The Evening Blues - 1-4-18


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Dizzy Gillespie

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features jazz trumpeter and former Presidential candidate Dizzy Gillespie. Enjoy!

Dizzy Gillespie & Louis Armstrong - Umbrella Man

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

News and Opinion

Facebook declines to say why it deletes certain political accounts, but not others

Facebook is declining to say why it appears to be picking and choosing political leaders to censor at the request of the US government after it deleted the social media accounts of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The Silicon Valley technology company deleted Kadyrov’s Instagram and Facebook profiles after the United States imposed travel and economic sanctions on him over allegations of human rights abuses. Facebook told the New York Times that it had a “legal obligation” to disable his accounts once they confirmed they were run by someone on a US sanctions list.

That legal obligation did not appear to extend to other key individuals on US sanctions lists, including the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and Guatemalan congressman Julio Antonio Juárez. Facebook declined to explain why it had deleted some accounts but not others under US sanctions law. A company spokeswoman told the Guardian: “We operate under the constraints of US laws, which vary by circumstance.”

“We will continue to work with appropriate government authorities to ensure we meet our legal obligations and to explore options for complying with the law in a way that maximises free expression on our platform and keeps people safe.” The case has raised concern among civil liberties groups, who worry that economic sanctions imposed by the US, in service of Washington’s foreign policy, are being used to censor political speech. ... The fact Facebook has left accounts of other sanctioned individuals untouched suggests the social network may be subject to US government pressure behind the scenes.

Giving War Too Many Chances

Once the Cold War ended, the justification for 50 years of massive military spending, global warfare and coups was finally over.  Like U.S. allies, enemies and neighbors around the world, Americans breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed the “peace dividend.”  Robert McNamara and Lawrence Korb, former cold warriors of both parties, testified to the Senate Budget Committee that the U.S. military budget could be cut in half from its FY1990 level over the next 10 years.  Committee chairman Senator Jim Sasser hailed “this unique moment in history” as “the dawn of the primacy of domestic economics.” But the peace dividend was short-lived, trumped by what Carl Conetta of the Project for Defense Alternatives has dubbed the “power dividend,” the drive to exploit the end of the Cold War to consolidate and expand U.S. military power.  Influential voices linked to military industrial interests had a new refrain, essentially “Give War a Chance.”  But of course, they didn’t put it so plainly. ...

Despite surely being well aware of the reality behind the propaganda, Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz crowed to General Wesley Clark, “With the end of the Cold War, we can now use our military with impunity.” As the Clinton administration took over the reins of the U.S. war machine in 1992, Madeleine Albright challenged General Colin Powell on his “Powell Doctrine” of limited war, asking him, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Albright was appointed Secretary of State in 1997, mainstreaming new political pretexts for otherwise illegal wars such as “humanitarian intervention” and the “responsibility to protect.” ...

Giving war a chance has not worked out well, to put it mildly, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Honduras, Yemen, Libya, Syria or Ukraine. All remain mired in violence and chaos caused by U.S. invasions, bombing campaigns, coups and covert operations. In every case, U.S. policy decisions have either made these countries’ problems worse or are entirely responsible for the incredible problems afflicting them. Many of those decisions were illegal or criminal under U.S. and/or international law. The human cost to millions of innocent people is a historic tragedy that shames us all. In every case, the U.S. could have made different decisions, and in every case, the U.S. can still make different decisions. ...

In Mr. Trump’s new national security strategy, he promised Americans that he will “preserve peace through strength.”  But the U.S. is not at peace today.  It is a nation at war across the world.  The U.S. has 291,000 troops stationed in 183 foreign countries, amounting to a global military occupation.  It has deployed special operations troops on secret combat and training missions to 149 countries in 2017 alone.  It has dropped 39,000 bombs and missiles on Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan since Trump took office, and the U.S.- and Iraqi-led assault on Mosul alone killed an estimated 40,000 civilians.  Pretending we are at peace and vowing to preserve it by diverting more of our resources to the military industrial complex is not a national security strategy.  It is an Orwellian deception taken straight from the pages of 1984.

At the dawn of 2018, nobody could accuse the American public of not giving war a chance. We have let successive presidents talk us into war over each and every international crisis, most of which were caused or fueled by U.S. aggression and militarism in the first place, in the belief that they may have finally found an enemy they can defeat and a war that will somehow make life better for somebody somewhere. But they haven’t.

