Tuesday Reads

Pete Seeger, early 1940s

Pete Seeger, early 1940s

Good Afternoon!

I decided to post the “morning reads” a little late today, so everyone could read and comment on Dakinikat’s post on Pete Seeger. He was 94 years old, but his death is still a terrible loss. I was a huge folk music fan in the 1960s–I still am, actually. Seeger was a true radical who talked the talk, and walked the walk. His death closely followed the passing of his wife Toshi in August 2013 at age 91.

I liked this obit of Seeger by John Nichols at The Nation: Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it to Surrender.

When some of the greatest musicians in the world gathered five years ago to celebrate the 90th birthday of the musician who inspired them all, Bruce Springsteen told Pete Seeger: “You outlasted the bastards, man.”

And so he did.

Seeger, who died Monday night at age 94, was singing with Woody Guthrie when “This Land Is Your Land” was a new song. And because he meant and lived every word of the oft-neglected final verse – “Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back, This land was made for you and me” – Seeger was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee, blacklisted and sent for a time in the late 1950s and early 1960s to the sidelines of what was becoming an entertainment industry.

But Seeger kept singing Guthrie’s “This Land…,” kept writing songs of his own like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” kept playing a banjo inscribed with the message “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” and kept traveling across the country and around the world – for every cause from labor rights to civil rights to environmentalism to peace.

Before he was convicted in 1961 on contempt of Congress charges – for refusing to name the names of the Young Communists and Young Socialists he had organized with and sung for in those heady 1930s and 1940s days of anti-fascist organizing — Seeger acknowledged that “The House committee wished to pillory me because it didn’t like some few of the many thousands of places I have sung for.” But he explained, “I have been singing folksongs of America and other lands to people everywhere. I am proud that I never refused to sing to any group of people because I might disagree with some of the ideas of some of the people listening to me. I have sung for rich and poor, for Americans of every possible political and religious opinion and persuasion, of every race, color, and creed.”

And I really enjoyed this “non-interview” with Seeger from 2010 by Jay Blotcher: My (non-)interview with Pete Seeger on gay and lesbian rights. Please give it a read.

Moving on to other news . . .

Yesterday, I had an interesting day on Twitter that ended up with my getting a shout-out from one of my favorite bloggers, Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter. A few days ago, I had sent Cesca some tweets from a blogger who collects info on the internet, publishes it, and stores it for ordinary people to access. They perform a valuable service, and not all the things they post are top secret leaks. Anyway, I noticed that they were posting harsh criticism of Glenn Greenwald and the other “journalists” who have been slowly dribbling out the Snowden leaks for the past 7 months. The blogger deletes his tweets on a daily basis, but I did post them in the comments on Wednesday and in my Thursday post.

Yesterday the sh$t hit the fan when this tech blogger posted some unredacted files that named an NSA employee, a targeted terrorist group, and some top secret NSA capabilities. From Bob Cesca’s post:

A pair of new Snowden revelations were published on Monday. First, an article was published by NBC News in association with Glenn Greenwald about an NSA operation codenamed “Squeaky Dolphin.” A second revelation was posted by The Guardian in partnership with The New York Times and ProPublica, which covered an NSA document that revealed how the NSA and the British GCHQ are able to collect information on various targets via “leaky” smartphone apps like Angry Birds.

As soon as the article was posted, someone from or associated with a popular cryptography website claims to have downloaded a pdf of the Snowden document fromThe New York Times and discovered that three of the redactions that were intended to obscure sensitive national security information were easily accessible by highlighting, copying and pasting the text. The poorly-redacted file was subsequently posted to the cryptography website, then promoted via Twitter. (We’re not going to post the name of the website that posted the file to protect the information contained within.)

Meanwhile, at some Monday afternoon, The New York Times appears to have discovered the problem and posted a new version of the file with fool-proof redactions.

The cryptography website posted the following tweets:

NSA and GCHQ docs today with inept redactons were posted by NY Times on DocumentCloud, grabbed by A. Later replaced with ept redactions.

Not clear who ineptly redacted the NSA and GCHQ files, NYT, Guardian or ProPublica, failed to verify, or told them at ~1:30PM today.

Read the rest at The Daily Banter, and if you want to know more you can take a look at my Twitter timeline.

I have some more reads for you, but I’m not going to excerpt them; I have to rush around and get ready to go out this afternoon. 

