12.31.2015 Daily Links

                     Quote of the Day                   

Pensive Parakeet bird game“At times to be silent is to lie.  You will win because you have enough brute force.  But you will not convince.  For to convince you need to persuade.  And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right. …Just as eunuchs will never know aesthetics as applied to the selection of beautiful women, so neither will pure rationalists ever know ethics, nor will they ever succeed in defining happiness, for happiness is a thing that is lived and felt, not a thing that is reasoned or defined.

(In any event), (r)eason, that which we call reason, reflex and reflective knowledge, the distinguishing mark of man, is a social product. …(Nevertheless, you should) (c)ure yourself of the affliction of caring how you appear to others.  Concern yourself only with how you appear before God, concern yourself only with the idea that God may have of you.”  Miguel de Unamuno

                A Thought for the Day                

Allegiance to national flags, lionized as selfless ‘patriotism’ or fidelity to the fatherland amounts to little more than honoring certain sorts of chauvinism, which inevitably means dishonoring mothers and their offspring, our cousins, everywhere else.

                 This Day in History                   

Pixabay Image 525684Today is the Seventh Day of Christmas in the areas that subscribe to such things, and of course, it is also New Year’s Eve in a related scheme of ‘timekeeping;’ along the Northern borders of Roman rule sixteen hundred nine years ago, Suebian, Vandal, and Alan fighters crossed the Rhine and began their investiture of imperial Gaul; Byzantine forces a century and just short of three decades past that, in 535, completed their conquest of Sicily under the leadership of Belisarius, ousting the Gothic garrison from Palermo; an erstwhile forefather of modern Spain, James I of Aragon just six years shy of seven centuries hence, in 1229, led the troops that completed the reconquest of Majorca from Islamic control; a century and a half and half a decade more proximate to the present, in 1384, the estimable linguist John Wycliffe, who had first translated the Bible into vernacular English, breathed his last; five hundred twenty-four years ahead of this instant, a male child cried out en route to a life as explorer and conqueror, Jacques Cartier; exactly a decade nearer to our day, in 1501, in the first major sea engagement to determine how strongly late Medieval European incursions would take hold, Indians from Calicut and environs sought to entrap four Portuguese warships and prevent their return to the Iberian Peninsula, which the local navies failed to do, though vastly outnumbering the Europeans, since the superior weaponry and tactics of the invaders prevented the application of the South Asians’ superior manpower; three hundred twenty-eight years before the here and now, France dispatched its first Huguenots to the Cape of Good Hope region instead of butchering them at home; thirteen years subsequently to the day, in 1600, England chartered the East India Company to trade in Eastern Indian Ocean; and ninety-one years further on from that point in time, in 1691, the brilliant chemist Robert Boyle died; and just four years down the road from that, in 1695, England imposed a levy on the owners of buildings that taxed the windows in each structure, which caused many owners to brick up these portals to air and light; Arthur Guinness sixty-four years afterward, in 1759, signed a nine-thousand-year lease, for 45-pounds-per-annum, to start brewing what has become the standard stout; two and a quarter centuries in advance of today, Greece’s newspaper Efimeris, began publication, the country’s oldest continuously operating media outlet; six years thereafter precisely, in 1799, Baltimore first incorporated in Maryland; Ottawa, then a thriving logging town far from the main seats of power, one hundred fifty-eight years back, became Canada’s capitol by an edict of Queen Victoria; five years subsequently, in 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the creation of West Virginia into law, sundering the seceded ‘Capitol of the Confederacy’ and adding a new jurisdiction to the United States; Karl Benz sixteen years subsequent to that juncture, in 1878, filed a patent for a two-stroke internal combustion engine that established the basis for one of the planet’s premier automotive companies, and in Uruguay the infant male who matured as the author of the macabre, Horacio Quiroga, came into the world; further North in the Americas or across the Atlantic, as the case may be, three hundred sixty-five days hence, in 1879, Thomas Edison oversaw the first successful public demonstration of an incandescent light, laying the basis for much of modern urbanity in so doing; twenty-seven years later, in 1906, Persian bourgeois and titled families approved a ‘Western’ constitution that served their class interest without interfering too markedly with growing English insistence on controlling the region; just three hundred sixty-five days farther down the pike, in 1907, the first massive New Years Eve celebration in central Manhattan took place in what would soon become Times Square; three hundred sixty-six days thereafter, in 1908, a baby boy was born whose destiny involved surviving the Holocaust and memorializing the grit attendant on such a feat as Simon Wiesenthal;another year further on, in 1909, the Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic to and from Manhattan and Brooklyn; another twenty-one years onward, in 1930, the baby girl was born who would enthrall the world with her rugged blues as Odetta; a year more on the temporal trek, in 1931, over sixty thousand queue workers DEPRESSION BREAD LINEunemployed workers gathered in Pittsburgh to demand relief, part of the core of James Cox’s Army of the Unemployed; half a decade henceforth, in 1936, Miguel Unamuno, the eminent Spanish philosopher and literati, breathed his last while asleep, just weeks after he had stood up to fascists and lost his university post in Salamanca; five years yet further on, in 1941, the baby boy gave his first squall on the way to growing up as singer-songwriter John Denver; Harry Truman another half decade nearer to now, in 1946 announced formally the ending of all hostilities related to World War Two; the United States five years more along time’s arc, in 1951, culminated its $13-billion-plus investment in the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and forestall Soviet influence; a decade later precisely, in 1961, Irish National Television broadcast its first programming; two years after that moment, in 1963, the Central African Republic ‘fell apart’ to form the more ‘manageable’ configuration of Malawi, Zambia, and Rhodesia; calling itself the Youth International Party five years even closer to the current context, in 1968, a group that others referred to as Yippies first came into existence; a short year hence, in 1969, leadership of the United Mineworkers oversaw the assassination of reformist leader ‘Jock’ Yablonski, along with his wife and daughter; eleven years thereafter, in 1980, esteemed thinker and media theorist Marshall

Braun HF 1
Braun HF 1

McLuhan died; three years on, in 1983, the U.S. split up the Bell system phone monopoly into five constituent parts; two years after that moment in time and space, in 1985, popular songwriter and crooner Ricky Nelson’s life ended; the official dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics occurred six years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1991, one day after its sixty-ninth anniversary; exactly one year after that, in 1992, Czechoslovakia underwent its so-called ‘Velvet Divorce’ and broke into two separate states, Slovakia and the Czech Republic; seven years farther along time’s flowing course, in 1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned as Russia’s President, leaving Vladimir Putin in command of Russia, and Panama, ‘officially’ anyway, regained control of its own territory—the canal that joined Atlantic and Pacific commerce; seven years later to the day, in 2006, an authoritative voice of sociology would speak no more, as Seymour Martin Lipset died; seven hundred thirty-one days subsequently, in 2008, the popular and prolific wordsmith of mystery, Donald Westlake, made a final exit; another three years onward, in 2011, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched a rocket that carried two satellites that would successfully orbit the moon for a year and collect detailed data of its geology, gravitational fields, and surface structures.

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SEARCHDAY"business ethics" OR "capitalist ethics" OR "bourgeois ethics" oxymoron OR contradiction OR impossibility predation OR plutocracy OR plunder OR depredation OR theft "standard operating procedure" OR theft OR ubiquitous OR omnipresent analysis OR investigation OR explication

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RUMINATIONS ON PURPOSE & POWER & KNOWLEDGE TO END A BITTER ANNUM
http://www.alternet.org/occupy-wall-street/what-really-caused-implosion-occupy-movement-insiders-view – A trio of essays, at first apparently unrelated, bu t upon examination deeply interconnected, the initial post one from Alternet that analyzes the factors in play in the crash of what some have called ‘the Occupy Movement’ but which more merits the moniker of ‘the Occupy Moment,’ a second profferal from Farnham Street Blog in the shape of a letter from Hunter Thompson to a friend who wanted advice about purpose and seeking, the third a general assessment from Counterpunch about the ubiquity of ignorance in discourse and policy-making and otherwise in the realm where reality is most necessary and its absence most dangerous, all of which might possibly form a useful triptych for ringing out the old and in the new: “Occupy Wall Street created a new discourse, brought thousands of people into the movement, shifted the landscape of the left, and even facilitated concrete victories for working people.  But at the same time, a substantial chunk of its leadership was allergic to power.  And we made a politic of that.  We fetishized it, wrote articles and books about it, scorned the public with it.  Worst of all, we used it as a cudgel with which to bludgeon each other.

Maybe it’s counterintuitive, and it’s certainly unpleasant, but it’s true.  In those moments, when we refuse to engage in these fights because they feel childish and below the belt, we forget that the majority of people are standing in the middle, wondering what the hell is going on and looking for people they can trust.  When those of us who are thinking about power and trying to grow the base don’t step up to that challenge, the folks in the middle assume that the people who are bringing in toxicity are the leadership, and they don’t want anything to do with it.  They find no other voices providing leadership they can feel part of.  So they go home.

