3.31.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

infrastructure decayThe idea that borders actually divide people, except inasmuch as oceans or other nearly impassable barriers are the basis of the separation, represents just the most repulsive absurdity in regard to nationalistic and jingoistic “close-the-borders” arguments, the entire rationale of which ends up being the safe bifurcation of populations so that those in charge never need worry about people’s joining together to achieve their mutual elevation and liberation.

Quote of the Day
“Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third. …This life is a war we are not yet winning for our daughters’ children.  Don’t do your enemies’ work for them.  Finish your own. …We are trying to live as if we were an experiment conducted by the future.”  Marge Piercy
This Day in History

 

 

"Camille Cabral pour les Trans" by Kenji-Baptiste OIKAWA
“Camille Cabral pour les Trans” by Kenji-Baptiste OIKAWA

Today is both a day to celebrate the legacy of Cesar Chavez, and International Transgender Day; at Medina, thirteen hundred and eighty eight years ago, a siege began against the forces of the prophet Muhammad; five hundred and nineteen years hence, more or less exactly, in 1146, Bernard of Clairvaux preached a renowned sermon that called for a new Crusade against Islam; five hundred and twenty three years back, in the same year that Columbus set sail for America, Spain issued its Alhambra decree that required Muslim and Jewish citizens to convert or face expulsion for the crime of having a different religion; a century and four years later, in 1596, a baby boy came screaming into the world on his way to a life as philosopher and mathematician Rene Descarters; three hundred ninety-four years prior to this interlude, a male infant entered the world who would grow up as poet and spiritual thinker Andrew Marvel; a decade beyond that pass, in 1631, the beloved English poet John Donne breathed no more; two hundred and forty one years prior to the present pass, English authorities closed the port of Boston and sealed the fate of its loss of its colonial holdings in the Americas; two hundred and six years before this precise point, a Ukrainian family brought a boy into the world who would grow up as the masterful Russian short story writer, Nikolai Gogol; fourteen years past that point, in 1823, six thousand miles away in South Carolina, a baby girl first breathed for herself en route to a life as writer and critic of slavery, Mary Boykin Chestnut; a hundred seventy-eight years before today dawned, English painter William Constable died; one hundred sixty-one years before this moment in time, Matthew Perry signed the agreement that forced Japan to open itself to Western and especially American commerce; just a year after, in 1855, British novelist Charlotte Bronte breathed her last; eleven years subsequently, in 1866, across the Atlantic and the South American continent, Spanish Naval ships bombarded the Chilean port of Valparaiso in the opening stages of the War of the Pacific; thirteen decades before the here and now, in the opening stages of the Scramble for Africa, England imposed a protectorate on Bechuanaland; four years exactly following that, in 1889, the Eiffel Tower officially opened; a decade more proximate to the present, in 1899, the United States continued its conquest of the Philippines by occupying the independence movement’s capital; a hundred and six years ago,  in a precursor of the struggles that would be the proximate cause of World War One, Serbia acceded to Austrian power over Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the unsinkable 212px-Stöwer_TitanicTitanic readied for its tragic maiden voyage; four years thereafter, in 1913, an audience that preferred melodic music rioted in Vienna at the performance of concerts by Schoenberg and other modernist composers; another year closer to today, in 1914, a Mexican boy entered the world in the usual way, on his path to life as the poet, Nobel Laureate, and humanist, Octavio Paz; three years still further on, in 1917, the United States expanded its imperial footprint with the purchase of Danish ‘properties’ in the Caribbean that became the U.S. Virgin Islands; three hundred sixty-five days in the future from that conjunction, in 1918, over ten thousand Muslim Azerbaijanis died in a massacre by Armenian and Bolshevik forces in the Russian Revolution; ninety-one years before just this juncture on time’s path, a baby boy was born who would grow up to become the spiritual thinker and writer and teacher, Leo Buscaglia; two years hence across the Atlantic, in Britain in 1926, a male child took his first breath on the path to life as novelist and critic, John Fowles; three hundred sixty-five days subsequently, in 1927, a baby boy was the issue of campesino parents who raised him to be the great labor leader Cesar Chavez; eighty-five years back, the Motion Picture Production Code became the law of the

"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,

land in relation to the depictions of sexuality, political criticism, religion, and other ‘sensitive’ issues in films; one year later on, in 1931, a boy child was born who would mature as prolific writer John Jakes; two years after that precise conjunction, in 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps began its operations in the U.S., partially to relieve the ravages of unemployment; yet another three years hence, in 1936, a girl child became a part of the human clan who would come to write as popular and socially democratic storyteller, Marge Piercy; sixty-four years before this juncture in time, the Remington Rand Corporation installed its first UNIVAC-I computer for the Census Bureau; fifty-six years prior to today, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet to asylum in India; half a decade beyond that moment, in 1964, a coup in Brazil, supported by the U.S., established a fascist state that brutalized its citizens for many years; seven hundred thirty days beyond that, in 1966, the Soviet’s Luna 10 became the first craft to enter a lunar orbit; a quarter century ago,more or less 200,,000 Londoners went into the street to protest a newly instituted poll tax; four years after that, in 1994, Nature published findings from Ethiopia of the discovery of the first entire skull of the human ancestor Australopithecus aferensis; one year after to the day, in 1995, the U.S. withdrew from its bloody campaign in Somalia, and the wildly popular Mexican-American folksinger, Selena, died from a shooting by an employee whom she had caught embezzling money.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
games consciousness numeracy OR "number ability" OR "math skills" OR "math ability" "strategic thinking" = 154,000 Citations.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

http://rogerannis.com/         A categorical compilation from A Socialist in Canada about one expert online location’s materials in regard to recent Ukrainian developments, one of many recent articles about such issues as the fraudulent International Monetary Fund process, the featherbedding by Ukrainians of Clinton financial interests, the infighting that now characterizes the ‘autumn of the plutocrats in Kiev, the realities of the financial protocols in play, the integration of fascist forces into national armies in the region, and impassioned calls for peace by journalists and activists: “There is a great deal of information and analysis published recently on The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond concerning the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the NATO threats to Russia and military buildup in eastern Europe. Below is a selection of key articles on these subjects posted to the website in recent days.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop is calling for advanced writers of screenwriting, fiction, poetry, and nonfiction to apply for their Lit Fest classes. Instructors include Kim Addonizio, Andre Dubus III, Steve Almond, and Major Jackson.

Educe Press is accepting book-length submissions of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Thanks to Submittable. for today’s postings

HIGHFIELD PRESS SPRING 2015 ESSAY CONTEST
http://highfieldpress.wix.com/contests
$20 ENTRY FEE.
Highfield Press invites writers to submit an unpublished essay (500-1,000 words) inspired by the theme, “Spring Fever.” Submission may be a personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, commentary, travel piece, historical account, biography, or short story. It must reflect the inspirational photo shown on the website, and theme of the contest. Deadline April 30, 2015. $1,000 Grand Prize and online publication. Writer retains all rights.



THE MAINE REVIEW SHORT STORY CONTEST
http://www.themainereview.com/short-story-contest.htm
$10 ENTRY FEE.
The Maine Review is pleased to announce a short story contest for our first annual fiction collection, Juxtaposition, to be published this summer. Grand prize is $200, and all winners will be published in Juxtaposition. The contest is open to all published and unpublished writers, and all submissions are considered for publication in subsequent issues. Maximum length of 5,000 words. We’re looking for quality writing with a strong point of view. Deadline April 15, 2015.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Social5 is Seeking a Freelance Real Estate Writer Social5 is seeking part-time and freelance writers across the United States to keep up with current growth. Social5 expects to hire three real estate specialists by mid-May. A real estate background is required. Pay stated as $20 an hour.

The Freelance Investment Writer plays an essential role in Betterment’s marketing and investor education efforts by writing technically astute and reader-friendly articles, while drawing both on original analysis and reported research. Submit rates.

Scopic Software is Seeking a Freelance Copywriter Scopic Software is currently looking for a talented Website Copywriter with strong research and communication skills. This position will use creative and technical abilities to research, write, edit, proofread and design website content on multiple projects for our clients from around the world.

The Northern Virginia Daily has an opening for an entry-level general assignment reporter.  Our reporters cover everything from breaking news to features and town meetings.

We are a small six-day-a-week daily in Virginia’s Northern Shenandoah Valley, not too far from the Washington, D.C., metro area. If you want to become a great reporter, this is the place to start your career.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Memoirs of Fighting for Justice

A Washington Post article that recalls the heroic high school carreer of an Civil Rights crusader: “Greg Wittkamper wasn’t a typical teenager. In Jim Auchmutey’s “Class of ’65,” he’s an idealist whose upbringing on a Christian commune inspired him to become the only white student to socialize with black youngsters during his Georgia high school’s turbulent desegregation. Already acquainted with the four black students, he proudly rode in the limousine transporting them to their new school as a sign of support. No wonder Wittkamper’s years at Americus High School in Sumter County were a nightmare: Daily he was shoved, hit, spat upon, thrown down the stairs or otherwise brutalized by white classmates, never fighting back or abandoning his black friends.”

Midwife Blues

A Guardian post that outlines the difficulties of caring for babies under an unsympathetic healthcare system:  “I am a midwife with eight years experience and I am tired. I am tired of the punitive practice, the fear, the paperwork, the audits, the inspections and the nights on the sofa sobbing after another dreadful shift. I am tired of the negativity, the bullying that I see young midwives subjected to and the absolute inability of individuals to freely give outstanding care to women. In the wake of Francis and Kirkup we see ourselves lambasted in the press and vilified by the media. We are trying so hard as a profession to change and to give one another the courage to question the entrenched practice we see every day – but one or two midwives in each trust is not enough. We must all come together as women and declare that it is time to focus not on midwife-led care but woman-centred care. We have a long road ahead of us.”

 

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

 

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

Police Attack Journalist

A First Look article that examines the  charges a police officer faces in Ferguson for excessive action, as seems to be their wont:  “An Intercept reporter is suing the St. Louis County Police Department after he was shot with rubber bullets and arrested while reporting on protests in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown last August.

The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux is joined in the civil rights suit, filed today in federal court in the Eastern District of Missouri, by three German journalists who were also arrested. They allege that the police department, St. Louis County, and 20 unidentified officers violated their First Amendment rights of freedom of press and freedom of speech, used excessive force against them, and arrested them without probable cause. “

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Scientology Examined

A Rolling Stones article that discusses a recent offering that scrutinizes the strange world of Scientology: “Last night, HBO aired Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney’s documentary exposé of the Church of Scientology and its founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. While much of the information contained within the film isn’t technically new (especially since the doc is based on executive producer Lawrence Wright’s book of the same name), it does forcefully, brutally put faces to many of the stories, and assembles a meticulous, damning case against the church. The organization had taken aggressive action to counterattack (including a full-page ad in The New York Times) after the movie’s premiere at Sundance last January, and now that the film has finally aired on the cable channel, they’re likely to go on the offensive as a whole new audience begins to discuss some of the Scientology’s more terrifying, disturbing practices. Here are 10 of Going Clear‘s biggest talking points.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 Clemency for Drug Offenses

A Common Dreams posting that examines a recent decision to overturn old and unreasonable drug charges:”U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday granted clemency to 22 individuals serving “outdated” drug sentences.

“Had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement. “Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years—in some cases more than a decade—longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime.”

The detainees were each imprisoned for intent to distribute an illegal drug. Eight of the individuals carried lifetime sentences.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

 

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

Cuba Medical Breakthroughs

A Tele Sur posting that explores recent breakthroughs in preventive medicine by a country which has long surpassed all expectations in regards to excellent healthcare: “In order to receive the certification from the WHO, a country must have a transmission rate in less than 0.5 percent of live births in the case of syphilis and less than 2 percent in the case of HIV. Medical care for pregnant women and access to HIV tests must exceed 95 percent and antiretroviral treatment must be available for 95 percent of seropositive pregnant women.

“We believe Cuba meets the indicated requirements and we hope to receive certification,” said Dr. Rosaida Ochoa, director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit.

Dr. Ochoa indicated that 24 experts from the WHO will visit hospitals, clinics, and laboratories in the provinces of Havana, Villa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba.”

3.30.15 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

 

 

"6sided dice" by Diacritica
“6sided dice” by Diacritica

Often enough, we elect to make choices that we know, with something like certainty, are bad propositions, decidedly unlikely to lead to positive results, yet the desire to watch the toxic option unfold is so strong that we cannot stop ourselves from putting the cosmos once more to the test.

Quote of the Day
“I think technique can be taught but I think the only way to learn to write is to read, and I see writing and reading as completely related.  One almost couldn’t exist without the other. …I think that each of us inhabits a private world that others cannot see.  The only difference between the writer and the reader is that the writer is able to dramatise that private world.”  John McGahern
This Day in History

One thousand four hundred seventeen years ago, Slavic Avars, suffering from a plague epidemic, lifted their siege of a Byzantine fortified town at Tomis; exactly two centuries before today, Joachim Murat published the Rimini Proclamation, which was one predecessor to moves later in the century for Italian unification; seven years hence, in 1822, having recently purchased the land South of Georgia from Spain, the United States formed the Florida Territory; two decades thereafter, in 1842, a Georgia

Morton Ether
Morton Ether

surgeon by the name of Crawford Long first used ether anesthesia in an operation; two years after that exact juncture, in 1844, across the Atlantic in France, an infant male came into the world who would grow up as wild poet Paul Verlaine; sixteen decades back, Missouri pro-slavery gangs swept into Kansas and ‘encouraged’ the election of a pro-slavery legislature; three hundred sixty-six days closer to the current day, in 1856, across the Atlantic in France, combatants in the Crimean conflict of the day signed an accord to end their warfare with the Treaty of Paris; eleven years more proximate to the present, in 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward finalized the purchase of Alaska from Russia for roughly two pennies per acre, or $7.2 million; three years after that juncture, in 1870, Texas gained readmission to the Union; one hundred thirty years prior to the present pass, England and Russia nearly went to war over Afghanistan after the Battle for Kushka instigated the so-called Panjdeh Incident, in a conflict redolent of much of the past three and a half decades in the same region; five years beyond that, in 1890, a baby boy was born who would become French author Jean Giono; nine years more proximate to the present, in 1899, the German Society of Chemistry invited other nations to appoint representatives to an international conference on atomic weights; one hundred twelve years before the here-and-now, a male child came along who would become popular writer of musical verse Countee Cullen; three years beyond a century ago, Morocco became a French protectorate and extended the European Imperial

"Fes Bab Bou Jeloud 2011" by Bjørn Christian
“Fes Bab Bou Jeloud 2011” by Bjørn Christian

Project through the Treaty of Fez; six years subsequently, in 1918, as part of the Russian Revolution, a violent uprising affected much of Baku and surrounding areas; seventy-eight years ahead of this day, a baby boy was born who would make and act in films as Warren Beatty; seventy years back, in 1945, a male infant uttered his first cry who would croon and play guitar as Eric Clapton; Icelandic residents of Reykjavik rioted against their country’s joining NATO; a dozen years in the future, in 1961,  the United States imposed a single convention on narcotic drugs in New York City; fifty-one years before this moment, a baby girl drew her first breath who would continue on to write and sing as Tracy Chapman; poet Jean Toomer had his final day alive; a quarter century before this moment-in-time, union leader Harry Bridges drew his last breath; eleven years before the current conjunction, English journalist Alistair Cooke spent his last day on Earth; seven hundred and thirty days beyond that point, in 2006, Irish author John McGahern took his final breath; four years following that, in 2010, Bolivian educator Jaime Escalante died.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
depression "not a disease" = 362,000 Hits.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

RACE, IDENTITY, & OTHER POPULAR NOTIONS

http://www.brainpickings.org          Another gem from Brain Pickings, not because everything in it is perfectly agreeable, apt, or analytically astute, but because it ‘goes to the trouble’ of taking thinking, ideology, and consciousness seriously rather than as given and unimaginable or as already understood and uninteresting, in the event examining the conversation between Margaret Mead and James Baldwin in New York a couple of generations of humanity back, in which important and powerfully articulated ideas danced between these two characters, at the same time that what is missing is of more interest in some senses than what is present: “By that point, Baldwin, forty-six and living in Paris, was arguably the most world-famous poet alive, and an enormously influential voice in the civil rights dialogue; Mead, who was about to turn seventy, had become the world’s first celebrity academic — a visionary anthropologist with groundbreaking field experience under her belt, who lectured at some of the most esteemed cultural institutions and had a popular advice column in Redbook magazine.  As a black man and a white woman who had come of age in the first half of the twentieth century, before the civil rights and women’s liberation movements, and as queer people half a century before marriage equality, their formative experiences were at once worlds apart and strewn with significant similarity.
Since the depth and dimension of the conversation between these uncontainable minds cannot be reduced to a single thread of synthesis — this is, after all, the book I have annotated most heavily in a lifetime of reading — I have decided to examine its various facets in a multi-part series, the first installment in which coveredforgiveness and the crucial difference between guilt and responsibility.  This second installment focuses on identity, how we assemble it as individuals, and how we construct it as a culture.”
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Cicada magazine, a cultural arts publication for young adults, is inviting writers to submit stories for a forthcoming issue on Mutiny. This issue will include stories of disobedience, revolt, and uprising—the pivotal swivel from submission to rebellion. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul (CSS) announced a new call for submissions to contribute to a future anthology about “Think Possible.” This anthology asks writers to submit first-person nonfiction stories about turning impossibilities into possibilities through passion, motivation, and confidence. 

