12.29.2015 Daily Links

               A Thought for the Day               

art -The_ScreamTo quell querulousness, quiet qualms, daunt danger, and triumph over terror necessitates several qualities that apparently only a tiny fragment of the United States population has learned: to enjoy listening, as well as speaking, to engage discovery as well as learning by rote; to accept one’s own contribution to all one’s difficulties and find ways to address or ameliorate this individual responsibility and then to act collectively to improve matters; to foster collaboration and mutuality with the certain understanding that solidarity defines the limits of an individual’s strength; to recognize that all human horror arises from the fearful’s having sewn terror themselves that has returned to haunt them, the only credible response to which is to propagate peace as a result of disseminating justice in all one’s relations with others.

                    Quote of the Day                   

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it. …Another Chief remembered that since the Great Father promised them that they would never be moved they had been moved five times.  ‘I think you had better put the Indians on wheels,’ he said sardonically, ‘and you can run them about whenever you wish.’


On the mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy.  (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.)  Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders.  Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered.  To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.

from Espresso Stalinist
from Espresso Stalinist

(Parallel to such attitudes, White Indian Commissioners and Agents promised to bring White people’s cultural advantages to Native peoples).  One of them mentioned the advantages of schools for Joseph’s people.  Joseph replied that the Nez Percés did not want the white man’s schools.  ‘Why do you not want schools?’ the commissioner asked.  ‘They will teach us to have churches,’ Joseph answered.  ‘Do you not want churches?’ ‘No, we do not want churches.’  ‘Why do you not want churches?’  ‘They will teach us to quarrel about God,’ Joseph said.  ‘We do not want to learn that.  We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God.  We do not want to learn that.'”   Dee Brown: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

                 This Day in History                  
183px-Twas_the_Night_Before_Christmas_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17135In the Northern European tradition, today is the fifth day of Christmas; followers of England’s second king named Henry murdered Thomas Becketeight hundred forty-five years ago in the Canterbury Cathedral, which led to the priest’s subsequent canonization in both the Catholic and Anglican Churches; a quarter millennium and seven years later, in 1427, Ming Dynasty occupying forces, having for two decades dominated Dai Viet, the name that Vietnamese used for the better part of eight centuries till 1800, withdrew altogether, and Vietnam conducted its affairs under its own aegis; five hundred seven years before the present pass, Portuguese colonizers furthered their hold on Indian claims at the Battle of Dombhat; a mere year more than thirteen decades later, in 1639, English thinker and physician Thomas Sydenham, who made the first tasty Laudanum, drew his final breath; Cherokee elders signed the New Echota treaty, which exactly four years short of two centuries henceforth, in 1835, ceded all tribal claims to land East of the Mississippi River; a decade afterward exactly, in 1845, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, which entered the union as the twenty-eighth State, a slave jurisdiction; another forty-five years onward, in 1890, U.S. cavalry troops slaughtered upwards of 300 Lakota Sioux, primarily women and children and elderly, at Wounded Knee South Dakota; James Joyce one hundred and one years before the here and now, began to serialize A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in The Egoist; eight years closer to the present, in 1922, a male infant uttered his first cry en route to a life as the writer and critic William Gaddis; two years past that point, in 1924, the Swiss Nobel-Prize winning poet Carl Spitteler died; two years yet later on, in 1926, Austrian poet and writer Rainer Maria Rilke took his last breath; another four years thereafter, in 1930,the 110px-IqbalPersian and Urdu poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal first outlined, in a presentation at Allahabad, his proposal for the creation of Pakistan in what was then Northwest India; yet four years more along time’s path, in 1934, imperial Japan withdrew from the conventions of naval treaties that had inhibited the construction of war-making ships; three years even closer to the current context, in 1937 on the other side of the world, the Irish Free State joined the ‘family of nations’ as the Republic of Ireland; four years farther down the pike, in 1941, a male infant joined humanity’s panoply en route to the prolific rocker and lyricist Ray Thomas; just three hundred sixty-five days still more proximate to the present pass, in 1942, a Canadian boy child opened his eyes whose work, as Rick Danko, would make The Band a legendary component of Rock and Roll; a baby girl was born four years beyond that conjunction, in 1946, who would grow up to become the hard-hitting crooner Marianne Faithful; another year hence, in 1947, a baby boy shouted out who would become the acclaimed musician and songwriter, Cozy Powell; seven hundred thirty-one days later still, in 1949, Bridgeport, Connecticut became the locus of the world’s first full-time Ultra-High-Frequency television station; ten years subsequent to that juncture, in 1959, Richard Feynman made a presentation,There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, that has since come to represent the initiation of nanotechnology; eleven years diego rivera work labor artonward from there, in 1970 in Washington, years of political effort by trade unionists paid off with the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration by act of Congress; twenty-nine years back, the iconic Russian director and screenwriter Andrei Tarkovsky lived out his final scene; a thousand ninety-six days nearer to now, in 1989, riots erupted in Hong Kong at the decision to force repatriation on Vietnamese nationals in the province; seven years after that to the day, in 1996, the government of Guatemala and rebels there agreed to a peace accord that ended nearly four decades of fighting; precisely a decade hence, in 2006,England discharged its final indebtedness to the United States from World War Two, and nearly 15,000 steelworker union members settled their strike against sixteen different rubber producing facilities.

