The Evening Blues - 2-2-22


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

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues, r&b, rock and soul saxophonist King Curtis. Enjoy!

King Curtis & The Kingpins - Memphis Soul Stew" (live)

“So long and thanks for all the fish.”

-- Douglas Adams

News and Opinion

Extreme heat in oceans ‘passed point of no return’ in 2014

Extreme heat in the world’s oceans passed the “point of no return” in 2014 and has become the new normal, according to research. Scientists analysed sea surface temperatures over the last 150 years, which have risen because of global heating. They found that extreme temperatures occurring just 2% of the time a century ago have occurred at least 50% of the time across the global ocean since 2014.

In some hotspots, extreme temperatures occur 90% of the time, severely affecting wildlife. More than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean, which plays a critical role in maintaining a stable climate.

“By using this measure of extremes, we’ve shown that climate change is not something that is uncertain and may happen in the distant future – it’s something that is a historical fact and has occurred already,” said Kyle Van Houtan, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, US, and one of the research team. “Extreme climate change is here, it’s in the ocean, and the ocean underpins all life on Earth.”

Van Houtan and his colleague Kisei Tanaka are ecologists and began the study because they wanted to assess how heat extremes were related to the loss of kelp forests off the coast of California. ... Van Houtan and Tanaka found no measure of extreme heat existed and so extended their work globally. The study, published in the Plos Climate journal, examined the monthly temperature in each one-degree-by-one-degree part of the ocean and set the highest temperature in the 50-year period as the benchmark for extreme heat.

The scientists then examined temperature records from 1920 to 2019, the most recent year available. They found that by 2014, more than 50% of the monthly records across the entire ocean had surpassed the once-in-50–years extreme heat benchmark. The researchers called the year when the percentage passed 50% and did not fall back below it in subsequent years the “point of no return”. By 2019, the proportion of the global ocean suffering extreme heat was 57%.

Putin accuses US of ignoring Russian security concerns

Vladimir Putin has accused the US of ignoring Russia’s security proposals in his first public comments on the growing crisis over Ukraine since December.

During a press conference at the Kremlin, Putin told journalists he was unsatisfied with the US response to Russian demands that Nato remove troops and infrastructure from eastern Europe and agree never to accept Ukraine into the alliance. “It’s already clear … that Russia’s principal concerns were ignored,” Putin said after talks with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

In emotional remarks, Putin also said the west was using Ukraine as a “tool to hinder Russia” and hypothesised that Ukraine’s entrance into Nato could lead to a conflict over Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. Putin said he was ready to continue negotiations with the west, which has said it is ready for dialogue but views Moscow’s demands as a non-starter. ...

His next move remains unpredictable. Joe Biden has said that he believes Putin has not decided whether or not to launch an attack but that he expects that he will “move in”. ...

According to the Russian foreign ministry, Lavrov told Blinken that “instead of escalating aggressive rhetoric and pumping up the Ukrainian armed forces with various types of weapons, to use US influence on the Ukrainian authorities to force them to fully implement the Minsk agreements,” a 2015 peace agreement that appears close to collapse.

Ukraine crisis: Leaked letter reveals US offered Moscow arms control

What Has Been Asserted Without Evidence May Be Dismissed Without Evidence

We’re being bashed in the face with western propaganda about the Ukraine situation with increasing forcefulness. Every day now we’re seeing things like “analysts” claiming Putin definitely wants a large-scale war, very familiar-looking puff pieces about Ukrainian guerrilla freedom fighters based on claims by anonymous intelligence sources, think pieces on why Americans should all care about Ukrainian freedom from Kremlin tyranny, and, of course, a lot of entirely unsubstantiated assertions about what Russia is doing.

Despite the British government’s evidence-free claim that Russia was planning to install a puppet regime in Ukraine being debunked within hours and then shown to be a US intelligence claim dishonestly packaged as a British one days later, mass media outlets still to this day repeat the allegation like it’s a real thing. Despite the entirely unevidenced US government claim that Russia was plotting to stage a false flag attack in eastern Ukraine failing to prove true in subsequent weeks, US Senator Bob Menendez went on CNN over the weekend and declared that this false flag which never actually, physically happened was grounds to sanction Russia effective immediately.