Anti-Trump Outrage in Pakistan Includes Demand to End Role as US 'Gun for Hire'

Amid reports that President Donald Trump is preparing to announce cuts to U.S. security assistance to Pakistan, a chorus of Pakistani officials slammed the move, including Imran Khan—a political leader and fierce opponent of the American drone program—who denounced Trump for attempting to "humiliate and insult" his country and urged the government to never again be used as an American "gun for hire."

"The lesson we must learn is never to be used by others for short-term paltry financial benefits," Khan said in a scathing statement issued through a spokesperson on Thursday. "We became a U.S. proxy for a war against the Soviet Union when it entered Afghanistan and we allowed the CIA to create, train, and arm Jihadi groups on our soil and a decade later we tried to eliminate them as terrorists on U.S. orders. The time has come to stand firm and give a strong response to the U.S."

Such a response would include removing "excessive U.S. diplomatic, non-diplomatic, and intelligence personnel," denying the U.S. unfettered use of its facilities, and "creating a cooperative framework with China, Russia, and Iran to seek peace in Afghanistan," Khan said.

"It is time for Pakistan to delink from the U.S.," Khan concluded. "While Pakistan does not seek a conflict with the U.S., it cannot continue being the scapegoat for U.S. failures in Afghanistan."

North and South Korea Leaders Agree to Direct Negotiations as Trump Provokes Kim Jong-un on Twitter

Trump agrees not to hold military drills in South Korea during Olympics

Donald Trump has called potential talks between North and South Korea “a good thing” and the South Korean presidency said he had agreed there would be no military drills with South Korea during next month’s Winter Olympics.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Trump told South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, in a telephone call that he hoped inter-Korean talks would lead to good results and that he would send a high-level delegation, including members of his family, to the Winter Olympics, which will be held in South Korea.

In a tweet ahead of the South Korean statement, Trump hailed potential talks between North Korea and South Korea as “a good thing” and took credit for any dialogue after Seoul and Pyongyang this week signalled willingness to speak.

Asked about the suspension in drills, a Pentagon spokesman, Col Rob Manning, said: “The Department of Defense supports the president’s decision and what is in the best interest of the [South Korea]-US alliance.”

No military drills with S. Korea during Winter Olympics – Trump

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Be Dead in 11 Days

Protests throughout Iran are cresting right as a crisis point for the landmark nuclear deal approaches. Starting on January 13, a week from Saturday, Trump will face a deadline over reimposing economic sanctions that the U.S. agreed to lift under the 2015 nuclear deal. Despite the agreement, those sanctions have remained in place, technically; it’s just that president Obama and, thus far, Trump, periodically agree not to enforce them, keeping the deal alive.

In other words, as unrest in Iran spreads, Trump has an imminent opportunity to kill the Iran nuclear deal he despises, all by doing nothing. And as of right now, there’s no wave of concerted allied diplomacy aimed at keeping him in, The Daily Beast has learned.

That’s in marked contrast to the last time Trump brought the U.S. to the precipice of withdrawing from the Iran deal was October, when he “decertified” Iranian compliance with the deal, even though the International Atomic Agency has consistently found Iran to live up to its obligations under what’s formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Before he did, the White House and the State Department endured a full-court press from the U.S.’ traditional European allies to save the deal. ... But the Europeans are relatively silent this time. “We’re not pressing the White House, which is aware of our position,” a senior European diplomat told The Daily Beast.

As Politico observed, if Trump declines to waive sanctions, the implications for the deal’s future are far greater than any decertification. (After all, the whole American “certification” concept was a product of U.S. legislation, not the deal itself.) The Iranians will be able to claim that the nuclear deal is dead, that Americans killed it and that it ought to no longer be subject to the negotiated restraints on its nuclear program.

Trump says Iranian protests will see support from US 'at the appropriate time'

President Trump doubled down on his support for Iranian protesters Wednesday morning, assuring that at the “appropriate time” they would see aid from the United States.

“Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” Trump tweeted.

Protests have rocked the Islamic Republic for nearly a week, leaving at least 21 people dead. At least 450 have been arrested in protests that have spread from Tehran to cities throughout the Muslim nation, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.

