The Evening Blues - 9-26-17



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features delta blues singer and songwriter Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Enjoy!



Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Greyhound Bus Blues

“Looks like what drives me crazy
Don't have no effect on you--
But I'm gonna keep on at it
Till it drives you crazy, too.”

-- Langston Hughes


News and Opinion


North Korea Is the Most Predictable Regime on Earth. The Real Threat Is the Erratic U.S. Government.

The nuclear shouting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un often seems like a maddening version of whack-a-crazy-mole, in which an unhinged comment by one of them is hastily followed by a lunatic retort from the other. Trump calls Kim “rocket man,” Kim calls Trump a “dotard,” Trump tweets that Kim “won’t be around much longer,” and on and on it goes.

This raises a serious question: Which of these awesomely flawed men is the most volatile and dangerous? The trail to an answer begins with an article that Evan Osnos wrote for the New Yorker about his recent journey to totalitarian North Korea. His “Letter from Pyongyang” reached 14,000 words and was praised as a marvel of reporting that revealed the stark yet impenetrable contours of the world’s most famous nuclear-armed nightmare. ...

I was based in South Korea for the Washington Post in the late 1980s and got lucky when I applied for a North Korean visa. The headline for a front-page story I wrote from there 28 years ago could have worked for Osnos’s article: “North Korea Maintains Orwellian System.” I do not mean to criticize anyone’s reporting – there is little room for narrative imagination when you are fed the same gruel that everyone else has been fed for a half century.

Indeed, if you are a regular reader of Western reporting from North Korea, you notice a pattern that is so unerring it nearly screams at you. For an excruciatingly long stretch of time, the North Korean regime has been saying the same thing (sometimes crazy-sounding) and acting the same way (sometimes firing missiles or detonating nuclear devices) and generally doing a bang-up job of going to the brink but never over it. North Korea has had just three leaders in its entire existence: Kim Il-sung, then his son, Kim Jong-il, then his son, Kim Jong-un. It’s crucial to understand that rather than being a wild card, North Korea is perhaps the most predictable regime in the world; they are not the X-factor in today’s unnerving game.

North Korea’s Rational Nuclear Strategy

The “insanity” label that America attaches to North Korea has a lot of political utility. First, it colors the interpretation of everything North Korea does. The consideration of a rational motivation for undesirable actions can be prevented: the actions are assumed to be crazy. Secondly, it makes the target of blame clear. Thirdly, and most importantly, it justifies the claim that rational discussion and diplomacy are pointless and misguided. Since the regime is irrational, it is incapable of listening to reason: the only approach that works is threats, military action and regime change.

There is a long American history of calling opponents crazy. ... More than half a century ago, the insanity strategy was honed by the British and the Americans in Iran. They colorfully painted the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadeq, their target of regime change at the time, as mad, both to blame him for a political crisis and to justify the need to replace him. Publicly, the media and the politicians created a collage of lunatic adjectives to paint Mossadeq as mad. ... But they were being disingenuous. Privately, their recollections of him belied the propaganda. Sam Falle, a British foreign office expert on Iran, said years later that Mossadeq was “a sincere and honest politician.” Falle said, “He was non-violent and . . . people loved him, and saw him as a sort of Iranian Mahatma Gandhi.” Falle called Mossadeq “brilliant.” In other words, Western politicians depicted Mossadeq as the Mad Hatter in public while recognizing him as Gandhi in private. ...

More than half a century later, the same strategy is being applied to Kim Jong Un. Is Kim crazy? I don’t know. But the question in its general sense is irrelevant to American foreign policy. The North Korean leader’s sanity is only relevant in the particular area that affects his governance and foreign policy. Or, in this case, it is only really relevant in so far as it affects his nuclear weapons program and policy. And, as with Mossadeq, government pronouncements and the public diagnosis don’t align with private statements by more knowledgeable people. Siegfried Hecker, the last American to inspect North Korea’s nuclear facilities, said “[s]ome like to depict Kim as being crazy. . . . He’s not crazy and he’s not suicidal. And he’s not even unpredictable.”

William J. Perry, the former Secretary of Defense who negotiated for President Clinton with North Korea, says, “But they are not crazy, as some people believe. North Korea is a pariah state and nearly alone in the world, but there is logic to the actions of its leadership. Fundamental to that logic is an overriding commitment to keeping their regime in power, to sustain the Kim dynasty.” ... So, what is the logic to which William Perry refers? It is the logic of deterrence: ironically, a logic you adopt when you don’t believe your opponent will listen to reason. It is a logic unfortunately reinforced by the hard, historical lessons learned by Iraq and Libya when they abandoned their nuclear weapons programs. ...