The US political/media class is just saying whatever it wants about what Russia is doing and planning to do with no regard for facts or evidence. Nothing is too cartoonishly hysterical; in fact the more clickbaity and attention-grabbing the better. They feel free to scattergun these outlandish claims willy nilly all over our information ecosystem because five years of Russia hysteria have taught them that they will suffer exactly zero professional consequences when they are proven wrong, and that they will in fact see their stars rise as a reward for advancing the interests of the US empire.

So they’re just churning out all these plot hole-riddled stories about hordes of Russian troops being on the verge of a full-scale Ukraine invasion with complete indifference to what’s actually happening and the reality on the ground. And people are lapping it right up. My social media notifications are full of people calling me a Kremlin operative for disputing the official line about Russia and Ukraine as this barrage of mass-scale psychological manipulation washes over our entire civilization.

It’s interesting how in all the talk about “media literacy” over the last few years and the push to teach the public to distinguish between real news and fake news, the overwhelming majority of the mainstream public has remained blissfully unaware that it’s actually bad practice to swallow unevidenced assertions by western government officials about countries the US doesn’t like. Despite this government’s extensive and thoroughly documented history of lying to us about exactly this sort of thing over and over again for generation after generation, it’s still considered perfectly normal and acceptable to just deep throat whatever it tells us to believe without the slightest twinge of gag reflex.

So this is just a quick, friendly reminder while all this Ukraine stuff is happening that the burden of proof is always on the party making the claim, and that any claim that has been presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. This applies to individuals, and it most certainly applies to untrustworthy governments as well.

The epistemological razor “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” is generally attributed to Christopher Hitchens, who ironically has a rather significant history of failing to follow his own advice when it comes to claims made by western government agencies. But that’s precisely when it is most important to take Hitchens’s razor to heart: not when you’re arguing with someone about whether or not God exists, but when a very consequential claim is being made by the most powerful people on our planet.

Anything that’s been asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. It’s true of arguments, it’s true of government claims, and it’s especially true of claims coming from governments that we know for a fact make false claims all the time.

What this means is that a simple “Nah” is all that’s required whenever you’re presented with these claims, or if you’re feeling particularly generous a “Proof or it didn’t happen.” If anyone objects to your low-energy dismissal of their parroting claims by western governments, simply tell them that what has been put forward without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. They might want you to try to prove their position wrong, but that ain’t how the burden of proof works, buttercup.

Hitchens’s razor. It slices. It dices. It wins arguments. It keeps the news man from turning your brain into clam chowder. Use it, and use it often.

International Support Grows for Mexico's Lawsuit Against US Gun-Makers

In a big boost to the Mexican government's historic federal lawsuit against American gun-makers, 13 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, two countries, a coalition of attorneys general, and numerous advocacy groups on Monday filed or joined amicus briefs supporting Mexico's litigation, which seeks to hold weapons manufacturers accountable for the violence they facilitate. reports attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon joined an amicus brief filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey urging a federal court in Boston to deny the gun-makers' motions to dismiss the suit

"States and cities have the right to protect residents with reasonable gun laws—and federal law doesn't shield companies from complying," Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine, a Democrat, tweeted Tuesday.

The Trace reports Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, principal legal adviser of Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: "I feel very encouraged because this means that what we are doing as a government is worth doing. We are confirming that the missing link in this whole equation of illicit trafficking is the gun companies. And I think that's recognized on both sides of the border."

According to

A separate brief filed by Ellen Leonida, a partner at BraunHagey & Borden, on behalf of a coalition of U.S. district attorneys asserts that U.S. cities have been negatively impacted by the guns trafficked into Mexico, saying those weapons end up on U.S. streets alongside vast quantities of illicit drugs. Leonida also linked the weapons trafficking to rising homicides and overdose deaths in the U.S.

Signees to that amicus brief include Melinda Katz, district attorney for Queens County, New York, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

"The defendant gun manufacturers send guns to Mexico, where transnational drug cartels use them to inflict violence on both sides of the border," Boudin said in a statement. "These gun manufacturers are empowering the drug traffickers flooding our streets with fentanyl and methamphetamines."