Small press publisher Apokrupha LLC. is accepting fiction stories for Lamplight (est. 2012), a quarterly literary e-zine of dark fiction tales. The editor is reviewing both flash fiction (under 1K words) and short story fiction (2K-7K words) … Deadline: 04/15/2015 Pay: up to $150/story

Mslexia magazine Posts New Deadlines for Prose and Poetry Mslexia magazine (U.K. market) has a handful of editorial opportunities available to freelance writers. Based in the United Kingdom, the quarterly literary magazine is for women who write. It covers the trade, pursuit and psychology of writing … Deadline: 04/13/2015 Pay: $15-$100/submission

Thanks to for today’ listings: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-poetry-submissions
Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Orlando Sentinel (FL) is seeking a Magazine Editor to join our team! Responsible for story development and design for specialty products of the Orlando Sentinel. Strong editing and organizational skills are critical in this job.

Nashua NH – The  Telegraph seeks an editor for The Milford Cabinet, a paid weekly newspaper based in Milford, NH. Responsibilities also include overseeing three free weekly publications distributed in their respective communities that focus on reader-submitted content: the Bedford Journal, the Hollis Brookline Journal and the Merrimack Journal.

Adrian, MI – The Daily Telegram is looking for full- and part-time sports writers. Experience in covering high school or college sports for print or digital is highly preferred. Social media and videography experience a plus. Pay is commensurate with experience.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

 

hector gomez
hector gomez

Linguistics Schools of Thought

A fascinating article regarding the different, and oftentimes clashing views that linguists and other academics have had throughout the ages: “From the beginning of the page you are reading, the subject has been more about self-expression than it is about that other half of communication: trying to understand what someone is attempting to tell us. The purpose of communication is, of course, to transfer thought, and this leaves the reader or listener concerned with how well he understands the person with whom he communicating. If someone says, for example, “the devil made me do it,” we might better understand him if we ask and he tells us what he means by the devil. In the interest of understanding we need not be concerned with how what he says fits with grammatical, philosophical, political or scientific correctness. And, again, clarity is increased by the addition of detail.  “

Race and Gender Discussion

A Brainpickings article that discusses an important historical conversation that ocurred between two titans of the civil rights, the feminist movement, and of literature in general: “On the evening of August 25, Margaret Mead and James Baldwin sat down for a remarkable public conversation, the transcript of which was eventually published as A Rap on Race (public library). For seven and a half hours over the course of two days, they discussed everything from power and privilege to race and gender to capitalism and democracy. What emerged was a dialogue of total commitment, deep mutual respect, and profound prescience.”

Finer Points of Learning a Language

Another interesting linguistic article, this time from The Kernel, analyzing the particular difficulties encountered when learning a language, regarding subtleties that are not immediately obvious: “Idioms seem so casual—just linguistic shortcuts tossed off to convey something with a complicated meaning in just a few words. But they’re anything but casual. They’re not slang terms, like using “arvo” for afternoon in Australia, or even regional variations, like America’s never-ending soda vs. pop debate, or even wordplay that depends on an advanced knowledge of a language’s inner workings. They’re the sneakiest part of language, tripping you up long after you think you’re proficient. My linguist friend told me that even years after people have mastered a language, when they’re fluent by every measure and when they have no trace of an accent and speak just like a native, they still get idioms wrong.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Decline of Newsroom

A sobering article from Guardian media that discusses the inevitable decline of the great American newsroom, thanks to changing media economics and the internet, and discusses the larger ramifications of this loss: Stephan Salisbury, a prize-winning culture writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer for the past 36 years, puts them like this: “Newspapers stitch people together, weaving community with threads of information, and literally standing physically on the street, reminding people where they are and what they need to know. What happens to a community when community no longer matters and when information is simply an opportunity for niche marketing and branding in virtual space? Who covers the mayor? City council? Executive agencies? Courts?… It is this unravelling of our civic fabric that is the most grievous result of the decline of our newspapers. And it is the ordinary people struggling in the city who have lost the most, knowing less and less about where they are – even as the amount of information bombarding them grows daily at an astounding rate.””

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

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

Facebook Hegemony

A Buzz Feed article that discusses the increasingly aggressive role that facebook is taking  over entire technologies and systems so as to hold sway: “And that family is growing. Wednesday Zuckerberg and other executives unveiled Facebook’s new Messenger platform, which will allow the service’s 600 million users to use a whole host of third-party apps and tools from partners like ESPN, Giphy, and The Weather Channel. It also launched Messenger for Business, which will allow users to communicate directly with businesses instead of calling, emailing, or interacting through a wonky customer service chat app. It’s an ambitious move by Facebook that suggests the social network will continue to creep into new and unexpected areas of our lives, like customer service. It’s also a major sign that Facebook is encroaching on everyone from Google to Apple to Youtube, and even Twitter’s mobile analytics offering Crashlytics in its quest to become, at least on mobile, the entire internet.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

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

Fast Food Labor Disputes

A The Hill posting that analyses new legislation that sounds promising to all fast food workers enduring suboptimal labor conditions: “A high-stakes legal dispute pitting McDonald’s Corp. against labor unions is set to enter a crucial phase this week, when the National Labor Relations Board takes up consideration of a case with major implications for franchise businesses.

An NLRB administrative law judge on Monday will begin weighing whether McDonald’s should be responsible for what employees say are poor working conditions and low pay at many of its franchise restaurants.

A finding in the affirmative would mark the first time that a major franchisor would be found culpable for labor violations at individual chains, following a finding last year by the NLRB’s lead attorney that McDonald’s should be treated as a “joint employer.””

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

On Human Evolution

A Slate article that contextualizes the theory of evolution from an educational standpoint, outlining the particular challenges of educating college students not just in an Appalachian state, but in this nation as a whole:  “We live in a nation where public acceptance of evolution is the second lowest of 34 developed countries, just ahead of Turkey. Roughly half of Americans reject some aspect of evolution, believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, and that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Where I live, many believe evolution to be synonymous with atheism, and there are those who strongly feel I am teaching heresy to thousands of students. A local pastor, whom I’ve never met, wrote an article in the University Christian complaining that, not only was I teaching evolution and ignoring creationism, I was teaching it as a non-Christian, alternative religion.”

3.27.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

Even today, when technological marvels fly into mountainsides and inattention can lead to catastrophic accident, travel entails the risk of travail: indeed, the entire route that articulates crossing inevitably spells both danger and allure to most human beings.

Quote of the Day
Good books tell the truth, even when they’re about things that never have been and never will be. They’re truthful in a different way. Stanislaw Lem
This Day in History

  

„Theater Baden-Baden-22-gje“ von Gerd Eichmann – Eigenes Werk. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0

For all thespians and others who appreciate dramatic arts, today is World Theatre Day; in Venice, seven hundred six years ago, the city state’s leadership suffered the imposition of a Papal decree that imposed excommunication, interdiction, and a general prohibition of all commercial intercourse, as a result of an alleged Venetian seizure of church property; two centuries and four years later, in 1513, Ponce de Leon and his cohorts began their exploration of the Bahamas region; two hundred twenty one years back, the U.S. Navy received its authorization for the building of its first fleet of ships from congress; precisely two decades hence, in 1814, in Alabama, troops under Andrew Jackson continued the crushing of Native American resistance with the defeat of Creek forces at Horseshoe Bend; one hundred thirty four years before the here and now, residents of Basingstoke, enamoured of the license to imbibe libations, rioted against hectoring by the Salvation Army in favour of teetotaling abstemiousness; half a decade afterward to the day, in

Stanislaw Lem

1886, the legendary Apache fighter Geronimo finally bowed down to United States hegemony; ninety seven years prior to the present pass,  as part of the balkanization of Southern Europe that resulted from World War One, the Kingdom of Romania received the province of Bessarabia, and across the European continent and the Atlantic ocean, writer and critic Henry Adams took his ultimate breath; three decades afterward exactly, in 1948, a second communist workers congress met in Korea; fifty two years before this point in time, a baby by entered the world who would grow up as groundbreaking filmmaker and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino; four decades ago, the United States inaugurated the construction of the Trans Alaskan oil pipeline; six years subsequently, in 1981, millions of Polish members of Solidarity walked off their jobs in a warning strike against the government; two years hence, in 1992, bridge master and author Easley Blackwood died; a quarter century prior to the current conjunction, in 1995 the United States continued its Anti Castro propaganda propagation with the initiation of Radio Marti, a perverse and paradoxical usage of the symbol of a true Cuban patriot; a dozen years before this day,acclaimed children’s writer Paul Zindel spent his final day on Earth; three years further in the future, in 2006, masterful Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem drew his last breath; three hundred sixty five days more more proximate to today, in 2007, nearly century old Cuban singer songwriter Faustino Oramas died; five short years later, in 2012, militant feminist and poet Adrienne Rich breathed her last.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
"class consciousness" increase action potential transformation = 99,200 Citations.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

Fascism in NeoCons

A Consortium News analysis of the tighter than imagined relationship between traditional Nazism, fascism, and conservatism: “With the Likud Party electoral victory in Israel, the Republican Party is on a roll, having won two major elections in a row. The first was winning control of the U.S. Congress last fall. The second is the victory by the Republicans’ de facto party leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s recent election. As the Israeli Prime Minister puts together a coalition with other parties “in the national camp,” as he describes them, meaning the ultra-nationalist parties of Israel, it will be a coalition that today’s Republicans would feel right at home in.

The common thread linking Republicans and Netanyahu’s “national camp” is a belief of each in their own country’s “exceptionalism,” with a consequent right of military intervention wherever and whenever their “Commander in Chief” orders it, as well as the need for oppressive laws to suppress dissent.

William Kristol, neoconservative editor of the Weekly Standard, would agree. Celebrating Netanyahu’s victory, Kristol told the New York Times, “It will strengthen the hawkish types in the Republican Party.” Kristol added that Netanyahu would win the GOP’s nomination, if he could run, because “Republican primary voters are at least as hawkish as the Israeli public.”

The loser in both the Israeli and U.S. elections was the rule of law and real democracy, not the sham democracy presented for public relations purposes in both counties. In both countries today, money controls elections, and as Michael Glennon has written in National Security and Double Government, real power is in the hands of the national security apparatus.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Southeastern Writers Workshop – Are you looking for a great writing workshop? Join us at the Southeastern Writers Workshop, Epworth-by-the-Sea, St. Simon’s Island, GA
on June 19-23 (Fiction June 20-21 & non-fiction June 22-23). Attend both for maximum benefit! Get the details at southeasternwriters.org. Register today.

PATREON
https://www.patreon.com/
Founded in May 2013 and based in San Francisco, California, Patreon was created to enable fans to support and engage with the artists and creators they love. Empowering a new generation of creators, Patreon is bringing patronage back to the 21st century.

UNBOUND  
http://www.unbound.co.uk
The Unbound model is very straightforward: The author pitches an idea and if enough readers support it, the book goes ahead. Unbound is both a funding platform and a publisher, fulfilling all the normal publishing functions but also splitting a book’s net profit 50/50 with the author.

AUTHR
http://authr.com/
A crowdfunding site. Authr.com provides a platform for test marketing a book concept before you write it, crowdfunding to attract money to write the book, pre-selling books to boost overall sales volume, and host a sales referral page where an Author can continue to market and sell their book.

PUBSLUSH – CROWDFUNDING
http://pubslush.com/about
A crowdfunding resource. Personalized customer service helps to ensure the success of Pubslush projects and offers valuable tools and services to help campaigners succeed on Pubslush and beyond. For those not interested in raising funds, we offer the opportunity to conduct comprehensive pre-order campaigns 30-60 days before the release date of a book. Marketing before publication and collecting pre-orders are vital parts of the publishing process and the Pubslush platform and audience allows everyone to take these important steps.

 

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Newspapers/Wires
—————–

– The Seattle Times : Associate Sports Producer (Seattle-WA) – 03/19/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=9003

– Los Angeles Times : L.A. Times Graphics and Data Journalist (Los Angeles-CA) – 03/25/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=9005

Television
—————–

– Ideastream : Managing Producer (Cleveland-OH) – 03/20/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=9004

Public Relations
—————–

– Washingon DC Based Digitial PR Agency : Editorial Director (Washington DC-DC) – 03/26/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=9006

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

hiroshima war explosion nuke nuclearDoomsday Closer Thanks to Nuke Incompetence

An EcoWatch report that highlights the grim realities possible on earth, thanks to the general head-in-the-sand approach of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the very real threats not just from nuclear war, but thanks to the decaying nuclear infrastructure: “Global climate change and the nuclear weapons industry were listed as the primary threats, but the Bulletin’s analysis also cited “the leadership failure on nuclear power.” The Bulletin noted that “the international community has not developed coordinated plans to meet the challenges that nuclear power faces in terms of cost, safety, radioactive waste management, and proliferation risk.” The triple meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant in 2011 brought the issue to global attention after an unpredictable earthquake stronger than the plant was built to withstand overwhelmed the reactors in conjunction with a massive tsunami. This unprecedented disaster even led the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to establish a Fukushima Lessons Learned Division. But the situation at California’s last remaining active nuclear plant has generated widespread concern about whether the NRC has learned anything at all from Fukushima.”

Global Gathering for Social Justice

Tens of thousands marched through Tunis on Tuesday to open the 14th World Social Forum. (Photo courtesy of Jaron Browne/Grassroots Global Justice Alliance)

A Common Dreams article that discusses a recent international gathering that seeks to sow the seeds of a better, more democratic world – a movement’s whose true commitment to social transformation and overall effectiveness remains to be seen: “Under the slogan, “Together to pursue the revolution of rights and dignity,” over 4,000 organizations from 120 countries are attending the international gathering, which takes place from March 24 to 28. Groups range a wide breadth of nations and causes, from the global peasant movement La Via Campesina to the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women to the international feminist action movement World March of Women.

Organizations from across the region are also well represented, including numerous groups from Iraq, which held its first Social Forum in September 2013.”

Adjunct Faculty Seek a Raise

A Truth Out article that discusses the challenges and opportunities available to adjunct faculties who, amid some of the lowest wage rates in the field, and with unionizing struggles, have long contended with substandard compensation: “As a result, the “Fight for 15” is now headed to college, as adjunct instructors at SU and a host of other schools press for union representation, a wage bump and expanded job protections for contingent faculty who often live course to course, with no long-term contract or track to tenure. Last month, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced a new nationwide “Faculty Forward” campaign that will push for a minimum compensation standard of $15,000 per college course taught, plus benefits. That figure would represent a dramatic increase over adjunct instructors’ current pay, but the same was true when SEIU-affiliated groups began demanding $15 for fast-food workers three years ago. Could the Fight for 15 gain traction in the academy?”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

 

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

Hazards of Journalism Career 

An International Business Times report that contextualizes the peril journalists face for the simple act of doing their jobs when having to contend with an illegitimate puppet imperialist government and the SOP of repression and corruption that eviscerates democracy: “Every 26 hours, a journalist in Mexico gets attacked, according to statistics released this week by a London-based rights organization. That figure is part of a lengthier report detailing intimidations, assaults and killings of media workers in Mexico, which have increased by 80 percent under the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, the group found.

The study, compiled by Article 19, an organization dedicated to the promotion of free expression around the world, recorded 656 attacks against journalists in the past two years – 330 in 2013 and 326 in 2015. Last year, there were 142 physical attacks against journalists, along with 53 cases of intimidation or pressure and 45 arbitrary detentions, according to the report. Six journalists also were killed in 2014 while doing their jobs.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

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

Genetic Polluter Repudiates Evidence 

An EcoWatch posting that shows the propaganda machine in operation that keeps clear environmental criminals earning millions at the expense of all humanity: “Last week, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) released a report, compiled by a team of scientists, that said glyphosate—sold by in the herbicide Roundup—was probably linked to cancer. This week, Monsanto is demanding the WHO retract the report, essentially repudiating years of research by multiple scientists. Monsanto is claiming the report was biased and that glyphosate products like Roundup are safe when the directions are followed. The company says that the WHO report contradicts regulatory findings, which can, of course, be influenced by politics and lobbying. So far, WHO has not responded.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Possible Antidepressants Link in Recent Pilot Tragedy

A recent New York Times article that fails to name the obvious conclusion in the recent Lufthansa tragedy – the fact that many treatments for mental illnesses include medications that have increasingly and many times over been implicated in random, horrific murder/suicides: ““However, documents were secured containing medical information that indicates an illness and corresponding treatment by doctors,” Ralf Herrenbrück, a spokesman for prosecutors in Düsseldorf, said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Office of Germany said Friday that a medical certificate issued to Mr. Lubitz that allowed him to fly noted that he had a medical condition, although it did not specify whether it was related to a psychological issue. A history of mental health issues like depression does not preclude being cleared to fly.”