So tightly does North Korea hold to the logic of their nuclear program that Siegfried Hecker calls North Korean nuclear policy predictable. The policy is predictable because it is proportional. If America threatens North Korea with nuclear destruction — as it did in the 2002 nuclear posture review, as it did when it simulated nuclear bombing attacks and as it did when Trump threatened it with total destruction — then the deterrent response will be a nuclear weapons program. Since the threat isn’t diminishing, the deterrent isn’t diminishing. But, if the threat diminished, then there could be a proportionate diminution of the deterrent. On two occasions, in 2014 and 2015, North Korea offered to freeze its testing of missiles if the U.S. froze the threatening joint military exercises it holds with South Korea. On both occasions, the U.S. rejected that offer. ... The historical pattern reveals, not the insanity of North Korean nuclear weapons program, but a very predictable logic. The insanity label may serve a utilitarian purpose by readying the American people for war, but it does not serve the truth, and it does not serve the higher priority of freezing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and preserving peace on the Korean peninsula.

Mad Man vs. Rocket Man: North Korea Crisis Hits Fever Pitch



White House denies North Korea’s ‘absurd’ war claim

The White House moved to calm simmering tensions with North Korea Monday, calling Pyongyang’s claim that Donald Trump had declared war via Twitter “absurd.”

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the U.S. had “not declared war,” despite claims from Pyongyang to the contrary following the president’s Sunday tweet.

“Frankly the suggestion of that is absurd,” she added, offering a more measured tone than her boss – who last week decried North Korea’s leader as a “madman.”

Kurdistan supervisors begin counting votes in independence referendum

Voting stations set up on Monday for the referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq closed their doors at 7:00 p.m (1600 GMT) and vote counting has started, the supervising body said. ...

Seventy-eight percent of the 5.2 million eligible voters turned out to vote, Erbil-based Rudaw TV said, citing the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission.

Iraq’s parliament votes to deploy troops to Kirkuk, areas disputed with KRG

Iraq's parliament voted Monday to deploy military troops to oil-rich Kirkuk and other disputed areas with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as the controversial independence referendum is underway.

A written statement by the speaker's office said that the decision aims to protect the safety of citizens located in areas contested between Baghdad and Irbil.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also issued an order to security forces to protect all Iraqi nationals in the KRG from threats and violence.

Meanwhile the parliament also voted in favor of a motion addressing the KRG to hand over oil fields to the central government and suspending public servants who cast votes in the referendum.

Turkey: Erdogan threatens to cut oil pipeline, food supply due to Kurdish referendum



'We have the tap': Turkey's Erdogan threatens oil flow from Iraq's Kurdish area

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, intensifying pressure on the Kurdish autonomous region over its independence referendum.

Erdogan spoke shortly after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara could take punitive measures involving borders and air space against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over the referendum and would not recognize the outcome. ...

Erdogan, grappling with a long-standing Kurdish insurgency in Turkey’s southeast, which borders northern Iraq, said the “separatist” referendum was unacceptable and economic, trade and security counter-measures would be taken.

He stopped short of saying Turkey had decided to close off the oil flow. Hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day come through the pipeline in Turkey from northern Iraq, but he made clear the option was on the table.

“After this, let’s see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it,” he said in a speech. “We have the tap. The moment we close the tap, then it’s done.”

Spanish Officials Declare Catalonia Referendum ‘Discredited’

Two senior Spanish officials quoted anonymously in the media have declared the planned October 1 referendum in Catalonia totally discredited, saying it is “game over” and no one will take the vote seriously anyhow.

The officials cited seized ballot papers and claimed Catalonia doesn’t have sufficient election material left. They did say that officials may ultimately decide to allow a “mock vote” to take place, but it won’t count.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis accused the Catalans of being Nazis for even trying to vote, declaring “referendums are a weapon of choice of dictators.”

Mini-nukes: The attempted resurrection of a terrible idea

The Trump administration is considering plans to produce modern mini-nukes, a move that, as Politico reports, “would give military commanders more options but could also make the use of atomic arms more likely.” The Politico article takes a fairly standard approach to the issue; it quotes unnamed administration sources who support a move to build small nukes and a balancing set of sources opposed to the move. Both sides provide their reasoning. As a result, the piece is a prime example of false balance and a real misrepresentation of reality. The argument against a new generation of small nuclear weapons—an unnecessary, expensive, and strategically insupportable move that would greatly increase the likelihood of worldwide thermonuclear war—is overwhelming.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Jim Doyle’s analysis of the Defense Science Board report that was the genesis of the effort to resurrect “a rapid, tailored nuclear option for limited use” now being considered as part of a Nuclear Posture Review President Trump ordered in April. A former longtime technical staffer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Doyle clearly lays out all the reasons why new tactical nukes make so little sense, and why their use is so likely to lead to escalation to full-scale nuclear war that “beginning in 1977, NATO began to drastically reduce its inventory of ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons to the minimum number necessary for deterrence.”

