BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW
LOOSE CANNONS OR NEW DIRECTIONS IN ‘FOREIGN POLICY?’
In an environment in which the new ‘pivot to Asia’ could easily turn into the promotion of war with China, an up to the minute briefing from New York Times about Donald Trump’s taking a call from Taiwan’s head-of-state, a diplomatic move that may inhibit, or even prohibit ,relations with the Peoples Republic that are better than hostile, inasmuch as Beijing has treated the island as a breakaway province ever since the U.S. installed thief-in-chief and proto-fascist dictator Chiang Kai Chek as the leader of the ‘free Chinese’ in Taipei after his troops liquidated twenty or thirty thousand protesters there prior to the Communist’s successful conclusion of their revolutionary movement on the mainland, an instance of unexpected developments internationally that melds interestingly with an entirely different sort of new eventuality, which TeleSur reports , the announcement that M.D.’s from Cuba’s renowned medical school have organized to send a treatment team to Standing Rock both as clinicians for, and in solidarity with, the Lakota Sioux’s efforts there; both of which occurrences complement another news analysis from TeleSur, that militants in Colombia are fearful that recent killings of social justice advocates might very well signal pending mass murder, or possibly genocide, in the nation that has long served as a Yankee hinge to keep Latin America’s doors open to intervention and imperial imprimatur, the aggregate of which ought to catch the attention of all scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens who want to be abreast of news that matters about foreign relations, such as, in addition, Japan’s Prime Minister’s having decided to make a stop at Pearl Harbor soon and Italy’s Prime Minister’s facing the prospect of resignation after a decisive defeat of his pro-EU, pro-austerity referendum by a 3:2 margin.
This Day in History
In related planetary celebrations, today marks both World Soil Day and the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development; in pre-current era Rome, two thousand seventy-nine years ago, the esteemed thinker and speaker Cicero delivered the fourth and final of his Catiline Orations; six hundred ninety-six years forward in time from that, in 633, an important development on the Iberian Peninsula took place as the Fourth Council of Toledo began; six hundred eight years ahead of today, a representative of the Mongolian Golden Horde arrived to the doorstep of Moscow in triumph; seventy-six years further along, in 1484, the eighth Pope Innocent, responding to the church’s troubles with its adherents, appointed a pair of inquisitors to help root out ‘witchcraft’ in Germany; just eight years beyond that, as the 12th month began in 1492, the inquisitive, acquisitive, and predatory explorer and mariner Christopher Columbus arrived with his crews as the first Europeans to visit what is now the Dominican Republic and Haiti; MORE HERE
A Thought for the Day
Bloodthirsty wolves, brain-sucking zombies, flesh-feasting megabugs: much more diverting and entertaining are our psychic monstrosities than the panoply of the grotesque that we foster or tolerate through ‘rational’ evaluation, such as every flavor of chauvinism, the manifold and ubiquitous tortures of imprisonment and the varieties of mass collective suicide attendant on modern warfare that scar the present pass like the black buboes full of pus marked victims of the plague for certain agony and likely doom.
I have never had any desire to play a maid, a liquor store owner kicking a black person out of my store, a rude and harried waitress, a worldly-wise acupuncturist, an early-rising, loose black cotton pants wearing elderly woman practicing tai chi in the park, a manicurist, a prostitute, a student in an English as a Second Language course, a purveyor of exotic mushrooms and ginseng, an exchange student, a newscaster covering gang warfare in Chinatown, a woman drowning my newborn baby in a bowl, a daughter crying with my mom over our constant battle between East and West yet finally coming together over a particularly intense game of mahjong…a young girl being raped and killed by GIs in the Killing Fields, a woman balancing a basket of any kind on my head…committing suicide because my white lover did not come back to Japan after the war, or having him come back for me and fooling him successfully for years and years thinking I am a woman when really I’m a dude, as if my race castrates me so much this deception is completely feasible… Margaret Cho
"false consciousness" OR "willful ignorance" OR "conscious delusion" blame OR projection OR scapegoat ubiquitous OR omnipresent OR commonplace OR sop "current context" OR "present pass" OR "here and now" danger OR risk OR deleterious OR disadvantage conversation OR discourse OR engagement corrective OR curative OR healing OR ameliorate = 20,300 Conjunctions.
TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO
In relation to perhaps the most astonishing instance ever of “projection’s being the most primitive form of coping strategy,” the entire ‘fake-news’ imbroglio that last week’s Washington Post piece ignited, access to an almost hour-long TruthDig weekly video in which Robert Scherer utterly unloads on Amazon‘s erstwhile ‘journalists’ and editors, while his cohorts remain more measured in their presentations, if equally condemnatory, indicating without saying so that litigation and a huge cultural dogfight are pending among those who make information their business, a portal to which, and substantial additional material, is also available, for now, on YouTube, at the same time that Activist Post presents this link and a Vimeo half-hour with CounterPunch’s managing editor that gives additional documentation of the hideous viciousness of the Post’s reportage and does mention explicitly the likelihood of lawsuits ahead, all of which is probably already on scrappy scribes’ and stalwart citizens’ radar screens, though hopefully not without some additional ideas or citations to consider here.
Nearly Naked Links
From Friday’s and Saturday’s Files
SEP on Philosophy of Education – https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/education-philosophy/
Bernays & the Origins of ‘Intelligence’ & Public Relations Propaganda
A Web Portal to Illich – http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich.html
Hambidge offers residencies of two weeks to two months to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on 600 wooded acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Publishing (tenure-track)
The Department of Writing Arts welcomes applications for a full-time (10-month) tenure-track Assistant Professor, to join the department September 1, 2017.
A clear-headed assessment by a potent thinker of Trump’s victory speech, an event and assessment that can provide some hints to the future: “I took the time to read the transcript of Trump’s speech, the entire transcript. It has three parts to it. First he talks about what he’s going to do in very general terms (ra ra, we can fix America); then he takes a victory lap and exorciates the press, and then he talks more about what he’s going to do.”
An EPI post that contextualizes the ills that charter schools create in terms of communication and education: “This report highlights patterns of charter school expansion across several large and mid-size U.S. cities since 2000. In this report, the focus is the loss of enrollments and revenues to charter schools in host districts and the response of districts as seen through patterns of overhead expenditures. I begin by identifying those cities and local public school districts that have experienced the largest shifts of students from district-operated to charter schools, and select from among those cities illustrative examples of the effects of charter school expansion on host district finances and enrollments.”
A Monday Note look at some of the profit-driven mechanisms of facebook that are antithetical to actual democratic discourse: “So, sharing is key because it leads to higher page consumption which, in turn, leads to multiple bespoke advertising exposures.
How does Facebook tweak its system in order to favor sharing? It does so by becoming the ultimate filter bubble.
On Facebook, what you click on, what you share with your “friends” shapes your profile, preferences, affinities, political opinions and your vision of the world. The last thing Facebook wants is to contradict you in any way. The sanction would be immediate: you’d click/share much less; even worse, you might cut your session short. Therefore, Facebook has no choice but keeping you in the warm, comfort of the cosy environment you created click after click. In the United States, Facebook does this for 40 minutes per user and per day.”
A Salon analysis of the current fake news censorship climate: “The watch list is a sign of the right’s new McCarthyism. But it’s also a sign of the amazing stupidity of the post-truth era. ..Today’s McCarthyism combines the red scare witch hunts of the 1950s with the 1980s attacks on multiculturalism of the culture wars and the post-9/11 loyalty tests. But Trump-era McCarthyism has further added the novelty of cyberbullying and a post-truth, fake news lack of connection to reality.“
A cogent Al Jazeera look at historical and sociological realities of today’s flavor of white supremacy: “But today’s white nationalism is unlike the cocky white supremacy of the 19th century, when the West pretty much ruled large swaths of the world and required an ideology to justify its global dominance. In place of the white man’s burden of yore, many whites, especially men, now feel they are regarded as the burden.”