The Evening Blues - 6-17-24


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Alfred "Blues King" Harris

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features a fairly obscure blues harmonica player Alfred "Blues King" Harris. Enjoy!

Alfred ''Blues King'' Harris - Sufficient Clothes

"It isn't the oceans which cut us off from the world - it's the American way of looking at things."

-- Henry Miller

News and Opinion

America Crawls Further Into Global Isolation by Backing Gaza Genocide

On June 6, Spain joined South Africa’s case at the United Nations top Court, accusing Israel of genocide.

This move followed a decision by Madrid and two other western European capitals—Dublin and Oslo—to recognize the state of Palestine, thus breaking ranks with a long-established U.S.-led western policy.

As per American thinking, the recognition and the establishment of a Palestinian State should follow a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine, under the auspices of Washington itself.

No such negotiations have taken place in years, and the U.S. has, in fact, shifted its policies on the issue almost entirely under the previous administration of Donald Trump. The latter had recognized as 'legal,' illegal Jewish colonies in Palestine, Israel's sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem, among other concessions.

Several years into the Biden Administration, little has been done to reverse or fundamentally alter the new status quo.

More recently, Washington has done everything in its power to support Israel's ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Aside from supplying Israel with the needed weapons to conduct its crimes in the Strip, the U.S. has gone as far as threatening international legal and political bodies that tried to hold Israel accountable, thus ending the "extermination" of Palestinians in Gaza —a term used on May 20 by the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan.

Washington continues to behave in such a way despite the fact that Israel refuses to concede to a single U.S. demand or expectation regarding peace and negotiations.

Indeed, Israel's political discourse is deeply invested in the language of genocide, while the Israeli military is actively carrying it out.

The West Bank, where the bulk of the Palestinian state would supposedly take shape, is experiencing its own upheaval. Violence there is unprecedented compared to recent decades. Across the West Bank, tens of thousands of illegal settlers are torching homes, cars, and attacking Palestinians with total impunity, in fact, often alongside the Israeli army.

Yet, despite the occasional gentle reprimand and ineffectual sanctions on a few settlers, Washington continues to stand firmly by its declared policy regarding the two states and all the rest. Not a single mainstream Israeli politician, certainly not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government of extremists, is willing to entertain the very thought.

This is not surprising, as America's foreign policy often goes against common sense. Washington, for example, fights losing wars simply because no U.S. administration or president wants to be the one associated with failure, retreat or, worse, defeat. America's longest war in Afghanistan is a case in point.

Due to the massive influence wielded by Israel, its allies on Capitol Hill, in the media, along with the power of lobbies and wealthy donors, Tel Aviv is clearly far more consequential to U.S. domestic policies than Kabul. Thus, the continued U.S. military and political support of a country that is being accused of genocide and extermination.

This reality, however, has created a political dilemma for Europe, which has often blindly followed U.S. steps—or missteps—in the Middle East.

Historically, there have been a few exceptions to the post-WWII rule. French President Jacques Chirac defied U.S.-imposed consensus when he strongly rejected Washington's policies in Iraq in the lead-up to the 2003 war.

Such important, but relatively isolated fissures were eventually repaired, where the U.S. returned to its role as the uncontested leader of the West.

Gaza, however, is becoming a major breaking point. The initial western unity in support of Israel, immediately after the October 7 events, has splintered, eventually leaving the U.S. and, to some extent, Germany, committed to the Israeli war.

The strong, more recent stances by several western European countries accusing Israel of genocide and joining forces with countries in the Global South with the aim of holding Israel accountable, is a major shift unseen in many years.

It could be argued that the extent of Israeli crimes in Gaza has exceeded the moral threshold that some European countries could tolerate. But there is more to this.

The actual answer lies in the issue of legitimacy. Western leaders are not shying away in phrasing their language as such. In a recent piece, speaking on behalf of the ‘group of elders,’ former president of Ireland Mary Robinson warned against the “collapse of international order”.

“We oppose any attempts to de-legitimize” the work of the ICC and ICJ, through “threats of punitive measures and sanctions.”

The Elders’ opposition, however, made no difference. On June 5, the U.S. House of Representatives passed resolution H.R.8282 aimed at authorizing sanctions on the ICC.