Activist Found Guilty of Terror-Related Crime for Refusing to Disclose Passwords to U.K. Police

A judge in a London court on Monday found activist Muhammad Rabbani guilty of a terrorism offense because he refused to turn over his passwords to police during a border search.

Rabbani, the 36-year-old international director of British advocacy group Cage, was arrested in November at London’s Heathrow Airport. Police had demanded he provide his phone and laptop passwords during an “examination” that was carried out under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, a broad power authorities can use to interrogate and detain people in border areas without requiring any suspicion of wrongdoing.

Rabbani said he could not provide access to his devices because they contained confidential information, provided to him by one of Cage’s clients, about alleged acts of U.S. torture. The group, which was founded in 2003 to raise awareness about the plight of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, was planning to use the information in a pending lawsuit against the U.S. government.

At the end of a quick one-day trial, Judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates Court ruled that Rabbani had willfully obstructed police when he declined to hand over his passwords. Rabbani avoided a possible three-month jail term and was instead handed a 12-month conditional discharge and told he must pay court costs of £620 ($835). This means a Terrorism Act offense will be recorded on his criminal record. But as long as he does not re-offend within the 12-month period, no further action will be taken against him.

Rabbani said in a statement after the verdict that the judgment highlighted the “absurdity of the Schedule 7 law” and called for it to be reformed. “If privacy and confidentiality are crimes, then the law stands condemned,” he said. “They accept that at no point was I under suspicion, and that ultimately this was a matter of having been profiled at a port. … Schedule 7 actively discriminates, and this will hopefully be the start of a number of legal challenges as more people take courage to come forward.”

How to Win a War on Drugs

Decades ago, the United States and Portugal both struggled with illicit drugs and took decisive action — in diametrically opposite directions. The U.S. cracked down vigorously, spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users. In contrast, Portugal undertook a monumental experiment: It decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001, even heroin and cocaine, and unleashed a major public health campaign to tackle addiction. Ever since in Portugal, drug addiction has been treated more as a medical challenge than as a criminal justice issue.

After more than 15 years, it’s clear which approach worked better. The United States drug policy failed spectacularly, with about as many Americans dying last year of overdoses — around 64,000 — as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined.

In contrast, Portugal may be winning the war on drugs — by ending it. Today, the Health Ministry estimates that only about 25,000 Portuguese use heroin, down from 100,000 when the policy began.

The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 percent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark — and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.

Senate Republicans Plan to Sneakily Gut Major Consumer Protection Rule

In the middle of a consequential week for the future of American health care, Senate Republicans are hoping to sneak through a controversial nullification of a key rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Republican leaders are whipping to secure the votes to overturn a rule CFPB finalized in July, which would protect financial companies from class-action lawsuits and deny consumers a day in court. The rule is among the most consequential actions the CFPB has taken since its founding.

An added wrinkle here: Executives for both Wells Fargo and Equifax, both accused of ripping off millions of consumers, will testify in Senate committees next week. Both companies have used arbitration clauses in an attempt to deny consumers access to the courts. By getting the arbitration vote out of the way before the hearings, Republicans can avoid having to hand a gift to financial companies while Wells Fargo and Equifax sit squarely in the public spotlight. With Obamacare repeal sucking up all the oxygen, this week offers a perfect cover.

Healthcare bill appears dead after CBO says it would leave millions uninsured

The CBO projected Monday that the Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave millions of Americans uninsured — prompting one conservative lawmaker to effectively kill the bill as it stands.

Moments after the CBO score was released, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tweeted a statement saying she is opposing the bill because it would make “sweeping” changes to Medicaid, weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and leave tens of millions of Americans without coverage.

That last no was what Democrats needed to kill the bill — Republicans can only afford two defections and both Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have stated their opposition.

GOP threatens to hold budget hostage if they can’t repeal Obamacare

The Republicans’ latest attempt at healthcare reform might be on the verge of collapse, but some are already saying they may hold the budget hostage to keep options on the table to repeal Obamacare next year.