Reuters reports that the countries of Belize as well as Antigua and Barbuda on Monday filed separate briefs urging the court to deny the defendants' motions to dismiss the suit, arguing that U.S. gun-makers "must not be permitted to hold hostage the law-abiding citizens of an entire region of the world."

Various U.S. gun violence prevention groups—including Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Global Exchange, March for Our Lives, Newtown Action Alliance, and the Violence Policy Center—also on Monday filed an amicus brief in support of Mexico's litigation.

"As this case shows, the impact of irresponsible gun industry practices can have devastating effects on communities—whether in the U.S. or abroad," Alla Lefkowitz, senior director of affirmative litigation at Everytown Law, said in a statement. "The gun industry has refused to accept that it has a critical role to play in preventing gun violence. No industry should be able to operate with impunity, and we'll continue to fight on every front to hold reckless actors in the industry accountable for the harm they cause."

Last August, Mexico sued companies including Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Beretta USA, Colt's Manufacturing Co., Glock, and Sturm, Ruger & Co., seeking as much as $10 billion in compensation after linking more than 17,000 of the nation's 34,648 homicides in 2019 to weapons trafficked from the United States.

"Almost all guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico—70% to 90% of them—were trafficked from the U.S.," the lawsuit states, adding that it seeks to "put an end to the massive damage that the defendants cause by actively facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico."

According to Reuters:

The companies have argued Mexico has failed to establish its harms were attributable to them and that a U.S. law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, protected gun-makers from lawsuits over their products' misuse.

Mexico's lawyers in a filing on Monday countered that the law only precludes lawsuits over injuries that occur in the United States and would not shield the companies from allegations over the trafficking of guns to Mexican criminals.

"The enormous and militarized U.S. gun market has accelerated violence in Mexico, which in turn has forced migrants to seek asylum in the United States," John Lindsay-Poland, coordinator of the Stop U.S. Arms to Mexico project at Global Exchange, said in a statement.

"Criminal organizations in Mexico make profits based on territory they control, for which they use U.S.-sourced, military-grade weapons," he added. "The assault and sniper rifles aggressively marketed by the gun company defendants provide a perfect supply for such violence. Global Exchange stands with those seeking to change the U.S. weapons industry's practices."

Amnesty International calls Israel’s actions against Palestinians apartheid

Amnesty International has joined other leading human rights groups in stating that Israel’s “system of oppression and domination” over the Palestinians amounts to the international definition of apartheid.

The report immediately prompted fury among Israeli politicians who called for it to be withdrawn. Among them was Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, who rejected the report as “divorced from reality”, saying: “Amnesty quotes lies spread by terrorist organisations.”

Lapid also accused Amnesty of antisemitism. “I hate to use the argument that if Israel were not a Jewish state, nobody in Amnesty would dare argue against it, but in this case, there is no other possibility,” Lapid said.

The report was welcomed, however, by the Palestinian Authority, which said it hoped it would open the way to prosecution of Israel at the international criminal court. “The state of Palestine welcomes the report by Amnesty International on Israel’s apartheid regime and racist policies and practices against the Palestinian people,” the authority’s foreign affairs ministry said.

Amnesty called on “the USA, the European Union and its member states and the UK, but also those states that are in the process of strengthening their ties – such as some Arab and African states [to] recognise that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid and other international crimes”.

NSO offered US mobile security firm ‘bags of cash’, whistleblower claims

A whistleblower has alleged that an executive at NSO Group offered a US-based mobile security company “bags of cash” in exchange for access to a global signalling network used to track individuals through their mobile phone, according to a complaint that was made to the US Department of Justice.

The allegation, which dates back to 2017 and was made by a former mobile security executive named Gary Miller, was disclosed to federal authorities and to the US congressman Ted Lieu, who said he conducted his own due diligence on the claim and found it “highly disturbing”. Details of the allegation by Miller were then sent in a letter by Lieu to the Department of Justice. “The privacy implications to Americans and national security implications to America of NSO Group accessing mobile operator signalling networks are vast and alarming,” Lieu wrote in his letter. ...

