A Thought for the Day
Belief is a powerful thing, its potency primarily a matter of coalescing different people into social and hence political alignment about what is not visible, incapable of proof; however, it often has little or nothing to offer to argument, which entails juxtaposing to each other disparate assertions about reality—that realm of the factual and the evidentiary—so as to comprehend better that which actually happens: one can believe that acorns can propagate elms, therefore, or that fish can breed monkeys, or that angels can dance on the head of a pin, or that skin color associates with something called race, but none of these inclinations can ever contribute to a policy discussion about life and human prospects.
Quote of the Day
"Happiness is good health and a bad memory. …I have no regrets. I wouldn’t have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say." Ingrid Bergman: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/i/ingrid_bergman.html.
This Day in History
Today is International Day Against Nuclear Tests; thirteen hundred six years prior to our present pass, Japanese principalities first used copper coins; Ottoman Turks four hundred eighty-eight years back attacked and defeated the forces of Hungary and Bohemia, killing the last Jagiellonian King in the process; four hundred seventy-three years ago, Ottoman forces capture Buda, the Hungarian Kingdom’s capitol; three hundred eighty-two years back, the boy child who became John Locke entered the world; two hundred fifty-six years before the here-and-now, colonial administrators establish the first Indian Reservation at Indian Mills, New Jersey; two hundred twenty-eight years ago, Shays’ rebellion unfolded in Massachusetts and spread from there, in response to debt and taxes; two hundred five years ago, the infant who became physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was born; a hundred eighty-nine years back, Portugal recognized Brazil’s independence; one hundred eighty-three years ago, scientist Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction; one hundred seventy-two years back, the Nanking Treaty ended the conflict about England’s successful imposition of Opium imports on China; one hundred fifty-two years ago, the baby boy who would grow into Nobel Laureate and poet Maurice Maeterlinck took his first breath independent of his mother; one hundred thirty-seven years back, Brigham Young, the Latter Day Saints leader, died; a hundred twenty-nine years ago, Gottlieb Daimler patented the first internal-combustion engine motorcycle; one hundred sixteen years back, the Goodyear Tire Company incorporated; one hundred four years prior to the present, Japan forced the Annexation Treaty on the Koreans, inaugurating thirty-five years of formal, harsh Japanese oversight; ninety-eight years ago, the United States recognized the Philippines right to independence; ninety-two years ago, WEAF in New York City broadcast the first radio advertisement; seventy-one years back, Danish sailors scuttled most of their country’s navy, causing the Nazis to dissolve the government; seventy years ago, over 60,000 Slovak soldiers and citizens rose against their Nazi overlords; sixty-five years ago, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics exploded its first fission nuclear weapon; sixty-four years back, a small contingent of British troops arrived to support the U.S. war effort in Korea; fifty-six years ago, the U.S. opened the Air force Academy in Colorado Springs; forty-four years prior to the present pass, a Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War took effect, and in the police riot that followed, three citizens died, including journalist Reuben Salazar; thirty two years prior to this instant, iconic actress Ingrid Bergman died on her sixty-seventh birthday; twenty-three years back, the Supreme Soviet formally dissolved the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; nine years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall, starting the devastation that nearly destroyed New Orleans; seven years back, six H-bomb equipped cruise missiles flew across the U.S. with no security precautions.
SEARCH OF THE DAY
"united states" empire OR imperialism "u.s. citizens" OR americans benefit OR interest OR advantage disadvantage OR deleterious OR harmful = 33.3 Million cites.