A long abortion-related read from The New Yorker: A BOTCHED OPERATION: Steven Brigham’s abortion clinics keep being sanctioned for offering substandard care. Why is he still in business?, by Eyal Press

Dak posted about this yesterday, but it’s worth posting twice: New Law Could Force All of Louisiana’s Abortion Clinics to Close (from The Nation)

From BBC News, NSA-GCHQ Snowden leaks: A glossary of the key terms

From Pando Daily, Google and encryption: why true user privacy is Google’s biggest enemy, by the great Yasha Levine

For laughs, Do You Believe Edward Snowden Is A Traitor Or Hero? Check out the map!

From Newsweek, Snowden’s Red Dawn

Statement of Ukranian priests: Human Dignity and Freedom Must Be Preserved

From The Daily Beast, Charlie Shrem, CEO of Bitcoin Exchange BitInstant, Arrested

From Counterpunch, Did the Elites Have Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Killed?

Those are my recommendations for today. What are you reading and blogging about? Please share your links in the comment thread.

38 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Take care, everyone! And if you’re in the snow zones, stay home and stay warm.

    Don’t forget, SOTU live blog tonight!

    • dakinikat says:

      My electricity went out once already …. took me 30 minutes to get my wireless back up and this house is already really cold

      • RalphB says:

        It’s finally above freezing here. Though it’s supposed to be even colder tonight but no more rain. Maybe it won’t last too long there either.

  2. dakinikat says:

    WTF? State of the Union guest for Sen. Jim Inhofe R-OK will bring Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty as will Vance what’s his fuck from Northern LA. (Total Asshat)

    . Fox News host Sean Hannity will attend as a guest of Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who has guest-hosted Hannity’s program.


    Rep. @DarrellIssa is bringing former Reagan WH ec adviser Art Laffer as his guest to SOTU

    Guess it’s nuts bringing nuts.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh, for Pete’s sake!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I I’m surprised anyone would go anywhere with Gohmert or Inhofe, but then again nothing crawls lower than a Sean Hannity or a Willie Robertson. I hope someone on the Dem side of the aisle brings the Lysol so they can spray the GOP side down after the haters leave.

    • Fannie says:

      I hope Obama has extra security. Somebody is likely to eat somebody’s nuts.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        If he has extra security the right-wingers will complain that he’s “wasting” taxpayer money. Hell, he can’t even go on Christmas vacation to his home state of Hawaii without them going berserk about him using AF-1 to return Michelle back to Washington without him onboard. Because everyone knows the black POTUS and his wife should be in the kitchen making finger sandwiches.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          They can’t have the Obama’s messing with the natural order of things, dontcha know?????

    • RalphB says:

      That’s Republican entertainment one would suppose.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      BTW…The ratings for Duck Dynasty, or as I call them The Quacks, are dramatically down for 2 consecutive weeks. It seems that some people are more interested in registering their grievance through their viewing habits than threatening Dynasty sponsors. I hope Cracker Barrel is taking notice since they went into major right-wing-ass-kissing mode after SOME of their patrons complained about them removing Dynasty merchandise. Needless to say the news of their slow drift into reality TV history made my day. May they rest in pieces.

    • Fannie says:

      WTF? She really wants me to believe that Obama has created a war on women? Michelle is playing the Tea Party Game. Her fabric is too thin to keep me or my house warm. She cracks me up.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Goddam, Bachmann is such an asshat.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      And Bachmann’s denial that her party would end SS as we know it is absurd. During the last GOP Presidential season Rick Perry stood on stage at a debate and called SS a “Ponzi Scheme” and most of the candidates on the stage nodded in agreement. GWB tried to privatize SS and funnel the SS trust fund into the Stock Market. Wouldn’t that have been a beautiful conclusion to SS when the market collapsed at the end of the GWB presidency? We know exactly what the GOP wants to do with SS, what Paul Ryan wanted to do with SS, what every GOP POTUS has wanted to do with SS and what they’ve been trying to do to SS since FDR first championed the idea. When they couldn’t beat FDR they took the SS fight, like the ACA fight, to the SCOTUS challenging it as unconstitutional, where OF COURSE, they lost. Their economic remedies, which consist of tax breaks for the rich, do not work. They’re hatred of SS, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, Unemployment Insurance, Food Stamps and all other social compacts is well documented. Bachmann can’t handle the truth.

      • RalphB says:

        I believe Bachmann is delusional and may actually be high on her own supply. She and some of the others are obviously not sane, like Gohmert.

