arrested in total. Traffic began moving again at 4.30pm.

The bridge shutdown caps off four days of protest in the Bay area, where the Black Lives Matter movement has been galvanized by the fatal shooting of Mario Woods by San Francisco police officers on 2 December 2015.

Crimes against Native American women raise questions about police response

A recent spate of cases involving Native American women from northern Minnesota being murdered or going missing has raised questions about how seriously such disappearances are taken by the police and other authorities.

As Duluth, Minnesota, marks trafficking awareness month, local activists say some of the disappearances and deaths are linked to this issue, and argue that the invisibility of the Native American population contributes to neglect by police, media and social services and point to the need for better data collection in order to track the number of missing and murdered women.

Three Native American women have been killed and two more have disappeared from northern Minnesota since May last year. ...

“I think a lot of disappearances of young women can be tracked back to some sort of trafficking,” Patti Larsen of Mending the Sacred Hoop, an organization focused on ending violence against Native women, said. ...

Advocates [...] contend that Native women and girls represent an easy target for traffickers who seek to recruit them into commercial sex work. According to federal data, Native women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted as women of other races. They are also subject to high rates of intimate-partner violence and other forms of violence. These factors, along with poverty, substance abuse and foster care, can make them vulnerable to exploitation.

From Oregon to Australia: the unifying force of far-right resentment

The biggest international issue that is powering [far-right] organising – from the internet to the streets – is the refugee crisis brought about by the Syrian war, and the opportunity that has presented itself to mobilise people on the basis of fear of foreigners and Islam.

Reclaim Australia, European groups such as Pegida and the US right up to and including the Trump candidacy are both stoking and benefiting from a fear of the consequences of a large influx of refugees.

Groups such as Reclaim Australia are promoting similar ideas to European and American groups – fantasies about halal foods, and cultural and racial dilution. They are also drawing on a long history of Australian political racism, and capitalising on forms of xenophobia which have come to frame the mainstream policy response to refugee arrivals. ...

But the refugee crisis – which has no end in sight – offers the most important opportunity for a sprawling, self-reinforcing, international far-right movement to gain in strength.

Making the picture even bleaker is looming economic instability which, if it arrives, will worsen the plight of those Europeans and Americans who have still not recovered from the 2008 recession, and may give Australia its first taste of real economic hardship in decades.

In bad economic times, the right finds it much easier to ignite its emotional propellant – resentment.

Supreme Court sets election-year clash on immigration

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to an election-year review of President Barack Obama's executive order to allow up to 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to "come out of the shadows" and work legally in the United States.

The justices said they will consider undoing lower court orders that blocked the plan from taking effect in the midst of a presidential campaign that already roiled by the issue.

The case will be argued in April and decided by late June, about a month before both parties' gather for their nominating conventions. ...

At issue is the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which Obama said in late 2014 would allow people who have been in the United States more than five years and who have children who are in the country legally to "come out of the shadows and get right with the law."

Texas quickly led a legal challenge to the program and has won every round in court so far. Most recently, in November, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the states, prompting the appeal to the Supreme Court.

the horse race

Hillary Blames Bernie for an Old Clintonite Hustle

The Clintons have no shame, that much you can count on. That stupefying arrogance was on full display in the most recent presidential campaign debate when Hillary Clinton countered Bernie Sanders’ charge that she was compromised by her close ties to Goldman Sachs and other rapacious Wall Street interests with the retort: “Sen. Sanders, you’re the only one on this stage that voted to deregulate the financial markets in 2000, ... to make the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission no longer able to regulate swaps and derivatives, which were one of the main causes of the collapse in ’08.”

Hillary knows that the disastrous legislation, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA), had nothing to do with Sanders and everything to do with then-President Bill Clinton, who devoted his presidency to sucking up to Wall Street. Clinton signed this bill into law as a lame-duck president, ensuring his wife would have massive Wall Street contributions for her Senate run.

Sanders, like the rest of Congress, was blackmailed into voting for the bill because it was tucked into omnibus legislation needed to keep the government operating. Only libertarian Ron Paul and three other House members had the guts to cast a nay vote. The measure freeing Wall Street firms from regulation was inserted at the last moment in a deal between President Clinton and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm, R-Texas, who had failed in an earlier attempt to get the measure enacted. Clinton signed it into law a month before leaving office.

Sanders soon figured out that he and almost all other Congress members had been tricked into providing a blank check for the marketing of bogus collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps made legal by the legislation, of which a key author was Gary Gensler, the former Goldman Sachs partner recruited by Clinton to be undersecretary of the treasury. ...

Today, Gensler is the top economic adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Clinton vs. Sanders, Who Do Progressives Choose? As Race Heats Up, 2 Socialist Feminists Debate

Clinton hopes to shore up black voters' support in face of Sanders surge

Hillary Clinton addressed a Martin Luther King Day rally at the South Carolina state house in Columbia in an attempt to shore up her support among African American voters in the south as a firewall against the surging tide of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders.

