A Thought for the Day

I find myself drawn to those who search for truth, but those who claim to have found its essence frighten me: such certainty chokes inquiry and throttles reason like a garrotte breaks the windpipe and strangles life.

Quote of the Day
"One may demand of me that I should seek truth, but not that I should find it. …(Just so,) (o)nly a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things." Denis Diderot, Encyclopedie editor and French philosopher: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Denis_Diderot.

This Day in History

Five hundred twenty-two years ago, the Alhambra Decree legitimated the expulsion of Jews from Spain; five hundred sixteen years back, on his third voyage of discovery, Christopher Columbus encountered the island of Trinidad; four hundred twenty-six years prior to the present pass, the Spanish Armada was gathering off the coast of England; three hundred eleven years ago, Daniel Defoe, locked into a pillory for a satirical pamphlet’s seditious libel, had flowers pelt him for his ‘crime;’ two hundred eighty-eight years back, genius mathematician Nicolaus Bernoulli died at age thirty-one; two hundred thirty years ago, French philosopher and essayist Denis Diderot died; two hundred twenty-four years ago, the United States issued its first patent to Samuel Hopkins for a potash production method; one hundred two years ago, he who became the Nobel Prize winning economist and theorist of eternal student debt, Milton Friedman, was born; a hundred one years back, the Balkan States signed an armistice to end the Second Balkan Wars; ninety-five years back, Germany adopted the Weimar Constitution; ninety-three years back, the nascent Black leader and activist Whitney Young came into the world; eighty-four years ago, the radio drama, The Shadow, first aired; eighty-three years ago, the experimental television outlet that became WCBS first broadcast programming; eighty-two years before the here and now, the National Socialists won a plurality of 38% of the vote in German elections; seventy-three years ago, Hermann Goering ordered that a ‘Final Solution’ plan of action be prepared as expeditiously as possible; sixty-two years ago, she who would become the successful author Faye Kellerman was born; forty-nine years back, incipient genius storyteller J. K. Rowling first graced the planet with her presence; twenty-three years back, the Soviet Union and the U.S. sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the first such instrument that permitted verification of purged nuke stockpiles; eight years ago, Raul Castro assumed command of Cuba from his brother, Fidel; two years ago, prolific American author Gore Vidal died. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_31


http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/25/mh17-sacrificed-airliner/ A detailed, careful, empirical, and rational characterization, from a brilliant analyst at Counterpunch, Andre Vltchek, that disproves every assertion about MH-17 that the New York Times, et al., have promulgated, indicating that the entire grotesque charade is very close to collapsing under the weight of a ‘house-of-lies,’ meaning that citizens everywhere should be very wary indeed, since the wounded beast is at its most dangerous.

Palestinian Journalist and Teenage Daughter are Latest Victims of Israeli Attacks
Following the killing of a Palestinian journalist and his daughter, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today issued a renewed call for the safety and freedom of journalists in Gaza. The IFJ announced in a press release: "According to IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), Baha Edeen Gharib, 55, who worked as Israeli affairs editor for Palestinian TV, and his 16-year-old daughter Ola, were killed by an Israeli rocket attack this morning in Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip region, while they were travelling home."


  • Indianapolis, IN – Job Description: The North American Retail Hardware Association is looking for a motivated business reporter to join a successful team of writers in its publishing division.
  • Dallas, TX – Full time content writing job at Dallas law firm (North Dallas / Galleria area)
  • Dallas, TX – An insurance provider is seeking a Lead Writer on a long-term freelance basis.
  • Reporter for a weekly newspaper (Chester, VT)


  • http://childreninprison.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/ A juvenile justice blog, incredibly well written, heartrendingly articulate, in this case a review of the film Lost for Life, and interview with the filmmaker which contextualizes matters that a union of writers has no choice but to consider if it wants either to grow or have any sort of ‘progressive’ impact: "(w)hen we examine the why of even the most terrible crimes… there is almost always a reason other than pure evil. Horrific domestic abuse, mental illness, poverty, and in the case of adolescent boys, the near toxic chemistry of the teenage brain — all factors that can make the taking of another life seem a logical outcome."
  • http://972mag.com/special/gaza/ A portal to the extensive coverage of events in Israel and Gaza from +972, a socially real and progressive publication with on-the-ground access and resources for powerful reportage, including a video from Al Jazeera(Arabic) of an attack on an Israeli Defense Force base.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/ An absolutely huge lesson for writers and their hopes to build a scrappy organization, from Poynter, that evidences the absolute necessity of rich historical and analytical context in order for readers to fork over money to find out what’s what in the lines of an article or book or any attempt to mediate the realities of the current struggle in the world: "’If you give people something that’s highly readable and tell them something that they didn’t know, that’s still a reason to subscribe to the daily newspaper.’ Unsettled is a rare story, (the author)Greenlee said, with multiple threads that inform life in Maine today. The prologue begins in 1604, the narrative begins in 1964, Sunday’s final chapter ends in 2014.’"
  • http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/07/25/15152/ A Center for Public Integrity announcement and briefing about its receiving a nearly $3 million grant to improve coverage of State politics and documents and so forth, which can to all manner of writers be critically useful.
  • http://fair.org/ The portal to Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, which both offers extensive blogs and logistical and strategic support in seeking to bring about just and democratic media.


  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/opinion Hilarious pathos, brilliant and incisive and not completely loss in cynical abandon, from the Times Sunday Review, about the nature and monstrous Sisyphean drudgery of scribbling: "Three hundred thousand books are published in the United States every year. A few hundred, at most, could be called financial or creative successes. The majority of books by successful writers are failures. The majority of writers are failures. And then there are the would-be writers, those who have failed to be writers in the first place, a category which, if you believe what people tell you at parties, constitutes the bulk of the species."
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/25/google-wants-to-improve-its Just a fascinating briefing from TechCrunch about Google’s seeking out a crowdsourced boost to its one-language-to-another algorithms in Google Translate.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/260327/how-murdoch A Poynter presentation about "monstering," which many less-than-completely successful authors might find a welcome relief, despite its nastiness, a process apparently popular when writers for any reason target the life and work of Rupert Murdoch, as the victim in this case did.
  • http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/journalism-education/259926 A lovely semi-colon defense and ‘how-to’ from Poynter; enough said.
  • http://www.journalism.org/2014/03/26/the-growth-in-digital-reporting/ A portal to a Pew Journalism Project report on the growth of digital journalism, released in March that indicates plus-or-minus 5,000 professional reporters’ working in the digital realm.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/ A Poynter report about the three-to-four percent decline in news staff at U.S. papers last year, in a period of ongoing layoffs and cutbacks, and what the implications of this are, for reportage, for democracy and the ‘fourth estate,’ for the media business, and more.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/260376/what-writers-can-un-learn-from-fifty-shades-of-grey/ A Poynter erotica lesson that uses Fifty Shades of Grey as a primer on what not to do to create something truly hot and, possibly, arousing.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/29/plagiarism-in Another lesson, this time from Pando, on how attribution and punctuation can permit all manner of reuse and repurposing, but even the utilization of the dregs of the web without such formalities constitutes disreputable, intellectual dishonesty.
  • www.bookbaby.com/free-guide/ape-guide-thanks A portal to the freely available e-copy of the ‘Author-Publisher-Entrepreneur’ tome, APE: How to Publish a Book, which has a massive amount of advice and information that–if only as guidance, modeling, and food for thought, is quite likely to be extremely helpful.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/videos/five-apple-business A TechRepublic video about hypothetically powerful business applications from Apple that will supercharge one’s productivity.


  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/25/apple-booklamp/?ncid=tcdaily A TechCrunch investigative report about Apple’s acquisition of BookLamp, whose Book Genome project has made it a star among those in need of e-book analytics, which Apple may have used as a rationale of making sure that these capacities were only available for its own plans in regard to this ‘nook.’
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/213714-c-span-limiting-access-to-its-online-channels In yet another case of the plundering of the commons, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, established as a sign of public service in 1979, moving toward the role of another profit center or loss-leader, as The Hill reports, to various protests–from Free Press, the Sunlight Foundation, et al.
  • https://wikileaks.org/aus-suppression-order/?gag For writers who find that ‘gag-orders’ make them want to, well, gag, a doozy from Australia, in which the country’s Supreme Court forbade anyone anywhere from talking about a huge corruption case involving Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia, the cover on all of which Wikileaks has just blown.
  • http://www.leahy.senate.gov/download/hen14602 The text of Senator Patrick Leahy’s near-final draft of the USA Freedom Act, which purports to ‘rein in’ NSA and other ‘intelligence’ agencies from ‘bulk collection’ or other forms of wholesale monitoring.
  • http://justsecurity.org/13276/cybersecurity-primer-center-american-security/ A "Cybersecurity Primer" that provides a written executive summary and an almost two-hour video that documents a recent confabulation by heavy-hitters on this subject in and out of government, which talks about not wanting to have to launch nukes, or not, because decision-makers have inadequate data and, more extensively, about how government has to ‘nudge’ the market to do what DARPA wants.
  • http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/07/24/15148/ A Center For Public Integrity report and analysis about Chattanooga’s electric utility’s appeal to the FCC for a quashing of Tennessee’s prohibition of its extending high-speed Internet to citizens who lack it, despite the statutory and policy directive to accomplish just such acts, which Comcast and ATT and such find horrifying: "The state laws restricting municipal broadband have been backed, and sometimes written, by telecommunications companies led by AT&T Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast. The companies are among some of the biggest contributors to state lawmakers’ campaigns and spend millions of dollars more on lobbying statehouses. AT&T has given nearly $140,000 to Tennessee lawmakers’ campaigns in the 2014 election cycle, the most for any state, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Comcast gave $76,800 during the same cycle, also surpassing totals given in any other state."
  • http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/ A Brookings Institution White Paper, How Humans Respond to Robots, that ought to be a citizen’s initial primer on the subject: "One current example of this is the ongoing campaign by Human Rights Watch for an international treaty to ban military robots with autonomous lethal firing power—to ensure that a human being remain ‘in the loop’ in any lethal decision. No such robots currently exist, nor does any military have plans to deploy them, nor is it clear when robotic performance is inferior, or how it is different from human performance in lethal force situations. Yet the cultural aversion to robots with the power to pull the trigger on their own is such that the campaign has gained significant traction."
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/ A webcast video from Tech Republic that maintains that any truly potent presentation requires a component of storytelling to reach the audience at the deepest levels.
  • blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07/art-is-long-life A Library of Congress Digital Preservation blog, "Art Is Long, Life Is Short," which provides practical and conceptual advice in digital preservation approaches and issues that face creators of works that have either a digital or magnetic provenance.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-get-th A TechRepublic ‘how-to’ list for getting the most out of a "Coding Camp," which has become a key ‘skilling-up’ process for all sorts of thinkers and doers, freelancers included.



  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/28/prot-j28.html A compilation and montage from World Socialist Website of reports from around the world about citizen protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza, which makes clear that a real upsurge may be about to happen about these matters: "’I live in the United States now and it really upsets me that my tax dollars are going to fund this war. Our government supports these crimes. They are cutting Social Security, and they have no money for social programs but then they have money for these wars. I agree with you that we should unite workers from the United States, Israel and the Middle East against this war.’”
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/28/relevance-of-hannah A review essay from Counterpunch that contextualizes what is transpiring now in Gaza, ‘precision slaughter’ and more, in terms of the work of Hannah Arrendt, who termed what Germany had done to Jews in the 1930’s and ’40’s as the triumph of the ‘banality of evil.’
  • http://www.fair.org/blog/2014/07/28/cbs-hos A Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting Blog about the complicity of CBS–and to some extent corporate media generally–in the mindset that justifies mass carnage in Gaza.

MH-17 Crash

  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/10325661/ A breaking news report from New Zealand Stuff about the surge in killing of civilians in Ukraine as the Kiev forces step up their attacks, many in the immediate vicinity of the MH-17 crash site.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/28/world/europe/ukraine.html? A Times breaking news analysis that spends lots of its length accusing Russia of unprovable acts and speaking of MH-17 generally but zero lines exploring why Ukrainian troops would destroy the agreement that the Dutch forces had brokered with the rebels to gain access to the crash site.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/10316570/MH17- A briefing from New Zealand Stuff about the forensic and black-box findings that shrapnel pierced MH-17 in several places and cause "explosive decompression" and the resulting destruction.


  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39228.htm

    An Information Clearinghouse recap from an ‘investigative historian’ of the unhinging that is now coming down the pike in Ukraine, which he predicts–and his accuracy in past predictions has been close to 100%–will be a stratospheric catastrophe for the fantasies of U.S. imperialists, all the while in a present pass generally that at any moment could yield the end of human life on Earth in a nuclear conflagration: "The people that Obama then placed into control there are now expecting direct U.S. assistance, to complete that ethnic-cleansing campaign, which is being carried out in the ethnic-Russian portions of Ukraine, so as to eliminate the Ukrainians who would be opposing the placement into Ukraine of nuclear missiles within a mere ten-minute flight-time to annihilating Moscow."

  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/washington-is A dose of reality from Global Research and Paul Craig Roberts about the hideous, murderous, hypocrisy of disinformation that continues to emanate forth from corporate media in the U.S. and most of Europe about Ukraine, a dose of the real that citizens ignore at their mortal peril: "When the outbreak of violence against the former Russian provinces began, the Russian Duma voted Putin the power to intervene militarily. Instead of using this power, Putin requested that the Duma rescind the power, which the Duma did. Putin preferred to deal with the problem diplomatically in a reasonable and unprovocative manner. Putin has received neither respect nor appreciation for encouraging a non-violent resolution of the unfortunate Ukrainian situation created by Washington’s coup against a democratically elected government that was only months away from a chance to elect a different government."


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/28/world/africa/fighting-for Another Times breaking news assessment that reacts with almost stupefaction to what analysts not propelled by the ‘fuel’ of imperial delusion have been warning for years: "Three years ago, the United States and its NATO allies used air power to propel the Libyan rebels to a sweeping victory over Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, bombing government troops so that rebels could advance on cities, and even the colonel himself, when he tried to flee. But after the revolt, as Libya’s government struggled and violence spread, the Obama administration and its allies failed in their efforts to help Libyans achieve either democracy or security. Now, with diplomats escaping and neighborhoods becoming battlefields, Libyans have been left to wonder whether there is anyone left to broker the endless fights."

Honduras Refugee Crisis

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/25178-to-address A TruthOut demonstration of what actual journalismin such cases of mayhem and depredation actually looks like, examining Honduras exactly in terms of what precursors have ineluctably elicited the consequence that children flee for their lives and head to ‘el Norte:’ "Honduras currently has the highest murder rate in the world. The current refugee crisis at the US border is a foreseeable and understandable consequence of this violence. Unfortunately, after playing a widely criticized role in legitimating Honduras’s post-coup government, the US government is now using this crisis to further entrench its alignment with one of the most corrupt and violent police and military forces in the hemisphere."

Guatemala Crisis

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/28/escaping-a-failed-state/ A Counterpunch report that shows how Guatemala’s failure as a polity, except for the corporate sector, is the underpinning for flight and ‘border crisis.’


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27 A case of ‘what else could go wrong?’ in the form of a Times article about the apparent explosion of Taliban activity in Afghanistan, with some success and traction, as the U.S. forces hypothetically prepare to abandon their stations.

Argentine Loan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CzS6eHqtnQ A two-hour long documentary that contextualizes the plundering of the Argentinian economy, in Spanish with English subtitles, so as to make impossible any legitimate claim, in any legitimate court of justice, that Argentinians owe the thugs who are trying to rob them a single cent.


War Documentary

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/28/lost-j28.html A World Socialist Website review essay of Lost for Life that places the central issues that the affecting and potent documentary raises in a wider context of systemic social injustice that screams for a systematic response: "What the filmmakers apparently don’t dare to say–or don’t understand enough to say–is that the perpetrators of these often horrible crimes are the products, above all, of a toxic social atmosphere and circumstances, and it is that atmosphere and those circumstances that ought to be indicted, first and foremost. Endless war and equally endless official defense of militarist bullying and killing, criminality at the highest levels of the government and the financial world, vast social inequality which is championed by the media and the establishment, the trampling on democratic rights by police forces at every level … these are some of the conditions that would have to be taken into account in any serious evaluation of these ‘senseless’ homicides."

Communities Organized for Reform Now

http://chieforganizer.org/2014/07/27/is-history A Chief Organizer’s Blog from the Association of Communities Organized for Reform Now that ponders the worth and role of historical understanding in the daily crush and grind of seeking to gain some traction, or at least avoid decimation, by those who seek some expansion of social justice and the space to achieve democracy: "(F)or me and others who believe that organizing is part of a continuous historical tradition of struggle for social change, justice, and empowerment, it’s fundamental not only for how history shapes the very meaning and practice of the work, but also just because it’s important to carry the flame forward."

Student Loans

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07 An investigation by a "lapsed blogger" and current freelancer on Naked Capitalism that cannot help but dispirit the reader to a degree, inasmuch as what the author finds is the the ‘scams’ and ‘predators’ who made out like, well bandits, or banksters in the sub-prime meltdown have now begun their moves into the space occupied by those about to experience the student-debt meltdown, as well as military families that are all too often in debt way over their eyeballs: "As higher-education debt swells to a record $1.2 trillion, (Linda)Raskin(of the U.S. Treasury), 53, is alert to parallels to the mortgage crisis. Back then, ‘we would see signs on telephones polls with 1-800 numbers urging homeowners to call to stop foreclosures. People generally got into more trouble when they used those services,’ she said in an interview. Driving past the same telephone poles recently, she saw signs ‘urging people to call a 1-800 number for helping paying student loans.’"


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-marijuana-legalization.html A case of a definite bandwagon’s forming, with the Times own editorial series demanding an end to forty years of protofascist idiocy in keeping Marijuana illegal, after thirty-odd years of its proscription prior to that.

Private Military Contractors

http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/military-industrial-complex/superpower-for-hire-rise-of-the-private-military.html A Forbidden Knowledge TV documentary brief that provides an overview of the huge increase in Private Military Contractors–so that plus-or-minus half of Afghanistan’s Anglo-American forces come from such firms–"PMC’s are as American as Thanksgiving, …on a competitive contract," according to the founder of Blackwater, part of a $200 billion-plus a year industry.

Al Qaeda

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/world/africa/ransoming-citizens-europe-becomes-al-qaedas-patron.html?emc=edit_na_20140729&nlid=66212615 A lengthy and highly-detailed investigative piece from the Times, in stark contrast to its production in at least a few other ‘beats,’ that shows how the ransom business is one of Al Qaeda’s specialties, with a minimum of a $125 million gross take since 2008, with the payors almost exclusively European nations that didn’t want to end up with corpses, whatever the principles of ‘not negotiating with terrorists’ might dictate.


http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf14312/pdf/nsf14312.pdf The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ and National Science Foundation’s massive report, Federal Funds for Research and Development, which reports on fiscal years 2011-13, of use to writers and citizens and others.

Hiroshima/Enola Gay

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/last-surviving-enola-gay-crewman-dies-in-stone-mou/ngqZR/ As the sixty-ninth anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approach, an obituary from the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the last surviving crew member of the planes that delivered death to plus or minus a quarter million Japanese, almost all civilians–the vast majority elderly, women, or kids–in the world’s first nuclear war, the primary purpose of which was a classic ‘shot across the bow’ against the U.S. ‘allies’ in the Soviet Union.


http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/28/how-israel-spins-war-crimes/ Patrick Cockburn’s gift to readers in Counterpunch that profiles the top-secret set of guidelines that Israeli government spokespeople and their in-the-know supporters follow in ‘spinning’ such events as the carnage in Gaza: "’Americans agree that Israel ‘has a right to defensible borders’. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel’s military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel’s right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967.’"

Nuclear Energy Safety

  • http://safeenergy.org/2014/07/29/nuclear-reactors-and-childhood-leukemia/ A GreenWorld examination of European studies that suggest, with one recent exception, and perhaps demonstrate dispositively, that childhood leukemia near nuclear reactors is significantly higher than elsewhere, unlike in the U.S., where such data somehow doesn’t exist: "Here in the U.S., the controversy has been far less conspicuous, despite a few similar studies around selected reactors, perhaps because the nuclear industry has been more successful at quashing such studies as soon as they appear."
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id A recent monograph that reports on the Lessons Learned from Fukushima for nuclear safety, from folks who like nukes and assume the technology is coterminous with humanity, but which has loads of ideas and graphics and data about the issues and contradictions and so forth.


http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/07/28/ A Center for Public Integrity examination of the public-relations hegemony over Congressional practice as a way of understanding the immobility and arguable dysfunctionality, except in the service of plutocracy, of the U.S. legislative process.


A Thought for the Day

History can only teach those whose thirst for knowledge outweighs their fears of finding out.

Quote of the Day

"No, gentlemen, the time of mercy is past, your day of grace is over; you should have practiced peace, and moderation, and charity, if you expected any yourselves." Daniel Defoe, The Shortest Way With Dissenters, one of the pamphlets that led to trio of seditious libel convictions and pillorying, on this occasion with flowers, a document moreover only visible online–unavailable for download except at dear cost–thanks to a New Zealand professor, despite its being in the public domain, even under the present absurd copyright regime, for two hundred forty-one years: http://www.unz.org/Pub/DefoeDaniel-1903v10-00279.

This Day in History

Thirteen hundred seventy eight years prior to the present, forces of the largest empire in history to that date, a few generations after the prophet Muhammad’s death, defeated a Byzantine army in present day Israel; twelve hundred fifty-two years back, Al Mansur received credit for founding Baghdad; five hundred ninety-five years ago, radical Hussites, angry at the corruption within Catholicism, led a crowd to the Prague town council and threw seven of its members through the windows, killing them or leading to their dispatching by the crowd below; five hundred twelve years back, Christopher Columbus landed at islands off Honduras during his fourth voyage; three hundred ninety-five years ago, settlers inaugurated the first English representative assembly, the Virginia House of Burgesses; three hundred thirty-eight years before the here-and-now, Nathaniel Bacon released the Declaration of the People of Virginia, effectively beginning Bacon’s rebellion; two hundred three years back, Spanish overlords executed Miguel Hidalgo, a priest, for leading an insurgency against Spanish rule; one hundred ninety-six years back, the future novelist, Emily Bronte, was born; one hundred fifty-seven years back, the infant who became social economist Thorsten Veblen came into the world; a hundred forty-eight years ago, Louisiana’s Democratic government raided a Republican meeting, killing forty and injuring scores more; ninety-six years ago, poet Joyce Kilmer died; eighty-two years ago, Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees—the first Technicolor cartoon—premiered, going on to win an Academy Award; seventy-five years ago, future feminist Eleanor Smeal was born; forty-nine years back, Lyndon Johnson signed legislation that added Medicare and Medicaid to the Social Security Administration’s quiver; forty years prior to the current point in time, Richard Nixon followed the Supreme Court’s instructions and released transcripts of the Watergate tapes; thirty-nine years ago, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, never to be heard from again. July 30


http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/07/27/looking-back-on-libya/ A retrospective from WhoWhatWhy that provides links to its score or more of articles on what has been happening in Libya over the past period of time, information that offers context and intelligent analysis to explain the resurgence of mayhem now.



  • http://www.juancole.com/ A portal to the work of liberal gadfly Juan Cole–Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, & Religion–and others similarly disposed, any one of whom might sometimes find themselves inclined to consider affiliating with a union of writers.
  • http://mondoweiss.net/ Subtitled The War of Ideas in the Middle East, a site full of links and different opinions, from moderately liberal to moderately radical, about what has been transpiring for some time in Israel and environs.
  • http://www.tomdispatch.com/ Tom Engelhart’s Regular Antidote to the Mainstream Media, another liberal voice that could perhaps find himself longing for a union of like-minded thinkers.
  • http://support.truthdig.com/t/6239/thankYou.jsp?key=1266&key=61762617 The pitch page for TruthDig, for which regular writers Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges represent a picture of what the site stands for, useful reading for committed union writers, if nothing more interesting than that.
  • http://www.sanders.senate.gov/vermont/income-inequality-moral-issue A portal to a speech by Bernie Sanders, worth noting or more: "Today, the United States is No. 1 in billionaires, No. 1 in corporate profits, No. 1 in CEO salaries, No. 1 in childhood poverty and No. 1 in income and wealth inequality in the industrialized world."
  • http://www.alternet.org/economy/what-i-learned A portal to a Lynne Stuart Parramore essay on Alternet that speaks to the struggles of contemporary feminism with both an openhearted hallelujah at her having encountered feminist thinkers, along with the possibilities that they promulgated in her life, and a down-to-earth imprecation against sectarianism and exclusivity: ”These women seemed to wear their feminism like a starched school uniform. I was not certain I wanted to join this club, and not at all sure if I was welcome."
  • http://www.popularresistance.org/next-step-for-net-neutrality-join-call-for-regional-hearings/ A Popular Resistance portal to an aggressive and ambitious proposal to build a mass movement through demanding public FCC hearings around the country that would ‘force FCC commissioners to listen’ to the people’s overwhelming rejection of a two-tier, fast-lane web.
  • http://www.ashokaglobalizer.org/participative-journalism The portal to the participative journalism site, Ashoka Globalizer, which undoubtedly leans toward megalopolistic approaches to everything but which also has a ‘talk to talk’ that opens conversational spaces and invites applications to its ‘Fellows’ program, if nothing else.