References to the collapse of the legitimacy of the West-established international order have also been made by many others in recent months, including by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In his statement on requesting arrest warrants for accused Israeli war criminals, Karim Khan himself made that reference.

For some in the west, the issue is not just about the Gaza genocide. It is also about the future of the west itself.

For a long time, Washington has succeeded, at least in the eyes of its allies, in keeping the balance between the collective interests of the West and a nominal respect for international institutions.

It is now clear that the U.S. is no longer capable of maintaining that balancing act, forcing some western countries into adopting independent political positions, the future outcomes of which shall prove consequential.

UNICEF Decries Israel's "War on Children" as Starvation & Deaths Mount in Gaza

Netanyahu reportedly criticises military tactical pause in Gaza amid divisions with IDF

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly criticised plans announced by the military to hold daily tactical pauses in fighting along one of the main roads into Gaza to facilitate the delivery of aid. On Sunday the military announced a daily pause that would begin in the Rafah area at 8am and remain in effect until 7pm along the main Salah al-Din road, to allow aid trucks to transit between the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel, adding that the pause would take place every day until further notice.

“When the prime minister heard the reports of an 11-hour humanitarian pause in the morning, he turned to his military secretary and made it clear that this was unacceptable to him,” an unnamed Israeli official told media late on Sunday. The official said Netanyahu received assurances that “there is no change” in the military’s policy and “fighting in Rafah continues as planned”.

Israeli television stations later quoted Netanyahu as criticising the military, saying: “We have a country with an army, not an army with a country.”

The military clarified that normal operations would continue in Rafah, the main focus of its operation in southern Gaza, where eight soldiers were killed on Saturday. However the reaction from Netanyahu underlined political tensions over the issue of aid coming into Gaza, where international organisations have warned of a growing humanitarian crisis. ...

The spat is the latest in a series of clashes between members of the coalition and the military over the conduct of the war, now in its ninth month, and comes a week after centrist former general Benny Gantz quit the government, accusing Netanyahu of having no effective strategy in Gaza.

Joe Biden has no red lines on Israeli violence

Israeli Politician Quotes Hitler to Argue for Resettlement of Gaza

Former Israeli Knesset member Moshe Feiglin quoted Adolf Hitler as he called for Israel to resettle the Gaza Strip and create a "Hebrew Gaza."

Feiglin, who quit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party to found the right-wing Zehut Party and plans to challenge Likud in Israel's next elections, made the comments during a panel discussion on Israel's Channel 12 that was shared on social media on Sunday, as Middle East Eye reported.

"We are not guests in our country, this is our country, all of it..." Feiglin said, adding, "As Hitler said, 'I cannot live if one Jew is left.' We can't live here if one 'Islamo-Nazi' remains in Gaza."

Feiglin's remarks earned widespread condemnation on social media.

"In what kind of society can one openly advocate policies modeled on Hitler's conduct?" asked Trita Parsi, the executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. "In a society that feels complete impunity due to America's protection."

Former Greek Finance Minister and leader of the pan-European leftist political party DiEM25 Yanis Varoufakis wrote that "the evidence of genocidal intentions is mounting" and asked, "When will the ICC [International Criminal Court] act?" ...

This is not the first time that Feiglin, who served in the Knesset from 2013 to 2015, has called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

"We need a different prime minister who is willing to stick his neck out to win. Zehut will provide, whenever elections happen, such a candidate," he told supporters in January, according to Middle East Eye. "For us, the war in Gaza is not merely a defensive war. It's a war of liberation, the liberation of the land from its occupiers."

In an October 2023 interview with Al Jazeera, he also advocated for the "complete destruction of Gaza, before invading it... Destruction like Dresden and Hiroshima, without a nuclear weapon."

Zehut's 2019 platform included the cancellation of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, according toHaaretz.

"Don't talk to me about international law, because there is not such a thing. You know, the minute you use the word 'Palestinian,' you stop saying the truth. Because there is no Palestinian nation, and they know it," Feiglin said that same year.

Other currently governing Israeli politicians have also called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said in January that the Israeli government should "encourage the migration" of Palestinians out of Gaza.

Later the same month, Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich attended a right-wing conference calling for the "resettlement" of Gaza.


