9.15.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Communication in the realm of the universal hegemony of financial and commodity capitalism counts as merely another extension of the domination of misleading and self-serving protocols at the behest of profit, a process of many centuriesof development as ‘freedom of the press’ has long redounded to those who owned them, a dynamic moreover in the American context that commentators have assessed for at least a hundred years—one can peruse the posthumous annals of Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair’s The Brass Check, for example—and that more recent analysts have expounded with ever greater detail and irrefutable specificity—one can read anything by Robert McChesney or Noam Chomsky, for instance—the upshot of all of which is that the ‘common people’s’ thriving, or even survival, depend, without a single solitary doubt, on becoming media literate in a way that recognizes the bourgeois source of practically speaking all so-called fake news since at least the Napoleonic Wars, when the Warburgs and the Rothschilds made vast fortunes by conveying, or at least encouraging belief in, the scoop that Wellington had lost at Waterloo.

  Quote of the Day  
“If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”    Claude McKay

 This Day in History  

history book glasses education learnToday is Knowledge Day in Azerbaijan, and around the world, people celebrate World Lymphoma Awareness Day, an International Day of Democracy, and, so as not to forget monopoly money’s scandals and crises, Free Money Day: one thousand twenty-three years ago, Fatamid forces emerged victorious at the battle of Orontes over Byzantine imperial legions; four hundred and one years prior to the present pass, Europe’s first truly public school—free and non-aristocratic—opened in Frascati, Italy; two hundred twenty-eight years before the here and now, the Department of Foreign Affairs came into existence, the forerunner of the U.S. State Department, and the baby-boy destined to become James Fennimore Cooper was born a day beyond his date of exiting the world sixty-two years hence; MORE HERE

a quarter century later, in 1804 seven thousand miles Northeastward, Napoleon’s forces, apparently victorious, consolidated their hold in Moscow; the five nations of Central America—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua seventeen years henceforth, in 1821, jointly declared their independence from Spain; aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, Charles Darwin a hundred eighty-two years back first reached the Galapagos Islands; ten years afterward, in 1845, thousands of miles Northeast in Pennsylvania, women garment workers engaged in a vicious strike in which male workers in other factories rose both to support their groundbreaking uprising and to protect them from company thugs; one hundred forty-four years in advance of today, France paid completed indemnity payments to Germany, and the last Prussian troops returned home from the Franco-Prussian war; sixteen years after that point, in 1889, a Jamaican baby boy came along who would rise as the acclaimed poet and thinker, Claude McKay, and further North in the U.S. a male child drew breath who would mature as the humorist and critic and performer, Robert Benchley; a single year later, in 1890, the female infant who blossomed into the prolific writer Agatha Christie was born; Japan defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War’s Battle of Pyongyang seven hundred thirty days subsequently, in 1894, and the male infant who developed into renowned director and thinker Jean Renoir came into the world; twenty-two years later, in 1916, at the Battle of the Somme, combatants deployed tanks for the first time in warfare; ten years beyond that juncture, in 1926, German Nobel Literary Laureate and philosopher Rudolf Eucken died; the Nuremberg Laws took effect nine years henceforth, in 1935, in Germany, depriving Jews of rights of citizenship, at the same time that Nazi Germany unveiled its new flag, replete with a swastika; three years precisely after that point, in 1938 across the Atlantic in North Carolina, Thomas Wolfe ‘went home again’ when he died at only thirty-eight years old; seven years afterward again, in 1944, at the Octagon Conference in Quebec, FDR and Winston Churchill met to discuss Anglo-American strategy in relation to forthcoming victory in Europe; two years hence, in 1946, the boy infant who grew up to become writer and director Oliver Stone was born; U.S. amphibious forces four years nearer to now and half a world away, in 1950, went ashore at Inchon on the Korean Peninsula, threatening the annihilation of outflanked North Koreans; the United Nations in Northeast Africa two years further along time’s path, in 1952, ceded Eritrea to Ethiopia; the Dontetsk coal miner who had risen to become the premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Nikita Khrushchev, seven years still closer to the current context, in 1959, became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States; three years hence, in 1962, the Soviet ship Poltava’s steaming for Cuba with missile components put the planet on the verge of Armageddon when the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis ensued; four young girls died in a bombing at a Black church in Birmingham just three hundred sixty-five days beyond that, in 1963, a terrorist act in which FBI informants played a role; Lyndon Johnson, in the aftermath of the slaughter at the University of Texas clock-tower, the first prescription-drug-fueled mass killing in the U.S., three years later on, in 1966, called for gun control; four years subsequently, in diego rivera work labor art1970, United Auto Workers employees at General Motors started a lengthy strike to protest speed-up on the assembly line and other measures to extract more value from every hour of workers’ days; another year after that moment in time, in 1971, the first Greenpeace anti-nuclear protest ship set sail; two years further along, in 1973,five thousand miles South, following days of brutal torture, the CIA financed-and-advised military murderers who had overthrown democracy in Chile murdered people’s poet and iconic folksinger Victor Jara; eight years yet more proximate to the present, in 1981, the Senate confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman Supreme Court Justice, and the John Bull operated under its own steam a hundred fifty years to the day after its first run in New Jersey; half a dozen years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1987, in a move that would serve Russian and America today, the Soviets and the Americans signed a treaty to establish centers to help them avoid nuclear war; two years later, in 1989, novelist and thinker Robert Penn Warren ended his days; in the heady days just prior to what we will soon enough be calling DotCom-One, nineteen years back, World Com and MCI celebrated their just-completed merger; eleven years ago, Italian journalist Oriana Fallacci died; two years afterward, in 2008, Lehman Brothers closed its doors in bankruptcy, the largest such filing by a company in history.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Identity Politics Snafus

A New Republic double take on what constituted identity politics and what it has become today: “The Combahee River Collective was assembled to define a radical vision for black women’s freedom—and thus, as they believed, all people’s freedom. They did this through an antisexist, antiracist, socialist political strategy. It remains to be seen whether the Democratic Party is prepared to fully embrace this strategy, but liberals undermine it by coopting its revolutionary language, which only dilutes the impact of actual identity politics and its ability to challenge systems of power. Lilla seems to think Democrats are at fault for embracing identity politics, but the true crime is that it has been taken out of the revolutionary hands to which it belongs.”

