The Evening Blues - 1-7-16



eb1pt12


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues, jazz and ragtime multi-instrumentalist Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton. Enjoy!

Blind Boy Paxton - Mississippi Bottom

“The major western democracies are moving towards corporatism. Democracy has become a business plan, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies — socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor — and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war. This is not democracy. It is to politics what McDonalds is to food.”

-- John Pilger


News and Opinion

Why It’s Scary That the Mall of America Can Crush Dissent

On December 23, the day before Christmas Eve, the United States’ largest mall moved to shut down a potentially landmark Black Lives Matter demonstration before it even really began.

Management at the shopping center, Mall of America, located just outside Minneapolis, had stores lower their metal security gates about half an hour before the protest started, part of a “lockdown” that cleared shoppers from that wing of the mall. Only moments after Black Lives Matter organizers entered the mall’s east rotunda, the cousin of Jamar Clark, whose death at the hands of police was the center of the protest, was led away by a throng of police. Organizers directed demonstrators to exit the mall toward the light-rail station. As protesters walked out, the mall broadcast a looping announcement in a friendly Midwestern voice: “Mall of America is now going into lockdown. Seek shelter in the nearest store, and follow employee instructions.” ...

Mall of America’s ability to so zealously suppress the December 23 protest there highlights how, in a nation where more and more public life takes place in privatized spaces, the ability to exercise First Amendment rights has become increasingly contingent. From Zuccotti Park to Twitter, some of the last decade’s most iconic venues for dissent have been privately run. In cities like New York, privately owned public spaces have been proliferating for several decades, racing ahead of the case law that will ultimately decide their relationship to Constitutional rights. And legal experts expect social media to be a primary subject of First Amendment battles for decades to come.

Legal arguments that free political speech should be allowed at malls center around the idea that the shopping center has replaced the town square as a place where opinions can be heard and exchanged. Besides an on-site police station, the Mall of America features an amusement park and a wedding chapel, and hosts morning walkers. The publicly funded light rail line was designed to draw residents and tourists to its doors; the mall is the line’s last stop.

In a statement, Mall of America said its ban on political protests is in place to protect guest and employee safety, adding, “We respect the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. However, the courts have affirmed our right as private property owners to prohibit demonstrations on our property.”

US releases two Guantánamo detainees nearly six years after transfer approval

The US has released two Yemeni men from Guantánamo Bay on Wednesday after nearly 14 years’ detention and nearly six years after the Obama administration approved them for transfer.

But neither Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef nor Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby will return to their native Yemen. Instead, the US sent both men to Ghana, where they are expected to be freed upon arrival.

Bin Atef and Dhuby, both in their mid-30s, are among the longest-held Guantánamo detainees.

The announcement of the transfer on Wednesday marks the start of a spate of releases of 17 men the administration intends to free from Guantánamo Bay in January, part of a final initiative by Barack Obama, seeking to empty the detention camp before leaving office.

Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of bombing its embassy in Yemen

Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of airstrikes on its embassy in Yemen

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of carrying out airstrikes against the Iranian embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, which it claimed left a number of guards wounded and damaged its diplomatic building, although witnesses said the compound was intact. ...

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, condemned what he called a deliberate provocation by Saudis, but the accuracy of the claim was unclear.

Media reports suggested that the mission itself was not hit, but that shrapnel from an attack on a house nearby wounded embassy guards. The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has said it is investigating the Iranian allegation.

“This deliberate and intentional act by the Saudi Arabian government is in violation of all international conventions and legal treaties regarding the protection and impunity of diplomatic compounds under all circumstances,” Jaberi Ansari was quoted as saying by the website of the state-run IRIB network. “Iran holds the government of Saudi Arabia responsible for this act and wounding of a number of embassy staff and damages made to its building.”

UN: Yemen Civilian Deaths Spiked in December

A new report out of the United Nations showed that once again, the civilian death toll in the Saudi war in Yemen continues to escalate, with more than double the number of civilians killed in December than in November, and no signs of it slowing down.

This spike in deaths came in spite of December including a solid week of ceasefire, though since the Saudi airstrikes never really stopped during the ceasefire, it’s unsurprising that the death toll was not slowed by its occurrence.

Saudi Arabia Fueling Sectarianism to Destabilize the Region and Suppress Domestic Dissent

Neocons Defend Saudi Arabia

Much of the West is focused on the latest sectarian provocations by Saudi Arabia, such as the execution of Shiite leader Sheik Nimr Baqr al-Nimr followed by the formal breaking of diplomatic relations with Iran in uber-retaliation for the attack on the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran. U.S. neoconservatives, however, are standing in support of that wellspring of expansionist Wahhabism.

It’s remarkable that just 14 years ago, neocons like Richard Perle were calling for the Bush administration to include Riyadh among the capitals on Washington’s post-9/11 target list. Now the Saud family has again become their dearest friend. No less remarkable is how those fearless defenders of Western values and democratic governance are rallying in defense of an absolute monarchy and the undisputed and deep-pocketed leader of the counter-revolution against the reformist movements of the “Arab Spring.”