The State Department announced Tuesday that it would use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with Iranian protesters, posting in Farsi on the social media platforms.

Three Intel Agents Killed as Iran Deploys Revolutionary Guard to Protest Hotspots

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has been deployed to protest hotspots across the nation, saying they’ve been charged with quelling “sedition” nationwide. Protests are still being held across the nation, though Tehran is said to be unusually calm.

The city of Piranshahr was decidedly less quiet, with the Revolutionary Guard issuing a statement reporting that three of their intelligence agents were killed in a fight with “anti-revolutionary elements.”

Though they didn’t elaborate on what that meant, this presumably means a fight with protesters.

American's Biggest Misconceptions About Israel/Palestine Conflict w/Rania Khalek

Trump's threat to defund UNRWA could cost Israel as much as the Palestinians

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s declaration that the United States intends to cut aid the Palestinians, and possibly to UNRWA, the United Nations’ relief agency for Palestinian refugees, is no less worrying to Israel than it is to the Palestinian Authority. Officially, Israel has come out time after time against UNRWA employees’ flirtation with messages supporting terror and the funding the agency provides for the grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees from 1948. In practice, however, the agency funds educational activities and medical services for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, and a sharp cut in its resources could bring thousands of them into the streets to confront the Israeli army.

Moreover, if a war were to break out in Gaza, international organizations would be the only ones that Israel could turn to in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the enclave.

Trump’s latest flurry of tweets also expressed disappointment with both Israelis and Palestinians following the Jerusalem recognition announcement. Trump complains that the Palestinians have suspended the peace process in protest (although in practice it has been at a standstill for years) and that Israelis haven't responded to his gesture with a readiness to make concessions to the Palestinians.

What happens if Trump does stop aid to Palestinians?

What would happen if Donald Trump carries out his threats to stop US aid to Palestinians?

If he means a cutoff of US funding to the Palestinian Authority, potentially bringing about its collapse, he would be robbing Israel of one of its key tools for maintaining its regime of occupation and apartheid over millions of Palestinians. That is something many Palestinians might welcome.

But if he means cutting US funding for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, that could cause a humanitarian catastrophe. It would inflict suffering on millions of people who have been forced to depend on UNRWA’s provision of health and education services and emergency food and shelter because Israel denies them their rights.

Cutting aid to UNRWA – as Trump’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley suggested the US might do – would also have far-reaching effects, potentially destabilizing Jordan and Lebanon, where large Palestinian refugee populations live.

Fordham Students Sue over Free Speech Rights to Establish Students for Justice in Palestine Group

Meltdown and Spectre: ‘worst ever’ CPU bugs affect virtually all computers

Serious security flaws that could let attackers steal sensitive data, including passwords and banking information, have been found in processors designed by Intel, AMD and ARM.

The flaws, named Meltdown and Spectre, were discovered by security researchers at Google’s Project Zero in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries. Combined they affect virtually every modern computer, including smartphones, tablets and PCs from all vendors and running almost any operating system.

Meltdown is “probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found”, said Daniel Gruss, one of the researchers at Graz University of Technology who discovered the flaw.

Meltdown is currently thought to primarily affect Intel processors manufactured since 1995, excluding the company’s Itanium server chips and Atom processors before 2013. It could allow hackers to bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s core memory. Meltdown, therefore, requires a change to the way the operating system handles memory to fix, which initial speed estimates predict could affect the speed of the machine in certain tasks by as much as 30%.

The Spectre flaw affects most modern processors made by a variety of manufacturers, including Intel, AMD and those designed by ARM, and potentially allows hackers to trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information. Spectre is harder for hackers to take advantage of but is also harder to fix and would be a bigger problem in the long term, according to Gruss.

Ohio police officer who shot and killed black 22-year-old says he faced 'imminent threat'

A white Ohio police officer who fatally shot a black man in a Walmart store says he believed he faced an “imminent threat”, although he acknowledges he never saw the man point what turned out to be an air rifle or threaten anyone.

The Beavercreek officer Sean Williams made his statements during a deposition in a federal lawsuit filed by the family of John Crawford III. Crawford, 22, was killed 5 August 2014, after police responded to a 911 call about someone waving a rifle in a store in Beavercreek, a Dayton suburb.