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  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/213506-okcupid-admits-to-experimenting-on-users A bizarre and at least somewhat hilarious briefing from The Hill that the dating site, OKCupid, conducted experiments on its users, which the site openly acknowledges: "’But guess what, everybody: if you use the Internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site,’ (site-President Christian)Rudder continued."
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/213494-feds-set-guidelines-for-charges-on-cellphone-bills A welcome, if also paltry, briefing from The Hill about the FCC’s recently announced intention really ‘to crack the whip’ against cellphone companies that load bills with bogus charges.
  • http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/ A Times Bits blog that contends that Moore’s Law–the tendency of chip-processing power to double every couple of years, more or less–is less important to tech industrial development now, in no small part because of the ability of ‘cloud-computing’ operations to make so much computational capacity available that individual devices are less critical, an important point since the GDP of the present period has in no small part rested on product cycles that tracked Moore’s Law and thereby guaranteed substantial new buyers–for roughly similar devices with more widgets–every four or five years.
  • http://www.gallup.com/poll/174086/russians-rely-state-media-news-ukraine-crimea.aspx A Gallup survey of Russians that shows that–quite the opposition of the situation here–Russians trust their media and their leadership, generally and specifically in relation to events in Ukraine and concerning the destruction of MH-17, while they mistrust foreign corporate media overwhelmingly: "Before the Malaysian airliner was shot down, most Russians were paying attention to news about Ukraine. While it is not possible to tell from these data how much Russians believe the dueling narratives about the airliner being offered in the Russian media versus the Western media, Russia appeared to be winning the information war with its citizens before this happened. Russians are more likely to believe other sources before they believe the West, which makes sense given the high marks they give their own government, and the large role that state media has played in helping to create this new, positive, and powerful image for the country’s leadership."
  • http://benton.org/node/196924?utm_campaign=Newsletter l A Benton.org capsulization of a Multichannel News piece about media moguls’ push for the Department of Justice to make ‘unauthorized streaming’ a felony.
  • http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/demographics-tech-and-digital-divide A MarketplaceTech blog–by way of Benton.org–that seeks to navigate the enrichment that has resulted from media monopoly and the huge division that NGO’s like ZeroDivide want to overcome, albeit the do-gooders here show no sign of a grassroots engagement strategy: "The ability to give digital literacy to these groups — community organizations and underserved communities — is difficult, and the demographics compound the challenge."
  • http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business A blatant paean to ‘free-market’ transitions on the web, with Chattanooga and any other community not in the Fortune Five thrown under the bus, by FCC GOP commissioner Ajit Pai: "Not to put too fine a point on it, as Charles Dickens first said–but this whole debate is a distraction. Instead of repeating the seemingly never-ending arguments about how to manage (or, depending on your perspective, micromanage) the networks that we currently have, we should prioritize policies that will encourage the private sector to expand and upgrade high-speed broadband networks. And that means that we need to concentrate on expediting the Internet Protocol (IP) Transition."
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions A WaPo opinion essay by a former State Department staffer in the Obama administration who worries a lot about NSA surveillance and believes its roots in Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Executive Order 12333 are even more crucial and deleterious than anything that has happened since, whether an ‘act’ about patriots or freedom or whatever.
  • http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12333.html The text of Executive Order 12333, which is indeed scary, with spying and rash imprimatur throughout, in downloadable form–thanks to Federation of American Scientists–here: http://fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-12333-2008.pdf.
  • http://digiday.com/jobs/job-talk-hearst-digital/ y A DigiDay interview brief about Hearst Digital, which provides a modicum of insight about the business and operational parameters of major corporate media digital operation.
  • http://digiday.com/agencies/ctr-engaged-time/ A brief on DigiDay, from the CEO of an advertising-effectiveness metrics firm, that indicates that the measurement standards–whether in terms of ‘click-through rate’ or ‘engaged time’–simply suck.
  • http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2014/07/ GovExec’s update on the Senate’s "Let Me Google That for You Act," which takes the Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service to task for having made a profit center out of selling reports–many of them not technical for the most part–that are freely available and free online.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/60349941 A New Zealand Stuff report about the wiles of teens in hiding their online activities, even in instances when their parents are technologically sophisticated, which is rare.



ISIS – Islamic State Iraq Syria

  • http://www.beyondnuclear.org/nuclear-weapons/2014 A briefing from Beyond Nuclear, based on a Reuters report, that Islamic State in Iraq & Syria fighters had seized almost ninety pounds of ‘nuclear materials’ from a lab near Mosul.
  • www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/10312709/Women A New Zealand Stuff briefing about the increasingly dire warnings that power brokers are purveying–in this case in Islamic State in Iraq & Syria territory–that women wear the veil or suffer severe consequences "Women have been told to never walk unaccompanied by a male guardian. The Islamic State even ordered shopkeepers to cover their store mannequins with full-face veils."

Labour Issues

http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/23/ An astounding article from Maine, thanks to Portside Labor, about the burgeoning protest at a chain of grocery markets in New England, where a union "never seemed necessary," but where the firing of the ‘workers’ CEO’ two weeks ago essentially inaugurated a top-to-bottom spontaneous organizing movement that the author here calls a "sign of fed-up times."

Pentagon Tax Shirkers
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/213497-report-dod-workers A briefing from The Hill about just-released data which shows that plus-or-minus 83,000 Pentagon employees–all of whom have access to important ‘top-secret’ material–owe plus-or-minus three quarters of a billion dollars in back taxes, not quite ten grand apiece.

Rand Paul Candidacy

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/us/rand-paul-urban-league-speech A Times political analysis that examines Rand Paul’s courting of Black voters, most recently in a modestly-attended Urban League speech which he started by quoting Malcolm X, Paul’s willingness to go beyond poverty and education in his comments a differentiation from the GOP SOP: "(W)hat makes Mr. Paul’s approach unique is the broad array of sentencing and voting rights law changes he embraces, positions that often put him at odds with many in his own party."

Paul Rand Anti Poverty Efforts

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2014/07/ A GovExec report about the specifics of Paul Ryan’s recommendations for eleven anti-poverty efforts to consolidate and improve efficiencies in and cut so-called ‘safety-net’ programs that are already at their lowest ebb, in many cases, in decades.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/ New Zealand Stuff’s news analysis of the United Nations Security Council’s demand for Israel and Hamas to initiate a ceasefire in Gaza.

Scottish Independence

www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/world/e A Times update on the now imminent Scottish vote on independence, as seen through the lens of how Scottish celebrities view the matter, even though many of them, as non-residents, won’t actually be voting.



  • http://hechingerreport.org/content/free-college-idea-picks-momentum_16686/ A think piece from Hechinger Report that notes that all over the U.S., momentum is building to return public higher education to the free-tuition status that characterized it for much of the middle part of the Twentieth Century.
  • http://www.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/file A New America Foundation Policy Brief that shows the gap between the rhetorical boosting of focusing on improving early childhood learning and the reality of the practice: "Aside from emergency funding from Congress to states during the Great Recession, federal funding across the birth-through-eight landscape was essentially flat. There was little to no evidence of sustained effort to improve the caliber and training of the country’s workforce from birth through third grade, to address the needs of dual-language learners, or to improve compensation for early educators. Meanwhile, child poverty rates shot up and gaps in achievement between the rich and poor widened."

Military History Technology

  • http://www.tomdispatch.com/books The portal to a precis or purchase of Terminator Planet: the First History of Drone Warfare, "written as it happened," by Nick Turse and Tom Engelhart.
  • http://www.trivalleycares.org/new/Summer2014CW.html A lengthy and somewhat terrifying report and analysis from Tri-Valley CARES, about the ‘Strangelovian’ mentality of megaprofits and megadeaths that still predominates ‘strategic’ thinking among U.S. defense ‘cognoscenti:’ "As we have reported before, the government’s apparently never-ending series of proposals to ‘modernize,’ i.e., redesign and rebuild, the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile belies any talk of nuclear disarmament or fulfilling U.S. obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This is the very definition of proliferation-provocative behavior."
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/07/25/ A WaPo opinion piece, straightforward and stern about the F-35 joint-strike fighter, two of which are soon to fly to Australia in what Lockheed Martin hopes is the first of many such sales, although according to the author many in the know in the military and ‘defense’ circles generally know that the plane–as a system–may end up being history’s most "expensive piece of junk:" "The remarkable lack of interest in figuring out how things could have gone so wrong with this plane, especially from people who claim to be so desperately concerned about runaway government spending, tells you something about what a sham deficit hawkery really is."
  • http://media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/Statutory-Framework-for-Next-Generation-Terrorist-Threats.pdf A masterful doublethink-plus-doublespeak White Paper from the Hoover Institute’s security mavens who proclaim the necessity for more robust authorizations and other methods for fighting an ever-more-eternal ‘War on Terror:’ "In this essay we explain why the A(uthorization for the)U(se of)M(ilitary)F(orce) is increasingly obsolete, why the nation will probably need a new legal foundation for next-generation terrorist threats, what the options are for this new legal foundation, and which option we think is best."
  • http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-107sjres23enr/pdf/BILLS-107sjres23enr.pdf The September 14, 2014 Joint Congressional Resolution, an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that basically upends checks and balances in favor of an ‘all-war-all-the-time’ Administrative Imperial Imprimatur.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/world/asia A gigantic political "oh-oh!" from the Times, about the possible unraveling of a power sharing arrangement between factions in Afghanistan, where the apparently victorious group in that campaign may be waffling on its commitment to a process that guarantees the second place team a ‘seat at the table’ through the capacity to make a Prime Minister appointment: "Ahmad Zia Massoud, a former vice president who joined Mr. Ghani’s campaign before the runoff election, rejected the political framework as agreed to with Mr. Kerry. …advocat(ing) a winner-takes-all election. ‘We have to understand that a government of a national unity doesn’t mean share of the power in the government,’ he said. ‘The team who wins formulates the government, and the loser basically forms a strong opposition.’"

National Academy of Sciences

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/29/10620.full A fascinating, if highly technical, mathematical conceptualization of the intersection among learning, evolutionary theory, and algorithms, thanks to Naked Capitalism, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sunlight Foundation

http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2014/07/24/how-accessible-are-executive-orders-in-each-of-the-50-states/ A Sunlight Foundation report, thanks to GovExec, that provides a State-by-State ranking of jurisdictions in terms of the accessibility of Governor’s orders, and the facility with which citizens can actually obtain what they want, a process that saw five "F’s" and six "A’s" and in which only one Southern State–Texas, which got an "A"–ranked higher than a "C" and several flunked outright.

Public Banking Finance

  • http://ellenbrown.com/2014/07/25/you-cant-taper-a-ponzi-scheme-time-to-reboot/#more-8134 Populist financial and banking wizard Ellen Brown’s most recent manifesto, which explains in understandable detail what is happening with the face value of $2 quadrillion in derivative instruments which underlie Earth’s people’s labor just now: "One reason rates are unlikely to be raised is that they would make the interest tab on the burgeoning federal debt something taxpayers could not support. According to the Treasury’s website, taxpayers pay about $400 billion a year in interest on the federal debt, just as they did in 2006 — although the debt has nearly doubled, from $9 trillion to over $16 trillion. The total interest is kept low by extremely low interest rates. Worse, raising interest rates could implode the monster derivatives scheme. Michael Snyder observes that the biggest banks have written over $400 trillion in interest rate derivatives contracts, betting that interest rates will not shoot up. If they do, it will be the equivalent of an insurance company writing trillions of dollars in life insurance contracts and having all the insureds die at once. The banks would quickly become insolvent. And it will be our deposits that get confiscated to recapitalize them, under the new ‘bail in’ scheme."
  • http://www.publicbanksolution.com/forward-by-reed-simpson/ The freely available Forward to Ellen Brown’s From Austerity to Prosperity: the Public Bank Solution.


http://truth-out.org/news/item/25205-the-silent-anguish-of-pregnant-women-who-struggle-with-addiction A TruthOut must read, about the struggles of pregnant addicts and how criminalization of their habits attacks the foundations of a sustainable humanity.


A Thought for the Day
Many people develop their thinking about political, social, and economic issues on the basis of assuming that ‘mistakes’ or ‘mismanagement’ account for most missteps, oppression, conflict, and so on, which in certain circumstances can be valid but generally overlooks the systemic, systematic nature of the patterns that characterize a given polity or society or economy.

Quote of the Day
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Audre Lorde: http://womenspioneernetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Audre-Lorde.pdf.

This Day in History

Eleven hundred and ten years ago, Tripoli-led Saracen raiders started their weeklong plunder of Thessalonica; eight hundred sixty-six years back, the siege of Damascus crushed Christian crusader’s ability to maintain the Second Crusade; two hundred twenty-one years back, Englishman John Simcoe initiated the building of a fort and market on the site of present day Toronto; two hundred nine years ago, future chronicler Alexis Toqueville was born; one hundred seventy-eight years ago, Parisians inaugurated the Arc de Triomphe; one hundred sixty-six years prior to the present moment, in the midst of blighted potatoes and starvation, Irish nationalists rose up against British rule in Tipperary, only to suffer defeat at the hands of police forces; one hundred forty-five years back, the future playwright and fiction writer Booth Tarkington was born; one hundred fifteen years back, the first Hague International Law Convention came into effect; ninety-three years ago, Adolf Hitler assumed command of the National Socialist German Workers Party; eighty-two years before the current instant, U.S. troops completed their violent dispersal of ‘Bonus Army’ campers; fifty-seven years ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency came into being; fifty-six years back, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA; forty-nine years before the here and now, 4,000 paratroopers from the 101st Airborne landed at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam; thirty-five years ago, philosopher and psychiatrist Herbert Marcuse died; eighteen years ago, Federal Courts voided the ‘childhood protection’ sections of the Communications Decency Act. July 29


http://thehill.com/policy/technology/213284-fcc-on-the-spot-over-local-broadband A briefing from The Hill about the battle shaping up over whether community broadband and other Internet profferals will be acceptable in those jurisdictions such as Tennessee and North Carolina, benighted by the absolute ascendancy in legislatures of Republican and other forces antithetical to majority rule and social progress: “On Thursday, Wheeler said in a statement that the FCC is looking forward ‘to a full opportunity for comment by all interested parties, and will carefully review the specific legal, factual, and policy issues before us.'”



  • http://truth-out.org/members/donate  A last minute pitch from TruthOut, worthy of as many dollars as a writer who believes in progress can reasonably spare.
  • http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/ A portal to an Arizona State University project that promulgates a model not unlike Chatauqua debates of yore, in which various voices have a chance to wrestle with an issue, for free, in front of an audience, so as to increase civic engagement, dialog, and empowerment.
  • http://www.ancl-radc.org.za/sites/default/files/morocco_eng.pdf The 2011 draft of an astounding constitutional document, from Morocco: “The constitutional regime of the Kingdom is founded on the separation, the balance and the collaboration of the powers, as well as on participative democracy of [the] citizen, and the principles of good governance and of the correlation between the responsibility for and the rendering of accounts.”
  • http://www.rcfp.org/sites/default/files/RCFP%20coalition%20letter%20re%20Risen.pdf The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press year old open letter to Eric Holder, et al., demanding that the indictment and further threat of prosecution of James Risen end, with much of the largest outfits among corporate media signed on.
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/24/greenest-college An EcoWatch listing of each State’s greenest campus, a chance to reach out and touch students and organizations friendly to an environmentally-friendly bunch of scribes.
  • http://listenthefilm.net/ For anyone with doubts about the importance of this, a portal to view–for free–a film about the morass of stupidity and cupidity and corruption that characterize contemporary education: “And if you’re interested then please, help me out. Help not just myself, but the countless other students who can’t keep living under this oppressive system anymore. Watch the film. Write about it. Recommend it to your friends. Share it. Tweet it. HBO if you’re reading this feel free to play it on TV. And then once you watch the film do the world another favor. Opt out. Boycott. Walkout. You can even skip the step where you watch a talky documentary, because really it’s just about the action. So stop reading this and go do something. We need you.”
  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gigabitnation/2012/07/18/ A Blog Talk Radio sequence about Gig-Tank camp in Chattanooga, just one incredible example of how socially democratic access to information can lead to all sorts of transformation, answering in this case the camp’s prompt-question, “What Would You Do With a Gig?” applicable to the camp’s venue, which is Chattanooga, for obvious reasons.
  • http://www.civilconversationsproject.org/ A portal to a space that implies that civility and inclusivity are critical components to organizational growth and movement building, even though such matters often simply don’t get much ‘airplay’ as it were.
  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/faq.shtml A portal to Minnesota Public Radio’s Public Insight Journalism project, which both as a model and a collaborator could have important help to proffer to unionized writers and the organization that they are trying to build: “Our journalists are always trying to find the best sources and the best information to tell their stories. But there are few of us, and so many people who have good information and insight that they have acquired through their jobs, hobbies, contacts, friendships or life experiences.”


  • http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/civil-rights/ A posting in The Hill of a recent letter from such literary luminaries as Edward Albee and ‘Lemony Snicket’ and many more, under the auspices of PEN American Center, that cavils at the continuing presence of mass surveillance despite overwhelming public opposition and dispositive rational argument: “Writers and all citizens need privacy to explore controversial ideas, conceive challenges to conventional wisdom, and to enter into open dialogue with counterparts around the globe who may enlighten our worldview through their very different beliefs.”
  • http://www.rootsaction.org/news-a-views/ A RootsAction essay from a couple of months ago that examines the still-extant attack on James Risen and journalists generally, richly linked and contextualized, and with an action and follow-up component.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07/21503/ From Library of Congress, an arguably critical posting in the Digital Preservation blog for several reasons: the widespread impact and import of the Ukraine crisis; the details that appear about the archiving process generally; and the links and analysis about exceptional circumstances that bring about different protocols than the standard ones.
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27318400 A nearly three-month-old BBC briefing about a Saudi blogger’s receiving a ten year prison sentence for his subversive writing, not to mention the infliction of a thousand lashes and million riale fine.
  • http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/techtank/posts/2014/07/22-book-digitalization-brotman A Brookings Institution TechTank blog about the intricacies of ‘Fair Use,’ “transformative uses,” Google’s book digitization, and the general issues that arise from this complex and important nexus, the upshot of which is a policy conclusion: “Defining the terms and conditions under which mass digitization can be undertaken is quintessentially a legislative activity. The courts, whose perspective is based on the single set of facts that confront them in a particular case, are not well suited to determining how best to regulate broadly in this difficult and complex area.”
  • http://www.carolinapublicpress.org/19241/announcing-the-news-exchange A portal to Carolina Public Press, which intends in North Carolina to generate conversations about journalism and developing public input and buy-in to new investigative methods as well as to obtaining grassroots feedback about what local news needs are, and how they are presently unaddressed or inadequately addressed.
  • http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/102425/ A Nieman Journalism Lab essay that melds the notion of ‘located storytelling’ with the technological expansion both of mapping access applications and of graphical mapping potential in stories themselves.
  • http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/digital-strategies/122806 A brilliant summary from Poynter.org about a South-by-Southwest forum on building trust and credibility among listeners, readers, member, and so forth, which comes down to some pretty simple principles, especially real interaction and common humanity.
  • https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/ Another absolutely crucial White Paper, this from Oxford’s Reuters Journalism Institute, Trust and Journalism in a Digital Environment, that in obvious ways ignores the extensive lack of trust of mediated information among citizens now, and yet establishes a foundation for framing issues of trust that are not only central to the performance of journalism and other textual exchange but also apply to any instance of organizational expansion or movement building.


  • https://cpj.org/reports/2013/10/obama-and-the-press A report from late last year by the Center to Protect Journalists that deconstructs the present climate of obfuscation, deflection, and outright intimidation that characterizes Federal Government relations with journalists: “‘This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,’ said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.”
  • http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ A detailing from Rolling Stone of how the iconic Newport Folk Festival rescued itself from apparently pending dissolution.
  • http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/c2deb9a5e8/ Liberal fluff, but slick and fun and awesome nonetheless, a video confabulation of Mary Poppins’ resignation due to poverty wages: “supercalifragilisticexpialabullshit.”
  • www.blogtalkradio.com/gigabitnation/2012/08/13/ A Blog Talk Radio Gigabit Nation podcast of “Chattanooga Continues to Rock,” about the Tennessee city’s truly amazing community-owned broadband network, and what it might achieve in a more socially just existence.
  • http://www.vice.com/read/reasons-why-comic-con A Vice report about Comic Con and how big it’s become, the result of which is interminable waits, logistical snafus, and more.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/beyond-propaganda A Global Research analysis of corporate media’s present invasion of the mental machinery of ‘consumers,’ installing one ‘double-think’ requisite after another, until something akin to mass psychosis becomes the inevitable result, a difficult essay that nonetheless joins the queue of ‘required reading:’ “Absolute certainty, posing as the be all and end all, installs a denial of reality, that which escapes us. It does not recognize loss. Constituting ‘we’ is no longer possible because it can only be formed from that which is missing. The monad, for its part, lacks nothing because it is fused with state power. Fetishes fabricated by ‘the news’ fill the void of reality, occupy the place of that which is missing and operate a denial of the third party. …The proper function of language is to signify that which is real, knowing that the word is not reality itself, but that by which it is represented. …On the contrary, absolute certainty attaches words to things and does not take into account their relationships. …This absence of linkage is the formation of a social psychosis wherein that which is stated by power becomes reality. The deficiency also allows the emergence of a perverse structure that reverses the speech act and prevents identifying the reality of the psychosis. Enrolling us in psychosis, the discourse of French and American authorities originates in perverse denial. It constitutes a coup against language ‘coup because disavowal is situated at the logical basis of language.’ Denial of reality is realized by a commodification of words and a procedure of cleavage. The cynical coup is this: ‘pervert that by which law is articulated, make language the reasonable discourse of unreason’ as with ‘humanitarian war’ or ‘counter-terrorism.'”
  • http://www.datainnovation.org/2014/07/the-social-impact-of-open-data/ An hour-and-a-half Center for Data Innovation panel discussion about the massive impacts, overwhelmingly positive in potential, of open data networks and practices.
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/jul/23/ An interactive documentary from the Guardian that both permits learning about World War One’s inception, on the one hand, and assesses what the methods of such presentations let creators do to increase learning and engagement.
  • http://www.salon.com/2014/07/18/comcasts_worst A Salon report and analysis, from David Sirotta, about how the ‘battle-for-Chattanooga’ could salvage the Internet in the United States and democracy here more generally, in the plausibly unlikely circumstance that Chattanooga gets permission to proceed with this embodiment of technological democracy: “Yet, in an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with corporate forces demanding the government squelch competition and halt the expansion of those high-quality services. Whether and how federal officials act may ultimately shape the future of America’s information economy. The front line in this fight is Chattanooga, Tennessee, where officials at the city’s public electric utility, EPB, realized that smart-grid energy infrastructure could also provide consumers super-fast Internet speeds at competitive prices.”
  • http://benton.org/node/195993?utm_campaign A Benton.org summary of an American Enterprise Institute Seminar on Internet governance and economics and how the U.S. operates in the virtual realm and so forth.


Gaza Violence

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39216.htm A crossposted piece by Chris Hedges, in Information Clearinghouse, from TruthDigg, that puts the position of Gaza’s Palestinians into perspective by comparing what is transpiring there to the attacks by Serbia against Bosnia, where the disparities were not nearly so large: “When Sarajevo was being hit with 2,000 shells a day and under heavy sniper fire in the summer of 1995 no one among the suffering Bosnians spoke to me about wanting to mount nonviolent resistance. No one among them saw the U.N.-imposed arms embargo against the Bosnian government as rational, given the rain of sniper fire and the 90-millimeter tank rounds and 155-millimeter howitzer shells that were exploding day and night in the city. The Bosnians were reduced, like the Palestinians in Gaza, to smuggling in light weapons through clandestine tunnels. …The Bosnian forces in Sarajevo, with their meager weapons, desperately attempted to hold the trench lines that circled the city. And it is much the same in Gaza. It was only repeated NATO airstrikes in the fall of 1995 that prevented the Bosnian-held areas from being overrun by advancing Serbian forces. The Palestinians cannot count on a similar intervention.”