Israel Hurls Fireballs at Farmland in Southern Lebanon

Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon have already seriously damaged area farmland, and now it appears the situation is getting worse and less incidental.  Footage shows Israel using a literal trebuchet to launch fireballs across the border at farms, setting serious fires.

Trebuchets are a rotating arm variety of catapult, and were commonly used in the Middle Ages as a weapon for siege warfare. It isn’t clear why Israel’s military has such weapons in this day and age, as they fell out of favor in the 15th century.

Biden Says There Will Be No Gaza Ceasefire Deal Soon

President Biden said on Thursday that he doesn’t expect a Gaza ceasefire deal to be reached anytime soon as the Israeli slaughter and starvation of Palestinians continues.

According to The Associated Press, Biden was asked at the Group of Seven summit if he thought a truce deal would be reached soon. He simply replied, “No,” and added that he still hasn’t “lost hope.”

His comments came a few days after Hamas responded to the ceasefire proposal that President Biden publicly outlined on May 31. The Times of Israel reported that the main sticking point is that Hamas wants Israel to commit to a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal from Gaza up front.

The initial proposal involved a first phase with a six-week ceasefire, and during that time, a permanent truce would be negotiated and then implemented in the second phase. Israeli officials thought the language was vague enough that Israel and Hamas could enter the first phase without Israel actually committing to a permanent ceasefire.

We’ve Seen This “Antisemitism Crisis On The Left” Script Before

It sure is a crazy coincidence how western politicians and media always start urgently telling us about an invisible epidemic of left wing antisemitism every time western military ties to Israel are subjected to widespread public scrutiny.

It’s getting bad, and it will likely get worse.

The mass media are filling up with op-eds and cable news segments about how antisemitic leftist anti-genocide protesters are becoming.

Instagram progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently hosted two virulent Zionists in a livestream where the three spent their time concern trolling about the rise of antisemitism in left-wing activist circles.

Whoever runs Joe Biden’s presidential Twitter account for him is tweeting about “horrific acts of Antisemitism” by demonstrators, citing four incidents which were demonstrably not in the least bit antisemitic.

These same false claims about antisemitic activity by protesters are being used by US officials like House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to push through the “Countering Antisemitism Act”, a bill which would give the White House new powers to “counter the spread of antisemitism online” (read: government internet censorship to promote US and Israeli information interests).

And it’s so important that people who are new to this understand we’ve already seen this “crisis of antisemitism on the left” song and dance before; they ran the exact same script a few years ago in the UK to kill the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, who supports Palestinian rights. It’s the exact same bad faith concern trolling op where the whole political-media class suddenly starts pretending to believe something that is transparently ridiculous in order to protect an agenda of the empire.

It’s also important that everyone understand that every part of this is 100 percent cynical manipulation. The people pushing this narrative are fully aware that it is false. Everyone knew Jeremy Corbyn was a lifelong anti-racist who didn’t have an antisemitic bone in his body. Everyone knew there was no crisis of antisemitism in the Labour Party. But they pretended to believe otherwise because they didn’t want to see socialism and anti-imperialism gain a political foothold in the UK. The same thing is happening in the US and throughout the west right now regarding protests against the genocide in Gaza.

So when you see people aggressively rejecting the concern trolls on this issue, that’s why. They’ve seen this schtick before, and they know how politically devastating it can be. They’ve seen how it can be used to suck all the oxygen away from real discourse about real things and funnel it all into this insanely vapid, idiotic conversation about a problem that exists nowhere outside the imaginations of the people talking about it. It’s a deeply evil, disgusting thing to do, especially now in 2024 when it’s being done to facilitate an active genocide.

There is no crisis of antisemitism on the left. It is not happening. The people pushing this narrative know it is not happening. Even the claim that anti-semitic incidents overall are on the rise is highly dubious, given that the figure everyone always cites for this claim comes from the Anti-Defamation League, who after October 7 began categorizing pro-Palestine rallies as antisemitic incidents — including rallies organized and attended by Jewish groups.

People get into left-wing politics exactly because they oppose racism and injustice. Nobody who actually understands the pro-Palestine movement sincerely believes all these peaceniks and commies have suddenly morphed into Jew-hating Nazis in contradiction of their entire worldview. They might pretend to believe this is a real thing that is actually happening in order to advance a political agenda, but they won’t actually believe it.