With polls tightening in Iowa and Sanders continuing to show a lead in New Hampshire where he has a home advantage, South Carolina, the first state in the south to hold a primary, is increasingly seen within the Clinton camp as an essential buttress against the senator for Vermont’s insurgency. Clinton advisers are mindful that Barack Obama defeated her in South Carolina in 2008 in no small measure due to the backing of black voters who made up 55% of the Democratic primary turnout.

Clinton is determined not to lose the state a second time and has focused her attentions during a three-day tour of South Carolina that ends today on a relentless charm-offensive targeted at the black electorate. First at a dinner on Saturday night hosted by the South Carolina congressman James Clyburn; then at events attended by her new surrogate, the first black US attorney general Eric Holder; and then at Sunday night’s televised debate in Charleston, she has been emphasizing her credentials as a president in the making who would carry on the mantle of Dr King and the civil rights movement. ...

Monday’s appearance at the MLK Day celebrations marking the great civil rights leader’s birthday is paradoxical for Hillary Clinton. It was her comments in 2008 relating specifically to King that did so much to damage her standing among black voters then, with dire consequences in South Carolina and at other key primaries.

On 7 January 2008, in an attempt to portray Obama as an eloquent speaker who nonetheless lacked the experience to be a great leader, she implied that it was president Lyndon Johnson, rather than King, who got the civil rights job done. “I would point to the fact that that Dr King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 … That dream became a reality; the power of that dream became real in people’s lives because we had a president who said we are going to do it and actually got it accomplished.”

The implication that it took a white president to make concrete the hopes of a black dreamer like MLK circulated rapidly among black communities and shook the previous goodwill that had been extended by them to both former president Bill Clinton and Hillary. It gave Obama the edge that needed to win in the south.

Thousands Turn Out for 'Political Revolution' Rally in Conservative Stronghold Alabama

Thousands of supporters, hungry for "political revolution," braved rare sub-freezing temperatures in Alabama on Monday night to rally around the man they hope might bring it.

"There must be a mistake," Sen. Bernie Sanders joked to the diverse crowd of 7,000. "Somebody told me Alabama is a conservative state."

The presidential hopeful marked Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Birmingham's Boutwell Auditorium, where he delivered an impassioned speech on inequality, the challenges that working class Americans face today, and how he hoped to carry out King's vision for this country.

"To truly honor the life of Dr. King, we must fight to carry out his radical and bold vision for America," Sanders told the crowd. "And his vision was of a nation in which we not only end all forms of institutional racism, and bigotry, but a nation in which all of us, black, and white, and Latino, Asian-American, Native American, all of us, come to together to create a country which provides economic, social and environmental justice for all." ...

The senator's aspirational speech contrasted sharply with that given by his primary competitor Hillary Clinton earlier in the day Monday. Speaking at a rally commemorating King in Colombia, South Carolina—which all three Democratic candidates attended, including Martin O'Malley—Clinton told the crowd: "I don't want to over-promise. I don't want to come out with concept or theories that may or may not be possible."

UK Trump ban debate: Trump branded "dangerous fool", “crazy", by UK Parliament

the evening greens

World's oceans warming at increasingly faster rate, new study finds

The world’s oceans are warming at a quickening rate, with the past 20 years accounting for half of the increase in ocean heat content that has occurred since pre-industrial times, a new study has found.

US scientists discovered that much of the extra heat in the ocean is buried deep underwater, with 35% of the additional warmth found at depths below 700 meters. This means far more heat is present in the far reaches of the ocean than 20 years ago, when it contained just 20% of the extra heat produced from the release of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution.

The paper, published in Nature Climate Change, sheds further light on the vast quantities of heat being absorbed by the world’s oceans.

Ocean water, which has a much higher heat capacity than air, has absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat and nearly 30% of the carbon dioxide generated by human consumption of fossil fuels. The vast Southern Ocean sucked up 1.2bn tonnes of carbon in 2011 alone – which is roughly equivalent to the European Union’s annual carbon output. ...

Scientists have already declared that a third global coral bleaching event is currently underway, where corals whiten and die off due to extreme heat. An analysis of more than 620 studies last year found that the food chains of the world’s oceans are at risk of collapse due to climate change, overfishing and localized pollution.

Did Gov. Brown Delay Action on Gas Leak Because of His Sister's Connections to Fossil Fuel?

Peru sacks top anti-logging official

Peru has sacked its top anti-logging official, leading to claims he was dismissed after pressure from the timber trade and drawing criticism from a leading US congressman and environmentalists.

The presidential decision to dismiss Rolando Navarro , the former head of Peru’s forestry and wildlife inspection service OSINFOR was announced in El Peruano, the state-owned gazette. It makes no mention of why Navarro was dismissed.