 

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Human Evolution Speedier than Previously Thought

A Guardian article that details recent findings that point to the possibility that human evolution occurred at a faster rate than previously thought: “ Humans are evolving more rapidly than previously thought, according to the largest ever genetics study of a single population.

Scientists reached the conclusion after showing that almost every man alive can trace his origins to one common male ancestor who lived about 250,000 years ago. The discovery that so-called “genetic Adam”, lived about 100,000 years more recently than previously understood suggests that humans must have been genetically diverging at a more rapid rate than thought.

Kári Stefánsson, of the company deCODE Genetics and senior author of the study, said: “It means we have evolved faster than we thought.””

3.26.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

If, even for a relatively brief span—a few years, a few months, even a few days—the Golden Rule reigned supreme and each treated each as he would wish for himself, as she would hope for her own children, the unimaginable transformation in human affairs might look like something very different from the unfolding mass collective suicide that seems to occupy the radar screens of the immediate human future just now.

Quote of the Day
Picture 2The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

This Day in History

Today, in 1484William Caxton printed his translation of Aesop’s Fables; in 1812,  political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term “gerrymander” to describe oddly shaped electoral districts; in 1827, the legendary composer Ludwig van Beethoven breathed his

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

last; in 1859, the infant who would become A. E. Housman, English poet and scholar uttered his first cry; fifteen years later, in 1874, across the Atlantic, the celebrated poet and playwright Robert Frost was born; eighteen years after that, in 1892, another celebrated American poet and author, Walt Whitman, drew his first breath; in 1904,  the baby boy who was to become the incredibly insightful Joseph Campbell, writer about myth, entered the world; exactly a year later, in Austria, the infant who would become Viktor Frankl, the noted Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, joined the human race; seven years after that, in 1911, Tennessee Williams, yet another legendary American playwright, author, and poet, was born; in 1925, the baby boy who would become, Pierre Boulez, important French pianist, composer, and conductor, uttered his first cry; six years hence, in Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union held its first meeting; in 1948, the baby boy who would become famed rocker and songwriter Steven Tyler came into the world; in 1969, the writer who contributed just one jewel to the literary canon, John Kennedy Toole, took his own life; a mere three years later, East Pakistan  declared its independence from Pakistan to form the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Liberation War begun; and just twenty four years ago, ArgentinaBrazilUruguay and Paraguay signed the Treaty of Asunción, establishing Mercosur, the South Common Market.

book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
evolution ecology "social justice" OR "environmental justice" history analysis = 629,000 Citations.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

The Fast Food Workers of Academia

A thoughtful and respectful piece from the New Yorker that puts a human face on the struggles of adjunct professors, that twilight class of academic workers whose remuneration is in inverse proportion to how indispensable they are to current universities: “Harvey was a tall, broad man with a trim gray beard. He was gruff but kind to his students, without coddling them. He insisted that we sit at a round table. My stories would come back to me with his notes crammed between lines and creeping up the margins. His comments on my prose and on the psychology of characters—his particular specialties—were unfailingly astute. One story of mine ended with the protagonist speaking about a fuzzy photograph of a girl he’d known. “Her face is a blur,” I’d written, “and he doesn’t know why.” “Yes,” Harvey scrawled beneath. “He does. And you do, too.” I did. Stapled to the top of every returned draft was a piece of colored stationery—teal, gold, red—filled from beginning to end with single-spaced narrative comments. He signed every letter “HLG.”

These critiques treated my stories as serious things, as pieces of art worthy of real criticism. I took the class once, twice, a third time as an independent study. Eventually, I couldn’t fit it into my schedule anymore. I graduated—just in time for the recession—and moved to California.

What I didn’t know at the time—and what I wouldn’t figure out for the better part of the next decade—was that Harvey was an adjunct. He didn’t tell us, and I didn’t know to ask. As an undergraduate, I never heard the term.

 

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

 

WC&C Scholarship Competition –AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition offers three annual scholarships of $500 each to emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, festival, retreat, or residency.

Granta Magazine – Probably offering token payments at most, this nevertheless prestigious lit mag is accepting submissions only for the next four days, in fiction, nonfiction, and art/photography categories: “Granta accepts submissions between October 1 and April 1. Submissions will close over the Christmas holidays. Please submit in only one category at a time. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art will be considered for both our print and online editions, unless you specifically state otherwise in your cover letter. We remain open to submissions of photography and art year-round.”

 

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

The Highlander (Cashiers NC) – The Highlander, a weekly community newspaper,  is seeking a general assignment reporter to join our team in beautiful Highlands, NC. The successful candidate will be an enterprising writer who can cover government, produce bright, clean features, and is dedicated to reporting about the issues affecting the lives of local residents.

Orlando FL – We are currently seeking an experienced and creative professional who is ready to join the Orange County Communications Division as the Digital Communications Editor.  This position performs professional level work with Orange County Divisions and the Mayor’s office to communicate with external users and the community at large. This position is responsible for devising social media and digital specific communications materials and campaigns and develops web based materials. This role is an integral part of the County’s communications efforts to promote programs and events to Orange County citizens. Work is performed under the general direction of the Assistant Manager, Communications Division. Performance is evaluated on accuracy, efficiency and achievement of desired results.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Compensating Sick Nuclear Workers

An Al Jazeera posting that sheds light on improved circumstances for workers seeking compensation for severe health consequences to working at a nuclear site famous for its safety neglects: “Some employees who contracted cancer linked to radiation exposure at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington State will likely face an easier process to receive government compensation in coming months.

That means a certain class of employees who developed radiation-linked illnesses like cancer will automatically receive government compensation, instead of having to endure a long process of proving they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.”

 

"MQ-9 Reaper in flight (2007)" by U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
“MQ-9 Reaper in flight (2007)” by U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

Murderous  High Tech Empire

A Counter Currents book review of an important volume that analyses the bloody consequences when drone technology and absolute greed intersect:  “The US military no longer does war. It does assassinations, usually of the wrong people. The main victims of the US assassination policy are women, children, village elders, weddings, funerals, and occasionally US soldiers mistaken for Taliban by US surveillance operating with the visual acuity of the definition of legal blindness.

Cockburn tells the story of how the human element has been displaced by remote control killing guided by misinterpretation of unclear images on screens collected by surveillance drones and sensors thousands of miles away. Cockburn shows that the “all-seeing” drone surveillance system is an operational failure but is supported by defense contractors because of its high profitability and by the military brass because general officers, with the exception of General Paul Van Ripper, are brainwashed in the belief that the revolution in military affairs means that high-tech devices replace the human element. Cockburn demonstrates that this belief is immune to all evidence to the contrary.”

Let the Games Begin

An Information Clearing House video posting that everyone who lives on planet earth, let alone America, should watch in order to understand the pickle we’ve all gotten ourselves into: “For two hundred years Americans have been indoctrinated with a mythology created, imposed and sustained by a manipulating cabal: the financial elite that built its absolute control on the muscle and blood, good will, ignorance and credulity, of its citizenry. 

America began with the invasion of a populated continent and the genocide of its native people. Once solidly established, it grafted enslavement of another race onto that base.

With those two pillars of state firmly in place it declared itself an independent nation in a document that nobly proclaimed the equality of all mankind.

In that act of monumental hypocrisy America’s myth had its beginning.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

book sq6The Future of Books

A Digital Library principal’s blog article that mulls over the viability of e-books v. traditional books, in a climate that both embraces technology even as it proves elusive for e-book sales: “But my mind can’t help but disagree with my heart. Yours should too if you run through a simple mental exercise: jump forward 10 or 20 or 50 years, and you should have a hard time saying that the e-reading technology won’t be much better—perhaps even indistinguishable from print, and that adoption will be widespread. Even today, studies have shown that libraries that have training sessions for patrons with iPads and Kindles see the use of ebooks skyrocket—highlighting that the problem is in part that today’s devices and ebook services are hard to use. Availability of titles, pricing (compared to paperback), DRM, and a balkanization of ebook platforms and devices all dampen adoption as well.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Chronicle of a Death Retold

A fascinating Nieman Labs posting that analyzes the permeability of time in social media/internet news items, in the wake of a mysteriously retweeted obituary passing as news that was actually two years old: “Social media is, in some important way, unstuck in time. You know how Facebook sometimes resurrects old news stories and sends a gazillion readers their way? Or how some publishers intentionally repost months-old stories, sometimes completely un-updated, hoping for a new round of social lift?

There’s something fundamental about the shift to digital that lets old material seem timely. Print newspapers and TV news broadcasts are, in some core way, telling you: Here’s what’s happened since the last time we produced one of these things. The stream metaphor of Twitter and Facebook drops the illusion of chronology — old links end up alongside new ones, and its relentless flow makes it inevitable that we’ll miss things along the way. If you see a half-dozen tweets in your stream saying something is true (and new), it’s less likely you’ll do due diligence.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Userbox-MG-pro-choiceReproductive Rights in Serious Peril

A Mashable posting that shows one extreme example of how violent the backlash against reproductive and social rights is getting, to the point that the legal status of unformed humans takes precedence over that of women: “These considerations have everything to do with the ongoing battle over women’s reproductive health and rights.

Pro-choice advocates say that legislatures around the country have enacted laws that severely restrict access to abortion and reproductive health services, including withholding coverage for abortion from Medicaid recipients; new requirements of providers that effectively shutter clinics offering abortions; and statewide bans on abortion. The Alabama law, they say, is an extreme version of these tactics.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

 

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

Federal Reserve Finances

A Hill report that contextualizes the rise of the dollar and the general political economy of interest rates: “In gauging the likely future direction of the U.S. dollar, it is well to start with trying to identify the causes of its recent strengthening. Among the more probable causes are the relative strength of the U.S. economy and the relative stance of U.S. monetary policy. At a time that the U.S. economic recovery has shown signs of gaining traction, those of Europe and Japan have shown signs of stuttering. Similarly, at a time that the Fed has chosen to end quantitative easing and to start raising interest rates, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) are moving exactly in the opposite direction. In addition to committing themselves to maintaining interest rates at close to the zero bound for an indefinite period of time, both the ECB and the BOJ have now committed themselves to substantially expanding their balance sheets over the next two years.”

3.25.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

20150325_212212We play games to distract our attention, to entertain ourselves, to transfer competitive urges away from dangerous realms, and more, yet perhaps the primary adaptive advantage of gaming—such contests as bridge and backgammon and go and poker and such—is that it drills our mental machinery in strategy and tactics to achieve defined ends in a setting of more or less definite rules of operation.

Quote of the Day
“One had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap.” Ida B. Wells
This Day in History

Today for fans of fantastic adventure stories everywhere, is Tolkien Reading Day; if observers can believe the prevalent mythos at the scene, one thousand five hundred and ninety-four years back, Venice’s founding citizens first inaugurated their municipality at twelve o’clock noonfour hundred thirty-one years ago, Sir Walter Raleigh received a patent to colonize Virginia, as usual without taking into account any current occupants of that place; half a century thereafter exactly, in 1634, Maryland’s first English Catholics arrived in Lord Baltimore’s province; two hundred thirteen years before today, England and revolutionary France signed a peace agreement at Amiens that represented the only period—about a year—of relative peace between the ascension of French republicans in 1793 and Waterloo in 1815; half a decade subsequently, in 1807, the first passenger railroad opened, to carry tourists to Swansea, and Oxford expelled Percy Shelley for writing The Necessity of Atheismone hundred twenty-one years prior to the present pass, workers and citizens fed up with an economy and society that did not work, based on plutocracy and plunder and boom and bust, joined with ‘Coxey’s Army’ to march on Washington; a century and four years back,capital’s incessant drive for maximum profits—safety or no—led to a factory fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist facility that killed almost a hundred and fifty workers, many of whom found themselves locked inside the facility as it burned; three years more proximate to now, in 1914 just over a century past, the renowned French poet and Nobel Laureate Frederic Mistral breathed no more; four years hence, in 1918, local radicals and Bolsheviks established the Belarusian Peoples Republic; nine decades ago, a baby girl was born in Alabama who would develop the searing wit and incisive prose of a brilliant storyteller, as Flannery O’Connor; six years further on, in 1931, nine young Black men in Alabama faced arrest for the ‘crime’ of being with White prostitutes, thought the charges against them were for rape, and the probing biographer and documentarian Ida

“Gloria Steinem 2008 cropped

Wells died; three years still closer to today’s passing, in 1934, a female infant took her first breath on the way to a life as journalist and feminist Gloria Steinem; another half decade thereafter, in 1939, another female child came along who would grow into literary and intellectual acclaim as Toni Cade Bambara; yet three more years along time’s pathway, in 1942, a baby female by the name of Aretha Franklin uttered her first cry, en route to a life as a world-renowned singer songwriter; fifty-eight years back, half a dozen continental Western European nations, with France and Germany at their core, formed the European Economic Community, and famed German screenwriter and filmmaker Max Ophuls drew his final breath, while on the other side of the Atlantic, postal police in the U.S. seized copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” as obscenity; three hundred sixty-five days after that juncture, a baby girl came along who would mature as the popular writer Susie Bright; a half century ago precisely, marchers with Martin Luther King at their head completed a processional of protest and witness from Selma to Montgomery; four years beyond that conjunction, in 1969, the poet Max Eastman had his last moments of life; another decade hence, in 1979, the first Space Shuttle arrived in Florida for its launch; two decades before this point in time, the Wiki Wiki Web opened in Portland, the Internet’s first Wiki project; just three hundred sixty-five days before this moment, the journalist and thinker Jonathan Schell was spending his last hours alive.

book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
injustice oppression necessity OR "aspect of" rule OR "political power" dictatorship OR tyranny OR despotism history analysis OR dissection ethnicity OR "color consciousness" OR caste = 2,230,000 Hits

book hor

TOP OF THE FOLD

CHAOS, CARNAGE, CONSCIOUSNESS & THE WAGES OF EMPIRE

http://www.newyorker.com         Just a brilliant piece of reportage from Seymour Hersh and New Yorker, that presents a non-ideological, nuanced, honest, and truly from-all-sides analysis of the meaning and results of fifty years of memory and reflection about the atrocities that U.S. troops committed at My Lai, in Vietnam, raping and murdering hundreds of women and children and old people in an imperial war that promoted the view that ‘fighting communism’ justified anything: ”

Some American veterans of the war have returned to Vietnam to live.  Chuck Palazzo grew up in a troubled family on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and, after dropping out of high school, enlisted in the Marines.  In the fall of 1970, after a year of training, he was assigned to an élite reconnaissance unit whose mission was to confirm intelligence and to ambush enemy missile sites and combat units at night.  He and his men sometimes parachuted in under fire.  ‘I was involved in a lot of intense combat with many North Vietnamese regulars as well as Vietcong, and I lost a lot of friends,’ Palazzo told me over a drink in Danang, where he now lives and works.  ‘But the gung ho left when I was still here.  I started to read and understand the politics of the war, and one of my officers was privately agreeing with me that what we were doing there was wrong and senseless.  The officer told me, Watch your ass and get the hell out of here.’

Palazzo first arrived in Danang in 1970, on a charter flight, and he could see coffins lined up on the field as the plane taxied in.  ‘It was only then that I realized I was in a war,’ he said.  ‘Thirteen months later, I was standing in line, again at Danang, to get on the plane taking me home, but my name was not on the manifest.’  After some scrambling, Palazzo said, ‘I was told that if I wanted to go home that day the only way out was to escort a group of coffins flying to America on a C-141 cargo plane.’  So that’s what he did.

After leaving the Marines, Palazzo earned a college degree and began a career as an I.T. specialist.  But, like many vets, he came ‘back to the world’ with post-traumatic stress disorder and struggled with addictions.  His marriage collapsed.  He lost various jobs.  In 2006, Palazzo made a ‘selfish’ decision to return to Ho Chi Minh City.  ‘It was all about me dealing with P.T.S.D. and confronting my own ghosts,’ he said.  ‘My first visit became a love affair with the Vietnamese.’

Palazzo wanted to do all he could for the victims of Agent Orange.  For years, the Veterans Administration, citing the uncertainty of evidence, refused to recognize a link between Agent Orange and the ailments, including cancers, of many who were exposed to it.  ‘In the war, the company commander told us it was mosquito spray, but we could see that all the trees and vegetation were destroyed,’ Palazzo said.  ‘It occurred to me that, if American vets were getting something, some help and compensation, why not the Vietnamese?’  Palazzo, who moved to Danang in 2007, is now an I.T. consultant and the leader of a local branch of Veterans for Peace, an American antiwar N.G.O.  He remains active in the Agent Orange Action Group, which seeks international support to cope with the persistent effects of the defoliant.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. The Awards offer first prizes of $2,000 and publication, and second prizes of $1,000 and publication. One of the oldest “little magazines” in the country, Nimrod has continually published new and extraordinary writers since 1956.
Tupelo Press Deadline: April 30. The Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry includes a cash award of $3,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 20 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. We suggest submitting a manuscript of 48 to 88 pages of poems, but all manuscripts will be read and considered with full respect, regardless of length.