In 2017, Gary Miller – the whistleblower who agreed to be interviewed by the Guardian, the Washington Post, and Forbidden Stories – was working for a company called Mobileum, which designed, developed and sold software to protect the decades-old SS7 network, a global messaging system used for legitimate purposes by mobile phone companies, but can also be used to track mobile users’ physical location.

Miller was asked to lead a web voice call that he alleged in records provided to authorities was attended by NSO executives Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie, two of the group’s co-founders. NSO, Miller said, was interested in learning more about Mobileum’s access to hundreds of mobile networks around the world. Specifically, Miller has alleged the NSO executives wanted to discuss how gaining access to the mobile networks would allow NSO to “enhance the capabilities of their surveillance software”. ...

As the meeting progressed, Miller alleged, a member of his own company’s leadership at Mobileum asked what NSO believed the “business model” was of working with Mobileum, since Mobileum did not sell access to the global signalling networks as a product. According to Miller, and a written disclosure he later made to federal authorities, the response allegedly made by Lavie was “we drop bags of cash at your office”.

Israeli police find ‘legally debatable’ use of spyware by investigators

Israel’s national police force has found evidence pointing to improper use of spyware by its own investigators to snoop on Israeli citizens’ phones.

The announcement on Tuesday came two weeks after an Israeli newspaper reported a string of allegations that the police had used the NSO Group’s Pegasus software to surveil protesters, politicians and criminal suspects without authorisation from a judge.

The report caused outrage in Israel and prompted the attorney general and lawmakers to launch investigations.

Last month, police said a preliminary internal investigation had found no evidence of misuse of the controversial spyware. But on Tuesday, the police said a secondary inspection “found additional evidence that changes certain aspects of the state of affairs”. The statement made no mention of NSO, indicating that surveillance products developed by other Israeli firms might be under scrutiny. The company had no comment.

The force’s deputy chief of investigations and intelligence, Yoav Telem, told a parliamentary oversight committee that the inspection had found “anomalies” that meant the legality of some of the police’s information collection was debatable.

Snowden Slams Ongoing Impunity for NSA's Domestic Spying

Exiled U.S. whistleblower and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Tuesday called out years of impunity for the NSA violating Americans' civil liberties and privacy rights.

Snowden's tweet came in response to CNN reporting that the NSA "failed to follow both court-approved and internal procedures designed to prevent officials from using a controversial foreign surveillance law to inappropriately monitor Americans' communications."

The revelations related to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) came in a new semi-annual government watchdog report to Congress. Snowden highlighted that such failures at the NSA are part of a long trend of abuse.

"This has happened year after year since the program began," said Snowden, who has lived in Russia since exposing U.S. government mass surveillance in 2013. Asked by one Twitter user about the penalties for the agency's conduct, he added that "there aren't any."

The controversial law, which enables the U.S. government to collect communications of foreigners located outside the United States without warrants, "broadly prohibits the intelligence community and law enforcement from targeting U.S. persons," CNN explained. However, a loophole allows for warrantless searches of "702-gathered information for Americans' records if 'a query is reasonably likely to return foreign intelligence information.'"

Privacy advocates have long called on Congress to close this "backdoor search" loophole. More than two dozen groups wrote to lawmakers last summer that "ending this unconstitutional practice is imperative to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance does not swallow Americans' privacy rights."

Lt. Gov John Fetterman BLOWS AWAY Establishment Dem Conor Lamb In New PA Senate Poll With 30pt Lead

Data Highlights 'Egregious' Pandemic Profiteering by US Food and Oil Giants

A new analysis released Tuesday ahead of a congressional hearing on pandemic-era price gouging shows that U.S. corporations in the food and energy sectors—from Tyson to Exxon Mobil—are pushing higher costs onto consumers while raking in ever-increasing revenues and handing executives massive pay packages.

Conducted by the advocacy group Food & Water Watch (FWW), the analysis spotlights the fact that skyrocketing food and energy—specifically gasoline—prices have been major contributors to the overall rise of inflation in the U.S. Between December 2019 and December 2021, the nation's Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped by 8.5%.