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                       Top of the Fold                       

SEA CHANGES FOR LABOR, ESPECIALLY IN DIXIE?

http://www.southernstudies.org/2015/12/voices-media-fails-to-reveal-anti-union-agenda-of-.html – A posting from the Institute for Southern Studies that shows the deception and duplicity that permeate all aspects of ‘labor reporting’ among corporate media outlets, an insidious pattern of distortion that particularly afflicts the South, analysis that contradicts other statements from Southern Studies about recent Chattanooga victories and about “reasons to cheer” labor’s prospects in Dixie, a tension in assessing labor unions’ present pass–on the one hand celebrating Chicago Teachers’ militancy, on the other hand ruing that purported labor leaders have joined up with plutocrats and predatory capitalists in apparently common cause–that seems common now in ‘left’ or ‘liberal’ circles such as what appears from In These Times, while more militantly socialist or Marxist sources mount a much more consistent critique of current practices, an overall context in which several observers, such as a journalist for Jacobin call for citizens to take note of what’s happening at the Kohler strike in Wisconsin, and in which some unions, such as the giant Communications Workers of America, are breaking ranks with SOP Democratic Party trickery in support of Ms. Clinton and, as reported by Common Dreams, are endorsing radicalism and even revolution in the form of Bernie Sanders: “(In relation to the close vote against the United Auto Workers almost two years ago in Chattanooga), (f)ollowing the failed election, documents leaked to Nashville’s News Channel 5 exposed the extent to which Republican politicians, professional anti-union consultants, and employer groups coordinated their efforts to defeat the UAW.  John Logan, professor of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State University, said that this may be the first time in U.S. history that the government and third party groups, but not the employer, were actively involved in an anti-union campaign, which Logan described as ‘top-down class warfare in Tennessee’ and ‘a zero-sum ideal where the freedom of the wealthy and powerful is premised on the subordination of everyone else.’  Much and more of the coordinated attack on the union organizing drive has beenreported in progressive media, but with all the examples of outright political threats and overt anti-union propaganda, the more banal, and therefore normalized, examples of how the business press has presented anti-union perspectives with an air of supposed objective authority often got lost in the mix.


(For example, in one particularly egregious case), the local Chattanooga paper, in 11 out of 16 stories in which he was quoted, refused to make mention of (John) Raudabaugh’s connection to the N(ational) R(ight) T(o) W(ork) L(egal) D(efense) F(und), where he has worked since 2012.  In one particularly scandalous example, the Chattanooga Times Free Press published an article entitled ‘VW union, yea or nea?  Ex-NLRB member says UAW not needed in Chattanooga for works council’ that was entirely centered on Raudabaugh’s theory that VW workers and the company could ‘reach a win-win  outcome without having to pay a third party.’  As in the other 10 articles, the paper referred to Raudabaugh as a former National Labor Relations Board director and law professor at Ave Maria School of Law without any mention of his affiliation with the NRTWLDF.  Yet, even the descriptions that they do provide are missing ‘critical context.’


