12.31.2014 Daily Links

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
"XRF 12days" by Xavier Romero-Frias
“XRF 12days” by Xavier Romero-Frias

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

"East India House by Thomas Malton the Younger" by Thomas Malton the Younger (1748-1804)
“East India House by Thomas Malton the Younger” by Thomas Malton the Younger (1748-1804)

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, brooklyn bridge crowd new york urbanThomas 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

Harry Truman at Desk Announcing End of WWII By Abbie Rowe, 1905-1967, Photographer
Harry Truman at Desk Announcing End of WWII By Abbie Rowe, 1905-1967, Photographer

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.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
 "social democracy" "essential to" OR "necessity for" OR "crucial to" "human survival" = 8,620 Citations.

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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

Jon Sullivan - public domain
Jon Sullivan – public domain

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

JOBS

Marketing and PR Manager

Influenster
New York, NY

Web Editor
Gulfstream Media Group
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Social Media Manager
Social Media Manager
Santa Monica, CA

CONTESTS/OPPS

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

Pope of the People Alienating Elite

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.
”

 

By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons
By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons

Car Title Loans Emiserate Further

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

Productivity and the Internet

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

 

social media - jmarketing - flickr
social media – jmarketing – flickr

Social Media Falsities and Exaggerations 

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.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

Ferguson Day 6, Picture 12 by Loavesofbread - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons
Ferguson Day 6, Picture 12 by Loavesofbread – Own work. 

More Police Shooting in Missouri

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

Nuclear World

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.”

 

12.30.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

An only infrequently acknowledged adjunct to the ‘law of averages’ is that polarities—in some shape, form, or fashion—ever comprise the mean, at least in relation to complex occurrences, so that the ability to recognize and manipulate this always dialectical reality is vastly more useful and important than is any hope, any prayer, of attaining some calm, steady state of twilight in which nothing goes too far astray or deviates from the central line that balances the highs and lows and lights and darks that inevitably make up a life and time.

Quote of the Day

“All these young millionaires were anarchists, of course: when a man possesses everything it is the supreme luxury for him to deny society: for in that way he can evade his responsibilities.”  Romaine Rolland, Jean Christophe.

This Day in History
"XRF 12days" by Xavier Romero-Frias
“XRF 12days” by Xavier Romero-Frias

In Western Christian tradition, today is the sixth day of Christmas; in Granada nine hundred forty eight years ago, a mob, largely Muslim, broke into the royal palace and crucified the Jewish vizier, after which many of the Jewish residents of the city suffered similar fates; a hundred ninety-eight years prior to the present pass, the United States bargained with three Native American clan-groups for land now part of Metropolitan Chicago, paying $1,000 over the course of twelve years for the plus-or-minus two hundred square miles; nine years afterwards exactly, in 1825, in another of the series of Treaties of St. Louis, the U.S. paid another pittance for the lands that now make up the Southeastern Missouri town of Cape Girardeau; the U.S. bought a sliver of land from Mexico one hundred sixty-one years before the here and now, a tiny slice to augment what the U.S. stole the previous decade; twelve years precisely thereafter, in 1865, a male infant was born who would grow up to write poetry and win the Nobel Prize as Rudyard Kipling; laying the basis for breaking the USSR_Emblem_1936British control of India into Muslim and Hindi nations, one hundred eight years ago, the All-India Muslim League first met in Dacca, East Bengal—now Bangladesh; ninety-two years back, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics formally came into existence; fourteen years later to the day, in 1936, United Auto Workers member started their first sitdown strike in Flint, Michigan; six years subsequently, in 1942, the baby boy uttered his first cry en route to a life of science and criticism and literature as Vladimir Bukovsky; seventy years back, French playwright and Nobel Prize winner Romaine Rolland died; two years after that, in 1946, the girl child came into the world who would mature as rocking songwriter and poet, Patti Smith; Romania’s last king, Michael I, abdicated as a result of Soviet rule sixty-seven years ago, and on the other side of Europe, philosopher Alfred North Whitehead breathed his last in England; the United States ceased heavy bombing strikes against North Vietnam forty-two years back; Israel and Vatican City twenty-one years subsequently, in 1993, first established diplomatic relations; eight years back, Saddam Hussein ended his days with a noose around his neck.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
dialectic polarity inherent OR inescapable OR necessity science society meaning analysis comprehension OR wisdom OR understanding = 48,300 Results.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

https://www.jacobinmag.com  A look from within the electoral thicket, in the most recent Jacobin, at the problems and prospects, necessity and inadequacy of contemporary working class political forms–whether Green or Labor or socialist: “Hawkins and I are both socialists, but this campaign didn’t emphasize the distinct contributions of socialism and socialist ideas.  Instead it put forward,solidarity broadly speaking, an independent working-class agenda for reform.
I’m proud of the work that socialists put into this campaign — including my comrades in the International Socialist Organization and those from Socialist Alternative and other socialist groups as well.  I intend to continue organizing explicitly as a socialist, which I think is an essential ingredient in the strengthening of a broader working-class movement in this state, in the country, and in the world.
Whether socialists can — as socialists — fill the electoral space to the left of the Democratic Party remains to be seen.  Perhaps a red-green alliance will be a model for future collaborations, or perhaps some other model will work better.  Regardless of the specific form, we need a stronger socialist movement and a stronger labor movement and an independent political movement — those things need each other to succeed.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

JOBS

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 10 regional networks that deliver more than 2,400 live sporting events annually, along with breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming, to more than 50 million homes. 

Baltimore, MD  – You’ll be responsible for making our website — www.dailyreckoning.com — the leading source for independent investment ideas in the financial publishing industry.

Fort Lauderdale, FL, – Immediate opening for a Web Editor for six city/regional print lifestyle magazines, four interior design titles, and their complementary websites. 

CONTESTS/WRITING OPPS

FanStory.com offers different sorts of contests on a recurring basis – http://www.fanstory.com/contests.jsp?at=246

 

Little Red Tree: International Poetry Prize

Deadline: December 31. Little Red Tree Publishing is proud to announce its 5th International Poetry Prize, with a first prize of $1,000, runner-up $250, and $50 to five finalists.

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize

Deadline: December 31. The Dorset Prize includes a cash award of $3,000, publication by Tupelo Press, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

book sq6States Poets Laureates

A Library of Congress post about the poet laureate position, and the current title holders for each state: “‘Tis the season to be jolly, especially if you’re a poetry lover in North Carolina or Ohio!”

 

Inadequacy of Two Party System

A Naked Capitalism offering that sheds light into the uselessness and lack of efficacy of a two party system that becomes more and more meaningless to a larger chunk of Americans, in the wake of recent election results: “Though Republicans jubilate now, the trend is probably as threatening to them as it is to the Democrats. The reason is stark: Increasing numbers of average Americans can no longer stomach voting for parties that only pretend to represent their interests. “

 

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

privacy-policy-445153_640Hacktivist Indictment a Blow to Journalism

A Who What Why article analyzing a recent case against an activist journalist who exposed the national security machinery, and the implications this has for journalists everywhere: “No matter what interpretation the judge makes, there is little doubt that Brown’s prosecution has had an immediate impact on journalism.

Quinn Norton, a journalist who covers the Anonymous movement, told the court: “The concept you could be held responsible for a link is absolutely chilling for what I do. It’s absolutely chilling to what 21st Century journalism will be.””

 

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

Web System Organization Hacked

A posting by The Hill that talks about a potentially politically-motivated hacking attack that  a prominent web system organization suffered late last month: “ICANN’s responsibility for the critical back end of the Web is granted by a contract from the U.S. government that is renewed every two years. The Obama administration caused a stir earlier this year by announcing plans to cede oversight of the system allowing Internet addresses to work.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

 

By World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons
By World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons

Russia and NATO Tensions

A chilling Common Dreams article that states in pretty serious terms the potential effects of escalating tensions between Russia and NATO: “The doctrine, which Putin signed as Russia’s economic power and international relations continue to deteriorate, maintains many of the provisions put into place in its previous edition, signed in 2010. Among those is the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons in retaliation to other nations targeting Russia or its allies with weapons of mass destruction—though the doctrine concedes that those scenarios are unlikely.

A new provision, however, adds that Russia could use precision weapons “as part of strategic deterrent measures,” without elaborating on how and when those weapons would be used.”

 

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Accountability in Published Science

A Pacific Standard article about an alarming trend that has shown up that betrays lack of accountability in the publishing of scientific findings, and the initiative planned to overcome this problem:  “Last January, the two top-ranking officials at the National Institutes of Health wrote that “the checks and balances that once ensured scientific fidelity have been hobbled” by a growing tendency to cut corners. They announced that the NIH is planning “significant interventions” to ensure that we can trust the results that are published.”

12/29/2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

As terrifying as are the jaws of the great white shark or the maw of a striking crocodile, or countless other beasts that might make a meal, or an end, of a lively human, their impact on our lives is infinitesmal in comparison to the micro-predators whose clutches we can no more escape, on average, than can any living thing evade the reaping that is the fate of all that is animal.

Quote of the Day

“Physick, says Sydenham, is not to bee learned by going to Universities, but hee is for taking apprentices; and says one had as good send a man to Oxford to learn shoemaking as practising physick.”  Thomas Sydenham, on the practice of medicine.

 

This Day in History

In the Northern European tradition, today is the fifth day of Christmas; followers of England’s second king named Henry murdered Thomas Becket eight hundred forty-four years ago in the Canterbury Cathedral, which led to the priest’s subsequent canonization in both the Catholic and Anglican Churces; five

“Noel 2005 Pékin tombeaux Ming voie des âmes” by ofol

hundred eighty-seven years back, Ming Dynasty occupying forces, having for two decades dominated Dai Viet, the name that Vietnamese used for the better part of eight centuries till 1800, withdrew altogether and Vietnam conducted its affairs under its own aegis; five hundred six years before the present pass, Portuguese colonizers furthered their hold on Indian claims at the Battle of Dombhat; three and a quarter century back, English thinker and physician Thomas Sydenham, who made the first tasty Laudanum, drew his final breath; Cherokee elders signed the New Echota treaty, which one hundred seventy-nine years ago ceded all tribal claims to land East of the Mississippi River; a decade afterward exactly, in 1845, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, which entered the union as the twenty-eighth State, a slave jurisdiction; one hundred twenty-four years back, U.S. cavalry troops slaughtered upwards of 300 Lakota Sioux, primarily women and children and elderly, at Wounded Knee South Dakota; James Joyce a century before the here and now, began to serialize A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in The Egoisteight years closer to the present, in 1922, a male infant uttered his first cry en route to a life as the writer and critic William Gaddis; nine decades back, the Swiss Nobel-Prize winning poet Carl Spitteler died; two years later, in 1926, Austrian poet and writer Rainer Maria Rilke took his last breath; eighty-four years ago, the Persian 110px-Iqbaland Urdu poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal first outlined, in a presentation at Allahabad, his proposal for the creation of Pakistan in what was then Northwest India; a baby girl was born sixty-eight years back who would grow up to become the hard-hitting crooner Marianne Faithful; fifty-five years ago, Richard Feynman made a presentation, There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, that has since come to represent the initiation of nanotechnology; three decades subsequently, in 1989, riots erupted in Hong Kong at the decision to force repatriation on Vietnamese nationals in the province; sixteen years back, the government of Guatemala and rebels there agreed to a peace accord that ended nearly four decades of fighting; precisely a decade hence, in 2006, England discharged its final indebtedness to the United States from World War Two.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
lawsuits OR litigation anti-depressants OR prozac "product liability" OR negligence settlements OR "settled out of court" "gag order" OR "in camera" = 92,000 Hits.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

http://truth-out.org    An essay and analysis from TruthOut that examines the interaction of built environments and povery, and the fashion that police states emerge according to this geography of poverty, so to speak: “Freeways run through ghetto and barrio, and not through white elite neighborhoods because freeways are huge ugly concrete barriers, and they reduce real estate value and add pollution.  In TV and film, the freeway is only a fantasy. In Nightcrawler, – an attempt to create an ironic and cynical look at Boston City Flowmedia – among its greatest dishonesties is the way driving is seen as congestion-free, and apparently free of traffic policing.  One cannot arrive at a shooting ahead of the police, not by 20 minutes anyway; but more, one cannot drive at 110 mph through Brentwood or Bel Air or even rich parts of the San Fernando Valley without attracting police attention.  Pretending surveillance doesn’t exist can be useful for screenwriters.  The real scenario played out on the streets of El Lay is far more nightmarish than such soft film satire allows.  Where were those private security cops one sees in every affluent neighborhood in the United States?
The protests following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are bringing home images of urban decay along with the other more direct messages.  Much as Israeli space is bisected by highway/barrier, and by default, creating barren scorched earth space in between centers of approved living (for Israelis, not Arabs), so the US freeway and highways system has evolved into class divisions and escape routes for rich, white-collar workers to move between gated home communities and urban business spaces or industrial parks.
The far suburbs of Los Angeles tend to reflect the same sense of driving between outposts of safety and through denuded hostile concrete roads and walls.  The strip mall is the signature architectural expression of 21st century western America.  But even in more vertical eastern cities, the roads and bridges now serve as containment sites.  The highway or freeway is now the conduit for both literal and commercial product, but also symbolically it is a concrete leviathan, the sign of carbon excess and of a new siege mentality of the militarized police.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

JOBS

– The Courier-Journal : Page Editor/Designer (Louisville-KY) – 12/17/14
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8897

– Gannett Co. Inc. : TV Producer (Springfield-VA) – 12/19/14
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8901

– Topeka Capital-Journal : Digital Sports Coordinator/Desk Editor (Topeka-KS) – 12/25/14
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8907

CONTEST/SUB OPPS

The Tishman Review, a new quality literary magazine debuting mid-January, is inviting writers to submit poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction and book reviews. The editorial staff plans to read all year long. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.WpNgPURA.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/
Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

Author and writer T. Gene Davis publishes and distributes a new speculative fiction story every Monday to subscribers of her blog of the same name. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.WpNgPURA.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/
Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

Interactive Fiction Fund is a new (not-for-profit) community-supported fund to support and develop the formation of interactive fiction by both experienced and emerging writers. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.WpNgPURA.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/
Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

jara-etc chile protestChilean Activism

A Foreign Policy in Focus piece showing the value of Chilean activism, and the possibility of a model for other populations elsewhere: “Although many of the protests of 2011 — the year of Occupy Wall Street — have faded, Chilean students and workers managed to win many of their demands. This experience offers important lessons for popular movements struggling for similar goals around the world. By focusing on tangible demands, making broad partnerships, and linking to the larger platform of economic inequality, Chilean protesters changed the rules of the game.”