According to FWW, overall energy costs rose 20% over that period while the price per gallon of unleaded gasoline increased by 31.7%.

Meanwhile, FWW found, "the cost to feed a family of four on a 'thrifty' food plan has increased by 33.5%," driven by the rising prices of ground beef (+19.2%), bacon (+31.7%), chicken breasts (+19.7%), milk (+17.4%), and eggs (+16.5%).

The analysis emphasizes that such "egregious" price increases come as leading corporations in the U.S. food and energy sectors are reporting growing revenues and huge profits. Tyson Foods—the second-largest chicken, beef, and pork processor in the world—has seen its revenue grow 11% above pre-pandemic levels.

The corporation also rewarded its top executives with higher pay in 2021 even as it raised prices for consumers, blaming supply chain issues.

Amanda Starbuck, research director at Food & Water Watch, argued in a statement Tuesday that "companies are hiding behind the pandemic and supply chain disruptions as an excuse to gouge consumers."

"In reality, 2021 revenues among the largest food and energy corporations topped pre-pandemic levels," said Starbuck. "Many companies have subsequently fattened executive compensation while worker wages have stagnated or even dropped."

FWW's analysis was published on the eve of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday titled, "Pandemic Profiteers: Legislation to Stop Corporate Price Gouging."

One of the witnesses set to testify at the hearing is Groundwork Collaborative chief economist Rakeen Mabud, who on Monday co-authored an article in The American Prospect arguing that recent product shortages and price hikes were "brought to life through bad public policy coupled with decades of corporate greed."

"We spent a half-century allowing business executives and financiers to take control of our supply chains, enabled by leaders in both parties," wrote Mabud and David Dayen, the Prospect's executive editor. "They all hailed the transformation, cheering the advances of globalization, the efficient network that would free us from want. Motivated by greed and dismissive of the public interest, they didn't mention that their invention was supremely ill-equipped to handle inevitable supply bottlenecks."

"And the pandemic exposed this hidden risk," they added, "like a domino bringing down a system primed to topple."

Mabud is expected to reiterate that conclusion before lawmakers at Wednesday's House hearing. According to her prepared testimony, Mabud will contend that "big corporations have taken advantage of shifting demand to raise prices on essentials like Covid tests, masks, and hand sanitizer, all to generate record profits."

"Our economy works best when it works for all of us, but deeply entrenched concentrated corporate power has systematically stripped down supply chains and undermined consumers’ bargaining power," Mabud plans to say. "The path towards an inclusive, resilient economy must include policies that foster competitive markets where consumers, working people, and smaller competitors all have meaningful bargaining power."

Liberal Justice Breyer ENTRENCHES Monopoly Power, Serves the Obscenely Rich w/ Matt Stoller

Vice Media secretly organised $20m Saudi government festival

When social media influencers turned up at the Azimuth music festival in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert they were promised a festival of musical and gastronomic excess, all subsidised by an arm of the Saudi government.

What attendees did not know was that the pricey music festival was secretly organised by youth media company Vice, as part of the media company’s ongoing push to make money in the Middle Eastern state despite the country’s poor human rights record.

Just three years after Vice publicly announced that it was pausing all work in Saudi Arabia due to the fallout from the state-ordered murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi, insiders at Vice told the Guardian the company was once again aggressively pursuing business opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

“Vice employees have for years raised concerns over the company’s involvement with Saudi Arabia – and we’ve been fobbed off with empty statements and pathetic excuses,” said one Vice employee.

Although the Azimuth music festival received little publicity in the western media when it took place at the start of the Covid pandemic, it is believed to be have been highly lucrative for Vice. Staff at the company estimate the total budget was $20m (£15m).

Leaked messages reveal New York Times’ aggressive anti-union strategy

Internal documents and Slack messages obtained by the Guardian reveal senior executives at the New York Times are heavily leaning on workers to vote no in a union election for more than 600 tech employees.

Meredith Kopit Levien, the chief executive of the New York Times Company, wrote a memo on 19 January circulated to staff titled “Why a Tech Union Isn’t Right for Us” on the tech workers’ union election at XFun, the group within the New York Times responsible for product development operations. “In short, we don’t believe unionizing in XFun is the right move. But that’s not because I’m anti-union,” said Kopit Levien. In the memo, Kopit Levien cited the origin of the XFun group and its growth, and attributed any disconnect workers might be feeling to working apart during the pandemic. She also cited Wirecutter’s union as a warning sign for unionization.