 Writers Tools Issues 

Writing Grants

A Freedom With WRiting resource that offers many opportunities: “28 Writing Grants & Fellowships (Cash Awards Up to $80,000+)”

 Recent Events 

Moon of Alabama’s Junta Analysis

A look at the current political reality of power in the U.S.: “With the firing of the renegade Flynn and various other Trump advisors, the Junta has already removed all independent voices in the White House. It is now  attaching more control wires to its “salesperson” marionette:  … Trump has a weakness for the military since he attended a New York military academy during his youth.  But he does not like to be controlled. I expect him to revolt one day. He will then find that it is too late and that he is actually powerless.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Spinoza’s Current Relevance

An Aeon glance at the utility of the at-one-time radical and rational call of a mathematician and philosopher: “What is remarkable is how popular this heretic remains nearly three and a half centuries after his death, and not just among scholars. Spinoza’s contemporaries, René Descartes and Gottfried Leibniz, made enormously important and influential contributions to the rise of modern philosophy and science, but you won’t find many committed Cartesians or Leibnizians around today. The Spinozists, however, walk among us. They are non-academic devotees who form Spinoza societies and study groups, who gather to read him in public libraries and in synagogues and Jewish community centres. Hundreds of people, of various political and religious persuasions, will turn out for a day of lectures on Spinoza, whether or not they have ever read him. There have been novels, poems, sculptures, paintings, even plays and operas devoted to Spinoza. This is all a very good thing”

9.14.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Life’s longest journey starts with a birth that one does not plan and finishes with a death that, under normal circumstances, one does not invite; in between come the hurly-burly exigencies and mundane routines and typical ongoing thrills and spills of everyday existence, realms in which action occurs regularly and inevitably and choice presents itself whether one dares to choose or not, arenas furthermore where, just possibly, with significant luck and plenty of pluck, one might find a path, bull of honorable and passionate purpose, irresistible in its joyous engagement, that one desires to pursue.

  Quote of the Day  

We leave our homes in the morning,
We kiss our children good-bye,
While we slave for the bosses,
Our children scream and cry.

And when we draw our money,
Our grocery bills to pay,
Not a cent to spend for clothing,
Not a cent to lay away.

And on that very evening
Our little son will say:
“I need some shoes, Mother,
And so does Sister May.”

How it grieves the heart of a mother,
You everyone must know.
But we can’t buy for our children,
Our wages are too low.

It is for our little children,
That seems to us so dear,
But for us nor them, dear workers,
The bosses do not care.

But understand, all workers,
Our union they do fear.
Let’s stand together, workers,
And have a union here.”    Ella Mae Wiggins: The Mill Mother’s Lament

 This Day in History  

harvard educationA thousand six hundred and ninety-one years ago, more or less to the day, the iconic Helena of Constantinople asserted her ‘discovery’ of the ‘True Cross’ at the site which supposedly contained the remains of Jesus of Nazareth; exactly three centuries and three years hence, in 629, the Eastern Roman Empire’s forces returned to Constantinople from their defeat of Persian imperial threats to Heraclius’ reign; three hundred seventy-nine years before the here and now, the relatively youthful founder of Harvard College, John Harvard, breathed his last;MORE HERE

 two hundred sixty-five years in advance of today, around the world, dominions under England’s imperial sway adopted the modern, Gregorian, calendar, thus skipping over eleven days; eleven years subsequently, in 1763, British military forces suffered a brutal defeat at the hand of Senecas in the Battle of Devil’s Hole, part of Pontiac’s War; not quite exactly a half century later, in 1812,France’s Grande Armee marched into Moscow in what turned out to be a pyrrhic victory; two years beyond that, in 1814,in a conflict seven thousand miles to the West and South, Francis Scott Key composed the verses of the Defence of Fort McHenry, penning the words of the U.S. National Anthem; a decade and a half thereafter, in 1829, agents of the Ottoman Empire acceded to the Treaty of Adrianople, ending the Russo-Turkish War; twenty-two years further on, in 1851, the esteemed author, James Fennimore Cooper, experienced life’s final adventure; nine years henceforth, in 1860, the baby boy first cried out whose fate would be to inscribe in fiction the lives of Midwestern rural dwellers, especially small family farmers; eighteen yeas still nearer to now, in 1878, a little girl entered our midst who would mature as the tough-minded and relentless feminist and reformer, Margaret Sanger; one hundred sixteen years back, William McKinley succumbed to an assassin’s wounds from the killer’s attack eight days previously; a decade and a half after that conjunction, in 1916,across the Atlantic in Spain, the Nobel Prize laureate in literature, Jose Echegaray, played out his final scene; eleven years thereafter, in 1927, the glorious bohemian sensualist and dancing maven, Isadora Duncan, strangled when her huge red scarf caught in the wheels of her new car; two years closer still to the current context, in 1929, company hitmen murdered a mother of nine, Ella Mae Wiggins, near Gastonia’s cotton mills; three hundred sixty-five days more down time’s stream, in 1930, the male infant came along who would rise as the cultural critic and scholar, Allan Bloom; three years farther down the road, in 1933, growers on Cape Cod began using guns against strikers in the Cranberry bogs, shooting several and arresting scores; yet another three years onward, in 1936, the young and prolific producer and screenwriter, Irving Thalberg, died from the effects of congenital heart disease; sixty-three years back, in a grotesque duplication of U.S. A-bomb tests, which used soldiers and civilians as unwitting and soon-to-be sick-and-dying guinea pigs, the Soviet Union exploded a 40 kiloton weapon near Totskoye and marched soldiers through ground zero, again dooming many of them and nearby civilians as well; a year on, in 1955, half-a-world away, the baby girl was born who went on to fame and fortune and journalist and storyteller Geraldine Brooks; four years even closer to today’s light and air, in 1959,Democrats and Republicans joined together, per usual, to eviscerate labor and union rights, with the passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act, and the Soviet spacecraft, Luna II, crashed into the moon; a year after that moment in time, in 1960, the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries came into being with the help of the world’s largest banks and oil companies, and, in a somewhat related incident, a ‘left-leaning’ African leader died in a coup that brought mass-murderer and friend of the Central Intelligence Agency Sese Mobuto Seko to power; a quartet of years onward in space and time,in 1964, seven thousand miles to the West and North, Lyndon Johnson bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on author John Steinbeck; five years hence, in 1969, the U.S.’s first draft lottery took place to select inductees for the Vietnam War; thirteen years later still, in 1982, talented writer and teacher John Gardner died in a motorcycle accident; three years subsequent to that point, in 1985, the feminist and generally progressive television series, Golden Girls, premiered on NBC; nineteen years ago, the dotcom bubble inflated to near maximum with the merger of MCI with World Com, a joinder that would soon enough bring scandal and ruin.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Welsh’s Jacobs Review

Review of a Jane Jacobs tome by an always insightful blogger: “Economically active cities, in short, are powerful, and they often do nasty things to regions that are not cities. Even when what they do seems good, as with demand for oil, or Uruguay’s produce and minerals, it is a gift that can leave at any time.

… Overall this is an important book. One of the most important I ever read. The point about broken feedback and economic units not making sense is absolutely fundamental and explains a simple fact: city states which can manage to survive the political-military environment, almost always do very well.  The ideal economic circumstance is a world of city states, but we don’t have that for military political reasons (they can’t defend themselves).”