The Dayton Daily News reports in Thursday editions that depositions show police relied on the lone 911 caller, who said a man had a rifle. The civil case is scheduled for trial next month. Crawford’s relatives sued Beavercreek police and Arkansas-based Walmart, alleging negligence and civil rights violations. Police and Walmart have denied the allegations. ...

Officer Williams and police Sgt David Darkow have said Crawford refused to respond to commands. The Daily News says both officers said during their civil depositions that they didn’t realize Crawford was talking on his cellphone and didn’t know if he heard their commands.

ICE allegedly targeted Washington Motel 6 guests with “Latino-sounding names”

At least six Motel 6 locations in Washington state regularly shared information on their guests with Immigration Customs and Enforcement, a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges. In total, the facilities are accused of sharing the private information of more than 9,000 guests; six of those people were subsequently detained by ICE.

“This information was provided on an almost daily basis by some motels without the ICE agents having provided any documentation or evidence of reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or a search warrant for the requested guest registry information,” the lawsuit states. “Motel 6 was aware that the ICE agents used the guest registry information to identify and single out guests based on national origin, including guests with Latino-sounding names.”

Ferguson’s lawsuit was sparked by a September report in the Phoenix New Times that said two Phoenix-area Motel 6 facilities regularly shared information about their hotel guests with ICE. This practice reportedly led to the detention of at least 20 people there.

It looks like Jeff Sessions is kicking off his war on legal weed

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it abundantly clear that he’s no fan of marijuana and he’s unleashing the full power of federal law enforcement on states that have legalized weed. The Department of Justice announced Thursday that Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era policy that guides federal prosecutors on when to target marijuana growers, sellers, and other businesspeople in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, and other states where the drug is now legal. ...

The move doesn’t appear to be a direct crackdown, but it will allow U.S. Attorneys to prosecute marijuana cases at their own discretion. Previously, federal prosecutors were instructed to only pursue cases that involved flagrant violations of state law, such as marijuana being shipped across state lines or sold to children. The Justice Department called the move a “return to the rule of law,” and said has instructed federal prosecutors “to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities.” ...

Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), warned that the move by Sessions “flies in the face of sensible public policy and broad public opinion,” and imperils an industry estimated to be worth $16 billion. ... “The American people will not just sit idly by while he upends all the progress that has been made in dialing back the mass incarceration fueled by marijuana arrests and destabilizes an industry now responsible for over 150,000 jobs,” Altieri said. “Ending our disgraceful war on marijuana is the will of the people and the Trump Administration can expect severe backlash for opposing it."

the horse race

Virginia just elected a Republican by drawing names out of a bowl

The delegate from the 94th House District in Virginia was elected Thursday by drawing names out of a bowl. The lucky winner was Republican David Yancey, the incumbent, who defeated Democrat Shelly Simonds in their district in the Newport News-area of Virginia.

While drawing names to determine an election has happened before in Virginia, what made today’s luck-of-the-draw unique was it also determined whether the Virginia House of Delegates would be split down the middle between Democrats and Republicans or if Republicans would continue to control the legislative body, something the GOP has done for nearly two decades.

If Simonds had won and there had been no other legal challenges, the two parties would have had to figure out how share power in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Originally, Simonds lost the race by 10 votes and asked for a recount. After that recount, she appeared to have won by one vote. But then Yancey’s campaign brought a legal challenge resulting in a panel of judges deciding to count an oddly-marked ballot for Yancey. That created a tie in the race. There were multiple legal back and forths, but in the end the Virginia Board of Elections put a 1705 law into practice to break the tie through a random lottery.

Trump lawyers try to halt book's release as White House fights to contain firestorm

Lawyers for Donald Trump moved on Thursday to try to shut down the explosive new book which has exposed chaos behind the scenes at the White House. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, is due to be released on Tuesday. But after extracts from the book were made public by the Guardian, the White House has been thrown into a frenzy.

First, Trump issued a remarkable personal statement denouncing Steve Bannon, his one-time confidant, whom he castigated as self-aggrandizing and not a critical figure. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” The White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said the president was “furious and disgusted” at Bannon’s attacks on his family, which included the claim that Donald Trump Jr’s Trump Tower meeting with a group of Russians who had promised dirt on Hillary Clinton had been “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.