Workers at Wirecutter walked out on Black Friday weekend in late November and called on the public to boycott the publication, in protest of unfair labor practices and alleging that the New York Times was bargaining in bad faith. Shortly after the walkout, an agreement was reached between the union and Times management.

Kopit Levien said in the memo: “It took Wirecutter two years to reach an agreement with the NewsGuild. And the result of those prolonged Wirecutter negotiations was a set of terms that are, in most ways, what the rest of the company already enjoys. This was two years of uncertainty and discord to negotiate terms that were largely in line with what they and their non-union colleagues already had in place. ...

On 5 January, the NLRB filed a complaint against the Times, ruling the company violated federal labor law by telling some employees they could not show support for tech workers seeking to unionize.

the horse race

Trump tore up records turned over to House Capitol attack committee

Some of the White House records turned over to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack were ripped up by Donald Trump, the National Archives said. It also emerged on Tuesday that the former president thinks his own vice-president, Mike Pence, should be investigated by the committee, for failing to reject electoral college results on the fateful day.

Documents obtained by the January 6 panel include diaries, schedules, handwritten notes, speeches and remarks. The supreme court rejected Trump’s attempt to stop the National Archives turning them over to Congress. In a statement, the Archives said: “Some of the Trump presidential records received by the National Archives and Records Administration included paper records that had been torn up by former president Trump. ...

In a surprise statement on Tuesday, Trump said he thought Pence should also be subject to the committee’s attentions. His vice-president, he said, should be investigated because he “did not send back the votes for recertification or approval, in that it has now been shown that he clearly had the right to do so!” ...

Regarding the torn-up White House materials turned over to the committee, Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor, told the Washington Post destroying White House documents “could be a crime under several statutes that make it a crime to destroy government property if that was the intent of the defendant.

Ryan Grim: Possible Ballot HARVESTING Video Goes Viral, 2/3 GOP Still Believe '20 Election Was Fraud

the evening greens

Kyrsten Sinema courted Republican fossil fuel donors with filibuster stance

With a crucial vote pending over filibuster rules that would have made strong voting rights legislation feasible, Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema flew into Houston, Texas, for a fundraiser that drew dozens of fossil fuel chieftains, including Continental Resources chairman Harold Hamm and ConocoPhillips chief executive Ryan Lance.

The event was held on 18 January at the upmarket River Oaks Country Club. One executive told the Guardian that Sinema spoke for about half an hour and informed a mostly Republican crowd that they could “rest assured” she would not back any changes with filibuster rules, reiterating a stance she took several days before during a Senate speech. The Arizona senator also addressed some energy industry issues according to the executive, who added that overall he was “tremendously impressed”. ...

The Houston gusher of fossil fuel donations for Sinema from many stalwart Republican donors underscores how pivotal she has become, along with West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin, in an evenly divided Senate involving high-stakes battles for Republican and fossil fuel interests. ...

“Sinema isn’t up for re-election this year, but she’s fundraising full-tilt,” Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of OpenSecrets, told the Guardian. “By her comment to oil-industry attendees last week, she clearly knew her vote to protect the filibuster would please them.”

Texas braced for new freeze as major storm forecast to sweep across US

A major winter storm is expected to affect a huge swath of the US from Tuesday, with heavy snow starting in the Rockies and freezing rain as far south as Texas before snow and ice come to the midwest.

The forecast comes nearly a year after a catastrophic winter storm devastated the Texas power grid, causing hundreds of deaths.

The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, planned a briefing on Tuesday on state preparations, though the forecast this week does not call for prolonged, widespread frigid temperatures as seen in February 2021.

Winter storm watches and warnings covered a wide swath of the US from El Paso, Texas, and through the midwest and parts of the north-east to Burlington, Vermont.

The storm follows a vicious nor’easter that brought blizzard conditions to many parts of the east coast on Saturday.