Curbing of Predatory Lending 

A ProPublica offering that documents attempts to curb predatory lending practices that take advantage of military members: “The action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which enforces federal consumer laws, is the latest move by regulators and the Department of Defense to curb predatory practices by companies that target members of the armed forces around the country. “

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Lashing Out Against Whistleblowers

A Common Dreams article that shows the actions one former member of the armed forces undertakes to punish both a famous whistleblower and the documentary crew that helped bring his message to the public: “According to the lawsuit, Edwards believes that the revelations—many of which are still being newly published—caused “irreparable damage to the safety of the American people.” His suit aims to prevent “dangerous disruption of foreign affairs due to irresponsible conduct of disloyal government operatives and entertainment industry collaborators”.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

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Activism and Journalism in New Era

A Nieman Lab piece that discusses future scenarios in terms of technology, media, and journalism, taking current social and economic realities into account: “Again, I understand this may seem anathema to some, but people today need more than headlines and stories. They need more than data, visuals, and explanations. They need more than journalism. They need an empathy-driven service to improve their lives, their communities, and our world.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

Banksters  Repaying Cities

An In These Times piece that tells of at least one small way that cities can force banks to pay for the carnage caused due to bank greed: “Foreclosure bonds give the city a means to fund necessary repairs and demolitions, but they also act as a powerful inducement for banks to keep up their properties in the first place. Since payment of a bond is required only if a property becomes vacant, the measure could even provide an incentive for banks to help homeowners avoid foreclosure in the first place.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Time Management In a Busy World

An Economist piece about the dearth of time we seem to have in the current world, which in the end is yet another symptom of a diseased profit-driven society: “The problem, then, is less how much time people have than how they see it. Ever since a clock was first used to synchronise labour in the 18th century, time has been understood in relation to money. Once hours are financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. When economies grow and incomes rise, everyone’s time becomes more valuable. And the more valuable something becomes, the scarcer it seems.”

12.24.2014 Daily Links

 

A Thought for the Day

Whatever the spiritual and evocative symbolism or other content of our holy days, whether marked by shopping or some deeper reverence, their actual function–at least at their inception–always corresponds to the most ancient human ‘hopes and fears of all the years’ in relation to light and dark, life and death, vital warmth and frigid doom.

Quote of the Day

“Every time we are confronted with a new revolution we take to the opium pipes of our own propaganda. …There must be renewed recognition that societies are kept stable and healthy by reform, not by thought police; this means there must be free play for so-called subversive ideas – every idea subverts the old to make way for the new. To shut off subversion is to shut off peaceful progress and to invite revolution and war.”  I.F. Stone.

 

This Day in History

Eight centuries and seven decades ago, a Christian outpost of the early Crusades fell to a Muslim force that claimed this region in present day Turkey, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, for

"BattleOfHoms1299" by unknown - BNF Nouvelle acquisition française 886, fol. 31v[1].
“BattleOfHoms1299” by unknown – BNF Nouvelle acquisition française 886, fol. 31v[1].
Islam; one hundred sixty-three years back, Jefferson’s dreamed repository of all the world’s knowledge burned at the Library of Congress; just a year more than a century-and-a-half before this day, the much celebrated novelist and critic William Makepeace Thackeray died; as the devastation of the collapsed Confederacy spread a hundred forty-nine years prior to the present pass, the Ku Klux Klan came into existence in South Central Tennessee; eight years later in time, in 1873, educational philanthropist Johns Hopkins’ life came to an end; history’s first radio broadcast a hundred eight years back offered listeners poetry, public speaking, and a violin solo; a single quick lunar spin after that, in 1907, the

"Buzz salutes the U.S. Flag" by NASA   Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Buzz salutes the U.S. Flag” by NASA

baby boy was born whom destiny had selected as iconic journalist and ‘comforter of the afflicted,’ I.F. Stone; just a year beyond a century ago, copper cartel hired thugs brought about a stampede among miners in a crowded dancehall in which over seventy victims died of suffocation or blunt trauma, almost sixty of them children; a year afterward, in 1914, a grassroots Christmas armistice spontaneously evolved all along World War One’s Western Front, with Germans and ‘allied’ forces in a complex dance of fraternization, mutual worship, gift exchange, and even soccer matches, acts thereafter forbidden as treason, and on the same day essayist, environmentalist, and Sierra Club Founder John Muir took his final breath; a baby girl came into the world eighty-seven years before today who would grow up as the wildly popular mystery writer Mary Higgins Clarke; an Argentine working class champion who was twice President of Argentina despite the landed rich’s hatred of him, Hipolito Yrigoyen, eighty-five years ago survived an assassination attempt that a Central Intelligence Agency predecessor, Standard Oil of New Jersey, had funded and

"Oil well"  Flcelloguy at en.wikipedia - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
“Oil well” Flcelloguy 

helped to organize; precisely a decade hence, in 1939, the twelfth Pope Pius, while in support of much of the fascist project—especially its fervent obsession with destroying ‘godless communism’—issued a Christmas call for peace during the initial stages of Europe’s World War Two; Libya sixty-three years before the here-and-now first gained its modern independence, in this case from Italian colonial rule; three hundred sixty-five days hence, a baby boy first squalled en route to becoming popular ‘conservative’ commentator Christopher Buckley; a half-century back to the day, Viet Cong fighters attacked a hotel in downtown Saigon to demonstrate that American firepower would not stop revolutionary uprising anywhere in the South; four years later, in 1968, a Christmas Eve relay from the moon broadcast radio programming from the astronauts aboard Apollo Eight, which circled the moon a total of ten times in its flight; a year further on, to the day, Charles Manson received permission to conduct his own defense in his murder trial; the District of Columbia forty-one years ago received its right from Congress to oversee its own affairs and to elect a Representative to Congress; six years after to the day, in 1979, a consortium of European States first launched a successful rocket, Ariane, as the initial step in establishing an independent European presence in space; twenty-one years back, author and evangelist Norman Vincent Peal drew his last breath; eight years ago, iconoclastic and radical Harold Pinter, deservedly celebrated as a Nobel Prize Laureate for his plays, died in London.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
holidays "holy days" OR "ancient ritual" OR "prehistoric rites" "cosmic mystery" OR supernatural history OR origins evolution = 192,000 Results.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

PLUTOCRATIC WEAPONS SYSTEM

http://pando.com        A passionate and extremely well-informed condemnation of the political economic skullduggery of the present military plutocracy, especially in relation to the ascension of the F-35 fighter-project disaster, which will finally eliminate the so-called Warthog aircraft that stands as the best close support aircraft in history,though, having proven these points, the ultimate rationale for favoring the ‘Warthog’ over other systems is that it is a more cost-effective method for conducting imperial slaughter: “The A-10 war planes Flugzeuge Junkers Ju 87is popular enough that the USAF had to come up with a reason for wanting to get rid of it, and the one it produced is the sort of thing that would make any psych-therapist chuckle with glee: The USAF said it needed maintenance personnel to handle its precious new high-priced fighter, the F-35…and that the only place it could get them from was the maintenance crews currently keeping the A-10 flying.  Nope, there were no other options!  The only way to find a good crew is to gut the one effective ground-attack aircraft the USAF has in its inventory, in favor of the worst fighter ever designed.
It makes no sense. I’ll just say that right up front.  The reason it doesn’t seem to make any sense is that it doesn’t.  There are no secret reasons here, no top-security considerations that justify any of this.  It’s corruption, pure and simple.  The sooner you understand that the US defense industry has nothing at all to do with defending America, and everything to do with making Dick Cheney’s buddies even richer, the more quickly you’ll be able to understand what’s going on.
I used to believe the Navy was the most corrupt of all the services, but going by recent form I’d have to say that slimed-up torch has been passed to a new service.  The USAF now wins as the most deeply corrupt of all. In fact, it’s no contest.”

 

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

JOBS

Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Pyramid Consulting Group
New York, NY

Senior Associate, Digital
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington, DC

Account Executive, the Knot Concierge Program
XO Group & the Knot
New York, NY

SUB OPPS

Founded in 1980, Milkweed Editions is an independent book publisher. Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.

Port Yonder Press – Submissions are coming in for the Eastern Iowa Review, and we’ve already accepted several stories/nonfiction articles. We hope you consider sending in your very best work! We especially need 6 to 10 b&w interior illustrations. See guidelines

Speculative Literature Foundation offers many opportunities for writers, including grants listing and other resources.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Postal Worker Challenges and Organization

A Nation article outlining the ways the government eviscerates an admirable, affordable, and effective mail delivery system: “Even as

Thomas Hawk - flickr
Thomas Hawk – flickr

United States Postal Service employees get the job done, with a better track record of care and efficiency than private competitors, the postal service itself is under attack. Pressured by extreme demands from Congress and hamstrung by outdated restrictions on how it can operate, the USPS faces financial challenges that are real—but those challenges can be addressed with relative ease. Unfortunately, instead of taking steps to ease the burden it created (with a 2006 requirement that the service prefund retiree benefits for the next 75 years), Congress ignored the issue.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

A Simple Protocol for Greater Productivity

A simple tool that helps with the great demon Procrastination, simple to understand and execute: “I call this little strategy the “2–Minute Rule” and the goal is to make it easier for you to get started on the things you should be doing.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

Dystopic Feminist Book Today

A Verge take on a famous book in its ongoing series that analyses the validity and viability of works of the past to the modern day: “The world of 1984 has never existed. Neither has the one of Brave New World, or A Clockwork Orange, or any of the other dystopias that are supposed to tell us about the human condition. But all you have to do to recreate The Handmaid’s Tale is go back a few hundred years or move to the right country. A paranoid, in this case, is just a woman in possession of all the facts.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Austerity in Ukraine

A World Socialist Web Site that explains the things Ukraine must resort to in order to not sink under the weight of the current moment: “The program proposes to implement extreme austerity policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international creditors. In his remarks before parliament, Yatsenyuk insisted, “Nobody will give us aid just for nothing. In order to get it, we need to carry out the very same harsh reforms that we talked about in the elections.””

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

 

Jon Sullivan - public domain
Jon Sullivan – public domain

Taxpayers Bailout Irresponsible Banksters Again

From Counterpunch, an article that shows not only the ways that banksters steal citizens money, but the ways the lawmakers who are supposed to represent us tend to collude with them to rape us: “Warren and Representative Maxine Waters came close to killing the spending bill because of this provision. But the tide turned, according to Waters, when not only Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, but President Obama himself lobbied lawmakers to vote for the bill.”

12.23.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

Grotesque catastrophe, in the form of fire or flood or both at once or all manner of other natural or ‘man-made’ cataclysms, can as obviously strike as any moment as a sneeze can emanate from one’s sinuses right this second: rather than suggesting a tortoise-like response to this omnipresent imminence of disaster, however, this universal presence of doom’s grim grooms impels us to live for this moment’s sweetness if we want to live at all.

Quote of the Day

“I’ll tell you brother, and I won’t lie, what’s the matter in this land:

Drink at will and vote it dry, hide it if they can.

Well the rich they party, and they all get drunk, and they call it society,

But if they catch you with a pint, good morning penitentiary!”  Jorma Kaukonen; Prohibition Blues.