There’s plenty of hatred for Jews to be found on the extreme right, where the ideological inability to acknowledge capitalism and western imperialism as the source of today’s ills leaves a void for blame that will be filled by anything from Jews to immigrants to Satanic pedophile cabals to drag queens. But it’s always the lefties who get the overwhelming brunt of the antisemitism accusations, because their pro-peace, pro-justice, anti-colonialist, anti-racist activism makes them an obstacle to the information interests of Israel and the murderous empire which supports it.

We saw it with Corbyn, and we’re seeing it again today.

DIRE WARNING From US Navy On Houthi War

G7 Nations Spend 62 Times More on Military Than Humanitarian Aid

Despite historic levels of forced displacement due to armed conflict, Group of Seven member countries have increased their military expenditures to record highs while they slash spending on humanitarian aid for people affected by wars that these powerful nations often started or stoked, an analysis published Friday revealed.

According to Birmingham, England-based Islamic Relief Worldwide, military spending by G7 members Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—which wrapped up Friday in Puglia, Italy—rose to $1.2 trillion last year, the overwhelming bulk of that amount attributable to the U.S.' $886.3 billion Pentagon budget.

That's a 7.3% increase over 2022 levels, and 62 times what those countries spent on all humanitarian aid in response to wars and disasters.

"From Gaza to Sudan, Ukraine to Myanmar, we see millions of lives destroyed by war," Islamic Relief head of global advocacy Shahin Ashraf said in a statement. "The humanitarian needs today are greater than ever before, so it's scandalous that many wealthy G7 nations are cutting aid while spending more than ever before on weapons."

It's not just the G7. According to this year's Stockholm International Peace Research Institute annual analysis, global military spending increased 6.8% to a record $2.4 trillion in 2023.

"Too many governments are putting far more resources towards acquiring weapons of war than helping those suffering the deadly impacts of conflict," Ashraf asserted. "More must be invested in eradicating poverty and fostering peace and development, not fueling war and destruction."

Islamic Relief Worldwide said:

While some of the discussions at the G7 summit focus on restricting immigration into rich developed nations, most people displaced by conflict remain in war-torn countries and impoverished neighbouring countries. After more than a year of brutal war, Sudan is now the world's biggest displacement crisis with over 10 million people—about a quarter of the population—now forced from their homes. The vast majority of people fleeing the violence in Sudan remain in the country, with many receiving aid from local communities, youth groups, and mosques.

"As rich nations increasingly shut their borders and cut aid, in places like Sudan it is heartening to see the generosity of some of the world's poorest communities taking displaced people into their homes and sharing their food and water with them," said Ashraf. "But they need more international support, especially from the wealthiest countries."

Another analysis published ahead of the G7 summit by Oxfam International revealed that just 3% of the seven countries' 2023 military expenditures would be enough to "help end world hunger and solve the debt crisis in the Global South."

Macronism 'DEAD' As New World TAKES Over

Alastair Crooke: Europe In Mutiny

Israel has fallen into Hamas trap in Gaza war, says Giorgia Meloni at G7

Israel is falling into a trap laid by Hamas in its war in Gaza, Giorgia Meloni said at a press conference closing the G7 summit in Bari that affirmed her role as a leading figure in Europe. The Italian prime minister also stated that the EU will not directly contribute to a $50bn loan to Ukraine agreed by the G7 leaders.

And she underlined her status by declaring that she will start talks on Monday about the allocation of top jobs in the EU on the basis that Europe has to accept the verdict of the people reflected in the results of last week’s European parliament elections.

Meloni was one of the few European incumbents to do well in the elections. She said: “If we want to draw from the vote the indication that everything was fine it is a distorted reading. The citizens want pragmatism, a less ideological approach.” ...

In some respects her remarks about Israel falling into a trap set by Hamas were the most surprising. Although she stressed it was necessary to remember the attacks on women and children on 7 October, “it seems that Israel has fallen into a trap, a Hamas trap that had the aim of isolating it, and it seems to be working. We are working on its security,” she added.