Also of Interest

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

Ukraine: Guides to Reflection

Ukraine’s Security Chief: Kyiv Shouldn’t Be Forced to Fulfill Minsk Agreements

US and European Officials Unhappy With Ukraine’s Zelensky

100+ Anti-War Groups Demand Biden End Brinkmanship With Russia

Boeing Says Ukraine Tensions Creating 'Adverse Climate' for Business

New Questions Emerge: Is the New York Fed Working for the American People or the Wall Street Banks that Own It?

DOJ Will Not Reopen Tamir Rice Case

Poor People's Campaign Denounces Dems' Push for Means-Tested Child Tax Credit

Neoliberalism Was Born in Chile. Now It Will Die There

The US state that fought back after Republicans tried to rig its elections

Like a bully in the schoolyard, Fox News sets its sights on the anti-work movement

New 5-Minute Video Summarizes Joe Manchin's 'Brazen' Corruption

Holocaust Graphic Novelist Art Spiegelman on "Maus" & Wave of Book Bans Sweeping U.S.

Soros Calls for Removal of China's President Xi

Kim Iversen: Whoopi Goldberg Gets A Dose Of Her Own Cancel Culture Medicine

A Little Night Music

King Curtis - Instant Groove

King Curtis - Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay

King Curtis & Champion Jack Dupree - Everything's Gonna Be Alright

King Curtis - Harlem Nocturne

King Curtis - Hot Potato

King Curtis - Jeep's Blues

King Curtis - In The Midnight Hour

King Curtis - Soul Serenade

King Curtis & The Kingpins - Cook-Out

King Curtis - Lazy Soul

King Curtis - Hide Away

King Curtis - Home Cookin

16 users have voted.


mimi's picture

best stew I ever ate. Fantastic music.

Good Evening, Bluezeers. I wish that the winter and snow conditions - all over the country (midwest?) - will not destroy your spirits. Be well all. Those weather condition too will pass.

With some faith and hope it will melt.

Good Night. Have the best one you can have.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yep, spring will come eventually and we'll still be consuming that memphis soul stew. thank goodness.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

A wet chilly day here, but no ice nor snow expected as much of the country is targeted.

The lead piece on ocean warming needs to be better promoted. No, it is business as usual as the coral dies and ecosystems collapse. year after announcing a halt to any new federal oil and gas leasing, Biden has outpaced Donald Trump in issuing drilling permits on public lands. After setting a record for the largest offshore lease sale last year in the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Department plans to auction off oil and gas drilling rights on more than 200,000 acres across Western states by the end of March, followed by 1 million acres in the Cook Inlet, off the coast of Alaska.

After the world's largest iceberg snapped off of the Antarctic Peninsula in July 2017, it drifted north on a three-year death march, shedding an unfathomable amount of meltwater into the sea. Now, a new study of the doomed iceberg (named A68a) reveals just how much water the infamous mega-berg actually lost — and how that could impact the local ecosystem for generations to come.

As always thanks for the news and the blues!

10 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


it's too bad that the lead piece probably won't make much of a splash (no pun intended) right now as our attention is being focused on making war and other profit-driven processes.

it would be helpful if more people were aware that it's later than they think.

have a great evening!

2 users have voted.

her routine.

12 users have voted.


so that all just goes down the rabbit hole?
Guess it's somewhat more truthful than saying
well, we didn't mean it when it was said only once
over a week ago. F*ing liars.
Who believes this crap?

7 users have voted.

@QMS About when Iran would have the Bomb.

Some of us never bought in to this particular Fear Diversion.

Fear Sells.

The actual earth-shaking news is the Truckers holding the Police Forces at bay in Canada. That is a tremble that might morph into an earthquake.

Which explains why so few outlets are covering this.

8 users have voted.


@humphrey What a gigantic S***Show.

4 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


i guess they can't just come out and say that their plans thus far have failed and they can't get the imminent thing working.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

"If I listened long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied
Straight-faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe"

11 users have voted.

@Shahryar @Shahryar

8 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


heh, yeah, they sing it in the shower, but never in public.

have a great evening!

3 users have voted.

Once again, Thank you for the news and forum where we can all continue our Nightly ruminations.