We confuse systems like white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism with individuals we can use as stand ins for them.  We use the inevitable fuck-ups of our potential partners as validation that we should stay in our bunkers with the handful of people who make us feel safe instead of getting dirty in the trenches.  We imagine identity as static and permanent, instead of remembering that all of us–to borrow terminology from organizations like Training for Change–experience moments of marginalization that can help us support one another, and experiences of being in the mainstream that can help us understand the people we want to shift.  We forget that, while identity gives us clues and reveals patterns, it doesn’t fully explain oru behavior, and it certainly doesn’t determine it.  We abandon the truth that people can change, that ultimately we all–oppressed and potential oppressors alike(if such frames should even be entertained)–can and must choose sides.  So we shirk this ultimate responsibility we have as organizers: to support people in making the hard and scary choices to be on the side of freedom.  In all this commotion, we turn inward.  We forget the enemy outside and find enemies in the room instead, make enemies of one another.”—Alternet

CC BY-SA by Elvert Barnes
CC BY-SA by Elvert Barnes
           “And indeed, (Shakespeare’s) is the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal.  It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives.  So few people understand this!  Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect— between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.rect3336 space         But why not float if you have no goal?  That is another question.  It is unquestionably better to enjoy the floating than to swim in uncertainty.  So how does a man find a goal?  Not a castle in the stars, but a real and tangible thing.  How can a man be sure he’s not after the ‘big rock candy mountain’” the enticing sugar-candy goal that has little taste and no substance?

(Obsessing over goals inevitably crushes whatever makes a person ‘individual’).  But don’t misunderstand me.  I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors— but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal.  In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires— including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL.  A man has to BE something; he has to matter.rect3336 space
As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES.  In doing this, he is fulfilling a need (giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal), he avoids frustrating his potential (choosing a path which puts no limit on his self-development), and he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it (rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires).”—Farnham Street Blog

Ottoman Empire postage stamp Double M flickr
Ottoman Empire postage stamp Double M flickr
            “News of this purported abomination(using calligraphy to learn about Arabic) quickly spread, with many people demanding the offending teacher’s head on a silver platter.  The response originally was local, but when a school teacher has the effrontery to attempt demonstrating the complexity of calligraphy by using the statement of faith of Islam, in a class devoted to teaching students about world religions, containing the righteous indignation of the most ignorant of the masses is nigh unto impossible.

As a result of the assignment and its most peculiar fallout, all 29 schools in the district, impacting some 10,000 students, were closed for a day, and all weekend extra-curricular activities were cancelled.rect3336 space
This writer is a Christian, active in the religion he embraced in his twenties.  He hopes that his local schools are introducing students to Islam, Christianity and Judaism.  Information about Hinduism and Buddhism should be included.  He hopes that these students are learning at least the basics of the Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Baptist religions, along with some knowledge about the differences of Orthodox, Reformed and Conservative Jews.  Further, he hopes that students are gaining a basic understanding of Shias and Sunnis.  He hopes that these students are being ‘indoctrinated’ to these various and diverse faiths the same way they are being ‘indoctrinated’ to algebra, world history and a foreign language.

This writer should know better(than to imagine a limit to the delusions of which ignorance are capable in America).  He should know that his imagination cannot equal the alternate reality that is the religious right.  He should not be surprised at the bizarre ravings that seem to be the typical response to mundane events such as homework assignments designed to expand young minds.  But apparently he doesn’t; because, once again, when first learning about this non-incident in Virginia, his first thought was ‘Now I’ve heard everything’.  He does not look forward to whatever tomorrowmight bring.”—Counterpunch

                     TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                           AWARENESS VIDEO               

GERMAN WIT’S RAZOR-HONED SLICING AWAY AT CORPORATE MEDIATION

A comedy sketch from a German troupe that faced a temporary ban because it called a particular politician’s ethics–quite legitimately, in the event–into question, in so doing offering up plenty of giggle and a few belly-laughs as it skewered the conditioning to propaganda and the concurrent propagation of nonsensical ideation that go hand in hand at the core of imperial capital in the early 21st Century.

JOBSEVENTS

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EVENTS

Plutocrats United
A Book Talk with Professor Richard Hasen
Thursday, January 21, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.   Campaign financing is one of today’s most divisive political issues. The left asserts that the electoral process is rife with corruption. The right protests that the real aim of campaign limits is to suppress political activity and protect incumbents. Meanwhile, money flows freely on both sides. In , Richard Hasen argues that both left and right avoid the key issue of the new Citizens United era: balancing political inequality with free speech. (​Yale University Press)

Join the Brennan Center for a candid and engaging discussion with the author of this eye-opening new book.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Learning from Nature Deadline Feb 1st – The Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University will award $5,000 for best essay, and Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1,000 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special “Learning from Nature” issue of the magazine to be published in fall 2016.

Guidelines:  Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. Multiple submissions are welcome, as are entries from outside the United States.

 Boulevard Magazine offers submission opportunities and short prose and poetry contests. Check back regularly.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

DiversityInc
Industry Internet/Online/New Media, Magazine Publishing
Salary Negotiable
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Princeton, NJ
Job Requirements DiversityInc, the nation’s leading business-diversity web site and magazine, seeks a Senior Business Writer. The person, who will work out of our Princeton, N.J., headquarters, must have at least 5-7 years of business journalism experience. Background in web writing preferred. The position involves interviewing high-level officials in large corporations, understanding complex corporate-diversity strategies, excellent knowledge of and use of statistical data and analysis, and a strong commitment to diversity. The writer will be asked to produce daily and weekly content plus conduct video interviews. Duties include writing business-diversity management features for the web and print, producing weekly newsletters, analyzing and understanding data to support content, and story-idea generation.

Association for Talent Development
Industry Non-profit
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Alexandria, VA
Job Requirements Duties

•Manage columns and departments for two monthly publications, including the association’s flagship magazine.
•Write articles (columns, departments, and features) on trends and emerging research in the talent development industry, including leadership development, organizational development, training, learning technology, and instructional design.
•Work with outside writers and subject matter experts.
•Proofread and edit copy.
•Provide editorial support for other communication, press, and marketing projects.

                   Happy New Year!!!!!!               

 

 

12.30.2015 Daily Links

                    This Day in History                  

In Western Christian tradition, which obviously stems from Wiccan and Pagan Solstice practice, today is the sixth day of Christmas; one thousand nine hundred seventy-six years ago, an upper class Roman baby boy entered the world who would grow up to massacre Jews for the empire and serve as the first Emperor who inherited the title from his father; in Granada a thousand twenty-seven years henceforth, in 1066, a mob, largely Muslim, broke into the royal palace and crucified the Jewish vizier, after which many of the Jewish residents of the city suffered similar fates;six hundred thirty-six years later, in 1702, the forces of the British colony of Carolina gave up their Queen Anne’s War quest to overthrow Spanish rule at St. Augustine; precisely one hundred fourteen years further along time’s path, in 1816, the United States bargained with three Native American clan-groups for land now part of Metropolitan Chicago, paying $1,000 over the course of twelve years for the plus-or-minus two hundred square miles; nine years afterwards exactly, in 1825, in another of the series of Treaties of St. Louis, the U.S. paid another pittance for the lands that now make up the Southeastern Missouri town of Cape Girardeau; the U.S. bought a sliver of land from Mexico one hundred sixty-two years before the here and now, the so-called Gadsden Purchase, a tiny slice at ‘reasonable prices’ to augment what the U.S. stole the previous decade;twelve years precisely thereafter, in 1865, a male infant was born who would grow up to write poetry and win the Nobel Prize as Rudyard Kipling;three decades and a year afterward, in 1896, around the world in the Philippines, Spanish executioners murdered Jose Rizal for the ‘crime’ of writing stories in favor of independence; three hundred sixty-five days past that conjunction, in 1897, eight thousand miles Southwest in Eastern South Africa, British imperialists in Natal Province subsumed Zululand under their aegis; two years subsequently to the day, in 1899,railroad employees in Missouri met together to form the Organization of Railroad Clerks of America; half a dozen years henceforth and a thousand miles West in Idaho, in 1905, the an assassin’s bomb killed Frank Steunenberg, the State’s governor who had viciously repressed miners’ attempts to organize, a murder for which Big Bill Haywood would suffer imprisonment before a jury found him innocent of the crime; after laying the basis for breaking the British control of India into Muslim and Hindi nations, three hundred sixty-five days yet later on, in 1906, the All-India Muslim League first met in Dacca, East Bengal—now Bangladesh; ninety-three years back, the Union USSR_Emblem_1936 russia sovietof Soviet Socialist Republics formally came into existence; six years past that point in time, in 1928, a baby male shouted out on his way to a life as performer and songsmith, Bo Diddley; eight years later on the dot, in 1936, United Auto Workers member spread their first sitdown strike to Flint, Michigan; one year more down the pike, in 1937, a male infant opened his eyes who would rise as the crooner and lyricist, Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul, & Mary; half a decade subsequently, in 1942, the baby boy uttered his first cry en route to a life of science and criticism and literature as Vladimir Bukovsky; seven hundred thirty-one days hence, in 1944, French playwright and Nobel Prize winner Romaine Rolland died; another two years after that, in 1946, the girl child came into the world who would mature as rocking songwriter and poet, Patti Smith; Romania’s last king, Michael I, abdicated as a result of Soviet rule a year even closer to now, in 1947, and on the other side of Europe, philosopher Alfred North Whitehead breathed his last in England;one year subsequent to that conjunction, in 1948, Cole