“Clearly, illegal logging in Peru continues,” Earl Blumenauer , the US Congressman for Oregon who has campaigned to toughen the US’s stance on illegal rainforest logging, told the Guardian.

“I am appalled that the removal of Rolando Navarro comes in the wake of protests by industry groups following the intervention by authorities in Peru to stop shipments of illegally harvested timber,” said Blumenauer, who helped amend the US’s 2008 Lacey Act to outlaw the import of illegally sourced wood. ...

The sacking follows what was locally reported to be the largest seizure of illegal timber in Peruvian history in November last year. In protests that followed, led by the timber industry, Navarro’s name was displayed on a symbolic coffin.

Air Pollution Killing Millions, Threatening Global Health Systems

The World Health Organization (WHO) over the weekend warned that skyrocketing air pollution levels are killing millions of people in thousands of cities and are poised to take an "enormous" toll on public health services worldwide.

"We have a public health emergency in many countries from pollution. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing globally, with horrible future costs to society," said Dr. Maria Neira, head of public health at WHO.

"Air pollution leads to chronic diseases which require hospital space. Before, we knew that pollution was responsible for diseases like pneumonia and asthma," Neira said. "Now we know that it leads to bloodstream, heart and cardiovascular diseases, too—even dementia."

The latest figures come from pollution data in 2,000 cities, where growing populations have led to a surge in traffic, construction, and power generation—leaving huge areas to grapple with toxic smog and rising greenhouse gases that cannot be resolved without an overhaul of infrastructure. The WHO next month will issue more in-depth statistics showing the steady rise of pollution in urban areas since 2014.

"We are storing up problems," Neira said Saturday. "These are chronic diseases that require hospital beds. The cost will be enormous."

Also of Interest

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations Overlook His Critiques of Capitalism and Militarism

We’ve been conned by the rich predators of Davos

'Crafted By and For Big Business': TTIP Under Fire Across Europe

Navy SEAL Turns Over Picture of Bin Laden’s Body, Faces Investigation of Business Ties

A Little Night Music

Crying Sam Collins - Hesitation Blues

Crying Sam Collins - My Road Is Rough And Rocky

Crying Sam Collins - Yellow Dog Blues

Crying Sam Collins - Slow Mama Slow


Crying Sam Collins - Riverside Blues

Crying Sam Collins - Midnight Special Blues

Sam Collins- New Salty Dog

Crying Sam Collins - I'm Still Sitting On Top Of The World

8 users have voted.


Dangerous old lady

A peace activist who was arrested while photographing an anti-drone protest at an upstate New York air base has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Mary Anne Grady Flores, a grandmother of three from Ithaca, New York, was found guilty in 2014 of violating a protection order that barred her and other activists from going near Col. Earl Evans and his workplace, the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York. Evans, mission support group commander for the 174th Attack Wing, requested the order after an anti-drone demonstration at the base in 2012. (Drone missions are operated out of Hancock, and the airfield is home to a drone training center.)

Her appeal was recently rejected, and Grady Flores is returning to jail on Tuesday.

"It's so bizarre and so egregious," said Carol Baum of the Syracuse Peace Council, a group that organizes anti-drone protests at Hancock. "We had assumed the court system would do the right thing, and it didn't."

The charges against Grady Flores, a Catholic involved with the Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars, stem from a nonviolent protest over the military's use of drones at the Hancock base in February 2013, when she and eight others were arrested and charged with violating the protective order.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

there's a democracy now interview with that dangerous old lady upstairs in the diary.

7 users have voted.

He began by quoting MLK "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"

He described town meetings when he was growing up in NH - everyone had their say about what worked and what didn't wok. And held people accountable. Developed a civic consciousness.

Grew up with Nixon and knows that no person is above the law, even the president

He was worked in many different positions and different orgs over the years. He was in the Navy in the Pentagon in 1993 when the truck bombs went off at the World Trade Center. If they had placed them differently, the damage would have been much greater.

Drake sent reports that they meant business. The senior DOD intelligence officer came down to meet with them. "who cares about rag heads in the desert"

The NSA formed in 1952 by a secret act of the president, not the legislature, failed to protect the country on 9/11. And Drake told people far and wide about this.

They suspected him of giving info to James Risen about wiretap of Americans, but it was not him. They knew that he had spoken to committees and many other places and turned over thousands of pages of documents. They started watching him in W Bush admin, but it wasn't until Obama that his house was raided and life turned upside sown.

Twice he met in a secret FBI facility in NYC. Threatened with spending the rest of his life in jail and then later threatened with 35 years in jail.

The country is not what Americans realize. He saw it. He spoke out. There is still more hidden.

his talk of a little over an hour with questions begins at the 7 minute mark on the video

I had sent him a book "The American Revolution of 1800: How Jefferson rescued democracy from tyranny and faction -- and what it means for today." There was a revolution in 1800 which has parallels today. Drake said he would have rather talked about what is in that book but it was not appropriate for this audience of Cyber Security.