  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39222.htm An Information Clearinghouse examination by Paul Craig Roberts that details both U.S. intelligence agencies’ admissions that no evidence of Russian involvement in shooting down MH-17 exists and of the “propaganda ministry” at the Department of State’s attempts to blame Russia anyhow.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/23/ukraine-mh-17-and-the-charge-of-the-atlanticist-brigade/ A combination here from Counterpunch, on the one hand a look back at the U.S. Navy’s destruction of a civilian airliner in 1988 as the plane tried to land on its standard flight path into Iran, and on the other hand the self-righteous hypocrisy and distortions that have typified conclusory statements from Western media outlets.
  • http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/27/blaming-russia-as-flat-fact/ A Consortium News report about the ethical and professional lapses by U.S. press outlets in their reporting about the downing of MH-17, about which no evidence on display demonstrates ‘Russian involvement,’ despite the constant litany of accusation and presumption in that regard, essentially propelling two nuclear powers toward an increased likelihood of total war: “So, in terms of journalistic professionalism, a news organization should treat the mystery of who shot down Flight 17 with doubt. Surely, no serious journalist would jump to the conclusion based on the dubious claims made by one side in a dispute while the other side is adamant in its denials, especially with the stakes so high in a tense confrontation between two nuclear powers. But that is exactly what the Times did in describing new U.S. plans to escalate the confrontation.”


http://www.propublica.org/article/usa-discounters-responds-to-propublica-article?utm_source=et&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter A Pro Publica follow-up, after USA Discounters filed a press release claiming that the PP report had unspecified “inaccuracies,” on its article detailing how USA Discounters seemed to have a predatory relationship with U.S. military families, advancing easy credit on high-price appliances and then garnishing their wages with Virginia legal process if payments were overdue: “Department of Defense payroll data obtained by ProPublica shows that the company seizes the pay of more active-duty military than any company in the country by a wide margin. As of January 2014, 230 service members were involuntarily paying USA Discounters a portion of their pay, the data shows.”


https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/07/25/nsas-new-partner-spying-saudi-arabias-brutal-state-police/ A Glenn Greenwald collaboration from the Intercept, that details NSA’s having allied itself with the Saudi security agency in its actions around the world, an article that elicits what appear to be hundreds of fascinating comments: “In May, a liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes; in June, human rights activist Mukhlif Shammari was sentenced to five years in prison for writing about the mistreatment of Saudi women.”


http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/07/bacterial-antivirus-system-repurposed-to-attack-hiv-where-its-hiding/ An Ars Technica Scientific Method blog about a novel treatment that might come to the fore in regard to HIV, in which bacterial defenses against viruses end up inserted in our systems.

Water Depletion

http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/western-states-are-guzzling-water-so-fast-they-dont-realize-theyre-running-out/89729/?oref=state_and_local_nl For anyone with the “California here I come” itch, a frightening brief from GovExec about a NASA-partnered study of aboveground and underground water reserves in the West, which is devastating to the human prospect, to say the least: “The big breakthrough in the study, which UCI conducted in tandem with NASA, was that it tracked changes in underground water reserves over time, by taking gravitational readings. The findings? So much groundwater has been used that it will be impossible to recover it naturally; overall supply of available freshwater will continue to decrease as a result.”

Australia Economy

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/07/ A MacroBusiness crossposting of an Unconventional Economist report about the situation in Australia, where the government has declared war on the unemployed in such a fashion as to require over a thousand hours of sub-minimum wage work by anyone who receives paltry benefits.

Renewable Energy

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/Global/usa/planet3/PDFs/Energy-Revolution-2014-highres.pdf A Greenpeace portal to its essential White Paper, Energy {R}evolution, which demonstrates that with no technical development whatsoever, the U.S. can be generating close to 100% of its electrical needs by 2050, and that the only roadblock to this is a question of hypocritically self-interested big business interests, in tandem with their governmental ‘stakeholders.’

Homeland Security

http://benton.org/node/195913?utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email A Benton.org summary and brief about the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Hearing that plans to look at the recent Ten-Year-9/11-Anniversary-Report, with the idea of developing new cybersecurity legislation.


War History Technology

http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07 A Library of Congress Folklife blog that details the origins of ambulances, showing thereby the complex and multidimensional interrelations among war, technology, barbarity, and progress. http://www.opednews.com/articles/ A key Op-Ed News analysis, richly historical and exquisitely documented, about the evolution of ‘National Intelligence’ in the U.S., which, however, ends up providing a brief to the good old days when the CIA was in charge of assassination, overthrows, and such, all in the name of an “Open Source Everything” attitude: “In 2004 we created the position of a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and abolished the historic position of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), relegating the DCI to being merely the Director of the CIA. This was a military financial coup explicitly intended by Dick Cheney to marginalize the CIA and place all national intelligence and covert action budgets under predominantly military control. It was accompanied by a massive expansion of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence USD(I), who proceeded to neglect counterintelligence, Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and expert human analysis, while embracing the industrial complex focus on spending tens of billions of dollars on technical collection and arcane scientific and technical means that have yet to yield any return on investment (ROI) validated by an ethical informed professional US Intelligence Community (US IC).”

Performance Enhancing Drugs/Nootropics

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/brain-enhancing-smart-drugs-are-going-commercial?trk_source=homepage-lede A lengthy investigative account from MotherBoard about the burgeoning business in nootropic substances that purportedly boost users’ cognitive functions and energy, much like amphetamine-derivative controlled prescriptions such as Adderall, which has its counterpart in the supplement trade of Alleradd, one of many such items that resulted from DIY mixtures from intrepid youngsters who wanted a buzz: “‘We picked up studies by neuroscience labs that would detail specific ingredients on the brain that have been proven either with mice or with humans to have some kind of effect on the human mind,’ he said. ‘Looking back, as I’m older, I don’t know if I would have been so ballsy as to be taking pills and formulas and powders that I found online and start testing them on myself,’ added Siegel, who’s now 23. As their concoction grew more effective, the founders began offering it to friends and colleagues to try, he added.”


https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/07/23/march-2013-watchlisting-guidance/ The Intercept’s unclassified version of the Federal Watchlist Guidance–from Spring, 2013–for determining who might end up on ‘terrorist’ watchlists, basically an arbitrary and ad hoc process with no appeal or intervention on a citizen’s behalf possible. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39211.htm A thorough Information Clearinghouse report about the Watchlist Guidance that the U.S. uses, which makes even an ordinary traffic stop a daunting danger if anyone, anywhere in the ‘intelligence’ establishment holds that one might rationally deserve the label of ‘suspected terrorist,’ for which standard of evidence multiple loopholes are available to permit the casting of an even wider net: “Emblazoned with the crests of 19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into the secret history of the government’s terror list policies to date. It reveals a confounding and convoluted system filled with exceptions to its own rules, and it relies on the elastic concept of ‘reasonable suspicion’ as a standard for determining whether someone is a possible threat. Because the government tracks ‘suspected terrorists’ as well as ‘known terrorists,’ individuals can be watchlisted if they are suspected of being a suspected terrorist, or if they are suspected of associating with people who are suspected of terrorism activity.”


  • http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/07/22/15082/ A Center for Public Integrity report about the Colombian operations of closely held Alabama coal giant Drummond, Inc., which has for the nearly fifteen years of its operations in Northern Colombia been the target of investigations, accusations, and litigation that it has actively participated in or knowingly facilitated murder and violence and threat against Colombian trade unionists, perfectly congruent in many ways with Plan Colombia: “Four lawsuits — three of which are pending — have been filed against Drummond in U.S. courts by human rights lawyer Terry Collingsworth, who also has taken on companies like Dole Foods Inc. and Chiquita Brands International. One alleges that Drummond is responsible for the deaths of the three Colombian union leaders(in 2001) and financially supported the AUC(an anti-union operation). The case was dismissed, but an appeal was heard last August after ex-paramilitaries testified under Colombia’s Peace and Justice Program. The 2005 law, which was amended the next year, allowed for reduced sentences in exchange for demobilization and a full confession to one’s crimes. Several paramilitaries who had operated in the area made statements under oath against Drummond.”
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Other-News/The-Top-1 A truly graphical user interface from AFL-CIO, that portrays in effective panels the ludicrous foolishness behind the notion that ‘workers don’t need unions:” “Other than weekends, lunch breaks, overtime pay, parental leave, pension plans, higher wages, and sick leave, what good have unions ever done?”


  • http://hechingerreport.org/content/lessons-school A Hechinger Report summary of a case-study of how and why longer school days, without various additional changes, do nothing–or worse-than-nothing–to assist low-performing schools’ improvement: “(The principal at the Connecticutt academy)concluded the longer-day experiment wasn’t worth continuing. It had burned out students and teachers without significantly improving academic performance. The school was safer and more orderly, but test scores actually dropped.”
  • http://hechingerreport.org/content/raising-college A Charter School Network administrator’s take, vie the Hechinger Report, about the various roadblocks to increasing college attendance and graduation among poor students.
  • http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/ A Slate report about educational technology’s premises and presumptions that combines with a profile of the biggest booster of ed tech alive, Bill Gates.
  • http://www.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/CCGTC_7_18_2pm.pdf A New America Foundation Policy Brief, Common Core Goes to College that examines the disconnect between the vaunted ‘common core’ upheaval in public schools and the curricula and practice of many universities.
  • https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07/building-not-rebuilding-public-education/ A Jacobin reprinting of a New Politics report that puts the underlying political economic and sociopolitical reality of education into perspective, which is to say that progressive, democratic, comprehensive public education has never existed so that its creation has to engage new ideas and approaches, including among those who want unions to play a role: “The question is whether we will encourage activists to democratize their unions, to make them social movements, or whether we think the model of ‘service’ or ‘business unionism’ should remain the norm. The Chicago Teachers Union is just one part of a growing movement for a better education system. But much hinges on other radical activists in the United States understanding that we cannot repeat the mistakes teachers unions made during their birth in the 1960s.”


http://truth-out.org/news/item/24984-morocco-crossroads-in-the-conflict-between-future-paths Another brilliant TruthOut contextualization, this time about Morocco, that combines reportage about culture and progress in this multilingual ‘crossroads of empire,’ with both explication of the idiocy of labeling this piece of land as “Middle East,” and problems and prospects unfolding there now: “As a young female leader of the movement told me, ‘Before the movement, we didn’t have a united front. We were aware of all the injustices – women, destruction of the environment, stealing of land. But before the February 20th Movement, we didn’t put all these together.’ She continued, ‘It’s not a question of hope or inspiration; it’s a question of injustice and oppression. If that continues, then so do we.'”

World War One

http://blogs.loc.gov/picturethis/2014/07/world-war-i-the-picture-starts-to-form/ A sobering briefing from Library of Congress’ Picture This blog about the depictions that prevailed immediately prior to the initiation of the hostilities that we’ve come to know as World War One, which killed plus-or-minus ten percent of the world’s people.


http://www.vice.com/read/mass-incarceration-in-america?utm_source=vicenewsletter A Vice research and investigative assessment about the prison industrial complex, fueled by “a draconian war on drugs” and more, the upshot of which has been unparalleled social dislocation and declines in democracy: “Today, more than one out of every 100 Americans is behind bars, and the US has the largest prison population in the world, both in terms of the actual number of inmates and as a percentage of the total population. The numbers are staggering: The US incarceration rate is nearly 3.5 times higher than that of Mexico, a country that has spent the last decade in the throes of an actual drug war, and between five and ten times higher than those seen in Western Europe. There are more people locked up in the US than in China. In fact, the US is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite accounting for just 5 percent of the overall global population.”


A Thought for the Day
"What is writing?" I’ve often asked my students: and while countless ‘correct’ answers are possible to that question–Steven Pinker noted that language is "an infinite recombinatorial system"–one likely indisputable response is that since our species still exists, "Writing is a survival tool," which means that too much bullshit in the textual sphere may well defeat the purpose of written words and undermine our existence.

Quote of the Day

"One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, nor attracted much sustained inquiry." Harry Frankfurt, Princeton University moral philosopher: .

This Day in History

Four hundred seventy-four years back, England executed Thomas Cromwell for treason; three hundred fifty-nine years ago, Cyrano de Bergerac died; two hundred twenty years back, both Robespierre and Saing Just lost their heads in Paris; a hundred ninety-three years ago, Peru declared independence from Spain; one hundred forty-eight years ago, Vinnie Ream became the first female artist to receive a U.S. Government commission, for a statue of Lincoln, and English children’s author Beatrix Potter was born; a hundred forty-six years before the here and now, the Fourteenth Amendment became law of the land, putatively guaranteeing Constitutional rights everywhere; one hundred eighteen years back, Miami came into existence as an incorporated municipality; one hundred twelve years back, the infant who became renowned philosopher Karl Popper was born; one hundred seven years ago, the man who invented Tupperware, Edward Tupper, was born; one hundred years prior to our present pass, Austria declared war on Serbia, initiating what we’ve come to call World War One; eight two years ago, Herbert Hoover ordered the so-called ‘Bonus Army’ forcibly evicted from their protest encampment in the District of Columbia; eighty-one years back, Spain and the Soviet Union established formal diplomatic relations; sixty-nine years ago, a B-25 bomber crashed into the seventy-ninth floor of the Empire State Building, killing fourteen people; sixty years back, Hugo Chavez came into the world; forty-one years back, a huge rock festival entertained over half a million people at Watkins Glen, New York; nine years before today, the Irish Republican Army ended its three decade armed campaign in Northern Ireland. July 28


http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/22/the-mystery-of-a-ukrainian-army-defector/ A news analysis from investigative site, Consortium News, that provides powerful documentation and other evidence that those who fired on MH-17 were wearing Ukrainian military uniforms, the explanation for which from U.S. intelligence was that a ‘defector’ was in charge of the rebel battery, thereby avoiding the obvious: "In other words, we may be seeing another case of the U.S. government ‘fixing the intelligence’ around a desired policy outcome, as occurred in the run-up to war with Iraq."

The People’s Climate March Sept 21: Why Climate is a Labor Issue

By: Abby Scher, NYC

The NWU and 37 other labor organizations have endorsed the People’s Climate March (PCM) scheduled for Sunday September 21, in NYC (http://peoplesclimate.org/march/). United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called world leaders to New York that week to discuss climate change before a new round of negotiations in 2015. A mass PCM can help create pressure for a progressive global agreement.



  • https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07 An informative and evocative report about Spain’s Puedemos Party–"We Can!"–and its social democratic and populist initiatives, structure, membership, and evolution in contemporary Spanish politics, where the group received over a million ballots and eight percent of the total vote in the recent European Parliamentary Elections: "While heavy on academics, the candidates on the Podemos ticket represented more of a cross-section of the Spanish citizenry than any other party in the country. Their ages ranged from eighteen to seventy-eight, and their vocations from firefighter to librarian, but most importantly they included unemployed workers of all shades. Spain’s mainstream media didn’t expect anything from any of the minority parties, let alone one that had been founded only months before the election."
  • ttp://www.niemanlab.org/encyclo/ A brilliant source, from Nieman Journalism Labs, in the form of an ongoing and expanding recent encyclopedia of contemporary media and its issues.
  • http://www.nlginternational.org/ Crucial context from the National Lawyer’s Guild on the recent historical background of Israel’s current attacks on Gaza.
  • http://thebigpicturereport.com/2014/07/24/ Arlen Grossman’s Big Picture Report, which in this installment recommends making requisite on citizenship that folks watch Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address at least once yearly.
  • http://listenthefilm.net/ Just a critical portal for this union, in advancing membership, networking, credibility, action, etc., advancing the key concept that "nothing about us without us is for us:" "And then once you watch the film do the world another favor. Opt out. Boycott. Walkout. You can even skip the step where you watch a talky documentary, because really it’s just about the action. So stop reading this and go do something. We need you. Please please please….."


  • http://www.nytimes.com A magazine publishing success story, from a Times Books column, about the young editor of Jacobin, frequently enough present in these pages and an exciting entry into the textual ‘marketplace:’ "’Looking back, I see it as a moment of creative ignorance. You have to have enough intelligence to execute something like this but be stupid enough to think it could be successful.’"
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/ A Tech Republic gallery, which serves as a portal to text, that introduces five new calendar applications of possible utility to busy writers with multiple deadlines.
  • http://inside.flipboard.com/2014/ An interview from Nieman Journalism Lab with the Lab’s founder Joshua Benton, which examines journalism’s present pass and what Harvard’s resources, imprimatur, and backing add to the mix.
  • http://www.fastcompany.com/3033338/ A Fast Company analysis of e-mail newsletters on TinyLetter and how the most successful examples are able to build their audiences, which are notoriously loyal once they are in place.
  • http://towcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ A Tow Center for Digital Journalism–of the Columbia Journalism School, via a Fast Company link–report that seems pretty critical for freelancers of every sort, especially reporters of any stripe: The Art & Science of Data Driven Journalism: When Journalists Combine New Technology With Narrative Skills, They Can Deliver Context, Clarity, and a Better Understanding of the World Around Us.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/23 A fascinating contextualization from Pando Daily that presents Muhammed Ali’s braggadocio prior to his fight with Sonny Liston as a motivational pep talk extraordinaire, not a bad thought for freelancers and their organizations, who are all generally outgunned and overmatched but need to somehow have a winning attitude anyhow.
  • http://qz.com/238681/the-complete A guide to facilitating creative ‘ah-ha!’ in one’s life, from Quartz, thanks to GovExec, of prime import for all writers much of the time.
  • http://www.cjr.org An examination of a specific case of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Local Journalism Initiative, from Columbia Journalism Review, that focuses on a tri-state collaboration in the West that is delving primarily a single, underreported ‘beat’ and helping to generate news about that with a ground level perspective and dogged reportage: "

“Without being too grandiose, we’re trying to focus on the nexus of people and the energy they use and the issues they need to understand going forward in a transforming energy economy. We’re looking at all kinds of stories and energy transformation as it’s changing these communities in Colorado, North Dakota, and Wyoming.”


  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com A Forbidden Knowledge Television offering of a brief foray into ‘futuristic predictions’ by Arthur C. Clarke that foretells some ugly and some awesome aspects of the present, though with fascistic overtones hither and yon.
  • http://thehill.com/policy A briefing from The Hill about the recent ten-year-memorial report of the 9/11 Commission, which warns of impending cyber warfare against the U.S., which means that any semblance of democracy or social justice must disappear in the glare of necessary security precautions.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/22 A revealing and open-ended Pando Daily investigative item that digs deeper into the background of Tor, which the periodical has been following with the most incisive coverage available, in this case tying a government operative and a Wikipedia scribe to the software’s development and revealing that Edward Snowden was running Tor exit portals from his last station before absconding, all the while encouraging his NSA colleagues to do the same, which those ‘in the know’ say had nothing to do with his work or his spying and only represented his belief in encryption: "But for some reason, I find it hard to imagine that an NSA contractor with top secret security clearance, in the middle of stealing a huge cache of secrets and leaking them to the world, would risk running a Tor node and lobbying his NSA coworkers to do the same — just to help out the cause of Internet privacy"
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/23 Whoa!! A profile and essay from Tech Crunch that suggests that people are getting all the crap that they deserve because of their unwillingness to ‘pay for content,’ conveniently overlooking the fact that the web and its architecture only exist because tax dollars paid for it, only to ‘give it away’ to the current crop of plutocrats who are stalking and balking at not making enough billions, an oversight that nonetheless delivers some monster news: "A UK startup called MaidSafe, based in the small town of Troon in Scotland, reckons the myriad problems with today’s Internet can be linked to a design quirk of its underlying architecture. And that the answer to solving the web’s most perennial issues, such as finding sustainable digital business models for content, safeguarding user data and privacy, and thwarting hacking, malware and overreaching surveillance, is to begin again – with a whole new re-architected Internet. No one said this was a small problem with an easy fix. MaidSafe has actually been working on its new network since 2006, finally coming out of stealth earlier this year to begin detailing its grand plan. It’s now rolling out the first of three test networks, to test the underlying network without any apps on it as yet, ahead of a full beta launch in Q4. The initial test network comprises 180 nodes, located in Singapore, San Francisco, Amsterdam and New York."
  • http://www.fastcompany.com/3033254/ A Fast Company report and profile about the new head of data-science at the Times, and both how the business of journalism has come to depend on aligning with that data and how, therefore, reportage itself is also dependent, a chilling thought to some, thrilling to others, but interesting and important to anyone whose thinking cap is in place.
  • http://justsecurity.org/12516/pclobJust Security’s portal to Professor Jennifer Granick’s essay that asserts that the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board did not answer the eight questions that she posed about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s massive collection of citizen data, a charge that the head of PCLOB has just recently disputed but which Professor Granick’s cogent argument contravenes.
  • http://benton.org/node/196514 Benton.org’s summary of a White House press release about the importance of finding qualified workers to fill over a million projected IT jobs coming down the pike, which the Obama administration is addressing in part by establishing "Coding Boot Camps."
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/us A bizarre combination of plagiarism and copyright case, in which U.S. Senator John Walsh, Democrat from Montana, seems to be in trouble, according to the Times for aspects of his War College thesis such as this: "In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote to it."
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology A New Zealand Stuff article about a California lawsuit that survived Defendant Google’s summary judgment motion and will now proceed to trial in litigation that challenges the giant firm’s practices of "data-slurping" its users, which in a sense makes NSA seem like unambitious amateurs in the snooping department.


Chaos in Libya

http://thehill.com/policy/international/213418 A briefing from The Hill about the descent to chaos in Libya, facilitated by U.S. intervention over the years, illustrating the nostrum that ‘what goes around comes around.
Violence in Gaza

  • ttp://www.france24.com/en/ A breaking news brief from France24 about citizens’ decisions to carry on with a march against continued Israeli depredations in Gaza despite Paris police’s prohibition of their protests.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/ A breaking news report from New Zealand’s Stuff about Friday’s Israeli attack on a United Nation’s school and shelter that killed at least fifteen, most of them children: "Almost 750 people have been killed during the conflict in Gaza. Ban expressed condolences to the families of innocent civilians ‘killed as a result of the massive Israeli assault.’"
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39196.htm Information Clearinghouse’s essay by Israeli radical political scientist and gadfly, Norman Finkelstein, which assesses a Human Rights Watch ‘whitewash’ of Israel’s attacks in Gaza and insists that international law indisputably backs the Palestinians.
  • http://972mag.com/the-largest-west-bank A grassroots report, from Israel’s +972 Magazine, about a large–in context, gigantic–protest of Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem about what is happening in Gaza, with scores of injuries and several deaths.

Israel v. Palestine
http://www.counterpunch.org A Counterpunch report on the Chicago context of Israel and Palestine, in relation to recent competing demonstrations: "Chicago police gave Israel’s advocates prime real estate in the center of the street in front of the Israeli consulate, which is located in a massive, high-rent downtown highrise that also houses a major train station. Palestinian allies? Cordoned off on a tiny corner hundreds of feet away, walled in by police horses, bicycle cops and dozens of Chicago cops, Homeland Security operatives, private police and their allies."


  • http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox A Slate briefing about "roiling" unrest just "beneath the surface" in Chinese manufacturing facilities, including those that supply Apple and more.


  • http://www.opednews.com A harshly critical article from Op-Ed News that sternly criticizes the ‘yellow-journalistic’ propagation of war-mongering propaganda among corporate media outlets here, which have pretty uniformly demonized Russia and anything that it supports, with little evidence, to say the least, of anything demonic.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/world/ A Times breaking news brief about two Ukrainian fighters downed by missile fire, a total of four military planes in a week that have suffered this fate, in the wider context of the destruction of MH-17 and with the added assertion by the Ukrainians that most or all of the missiles originated in Russian territory.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe In the context of edging toward World War Three and doing battle over carving Ukraine up for the International Monetary Fund, New Zealand’s Stuff report about the dissolution of Arseniy Yatseniuk’s coalition government in Kiev.
  • http://rt.com/news/174924-ukraine-stringer-phillips-disappearance/ A report from RT about four disappeared journalists, one of whom was the Englishman Graham Philips, whom RT reports was the most popular Ukraine reporter on Twitter, according to Brandwatch, these four abductions less likely for American readers to discover than the CNN ‘fixer’ who is in rebel custody.

US Senate

  • http://thehill.com/policy/finance/economy A report from The Hill about parliamentary thrusts and counterthrusts from the Senate, where the fate of the decades-old and politically-economically potent Export-Import Bank hangs in the balance, with Republicans calling for a vote in an appropriations bill and Democrats insisting on tying the vote to a so-called Continuing Resolution, opposition to which could conceivably shut down the government.