 

This Day in History

radishes-322831_640Today in Oaxaca, Mexico will yield the Night of the Radishes, and in South Sudan is Children’s Day; in ongoing conflicts between Islamic Arabs and leaders of the Byzantine empire a thousand fifty two years back, Byzantine forces succeeded in storming and holding the city of Aleppo; more or less exactly six hundred ten years subsequently, in 1572, a Lutheran radical preacher in Heidelberg, Johann Sylvan, lost his head because he had affirmed the Unitarian godhead, in a context in which the Lutheran hierarchy and the Catholics had established an uneasy truce that revolved around agreeing that a holy trinity held sway; a hundred ninety-one years ago, an anonymous story that some people then—and most people since—have called The Night 183px-Twas_the_Night_Before_Christmas_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17135Before Christmas, first became available to read and perform; precisely eleven years after, in 1834, thinker and writer Thomas Malthus died; that a hundred thirty-eight years before the here-and-now, ‘Great Powers’ leaders assembled at the Constantinople Conference in order to iron out protocols for increasing Balkan, particularly Bulgarian, autonomy from Ottoman rule; a century and a year back, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, establishing a strong if opaque central banking framework for the U.S.; six years later to the day, in 1919, England’s Parliament approved the Removal of most social disqualifications on women, including jury service and the right to belong to societies, receive licenses, and much more; seven years later, in 1926, a male infant drew his first breath en route to working as a popular psychologist, poet, and author by the name of

By Bill Abbott
By Bill Abbott

Robert Bly; a baby boy was born seventy-four years prior to this moment, who would both grow up as Jorma Kaukonen and write and perform popular songs as a musician with the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna; sixty-seven years ago, Bell Lab scientists in New Jersey successfully demonstrated the operation of transistors; seven years afterward, in 1954, two surgeons successfully carried out the first kidney transplant; nine years hence, in 1963, the baby girl came into the world who would grow up to popular and critical acclaim as the author, Donna Tartt, who would write widely distributed and provocative novels and essays and stories; thirty-five years back, Soviet troops first occupied Kabul in the U.S.S.R.’s attempt to control Afghanistan; Slovenia’s citizenry twenty-four years ago voted overwhelmingly to separate from Yugoslavia in order to form a republic; a year prior to this day, the ninety-four year old designer of the world’s standard assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, took his final breath.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
prohibition "black market" corruption inevitability = 3,100,000 Hits.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

DRUGS & DEATH & MILITARY HEFT

http://www.telesurtv.net        One of several recent retrospectives on the imperial template for murder-and-coup, the invasion of Panama in 1989 to overthrow and arrest CIA agent and legendary drug-runner, Manuel Noriega: “The drug war is still the rhetorical rationale for U.S. military involvement in the region, especially in

Thomassin Mickael
Thomassin Mickael flickr

Mexico, Panama, and other Central American countries.  The United States and U.S.-supported Colombian officers train Panamanian police and naval personnel at the successor to the School of Americas in Georgia and in Panama.  The United States has built several new small naval bases – nominally run by Panamanian forces – on the isthmian coasts to interdict traffickers.  A Pentagon contractor also continues to test the effects of the tropical climate on military equipment in Panama.
But the drug war’s failure to stem drug abuse in the United States – now embodied in prescription drug and opiate addiction – and the war’s displacement of trafficking organizations, retail drug markets, and violence to countries and areas not previously affected is leading to many local reforms and to demands to repeal the global prohibitionist framework.  The United Nations special session on drug policy in June 2016 will take up these demands and the search for effective policy.  It would be a fitting legacy of the brutal U.S. invasion of Panama if these processes result in the widespread rejection of military responses to illicit drug markets.”

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Pyramid Consulting Group
New York, NY

Senior Associate, Digital
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington, DC

Account Executive, the Knot Concierge Program
XO Group & the Knot
New York, NY

SUBMISSION OPPS

The Psychopomp Magazine staff is committed to publishing original fiction that dares to redefine traditional storytelling and genre borders. While we like stories that treat the concepts of passages, transitions, and the state of being betwixt and between, we are open to all work regardless of theme. Open to submissions after Feb. 1, 2015

ESME [Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere] is a social media platform dedicated to Solo Moms who face the challenge of solo parenting in a society that provides little help or guidance. Creative writing awards and call for Essays, Poetry, and Short Stories.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Japanese Solar Potential

An MIT Technology Review offering about the complexities and hidden agendas in regard to renewable energy in Japan, where the

“Solar panels in Ogiinuur” by Chinneeb – Own work.

potential is incredible but the final follow up has been less than stellar: “Yet this explosion of solar capacity marks a bittersweet triumph for Japan’s solar-panel manufacturers, which had led the design of photovoltaics in the 1980s and launched the global solar industry in the 1990s. Bitter because most of the millions of panels being installed are imports made outside the country. Even some Japanese manufacturers, including early market leader Sharp, have taken to buying panels produced abroad and selling them in Japan.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Haters and Trollbusters

A fascinating expose from MIT Technology review that reads like Scandinavian murder mystery and addresses a common symptom of

"Internet1" by Rock1997 - Own work
“Internet1” by Rock1997 – Own work

today’s internet age: “It is generally no longer acceptable in public life to hurl slurs at women or minorities, to rally around the idea that some humans are inherently worth less than others, or to terrorize vulnerable people. But old-school hate is having a sort of renaissance online, and in the countries thought to be furthest beyond it. The anonymity provided by the Internet fosters communities where people can feed on each other’s hate without consequence. They can easily form into mobs and terrify victims. Individual trolls can hide behind dozens of screen names to multiply their effect. And attempts to curb online hate must always contend with the long-standing ideals that imagine the Internet’s main purpose as offering unfettered space for free speech and marginalized ideas.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Eavesdropping and Prying in a Global Digital Age

A fascinating Conversation piece about the ways that human’s propensity to gossip, snoop, or otherwise get in other people’s business can proliferate exponentially with current social media and technological tools, with both positive and questionable consequences: “The term crowdsleuthing, a portmanteau of crowdsourcing and sleuthing, arrived in the fall-out of the Boston Marathon bombing and refers to how huge numbers of people can organise online and help carry out a search or analyse data.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

 

By Jialiang Gao www.peace-on-earth.org
By Jialiang Gao www.peace-on-earth.org

Hispanic Approval of Cuban Acceptance

A Hill report documenting the positive response from Latin America to Obama’s recent decision, though the decision inevitably belies American interests in shaping Cuba’s future along lines it finds more savoury: “Gary Clyde Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that the U.S. can play a big role in what happens on the island.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Children as Victims of Criminalization and Imprisonment

A Hechinger Report analysis of the damage that children suffer due to the toxic pervasiveness of the Prison Industrial Complex: “A growing body of research suggests that one of the most pernicious effects of high adult- incarceration rates can be seen in the struggles of children like Steven Alexander, who often lose a crucial source of motivation and support with their parents behind bars. Stories like his are far too common today, forty years after the nation’s prison boom began wreaking havoc in African-American communities, which have been disproportionately affected by the ballooning incarceration rate. “

12.22.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

The lance of wisdom and insight can only cut through veils of ignorance and mystery where the thirst for knowledge outweighs the terror of honest evaluation.

Quote of the Day

wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience. I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow-men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven — the living only from whom men’s indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it — it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition — make haste — oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations.”   George Eliot; The Lifted Veil.

This Day in History

Today is National Mathematics Day in the Subcontinent, and the final twenty-four hours of Solstice Celebrations around the globe; the third Pope who had taken the name Honorious seven hundred P_Scienceninety-eight years ago gave his seal of approval to the Conservative order of priests that we know as Dominican; three and three quarter centuries before this day, a baby boy came squalling into the world en route to fame as a poet and playwright whom people knew as Jean Racine; in ongoing fighting between Russians and Ottomans, two hundred twenty-four years back, Russian armies captured Izmail, a Turkish stronghold, via a frontal assault; two hundred seven years ago, Congress passed a general embargo on foreign trade which sought to force France and England, through economic sanctions, both to stop kidnapping U.S. sailors to work on their fighting ships and to end the general plunder of shipping that was about to ‘trade with the enemy’ of these two European powers; exactly a year

"Piano Andrés Bello" by Jorge Barrios - Own work.
“Piano Andrés Bello” by Jorge Barrios – Own work.

further on, in 1808, Beethoven performed two of his piano works in Vienna, after this fifth and sixth symphonies had premiered earlier in the program; a century and a half prior to the present pass, William Tecumseh Sherman’s ‘March-to-the-Sea’ ended with the Union’s capture of Savannah; one hundred thirty-four years back, trailblazing British novelist and reporter George Eliot drew her final breath; the young French officer Alfred Dreyfus twelve decades ago faced a trumped-up treason conviction in France, over which years of controversy would follow worldwide; a hundred twelve years ago, the influential author and psychiatrist Richard Krafft-Ebing died; the young Soviet Union, still struggling to survive an invasion of many of the erstwhile Capitalist war planes Flugzeuge Junkers Ju 87enemies and allies from World War One, ninety-four years back issued a national plan for electrification that became the model for subsequent five-year-plans in the Soviet economy; seventy-five years before the here-and-now, Muslims in what was then India and now for the most part is Pakistan proclaimed a Day of Deliverance when Islamic members of the Colonial Parliament resigned over Britain’s failure to consult members over the alignment of India with England in World War Two; a single year down the road, in 1940, bracing and brilliant novelist and screenwriter Nathaniel West breathed his last; two years subsequently, in 1942, and half-a-world away, Adolf Hitler signed the mandate to develop a long-range missile as a flying bomb, and world-renowned anthropologist Franz Boas died; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, the beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter’s life came to an end; one year after that, in 1944, a grassroots Vietnamese fighting force emerged in organized form to fight the Japanese, with strong Nationalist and Communist backing; thirty-six years ago, at China’s eleventh Communist Party Congress, the plenum participants agreed to an extensive economic reform package that has led to China’s present path of industrial development; a decade afterward to the day, in 1988, a union organizer and environmental activist in Brazil named Chico Mendes died at the hand of assassins; a quarter century back, or a year later in 1989, the opening of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate marked the end of four decades of a divided Germany; three years subsequently, in

"SIG Pro by Augustas Didzgalvis"
“SIG Pro by Augustas Didzgalvis”

1992, an attorney’s file search in Asuncion, Paraguay, uncovered terrorist files that documented plus-or-minus 80,000 killings and disappearances of activists and justice-advocates throughout Southern Latin America, a so-called Archives-of Terror for Operation Condor, a CIA-orchestrated campaign of mayhem and fascism; seventeen years ago, U.S.-supplied drug-baron death squads tortured and killed dozens of human-rights and community activists in the Chiapas village of Acteas; four years back, the U.S. military rid itself of its ‘Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell’ policy in regard to homosexuality in the ranks.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
violence policy "united states" military empire invasion OR incursion OR intervention "vital interests" OR "economic interests" OR imperialism history analysis "political economy" = 5,380,000 Results.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

PSYCHOTIC TORTURE’S SEXUALIZED NORMS

http://www.telesurtv.net          A provocative and detailed historical, analytical account of the social and political-economic roots of torture, sexual sadism, and ritual violence in Western–and especially–United States experience: “The US’s legacy of torture domestically and overseas has become fully normalized in US institutional structures, ideologies and policies.  From pornography to mass-media depictions, sadism is an inherent part of US culture and military techniques. Yet all of these practices find their roots in Western Culture, as indigenous peoples around the world have been subjected to absurd levels of psychological and physical persecution dating back to the original conquests of indigenous lands.  Much of this history can be attributed to systemic phenomena, but not all of it.   Sometimes, individuals take it upon themselves to perform psychotic acts.
In short, sexualized violence and torture have been an inherent part of Western Culture for over 1,000 years, from the first Western empires to the colonial period and beyond, civilized peoples have repeatedly employed ruthless methods of torture.  Today, such tactics are becoming increasingly normalized in US discourse and political practices.  Counterinsurgency tactics employed abroad return in the domestic policing and correctional arenas.  Additionally, modern pornography replicates these militarized and violent forms of sex, culturally propagandizing and fetishizing torture.”

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Happy Solstice and Season’s Greetings to all from the NWU!

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

JOBS

Video Producer, The Atlantic
Atlantic Media
Washington, DC

Senior Director, Digital Communications
Turner PR
New York, NY and Denver, CO,

Vice President, Marketing
National Geographic Society
Washington, DC

CONTESTS SUB OPPS ETC

Glimmer Train – Ongoing submissions accepted, and different contests opportunities year round

Best New Writing is an annual anthology of fiction and creative nonfiction, including the winners of The Eric Hoffer Award for short prose (less than 10,000 words) and the Gover Prize for short-short prose (less than 500 words). The Hoffer grand prizewinner, Gover prizewinner, and honored stories serve as the centerpiece of Best New Writing

The Apogee is pleased to announce the second annual Emily Stauffer Poetry Prize. Upon publication, the winner will receive $200 and two copies of the journal. Up to two honorable mentions will be published and each recipient of an Honorable Mention will also receive two copies of the journal

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Another Police-Waster

A Common Dreams article that discusses an April killing of another black man that did not lead to an indictment of the officer that killed him: “”This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and for the community,” Chisholm stated in a press release. “But, based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I come to the conclusion that Officer Manney’s use of force in this incident was justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime.” 

 

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Vanitas for Patterson 

A typically worshipful piece from Vanity Fair about a typically mundane, wealthy literati: “Indeed, Patterson is to publishing what Thomas Kinkade was to painting, or the television producer John Wells was to a series like E.R. He is not a tortured artist in a garret but rather presides over an atelier that produces mass popular entertainment on an astonishing scale. He once said of his work, in a profile a decade ago, “I look at it the way Henry Ford would look at it.” The remark has gained currency. “

 

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

500 Years of Books

book hor3A Library of Congress post about the fascinating attempt by a fascinating internet archives project that seeks to electronically store and display millions of images from the past 500 years of printed matter: “In 1994, linguist Geoff Nunberg stated, in an article in the journal “Representations,” “reading what people have had to say about the future of knowledge in an electronic world, you sometimes have the picture of somebody holding all the books in the library by their spines and shaking them until the sentences fall out loose in space…” What would these fragments look like if you took every page of every book from 2.5 million volumes dating back over 500 years? Could every illustration, drawing, chart, map, photograph and image be extracted, indexed and displayed? That was the question that launched the Internet Archives Book Images Project to catalog the imagery from half a millennium of books.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Testimonials to Cheney’s Torture

A Just Security article that shows how the house of cards around the issue of US backed torture is falling down: “An excerpt of the interview (below) starts with a statement by Glenn Greenwald, which provides the context and is also important because Col. Wilkerson adds, “I agree with almost everything” Greenwald said. But the key line is Col. Wilkerson’s statement that he would be “willing to testify” against Cheney.”