CC BY-NC by heraldpost

Porter’s Guys and Dolls opened in New York, en route to the first Tony Award for a musical; eleven years beyond that, in 1959, a baby girl was born in England who would mature as the performer, writer, thinker, and comic and critical genius, Tracey Ullman; the United States ceased heavy bombing strikes against North Vietnam thirteen years thereafter, in 1972; seven years hence, in 1979, the iconic and prolific popular composer and musical genius, Richard Rodgers, sang his swansong and exited; Israel and Vatican City fourteen years subsequently, in 1993, first established diplomatic relations; thirteen years still more proximate to the present, in 2006, Saddam Hussein ended his days with a noose around his neck; ten hundred ninety-six days even nearer to this moment in time, in 2009, a suicide bomber who was also a ‘double agent’ exploded himself and killed nine Central Intelligence Agency personnel on the Afghan border with Pakistan, in a case that perfectly exemplified the butchery and treachery and torture at play in U.S. ‘policy.’

                A Thought for the Day                

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

Hunger sharpens the senses and piques the appetite until it enervates any capacity but the search for succor, in other words till it reduces rationality to brutish feeding, in the end yielding either cannibalism or collapse.

                  Quote of the Day                       
I’ve never read Marx’s Capital, but I’ve got the marks of capital all over my body. …(In that vein, I can also say) (i)f  one man has a dollar he didn’t work for, some other man worked for a dollar he didn’t get. …The bandage will remain on the eyes of Justice as long as the Capitalist has the cut, shuffle, and deal. …Tonight I am going to speak on the class struggle and I am going to make it so plain that even a lawyer can understand it. …The capitalist has no heart, but harpoon him in the pocketbook and you will draw blood. …the mine owners ‘did not find the gold, they did not mine the gold, they did not mill the gold, but by some weird alchemy all the gold belonged to them!'”  Big Bill Haywood

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SEARCHDAY"class consciousness" OR "class war" obfuscation OR "cover up" OR diversion OR distraction purpose OR plan OR intentional propaganda OR "public relations" diminution OR lessen OR diminish = 16,400 Citations.

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THE WAR ON PEOPLE THAT THE ‘DRUG WAR’ REALLY IS

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/34217-the-big-lie-on-the-war-against-drugs  – A simple briefing from TruthOut, via Thom Hartmann that makes a key and basic point about the so-called ‘War on Drugs,’ to wit it has always acted as, and more than occasionally consciously and explicitly operated in order to achieve, a divide-and-conquer mechanism against potentially ‘dangerous’ rebellious populations, an argument no more controvertible than the theoryof evolution, albeit not reported on more than once in a blue moon by corporate media, though nonprofit and ‘progressive’ journalists often enough bring the point to the fore, as in this article about ‘drug-war’ inmates as political prisoners, or this item  from Vice News about Mexico, one of the platforms many exposes about corruption and murder and impunity as policy, or this brief from The Guardian about the idiotically fatuous Australian ad campaign that suggested that all pot-smokers were stupid sloths who could not think straight enough to use a fork or tie their shoes, all of which is just a tiny slice of such documentation and investigation that, moreover, exists in an overall context in which revelations about drug-company advertising and corruption are ubiquitous, in which TV ads and pharmaceutical marketing receive the blame  for “huge spikes” in diagnoses of such at best questionable disorders as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, in which scientific research has finally begun again to show the many therapeutic potentialities of erstwhile ‘dangerous’ drugs, in which even the Centers for Disease Control has been acknowledging that legal prescriptions are causing record levels of mortality and morbidity: “(After a Fascist and false home invasion destroyed a ‘suspected drug dealer’s’ home–they liked to grow tomatoes), they got nothing for their pains).  Just last week, a federal judge dismissed the family’s lawsuit against the police, and said that the sheriffs had probable cause – based on the garden store purchase and old tea leaves.

"DreamyWeed" by Psychonaught
“DreamyWeed” by Psychonaught

But the Hartes aren’t the average targets of this kind of drug sting, and one sheriff actually boasted(falsely, in the event) after the raid that the operation was so unusual because they’d shut down a drug operation that was run by an ‘average family’ in a ‘good neighborhood’ – all coded language for ‘middle class white people.’


Because the war on drugs has never been about drugs.  No, the war on drugs, since its very beginning, has been about controlling political power – by breaking up Black communities and the dissident left.


Before he died, Nixon counsel and former assistant to the president, John Ehrlichman, told author Dan Baum that, ‘(t)he Nixon Campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and Black people.  You understand what I’m saying?  We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black.  But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.  We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news.  Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.’  In other words, Nixon and the GOP used the war on drugs to help politically assassinate community leaders, and to fracture communities by removing individuals from society and throwing them in prison.”—TruthOut

roberlan deviantart
roberlan deviantart

“(While serving out a drug sentence in the boring sinkhole of jail),(w)hen I wasn’t working out, jerking off or watching Fresh Prince reruns, I was reading.  In general, I tried to find out as much as possible about the drug war and the reasons behind my incarceration.  I figured that while I was here, I might as well become one of those prison intellectual types; the subversive scholar.  I thought about imprisoned Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and the civil rights movement in America — Malcom X and George Jackson.  It was because of what they read and studied in prison that they became such influential figures in popular thinking.  Obviously, I’m no Malcolm X.  In fact, my story isn’t all that special.  There are millions of us, from the incarceration nation of the United States to South Africa to the People’s Republic of China.  But what we have in common is that we are all political prisoners.rect3336 space
Now stay with me here.  I’m not equating political prisoners with prisoners of conscience, those who are locked up merely for speaking out. All political prisoners are imprisoned for ‘real’ crimes.  Nelson Mandela spent nearly three decades behind bars for trying to overthrow the white South African government.  That wasn’t trumped-up; that’s literally what he was trying to do.  So being a political prisoner doesn’t mean you haven’t committed a crime … it’s all about the context in which the crime was committed.rect3336 spaceEven though most people walking through an airport with a condom full of white powder stuffed up their ass probably don’t realise it, drug trafficking is a political act, and has been from the start.  In fact, the very first dealers in history were actually the British Empire, or more accurately, the East India Trading Company.  When the Chinese emperor banned opium which the Brits were shipping over dirt-cheap from India, international smack kingpin Alexandrina ‘Queen’ Victoria ordered the Royal Navy to bombard the shit out of China and capture Hong Kong.  So began the Opium Wars.

"French opium den". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -
“French opium den”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –

You see, the ‘War on Drugs’ is an ideology, so defying it is a political act.  It is also a corrupt and hypocritical ideology which exists only to further the interests of politicians and ignores the advice of doctors and experts; you know, people who know what they are talking about.  How is this different from other crimes, let’s say, murder?  Firstly, illegal doesn’t mean immoral, and vice-versa.  For example, hiding Jews and other persecuted individuals in Nazi-occupied Europe was highly illegal, but not immoral.  Prohibition, on the other hand, is immoral but not illegal.  Human beings have been getting high for literally millennia.  Peruvian tribes were chewing coca leaf as far back as 8,000 years ago, while the ancient Greeks, not content with blessing us with democracy, philosophy and mathematics, gave us the Eleusinian Mysteries, the 300 B.C. equivalent of Burning Man.”—Salon

“Chapo’s second escape — his first was from another maximum-security prison in 2001 — was not just embarrassing.  It also symbolized the government’s failure to bring new ideas to the fight to contain Mexico’s drug cartels, let alone ideas that work.


(After nearly 200,000 ‘Drug-War’ deaths, 25,000 or more disappearances, and ever-escalating, increasingly militarized budgets), ‘[(t)he Mexican government] keeps doing the same thing year after year, but we don’t see any improvement,’ said Edgardo Buscaglia, a well-known analyst of global organized crime.  ‘We see more budget coming in from the Mexican federal and state government, and we see more money from the US going down the drain, but we don’t see an impact.’

CC BY-NC-ND by txmx 2
CC BY-NC-ND by txmx 2

(Instead, we see extrajudicial murder, as in a recent case).  The events in Apatzingán echoed earlier alleged abuses by Mexican law enforcement.  They also came at a time when the government was still struggling with the fallout from the September 2014 disappearance of 43 students in the southern city of Iguala after they were attacked by municipal police.


