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
This Day in HistoryToday is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers; in what is now Iran sixteen and a half centuries and two years back, armies under the leadership of Rome’s Emperor Julian defeated Sassanid forces in the field but failed to breach the enclosure around the capital at the Battle of Ctesiphon; seven hundred forty-five years later, in 1108, as part of Islamic conquest on the Iberian Peninsula, Almoravid fighters defeated an alliance of Castile and Leon that was attempting to retain Christian and local predominance in Spain; three hundred six years more proximate to the present, in 1414, feuding Cardinals gathered for the first time at the four-year-long Council of Constance, which reestablished for a brief period a single Christian rule in Western Europe under Catholic hegemony; five hundred sixty-two years in advance of this moment, Ottoman armies finally dislodged Byzantine rulers once and for all from Constantinople, establishing an imperial force that would remain in place for over four hundred years; two centuries and seven years further along time’s arc, North in the British Isles, a second Charles restored Stuart power to the throne from which his father had departed to lose his head; seventeen years closer to now, in 1677, across the Atlantic in England’s Virginia colony, the Middle Plantation Treaty helped Europeans use ‘peace’ to consolidate their control in the mid Atlantic; fifty-six years after that juncture, in 1733, further North in French colonial Canada, the right of Europeans to keep indigenous people in slavery gained approval in Quebec City; two and a quarter centuries ahead of today, Rhode Island ratified the U.S. Constitution and became the thirteenth United States venue; one hundred sixty-seven years before the here and now, Wisconsin became the thirtieth U.S. State as a jurisdiction free of slavery; a hundred fifty-four years prior to the present pass, Hong Kong under British ‘guidance’ established its first modern Chamber of Commerce; three years afterward, in 1864, around the world in North America, the young Austrian ‘Emperor’ and French Stalwart, Maximilian, first visited Mexico on his ill-fated venture there; three more years henceforth, in 1867, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of that year laid the basis for establishing the empire that would come to pieces four decades later at the end of World War One; another year farther down the road, in 1868, the ever-restive Ottoman Balkans underwent a crisis with the assassination of Serbia’s Prince Michael Obrenovich;another six years further on, in 1874, across Europe and the English Channel, a baby boy was born who would mature as the darling of upper crust scribes, C.K. Chesterton; another half dozen years subsequently, in 1880, back across the Channel in Germany, a male infant took his first breath en route to a life as critic and prognosticator of Western decline, Oswald Spengler; one hundred thirteen years ago, in another instance of Serbian mayhem, assassins targeted and killed both the realm’s King and Queen in Belgrade; exactly a decade thereafter, in 1913, as the world sidled closer to war and mass collective suicide, concert goers in Paris rioted at the ‘reality-orientation’ that Stravinsky proffered with his Rite of Spring; four years hence, in 1917, a male infant voiced his first cry on his way to a life as the prohibition trust-fund politician and national leader, John Fitzgerald Kennedy;seven hundred thirty days after that conjunction, in 1919, across the Atlantic in England, scientists began the process of experimentally proving Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity; ten years more on time’s highway, in 1929, the male baby entered the world who would, as Harry Frankfurt, go on to philosophical renown and the lively little essay, On Bullshit; three years still more proximate to the now, in 1932, a Bonus Army began to gather at an encampment in the District of Columbia that demonstrated how deep America’s crisis-of-capitalism was, and a baby male came along who would mature as population biologist and social critic, Paul Ehrlich; sixty-seven years back, the United Nations assembled its first peacekeeping force, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization; thirteen years later, in 1961, a baby girl was born who would grow into the writer and crooner and relationship-activist Melissa Etheridge; eight years more along time’s arc, in 1969, several thousand miles South in Argentina, a general strike in Cordoba elicited a massive repressive response on the part of the government that bordered on open civil war; four years after that, back on the West Coast of the U.S. in 1973, Tom Bradley became Los Angeles’ first Black mayor;sixteen years still more proximate to the present, in 1989, Egypt and the U.S. agreed to the manufacture of F-16 components in the North African state; three years ago, the iconic singer songwriter and blind genius, Doc Watson, sang his swansong; a year precisely thereafter, in 2013, the priest and philosopher-sociologist Andrew Greeley breathed his last. From Wikipedia Day in History
SEARCH OF THE DAY corporations capitalism growth inextricably OR inherently OR fundamentally intertwined OR interconnected OR indistinguishable OR interdependent = 391,000 Results.