That great champion of human rights and democracy, Elliott Abrams, and the hard-line neocon’s most influential print medium, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, were quickest off the mark in attacking Iran and defending the poor, abandoned Saudis, respectively. Bill Kristol’s Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), meanwhile, made it clear which side should be favored in a release posted on its website early Tuesday afternoon. Its list of “resources” made clear that, no matter the provocation, Iran should always be considered “Public Enemy #1.” The administration’s attempt to appear more-or-less even-handed in the escalating crisis—or even a little critical of Riyadh—was yet another deplorable example of Obama’s weakness and appeasement.

Reality Peeks Through in Ukraine

Nearly two years since U.S. officials helped foment a coup in Ukraine – partly justified by corruption allegations – the country continues to wallow in graft and cronyism as the living standards for average Ukrainians plummet, according to economic data and polls of public attitudes.

Even the neocon-oriented Wall Street Journal took note of the worsening corruption in a Jan. 1, 2016 article observing that “most Ukrainians say the revolution’s promise to replace rule by thieves with the rule of law has fallen short and the government acknowledges that there is still much to be done.”

Actually, the numbers suggest something even worse. More and more Ukrainians rate corruption as a major problem facing the nation, including a majority of 53 percent last September, up from 48 percent last June and 28 percent in September 2014, according to polls by International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s GDP has fallen in every quarter since the Feb. 22, 2014 putsch that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, the average Ukrainian also has faced economic “reforms” to slash pensions, energy subsidies and other social programs, as demanded by the International Monetary Fund.

In other words, the hard lives of most Ukrainians have gotten significantly harder while the elites continue to skim off whatever cream is left, including access to billions of dollars in the West’s foreign assistance that is keeping the economy afloat.

US Plan Would See Assad Stay in Syria Through March 2017

The Obama administration has a vision for Syrian leader Bashar Assad's departure. Even if it works, the president won't be around to see the plan through.

An internal U.S. timeline for a best-case Syrian political transition, obtained by The Associated Press, sets a date of March 2017 for Assad to "relinquish" his position as president and for his "inner circle" to depart. That is two months after President Barack Obama leaves office and more than five years after Obama first called for Assad to leave.

Syria, according to the would-be American strategy, would hold votes for a new president and parliament in August 2017 — some 19 months from now.

The State Department said Wednesday the timeline was prepared late last year as a guide for Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. diplomats working on a political transition for Syria.

Spokesman John Kirby described the document as a "staff-level think piece" that is "preliminary and pre-decisional" and not "an official position." He also said it is "not an accurate projection of plans by the international community to effect a political transition in Syria."

Way 2 Go, R2Pers!

The Islamic State's Next Target: Libyan Oil

Islamic State (IS) militants and Libyan forces were engaged in a pitched battle on Wednesday for coastal oil terminals that experts said hold the key to the extremists establishing control of the country and turning it into a base for future attacks in Africa and Europe.

Five oil tanks in the Libyan cities of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf were on fire on Wednesday as IS fighters shelled the Mediterranean port cities, Reuters reported. Libyan National Oil Corporation Chairman Mustafa Sanalla issued a statement urging the various non-IS factions in Libya's ongoing civil war to form an alliance against the militant group. ...

Rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk, a coalition of jihadists called the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, and IS have all been vying for control of Libya since the disintegration of a peace agreement that was reached after the death of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Pentagon Desperate to Avoid Calling Afghan Fight ‘Combat’

On Tuesday, US special forces accompanying Afghan troops engaged in a protracted firefight with Taliban forces in the Helmand Province. One of the soldiers was killed and two others wounded, and a helicopter was virtually destroyed.

Don’t call it combat though. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook, pressed on the matter, appeared increasingly desperate to avoid the “c-word” when talking about Afghanistan, labeling the mission a “train, advise and assist” operation, and shrugged off the fact it was a gunbattle by saying Afghanistan “is a dangerous place.”

Permanent State of Emergency? France Seeks Alarming Expanse of Police Powers

Citing last year's Paris attacks as justification, the French government is seeking to expand police powers permanently — relaxing rules around the firing of weapons, enabling nighttime raids, and loosening restrictions on searching and detaining suspected terrorists, according to a draft bill seen by the newspaper Le Monde

Politico Europe reported Tuesday that the draft, sent to the French Supreme Court for review in December, lays out plans to "perennially strengthen the tools and resources at the disposal of administrative and judicial authorities, outside the temporary legal framework implemented under the state of emergency."

In November, the French Parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend the state of emergency through the end of February and to increase certain powers including allowing the government to impose a house arrest as long as it has "serious reason to think that the person's conduct threatens security or the public order."

In December, the French cabinet backed reform proposals that could see that state of emergency enshrined in the nation's constitution.