(The resolution of that case was that local police only were corrupt and in the employ of drug gangs, having killed and burned the kids).  The parents of the missing students, as well as hardened skeptics around Mexico, rejected that version of events.  Then, in September, independent investigators from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH) released a 500-page report that demolished it in the eyes of the international community.  The experts concluded that the police always knew the students were not cartel members and that it was ‘scientifically impossible’ for them to have been incinerated in the dump.


Well into this year, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong rarely touched on the security issue without pointing to official figures showing a 23 percent fall in the murder rate in 2014 compared to 2012.  The numbers, he often repeated, proved the fight against the cartels was going in the right direction even after those same official figures began to show a reversal of the trend in 2015.”—Vice News

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                 AWARENESS VIDEO                  

AN HONEST ELECTORAL ASSESSMENT IN THE CORPORATE CASH NEXUS
http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_ralph_nader_on_the_corporate_elections_20151223 – A down-to-earth and down-to-cases interview, from TruthDig, via TeleSur, that Abby Martin conducts with Ralph Nader, as ever dour and data-driven and simply earnest and real in his detailing the way that corporate rule has ruined all aspects of the erstwhile ‘middle-class’ social contract, most especially perhaps in the electoral arena, where the very act of thinking about power-to-the-people is no longer permissible, barely even possible.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

2016 NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop

Apply early to participate in this hands-on experience

March 21, 2016 8:00 AM  to
March 21, 2016 7:00 PM
St. Louis

March 22, 2016 8:00 AM  to
March 22, 2016 1:00 PM
St. Louis

Sponsored by the NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation, the 2016 NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop will be held on March 21-22, 2016 in St. Louis, Mo. The workshop is co-hosted by Kansas State University and the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes
Immerse yourself in the practice of teaching with primary sources from the unparalleled collections of Library of Congress this summer. Apply to attend a week-long professional development program for K-12 educators in the nation’s capital.

In 2016, the Library will offer five Institute weeks:

Application Deadline: February 29, 2016

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Creative Circle
Industry Marketing
Job Duration Freelance
Job Location Brandon, FL
Job Requirements – 4 year degree required, preferably in English, Journalism, or similar field

Mother Nature Network
Industry Internet/Online/New Media
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Atlanta, GA
Do you have an endless curiosity and a gift for telling stories? Narrative Content Group is seeking an experienced, organized and creative Writer / Editor to join the team of Mother Nature Network. Your primary duties will be creating original stories within a variety of lifestyle topics including nature, animals, pets, travel, food, culture, health and technology. You will work closely with MNN editors and the social team to ensure that your content succeeds.

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CC BY-NC-ND by *spo0ky*

The Irrational In Action

A fascinating pamphlet by a thought-provoking commentator who outlines some of the common traps and pitfalls that individuals and societies fall into when the time to make rational and productive social and political decisions emerges: “The pamphlet starts by giving a few examples of the irrational behaviour – at the level of politics – of classes, groups and individuals. It proceeds to reject certain facile “interpretations” put forward to explain these phenomena. It probes the various ways in which the soil (the individual psyche of modern man) has been rendered fertile (receptive) for an authoritarian, hierarchical and class-dominated culture. It looks at the family as the locus of reproduction of the dominant ideology, and at sexual repression as an important determinant of social conditioning, resulting in the mass production of individuals perpetually craving authority and leadership and forever afraid of walking on their own or of thinking for themselves.

No Nuclear Safety Guaranteed

A Japan Times article whose writer scrutinizes the issues inherent with opening up unsafe nuke plants up, in spite of strident citizen disapproval and lack of safety guarantees: “Power companies and the government should not be under the illusion that the safety of nuclear power plants under the new standards of the Nuclear Regulation Authority has been endorsed by the judiciary. While last week’s decision by the Fukui District Court paves the way for Kansai Electric Power Co. to restart reactors No. 3 and 4 at its Takahama Nuclear Power Plant as early as next month, the court urged the utility and the NRA to make constant efforts to aim higher for safety in the operation of nuclear plants.”

By Emmanuel Huybrechts from Laval, Canada
By Emmanuel Huybrechts from Laval, Canada

Justice and Mercy

A Poynter posting that discusses the plight of those who would dedicate their lives and careers to justice in a fundamentally unjust world, with an interview with a legal mind who has outlined the problems inherent in the legal system as well as possible solutions:  “That paradigm shift is something that we have to have all the way through the system. Our police officers become warriors who are using the fear and anger paradigm to battle against whole communities. We don’t need police officers who see themselves as warriors. We need police officers who see themselves as guardians and parts of the community. You can’t police a community that you’re not a part of. That paradigm shift is part of how we create true custodians of justice. If you’re just the person with power, exercising that power fearfully and angrily, you’re going to be an operative of injustice and inequality.”

WRISSThe Driving Power of Fiction

A fascinating case study from New Yorker that also analyses our propensity to get carried away by a story, a circumstance which con artists and propagandists of all stripes have long used to their advantage: “Azzopardi’s frauds relied on a quirk of human nature: when we become swept up in powerful narrative, our reason often falls by the wayside. Paul Zak, a neuroeconomist at Claremont Graduate University and the director of its Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, studies the power of story in our daily interactions with friends, strangers, books, television, and other media. Repeatedly, he has found that nothing makes us receptive, emotionally and behaviorally, quite like narrative flow.”

GENMEDIP

Media Manipulation

A valuable TedX talk that could be of use to any of us who consume media on a regular basis: “Veteran investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson breaks down the phenomenon of astroturf, i.e.,the fake “grassroots movements” of trolls funded by political, corporate, or other special interests, who form a phalanx which very effectively manipulate and distort media messages, especially on the Internet.”

RECEV

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

Your Savings Are Their Playthings

A Counter Punch article that contextualizes the dangers that day to day people have when they trust their funds to banks: “For some inexplicable reason, the hard-earned money you deposit in the bank is not considered “security” or “collateral.” It is just a loan to the bank, and you must stand in line along with the other creditors in hopes of getting it back. State and local governments must also stand in line, although their deposits are considered “secured,” since they remain junior to the derivative claims with “super-priority.””

GENISSKeeping Tabs on Artists

A Mother Jones retrospective on the life of an iconic folk singer, and the way his actions drew the attention of the authorities: “Seeger, a champion of folk music and progressive causes—and the writer, performer, or promoter of now-classic songs, including as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” “Goodnight, Irene,” and “This Land Is Your Land”—was a member of the Communist Party for several years in the 1940s, as he subsequently acknowledged. (He later said he should have left earlier.) His FBI file shows that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was for decades hounded by the FBI, which kept trying to tie him to the Communist Party, and the first investigation in the file illustrates the absurd excesses of the paranoid security establishment of that era.”

 

12.29.2015 Daily Links

               A Thought for the Day               

art -The_ScreamTo quell querulousness, quiet qualms, daunt danger, and triumph over terror necessitates several qualities that apparently only a tiny fragment of the United States population has learned: to enjoy listening, as well as speaking, to engage discovery as well as learning by rote; to accept one’s own contribution to all one’s difficulties and find ways to address or ameliorate this individual responsibility and then to act collectively to improve matters; to foster collaboration and mutuality with the certain understanding that solidarity defines the limits of an individual’s strength; to recognize that all human horror arises from the fearful’s having sewn terror themselves that has returned to haunt them, the only credible response to which is to propagate peace as a result of disseminating justice in all one’s relations with others.

                    Quote of the Day                   

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it. …Another Chief remembered that since the Great Father promised them that they would never be moved they had been moved five times.  ‘I think you had better put the Indians on wheels,’ he said sardonically, ‘and you can run them about whenever you wish.’


On the mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy.  (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.)  Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders.  Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered.  To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.

from Espresso Stalinist
from Espresso Stalinist

(Parallel to such attitudes, White Indian Commissioners and Agents promised to bring White people’s cultural advantages to Native peoples).  One of them mentioned the advantages of schools for Joseph’s people.  Joseph replied that the Nez Percés did not want the white man’s schools.  ‘Why do you not want schools?’ the commissioner asked.  ‘They will teach us to have churches,’ Joseph answered.  ‘Do you not want churches?’ ‘No, we do not want churches.’  ‘Why do you not want churches?’  ‘They will teach us to quarrel about God,’ Joseph said.  ‘We do not want to learn that.  We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God.  We do not want to learn that.'”   Dee Brown: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