 

 General Media & Culture Issues 

Heroin’s Muse

A Dazed look at the multivaried and inspirational role that heroin has had and continues to exert on popular culture: “Throughout the past century, certain substances have even become the drug du jour, dominating the pop culture conversation for decades at a time – LSD in the 60s, cocaine in the 70s, crack in the 80s, ecstasy in the 90s, pharmaceuticals in the 00s, and so on. But heroin has consistently eluded this ebb and flow, from its prominence and influence in the jazz and blues era of the 30s, 40s and 50s (Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Chet Baker) to the rockers of the 60s, 70s, and 80s (Keith Richards, Sid Vicious, Nikki Sixx) and the heroin chic trend of the 90s, made popular by Calvin Klein’s ‘waif’ models and further pushed by the grunge movement (Kurt Cobain, Hole, Alice In Chains, and more).”

 Recent Events 

ICH Russia Case Overview

An International Clearing House peek at ongoing neocon Russia crisis: ” It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of “fake news.” These publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Camus and Sartre’s Spat

An Aeon post that documents the falling out of these two great existentialists over the question of equality: “In October 1951, Camus published The Rebel. In it, he gave voice to a roughly drawn ‘philosophy of revolt’. This wasn’t a philosophical system per se, but an amalgamation of philosophical and political ideas: every human is free, but freedom itself is relative; one must embrace limits, moderation, ‘calculated risk’; absolutes are anti-human. Most of all, Camus condemned revolutionary violence. Violence might be used in extreme circumstances (he supported the French war effort, after all) but the use of revolutionary violence to nudge history in the direction you desire is utopian, absolutist, and a betrayal of yourself….

Sartre read The Rebel with disgust. As far as he was concerned, it was possible to achieve perfect justice and freedom – that described the achievement of communism. Under capitalism, and in poverty, workers could not be free. Their options were unpalatable and inhumane: to work a pitiless and alienating job, or to die. But by removing the oppressors and broadly returning autonomy to the workers, communism allows each individual to live without material want, and therefore to choose how best they can realise themselves. This makes them free, and through this unbending equality, it is also just.”

 

9.13.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   
Living with truly total awareness, both conscious of the hurricane’s eye and of its victims trying to survive wind and flood and filth, would add up to a daunting prospect indeed, a process simultaneously chilling and thrilling, as if one could embody the great white shark as it made its lethal lunge and the tiger as it tore its prey asunder at the exact same instant that one could experience the tuna’s terror and the lamb’s confusion as they felt their killer’s teeth.

  Quote of the Day  

“If only I’d chosen an easy work!  But, precisely, I, who am sterile and crepuscular, have chosen a terrifying subject, whose sensations, if they are strong, reach the point of atrocity, and if they are vague, have the strange attitude of mystery.   And my Verse hurts me at times, and wounds me as if it were of iron! I have, moreover, found an intimate and unique way of painting and noting down the very fleeting impressions.  I should add, which is even more terrifying, that all these impressions follow one another as in a symphony, and I often have entire days when I ask myself if this impression can accompany that one, what is their relationship and effect … You can guess that I write few lines in a week.”  Stephane Mallarme, about an unfinished work of poetry

 This Day in History  

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CC BY-ND by cakeanarchist

Today worldwide marks International Chocolate Day; in the central portion of the Italian peninsula twenty-six centuries and a duo of years ago, early Rome’s fourth king, Lucius Priscus, declared a triumphal celebration for his armies’ crushing defeat of the Sabine fighters; seventy-six years along time’s arc, in 509 BCE, as part of the activities that brought a Roman Republic into being, elites and masses alike commemorated the most important house of worship in ancient Rome, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus that had been three quarters of a century in the making atop the city’s Capitoline Hill;  MORE HERE