But she is understood to believe that Israel should be willing to accept the peace plan set out by President Biden that seeks to create a permanent ceasefire on the basis of a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Arundhati Roy Faces Anti-Terror Prosecution in India as Modi Expands Crackdown on Critics

India: author Arundhati Roy to be prosecuted over 2010 Kashmir remarks

Indian authorities have granted permission for the prosecution of the Booker prize-winning Indian novelist Arundhati Roy over comments she made about Kashmir at an event in 2010. The top official in the Delhi administration, VK Saxena, gave the go-ahead for legal action against Roy, whose novel The God of Small Things won the Booker prize in 1997, under anti-terrorism legislation, alongside a former university professor, Sheikh Showkat Hussain.

The action against Roy and Hussain, a former professor at the Central University of Kashmir, is over allegedly making provocative speeches, the Press Trust of India reports, citing officials from Saxena’s office. ...

While Roy, 62, is one of India’s most famous living authors, her activism and outspoken criticism of Modi’s government, including over laws targeting minorities, have made her a polarising figure in India.

Friday’s development follows the news that Saxena had last October given approval for the case to proceed before the courts – more than a decade on from when a criminal complaint against Roy and several others was originally filed. The complaint concerned Roy’s comment that the disputed territory of Kashmir was not an “integral” part of India, and accused her and others of giving speeches advocating the secession of Kashmir from India. ...

The decision to prosecute was denounced by the Communist party of India (Marxist), which said in a statement: “Condemnable. The Delhi LG has granted permission to prosecute Arundhati Roy under the draconian UAPA [Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act] for a speech reportedly made 14 years ago – in 2010. Defies logic except the fascist kind. Timing is suspect since courts are on vacation, as are lawyers.”

US sanctions China via Russia. EU agrees to cover $50B loan

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: Putin's Offer of Peace

Putin Makes Public Peace Offer to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out four conditions for Ukraine that he said would lead to an immediate ceasefire and, ultimately, an end to the conflict. According to the Kremlin, Kiev’s neutral, non-aligned, non-nuclear status and the lifting of all Western sanctions are necessary conditions for ending the conflict.

In a speech to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday, Putin said that if Ukraine withdraws its forces from the four regions annexed by Moscow – Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson – then he would order a halt to operations and begin negotiations to end the war.

As well as recognizing Russia’s territorial claims to the formerly Ukrainian regions, Putin demanded that Kiev never join NATO or obtain nuclear weapons and called for an end to Western sanctions on Moscow. ...

Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak quickly rejected the Russian offer in a post on X. “There are no new ‘peace proposals’ from Russia.

Judges Named for Assange Appeal

The judges in Julian Assange’s two-day appeal hearing on July 9-10 are the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month: his right to appeal the Home Office’s extradition order to the United States.

Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp granted Assange the right to appeal on only two of nine requested grounds, but they are significant:

1). his extradition was incompatible with his free speech rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights; and 2.) that he might be prejudiced because of his nationality (not being given 1st Amendment protection as a non-American).

However the denial of his rights in an American courtroom would go beyond the First Amendment to all of his U.S. constitutional rights, according to the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International Inc., which says that a non-U.S. citizen acting outside the U.S. has no constitutional protections at all.

The United States was unable to provide assurances that the European equivalent of his constitutional rights would be protected, required under British extradition law. That raises hopes for Assange in his appeal.

the horse race

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Video clips of Biden wandering around in confusion are coming out with pretty much every public appearance he makes these days. And I think it’s important to keep repeating that the takeaway here is not “This man isn’t mentally competent enough to run the United States”, it’s “The president doesn’t run the United States”.

The way the empire has continued to trudge onward completely unimpeded by the fact that it has a dementia patient for a president proves conclusively that the official elected government doesn’t actually run things, which means the behavior of the US government is in no way responsive to the will of the electorate.

The one thing that’s certain about the US presidential election is that the US empire will roll on completely unchanged and uninterrupted regardless of who wins. In effect all arguments about who Americans should vote for is really an argument about what outcome will make you feel better while you pretend that you live in a democracy and that your vote made a difference. You may as well be arguing about which prayers you should pray over what actions your government will take, or which magic spells you should cast to determine the decisions US policymakers will make.

It’s a ritual they let you participate in to let you feel like you have some control over the behavior of a power structure they’ll never actually let you control the behavior of, and I place emphasis on the word “feel” here. That’s why the whole electoral race is always so emotion-laden; it’s not about actual actions and policies, it’s about feelings. It’s a security blanket they let you hold onto while you suck your thumb and passively watch the empire do what it’s going to do regardless of who wins. They just let you vote on whether that security blanket should be red or blue.