                 This Day in History                  
183px-Twas_the_Night_Before_Christmas_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17135In the Northern European tradition, today is the fifth day of Christmas; followers of England’s second king named Henry murdered Thomas Becketeight hundred forty-five years ago in the Canterbury Cathedral, which led to the priest’s subsequent canonization in both the Catholic and Anglican Churches; a quarter millennium and seven years later, in 1427, Ming Dynasty occupying forces, having for two decades dominated Dai Viet, the name that Vietnamese used for the better part of eight centuries till 1800, withdrew altogether, and Vietnam conducted its affairs under its own aegis; five hundred seven years before the present pass, Portuguese colonizers furthered their hold on Indian claims at the Battle of Dombhat; a mere year more than thirteen decades later, in 1639, English thinker and physician Thomas Sydenham, who made the first tasty Laudanum, drew his final breath; Cherokee elders signed the New Echota treaty, which exactly four years short of two centuries henceforth, in 1835, ceded all tribal claims to land East of the Mississippi River; a decade afterward exactly, in 1845, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, which entered the union as the twenty-eighth State, a slave jurisdiction; another forty-five years onward, in 1890, U.S. cavalry troops slaughtered upwards of 300 Lakota Sioux, primarily women and children and elderly, at Wounded Knee South Dakota; James Joyce one hundred and one years before the here and now, began to serialize A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in The Egoist; eight years closer to the present, in 1922, a male infant uttered his first cry en route to a life as the writer and critic William Gaddis; two years past that point, in 1924, the Swiss Nobel-Prize winning poet Carl Spitteler died; two years yet later on, in 1926, Austrian poet and writer Rainer Maria Rilke took his last breath; another four years thereafter, in 1930,the 110px-IqbalPersian and Urdu poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal first outlined, in a presentation at Allahabad, his proposal for the creation of Pakistan in what was then Northwest India; yet four years more along time’s path, in 1934, imperial Japan withdrew from the conventions of naval treaties that had inhibited the construction of war-making ships; three years even closer to the current context, in 1937 on the other side of the world, the Irish Free State joined the ‘family of nations’ as the Republic of Ireland; four years farther down the pike, in 1941, a male infant joined humanity’s panoply en route to the prolific rocker and lyricist Ray Thomas; just three hundred sixty-five days still more proximate to the present pass, in 1942, a Canadian boy child opened his eyes whose work, as Rick Danko, would make The Band a legendary component of Rock and Roll; a baby girl was born four years beyond that conjunction, in 1946, who would grow up to become the hard-hitting crooner Marianne Faithful; another year hence, in 1947, a baby boy shouted out who would become the acclaimed musician and songwriter, Cozy Powell; seven hundred thirty-one days later still, in 1949, Bridgeport, Connecticut became the locus of the world’s first full-time Ultra-High-Frequency television station; ten years subsequent to that juncture, in 1959, Richard Feynman made a presentation,There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, that has since come to represent the initiation of nanotechnology; eleven years diego rivera work labor artonward from there, in 1970 in Washington, years of political effort by trade unionists paid off with the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration by act of Congress; twenty-nine years back, the iconic Russian director and screenwriter Andrei Tarkovsky lived out his final scene; a thousand ninety-six days nearer to now, in 1989, riots erupted in Hong Kong at the decision to force repatriation on Vietnamese nationals in the province; seven years after that to the day, in 1996, the government of Guatemala and rebels there agreed to a peace accord that ended nearly four decades of fighting; precisely a decade hence, in 2006,England discharged its final indebtedness to the United States from World War Two, and nearly 15,000 steelworker union members settled their strike against sixteen different rubber producing facilities.

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                       Top of the Fold                       

SEA CHANGES FOR LABOR, ESPECIALLY IN DIXIE?

http://www.southernstudies.org/2015/12/voices-media-fails-to-reveal-anti-union-agenda-of-.html – A posting from the Institute for Southern Studies that shows the deception and duplicity that permeate all aspects of ‘labor reporting’ among corporate media outlets, an insidious pattern of distortion that particularly afflicts the South, analysis that contradicts other statements from Southern Studies about recent Chattanooga victories and about “reasons to cheer” labor’s prospects in Dixie, a tension in assessing labor unions’ present pass–on the one hand celebrating Chicago Teachers’ militancy, on the other hand ruing that purported labor leaders have joined up with plutocrats and predatory capitalists in apparently common cause–that seems common now in ‘left’ or ‘liberal’ circles such as what appears from In These Times, while more militantly socialist or Marxist sources mount a much more consistent critique of current practices, an overall context in which several observers, such as a journalist for Jacobin call for citizens to take note of what’s happening at the Kohler strike in Wisconsin, and in which some unions, such as the giant Communications Workers of America, are breaking ranks with SOP Democratic Party trickery in support of Ms. Clinton and, as reported by Common Dreams, are endorsing radicalism and even revolution in the form of Bernie Sanders: “(In relation to the close vote against the United Auto Workers almost two years ago in Chattanooga), (f)ollowing the failed election, documents leaked to Nashville’s News Channel 5 exposed the extent to which Republican politicians, professional anti-union consultants, and employer groups coordinated their efforts to defeat the UAW.  John Logan, professor of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State University, said that this may be the first time in U.S. history that the government and third party groups, but not the employer, were actively involved in an anti-union campaign, which Logan described as ‘top-down class warfare in Tennessee’ and ‘a zero-sum ideal where the freedom of the wealthy and powerful is premised on the subordination of everyone else.’  Much and more of the coordinated attack on the union organizing drive has beenreported in progressive media, but with all the examples of outright political threats and overt anti-union propaganda, the more banal, and therefore normalized, examples of how the business press has presented anti-union perspectives with an air of supposed objective authority often got lost in the mix.


(For example, in one particularly egregious case), the local Chattanooga paper, in 11 out of 16 stories in which he was quoted, refused to make mention of (John) Raudabaugh’s connection to the N(ational) R(ight) T(o) W(ork) L(egal) D(efense) F(und), where he has worked since 2012.  In one particularly scandalous example, the Chattanooga Times Free Press published an article entitled ‘VW union, yea or nea?  Ex-NLRB member says UAW not needed in Chattanooga for works council’ that was entirely centered on Raudabaugh’s theory that VW workers and the company could ‘reach a win-win  outcome without having to pay a third party.’  As in the other 10 articles, the paper referred to Raudabaugh as a former National Labor Relations Board director and law professor at Ave Maria School of Law without any mention of his affiliation with the NRTWLDF.  Yet, even the descriptions that they do provide are missing ‘critical context.’


Both the Ave Maria University and the the town of Ave Maria are owned by former Domino’s pizza owner and extreme right-wing billionaire Thomas Monaghan, who financed the construction as part of his dream to create an insulated conservative  Catholic community.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Monaghan’s medieval vision for this project, which has cost him hundreds of millions of dollars, is to create a town in which he can ‘control what goes on there’ and residents ‘won’t be able to buy aPlayboy or Hustler magazine’ and businesses are specifically forbidden from selling ‘the pill or the condoms or contraception.’  Thanks to a special law passed by the Florida state government at the behest of Monaghan, he and the Barron Collier development corporation not only own a majority of the town’s property but are the ultimate government authority in Ave Maria, and can remain so forever.  Empowered by the state government to a dictatorial reign, Monaghan’s Catholic corporate dystopia has become a reality and Ave Maria has been described as a ‘miniature theocratic fiefdom’ and compared to ‘fascist regimes.’  It’s not hard to see why the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation would feel right at home.


Parsing the corporate media’s treatment of Raudabaugh, we can see a recurring theme: By avoiding ‘critical context,’ a prominent union buster, employed by a multimillion-dollar anti-union political operation in partnership with an extreme right-wing Catholic university founded by a conservative billionaire in a 21st century company town, magically becomes just another more-or-less neutral authority on labor relations, even after filing charges on behalf of anti-union Volkswagen workers against both the UAW and the company.”—Institute for Southern Studies

CC BY by brendan-c
CC BY by brendan-c

“The (Communications Workers of America) endorsement comes after a three-month voting period, with tens of thousands of the union’s 700,000 members casting ballots.  Its former president, Larry Cohen, is an adviser to Sanders’ campaign.  It also comes hours after his chief rival for the nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, picked up the endorsement of billionaire Warren Buffett.


‘CWA members have made a clear choice and a bold stand in endorsing Bernie Sanders for President,’ said the union’s president, Chris Shelton.  ‘I am proud of our democratic process, proud of CWA members, and proud to support the candidate whose vision for America puts working families first.  Our politics and economy have favored Wall Street, the wealthy and powerful for too long.  CWA members, like voters across America, are saying we can no longer afford business as usual.  Bernie has called for a political revolution – and that is just what Americans need today.’


Sanders on Thursday also picked up an endorsement from the grassroots political group Democracy for America, which boasts roughly one million members.  The endorsement marks the first time in the organization’s history that it officially announced support for a presidential candidate.


Remarking on the divergent decisions of the organization and its leader, Sanders said, ‘It is no secret that the founder of DFA—my friend and fellow Vermonter former Gov. Howard Dean—has chosen not to support my candidacy.  Yet the leadership of DFA allowed a fair and free vote to take place which we won.  That’s pretty impressive.'”—Common Dreams

               TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                               AWARENESS VIDEO                  

THE MOST CENSORED & DISTORTED STORIES OF 2015
http://www.globalresearch.ca/2015-reviewing-the-most-important-and-the-most-censored-stories-of-the-year/5496993 -An hour long radio presentation today, a program from Global Research that honors the founder of Project Censored by summarizing and providing leads for digging into the journalism from the last year that sought to reveal what corporate media has uniformly ignored, to wit, anything that threatens to deconstruct either the operational protocols for empire and its depredations or any event or happening that in its very essence uncovers those relationships and realizations that those in command want hidden deeply away, unspoken, not even pondered in the most rudimentary fashion.