One of his jobs was software engineering methods and being a change agent which are roles I held in Bell Labs and Lucent.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

i'm glad that you got to hear and meet tom drake. i saw him a while ago in dc with john kiriakou and jesselyn raddack - he is really an impressive guy.

thanks for the link, here's the embed:

5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

Drake's commitment to the oath he gave to defend the constitution is extraordinary. One of the few people I believe his deep sincerity. I can't get my mind of the fact that he listened in for many years into East Germany's stasi chatter. I wonder what he heard and how this has shaped his mind and level of fierce commitments.

I listened to the whole speech. Much more detailed than the one he gave in DC, which Joe spoke about. Very good to have it in the archives to pull out. I wished he would have given an answer to the "Why" question he posted in the end.(If you have nothing to hide, why wouldn't you give all your keys, passwords and documents away to a person to put them in a safe box to have them available to do whatever they want with it) He even said that "we need an additional new declaration of independence" to protect those rights and privacy t the end of the Q&A session. I don't understand anything much, though I remember trying to understand install and configure PGP email encryption in 1995, but I certainly like the fact that he refers back to the constitution and declaration of independence to show where those documents might be lacking in doing what they were supposed to. And yes, it is remarkable that the actual accusations and indictment came only under Obama. Wasn't aware of that. So, what kind of significance has that?

4 users have voted.

I apologize that this is not well written. I started it a couple of weeks ago and left it in a file. And am putting it out now. There are probably confusing parts but you can get the flow.

About 3 years ago I went to Turkey on a cultural exchange sponsored by the Gulen Inspired movement which is also called Hizmet. You only have to pay for the flight to Istanbul and they cover all charges for a 10 day trip. A wonderful trip. The Roman Empire continued in the East until the 1400's and there are many Roman ruins.

I got copies of Todays Zaman on the trip which is the top English language newspaper and it is in the orbit of the Gulen umbrella. I continue to read it and find it is well done. Any day it might be closed down. The editor resigned after spending time in jail for insulting Erdogan with tweets that didn’t even mention his name.

After the trip, about 3 years ago, I came to Joanne Leon's daily diary, What's Up, gushing with the good experience and the sense that this Islamic, democracy, community, dialogue, Islamic group could be very important in the entire Muslim world. Way back then, Erdogan was one of the most respected leaders in the world. Joanne raised red flags but I resisted a little.

In the last three years the government has turned into an autocracy. The Gezi protests which were about developers taking one of the very few open areas in massively congested Istanbul and turning it into a commercial center - but Erdogan went over the top and claimed that it was organized by an international effort.

And Erdogan is going after Hizmet as a fifth column. Heck, a woman who pleaded for the government to stop killing children in their war on the PKK, that woman was jailed. And there are attacks on academics which has made the world news.

Turkey can claim more journalists in jail than ISIL members.

And recently we learned that Turkey is shipping arms to Syria and buying oil from ISIL.

A few years there was a poison gas attack in Syria. That almost led to the US sending in troops. Syria let Russia come in and destroy the chemical weapons. The incredible journalist Sy Hersh who usually publishes in the New Yorker had to go to the London Review of Books to publish the bombshell - the gas came from Turkey. The shooting down of the Russian jet also looks like Turkey trying to bring others into the fray and to block Kurds in Syria and other parts of their traditional area which was cut up when the Colonial powers did their boundary work. Reports are that Erdogan's son is dealing in ISIL oil.

(I think it was from Joe that I found out about the Sy Hersh article, or someone in EB)

My wife has a degree in ancient history and she knows about the rise and fall of empires. I finally got a sense of it on a trip a few months ago to Turkey and Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan was in the middle of the world (silk road) for a few centuries and was destroyed by Alexander the Great, Ghengus Kahn and others. They raped, murdered, destroyed people and most of the buildings to wipe out the culture. Various empires morphed back and forth across the middle east and south Asia and eastern Europe. The Ottoman empire lasted for 600 years and as an author pointed out, it was collapsing for half of that period.

In some ways the Hizmet movement looks like a cult, but if you are on the edge of being destroyed and on the other hand are very open so that, for example in Ohio, both Republican and Democratic politicians sings its praise (many politicians have been on the cultural exchange trips & the Clintons are among the big wigs who have spoken at national Hizmet meetings in the US), and many players in the interfaith field as well, in short it has a lot going for it.

In Turkey property has been seized, people are in jail, many schools and universities have been shut down and they (Hizmet) are portrayed as a parallel state. One of their major efforts is education and they have schools all around the world and in some countries they are the best schools in the country. In Turkey, their students win international science awards.