Argentine Loans

  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07 A Real News Network interview, thanks to Naked Capitalism, with Michael Hudson and James Henry that examines the predation that so-called Vulture Funds’ squeezing Argentina builds into the current political-economic standard operating procedure: "But if you go back to the sordid history of the Argentine debt, that’s the other thing that’s really quite disturbing here. As of 1976, Argentina had a total foreign debt of … 17 percent of GDP. The military came in in ’76 with U.S. government support, established a junta. By 1983, the debt had soared to $48 billion–by a factor of seven. And no one has ever audited that debt. There’s–and, interestingly, there’s a U.S. legal doctrine called odious debt which says that if you have a debt that’s contracted by a military dictatorship, it doesn’t necessarily have to be honored. We invoked it with respect to Cuba in 1898. It had acquired a lot of loans from Spain, and nobody could account for where they were. But this odious debt doctrine had never been applied to Argentina."


Education/Charter System
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07 A thorough and bracing examination from Jacobin of the ‘future of American education’ that Charter fantasies embody, noting the prevalence of these regimented and profiteering models in Detroit and focusing on their ubiquity in post-Katrina New Orleans, which is the nation’s first ‘all-Charter’ system, with unions crushed, parents and community marginalized, and students treated with unmitigated repression: "(T)his type of schooling extinguishes young people’s passion for learning and potentially pushes out those who fail to or are unwilling to comply. At best, the “No Excuses” approach attempts to develop within students the compliant dispositions necessary to accept and work within the status quo."
Corrosion of Higher Education
http://hnn.us/article/156375 A History News Network essay about the corrosion of higher education and the explosion of administrative salaries at the same time: "In Canada, where the situation is much the same, faculty members recently teamed up in groups of four to apply for an advertised position as president of the University of Alberta. They explained that, ‘by job-sharing this position, we would be able to do a better job than any one person could do―and the salary is certainly ample enough to meet the needs of all four of us.’"
Media Issues/Propaganda
http://pando.com/2014/07/24 Another incredible Pando Daily scoop, just a testament to heart and diligence, that completely eviscerates one of the Koch brothers’ favorite, Reason Magazine, which devoted an entire issue in its past to ‘revising’ the reality of the Holocaust, an issue of the periodical that PD embeds in its essay.
National Labor Relations Board
http://thehill.com/ A report from The Hill that reveals its own arguably counterfactual biases–i.e., that the National Labor Relations Board has ‘stacked’ any ‘deck’ in favor of unions–but nonetheless also shows the upsurge currently occurring in so-called "micro-unions," which demonstrates in the most graphic way that the consciousness of workers that they are getting screwed is reaching a high point and that, as the article clearly states, owners find this prospect terrifying.
Police Overreaching
http://thenewspaper.com/news/44/4469.asp Oh my! A ‘welcome to the land of the free’ contextualization from TheNewspaper.com, which reports on the case of a ‘speed-trap’ financed small Town in Central-West Texas that tried to steal a 64-year-old woman’s cash after she’d sold some property, and some of the bills had marijuana residue on the: "Two months after the money had been taken from her, the charges were finally dropped and $29,640 returned to Dutton. In addition to the $1400 stolen from her by the city, Dutton was out $1050 in fees she had to pay to get out of jail the day after her arrest. She was never reimbursed for the travel expenses she incurred to get her money back. Dutton decided to fight with a federal lawsuit challenging the city of Estelline for setting up a government almost entirely funded by speed traps. In 2012, speeding tickets generated 90 percent of the municipal budget. She argued that the marching orders for its officer was ‘go out there and get me some money’ through the use of seizures."
Women in India
http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/07/ A sad and basically terrifying report and analysis from Inter Press Service about the literal chains of domestic slavery that trap many of India’s women: "While the percentage of women employed in the informal economy remains high, the number of Indian women engaged in formal, secure and recognised labour is still minimal. Only 14-15 percent of workers in the formal sector are women, a number that has remained stagnant for several years."
Native American Education
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/ A crucially important piece of reportage about Native American education and how toxic and insufficient it is, all in the context of recent promises of ‘reform’ and improvement: "Though Wolf Point is on a reservation, the tribes have no say over the schools, which are run by a board that is almost always exclusively white."
Israel Lobby
http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/A0040.pdf The original classic monograph length White Paper by John Mearshimer and Steven Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which caused a firestorm of protest and an equally huge outpouring of support when it issued in 2006, and which has become a text that many people want to revisit just now.
World War One
http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/ A Nieman Journalism Lab briefing about and portal to a massive Guardian interactive project that helps citizens of the world learn about the descent into war that killed ten percent or so of humanity a hundred years ago, about some of the same issues and in some of the same territories that still plague our kind.


A Thought for the Day

The concept of solidarity, as difficult as it is to manifest, does rest on twin foundations no more disputable than the rotundity of our planet, first that the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants are working class folk, and second that every single human being, without one exception, is either cousins or even closer kin.

Quote of the Day

“I lived in the lynching era, and they are still lynching, but now it is a lynching of the mind.” Modjeska Monteith Simkins: South Carolina Revolutionary.

This Day in History

Seventeen hundred eight years back, Constantine became Roman Emperor by the proclamation of his troops; four hundred forty-seven years back, Spanish ‘entrepreneur’ Diego de Losada proclaimed the founding of the city that became modern day Caracas Venezuela; two hundred fifty-nine years ago, British authorities in Nova Scotia began the deportation of Acadians, which among other effects lays the basis for ‘Cajun’ culture on the Gulf of Mexico; two hundred twenty-two years ago, the Brunswick Manifesto threatened revenge against the French if they harmed the royal family, who soon lost their heads; one hundred seventy-seven years prior to the present, in a precursor to Earth’s first World Wide Web, two English inventors demonstrated a commercial telegraph in London; one hundred seventy years ago, Thomas Eakins, who became a famous painter and photographer, was born; one hundred fifty-three years back, the U.S. Congress declared that the War-Between-the-States was to preserve union and not to end slavery; one hundred forty-four years ago, the infant who grew up to become illustrator Maxfield Parrish was born; one hundred twenty years back, the infant boy who became Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, was born; one hundred sixteen years ago, the invasion and conquest of Puerto Rico by the United States began; one hundred five years back, Louis Bleriot crossed the English Channel for the first time in a ‘heavier-than-air-machine;’ ninety-four years before the here-and-now, the world’s first two way radio broadcast occurred across the Atlantic, and nearly two years following the end of World War One, French forces captured Damascus, Syria; eighty-nine years ago, TASS, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, came into being; seventy-three years back, a Black infant named Emmett Till was born; sixty-eight years ago, the United States detonated its first nuclear warhead at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, an underwater fission blast called Operation Crossroads; forty-nine years back, Bob Dylan ‘elecrtified’ the Newport Folk Festival by using an electric guitar; forty-one years ago, the infant who became prominent blogger Mur Lafferty was born; four years back, Wikileaks published classified Afghan conflict documents in one of the largest revelations of secret military records in history: July 25.


http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australian-soldiers-to-back-up-police-in-securing-ukrainian-site-of-mh17-crash-20140725-3ck94.html?eid=email:nnn-13omn655-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-04/11/2013-news_pm-dom-news-nnn-smh-u&campaign_code=13INO009&et_bid=21029048&promote_channel=edmail&mbnr=Mzk5NDMwOA The Sydney Morning Herald’s brief about Australia’s provision of soldiers and police to protect and maintain the site of the MH-17 crash and thereby provide grounds for a thorough investigation.


  • http://www.amazon.com/dp/1497427207 Check out an NWU At-Large member’s ninth book of poetry, some of which is mainly for the page but quite a bit of which is also for performance.
  • http://www.amazon.com And here’s one of our member’s mythic tales of fiery destruction and humanity’s potential to emerge from the ashes.
  • http://globalnext.org/ A fascinating and sophisticated portal to the work of one of NWU’s At-Large creators, about leadership and healing and power in a ‘broken world.’



  • http://www.vfpnationalconvention.org/workshops.htm A portal to Friday’s workshops at the Veterans for Peace National Conference, which include an examination of the murder of President Kennedy and an overview of environmental and peace work that continues in East Tennessee and elsewhere around the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/07/22/15131 A Center for Public Integrity report about over a thousand black lung claims that a physician at Johns Hopkins University may have wrongly denied, in collusion with who knows who, but now coming to light thanks for CPI’s and ABC’s ongoing series of stories on the matter: “‘We often talk about how coal produces the cheapest energy in this country,” (Senator Tom)Harkin, whose father had black lung, said during the hearing. One reason, he said, is ‘because those who mine the coal have not been adequately compensated.’ The hearing featured testimony from top government labor officials, an insurance consultant, and miners from West Virginia battling the disease on a daily basis, including a retired miner on oxygen because of his severe disease.”
  • http://endofcapitalism.com/2014/06/25/obscuring-the A review essay by a powerfully thought-provoking blogger, of Edward Morgan’s recent monograph about grassroots empowerment and the 1960’s, the subtitle of which is particularly important: How Mass Media Culture Failed American Democracy: “Together, these social movements pointed the way towards a vision for a radically democratic society, in which capitalism would be replaced by the participation of diverse constituencies in the decisions which affect them. Such a vision was spelled out in many places including Students for a Democratic Society’s famous Port Huron Statement, which coined the term ‘participatory democracy.’ This vision mortified the ruling class of existing society at the time, prompting such responses as the Trilateral Commission’s 1975 publication Crisis of Democracy, which defined the ‘crisis’ as an ‘excess of democracy,’ or too much democracy for the correct functioning of the U.S. in its role as ‘the hegemonic power in a system of world order.'”
  • http://www.hastac.org/blogs/tara-l-conley/2013/11/01/ A portal to the Humanities, Arts, Science, & Technology Alliance Collaboratory, where the reader discovers a recent review of Henry Jenkins tome on media and cultural convergence and a deep analysis of both the work and the underlying issues it raises.
  • http://www.alternet.org/clueless-rich-kids-rise-how An absolutely critical contextualization from Alternet about the socioeconomic reality behind the huge, flipping upsurge in apparent opportunities–crowdfunding, ‘grassroots’ charity-and-giving, etc., etc., a reality that is almost exclusively trust-fund driven by the recipients of mom’s and pop’s–and grandma’s and grandpa’s–largesse: “Will this trend toward inequality continue? According to ‘ U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth,’ a recent survey of wealthy Americans that aims to ‘[shed] light on the direction and purpose of the more than $15 trillion that will be passed across generations in high-net-worth families over the next two decades,’ it seems increasingly likely. The survey, which polled 680 Americans holding at least $3 million in investable assets, unearthed a troubling trend — the birth of a new American aristocracy. As the survey notes, ‘Nearly three-quarters of those over 69, and 61% of Baby Boomers, were the first generation to accumulate significant wealth. Among the younger Millennial generation, inherited wealth is more common.'”
  • http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/ A Talking Union blog that assesses the recent UAW moves in Chattanooga as full of finesse and possibility, whatever the howls of the ‘red-meat union-haters’ in Tennessee and elsewhere: “If we can go cold turkey about our obsession with a contract, and embrace membership, representation, and negotiation instead, there are lots of deals to be made and millions of workers who will rush into unions. This could be the start of something big for unions everywhere in the USA!”


  • http://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/2014/07/ Another ‘they can’t make this sh*t up’ blog from Library of Congress’ Catbird creatives, that details a trio of wild–and completely different–State poets-laureate controversies, ranging from North Carolina’s recent six-day-Republican tenure of a bard with only two self-published volumes to her credit to New Jersey’s radical brouhaha over Amiri Baraka’s appointment and performance of a harsh and critical and real piece about 9/11 and empire, which, when he refused to resign, led Jersey’s Governor to spearhead repealing the law that established the post, which has culminated in the Garden State’s having no official writer for almost twelve years.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2014/07/what-legal A much more pointed and poignant and arguably pertinent Library of Congress Law blog, which explores possible legal processes available to release three Al Jazeera journalists now serving seven, seven, and ten years in Egyptian prison for the crime of reporting the news: “I have been following the cases with interest, including discussions about whether the journalists could be released following further proceedings. It appears that two legal processes could be used by the defense attorneys to seek the release of the journalists: 1) petitioning the Egyptian President for pardons; and 2) submitting a petition for appeal to the Court of Cassation (the highest judicial body in the Egyptian court hierarchy). I checked the relevant laws and other sources to learn more about these processes.”
  • http://hilite.org/streisel/books-projects A portal to the work of California High School Journalism teacher, Jim Streisel, who is insisting that high school must proffer opportunity and training for citizens and newshounds.
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/ A briefing from GovExec about yet another Writers Union Campaign Awaiting Manifestation, in this case concerning State willingness–in the form of the National Conference of State Legislatures–to sue in order to keep communities from having their own Wi-Fi networks.
  • http://hechinger.tc.columbia.edu/ A portal to Columbia University’s Hechinger Institute on Education and Media, an invaluable source of blogging, news about journalism, and more.
  • http://en.rsf.org/nicaragua-journalists-want-protection-22-07-2014,46670.html A Reporters Without Borders report-and-analysis of demonstrations by erstwhile ‘independent’ journalists in Nicaragua about attacks that they’ve experienced from pro-Sandinistas partisans and the ‘chilling effect,’ to say the least, of doing reportage in a context in which terrorists recently attacked a bus that carried Sandinista supporters and killed five people and wounded many more.
  • http://benton.org/node/195261?utm_campaign= A brief Benton.org summary of a Broadcast & Cable report about the “New Value of Old School News” as elections approach and ‘funny business’ might be observable by engaged journalists.
  • http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/ A portal to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, loaded with opportunities, at least on the surface, and information, albeit inevitably ‘spun’ in one way or another, for writers and their organizations.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/257688 Fourteen writers’ struggles with and ways of overcoming writers’ block, or ‘the blank screen syndrome,’ from Poynter.org.
  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/from-grumpy-cat-to A look from Nieman Journalism Lab at Mashable’s recent hiring binge, with plus-or-minus thirty new ‘editorial interns’ over the past period of time, with much of this new scribe pool dedicated to writing about more than apps and tech-stuff, apparently with a decidedly pro-establishment slant.


  • http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07/ring-around-the-rosie-metafolklore-rhyme-and-reason/ Another irresistible contextualization from Library of Congress’ Folklife blog, about the possible plague connections of “Ring Around the Rosie” and other relatively ancient instances of the oral tradition, absolutely full of ideas and analysis that address mediation, the role of writing and culture, and all manner of other issues that ought to be critical to writers: “The first evidence I’ve seen that people were connecting the rhyme with death and disaster is from 1949, when the newspaper The Observer ran a parody of the rhyme beginning ‘ring-a-ring-o’-geranium, a pocketful of uranium’ and referring to the bombing of Hiroshima. In 1951, we find the first direct reference to the plague interpretation: Iona and Peter Opie state that some people believe the rhyme refers to the plague, but are not themselves convinced.”
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article A Tech Republic briefing–inevitably full of boosterism and opportunism and paradox–about ten charities that are utilizing digital tools with particular elan to advance their work.
  • http://www.govexec.com A GovExec portal to a National Journal shtick, “Congress Goes Fact-Finding” in Central America, the upshot of which was our Representatives can attest to the safety of the hotels ‘down South.’
  • http://www.govexec.com/ A GovExec briefing about the CIA’s one-month presence on Twitter, and how this is a stand for democracy and engagement that has interested the better part of a million ‘followers,’ often enough following the rubric of ‘funny is money,’ written by a K-Street Boutique firm employee of Corner Alliance, which advises government agencies on web strategies and Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services: http://corneralliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Corner-Alliance-MOBIS_final.pdf.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07 Another Library of Congress Digital Preservation interview, this time with University of Southern California Communications Professor Henry Jenkins, whose oeuvre includes at least a few books that every writer interested in “the participatory culture of the web” needs to read.
  • http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2166/1965 A six-year-old First Monday review of Henry Jenkins’ Media Convergence: Where Old & New Media Collide, and, no doubt, where consumption stands in for real influence and power: “By convergence Jenkins is not simply speaking of the notion of delivering all content through one device. Instead, he draws upon the writings of Ithiel de Sola Pool, Pierre Levy, Peter Walsh, and others to describe three key concepts: Convergence refers to the various methods now employed for the development and delivery of media content through different modalities, including through cooperation among widely differing media organizations; participatory culture is the interplay among media producers and those purchasing their products; and collective intelligence references the process of sharing resources and skills as consumers share knowledge about what they consume. A ‘convergence culture’ is developing, playing out most prominently now in the entertainment media, but Jenkins believes that it will eventually change many other aspects of society.”
  • http://video.mit.edu/watch/spreadable-media-creating-value-and-meaning-in-a-networked-society-8705/ An MIT media-video portal to watch a discussion by the authors of Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Society, which makes this point among others, that an emergent critical distinction is focusing on grassroots circulation rather than commercial distribution.
  • http://www.letsbuycnn.com/ John Stewart’s Let’s Buy CNN KickStarter campaign, with sixteen days left and ten billion dollars yet to raise.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/lying-is-good-for-business/5392904 A pitch and analysis from Global Research, entitled Lying Is Good for Business, which argues that corporate media lies and culpability, not to mention ties with imperialist organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations, necessitate affiliation with such actors as GR, and, oh, I don’t know, yeah! maybe a union of progressive writers.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/tesla-pharma-and-the-state A brief contextualization and comparison by Tech Republic of the implications of Elon Musk’s ‘open-sourcing’ of Tesla patents vis-a-vis the pharmaceutical industry’s seeking to monopolize every ‘gold-rush’ imaginable, as with upcoming Hepatitis-C treatments and such.
  • http://gigaom.com/2014/07/20/mr-wheeler-tear-down-these-walls A GigaOm essay that powerfully and unequivocally advances the idea that municipal broadband must be free to develop across the length and breadth of the land, as it were, all of which the author addresses directly to Tom Wheeler and the FCC: “Some networks such as those in Cedar Falls, Iowa; Thomasville, Georgia; Santa Monica, California and Bristol, Virginia have operated successfully for over 10 years. Thomasville Mayor Max Beverly credited, its 14-year-old network for profits of $2 million a year and has contributed to the city eliminating taxes. Danville, Virginia’s public utility’s network that launched in 2004 helped cut the locale’s unemployment in half, down from 19 percent, by directly enticing several large companies to the area, and creating a local technology industry that otherwise likely wouldn’t exist. Santa Monica’s fiber network, launched the same year, reduced government voice and data communication charges by over $750,000 a year. Those savings, plus selling fiber services to local businesses helped build a $2.5 million surplus. However, community networks’ return on investment often is not about revenue, but benefiting the public good.” DigiDay’s outing of Wikipedia’s occasional posting of ‘articles,’ written by principles in the profiled subject, that are little more than advertising fluff.


  • http://safeenergy.org/2014/07/24/obama-appoints-two-to-nrc/ A breaking news analysis from GreenWorld, which profiles and suggests some of the conflicts and issues surrounding two recent Obama administration appointments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with both Republicans and environmentalists dubious about these moves: “Burn’s nomination, however, has run into questions from the opposite perspective as well, with some environmentalists noting the apparent revolving door between the NRC and the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency. Magwood is leaving the NRC to head NEA, a position he starts on September 1, while Burns would be moving back to NRC from NEA.”
  • http://www.japantimes.co.jp/ A breaking news brief from Japan Times, thanks to EnergyJustice.net, that notes how used components and entire structures form a part of the infrastructure of water storage at Fukushima, which may or may not have impacted the soundness of the systems there, which have linked thousands of tons of radioactive water at the site.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/23/we-are-israeli-reservists-we-refuse-to-serve/ A WaPo opinion essay that contains the petition of fifty-odd Israeli military reservists–many women who would never have drawn a combat posting–who are refusing the government’s call-up order for service, in part because of a deep-seated and fundamental critique of the treatment of Gaza and Palestinians generally, in part because of the systematic failures of contemporary Israeli politics: “To us, the current military operation and the way militarization affects Israeli society are inseparable. In Israel, war is not merely politics by other means — it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard.”
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-startup- A Tech Republic profile that is one part fetishization and one part paean to miracles, describing the origins and ongoing work of Not Impossible Labs, harnessing the power of 3D printing and trust-fund wealth to help folks with severe disabilities and missing limbs and such gain some semblance of mastery again.
  • http://mondediplo.com/blogs/letter-from-gaza A Monde Diplomatique blog that offers readers an e-mail plea from a physician in Gaza: “‘The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24hrs shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment [at] all in Shifa for the last four months); they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS! Now, once more treated like animals by ‘the most moral army in the world [sic].'”
  • http://www.ustrust.com/publish/content/application/pdf/GWMOL/USTp_ARKWY39L_2015-06.pdf An Annual Survey of High-Net-Worth and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Americans, Insights on Wealth and Worth, by U.S. Trust.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-american-propaganda-works-guilt-by-insinuation/5392573 A Global Research overview and analysis of the MH-17 debacle, and how ‘Western media’ has both ignored Vladmir Putin’s continued rationality–‘let’s have an independent, expert investigation’–and distributed prepackaged material–from YouTube to big news outlets–that howled ‘Let’s blame Russia!’ almost before the plane hit the ground: “We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner. As I pointed out earlier, this video is twice damned. It was ready in advance and by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane.”
  • www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/us_sentencing_commission The American Bar Association Journal’s announcement that the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s lessening of draconian drug sentences will likely apply retroactively, possibly affecting plus-or-minus 50,000 incarcerated men and women.
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24858-this An awesome and wacky TruthOut overview about and interview with Iceland’s former Reykjavik mayor, Jon Gnarr, who helped to introduce citizen budgeting initiatives, generally open and responsive government, and an ongoing local forum against oppression anywhere on the globe, the upshot of which is the publication of his book about the experience, How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World.
  • www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/16/isis-in-syria/ A Counterpunch article by Alexander Cockburn that sets the stage for understanding Islamic State in Iraq & Syria, examining ties and identifying power agendas and more.
  • http://www.opednews.com/articles/Fukushima-s A Harvey Wasserman report on Op-Ed News that reveals the epidemiological and anecdotal evidence of children’s health morbidity and mortality in the aftermath of Fukushima, despite a combination of misrepresentation and blackout by most corporate media outlets, findings that are consistent with experience in the U.S. after Three Mile Island and in Central and Eastern Europe after Chernobyl.
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/21/renewables-2014-energy/ And EcoWatch briefing about the fact that last year’s additions to the electrical power capacity of the United States were a majority due to renewable installation.


  • http://wolfandhare.com/?p=9 A thoughtful and provocative overview from an At-Large NWU member, with whom many such as I might disagree vociferously on many occasions, but who has tons to offer as we seek ways to rejuvenate both hope and real grassroots action: “I am a being of laws and rules, in spite of libertarian leanings. My job and purpose is to restore the people to their place as masters of their government, rather than its subjects, not to destroy the government, but to preserve it.”
  • https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07/when-the-unions-the-enemy/ A nuanced and fascinating examination of color and upsurge in the union movement of the 1960’s and ’70’s, particularly in the UAW: “In his 1976 book Auto Work and Its Discontents, labor activist B.J. Widick quotes one company official as saying, “[S]ome jobs white folks will not do; so they have to take niggers in… It shortens their lives, it cuts them down but they’re just niggers.” Despite its work funding the Freedom Riders and the March on Washington, the UAW was guilty of its own institutional racism. By 1962, it had failed to elect a single black member to its twenty-two-person executive board, despite the fact that African-Americans by then composed a quarter of the Detroit membership. By 1968, there were still just two. Locked out of union leadership, their workplace grievances ignored, many activists turned to organizing wildcat actions.”
  • http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/femalespies.html A Library of Congress blog about the wily ways of female spies in World War One, fascinating and multi-tiered.
  • http://www.witchcraftandwitches.com/witches_starhawk.html A ‘virtual string-of-pearls’ find that cannot help but interest some writers and suggest potential intersections and connections to anyone with a long view of history and culture.
  • http://womenspioneernetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Audre-Lorde.pdf Another link that results from following chains within the whorls of cyberspace, this a scathing critique of a 1980’s Feminist-Thinking conference by one of its attendees, whose deep forays touch on sensitive issues that continue to resonate and perplex: “As women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.”
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/18/planned-chaos-in-the-middle-east-and-beyond/ A Counterpunch background and analysis that shows the deep roots and policy planning that have undergirded the current madness and mayhem throughout the Middle East, the prediction and fostering of which were in fact carefully orchestrated propaganda and policy responses to cries for a ‘peace dividend’ after the Soviet implosion: “Publicly, most of the reassessment of the post-Cold War world was presented by the top military brass. For example, General Carl Vuno, Chief of Staff of the US Army, told a House Committee in May 1989: ‘Much more complex [than any peril posed by the Soviet Union] is the threat situation developing in the rest of the world. . . . In this increasingly multipolar world, we face the potential of multiple threats from countries and factors which are becoming more sophisticated militarily and more aggressive politically.'”
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/19/bric-j19.html A contextual examination by World Socialist Website of the recent BRICS formation of a lending fund and a reserve currency fund that hope to act as miniature versions of World Bank and International Monetary Fund operations, as instances of heightening tensions and likely growing conflicts among different capitalist powers, vis a vis United States hegemony and imperial imprimatur.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/10292560/Norway-survivors- In an exemplification of journalism that actually at least pretends to care about what has happened in the past, a New Zealand Stuff retrospective about the hideous murders that took place by a fascist assassin among young Social Democrats in Norway, almost the exact opposite side of the Globe from down, down under.
  • www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24999-which-is-worse-government-or-corporate-bureaucracy A TruthOut comparison and contrast of government and corporate bureaucracies
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Organizing-Bargaining An AFL-CIO blog that commemorates the century-and-a-half of struggle and empowerment, oppression and resistance, by working women since the meeting in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, which over 250 AFL-CIO members celebrated last week in Washington.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/16/israels-goliath-to-palestines-david/ A Normal Pollock piece in Counterpunch that provides both cultural and historical background to the brutality in Gaza, what the author terms “the inversion of the Jewish soul,” with Palestine’s playing the part of David versus Israel’s Goliath.