 

Dancing Poetry Contest – Deadline: May 15. Three Grand Prizes will receive $100 each plus their poems will be danced and filmed. Many smaller prizes. All winners will be invited to read at our 22nd Festival at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, September 19, 2015. Each Grand Prize winner will be invited onstage for photo ops with the dancers and a bow in the limelight.

thanks to winningwriters.com for today’s listings.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Senior Copywriter Digital Marketing Agency – Our client, a digital marketing agency, is seeking an experienced copy writing professional to join their team as a Senior Copywriter / Content Strategist. The professional who fills this role will be primarily responsible for conceptualizing content and strategy campaigns, including events, advertising, and social media campaigns. 

Writer/Editor Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)- Reporting to the deputy director of communications and editor, the new writer/editor is responsible for developing inspiring and informative print and digital materials that reflect the Academy’s core values and strategic priorities. 

Script Writer The Weather Channel (Atlanta) – The Writer Producer researches and writes scripts, teases and banners for a live show, as well as produces the visual components of a show segment. This could be a live or taped interview, a package or other type of segment.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Death Penalty Examined

A Guardian article that explores the meaning of and reasons behind the death penalty, in the wake of a decision to change the chosen method of eliminating people in Utah: “One of the unexpected curses of lethal injection was that it cloaked executions with the veneer of medical legitimacy. Executions were depicted as painless, gentle – even kind. Death lost its punch.

The myth of the humane execution began with lethal injections.

If doctors were willing to administer executions, the public began to think, then executions must be OK. Executions retreated behind a medical curtain, residing in the shadowland where the American public hides most death.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Excess Distraction or Attention Deficit

A Washington Post article that contextualizes the so called Attention Deficit spectrum by pointing out the simple relationship between excessive stimulus, ever-present technology, and distractability: “It’s no secret that the Internet presents a bevy of distractions. Many of us have grudgingly accepted perpetual scatterbrain as a hallmark of modern life, as unavoidable as Facebook and the Kardashians. But in a lecture at SXSW last week, University of Chicago psychologist Michael Pietrus floated a provocative hypothesis: Maybe these aren’t just Internet-age annoyances but something approaching an actual pathology. Maybe the Internet is giving us all the symptoms of ADHD.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Net Neutrality Victory Chant

Pro-net neutrality Internet activists rally in the neighborhood where U.S. President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser in Los Angeles, California July 23, 2014. REUTERS

A Tech Policy Daily article that optimistically promulgates the view that the activists won the prize in regards to the net neutrality situation, a view that might benefit from further contextualization of a different sort: “I think it’s still too early to draw firm conclusions from what happened here, but one proposition worth considering is that the Internet has shifted the political balance of power away from inherently moderate and pragmatic economic interests in favor of more ideologically motivated ones – in terms of the old Baptists and bootleggers (12) metaphor, that the Baptists (who most Washington types have always thought of as pawns of the more sophisticated bootleggers) may be gaining the upper hand. Food for thought.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Ferguson in Atlanta

A Guardian article that demonstrates that the problems of police brutality and crimes against citizens is not going away, to say the least: “Christopher Chestnut, an attorney hired to represent Hill’s family, told reporters on 25 March that eyewitnesses had called into question Olsen’s use of lethal force. According to what multiple witnesses told to a private investigator, Olsen was approximately 180ft away from Hill when the two first made contact.

Olsen, who did not ask about Hill’s mental health, proceeded to fire at the veteran, while Hill walked toward him at a “brisk” pace, according to witnesses. Hill was unarmed at the time of his death, authorities later found.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Processing Ferguson via Podcast

A Poynter article that looks at a new addition to the podcast universe, a show that seeks to examine issues of race, diversity, and yes, the recent violence in the St Louis area: “Since August, Berry and her colleagues at KWMU knew they wanted to look beyond Ferguson at how the community and the region got where it is now and how it can move forward.

“Not just a few paragraphs,” she said, but “why systems are the way they are and what’s being done about it.”

On March 8, KWMU launched the podcast, “We Live Here.”

“It’s not the Ferguson show,” Berry said. “Ferguson may have been the impetus, but these are issues that are being dealt with all over the St. Louis area and all over the country.”

3.24.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

astronautEvery night of our lives, we dream worlds into existence that may amount to little more than random noise, though wise thinkers tend to believe that what we encounter there contains messages, or at least clues, about ourselves and how our psyches struggle to process ourselves and the world with which we interact in ways at once wondrous and problematic.

Quote of the Day
“A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance. …(In such a context),  It is extremely dangerous to talk about limits or borders.  It is vital, instead, that we remain completely open, that we are always involved, and that we aim to contribute personally in social events.”  Dario Fo
This Day in History

2015wtbdposter2_185pxToday everywhere on Earth is World Tuberculosis Day, a note on the human checklist about this dread killer that could easily emerge as a plague of epic proportions; in what is today Syria six hundred fourteen years ago, the vaunted hordes of Mongol emperor Timur overran and sacked Damascus; on two island nations two centuries and two years afterward, in 1603,James rose to the throne of England for a brief period of Stuart rule and Ieyasu Tokugawa became shogun in Japan for what would be several centuries of power; six decades later to the day, in 1663, what is today North and South Carolina became the sole ‘province,’ so to speak, of eight powerful men who helped the son of the decapitated Stuart king, Charles II, to resume his family’s perch atop English society; three hundred eight years back, England’s Parliament passed the Acts of Union that joined Scotland into a Kingdom of Great Britain; fourteen years hence, in 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated a half dozen compositions to the margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt to add the eponymous Brandenburg Concertos to the canon; precisely a quarter of a millennium before today, England instituted the practice of forcing colonial residents in North America to quarter its troops with room and board, not to mention insult and injury; one hundred eighty-six years prior to the present pass, England first permitted Catholics to serve in the modern Parliament; four years closer to now, in 1834, a baby boy uttered his first cries on his way to a life as writer and thinker William Morris; three years thereafter, in 1837, across the Atlantic in Britain’s Canadian provinces, Afro-Canadians gained the franchise; a hundred sixty-one years before the here-and-now, and eight years ahead of the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave,’ Venezuela abolished slavery; six years later and half-a-world away, in Japan in 1860, a troop of Samurai attacked and decapitated the 321px-Samurai_on_horseback0minister who had concluded a treaty to ‘open’ Japan to commercial involvement of the U.S. and ‘the West;’ one hundred thirty-three years ago, Robert Koch proclaimed the discovery of the elusive microorganism responsible for the horrors of tuberculosis, and the sonorous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow drew his last breath; four years thereafter, in 1886, a male infant was born who would grow up as astounding photographer Edward Weston; a decade hence, in 1896, A.S. Popov transmitted the first radio signal; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1897, a baby boy came into the world who would mature as the radical psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich; eight years after that juncture, in 1905, prolific science-fiction genius Jules Verne died; ninety-six years back, two male children emerged from their mothers, one to become acclaimed historian and thinker Robert Heilbroner, the other to grow into wild poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; another year subsequently, in 1926,a baby boy came along in Mussolini’s Italy who would mature as radical people’s playwright and dramaturge, not to mention Nobel Laureate, Dario Fo; one year after that conjunction, in 1927, imperial navies bombarded a Chinese uprising against Western hegemony in Nanking; eighty-one years before this exact moment, the United States ‘granted’ Philippine independence three decades after its conquest of the islands in the guise of liberating them from Spanish imprimatur; seven hundred thirty-one days later, in 1936, a baby boy was born in Canada whose destiny was to write and proselytize as radical environmental thinker David Suzuki; ten years more proximate to today, in 1946, English imperial representatives met in India with those who would soon rule their own country to arrange ‘an orderly transfer of power;’ fifty-six years ago, the Party of the African Federation came into existence, led by philosopher of Negritude, Leopold Senghor; thirty-nine years before today’s events, Argentine military and business and Central Intelligence Agency operatives overthrew the nation’s elected government and instituted seven years of brutal dictatorship and disappearance; four years after that point in time, in 1980, twenty-five hundred miles to the North in El Salvador, imperial assassins murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero as

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

he preached the mass, just days after his public pronouncement against further murders of civilians by soldiers; a year beyond a quarter century back, the Exxon Valdez ran aground and broke to pieces, spilling plus-or-minus 240,000 barrels of oil in the Arctic waters of the Alaskan Pacific; four years thereafter, in 1993, literary witness of nuclear annihilation John Hersey died; two years after that, in 1995, prominent English thinker about science and China, and science in China, Joseph Needham spent his last day alive; four years hence, in 1999, North Atlantic Treaty Organization planes, under the leadership of the U.S., of course, began their bombings of Kosovo; four more years further on, to the day, in 2003, the Arab League met and voted 23-1 to condemn the U.S. invasion of Iraq and demand the withdrawal of Yankee troops.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
bigotry OR prejudice OR chauvinism OR "white supremacy" discrimination ideology "divide and conquer" "political economy" = 54,400 Results.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

FACEBOOK & FETISHISTIC PROPAGANDA PROPAGATION

http://fusion.net/       An all-too-tepid, unless one reads between the lines, assessment of the coming fetishization of journalism, as none other than The New York Times joins the predictable home of listicles,Buzzfeed, in ‘disintermediating’ itself via straight-to-Facebook publication, a trend toward the trivialization, empirical evisceration, abbreviation, and general content diminution of news in favor of ‘information’ that is no more ‘free’ than it is accurate or analytical, but whose cost and falsity remain opaque to ‘socially-mediated’ faux-participation that guarantees further attenuation or even disappearance of both solidarity and democracy, one of many recent investigations of “distributed content ” as a ‘new model,’ of monopoly media’s boosting of its own removal from the real of aggregations of social media resources that anticipate this trend, of venerable establishment media brands’ experiments with sponsored content and more: “Today, readers read a story and while they might remember that they found it on Facebook, or Twitter, they pay almost no attention either to the byline or to the publication.  The important thing is the information itself, rather than the place it came from.
In such a world, publications are going to want to make it as easy as possible to read and share their stories — even at the expense of their own brand.  If Facebook can effectively increase the NYT’s reach by an order of magnitude, then that will more than make up for the fact that the NYT’s new Facebook readers care much less about the source of their news than its subscribers do.  What’s more, because the NYT stories you find on Facebook will be delivered to you by some mysterious algorithm, you won’t really be able to ‘read the NYT‘ on Facebook — and as a result, I doubt that the NYT will suffer much in the way of subscriber losses as a result of going down this path.
Still, the downside is potentially enormous.  It’s not just about losing website traffic from Facebook, although that’s a huge worry for sites which sell millions of dollars’ worth of ads against those pageviews.  It’s also about losing control over exactly how your content is presented and delivered — about losing most of the things which make your news brand memorable and unique.  At some point, it’s easy to foresee a world where talented individuals, rather than brands, make a good living by producing the kind of news content which “works really well” on Facebook.  If Facebook becomes the new YouTube in that respect, and if Facebook continues to grow as a trusted news source in its own right, then the result could be an existential crisis for news organizations with old-fashioned things like editors and fact-checkers and clear ethical guidelines.  Those things are expensive, and it’s far from clear thatFacebook’s readers particularly value them.  The risk is that they’ll just get disintermediated away
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

NBCUniversal is sponsoring Writers on the Verge, a three month intensive skill-building program designed to help refine writers and prepare them for a position as a staff writer on a television series. NBCUniversal is seeking emerging writers in a budding career who need more professional guidance with their writing and communication skills to break into this industry.

Ricepaper, a quarterly Canadian literary magazine published since 1994, has issued a special call to receive submissions for the Fall 2015 issue. The theme for this issue is “roots”—stories that explore Canada as a country with roots that cross the Pacific ocean and across Canadian provinces and territories.

10 Literary Agents Actively Seeking Book Authors to Represent –These literary agents are actively looking for agented/unagented authors to represent. I have included their current needs and wish lists. Each literary agent works for a respectable, well-known literary agency.

Litquake is inviting book authors to present discussions and readings at Litquake 2015, taking place Oct. 9-17th in the San Francisco, CA area. Last year over 6,000 people attended Litquake’s closing night making the festival one of the largest book events in the area. The committee is accepting applications from interested authors who: 1) are local or connected to the Bay Area.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Creative Circle – A Denver-based athletic company is seeking a Jr. Copywriter with experience in marketing/advertising to join its team on an onsite, full-time basis that will be 40 hours per week Monday-Friday. 

Pole To Win America, Inc. brings deep domain and contextual expertise in Interactive Entertainment Services, through Games Testing, Game Localization and Customer Support. Our Services deliver measurable results for companies looking to achieve significant cost reductions and ensure superior customer experience.

Ultious, Inc. – Freelance writers are responsible for taking available orders and completing them within the required deadline. Writers are given a login username and password to our website where they can pick up orders, track existing ones and communicate with both clients and administrators. As an independent contractor, you would re free to work on your own time. However, orders must be completed on time and according to exact instructions provided. 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

Students Protest for Social Change

 

Anti-austerity march in Montreal, March 21, 2015, photo by Canadian Press

An important blog post about the student movement rising up in Quebec in order to address the many intractable problems of capitalism, and whose actions which invite plenty of police reaction if no actual effect as of yet:  “The four-page plan of action of ASSÉ which was approved in February is published here (in French). The student group is aiming to spur a broad, unitary movement in Quebec against austerity and against the environmental destruction of the capitalist, fossil-fuel based economy. There have been large protests in Quebec in recent months by trade unions opposed to austerity and by environmental groups opposed to the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels, including the transport to Quebec by pipeline or rail of Alberta tar sands bitumen product and fracked, shale oil from North Dakota.”

Police State Has Arrived

An Information Clearing House article that puts into perspective how far we have allowed our society to go in regards to the ravages of the police state: “In this way, the old police motto to “protect and serve” has become “comply or die.” As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and in my forthcoming book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is the unfortunate, misguided, perverse message being beaten, shot, tasered and slammed into our collective consciousness, and it is regrettably starting to take root.”

 

VCU CNS flickr
VCU CNS flickr

Feminism Challenges

A Guardian report that discusses the challenges of feminism, in a slightly different context than might be expected: “This term is used to refer to a common phenomenon, whereby the language of liberation, taken from feminist political theory, is turned on its head and used against women. Choice feminism can be found particularly in media representations of what feminism is and what women’s empowerment might look like. There is an attempt, unfortunately fairly successful, to reduce feminism to simply being the right for women to make choices. Not choices about whether to stand for parliament, or instigate pay transparency in the office or lead an unemployed worker’s union, or form a women-only consciousness-raising group in their town; far from it.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

window_0780Mindfulness and Studying Attention

A Chronicle of Higher Education posting about the search for attention techniques in a world with too many distractions:  “The e-mail drill was one of numerous mind-training exercises in a unique class designed to raise students’ awareness about how they use their digital tools. Colleges have experimented with short-term social-media blackouts in the past. But Ms. Hill’s course, “Information and Contemplation,” goes way further. Participants scrutinize their use of technology: how much time they spend with it, how it affects their emotions, how it fragments their attention. They watch videos of themselves multitasking and write guidelines for improving their habits. They also practice meditation—during class—to sharpen their attention.

Their professor, David M. Levy, sees these techniques as the template for a grass-roots movement that could spur similar investigations on other campuses and beyond. Mr. Levy hopes to open a fresh window on the polarized cultural debate about Internet distraction and information abundance.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

eye-319668_640Perception and Creativity

An IA article that discusses the skill set that great thinkers and designer develop in order to distill what is desired from the surrounding noise: “Learning to design is, first of all, learning to see. Designers see more, and more precisely. This is a blessing and a curse—once we have learned to see design, both good and bad, we cannot un-see. The downside is that the more you learn to see, the more you lose your “common” eye, the eye you design for. This can be frustrating for us designers when we work for a customer with a bad eye and strong opinions. But this is no justification for designer arrogance or eye-rolling. Part of our job is to make the invisible visible, to clearly express what we see, feel and do. You can’t expect to sell what you can’t explain.

This is why excellent designers do not just develop a sharper eye. They try to keep their ability to see things as a customer would. You need a design eye to design, and a non-designer eye to feel what you designed.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Russian Response to US Actions 

An Information Clearing House posting that discusses the ongoing situation in Ukraine, and the possibility of a war response to American imperialism: ““The Russian Parliament ought to once again give the President of the Russian Federation to use armed force in Ukraine if the US decides to send sizable arms supplies to that country.” This announcement was made by the First Deputy Chairman of the “Just Russia” faction, Mikhail Emelyanov.

The US House of Representatives adopted a resolution on Tuesday recommending the US president to approve arms supplies to Ukraine. The resolution calls on the president to “use the authority provided by Congress to furnish Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons.” According to the authors of the resolution, this measure would “increase the Ukrainian nation’s ability to defend its sovereignty.” The authors of the resolution also exclusively blame Russia for the deaths suffered during the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. At the same time, they ignore the fact that a significant portion of the refugees is in Russia.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

Commemorating Talented Poster Artist

Ethel Reed

A brief posting from the Smithsonian that showcases the art of an incredibly talented, if tragically shortlived, American artist from the Belle Epoque: “During the 1890s, just about any flat surface in the public eye might be covered with simple, bold, and colorful posters. They advertised everything from books to bicycles, as well as railroads, magazines, and newspapers. Engaging designs attracted attention to the goods on offer and to the poster itself, soon enthusiastically sought by collectors. Publishers and manufacturers held design competitions and posters became extraordinarily popular. Recognition of the poster as an art form developed in France in the 1880s and, while not a new format, the American art poster of the 1890s achieved a level of significance that influenced the growth of modern advertising in the 20th century. Ethel Reed’s lively images contributed to this success. For Women’s History Month, here’s a brief look at Reed’s life and work.”