And, all the people we have met are warm and open. They are committed to dialogue, democracy and interfaith work. Where do they get their money? A post on amazon noted that a physician who makes $120K might donate $30K to Hizmet. According to their publications, no evidence of fraud has been shown in court and at the same time the government of Erdogan has spent millions on European attorneys to expose this supposedly parallel effort in the Hizmet movement.

Well a couple of articles recently note that the attack on Hizmet, coupled with good connections in the world, is actually strengthening the movement. True they are under continual attack in Turkey, but what they stand for and what they do is actually a model of what a Muslim movement can do and what is needed for the future. They operate in the grey area.

As Erdogan trashes the economy, screws up in foreign policy, incites war with PKK, supports ISIL, attacks journalists and takes over papers, corrupts the police and courts so they are lackey’s to support Erdogan, etc., and the world knows it, the fact that they are doing an international effort of legal attacks on Hizmet actually provides linkage outside the world.

The leader Gulen has been attempted to be extradited 14 times already and all those efforts have collapsed on lack of evidence (and support in Turkey). Actually before I went I read a book from a Univ of Texas law professor on the attacks on Gulen for the decade ending in about 2012 so I knew about some of the legal stuff. (Aside: there were coups in 1960 and a couple of others which I don’t’ recall the dates right now.)

I looked at fairly often then about a year ago things were getting so bad, I had to stop. I now go there several times a week and things get worse and worse. I could give links to articles, but no single article says it all, so you will be well enough informed by following the articles that Joe posts here off and on.

The wars in the middle east, Israel and Saudi Arabia, refugees, etc., etc. The US is finally getting on Turkey to go after ISIS but …

I was disappointed in Sanders in the debate with all the emphasis on what Juan Cole calls a pirate organization, ISIS, and setting that as the devil. But out whole war policy and foreign policy is so hosed up, and Americans have been scared to death (Thom Hartmann mentioned that last weekend there was a conference for psychologists and maybe psychiatrists, and one of the sessions was on the Republican brain. When filled with fear, rationality shuts down)

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

since the first i heard of it has always made my sixth sense tingle and i've been wary of it. there have been stories like this one that suggest to me that the movement may not be as it appears on the surface.

on the other hand, i find erdogan to be transparently corrupt, violent, dictatorial and an all around bad guy. i don't see a path to peaceful transition to being a decent state for turkey.

6 users have voted.

Big Al - head for the hills

This is incredible

article on this

Kevin Gosztola on his new site interviews the author

read the first few paragraphs to get an idea of what is going on

Thomas Drake describes the dark side of US - but much hidden in bureaucracy and spying on info, but this is military operations right out in the open in US territory

maybe some of the drone protesters can come but maybe they have to wear flack jackets, or maybe, the seals are just waiting to draw more blood

i have to go do some things before wife comes home so I might not be here for a while

6 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

Depression era memes and an echo of Studs Terkel.

This is not really news news, but it startles me a bit when I see these headlines. The truth is, I've never really experienced a time when headlines like this would appear. Have you?

More Than Half of Americans Reportedly Have Less Than $1,000 to Their Name

In a recent survey, 56 percent of Americans said they have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined, Forbes reports. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) have less than $100 to their name…. It paints a daunting picture of the average American steeped in credit card debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, at serious risk of financial ruin if the slightest thing goes wrong.

Another study reports that just 65 of the 3,069 counties in the U.S. have fully recovered from the near-collapse in 2008. But it also speaks to the enduring effect of decades of wage stagnation, when many Americans' pay has not kept up with inflation and they have been left further and further behind.

8 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
joe shikspack's picture

they are startling to me even though i've been seeing them for a while. i haven't done a lot of research on historical levels of the solvency of americans, so i don't really know how precipitous this change has been. my guess looking at other indicators (like the stagnation then fall of wages since about 1973) is that the drop started in the 70's and has been accelerating significantly since 2007-8.

About half of America has zero net wealth

These days, if you want to be among the biggest winners, says UC Berkeley researcher Gabriel Zucman, who co-wrote a new report on wealth, it helps to be in the 0.1 percent or better.

Around 50 percent of the US population, Zucman said, has zero net wealth. Their debts, effectively, equal their assets.

6 users have voted.

a son's $5K loan now up to $10K, and that is one of many loans

and the laws written so can't go bankrupt

reduce prison by reforming drug laws to create space for debtors

ain't this a great country!

a city on a hill

surrounded by light ....