Polish president signs bill putting state media under government control

Poland’s president has signed into law a bill handing the conservative government control of state media, despite concern elsewhere in the EU and condemnation from rights watchdogs.

Andrzej Duda signed the legislation because he wants state media to be “impartial, objective and credible”, his aide Małgorzata Sadurska said. She added that the president did not believe broadcasters guaranteed objective information in their current form.

Under the new law, senior figures in public radio and television will be appointed – and sacked – by the treasury minister, and will no longer be hired by the National Broadcasting Council.

Under the legislation current managers and supervisory board members of Poland’s public broadcasters will be fired with immediate effect.

"A Travesty": Is Japan’s Apology to Korean “Comfort Women” an Attempt to Silence Them?

Stock Market Is Freakin’ Out

While you were sleeping, things got decidedly uglier in global markets. The Chinese stock market was only able to stay open for 29 minutes before it hit its ridiculously low limit-down of 7 percent and shut down for the balance of the trading session. (U.S. stock markets require a loss of 20 percent before they cease trading for the day.)

That sent global investors wanting to lighten up on equities into European markets which saw red across the board. With the overnight rout, global stock markets have now lost approximately $2.5 trillion this week – and it’s only Thursday. ...

Markets will trade on euphoric misperceptions for only so long – even with legions of Federal Reserve speechmakers running around the country telling the populace that the economy is doing fine (despite an abysmal labor participation rate). Then ugly reality sets in. ...

Declining levels of capacity utilization (capacity utilization measures how much of U.S. productive capacity at plants and mines and utilities are actually being used in response to demand.) are consistent with high levels of income inequality – an earmark of Wall Street’s stranglehold on America since the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Declining capacity utilization invariably leads to layoffs, permanent terminations, plant closings, with corresponding declining levels of disposable consumer income to spend at companies like Amazon and Netflix.

In other words, whatever was propping up the stock darlings of 2015 should not be relied on in 2016.

Grazing Rights, Cow-Bombing, and the Oregon Armed "Occupation"


How the Oregon militia standoff became a battle with a Native American tribe

Thirty rightwing militia battling federal government and Paiute Indians native to the land for thousands of years both claim right to Malheur wildlife refuge

On the fifth day of a standoff waged by about 30 rightwing militia, led by the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the political battle lines of a dispute that is garnering attention across the world splintered. No longer was this a tense face-off between the US government and protesters who want Washington to relinquish control of thousands of square miles across several western states so it can be used more freely by cattle ranchers.

Now it was the Bundy Bunch versus a Native American tribe – which claims first rights to the land – each demanding to have a say over the lingering standoff.

On Wednesday morning, Paiute tribal chairwoman Charlotte Rodrique stood before scores of people – including many of the 420-member tribe – at a press conference, saying that the Bundys and their gang were encroaching on land considered sacred to the Paiute people.

“Armed protesters don’t belong here,” she said. “By their actions they are desecrating one of our sacred traditional cultural properties. They are endangering our children, and the safety of our community, and they need to leave. Armed confrontation is not the answer.”

She said the sprawling wildlife reserve is part of the tribe’s ancestral territory and is protected under terms of an agreement signed with federal officials more than a century ago. The tribe still uses the refuge for sacred religious and cultural ceremonies, such as collecting plants for medicine and crafts.

“This land belonged to the Paiute people as wintering grounds long before the first settlers, ranchers and trappers ever arrived here,” Rodrique said, “We haven’t given up our rights to the land. We have protected sites there. We still use the land.”

A Vanishing History: Gullah Geechee Nation

Trial of Baltimore officer in Freddie Gray case enters 'uncharted' legal territory

A Baltimore judge ruled on Wednesday that an officer facing charges related to the death of Freddie Gray can be compelled by the state to testify against a fellow officer, setting a new precedent for Maryland.

William Porter, whose own case ended in a mistrial last month, can be compelled to testify in the case of Cesar Goodson in exchange for immunity. Goodson is charged with second-degree murder in Gray’s death. This would eliminate Porter’s ability to plead his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination, and the officer could face possible jail time if he refuses. ...

The state had previously argued that Porter should be tried first so that he could act as a material witness in the cases of Goodson and Sgt Alicia White, as his testimony was deemed “crucial” to the case.

Porter will still be compelled to testify in those cases even though he will be tried again in June. Any immunity would only extend to the prosecution’s ability to use what Porter says in another trial against him in his own. But it does not eliminate the charges against him.

The Texas State Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Was Just Indicted for Perjury

The state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland for assault in Waller County, Texas, leading to her imprisonment in jail and her death while in police custody of apparent asphyxiation, has been indicted by a grand jury for lying about their encounter during a routine traffic stop.

The charge leveled against Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The perjury charge was related to Encinia's initial statement following the escalation of the traffic stop, in which he pulled the 28-year-old black woman over for changing lanes without signaling. The special prosecutor in the case, Phoebe Smith, said that the "grand jury didn't believe that statement was truthful," according to the New York Times. ...