3.23.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

main_solstices_equinoxesRotundity illustrates the dialectic at the core of All-That-Is, inasmuch as every sphere that travels energetically in relation to the rest of the cosmic hum contains at any temporal juncture the exact opposite of whatever is manifesting in one place on its surface somewhere else in its environs—our glorious Earth’s Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes in eternal balance for example.

Quote of the Day
“We were told that violence in itself is evil, and that, whatever the cause, it is unjustified morally.  By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?  By what standards can we equate the violence of blacks who have been oppressed, suppressed, depressed and repressed for four centuries with the violence of white fascists?  Violence aimed at the recovery of human dignity and at equality cannot be judged by the same yardstick as violence aimed at maintenance of discrimination and oppression.”  Walter Rodney
This Day in History

Today, the fourth day of Spring this year, is World Meteorological Day; in England four and three quarters century ago, the last monastery to give in to Henry VIII’s rule, at Waltham Abbey, culminated the rise of the Church of England vis-à-vis Roman Catholicism; two hundred sixty-six years before today, a male infant came into the world who would grow up as statistical innovator and astronomer by the name of Pierre La Place; eight Theodosius_II_solidus_Constantinople_439_450_gold_4480mgyears hence, in 1757, English naval and army forces captured the city of Chandannagar from the French in West Bengal, laying the basis for the commercial ascendancy of Calcutta and the general consolidation of British rule of the Subcontinent; two hundred nine years prior to the present pass, having traversed the continent and arrived at the Pacific in its exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, Louis and Clark’s expedition began its return to the East; a decade and a half subsequently, in 1821, Kalamata fell to nationalist forces in Greece’s War for Independence against Ottoman rule; one hundred seventy-two years prior to this exact juncture, the monumentally gifted French storyteller Stendhal breathed his last; a hundred fifty-eight years back, the world’s inaugural Otis Elevator first offered visitors a ‘lift’ at 488 Broadway in Manhattan; one hundred forty-seven years before the here-and-now, California established its State University system with a campus near Oakland, now Berkeley; eleven years subsequently, in 1879, Chilean troops in the country’s war to claimllama chile andes mineral-rich Northern lands from Bolivia stormed and won the town of Topater; seven hundred thirty-one days further on, in 1881,a baby boy was born who would rise from wealthy Catholic roots to write novels of France, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1937; four years after that, in 1885,Chinese forces won a victory in the Sino-French War near Hung Hoa in the Northern reaches of Vietnam; another couple of years more proximate to the present, in 1887, a baby boy took his first independent breath on his way to life as the worker and labor leader Sidney Hillman; a century and one decade and a half ago, the male child uttered an initial cry en route to a life as psychoanalyst and thinker about the human condition, Eric Fromm; a year afterward, in 1901, half a world away in the Philippines, U.S. interlopers demonstrated their imperial agenda in capturing Emilio Aguinaldo, the President of the newly proclaimed Republic and yet not apropos for U.S. plans for its newly conquered, or ‘liberated,’ territory; seven years closer still to this point in time, in 1908, several thousand miles to the Northeast, Korean nationalists and opponents to Japanese butchery slew U.S. diplomat Dunbar Stevens, who was a big backer of Japanese hegemony on the Korean Peninsula; two years closer to today, in 1910, one storyteller with pictures died in France, Gaspar book hor3Tournachon, better known as Nadar, and, half-a-world away, in Japan, a baby boy gave his first cry on the way to a lifetime of filmmaking as Akira Kurosawa;  ninety-six years back, in Italy, Benito Mussolini and cohorts founded the modern fascist movement;fourteen years hence, in 1933, the German Reichstag passed the legislation which effectively gave Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers; seventy-three years precisely prior to this instant, a baby boy came squalling into the world in Guyana, a working class child, who would go on to lead his country and present a credible plan for decolonization and solidarity as Walter Rodney; fifty-nine years ago, Pakistan became the first Islamic Republic on our fair orb; thirty-eight years before today,England’s David Frost began the interviews of Richard Nixon that were to define his career; three years later, in 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero gave the speech that sealed his fate at an assassin’s hands, calling on El Salvador’s soldiers no longer to murder and brutalize their fellow citizens; seven hundred thirty days thereafter, in 1982 in neighboring Guatemala, Efrain Rios-Montt oversaw a brutal coup of a democratically elected government en route to further slaughter of his countrymen for the crime of wanting improved social conditions; just another year down the pike, in 1983, Ronald Reagan signed the Strategic Defense Initiative, amplifying further the nuclear arms race and moving humankind closer to annihilation.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
slavery OR imperialism OR colonialism OR "systematic oppression" OR "systematic repression" "different from racism" OR "distinguishable from racism" OR "not the same as racism" = 60,200 Results.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

http://www.telesurtv.net   In increasingly complex, volatile, and contrary times, an appeal to reason from Fidel Castro, in the form of a letter of support to Nicolas Maduro in regard to obstreperous and increasing pressure from the United States against Venezuela, a matter of huge and little reported–and even less understood, at least in monopoly media reportage–import, here in the form of a summary and overview in a Telesur article, which publication has also made available a powerful and heartfelt appeal “To the American People” from Maduro himself, an update about a topical speech by Evo Morales at a planned Latin American Peoples Summit, and much more, the upshot of all of which is an imprecation to U.S. citizens to pay attention and make sure on the one hand that they know who their friends are, and on the other hand that they realize the lengths to which wealth and powerful people and organizations will go–up to and including traitorous undermining of their own societies-in order to destabilize poor people’s leadership: “Fidel Castro also encouraged the ALBA heads of state to address the issue of resource sovereignty while praising the nationalization of Venezuela ‘s energy resources.  Castro went on to praise the Venezuelan government for their willingness to engage in dialogue with the United States despite acts of aggression. 

       President Maduro said that during the summit the ALBA members would define their position in light of the recent Washington aggressions against his government and ahead of the Seventh Summit of the Americas scheduled to take place April 10 and 11 in Panama.  Cuba has been invited to participate for the first time.
‘We want to tell Obama in one joint voice that you have to respect Venezuela.  Enough already with imperialist abuses.  Time has come for a new relationship between United States and Latin America and the Caribbean,’ Maduro added.  Venezuela received strong backing from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which held an emergency summit Saturday addressing the recent executive order by Obama declaring Venezuela an ‘extraordinary threat to national security.'”

 

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

ARTSMITH ARTIST RESIDENCY
https://artsmith.submittable.com/submit
Each year Artsmith grants Artist Residency Fellowships of time and space in the San Juan Islands for artists, scholars, and writers to create new works. Beginning in January 2016, applicants can apply for one week or up to four weeks. The residency takes place at the historic Kangaroo House Bed and Breakfast on Orcas Island. Send cover letter, including residency statement of intent, contact info for two recommenders, and commitment that you can spend the entire week in residency (maximum 250 words to be pasted in online form). Send up to ten pages. Deadline May 31, 2015. $35 Application fee. The workshop is limited to 12 participants. 


Bevel Summers Short Story Prize – DEADLINE:  March 31
PRIZES: $1000 and publication in Shenandoah magazine
DETAILS: Each submission should include work from only one genre.
Submit 3 to 5 poems; prose submissions should not exceed 20 pages;
no more than four short shorts per submission.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: No
CONTACT: Shenandoah, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA
24450, Shenandoah@wlu.edu

Foley Poetry Award – DEADLINE: March 31
PRIZES: $1,000
DETAILS: “America is a smart, Catholic take on faith and culture,
the leading provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics
and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking.” Submit one unpublished poem of 30 lines or fewer that is not under
consideration elsewhere.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: No CONTACT: Foley Poetry Contest, America Magazine, 106 West 56th
Street, New York, NY 10019
YourPetSpace.com is looking for articles. Submissions should be
original articles of 1200 words or more and must include 5 personal
or stock photos as separate JPG files. The site publishes articles
three times a week in a rotating sequence of subjects each month:
Pet Product or Book Review, Personal Pet Story, Pet or Animal
Causes, and Pet Breed or Animal Organization Profile. Pay is $20
per article on acceptance. Query first to Joy Jones,
joy@yourpetspace.info.


Parsec SF & Fantasy Short Story Contest – DEADLINE: March 31
PRIZES: $200, $100, $50
DETAILS: Science fiction, fantasy or horror to 3500 words, on theme
posted on website. Open only to non-professional writers (as
defined by SFWA).  Theme for 2015 is “Lost Voices.”
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, preferred
Contact: Stephen Ramey, Parsec Short Story Contest, 312 N Beaver
St., New Castle, PA 16101

thanks to Writing World for today’s listings
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

CryoGas International – CryoGas International (www.cryogas.com), a subsidiary of UK-based gasworld.com Ltd. (www.gasworld.com), is an established business journal covering the North American industrial, medical, and specialty gas industry. We seek a content writer to join our team. This position is full-time in our Lexington, MA office and is a great opportunity for an individual interested in growing his or her journalism career with a national and international B2B publication.

Creative Circle – A Denver-based athletic company is seeking a Jr. Copywriter with experience in marketing/advertising to join its team on an onsite, full-time basis that will be 40 hours per week Monday-Friday.  This is a great opportunity to work with an exciting brand that is already well-known and growing rapidly! 

Konecranes (Springfield, OH) is a global leader in the manufacturing and service of industrial overhead cranes and lifting equipment. For over 80 years, we’ve been dedicated to improving safety and productivity of businesses in all types of industries, including manufacturing and process industries, nuclear and renewable energy, shipyards, ports and terminals. We believe that words matter. Even as our lives become increasingly digital, the building blocks of marketing communication are words, inked on paper. If you are a word slinger who can hit the keyboard and produce technically competent, intelligent and customer-facing words, please let us know who you are.

 Bauer Media Group is looking for a Writer/Editor to join the style department in our Englewood Cliffs, NJ office (just a few miles outside NYC) to work on fashion and beauty pages.  Bauer Media Group USA is the No. 1 seller of magazines on the newsstand. Bauer publishes top women’s, teen, and entertainment titles including: In Touch Weekly, Life & Style Weekly, Closer, Woman’s World, First, J-14, TWIST, M, Soaps in Depth, and Life Story.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

working ppl busBasic Income as Universal Right

A Counter Punch posting that shares a very wonderful idea whose time has come: “After years of having relatively few supporters, the idea of Basic Income is now spreading around the world. In Spain – probably “the place on Earth where the debate around Basic Income is most advanced” – after five years of public spending cuts, depressed demand, record unemployment, burgeoning poverty, and a growing public debt now at around 100% of GDP, and after twenty years of discussion in universities, grassroots movements and social networks, Basic Income is finally going mainstream. Although the new game-changing left-wing political party Podemos has temporarily retreated from its initial Basic Income proposal in favour of “full employment” (more fitting, perhaps, for the welfare states of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s), many party members are Basic Income stalwarts. Other political organisations now proposing it include Equo, Pirata and Bildu (a coalition in the Basque Country) and, in Galicia, Anova, while still more small parties have projects which, while not strictly a Basic Income, come close.”

Fraudulent Student Aid

A World Socialist Web Site article that discusses the anemic attempts to ameliorate folks who are outraged at the student loan situation: “The language merely emphasizes that there is not even a pretense of a right to higher education in this country. The 43 million Americans who owe some $1.3 trillion in student loan debt were offered zero forgiveness. In fact, Obama does not propose even one measure to actually lessen the ever-escalating cost of college or encroach on the lucrative business of student loan debt. All the “rights” remain in the hands of the government, the banks and hedge funds.

To add insult to injury, the centerpiece of the memorandum is the promise of a web site system—in a distant 15 months—from an administration who has not recovered from the political debacle of the Affordable Care Act web site.”

 

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

Renewable Energy on the Rise

An EcoWatch article, a third installment in a series of three, that contextualizes the great future possibilities of renewable energies, while at the same time not failing to mention the many challenges: “And since those postings the gales of change have steadily risen in ferocity. The government now estimates that wind alone could provide 35 percent of U.S. electricity by 2050; a major traditional utility, TXU, has now partnered with Solar City to offer Texas customers lower utility bills if they lease solar on their rooftops. Solar City in turn announced it will now offer cities, college campuses and remote communities its own renewable micro-grids, becoming the world’s first distributed utility. New reports show that 60 percent of the new electricity generation capacity added last year in the U.S. was renewable. And New York State has launched an almost revolutionary new approach to the public utility business model.

But this third post contains the bad news—huge political and institutional barriers remain to a rapid, fair, inclusive shift to a low cost, high reliability clean electricity sector.”

Degradation of Labor

A Truth Out article that discusses yet one more way in which the system shortchanges workers through imposing almost inhuman conditions: “The practice of having employees close late and open early has become common enough that there is now a word for it – “clopening.” Management justifies the practice by claiming that turnover in restaurant and other service jobs is so high that only the relatively few longer-term employees are sufficiently trustworthy and “have the authority and experience to close at night and open in the morning.” Labor advocates say that the reason for clopening is that scheduling is often no longer done by actual managers but by “sophisticated software” purchased by companies.

Neither of these explanations suffice. The first implies that the fault lies with workers. However, turnover could be reduced by improved wages, hours and working conditions.”

solidarityGender Equality and Social Justice

A thought provoking posting from Other Worlds Are Possible that discusses the fundamental role that true equality and solidarity play, across the board, in effectuating a powerful social justice resistance: “These radical changes in gender relations are occurring in contexts of tremendous violence and war of both high and low intensity. In Kobane, near the Turkish border, Kurds have been upholding a heroic resistance to the ravages of ISIS on the one hand, and the racist and repressive manipulations of the Turkish State on the other. In Chiapas, the Zapatistas have been building their autonomy within the increasing violence of a narco-state that dominates much of the nation, where it is hard to discern the difference between government and drug traffickers. In nearby Guerrero–a southwestern state in Mexico also known for its rich natural resources, intense drug trafficking, resistance movements and community policing–women have also joined the armed ranks of the policia comunitaria. These armed patrols have risen to fill the vacuum left by corrupt police on the narco-payroll, and are on the rise in various other communities across the country. Men and women are fighting together on these different frontlines, sometimes crossing state and national borders to join in combat, like the many young anarchist women from Turkey who crossed in busses into Syria to help the Kurds in Kobane resist ISIS in the past months.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

History of Atheism 

A Patrol magazine review of a book that analyzes the history of atheism, as a consequence of the pursuit of knowledge:“Spencer wants to tell us what he regards as a truer story. This means recounting a tale in which the complex relationship between atheism, science, secularism, and religion must be underlined. We read, for instance, that the emergence of modern science was motivated by religious convictions. We also read that past atheists were not motivated by science, but were instead driven by social and political concerns. In the end Spencer thinks that the lesson of atheism’s history is ironic. It teaches us that atheism needs religion as its “other”. For Spencer atheism emerged in France and Russia as a philosophical and political force in response to the strong connection between church and state. The contrasting cases of Britain, America, and Germany, where atheism did not – apparently – become a political force, are supposed to demonstrate this point further.”

 

Anti-war and protest posters: the Political Poster Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley: Peace now (circa 1970) Penn State Special Collection
Anti-war and protest posters: the Political Poster Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley: Peace now (circa 1970)
Penn State Special Collection

The Importance of the Words We Use

A fascinating post from Buffer App that analyses the psychological impact of language, and can help scrappy scribes find the perfect words for every occasion: “Recently, a lot of the longstanding paradigms in how our brain processes language were overthrown. New and cutting edge studies that produced quite startling and different results. The one study I found most interesting is UCL’s findings on how we can separate words from intonation. Whenever we listen to words, this is what happens:

“Words are then shunted over to the left temporal lobe [of our brain] for processing, while the melody is channelled to the right side of the brain, a region more stimulated by music.”

So our brain uses two different areas to identify the mood and then the actual meaning of the words. On second thought, what still doesn’t quite make sense is why we can even distinguish “language” so distinctly from any other sounds.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

380px-The_ScreamThe Art Market and Crime

A World Socialist Web Site posting that discusses a recent criminal indictment in the celebrity art world, which sheds light on the ways the free market taints creativity: “On the one hand, artists are promoted and their works highly prized, even though it remains unclear whether these works will continue to be regarded as art by future generations. Is it likely that anyone will be interested in a few years’ time in the large-scale sculpture of a dog by Jeff Koons, currently valued at $58 million? Other thoroughly serious artists, however, are at best known only to people in their immediate environment and often live in a state of deprivation that barely allows them to develop their artistic skills.

On the other hand, the astronomical prices make it increasingly impossible for museums in the public domain to purchase important works of art with finances from their state-funded budgets. More and more, they become dependent on loans or donations from wealthy patrons, which are often conditioned by the patrons’ personal taste or the financial interests of their “art consultants”.