 a thousand forty-two years onward toward now, in 533, Byzantium’s Emperor Belisarius led fighters near Carthage in North Africa that decisively defeated the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimum; just four years shy of seven centuries hence, in 1229, the second son of Genghis assumed the leadership of the Mongol Empire, before he proceeded to lead its most significant advances in Europe and Eastern Asia; five hundred eighty years back, Portuguese military forces led an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Algerian citadel at Tangier;sixty-four years further along, in 1501, Michelangelo started to create the statue that would become his iconic depiction of David;four decades forward from there, in 1541, John Calvin retuned to Geneva after a three year exile with the goal of creating a reformed and thoroughly Calvinist church; a year beyond a half century thereafter, in 1592, the esteemed and sardonic wit of Michel de Montaigne quieted for eternity; then, a year more than a century and a half further along time’s road, in 1743,England, Austria, and Sardinia signed the Treaty of Worms, a grotesque pandering to unearned aristocratic privilege and taxation of the masses, an attempt to divide Austria and France; precisely thirty-nine years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1782, French and Spanish troops joined in a joint assault on Gibraltar that failed to dislodge the British, despite their preoccupation with colonial matters across the sea; thirty-two years yet later on, in 1814, Francis Scott Key, as he witnessed the crest of the British failed attempt to win Baltimore in the War of 1812, composed “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” which provided soon enough provided lyrics for “The Star Spangled Banner;” thirty-three additional years in the direction of today’s light and air, in 1847, five youthful heroes died defending Chapultepec Castle as American militias prepared to occupy Mexico City; a mere year yet nearer to the here and now, in 1848, a Vermont Railroad worker survived a more than one-inch-wide steel spike through his skull, which permitted many years of fruitful study and speculation about brain function; two dozen more years on time’s inexorable march, in 1872, the redoubtable German thinker and anthropological champion of materialism, Ludwig Feuerbach, breathed his last; exactly a thousand four hundred sixty-one days onward toward now, in 1876, a baby boy cried out whom fate had elected to mature as the American poet and writer Sherwood Anderson; six years farther down the pike, in 1882, across the Atlantic and much of the Mediterranean, British imperial forces solidified their country’s control of Egypt and the Suez Canal by overwhelming and massacring Egyptian troops who were defending Cairo at the Battle of Tel el Kebir; an even dozen years in the future from that, in 1894, a British baby boy was born on his way to a life as the writer, dramatist, critic, and activist J.B. Priestley; four more years en route to this day in time, in 1898, Hannibal Goodwin received a valuable patent for celluloid photographic film; seven hundred thirty days past that momentous point, in 1900, Filipino freedom fighters won one of their few victories by destroying an American force at the Battle of Pulang Lupa; eleven years on the dot after that, in 1911, a male infant bounced into the world in the American South who would grow up as the crooner and lyricist Bill Monroe; three more years on the way to today, in 1914,roughly seven thousand miles Southeast in Germany’s imperial holdings in Southern Africa, British colonial troops began operations to oust Germans from the continent altogether; two years yet nearer to the here and now, in 1916, a male child came along who would mature as the prolific creative genius, Roald Dahl; across the wide Atlantic another two years henceforth, in 1918, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the inimitable musical and songwriting genius, Ray Charles; four years again toward today, in 1922, over the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, the ultimate scenes of Turkey’s establishment of a modern republic unfolded with the massive fire in the City of Smyrna, which contributed to the deaths of as many as tens of thousands of Greeks and Armenians, survivors of whom became refugees as Turkish fighters consolidated their hold on the port city; another year further down time’s pathway, in 1923, at the other end of the Mediterranean, reactionary Spaniards, having conducted a coup against the struggling nation’s democracy, acceded to the more or less bumbling dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, who promised to rule for ninety days but only resigned after seven years; back in North America a thousand and ninety-six days still later, in 1926, the U.S. Postal Service issued orders to its agents to ‘shoot to kill’ in the event of any attempted robbery of the mail;an additional two years on time’s trek, in Italy in 1928, the popular and iconoclastic writer and storyteller and dramatist lived out his final scene whom audiences knew as Italo Svevo; six years even closer to the current context, in 1934, three striking textile workers died in fighting in Rhode Island, in the early stages of a nationwide uprising that would soon involved nearly half a million disaffected wage-earners in that industrial sector; another half dozen years onward, in 1940, back in the Mediterranean, Italian fascist forces initiated their invasion of the ever-contested North African ground of Egypt; eleven years past that precise passing, in 1951, nearly a thousand miles North in England’s Irish territories, a little baby girl entered our midst who would grow as the teacher and activist and feminist and storyteller and dramatist Anne Devlin; another two years on time’s road, in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev rose to become the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; three years afterward, back in the U.S. in 1956, the International Business Machines Corporation released its first RAMAC 305 Computer, the first such device to utilize disk storage in its operations; a decade still more proximate to the present pass, in 1966, a male child shouted out en route to his life as the talk show host and wit, Tavis Smiley; on precisely the same date three years later, in 1969, an Atlanta child entered our midst in standard fashion who would end up becoming the filmmaker, screenwriter, and performer, Tyler Perry; two further years on the general path to now, in 1971, National Guard and State Police in New York became Storm Troopers in ending a rebellion at the Attica State Prison, killing nearly a dozen guards held as hostage and three dozen inmates in the process; half a decade past that instant in space and time, in a far larger potential assault on human life in 1976, two erstwhile ‘liberal scholars’ and policy makers at the Brookings Institution released a highly-promoted study that the Soviet Union remained America’s great enemy, a dire threat to everyone, and so forth; three years in even greater proximity to our present point, in 1979, South Africa declared one of its ‘Homelands,’ similar to ‘reservations’ elsewhere, to be an ‘independent’ state, a public relations and hegemonic move recognized nowhere else on Earth, save by Israel; the next year on the nose, in 1980, in part because he was running for President, Jimmy Carter hosted a Willie Nelson’s ‘redneck songfest’ at the White House; five years subsequently, in 1985, Japan’s NES Corporation released Super Mario Brothers in Tokyo and launched that longstanding gaming franchise; seven hundred thirty days after that, on the nose, in 1987, opportunistic thieves broke into an abandoned hospital in Goiania, Brazil, where they inadvertently stole a powerful gamma radiation source that ended up killing four people and injuring several hundred others;another two years en route to the present moment, in 1989, Bishop Desmond Tutu led upwards of twenty thousand brave souls in a protest march against Apartheid in Capetown, South Africa; four years beyond that exhilarating conjunction, in 1993,Palestinian Liberation Organization head Yassir Arafat shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House after both parties signed the Oslo Accords; three years hence and maybe nine thousand miles away in 1996, the magnificent and soulful genius Tupac Shakur lived out his final day before ‘unknown’ assailants shot him down; another three years more on the highway to our current case, in 1999, the prolific and well-regarded educational theorist Benjamin Bloom faded away one last time; five years further along, in 2004, a giant in the history of population control, Mexican scientist Luis Miramontes, who co-invented birth control pills, made his final exit, while Oprah Winfrey ‘gave away’ three hundred new cars on national television; two years thereafter, just across the border in Texas in 2006, esteemed and estimable former Governor Ann Richards died; the very next year, in 2007, the United Nations General Assembly issued its Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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 Writers Tools Issues 

Writing Contests

A peek at many writing contests: from Freedom with Writing

 

 General Past & Present Issues 

Hedges on Legal Corruption

A Truth Dig dig at the corruption of law: “The supposed clash between liberal and conservative judges is largely a fiction. The judiciary, despite the Federalist Society’s high-blown rhetoric about the sanctity of individual freedom, is a naked tool of corporate oppression. The most basic constitutional rights—privacy, fair trials and elections, habeas corpus, probable-cause requirements, due process and freedom from exploitation—have been erased for many, especially the 2.3 million people in our prisons, most having been put there without ever going to trial. Constitutionally protected statements, beliefs and associations are criminalized. Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”

A ‘Left’ Assessment of Fascism

A Pacific Standard Magazine analysis of the current turbulent political fascist climate: ” Anti-capitalist, anti-Marxist, anti-globalist, anti-bourgeoisie, opposed to multiculturalism, multiracialism, and immigration, and bent on undoing liberal institutions in favor of ethno-nationalist solidarity, anarcho-fascism is tinged with ethno-racial nationalist anxiety. And now, the intellectual progeny of Junger and Franke—midwifed by Troy Southgate, the far-right British activist and self-described national anarchist who formed the the National Revolutionary Faction to overthrow the British government in the 1990s—is having its moment.”

9.12.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Without exception,every human cousin starts as an infant: every single God-fearing Christian; every Allah-loving Muslim; every Torah-toting Jew; every nonattached Buddhist; every reincarnated Hindi; every wild Wiccan; every Godless atheist; every single terrorist; and so on and so forth, all of which establish a ubiquitous, indisputable biosocial context, the dire daily reality of which ought to require all inquisitive minds—with the utmost urgency and diligence—to inquire, “What would need to happen to induce the far-flung members of our fractious, factional clan to treat each other with amicable regard and mutual respect?”