The GOP faces a deadline of Sept. 30 (the end of the fiscal year) to pass Graham-Cassidy, their latest version of healthcare reform, and the support wasn’t there as of Tuesday. But even if they don’t meet that deadline, they’ll keep trying for an Obamacare repeal — one of President Trump’s core campaign promises.

“If we don’t get it done this week,” Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a co-sponsor of the current bill, told NPR on Monday. “Senator [Lindsey] Graham and I have both told the leadership in the Senate that we won’t vote for a budget resolution that won’t give us the same possibility of passing a healthcare reform within that same process of budget reconciliation.”

Republicans have till Saturday to repeal Obamacare using a process called “budget reconciliation,” a complex process that would allow them to pass legislation with a simple majority rather than the filibuster-proof 60-vote majority that’s usually required in the Senate.

Equifax chief Richard Smith steps down in wake of massive data breach

The chief executive of embattled credit agency Equifax announced his retirement on Tuesday, in the wake of a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million people.

Richard Smith, 57, retired with immediate effect, becoming the third senior executive to leave since the breach was reported earlier this month. Equifax’s chief information officer and chief security officer have also left the company. ...

Smith has been chairman and chief executive officer of the company since 2005. His total compensation was $14.9m in 2016, according to Bloomberg.

Roger Goodell: NFL will refund money received for ‘paid patriotism’

Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the NFL will refund the money it has received to conduct acts of “paid patriotism,” reports Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg News. ...

According to Arizona senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, the Pentagon has provided $9 million for staged patriotism events over the past four years. ...

NFL teams were the biggest beneficiaries involved in the “paid patriotism” acts, as they were given over $6 million to conduct events involving full-field American flag displays, enlistment and re-enlistment ceremonies and reunions between service members and their families.





the evening greens


Sixth mass extinction of wildlife also threatens global food supplies

The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world’s food supplies, according to experts.

“Huge proportions of the plant and animal species that form the foundation of our food supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are getting almost no attention,” said Ann Tutwiler, director general of Bioversity International, a research group that published a new report on Tuesday.

“If there is one thing we cannot allow to become extinct, it is the species that provide the food that sustains each and every one of the seven billion people on our planet,” she said in an article for the Guardian. “This ‘agrobiodiversity’ is a precious resource that we are losing, and yet it can also help solve or mitigate many challenges the world is facing. It has a critical yet overlooked role in helping us improve global nutrition, reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to climate change.”

Three-quarters of the world’s food today comes from just 12 crops and five animal species and this leaves supplies very vulnerable to disease and pests that can sweep through large areas of monocultures, as happened in the Irish potato famine when a million people starved to death. Reliance on only a few strains also means the world’s fast changing climate will cut yields just as the demand from a growing global population is rising.

There are tens of thousands of wild or rarely cultivated species that could provide a richly varied range of nutritious foods, resistant to disease and tolerant of the changing environment. But the destruction of wild areas, pollution and overhunting has started a mass extinction of species on Earth. The focus to date has been on wild animals – half of which have been lost in the last 40 years – but the new report reveals that the same pressures are endangering humanity’s food supply, with at least 1,000 cultivated species already endangered.

Antarctic sea ice levels hit record low, but experts are not sure why

Sea ice levels in Antarctica dropped to a record low this year, but experts say there is not a clear link to climate change.

More than 60 meteorologists and scientists from around the world are holding a week-long meeting in Hobart, Tasmania, to better understand sea ice changes on the frozen continent. Dr Jan Lieser from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre said sea ice levels had experienced a “massive increase” in variability over the past few years.

Sea ice coverage fell to 2.075m sq km in March, the lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. But just three years earlier it hit a record high of more than 20m sq km. Lieser said increasing ocean surface temperatures melt the ice but may also be helping it refreeze. “More warmth into the system reduces the sea ice cover but there’s also other mechanisms,” he said. “Increased warmth increases the melt underneath shelves – that increases the fresh water balance of the ocean. “Fresh water more readily freezes at the surface, which increases the sea ice again.”

Brazil won’t open up the Amazon to gold miners after all

The Brazilian government’s decision to reverse a decree that allowed mining in the Amazon rainforest was hailed by environmentalists Monday.

The U-turn followed a huge outcry from conservationists, celebrities and the Catholic Church.

The ban on mining in Renca, a nature reserve in northern Brazil that covers an area larger than Denmark, will officially be reinstated by President Michel Temer Tuesday.