 

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

water ocean beach Hilton_Hawaiian_Village_boardwalk_2_Oahu_Hawaii_Photo_D_Ramey_LoganDesalination as Drought Response

An MIT Technology Review article that sheds light on the desperate environmental troubles in Southern California, and the technologies they hope can ameliorate: “The massive project, in Carlsbad, teems with nearly 500 workers in yellow hard hats. When it’s done next year, it will take in more than 100 million gallons of Pacific Ocean water daily and produce 54 million gallons of fresh, drinkable water. While this adds up to just 10 percent of the county’s water delivery needs, it will, crucially, be reliable and drought-proof—a hedge against potentially worse times ahead.”

12.19.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

No matter how often such demonstrations occur, the truth bears constant repetition that one’s feelings about events—whether positive or negative, but especially negative—have less to do with those happenings generally than do fears of a hurricane with the winds that actually transpire, a lesson that can help one in maintaining equanimity, productivity, and other arguably central attributes of a focused and happy existence.

Quote of the Day

“‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country.  All nations and ages have been subject to them.  Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc.  Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment!  Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt.  Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before.  But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered.”  Tom Payne, The American Crisis.

This Day in History

Four hundred eight years ago, three ships departed Portsmouth, bound for what we now know as Virginia, with the settlers from England first successfully to settle one of the future United States; in one of the first truly organized genocidal engagements of Anglo-Americans with local folks, three hundred thirty-nine years prior

"Indians Attacking a Garrison House" by Artist unknown
“Indians Attacking a Garrison House” by Artist unknown

to the current context, colonial forces crushed ‘Indian’ fighters in Massachusetts Bay in the Great Swamp Fight battle of King Philip’s Warone hundred one years later to the day, in 1776, Thomas Paine published The American Crisis in The Pennsylvania Journal, which he intends as a first installment of many writings about the war between the colonies and England; in a foretaste of catastrophic division, a hundred eighty-six years back, South Carolina issued documents that intended to ‘nullify’ a tariff that impacted low-country planters negatively; two decades hence, in 1848, wildly popular writer Emily Bronte drew her last breath; thirteen years after that point, in 1861, a baby boy was born to an affluent German-Italian family who would grow up as Italo Sveno to wealth and the attention of his English tutor, James Joyce, and resultant literary distinction; on the other side of the Atlantic one hundred thirty nine years back, an infant male child entered the scene who would found Black History Month as historian and thinker Carter Woodson; one hundred seven years ago, in a typically horrific ‘accident’ that actually represented systematic underinvestment in safety in order to

Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900
Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900

maximize profit, close to 250 coal miners died grotesquely in a colliery near Jacob’s Creek Pennsylvania; three years subsequently, in 1910, a boy child came into the world in Paris who would become the critically acclaimed dramatist and thinker, Jean Genet; two years later, in 1912, President Taft pardoned the captain of a steamship that the company’s negligence caused to catch fire, a disaster in which over a thousand people on board the General Slocum succumbed; ninety-nine years prior to the present day, a baby girl was born who would go on to fame and adoration as French singer-songwriter Edith Piaf; eighty-seven years ago, England murdered three Indian revolutionaries on the gallows who represented a threat not just in India but around the world, in that they had consciously combined Hindu and Muslim protesters to fight England’s hegemony; precisely five years after, in 1932, the British Broadcasting Corporation began what became its World Service as an Empire Service program; eight years hence, in 1940, a baby boy sang out his first breath en route to fame and tragedy as folksinger

"Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S33882, Adolf Hitler
“Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S33882, Adolf Hitler

Phil Ochs; Adolf Hitler first assumed de jure command of all German armies seventy-three years back, as the blitzkrieg strategy ground to a halt in the Russian Winter of 1941-42; five years to the day hence, in 1946, Vietnamese nationalists and communists initiated the opening skirmishes in Indochina’s long colonial struggle against France and imperialism that ended in the Vietnam War; India fifty-three years before the here-and-now annexed the first parts of Portuguese India that the huge democracy of the subcontinent claimed as its own; seven years subsequently, in 1968, author and preacher Norman Thomas breathed no more; in the culminating scenes of the Watergate imbroglio, forty years ago, Nelson Rockefeller became Vice President under Gerald Ford, who rose to the Presidency after Richard Nixon’s resignation with the vow of no further prosecution for his crimes against humanity; a decade down the road, in 1984, England and China agreed to protocols that established 1997 as the date of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule; twenty-eight years back, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev directed that the internal exile of Andrei Sakharov and his wife should end, and the V.C. Andrews died, the author of Gothic horror and incest narratives so popular that ghostwriters continued penning sagas after her death; ten years later exactly, in 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton, technically on charges of perjury; fourteen years before this juncture in time, operatives of Turkey’s Communist Labor Party indulged in all-too-typical factionalism and attacked a rival schism’s offices in Istanbul, killing one and injuring others; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 2001, masses of Argentina’s citizens rose up against corruption and imperially-imposed foreign debt in Argentina and other cities; Korea two years ago elected its first modern woman President, Heun-gye Park. book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
india OR “south asia” prehistory OR paleolithic hallucinogen OR hallucinogenic OR "psychoactive plants" OR soma = 1.600,000 Hits.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

FBI’S STOLEN SECRETS, AMERICA’S STOLEN DEMOCRACY http://newpol.org    A review essay that examines a recent volume about a burglary–of FBI offices–that exposed COINTELPRO and other reactionary, illegal, police-state tactics in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation was relying on the passivity and acquiescence of the U.S. citizenry, which has all too often been a fine wager over the course of American history, especially of late, but this counterexample of which needs to light some serious fires to save our behinds in the present pass: “One of the key questions no trespassing signMedsger asks is: How did these activists find the enormous courage necessary to undertake this very dangerous, formidable task?  Part of the answer, exemplified by the recollections of one activist, lies in their belief that inaction in the face of evil represented complicity.  And this sentiment, in turn, reflected the widespread perception among activists that the ‘good’ Germans had looked the other way in the 1930s and early 1940s while fascists carried out their murderous policies.  Another major factor that bolstered their courage was their participation in the civil rights movement.  A number of the burglars had already risked their lives during the 1960s by confronting the violent forces of white supremacy in the South.  After that they not only understood the evil that lurked in their country better than did most Americans, but had acquired the courage necessary to confront it.  Finally, by 1971, the Vietnam War had generated a climate of fierce resistance, daring, self-sacrifice, and widespread civil disobedience.  As John Raines recalled: ‘Courage was natural.  It was all around you.'”

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

NWU member Steve Bender of 1199 NE Training & Upgrading Fund sharing the joy at publication of the nursing home workers’ stories, With Our Loving Hands.

NEWSLETTER DEADLINE

A message from our fearless leader: “This is just to remind everyone that we will publish an NWU news bulletin in January. The deadline is next Wednesday, December 24.  Please send all news items, event announcements, kudo’s and pictures to Marlena at mfitzpatrick@nwu.org. (Marivir – The NY Chapter holiday party). Please include any pictures taken around the country where our members took part in the December 13 marches and rallies around Eric Garner and Mike Brown.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

SUBMISSION OPPS

Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (CWILA) is inviting Canadian women writers to submit non-fiction essays (under 4K words) on any subject pertaining to literary arts. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.lzELSMcl.dpuf

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Australian publisher Cohesion Press is seeking dark fiction for SNAFU II, another volume of military horror/sci-fi stories. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.lzELSMcl.dpuf

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Parabola, a quarterly publication on world culture, folklore, and religion, is accepting non-fiction, non-academic articles for a forthcoming issue. The theme is “Angels and Demons”—essays and articles that explore the meaning of angels and demons as manifested globally in world beliefs, symbolic representations, and theological cultures. The publication pays strong attention to the dependence between religion and present day life. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.lzELSMcl.dpuf

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JOBS

Editorial Manager Air Age Media Wilton, CT

Senior Reporter, Government Contracts Law360 New York, NY

Assoc. Dir., Admissions Marketing and e-Branding New York Institute of Technology Old Westbury, NY

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

News in a Smart Media World

An offering from Nieman Labs‘”Predictions for Journalism 2015″ series, this post discusses the ways that media outlets can look ahead to creating news context that fits the current trends, while hopefully not abandoning integrity and newsworthiness in the process: “If we are serious about news being for all the people (word to Juan and Joe), we need to start rethinking how we deliver stories. And to do this, we have to stop thinking about how to leverage whatever hot social platform is making headlines and instead spend time understanding how communication is changing. “

Agendas in Undermining Drug Reform

A Government Executive article that tells of efforts undetaken by neighboring states to interfere with Colorado’s elected choice to reform marijuana laws, due to their inability to accept any sort of reform in their own home states: “Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt argue that their state’s respective law enforcement agencies have been unfairly burdened through tax dollars and officer hours spent attempting to contain marijuana illegally imported into their states from Colorado.”

Ferguson Day 6, Picture 12 by Loavesofbread - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons
Ferguson Day 6, Picture 12 by Loavesofbread

White House Refuses Black Mothers

A Truth Out piece that describes the actions that affected members of the African American community, as well as all those who believe in peace and justice, take to bring official attention to an issue that has persisted too long, and the lukewarm reception these peaceful acts bring on: ““Neither President Barack Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder have agreed to meet with the mothers of these slain boys and men.”

Grants in Solidarity Fighting for Youth Rights

An Inside Philanthropy report on the status of a prominent foundation’s attempts to provide workable options to the current options for juvenile justice: “Research suggests these kids are better served in community-based programs that will get them focused on educational goals and social engagement and help keep them out of trouble. Along with talking to police and school departments, the Center for Children’s Law and Policy is also talking to legislators, and submitted legislation this past year that would promote less incarceration. “

Obsolete Scientific Ideas

From the Edge, a very worthy organization to note, a fascinating video for all who are interested in knowledge and ideas: “Following January’s publication of the Edge Question—2014, “What Scientific Idea Is Ready for Retirement?”, the director Jesse Dylan approached Edge with regard putting together a documentary film on the project.”

Corruption in States, Southern Style

old gas station0002A Southern Studies article that describes studies undertaken to measure corruption that exists in state governments, and how hard one must look to come across such data: “However, the Harvard study went beyond much research on political corruption by considering both illegal corruption, defined as “private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups,” and legal corruption, defined as “the political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, be it by explicit or implicit understanding.””

An Interesting Opportunity for Scrappy Scribes

An announcement of a neat opportunity available for all those interested in communicating, story telling, and an evolving society: “Interested in hosting a People’s State of the Union story circle in your community? Wonderful!  Read a bit more about what to expect and then fill out the host registration form below by January 8″

Panther Possibilities

A Counterpunch analysis of an old and much maligned African American movement that surfaced in California in the 60’s, specifically to battle police overreaching and murder: “October 15th saw the 48th anniversary of the birth of the BPP in Oakland, CA.  Originally named the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the BPP had a self-defense strategy against the brutal terror of the police. The strategy unashamedly and unapologetically maintained that Black people have human rights that are to be respected, including the right of armed self-defense, and BPP members had a right to intervene with those arms if necessary when law enforcement – those touted as the ones whose job was allegedly to protect and serve – violated those rights.”

Thomas Hawk - flickr
Thomas Hawk – flickr

Public Versus Private Enterprises

An analysis from Truth Out regarding the privatization of the post office and other services, and the role that the private v. the public sector play in the current system: “Leftists understandably oppose privatization campaigns as thinly veneered attacks on working-class interests. Yet, those campaigns and the right-wing economic fundamentalism that justified them should not obscure a central fact about capitalism. Privatizations and their opposites have mostly been pragmatic ways for capitalist economies to solve their problems.”

Sports Stars and Community Solidarity

A Rolling Stone article that analyzes the reactions of pro basketball players to the recent police killings, and in particular the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ campaign, one of many outpourings of sadness and solidarity around this issue, but which warns that the outreach intended is limited: “Quite obviously, the barometer for what is acceptable is different across leagues. This is no knock on Leitch or Shoals. It’s just that, with increasing pockets of cult interests on social media, it’s becoming easy for people to retreat into their preferred corners and ignore everything else. If the NBA isn’t something regularly popping up on your screen, you’re just not as likely to react to it.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Crowdfunding Fails – and Successes

Jon Sullivan - public domain
Jon Sullivan – public domain

 

A Crowdsourcing.org post that analyzes the pitfalls and struggles of making a crowdsourcing campaign succeed or fail, information that could be useful to any scrappy scribe: “But though failure is common, there are things you can do to get back in the game. As sincerely as we hope this never happens to you, being prepared for all eventualities never hurt anyone”

Online Publishing Blunders

A Media Post offering that sheds light on the problems plaguing the online pulishing industry, and how the industry’s invasive, inconsiderate response to needing revenue alienate the one thing that : “Publishing’s plunging transaction costs and its increasingly desperate attempts to shore up some sort of sustainable revenue model are creating a tug-of-war that’s threatening to tear apart the one person this whole sorry mess is revolving around: the reader. “

Archiving News and Media in a Now Environment

A Library of Congress article that outlines the efforts that many organizations take to archive and save the posterity of news in a world that is too fixated on the now: “In an attempt to meet some of these challenges, three action areas were defined: awareness, standards and practices and legal framework. Participants volunteered to work toward progress in advocacy messaging, exploring public-private partnerships, preserving pre-print newspaper PDFs, preserving web-based news content and exploring metadata and news content management systems.”

