A Thought for the Day
If everyone on Earth—or, really, even a significant majority of us—successfully resolved to ‘do unto others’ as they would like others to ‘do unto them,’ goodness how different the world would be next New Years Eve.
Quote of the Day
“I’m living in the place they’re singing about(in the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’), but the description is not the place I live in.” Odetta.
This Day in History
Today is the Seventh Day of Christmas in the areas that subscribe to such things; Byzantine fighters fourteen hundred seventy-nine years ago completed their conquest of Sicily under the leadership of Belisarius, ousting the Gothic garrison from Palermo; an erstwhile forefather of modern Spain, James I of Aragorn led the troops that completed the reconquest of Majorca from Islamic control; five hundred thirteen years back, in the first major sea engagement to determine how strongly late Medieval European incursions would take hold, Indians from Calicut and environs sought to entrap four Portuguese warships and prevent their return to the Iberian Peninsula, which they failed to do, though vastly outnumbering the Europeans, since the superior weaponry and tactics of the invaders prevented the application of the South Asians’ superior manpower; ninety-nine years
subsequently, to the day, England chartered the East India Company to trade in the same region; and ninety-one years further on, in 1691, the brilliant chemist Robert Boyle died; and just four years down the road, in 1695, England imposed a levy of the owners of buildings that taxed the windows in each structure, which caused many owners to brick up these portals to air and light; Arthur Guiness two hundred fifty-five years back signed a nine-thousand-year lease, for 45-pounds-per-annum, to start brewing what has become the standard stout; two hundred eighteen years prior to the present pass, Baltimore first incorporated in Maryland; Ottawa, then a thriving logging town far from the main seats of power, on hundred fifty-seven years back, became Canada’s capitol by an edict of Queen Victoria; five years subsequently, in 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the creation of West Virginia into law, sundering the seceded ‘Capitol of the Confederacy’ and adding a new jurisdiction to the United States; Karl Benz one hundred thirty-six years before the here and now filed a patent for a two-stroke internal combustion engine that established the basis for one of the planet’s premier automotive companies, and in Uruguay the infant male who matured as the author of the macabre, Horacio Quiroga, came into the world; further North in the Americas or across the Atlantic, as the case may be, three hundred sixty-five days hence, in 1879, Thomas Edison oversaw the first successful public demonstration of an incandescent light, laying the basis for much of modern urbanity in so doing; one hundred seven years ago, the first massive New Years Eve celebration in central Manhattan took place in what would soon become Times Square; two years further on, in 1909, the Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic to and from Manhattan and Brooklyn; eighty-four years back, the baby girl was born who would enthrall the world with her rugged blues as Odetta; seventy-eight years ago, Miguel Unamuno, the eminent Spanish philosopher and literati, breathed his last while asleep, just weeks after he had stood up to fascists and lost his university post in Salamanca; five years further on, in 1941, the baby boy gave his first squall on the way to growing up as singer-songwriter John Denver; Harry
Truman sixty-eight years back announced formally the ending of all hostilities related to World War Two; the United States five years hence, in 1951, culminated its $13-billion-plus investment in the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and forestall Soviet influence; a decade later precisely, in 1961, Irish National Television broadcast its first programming; calling itself the Youth International Party forty-seven years ago, a group that others referred to as Yippies first came into existence; thirty-four years back, esteemed thinker and media theorist Marshall McLuhan died; three years on, in 1983, the U.S. split up the Bell system phone monopoly into five constituent parts; two years later, popular songwriter and crooner Ricky Nelson’s life ended; the official dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics occurred twenty-three years ago, one day after its sixty-ninth anniversary; exactly one year after that, in 1992, Czechoslovakia underwent its so-called ‘Velvet Divorce’ and broke into two separate states, Slovakia and the Czech Republic; fifteen years back, Boris Yeltsin resigned as Russia’s President, leaving Vladimir Putin in command of Russia; seven years later to the day, in 1906, an authoritative voice of sociology would speak no more, as Seymour Martin Lipset died; three years before this day, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched a rocket that carried two satellites that would successfully orbit the moon for a year and collect detailed data of its geology, gravitational fields, and surface structures.