7 users have voted.
triv33's picture

the history of my family as I know it has come full circle from out of the depression, everything changing because my grandpa got a damn good job overseeing the new sewer lines going down in town under the WPA, and them being able to buy the multi-family house next door to where I live now. My mom was the youngest of their nine kids, most of them married and started their families right in that house and stayed until they could buy a house of their own, went on to do well, with blue collar jobs, well enough to buy houses, cars, go on vacations, give all of us what they hoped would be an even better life than they had...and then? Well, the family homestead goes up for auction in a few days, and I cannot tell you how sad that makes me. My dad who is 80 still works full time, but it's not at the place he worked for 40 years and made an excellent salary at, they threw him out on his ass and he went to arbitration to get a fraction of what he was due for his service to that joint. It takes what dad makes, his SS, and what me and my husband contribute to keep us afloat here. And yeah, my net worth is about a thousand dollars. I guess some of my relatives do a bit better, but I'm pretty sure one bad beat would do any one of them in.

I'm pretty sure it's the undocumented immigrants and food stamp people to blame tho. yeah.

8 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

joe shikspack's picture

i'm really sorry to hear about the auction. it's really hard to lose something that provides a sense of place. it's not quite the same, but it was a sad day when we had to sell my mom's house (the one that we grew up in) when she needed nursing home care for her last years.

i hope that there are better days ahead in the near future for you and yours.

5 users have voted.
triv33's picture

that in the very early days Cleetus and I lived in one side of that house. The cousin who last owned it had begun a restoration, never quite finished it when her son broke up with his intended, so Cleetus and I made a deal to finish it up in exchange for so many months rent, and then to pay the going rate from then on. We knew it might happen that the son would return one day, and want to live there, and of course, he did. So, when Danny was two we came over here and watched it all fall apart. The cousin moved out and left it to her son, he stopped paying for anything at least five years ago, but continued to squat, it takes the banks a while to catch up now, so many properties, so few evictions. And my entire catalog of childhood memories feature the big side of the house. I just don't want to be home on Thursday...but I will be.

6 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

Unabashed Liberal's picture

to check in, and say thanks for the excellent 'news and blues' roundup!

Just finished listening to the right-wing (evangelical) zealot--ole Sarah--endorse Donald Trump.

Whoa! Double-whoa!

Seriously, she's a loose canon, and beyond laughable. However, I would take her endorsement of him very seriously.

As I recall, it was another (mostly) secular Republican candidate, also a Presbyterian, who got the full-throated support of the Religious Right in the 1980's, and won the election in a landslide. Believe it or not, Trump was very positively received by Jerry Falwell's son (yesterday) at Liberty University, according to campaign reporters (XM Radio). I still can't believe it.

From what I've read, the evangelical vote (2008 and 2012) was depressed because the Community Leaders (proper) did not endorse any particular candidate. Apparently, Palin's endorsement of Cruz helped get him elected to the Senate from Texas.

BTW, I'm trying to gather data on single-payer health care systems in Europe. I'm thinking that I'll wait until the Primary is over, then throw out what I find. From what I've gathered, today's British NHS model is not anything as centralized as it was when it was implemented in the 1940's. I sorta figure that a post-Primary milieu, might provide a more productive climate in which to have a good policy discussion.

Joe, I'm going to swing back after the radio program is over, and post a link to the piece about the Presidential Debate Commission, without comment. Just want to make sure that you see it, since you follow that kind of stuff.

Hey, Everyone have a nice, and warm, evening!


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers
8 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

heh, i wonder if this is palin's way of saying that she'd still like to be vice president. perish the thought.

6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

about the PDC's soon-to-be-announced position on allowing an Independent candidate to participate in the Presidential Debates.

(Closer to these Debates, I'll post my previous EB comment last Spring, with the link to the Petition that was filed with them, for more background on this topic.)

IMO, this is simply another attempt by the One Percent--think Americans Elect and billionaire (?, I think) Peter Ackerman et al to hijack the electoral process.

An excerpt from Ackerman's Wikipedia biography:

Political involvement [edit]

In 2008, Ackerman sat on the board for Unity08, an organization looking to fund third-party candidates.[21] In October, 2012 Ackerman, along with New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Passport Capital founder John Burbank, funded the purchase of $1.75 million in independent political advertising, in the name of Ackerman's tax-exempt Americans Elect organization, supporting the Senate campaign of Maine governor Angus King.[22] Ackerman contributed the initial $5 million seed money to Americans Elect,[23] a 2012 third-party Presidential nomination initiative,[24] and serves as Chairman of its Board of Directors.[25] Ackerman's son, Elliot, serves as Chief Operating Officer of Americans Elect.[25] On May 17, 2012 Americans Elect, unable to mount a successful primary ballot, announced that "The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end."[26]


I'll be glad to see this cycle's nomination process over and done with. I have a sinking feeling that it will be like nothing we've ever witnessed. It is all the more pressing to see FSC defeated--imagine her, Trump AND a third candidate like John Kasich being in the running. Don't even want to think about it!!!!!

If I see another article about this sometime around the 24th, I'll post it.

The presidential debate commission is getting ready for a serious 3rd party candidate

In an interview set to air Jan. 24, the co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates told “The Open Mind” public television series that they are giving serious thought to the inclusion of a third-party candidate — something that hasn’t happened since 1992, when Ross Perot joined Republican President George H. W. Bush and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton onstage.