Both the Ave Maria University and the the town of Ave Maria are owned by former Domino’s pizza owner and extreme right-wing billionaire Thomas Monaghan, who financed the construction as part of his dream to create an insulated conservative  Catholic community.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Monaghan’s medieval vision for this project, which has cost him hundreds of millions of dollars, is to create a town in which he can ‘control what goes on there’ and residents ‘won’t be able to buy aPlayboy or Hustler magazine’ and businesses are specifically forbidden from selling ‘the pill or the condoms or contraception.’  Thanks to a special law passed by the Florida state government at the behest of Monaghan, he and the Barron Collier development corporation not only own a majority of the town’s property but are the ultimate government authority in Ave Maria, and can remain so forever.  Empowered by the state government to a dictatorial reign, Monaghan’s Catholic corporate dystopia has become a reality and Ave Maria has been described as a ‘miniature theocratic fiefdom’ and compared to ‘fascist regimes.’  It’s not hard to see why the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation would feel right at home.


Parsing the corporate media’s treatment of Raudabaugh, we can see a recurring theme: By avoiding ‘critical context,’ a prominent union buster, employed by a multimillion-dollar anti-union political operation in partnership with an extreme right-wing Catholic university founded by a conservative billionaire in a 21st century company town, magically becomes just another more-or-less neutral authority on labor relations, even after filing charges on behalf of anti-union Volkswagen workers against both the UAW and the company.”—Institute for Southern Studies

CC BY by brendan-c
CC BY by brendan-c

“The (Communications Workers of America) endorsement comes after a three-month voting period, with tens of thousands of the union’s 700,000 members casting ballots.  Its former president, Larry Cohen, is an adviser to Sanders’ campaign.  It also comes hours after his chief rival for the nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, picked up the endorsement of billionaire Warren Buffett.


‘CWA members have made a clear choice and a bold stand in endorsing Bernie Sanders for President,’ said the union’s president, Chris Shelton.  ‘I am proud of our democratic process, proud of CWA members, and proud to support the candidate whose vision for America puts working families first.  Our politics and economy have favored Wall Street, the wealthy and powerful for too long.  CWA members, like voters across America, are saying we can no longer afford business as usual.  Bernie has called for a political revolution – and that is just what Americans need today.’


Sanders on Thursday also picked up an endorsement from the grassroots political group Democracy for America, which boasts roughly one million members.  The endorsement marks the first time in the organization’s history that it officially announced support for a presidential candidate.


Remarking on the divergent decisions of the organization and its leader, Sanders said, ‘It is no secret that the founder of DFA—my friend and fellow Vermonter former Gov. Howard Dean—has chosen not to support my candidacy.  Yet the leadership of DFA allowed a fair and free vote to take place which we won.  That’s pretty impressive.'”—Common Dreams

               TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                               AWARENESS VIDEO                  

THE MOST CENSORED & DISTORTED STORIES OF 2015
http://www.globalresearch.ca/2015-reviewing-the-most-important-and-the-most-censored-stories-of-the-year/5496993 -An hour long radio presentation today, a program from Global Research that honors the founder of Project Censored by summarizing and providing leads for digging into the journalism from the last year that sought to reveal what corporate media has uniformly ignored, to wit, anything that threatens to deconstruct either the operational protocols for empire and its depredations or any event or happening that in its very essence uncovers those relationships and realizations that those in command want hidden deeply away, unspoken, not even pondered in the most rudimentary fashion.

JOBSEVENTS

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AWP Conference
The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2015 conference featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The bookfair hosted over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. AWP’s is now the largest literary conference in North America. Join us in Los Angeles in 2016 to celebrate the best of what contemporary literature has to offer.