 

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

Marcelo Graciolli flickr
Marcelo Graciolli flickr

Internet Before Chocolate

A fun Washington Post brief that details the lengths that people would go to safeguard their online access, by way of a study that decided to frame things in that way: “Peculiarly, you never seem to see these surveys framed around giving up books or radios or TVs — perhaps because those things are so well integrated into our lives that playing “would you rather” with them seems self-evidently pointless. “

Reality Television and Exploitation

An Atlantic exploration of the longer-view ramifications of the exploitative, voyeuristic nature of reality shows, and what their popularity say about viewers’ collective consciousness: “Networks are willing to show almost everything, regardless of the impact on its cast members, until their viewers get upset, lash out on social media, or threaten to stop watching entirely. What viewers will or won’t watch matters immensely to networks; in fact, they seem function as the networks’ sole “conscience.””

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Lethal Aid to Ukraine

The front side of the 100 hryvnia's bank note of the Ukrainian People's Republic, which existed 1918–1921.
The front side of the 100 hryvnia’s bank note of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, which existed 1918–1921.

A Stockman’s Corner post warning about the dire consequences of Obama’s recent commitment in using Ukraine to further empire: “President Obama made good today on his promise to sign the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which had passed Congress last week. Dubbed by former Rep. Dennis Kucinich the bill that “reignited the Cold War while no one was looking,” the Act imposes new sanctions on the Russian defense and energy industries, authorizes $350 million in lethal military assistance to the US-backed government in Kiev, urges that government to resume its deadly military operations against the Russian-speaking areas of east Ukraine seeking to break away from Kiev’s rule, and authorizes millions of dollars to fund increased US government propaganda broadcasts to the countries of the former Soviet Union. “

Police Violence Against Citizens Also in Mexico

A World Socialist Web Site report that shows that police violence, aided by the current administration, attacks democratic expression in Mexico: “The confrontation in Chipancingo is indicative of the tensions that exist in Guerrero and throughout Mexico. There is growing anger over the fact that there has yet to be a clear explanation of what has happened to the 43 students. “

 GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Cuba New Beginnings

A New York Times series that explores the potential benefits of having a more sane relationship with the defiant Caribbean nation: “Take a look back at the Editorial Board’s series calling for improved United States-Cuba relations.”

Psych Role in CIA Torture

A Counterpunch article that tells the true tale of the use of psychological techniques, as well as experts in the field, to successfully torture: “The latest evidence of that collusion comes from the publication earlier this fall of James Risen’s Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. With access to hundreds of previously undisclosed emails involving senior APA staff, the Pulitzer-prize winning reporter concludes that the APA “worked assiduously to protect the psychologists…involved in the torture program.” The book also provides several new details pointing to the likelihood that Mitchell and Jessen were not so far removed from the APA after all.”

12.18.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

To dispute human clannishness contravenes as basic an apparent attribute of the Homo Sapiens as a four-chambered heart, yet one must hope and pray that transforming or evolving an altogether different sensibility in regard to ubiquitous others—nations, colors, creed, and more—will prove more plausible than changing the nature of our circulatory systems—indeed, our survival may well depend on the viability of this premise.

Quote of the Day

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. … We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who are poor and exploited in the land of our birth.  These are concepts which the Black Consciousness approach wishes to eradicate from the black man’s mind before our society is driven to chaos by irresponsible people from Coca-cola and hamburger cultural backgrounds.”  Steve Biko.

 

This Day in History

Today is International Migrants Day; North African fighters two thousand two hundred and thirty-two years ago, under the leadership of Carthage’s great general, Hannibal, as they invaded the Italian Peninsula near Rome during the Second Punic War, badly battered Roman troops at the Battle of Trebia; Kublai Khan seven

"47-cropped-manasses-chronicle" by 47-manasses-chronicle.jpg: Original: Constantine Manassesderivative work: Stegop
“47-cropped-manasses-chronicle” by 47-manasses

hundred forty-three years prior to the present pass changed the designation of a part of the vast empire over which he ruled, now in Mongolia and most of China, calling it Yuan and initiating the dynasty of the same name; three hundred ninety-two years back, Portuguese invaders, having hired displaced Africans as mercenaries, broke their treaties with the Kingdom of Kongo and successfully sacked Mbumbi in what is now Angola, in the process cannibalizing the dead and making slaves out of survivors; thirty-three years subsequently, in 1655, Britain closed the Whitehall Conference with an announcement that the banishment of Jews from the British Isles for more than 350 years was no longer the rule of law; famed biologist and scholar Jean-Baptiste Lamarck spent his last moments on Earth a hundred eighty-five years ago; a passenger train running from Cleveland to Buffalo one hundred forty-seven years before the here-and-now operating on tracks of different gauges and hurrying to make up a delayed run had two of its cars derail, in one of which all the passengers but one burned to death when the stoves that provided heat incinerated those on board; eleven years hence, in 1878, in another instance of capital’s placing profit above human rights, the final so-called ‘Molly Maguire’ died at the end of a rope after Pinkerton Detective Agency spies testified against miners who often

gabriel saldana - flickr
gabriel saldana – flickr

wanted only a safer workplace that they believed only unions would give them the leverage to provide; one hundred twenty-two years back, St. Petersburg’s orchestra performed Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite for the first time; inaugurating nearly a century of black-markets and ‘substance-wars,’ ninety-seven years ago, Congress ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing alcohol’s distribution; sixty-eight years before now, the infant male who grew up to become Steven Spielberg took his first breath, and the baby boy who became the anti-Apartheid leader Steve Biko uttered his first cry seven thousand miles to the Southeast; Japan joined the United Nations fifty-eight years before todayprecisely two years after, the world’s first communications satellite went into orbit; forty-two years back, after peace talks ground to a halt, Richard Nixon announced that the U.S. would conduct Christmas bombing operations against North Vietnam; just three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1973, the Arab Development Bank opened for business and made its first loans; talented programmer Larry Wall twenty-seven years ago released the first version of the nearly-natural-language  Perl computer programming language; two years hence, in 1989, the Soviet Union and the European Economic Community strengthened trade ties and made technology transfer to and capital investment in Russia much easier; seventeen years back, version 4.0 of Hyper-Text Mark-up Language became available for web developers; fifteen years before this point, French filmmaker and screenwriter Robert Bresson died; three years ago, Czech writer, thinker, and politician Vaclav Havel drew his last breath.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
"historical awareness" OR "historical understanding" OR "historical consciousness" indifferent OR uncaring OR unconcerned danger OR risk analysis = 28,500 Citations.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

SCIENTISTIC DISTORTION IN DEFENSE OF CAPITAL

http://truth-out.org          A critically important report from TruthOut about the prototypical distortion, even fraud, that ‘standard operating procedure’ accounts present in regard to science, technology, and society issues, in this instance an examination of an article about an Indian physicist and ecologist whose expertise is unquestionable and whose following is global but which an account in a tres chic magazine makes appear amateurish or counterculture

"Vegetarian diet" by Scott Bauer, USDA ARS
“Vegetarian diet” by Scott Bauer, USDA ARS

instead of profoundly more scientific than the ‘food scientists’ whose careers are exercises as often as not in flacking for agribusiness: “Specter has twisted my words, to make it seem like I was avoiding his question.  I had directed him to my official website since for the past few months I have repeatedly been asked about my education.  The Wikipedia page about me has been altered to make it look like I have never studied science.  The Biotech Industry would like to erase my academic credentials.  I have failed to see how it makes me more or less capable of the work I do on evolving and ecological paradigms of science.  I consciously made a decision to dedicate my life to protect the Earth, its ecosystems and communities.  Quantum theory taught me the four principles that have guided my work: everything is interconnected, everything is potential, everything is indeterminate, and there is no excluded middle.  Every intellectual breakthrough I have made over the last 40 years has been to move from a mechanistic paradigm to an ecological one.  I had the choice to continue my studies in the foundations of Quantum Theory at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) or to take up a research position in interdisciplinary studies on science policy at IIM, Bangalore.  I chose the latter because I wanted a deeper understanding of the relationships between science and society.”

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Here’s To Your Health – NWU Members Can Now Access Healthcare-Finding Assistance Benefit Through Working America

By Ann Hoffman

NWU now offers you help finding and using health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the extra support doesn’t cost you a penny more.*  The second Open Enrollment Period began in mid-November. For those of you who don’t have health insurance, you can now sign up for it. For those of you with coverage, now’s a good time to reevaluate your policy. (read more here)

 

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

 

SUBMISSION OPPS

AARP The Magazine (est. 1958) has posted an updated editorial calendar for 2015 which freelance writers can use to help them pitch relevant and timely topics to the editors. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.lzELSMcl.dpuf

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Virginia Quarterly Review, a celebrated literary journal, recently announced via its Facebook page that the editors are seeking submissions for a themed Spring 2015 issue. Until December 21st, writers can submit prose about “Food In Our Time”—the main theme. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.lzELSMcl.dpuf

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Prairie Fire, a celebrated Canadian literary journal, has new flat rates for freelance submissions. The journal now pays up to $350 for short fiction and excerpts (previous rate was $400); up to $250 for articles, essays, and memoirs (prev. rate was $300); up to $100 for interviews or profiles; $150 per interviewer (prev. rate was $200); up to $50 for other types of prose (prev. rate was $100); and $40/poem (prev. rate was $50). Per word prose rate remains the same: 10 cents/word. – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/#sthash.lzELSMcl.dpuf

Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/
Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

 

JOBS

Creative Services Director
KCCI-TV
Des Moines, IA

Financial Services Copywriter
COUNTRY Financial
Bloomington, IL

Lead Corporate Public Relations Specialist
Bose Corporation
Framingham, MA

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Eric Garner and the Nature of Police

A Jacobin article that contextualizes the brutality against Eric Garner and the failure to indict his killers, an event which has caused mass protesting and arrests as far away as London, and which demonstrates the endemic nature of police brutality: “The focus on body cameras assumes that the reason violent and brutal police aren’t punished is because of the absence of visual evidence or proof. But this has nothing to do with it, as the Garner case makes clear. Instead, violence in American policing goes unpunished because the criminalization of black people has legitimized brutality, humiliation, incarceration, and even murder as reasonable practices.”

Nonviolence and Protest Movements

 

Occupy Wall Street on September 30, 2011. Photo by: Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone
Occupy Wall Street on September 30, 2011. Photo by: Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone

A posting from Waging Nonviolence that analyses what a protest movement requires in order to get the attention of the authorities and the media, an idea whose utility depends exclusively on whether nonviolent protests movements actually have an effect or not: “The haphazard assembly of activists who came together under the Occupy banner did not follow the time-honored rules of community organizing. But they were willing to risk actions that were highly disruptive, and they put on display a high level of sacrifice among participants. Each of these contributed momentum to their escalating drive, allowing a loose and underfunded collection of protesters to alter the terms of national debate in ways that those with far greater organizational might had been unable to manage.”

Faith and Economic Justice

A Political Research Associates interview with the founder of a faith-based organization that has made real strides advocating for workers’ rights, even as it struggles with funding and political attacks, and underscores the progressive role that the religious community can play in matters of social justice: “We should not assume [evangelical Christians] are a static group of people that is owned by the Right Wing. This is a set of folks that have a set of values of their faith that are being contested. I think that we need to be in there contesting for them. It’s hard because the Right Wing understands the importance of the faith community in these issues. They put a lot of money into funding right-wing religious organizations; the progressive world doesn’t.”

Tech World and Higher Education

A Mashable contribution to the ongoing debate on whether a computer science degree is necessary or not to a successful programming career, underscoring larger themes on the role of expensive higher education plays in the current context: “Michael Solomon, founder of 10X Management, which represents about 80 coders, notes that many of them don’t have degrees or didn’t major in computer science. “One of the biggest issues with post-secondary education in the technology industry is it’s ability to keep a curriculum current and at the cusp of technology,” says Erik Zuuring, a 10X programmer who dropped out of college. “Just in the web-sphere, trends and technology change on a monthly basis.”

Fast Food and Media Transparency

"Bulgogi burger" by Alan Chan -
“Bulgogi burger” by Alan Chan –

A Media Post offering that analyzes the challenge that popular fast food chains have when confronted with social media intent on questioning productions methods and demanding disclosure and transparency, with an added dose of unintended consequences“The attempt to fight rumor with fact will not conquer blind zealotry. On the other hand, it does demonstrate that McDonald’s is capable of not merely paying lip service to transparency, but embracing it. After all, the nugget factory we visit is nobody’s idea of a kitchen. They could just as well be making car parts in that place. Compared to those ridiculous bucolic farms that McDonald’s ads have shown us over the years, suggesting a loving hand-picked harvest, these videos amount practically to a confession. And that’s a big step…one that may lead to ultimately reckoning with the structural problem described above. “

Education and Massive Online Courses

An MIT Technology Review article that talks about the role that MOOCs occupy in the current educational environment, ranging from those who see it with great optimism to those who say the movement is unsustainable: “Pritchard still questions the effects MOOCs will have; for one thing, he doesn’t see how they can have a sustainable business model on their own. But that doesn’t mean MOOCs are merely another overhyped technology. Ideas about what they offer, and whom they might help, are evolving as rapidly as the MOOCs themselves.”