  Quote of the Day  

Anyone wanting slyly to avoid suffering identifies with the entirety of the universe, judges each thing as if he were it.  In the same way, he imagines, at bottom, that he will never die.  We receive these hazy illusions like a narcotic necessary to bear life.  But what happens to us when, disintoxicated, we learn what we are?  Lost among babblers in a night in which we can only hate the appearance of light which comes from babbling.  Georges Bataille

 This Day in History  

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CC BY-ND by cakeanarchist

Today in the United States, for those who want to indulge whimsy, is National Chocolate Milkshake Day, while for those who subscribe to more New Agey sorts of sensibilities, this date marks National Encouragement Day, as, around the world, the United Nations commemorates South-South Cooperation Day; on the Grecian Peninsula, amid its fractious internecine clans, two thousand five hundred and seven years ago according to current tradition, the Battle of Marathon took place, and the Athenians and their allies emerged triumphant over the first ancient Persian incursion;  MORE HERE

seventeen hundred and three years subsequently, in 1213, the Albigensian Crusade continued as Simon de Montfort defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret; ninety-six years after that, in 1309, a somewhat related conflict unfolded in the context of the Spanish Reconquista as the forces of Castile of Spain defeated the caliphate’s troops in the battle for Gibraltar; precisely three centuries in the future from that conjunction, in 1609, navigator Henry Hudson, aboard the good ship Halve Maen, ordered his crew and mates to begin their exploration of the Hudson River; just a single year short of three quarters of a century later, in 1683, normally fractious European countries joined together to fight off Ottoman takeover of Austria at the Battle of Vienna; two hundred five years back, a male infant cried out who would mature as Richard March Hoe, the inventor of the rotary press and its crucial advance of mediation; thirty-four years onward from there, in 1846, across the Atlantic in England, Elizabeth Barrett, despite her infirmities, eloped in the middle of the night with Robert Browning to have a poet’s wedding; more or less precisely a year after that, in 1847, in America’s predatory war with Mexico, the battle for Mexico City at Chapultepec; ten years hence, in 1857, a couple of thousand miles to the Northeast, off the coast of North Carolina, a transport ship that carried close to 15 tons of California gold sank with all hands, a mystery that to this day remained unsolved; a dozen years thereafter, in 1869, the legendary English wordsmith and thinker Peter Mark Roget gave up on his final lexicon; eleven years after that passing, in 1880, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the estimable wordsmith and critic H. L. Mencken; a dozen years on the dot following that, in 1892, an eleven year old Virginia Stephen—later Virginia Woolff—took what would soon enough be a memorialized trip to an island lighthouse near where her family was vacationing; eighteen years further along the temporal stream, in 1910, Gustav Mahler oversaw more than a thousand singers and orchestra in debuting the premiere of his Eight Symphony in Munich; a thousand ninety-six days further along, in 1913, a male infant cried out who would mature as the renowned athlete Jesse Owens; half a decade subsequent to that, in 1918, to the East in Atlanta, Eugene Debs entered prison for the crime of opposing mass murder; three hundred sixty-five days further forward in time, in 1919, across the wide Atlantic in Germany, an entirely different sort of political drama unfolded when Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party; another two years onward in space and time, in 1921, further to the East in the Soviet Union, a male infant entered our midst en route to a life as the thinker and creative writer Stanislaw Lem; seven thousand Southwest, two years yet later on, in 1923, the British sought to continue the imperial project that World War One had ended by annexing Rhodesia, what is now Zimbabwe; eight years even nearer to the here and now, in 1931, thousands of miles to the West and North in the USA, a male child opened his eyes who would rise up as the iconic singer of country and nation, George Jones; a year past that auspicious instant, in 1932, to the north in Toledo, OH, hungry unemployed workers marched on the downtown commercial district and liberated food for themselves rather than face continued starvation; another year henceforth, in 1933, back across the Atlantic in England, Leo Szilard conceived of the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction as he daydreamed at a traffic light in London; three hundred sixty-five additional days in the direction of now, in 1934, a baby male entered the world in standard fashion on the Korean peninsula who would grow up as the thinker and academic Jaegwon Kim; halfway around the world another year beyond that, in 1935, the United Rubber Workers came into existence in Akron, Ohio; a thousand ninety-six days even closer to the current context, in 1938, across the Atlantic in Central Europe, Adolf Hitler demanded ‘autonomy’ for the Sudentenland, the German majority region of Czechoslovakia; two more years on time’s path, in 1940, to the West in France, locals of Lascaux were the first modern people to come upon a vast complex of ancient cave paintings, and back across the ocean in North America, a huge explosion claimed 51 lives at a black powder plant in New Jersey; three years afterward, in 1943, back in Europe, German troops rescued Benito Mussolini from house arrest at the hands of Italian activists, while roughly half the planet away in Sri Lanka, a baby male was born who wuld become the renowned writer and storyteller Michael Ondaatje; a year still more proximate to the present pass, in 1944, a male baby first cried out on the Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas who would mature as the thinker and activist and freedom fighter Leonard Peltier; one thousand four hundred sixty-one days still later, in 1948, halfway around the world in Southwest Asia, opportunistic Indian leaders ordered the invasion of Hyderabad a day after the prominent Pakistani politician’s death; half a decade past that conjunction, in 1953, an erstwhile happier event transpired when Senator John F Kennedy, the scion of Prohibition money and Wall Street scams, married the wealthy French heiress, Jacqueline Bouvier, while across the North Sea to the East Nikita Khrushchev, in the lee of Stalin’s death, became First Secretary of the Communist Party Soviet Union ; another five years down the pike, in 1958, communications engineer Jack Kilby demonstrated the first fully functional integrated circuit; a year in even greater proximity to our present point in time, in 1959, the National Broadcasting Corporation premiered Bonanza, the first television program all in color; three years after that, in 1962, now President John Kennedy affirmed in a speech in Texas that the United States would send a man to the moon by the end of the decade; a dozen years more toward today, in 1974, the longstanding Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie faced a coup that removed that removed him from power; a thousand ninety-six days onward, and six thousand miles south at the tip of Africa in 1977, murderous police beat and killed journalist and activist Steve Biko, and across the wide Atlantic in the United States, under less horrific circumstances, the poet Robert Lowell breathed his last; three years thereafter, in 1980, in a more successfully orchestrated CIA coup, the government of Turkey fell to plotters; three hundred sixty-five days even closer to the current context, in 1981, Nobel laureate Eugenio Montale lived out his final stanza; nine years further along time’s path, in 1990, the four powers with the capacity to dispose of the issue signed paperwork to permit the reunification of Germany; two years yet nearer to the here and now, in 1992, the chief leader of the Shining Path guerillas of Peru fell into the clutches of the nation’s special forces, and most of the rest of the rebel’s high command fell soon after; half a dozen years forward from that, in 1998, New York City designated a prominent plaza as Union Square in honor of the first Labor Day a century prior; another year past that, in 1999, Indonesia, without acknowledging its genocidal fury of decades past, permitted United Nations peacekeepers into East Timor; one thousand four hundred sixty-one days still later, in 2003, U.S. forces in Iraq ‘mistakenly’ shot and killed eight Iraqi policemen, the United Nations agreed to lift sanctions on Libya after it promised to take responsibility after the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103 and to compensate the victims’ families, and iconic voice of country music Johnny Cash sang his swan song; a further four years forward in time, in 2007, around the globe in the Philippines, former president Estrada faced the music for the crime of plundering his own people; an extra three hundred sixty-six days more in the direction of today, in 2008, the esteemed, relatively young, writer David Foster Wallace died tragically; an additional year subsequent to that, in 2009, a much older human champion Peace Price winner Norman Borlaug breathed his last; the very next year, in 2010, after eight decades that included some of France’s finest films, the screen writer, performer, and director Claude Chabrol lived through his final scene; half a decade more proximate to the present pass, in 2015, after a nine-decade run that included both film and drama credits, the estimable Frank Gilroy died.