Only a socialist transformation of society can liberate art and artists from the capitalist market and provide them with the conditions needed to develop their creativity.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Truth in Reporting in Ukraine

A Consortium News posting that discusses the realities of the situation in Ukraine, a reality that is often obscured in Western media:”A central piece of the West’s false narrative on the Ukraine crisis has been that Russian President Vladimir Putin “invaded” Crimea and then staged a “sham” referendum purporting to show 96 percent support for leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia. More recently, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland claimed that Putin has subjected Crimea to a “reign of terror.”

Both elements have been part of the “group think” that dominates U.S. political and media circles, but this propagandistic storyline simply isn’t true, especially the part about the Crimeans being subjugated by Russia.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

30 Community_gardenThe Meaning of the Commons

A Counter Currents analysis of the concept of the Commons: “When you live in a community, you see how it’s the most natural and spontaneous thing in the world that everything is shared, that everything must strengthen everyone to work… and precisely because of that, it never seems like a big thing, it doesn’t seem to have a special value, it’s “spontaneous,” “normal.” But when you go to the everyday institutions of society — the businesses, the communities of neighbors, the administration — it’s hard to find an iota of everything that you take for granted, and you wonder if it really is as “natural” as it seemed to you.

But if we think about it a bit, that “naturalness” is quite present in our culture. All languages have a specific word for communal work: in Spanish, using the Asturian word, we call it “andecha;” in Portuguese, “mutirão;” in Euskera [Basque], “auzolan;” in Russian, “toloka;” in Finnish, “talkoot;” in Norwegian, “dugnad“… And also for community property: the traditional peasant common lands and associations of fishers, or “procomún,” as it begins to be called in the fifteenth century in Spain, is equivalent to the Japanese “iriai,” or the English “commons.””

3.20.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

Our dependence on larger cycles can appear, from inside our personal bag of bones, almost nonexistent, so that it disappears into our sense of triumph or despond to endanger us with the solipsistic insistence that the cosmos revolves around our feelings rather than vice versa.

Quote of the Day
“A lot of times we censor ourselves before the censor even gets there. …I ain’t Martin Luther King. I don’t need a dream. I’ve got a plan.”  Spike Lee

 

This Day in History

 main_solstices_equinoxesThis year, today is one of the four important marking points that occur every year, in the Northern Hemisphere the Vernal Equinox, not surprisingly a font of dozens of other celebrations, such as World Sparrow Day, International Day of Happiness, World Storytelling Day, and World Astrology Day, among others; in Rome two thousand fifty-eight years ahead of the present moment, possibly to the day, a baby boy was born who would become the great poet, Ovid; also on the Italian Peninsula, seventeen hundred eighty years ago, the first non-Roman took the imperial throne in a period when the empire’s adherents were all on the verge of cannibalizing each other and their plots to plunder the Earth; four hundred thirteen years before the here-and-now, merchants in Holland formed the Dutch East India Company; fourteen years further on, only a year less than four centuries before now, in 1616, Sir Walter Raleigh gained his liberty after thirteen years imprisonment in the Tower of London; eleven decades more proximate to today, in 1726, Isaac Newton spent his last day alive; two and a half centuries and half a decade before this day, Boston lost hundreds of buildings in a “Great Fire;” half a century and half a decade beyond that point, in 1815, across the Atlantic, Napoleon followed up his escape from Elba with his entry into Paris at the head of a plus-or-minus three hundred fifty thousand man military force; a hundred sixty-seven years ahead of the current day, revolutionary uprisings in German cities and principalities led Bavaria’s King Ludwig to abdicate; four years exactly after that point, across the Atlantic in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabintwo years hence, in a related development in Wisconsin in 1854, the U.S. Republican Party came into existence; one year short of a century prior to the present pass, Albert Einstein released his general theory of relativity in print; seven years subsequently, in 1923,Chicago’s Arts 463px-Les_Demoiselles_d'AvignonClub hosted the first United States showing of the works of Pablo Picasso; a decade thereafter precisely, in 1933, across the Atlantic, Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction of a ‘Concentration Camp’ at Dachau; sixty-three years ago, the U.S. Senate ratified a final treaty to end the war against Japan; four years hence, in 1956, across the Atlantic, Tunisia became independent of French Rule; three hundred sixty-five days later, back on the American side of the Atlantic in 1957, a male infant gave his first cry on his way to a life as filmmaker and thinker, Spike Lee; half a century and one year back, the European Space Research Organization came to be, a predecessor to today’s European Space Agency; two decades before today’s conjunction, twenty riders on Tokyo’s subway system died and well over a thousand suffered injuries in a terrorist application of Sarin nerve gas; seven hundred thirty-one days later, in 1997, acclaimed biographer, essayist, and critic V.S. Pritchett breathed his last; three years subsequent to that occurrence, across the Atlantic in Georgia in 2000, police apprehended Jamil Al Amin—the former writer and revolutionary thinker, H. Rap Brown—for killing one policeman and wounding another, leading to a sensational and controversial trial and the former Black Panther’s life imprisonment.

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SEARCH OF THE DAY
race OR "racial categories" history OR origin evolution OR development "divide and conquer" OR "false consciousness" history analysis "political economy" = 5,830 Hits.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS IN SOUTHWEST ASIA

http://www.foreignaffairs.com        In the context of American Israeli Political Action Committee machinations, visits to Congress for joint-session speeches by the Israeli President, and a constant drumbeat of war against ‘Islamic Terrorism,’ an analytically tame but empirically rich assessment from Foreign Affairs about the longstanding and increasingly intimate ties between the Jewish State and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a key link in understanding the petropolitical implications of the negotiations about and conflicts over Iran’s oil and nuclear potentials:  “Last November, Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister, Ali al-Naimi, expressed a willingness to sell oil to Israel, which it still does not formally recognize. ‘His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states,’ Naimi told reporters in Vienna, ‘and the Jewish state is no exception.’  Just months earlier, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal published an op-ed in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.  Although al-Faisal did little more than reiterate the Arab League’s traditional position on the peace process—namely that Israel withdraw to its pre-1967 borders—publishing in an Israeli newspaper represented a significant overture.  These gestures followed years of speculation that Israel and Saudi Arabia might coordinate an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.However notable these developments are, unofficial cooperation between the two countries is hardly unprecedented.  As early as the 1960s, Israel and Saudi Arabia found common ground when it came to countries or movements that explicitly threatened both of their existences.  The two countries didn’t merely align their strategies, however; they collaborated on a tactical level, too.During the 1960s, that threat emanated from Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leader of the Arab Nationalist movement and the most popular figure in the Middle East.  His political speeches and radio broadcasts reached millions across the Arab world, and Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom were its frequent targets.”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Backwaters Prize – Deadline May 31. The Backwaters Prize is an annual award, opening on April 1 to all poets working in the English language, given to the author of the best submitted manuscript of original poems. The prize is $1,000 cash and publication of the winning manuscript. Our judge this year is Heid Erdrich. We adhere to the CLMP code of ethics for administering a literary contest.Submit online through Submittable.

Emerging Writers

The 2014 Stony Brook $1,000 Short Fiction Prize  – Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges for the academic year 2014-15 are eligible. This Prize has traditionally encouraged submissions from students with an Asian background, but we urge all students to enter


Intermediate Writers
James Laughlin Award ($5,000 prize and extensive promotion from the Academy of American Poets for a poet’s second book that is under contract to a US publisher and forthcoming in 2016; due May 15)

Advanced Writers
George W. Hunt Writing Prize ($25,000 fellowship to a US writer aged 45 and under, whose work reflects engagement with Catholic thought and culture; due March 31)

thanks to winningwriters.com for above listings

Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference 2015 Make Contacts! Meet Agents! Learn Mad Skills! April 10th and April 11thSpeakers:Literary Agent Deidre Knight, from the Knight Agency; Literary Agency Michael Carr, from the Veritas Literary Agency; Editor and Online Community Manager of ScriptMag.com, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman;Career Coach for professional and emerging screenwriters, Lee Jessup. More information at www.nebraskawriters.org

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Multimedia Journalist
Meredith Corporation
Atlanta, GA

PBS Kids Media Development Sr. Associate
PBS Distribution
Arlington, VA

Editorial Assistant
Westchester Magazine (Today Media)
Rye, NY

Academia
—————–

– CUNY Graduate School of Journalism : CUNY Journalism School in NYC Now Taking Applications! (New York-NY) – 03/09/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8995

– Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism : Columbia Journalism School Now Taking Applications (New York-NY) – 03/09/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8996

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

1933_unemployment_bigTrue Unemployment

An Information Clearing House posting that discusses the true state of unemployment in America, showing the true state of affairs in relation to the economy: “How many people are really out of work? The answer is surprisingly difficult to ascertain. For reasons that are likely ideological at least in part, official unemployment figures greatly under-report the true number of people lacking necessary full-time work.

That the “reserve army of labor” is quite large goes a long way toward explaining the persistence of stagnant wages in an era of increasing productivity.

How large? Across North America, Europe and Australia, the real unemployment rate is approximately double the “official” unemployment rate.”

Right to Work Wrong

An AFL-CIO brief and graph that demonstrates the harsh consequences of right-to-work, for workers and then, inevitably, for the economy at large: ““America is demanding a raising wages economy, but that idea is under severe assault because of a push by some politicians to take America in the opposite direction with right to work,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka writes in an op-ed in today’s USA Today.”

Human Abuses at Auto Plants

An In These Times posting about  “Workers are routinely pushed to their physical and emotional breaking points. From management’s point of view, this maximizes productivity.

“Every employee there busts their ass and is injured and is working through the pain because they don’t want their job taken by a temp,” Amanda says. “It is made clear to all of us that we are easy to replace.”

That’s lean production in a nutshell: ruthless efficiency, produced by a system of efficient ruthlessness. Workers are deliberately stretched to their limits, by a combination of competitive pressure, inadequate training, repetitive stress, and rotating shifts—so that the weakest links can be identified and eliminated.”

 

"Heiwa elementary school 18" by ajari from Japan - cc 2.0
“Heiwa elementary school 18” by ajari from Japan – cc 2.0

Gutting Schools to Pay for Rich People’s Homes

A Think Progress article that discusses how the education of an entire state’s children will be jeopardized for the sake of rich people’s tax cuts, begging the question as to whether the elected represetatives are doing their jobs or not: ““Over the last several years we’ve seen more kids in each classroom, less individual attention for children, and cuts to music, art, and physical education programs,” he said. “There are also way fewer guidance counselors and social workers, and given the Depression-like economic conditions that are in the community here, that’s a real serious problem. They now don’t have time to give kids guidance around post-high school possibilities like technical schools, apprenticeships or college.”

The money saved from the education cuts is specifically slated for property tax relief, which largely benefits the wealthiest in the state.”

Nuclear Shutdown Amid Protests 

An EcoWatch posting that discusses one of the better consequences of the Fukushima disaster: “The catastrophe that began at Fukushima four years ago today is worse than ever.

But the good news can ultimately transcend the bad—if we make it so.

An angry grassroots movement has kept shut all 54 reactors that once operated in Japan. It’s the largest on-going nuke closure in history. Big industrial windmills installed off the Fukushima coast are now thriving.”

 

steve rotman flickr
steve rotman flickr

Drugs and Healing

A Science Daily featured research post that discusses how a long-maligned chemical modality might hold the key to curing mental ailments that have long stymied medics, in spite of all the pharmacological cornucopia from Big Pharma: “A history of psychedelic drug use is associated with less psychological distress and fewer suicidal thoughts, planning and attempts, according to new research. The findings suggest that some nonaddictive psychedelic drugs, while illegal, may hold promise for depression, and that these psychedelics’ highly restricted legal status should be reconsidered to facilitate scientific studies.

A history of psychedelic drug use is associated with less psychological distress and fewer suicidal thoughts, planning and attempts, according to new research from Johns Hopkins and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Bringing News Stories to Life

A Read Write posting that discusses the pursuit of technology that can help consumers experience news items as they really happen, which would heighten empathy if nothing else:   “It is, of course, the story of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. In the three years since Martin’s death, the #blacklivesmatter movement that sprung up in its wake has gone international and come to encompass many more unjust killings. It’s a story with which Americans have become sadly familiar.

But it was still jarring to be there at the moment of Martin’s death. Inside a Samsung Gear virtual reality headset at the River VR startup accelerator SXSW expo, I watched grainy security camera footage of Martin buying Skittles and juice at a 7-Eleven. Then my perspective jumped to an animated recreation of  Martin and Zimmerman’s first encounter. After the two figures ran out of view, I was transported into the apartments of witnesses as real 911 audio played. I jumped at the sound of the gunshot.”

Benjamin Haas flickr
Benjamin Haas flickr

Deepen Understanding of Poetry

A Library of Congress brief that helps students understand the complexities of Poe’s most famous poem: “Because of his tendency toward the macabre, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe are frequently associated with Halloween, but his writing has had a far deeper reach than connections to the holiday. As National Poetry Month approaches, students can explore his work and its cultural impact through primary sources from the Library of Congress.”

 

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

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

Social Media and Elections

A Medium posting discussing the ins and outs of social media in terms of election coverage: “Every few minutes over the last few days, my phone vibrates with another notification that another person I follow on Twitter has joined Meerkat. Everywhere I have gone here at South by Southwest, from the convention center to the food trucks, people are talking about Meerkat. And if that same discussion is not happening at every media outlet and presidential campaign around the country, they are making a huge mistake.

If 2004 was about Meetup, 2008 was about Facebook, and 2012 was about Twitter, 2016 is going to be about Meerkat (or something just like it).”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Yet Another Police Encounter

A THink Progress piece that discusses the ramifications of racial strife in the wake of more police abuse: “If we’re in here disturbing you, we aren’t apologizing,” called out one demonstrator. “Business can no longer go on as usual.”

The march then wound through the campus’ cafeterias, classrooms and dormitories, loudly reminding onlookers about the injuries student Martese Johnson sustained early Wednesday morning at the hands of local police. But many demonstrators told ThinkProgress that the violent encounter that left Johnson handcuffed and bloody after trying to enter a local bar with an alleged fake ID was only the tip of the iceberg of racial tension at the historic public university.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

piesProtecting Shops as Cultural Patrimony

A City Lab article that shows an interesting approach to maintaining small businesses in a world climate of big box stores and lack of money: “Barcelona is about to get a new, different breed of protected monuments. They aren’t churches, museums, or archaeological sites. They’re a candle shop, a costumier, a drugstore, a café, and a herbalist. These sites, along with 223 more, have just been selected by a city committee as being worthy of special protection. When the plan is voted through after this year’s election (and it’s all but certain that it will be), these businesses will have extra planning restrictions placed on them that will make it effectively impossible to significantly alter their décor, and difficult to change their use.”

3.19.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day
no trespassing signThe sacrosanct absurdity of property—the notion that one ragtag band of plunderers or another has a legitimate basis to claim ownership of our magical planet and its riches and hence have the right either to dispense it for labor and cash, or both to prohibit others from access and to control its most basic development—guides the thinking of all ‘established’ ideologies now, yet this set of holy ideas has neither historical accuracy nor conceptual elegance to recommend it, sort of like an infant’s rearing up to declare its ownership of its mother or microbes planting flags to proscribe trespassers from their Petri-dishes.

 

Quote of the Day
“Others, one suspects, are afraid that the crossing of space, and above all contact with intelligent but nonhuman races, may destroy the foundations of their religious faith.  They may be right, but in any event their attitude is one which does not bear logical examination — for a faith which cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.”  Arthur C. Clarke
This Day in History

 Expanding East and West and crushing opposition along the way, seven hundred thirty-six years back, Mongol fighters at the

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

Battle of Yamen finished China’s Song Dynasty; four and a half centuries, plus two years, before the present moment, the French Wars of Religion concluded their first phase of carnage with the recognition of some rights for Huguenots; three hundred sixty-six years back, England’s House of Commons temporarily abolished the House of Lords as “useless and dangerous” to English people; three hundred twenty-eight years in advance of this very day, French explorer Robert La Salle, who made the claim of the Mississippi River basin for France, died at the hands of his own men as they slogged through the bayous of East Texas in search of Old Muddy’s mouth that La Salle had exited during his previous expedition but which proved elusive from the seaward approach; two hundred sixty-seven years before today, the baby boy came squalling into the world who would grow up to fight as Peruvian indigenous revolutionary leader Tupac Amaru; as a result of Napoleonic conflicts two centuries and three years prior to the present pass, Spaniards composed a briefly accepted Constitution, the Cadiz Cortes, one upshot of which was adding fuel to the fire of colonial independence movements in Latin America; twelve decades before the here and now, the Lumiere brothers created the first moving pictures with their new cinematograph; ninety-nine years ahead of the current conjunction, a male infant was born who would mature as the fiction ace Irving Wallace; four years subsequently, in 1920, for the second time in a year the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, foreshadowing its rejection of the League of Nations altogether; eleven years afterward, in 1931, Nevada legalized gambling; two years hence, in 1933, an infant male came along who became the fictional chronicler of male id, Philip Roth; seventy years ago, signaling the bitter futility of his life, Adolf Hitler signed

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

the “Nero Decree,” which called for the destruction of all infrastructure and strategic manufacturing capacity in the vaunted Fatherland, leaving the conquering Reds and Yanks nothing but ashes; exactly three hundred sixty-five days later, in 1946, France promoted its Latin America and Caribbean possessions to the status of French Departments overseas, with all the benefits of European jurisdictions, and a baby girl drew her first breath who would eventually sing and write and speak as Ruth Pointer, one of the members of the eponymous group of sisters; four years thereafter, in 1950, Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs breathed his last; another four years further on, in 1954, the female child was born who would end up a highly touted journalist, Jill Abramson, and establishment media maven; a half century and three years back, Bob Dylan released his first album, named for himself; three dozen years before today’s passing, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network first began broadcasting regular Congressional happenings—panels and hearings and committee meetings and more; three years later, in 1982, Argentina’s declaration of sovereignty over Georgia Island in the Falklands led to a British declaration of hostilities that resulted in the Falklands War; a half-decade further beyond that, in 1987, popular televangelist Jim Bakker gave up control of the Praise-The-Lord Club to Jerry Falwell as an unfolding sex scandal embroiled Bakker and his family; another decade along time’s path, in 1997, famed modern painter Willem de Kooning spend his last day on Earth; seven years before today dawned, renowned science-fiction writer, scientist, and thinker Arthur Clarke died.

book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
biology OR "scientific validity" OR genetics race falsehood OR unscientific OR nonsense OR absurd OR absurdity = 714,000 Citations.