      • Fannie says:

        I was waiting to hear Bernie ask her what percentage of women voted for Obama in the last election………..according to them everything Obama is illegal, why in the hell don’t they impeach him. They can’t they done have a nut to stand on.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          It’s obvious that the majority of right-wingers despise Obama for one reason only. He is a threat to their perception of what the “natural order of things” should be. A black man in the White House? A black man traveling around the world on AF-1?. A black man being guarded by a full entourage of Secret Service? It just interferes with their sense of superiority. It’s the very same reason they fight against strong women who are in control of their own lives and their own bodies. It’s the very same reason they fear L/G’s.

        • Fannie says:

          Sorry for the typo’s………….everything Obama does is illegal……………..they can’t because they don’t have a nut to stand on.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    BB…..Thanks for the link to the non-interview. I lived in that world, so I’m not at all surprised that the L&G people Seeger knew did not confide in him. In those days the majority of L/G folks socialized totally off the grid and we rarely revealed our orientation to anyone we knew wasn’t L/G. The risks were just to great. Our nightspots, which for the most part was how we found each other. were non-descript and not in places where bars were usually found. If you wanted to find a L/G bar you had to ask a cabbie, a hotel clerk, a cop, or another gay person. I found my first Lesbian bar in the city I grew up in by asking a female cop who I worked with and who I suspected was gay. As it turned out, I was right. 🙂

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know. I knew some out gay people in 1969, but that was in Boston. Seeger was pro-same-sex marriage, according to the interview.

  4. RalphB says:

    What a bunch of whack-a-doodles! Thus shit has gone much too far.

    tpm: 4 Republicans Will Now Be Responding To Obama’s State Of The Union Address

    The state of our union is….well, it depends on who you happen to listen to.

    The official GOP response is set to be delivered immediately after by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, who will appeal to women voters on behalf of a party that has often found itself marred by wild musings on abortion and rape.

    Americans will also get a rebuttal from Tea Party Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who supported a quixotic effort to shut down the government, that will follow the President as well. Or they can tune in to a pre-recorded address by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a possible 2016 contender, which will air on YouTube after Obama finishes speaking.

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced Monday she will deliver her own State of the Union response in Spanish that will be televised by CNN, Telemundo Univision and other channels.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I suppose they think that if they do it 4 times, with 4 different messengers, they might find 4 people who give a damn what they have to say.

    • NW Luna says:

      Cathy Rodgers, R-East of the Mtns, aka Redneck Side of WA State. Though I too get tired of all the rain on the west (wet) side of our state, it does help grow liberal politicians.

  5. dakinikat says:


    after greta v called him a misogynist jerk:

    Erickson responded by posting “A Very Sincere Thank You” to Van Susteren Monday night.

    “Wendy Davis believes it is perfectly acceptable to crack open a child’s skull, inject her cranium with saline, vacuum out her brains, then tear her limb from limb unstitching her from her mother’s womb even though a minute, an hour, a day, a week, or a month later she could survive outside the womb,” he insisted, engaging in a common anti-choice trope of equating any fertilized egg — even a ten-day-old blastocyst — to a fully viable fetus.

    “Wendy Davis has staked her career on the right to chop a child to bits, no matter how viable the child is,” he wrote, referring to Davis’ 13-hour filibuster against a draconian Texas anti-choice law that would make abortion illegal de facto by closing the bulk of the state’s clinics.

    He’s worse than Glenn Beck.

    • RalphB says:

      That asshat once wrote about telling his wife to shoot the meter reader when he came on their property because his water usage wasn’t anybody’s bidness.

      Note: He wasn’t gonna shoot him, he wanted his wife to do it.

  6. RalphB says:

    Republican Health Care; Just go to the ER and get great care.

    ABC EXCLUSIVE: Family of man who died in ER waiting room speaks out

    Jon Verrier went to a New York City emergency room in the West Bronx to get treated for a rash. Eight hours later he’s found stiff, cold, and dead in the waiting room. The worst part?

    A spokesman said an in-house review found “all guidelines were met,” but an ER worker told WABC-TV the policy should be changed. “There’s no policy in place to check the waiting room to see if people waiting to be seen are still there or still alive,” said the ER worker.

    There’s no policy to check to see if you’re sitting in an emergency room NEXT TO A DEAD PERSON.

  7. RalphB says:

    That Wendy’s daughters felt the need to do this pisses me off no end. Even Charlie Pierce fell for the original story, the big dumbass!

    Daughters Defend Wendy Davis Against ‘Malicious,’ ‘False’ Parenting Claims

  8. NW Luna says:

    BB, I can’t find the exact tweet now, but you sent a great one earlier — questioning why some people were outraged that Scooter Libbey outed V Plame, but not when Snowden outs an agent. I agree; it’s the same wrong in both cases.