SEARCH OF THE DAY "social democracy" "essential to" OR "necessity for" OR "crucial to" "human survival" = 8,620 Citations.
TOP OF THE FOLD
http://truth-out.org Another mandatory excerpt from TruthOut, in this case of Robert McChesney’s newest monograph, which combines incisive empiricism and contemporary reflection with his own in-depth political economic and sociopolitical assessment: “In short, when organized wealth wants one thing and the mass of the people wants another, money wins—always. ‘Democracy’ has been reduced to powerless people rooting for their favored billionaire or corporate lobby to advance their values and interests, and hoping
such a billionaire exists and that they get lucky. Doesn’t that sound like the oligarchy that was explicitly rejected in this nation’s founding in Philadelphia in 1776, and reaffirmed in Lincoln’s speech at the bloodstained earth of Gettysburg some four score and seven years later?…
In the coming decades we are almost certainly going to see a society the likes of which has never existed and can scarcely be imagined. I argue in this book that if that new society is going to be one in which we want to live, it will require fundamental change in the political economy. Capitalism as we know it has got to go.”
NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Wishing all members a happy and prosperous New Year!
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
New York, NY
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Social Media Manager
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Santa Monica, CA
The Kenyon Institute offers many residencies and programs for writers.
Signal Fire provides opportunities for artists and activists to engage in the natural world. Our projects instill self-reliance, catalyze creative energy, and invite interdisciplinary collaboration. We utilize public lands to advocate for the access to— and protection of— our remaining wild and open places in order to enrich and sustain society.
Benu Press – Throughout the months of December and January, Benu Press will open submissions for book-length manuscripts. We are reading fiction and essay collections with social justice themes. The author will receive a 20% royalty from book sales and 20 copies of the book. Books that have been previously published are not eligible. All work must be original work by the author.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
A posting from The Hill that discusses the views many of the Vatican’s traditional supporters have about the radical new pope, as he addresses the issues that truly matter to his constituents and to citizens of the world: “Francis’s agenda, which also includes calls to address income inequality and limit climate change, is putting him at odds with Republicans, including GOP Catholics in the United States. ”
A New York Times article that explains a novel way that bankers are predating on the poor, information of interest to anyone intererested in working with such communities: “For many borrowers, title loans, also sometimes known as motor-vehicle equity lines of credit or title pawns, are having ruinous financial consequences, causing owners to lose their vehicles and plunging them further into debt.”
WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS
A New York Times article that examines claims American workers make that the internet enhances productivity: “In a new online survey of American workers by the Pew Research Center, nearly half of the respondents said that the Internet, email and related technologies have made them more productive, while just 7 percent said that the technologies had made them less productive.”
GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES
A sobering look, from Media Post, at the effects that feeding the constant virtual narcissism machine has, not only on social media citizens’ psychological well being and basic self esteem, but on their perception of reality itself: “the really bizarre (and scary) part: the lies people tell on social media may make it impossible for them to access their real memories, as they come to believe the version of events they presented online. Indeed, one in ten respondents admitted they were no longer sure what actually happened in events they described on social media, rising to 16% of respondents ages 18-24.”
A TeleSur report that tells of yet another police shooting near Ferguson, an act that drew much protest in spite of police claims that the case had nothing in common with the more famous shooting that occurred there earlier: “However, Hoskins urged people to not draw comparisons with the high profile shooting of unarmed African American Michael Brown in Ferguson earlier this year, or the police killing of Eric Garner in New York in July.
“Our police officers are more sensitive, and it’s because of the black and white relationship that they interact,” he stated.
“That’s why I believe we’re different than the city of Ferguson,” he said.”
GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS
A Geopolitical Monitor article series that thoroughly explains, with graphs and charts, the ins and outs of an economy dominated by nuclear fission or fusion, including chilling visions into the role of wartime applications of this technology: “This article is part one in an editorial series on the legal, economic, and military dimensions of the nuclear industry and nuclear commerce in the 21st century.”