A Thought for the Day

Something, anything, nothing: these are common words because the idea of a thing, “the thing is” as we put it, so simply expresses ‘things’ that we want to say; but no thing exists, every thing in fact is more complex than a unity, any thing contains essentially infinite parts, but how these notions should affect our thinking rarely if ever rises to the level of conscious consideration.

Quote of the Day
“A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we phase out nuclear energy.” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/18/fukushima-bad-and-getting-worse/.

This Day in History
Four hundred eighty years back, explorer Jacques Cartier claimed the Gaspe Peninsula in present-day Canada for France; three hundred thirteen years ago, another Frenchman took credit for founding a trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which became the city of Detroit; two hundred twelve years back, novelist and writer Alexandre Dumas was born; one hundred ninety-one years ago, Chile abolished slavery; one hundred sixty-seven years back, Brigham Young led almost 150 Mormons into the Salt Lake Valley, on the site of today’s Salt Lake City; a hundred forty-eight years prior to the present, Tennessee became the first Confederate State to reenter the union under the terms of Reconstruction; one hundred nineteen years ago, British writer and critic Robert Graves was born; a hundred seventeen years ago, Amelia Earhart was born; one hundred fourteen years ago, the infant female who grew up to become Zelda Fitzgerald came into the world near Birmingham, Alabama; one hundred thirteen years before the present point in time, the soon-to-be acclaimed author O.Henry completed his three years prison sentence for embezzlement; one hundred three years back, Hiram Bingham rediscovered the ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu; ninety-two years ago, the Council of the League of Nation approved a draft of the British Mandate of Palestine, which came into full effect just over a year later; eighty-five years ago, ten years before the formal outbreak of World War Two, the Kellogg-Briand multilateral treaty took effect, renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy; seventy-seven years ago, Alabama dropped rape charges against nine young Black men—the Scottsboro Boys—whom it had been trying to execute for sexual assault against two White women; fifty-five years back, Vice-President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev participated in a ‘kitchen-debate’ at the opening of an American exhibition in Moscow; forty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon could not retain his secret tape recordings concerning the Watergate break-in and its aftermath: July 24.


http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.606228 A report from Haaretz about the just-released letter from seven Nobel Peace Prize winners and scores of other activists that condemns Israel’s actions in Gaza and calls for an arms embargo on the Jewish State: “‘We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.'”


  • http://ecowatch.com EcoWatch’s profile and report about this weekend’s Burning River Fest in Cleveland, a celebration of environmental consciousness and innovation that marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the Cuyahoga River’s igniting in 1969.
  • http://www.grc2014.net/ The portal to the Grassroots Radio Conference, August 14-17 in Ames, Iowa, which will feature writers and producers and other creators who might join or collaborate with a national union of writers.
  • Cary NC – J&J Editorial, LLC is a growing organization that supports the editorial management of a variety of scholarly publications, primarily academic journals
  • Austin, TX – We are a local a staffing agency looking for a Technical Writer for a temp assignment for a state agency.


  • http://www.icij.org/blog/2014/07/ A Global Muckraker blog from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which describes in horrific detail the realities of U.S. foreign policy, in this case in relation to the Chile of Salvador Allende, the CIA-orchestrated victim of a coup that killed and ‘disappeared’ ten thousand or more, and the aftermath here in the U.S., where Orlando Letelier died in a car-bombing in D.C.: “I left my conversation with Letelier feeling troubled, as almost any American would, over the notion that our nation’s highest authorities would unhesitatingly undermine a duly elected foreign government and then brazenly lie about it, all in the service of US financial interests. But the denouement of my encounter with Letelier would be even more horrific. … On the morning of September 21, 1976, driving with his young, recently wed IPS colleagues Michael and Ronni Moffit to work downtown, one of the assassins trailing them …trigger(ed) a massive explosion that was heard at the State Department half a mile away. A piece of shrapnel cut twenty-five-year-old Ronni Moffitt’s jugular vein, and she literally drowned in her own blood. Letelier’s legs were blown off, and he died before the ambulance reached George Washington University Hospital.”
  • http://www.aecf.org The Ann E. Casey Foundation’s twenty-fifth Kids Count databook, which begins with remorse that such information is not more readily available, even if it tells a daunting tale: “Although all too easy to downplay, ignore or deny in the short term, the data and trends bearing on child development and children’s access to opportunity should command at least the same level of attention as statistics about our economy.”
  • http://www.govexec.com A summary from GovExec about National Park Service and Coast Guard plans to outsource work, which the American Federation of Government Employees indicates is illegal without a study that documents the efficiencies and so forth, which neither of the services have provided.
  • http://www.thechanger.org A portal courtesy of Daily Good that provides a noteworthy briefing about the potential to engage and gain support from so-called ‘millennials: http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/three_ways_to_engage_millennial_donors.’
  • http://en.blog.wordpress.com Part Two of WordPress’s LongReads program–anything over 1,500 words–that requires only a self-nomination and their acceptance, thus representing both an opportunity for NWU outreach and union writer notice in the future.
  • http://www.vfpnationalconvention.org/workshops.htm Veterans for Peace’s National Convention workshop agenda, including afternoon sessions that deal with “Ukrainian Truth” and “Atomic Appalachia,” the latter co-hosted by a former NWU member.


  • http://www.icij.org/blog/2014/07 The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ announcement of and prospectus for the first stage of the I-Hub Project, a secure space for collaboration and sharing online, the development of which stems from a Knight Foundation Prototype grant: “Great journalism relies on being able to work with sensitive information and share it without fear of it being compromised by governments or other powerful stakeholders. It also depends on journalists’ ability to protect sources and ensure their anonymity in cases where the information they’ve provided could put their livelihood, work, or even life in danger.”
  • http://www.govexec.com/ A GovExec briefing about D.C.’s joining New York City in offering online portals to track Freedom of Information Act requests in their areas, an idea that writers and their organizations might usefully support in every corner of the world.
  • https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites An analysis, The Reuters Institute Digital News Report, that arguably any writer of non-fiction and many others should read carefully.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/upshot An Upshot column from the Times that intimates that engagement drives charitable and other donation-based gifts to a large extent: “Just being given the choice of active involvement, and then not taking it, increased the donation.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/business An arguably gigantic media-business article from the Times, about a growing groundswell of opposition to Associated Press fees on the part both of financially strapped individual papers such as the Columbus Ledger and of entire chains, like the Tribune Company.
  • http://digiday.com/publishers/digital-publishers A Digiday report that digital ‘magazines’ have become a popular idea with technology companies who are investing hope and money into these operations as providers for their digital presence.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/19/how-the-big-5- Another Tech Crunch report from John Biggs about Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, in this case a briefing about the way that the five largest book publishers have demurred about working with Amazon so far.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/crowdfunding-triumphs A brief in Tech Republic’s series about ‘runaway successes’ on the ‘crowdfunding’ circuit, of plausible use to both writers and their organizations in terms of modeling and messaging and more.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline The portal to WaPo’s new StoryLine feature, which offers models and insights–as well, possibly, as markets–to writers in both their individual and collective efforts.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/ An analysis from Poynter that suggests traction has occurred in the site-design and scrolling vineyards, such that holding on to website visitors who arrive via ‘side doors’ is more possible, and a lot more that might interest scrappy writers and their scrappy organizations.


  • http://zcomm.org/znetarticle A Z-Net test of Chomsky and Herman’s “propaganda model” by looking at corporate media coverage vis-a-vis Venezuela and Colombia, in particular focusing on media closings: “A comparative look at coverage of Colombia at the time of President Uribe’s closing of Inravisión is not possible, since not a single mention of that closing appeared in either of the two newspapers (Table 1). While I have not intended to justify the Venezuelan’s government decision regarding RCTV, or to claim that it was popular among Venezuelans (some polls suggest it was not, in part because the channel had featured popular soap operas), the dramatic difference between the papers’outrage over RCTV and their complete lack of attention to Inravisión reveals an unmistakable bias on their part.”
  • http://www.brookings.edu/ A Brookings Institution summary and briefing about the new and currently ‘hot’ concept of “News Literacy,” which the author sees as both a hopeful step and a limited program for addressing some of journalism’s current woes: “Adults and students alike ‘strongly believe that news reports are laced with bias and that true objectivity is not humanly possible,’ write Klurfeld and Schneider. Much of the public sees professional journalism as just another self-interested racket.”
  • http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books Sydney Morning Herald’s report that J.K. Rawling, who has already published two crime novels under a pen name, intends to produce many more such installments.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07 Library of Congress’s Digital Preservation blog, which both reports on yesterday’s Future Steward Award at the Digital Preservation 2014 meeting and provides an interview with the award recipient.
  • http://thehill.com/video/technology/213022-tech-in-policy The video stream, courtesy of The Hill, of a Tech-in-Policy hearing held in D.C. yesterday.
  • http://digiday.com/publishers/ A Digiday brief about Alan Murray’s leaving Pew Research, where he spent a year after his stint as the head of Wall Street Journal online, to become head of Fortune, which “has its work cut out for it” in building a digital brand.
  • http://digiday.com/publishers/washington- Digiday’s assessment of WaPo’s plans under Jeff Bezos to expand into an international digital news and cultural brand.
  • http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ A breaking news brief, from Media Bistro, about Al Jazeera’s Gaza headquarters’ having experienced incoming fire, a day after the Israeli Foreign Minister suggested that the agency should exit Gaza:”‘The foreign minister’s comments were a direct threat against us and appear to have been taken as a green light for the targeting of our journalists in Gaza. We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible. They have put the lives of journalists in danger.'”
  • http://www.alternet.org/media/ Alternet’s thorough examination, including interview segments, of the firing of MSNBC reporter Rula Jebreal for protesting network bias in its reportage concerning Gaza: “‘I couldn’t stay silent after seeing the amount of airtime given to Israeli politicians versus Palestinians,’ Jebreal told me. ‘They say we are balanced but their idea of balance is 90 percent Israeli guests and 10 percent Palestinians. This kind of media is what leads to the failing policies that we see in Gaza.'”
  • http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/truth_and_russian_media.php A violent critique of Russian media from Columbia Journalism Review, which makes many telling points but somehow is unable to contextualize this with anything even resembling evenhandedness in regard to European and U.S. corporate media, which hundreds of independent thinkers and journalists have caught in stupid lies and duplicitous distortions in the current period, not to mention plenty of research about a century or more of propagandized reportage and ‘yellow journalism’ in the service of empire and profit.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/social-media- A Tech Republic update and report about a recent FCC meeting about accessibility of social media platforms, which is less obvious than one might suppose: “The hearing room was about half full of advocates, nonprofit workers, government staffers, and concerned citizens as the day began, but was clearly missing one important constituency: representatives from the technology companies that own and operate social media platforms, with LinkedIn being the one exception.”
  • http://www.propublica.org/article/m A joint effort of Pro Publica and Mashable, that indicates that AddThis and other ‘canvas fingerprinting’ methods are almost impossible to disable once one engages them and that they permit relentless and essentially eternal tracking, with the technology so widespread that it extends from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.


  • http://thehill.com/policy/defense/213117 A briefing from The Hill that warns that Islamic State in Syria & Iraq, in part a creation of U.S. government policy and support, is ‘worse’ that Al Qaeda.
  • http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/07/23/3462842/ A Think Progress breaking news report about ongoing plans by anti-abortion and arguably fascist Operation Save America to invasively disrupt the lives of those who believe in abortion rights in New Orleans this week.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/22/apple-faces-class A Tech Crunch summary of a just-certified class-action lawsuit against Apple Computer, just recently off the hook for $324 million, along with three co-defendants, for conspiring to reduce employees’ wages and opportunities: “The Plaintiffs sought to represent themselves and all other similarly situated Apple employees in California who were not provided timely meal breaks, timely rest breaks, and timely final paychecks.”
  • http://bipartisanpolicy.org/sites/default/files/%20BPC%209-11%20Commission.pdf The anniversary update to the 9/11 Commission’s nearly 600 page report from ten years ago, this installment’s conclusions unsurprising–that terrorism is more prevalent, the world more full of dangers, and governmental wariness and repression more essential than ever before.
  • http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hconres105ih/pdf/BILLS-113hconres105ih.pdf The text of House of Representative Concurring Resolution 105, which directs President Obama to remove U.S. forces–except for those defending embassies–within thirty days, or by the end of the year if that is not safe.
  • http://www.smh.com.au/world/mh17 The Sydney Morning Herald’s report about what sorts of information the voice and data recordings, the so-called ‘Black Boxes,’ from Flight MH-17 will be revealing.
  • ttp://www.globalresearch.ca A technical economic analysis, from Global Research, that lays the foundation for thinking about whether any ‘irregular trades’ that might have indicated foreknowledge of the destruction of MH-17 have taken place, in the stock and currency futures markets that are particularly responsive to such events.
  • http://www.france24.com/en/20140723 A report from France24 that notes France’s going ahead with a sale of warships to Russia, which has let to harsh criticism from England, to which the French foreign minister responded in kind in regard to London’s popularity among Russian oligarchs.
  • http://www.smh.com.au/comment/time-for-ukraine-to-divide-20140720-zv19c.html An opinion and analysis from the Sydney Morning Herald, in which the generally conservative writer makes a compelling case for East-Ukrainian rebel responsibility in shooting down MH-17, the upshot of which, however, is the view that Ukraine cannot survive as a united entity and must spin off the Eastern provinces: “The deeper reality is that Ukraine is now two nations in everything but law. It can be split via plebiscite. On the western side is a de facto sovereign state, Ukraine, which is aligned with the European Community and could quickly be invited to membership. On the eastern side is the autonomous region of Donetsk, which could become sovereign or be absorbed into Russia as an autonomous department. Ukraine’s river system even provides natural borders.”
  • http://www.truth-out.org/opinion A dire warning shot from TruthOut for the Democratic Party, which contextualizes the recent influx of young immigrants as indicative of both false mediation and Democrats’ perfidy: “Latinis were promised that the unjust immigration system would be fixed and a road to citizenship created for the millions of undocumented living among us. What Latino voters and the Latino political class got in return for their support of Obama was two million deportations, hundreds of thousands of families brutally separated and scattered by law, not entirely unlike black families in this country once were.”
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07 A funny-but-frightening examination by Lambert Strether, crossposted at Naked Capitalism and Corrente–both the first item that anyone should peruse(including comments) and the only item one should examine if one has only time for one take–that insists on putting on the brakes about ‘condemning Russia’ or drawing any sort of overarching conclusions about what’s happening around the contested turf surrounding Kiev, because readers can trust neither the governments nor the corporate media and instead poses sensible questions about motive, method, logistics, and the inherent oxymoronic quality of “social media evidence”: “Readers, I hope you’ll add much more information in comments, especially if you agree with me that there are far more questions than answers. Basically, I’m trying to make the case that looking to institutional structures, technical and operational issues, and cui bono will always be more fruitful than looking to ‘web evidence.’ Of course, I weaken that case by not presenting a thesis, but the drumbeat for war, or at the very least war-like posturing, provides all the theses one could ever hope to fling. …And remember: (As in Iraq in 2003)’The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.'”
  • http://www.france24.com/en/20140720-us A France24 briefing about the Florida case in which a widow, of a man who died of lung cancer at 36 after smoking one-to-three packs of cigarettes a day from age 13 on, received a plus-or-minus $23 billion punitive damage award.


  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819790/pdf/ijerph-07-00303.pdf A National Institutes of Health research paper on the biological impacts of Uranium and how that applies to the use of Depleted Uranium, especially in armor piercing and other ordnance.
  • http://www.icij.org/blog/2014/07/ An International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ summary and briefing regarding a new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report about OECD steps to eliminate wealthy tax avoidance, which transparency and equity activists have greeted with profound skepticism.
  • http://www.brookings.edu/research An interactive media feature of the recently released Brookings Institution report, A Cascade of Government Failures, which detailed thirteen years of government setbacks.
  • http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf The original report, from ten years back, of the 9/11 Commission.
  • http://www.govexec.com/excellence An essay-analysis from GovExec about the ‘ravages’ of depression and stress in modern work places, that details some of the personal, social, and financial costs attending this trend, while at the same time’s seeming to support widespread pharmaceutical intervention: “Organizations that recognize the importance of helping their employees get the mental health care they need will reap huge benefits.”
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/ A National Science Foundation Discoveries blog about the potential impact of tele-robotics and remote control operations of robots generally.
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/ An absolutely central summary and analysis by TruthOut, for a union of progressive writers, about the ongoing criminalization of young Black people simply because they have dark skins and African ancestors, so that the murders of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant are merely the more visible aspect of a deeply seated institutional phenomenon : “In 2009, of 576,394 stops and frisks [that] were performed[in NYC] . . . 84 percent of them were on blacks and Latinos. This is astronomically high, given that black and Latino compose roughly 26 and 27 percent of the population, respectively.”
  • http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/ A similar assessment from Black Agenda Report, entitled “Police Target Black Children.”
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-israeli- A richly historical and geopolitically and politically-economically sophisticated analysis from Global Research about some of the longstanding geostrategic aspects of what is now transpiring in Gaza, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia, where U.S. military strategists have been stating things clearly for some time: “‘There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts … around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. (US armed forces will keep) the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. We have entered an age of constant conflict.'”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20 A fascinating Times report that gives an informative overview about the origins of most of the world’s legal opium, on the South Australia island of Tasmania, but the growing of which the world’s two biggest pharmaceutical buyers are both seeking to diversify and hoping to modify genetically to produce more opiates: “Environmentalists and, so far, the Tasmanian government favor keeping the Australian state clean of genetically manipulated organisms, a goal that growers dismiss. ‘We grow narcotic drugs — by definition they’re not clean,’ said Glynn Williams, the president of Poppy Growers Tasmania, a trade group.”
  • http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25044-the-end-of-pot-prohibition-as-we-know-it A TruthOut opinion essay, crossposted from Other Words, that foresees a sea change in marijuana laws despite the established forces arrayed in favor of continued criminalization: “How is (persistent criminalization) possible for an administration led by a president who openly admits to having inhaled deeply and repeatedly? Well, many careers are vested in the status quo. Take Corrections Corporation of America, a giant private prison outfit. Can it make a profit on imprisoning just heroin and cocaine dealers, without jailing the pot purveyors too? Maybe, but the company isn’t eager to find out. And what on Earth would happen to the men and women in the Drug Enforcement Administration if the bud beat were to dry up? That and congressional deadlock explains why most of our national experiment with withdrawal from prohibition is taking place at the state and local level.”


A Thought for the Day

According to geneticists, everyone now alive on earth shares a common grandmother from some point over the past few thousand years at the most; therefore, we’re all cousins, except for our closer kin, of course.

Quote of the Day

“My passion for journalism relates to my passion for democracy . …Journalism is a public good.” Robert McChesney: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQy-K72rt_o.

This Day in History

One hundred eighty-five years back, a patent issued to William Burt for the typographer, which was a precedent technology to the typewriter; a hundred seventy-four years ago, the Province of Canada came into being; one hundred twenty-six years ago, mystery writer Raymond Chandler was born; one hundred eleven years prior to the present, Ford Motor Company sold its first car; one hundred years back, Austria Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia about the killing of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, the rejection of one of which led to a declaration of the start of World War One less than a week later; eighty-eight years before the current YouTube moment, Fox Film bought the Movietone patents, which lay the basis for ‘talkies’ and the present day; eighty-seven years ago, India’s first Indian Broadcasting System station goes on-air in Bombay; eighty-five years ago, Italy’s fascist government bans the use of foreign terms; seventy-eight years ago, the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia joined socialists and communists against the fascist plotters in Spain; sixty-two years ago, the Free Officers Movement, with Gamal Nasser its founding member, overthrew the English-backed King of Egypt; fifty-three years before this point in time, the Sandinista National Liberation Front formed in Nicaragua; fifty-two years ago, Telstar broadcast Walter Cronkite on both sides of the Atlantic, the first such commercial programming; forty-seven years ago, riots began in Detroit that killed almost fifty people, caused billions of dollars in damage, and became one of the worst such instances of civil outrage in U.S. history; one year later, forty-six years back, a shootout occurred in Cleveland between the police and a militant group, following which another violent outburst of rioting took place that would last five days; forty-two years ago, the U.S. launched the first Earth-resources satellite, Landsat 1; a quarter century back critic and journalist Donald Barthelme died; thirteen years ago, novelist, essayist, and storyteller Eudora Welty died; four years ago, renowned liberal journalist Daniel Schorr died; three years ago, Amy Winehouse overdosed and died: July 23.


http://www.nytimes.com A Times breaking news briefing about the United States District Court for the District of Columbia’s invalidation of Affordable Care Act subsidies that the Obama administration has provided to a majority of the States, and another report–http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/212971-second-court-disagrees-upholds-subsidies–from The Hill about a Fourth Circuit District Courtthat had reached the opposite conclusion.





  • http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14586/ A National Science Foundation portal that supports the development of ‘scholarship-for-service’ proposals and ‘capacity-increases-for-government-operatives’ proposals.
  • Atlanta, GA – SEO editor & social media manager sought. Hughes Media is a digital agency based in Buckhead that specializes in website design, social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.


  • http://www.vfpnationalconvention.org/program.htm The program for the five days of the Veterans for Peace gathering in Asheville, including poetry from Doug Rawlings, the first VFP Poet Laureate, and John Spitzberg.
  • http://www.scpronet.com/wordpress/ The South Carolina Progressive Network blog, a ‘Prog Blog,” with an NWU member at the helm.
  • http://www.veteransforpeace.org A portal to Orion Rising Veterans-for-Peace founding member Doug Rawlings latest book of poetry.
  • http://thebigpicturereport.com/2014/07/22/but-you-knew-that/ A Big Picture Report blog about a Princeton study that concludes that the U.S. no longer rates as a democracy but is more aptly considered an oligarchy of the rich: “’the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’ In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
  • http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/urban_teacher An Education Week opinion essay from a Bronx teacher that speaks of the ‘hidden dropout crisis,’ i.e., teachers.
  • http://murverse.com/ The portal to podcaster and blogger Mur Lafferty, one of the form’s early success stories.
  • http://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/ A portal to Working Class Studies, a blog that examines everything from film to electoral politics, from on-the-job experience to family relationships among workers, often with a strong ‘anti-communist-but-left’ leaning.