TOP OF THE FOLD
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/29/mh17-a29.html A ‘let’s-talk-about-this-elephant-thing-in-the-living-room’ piece from World Socialist Website, examining the literal disappearance of corporate news coverage of one of the biggest stories of the millennium, the shooting down of MH-17, which Western governments and their media mouthpieces all screamed, for weeks, was the fault of Ukrainian rebels, Russians, and Vladmir-Putin-as-the-devil-incarnate himself, an overall position of skepticism and disbelief, by the way, that the exact opposite end of the ideological spectrum also espouses without hesitation–http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/six-big-lies-about-the-ukraine-washingtons-narrative-is-pure-propaganda/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mailing+List+Mid+Day+Friday: "(I)n one article on the crash, headlined ‘The strange silence of the investigators,’ (Der Spiegel, which has otherwise backed the U.S. POV) attempts to backtrack somewhat and at least intimate there are good reasons to doubt the official line put out by Washington and Brussels. The article refers to a letter sent to Barack Obama at the end of July by a group of former US intelligence officers. … their letter …accused Secretary of State Kerry of attempting to use the crash to blacken Russia, … . The Obama administration has never responded to the allegations… .The Spiegel article then goes on to quote reports in the Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times, which charge Ukraine with responsibility for the crash, citing one journalist who writes: ‘It is farcical that the country known for overseeing the world’s most sophisticated and far-reaching surveillance capabilities has sunk to citing grainy YouTube videos to justify its policy decisions.’"
NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Folks have two weeks from Monday to make comments about Net Neutrality at the FCC portal: , arguably a task that citizens–especially those who use words and rely on the web–might take seriously.
Anyone even vaguely neighboring Columbia, South Carolina ought to consider a lovely afternoon of improvisational theater and learning about power, consciousness, and liberation, all courtesy of the National Writers Union At-Large Chapter(labarreblackman: contact), in conjunction with the intellectual technology of Augusto Boal, author of Theater for the Oppressed.
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2014/08 A Library of Congress announcement about its upcoming eight week exhibit, in Washington, concerning the Magma Carta, as the 800th anniversary of the signing approaches in January.
http://iac.com/careers/job-listings The portal to IAC‘s job postings, whose media properties include The Daily Beast.
http://johnjayresearch.org/cmcj/juvenile-justice-fellowships/ John Jay College in New York’s Center for Media, Crime, & Justice fellowships for reporters who are covering youth and incarceration or similar issues.
http://www.loc.gov/folklife/events/botkin-lectures.html#sept5 A Folklife program from Library of Congress, scheduled for next Friday afternoon, in which a pair of intrepid peripatetic ethnomusicologist documentarians bring back their recordings of local singers from across the country to the Botkin Lecture.
http://act.ips-dc.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=7645&em_id=4202.0 The portal to Institute for Policy Studies annual Moffitt-Letelier Human Rights Awards on Tuesday morning, October 14, named for two writers and activists murdered by agents of Chile’s Secret Police who were part of the CIA-installed mass-murdering fascist apparatus of Augusto Pinochet.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
http://www.techrepublic.com/article A Tech Republic commentary and analysis about such ‘shared-economy’ ventures as Lyft and Airbnb, and about the trust and logistics that are necessary to move such ventures forward: "A new global economy can be good for many reasons. It can allow people to share their underused assets and make money. For instance, 56% of Airbnb hosts in San Francisco said the service helps them pay their rent, according to the company. The average RelayRides member makes an extra $250 a month. Forbes estimates the revenue people will earn from the sharing economy will surpass $3.5 billion this year, with a growth rate of 25%. ‘While people may not always get their income with a combination of Airbnb, Relay Rides, and TaskRabbit, this next generation of micro-entrepreneurship, or the freelance economy, people are becoming more and more comfortable with being responsible for their own income to a certain extent,’ (sharing venture executive)Anderson said."
http://portside.org/2014-08-28/students-barricades Oh my! An arguably essential Jacobin article, available through the good offices of Portside Labor, about the local bargaining unit of the United Auto Workers Graduate Student Organizing Committee that covers New York University, by one of the members of the chapter, in which activists and students committed to this process strongly criticize UAW leadership for lack of strategy and passivity: "In July, a group of bargaining committee members — graduate students elected by their peers to represent us in our negotiations with the NYU administration — released a statement highlighting the ‘concessionary strategy, demobilization of our membership, and opacity of the bargaining process’ on the part of UAW staff that they had witnessed over the course of the previous semester. That statement, which charged union leadership with failing to adequately communicate with the membership and with the marginalization of activist members who sought to create an campaign to support the bargaining process, called for a new strategy to win a strong contract: one based on transparency, accountability, and building democratic structures within our unit."