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AWP Conference
The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2015 conference featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The bookfair hosted over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. AWP’s is now the largest literary conference in North America. Join us in Los Angeles in 2016 to celebrate the best of what contemporary literature has to offer.

Preregistration closes February 12th.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

Fiction submissions accepted September through December, 2015
Nonfiction submissions accepted fall, 2016
Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books.

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing [hereafter referred to as “the Prize”] will alternate yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions, beginning with fiction in 2015. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.   Submissions will be accepted from September 1 until December 31, 2015.

Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Website: http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com
E-mail address: beforecolumbusfoundation@gmail.com
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year that make contributions to American multicultural literature. Submit two copies of a book or galley published in 2015 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines.
Before Columbus Foundation, American Book Awards, Raymond House, 655 13th Street, Suite 302, Oakland, CA 94612. (510) 268-9775.

Cleveland Foundation
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Website:  http://www.anisfield-wolf.org
E-mail address:  submit@anisfield-wolf.org
Prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published during the previous year that “contribute to our understanding of racism or appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures.” Submit five copies of a book published in 2015 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.
Cleveland Foundation, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, 1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300, Cleveland, OH 44115. (216) 685-2018. Karen R. Long, Contact.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Proposal Writer (Maryville TN)

The Proposal Writer is responsible for facilitating new business proposal and presentation development efforts in a broad range of industries, such as Environmental Remediation Services, Horizontal and Vertical Construction, and Global Development Services (Life Support, Logistics, Vehicle Maintenance, Supplies & Services, and Manpower.) This position is responsible for drafting proposals and presentations; monitoring potential business development (RFP) opportunities; managing proposal preparation and coordination; building capacity and processes for new business in the company’s global markets; administering best practices in proposal responses; maintaining RELYANT’s business development materials; and supporting other new business outreach initiatives as needed. This position interacts with staff at all levels/regions and disciplines and reports to the Business Development Manager.

Article writer needed for a website (Athens, Atlanta)
compensation: N/A

I am looking to hire a content writer for my website. Website topics include electronics, sports, entertainment, product reviews, and more. I will provide necessary guidelines as needed. I am looking to build a long term relationship with a writer for my upcoming projects. Pay is negotiable according to the word count. I can pay you via PayPal or in person.

Please reply with your resume. Prefer a college student or a recent graduate. Knowledge in SEO (search engine optimization) is a plus! but not required. Native English writers only! Please do not apply if you are a professional content/seo agency.

Editor (Southaven, MS)
compensation: $8-$15/hour depending upon experience
employment type: part-time
Looking to hire a very sharp book editor with massive editing and book formatting skills.
Please submit your resume along with salary requirement.

ORGLINK

 

 

Protecting Police Who Kill

A City Lab post by an insightful writer who analyses the challenges of movements that seek to address and eradicate police brutality, and that addresses the systemic problems that lead to police brutality, and that simple protests are not enough: “Although the anger of police reformers and Black Lives Matters activists ran high in 2015, there was also, at times, a naïvely optimistic underpinning to their protests. They were built around the belief that if only there were reliable statistics on deaths in the hands of police, if only there was more awareness about deaths, if only more political pressure could be brought to bear on prosecutors, then the criminal-justice system could deal with police-inflicted deaths. That hope was encouraged by the Walter Scott case, in which Officer Michael Slager was fired and charged with murder almost immediately after a video of Scott’s shooting was made public.”

By Matthew Woitunski, via Wikimedia Commons
By Matthew Woitunski, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally a Rational Compassionate Approach to Housing Woes

An Aeon piece that introduces readers to a radical yet simple solution to the housing crisis, and also introduces readers to an unexpected place where these policies are bearing fruit: “Housing First is not very popular. It runs directly counter to the US meritocratic mythology, where one is presumed to fail or succeed by one’s own hand. The homeless are presumed to have earned their place on the street.

Precious few places have had the nerve to fully implement a Housing First policy, though hundreds of cities have drawn up the plans. But the approach has been successful in Utah, where chronic homelessness is down 91 per cent over the past decade, and where rapid rehousing programmes have housed thousands of newly homeless veterans and families quickly and cheaply. To the surprise of every self-described progressive, Utah has emerged as a model for municipal programs around the country.”

Sanders’ Hippie Past

A Salon glimpse into the storied life of a beloved presidential candidate as it unfolded in the 60s: “Sanders had joined the migration of hippies, searchers, and dreamers to the Green Mountains and moved there permanently in 1968, then bought the land and settled in Stannard the following year. “My hair was long, but not long for the times,” he told Mark Jacobson for a piece in New York magazine in 2014. “I smoked marijuana but was never part of the drug culture. That wasn’t me.””

Drug War Unabated

A Vice News piece that contextualizes the ongoing drug war racket in Mexico, its constant deaths and displacements, the small triumphs and failures, and looks at the thoughts of folks looking at the root of the problem, whose ideas need be implemented in order for the scourge to go away: “Buscaglia believes the key missing element is a campaign to root out the high-level political corruption that he says has allowed the cartels to capture parts of the state. Until the state recovers control of itself, he argues, there will always be space for organized crime to operate — and kill — regardless of how many capos fall or cartels are dismantled.

“The problem of political corruption is not addressed in any way,” he said. “Until you see that done by the Mexican government, you will not see any difference in terms of containing these criminal groups.””

CC BY-NC-ND by txmx 2

Ukraine Lies

From Smirking Monkey, some important work by a tireless investigator that strives to disarm some of the most trenchant disinformation out there in regards to the ongoing Ukraine nightmare: “Supporters of America’s Democratic Party don’t want to know this, because it shows Obama to be profoundly evil and far-right in foreign affairs; and, America’s Republican Party don’t want to know this, because they’re no less evil than he is and they can’t blame him for doing what Republicans (such as Righter) have always wanted America to do, which is to surround Russia by NATO countries and strangulate it.

In other words: the reality that has been documented here is unmentionable in the aristocratically controlled — both Democratic and Republican — press in the United States.”

 

WRISSOne More Journalist Down

A New York Times article outlining the tragedy of yet another journalist felled for his committment to truth and informing the world on conditions in Turkey: “The killing of the journalist, Naji Jerf, in Gaziantep, Turkey, happened Sunday, one day before he and his family were scheduled to fly to France, where they were seeking asylum. Unconfirmed news reports from Gaziantep said he had been shot to death.

Mr. Jerf recently posted on YouTube a documentary on the killing of Syrian activists during the Islamic State’s occupation of the Syrian city Aleppo in 2013 and 2014. It was recently broadcast by the television network Al Arabiya.”

money_flying-transparent

The Ungenerous Sharing Economy

A Salon reposting that contextualizes the many ills, towards workers, of the so-called sharing economy, in which the usual suspects benefit, at the expense of everyone else: “In the aftermath of the economic collapse in 2008, a significant factor in the decline of the quality of jobs in the United States, as well as in Europe has been employers’ increasing reliance on “non-regular” workers — a growing army of freelancers, temps, contractors, part-timers, day laborers, micro-entrepreneurs, gig-preneurs, solo-preneurs, contingent labor, perma-lancers and perma-temps. It’s practically a new taxonomy for a workforce that has become segmented into a dizzying assortment of labor categories. Even many full-time, professional jobs and occupations are experiencing this precarious shift.”

GENMEDIP

Soviets as Early Adopters of Internet

A fascinating Global Voices article that introduces readers to technology we all take for granted that was used in Soviet Russia long before most of us ever ‘got mail’: “At first glance, speaking about a “Soviet Internet” seems paradoxical and anachronistic. Yet, such a thing did actually exist. This is why a top level “.su” domain (for Soviet Union) still remains on the domain market today, despite ICANN’s requests to delete it.

Scholars of the Soviet Internet generally agree that its development began with the rise of Gorbatchev’s Perestroika and Glasnost. Thanks to these reforms, the first Soviet Internet provider was founded in 1987-1988. And in 1991, there were already a few hundred users connected to the Unix network in the USSR.”

Remains of Old Soviet K-340A super computer in Chernobyl. Aliaksandr Palanetski, CC, Flickr.

RECEV

Another Police Shooting Goes Unpunished

A New York Times article that shows yet another instance of police ‘getting away with murder’:“Mr. McGinty said the fatal encounter had been a tragedy and a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications.” But he said that enhancement of video from the scene had made it “indisputable” that Tamir, who was black, was drawing the pellet gun from his waistband when he was shot, either to hand it over to the officers or to show them that it was not a real firearm. He said that there was no reason for the officers to know that, and that the officer who fired, Timothy Loehmann, had a reason to fear for his life.”