This Is What A REAL Biden Campaign Commercial Would Look Like!

Democrat Khanna: Biden is ‘running out of time’ with young voters over Gaza war

Progressive California Democrat Ro Khanna warned Sunday that Joe Biden is running out of time to win over young voters opposed to his administration’s handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict and that he will not attend Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress next month.

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Representative Khanna said the erosion of support that the US president is seeing among young voters is a “challenge for our party” and the Democrats could be “running out of time” to restore support with “more people dying” in the conflict.

“We have to remember the humanitarian stakes,” he said. “Young people want the war to end. But what young people want is a vision, and the president started that with a ceasefire. I hope he can go further. He should call for two states. He should say in his second term, he’s going to convene a peace conference in the Middle East, recognize a Palestinian state without Hamas, work with Egypt, Saudi Arabia on it.”

Khanna said he was “not going to sit in a one-way lecture” from the Israeli prime minister during his address to a joint session of Congress, scheduled for 24 July, but “if he wants to come to speak to members of Congress about how to end the war and release hostages, I would be fine doing that.”

the evening greens

Wildlife experts urge action on pesticides as UK insect populations plummet

The UK’s insect populations are declining at alarming rates and the next government must put in place plans to monitor and reduce the use and toxicity of pesticides before it is too late, wildlife experts say.

In recent years, concerns have been raised over earthworm populations, which have fallen by a third in the past 25 years. A citizen science project that monitors flying insects in the UK, meanwhile, found a 60% decline between 2004 and 2021. The overall trajectory, as government monitoring figures show, has been downwards since the 1970s.

Yet despite the evidence of the harmful effect of pesticides on our insect population, governmental action has been slow, and experts are concerned that the UK is failing to monitor pesticide use correctly. “There is an almost complete lack of effective monitoring of pesticide use in UK agriculture,” said Nick Mole, the policy officer at Pesticide Action Network UK. “What little we do have is incomplete, out of date and on such a broad scale as to be virtually meaningless.

“The UK urgently needs a publicly accessible record of all pesticides used on farms across the UK, that is presented within six months of application and shown at farm level or, at a minimum, by river catchment. We should also have access to pesticide sales data, information which is currently concealed beneath the cloak of commercial confidentiality. Without accurate data, it is impossible to properly assess the impact of pesticides or to make effective decisions. Right now we are legislating in the dark.”

The Conservative government was due to publish the National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP) in 2018, which would have laid out targets and plans for pesticide reduction and monitoring. But six years later it has still not materialised.

Wisconsin Republicans block PFAS cleanup until polluters are granted immunity

Wisconsin Republicans are withholding $125m designated for cleanup of widespread PFAS contamination in drinking water and have said they will only release the funds in exchange for immunity for polluters.

The move is part of a broader effort by Republicans in the state to steal power from the Democratic governor, Tony Evers, the funding’s supporters say, alleging such “political games” are putting residents’ health at risk.

“People really feel like they’re being held hostage,” said Lee Donahue, mayor of Campbell, which is part of the La Crosse metropolitan area and has drinking water contaminated with astronomical levels of PFAS. “It’s ridiculous, and some would argue that it’s criminal, that they are withholding money from communities in dire need of clean drinking water.” ...

The Environmental Protection Agency this year established limits for several of the most common PFAS, including levels at four parts per trillion (ppt) for the most dangerous. PFAS are contaminating water for more than 350,000 Wisconsin public water system users, often at levels far exceeding the limits. Many more private wells have contaminated water. In Madison, the state capital, levels in water sources were found as high as 180,000ppt.

In Campbell, where more than 500 wells have tested positive for PFAS at levels up to thousands of times above federal limits, many suspect high rates of cancer and other serious ailments that have plagued the town’s residents stem from the dangerous chemicals.

California wildfire forces 1,200 people to evacuate and burns over 16 sq miles

A wildfire that forced the evacuation of at least 1,200 people in southern California has burned more than 16 sq miles, officials said Sunday.

The blaze, named the Post Fire, started Saturday and was burning near the Interstate 5 freeway in Gorman, about 62 miles (100km) north-west of Los Angeles, according to the California department of forestry and fire protection.