Fenceline Communities on Gulf Coast Face Mass Displacement & Toxic Pollution One Month After Harvey



Trump acknowledges true crisis in Puerto Rico: “Billions of dollars” owed to banks

Donald Trump will visit Puerto Rico next Tuesday, to see some of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on the lives of 3.5 million Americans. As the president announced the visit, however, one Democratic congresswoman who was born in Puerto Rico warned that his lack of attention to the disaster so far risked making it “your Katrina”.

The White House said on Tuesday Trump had also made additional disaster assistance available, “by authorizing an increase in the level of federal funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures”.

But it took the president five full days to respond to the plight of the US territory. When he finally did so on Monday night, his comments on Twitter were so devoid of empathy it threatened to spark new controversy.


Hot on the heels of the billowing dispute he single-handedly provoked over African American sporting figures protesting racial inequality during the national anthem, Trump effectively blamed the islanders – all of whom are American citizens – for their own misfortune. ...

Trump’s Monday night tweets were the first comments he had made on Puerto Rico since hours before Maria made landfall as a category 4 hurricane, pummelling the island and destroying its entire power network with winds up to 155mph (250km/h). On that occasion he told the people of Puerto Rico: “We are with you.”

But for many Puerto Ricans the reality five days after the hurricane struck was that the US president had not been with them. Some 700 Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) staff were on the island in a total of 10,000 federal workers, carrying out search and rescue missions and supplying basic food and water. But Trump spent those five days mired in his self-made battle with African American sports stars, seemingly oblivious to the plight of millions of Hispanic Americans in peril in a natural disaster zone.

Puerto Ricans Call for Aid Amid Catastrophe: "We're American Citizens. We Can't Be Left to Die"



Puerto Rico is desperate and aid isn’t coming fast enough

Five days after Hurricane Maria struck, much of Puerto Rico is still in the dark without cell phone service, electricity, gas or access to cash, leaving many people stranded without essential supplies. The death toll reached 16 on Monday, according to government officials.

“While significant progress is being made, there is still a long way to go,” a FEMA spokesperson said via email Monday. ...

But horror stories shared on social media paint a different picture. Over the weekend and into Monday Puerto Ricans used Twitter and Facebook to draw attention to vulnerable elderly and sick people, and others stranded in flooded areas with no way to call for help.

Armando Valdés said he and a group of volunteers visited a 14-story elderly home with 200 residents in San Juan on Sunday. He said both of the building’s elevators were broken and the group found people without food, water, and electricity, and no way to call 911.

Nearly three-quarters of the island is without cell service, as officials work to repair damaged telecommunications towers, a government official announced Monday morning. Thousands of people are gathering in San Juan — which remains partially flooded — to try to use their cellphones to connect with loved ones. Others are camping out on suburban freeways to try to get a signal.

“We only have signal in the capital,” Jay Fonseca, a media commentator in Puerto Rico, told Latino Rebels Radio Sunday evening. “It has become impossible to reach your family members, to get to know where water is needed. This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”

Forest Service tried to quash paper debunking Montana wildlife authority

The U.S. Forest Service has disavowed a legal analysis it commissioned that showed federal land managers have given state wildlife departments more authority than they really possess. In June, the agency asked the University of Montana to remove the draft report five days after "Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands: Debunking State Supremacy” appeared on the Bolle Center for People and Forest's website. Three weeks later, it terminated a two-year contract with the center and its director, Martin Nie, citing the “provocative title" as a reason.

The beehive Nie and his colleagues whacked concerns who owns and controls wildlife in the nation: state fish and game departments or federal land managers. In 126 pages of Supreme Court citings, legislative history and case studies, the Bolle team argued that “the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government vast authority to manage its lands and wildlife resources … even when states object.”

“The myth that ‘the states manage wildlife and federal land agencies only manage wildlife habitat’ is not only wrong from a legal standpoint but it leads to fragmented approaches to wildlife conservation, unproductive battles over agency turf, and an abdication of federal responsibility over wildlife,” the report stated. It found that claim “especially dubious when states assert ownership as a basis to challenge federal authority over wildlife on federal lands.”

“Congress has no interest in usurping the role of states in managing hunting and fishing,” Nie said. “But the federal government can’t say it doesn’t manage public land just because they don’t want to manage the take of big-game animals. What’s baffling to us was we reminded them they have the power, and they don’t seem to want to hear it.”



Also of Interest

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

Newsletter: Is Health Care A Commodity Or Right?