http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/2014/08/david-katz-hushed-up-hitler-factor-in.html An incredibly useful little brief from MikeNormanEconomics about the role and essence of Nazi involvement with the U.S. side of things in Ukraine: "The US is already well known for using black ops for overthrowing democratically elected governments and forming unsavory alliances when politically convenient, with the UK perceived as the US toady in this. But this has generally been more peripheral. Now it is taking place in the heart of Europe."
http://usdac.us/equity/ A port-of-entry to the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture initiative, a call to creativity for equity and justice in the creation of a cultural democracy, with an enlisting form–http://usdac.us/enlist/–attached: "I do hereby join with the US Department of Arts & Culture in asserting that:
access to culture is a fundamental human right;
culture is created by all and thus should represent all; cultural diversity is a social good and the wellspring of free expression; a deep investment in creativity is critical to cultivating empathy and social imagination; and art and artists are powerful forces for accomplishing social change and strengthening social fabric.
As a founding Citizen Artist, I pledge to all others affirming these values my creativity, integrity, and commitment to cultivate the public interest in art and culture and catalyze art and culture in the public interest."
http://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-underprivileged-children/5403/ A further evidence that the website, WalletHub, uses data and graphics and charting options to deliver powerful, timely, and crucially important information, in this instance about which States serve poor kids the best, or the worst, all of which would be an extremely helpful linkage for a union of scrappy writers.
http://entrepreneur.sfgov.org/ San Francisco’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, a useful or at least plausible model for problem solving, civic engagement, and more.
http://www.demos.co.uk/people/jamiebartlett Access to a Demos project, The Center for Analysis of Social Media, essentially the work of a University of Sussex professor whose research and writing and thinking about basic issues in this area are available for public consumption and consideration.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS
http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/08/28/ A powerful little essay from Tikkun that announces the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture initiative, which seeks both to engage artists in deconstructing oppression and to connect cultural workers and citizens so as to take action to relieve oppressive conditions, though in the context of a police-state apparatus that–to say the least–can be intimidating: "(M)y grandmother’s father was killed by Cossacks during a pogrom, and quite a few of my other forebears were murdered, forced out, or otherwise oppressed by men in official uniforms. Fearing the police was something we absorbed from infancy. I’ve filed a police report that the insurance company required when my apartment was ransacked by intruders, and I’ve gotten a traffic ticket, but that’s as close as I’ve come. I’ve participated in many demonstrations and public gatherings that caught the attention of the police, but despite my friends’ brave civil disobedience, I’ve never been arrested. When someone close to me mentioned that he’d recently called the police to intervene when a man seemed to be harrassing others in a public park, I was reminded that not everyone has this policy of steering clear. But I have it, and I’m sure I always will."
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/fashion/ferguson-reveals-a-twitter-loop.html?_r=0 Oh boy! A sobering look from the Times at just how true the law school evidence stories are about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony, in this case dealing with Twitter and other social media feeds from the heart of the action, as it were, in places like Ferguson, Missouri, about which many writers of various sorts often want to scribble something: "No one will argue that Twitter played an imperative role in ensuring that the events in Ferguson led to an international debate about police violence and race in America. But it was also responsible for creating and perpetuating numerous falsehoods. What’s worse, Twitter users sought out and shared accounts that aligned with their viewpoint, with little regard to whether they were true."
gigaom.com/2014/08/27/germany-mulls-ban-on-after-hours-work-emails-and-calls/ A GigaOm note about a development in a more socially democratic country, Germany, that would particularly please many freelance, contract, and fully employed writers, e.g., a legal ban on after-hours e-mails and social media posts from employers to their minions in off duty hours.
http://landers.bookbub.com/covers/?source=liveintent A portal to BookBub, which pitches itself as the gateway to "free and bargain best-selling e-books."