Nuclear Survivors Speak Out

hiro explosion nuke nuclearAn FPIF posting about the third conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, with many nuclear warfare survivors and experts who detailed the danger and horrors possible with these weapons: “Winding up on Dec. 9 in Vienna, the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons included representatives from 155 countries, as well as the United Nations and the Red Cross. In the second of her three articles for Open Democracy, Rebecca Johnson wrote: “the conference heard a range of panellists who addressed nuclear doctrine, operations, failures of deterrence in theory and practice, risks, accidents and other human and technological mistakes and nuclear dangers.”

Tenants Rights in Europe

A Chief Organizer blog that tells of progress ACORN is making in Europe to right the wrongs inflicted upon tenants: “Besides the Living Rent effort, the campaign originally begun with the founding of ACORN in Easton in Bristol to win improvements of conditions of private tenants and security of tenure form letting agencies has attracted wide support and expanded across the whole range of tenant issues and services. “

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Nanopublishing

A conversation from Medium.com with two luminaries in web media who discuss the problems and opportunities for small content publishers in the current context: “I got a fair amount of pushback from small publishers after I declared that “if you’re not getting 20–30 million unique visitors every month, and don’t aspire to such heights, then you’re basically an economic irrelevance”. Rafat Ali and Ben Thompson led the charge.”

Digital Hoarding

files squareA Washington Post blog of importance to anybody who uses a computer and tends towards saving every document possible, which points out consequences to not being more discriminating in what gets saved: “Even worse, digital hoarding may be contributing to your “information obesity” — a term now so common it’s usually just shortened to “infobesity.” You may be continually snacking on new information, all of which may provide very little value in your life – and then compounding the problem by hoarding all that nutrition-less information on a digital device.”

Design For Non Profits

A Mashable piece that aims to help non-profits improve the effectiveness of their communications through the use of tried and true design methodologies: “Good design can change the world — or at least help nonprofits and social good organizations in the process.

Whether it’s using a website to tell compelling stories or creating an innovative product, design and social change go hand in hand.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Anonymous Browser Shenanigans

Another Pando Daily piece further documenting the inanity, arrogance, and delusional thinking that accompanies a lot of the rhetoric behind a popular yet controversial anonymous browser, further pointing to the risks that can emerge when individuals or organizations with specific ideologies take themselves too seriously: “Yes, the Tor people somehow believe that Tor itself implements a “fundamental law of the universe,” and that their privileged technical knowledge grants them special access that the rest of us lack. That is false, breathless narcissism and arrogance at its most outrageous, and very typical of our digital age.”

 

Braun HF 1
Braun HF 1

Physiological Reasons for TV Dependency

A brief Media Post analysis of the reasons why the medium of television has persisted in capturing our imagination – some would say, to our detriment – for close to 100 years: “Even as digital overtakes broadcast and cable television, we’re still mesmerized by the format of TV. Our interaction with the medium has shifted in a few interesting ways — time-shifting, binge-watching, and the creation of new platforms to watch it on — but our actual interaction with the format itself hasn’t changed very much, save for continual improvements in fidelity.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Cuba Ostracism Ceasing?

A Conversation article that should interest anybody who’s been following U.S. policy in the small, defiant Caribbean nation for the past half century: “But above all, the US president, Barack Obama, announced a number of sweeping changes to Washington’s Cuba policy.

These included the start of bilateral talks to recommence diplomatic relations, an examination of the reasons why Cuba remains on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, and the relaxation of travel, trade and information flows between the two countries. He also said that he would welcome Cuba’s return to the Organisation of American states (OAS).”

 

MH 17 Memorial - By JurgenNL
MH 17 Memorial – By JurgenNL

Confessions Surrounding MH-17 Bombing

A Counter Currents posting that announces the confession in part of a member of the Ukraine military that sheds light on the dreadful events this past July, an admission which conforms that which many had already sussed out: “This testimony confirms the accumulating prior, already overwhelming and even-more-convincing evidence, which is linked to in my latest article on the topic, here, all of which evidence indicates that either one or else two Ukrainian fighter-jets intentionally shot this airliner down — that it was not an error by rebels who had mis-identified this airliner as being a bomber from the Ukrainian Government, such as the Ukrainian Government and its sponsor the U.S. Government claim”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Geology and Water Formation

A fascinating News Wise glimpse into ancient earth history and the formation of an element so fundamental for all existence, with promising implications in a context of water scarcity: “Panero called the complex relationship between plate tectonics and surface water “one of the great mysteries in the geosciences.” But this new study supports researchers’ growing suspicion that mantle convection somehow regulates the amount of water in the oceans. It also vastly expands the timeline for Earth’s water cycle.”

 

"Fukushima I by Digital Globe" by Digital Globe - Earthquake and Tsunami damage-Dai Ichi Power Plant, Japan.
“Fukushima I by Digital Globe” by Digital Globe – Earthquake and Tsunami damage-Dai Ichi Power Plant, Japan.

Fukushima Long Term Damage

A Global Research article that examines the harmful effect of the Fukushima disaster in the largest ocean in the world, a situation that should make one question the wisdom of nuclear energy generally: “Nuclear radiation resulting from the March 2011 Fukushima disaster –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.”

 

12.17.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

As the people of the planet stand on the cusp of the chasm of world war and possible nuclear holocaust, one might aspire to stand for higher things than one’s own material fortune, yet the most petty travails, which appear as often as not as random bolts from the blue, seem to threaten an annihilation no less onerous than mass collective suicide even though the sources of these exigencies might be much more trivial, much less tragic, than a global catastrophe, might even be ‘much ado about nothing’ in some cases despite their potent hold on one’s hopes and fears.

Quote of the Day

“The Civil Rights Congress has prepared and submits this petition to the General Assembly of the United Nations on behalf of the Negro people in the interest of peace and democracy, charging the Government of the United States of America with violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  We believe that in issuing 8this document we are discharging an historic responsibility to the American people, as well as rendering a service of inestimable value to progressive mankind.  We speak of the American people because millions of white Americans in the ranks of labor and the middle class, and particularly those who live in the southern states and are often contemptuously called poor whites, are themselves suffering to an ever-greater degree from the consequences of the Jim Crow segregation policy of government in its relations with Negro citrines.  We speak of progressive mankind because a policy of discrimination at home must inevitably create racist commodities for export abroad-must inevitably tend toward war.”  The Civil Rights Congress’ 1951 presentation to the United Nations General Assembly, “We Charge Genocide”

 

This Day in History

Today, for those who follow such thingsis the beginning of Saturnalia; via a home base near Crimea, one thousand four hundred sixty-eight years ago, peoples whom we now refer to as Ostrogoths rifled Rome after they bribed elements of the Byzantine soldiers whose task was the city’s protection; the legendary Persian poet and

"Molana" by Molavi - Masnavi Manavi Molavi.
“Molana” by Molavi – Masnavi Manavi Molavi.

philosopher Rumi died more or less seven hundred forty-one years before this instant; Tamerlane’s legions six hundred sixteen years back defeated Delhi’s sultan’s armies and paved the path for conquering the Subcontinent; one hundred forty years later, more or less precisely, in 1538, the third Catholic Pope Paul excommunicated England’s Henry VIII and established the basis for a Church of England; France two hundred thirty-seven years before the here-and-now formally recognized the United States of America; three decades subsequently to the day, in 1807, France under Napoleon’s rule issued sanctions against the British, a so-called Continental Blockade, that ended up undermining imperial French power, and the male infant who would write poetry and anti-slavery tracts as John Greenleaf Whittier was born; one hundred ninety-five years ago, Simon Bolivar first declared the independence of Gran Colombia in what is now Ciudad Bolivar in Venezuela; fifteen years after that happened, in 1830, Bolivar’s life ended; Ulysses Grant issued an order one hundred fifty-two years prior to the present pass that expelled all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi on the theory that Jewish traders were profiteering off of black-market cotton, which, true or not, did not stop the decree’s rescission less than a month later; precisely eleven years later, in 1873, the a British baby boy was born who would grow up as novelist and literary critic Ford Maddox Ford; Vogue magazine published its inaugural issue a hundred twenty-two years ago; a boy child came into the world a hundred eleven years back who would write to great acclaim as Erskine Caldwell, and in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina,

"First flight2" by John T. Daniels
“First flight2” by John T. Daniels

Orville and Wilbur Wright demonstrated the first successful heavier-than-air flying machine; a boy baby emerged from the womb eighty-five years before this point who would go on to editorialize and write articles and compose essays as William Safire; Otto Hahn, who had just helped his born-Jewish assistant Lise Meitner escape from Germany, seventy six years ago led the experiment which he soon interpreted correctly as demonstrating nuclear fission via neutron capture, results of note around the world; five years further along, in 1943, the United States overturned the statutory basis of Chinese Exclusion, meaning that Chinese Americans could again become citizens; sixty-seven years ago, the Boeing Corporation’s first nuclear-weapons long range delivery bomber, the B-47, flew its maiden mission; four years afterward, in 1951, the Civil Rights Congress presented to the United Nations “We Charge Genocide,” a document that detailed innumerable instances of legal lynching of Blacks and other depredations of the United States Government in relation not only to African Americans but also in regard to other ethnic minorities and Communists as well; the U.S. successfully tested the world’s first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile fifty-seven years back; Helsinki, Finland hosted the first round of the initial Strategic Arms Limitation Talks forty-five years before today, and the United States Air Force ended its study of UFO’s, Project Blue Book;twelve years later, in 1981, a U.S. general became a captive of Italian Red Guards who kept him captive for two months before his rescue without a single casualty by Italian special forces; a quarter century back, Brazil held its first democratic elections in over thirty years, and The Simpsons aired its inaugural episode; exactly a decade after that, in 1999, legendary historian of the South, C. Vann Woodward died; nine years ago, investigative journalist Jack Anderson drew his final breath; five years hence, in 2010, a Tunisian street vendor set himself ablaze to protest ill treatment by corrupt authorities, in so doing helping to bring about the so-called Arab Spring uprisings.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
racism OR bigotry OR "white supremacy" OR "ethnic prejudice" OR ethnocentrism diversion OR distraction OR "divide and conquer" history analysis = 22,100,000 Results.
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TOP OF THE FOLD

SOBERING, CHILLING COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF NOW & 1914

http://inthesetimes.com   From In These Times, a powerful philosophical and political-economic analysis of the present pass and how it resembles the eve of World War One, in that capital has branched–with East Asia and Europe and Latin America all following divergent pathways–and the leadership of each sector is at odds with the others, in particular with the imperial center and corporate master: “By the end of the 1960s, the U.S. economy was no longer able to continue the recycling of its surpluses to Europe and Asia: Those surpluses hadturned into deficits.  In 1971, the U.S. government responded to this decline with an audacious strategic move: Instead of tackling the nation’s burgeoning deficits, it decided to do the opposite, to boost deficits.  And who would pay for them?  The rest of the world!  How?  By means of a permanent transfer of

By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons
By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons

capital that rushed ceaselessly across the two great oceans to finance America’s deficits: The United States has to suck up a half-billion dollars daily to pay for its consumption and is, as such, the universal Keynesian consumer who keeps the global economy running.  This influx relies on a complex economic mechanism: The United States is ‘trusted’ as the safe and stable center, so that all others, from the oil-producing Arab countries to Western Europe to Japan, and now even China, invest their surplus profits in the United States. Since this ‘trust’ is primarily ideological and military, not economic, the problem for the United States is how to justify its imperial role—it needs a permanent state of war, offering itself as the universal protector of all other ‘normal’—as opposed to ‘rogue’—states.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

CONTESTS & SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITIES

  • Escape Pod publishes in both text and audio; you are offering both of those one-time and archival rights to us when you send us your story.  Escape Pod is a science fiction market.   – See more at: http://escapepod.org/guidelines/#sthash.ASVZ3qdV.dpuf Submissions closed till January 2015
  • BIDE: Accepting submissions. We are here to promote momentary storytelling. There are no strict word limits, but think about between 10 and 400 words, or 25 lines of poetry, or 30-60 seconds of your voice/face.  All successful submissions will be paid AU$80.

  • The Magnetic Theatre is seeking submissions for its third installment of Brief Encounters, a production of new short works for the stage.

    We are looking for scripts 10-20 minutes in length for production in April at our new space, Magnetic 375, in the River Arts District. The run will be four weekends long, and we will produce 4-6 short scripts as an evening-length show. Please submit your script for consideration, in the appropriate playscript format, electronically (as a PDF or Final Draft file) to ldv@themagnetictheatre.org by January 1, 2015.