TOP OF THE FOLD
Next, the researchers asked: Can a city consciously and purposefully build a creative economy? The ultimate creative economy is represented in the images below. In the left-hand image, each white circle represents an occupation. In the right-hand image, creative occupations are highlighted in orange. Clearly, creative occupations in maximally creative metros are interconnected with other creative occupations, and are generally concentrated in the highly interdependent core.
But not all occupations in the core are creative. The white circles, standing in for all other occupations, are sometimes as close as the other creative ones. As the researchers write, ‘the figure reveals that the occupations closest to a given creative occupation … need not themselves be creative.’ …
This interconnectedness explains some of the most creative cities’ economic success, the researchers find. The small group of creative metros, as they put it, ‘follow a general trajectory towards a creative economy that requires them to increasingly specialize, not only in creative occupations, but also in non-creative ones—presumably because certain non-creative occupations complement the tasks performed by related creative occupations.’
In other words, the places with the most creative economies also have the highest overall diversity of occupations and specialties—by a wide margin. As the chart below demonstrates, the nation’s most creative metros, denoted by the green dots, generally rate highly on creative and non-creative jobs metrics.”
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
AMBIT SUMMER WRITING COMPETITION
£5 or £7 ENTRY FEE.
Entry fee entitles writers to a one-year subscription. The first place prize in each category will be £500, second place £250, and £100 for third. Deadline July 15, 2015. The three winning poems and three winning stories will all be published in Issue 222 of Ambit, and the poets and writers will be invited to read with judges Dan O’Brien and Alison Moore at the launch on October 22, 2015 in London.
CAMBRIDGE WRITERS WORKSHOPS
Deadline May 25, 2015. Two $500 Diversity scholarships will be offered to men and women of color who show a commitment to creative writing. Two $500 Student scholarships will be offered to students (both undergraduate and graduate, full or part time) who show a commitment to creative writing. Two $500 Writers & Parents scholarships will be offered to men and women who are parents of children under age 18, who show a commitment to creative writing. These amazing scholarship opportunities are to be applied to one of our 2015 summer writing retreats in Paris (July 22-30) or Granada (August 3-10).
Cottage Life is the magazine for and about water-based cottagers. Although most of our readers are based in Ontario, we welcome stories about cottages and cottaging in other parts of Canada. We publish six issues a year: Spring, May, Early Summer, Summer, Fall, and Winter. We run columns and shorter features on subjects such as boating, building projects, cottage design and architecture, nature, personal cottage experience, and environmental, political, and financial issues of concern to cottagers. The fee varies with the length and complexity of the story, and the writer’s experience. The editor and writer will agree on the fee when the story is assigned.
We seek stories that have to do with contemporary Vermont culture and the Vermont way of life. Standard department rate is $600, feature rate $800.
Location Washington DC
Research and gather appropriate information and prepare speeches and written products for senior level officials on complex issues relative to the IG. Write news releases; articles and other material based on speeches and IG communications. Provide advice and guidance to the IG and other senior level officials on matters impacting HUDOIG public relations efforts and its overall public relations programs.
Green Action News – If you have a passion for environmental issues and great writing skills, then GreenActionNews might be the opportunity for you.
We are looking for people around the world who can:
• Follow instructions & be flexible
• Write in English with excellent grammar and an engaging voice
• Perform excellent research, fact checking and interviewing skills
• Complete at least 1 ORIGINAL article per week on deadline
• Apply principles of journalistic integrity in all aspects
The Partially Examined Life will pay for brief posts pointing readers to content on the Web related to philosophy, culture, and ideas, accompanied by a brief write-up with context and perhaps commentary. We’re especially (but not exclusively) interested in posts pointing users to philosophy-related multimedia content.
To get a good idea of the format we’re looking for, see Open Culture.