Preregistration closes February 12th.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

Fiction submissions accepted September through December, 2015
Nonfiction submissions accepted fall, 2016
Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books.

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing [hereafter referred to as “the Prize”] will alternate yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions, beginning with fiction in 2015. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.   Submissions will be accepted from September 1 until December 31, 2015.

Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Website: http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com
E-mail address: beforecolumbusfoundation@gmail.com
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year that make contributions to American multicultural literature. Submit two copies of a book or galley published in 2015 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines.
Before Columbus Foundation, American Book Awards, Raymond House, 655 13th Street, Suite 302, Oakland, CA 94612. (510) 268-9775.

Cleveland Foundation
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Website:  http://www.anisfield-wolf.org
E-mail address:  submit@anisfield-wolf.org
Prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published during the previous year that “contribute to our understanding of racism or appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures.” Submit five copies of a book published in 2015 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.
Cleveland Foundation, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, 1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300, Cleveland, OH 44115. (216) 685-2018. Karen R. Long, Contact.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

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Protecting Police Who Kill

A City Lab post by an insightful writer who analyses the challenges of movements that seek to address and eradicate police brutality, and that addresses the systemic problems that lead to police brutality, and that simple protests are not enough: “Although the anger of police reformers and Black Lives Matters activists ran high in 2015, there was also, at times, a naïvely optimistic underpinning to their protests. They were built around the belief that if only there were reliable statistics on deaths in the hands of police, if only there was more awareness about deaths, if only more political pressure could be brought to bear on prosecutors, then the criminal-justice system could deal with police-inflicted deaths. That hope was encouraged by the Walter Scott case, in which Officer Michael Slager was fired and charged with murder almost immediately after a video of Scott’s shooting was made public.”

By Matthew Woitunski, via Wikimedia Commons
By Matthew Woitunski, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally a Rational Compassionate Approach to Housing Woes

An Aeon piece that introduces readers to a radical yet simple solution to the housing crisis, and also introduces readers to an unexpected place where these policies are bearing fruit: “Housing First is not very popular. It runs directly counter to the US meritocratic mythology, where one is presumed to fail or succeed by one’s own hand. The homeless are presumed to have earned their place on the street.

Precious few places have had the nerve to fully implement a Housing First policy, though hundreds of cities have drawn up the plans. But the approach has been successful in Utah, where chronic homelessness is down 91 per cent over the past decade, and where rapid rehousing programmes have housed thousands of newly homeless veterans and families quickly and cheaply. To the surprise of every self-described progressive, Utah has emerged as a model for municipal programs around the country.”

Sanders’ Hippie Past

A Salon glimpse into the storied life of a beloved presidential candidate as it unfolded in the 60s: “Sanders had joined the migration of hippies, searchers, and dreamers to the Green Mountains and moved there permanently in 1968, then bought the land and settled in Stannard the following year. “My hair was long, but not long for the times,” he told Mark Jacobson for a piece in New York magazine in 2014. “I smoked marijuana but was never part of the drug culture. That wasn’t me.””

Drug War Unabated

A Vice News piece that contextualizes the ongoing drug war racket in Mexico, its constant deaths and displacements, the small triumphs and failures, and looks at the thoughts of folks looking at the root of the problem, whose ideas need be implemented in order for the scourge to go away: “Buscaglia believes the key missing element is a campaign to root out the high-level political corruption that he says has allowed the cartels to capture parts of the state. Until the state recovers control of itself, he argues, there will always be space for organized crime to operate — and kill — regardless of how many capos fall or cartels are dismantled.

“The problem of political corruption is not addressed in any way,” he said. “Until you see that done by the Mexican government, you will not see any difference in terms of containing these criminal groups.””