Brazil’s Latest Outbreak of Drug Gang Violence Highlights the Real Culprit: the War on Drugs

WPost Pushes More Dubious Russia-bashing

Death Cult Spiral

Trump Is Trying to Hoodwink Us into War with Iran

US Winds Down Its Land Grab in Southern Syria, Launches Another One in the East

Trump is able to ramp up the drone war because Obama trusted himself too much

Charlottesville's white awakening: 'We were living in a bubble,' say residents

The large parts of America left behind by today's economy

Major cyber-attack will happen soon, warns UK's security boss

The national anthem in sports (spoiler: it wasn't always this way)


A Little Night Music


Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - My Baby Left Me

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Dirt Road Blues

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Kind Lover Blues

Arthur ''Big Boy'' Crudup - She's My Baby

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Standing At My Window

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Rock me Mama

Arthur Crudup - That's All Right

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Gonna Follow My Baby

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Dust My Broom



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22 users have voted.

Comments

JekyllnHyde's picture

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20 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

divineorder's picture

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

heh, it's too bad that jefferson lost the argument about including protection against monopolies in the bill of rights, which only restricts government, not equifax private corporations:

Once the Revolutionary War was over and the Constitution had been worked out and presented to the states for ratification, Jefferson turned his attention to what he and Madison felt was a terrible inadequacy in the new Constitution: it didn’t explicitly stipulate the natural rights of the new nation’s citizens, and it didn’t protect against the rise of new commercial monopolies like the East India Company.

On December 20, 1787, Jefferson wrote to James Madison about his concerns regarding the Constitution. He said bluntly that it was deficient in several areas:

I will now tell you what I do not like. First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction of monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations.7

Such a bill protecting natural persons from out-of-control governments or commercial monopolies shouldn’t be limited to America, Jefferson believed. “Let me add,” he summarized, “that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.”

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13 users have voted.
JekyllnHyde's picture

@joe shikspack

These guys are always "too big to jail." No thanks, in part, to our recent Democratic Administration, or as Thomas Frank would it, not exactly the "party of the people."

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11 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

JekyllnHyde's picture

@JekyllnHyde

or as Thomas Frank would put it...

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5 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

i move to amend.

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6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@JekyllnHyde

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5 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 --

mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
in any kind of resistance movement?

We want what Jefferson said is needed and we still don't have: Freedom from unrestricted monopolies.

Nice to learn this.

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6 users have voted.

"“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Ghandi

Also, saw this " On the economy,many Black voters see little difference between GOP, Dems."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article175422391.html

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Snode

you can't see what isn't there. as the execrable george wallace once observed (proving that even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then) - "there's not a dime's worth of difference between the democrat and republican party."

thanks for the article and thanks for dropping by!

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9 users have voted.

@Snode @Snode

From your link:

... In findings released Tuesday, the study showed that only 8 percent of African-Americans interviewed in the state thought Obama’s absence explained the lack of enthusiasm; 46 percent blamed a dislike of both Clinton and Trump.

"Even people who liked and voted for Clinton said there were flaws with the candidate and her campaign," the study said.

Some of the assessments of Clinton were blunt: The study recounted one Columbus resident who said "the air goes right out the room" every time Clinton speaks.

The analysis from Working America did not rely on a traditional poll or focus group. Instead, canvassers conducted "front-porch focus groups" with middle- and low-income African-American households in Columbus and Whitehall, Ohio, from June 19 to June 30. The interviews included men and women who did and didn’t vote. ...

No wonder poor Hillary also blamed the voters, among everyone else, for Her loss!

Even those who liked and voted for her failed to understand Her perfection, and though Her claimed that Her won the popular vote - this despite the Russians hacking the Electoral College, which Her'd previously had pretty much wrapped up (as far as I recall reading?) possibly even prior to announcing Her long-planned run as definite? - it seems that these one-handed votes (due to right-handed nose-pinching requirements, leaving only the left) reduced their impact...

It was all a vast, right-hand conspiracy against Her.

Edited for punctuation.

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9 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

joe shikspack's picture

@Ellen North

her loss was due to a critical shortage of clothespins.

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7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

Ain't it great when austerity backfires on its supporters?

If Her'd supported a living wage, people might have been able to afford to get loans for clothespins.

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

enhydra lutris's picture

N. Korea. Obama tried to walk it back, but since we no longer require a formal Congressional declaration of war to attack a foreign country, it wasn't that convincing. Now Trump says something that could be seen as a threat. Given that we are a rogue ration it can hardly be seen as anything else; shrub's threat is still on the table and has just been reiterated. Huckabee-Sanders is certainly not empowered to make any such calls, nor even to convey such messages; she's just a PR mouthpiece.