California state park services evacuated 1,200 people from the Hungry Valley recreation area in Gorman and both Hungry Valley and the Pyramid Lake reservoir were closed as a result of the fire threat, the Los Angeles county fire department said.

The flames broke out at around 1.45pm, authorities said. The cause isn’t known.

US braces for ‘dangerous’ conditions as heatwave to hit midwest and north-east

Millions of Americans are facing “dangerously hot conditions”, the National Weather Service said, with a heatwave set to hit the midwest and north-east US from Monday.

Michigan, Ohio and western Pennsylvania were all under heat warnings starting Monday, with alerts in place until Friday evening. Meteorologists warned that the heat will spread east through the week, with a “heat dome” expected to trap high temperatures across New York, Washington DC and Boston.

The warnings come as states in the south were experiencing higher than usual temperatures on Sunday. Phoenix, in Arizona, was under a heat warning, with temperatures expected to reach 110F (43C), while officials in Atlanta, Georgia, opened a cooling center over the weekend as temperatures reached 100F.

The NWS said an excessive heat watch will be in place over north-east Indiana, western Pennsylvania and most of Michigan and Ohio from Monday. It warned people to expect “dangerously hot conditions”, with heat index values of 100F (38C) or higher likely.

Also of Interest

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

The Dangerous ‘Anti-Semitism Awareness’ Act

“I Ain’t Reading All That; Free Palestine”

Full text of Hamas reply to Israel's Gaza ceasefire proposal

Around 50 men detained from Gaza released by Israel with visible signs of torture

‘He died in my arms': Videos emerge of released Palestinian prisoners recalling detention conditions

Videos show Israeli soldiers executing Gaza civilians in Rafah 'safe zone'

Bloat and 'Bigotry': Six Democrats Join With House GOP to Pass $833 Billion Pentagon Budget

Labour sends activists to 13 seats where it fears losing Muslim voters over Gaza

‘Crime is out of hand’: how young people turned to far right in east German city

Diana Johnstone: D-Day 2024

Western Officials and Press Starting to Acknowledge Impact of Russian Electric War on Ukraine

Putin's Full Speech: BRICS, NATO Expansion and Ukraine Peace Talk Conditions

Democrats Suing Jill Stein To Get Her Off The Nevada Ballot & Media Shocked Voters Want 3rd Parties

Israel's state terror strategy: Max Blumenthal and Ilan Pappe

A Little Night Music

Alfred ''Blues King'' Harris - My Life Blues

Alfred ' The Blues King ' Harris - Blues And Trouble

"Blues King" Harris - Blues King Mango (Mambo)

Alfred ''Blues King'' Harris - Miss Darling

Alfred ' The Blues King ' Harris - Sundown Boogie Blues

"Blues King" Harris - I Need You Pretty Baby For My Own

Alfred Harris - Great Lakes Boogie

Alfred ''Blues King'' Harris - Miss Ida

Alfred "Blues King" Harris - Remember Me

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soryang's picture

This excerpt is from a great essay published today in Hankyoreh by a German Korean Studies professor:

Why Korea shouldn’t welcome Japan’s newly beefed up defense cooperation with US

In 2023, the South Korean government agreed with Japan to go forward with a third-party compensation plan for Korean victims of forced labor during the Japanese occupation. The plan was a bold diplomatic move, as it stated that compensation to the victims of forced labor would be given through a fund financed by South Korean companies rather than Japanese enterprises implicated in war crimes.

German students are often puzzled when they see headlines in international media that read, “South Korea is paying reparations for Japan’s war crimes from its own pocket.”

In this context, let’s examine the current administration’s “glass half-full” approach to foreign policy when it comes to Japan. The logic is that if South Korea extends an olive branch by filling the glass halfway, then Japan is sure to respond by filling the other half. Thanks to this strategy, Japan has continued the historical revisionism of its school textbooks. It has maintained its distortions of history while preserving current UNESCO World Heritage site registrations related to the Japanese persecution of Korea. What’s more, Japan keeps applying for new ones. Japan has also continued its public memorial ceremonies for convicted war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine, all while continuing to assert its claims over the islets of Dokdo.