GENISScode binary computer geekComputers and Fate of Cities

A fascinating City Lab posting that contextualizes the way that digitizing all reality has has a direct effect not only on the marketability and economic viability of individuals, but of entire cities: “The key to success, it seems, came down to whether or not residents of a given metro area possessed “abstract” skills capable of complementing computer technology, such as problem-solving, analytical reasoning, and complex communication. Metros with an abstract knowledge-base prospered, report University of Oxford researchers Thor Berger and Carl Benedikt Frey in Regional Science and Urban Economics. Those with more “routine” workforces didn’t.

“Although the computer revolution arrived everywhere, it had very different effects based on what types of work cities specialized in,” says Berger via email. “In cities with an abundance of abstract skills, the computer led to the creation of a wide variety of new work, whereas in cities specializing in routine manufacturing work it led to the displacement of middle-skill workers.””

 

12.28.2015 Daily Links

                    This Day in History                  

Other than continuing Solstice/Days of Christmas celebrations, a relatively quiescent day on the annual calendar in terms of specific commemorations; just before the Norman conquest, nine and a half centuries ago, England’s rulers consecrated Westminster Abbey; three years less than five and a half centuries subsequent to that, in 1612, Galileo Galilei first observed Neptune, albeit he classified it as a star rather than an orbiting planet; two hundred and twenty-one years further down time’s pathway, in 1832, across the Atlantic in the young United States, John Calhoun’s Vice Presidential resignation foretold elements of the dissolution of the Union; three years hence, in 1835, in a different sort of dissent, the Seminole leader Osceola and his fierce followers fought the incursions of the United States military in their lands; another three hundred sixty-six days farther along, in 1836, Spain finally recognized the reality of Mexico’s independence; two decades after that instant, in 1856, a baby boy shouted out whose life would entail executive offices at Princeton and the United States as the clever contextualizer of White Supremacy and capital’s ascendancy, Woodrow Wilson; just short of ten years onward, in 1865, a Massachusetts inventor indebted caffeine fiends for

Sean Ellis Follow Cafe Coffee Day The Starbucks of India
Sean Ellis Follow
Cafe Coffee Day
The Starbucks of India

eternity with his patenting of a coffee percolator; one hundred and thirty years back, the predecessor to India’s Congress Party came into existence in opposition to untrammeled British imperial sway; a decade thereafter, in 1895, the Lumiere brothers in France demonstrated the viability of relatively modern cinematic methods before an audience in Paris for the first time, and in nearby Germany, Wilhelm Rontgen published his discovery of a type of radiation that implied the multiplicity of atomic structure; twenty-three years after that, in 1918, Constance Markievicz became the first woman to gain election to the House of Commons, doing so while she was serving time in prison for her activism on women’s behalf;thirteen years farther forward, in 1931, a baby boy came squalling into the world in France whom fate had designated as the thinker and theorist Guy Debord; another year subsequently, in 1932, Southwest across the Atlantic in Argentina, a boy child opened his eyes who would grow up as the playwright and cultural savant, Manuel Puig; four more years onward, in 1936, auto workers at the Fisher Body Plant began their legendary sitdown strike that led to a victory for the workers generally and for the development of the United Autoworkers in particular; eight more years closer to the current context, in 1944, Franklin Roosevelt ordered Federal troops to seize the offices of the Montgomery Ward Corporation for the firm’s refusal to honor the union shop provisions of National War Labor Board directives; a year beyond that conjunction, in 1945, the novelist and public intellectual, Theodore Dreiser, lived out his final day; fifty-nine years ahead of today, a committee of local nationalists and activists and imperial representatives gathered to confer over ways to diffuse the eight-year-old Malay crisis, in which anticommunists and committed Marxists were seeking a political solution to insurrection, murder, and civil war; three years past that point in time and space, in 1959, a baby girl was born who would mature as the soulful crooner and searing lyricist Ana Torroja, of the Spanish group, Mecano; another ten years afterward, in 1969, a male infant entered our midst who would design and popularize the Linux operating system as Linus Torvald; seventeen years subsequently, in 1973, the United States passed an Endangered Species Act to ameliorate ecological drawbacks of human culture; a year past a decade farther along, in 1984, gritty filmmaker and screenwriter Sam Peckinpah lived out his final scene; nine years henceforth to the day, in 1993, renowned storyteller of war and popular writer William Shirer died; seven years nearer to now, in 2000, the retailer Montgomery Ward closed it doors in bankruptcy, fifty six years to the day past its screwing over its workers during World War Two; four years thereafter, in 2004, the iconic thinker, critic, photographer and author Susan Sontag breathed her last; six years yet later on, in 2010, Algerian activists and protesters began demanding better government and thereby initiated the so-called Arab Spring in their country;another seven hundred thirty-one days more proximate to the present moment, in 2012, the programmer and inventor of the Internet Message Access Protocol, Mark Crispin, drew his final breath.

                A Thought for the Day                

swim_with_sharks_1071267336_770Love will ever evoke elements both sublime and dangerous, at once pristine waters whose virgin coves invite sweet immersion naked of all defense, and shark-infested inlets whose murky depths threaten smitten swimmers with imminent bloodbath.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“Our civilisation is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason. …(In such a context), (t)he most futile thing in this world is any attempt, perhaps, at exact definition of character.  All individuals are a bundle of contradictions—none more so than the most capable.
        (Thus), I acknowledge the Furies.  I believe in them.  I have heard the disastrous beating of their wings. …(Along similar lines then), religion, I would say, … is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstance. …(and) (a)rt is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.”  Theodore Dreiser

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SEARCHDAYjournalism OR "investigative reporting" OR "documentary work" "public good" OR commons OR "social good" OR "public necessity" OR "social necessity" support OR subsidy OR subsidize "not for profit" OR nonprofit "sine qua non" OR inherent OR inescapable OR unavoidable = 192,000 Linkages

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                       Top of the Fold                       

PREDATORY IMPERIAL CAPITAL’S IMPRIMATUR VIA ISRAEL
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/golem-and-brother  A brilliant essay, combining incisive historical documentation with precise contemporary political economy, metaphorical assessments of Jewish culture’s stories with clear-eyed contextualizations of today’s social nightmare in Palestine, about the state of Israel’s present pass, from Mondoweiss, one of a trio available today among the thousands from the past period of time that provide similar deconstruction and analysis of the current Israeli context at the heart of the so-called ‘Mideast quagmire’ that unfolds in bloody attrition throughout Southwest Asia and across Northern Africa, the second leg of this stool here a narrative from OriginalAntiwar.com about the Israelizing of conflict and carnage now, the third piece of today’s puzzle a review and analysis from Salon that draws parallels between contemporary outpourings of bile and acrimony against critics of Israel and the worst excesses of redbaiting and calumny during the McCarthy period that the recent film, Trumbo, chillingly depicted: “The genius of the Zionist movement — with its linguistic and cultural components — was as an attempt to keep Jewish unity as the revolutionary change and possibilities shook traditional, socially distinctive Jewish life.  As educator Solomon Schechter said, he supported Zionism in order to fight the menace of assimilation that frightened him more than pogroms.

From Henrietta Szold’s account onwards, the Jewish nationalist strategy has been teaching a lesson, teaching respect, by overwhelming deterrence.  As George Orwell noted, ‘there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side.’

An important contribution of Israel has been the blurring of military and police functions into securitization and pacification of populations.   Shared weaponry and tactics make the ‘War on [blank]’ inanity apt for modern governments, with what (anthropologist Jeff) Halper calles the MISSLE Complex — ‘the integrated use of Military, Internal Security, Surveillance, Intelligence and Law Enforcement.’

The Israeli military/police/security industry, Halper documents, pervades the peripheries of power, supplying governments from Colombia to Uzbekistan with drones, attack helicopters, missles, arms, and cyber eavesdropping systems.  From drones to electronic surveillance, from torturous interrogations to chronic surveillance and routine database building, Israel has pioneered our world.  Notoriously, over the years Israel has been involved with governments of torture, terror and even anti-semitism, in Apartheid South Africa, Guatemala, and Argentina, among others.

Part of Zionism’s innovation has been adopting the principle of endless war, so that ‘enemies’ and the government are truly partners.  As Randolph Bourne observed, ‘War is the health of the State.’
palestine israel
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the day following the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015, predicted Europe would ‘have to’ follow Israel’s lead of prioritizing security over human rights.  ‘We as a democracy are experienced in fighting terrorism, used to it.  The Western democracies in Europe will apparently need to include such steps in their countries too to defend themselves.'”Mondoweiss
364px-Jerusalem_Erlöserkirche_um_1900
            “(H)ow the Military Industrial Complex and crony energy industry would profit from…the public mandate … to thoroughly and permanently colonize the Greater Middle East. …is easy to see.  But what about America’s ‘best friend’ in the region?  How does Israel stand to benefit from being surrounded by such chaos?