In reporting the arrest, Encinia claimed that Bland had assaulted him. 



the horse race


Ex-Obama Aide Known As “Hedge Funds’ Secret Weapon” Assails Bernie Sanders’ Wall Street Overhaul

In response to a plan that Bernie Sanders offered this week to break up Wall Street banks, former top Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee took to Twitter to criticize the Vermont senator for targeting large financial institutions and being politically unrealistic.

But Goolsbee is hardly an unbiased observer. Since leaving government, he’s become a valuable tool for Wall Street. ...

Goolsbee is now a partner at 32 Advisors, a financial strategy and government relations firm that works with Wall Street. He touts, on his company’s website, a 2014 CNBC profile where he was dubbed “hedge funds’ secret weapon.”

O'Malley and Sanders give Clinton run for her money at Nevada caucus dinner

Hillary Clinton found herself in an unexpected battle for the support of primary voters in Nevada, as Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley impressed at a caucus dinner in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

The Nevada caucuses, scheduled for 20 February, are the third primary to take place, making the state crucial for a candidate hoping to build momentum. ...

Sanders’ supporters were by far the noisiest and most vocally enthusiastic from long before the candidates emerged. Chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” went up several times before general cheers drowned them out. A small coterie held aloft a rainbow H for Hillary, but as Born in the USA played the candidates in, the chants of Sanders’ supporters drowned out the others.

That support could signal a problem for Clinton in a state which she had previously thought relatively safe, a stronghold even. Sanders only hired a state director for Nevada in October, while the Clinton campaign has had staff in place since April.

Clinton still maintains a commanding lead in the polls, but signs are emerging that she may not be in as strong a position in the state as she would like. Politico reported on Wednesday that Erin Bilbray, once one of her most loyal supporters in the Nevada Democratic party, had endorsed the Vermont senator.



the evening greens


TransCanada Sues Obama Administration Over Keystone XL Rejection

TransCanada announced Wednesday it has started two legal actions in response to the US president's rejection of its permit application in November, weeks before the UN climate talks began in Paris.

The company intends to file a claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying the decision to reject the permit for the $8-billion pipeline "was arbitrary and unjustified." The company's second punch is a federal court lawsuit arguing Obama's decision "exceeded his power under the US Constitution."

The lawsuit names Secretary of State John Kerry, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of the Department of Interior Sally Jewell.

In its release, the company insinuated the denial was based on climate change politics combined with a presidential power trip.

"In its decision, the US State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project," the statement reads. "Rather, it was a symbolic gesture based on speculation about the perceptions of the international community regarding the Administration's leadership on climate change and the President's assertion of unprecedented, independent powers."

TransCanada Sues the U.S. for $15B for Rejecting Keystone XL. Will This Be the New Normal Under TPP?

NAFTA Lawsuit over Keystone XL Proves "Free Trade" Deals Kill Democracy

TransCanada seeking $15 billion in damages

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada announced Wednesday afternoon it is suing the Obama administration under NAFTA provisions for the U.S. decision last November to reject the unpopular Keystone XL pipeline.

The climate justice movement that successfully pressured the president to reject the mammoth pipeline project responded on Thursday by characterizing the move as "pathetic" and saying the legal argument being deployed by the company underscores the undemocratic nature of so-called "free trade" deals.

"This isn’t going to get the pipeline built, and it is going to remind Americans how many of our rights these agreements give away," Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder, said in a statement. "The idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet’s atmosphere is, quite simply, insane. But the oil industry is so used to always winning that I fear this kind of tantrum is predictable. Corporate power is truly out of control."

Michael Moore is calling for people to petition U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to ask her to arrest and charge Governor Rick Snyder for the crimes entailed in poisoning the citizens of Flint, Michigan.

Dear Gov. Snyder: You Have to Go to Jail

Thanks to you, sir, and the premeditated actions of your administrators, you have effectively poisoned, not just some, but apparently ALL of the children in my hometown of Flint, Michigan.

And for that, you have to go to jail.

To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven't figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this.

But you did. Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison -- but you decided that taking over the city and "cutting costs" to "balance the budget" was more important than the people's health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River -- a body of "water" where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to "clean" it -- which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint's aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people's taps. Your callous -- and reckless (btw, "reckless" doesn't get you a pass; a reckless driver who kills a child, still goes to jail) -- decision to do this has now, as revealed by the city's top medical facility, caused "irreversible brain damage" in Flint's children, not to mention other bodily damage to all of Flint's adults. Here's how bad it is: Even GM won't let the auto parts they use in building cars touch the Flint water because that water "corrodes" them. This is a company that won't even fix an ignition switch after they've discovered it's already killed dozens of people. THAT's how bad the situation is. Even GM thinks you're the devil. ...