6 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


good to see you, happy ruminating!

2 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

I got some stuff to add tonight.
Fearing Corruption Charges, Honduran Defense Minister Requests Asylum From Biden
Kim Iversen with a balanced treatment of the situation in Xinjiang.
[video: width:500 height:300]
When they're all saying the same thing, in the same words ...
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8 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the article and the vids!

i guess we'll see if the biden people take care of their doers of dirty deeds down south of the border. i certainly hope that the new honduran administration fully examines the coup and the obama administration's role (especially hillary clinton's) in it bringing charges where warranted.

have a great evening!

4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Tons of well wishes and good luck for all our Texans, who face not only extreme weather but likely power outages and profiteering that is beyond extreme.

As to the companies engaging in so-called "extreme profiteering", that is called "Capitalism" and as her Nanciness once said, "This is a Capitalist Country, Live With It." Another word for it is "A Free Market". It always bothers me to see the primary characteristic of our inherently corrupt economy described in these negative terms, as if it could and could result in anything else. Fergawsakes, it is what it is, and it is built upon extreme profiteering.

Meanwhile I'm not sure if it was snark or what but Soros was referenced with the word "Liberal" in the same report in which the contents of a talk he gave at The Hoover Institute were disclosed. Liberals do not address the Hoover Institute, they don't want to and they aren't allowed to. Hell, they aren't even allowed on the grounds if it is known that they harbor liberal sentiments. The most moderate types to ever speak there are the likes of Wolfowitz and Sleeza Rice. If Soros did speak there it is akin to his coming out of the closet for the few who didn't know what he was.

Interestingly enough, Memphis Soul Stew was almost included in my Feb. 7 OT (his birthday), but I went with Soul Serenade instead, after listening to both several times, based on its rarity.

be well and have a good one

8 users have voted.

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

hopefully the texans will be spared the severity of the previous storm system. the weather guy that i listen to on youtube seems to think that this one will at least be shorter-lived than the previous one.

yeah, i thought i heard the fellow on rt describe soros as a manifestation of "the left," which of course made me chuckle, since there is no organized left in the u.s. - it has been demolished by years of government and private sector cooperation. soros is just another right-wing ghoul.

have a good one!

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I didn’t think she said anything wrong because of some bad thoughts against Jews, but that she was misinformed on her views on what happened. I too think that there should have been an open discussion on what she said, but I’m betting most of the reason behind her punishment came from the people who always pounce whenever someone talks about Jewish people. Might not be explaining this right, but we know any criticism of Israel is called anti semantic whether it is or not.

I do not like the Whoopi of today as I liked her past self, but I think the punishment was unwarranted. It’s just a character, but I liked her when she was Guianan from Star Trek. Now if only she will rethink her views on censorship.



Gee what a surprise from Biden.

I won’t say what I’m thinking, but I doubt I’m alone in thinking it.

11 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture


heh, well, i missed goldberg's original remarks on the view, but i've heard some rehashes of them. if i understand her statement, i disagree with her, but i don't think that she should be kicked out of polite company for simply being wrong. on the other hand, the irony of someone who (as i understand it) has been in favor of censoring people for holding unpopular viewpoints getting shut down for this is not lost and i do hope that she will have an epiphany on the matter.

biden. what a piece of crap.

5 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

13 users have voted.

I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley


2 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


what's the point of her fixing australia if once it's fixed, the u.s. steps in again and removes the government?

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


same column:

It can't rightly be called anti-US bias if your criticisms of the US are unassailably correct. You simply cannot dispute the fact that no other government is doing anything that rises anywhere near the level of depravity as spending the 21st century killing millions of human beings in wars of aggression. It's not that I have some arbitrary grudge against the United States and frame all my positions on every issue to fit that bias, it's that the US really is quantifiably and demonstrably the most tyrannical government on earth by an extremely wide margin and thus naturally tends to be in the wrong.

She has somewhat often said similar things in the past. Not to mention that vastly more people idealize and idolize the US than do Australia.

be well and have a good one

7 users have voted.

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


yep, pretty on target.


4 users have voted.

See you tomorrow.

6 users have voted.