  • http://pando.com/2014/07/16/tor-spooks/ For writers pondering encryption, or wondering what the Tor brouhaha is about, a thorough and credible deconstruction by Pando Daily: “Let’s start with the basics: Tor was developed, built and financed by the US military-surveillance complex. Tor’s original — and current — purpose is to cloak the online identity of government agents and informants while they are in the field: gathering intelligence, setting up sting operations, giving human intelligence assets a way to report back to their handlers — that kind of thing. This information is out there, but it’s not very well known, and it’s certainly not emphasized by those who promote it.”
  • http://www.mediabistro.com Media Bistro’s profile of the new New Yorker website, full of sage advice and models for writers and their organizations.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/ A report from Tech Republic about free software to frontload site security and improve site monitoring for webmasters and the like.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/ A three way comparison from Tech Republic of different funding models that writers and their organizations might employ: crowdfunding, angel investors, and venture capital.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories A ‘facing-the-facts’ deconstruction from Poynter about a presentation at the World Newspaper Congress in Turin, Italy by the President of the Newspaper Association of America, which the analysis declares disingenuous to the point of outright prevarication: “What she said: ‘Total revenue for the multiplatform U.S. newspaper media business amounted to $37.59 billion in 2013.’ What she didn’t say: It was a billion dollars more than that in 2012, $2 billion more in 2011, and $12 billion more in 2006. In other words, it’s dropped by a third in seven years and continues to fall with no end in sight. What she said: ‘The printed newspaper continues to reach more than half of the U.S. adult population.’ What she didn’t say: But the percentage of Americans who routinely read a printed paper daily continues its dramatic decline, and is somewhere down around 25 percent.”
  • http://blog.wan-ifra.org/2014/07/17/ A World Newspaper Publishing Focus report on a recent presentation at the World Newspaper Congress about journalism schools as laboratories for producing necessary ‘innovators’ for today’s struggling media context.http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/ A Sydney Morning Herald report about Australia’s expansion of its ‘gag-rules’ to cover any disclosure of Australian intelligence operations: “Included in that section are new offences that carry five-year or 10-year jail sentences for anyone who discloses information about such operations without authorisation – raising the prospect that journalists could be jailed for publishing leaked material.”
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/22/sharethrough A Pando Daily briefing about ShareThrough’s launching of the Meaningful Content Fund, another begging portal for content creators with something useful to say.
  • http://meaningfulcontent.org/#/?desc&order=approved_at&per_page=20 The portal to Meaningful Content itself, which offers not a single piece about inequality, not a single piece about social democracy, not a single piece about Israel or Colombia or Honduras or war or peace or nuclear weapons, with the only item that concerns Ukraine a celebration of the CIA-backed Maidan movement, so that it basically represents sort of a ‘Meaningful Content’ with any real content removed, which ought to cause writers to take note and ponder, perhaps.
  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07 A Nieman Journalism Lab essay about the search for a path through and around ‘content filters’ to the serendipity that underlies news-and-history information breakthroughs: “As a result, some researchers in the humanities and library worlds are looking for possible paths out of the research bubble for historians and scholars. By looking towards existing browsing and searching habits in both physical and digital environments, they hope to help scholars never miss the information they need — a problem that carries great weight in the news world as well.”


  • http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1029&context=eps_diss A ‘Deweyan’ critique of television, fascinating for union aficionados for various reasons, in the form of a Georgia State University educational policy dissertation.
  • ttp://www.cengagebrain.com.au/content/baran98872_0495898872_01.01_toc.pdf The Preface, Introduction, and initial Chapter of Mass Communications Theory: Foundations, Ferment, & Future, useful and perhaps critical in many ways to those who want to build a National Writers Union.
  • http://www.csun.edu/~pr4027/coms454/454Supp/workofbeingwatched-csmc.pdf A contextualization of surveillance from a dozen years back that still rings true, that it entails both turning people into data-gatherers about themselves and that it requires complicity and inherently unequal positions.
  • http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Understanding%20Media%20and%20Culture.pdf A Creative Commons magnum opus, Understanding Media & Culture, rich with context, data, and analysis for the likes of national writers unions.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/212955-google-spends-big-lobbying-cash A report from The Hill about the general jump in second quarter lobbying expenditures by big-tech–Google would spend over twenty million dollars for the year at this pace.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/19/root-j19.html An examination of the recent NetRoots conference in Detroit, by World Socialist Website, which distinguished the activism and social priorities of workers among the conference attendees and conference organizers’ favorites, including Hillary Clinton–who declined to come and speak as she replaced George W. Bush in addressing a gaggle of Wall Street financiers–and Elizabeth Warren, whose speech said many things but left many other things unsaid: “significantly, she made no mention of the bankruptcy of Detroit and the measures being imposed to make the people of Detroit pay for the crisis through the slashing of pensions, jobs and wages and the privatization of the Detroit Institute of Art, the water and sewage system, and other public assets. This silence was particularly remarkable, and obviously deliberate, given the repeated references to water shutoffs in Detroit in the course of the Netroots conference, which adjourned for two hours shortly after Warren’s speech so that those in attendance could join in a protest march against the shutoffs.”
  • ttp://blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/2014/07/tales-of-the-unexpected/ Another amazing Now See Hear Library of Congress blog about LOC’s film and video collection and such ‘unexpected’ treasures as a Nazi-driver-education film, a feature from 1925, Cromwell the Wicked, about a brothel town in Oklahoma called Cromwell, and loads more.
  • http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jul/17/bbc-news-cuts-digital-james-harding A Guardian media report about BBC’s pending layoffs of four-hundred-plus news staff to prepare for the digital context.
  • http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/looking- A Times DealBook column that examines the last ten years of Rupert Murdoch media deals, concluding, unsurprisingly, that he has been a ‘major force for consolidation’ in the industry.
  • http://benton.org/node/194694?utm_campaign= Benton.org’s summary of and portal to Ars Technica’s report about Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn and her House of Representatives mission to make sure that reactionary polities like her native Tennessee remain uninfected by community operated broadband networks.
  • http://kristnovoselic.blogspot.com/2014/07/standing-with-eddie-vedder-and-real.html Thanks to Rolling Stone, former Nirvana Bassist Krist Novoselic’s blog, in which he examines the Gaza morass and defends Eddie Vedder’s recent commentary: “Thank you, Eddie Vedder, for speaking up for peace in our world. …Our world is connected as never before. People from all corners of the planet share culture and commerce at the click of a mouse. In contrast to this great convergence of humanity, Israel is building tall concrete walls while Palestinians fire rockets over them.”
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/15/a-look-back-at-the-first- A Pando Daily retrospective, a pathos-laced look at Wired’s first issue in contrast to what the magazine delivers now: “We’re so impressed by all the money these guys (and as has been noted, they are almost entirely guys) have made and the world they promise us, that as they shape the world to fit their sci-fi fantasies we continue to enrich them and go along for the ride. There’s enough hot air in your typical 2014 fireside chat to launch vast armada’s of connectivity ‘Loons, but very little critical ballast to keep things grounded.”


  • http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1013.php#continue A translation from the recent Group of Seventy-Seven meeting in Bolivia, of a trade union manifesto that emanated from unions that represent 86 million workers around the world: “Our national realities have different rhythms and intensities, but we should view them through the prism of Bolivia, where the people have moved from resistance to the building of a political instrument for taking power, and from the taking of power to the construction of a political project of the people and for the people. Now we want to create a world political instrument for the construction of a global political project that can provide a response to the structural crisis of capitalism.”
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/ A transcript from Naked Capitalism of an exchange about the new Brazil/Russia/India/China/South Africa currency and finance initiative just signed in Sao Paulo, in which Michael Hudson views these developments as more profound than does Leo Panitch.
  • http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.603232 An opinion essay from Haaretz that stringently condemns the current state of mind all too prevalent among the Jewish population in Israel: “The mob was the first to internalize its true significance: a Jewish state is one in which there is room only for Jews. The fate of Africans is to be sent to the Holot detention center in the Negev, while that of Palestinians is to suffer from pogroms. That’s how it works in a Jewish state: only this way can it be Jewish.”
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp? A Discoveries blog from the National Science Foundation that looks at a particular example–coconut husks–of a major driver of the contemporary economy, the transformation of waste into ‘valuable commodities.’
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/21/university-michigan- An EcoWatch summary of a recent University of Michigan environmental survey that found that a majority of respondents supported a carbon tax, so long as the proceeds supported the development, installation, and utilization of renewable energy.
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/21/solar-instead A brief from EcoWatch about a village in India without electricity for the past thirty years that now has complete electrification thanks to a Green Peace solar microgrid.
  • http://www.france24.com/en/20140722-ukraine- France24’s announcement and summary of rebel Ukrainians’ handing over black boxes from downed flight MH-17 to Malaysian authorities.
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn An NSF Discoveries blog that represents the first in a series of reports from the Smart America Expo last month in Washington, which previewed multiple products and techniques for ‘improving social problems through networked technical solutions.’
  • http://www.smh.com.au/technology A chilling Sydney Morning Herald briefing about Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research that is approaching fruition, the capacity to deploy bullets that adjust after firing so that they almost never miss.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39120.htm A historical contextualization of the Iran nuclear negotiations from Information Clearinghouse, which correctly places these issues in the context of Atoms for Peace, the ideological battles over nuclear between Russia–which wanted a weapons ban–and the U.S., with the overthrow of the mass-murdering Shah of Iran a watershed moment.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39121.htm A fascinating profferal from Information Clearinghouse, the translated full text of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s swearing-in speech a week or so ago: “Today, you are more capable of teaching the subservient people in our Arab region concepts they do not know, like sovereignty, perseverance, defiance and dignity. You are more capable of teaching them lessons in democracy, in how people should take part in decision making and determining national destiny, and consequently make them aware of things they have not heard of previously like elections, freedom, rights, the state and civilization; they have only known suppression, extremism, subservience, dependence and exporting terrorism.”


  • http://www.scpronet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/FOR-WEB.pdf A pamphlet from the South Carolina Progressive Network about Modjeska Simpkins, an indomitable South Carolina civil rights and labor and peace activist: “‘If you worked for peace,’ she explained, ‘you were supposed to be Communist. I always told them, ‘If Communists do all the good things you all say they do, it looks like to me that it would be good to be one.'”
  • http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/sykespicot.htm The text and a brief overview of the Sykes-Picot treaty of 1916, in which France and the United Kingdom divvied up the postwar Mideast between them: “One That in area (a) France, and in area (b) Great Britain, shall have priority of right of enterprise and local loans. That in area (a) France, and in area (b) Great Britain, shall alone supply advisers or foreign functionaries at the request of the Arab state or confederation of Arab states. TwoThat in the blue area France, and in the red area Great Britain, shall be allowed to establish such direct or indirect administration or control as they desire and as they may think fit to arrange with the Arab state or confederation of Arab states.”
  • http://urbanhistorians.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/fifty-years-of-get-tough/#more-214 An Urban Historians blog that looks at the 1964 Harlem riot that resulted from NYPD’s killing of a fifteen year old youngster, in which New York had its “Birmingham moment” and then some.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/ A Times examination of some of Germany’s innovative outreach to skilled immigrant workers to fill some of the hundred-thousand-plus technical jobs going begging in Germany’s low-birthrate context.
  • http://www.propublica.org/article Part of Pro Publica’s Dispatches From Freedom Summer anniversary series, a profile of Rita Bender and commemoration of her loss fifty years ago, when her husband, Michael Schwermer, died at the hands of the Klan because of the couple’s advocacy of Black rights in Meridian, Mississippi.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/19/vinc-j19.html A World Socialist Website retrospective about the shooting down of an Iranian plane as it prepared to land at the culmination of the Iran-Iraq war–the U.S. had given Saddam Hussein billions of dollars in cash, advice, and military hardware during that conflict–in 1988, in which all 290 crew and passengers died: “President Ronald Reagan, in a statement released shortly after the attack, called the shooting down of Flight 655 by the crew of the Vincennes a ‘proper defensive action.’ Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, justified the downing of the passenger plane, saying that commanders on the ship had ‘sufficient reasons to believe their units were in jeopardy and they fired in self-defense.’”
  • http://thinkprogress.org/economy/ A Think Progress briefing about a group of Democratic politicians who have accepted a ‘challenge’ to live on minimum wage-level earnings for a week, something that tens of millions of American workers–both employed and unemployed–have to do full time: “And some things have come up that are more dire than skipped beer. He came down with a cold but was lucky enough to find Tylenol and Afrin nasal spray in his cabinet already. ‘I don’t think I would have been able to buy that Afrin nasal spray’ on the challenge, he noted. ‘I never think about what medicine costs if i need it… But some people have to think constantly about how they spend their money, and their quality of life is quite different than mine.'”
  • https://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens The study by a Princeton and a Northwestern University scholar that provides compelling empirical and statistical evidence that citizens’ opinions, desires, and priorities matter little in the current political context, as the subtitle of the White Paper, Elites, Interest Groups, & Average Citizens implies.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07/celebrating-pi/ A Library of Congress Folklife blog about “Pi Approximation Day,” 7/22 in the European style.
  • http://tribtalk.org/2014/07/17/the-heartbreak-of-being-a-teacher-in-texas/ A Texas Tribune opinion essay about being a teacher in Texas, grim reading: “On Aug. 15, I will return for my fifth year in the classroom, but it may be my last. I don’t want to leave. I love teaching. I love my students. I love knowing they leave my classroom with new knowledge. But time demands, salary constraints, poor health care, and the heartbreak of hearing that my class is ‘just about the test’ make it hard to teach and have a healthy family life. As a community, we must work together to change the culture of education so teachers no longer have to consider leaving the students and the work we love.”
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24982-the-spanish-town-where-people-come-before-profit TruthOut’s crossposting of an article about Marinaleda, Spain, a Communist enclave where people power appears to be working, noted in another recent DL citation.


Quote of the Day
“’It was something I will never forget, the gun being pointed at my head. Who knows? What if they slipped? …They could have killed me, they could have killed my girlfriend, they could have killed either of the little girls, they could have killed my son. I’m much more scared of the cops than I am of the robbers.’” A Montgomery County, Maryland citizen-victim of an erroneous predawn SWAT team raid for which he never received an apology, let alone any compensation or redress: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/07/18/police-militarization-roundup/.

This Day in History

Four hundred twenty-seven years ago, the second group of English settlers to attempt to settle off the coast of North Carolina arrived at Roanoke Island; three hundred eight years back, Scotland and England formed the United Kingdom; two hundred twenty-one years ago, Alexander Mackenzie reached the Pacific and completed the first European transit of Canada; a hundred twenty-one years back, future psychiatrist Karl Menninger was born; ninety-eight years prior to the present, unknown parties exploded a bomb in downtown San Francisco at a “Preparedness Day Parade,” killing ten people; eighty years ago, FBI agents shot and lethally wounded John Dillinger; seventy-eight years ago, the later-to-be-popular novelist Tom Robbins was born; seventy-seven years ago, the Senate refused FDR’s move to add more Supreme Court justices to the nine already sitting; seventy-two years back, World War Two gasoline rationing began in the U.S.; sixty-eight years ago, Irgun, part of the Zionist underground in Palestine, exploded a bomb at the King David Hotel, killing almost one hundred people; sixty-three years before the here-and-now, the Soviet Union sent two dogs into the world’s first ‘embodied’ sub-orbital flight; forty-seven years back, Carl Sandburg died; thirty-eight years ago, Japan completed its last reparations to the Philippines for war crimes; twenty-two years back, ‘drug-lord’ Pablo Escobar, concerned that extradition to the U.S. was pending, fled his upscale imprisonment; eleven years ago, U.S. Special Forces killed two sons and one fourteen year-old grandson of Saddam Hussein; three years ago, a Norwegian fascist murdered sixty-nine attendees at a Social Democratic summer youth camp near Oslo: July 22.


http://thehill.com/policy/technology/212748-fcc-bombarded-with-calls-for-tougher-internet-rules A report from The Hill that makes a ‘middle road’ option seem close to inevitable for the FCC in regard to the Internet, in which some sort of phone-company regulation would be the upshot, so that the multi-trillion dollar investment created by public research and activity, that then became private property almost ‘free-of-charge,’ will now face ‘oversight’ by former phone and cable executives at FCC, and that will be what we should believe is the best that our democracy can deliver.




Video Released from NWU New York’s Writing Across Borders Series
07/18/2014 – 2:51pm

http://journalists.org/about/board-of-directors/board-election/  For NWU members who belong to, or know others who belong to, the Online News Association, a portal to the nomination of six board members for the organization, due by August 15.

http://www.wetmachine.com/tales-of-the-sausage-factory/my-handy-guide-to-the-may-15-fcc-meeting-part-i-what-the-heck-is-an-open-fcc-mtg-and-how-does-it-work/  A wonderfully thorough and provocative contextualization of the net-neutrality docket and FCC protocols and approaches generally, from WetMachine.

http://www.fukushima-disaster.de/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/english/Akzente_Unscear2014.pdf  The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War report that excoriates the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation’s analysis of Fukushima.

http://www.prx.org/  The portal for Public Radio Exchange, “helping to make public radio more public,” which provides direct opportunities for writers and producers and ongoing networking outlets for those who believe in building unions and other organized responses to oppression and disempowerment.

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/intersectionality-isnt-just-win-win-way/  A portal to Waging Nonviolence that advances Intersectionality as more than just convenient or opportune, as the only way for working people and those in search of social justice can advance.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/06/unglue-it-sets-books-free-after-authors-get-paid/  A fascinating TechCrunch piece from regular contributor John Biggs that profiles Unglue.It as a way both to support Creative Commons licensing and get paid up-front.

http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2014/7/17/learning-through-making-16-projects-receive-support-test-ideas-through-knight-prototype-fund/  A Knight Foundation blog about its most recent sixteen recipients of ‘Learning-Through-Making’ funds, a way of supporting “new storytelling and engagement projects for journalists and content creators.”

http://hackingjournalism.com/  The portal to MIT’s Hacking Journalism work at the Media Lab in Cambridge.

heartlandradical.blogspot.com/2014/07/happy-birthday-woody.html  A posthumous happy birthday to Woodie Guthrie, who would have been a hundred and two years ago last Tuesday.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/10/09/dorn-o09.html  A review essay about the life and poetry of Ed Dorn, from World Socialist Website, that beautifully contextualizes this ‘difficult and important’ bard for whom the poor and dispossessed remained a lifelong subject.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/business/media/harpercollins-pursues-e-book-subscription-service-with-scribd.html?_r=2&nl=todaysheadlines&adxnnl=1&emc=edit_ee_20131002&adxnnlx=1397153233-L+6MJJy6BuTZGZ0eFQ9MBw&  A Times media business article about Harper Collins foray into a ‘Netflix-style e-Book subscription service,’ from Autumn 2013.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/technology/web-fiction-serialized-and-social.html?emc=edit_ee_20140324&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=66212615&_r=0  A Technology column from the Times about new serialized narrative apps and services and software that might really come close to revolutionizing the writing trade.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/134084834/Introduction-to-Digital-Disconnect  A takeaway from Democracy Now!, through Scrib-d, of the first chapter of Robert McChesney’s Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy.

http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/cir-wants-to-turn-investigative-reporting-into-a-weekly-public-radio-show-with-reveal/  A Nieman Journalism Lab report about a new collaboration between the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, which intends to broaden and deepen depth-textuality on radio and in podcasts, with the backing of $3.5 million in grant funding and enough oomph to win a Peadbody award with its first program.

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/us-connected-none-words-mine-alone/  An ‘Intersectionality’ essay and assessment from Waging Nonviolence, that provides a sobering and enlightening look at the ways that collaboration and interconnection underlie all mediation, particularly the act of writing and creating with text: “The fairytales we grow up with, the messages we’re spoon-fed by mainstream media, and the lessons we’re asked to memorize and spit back out verbatim through our public ‘education’ system is straight up brainwashing — it’s what allows those on top to remain there.  Domination, of land, resources, minds, and peoples, is upheld by stories we’re told and by the values we draw from them.  Retelling history from our own perspectives, therefore, is crucial, since history is full of mistruths, omissions and appropriations.”

http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/18/what-kindle-unlimited-means-for-authors/?ncid=tcdaily  A TechCrunch nuts-and-bolts look at Kindle Unlimited and its implications for authors–basically, profits are possible if Amazon gets an exclusive deal, though plenty more remains to understand.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/17/amazon-isnt-killing-writing-the-market-is/?ncid=tcdaily  A sophisticated and compelling examination of the political economy and social relations that surround text and its production, in which even though demonizing Amazon may make actual sense inasmuch as Kindle Unlimited further drives down the potential for reasonable returns for writers, a deeper understanding of the market and the social forces at work leads to a recognition that other solutions than attacking the big publishers have to become our stock-in-trade, either of a market-oriented sort or an organizational and politicized sort: “That’s why I don’t think the big revolution for writers and other content producers will come from Amazon, but rather from startups like Patreon, which allow producers to build audiences directly and develop their own direct subscription model with their most fervent fans.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/17/edward-snowden-professionals-encrypt-client-communications-nsa-spy  A Guardianreport about and interview with Edward Snowden, who strongly advises that writers encrypt, without anyone’s addressing the fact that almost all such software comes with ‘back doors’ from jump-street, where government and intelligence agency money and oversight makes certain that no one can really remain secret.

http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07/digital-preservation-2014-session-preview-preserving-and-rescuing-heritage-information-on-analog-media/  Another Digital Preservation 2014 preview, this time in the–for many writers–critically important area of gaining access to pre-digital data and ideas, which applies from the most humanistic to the most technical of writers: “But though the world is rich in such historic data, it is poor in its ability to access them, even today.   Researchers need their data in digital form, but very many essential historical data are only in their original analog states so they are effectively unusable.   Because of this, our basic scientific knowledge and our grasp of true cultural developments suffer.”

http://www.theguardian.com/info/developer-blog/2014/jul/18/hacking-journalism-at-the-mit-media-lab  A Guardian blog that reports and summarizes some of the amazing events at last week’s MIT Media Lab’s Hacking Journalism Hackathon.

gigaom.com/2014/07/17/despite-a-history-of-dismal-failures-hyperlocal-news-continues-to-attract-believers/  A GigaOm update about continued interest in ‘hyperlocal news’–a la Jim Brady and Project Thunderdome–despite its apparently problematic capacity to make money.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR2/rwilliams.pdf  A classic take on the historical political economy of advertising, a must-read in the current context: “The mountebank and the huckster had got into print, and, while the majority of advertisements remained straightforward, the influence of this particular group was on its way to giving ‘advertising’ a more special meaning.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5yCL2U6Fzo  A Democracy Now! interview with Robert McChesney and contextualization of his work in Digital Disconnect.

http://scholarship.law.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1416&context=commlaw  A five year old CommLawConspectus comment, fifty pages long, that offers a solid and extremely useful overview of the recent historical and political economic aspects of the ‘communications convergence’ and what it makes ‘ripe,’ a reform of the regulatory structure that underlies all this: “However, this radical shift in the capability of devices, transmission methods, and content creation has not spurred a significant shift in the regulatory framework of the Federal Communications Commission (‘FCC’ or ‘Commission’), which oversees the communications industry.  Both the Commission’s bureaucratic structure and regulatory framework remain industry-based.”

http://fas.org/irp/offdocs/pclob-215.pdf  Thanks to Federation of American Scientists and Steven Aftergood, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s report from earlier this year about the Patriot Act’s permission to collect telephone records and how the widespread deployment of such actions by the NSA and others has yielded slim to no results against terrorism.

http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/a-change-in-the-irs-process-for-granting-tax-exempt-status-could-be-a-boon-to-nonprofit-news/  ANieman Journalism Lab report about the IRS’s provision of a streamlined and lower-budget application process for non-profits, which could be a godsend or a chimera for local media operations of various sorts, including those that emanate from unionized writers.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/07/air-force-research-how-to-use-social-media-to-control-people-like-drones/  AnArs Technica research summary of Air Force and other investigators’ concluding that controlling people in social networks should respond to similar algorithms that allow for controlling groups of drones: “The research demonstrates that the mathematical principles used to control groups of autonomous robots can be applied to social networks in order to control human behavior.  If properly calibrated, the mathematical models developed by Dixon and his fellow researchers could be used to sway the opinion of social networks toward a desired set of behaviors—perhaps in concert with some of the social media ‘effects’ cyber-weaponry developed by the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ.”

http://digiday.com/platforms/pinterest-interest-targeting/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Digiday%20Daily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=Digiday%20Daily  A Digiday briefing about a Pinterest “interest/following” feature that has advertisers salivating at the expected-future-access that they hope to have to its ‘clouds’ of data.