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TOP OF THE FOLD

THE SEDUCTIVE ALLURE OF ELECTORAL POLITICS

A middle-of-the-road liberal–which is to say corporate social responsibility plus getting-out-the-vote for the financial kingpins in charge of the Demo wing of the ReDemoPubliCratIcan Party, in other words tepid bullshit–analysis from Al Jazeera, which if one reads between the lines and thinks critically about the issues that it raises, one will recognize that its empirical and analytical insights call for massively more participation than the voting that it–along with tough fighters like Ralph Nader and heartfelt ‘progressive media’ outlets like TruthDig –lionizes as the key component of politics, a self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating point of view–in other words elections are both the wrong overall approach to democracy and just not nearly adequate without broader participation–in times that call for a true social uprising that is willing to embrace even revolutionary means if the powers-that-be won’t budge:

“Changing the composition of the electorate is the easiest way to shift policy to the left.  As John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira point out, what they call the ‘emerging democratic majority‘ has always existed but just hasn’t voted.  Instead, Democrats should mobilize the marginalized progressive majority.  There was a time when progressives saw voting rights as essential to their strategy.  In 1992, California Gov. Jerry Brown told Bill Clinton that his campaign would have Brown’s ‘full endorsement’ if Clinton supported a $100 cap on political contributions, a ban on PACs, universal registration, same-day registration and an Election Day holiday.  As Joan Didion points out in ‘Political Fictions,’ Clinton did not receive Brown’s endorsement because at the time the more centrist Democratic Leadership Council’s strategy was to ‘jettison those voters who no longer turned out and target those who did.’

That strategy limits the liberalism of the Democratic Party because those who less consistently turn out tend to be more liberal than those who do.  In addition, it alienates low-income people, further depressing turnout and creating a self-reinforcing cycle of people becoming increasingly alienated from established politicians and increasingly unlikely to vote.  Democratic politicians are wary of policies to boost turnout because of its anti-incumbent effect and the possibility of progressive challengers.

Now with Democrats on the defensive across the country, conservatives fighting full franchise and progressives realizing the limits of hero leftism, there may be an effort to mobilize the marginalized progressive majority.  If they are persuaded to weigh in at the ballot box, they can sway the agenda that Democratic leaders support.  As a truly great progressive, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once said to his progressive base, ‘I agree with you.  Now make me do it.'”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

WRITER ADVICE FLASH PROSE CONTEST
http://www.writeradvice.com/
$15 ENTRY FEE. WriterAdvice  seeks flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction running 750 words or less. Enlighten, dazzle, and delight us. Deadline April 21, 2015. First Place earns $200; Second Place earns $100; Third Place earns $50; Honorable Mentions will also be published.


WATERMAN PRIZE
http://www.watermanfund.org/essay-contest/conditions-and-limits/
NO ENTRY FEE. Waterman Fund Alpine Essay Contest is open only to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia. Deadline April 15, 2015. $2,000 will be split between the winning and runner up essays, or as the Waterman Fund sees fit. The winning essay will be printed in Appalachia Journal. The winner must agree for his/her essay to be edited by the editor of Appalachia. The 2015 essay contest invites emerging writers to explore the question of who the stewards of wilderness are.

FJUK ARTS CENTRE RESIDENCIES
http://fjukartscentre.com
This residency program is perfect for artists to get away from their daily routine and reflect on their artwork in the small northern town of Husavik, Iceland. In the winter it becomes a quiet haven of peace and solace, with frozen lakes, metre long icicles hanging off the cliffs and northern lights visible at night. In the summer months, it becomes a hive of activity, with Humpback and Minke Whales both easily visible on the popular whale-watching trips and a vibrant transient population of tourists, guides and researchers. Deadline March 29, 2015.

SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE FOR GET AWAY TO WRITE – SPAIN RETREAThttps://murphywritingseminars.submittable.com/submit/39465
Murphy Writing of Stockton University is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a first-time participant. The Get Away to Write – Spain program will take place July 14-21, 2015 in Tavertet, Spain. This international writing retreat is open to poets, fiction, memoir and nonfiction writers. Are you a writer who loves to travel? Join us this summer in beautiful northern Spain to immerse yourself in a supportive week-long writing experience that will energize and inspire you. Enjoy encouraging workshops, plentiful writing time, panoramic cliff top views and excursions to Barcelona and the town of Vic, where the outdoor market dates back to the 9th century. Scholarship deadline March 15, 2015.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

– Tampa Bay Times : Political reporter (Tallahassee-FL) – 03/13/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=9001

– The Commerical Appeal : Team Editor (Memphis-TN) – 03/15/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=9002

Television
—————–

– University Of Alabama : CPT Producer/Director (Tuscaloosa-AL) – 03/11/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8998

Fellowships/Scholarships/Prizes
—————–

– The Carter Center : $10,000 Journalism Fellowship (Atlanta-GA) – 03/11/15
URL: http://www.journalismnext.com/jobdetails.cfm?jid=8999

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

 

Pippa Wilson / Flickr
Pippa Wilson / Flickr

Brave New Politics of Mediterranean Nations

An In These Times article about the impressive developments that have occurred in two European nations in regards to reclaiming democracy, and the lessons all who care about democracy can learn: “You can’t watch what is unfolding in Greece and not marvel at the clarity, fortitude and nerve of the new government there. In fact, we’re pretty sure that many progressives across the U.S. are saying to themselves, even if just quietly, “We’d sure like to do that.”

And who wouldn’t? Syriza is standing up to the powers-that-be in European capitalism in a way that seems almost impossible to imagine here. Greece is not the U.S., of course, but let’s not let ourselves off the hook that easily. “

U.S Actions in Latin America

A thoughtful Counter Punch article that contextualizes the recent White House moves in Cuba not in the rosy hues of other media, but in the true light of historical experience in the region: “President Correa is correct. Ending sanctions on Cuba in the name of a new foreign policy while at the same time imposing sanctions on Venezuela because of supposed government repression is indeed laughable. It makes absolutely no sense if we take seriously the narrative on human rights and democracy peddled by the White House and echoed in the media. But it makes perfect sense if we view it as a cynical, realpolitik attempt to undermine the threat of a good example and a way of reestablishing American influence in the Caribbean through an increased presence in Cuba. Taking into account these factors, we can see there is no new, enlightened dawn in US policy, rather a switching of targets. It is, lamentably, business as usual.”

 

Desk - Bright Meadow Flickr
Desk – Bright Meadow Flickr

Media Lab Prospects

A Digiday posting that analyses the successes and future prospects of a major UK media lab project: “But trust and integrity are a double-edged sword for The Guardian’s bottom line. While The Guardian’s principled stance has helped it earn respect and credence among its readership, it also fundamentally limits the commercial potential of an initiative such as Guardian Labs. Watkins said that Guardian Labs meets with editorial staffers weekly to weed out potential sponsors that aren’t a proper fit. It’s also picky about the brands it creates content for directly.

“We have to be incredibly sensitive to what our readers and core editorial team think,” she said. “If it’s sponsored, ultimately it’s up to our editorial to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’””

 

"Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing" por W. Müller Wikimedia Commons
“Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing” por W. Müller Wikimedia Commons

Marijuana Legislation

An Alternet summary of the exciting new developments in the world of legalizing marijuana: “While Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and DC have already legalized weed via the initiative process, it’s taking a few years for state legislatures to notice. There was a similar political dynamic with medical marijuana. Californians voted to legalize medical in 1996, but it took four years for Hawaii to become the first state to do so legislatively.

It’s now four years since Coloradans and Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana. Isn’t it time for some state legislature somewhere to get around to legalizing it? Well, maybe. But getting controversial, paradigm-shifting policy changes through such bodies is notoriously difficult and time-consuming. And while polls are reporting majorities for legalization, those are slim majorities. That means there are still a whole lot of people in this country who don’t want to see pot legalized.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Civil Rights Webinar

A Library of Congress listing about a Teaching Tolerance webinar that appeared today, and that would be important for all who care about tolerance to consider: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the conditions that led to it and its legacy are the subjects of a four-part webinar series the Library’s education specialists are co-facilitating with Teaching Tolerance.  Join us for the third hour-long webinar on March 19 at 4 p.m. EDT. We will engage in a model primary source analysis; learn from Teaching Tolerance about five essential practices for civil rights education; and hear two educators from Glendale, Wisconsin reflect on strategies that help students build understanding about the complexity of the civil rights era.

Kelly Saunders and Mark Schill, both 11th Grade American Studies Teachers at Nicolet High School, in Glendale, Wisconsin will share exemplary teaching strategies and resources related to the civil rights movement.”

Media Treatment of a Rich Sociopath’s Life

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

 

A telling barometer-of-the-culture New Yorker piece that describes the media obsession with yet another wealthy sociopath who literally gets away with murder, and is celebrated for it: “There is, of course, a queasy undercurrent to any show like this: we’re shivering at someone else’s grief, giggling at someone else’s crazy. Many of the best documentaries have this ugly edge, which may be why we cling to the idea that their creators (or, at least, those not named Werner Herzog) are as devoted to truth as to voyeurism. (Documentarians don’t get paid enough to do it for the money.) Yet it’s impossible not to laugh at the camp solemnity of this speech, from a Galveston detective: “Nobody deserves to be killed. Their head cut off. Their arms cut off. Their legs cut off. And packaged up. Like garbage.” When asked whether he purposely shaved his eyebrows while on the run, Durst’s response is impeccable as both humor and logic: “How do you accidentally shave your eyebrows?” At times, the moral of “The Jinx” seems to be that an air of dry wit, however inappropriately leveraged, is likely to win you allies”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

Identity Politics and Media

A Columbia Journalism Review article that discusses the marriage of digital media and identity issues: ““News stories that used to be considered in some way niche—marriage, immigration, and conflict between police and black communities—are perhaps the three biggest domestic stories of the last three years, whatever the audience,” Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, wrote last month. And while recent events have thrust diversity issues into public debate, the surge in coverage goes beyond news: Offworld launched last Monday, a website for video games writing by women and minorities; ESPN’s upcoming The Undefeated covers the intersection of diversity and sports.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

Jon Sullivan - public domain
Jon Sullivan – public domain

Federal Reserve Statement

A World Socialist Web Site article that describes the Federal Reserve statement regarding the current interest rate, and other financial matters: “Whatever decision the Fed makes, it is unlikely it will end global divergences in monetary policy, and may even increase them. Either as a result of so-called “quantitative easing,” in the case of the euro zone and Japan, or through cuts in official interest rates in other countries, the value of virtually all currencies around the world is depreciating against the US dollar.

According to calculations made on the basis of a trade-weighted index, the US currency rose by 7.7 percent in the third quarter of last year, 5 percent in the last quarter, and 10.5 percent thus far in the current quarter. Such divergences carry with them the potential for significant turmoil, if not another full-scale financial crisis.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

The Doomed Party of the People

A Common Dreams article that describes the dire straits and anemic disposition of any real alternative to the conservative party and ideology in this country, as reflected by both the political party and whatever remains of labor unions: “So, here we tediously go again for 2016 unless the progressives stop demoralizing themselves with political resignation and begin applying the dicta of the great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass: “Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never did and it never will.””

3.18.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

From well before the unfolding of birth’s ecstatic agonies, life exists in the thrall of death; as fate grooms doom’s grip, however, grace accepts both this ever-looming finality and every joyous swoon that breath may proffer.

Quote of the Day
“Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep.  Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod.  All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: ‘Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.'”  Wilfred Owens
This Day in History

  In Mexico today, citizens celebrate the Civic Holiday that commemorates the nationalization of oil that President Cardenas carried out on this day in 1938; in a triumph for conspiracy and skullduggery one thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight years back, the Roman Senate abrogated deceased emperor Tiberius’s will

"Gaius Caesar Caligula" by Louis le Grand cc 3.0
“Gaius Caesar Caligula” by Louis le Grand cc 3.0

and anointed Caligula to rule; five centuries and ninety-six years later, in 633, Abu Bakr mainly succeeded in carrying out Muhammad’s military plan for Islam, uniting the Arabian Peninsula in the period after the Prophet’s death through the Ridda Wars; the same period of time more proximate to the present again, in 1229, the second Frederick Holy Roman Emperor took upon himself the title King of Jerusalem as a result of his forces’ exertions in the Sixth Crusade; a dozen years thereafter, more or less exactly, in 1241, Mongol fighters succeeded in crushing Polish forces at Krakow and sacking the city; seven hundred one years ago, the final leader of the Knights-Templar, Jacques de Molay, died at the stake for retracting a confession of heresy that France’s King Philip had extracted from him with torture in order to ameliorate debts that the French had run up with various branches of the Catholic Church as a result of Crusades and other ventures; three centuries and three decades subsequently, more or less to the day, in 1644, a third Anglo-Powhatan War began in Virginia; two hundred forty-seven years prior to the present pass, British poet Laurence Sterne breathed his last; precisely a quarter century later, in 1793, citizens of Mainz, Germany rose up 606px-Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuplein support of the French Revolution, a German ‘Republic’ that resisted the aristocracy for a few months; a hundred eighty-one years in advance of now, six Dorset laborers received a sentence of ‘transportation to Australia’ for the crime of forming a union; one hundred seventy-three years before the here-and-now, the male child came along who would grow up as French poet, Stephane Mallarme; three years beyond that, in 1845, early American environmental activist, Johnny Appleseed, returned to the Earth; another three years on, across the Atlantic in 1848, in Berlin, a popular insurgency against military forces resulted in plus-or-minus three hundred fatalities; in the aftermath of the Paris Commune’s Declaration twenty-three years thereafter, in 1871, the city’s mayor ordered ‘better sorts’ to evacuate their homes and leave; three years beyond that conjunction, in 1874, Hawaii acceded to U.S. demands and granted exclusive trade rights to Yankees; one hundred twenty-two years back, a baby boy cried out for the first time on his way to poetry and death on World War One’s Western Front as Wilfred Owen;ninety-three years ahead of today’s events, a male infant entered the world who would go on to acclaim and accomplishment as founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Fred Shuttlesworth; half a decade hence, in 1927, another American baby male came along who would mature as ‘new-journalist’ George Plimpton; five years later still, in 1932, another baby boy was born who would grow up to literary acclaim, this time as John Updike; five years again further down the road, in 1937 and across the Atlantic, Spanish Republican freedom fighters defeated a fascist Italian army at Guadalajara; back across the Atlantic another half decade on, in 1942, the United States instituted sanctions against Japanese Americans for the fact of their ethnicity, in the form of the War Relocation Authority; sixty-nine USSR_Emblem_1936 russia sovietyears ago, Switzerland and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics first established diplomatic ties; fifty-six years before time’s passage today, a baby boy was born who would grow to become filmmaker Luc Besson; three years to the day thereafter, in 1962, also in France, the protocols that would end the civil war in Algeria took effect after eight years of carnage there; three more years along, in 1965, a Soviet cosmonaut took the first human space walk; another three years closer to the present, in 1968, reactionary Presidential darling Richard Nixon orchestrated the removal of the U.S. from the gold standard, much to the chagrin of his ideological bedmates, as it were; half a world away, three hundred sixty-five days after that conjunction, in 1969, the U.S. began its secret carpet bombings of Cambodia to disenable the logistical capacity of Vietnamese revolutionaries who were defeating U.S. forces in Southeast Asia; one year closer to the present, in 1970, one of the largest wildcat strikes in U.S. history began at the Post Office, and the baby girl uttered a first cry on the way to a life as thinker, performer, and hip-hop artist, Queen Latifah; forty-one years prior to this very day, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a creature of oil companies and banks and intelligence agencies, ended its embargo of shipments of oil to the United States; twenty-nine years before today came to pass, critically-noted and popular writer Bernard Malamud breathed his last; four years after that day, a quarter century before now in 1990, thieves posed as police to gain entrance to Boston’s Gardner Museum and steal twelve paintings valued at plus-or-minus three hundred million dollars; half-a-dozen years after that juncture, in 1996, across the Atlantic and much of Western Europe, Greek poet and Nobel literary laureate Odysseas Elitis died; six more years more proximate to now, in 2002, the prolific science fiction scribe R.A. Lafferty spent his last day on Earth, an event that marked an interesting point in copyright history when his estate put a score of more of his titles on the market for republication and took a $70,000 bid for them; six years before today, the young Iranian blogger, Omidreza Mirsayafi, died in prison, where he found himself for the crimes of writing and thinking thoughts that the Persian government found objectionable.