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/ A ‘do-what?’ moment, thanks to MediaPost that indicates that great writing, important research, beautiful content, and so forth, are pretty much useless from advertisers’ perspectives, going forward, that all that matters is that one is speaking directly to the buyers of whatever the marketing flacks are selling: "In this world of audience fragmentation, the foundation of marketers’ media strategies will have to be built first on finding, aggregating and communicating with specific people, not funding specific content. Without the attention certainty that monopoly distribution played in analog media, it won’t be good enough in the digital world to base the foundation of a media strategy around picking great content."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four Oh man! An irresistible "Act Four" column from WaPo, concerning the highly regarded tropes around "authorial intent," a subject(http://www.vox.com/2014/8/28/6078375/tony-soprano-hello-kitty-authorial-intent) that might be near and dear to at least a few scrappy writers, which the author here incisively contends is only resolvable as a willingness to deal with ambiguity in text: "’So how are we supposed to deal with authorial intent? The answer is a particularly important one for this moment, when authorial intent is easier to discern than ever before and when cultural affinities and interpretations have become so important as to constitute identity categories. I am all for respecting the basic facts of stories as they appear in the text. If J.K. Rowling writes a scene of Albus Dumbledore’s death, another of his funeral and a third that addresses her characters’ hopes that Dumbledore might still be alive and gives the same answer as before, it seems neither necessary nor interesting to try to prove her wrong. But I think there is something odd about the demand that creators give their imprimatur to fans’ feelings, as if those reactions are not valid on their own, or if they will make dissenters go away."
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/29/ A Times opinion essay by a stalwart conservative who looks into a monograph, The Intellectual Virtues, that break down into six categories what makes for ‘good moral character’ among journalists and other scribes who make their way with words.
http://www.marketplace.org A Marketplace assessment, and brief podcast, about the issues and possibilities of "co-working"–when freelancers, e-lancers, telecommuters, and so forth–share office space to reduce overhead and such.
http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/28/ One of those, ‘but-what-exactly-does-it-mean-to-me?’ moments, in the form of a TechCrunch article brief about Google’s decision to remove ‘authorship’ from its search results: "As writers, we always think that readers will care about our byline, but at least in search results, it looks like authorship — or how many people follow you on Google+, isn’t an important signal for most users."
http://www.mediapost.com Well, duh! A report from MediaPost that social media is emiserating its users: "’Social trust’ refers to the individual’s tendency to assume – or not assume – that strangers, as proxies for society in general, are benign and trustworthy, in the sense that they will ‘observe the rules of the game’ in basic social interactions by being polite and so on. The authors note that previous studies have shown social trust to be closely related to individual happiness. But a number of characteristics of social media threaten to undermine social trust."
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com A brief Hollywood Reporter profile of the White House’s choice for a new "Piracy Czar," to bird-dog copyright and intellectual property issues, the candidate an Emory Law grad and associate at one of D.C.’s most prestigious IP firms.
GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES
http://gigaom.com/2014/08/27 A warning against fatuous fancy from GigaOm, in relation to hopes that ‘big-data’ might represent some sort of magical politics-free cure-all for social mayhem or dis-ease: "But the reality appears to be that most of them remain as research, promising proofs of concept that are rarely applied to analyzing actual data or helping actual people. Save for a few exemplars and areas with a lot of easy money at stake — there are all sorts of startups and large vendors tackling health care and agriculture, for example — there’s just not a lot of action."
http://www.weforum.org/news An announcement about a new initiative on the part of the World Economic Forum, which proffers information and protocols in regard to WIF’s development of Internet management and integration and protection: "Specifically, the initiative seeks to provide an international, multistakeholder platform that brings together government, business and civil society leaders, along with the representatives of technical communities, to sustain and strengthen an effective and distributed approach to Internet governance."
http://benton.org/node/201303 A Benton.org summary of an InfoWorld essay that tries to wade through some of the bovine fecal matter that many commentators are putting out as the comment period about Net-Neutrality approaches its final two weeks.