For now, there are no prominent third-party candidates vying to join the Republican and Democratic nominees, but that might be only because the major primaries haven’t played out.

Former senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who has already suspended his bid for the Democratic nomination, says he’s mulling an independent run.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg recently commissioned a poll to see how he might fare as an independent running against Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

And can we rule out the idea that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who calls himself an independent and socialist, anyway — would mount a third-party bid if he loses out on the Democratic nomination? He says he won’t, but the temptation could be pretty strong if Clinton beats him by a narrow margin and the campaign gets nasty.

What's more, a very polarized race between Trump and Sanders — or any race that includes Trump — could prove tempting for a would-be middle-ground candidate. . . .

BTW, some folks probably know that we lived in Alaska for many years, and absolutely loved it. Just for clarification--that was BEFORE the religious right became prominent in Republican politics (and, we were Dems, anyway). Which reminds me--the first April that we were back in the Lower 48, I distinctly remember how Mr M and I looked at each other in amazement, after going through a bank drive-through window, because we realized that we hadn't heard "Happy Easter" in literally years.

By that, I mean in the context of "this type of religious sentiment permeating the culture," to the point that a bank teller would actually express that kind of sentiment to customers.

IOW, Interior Alaska was one of the most secular places on earth, at one time; in addition, to being one of the most beautiful!


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers
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)

mimi's picture

security, here is a link to start with (they were automatically translated into English and I can't guarantee for the quality of the translation):
Social Security in Germany. The link includes healthcare etc.

4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture



"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers
2 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)

triv33's picture

I don't know if you recall my intense dislike of "the Oprah"--from her two day grifter-fest featuring the Aussie authors of "The Secret" brow-beating poor people for not being positive enough and thus being responsible for their own poverty, to her foisting Dr Phil on us, her stupidly expensive and ridiculous yearly list of favorite "things"--I could go on, and on, but you get my drift, I find her loathsome. Anyhoo--I came across this, dandy piece of reading. Enjoy!
Oprah Winfrey: one of the world's best neoliberal capitalist thinkers

In an appearance on Larry King Live, Oprah acknowledged that she had become concerned about the message of her show and so had decided to embark on a new mission “to lift people up”. Themes of spirituality and empowerment displaced themes of personal pathology. For Oprah, the transformation was total: “Today I try to do well and be well with everyone I reach or encounter. I make sure to use my life for that which can be of goodwill. Yes, this has brought me great wealth. More important, it has fortified me spiritually and emotionally.”

A stream of self-help gurus have spent time on Oprah’s stage over the past decade and a half, all with the same message. You have choices in life. External conditions don’t determine your life. You do. It ’s all inside you, in your head, in your wishes and desires. Thoughts are destiny, so thinking positive thoughts will enable positive things to happen.

When bad things happen to us, it’s because we’re drawing them toward us with unhealthy thinking and behaviors. “Don’t complain about what you don’t have. Use what you’ve got. To do less than your best is a sin. Every single one of us has the power for greatness because greatness is determined by service—to yourself and others.” If we listen to that quiet “whisper” and fine-tune our “internal, moral, emotional GPS”, we too can learn the secret of success.

Janice Peck, in her work as professor of journalism and communication studies, has studied Oprah for years. She argues that to understand the Oprah phenomenon we must return to the ideas swirling around in the Gilded Age. Peck sees strong parallels in the mind-cure movement of the Gilded Age and Oprah’s evolving enterprise in the New Gilded Age, the era of neoliberalism. She argues that Oprah’s enterprise reinforces the neoliberal focus on the self: Oprah’s “enterprise [is] an ensemble of ideological practices that help legitimize a world of growing inequality and shrinking possibilities by promoting and embodying a configuration of self compatible with that world.”

6 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

joe shikspack's picture

when the greedy, obnoxious rich were transparently honest about their feelings of entitlement.

The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship. The conditions of human life have not only been changed, but revolutionized, within the past few hundred years. In former days there was little difference between the dwelling, dress, food, and environment of the chief and those of his retainers. The Indians are to-day where civilized man then was. When visiting the Sioux, I was led to the wigwam of the chief. It was just like the others in external appearance, and even within the difference was trifling between it and those of the poorest of his braves. The contrast between the palace of the millionaire and the cottage of the laborer with us to-day measures the change which has come with civilization.

This change, however, is not to be deplored, but welcomed as highly beneficial. It is well, nay, essential for the progress of the race, that the houses of some should be homes for all that is highest and best in literature and the arts, and for all the refinements of civilization, rather than that none should be so. Much better this great irregularity than universal squalor. Without wealth there can be no Mæcenas. [Mæcenas was a wealthy Roman patron of the arts. - js] The "good old times " were not good old times. Neither master nor servant was as well situated then as to-day. A relapse to old conditions would be disastrous to both--not the least so to him who serves--and would Sweep away civilization with it. But whether the change be for good or ill, it is upon us, beyond our power to alter, and there fore to be accepted and made the best of. It is a waste of time to criticise the inevitable. ...