CC BY-NC-ND by txmx 2

Ukraine Lies

From Smirking Monkey, some important work by a tireless investigator that strives to disarm some of the most trenchant disinformation out there in regards to the ongoing Ukraine nightmare: “Supporters of America’s Democratic Party don’t want to know this, because it shows Obama to be profoundly evil and far-right in foreign affairs; and, America’s Republican Party don’t want to know this, because they’re no less evil than he is and they can’t blame him for doing what Republicans (such as Righter) have always wanted America to do, which is to surround Russia by NATO countries and strangulate it.

In other words: the reality that has been documented here is unmentionable in the aristocratically controlled — both Democratic and Republican — press in the United States.”

 

WRISSOne More Journalist Down

A New York Times article outlining the tragedy of yet another journalist felled for his committment to truth and informing the world on conditions in Turkey: “The killing of the journalist, Naji Jerf, in Gaziantep, Turkey, happened Sunday, one day before he and his family were scheduled to fly to France, where they were seeking asylum. Unconfirmed news reports from Gaziantep said he had been shot to death.

Mr. Jerf recently posted on YouTube a documentary on the killing of Syrian activists during the Islamic State’s occupation of the Syrian city Aleppo in 2013 and 2014. It was recently broadcast by the television network Al Arabiya.”

money_flying-transparent

The Ungenerous Sharing Economy

A Salon reposting that contextualizes the many ills, towards workers, of the so-called sharing economy, in which the usual suspects benefit, at the expense of everyone else: “In the aftermath of the economic collapse in 2008, a significant factor in the decline of the quality of jobs in the United States, as well as in Europe has been employers’ increasing reliance on “non-regular” workers — a growing army of freelancers, temps, contractors, part-timers, day laborers, micro-entrepreneurs, gig-preneurs, solo-preneurs, contingent labor, perma-lancers and perma-temps. It’s practically a new taxonomy for a workforce that has become segmented into a dizzying assortment of labor categories. Even many full-time, professional jobs and occupations are experiencing this precarious shift.”

GENMEDIP

Soviets as Early Adopters of Internet

A fascinating Global Voices article that introduces readers to technology we all take for granted that was used in Soviet Russia long before most of us ever ‘got mail’: “At first glance, speaking about a “Soviet Internet” seems paradoxical and anachronistic. Yet, such a thing did actually exist. This is why a top level “.su” domain (for Soviet Union) still remains on the domain market today, despite ICANN’s requests to delete it.

Scholars of the Soviet Internet generally agree that its development began with the rise of Gorbatchev’s Perestroika and Glasnost. Thanks to these reforms, the first Soviet Internet provider was founded in 1987-1988. And in 1991, there were already a few hundred users connected to the Unix network in the USSR.”

Remains of Old Soviet K-340A super computer in Chernobyl. Aliaksandr Palanetski, CC, Flickr.

RECEV

Another Police Shooting Goes Unpunished

A New York Times article that shows yet another instance of police ‘getting away with murder’:“Mr. McGinty said the fatal encounter had been a tragedy and a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications.” But he said that enhancement of video from the scene had made it “indisputable” that Tamir, who was black, was drawing the pellet gun from his waistband when he was shot, either to hand it over to the officers or to show them that it was not a real firearm. He said that there was no reason for the officers to know that, and that the officer who fired, Timothy Loehmann, had a reason to fear for his life.”

GENISScode binary computer geekComputers and Fate of Cities

A fascinating City Lab posting that contextualizes the way that digitizing all reality has has a direct effect not only on the marketability and economic viability of individuals, but of entire cities: “The key to success, it seems, came down to whether or not residents of a given metro area possessed “abstract” skills capable of complementing computer technology, such as problem-solving, analytical reasoning, and complex communication. Metros with an abstract knowledge-base prospered, report University of Oxford researchers Thor Berger and Carl Benedikt Frey in Regional Science and Urban Economics. Those with more “routine” workforces didn’t.

“Although the computer revolution arrived everywhere, it had very different effects based on what types of work cities specialized in,” says Berger via email. “In cities with an abundance of abstract skills, the computer led to the creation of a wide variety of new work, whereas in cities specializing in routine manufacturing work it led to the displacement of middle-skill workers.””