Then on Thursday, as the White House struggled to contain the fallout from the book, a lawyer for Trump sent a letter demanding Wolff and his publisher, Henry Holt & Co, “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination”, or excerpts and summaries of its contents. The legal notice, sent by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles Harder, also demanded a copy of the book. Harder sent a similar letter to Bannon on Wednesday night, accusing the former chief strategist of violating an employee agreement and defaming the president.

The Guardian published details from the book on Wednesday after obtaining a copy from a bookseller in New England. New York magazine then rushed to publish a lengthy extract and more details began to emerge. ...

Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s speech, privacy, and technology project, said Trump’s cease-and-desist lawsuit had no chance of success. “Even Donald’s Trump’s lawyers aren’t crazy enough to present this to a court,” he said. “It would be extraordinary and unprecedented for a court to respond to these claims by blocking publication. That is not going to happen."

the evening greens

Wow! This article contains one of the most outrageous unsupported conjectures by a scientist imaginable:

"the consequences to humans of staying on that trajectory are so dire that it is hard to imagine we would go quite that far down that path"

Now that is a dangerous underestimation of the power of human greed and stupidity.

Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn

Ocean dead zones with zero oxygen have quadrupled in size since 1950, scientists have warned, while the number of very low oxygen sites near coasts have multiplied tenfold. Most sea creatures cannot survive in these zones and current trends would lead to mass extinction in the long run, risking dire consequences for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on the sea.

Climate change caused by fossil fuel burning is the cause of the large-scale deoxygenation, as warmer waters hold less oxygen. The coastal dead zones result from fertiliser and sewage running off the land and into the seas.

The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the first comprehensive analysis of the areas and states: “Major extinction events in Earth’s history have been associated with warm climates and oxygen-deficient oceans.” Denise Breitburg, at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in the US and who led the analysis, said: “Under the current trajectory that is where we would be headed. But the consequences to humans of staying on that trajectory are so dire that it is hard to imagine we would go quite that far down that path.”

“This is a problem we can solve,” Breitburg said. “Halting climate change requires a global effort, but even local actions can help with nutrient-driven oxygen decline.” She pointed to recoveries in Chesapeake Bay in the US and the Thames river in the UK, where better farm and sewage practices led to dead zones disappearing.

However, Prof Robert Diaz at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who reviewed the new study, said: “Right now, the increasing expansion of coastal dead zones and decline in open ocean oxygen are not priority problems for governments around the world. Unfortunately, it will take severe and persistent mortality of fisheries for the seriousness of low oxygen to be realised.”

The oceans feed more than 500 million people, especially in poorer nations, and provide jobs for 350 million people. But at least 500 dead zones have now been reported near coasts, up from fewer than 50 in 1950. Lack of monitoring in many regions means the true number may be much higher.

Brazil raises hopes of a retreat from new mega-dam construction

After swathes of forest clearance, millions of tonnes of concrete and decades of hydro-expansion, Brazil has raised hopes that it may finally step back from the construction of new mega-dams. In a surprise statement, a senior government official said hydropower policy needed to be rethought in the face of environmental concerns, indigenous sensitivities and public unease.

Anti-dam activists welcomed the apparent shift, despite scepticism about the declared motives, which they believe mask a drying up of bribes from the construction industry. The decision could reprieve the Tapajos and free-flowing rivers from a plan to open half the Amazon basin to hydro-development.

Brazil already gets more than 70% of its electricity from hydropower – one of the highest proportions in the world. ... But in recent years, the dam builders – backed by the Workers’ party administrations of Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – pushed north into the Amazon with the huge Belo Monte project on the Xingu river, despite environmental concerns, court battles and fierce resistance from indigenous residents.

The Tapajos was the next major river in the sights of the consortium led by utility Eletrobras and major construction firms such as Odebrecht. Two dams have already been completed on the Teles Pires tributary and hundreds more were planned elsewhere.