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/ A downstream-of-Aereo court case against FilmOn, which the streaming firm is appealing on the grounds that it has a mandate to obtain the cable license for which it’s applied, all thanks to MediaPost.
http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/08/28An argument from Tikkun that mediation of Pope Francis’ recent statements about potential U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria had distorted, omitted, and otherwise mischaracterized key elements of what the Pope expressed, which was not, ‘Go Bomb-’em Barack!’: "He also warned against the misuse of force: ‘To stop the unjust aggressor is licit, but we nevertheless need to remember how many times, using this excuse of stopping an unjust aggressor, the powerful nations have dominated other peoples, made a real war of conquest.’He didn’t offer pat policy answers but suggested the United Nations should consider the key questions: ‘Is there an unjust aggressor? It seems there is. How do we stop him?’"
http://www.wired.com/2014/08/healthcare-gov/ A Wired report about the White House Chief Technology Adviser’s ‘switching coasts’ to leave Washington and continue working for the Feds in the Bay Area: "But Park is not departing the government, just continuing his efforts on a more relevant coast. Starting in September, he’s assuming a new post, so new that the White House had to figure out what to call him. It finally settled on technology adviser to the White House based in Silicon Valley. But Park knows how he will describe himself: the dude in the Valley who’s working for the president. President Obama said in a statement, ‘Todd has been, and will continue to be, a key member of my administration.’ Park will lead the effort to recruit top talent to help the federal government overhaul its IT. In a sense, he is doubling down on an initiative he’s already set well into motion: bringing a Silicon Valley sensibility to the public sector."
http://www.technologyreview.com/news An MIT Technology Review summary of the aftermath of the Time Warner Cable service meltdown for eleven and a half million customers, which, the author says, points to important issues concerning the reliability of our systems and the protocols that we need to improve them, the upshot of this the need for backup: "The lack of disclosure about accidental outages is itself a serious issue, says Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. ‘We ought to have standards for release of data by broadband providers to allow apples-to-apples comparisons and tracking of outages over time so the public, and policymakers, can gauge trends in connectivity,’ he says."
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-real-dark-net-goes-beyond-tor-sites A Motherboard posting from Vice Media that lets readers peer inside the curtain into some of the more obscure corners of the ‘dark web,’ places where trolls, practitioners of socially unacceptable behavior like purge-vomiting, and others hang out, though at times the activities portrayed are illegal, and for good reason: "He spoke to committed trolls, pro-anorexia forum visitors, semi-professional cam girls, and more besides. Over the span of a year, he observed and interacted with the different subcultures that have found a haven on the internet. Many of these might be perceived as seedy corners of the web. But Bartlett, who currently serves as the director of the Centre of the Analysis of Social Media at Demos, a British think tank, says that none of the forums he came across were straight-up, obviously immoral. Instead, he found that the communities were generally rather nuanced in their ethics. ‘It’s shades of grey,’ he told me over the phone. ‘It was far more morally ambiguous than I expected it to be: It was unclear where things were absolutely bad, or absolutely good.’"
http://www.novanewsnow.com/News/Local A briefing from a small Nova Scotia town that has suffered an e-mail network outage for a month as a result of malware.
http://vashiva.com/celebrate-the-anniversary-of-email-on-august-30/ The link to the technical guru who filed the first patent for electronic mail, with a nifty interactive timeline and other contextual bon mots for interlopers to peruse.