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/25003-when-the-public-square-is-in-cyberspace-why-democracy-demands-net-neutrality  A TruthOutcrossposting from Dollars and Sense of the basic rationales behind demanding network neutrality in the strongest possible form: “Since the Internet is a component of the public sphere, we should hold it to the ideal of freedom of expression.  For this ideal to be fully meaningful, it must include not just the ‘negative freedom’ from interference with the act of speaking, but also the ‘positive freedom’ of access to other listeners and other voices.  A democratic ideal of freedom of expression requires the practical ability to participate in public conversation.”

http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/germany-is-getting-a-data-centric-nonprofit-newsroom-and-hoping-to-build-new-models-for-news/  A Nieman Journalism LabI report about Correctiv, a one-million-euros-per-year non-profit project that will purportedly follow the Pro Publica model of public interest reporting in Europe.

http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/-not-just-another-newspaper-website-why-the-independent-launched-i100/s2/a557405/  A report on the strategy behind and contents of Britain’s Independent’s new website, all of which could conceivably be of central concern to a writers union on this side of the Atlantic.

http://benton.org/node/194871?utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email  A Benton.org summary of an L.A.Times report about the possibly insistent nature of the offer from Rupert Murdoch for Time Warner.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jul/18/mh17-russia-today-reporter-resigns-sara-firth-kremlin-malaysia  A report from Friday’sGuardian about the resignation of RT reporter Sara Firth over bias and distortion in the network’s coverage, to which the buried deep in the article response of RT is worth noting: “‘Sara has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of the truth.  We believe that the truth is what our reporters see on the ground, with their own eyes and not what’s printed in the morning London newspaper.  In our coverage, RT, unlike the rest of the media, did not draw conclusions before the official investigation has even begun.  We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame.'”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/07/18/police-militarization-roundup/  A WaPo investigative compilation from some of its community collaborators about militarized police, ‘drug-war’ excrescences, and the general increasing incidence of stupidity and viciousness on the part of police against citizens: “Military personnel get hours and hours of training on some of this gear before they’re permitted to use it on a battlefield.  But the Pentagon hands it over to domestic police agencies with no such requirement.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/18/fukushima-bad-and-getting-worse/  An essential Counterpunch summary and contrast of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation report about Fukushima, that things are not all that bad, and what the article calls a “scathing critique” of this idea from a more recent, and scientifically punctilious, analysis by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War: “‘UNSCEAR uses as its one and only source, the still unpublished database of the International Atomic Energy Association and the Food and Agriculture Organization.  The IAEA was founded … to ‘accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.’  It therefore has a profound conflict of interest.'”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/opinion/gaza-and-israel-the-road-to-war-paved-by-the-west.html?emc=edit_ty_20140718&nl=opinion&nlid=66212615  A Times opinion essay about the recent background and context for the murder any madness presently unfolding in Gaza, in which Israel–with U.S. condonation if not active support–forced Gazans, and Hamas, into corners where the only option was to resist violently.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/world/europe/ukraine.html  A Times breaking news report from five weeks back about the Ukrainian rebels’ downing of a transport plane, which might make some folks ponder the wisdom of sending packed commercial jets through the same airspace.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/lone-wolf-law-enforcement-americas-real-homegrown-extremism/5391522  A Global Research analysis of recent Justice Department and non-governmental organization worries about ‘domestic extremists,’ which the author concludes is disingenuous at best in a context of agents-provocateurs, ubiquitous spying and intervention, and other aspects of a self-fulfilling prophecy in such approaches to things: “As journalist Trevor Aaronson revealed after an extensive examination of the FBI’s post-9/11 ‘anti-terrorism’ techniques, for over a decade the agency ‘has built the largest network of spies ever to exist in the United States—with ten times as many informants on the streets today as there were during the infamous Cointelpro operations under J. Edgar Hoover—with the majority of these spies focused on ferreting out terrorism in Muslim communities.'”

http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/malaysia-airlines-mh17-australian-expert-questions-flights-ukraine-route-20140718-zuilw.html?eid=email:nnn-13omn655-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-04/11/2013-news_pm-dom-news-nnn-smh-u&campaign_code=13INO009&et_bid=20979764&promote_channel=edmail&mbnr=Mzk5NDMwOA  A Sydney Morning Herald’ssummary of a civil aviation safety expert’s questioning of using airspace like that in Eastern Ukraine.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/crash-claims-top-aids-researchers-heading-to-melbourne-20140718-zuaw3.html?eid=email:nnn-13omn655-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-04/11/2013-news_pm-dom-news-nnn-smh-u&campaign_code=13INO009&et_bid=20979764&promote_channel=edmail&mbnr=Mzk5NDMwOA  Sydney Morning Herald’s report on the loss to the world’s AIDS research community of scores of researchers en route to their annual conference in Melbourne.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/17/ukraine-war-spreads-across-russian-border/  An all-too-easy-to-overlook report, fromCounterpunch, about the widening of Ukraine’s ground war, with Russian territory casualties from Kiev’s military or Kiev-backed militias: “’When my brother and I ran up to the door, glass from the windows shattered again.  We stopped.  When we went out to the porch, we saw my father lying there.  He was without an arm.  I was in shock, I thought it was a dream, I came back into the house, then went out again to see him lying there without an arm.  He was screaming.  My brother was screaming.  We were bombed.’  The Russian Foreign Ministry in citing that Russia reserves the right to protect its citizens and territory promised that this ‘action will not be left without a corresponding reaction’ called the shelling an ‘obviously aggressive act’ and warned of ‘irreversible consequences’ and of a potential ‘dangerous escalation ..that puts our citizens in higher danger.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/businesses-strike-israel-over-gaza-2014721191110588315.html  An Al Jazeerabriefing about a so-far localized ‘general strike’ that involves thousands of individuals and businesses in Israeli and West-Bank cities such as majority-Palestinian Nazareth, in which people’s protests against Israel’s invasion and violence are both economic and activist.

http://safeenergy.org/2014/07/17/japanese-groups-challenge-restarts/  A GreenWorld report about anti-nuclear developments in Japan of late, focusing on opposition to restarting reactors around the country.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/10/30/ineq-o30.html  A review essay about a documentary project that concerns Robert Reich’sInequality for All, from World Socialist Website,

http://www.propublica.org/article/huge-differences-by-region-in-prescribing-to-elderly-study-finds  A Pro Publica mapping expose that shows huge disparities in the prescriptions that elderly patients receive, with the most toxic anitdepressants and other psychotropic ‘meds’ concentrated disproportionately in the South.

http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/downloads/reports/Prescription_Drug_Atlas_101513.pdf  The Dartmouth Atlas of Medicare Prescription Drug Use, which demonstrates wide disparities in prescription practices, with the South a dumping ground.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/business/energy-environment/atomic-goal-800-years-of-power-from-waste.html?_r=0&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1397153233-L+6MJJy6BuTZGZ0eFQ9MBw  A Times energy-and-environment report from last September about Bill Gates’ ‘dream’ of an ability both to park his fortune for an 800 year guaranteed return and a way of solving the conundrums of the nuclear fuel cycle.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/11/09/exop-n09.html  A World Socialist Website news analysis, about reports based on data from the Kepler spacecraft and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that a likely billions of earth-sized planets orbit stars in the ‘habitable zone’ in the Milky Way alone.

http://commlawreview.org/Archives/CLRv13i1/CLRv13i1_Citizens_Smock.pdf  A Citizens United law review analysis that poses the decision as an inherent threat to the possibility of democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC_RYgkkmcM&feature=em-share_video_user  A wacky yet provocative case of ‘sponsored content,’ by a gold-and-silver buying mill and Austrian School populist economics organization, the National Inflation Association, slick and well-funded and anti-progressive in many ways but with some cogent points to make and lots of important data to ponder.

http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/slavery/the-incredible-apartheid-story-with-a-difference.html  A joint South-African Television and Journeyman Productions documentary briefing that tells an evocative and uplifting tale of Apartheid and the spiritual journey to its deconstruction, made available through the legerdemain of Forbidden Knowledge TV.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/0717/Covert-war-against-Iran-s-nuclear-scientists-a-widow-remembers  AChristian Science Monitor news analysis that contextualizes the present pass in relation to negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program with research and background about the Israeli assassination program of Iranian nuclear physicists, to which murderous work the U.S. essentially acceded: “The covert war waged by the US and Israel against Iran’s nuclear program has seen the assassination of five Iranian scientists, malicious computer viruses like Stuxnet, espionage, and unexplained explosions, as well as several apparent attempts by Iran to fight back in kind, with largely unsuccessful operations from India to Georgia to Thailand.”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/07/14/753442/-The-best-kept-nuclear-secret#  A five year old ‘anniversary present’ from a DailyKosblogger about the hideous and little-reported accident that occurred at Church Rock, New Mexico thirty five years ago, just a few months after the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island and the cover-up there, and forty years to the day after the Trinity Test of the first nuclear weapon at nearby Alamagordo.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/technology-displacing-jobs-european-case.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29  A research crossposting from Naked Capitalism in which the author examines the present, recent past, and plausible future developments in Europe of automation’s impacts of jobs and social-economic prospects: “As we’ve said before, if you have a system in which people must sell their labor as a condition of survival and you don’t provide enough opportunities to do that, you have sown the conditions for revolt.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/07/20/southern-democrats-meet-your-future-more-republican-lite/0QCGp3SSv7YhNrsnTMVy6L/story.html  A Boston Globe assessment of electoral democracy and the Democratic Party in the South, where a resurgence of populist passion not only means a rise of Tea Partying but also indicates both challenges and opportunities for the supposedly more ‘liberal’ party of the likes of Kay Hagan and Elizabeth Warren.

7.21.14Daily Links

Quote of the Day

Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War…And some of us, after another morning dose of news coverage full of death and destruction, feel the need to reach out to others to see if we are not alone in our outrage. With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news everyday, and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable. And what becomes of our planet when that sadness becomes apathy? Because we feel helpless. And we turn our heads and turn the page. … When attempting to make a plea for more peace in the world at a rock concert, we are reflecting the feelings of all those we have come in contact with so we may all have a better understanding of each other. That’s not something I’m going to stop anytime soon. Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt, and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution. …We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty. Capable of awe-inspiring advancements. We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed. I don’t know how to reconcile the peaceful rainbow of flags we see each night at our concerts with the daily news of a dozen global conflicts and their horrific consequences. I don’t know how to process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.” Eddie Vedder, Nirvana lead singer: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eddie-vedder-reiterates-anti-war-stance-after-anti-israel-accusations-20140717.

This Day in History
Sixteen hundred forty-nine years ago, a tsunami inundated Alexandria, killing thousands; three hundred sixty-nine years ago, a Qing dynasty edict required all Han Chinese men to cut and braid their hair in the Manchu style; two hundred ninety-six years ago, Austria Hungary gained most of Serbia from the Ottoman empire, in the treaty of Passarowitz; two hundred forty years back, in another blow to Ottoman power, but in a way that discomfited some Western Europeans, Russia gained control of Crimea and the rest of Ukraine in the Russo-Turkish War treaty; two hundred eighteen years prior to this present point, Scottish poet Burns died; one hundred forty-nine years back, in the first ‘wild West shootout’ on record, Wild Bill Hickok killed Davis Tutt in the market square in Springfield, Missouri; one hundred forty-one years ago, near Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and James Younger pulled off the first train robbery in the U.S.; a hundred thirty-seven years before here and now, a sympathy strike for Baltimore railroad workers broke out, bringing in the National Guard in response; one hundred fifteen years back, U.S. poet Hart Crane was born; one hundred three years ago, Marshall McCluhan was born in Canada; one hundred years back, Romania declared its neutrality in the about-to-being carnage of World War One; eighty-nine years before this day, a jury in Dayton, Tennessee found John Scopes guilty of the crime of teaching evolution; eighty-two years ago, future Soviet poet and novelist–Don’t Die Before You’re Dead–was three days old, having been born on July 18; seventy years prior to today, the men who had plotted Hitler’s assassination were all executed; sixty-five years ago, the U.S. Senate signed the North Atlantic Treaty; fifty-five years back, the Nuclear Ship Savannah left dry dock to become the world’s first atomic-powered commercial ship, operating for more than ten years before it became a museum and a toxic nuclear waste site; forty-five years ago, Neil Armstrong and ‘Buzz’ Aldrin walked on the moon; forty-two years back, the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated twenty-two bombs in just over an hour in Belfast, killing seven and injuring scores; seven years ago, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold fifteen million copies in its first twenty-four hours on the market: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_21.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-190714.html Pepe Escobar’s scathing deconstruction of the current ‘spinwars’ about MH-17, a must read for anyone who values reason and data above kneejerk genuflection to corporate media.


The deadline for National Newsletter submissions to Sue Katz is Wednesday: https://nwu.org/


  • http://www.mediabistro.com/ For any freelancer with Juris Doctor credentials, a sweet gig from Florida, thanks to Media Bistro.
  • ttp://www.nsf.gov/ A National Science Foundation portal to answers about possible sources of funding to folks interested in Science, Technology, & Society: heavily oriented toward the academy but useful to all and sundry who are seeking to find a way to understand and participate in the intersections of STS that govern us.
  • http://www.atimes.com/mediakit/write-for-atol.html A portal to “Speaking Freely,” a free-for-all column of front-page commentary that invites freelancer submission.
  • http://www.mediabistro.com/joblistings/ A second Media Bistro profferal, from the Bay Area, for a News Assistant/Staff reporter for a Japanese press service.


  • http://www.socialpolicy.org/component/ A lengthy and bracingly optimistic Social Policy analysis of third-party activism around the United States, which dovetails with its referencing the Democratic Party’s combination of treachery and milquetoast support for labor and social issues: “As labor-backed independent electoral efforts proliferate, more activists in other state are looking to the example of the Vermont Progressive Party (VPP). More than any other third-party formation in the country, the VPP has campaigned successfully for state legislative seats and municipal office, ‘while building support for reform and nudging the Democrats left.’”
  • http://thebulletin.org/ban-bomb7303 A Bulletin of Atomic Scientists series of essays about the daunting dead-end that nuclear-weapons elimination advocates, who hope thereby to forestall the most ‘efficient’ means of annihilating humanity from our collective arsenal, one entry from Mexico, one from India, and a third from Chile, as here: “Dictionary definitions of ‘radical’ include ‘advocating extreme measures to retain… a political state of affairs.’ This definition nicely describes the behavior of nuclear-armed nations. These countries depend on their nuclear capability as the linchpin of their strategic positioning and practice nuclear radicalism to ensure their continued reliance on nuclear weapons. Nuclear idealists, on the other hand—idealists include many, though not all, of the states without nuclear weapons—view disarmament as an urgent security imperative and an important moral priority. The radicals and the idealists remain permanently at odds, and achieving the disarmament objectives of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has come to seem a distant dream.”
  • http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/july-2014-books/ An announcement from WordPress about bloggers with recent book-publishing credits.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/ A portal to Storm Clouds Gathering, an extremely hard-hitting grassroots journalism exercise that is willing to trade punches over issues near-and-dear to the denizens of empire, such as the present carnage in Gaza and its geopolitical and ideological underpinnings.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com Ten crowdfunding platforms that TechRepublic maintains are ‘up and coming,’ all of which might usefully assist writers and their attempts at organized growth and empowerment.
  • http://www.openplanetsfoundation.org/standards-technology A portal to the Open Planets Foundation, which, at a highly technical and expert level, seeks to develop and distribute effective and accessible digital preservation solutions and practices to all and sundry in need.
  • https://al3x.net/2014/06/17/dear-marc-andreessen.html A blog from Alex Payne, a tech-savvy writer whose gritty political insights and wide-ranging evidence and analysis need to be part of our work, in one way or another, in this instance criticizing and ‘speaking truth’ to Marc Andreeson: “The debate is, as ever, really about power. So let’s set robots aside, and with them your black and white dichotomy of pro-growth, pro-tech heroes versus regressive Luddites. In our country, most people have positive sentiments about science and technology while simultaneously being concerned about unemployment. I don’t know who your anti-robot villain is, but it’s not regular folks.”
  • https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/54930 A book review of Robert McChesney’s most recent ‘must-read,’ Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, brought to us by Australia’s Green Left Weekly, summarizing not only salient ideas from the volume but demonstrating the hideous ideological morass of contemporary U.S. ‘liberalism:’ “Another (so-called ‘liberal’ reviewer) wrote a review saying people should not read my book, primarily because I was critical of capitalism and was a radical, which made anything I might write illegitimate in polite society. This came from a pronounced liberal, not a conservative or free market fundamentalist. It was a reminder that the bad old days of red-baiting are not in our rearview mirror, not at all.”


  • http://www.wrneuman.com/works A thought-provoking, scholarly, and historically grounded briefing about the evolution of digital development in the general media context, aimed at engagement and participation.
  • https://wbezcpm.creatavist.com/story/9701A Chicago Station WBEZ multimedia presentation about its Curious City community-engagement-&-grassroots-reporting project, an essential model for writers and producers and their organized expressions to consider and seek to emulate: “‘Great job, all of you, in covering this magnificent, unforgiving, devouring place where the prairie, lake and river meet. Thank you, too, for keeping alive the Spirits of Studs, Royko, Algren, et. al. to keep us connected to our past.’
  • ttp://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/ A GovExec community engagement outreach for participation in its new site feature, State & Local, which, since the proposition that ‘all politics is local’ leads ineluctably to the central role of place in narrative, ought to interest freelancers, especially those scattered around the continent in the At-Large chapter.
  • http://unreasonable.is/opinion/ A list of ten must-read volumes from Unreasonable.Is, a ‘high-concept’ vision of joining narrative and entrepreneurial ‘best-practices’ in promoting change-agents and such, a little difficult to buy–at least lock, stock, and barrel–but interesting for all that.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation A Digital Preservation blog from Library of Congress that presents a group interview that provides an overview and background for one of this week’s conference topics, about preserving and curating research data.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/ An Inside Adams: Science, Technology, & Business blog from Library of Congress about, on the one hand, one associate’s work at Berry College in Rome, where she is creating a finding aid for nineteenth century business and related periodicals, and, on the other hand, the possibilities for connecting mediated pasts with the possibility of a more richly and usefully mediated present.
  • http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub63watersgarrett.pdf A 1995 document–Preserving Digital Information, the final report of the Task Force on Archiving Digital Information–that provides writers, readers, researchers, and citizens with a view of the origins of what we’re facing now in these sorts of matters of having access to, some control of, and ways of using powerfully the digital world in the midst of which we find ourselves.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov Another Digital Preservation blog from Library of Congress that speaks to some of the hurdles that face those navigating the digital domain, and ways of jumping them, possibly.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov A Law blog from Library of Congress about LOC developments in improving access to and useability of legislation and other aspects of the law-making process.
  • https://www.gov.uk/ A portal to the Group of Eight’s five page Open Data Charter and the five page “Technical Annex” that accompanies the charter itself.


  • http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/ A Creator’s Project brief from Vice that includes an embedded documentary look at Mike Cahill’s second feature film, Origins, which tells a story of knowledge and faith and humanity in relation to biometrics and the magic and science of the human eye.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com Forbidden Knowledge TV’s presentation of Last Week Tonight’s net-neutrality docket sequence.
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-loca A GovExec reprint of a NJDaily briefing about Congress’ passage of a bill that prohibits Federal ‘interference’ with such state-supported mandates of ‘Only-Internet-Monopoly-Providers-Are-Allowed’ as exist in Tennessee, where Chattanooga is seeking to expand its best-practices wi-fi network that puts the private sector to shame: “Chattanooga, Tenn., has rolled out a high-speed fiber Internet network for its residents. The service, called ‘Gig City,’ offers speeds about 50 times faster than the national average for about $70 per month.”
  • http://www.cnbc.com/id/101838646#. A CNBC update that shows that Aereo’s initial attempt to gain cable status has not won a favorable attitude from the Copyright authorities.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/ A portal, courtesy of TechRepublic, to This Week In Tech, one of a series of ‘tech-podcasts’ that inquiring minds should note.
  • http://www.govexec.com/excellence/ A GovExec brief that introduces three trends that, taken together, point to solutions to social problems through technique, not a believable proposition but important to note if only because our corporate masters want so desperately to believe it themselves, and for us to accept it.
  • http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governmen An indictment of Brandeis University from pro-corporate, pro-empire website Breitbart News, a careful reading of which suggests that NWU has a lot of potential friends who use the Brandeis listservs.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/ A New Zealand Stuff brief about Netflix’s recently actually advertising for paid ‘taggers’ to watch TV all day and send recommendations to viewers.
  • http://www.marxistschool.org/classdocs/TheInternetMR2011March.pdf A Robert McChesney and John Foster White Paper, The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism, that provides key context to the current media moment: “Our analysis in this article will focus on the United States not only because it is the society that we know best, and the Internet‟s point of origin, but also because it is there, we believe, that one most clearly finds the integration of monopoly finance capital and the Internet, representing the dominant tendency of the global capitalist system. This is not meant to suggest that the current U.S. dominance of the Internet is not open to change, or that other countries may not choose to take other paths but only that all alternatives in this realm will have to struggle against the trajectory now being set by U.S. capitalism, with its immense global influence and power.”
  • http://ayorek.org/files/References A lengthy monograph, Understanding Community Media, that develops a comprehensive overview of the intersections among community, communications, political economy, and democracy: “The phrase “community media” encompasses a range of community-based activities intended to supplement, challenge, or change the operating principles, structures, financing, and cultural forms and practices associated with dominant media. This rather generic definition is purposeful insofar as it accommodates a diverse set of initiatives—community radio, participatory video, independent publishing, and online communication, to name but a few—operating in a variety of social, political, and geocultural settings. Indeed, the context in which community media operate plays a decisive role in shaping and informing these disparate efforts.”
  • http://transition.fcc.gov/osp/inc-report The July, 2011 report, The Information Needs of Communities, an FCC offering that thoroughly presents the ‘liberal corporate’ agenda that continues to hold sway to the present pass.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/ A Mark Zuckerberg profile, about three quarters of an hour, from Forbidden Knowledge TV about the battles and contradictions of big web media.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQy-K72rt_o Robert McChesney’s half-hour of discussion on Digital Disconnect, made available through Capitol Satellite Public Affairs Network, or C-SPAN, in which the author and advocate argues that the ‘capitalization’ of the Internet as private value threatens its democratic potential.


  • http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/ Yes! Magazine’s report about the ‘ban-the-box’ movement, which twelve states and scores of cities and counties and a few corporations, now including Target, have joined, no longer permitting employment decisions to include inquiries into job applicant’s ‘criminal pasts,’ sensible since a big majority of the criminal injustice system is a fraud.
  • http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/07 A Facing South briefing about United Auto Workers’ formation of a ‘shadow-local’ in Chattanooga that will, in the hopes of the union, lay the basis for both future organizing and a union-shop at some point in the future, setting aside any chance in the process of pursuing legal action about the February close loss in a union representation vote: “Local 42 will not collect dues for the time being, and participation is voluntary. However, the UAW hopes membership will grow to a size that gives it weight in representing workers’ concerns at the plant. No formal agreement exists with Volkswagen regarding the local, but a ‘consensus’ exists that allows the local to work with the company in the future, Casteel said.”
  • http://www.smh.com.au/world/ A mortifying report from the Sydney Morning Herald that up to a hundred top-level HIV researchers were aboard Malaysian Airlines MH17 when it went down in Eastern Ukraine, en route to the International AIDS conference in Melbourne.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/ The Times report about the crash from Friday, which tentatively indicates responsibility for the loss lies with Ukrainian separatists, who captured antiaircraft systems from the Ukrainian military, a charge that rebel leaders, after reports surfaced that Ukrainian officials had the flight’s black boxes, denied: “At the same time, Aleksandr Borodai, the pro-Russian rebel who leads the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, told reporters that his group had the so-called black boxes and intended to turn them over to officials of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which will be assisting in securing the scene.”
  • http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/ A Sydney Morning Herald briefing about Australia’s social-services-slashing Prime Minister’s pronouncement that Russia was responsible for downing MH17, a charge that Russia both hotly denies and labels as ludicrously premature: “Meanwhile, commentary from China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency described the reaction by Australia and the US as “rash”, and warned Western nations against rushing to implicate Russia.”
  • http://thinkprogress.org/ Thanks to Think Progress, the so-called War-on-Drugs at its prototypically noisome finest, involving entrapment, double-dealing, agent-provocation, and more, all in the name of stopping the use of plant-based substances the promulgation of which results from thug-allies and our own spies as often as not: “But Halgat had no criminal record and appeared committed to abiding by the law. Although he was an occasional cocaine user, he stated many times that he had long ago disavowed cocaine trafficking.”
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/ An AFL-CIO blog update from Netroots Nation in Detroit, focusing on the Organizing the South and Solidarity As the Original Way to Lean-in panels.
  • http://www.govexec.com/ A GovExec report about GOP billionaire Timothy Draper’s drive–he’s spent millions to collect over a million ballot-access signatures–to put a proposition up to a 2016 vote that would split California into six states.
  • http://socialtimes.com/microsoft-lay- A Social Times briefing about Microsoft’s plans to lay off 18.000 employees.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/12/iraq-j12.html A World Socialist Website report and analysis that concerns the recent unhinging of the Kurdish region of Iraq from the Maliki government’s orbit, which apparently suits both Washington and Tel Aviv: “Kurdish military forces, known as the peshmerga, hold the entire eastern sector of Mosul but have taken no steps to dislodge the ISIS fighters who took the western portions on June 10, after Iraqi army units deserted their positions. As government forces retreated south toward Baghdad, the peshmerga instead occupied the city of Kirkuk and Iraq’s northern oil fields under the banner of the KRG. Other units were sent to seize the main northern border crossing between Iraq and Syria, which is held on the other side by Syrian Kurdish forces fighting against the Iranian-backed government of President Bashir al-Assad, as well as against ISIS forces in Syria. Arms, supplies and fighters can now be easily provided to them from Iraqi Kurdistan. Peshmerga troops have also taken control of Kurdish-populated areas in the province of Diyala, which borders Kurdish-populated regions of Iran.”
  • http://www.opednews.com/articles/ A deeply historical and powerfully sociopolitical contextualization of what is happening in Ukraine, from OpEdNews.
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/ A Gov Exec briefing about the electoral, political economic, and educational issues at play in North Carolina, where teacher salaries lag the national average by $10,000 and public schools are flailing in much of the State, all in the context of the Thom Tillis/Kay Hagan race for Senate in November.
  • http://www.govexec.com/defense A GovExec briefing on current issues surrounding impacts on soldier health of the open burn pits that the military has used in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which soldiers have been maintaining for years have severely impacted their respiratory and general health: “‘I have been disappointed that the official position of the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs is that there is no conclusive evidence to link burn-pit exposure with the ailments that so many who have been exposed to burn pits are now presenting,’ Bishop said. He added that there is a ‘pretty good body of evidence’ that suggests there is a link between exposure and certain illnesses. And it’s the contradiction between the government’s public stance and anecdotal evidence from veterans—including stories collected on the Burn Pits 360 website—that Tarantino said is a sign that more research needs to be done.”
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ An Earth Insight blog in the Guardian that presents a compelling case that an underlying issue in Israel’s invasion of Gaza is the plus or minus trillion cubic feet of natural gas off of the Strip’s shores.
  • www.france24.com/en/20140714-clashes- A breaking news medley, from France24, about the situation in Gaza and protests in Paris in which thousands of demonstrators against Israel are battling with police.