Also of Interest

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

The ecological catastrophe that turned a vast Bolivian lake into a salt desert

A Little Night Music

The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner - TV Momma

Dizzy Gillespie - Blues After Dark

Dizzy Gillespie + George Benson - A Night In Tunisia

Dizzy Gillespie - Blue Funk

Joe Turner & Trumpet Kings - 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do

Dizzy Gillespie - Be Bop

Dizzy Gillespie w/Ed Cherry - Dizzy's Blues

Mongo Santamaria with Dizzy Gillespie and Toots Thielemans - Afro Blue

Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt - Dark Eyes

Dizzy Gillespie - Blues Walk

Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt - After Hours

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Azazello's picture

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joe shikspack's picture


thanks! they hadn't posted that yet when i checked out to see if they had the second part up yet. (i posted the first part yesterday)

it's a great interview, i've always liked rania khalek's work.

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mimi's picture

@Azazello @Azazello
and reflects very well what the view of the US is from the outside. I will follow her now. The only thing which I think is unfortunate is that she says the people in Europe are laughing about the US, they do, but they better don't.

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

Lookout's picture

You made me look it up Joe....

During the 1964 United States presidential campaign the artist, with tongue in cheek, put himself forward as an independent write-in candidate. He promised that if he were elected, the White House would be renamed the Blues House, and he would have a cabinet composed of Duke Ellington (Secretary of State), Miles Davis (Director of the CIA), Max Roach (Secretary of Defense), Charles Mingus (Secretary of Peace), Ray Charles (Librarian of Congress), Louis Armstrong (Secretary of Agriculture), Mary Lou Williams (Ambassador to the Vatican), Thelonious Monk (Travelling Ambassador) and Malcolm X (Attorney General). He said his running mate would be Phyllis Diller. Campaign buttons had been manufactured years before by Gillespie's booking agency "for publicity, as a gag", but now proceeds from them went to benefit the Congress of Racial Equality, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr.;[34] in later years they became a collector's item.

Too bad he didn't get more traction.

Heard a sobering piece today on climate chaos. Here's a 2 min clip of the hour long podcast. Investigative journalist and professor of economics Christian Parenti on climate change versus climate justice
The whole interview is here

The plastics in the oceans are becoming so bad that all fish contain it and it is also in sea salt. The guardian piece you posted was good explaining the dead zones due mainly to fertilizer erosion.

I guess the race now is between what causes our extinction first, global warming or nuclear winter. Thanks for the music and the news!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture


yep, i have my old dizzy for president button still. i've had it since i was a kid, sadly, the metal on the back has rusted through and stained the paper.


thanks for the parenti interview, the teaser sounds great, i'll check out the full podcast this weekend.

heh, i wonder what prize global warming or nuclear winter get if they win the race.

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For all the news and music. Hope you and yours are staying warm while the weather is so frightful.

After reading the Risen article last night, it does not surprise me that Facebook is deleting some people’s accounts. That article was a real confirmation of what had suspected was going on.

Glad to see Brazil may be moving away from the mega dams of the past.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

divineorder's picture

@jakkalbessie actually follows through...

Reminds me of the time we attended the session during the Forum Global in Rio and heard from the nearly naked indigenous person about impact on his people.

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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


yeah, that risen article is an eye-opener. it's kind of funny in that it just confirms things that i think are true instinctively, i guess showing that one can't seem to be too cynical these days.

i hope that brazil's government reconsideration of hydropower in the amazon is for the right reasons - not just because the bribes weren't big enough for their utterly corrupt government. i suppose, though, that if the companies decided that it wasn't worth the price and the crooks held out, the outcome would be similar.

it's a pretty strange world we live in. perhaps i should just work on savoring the moment. Smile

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divineorder's picture

That you had perhaps lost Internet or worse! Have gotten used to reading EB earlier here in NM but glad to see it made it up on the 'boards.'



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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


sorry to give you a scare. actually, mr. sore throat decided that he felt like returning for a visit (i think that he likes ms shikspack's soup and throat lozenges) and i slept very late today, hence the late scramble to put the eb together and get it online.

we got a light dusting of snow (less than an inch) but some pretty powerful winds last night and into the morning. the winds are still pretty brisk, but nothing like they were earlier. i was actually kind of surprised that we didn't lose power or internet due to trees falling somewhere.

heh. jill stein made a mistake. saudi arabia is not "the world's #1 sponsor of terrorism," the u.s. is.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@joe shikspack

heh. jill stein made a mistake. saudi arabia is not "the world's #1 sponsor of terrorism," the u.s. is.