There have been no gestures or goodwill or any indications of those to come. In short, Japan has not filled the rest of the glass. Maybe it’s contributed a few drops of water, but Tokyo has mostly just spit into the glass. What’s most surprising of all is the Yoon administration’s willingness to run interference for Japan over the ocean dumping of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, state pressure regarding Naver’s stake in the Line messaging service, and Japan’s continued distortion of history. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs-published overview of relations with Japan even goes so far as to justify Japan’s distortions of history.

Gee I wonder why Americans are pretty much blind to this behavior by Japan? Actually the professionals in the blob aren't, that's why sometimes one observes headlines like the one below from Bloomberg. Don't have access to the article itself. "Locking in" the tri-lateral partnership ASAP is because no one knows how long the obsequious pro-Japanese Yoon will last in office. I suppose Trump may be regarded as another wildcard. Kim Jong-tae, a political analyst in South Korea good on defense matters and international affairs, commented yesterday in one video, that it seemed as if US strategic presence was lately becoming somewhat shakier in South Korea, perhaps because of overcommitted military resources in Ukraine and the Middle East.

US, South Korea, Japan to Lock In Security Ties Before Inauguration

South Korea defense minister said deal to be signed this year
Shin says North Korea had trouble with Russia’s rocket tech

The byline is Shin's way to frame the 2+2 talks with China. The second to frame the upcoming Kim-Putin summit.

Thanks for the EBs Joe. Especially liked the Breaking Points video about the US carrier strike group operations in the Red Sea. Not sure that one can simply operate the naval forces offshore and eliminate the threat from Yemen to commercial shipping, or the naval forces themselves. The advances in, and the increased access to improved missile and to a lesser extent drone tech is a kind of "equalizer" as it were. Without an overwhelming commitment of military resources, it looks to be a whackamole type operation. It, like the Ukraine conflict, has ominous implications for the illusion of "no boots on ground" warfare.

Andy Boreham a NZ ex-patriot who pretty much exclusively reports on China has been placed on the Ukraine "kill list." I wonder if there is someone who monitors who is monitoring this site.

5 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


yep, it looks like the u.s. lackey yoon has the same problem that neocons in the u.s. have, which is to "lock in" their policies such that if the public, sick and tired of their wars and economic destruction, kicks them to the curb, their policies can continue and be difficult for successors to undo.

i thought that video about the houthis was interesting, too. i would imagine that if the u.s. and uk keep moving up the escalation ladder, sooner or later the houthis technology will improve and the eisenhower will be toast.

i would imagine that the ukronazis scrape the whole internet looking for enemies, though i would guess that we here are kind of small potatoes, hence, not worth their attention.

2 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


Want a dawg and a beer at the ballpark? Don’t bet on paying cash for it.

The parasites are squeezing us so hard soon America's motto will be home of the turnips.

3 users have voted.

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

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


you've got to wonder what happened to "this note is legal tender for all debts public and private."

3 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Monday is rapidly fading, now 4 days of everyday craziness, the Friday news dump and 2 days of weekend craziness. The question is, how many Biden appearances will be included?

I was just remembering how, not that long ago, we were told that the US (and NATO??) had redesigned its military to fight irregulars, terrorists, revolutionaries and guerillas and hence the Rus are having their way with out europroxy. Hokay, seems sensible. So, given our razor like focus on irregulars, terrorists, revolutionaries and guerillas, how exakly are the Houthis making fools out of us? Somebody seems to have got us thinking whether to play chess or checkers on a go board.

be well have a good one

3 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

as it turns out our militaries were reconfigured to be an excuse for the purchase of ever increasing numbers of impossibly expensive, ridiculously complex and often poorly functioning weapons from military weapons suppliers whose only interest is enormous profits.

6 users have voted.

had some drama tonight with booking a vacation, so the Max Blumenthal video will be my morning Coffee entertainment. If you can call describing facts and figures of genocide such.
Had some drama at work. Seems the local district attorney will help me prosecute a local attorney for attaching my signature approval for a document I did not approve, instead of the body document I did approve. Hence, tampering with a government document. She just stuck my signature on her document I would never, ever approve.
That's a felony. Bitch.
Thanks for your comment in the eyo thread. Eyo approves your signature.
Thanks for the ev, joe. Always. Always, my friend.

6 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

This may someday be considered THE DEFINITIVE paper on the nature of Morgoth:

3 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!