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9 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

i guess that would make huckabee-sanders part of the "axis of weasel." Smile

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6 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@enhydra lutris

(OT but jakkalbessie and I got a kick our of your and js's discussion of kale.

I love Lima beans, but jb doesn't care for them unless they have been spiced up.

Kale, well, we eat it braised, with craisins. Took a while to get used to it.

Interesting to learn that Deutschland has Kale Societies!

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

mimi's picture

@divineorder @divineorder
Kale is translated to German as being "Grünkohl" and it tastes very different than Kale. I am with Joe, no matter what I put in as spices, Kale tastes terrible. "Grünkohl" however can taste very good. Ha. So you have a link to the German Kale Societies? I found only American Kale Societies. Mosking

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3 users have voted.

"“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Ghandi

Azazello's picture

I gotta' disagree, just a little bit, with Hiroyuki Hamada, (Death Cult Spiral).

It’s intriguing to hear people calling capitalists in Russia “oligarchs” when according to scholars the whole United States is considered an oligarchy today(1). And when the corporate media and corporate politicians– run by the US oligarchs–tell them about the “Russian threat”, they repeat it like they were born yesterday; “I don’t trust Russian oligarchs”, “we shouldn’t work with Russian oligarchs” and so on.

As it is repeated to us by the corporate media as well as by government officials, the word “oligarch” concocts otherness and unknown insidiousness of criminality and inhumanity.

Oligarchs is the perfect term for them. Does he not know how these "capitalists" acquired their fortunes ? Was it not by "criminality and inhumanity" ? In fact, I think we should be using that term for our own US "capitalists" and CEOs. Tillerson, Buffett, Soros, Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Dimon, Blankfein and all the rest of 'em, oligarchs all.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

absolutely, you would think from the way that the media tosses around the word "oligarchs" that you would have to be russian to be one, when the word aptly describes the american corporate elite as well.

there are lots of words that are in use ("regime" for example) that are given a pejorative spin by the chattering classes that are quite appropriate to describe american institutions, functionaries and persons.

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8 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack bringing back the ever popular saw about not trusting the liberal press. Heh.

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7 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

well, i always say that they're half right, in that nobody should trust any of the press.

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10 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
would agree with this statement. There are exceptions, but you need an in-house pro to spot them for you.

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11 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 --

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello
and theirs aren't. When that type of shit comes up I send people off to research the teutonic knights. Oligarchs just need to be led out onto the thin ice. Heh.

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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 --

TheOtherMaven's picture

@enhydra lutris

I got that reference, wonder how many other people did. Wink

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4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven I only saw the film. I always thought John Williams stole from the beginning of the music to "Battle on the Ice" from Alexander Nevsky for the theme to "Jaws".

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3 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Wonder if anyone has seen this or other sources on the topic?

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10 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

that's the first time that i've seen a lot of the information aggregated in the article. i've seen a lot of articles over time about the israeli tech industry's work in creating nasty software, some of it used by dictators and criminals to undermine civil rights and enable thefts of various sorts. the rest of the information, not so much.

very interesting article which in some ways applies broadly:

In his book “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life,” Len Fisher describes the problem of corruption as akin to the “Stag Hunt” scenario in game theory: A group of people set out to hunt a stag. If they all cooperate, they are likely to be successful. But if a few decide not to hunt stag but to hunt hares, which are easier to catch, for their own personal benefit, the entire enterprise fails and more and more stag hunters decide they are better off looking out only for themselves and hunting hares.

Once you have a society where most people are hunting hares, it is very difficult to evolve back to the stag hunting (non-corrupt) scenario. Even if a few hare hunters stop being selfish and decide to cooperate, the group dynamic quickly reverts back to the default of hare hunting. But not all hope is lost, because societies of stag hunters have in fact spontaneously emerged in history, and this, said Fisher, is often because many individuals change their minds about what other members of society will do and begin to trust each other.

thanks for the link.

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8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
long pig. oops.

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5 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 --

janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

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3 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@#02.1

as the execrable george wallace once observed (proving that even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then) - "there's not a dime's worth of difference between the democrat and republican party."

Regardless of what Markos Moulitsas might think!

Wink

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5 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

joe shikspack's picture

@thanatokephaloides

heh, the funny thing is that mr. moulitsas seems to be spending his time these days diminishing what little differences exist between democrats and republicans.

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8 users have voted.

@thanatokephaloides

Private or public-persona thinking?