book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
race "divide and conquer" trick OR tactic OR machination OR strategy = 291,000 Results.

book hor

TOP OF THE FOLD

http://portside.org/  From Portside Labor, via Atlantic Magazine, an examination of the successful repression of organized labor and any successful radical organizing model among workers in the United States, a useful if extremely superficial and lacking-in-critical-distance analysis of this centrally important phenomenon of social relations in the present pass, one of dozens of pieces lately that assess the hideous state of workers rights and capacities to stick up for themselves in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave,’ including different takes on efforts to organize teachers in charter schools and to resist predatory governments’ attempts to decimate universities and public schools, as in Wisconsin: “But (Ludlow strikers) might well have wondered: Where are the unions?  Even though it got some support from labor groups, Occupy Wall Street was more directly focused on unemployment, student-loan and consumer debt, and the generous terms of the 2008 bailout for the financial sector than on specific issues related to working conditions.  The Occupy movement has unquestionably had an influence on activism in New York and elsewhere (even helping to mobilize demonstrations in response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner).  It has also played a key role in revitalizing debates about income inequality.  But these accomplishments have not translated into a revival of workplace organizing.

 solidarity       The rolling one-day strikes staged last year by low-wage workers at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores demanding $15 an hour and a path to union recognition were a reminder of what’s missing.  In 2014, only 6.6 percent of the private-sector workforce belonged to a union—about the same rate as in the era of Ludlow.  Among public-sector workers the figure is higher (about 35 percent), but a lower proportion of the total workforce is unionized than in any other period since the late 1930s, shortly after the signing of the National Labor Relations Act.  In 1914, the labor movement stood at the beginning of what would be a long upswing; now its gains have been almost completely reversed.
        Today, the labor movement’s decline is widely considered an irreversible reality.  As anxiety about inequality and the erosion of the middle class rises, so does awareness that still more seismic changes are ahead in a landscape of work where long-term employment is on the wane. Today, both professional and low-wage jobs are dominated by an ideology of ‘flexibility’—and by a reality of transient relationships between employers and employees.  Those ties are getting only more tenuous as the ‘on-demand economy’ takes off, with the spread of Uber-style instant consumer services.  A media beat that had all but disappeared seems to be making a tentative comeback.  Politico has started a section devoted entirely to labor issues in response to reader interest. …
         So far, though, the fraught future of labor in the U.S. has notably failed to generate public protest on a significant scale.  Nothing in American politics compares with the civil-rights crusade, the movement against the Vietnam War, or the labor wars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Could that change?  Might the future possibly hold a resurgence of the indignation about class disparities—and about the labor and economic circumstances they reflect—that was once focused on the workplace?”
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize – Deadline April 1. Recommended free contest for college students in the US and Canada awards $1,000, publication, and a scholarship to the Stony Brook Southampton Writing Conference. Send one story, maximum 7,500 words, and proof of current undergraduate enrollment for the academic year in which the deadline falls. Traditionally this prize encouraged submissions from students with an Asian background, but currently all students are encouraged to enter. Sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton.

Washington State Book Awards – Deadline April 1. Recommended free contest awards prizes of $500 each for published books of poetry, fiction, biography/memoir, history/general nonfiction for adults, along with the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award for picture, early reader, middle grade, and young adult books. Authors must have been born in Washington State or have lived in the state for at least three years. An author who lives in Washington part of the year and considers Washington to be home is eligible. Publisher or author should submit 6 copies of book (4 copies for children’s books) plus entry form from website.

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program – Deadlines April 2, June 18, September 10, October 8. Recommended free contest gives prizes up to $10,000 in each genre for books of literary fiction and nonfiction that have been accepted for publication by a US publisher. Deadline varies based on book release date; see website for details. Winners also receive promotion in Barnes & Noble stores. The award is open to authors with fewer than three previously published books who have not yet received a major literary award. Exceptions can be made for authors who have published more titles but who have not yet broken out to a wider audience. Must be submitted by publisher. No self-published books or e-books.

thanks to https://winningwriters.com
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Art Journalists – Do you like writing? Are you smart? Do you know and love the arts (music/film/TV/performance/books/comics)? Do you know and love Seattle? Seattle’s Only Newspaper is currently seeking applicants for a variety of writing positions in the arts department, ranging from salaried full-time staff to cherished freelance contributors. Please send cover letter, clips, and anything else you think might be of interest, to artsjob@thestranger.com

 

Orlando FL – IMMEDIATE NEED! Mid-Level Copywriter with Agency Experience – Our client, an ad agency, is looking for a mid-level copywriter to join their team in Tampa, FL on a freelance to full-time basis.

The copywriter will be working with the creative team on a daily basis creating content to be used across platforms including web, print, social media, etc. for a variety of brands.

 

Assistant Technical Editor (Norwalk, CT)

The Assistant Technical Editor (Assistant Editor) is responsible for editing all technical pronouncements, including Discussion Papers, Exposure Drafts, and final Accounting Standards Updates. This position is essential to achieving the strategic goal of issuing documents that are clear and understandable to a wide range of readers.

 

Newsroom Editor (Bala Cynwyd)

Business Wire Philadelphia is seeking an enthusiastic team player to proof, code and process press releases for electronic distribution to the media & financial community. Candidates must have first-class organizational skills and a sharp eye for detail, in addition to stellar customer service abilities. A good phone presentation is essential, as is the ability to work well under pressure in a fast-paced, customer-driven environment. 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

 

Education Skill Gaps Analysed

A World Economic Forum report on a multinational study of educational capacities in different countries, pointing to obvious deficiencies and skills gaps also analysing the role of technology, but only touching on the role of political economy: Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, 16 March 2015 – The New Vision for Education, a study of nearly 100 countries, has revealed large gaps in students’ skills around the world. Too many students are not getting the education they need to prosper in the 21st century, and countries are not finding adequate numbers of the skilled workers they need to be globally competitive.

Written in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, the report compares the performance of 91 countries across a range of income levels and has revealed large gaps in students’ skills, not only in areas such as language arts, mathematics and science, but also in critical thinking, creativity and curiosity.”

"Heiwa elementary school 18" by ajari from Japan - cc 2.0
“Heiwa elementary school 18” by ajari from Japan – cc 2.0

Unionizing Charter Teachers

An L.A. Times article that discusses moves that charter school teachers, who traditionally have not had union representation,  “A successful push by educators at the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools would hand an important victory to United Teachers Los Angeles as it struggles to reverse years of declining membership. The move could also pose a challenge to charters, which have been able to hire and fire staff without union rules — a key factor they believe helps provide the best instruction for students.

Nearly 70 teachers and counselors sent a letter Friday to the high-performing charter group, explaining their intention to partner with the teachers union. The letter asked for “a fair and neutral process” that would allow educators to organize without fear of retaliation.”

Militarizing Police

A sobering overview from Counterpunch of the increasing militarization of police departments worldwide, as a natural outcropping of imperialistic design elsewhere: “Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to just everywhere.” We should all be cognizant of King’s quote. In the 20th and 21rst centuries, U.S. policies around the world, both economically and militarily, have been questionable at best. They started with the Philippines in the beginning of the 20th century up to the Middle East today. These policies, more often incredibly violent, are coming back to haunt us. An example of this includes the U.S. international policy of “Low-Intensity Conflict” (LIC).”

 

Desk - Bright Meadow Flickr
Desk – Bright Meadow Flickr

News Organization Rebrands

An announcement from a prominent nonprofit news organization that speaks of a rebranding that more appropriately addresses its direct concerns: “Encino, California — The Investigative News Network, a 501(c)3 membership organization of over 100 nonprofit news organization, announced today that it is refining its mission and changing its name to the Institute for Nonprofit News effective immediately. The organization has also issued a revised mission statement to clarify its new direction (see below).

The name change was initiated, in part, to reflect the organization’s commitment to supporting and fostering the growing world of nonprofit journalism, which includes but is not limited to investigative journalism.”

Disempowering Resistance History

A Counter Punch article that contextualizes the disappointing and frankly insulting presidential presence during an event meant to commemorate a vital historical component of Black struggle: “Obama’s presence on Saturday severely crippled most of the people-centered discussions and activities that were scheduled for that day. And as the master propagandist that he is, he gave a magnificent performance blending themes of “American exceptionalism” with the black middle-class version of black history and black struggle to give an emotionally charged twist to an otherwise trite and familiar narrative of racial uplift and progress toward a more perfect union.

In fact his performance was so effective that very few seemed to remember that just two days before the Selma speech his Department of Justice announced that it would not indict the Ferguson killer-cop Darren Wilson.”

Pensive Parakeet bird gameThe True Criminals

A Counter Currents article that calls for a true accounting of the criminal masterminds of the 20th century, and discusses some of the obstacles of true justice:  “If the United States is ever to become a democratic society, and if we are ever to enter the international community as a responsible party willing to wage peace instead of war, to foster cooperation and mutual aid rather than domination, we will have to account for the crimes of those who claim to act in our names like Kissinger. Our outrage at the crimes of murderous thugs who are official enemies like Pol Pot is not enough. A cabal of American mis-leaders from Kennedy on caused for far more Indochinese deaths than the Khmer Rouge, after all, and those responsible should be judged and treated accordingly.”

Journalistic Partnerships Increase News Reach

A Poynter posting that discusses a specific journalistic partnership from a reborn and rebranded established publication, as part of a larger strategy: “Although The New Republic doesn’t yet have any additional partnerships to announce, the magazine has been discussing the possibility of co-publishing stories in the future with “various different organizations,” Snyder said.

“There’s lots of innovation right now around producing high-quality journalism beyond just the handful of organizations that have done that in the past,” Snyder said. “And I think that so far, we’re seeing a lot of really interesting work being done, and I think that formula of expertise plus audience is one that can work for a lot of different people.””

NYC strike protest Athena Saldana FlickrMore Teachers Strike Against Wage Injustice

A Common Dreams report that “Taking a stand against a higher education labor system that perpetuates unfair and unstable work conditions, 10,000 teaching assistants and contract faculty at Canada’s two largest universities are entering their second week of strike.

At issue is what the union says is the “normalization of precarious contract teaching,” where little value is given to workers who are increasingly charged with more and more responsibility, though have little job security, benefits and are trapped by maximum wage laws.

The strike will impact roughly 100,000 university students.”

Exposing CIA Misdeeds

A TeleSur brief that discusses a recent report that indicts the role of the CIA in depredations in South America: “A fierce critic of U.S foreign policy in the region, Galarza recently published a book titled, “The CIA Against Latin America, the Special Case of Ecuador,” co-authored by Francisco Herrera Arauz. In an interview with teleSUR English on CIA actions in Ecuador, Herrera said,“First, they destroyed our democracy. Second, they worked with undivided attention against our citizens. They persecuted our citizens for thinking differently. People were killed, injured, there are victims of this violence, there are families that were harmed, there are exiles, the honor of some people has been ruined, there are destroyed families, and all of this was caused by the CIA’s actions.” 

An Al Jazeera article that highlights the uncomfortable realities of civil rights during an era where the U.S. was bending over backwards to portray a contrasting image as an egalitarian, accepting nation: Palo Alto, CA – In the years following the Second World War, when the United States emerges as a superpower and beacon of democratic freedom, US officials began to propagate the idea of domestic racial progress – the nation’s Achilles’ Heel – to a sceptical global audience. This strategy afforded extraordinary opportunities for black writers and artists, and ushered in political gains for African Americans and other minorities – but these gains were exacted at a steep price.”
WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

Adding Content Creating to Newsletter Provider 

A Digiday posting that characterizes the many tactics online media companies might take so as to remain profitable in a constantly changing, competitive world: “For 15 years ago, the no-nonsense company has built a business aggregating industry-specific news for trade groups in 14 subject areas, including media, tech and construction. SmartBrief sends the newsletter to the trade groups’ membership. It makes money from the advertising that rides along with the newsletter.

But with other publishers from The New York Times to Politico to Quartz jumping on the format, SmartBrief has had to assert itself. The company is developing mobile apps, and is preparing to expand on its original content with the April launch of an industry news and information site. The new site will incorporate SmartBrief’s blog site, SmartBlogs.com, and offer a mix of aggregated and expanded original content.”

 

Bob Jagendorf
Bob Jagendorf

Undercover in Louisiana Prisons

A Washington Post article that highlights the lengths journalists will go in search of a story, which, in the case of Louisiana’s notorious prisons, is a dangerous if well-warranted effort: “Mother Jones magazine has some issues surrounding a Louisiana prison.

On Friday night, sheriff’s deputies from Winn Parish, La., arrested reporter James West for trespassing at an area prison and discovered a camera-equipped drone among the reporter’s belongings. And early this week, an employee of the prison resigned his position in the aftermath of the arrest and was called an “operative” of Mother Jones by Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan in a chat with the Erik Wemple Blog. “He was working as as guard,” said Jordan.”

Journalistic Style Guide

A Poynter posting that discusses an important document that demonstrates the stylistic guidelines that a prominent media outlet utilizes: “Three Rivers Press is now selling an updated version of The New York Times stylebook, which contains every update that’s been added to Times style since the last edition was published in 1999, New York Times standards editor Philip Corbett tells Poynter.

Many of the most interesting style updates have been discussed before (such as the paper’s guidance about linking), but the new stylebook still provides an interesting glimpse into the evolution of Times style and usage over the years.

The most recent edition contains hundreds of changes compared to the earlier version, much of it guidance related to digital topics, Corbett said.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

"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, cc 2.0

Making Films on a Budget

A Guardian article outlining the speech of a successful film producer who in a reductive, if optimistic way, outlines the simple, surefire way to make it as an independent filmmaker:  “The key to becoming a successful and fulfilled independent filmmaker is shooting films on your mobile phone for $3 and never giving in to the temptation of studio schmaltz, according to Mark Duplass, the co-creator of Togetherness.

In his keynote speech at SXSW in Austin, the filmmaker outlined his step-by-step survival guide for young directors who don’t want to compromise in order to get their films made.”

Artificial Intelligence Metrics

A Technology Review posting that discusses the ins and outs of truly measuring the intelligence quotient of machines: “The key to becoming a successful and fulfilled independent filmmaker is shooting films on your mobile phone for $3 and never giving in to the temptation of studio schmaltz, according to Mark Duplass, the co-creator of Togetherness.

In his keynote speech at SXSW in Austin, the filmmaker outlined his step-by-step survival guide for young directors who don’t want to compromise in order to get their films made.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

"Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing" por W. Müller Wikimedia Commons
“Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing” por W. Müller Wikimedia Commons

Bizarre Justification for Misdeeds

A bizarre brief from Mediaite detailing the strange, convoluted journey of a politico’s son entangled in the web of the drugs war: Caleb Moore, 24, the son of controversial Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, was arrested on drug charges Sunday. Upon his release he wrote on his Facebook wall that the media was trying to get back at his father for Moore’s staunch opposition to same-sex marriage.”

Heroic City Council Member

A Truth Dig article outlining the true accomplishments of a brave, effective city official who, predictably enough, is reviled by those career politicians who’d rather do nothing but line their pockets: “Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the City Council, is up for re-election this year. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

 

"BRICS heads of state and government hold hands ahead of the 2014 G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia (Agencia Brasil)" by Roberto Stuckert Filho
“BRICS heads of state and government hold hands ahead of the 2014 G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia (Agencia Brasil)” by Roberto Stuckert Filho

BRICS Bank

An RT article that discusses a recent bold move that threatens standard banking hegemony and inevitably increases international tensions: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying the deal establishing the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), according to a document published on Monday on Russia’s official website for legal information.

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) was set up to challenge two major Western-led giants – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. NDB’s key role will be to serve as a pool of currency for infrastructure projects within a group of five countries with major emerging national economies – Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa.”

Nuked Green Tea from Japan

An EcoWatch article that discusses some of the repressed but actual sobering consequences of the radioactive fallout from Japan, and demonstrated why the nuclear economy is such a dangerous thing: “Some of those isotopes turned up in at least 15 tuna caught off the coast of California. But soon after Fukushima, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration stopped testing Pacific fish for radiation. The FDA has never fully explained why.

But now a small amount of Fukushima’s radiation has turned up in green tea shipped from Japan to Hong Kong. This is a terrifying development, casting doubt on all food being exported from the region.”