The facts are all there, Mr. Snyder. Every agency involved in this scheme reported directly to you. The children of Flint didn't have a choice as to whether or not they were going to get to drink clean water. But soon it will be your turn to not have that choice about which water you'll be drinking. Because by this time next year, if there is an ounce of justice left in this land, the water you'll be drinking will be served to you from a tap inside Jackson Prison.

Flint toxic water tragedy points directly to Michigan Gov. Snyder

Era of climate science denial is not over, study finds

After global heat records were continually broken over the last decade, and as sea levels rose and scientists reported the accelerated melting of polar ice sheets, you might be forgiven for thinking the debate over climate change had shifted. ...

Well, wrong. At least according to a new study that has looked at 15 years worth of output from 19 conservative “thinktanks” in the United States.

“We find little support for the claim that ‘the era of science denial is over’ - instead, discussion of climate science has generally increased over the sample period,” the study concludes. ...

The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, analysed more than 16,000 documents published online between 1998 and 2013 by mainly US groups like the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.

Contrary to some commentators, the study found attacks on science had increased in later years. At the same time, the thinktanks were focusing less on policy issues.

Massive natural gas leak in Los Angeles prompts governor to declare emergency

California governor Jerry Brown declared an emergency on Wednesday in a Los Angeles neighborhood where a blown-out natural gas well has been spewing record amounts of global warming pollution.

Ten weeks after the 23 October breach was detected, Brown ordered state agencies to make sure Southern California Gas Company, which owns the stricken natural gas storage facility, plugs the leak. ...

Brown directed his administration to take “all necessary and viable actions” to make sure SoCalGas captures leaking natural gas and odorants. He also asked the company to spell out how it planned to plug the well if its current effort failed.

The order bans SoCalGas from injecting more natural gas into the storage site, and it calls for independent monitoring of air quality. Brown also ordered daily inspections and regular testing of natural gas storage wells in the state for leaks.

Brown has come under intense criticism from campaign groups for his slow response to the leak.


Also of Interest

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

Key Segments of Bernie Sanders’ Speech on Wall Street Reform Disappear

The Deceptive Debate Over What Causes Terrorism Against the West

Turkey’s War Against the Kurds

EPA Confirms Longstanding Fears About Impact of Neonics on Bees


A Little Night Music

Blind Boy Paxton - Candy Man Blues

Blind Boy Paxton - Broke And Hungry

Blind Boy Paxton - When an Ugly Woman Tells You No

Blind Boy Paxton - Reuben and His Morphine

Blind Boy Paxton - Railroad Bill

Blind Boy Paxton - Mole In The Ground

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Starving to Death on My Government Claim

Blind Boy Paxton - Motherless Child Blues

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Hesitation Blues

Frank George & Jerron Paxton - Cripple Creek

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Lost My Appetite for Chicken

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Come Take A Trip In My Airship

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Old Black Joe

Blind Boy Paxton - Even Catfish Ain't Biting Blues

Blind Boy Paxton and the Georgia Crackers - Georgia crawl

The Hazelnuts Feat. Jerron Blind Boy Paxton - It dont mean a thing

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton and Kurt Elling - Mood Indigo

Blind Boy Paxton - Easy Rider Blues

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Catfish Blues

Blind Boy Paxton with the Gotham SophistiCats - Lonesome and Sorry

Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton & the California Feetwarmers - Blues my Naughty Sweetie Gives to me

Blind Boy Paxton - Stack O' Dollars

Down Home Radio with Jeron "Blind Boy" Paxton p.1

Down Home Radio with Jeron "Blind Boy" Paxton p.2



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lotlizard's picture

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/09/28/the-power-of-false-narrative/

The pattern that we have seen over and over is that once a propaganda point is scored against one of the neocon/liberal-hawk “enemies,” the failure to actually prove the allegation is not seen as suspicious, at least not inside the mainstream media, which usually just repeats the old narrative again and again, whether its casting blame on Putin for MH-17, or on Yanukovych for the sniper attack, or on Assad for the sarin gas attack.

Instead of skepticism, it’s always the same sort of “group think,” with nothing learned from the disaster of the Iraq War because there was virtually no accountability for those responsible.

By the same author, two days ago:
How Obama Enables Atrocities

President Obama seems so scared of offending the Saudis and their Israeli allies that he will tolerate almost any outrage, including Saudi Arabia’s mass beheadings and/or shootings of the regime’s enemies including a Shiite political leader who dared criticize the monarchy, writes Robert Parry

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joe shikspack's picture

parry is a really good writer. i follow his site reasonably closely, he's been doing some of his best work lately.

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lotlizard's picture

Ottawa going ahead with Saudi arms deal despite condemning executions

The Conservatives brokered this deal, but it's Justin Trudeau and the Liberals blessing this now.

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mimi's picture

really good and I liked especially this paragraph in the article:

But Official Washington wrapped the “surge” in the bloody flag of “honoring the troops,” who were credited with eventually reducing the level of Iraqi violence by carrying out the “heroic” surge strategy as ordered by President Bush and devised by the neocons. Anyone who noted the holes in this story was dismissed as disrespecting “the troops.”