http://www.mediapost.com/publications A MediaPost Daily Online Examiner brief about New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for the Federal Communications Commission to treat broadband Internet Service Providers as utilities subject to monopoly control.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/29/arge-a29.html For anyone inclined to believe that easy answers are possible to the socioeconomic crises afflicting humanity, a bracing report and analysis from World Socialist Website about the most recent Argentine general strike, in which unions in opposition to the Kirchner government call stoppages to protest general conditions but no one seems motivated to arouse working people to actual action in the direction of people power.
http://www.france24.com/en/ A France24 breaking news brief to the effect that, all evidence or nuance to the contrary aside, the ‘West’ is going to buy the version of today’s happenings in Ukraine as a ‘Russian invasion.’
http://www.moonofalabama.org An assessment from Moon of Alabama that does believe in reasoning and evidence in addition to assertion and ‘journalism-by-official-press-releast,’ finding in the event that the empirical basis for accusing Russia of invading Ukraine is at best shaky and at worst a pack of lies: "These folks and the western news agencies that promoted the WMD in Iraq claims are now claiming a Russian "invasion" in Ukraine only to retract it when the damage is done. Warmongers. All of them."
http://thehill.com/policy/international/216200-obama-dodges-on-ukraine-invasion Fascinating propaganda from the hill, taking President Obama to task for not engaging assertions about Ukraine that the article then circularly factualizes, raising alarms as it goes.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/ A series of articles about what’s transpiring, and what might come down the pike, in regard to Islamic State in Iraq & Syria, from the Daily Beast, noting that the Pope did decidedly not endorse war in the event and that the President’s National Security Council cannot agree on a strategy.
http://justsecurity.org/14414/international-law-airstrikes-isis-syria/ A ‘murder-with-impunity’ international law posting from Just Security, that finds justifiably shocking the sense of arrogant high-handedness that the U.S. is bringing to the discussion of how to deal with ISIS, especially inasmuch as the ‘favorite flavor’ of the week is attacks on Syria, which the U.S. has been trying to try to find an excuse to conduct for at least going on ten years: "(T)he Syria government has now essentially stated that it is willing and able to cooperate with the United States in carrying out strikes against ISIS. And the Syrian government has said, ‘Any strike which is not coordinated with the government will be considered as aggression.’ In a statement that is a bit stunning when viewed in light of international law, the State Department spokesperson said earlier this week, ‘We’re not looking for the approval of the Syrian regime.’"
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/216205-we-dont-have-a-strategy-yet A report from The Hill about President Obama’s acknowledgment that his administration does not yet know what its strategy is in relation to ISIS, which Senators both Democratic and Republican have taken as a cue to insist on Congress’ involvement in choosing any action that is forthcoming.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39533.htm A crossposting from Information Clearinghouse of a Zero Hedge piece that makes the important announcement that as of now Russia will accept payment for hydrocarbons in either Rubles or Yuan, as well as providing the–full disclosure, this is a security’s analyst–dire news that this will cause implosion in the world economy, as if it’s not wrecked enough as is.
http://www.nytimes.com The Times report about the concluding phases of the trial against four Blackwater mercenaries to slaughtered seventeen Iraqis without any provocation any more substantial than a car that tried to extricate itself from a traffic jam that the operatives had caused: "Blackwater, once a major security contractor, came to symbolize American power run amok. The fallout from the shooting unraveled the company, which was sold and renamed Academi. There is no dispute that security contractors working for Blackwater Worldwide fired on the white Kia, killing a medical student and his mother. The Justice Department says the action was unprovoked and unjustified. Lawyers for four former contractors say the Kia looked like a car bomb bearing down on the convoy."
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/29/phoe-a29.html Another case of police murder, this time from Phoenix, in which the victim was a fifty-year old schizophrenic whose mother had called for a mental-health in-patient placement, the result of which was police’s shooting her to death because she threatened them with a hammer, resulting in mourners carrying her coffin from city hall to the prosecutor’s office and Phoenix’s mayor ordering an investigation: "There have been 31 cases of police shootings so far this year in Phoenix. The usual response to a law enforcement shooting in Maricopa County appears to be the same whether or not the person shot represented an immediate threat to an officer. The media accepts the prepackaged police version and predictable Maricopa County attorney’s findings without question."
GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS
Working Class Culture
http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/08/work-songs-and-other-laborlore-for-labor-day/ A Library of Congress Folklife blog that both offers up work songs, as well as other working class musical expression, and provides hyperlinked access to other Labor Day sites and citations–e.g.,
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/29 The Times’ examination of ‘hot’ real estate markets, rising rents, soaring evictions, and further social dislocation and inequality in various major housing markets.
http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/0 A model, even if nuance and deconstruction is de rigeur, of a project that ought to be available everywhere, San Francisco’s Entrepreneur-on-the-Spot initiative to apply technology and best-practices and capacitated individuals to civic problems.
http://www.techrepublic.com/article An overview and update about the critically important issue of the electrical grid’s current incapacity efficiently to deliver the safest, most reliable, and most sustainable renewable forms of electricity, so-called ‘smart-grid’ concerns.
http://ecowatch.com/2014/08/28 An EcoWatch conveyance of a podcast from the brilliant and prolific writer/investigator Harvey Wasserman, From Fukushima to Solartopia: An Atomic Meditation.
Detroit, MI Economic Indicator
http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/08 Just a fascinating contextualization from GovExec, which contends that Washington is the least accurate mirror of the United States possible, according to socioeconomic indicators: the best? Detroit, Michigan, according to a truly monumental new study from WalletHub–: "Detroit, on the other hand, was most similar. A scant 8.3 percent of the city’s households take in $150,000 or more annually, about 1 percent fewer than the national average. And in Detroit, slightly more than a quarter of households make do with less than $25,000 in annual income (again, compared with 24.1 percent nationally)."
http://www.technologyreview.com/review/ One of those amazing leads, this time from MIT Technology Review, to an article about a archeological DNA detective and some of his cohorts who are expanding the known parameters of what humanity includes and how we happened: "Ancient DNA will almost certainly complicate other hypotheses, like the African-origin story, with its single migratory human band. Ancient DNA also reveals phenomena that we have no other way of knowing about. When Pääbo and colleagues extracted DNA from a few tiny bones and a couple of teeth found in a cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, they discovered an entirely new sister group, the Denisovans. Indigenous Australians, Melanesians, and some groups in Asia may have up to 5 percent Denisovan DNA, in addition to their Neanderthal DNA."
http://magazine.good.is/articles/bali-and-bitcoin An article from Daily Good about a proposal to convert areas of archipelago South Pacific habitation to an all-Bitcoin-all-the-time currency status.
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41464.pdf For anyone who wonders whether a nuclear war might still happen with international continental ballistic missiles and such, a profferal from the Congressional Research Service, thanks to the diligence of Federation of American Scientists available to citizens, that presents an extensive White Paper on the planning and contingencies that our government is actively considering in regard to such end-of-humanity eventualities.
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R43698.pdf Another Congressional Research contextualization only accessible in virtual form thanks to FAS, in this case about a NATO summit in regard to Ukraine, hopefully not in such a fashion as to invoke the thinking of the previous document.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ An interesting contextualization from a Global Research correspondent about the panoply of participants in the Southwest Asian corner of the Eastern Mediterranean, in which the author forces readers to see what storylines don’t work, and which do: "The U.S. does not have a real friend in this fight because it already has what it wants, instability. All parties are expendable as we clearly seen with U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS in Iraq. Washington has friends in the Middle East, and that is Israel and the Gulf state dictatorships. Syria is back in the spotlight. Washington is determined to oust the Assad government and create a fragmented state as they did to Libya. By supporting Israel and its Gulf states allies including Turkey and Jordan militarily and economically, U.S. interests would be secure. In a sense, it is order out of chaos."