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 Writers Tools Issues 

Peak Productivity

A James Clear peek at a peak productivity post that can help with writing and all else that needs completing: “Lee was a successful businessman in his own right and is widely remembered as a pioneer in the field of public relations. As the story goes, Schwab brought Lee into his office and said, “Show me a way to get more things done.”

“Give me 15 minutes with each of your executives,” Lee replied.”

 

 

 General Past & Present Issues 

White Supremacy and Right to Work

A Labor Notes analysis of the origins of the labor legislation that is unfriendly to workers: “As right-to-work laws proliferate, it’s worth remembering that they originated as a means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish conspiracy.”

9.11.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Whether one marks the tragic human panoply with general reflection, as often transpires in daily Thoughts of one sort and another, or with specific recollection, as of the events of a particular day that proffers provocative numerals in its normal manifestation, one cannot avoid the duty, unless one’s purpose in life is to sow confusion and chaos and bullshit, to contextualize things in a way that accounts for all the key information that surrounds a specific eventuality and that does not just cherry-pick selected facts that support a given observer’s ideological inclinations and agendas, to wit, as just a single tiny example in relation to “Nine Eleven,” one cannot escape the label of either dire idiot or evil thug if one fails to note the horrors in Chile that occurred on this date, at the behest of the Central Intelligence Agency and corporate America, in 1973, twenty-eight years prior to the catastrophic occurrences of sixteen years back, when one cannot help but imagining that something akin to karma or payback was operating in one way or another, in a fashion more or less horrific and insidious and altogether conspiratorial all at the same time.

  Quote of the Day  
“Every work of art is an uncommitted crime. …(Along similar lines), (a)rt is magic delivered from the lie of being truth. …(just as) (f)or a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live. …(In this context), (f)reedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.”  Theodore Adorno

 This Day in History  

Today is Teacher’s Day in Argentina and Patriot Day in the United Statesseven hundred twenty years ago, Scot forces under the joint command of William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated a British Army at Stirling Bridge; ninety-three years later, in 1390, Teutonic Knights initiated a five-week siege of Vilnius, Lithuania; MORE HERE

 four hundred seventy-six years prior to the present pass, Mapuche indigenous fighters destroyed Spanish fortifications in Santiago, Chile; Ottoman forces retreated from the Siege of Malta not quite a quarter century afterward, in 1565; Spain began the final phase of its persecution and expulsion of Islamic Moriscos from the Iberian Peninsula forty-four years subsequently, in 1609, and Henry Hudson first parlayed with indigenous Americans on what we now call Manhattan Island; a Serbian surprise attack three hundred eighteen years back at the Battle of Zenta laid the basis for driving Ottoman rule out of most of Central Europe; two hundred twenty-eight years before the here-and-now, Alexander Hamilton became the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury; British forces fought Marathas armies fourteen years hence, in 1803, at the Battle of Delhi, seizing control of the great city shortly thereafter for the imperial representatives of the East India Company; a decade after that, in 1813, around the world in a different sort of imperial venture, English soldiers decamped at Mount Vernon in preparation for invading the District of Columbia; eight years past that conjunction, in 1821, across the Atlantic, English philosopher and economist David Ricardo died; another eight years henceforth, in 1829,a Spanish contingent sent to stop the Mexican independence movement instead surrendered to rebels; twenty-two years further along time’s pathway, in 1851, escaped slaves in Pennsylvania fought back against their pursuers, an act of resistance that inspired the Abolition Movement with the so-called Christiana Riots; eleven years nearer to now, in 1862,the boy baby who grew up to become a financial schemer and criminal and famed author O. Henry was born; one hundred thirty-two years before this juncture, the male infant who became D.H. Lawrence came into the world; eight years further along, in 1893 at the Congress of World Religions in Chicago, Swami Vivekinanda delivered a renowned speech on fanaticism and intolerance and inherent, ubiquitous religious truth; four years more proximate to now, in 1897, over 75,000 coal miners ended their Pennsylvania fields strike when they won the eight hour day, the elimination of ‘company stores’ and twice-monthly pay; six years beyond that moment in time, in 1903, the baby who turned into Frankfurt School theorist and author Theodore Adorno gave his first cry; U.S. Marines invaded Honduras; a dozen years hence, in 1915, Emily Post took a month to ‘motor’ cross-country and attained more or less instant celebrity for the work that predated her oeuvre on etiquette; four years subsequent to that point, in 1919, in order to protect the landed interests of corporate and wealthy planters; the Jewish National Fund seven hundred thirty-one days afterward, in 1921, oversaw the opening of one of its first settlements in the plan to create a Jewish State; almost but not quite a decade still closer to the current context, in 1930, Katherine Ann Porter’s Flowering Judas and Other Stories hit American bookshelves with some of the deconstructive author’s renowned work; exactly ten years thereafter, in 1940, an Italian American baby boy came along who would mature as the filmmaker and screenwriter, Brian de Palma; another year yet nearer to today’s light, in 1941, workers broke ground for the construction of the Pentagon; fifty-nine years back, author and poet Robert Service lived out his final stanza; Ukrainian-born premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev died thirteen years later, in 1971, and the baby-boy came into the world who became blogger and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas; two years even more proximate to today, in 1973,CIA-recruited, trained, and financed murderers killed elected President Salvador Allende in Chile, initiating fifteen years of terror that resulted in the deaths, disappearance, or flight of tens of thousands of Chileans; twenty years ago, NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor landed on the surface of the ‘Red Planet;’ four years hence, in 2001, planes crashed into New York’s Twin Towers, and the present moment began; eight years subsequent to that juncture, in 2009, the real life ‘Norma Rae,’ organizer and union stalwart Crystal Lee Sutton, breathed her last; three years after that, in 2012, hundreds of workers died in Pakistani garment factory fires.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Dazed Profile of Rejuvenated Bjork

A Dazed look at the new work of the renowned artist: “Björk Guðmundsdóttir is DJing at Barcelona’s Fira Montjuïc, and the room is sweating. She’s playing a special four-hour set to open Sónar Festival, and over the course of the night the music has been oscillating between aggressive and sensual sounds – a neck-snapping polyrhythm might mutate into a Rihanna vocal, a guttural bassline into ecstatic R&B. The crowd, a mixture of both 20-something clubbers and older fans, are transfixed as they watch the Icelandic pop icon make her selections from a stage made to resemble a hothouse, densely packed with potted plants.”