If you’re interested, please send an email with a brief bio, writing samples, and a list of sites you think would make good sources of such content to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A wonderful posting by the wonderful Brian Scott who does so much for freelance writers, on how to efficiently search for writing jobs: “A much easier method is to useGoogle’s Advanced Search Tool—this will let us search all of CraigsList’s job categories in every state. You just need to know a few keywords and a few simple techniques to fine-tune the search. What would normally take you hours now takes you seconds.
I will show you two important search processes to find all freelance writing jobs at CraigsList.”
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
A City Lab posting that graphically demonstrates the true plight of workers seeking to find an affordable place to live, and showing exactly what one’s paycheck is worth in today’s world: “A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition examines how these opposite trends play out regionally. The work maps how much an American worker needs to earn per hour in each state to rent a two-bedroom apartment. It finds that in no state can a person earning minimum wage afford such an apartment at market rent.”
A Global Research article that helps to analyze what’s really behind U.S. policy’s alleged thawing towards Cuba: “Everyone, from political pundits in Washington to the Pope in Rome, including most journalists in the mass media and in the alternative press, have focused on the US moves toward ending the economic blockade of Cuba and gradually opening diplomatic relations. Talk is rife of a ‘major shift’ in US policy toward Latin America with the emphasis on diplomacyand reconciliation. Even most progressive writers and journals have ceased writing about US imperialism.
However, there is mounting evidence that Washington’s negotiations with Cuba are merely one part of a two-track policy. There is clearly a major US build-up in Latin America, with increasing reliance on ‘military platforms’, designed to launch direct military interventions in strategic countries. “
A Vox piece that discusses a contrasting though possibly more valuable holiday, or commemoration, to the standard calls for commemorating fighters and conflict participants: “Memorial Day and Veterans Day often get equated, but there is an essential distinction between the two. Veterans Day honors all who have served the American military in wars. Memorial Day honors those who’ve perished. It’s an annual reminder that wars have grave human costs, which must be both recognized and minimized.
Those costs are not inevitable. We ought to also set aside time to remember those throughout American history who have tried hardest to reduce them, to prevent unnecessary loss of life both American and foreign: war resisters.”
A Bay Nature commemoration of a 5-decade old early environmentalist triumph at which scientists and concerned citizens managed to prevent a nuke plant from being constructed atop one of the most dangerous earthquake faults in the world: “The fight to kill this project would prove epochal in the history of environmentalism, as that new movement was not yet named. The protagonists, many still alive today, lived this history intimately yet have trouble picking the point at which fate stepped in. The tide of battle turned, but when? They offer this Mojave moment as one possibility: in the middle of the desert, a road-weary geophysicist is jarred wide awake by what he hears on the radio.”
A pitch in the context of an incisive critique of current mediation and political economics from people who are doing great work in Canada under the rubric for Global Research: “The very same technological advances that make possible their methods of control and conquest are simultaneously making possible their eventual downfall and failure. While the powerful have the money and are highly centralized, the rest of the world increasingly have the means and remain highly decentralized. And while the powerful are few, the rest are many. The Internet and social media have become effective means through which people are able to empower themselves to struggle against and expose the institutions of power that seek to oppress and control them. Naturally, those same institutions seek to influence – whether overtly or covertly – those very same avenues of social media, they are still effective and available for the struggle for liberation from oppression.
Here at Global Research, we have been able to harness these new communications technologies. We are committed to providing free and accessible information to the many in order to expose the few.”
A TeleSur article that properly contextualizes just what a burden it is, not just economically and politically, but also psychologically, to be poor – even if bearing the dubious privilege of being ’employed’: ” Connecting economic oppression to psychological mistreatment in her widely read book, Barbara Ehrenreich guessed in Nickeled and Dimed “that the indignities imposed on so many low-wage workers – the drug tests, the constant surveillance, being ‘reamed out’ by managers – are part of what keep wages low. If you’re made to feel unworthy enough,” Ehrenreich wrote, “you may come to think that what you’re paid is what you’re worth.” It was an important point. Debilitating shame and the related psychological battering of working people in the all-too unprotected, de-unionized, and hidden abode of the workplace is part of how the employer class rules over low-wage workers in “the land of freedom.”