There remains, then, only one mode of using great fortunes; but in this we have the true antidote for the temporary unequal distribution of wealth, the reconciliation of the rich and the poor--a reign of harmony--another ideal, differing, indeed, from that of the Communist in requiring only the further evolution of existing conditions, not the total overthrow of our civilization. It is founded upon the present most intense individualism, and the race is projected to put it in practice by degree whenever it pleases. Under its sway we shall have an ideal state, in which the surplus wealth of the few will become, in the best sense the property of the many, because administered for the common good, and this wealth, passing through the hands of the few, can be made a much more potent force for the elevation of our race than if it had been distributed in small sums to the people themselves. Even the poorest can be made to see this, and to agree that great sums gathered by some of their fellow-citizens and spent for public purposes, from which the masses reap the principal benefit, are more valuable to them than if scattered among them through the course of many years in trifling amounts.

If we consider what results flow from the Cooper Institute, for instance, to the best portion of the race in New York not possessed of means, and compare these with those which would have arisen for the good of the masses from an equal sum distributed by Mr. Cooper in his lifetime in the form of wages, which is the highest form of distribution, being for work done and not for charity, we can form some estimate of the possibilities for the improvement of the race which lie embedded in the present law of the accumulation of wealth. Much of this sum if distributed in small quantities among the people, would have been wasted in the indulgence of appetite, some of it in excess, and it may be doubted whether even the part put to the best use,that of adding to the comforts of the home, would have yielded results for the race, as a race, at all comparable to those which are flowing and are to flow from the Cooper Institute from generation to generation. Let the advocate of violent or radical change ponder well this thought.

We might even go so far as to take another instance, that of Mr. Tilden's bequest of five millions of dollars for a free library in the city of New York, but in referring to this one cannot help saying involuntarily, how much better if Mr. Tilden had devoted the last years of his own life to the proper administration of this immense sum; in which case neither legal contest nor any other cause of delay could have interfered with his aims. But let us assume that Mr. Tilden's millions finally become the means of giving to this city a noble public library, where the treasures of the world contained in books will be open to all forever, without money and without price. Considering the good of that part of the race which congregates in and around Manhattan Island, would its permanent benefit have been better promoted had these millions been allowed to circulate in small sums through the hands of the masses? Even the most strenuous advocate of Communism must entertain a doubt upon this subject. Most of those who think will probably entertain no doubt whatever.

for some reason, i find carnegie's arrogance that the vast majority of people should not be allowed autonomy to decide how the wealth that they create through their labor should be spent more appealing than oprah's transparently stupid assertions that the little people fail to thrive because they don't think enough positive thoughts.

3 users have voted.
triv33's picture

It's modern day snake oil she's selling, and there isn't even any oil in that damn bottle, but who cares? It's about a feeling, right? Ca-ching!

5 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

mimi's picture

on Maui have an intense dislike towards her (me included)... she bought tons of land, built something like vacation homes on it, has farmland and a mansion, and now everything you can see in this beautiful place are signs with "No trespassing" "private property" and such.
The Deal With Oprah Winfrey’s Private Maui Road. There is no public bus from Kahului to Hana, (only tour busses, who drive up there with tourist to show them "where Oprah lives", There is or will be a private airport for her, so that Oprah's and Michelle Obama's private jets can land there safely.
Take the Hana Highway: A Stunning Estate at the End of the Road in Hawaii
Scenic Maui property near Oprah Winfrey's estate for sale
Inside Oprah's Maui farm: Green-thumbed billionaire offers a first-ever glimpse of her vast Hawaii estate. Yeah, I saw Oprah can hold up a green salad in front of the camera, she makes a convincing gardener, really.

My former husband had the occasion to watch Oprah in real life on a Swiss airport. According to him, she behaved like a super arrogant diva and got pissed, because apparently people in Switzerland (this was in the early eighties) didn't know who she was and didn't treat her with the necessary kiss-her-feet-your-highness attitudes. How dare could they not do that...

ok, I guess I am "biased".

4 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

But it’s “only” Hawaiians, their land, their history and culture which are being erased, and the bones of their ancestors which are being paved over.

All to cement North Americans’ position of dominance, wealth, and privilege, whatever their skin color.

My heart is heavy. There are no words.

4 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

Turkey agrees to recognize Egypt’s Al-Sisi regime in exchange for pardon of Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced to death in mass trial.

Saudis, Erdogan, Al-Sisi, Israel, and UAE in various pairings: all in cahoots.

4 users have voted.