12.29.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          


As regards the ‘cradle-of-civilization’ struggles of the present pass, an overview from Mint Press News that provides background on a little-discussed reality–at least, ‘little discussed’ by the corporate ‘press’–the diplomatic power-plays in which primarily Russia and Turkey are reshaping the Levant in ways that noticeably–some would say fundamentally–counter U.S. priorities in the region, a phenomenon about which the New York Times is now reporting an update about a tripartite cease-fire that Syria, Turkey, and Russia have brokered together, a groundbreaking development that Reuters is contextualizing, via Fortuna’s Corner, as a compromise deal that manifests agendas near and dear to Iran, Turkey, and Syria, all of which makes for key information for those scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens who hope for a deeper level of understanding than whatever propaganda U.S. intelligence agencies and their associated ‘media outlets’ have been promulgating and promoting as ‘Scout’s Honor’ and the real deal.

                    This Day in History                  

In the Northern European tradition, today is the fifth day of Christmas; followers of England’s second king named Henry murdered Thomas Becket eight hundred forty-six 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 eight 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; MORE HERE

                A Thought for the Day                

diversity people society facesThe notion of ‘superiority’ that underlies chauvinist, ethnocentric, or otherwise supremacist thinking—if one can avoid retching at the vile violence that lurks just beneath the surface of such ‘perspectives’—for at least a few reasons has to strike one in a sober moment as some combination of the bizarre and the hilarious, first because only idiots fail to realize that every human being on the planet is a cousin of every other unless they have a still closer relationship, second because even barely schooled thinkers realize intuitively the irrefutable truth that all advantageous adaptations—the putative basis of the vaunted supremacy—occur as a range of values that distribute more or less randomly over a sample population’s scattered members, third because even schoolchildren learn the practical lesson that all relative assets rise and fall over time in life’s grand struggles as they spread their beneficent impact and grace more surviving competitors with their erstwhile ‘edge’—not that reason or rationality have ever made much of a dent in the narcissistic fantasies of ‘supreme’ beings, whose primary psychological impetus to pronounce their preeminence, in the first place, is that they feel so profoundly the ubiquitous exemplification of their inferiority.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“Let everything that’s been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy, but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important, let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it’s tender and pliant. But when it’s dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.”
Andrei Tarkovsky
                   Doc of the Day                      
Since 1911, there have been major strides to protect workers, regardless of immigration status: Standards for basic minimum wage and overtime pay have been enacted as well as prohibitions against discrimination. However, this does not mean workplace exploitation is a thing of the past. Widespread labor law violations in low- wage industries including pay below minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and a lack of any breaks are as common today as they were over 100 years ago. MORE HERE

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SEARCHDAY"occupational safety and health" OR "worker safety" OR "job injuries" right OR law OR policy moral OR ethical OR equitable OR "social justice" research OR investigation OR analysis OR explication OR argument history OR origins OR evolution marxist OR radical = 1,310,000 Connections.

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              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

A clearly apposite and oddly appropriate juxtaposition, on the one hand a music video from The One Moment that deconstructs the creation of special-effects illusions to make a point about longing and relationship and on the other hand a visual record and transcript of Vladimir Putin’s protean capacity to learn and communicate and negotiate and lead, the only one of which abilities that U.S. ‘leaders’ evince is the capability to tell stories, a chance therefore for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens to ponder their polity’s behaviors and machinations in a real way that monopoly media’s fantabulists have not manipulated.

                     Nearly Naked Links                  

From Wednesday’s Files

Bangladeshi Labor Uprising – http://portside.org/2016-12-27/bangladesh-garment-factories-sack-hundreds-after-pay-protests

Israel’s Outlaw Status Deepens

Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country’s new status, as a rogue state


Infrastructure Shakedowns, Courtesy of Plutocrats – http://portside.org/2016-12-27/american-towns-private-profits-public-works



student writing arm


Arkansas Literary Festival

Little Rock, AR

The 2016 Arkansas Literary Festival was held from April 14 to April 17 at the Central Arkansas Library system’s Main Library and other venues in Little Rock.


Poets & Writers, Inc.
Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Two prizes of $500 each are awarded annually to a poet and a fiction writer from a select state.


2017 WCHS Career Fest 

Brooklyn NY – Who should attend

Are you graduating May 2017 with a degree in education!
Are you a teacher looking for a change!

If so stop by we may have a job for you once you out of college!


Democratizing Nuclear Abolition

A Ploughshares look at the work of an esteemed nuclear thinker, discussing a fundamentally important subject for the viability of mankind:   “To safeguard our democracy and reduce the risk of a nuclear weapons launch, the next administration should: place our nuclear weapons on a much lower level of launch readiness, release to the public more information about the nuclear weapons in our own arsenals, include legislators and outside experts in its nuclear posture review and recognize Congress’ authority to declare war as a prerequisite to any use of nuclear weapons.”

WRISSAudio Books Available to All

A site that could serve as a great writing resource or ‘networking/community’ building opportunity, where the tech savvy and book lovers come together to transcribe public domain books into audio books, many of them incredibly rare: “LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net for free. All our audio is in the public domain, so you may use it for whatever purpose you wish.”


NDAA’s Attack on ‘Free Press’

An Activist Post look at the damage caused by new McCarthyist and Orwellian legislation recently signed into law: “The purpose of the Center,” states the text, “shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”

In actuality, however, countering propaganda amounts to silencing dissenting opinion — particularly in the press — of anything deemed shining a favorable light on one of the many countries the U.S. considers a foe.”

Afghanistan From Russia’s POV

A Defend Democracy look at current actions in the Middle East, from a point of view that challenges the SOP narrative from the views of the divisive NATO nations: “Moscow has formulated trilateral mechanisms aimed at seeking regional stability through solving the Afghanistan crisis with the help of regional neighboring countries. Indeed, stability in the region is directly connected with peace in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, NATO troops under the umbrella of the USA have provoked hostility in Afghanistan against regional powers and positive integration.  Continuous American attempts to sabotage the peace process have persuaded Russia to come forward and seek alternative solutions bypassing the USA and NATO. “

GENISSAccidental Armageddons

A New Yorker piece that reminds us that we have gotten to the point in our human civilization that we could accidentally annihilate ourselves: “Today, the odds of a nuclear war being started by mistake are low—and yet the risk is growing, as the United States and Russia drift toward a new cold war. The other day, Senator John McCain called Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, “a thug, a bully, and a murderer,” adding that anyone who “describes him as anything else is lying.” Other members of Congress have attacked Putin for trying to influence the Presidential election.  On Thursday, Putin warned that Russia would “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces,” and President-elect Donald Trump has responded with a vow to expand America’s nuclear arsenal.  “Let it be an arms race,” Trump told one of the co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”