A World Socialist Web Site piece that discusses recent study findings on the precarious conditions of workers’ livelihoods worldwide: “Only one quarter of the world’s working population holds a permanent and stable job, according to a new report published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Tuesday.
Even as the number of unemployed people worldwide remains significantly higher than before the 2008 crisis, the few jobs that have been created in recent years have been disproportionately part-time, contingent and low-wage.”
A link to an organization that seeks, through SOP methods with a hint of popular organization, to improve conditions for all renters: “The time is ripe to build a mass tenants’ movement in this country. A Renter Nation is growing in numbers and strength. The movement is beginning in our communities and cities through fighting against displacement and high rents. Rooted in our hardest hit areas, predominantly working class and communities of color, we are organizing for just cause eviction and other basic renters’ rights. We will grow in power to win Renters’ Bill of Rights, rent control and a mass expansion of affordable, community controlled housing.”
WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS
A Library of Congress posting that discusses novel and new approaches to intellectual work under the rubric of training: “While I definitely took advantage of the time for my own personal professional development — investing time in Python and Ruby on Rails workshops and Harvard’s CopyrightX course, as well as presentations at AMIA, Code4Lib, Personal Digital Archives, NEA and NDSR-NE — the portion of my 20% that I’ve most appreciated is the opportunity to expand the impact of the program beyond the bounds of the immediate NDSR community. With the support of the rest of the Boston cohort, I partnered with my WGBH mentor, Casey Davis, to lead a series of workshops on handling audiovisual analog and digital material for students at the Simmons School of Library and Information Science. It was fantastic to get a chance to share the stuff I’ve learned with the next generation of archivists (and, who knows, maybe some of the next round of NDSR residents!).”
A Philly article that discusses the conditions under which a strike are possible in a large urban daily, and analyses some of the consequences of this event: “Philadelphia’s two major daily papers — the Inquirer and Daily News, along with their online cousin Philly.com — have survived one calamity after another over the past decade: A radical decline in revenues and circulation, bankruptcy, repeated changes of ownership and repeated airings of dirty laundry.
But can they survive a strike by the Newspaper Guild?
As others have noted, newspaper strikes used to hit this town all the time. But that was back when the newspaper industry was relatively flush. These days? Not so much the case. Yes, employees at Philadelphia Media Network are getting a profit-sharing check this year, but nobody would argue that the business, in Philly and elsewhere, is anything but fragile, and perhaps brittle.”
GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES
A TeleSur posting that documents cyber attacks putting in peril intelligence monitors, and the organization who saved them: “Wikileaks announced Wednesday it had agreed to host a journalism project aimed at collating public information on intelligence personnel. “Just two weeks after its launch, Transparency Toolkit’s ICWatch project, which documents more than 100,000 job profiles associated with the US ‘intelligence community’ has been rehoused at WikiLeaks due to death threats and DDoS attacks on its infrastructure,” Wikileaks said in a statement. The whistleblower website explained, “By hosting ICWatch WikiLeaks can shield the project from censorship and intimidation.”
A Washington Post article that contextualizes the successful fight for gay rights as a bastion for having achieved a higher level of a more tolerant and just society across the board: “As a citizen of a democracy that is still young, allow me to show how proud I am of the level to which Spain accepts homosexuality and to recognize how valuable this acceptance is. Because I do not believe that tolerance can be divided. There is no middle ground between tolerance and intolerance. It is quite often the case that those who reject or are wary of homosexuals feel the same way to some extent about immigrants, those who practice other religions and perhaps women as well. And those who are comfortable with homosexuals tend to be comfortable with other groups. Phobias seem to be contagious, as is tolerance.”
GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS
A fascinating thread from a private medical practice’s website that cites incrimating data regarding medications: “Interesting insight into the legal manouverings of Eli Lilly to cover their butts when Prozac’s effects were questioned in U.S. courts. Book is not as well written as it could be but sufficient to provide some insights into the level of corruption in the so-called American Justice system and the ability of those with big bucks to subvert the system to protect their investments, while undercutting the truth and morality as well as dodging legitimate questions about the impacts of some of their medications.”