JOBS

  • Ft Lauderdale, FL – We’re a consumer reviews site covering over 100 industries within personal finance, insurance, education, business, lifestyle and home services. We’re currently looking for regular contributors to write guides and advice articles.
  • Carlsbad, CA – CBSi Advanced Media, a CBS Interactive company, is the central resource for college sports and the category leader in the delivery of integrated multimedia solutions and Internet services for University Athletic Departments, Conferences and Associations.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
A Pacific Standard article that examines the fundamental role that torture and human rights abuses played in the formation and development of this nation, which contradict with the stated values of the Constitution: “But is it really? American history, after all, is not an unbroken tale of values and decency. In fact, according to Edward Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, American decency has always been more a theory than a practice and America’s most important value—the value that turned this country from a marginal economic unknown to a world-straddling imperial power—was torture.”
hiro explosion nuke nuclear
A Common Dreams offering that tells of a global movement set on banning of nuclear weapons, a lofty goal the success of which remains to be seen in the current political context: “More than 600 members of civil society, from every corner of the globe, with more than half of them under the age of 35 attended a fact-filled two day conference in Vienna organized by the International Coalition to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), to learn of the devastating consequences of nuclear weapons from the bomb and from testing as well, and of the frightening risks from possible accidents or sabotage of the nine nuclear arsenals around the world.  The meeting was a follow up to two prior meetings in Oslo, Norway and Nayarit, Mexico. ICAN members, working for a treaty to ban the bomb, then joined a meeting hosted by Austria for 158 governments in the historic Hofburg Palace, which has served as the residence of Austrian leaders since before the founding of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.”
A piece from Rabble.ca that shows the active role A List Hollywood artists are taking to express solidarity with the victims of Ferguson, Staten Island, and many others, through posted videos and other means: “One estimate counts as high as a 140 cities across the world who have participated in some sort of demonstration. And more are surely to come. You can follow all the action on Twitter as #BlackLivesMatterOn his Facebook page and in a Youtube video yesterday, Jackson essentially challenges other celebrities to sing “We ain’t gonna stop, till people are free” song.”
A Chief Organizer blog post reflecting on the paths that organizing for social justice across borders could take, while standing in a historical crossroads in a historic locale for social justice struggles: “A helpful reminder for the handful of us spending another day in meetings under the broken skies that would reveal the peekaboo mountains all around us, that changing the world isn’t easy, but it happens, and it has to start somewhere, whether New Orleans, Little Rock, Grenoble or beyond. For our part we were engaged in exciting speculation and planning about what might be possible if we examined the twenty to twenty-five countries where ACORN International has deep roots, relationships, and capacity and joined them with the five to ten countries where the Alliance Citoyenne and its sister organization operating outside of France, ReAct, had experience, some staffing, and capacity. Certainly, it’s not the whole wide world, but it’s not a bad swath of people and ground, and a great deal more than simply a good beginning.”
An Inside Philanthropy article that discusses a vital and ambitious funding project for the arts that seeks to change the ways audiences interact with performers by respecting the idea that community engagement can breathe life into a theater setting: “The foundation embraces big words and bigger concepts, like its Audience (R)Evolution grant program, with a goal is to, well, revolutionize how audiences interact with theater companies. And the same audience-boosting logic applies to its multi-million dollar grants to dance organizations like Dance/USA.”
A News Wise piece about an organization in West Virginia that seeks to bring light to the valuable role women have played in the formation of Appalachian society, in spite of the marginalization they have  experienced throughout history: “The new book explores the experiences and contributions of Appalachian women across time and place, the realities and the stereotypes that have defined them, and the battles they have chosen or have been forced to fight. It also documents the diversity of mountain women, Black and white, urban and rural, rich and poor, Hispanic, Muslim, and gay.”
Desk - Bright Meadow Flickr
Desk – Bright Meadow Flickr

The Power of Email Outreach

A Gigaom article that emphasizes the important role that targeted email marketing still has in creating interest and reaching an audience, information that might be particularly welcome to scrappy scribes seeking a good way to reach his or her audience: “This is something that the front page of a newspaper used to do, but to be honest they weren’t always that great at it — in part because they had to appeal to a mass audience. The best thing about email newsletters and other targeted solutions (blogs like Daring Fireball, for example, or sites like political blogger Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish or Politico) is that they can focus more closely on a specific subject, and give readers a lot more value.”
A Tikkun Daily piece about the deep role that psychological expertise and development have had in perpetuating torture practices within the CIA, contrary to popular belief: “But as psychologist Steven Reisner states in his new piece in Slate, there would be no torture without psychologists. Also, just this morning there was a very informative and comprehensive segment on Democracy Now! featuring both Steven Reisner and Alfred McCoy, whose book A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror provided the original road map to many of the issues I covered in my dissertation. I was at the 2007 American Psychological Association (APA) Conference in San Francisco shown in this segment, where psychologists made a desperate plea to the APA to put an end to these practices, while military officers in full camo fatigues stood menacingly around the room and Col. Larry James (chief psychologist at Guantánamo) made the case that “if you remove psychologists from these facilities, people will die.””
A Telesur report that contextualizes the attitudes and actions in South America that are helping create a new political reality down south: “Bolivian President Evo Morales said regional cooperation is the key to overcoming economic aggression toward Latin America by the U.S., in an exclusive interview with teleSUR from Argentina.“We are going to confront this economic aggression, together” Morales said, explicitly referring to pressures the United States has put on Latin America. “It is not a coincidence that the oil price is falling … It is not a coincidence that Argentina faces the problem with vulture funds.””

 

Youth and Alternatives to Criminal Status Quo

A Crime Report brief stating that polls state, by a large majority, that schools and other social service organizations should address reform and thus imply that funding should go from the prison industrial complex to organizations dedicated to the common good: “More than eight in 10 respondents (85 percent) in the poll agreed that status offenders should not be sent to corrections facilities. It was a sentiment that crossed party-lines, according to Pew.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS
A Columbia Journalism Review article that lays out the risks and deficiencies involved in letting millionaires with no real feel for the business of media run the roost, with predicable consequences, such as what occurred recently at a long-standing outfit: “It’s been difficult for me to read the news about the mass exodus at The New Republic and the implosion at First Look Media and not feel a certain level of affinity with the editors involved. Of course, GOOD was neither a magazine with a 100-year history nor a new upstart founded by someone from the tech world. But it was a media company with a new, and increasingly common, type of owner: A guy with little patience, lots of money, and ever-changing expectations.”
A Conversation piece that examines the potentials and ramifications of artificial intelligence to go beyond automated tasks, and towards processing language, semantics, and other creative processes: “The challenge for an artificial intelligence that attempts to write literature is the processing of language and semantics. While sophisticated systems like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana can react to basic spoken phrases, the ambiguity of meaning in language is difficult for a machine to learn. Add to this the use of figures of speech, metaphor, and other cultural references, not to mention the characters, their speech and relationships and a coherent well paced story arc with the branching narrative twists and turns that are needed in a good novel, and we are arguably still some way from the first best-selling book totally written by a machine.”
A Gigaom piece that talks about instant translations in real time now available through a common, free internet communication platform, and the ramifications this has over both international communication and the field of translation generally: But as any science fiction fan can attest, the potential applications of real-time translation go way beyond education. It could be invaluable for businesses that need to coordinate teams internationally, and the same technology has the potential to completely change the way tourism works.”
GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Developing Media Intelligence

An Unreasonable.is posting that asks readers to question what and how they consume what they read in the media world, and argues that any self respecting thinker – and writer – must learn or cultivate the skills necessary to parse truth from propaganda: “Conglomerates own film studios, television and radio stations, billboard companies, many newspapers and magazines, and an internet start-up or two… because, well, why not? No one seems to care enough to stop them. If you think this an issue of public interest worthy of democratic debate, too bad. Those who own 90 percent of the podia and the microphones are not so keen on debate, you see. They would rather their lobbyists sort things out with your congress-folk and spare you the oh-so-boring and complicated details of deregulation and spectrum giveaways, freeing more of your time for shopping, jacking off to Jack Bauer torture-porn, or discharging the onerous responsibilities of owning a fantasy sports team.”

Prospects for a Niche Media Business 

A Gigaom offering that spells out the possibilities available in niche media business, in contrast to other popular views that hold that the big outfits are consuming all the smaller ones: “The cost of starting a digital-media entity, even a potentially successful one, has never been lower. Ask Jessica Lessin, who left the Wall Street Journal to start The Information, or Lara Setrakian of News Deeply, or Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish, who is now making close to $1 million a year from his readers — or blogger Ben Thompson, who went from being a relative unknown to running his own self-financed blog company. As Thompson put it in a recent post on his site Stratechery:”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Technology and Renewable Energies

A Technology Review article that shows the potentials for solar power, and the use of technologies to bring this about: “Soitec is one of several companies attempting to lower costs by making solar cells more efficient, so fewer are needed to generate the same amount of power. That cuts installation costs, which can account for more than half the cost of solar power (see “Solar Panels That Configure Themselves”). The challenge is achieving high efficiencies without significantly increasing the cost of making the cells.”

Police Backlash Against Protests

A Think Progress piece that shows the backlash police departments are taking against sports figures publicly showing their disgust at recent police shenanigans in Ferguson, etc: “Now, the Cleveland police union is demanding an apology from Hawkins and the Browns, saying that players like Hawkins don’t understand the law enough to take a stand.

“It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law,” Jeff Follman, the president of the Police Patrolman Union in Cleveland, said in a statement to Cleveland news station newsnet5. “They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.””

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Democratic Party Uprising in the Senate

A The Hill article that talks about the effect that Senator Warren’s stance had on the rest of the senate floor: “The reason for Clinton’s silence, some of her staunchest supporters say, is that she likely supported the spending bill — even if she didn’t want to go on record with that support.

“I don’t think she would have considered the legislation deeply flawed,” said one ally. “She would have some issues with it, of course, and she’d think that it’s not a perfect bill but I don’t think she would have taken Warren’s stance.”

Ayn Rand and and Antisocial Culture

An Information Clearing House  essay by a clinical psychologist essay that examines the role that Ayn Rand’s work and philosophy has had in shaping the ills of our society: “Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. “

 

12.16.2014 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

Despite the indisputable fact that no individual exists as a product of her own inspiration or his own isolated labors, seeking help and input, forming networks that allow greater empowerment, and all such attempts to collaborate remain among the most difficult of endeavors in a world for the owners of which alienation is a key tactic of divide-and-conquer rule.

 

Quote of the Day

“Human nature is almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural conditions. …We may say that many, if not all, of the personality traits which we have called masculine or feminine are as lightly linked to sex as are the clothing, the manners, and the form of headdress that a society at a given period assigns to either sex.”  Margaret Mead.

 

This Day in History

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.31.19 PMFive hundred eighty-three years back, Henry of England the sixth Tudor King of that name, underwent a crowning ceremony at Notre Dame, in Paris, to become the King of France; Vasco da Gama five hundred seventeen years ago persisted past the point at which earlier mariners had given up and rounded the Cape of Good Hope, discovering the quickest sea route to South Asia from Europe until the opening of the Suez Canal; precisely a century and a year later, in 1598, in East Asia allied Korean armies and Japanese navies conclusively defeated Chinese forces in the Seven Year War, establishing an ongoing tripolar power dynamic in East Asia that, off and on, has continued to the present; three and a quarter centuries before the here-and-now, the English Parliament passed a Bill of Rights that established the powers of the British legislature vis a vis the crown; two hundred forty-one years back, Boston-area residents dressed as Native Americans boarded boats in Boston Harbor to dump masses of crated tea into the sea as a protest against the Tea Act;

"Pickering - Greatbatch - Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice - She then told him what Mr. Darcy had voluntarily done for Lydia"
“Pickering – Greatbatch – Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – She then told him what Mr. Darcy had voluntarily done for Lydia”

two years after that, in 1775, the baby girl uttered her first cry who would later publish a string of popular novels as Jane Austen; South of St. Louis two hundred three years prior to the present pass, one of the strongest earthquakes in U.S. history struck near the town of New Madrid, Missouri, the effects of which extended five hundred miles or more in every direction; a hundred seventy-six years ago, European Afrikaners defeated Zulu fighters at the Battle of Blood River, en route to dominance of Southern Africa; Wilhelm Grimm, the folklorist and publisher of anthologies of fairy tales, culminated his life a hundred fifty-five years ago; four years afterward, in 1863, the baby boy was born who grew up to become Spanish philosopher George Santayana; an infant male came into the world a hundred forty-eight years back who would grow up to become painter and thinker Vassily Kandinsky; one hundred fourteen years ago, the infant was born who matured as novelist and literary philosopher V.S. Pritchett; a single year hence, in 1901, the baby girl entered the world who would to on to become renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead; a century and seven years before this day, a fleet of U.S. battleships embarked on a round-the-world cruise to demonstrate the global military potential of the United States; eleven years subsequently exactly, in 1918, leaders of Lithuania declared the country a Socialist Soviet Republic; eighty-six years ago, an infant boy took his first breath on his way to becoming Philip K. Dick, acclaimed storyteller and science-fiction aficionado; eight years further along, in 1936, a baby boy was born who would become famed civil rights leader and attorney against the Ku Klux Klan, Morris Dees; a team of researchers at Bell Labs, working on both government and private contracts, completed their development of the first practical solid state transistor prototype; book hor3General William Westmorland forty-nine years ago, called for almost 250,000 additional troops from his superior, Secretary of the Department of Defense Robert McNamara, and British writer W. Somerset Maugham died; three years precisely after that, in 1968, the Catholic Church officially rescinded its four centuries old order to expel all Jews from Spain; Pakistan suffered a twin defeat forty-three years back when East Pakistan successfully declared its independence as Bangladesh and India won the war between the forces of Islamabad and the armies of the Subcontinent; in the first metropolitan loan default since the Great Depression, thirty-six years ago, Cleveland declared bankruptcy and an inability to repay its loans and bonds; two decades later to the hour, in 1998, novelist and critic William Gaddis died; seven years prior to today, poet and songwriter Dan Fogelberg breathed his last.

book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
"human sexuality" repression "social control" versus "sexual "liberation OR "sex positive" history analysis "political economy" = 3,810 Hits.

book hor

 

TOP OF THE FOLD

ONLINE DICONNECTS FROM OFFLINE REALITIES

http://thesouthlawn.org   From the soulful and brilliant thinkers at South Lawn, at once an exemplar of the dysfunction that characterizes current media and a cry for more incisive and accurate reporting and understanding of the connections and disconnections among media, social justice, and history: “I am familiar with these conditions, because poverty has always been a part of my family.  But living in Alabama will radicalize anyone who gives a damn about poverty and the working class.  So when I had heard that some folks within the social justice community on Twitter had simultaneously deleted their accounts, I rolled my eyes.  I left Twitter over a month ago because the constant infighting and escalating stupidity of many people in that space became too much to deal with.  I knew these people as bullies; folks that would fly off the handle at the slightest of disagreements.  I saw them harass someone off Twitter for the crime of being a white woman on a natural hair site.  I saw them malign a Black writer for calling out a writer for Colorlines over her defense of catcalling, then malign him for being in an interracial relationship.   I saw them ask, in the middle of Israel’s bombing of Palestinian women, children, schools, and basic infrastructure needed to live, why they had not tweeted about Marissa Alexander.”