The cruel irony was that the neocon pundits, who had promoted the Iraq War and then covered their failure by hailing the “surge,” had little or no regard for “the troops” who mostly came from lower socio-economic classes and were largely abstractions to the well-dressed, well-schooled and well-paid talking heads who populate the think tanks and op-ed pages.

Safely ensconced behind the “successful surge” myth, the Iraq War devotees largely escaped any accountability for the chaos and bloodshed they helped cause. Thus, the same “smart people” were in place for the Obama presidency and just as ready to buy into new interventionist “group thinks” – gluing black hats on old and new adversaries, such as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and, most significantly, Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

That says it head on. And this too:

However, inside Official Washington, there appears to be little thought that the endless spinning, lying and ridiculing might dangerously corrode American democracy and erode any remaining trust the world’s public has in the word of the U.S. government. Instead, there seems to be great confidence that skilled propagandists can discredit anyone who dares note that the naked empire has wrapped itself in the sheerest of see-through deceptions.

So true.

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mimi

Azazello's picture

Excellent summary on Ukraine. He could have given George Soros more ink though, Google "Soros, Ukraine" sometime. Lori Wallach was very good on DemocracyNow! today too.

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

joe shikspack's picture

good to see you. i hope that everything is going well out there.

i think that soros is out of his league in ukraine, it is more deeply corrupt than the other countries in the soviet sphere that he and his minion jeffrey sachs plundered in the 1990s, i think that he's pouring money down a rat hole.

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triv33's picture

I was trying to tell my Dad about the long game these bastards have been playing. Ever since Nixon, really. After that there were a whole bunch of them that vowed never again, we will never let it get out of hand like that again, so the proliferation of the think tanks and the working groups and all that jazz began, all they needed was their poster boy, St Ronnie, and they were in business, and they've been in business and doing swell ever since, writing and selling the narrative.

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I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

joe shikspack's picture

it's sad how remarkably effective the bastards have been and how successfully they've managed to bamboozle the public.

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triv33's picture

and on every subject under the sun too. From education to gun control, to co-opting things like MADD, which was a huge starting point in softening up citizens to looking kindly on the loss of their civil rights, to complete regulatory capture...I could go on, and on, and on, but no need.

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I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

mimi's picture

about the vanishing Gullah Geechee Nation. Those laws that govern the inheritance of the land of those Gullah Geechee families and the shenigans to circumvent a sell-out and unfair treatment of the owners, I really would like to learn more about.

And the quote of the day was also very good. Thanks.

Will read the rest later in the night.

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mimi

joe shikspack's picture

the gullah geechee piece was pretty sad. when rich capitalists decide that they want something that you have, come hell or high water they will find a way to take it from you.

on the schadenfreude side, though, climate change may mean that those rich bastards steal all of that land, sink a ton of money into developing it and lose their shirts on a bunch of mansions sinking underwater.

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mimi's picture

makes us smile... :-).

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mimi

tonight in a tough competition among the superb roundup of links by Joe.

I recently learnt that "voodoo" practised by Haitians etc is the world's oldest religion and has deeper meanings. But as usual, colonists degraded it. I got this link from a reliable African source :
http://www.africanholocaust.net/news_ah/vodoo.htm

So no more "voodoo economics" insult.

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joe shikspack's picture

thanks for the link!

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lotlizard's picture

Which, around the time of the collapse of the Soviet system, was also often referred to as the "Washington consensus."

The Western economics religion colonizes and degrades everything and everyone its practitioners target.

Its deeper meanings certainly include a worship of Mammon quite satanic in import, intensity, and effects, though cloaked in a rationalist, materialist guise.

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Happy anniversary!! One year ago today this site went live, congratulations c99p and c99percenters!!

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hecate's picture

the first anniversary was traditionally celebrated with paper, it is now more often marked with a clock.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

joe shikspack's picture

woohoo! happy anniversary to you too! thanks for your hard work and dedication in making this site a reality!

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where the hell did that year go?

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joe shikspack's picture

if it's smart, it went somewhere warm and comfortable where they serve drinks with little umbrellas in them. Smile

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

cozy Juke Joint you have built for us. Thanks for letting me hang out & rant & bitch & moan.

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great to have you here with us!

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

It's about to slow down though, so I can get back in the groove...

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NCTim's picture

I know the busy thing too well.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Crider's picture

Lots of hard work and those Drupal updates . . .

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yeah, those updates, whatta' pain.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

HERE'S WISHING YOU AND ALL C99PERCENTERS A HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

congratulations gif photo: greatjob1.gif greatjob1.gif
[greatjob1.gif#sthash.QUWPShZG.dpuf, anucit17, photobucket]

congratulations gif photo: congrats congratulations.gif
[congrats/congratulations, anucit17, photobucket]

congratulations gif photo: 5.gif 5.gif
[5.gif, anucit17, photobucket]

(Hey, not much in the way of a selection of Photobucket gifs. Sorry, if these are a bit 'tacky.')