 

 General Media & ‘Intellectual Property’ Issues 

Photo Competition

A Dazed photo competition that can bring opportunities to media folks whose work intersects with community: “The communities that photographers are invested in often become integral to their work. When you really care about the people, places or things you photograph, that authenticity bleeds into the picture. You’ll see it in a smile captured from an intimate angle, the glint of honest familiarity in a gaze, or the access given to a private space.”

 

 General Past & Present Issues 

LSD’s Therapeutic Benefits

A Dazed piece that highlights the benefits of pursuing psychedelics in a therapeutic setting: ” Jack* has been self-medicating with psychedelics after a six-year battle with anxiety and clinical depression. Spending many of his days watching waves crash on the crumbling cliffs below him, Jack was introduced to the drugs through a friend. While it hasn’t completely eliminated his depression, Jack quickly noticed potential for growth and therapeutic healing. “Psychedelics have reminded me to enjoy the present, have gifted me visions of myself from other people’s perspective, completely eliminated my fear of death and have broken bad habits,” Jack said.”

9.08.2017 Thought of the Day

Linguistic gifts, which ought to rank at or near a position of first-among-equals in the panoply of human adaptive legerdemain, in the United States of America—truly a nation of hucksters if ever one such existed—receive a skeptical or even downright suspicious welcome here instead of garnering gratitude and appreciation: in a world that celebrates trickery and fraud to the extent that every single ‘major-party’ candidate to lead the free world since at least Abraham Lincoln has ranked as a world-class conman—or, in the case of Hillary Clinton and her ilk, conwoman—this distrust for the world of words makes perfect sense at the exact same juncture that only by reformulating the realms of language to favor regular people can anything that even vaguely resembles positive transformation transpire.

9.07.2017 Thought of the Day


Should anyone doubt the malleable plasticity that characterizes each personal specimen’s human form, that skeptic need only consider the infants from which every member of the Homo Sapiens species has derived, all of whom resembled each other much more closely—in behavior and functionalities—than do seemingly wildly differing adults, whose genders and backgrounds and shapes and sizes bring to the fore apparent particularities of singular existence that are actually nothing other than chimera, inasmuch as the ways that we mirror each other, even as fully actualized individuals, so far outnumber the expressions of supposed differences as to make the latter, at best, non sequiturs in any basically rational assessment of social functioning or society building; this aggregation of ideation finds a particularly powerful expression among athletes and other can-do competitors, who maintain that a combination of will and regimentation permits the manifestation of whatever body the specific jock in question wants to create—a critical assessment that must nonetheless recognize the clearly miraculous reinvention that such stars of stage and field can in fact bring to pass with their individualized discipline and training regimens.

9.06.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

The exigencies of the astoundingly variegated biosphere that maintains its fluctuating patterns while our glorious Earth spins through space includes all manner of wonder and woe that hegemons currently organize under the guise of ‘climate change,’ actual erstwhile weather events of which have recently wreaked havoc with various communities in North America: whatever the truth or falsehood of human impact on climate, which any idiot can stipulate exists, the only issues about the prospects and dangers of such processes that are worth more than the merest passing thought concern how people will share their bounty and their burdens under such circumstances; everything else is just puffery, bullshit and fetish in place of analysis and planning, an ideal pattern for profiteers to plunder, dualistic thinking and individual behavior modification in place of dialectical insight and collective mutuality.

  Quote of the Day  
Who looks in the sun will see no light else; but also he will see no shadow. Our life revolves unceasingly, but the centre is ever the same, and the wise will regard only the seasons of the soul.

 This Day in History  

Sean Ellis Follow Cafe Coffee Day  The Starbucks of India
Sean Ellis Follow
Cafe Coffee Day
The Starbucks of India

Today in the United States, in line with fetishizing commodities willy nilly, marks National Coffee Ice Cream Day, while much of Northern North America also commemorates, understandably, despite reactionary likelihood in so doing, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day; MORE HERE