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

jakkalbessie and I met at Lamar University in Beaumont back in the 60s. Perhaps I have told this story before here so excuse me but can't help but thinking about the sulfuric acid plant that was across the street from the campus. Lamar had to repaint buildings often due to peeling paint, and students wearing hose had it dissolve on their legs! Thankfully it was closed before we graduated.

And yes, this is me, divineorder writing a comment on her iPad and she just came in and reminded me that she was logged in. Sorry.

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5 users have voted.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

no problem, give my best to jb. Smile

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@jakkalbessie
I had thought that you were husband and wife, but after you changed the pronouns, I thought I had been wrong.
Thanks for clearing that up Smile

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4 users have voted.

a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

Unabashed Liberal's picture

for tonight's EB! Got here too late to post the transcript from the CNN Town Hall--hope to do so tomorrow afternoon.

A bit ago, I checked out Lamar Alexander's News Releases at the Senate HELP Committee website, and sure enough--they'll soon be back to 'fixing' the ACA.

Here's the link and excerpt from the press release,

09.26.17

Chairman Alexander Statement on Stabilizing 2018 and 2019 Premiums, Ensuring Access to Health Insurance in Individual Market

WASHINGTON, September 26
– Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the Senate’s health care work:

“I will consult with Senator Murray and with other senators, both Republicans and Democrats, to see if senators can find consensus on a limited bipartisan plan that could be enacted into law to help lower premiums and make insurance available to the 18 million Americans in the individual market in 2018 and 2019.

. . . I’m still concerned about the next two years and Congress has an opportunity to slow down premium increases in 2018, begin to lower them in 2019, and do our best to make sure there are no counties where people have zero options to buy health insurance.”

# # #

I'll post what Chuckie (Schumer) had to say about the 'concessions' that Murray has already agreed to. Bottom line, some of the worst aspects of the Graham-Cassidy Bill will likely be part of this Committee's negotiated 'compromise' bill.

BTW, Luther Strange just lost his Senate seat in Alabama; but, many doubt that Roy Moore can take that seat in the General election. (I think they're wrong.)

The Good News is that corporatist neoliberal Republican Bob Corker threw in the towel today in Tennessee--good bye and good riddance! OTOH, more Bad News--billionaire TN Governor Bill Haslam 'may' run for Corker's seat. (More on him and his Family, later.) Also, saw a news clip earlier today that claimed that former football quarterback Peyton Manning is looking at running for the Corker seat. What the heck is that about?

Wink

Everyone have a nice evening!

Bye

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit, and therefore, to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

SOSD - A volunteer-run organisation dedicated to the welfare of Singapore’s street dogs. We rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome strays to give them a second chance.

On Twitter - SOSD Singapore@SOSDsg

SOSD 'Smiling' Dog.png

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7 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal

So annual mandated health insurance increases are OK but minimum wage increases are unaffordable even for corporations making record profits? New Economic Disaster Capitalist Math? Metric 'smart homing pigeon' money? ??? Oh, America! Never mind.

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6 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Ellen North @Ellen North

of our political and corporate Elites are warped, if not flat-out obscene.

Hey, good to see you checking in at EB more regularly!

Pleasantry

Mollie


"Every time I lose a dog, he takes a piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. Someday, my heart will be total dog, and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving, and forgiving."
____Author Unknown

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

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal

Thanks! Nice to have myself and my computer both working well enough to be here more regularly, lol. So easy to miss an awful lot on here in even a short period of time.

Especially since there are so many outright obscene policies being passed...

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

karl pearson's picture

@Unabashed Liberal Corker has been one of the most vocal critics of unions. I don't expect the next Republican senator from Tennessee to be any better, but Corker's anti-union attacks over the years were extreme, even for a Republican.

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5 users have voted.

@karl pearson @karl pearson

Because if workers earn enough to buy what they make, the auto industry goes down the toilet?

Edit: Let's Make Americans Slaves Again!

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

This is why the cops will never be reformed. Their union basically defends cops who arrest Alex Wubbels.

Union says city 'made pariahs' of officers in U. nurse arrest
Video release allows untrained public to make 'ill-informed judgments' of officers, letter says
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865689609/Union-says-city-made-paria...

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4 users have voted.

@MrWebster

Who says America isn't a police state? Anyone, any more?

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

janis b's picture

Long time no show, but your news and blues hasn't changed at all. It's always worth cruising. Not much has changed for the better in the 'real' world, but it helps to remind us what to strive for.

From a recent tweet of Albert Brooks’, (reminding us with laughter) of something as relevant today as it was in 1973 when Brooks performed it. This was from a brilliant comedy album that I’ll never forget. Enjoy …

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8 users have voted.