Wink

Mollie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi, Joe and Bluesters!

Thanks for the excellent 'blues and news' roundup this evening.

Hope to post a video tomorrow, and maybe a photo of 'Mar'--if Flickr works for me.

Have a wonderful evening, Everyone!

Bye

Mollie
elinkarlsson@WordPress


"The Morning Glory which blooms for a day [sic an hour], differs not at heart from the Giant Pine which lives for a thousand years."
--Zen Poem
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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

thanks for dropping by with the festive, sparkly stuff.

have a great evening!

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you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome!

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JayRaye's picture

Thanks for throwing us an anniversary party!!!

Here's toast wishing us many more to come!

Toast.png

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Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

how you did it, JR, but there's no uprate button on that comment. That's the first time I've seen that happen. Is it like that for everyone else?

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way up at the top of the image, huh.

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JayRaye's picture

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Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Like JtC, almost didn't see the 'uprate' button. IOW, until he pointed it out!

Wink

Have a good one, Everyone!

'M'

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

triv33's picture

I didn't even know about this place a year ago, but I sure am happy I got here~

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I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

we're all glad you made it. I wasn't sure when to call the anniversary, Jan.7 is when I made my account, so that's when the site first came to be. It took a few more weeks after that before it could really be called a blog.

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smiley7's picture

Water is cold

some are bold

some understand

And one works to make sure

bands play on, daily.

Happy Anniversary

a virtual champagne toast,

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my friend and thanks for the great music!

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Pluto's Republic's picture

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

I get on my face when I have to go back to work!

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enhydra lutris's picture

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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 --

it's your anniversary too.

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Reg the Lori Wallach video on TPP : Obomba making fun of critics of TPP (specifically the loss of sovereignty) & the idiotic response from the bamboozled audience - extremely saavy acting. Reminds me time & again why I can't stand listening to him anymore, let alone watch him. I can put up with him as much as I can with Bush.

Interesting info on the Southdale mall in the article on Mall of America. Lolz! at the fact that a socialist started the first shopping mall in USA.

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joe shikspack's picture

he has enough people bamboozled that when he ingratiates the dark corporate overlords, the bamboozled herd thinks he's doing them a favor.

i don't think that people fully appreciate how dangerous to the last vestiges of democracy the increasing privatization of the public square is. malls are a big part of the decline of our democratic culture.

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as supposedly intelligent, polished, able to speak whole sentences and whatever..... i.e more deceptive and hence more dangerous.

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mimi's picture

the word bamboozled comes from. I am kind of disappointed that apparently it has nothing to do with bamboo, though, but found the explanations I found amusing here Bamboozle - The Word Detectivs. From Wiki:

Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel

So, no bamboozling from the bamboo tree about it's bamboo-ish features.

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mimi

fallout. I am excerpting the tidbits I found interesting (emphasis mine):

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/01/the-saudi-war-on-everything-iran-ma...

The Islamic Republic of Iran has such an alternative system and its reintegration into the world after the nuclear deal shows its validity. Some people and Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia might get the idea that they also could also have a system where every vote counts and policies are decided at the ballot box. This without a kleptocratic, dictatorial family and, importantly, without doing away with their core Islamic values. This, not religion , is why the Saudis have fought Iran since its revolution in 1979 and why they try to curb its influence wherever they can.
....
The Houthis the Saudis fight in Yemen are not Shia like the Iranians but are nearer to Sunni Islam than to Iranian 12er Shia.
...
After the killing of al-Nimr some Iranian hardliners organized a mob that stormed and ransacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran. This was an attack on what they see as appeasement policies of the Iranian President Rouhani. It was stupid of the Rouhani administration to not have foreseen such a move and increase protection for the embassy. It is now bending over backwards to apologize for the incident but to no avail.

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JayRaye's picture

on a Labor for Bernie call right now so can't talk much right now, mostly dropped in to give Johnny a great big THANK YOU!

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Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

is your ear feelin' the Bern?

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JayRaye's picture

Labor for Bernie: "We're Ready to Kick Ass for the Working Class"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/01/08/1467192/-Labor-for-Bernie-We-re...

Found out that the Nurses are touring for Bernie in a big Red Bus. I am soooo jealous!!!

The Bernie Bus, National Nurses United.png

Some great pics here:
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23berniebus

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Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

i hope that everything is going as well as possible and you guys are doing ok.

thanks for the libation. this round's on me:

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/Monkey-drives-bus-rams-...

I consider it as an act of animal resistance (US guvmint might call it terrorism) - animals fighting back against human encroachment/occupation/entrapment. I imagine a Monkey in the drivers seat handling the steering wheel etc and it makes me laugh & laugh. Luckily in this case the damage was minimal. And they don't like being spied upon - they damaged CCTV cameras (those terrorist monkeys !) . And that is some serious monkey business IMHO.