in a non standard interpretation of a, by our standards, ancient practice, this date marks the instant when, five thousand one hundred and thirty-one years ago, the Mayan Long Count Calendar began to operate; three thousand five hundred and eight years after that possible sidereal passage, in 394 Current Era, an increasingly typical Eurasian internecine fury in the Roman empire unfolded, as that epic and brutal ‘mastery of mankind’ peaked and declined, when Emperor Theodosius ousted his would-be killers and replacements, whose military muscle originated in no small part among Frankish militia, provincial plotters against the center; just two years shy of eleven centuries in greater proximity to the present, in 1492, the navigator and explorer and plundering profiteer, Christopher Columbus, directed his crews from their Canary Island berths, the last outpost at that time of the ‘known world’ by European lights; thirty years hence, in 1522, the Victoria, the only surviving craft from Ferdinand Magellan’s little armada, returned to its Spanish harbor, the first vessel successfully to circumnavigate our round little planetary orb;again just a pair of years short of a century mark later, in the modern style of dating things anyway in 1620, Pilgrims departed Plymouth Harbor in the Mayflower on their journey into fate and history across the Atlantic; twenty-two years farther onward from that, in 1642, Puritan comrades of those who now had a toehold in New England issued an Ordinance that outlawed all dramatic, staged performances in theaters; exactly two hundred seventeen years back, a little girl was born into a prominent family of thinkers and preachers and writers and lawyers, who would grow up as the educational activist Catharine Beecher, whose calling was to advocate for opportunities for girls to study in ways that she was not able to; across the wide Atlantic only three years along time’s arc, in 1803, the English chemist John Dalton first began to refer to elements by symbolic names that corresponded to an initial periodic table of atomic forms; forty-four years down the pike from there, back in North America in 1847, Henry David Thoreau departed his rustic cabin on Walden Pond and moved into lodgings with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family; another thirteen years toward today, in 1860, a female infant opened her eyes who would rise as Jane Addams, the powerful voice for ‘social work’ and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for her work among the poor; just short of a decade after that, in 1869, a horrific anthracite coal mine fire at the Avondale Mine, near Scranton, Pennsylvania, claimed the lives of well over a hundred miners who lived and worked and died to profit colliery owners; three hundred sixty-five days more on time’s inexorable march, in 1870, a female voter in Laramie, Wyoming became possibly the first woman in the country to cast a legal electoral ballot since the very early part of the century; forty-seven years afterward, in 1907, the first Nobel literary laureate, Sully Prudhomme, lived out his final chapter; eight years subsequently, in 1915, the industrialization and mechanization of organized death matches took a giant step forward when the first Rolls Royce battle tank rolled out of its production facility for the journey to the trenches in France; a single three hundred sixty-six days additional spin round the sun, in 1916, innovators in U.S. commerce opened the first self-serve grocery and dry goods store, a Piggly Wiggly; a dozen years yet nearer to today, in 1928, a baby male entered our midst in standard fashion who would mature as the thinker and writer and storyteller and ethicist, Robert Pirsig, a ‘Zen’ event indeed; two years past that juncture, thousands of miles South in 1930, a popular Argentinean President lost his seat when coup plotters ousted him from his democratic perch in Buenos Aries; fourteen years yet later on, in 1944, a girl child came along in the regular way who would become Donna Haraway, an estimable thinker and writer and theorist of our brave new virtual world; seven hundred thirty days even closer to the current context, in 1946, the United States Secretary of State, James Byrnes, announced that the U.S. would pursue a plan of economic reconstruction of its former enemy, Germany; just three years past that strategic passage, in 1949, the former Allied powers restored seized Nazi assets to German control; thirteen years henceforth on the dot, in 1962, a British archaeologist unearthed the first of the Blackfriars ships that proved how relatively advanced boat designs and operational capacity was in place in the early or even pre Roman British Isles nearly two thousand years ago, while across the wide Atlantic, civilian and military officials—just weeks away from the beginning of the nearly ecocidal Cuban Missile Crisis—carried out Exercise Spade Fork and related drills to simulate the aftermath of a catastrophic nuclear attack in which half or more of the U.S. population was dead or dying on the first day of engagement; a thousand ninety-six days subsequent to that dire practice, in 1965, the Indian Army counterattacked U.S. supplied Pakistani forces that had carried out a surprise attack in Kashmir by opening up a Punjabi front, a maneuver that virtually stalemated this conflict between the two regions that had less than two decades prior been one political entity; a year yet more proximate to the present pass, in 1966, roughly four thousand miles West in South Africa, the newly elected Prime Minister, an ‘architect’ of Apartheid and virulent White supremacist and opponent of the African National Congress, Hendrik Verwoerd, died at the hands of a mixed race assassin with a knife; half a dozen years further down the pike, in 1972, Palestinian militants terrorized the Olympics by kidnapping and killing Israeli athletes in Munich, Germany, while around the world in Vietnam, where a newly ‘independent’ regime of U.S. puppets was trying to ‘fight communism’ in favor of ‘democracy,’ the nation’s President declared that no upcoming elections would take place and that all such exercises were off until further notice; half a world away a year later still, in 1973, former United Mineworkers of America President Tony Boyle faced charges of ordering the contract killing of the man who replaced him, Joseph Yablonski, along with his wife; a decade farther down time’s path on the nose, in 1983, the Soviet Union formally acknowledged that its fighters had shot down a Korean Airliners Flight that had accidentally entered its airspace during a fierce storm; eight years past that, in 1991, as the Soviet Union was about to transmogrify into the Russian Federation, it recognized as independent entities the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; a year in even greater proximity to the present point, in 1992, the notable dramatist and screenwriter, Henry Ephron, whose four daughters also all became significant literary lights, lived out his final scene; half a dozen years more toward today, in 1998, a film auteur and script writer from Japan, the renowned Akira Kurosawa, drew his final breath; nine years thereafter, in 2007, the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed state, Israel, preemptively attacked, with U.S. permission and support, a ‘production reactor’ in Syria, utterly destroying it, and the staunch opponent of organized butchery, and masterful creator of fantastical worlds, Madeleine L’Engle, went through her final day on Earth, and Volkswagen America moved its headquarters from the stifling environs of Michigan to a Northern Virginia venue; a year exactly forward from that, in 2008, the first Turkish leader in over eighty years visited neighboring Armenia for a ‘futbol’ match; three years hence, in 2011, the founder of Project Gutenberg, Michael Hart, cast his last gaze about him before his final exit; just two more years along time’s beat, in 2013, the popular adapter of science fiction yarns from mass media, Sara Crispin, succumbed to cancer after wishing her readers a final farewell.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

 

A Pacific Standard piece that looks at the current incarnation of fascism, what it looks like and what are its goals: “Born and raised online, the alt-right is the decentralized anarchic militia envisioned by Junger and Franke and actually implemented by Southgate. Using the trolling tactics of the actual digital anarchists found on 4chan—a community with its own quasi-anarchic problems—to assail political and cultural norms in a campaign of epistemological warfare (see: “fake news“), the alt-right has translated “smash the state” to a world no longer dominated by nation-states.”

 Writers Tools Issues 

Journalism Fellowship

An opportunity for writers in Canada: rabble.ca and Olivia Chow of the Institute for Change Leadersare delighted to announce the inaugural launch of the Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship.”

 

 Recent Events 

Undermining Birth Control Again

A candid look from Pacific Standard on the dangers facing this most basic woman’s right: “How the Christian Right is co-opting the women’s rights movement to fight contraceptives in Africa.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Quanta on Symmetry

A Quanta Magazine look at the beauty and symmetry of math: “You could forgive mathematicians for being drawn to the monster group, an algebraic object so enormous and mysterious that it took them nearly a decade to prove it exists. Now, 30 years later, string theorists — physicists studying how all fundamental forces and particles might be explained by tiny strings vibrating in hidden dimensions — are looking to connect the monster to their physical questions. What is it about this collection of more than 1053 elements that excites both mathematicians and physicists? The study of algebraic groups like the monster helps make sense of the mathematical structures of symmetries, and hidden symmetries offer clues for building new physical theories. Group theory in many ways epitomizes mathematical abstraction, yet it underlies some of our most familiar mathematical experiences. Let’s explore the basics of symmetries and the algebra that illuminates their structure.”

9.05.2017 Thought of the Day

The ebb and flow of attraction and distance that rise and fall in every relation of amity and love and friendship, akin to the tides, in all likelihood dependent on or at least influenced by Luna’s face in our lives, now a glowing scintillating sidereal smile, soon enough a shadowy veil, resemble a tango or a game in which the players at first dance toward each other in a fiery rush of commingling and communion and then scurry apart to await the next incoming, onrushing impulsion toward embrace, a dynamic that lovers and friends and partners soon enough, if they don’t fly away in anguish and anger from the coming and going altogether, learn to recognize and appreciate as one key component of loving libations and frolicsome friendships in every circumstance of circumnavigating life’s inlets and harbors, where watery abundance juxtaposes daily with a tidal outflow that means not that aridity will reign as in a desert but that the next influxes of moisture and connection, promising swampy swims to sweet succor, are on the way.

9.04.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

In a typical expression of the excrescence of the ‘American way,’ labor, even as its bounty has creates all aspects of the cultural existence that count for civilization over the plus or minus hundred thousand years of human life, receives a single day of recognition, while the clever exploitation and emiseration of actual workers represents the only true art of Yankee society, in sum a horrific indictment that a careful reading of purported Labor Day oration and exposition would demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt, thereby simultaneously proving that only fundamental reformulation of the otherwise indispensable U.S.A. can salvage anything other than dross from the current wreckage that the plutocrats in Washington and New York and other bastions of capital manage as an ongoing experiment in eternal and lucrative chaos, the planned prospects for a forever concentration camp of cataclysm if we don’t completely destroy complex life on Earth first.

  Celebrating Labor Day  

for World Organization of Writers