  • http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz A master’s thesis from Victoria University in Wellington that reexamines post-World-War-Two U.S. economic history in terms of a stacked-deck interaction among government, corporate power–especially banks and other ‘financialized’ agencies–and organized labor.
  • http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/ISG/documents A European Commission report about the status and prospects for content producers in Europe, full of models and insights for a primarily North American labor organization for such grassroots creators.
  • http://lass.purduecal.edu/cca/gmj/sp12/printable_pdf/sp12Article4.pdf A title from Global Media Journal that says it all: “Consolidation in the Name of Regulation,” applicable with particular force here, though this journal article deals with Pakistan’s experience.
  • http://concernedhealthny.org/ A seventy-page annotated bibliography about health research that demonstrates substantial harms from fracking and other ‘unconventional’ oil-and-gas-extraction methods, from Concerned Health Professionals of New York, via a link through the Science & Environmental Health Network.
  • http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/ A Yes! profile of Andalusian town, Marinaleda, termed Spain’s “communist utopia,” where people come before profits and a laboratory of social uplift is percolating: “But beyond its (better-than-average) cash economy, Marinaleda has a currency rarely found beyond small-scale activist groups or indigenous communities fighting destructive development projects: the currency of direct action. Rather than rely exclusively on cash to get things done, Marinaleños have put their collective blood, sweat, and tears into creating a range of alternative systems in their corner of the world.”
  • http://www.sre.gob.mx/en/index.php/humanimpact-nayarit-2014 The Chair’s Summary from the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which took place five months ago in Mexico and passed without a single notice in corporate media.
  • http://www.cubaminrex.cu/en/celac-declaration-nuclear-disarmament A portal from the Cuban exterior ministry about last year’s unanimous support among the thirty-three nation Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States to ban nuclear weapons entirely, the text of the declaration in that regard appearing here.
  • http://www.precaution.org/lib/why_ci_is_hard.pdf An extremely powerful research scientist’s essay about how and why research and development and policy protocols almost uniformly ignore “cumulative impacts” of decisions, even though only such an approach holds out much hope for humanity’s future, and ‘best-practices’ frequently mandate such methods: “The N(ational) R(esearch) C(ouncil) recommends that agencies should first ask, ‘In this situation, how can we minimize harm?” Then they can use quantitative risk assessment (and/or other comparison techniques, such as Delphi, to name but one) to assess each alternative. Public participation in decisions is highly desirable, to legitimize the decision process.”
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12209 A National Academies Press monograph, Science and Decisions, about the policy and scientific parameters and best-practices of risk assessment.
  • http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog A Vice Creator’s Project essay-report about the contents that Voyager spacecraft, especially Voyager II, are carrying into the cosmos, of note whether we manage to survive ourselves or not: ” In an exercise of extraterrestrial experience design, the team mulled over (basic) questions, and in the end, decided on the following content: 115 images that ranged from DNA structures to a pregnant woman, a 12-minute compilation of ‘sounds of earth’ including wind, whale songs, bird calls and thunder, 55 greetings in different languages, 90 minutes of music of a variety of styles, including Mozart, an hour-long recording of brainwaves, and printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and UN Secretary Kurt Waldheim. ‘This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe,’ wrote President Carter.”
  • www.freep.com/article/20140622/NEWS06/140507009 The portal to Detroit Free Press’ monumental, yearlong investigation of charter schools in Michigan, which has the highest proportion of such privatized prison-experiments in the U.S., the results of all of which delving are, to say the least, disturbing to any advocate of for-profit education and gratifying to proponents of such things as accountable public schools in which parents, students, and unionized teachers play the central role in achieving educational excellence.
  • http://time.com/money/2977702/22-colleges-free-tuition/ A list, from Money, of where, till the U.S. comes to its senses and returns higher education to affordable–or as so often in the past, free–rates, students can get a degree without taking out any loans.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39073.htm A crossposting in Information Clearinghhouse of an awesomely insightful item from Inter Press Service that puts the present ugly pass of our fair planet in terms of a ten-item list, the final point of which is the absolute corruption of corporate media and the desperate need for such work as a union of progressive writers might contribute to accomplishing, a recontextualizing of all the madness: “9) A very important element of the mess has been the growth of what its proponents, especially in the financial world, call the ‘new economy’ – an economy that contemplates permanent unemployment, lack of social investments, reduced taxation for large capital, the marginalisation of trade unions, and a reduction of the role of the State as the regulator and guarantor of social justice. Inequalities are reaching unprecedented levels. The world’s 85 richest individuals possess the same wealth as 2.5 billion people.”
  • https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07/class-brought-to-life/ A potent and nuanced Jacobin assessment, in which sociologist Nicole Aschoff takes to task both those who would dismiss ‘identity politics’ in one fell swoop and those who would throw class-based analysis under the bus in favor of a broad acceptance of the necessity of dealing primarily with matters of identity: “Projects that address the structural aspects of class, race, and gender build solidarity and improve people’s lives in a radical way. In doing so, they open up a space to build the social force necessary to challenge capitalism at both the systemic level and at the level of production.”
  • ttp://www.propublica.org/article A Pro Publica report and analysis that looks at both Huntsville, Alabama’s failure to integrate despite court intervention in particular and at the problem of ignored or set-aside commitments to integration more generally: “In May, ProPublica published a story showing the state of inaction and confusion surrounding scores of federal school desegregation orders, the once-powerful tool for compelling school districts across the country to provide equal educational opportunities to students of color. Many of the orders had been allowed to sit dormant for decades, often with no one monitoring school officials to make sure they were complying with federal mandates to integrate. And in many other instances, judges had routinely lifted existing orders even when those districts remained highly segregated.”
  • ttp://truth-out.org/opinion/item/24868-japans-near-miss-shows-its-time-to-say-no-nukes A TruthOut crossposting of a Thom Hartmann essay that argues convincingly against further nuclear power, based largely on what Fukushima implies about the technology’s future, an argument that every ‘developed country’ government with the exception of Germany is unwilling even to consider.


Quote of the Day
"Chaos and dictatorship are not the only alternatives to the current democracy. A democracy created among all people is possible – a democracy not reduced to merely voting, but founded on participation, citizen control and equal rights." A Charter for Democracy: http://guerrillatranslation.com/2014/06/26/a-charter-for-democracy/.

This Day in History

Sixteen hundred and twenty-four years ago, the Gauls began sacking Rome; seven hundred twenty-four years ago, Edward I ordered the expulsion of England’s roughly 16,000 Jews; two hundred three years before today’s dawning, William Makepeace Thackeray was born; one hundred forty-four years back, the First Vatican Council issued its edict of Papal Infallibility; one hundred fifteen years ago, Horatio Alger died; a century ago exactly, the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps came into being, the first incarnation of the Army Air Force; ninety-two years back, philosopher-of-science Thomas Kuhn came into the world; eighty-nine years back, Adolf Hitler first published Mein Kampf; seventy-eight years ago, the initiation of the Spanish Civil War continued to unfold; seventy-seven years prior to the present, Hunter S. Thompson entered the world in Louisville; forty-eight years back, Intel incorporated in Mountain View, California; thirty-two years ago, forces under U.S. ally Rios Montt slaughtered several hundred campesinos in Guatemala; twenty years back, a huge bombing of a synagogue in Buenos Aires killed almost a hundred people; last year, Detroit declared bankruptcy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_18.


  • http://pando.com/2014/07/17/ Pando Daily’s more or less instantaneous plug not to start World War Three over the downing of a Malaysian airliner and murder of 300 or so civilians and airline personnel, asking to remember at least five things: #5–"In 2001, Ukraine’s military accidentally shot down a Russian passenger airliner flying over the Black Sea from Tel Aviv to Novorossisk, killing 78 people onboard. After over a week of denials, Ukraine finally admitted responsibility. In 1988, the US Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian passenger plane in the Persian Gulf, killing 290 passengers on board. The commanding officer in charge of the USS Vincennes not only wasn’t punished, but instead was awarded the Legion of Merit medal two years later by President George Bush."


One last chance is available to be one of the million-plus comment filers in support of a ‘free and open internet:’ LINK(s)



  • http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk rer-Scotland#.U8h5wbwsoy5 A portal to a grassroots-owned online news outlet that gives unionists and others active in social justice work and such a place to publish regularly and without having to ‘check their beliefs’ at the entryway, which is recommending a ‘Yes’ vote in Scotland’s upcoming independence referendum.
  • http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eddie-vedder-reiterates Rolling Stone’s update of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vetter’s remorseless continuation of his messaging against war and depredation, no matter what pro-Israeli ideologues might suggest: "After reiterating his lack of reconciliation between advances in modern technology and continued warfare, Vedder ended the statement with, ‘I don’t know how to process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.’"
  • http://opengovfoundation.github.io/free-law-founders-site/ A portal from the Open Government Foundation to the Free Law Founders, who want to change public access to information from the halls of our cities up.
  • http://www.nsf.gov/about/congress/reports National Science Foundation’s outreach pamphlet, Where Discoveries Begin, both chock full of information and an interesting engagement model.
  • http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1253 A portal to the Society of Professional Journalists letter that demands more transparency from the Obama Administration, signed by scores of working journalists and Non-Governmental Organization leaders and journalism educators, all of whom are likely in alignment with growing a people’s media movement and capacity.
  • http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/blogher-2014-announcement/ WordPress’ portal to the upcoming BlogHER conference in San Jose, beginning July 24, where an NWU presence would be estimable, to say the least.


  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07/ A Library of Congress blog about next week’s national digital preservation conference, at which preserving access to and legacy of ‘born-digital’ news sources will take a prominent place in proceedings.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/build-full-feature A Tech Republic report for both DIY and somewhat-oriented IT sorts about new tools to create ‘full-featured’ websites using readily available, relatively simple coding tools.
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/free-law-founders A mandatory report from Gov Exec about a new open-government coalition, Free Law Founders, presently in five large metro areas, which brings to the fore what caused Aaron Swartz to gnash his teeth and seek a hacker’s redress before he apparently hanged himself, to wit, the fact that access to law and cases brings gouging private publishers ten-plus billion dollars each year while citizens oftentimes cannot access the codes and statutes and legal decisions that govern their lives.
  • http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/rieder A USA Today media opinion piece about grassroots media and journalist efforts to bring a struggle for open government and access to information and interviews to the forefront: "At last the news media are fighting back. A letter signed by 38 journalism and open government organizations accuses the administration of ‘politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies.’"
  • http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/15/ A frightening update about the cutbacks on State and local political coverage that indicates that, among thirty-three ‘ideologically-driven’ organizations that have moved to fill the void created by staff reductions and such among journalism organizations, "Only one identifies itself as ‘progressive.’"
  • http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/files/26393/12075628443 UNESCO’s South Asian Open Access to Knowledge and Information monograph: "Universal access to information and knowledge lies UNESCO’s overall mandate to promote the free flow of information by word and by image and thus to place information and knowledge at the doorsteps of communities. UNESCO strives to forge an enabling environment to facilitate and open up avenues for universal access to information and knowledge."
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07/ A further Library of Congress contextualization of its upcoming digital preservation conference, touching on the history and evolution of standards and formats and more.
  • http://www.wired.com/2014/07/apple-swift/?mbid=nl_wired_07216014 A Wired profile of a new Apple rudimentary programming platform, Swift, which putatively will permit the likes of This Humble Correspondent and similar old fogies and non-math-geeks to start emanating code.


  • https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/ohiou1177094639/inline A Ohio State University dissertation about the embodiment of women in a longstanding reality television show, the subtitle of which makes it close to a must-read document: Toward a Political Economy of Bodies.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/ The Hill’s brief about the number of comments–over a million–in the FCC’s net-neutrality docket, most of them apparently hostile to the corporate-supported agency’s position.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/big-data-drives-better Quite likely at least something similar to ‘sponsored content,’ a nonetheless interesting briefing and interview from Tech Republic, on the one hand presenting an overview of Advanced Predictive Technology’s commissioned report on ‘big-data’ from the Economist Intelligence Unit, and on the other hand proffering the text of a discussion with APT’s Vice President for Customer Relations.
  • http://download.predictivetechnologies.com/economist_intelligence_unit_report/ An Economist Intelligence Unit report, commissioned by Advanced Predictive Technologies, that explicates and advocates for the use of multiple data-streams in organizational decision making: "Incorporating data (or simply stated, the experiences of relevant audiences) into the decision-making process is now vital if companies are to make sense of entirely new issues, new business opportunities and of course potential threats. This, however, brings its own difficulties, as the quantity and variety of data available to decision-makers is vast, and will only continue to grow."
  • http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bbc-defends-coverage-israeli-air-719116 A Hollywood Reporter item that covers a protest in front of British Broadcasting Corporation headquarters against the media group’s coverage of Israeli Defense Force bombing of the Gaza Strip, allegedly devoid of much context about what is at state, disparities in fighting capacity, and more.
  • http://www.answers.com/article/1181946 A Now See Hear blog from Library of Congress about the history and legacy of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, home to much more than the Grand Ol’ Opry.
  • http://benton.org/node/194437?utm_campaign= A Benton.org summary of a WaPo media item that argues that the infiltration of software in ‘White Spaces’ in education, transportation, and health care will drive growth and improvement in the coming period.
  • http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11030 A National Academies Press imprint, available to read online, that illuminates the U.N.’s open access to scientific information policies in practice.
  • http://www.wired.com/2014/07/unlocking-activism/ A three-step guide from Wired to making things happen in terms of media and information access: 1. Make a Big Noise; 2. Be the Person Who Won’t Shut Up; 3. Play the Long Game, the Really, Really Long Game.
  • http://www.techpolicydaily.com/communications/net-neutrality-laws/ A be-careful-what-you-ask-for blog from Tech Policy Daily and the American Enterprise Institute, which contextualizes ‘net-neutrality’ as a Trojan Horse to further control and contort actual citizen access–using Chile’s experience as a prime example, no doubt a ‘consider-the-source’ moment but also a chance to reflect back at the overwhelming tendency for ‘reforms’ to end up as nooses of one sort or other.
  • http://www.fcc.gov/blog/keeping-track-open-internet-comments-submitted-fcc The Federal Communications Commission portal to allow tracking net-neutrality docket comments.
  • http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/212465 Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn’s attempt, in a briefing by The Hill, to crush Chattanooga’s attempt to foment Federal intervention in its favor for its locally owned wi-fi network, which has the major providers’ panties all in a wad.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/212498-un-human-rights-chief-world-owes-great-deal-to-snowden A briefing from The Hill about the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights’ contending that the world owes Edward Snowden a huge "debt of gratitude."
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07 One part big-brother-via-consumer portals, one part Tea-Party extravaganza, one part meltdown and other disaster management, GovExec’s report about the use of live streaming and App culture to extend the reach of government, facilitate an Internet-of-Things management process, and loads more.
  • http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/rupert-murdoch- The Times DealBook announcement about Rupert Murdoch’s so-far repulsed bid for Time Warner.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/inside-the-secret-digital-arms-race/ A cyberwar game culture and national intelligence report from Tech Republic that ought to make citizens more than a little nervous.


  • http://pando.com/2014/07/16/vocativs-ridiculous A powerful debunking from Pando Daily of the fatuous notion that Islamic State in Iraq & Syria has infiltrated the Gaza strip: "Yes, I’ll say it plain: Israel and the Sunni jihadis in Syria are allies. If anybody had the sense to look carefully at how the IDF has reacted to the Syrian Civil War, god damn it, they’d have seen this years ago. Every time Israel has used its air power against any military force in Syria, it’s been against the Alawites and their Shia allies, Hezbollah. Especially Hezbollah. Never, never once, against these supposedly fearsome Sunni jihadis overrunning Syria. You know why? Because (a) they ain’t that fearsome, just a handful of undisciplined assholes; and (b) more importantly, by being undisciplined thug assholes, they make for wonderful Israeli propaganda, while also (c) bleeding Hezbollah and Assad, who are organized enough to really worry Israel in a way the grab-bag of Sunni militias never could."
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/world/europe/malaysian-airlines-plane-ukraine.html The Times breaking news briefing about the loss of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, with 295 crew and passengers aboard.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/international/212558-reports-malaysian The Hill’s initial report on the crash, with information about President Obama’s and Congress’ reactions.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/world/middleeast/israe A confirmation from the Times of predictions by both International Clearinghouse and World Socialist Website, that an Israeli Defense Force ground invasion of the Gaza Strip was imminent.
  • http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/2014/07 A report from Education Week about North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s signing legislation Wednesday that mandates wholesale review–without necessarily leading to revocation–of the State’s so-called ‘common core’ education standards.
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/ GovExec’s take on a recent Albuquerque public meeting in which the issue of fluoridation of water–something that many progressive jurisdictions have avoided for decades, and which has a complex scientific and political economic legacy to say the least–became the basis for something akin to a public uprising.
  • http://gigaom.com/2014/07/16/amazon-is-testing-kindle A GigaOm briefing about "Kindle Unlimited," which could offer no-limit access to some 600,000 e-book and audio book titles.
  • http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/ Oh my! A Sydney Morning Herald ‘rap-sheet-of-the-bizarre’ filing from Tokyo, where an artist’s attempt to use her genitalia–via 3-D printing–as a fund-raising inducement landed her in jail.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/10275640 A breaking news announcement from New Zealand’s Stuff that Sweden has rejected Julian Assange’s appeal of its extradition order for his return to face sexual assault charges.
  • http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/212451-senate-republicans-block-birth-control-bill A report about the predictable blockage by Republicans of the Democratic Bill to return birth control rights to women, from The Hill.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/world/europe The Times breaking news brief about the Obama Administration’s amping up sanctions against the Russians, all in advance of crashing jetliners and insurgent surface to air missiles.
  • http://www.opednews.com/articles/BRICS-against-Washington A crossposting from Op-Ed News from Pepe Escobar at Asia Times about the ‘BRICS’ that Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa are tossing at any hope of a Washington-centered empire.
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/16/japans-restart-nuke-plants-ignores-fukushima/ An EcoWatch opinion essay about the blind insanity of a nuclear restart in Japan, despite the mess at Fukushima, where TEPCO reactors continue to go through their slow-mo death spiral.
  • http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/07/15/3460244/ Think Progress’ oh my! moment for the day, a report that indicates how such nations as Russia and Germany are pondering a return to handwritten or manually typewritten priority communications so as to thwart NSA oversight.
  • http://www.govexec.com/defense A GovExec report about Pope Francis’ urging a U.S. ‘intervention’ to insure that unaccompanied minors at the border "are welcomed and protected."


  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp A National Science Foundation Discoveries blog about the antibiotic properties of certain clays–long knows to new-age sorts, including possible application in MRSA infections.
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation/Student-Debt-Abuse-It-s-Not-Just-Sallie-Mae A tough and thorough AFL-CIO blog about the hideous morass of pain that exists throughout most of the student-loan system, not just in terms of Sallie-Mae but from top to bottom, in government and commerce both. A recent Department of Education Inspector General’s "scathing report…is still a big disappointment for students and borrowers looking to their elected leaders to renew the promise of higher education, not to protect the interests of giant, faceless corporations at the cost of students and their families."
  • http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/auditreports/fy2014/a06m0012.pdf Department of Education’s Inspector General’s audit report of the abuses and cavalier presumption of ‘private collection agencies’ in trying to bleed students on their defaulted loans, with almost no follow-up within the Department against debtors who complained of malfeasance and fraud.
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation AFL-CIO’s strong and forthright condemnation of the prison-industrial-complex’s likely guarantee to the formerly incarcerated of a jobless and homeless life, which makes the prison-industrial-complex not just suspect, but indefensible.
  • http://www.rollingstone.com/politics A Rolling Stone gift to readers, from a former tanker in Operation Iraqi Liberation–oops! I mean ‘Freedom,’ OIF, not OIL–whose guts still roil as he returns to the sounds and smells and sights of a Baghdad that his service had supposedly freed, a gig about which he still experiences profound mixed feelings: "On the other hand, the war was the most dehumanizing experience of my life. Inside the wire, we lived like prisoners, staring at the same walls and the same faces, lifting weights, watching DVDs, killing time until we got to go back home. Outside the wire, we moved in an alien, hostile world luminous with adrenaline and danger. Over time, as we were shot at, mortared and sometimes blown up, fear and rage built up in us like toxins, until we were praying for reasons to shoot – not people, mind you, just fucking hajjis. We harassed and intimidated hajjis on the street. We humiliated hajjis in their homes. We ran hajji cars off the road when they got in our way. We locked hajjis up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of us did worse. Some of us did a lot worse."
  • http://safeenergy.org/2014/07/17/iea-experts-not-particularly-expert/ An essay from GreenWorld that shows how ludicrously wrong the International Energy Agency’s projections have been about installed renewable energy capacity, basically less than half of what Greenpeace has suggested at similar times, which also has proved to be a conservative estimate by at least a little bit, putting all of this in perspective by deconstructing the hideously idiotic views that industry flacks such as the folks at IEA propound about nukes: "While the apparent inability of most nuclear proponents and nuclear utilities to grasp just how heavily subsidized the industry is is common, one would think an independent ‘expert’ agency like IEA would be able to recognize that. In the U.S., those subsidies include taxpayer loans and state-level programs like CWIP; the Price-Anderson Act; the Nuclear Waste Fund–temporarily on hold; billions and billions over the year’s in federal R&D; decommissioning funds collected entirely and separately from ratepayers, and more. Internationally, the nuclear industry is often even more subsidized, with more direct and expansive government support for reactor construction."
  • http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2014/07 A GovExec briefing about a coaching-and-consultant approach to management’s apparently voracious appetite to reduce humans to profit producing algorithms.
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/federal-state-highway-funding A key little political economy article from GovExec, about the nature of the leverage that attends such institutionalized fiscal portals as the Highway Trust Fund and the contradictions attendant on ‘reducing government at all costs’ as a strategy in this context.
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp? A National Science Foundation Discoveries blog about a Harvard-led innovation in undergraduate physics instruction, peer-to-peer engagement,which began in response to findings that rote memorization was much more prevalent than understanding among students: "(T)he majority of students exiting introductory physics courses did not truly understand basic Newtonian concepts and, hence, failed to comprehend most of the content of the course. The majority of students who passed had done so based solely on rote memorization."
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp Another fascinating National Science Foundation Discoveries blog, dealing with advances from Western Michigan University in the materials science and manufacturing protocols that underlie superior machining of hard-and-brittle materials, with more applications important to the modern age than space to note them.
  • http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php? A portal from Democratic Underground to Matt Damon’s anti-National Security Agency screed–"Why shouldn’t I join the NSA? That’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot at it"–in the brilliant film Good Will Hunting.
  • http://www.nextgov.com/feature/prime2014// A portal to the corporate-Federal-executive revolving door fantasy about how the political economy of government, technology, and administration will come down over the next decade or so.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/european-technology/ A huge ‘gulp!’ from Tech Republic about a United Kingdom Defense report that looks at the year 2045 as a likely dystopian mess in which robots have taken most jobs and shoot at anyone who complains, something like Bladerunner Meets Fahrenheit 451 Meets 1984(sixty-one years late).
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/328036/DCDC_GST_5_Secured.pdf From our good friends at the Ministry of Defense in London, Global Strategic Trends#5, which is both hopeful and sobering, simultaneously threatening and full of possibility: "Failed and failing cities, in both developed and developing countries, could pose major security challenges (such as social unrest and even insurgencies) with the potential for country-wide repercussions. If more people live in urban areas, security and armed forces will almost certainly need to operate in this environment to a greater extent. Adversaries could range from government-controlled militaries to armed non-state groups with criminal or malign intent."
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/opinion/16alexander.html? A jolly Times op-ed column about the neurological, social, and life-cycle advantages of continuing to seek to deconstruct the Tower-of-Babel, in the author’s case, particularly in relation to French.