Where I grew up, there were (and are) monkeys. They are supra cute to watch, as long as they don't get angry. Once a gang of them "invaded" the neighborhood where my grandma lived - they climbed outdoor pipes, tubing etc and were playing around. Can't remember if they went away on their own or taken away by animal control etc. Another time remember a monkey pulling a very young girl's hair, enough to make her painful & cry.

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

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Reggae....

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

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making a list, checking it twice to find out the nice advocacy/activist groups :

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/01/10-groups-that-dont-flinch-under-...

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Putin biography.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/01/john-helmer-putins-supper-for-the...

Can I recommend the Putin biography “The New Tsar”. Pay no attention to the fact it is favorably reviewed by *Robert Kagan* on the jacket, this is a very detailed and mostly dispassionate retelling of the history of the period and Putin’s rise within it. I think Yeltsin deserves some slack, the Communists really had no clue how capitalism worked, how to write a binding contract, so when the vultures swooped the looting was epic. Putin oberved, and learned, and seems to be trying to find the right balance between Capital and The State.

The post itself is very interesting and it gets better in the comments. NC's readers & c99%-ers cut from the same cloth me thinks.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

NC's [Naked Capitalism] readers & c99%-ers cut from the same cloth me thinks.

There's a certain calm awareness….

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

Wow! "oppressed" women have galvanised the movement against sex trafficking and further, influenced UN laws related to peacemaking ! All those ruling class elites better note - women don't need to be "rescued" by bombing. Reminds me of a book titled "Do muslim women need saving?"

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Leave it to me to get so excited about this Don't Steal OUR LAND petition that I would post it on last night's Evening Blues and not even know it.

And not that you all might be all that excited about it and/or even less excited about the Obama Administration but I sure wanted to show it to you all anyway and just hope we can get come signatures and promotion.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/enforce-all-laws-and-stop-abu...

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Homers24

NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

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joe shikspack's picture

it looks like it's closing in on the threshold for signatures that mean that obama has to respond to it.

i'd like to see the confrontation get settled without bloodshed, but i would also like to see the bundy insurrectionists held legally accountable for their actions.

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Big Al's picture

the Democrats want to send Bundy and his supporters there. They seem to have taken on absolutely everything about the War OF Terror that Bush and Cheney pushed on us with gusto. It's like that Thorogood song, "Ya, now you funny too".

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NCTim's picture

cut the Internet. As soon as they figure out what their cellular data plan is costing, they'll pull up stakes.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Big Al's picture

"Timeline on Replacing the Obama Regime"
I suppose Obama is going to call it "just bringing democracy" to the Syrian people when he explains it to the American sheeple.
It's nothing new but it's just incredible how our government keeps getting away with it. Sometimes when I confront progressives and Dems about it, Syria and Libya, and I get the invariable accusations of being a CT nut (that should be overthrown and put in Guantanamo), I'll point out that even Wikipedia carries the long list of "regime change operations" conducted by the U.S. since WWII. Even that doesn't do it. It's like no amount of evidence can overcome the "la la la" I can't hear you" going off in their head.

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mimi's picture

but I get the little feeling that this is a very cool place and I can learn a lot.

Happy Birthday to all of you. I can only put my head down and stand in the corner, wondering where I am and what the world is all about. I was also overwhelmed with the stuff I read on the other site about the Bundy whatever revolution, err occupation, err sovereign people, err, those guys I never want to meet and get too close, the guys I can not follow and can not understand, they are ga-ga-gone fucktards. I think about all those researchers, who research commentators on the dailykos and here. May the write "nice reports" and do "good statistics" on us.

I learned to be working class only in America. My niece, who came to the US and died here, once said, when she worked at Carnegie Mellon Univ, that it's the first time that she was automatically categorized as lower class, because she was an half orphan and a little too non-white-ish. She was amused. She was never anything of what she was categorized in this country.

I learned to think PoC only in America. I learned that I am glad when I am can forget most of what I witnessed here. And I learned that I am sad for what my son will have to deal with in his life, when I am gone.

Ok, enough of it. Happy Birthday to all of you and a very jolly good night.

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mimi

zum Geburtstag, mimi!

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mimi's picture

... where did you spy on us German tribe? Are you a former Drake assistant spy?

Ok, have to get outta here, otherwise I do believe all the stuff I read here, that would be the end of it. The mind manipulators would have won... Smile

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mimi

enhydra lutris's picture

at leas a month if not more. I wonder what really prompted Brown to act. Sort of like the Ukraine. Suddenly that which has been known for quite some time is being talked about. Why now? What, if anythng, does that presage?

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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

i would assume that brown's belated action is precipitated by a buildup of pressure of some sort. he doesn't seem to be made of teflon, so it's possible that it was citizen pressure that finally forced his hand, but my guess is that there was some sort of need for him to appear to be doing his job so as not to be investigated by the feds for complicity in the lax regulatory climate that allowed this "accident" to occur.

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