Umm, Jill.... who the F do you think Saudi Arabia's sponsor is?


And Dizzy Gillespie! Going all Classical on us, are you? Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

joe shikspack's picture


every now and then i like to throw folks a musical curve. Smile


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thanatokephaloides's picture

@joe shikspack

Chamber blues! Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Bollox Ref's picture

like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III are for States' Rights... until they aren't.

Especially Sessions, as his name and those of his forebears reflect secession (see States' Rights).

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from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

heh, yep, states rights are for enjoying our god-given freedoms like they had in the old days when part of the country was a slave-owning, moral country. and federalism is for enforcing a particular moral code when states go astray.

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snoopydawg's picture

military drills during the Olympics. I can see Trump doing this, though. It would be a big first for him.

I hope that Crawford's family gets a huge paycheck for his death. His murder was almost as fast as Tamir's was.

The lake that dried up in one year must not have been very deep. Still, wow.

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"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg all we can think of right now to stop the rise of Eurasia and bring chaos to the region.

The US needs to go home and take care if its people.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

well, there is that other thing of placing sanctions on russia (that bring more harm to our european allies than they do to russia) in order to drive a wedge between them.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

When was the last time sanctions worked for the US? Not since they put sanctions on Japan, which caused that mess in Pearl Harbor.

Although difficult, Russia immunized itself against US sanctions and let them be the wind under their wings. Trying to sanction China is an lol. And neither country is going to let a humanitarian crisis in North Korea occur on their doorstep. The US needs to stand down and go away. It's the solution to this problem as they've been told repeatedly at the UN.

Especially true is your point about hurting Europe. Europe is on the receiving end of all sanctions in the Eastern hemisphere. Terrible things have happened to them brought on by US aggression. If they had real humans running the place instead of bloodless Neoliberal bankers, they could have avoided so much pain. A few months ago, the US told Europe they couldn't complete their northern oil and gas pipeline from Russia (in which they are steeply invested). Next month they will have to cancel all their new business ventures with Iran (which was a source of great hope for their economy). All because the US wants to make its Empire great again.

Someone needs to break the news to all these people — they hitched their wagon to the wrong team.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

dervish's picture

@Pluto's Republic except here the only "people" who count are corporations, legal fictions. Humans don't figure in at all to these poobahs, except as a disposable yet necessary evil.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

joe shikspack's picture


i was pretty surprised to see that trump decided to back off on the military drills, conceding a major diplomatic victory to the "rocketman" with the smaller button of dubious quality. perhaps he saw that he had lost this round and decided that claiming victory was a better move for the domestic audience (and his own enormous ego).

i certainly hope that crawford's family gets a generous payout, since actual justice is not an option.

bolivia's lake poopo was not terribly deep, about 10 feet but it was pretty huge - 56 x 20 miles. so there was a considerable amount of water in it once upon a time.

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smiley7's picture

Mark this move by the trumpskies down.

"Sessions will end policy that allowed legalized marijuana to prosper!"

May it live in infamy as the beginning of the end!

Daddy's birthday today, walked on in 2004, sweetest man the world shared in our community...a toast to him and his 32 missions over Germany in a B17.

Thanks for the news and blues and being here!

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joe shikspack's picture


heh, we can all hope for a stoner's revenge. Smile

happy birthday to your dad! i hope that you enjoy many happy memories.

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enhydra lutris's picture

listening. Thanks for the news too, of course. The giving war too many chances is a serious compendium of information in one place, something of a slog to read, but a great article now clipped and stashed for the future.

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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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

i was really happy to find that cuts from the old album "joe turner meets the trumpet kings" was up on youtube. it gives folks a chance to hear diz in a more traditional blues setting, which is pretty cool. i think the whole album is available if anybody wants to dig it up for some extracurricular listening.

there are some great links in that article to things that some folks would probably rather were swept into the memory hole. i hope you and lots of folks enjoy that one.

have a great evening!

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Pricknick's picture

Facebook told the New York Times that it had a “legal lethal obligation”

Thanks again.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

joe shikspack's picture


a worthy distinction to consider. Smile

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