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

2014: A YEAR IN REVIEW

By Larry Goldbetter

Independent freelance writers continue to move from the margins to the mainstream. In fact, contingent workers will exceed 40 percent of the US workforce by 2020 as traditional full-time jobs with benefits become harder to find, according to an Intuit 2020 report. Our members are part of a growing wave of contingent, precarious workers—the precariat—who for the moment do not have collective bargaining, and are seeking alternate ways to win respect and financial security for our work.

Our main job is to build a fighting union that can represent all freelancers, in all genres, on all platforms.

WHERE DO WE STAND TODAY? (read more here)

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

CONTESTS & SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITIES

  • The Stoneslide Corrective pays for stories upon publication. Authors will be paid $250 for short fiction and short narrative non-fiction, and $100 for flash pieces up to 1,000 words. Welcomes submissions.
  • Daily Science Fiction is a professional publication of science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and more. If you’d like to submit your original stories or artwork for publication, this is the place.
  • East of the Web accepting submissions on a rolling basis. Does not look to be a paying market. Many genres: children’s, crime, romance, general fiction, etc.

JOBS

  • The Temple (Texas) Daily Telegram seeks an experienced pressroom manager to join its team…The successful candidate will be a quality-conscience, hands-on manager who understands the importance of regular maintenance and training. They will serve as a lead operator for several shifts each week.
  • Houston, TX – Upstream, the international oil and gas weekly newspaper, is seeking an energetic, focused journalist to join its North American bureau as a full-time reporter located in Houston, Texas…. Candidates should be able to work independently to produce consistent, clean news copy under tight deadlines. Regional and international travel is possible.
  • new york
    Measure, analyze and recommend strategies leveraging audience, platform and competitive data. Primary areas of data mining, interpretation, modeling and projection include sites, mobile devices, apps, authenticated viewing, and cross-platform measurement for all screens.
  • 19057
    Calkins Media is a family-owned media company with television broadcasting, newspaper publishing and digital operations in the Northeast and Southeast.  During the last three years, the company’s newspaper operations in Philadelphia have developed significant capabilities in its video news and entertainment creation.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
war Flugzeuge Junkers Ju 87A Telesur offering that analyzes the skewed ways that mainstream media portrays urgent events ocurring in the world on a daily basis, and their ramifications: “These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.”

A Counterpunch piece that discusses the ways governments discourage scientists from disclosing information: “Harper maintains similar procedures, with scientists unable to speak directly to the press without prior authorization from public relations higher-ups.Unlike the Harper rules, EPA Science Advisory Board members do not work directly for the U.S. government. Instead, they serve as advisors for U.S.environmental policy, but almost all members work full-time at U.S. universities, corporations or environmental groups.Critics say muzzling of these scientists matters because they make policy decisions with real-world impacts on society.”

"Film strip" by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Film strip” by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana,

Film Business Prognoses

A Truly Free Film blog post outlining predictions for what the upcoming film environment will look like in 2015, interesting ideas for anyone interested in media: “So what I do I predict this year for the years ahead? In examining this list, take in mind that I am not advocating for these developments, nor am I ranking them.  I just took the moments needed to examine where we are today, what’s been said, and where it may all lead. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and where you think it may go too.”
An Inside Philanthropy article showing the ways that private philanthropy can taint curriculum taught in schools, to the detriment of truth and education: “The Charlotte Observer reported recently that the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction plans to recommend that schools in the Tar Heel State adopt standards developed by the Bill of Rights Institute for a state-mandated social studies course on founding principles. The Bill of Rights Institute received a $100,000 sole-source contract from the state to develop materials for teachers to use in the course. A sole-source contract means no other group was involved in developing the curriculum.”

A Guardian interview of longstanding professor, activist and revolutionary Angela Davis, who shares her views on Ferguson and other matters: “This is classic Davis – offering bracing analysis that, instead of blaming someone else, puts responsibility for changing the world in our hands. For all that Davis was the late 60s/early 70s radical who stuck it to the man, for all that her indomitable spirit and iconic hairdo made her a poster girl for African-Americans, feminists and anyone with a radical consciousness, this is perhaps Davis’s key significance now – a woman who comes at the hottest political issues from unexpected and inspiring angles.””

Austerity and the Political Economy

1933_unemployment_bigA Monthly Review report on austerity and the state of capitalism today, and a brief but incisive critique on how all came to pass: “In responding to austerity, ever more people find their way to a critical understanding of capitalism.  Beyond blaming individuals or groups, such people condemn the system, capitalism, whose structure of incentives (rewards and punishments) drives their behaviors.  That system brought the 2007/2008 crisis.  It then delivered trillions in government bailouts to fund its survival.  And now austerity serves to shift the costs of crisis and bailouts onto the general public.  Austerity is today’s hot issue not only because it affects practically everyone, but also because it touches the foundations of economy and society.”

Social Equality in the Tech Industry

A fascinating MIT Tecnology Review interview of one of the few outspoken feminists in Silicon Valley, who publishes  a fascinating and new technology publication, and is not shy about expressing what she views as the deficiencies in a white male centred tech culture: “It comes down to what their interests actually are. If their interests were better serving the world, using technology as a force for social justice, and equitably distributing technology wealth to enrich society … sure, they’d be acting against their interests. But the reality is that tech companies centralize power and wealth in a small group of privileged white men. When that’s the goal, then exploiting the labor of marginalized people and denying them access to power and wealth is 100 percent in line with the endgame. A more diverse tech industry would be better for its workers and everyone else, but it would be worse for the privileged white men at the top of it, because it would mean they would have to give up their monopoly on money and power. And they will fight that with everything they’ve got, which is why we see barriers to equality at every level of the industry.”

By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons
By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons

Politicians Against Bank Theft

A Truth Dig posting that shares a video where a prominent politician speaks out against what other politicians are only too happy to let slide. Video here.

PermaDebt and Higher Education

A sobering article from the Guardian discussing the Pandora’s box of debt that most freshmen fall into, generally unwittingly, as soon as they sign up for their first semester: ““It is possible, even likely, that this lack of knowledge will cause students to be surprised when their financial circumstances become apparent, perhaps when their first loan payment comes due,” write Akers and Chingos. They say that students who find themselves in such circumstances express regret about their college education choices.

Guardian readers have previously expressed frustration with the lack of knowledge and advice they had regarding the financing of their college education.”

Change in Media and Foreign Reportage

A Nieman Reports offering that analyzes the tradition undergoing the task of reporting on news in foreign lands, and the changing problems and opportunities available for foreign correspondents today: “The abundance of new reporting venues has also given rise to new questions. Are outlets like Vice and BuzzFeed providing the same quality of coverage as The New York Times and The Washington Post? Given the spate of kidnappings in Syria, and the horrific killings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, are news organizations using freelancers who aren’t adequately prepared? And is it ethical to use their work without giving them the institutional benefits only big outlets can provide?”

 

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS
Controversies Surrounding Commenting/Reader Participation
As Reuters and The Week announce recently with much fanfare that they will cancel commenting platforms on their sites, and other publications comment on this phenomenom, criticize it, or follow suit,  scrappy scribes have to wonder what is driving this desired to silence readers’ voices, crass and unconstructive though they may be – ironically, the comments sections provide the livelier reasons:
Truth is the management of Thomson-Reuters mismanaged their new product roll-out and are looking to cut costs. That has translated in a general decline in the quality of the news product. The comment feature has shown increasing signs of neglect, erratic in its operation, a not particularly productive feature, especially when scarce staff need to be diverted to its monitoring”
“Paid Russian shills, paid Ukrainian shills, obsessive partisan hacks from both sides of the isle, racist invective on any stories to with Ferguson and/or Black Americans in general, and you wonder why they are getting rid of comments?? Why maintain a trash heap? Expect to see more news sites follow suit as the sickening behavior seen in the comments sections grows, and spreads.”

“Sure there are plenty of dumb, partisan commenters, but there are also many interesting, intelligent ones. I often learn more in the comments than from the half-researched stories you regularly publish. Why don’t you just ban the “few bad apples”? …… Anyway, this is a dumb, short-sighted and frankly arrogant decision and I’m sure it will cost you readers. But it will avoid you having to face all the fact checkers who use the comments to point out all the obvious errors you publish. Is that your real goal?”

A Nieman Lab article that discusses the ways in which news outlets can make news more palatable to its audience, and thus possibly eliminate a problem that makes it hard to swallow for many: “We also found evidence of what we called “significant personal distress in dealing with the news.” Almost half of adults said they feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available to them. In the same study: 41 percent said they have a hard time telling what news in important; 40 percent said they don’t have time to keep up with the news; and one quarter said they find the news difficult to understand.”
A candid offering from Comment is Free by a successful indie artist made recently controversial due to certain business decisions after an epic Kickstarter campaign, who discusses the nitty-gritty of financing a musical career: “There is, though, a growing clan of transparent musicians trying to yank back the mystique-curtain on what it takes to make a living as an artist, from back in the day and more recently – sharing their private spreadsheets so that we aren’t all starting from scratch or working from hearsay. Musicians already spend our days juggling music-making with the minutiae of tour-booking, dusting off our codpieces and our back catalogues, and trying to explain our lives, souls and financial decisions to our contemporaries and – more importantly – to our fans, who trust and support us because of the transparency for which we will be criticized. Transparency – much like full-disclosure honesty in any loving human relationship – is beautiful, but it’s expensive.”
GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

The Physiology and Psychology of Fatigue

A New Yorker article that seeks to show the reason for fatigue as based as much on consciousness as physical exhaustion: “Marcora believes that this limit is probably never truly reached—that fatigue is simply a balance between effort and motivation, and that the decision to stop is a conscious choice rather than a mechanical failure. This, he says, is why factors that alter a person’s perception or motivation (monetary rewards, for example) can affect performance, even without any change in muscle capacity.”

Thomas Pynchon 

A Rolling Stone commemorative of the legendary author, on occasion of a new movie based on a novel coming out soon: So take it from the legion of Pynchon obsessives who have loved it: Welcome to the club. This is precisely the mood that the 77-year-old writer has labored to create over eight revered novels and novellas since the mid-Sixties, pushing his adventurous readers off their pedestals of narrative security and trust in government. “He’s fucking with you all the time,” Anderson recently said of the “anonymous” novelist — the last publicly circulated picture of the author dates back to 1955 — and he means this as a compliment. At a slender 370 pages, Inherent Vice is the quickest way into Pynchon’s oeuvre, itself the wildest adventure in postmodern letters. (The collected hardcover editions of his books weigh as much as an unruly eight-year-old in need of a nap.) So maybe it’s time to try him out. The good news: You’re already halfway there if you live for rock & roll, enjoy a good conspiracy story and can go with the voluminous flow.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Ukraine Financial Woes

A Naked Capitalism article that tells the sad tale of Ukraine’s financial woes, in the wake of its economic intertwining with Russia and the end of lending for Ukraine: “For the first time since the change of government in Ukraine last February led to civil war in the east of the country, European bankers and multilateral fund sources acknowledge that Kiev is now likely to default on its international debts, and will seek a reorganization of its bond debt. This will hit Franklin Templeton, the US investment fund which has accumulated up to $9 billion in Ukrainian bonds on a wager to make a $4 billion profit – if the US Government guarantees full and timely repayment.”

Constituents Fight Back Against Recalcitrant Lawmaker

A The Hill report that describes how citizens are fighting back against a GOP representative who does not represent their wishes in regards to new DC legislation: “The sign is from a Tumblr page devoted to helping businesses “blacklist” Harris and his aides, from his chief of staff to his staff assistants. Only his interns appeared to have been spared.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Labor in a Robotic World

A New York Times offering detailing the ways that robotic technology, in a context of diminishing skills and job opportunities, create uncertainty in the labour force: Clearly, many workers feel threatened by technology. In a recent New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who were not working, 37 percent of those who said they wanted a job said technology was a reason they did not have one. Even more — 46 percent — cited “lack of education or skills necessary for the jobs available.””

BitCoin Doubts

A Quartz article that casts doubt on the feasibility and wisdom of investing in BitCoin: Some of us have argued that bitcoin actually never was a currency, but rather a plaything of speculators. When such playthings start to lose value, speculators have a tendency to abandon them en masse, which they appear to have done in this case.”