Tel Aviv has long pursued a strategy of ‘divide and conquer:’ both directly, and indirectly through the tremendous influence of the Israel lobby and neocons over US foreign policy.  A famous article from the early 1980s by Israeli diplomat and journalist Oded Yinon is most explicit in this regard.  The ‘Yinon Plan’ calls for the ‘dissolution’ of ‘the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula.’  Each country was to be made to ‘fall apart along sectarian and ethnic lines,’ after which each resulting fragment would be ‘hostile’ to its neighbors.’ Yinon incredibly claimed that: ‘This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run.’

The US has also long pit Muslim nations, sects, and ethnic groups against each other.  Throughout the 80s, in addition to sponsoring the Afghan jihad and civil war, the US armed Iraq (including with chemical weapons) in its invasion of and war against Iran.  At the very same time, the US was also secretly selling arms to the Iranian side of that same conflict.  It is worth noting that two officials involved in the Iran-Contra Affair were Israel-first neocons Elliot Abrams and Michael Ledeen.

This theme can also be seen in ‘A Clean Break:’ a strategy document written in 1996 for the Israeli government by a neocon ‘study group’ led by future Bush administration officials and Iraq War architects.  In that document, ‘divide and conquer’ went under the euphemism of ‘a strategy based on balance of power.’  This strategy involved allying with some Muslim powers (Turkey and Jordan) to roll back and eventually overthrow others.  Particularly it called for regime change in Iraq in order to destabilize Syria.  And destabilizing both Syria and Iran was chiefly for the sake of countering the ‘challenges’ those countries posed to Israel’s interests in Lebanon.

Israeli hawks prefer ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hamas to Saddam, Assad, and Arafat, because the people of the West are less likely to be willing to co-exist with the former than the latter.  Especially as terrorist attacks and refugee crises mount in the West, the rise and reign of the terrorists may finally overcome public opposition to troop commitment, and necessitate the Western invasion and permanent occupation of the Greater Middle East, followed, of course, by its perpetual exploitation by, among other Washington favorites, Israel and Israeli corporations.
rect3336 spaceThe West may become a Global Israel, forever occupying, forever dispossessing, forever bombing, and forever insecure.  And the Middle East may become a Global Palestine, forever occupied, forever dispossessed, forever bombed, and forever desperately violent.  That is how war is realizing the Israelizing of the world.”—OriginalAntiwar.com

 rect3336 space             “(A political prisoner and victim of anticommunist venality, the mathematician and professor Chandler)Davis also asserts that universities that stifle dissent will kill intellectual vitality.  Instead, Davis admonishes universities: ‘You must welcome dissent; you must welcome serious, systematic, proselytizing dissent—not only the playful, the fitful, or the eclectic; you must value it enough, not merely to refrain from expelling it yourselves, but to refuse to have it torn from you by outsiders.’rect3336 spaceReading that last sentence, one cannot help thinking of the recent case of Steven Salaita, who was fired from his position at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, largely at the behest of wealthy donors displeased by Salaita’s sharp and cutting statements on social media critical of Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014.  Davis himself has been a vocal and persistent critic of Israel’s denial of human rights to the Palestinians—everyFriday, for the past 13 years, he has led a group in a vigil in front of the Israeli consulate in Toronto.  I asked Davis to comment on the contemporary witch hunt aimed at critics of Israel.   He replied:

pfunked Deviant Art
pfunked Deviant Art

‘The freedom lost when vigilantes go after a free-speaking professor is not limited to that professor’s freedom.  For every professor whose job is attacked there are dozens whose speaking invitations are dropped in order to avoid controversy; and there are untold hundreds who watch their words to avoid being attacked.  The talks not given, or the opinions not even uttered, add to a loss that can be huge.  Watch yourselves!  If Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein get back into academic employment, the victory will only be partial, unless we all overcome the inhibitions the attacks are meant to impose.  It will still be our duty to keep up the critical discussion of Israel/Palestine.'”—Salon

                    TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO            

A BASIC TOOL FOR UNDERSTANDING OURSELVES & OTHERS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_cp1K514E&index=3&list=TL7oqEfbVG3K4xODEyMjAxNQ  A profferal from The School of Life, which in its videos combines philosophical and scientific orientation as well as practical advice about life issues, in this case an overview of the well-documented process of psychological transference, an indisputable contributor to misunderstanding our own and others’ motivations, in ways that can be heart-rending or worse, the clear comprehension of which, on the other hand, provides a key component, an indispensable foundation for seeing what is real and getting what we want from life and its myriad interpersonal relationships.

 

12.24.2015 Daily Links

                    This Day in History                  

Today of course is the ‘Eve’ of the Solstice festival that various Christian traditions have appropriated as a misplaced ‘birthday’ celebration for the Nazarene, to wit, Christmas Eve; in one of the ongoing conflicts that have characterized Christianity’s relations with other traditions eight centuries and seven decades and a year ago, a Christian outpost of the early Crusades fell to a Muslim force that claimed this region in the present day Levant, near the current communities of Mosul and Aleppo, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, for Islam; thirty-eight decades in the direction of today, in 1524, the explorer of empire, Vasco da Gama, took his final breath; two hundred fifty-three years subsequently, in 1777, ships under the command of Captain James Cook encountered a theretofore uncharted island in the South Pacific, which they duly dubbed Christmas Island, Kiritimati in the local lingo; just past four decades hence, in 1818, half a world away in Austria, the first performance of “Silent Night” took place; four years past that point precisely, in 1822, a male infant became part of a scholarly English family whose fate was to become the critic and poet and thinker, Matthew Arnold; just shy of three decades later, in 1851, Jefferson’s dreamed-of repository of all the world’s knowledge burned at the Library of Congress; twelve years beyond that, in 1863, the much celebrated novelist and critic William Makepeace Thackeray died; as the devastation of the collapsed Confederacy spread three hundred sixty-six days yet later on, in 1865, the Ku Klux Klan came into existence in South Central Tennessee; three further years down the road, in 1868, a male infant uttered his first cry who would mature as the chess genius Emanuel Lasker; five years later in time, in 1873, educational philanthropist Johns radio3Hopkins’ life came to an end; history’s first radio broadcast a hundred nine years back offered listeners poetry, public speaking, and a violin solo; a single quick solar spin after that, in 1907, the baby boy was born whom destiny had selected as iconic journalist and ‘comforter of the afflicted,’ I.F. Stone; half a dozen years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1913, copper-cartel-hired thugs brought about a stampede among miners in a crowded dancehall in which over seventy victims died of suffocation or blunt trauma, almost sixty of them children; a year afterward, in 1914, a grassroots Christmas armistice spontaneously evolved all along World War One’s Western Front, with Germans and ‘allied’ forces in a complex dance of fraternization, mutual worship, gift exchange, and even soccer matches, acts thereafter forbidden as treason, and on the same day essayist, environmentalist, and Sierra Club Founder John Muir took his final breath; a baby boy came into the world ninety-one years before today en route to a life as the popular conductor, musician, and songwriter Lee Dorsey; three years thereafter, in 1927, a girl child first opened her eyes who would grow up as the wildly popular mystery writer Mary Higgins Clarke; an Argentine working class champion who was twice President of Argentina despite the landed rich’s hatred of him, Hipolito Yrigoyen, two years after that, in 1929, survived an assassination attempt that a Central Intelligence Agency predecessor, Standard Oil of New Jersey, had funded and helped to organize; precisely a decade hence, in 1939, the twelfth Pope Pius, while in support of much of the fascist project—especially its fervent obsession with destroying ‘godless communism’—issued a Christmas call for peace during the initial stages of Europe’s World War Two; Libya sixty-four years before the here-and-now first gained its modern independence, in this case from Italian colonial rule; three hundred sixty-five days nearer to now, in 1952, a baby boy first squalled en route to becoming popular ‘conservative’ commentator Christopher Buckley; ten hundred ninety-five days more proximate to the present, in 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command began following a nocturnal flight, of a sleigh and reindeer, across the broad reaches of the continental Western Hemisphere; nine years henceforth to the day, Viet Cong fighters attacked a hotel in downtown Saigon to demonstrate that American firepower would not stop revolutionary uprising anywhere in the Southern Vietnam nation; four years later, in 1968, a Christmas Eve relay from the moon broadcast radio programming from the astronauts aboard Apollo Eight, which circled the moon a total of ten times in its flight; a year further on exactly, in 1969, Charles Manson received permission to conduct his own defense in his murder trial, and Phillips Petroleum announced its discovery of massive oil deposits in the ocean off Norway; the District of

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

Columbia four years past that point in time, in 1973, received its right from Congress to oversee its own affairs and to elect a Representative to Congress; six years after to the day, in 1979, a consortium of European States first launched a successful rocket, Ariane, as the initial step in establishing an independent European presence in space; almost two dozen years even closer to the current context, in 1992, the Belgian cartoonist who created the Smurfs, who dubbed himself Peyo, sketched out his final scenario; yet another year farther down time’s road, in 1993, author and evangelist Norman Vincent Peal drew his last breath; another thirteen years onward, in 2006,iconoclastic and radical Harold Pinter, deservedly celebrated as a Nobel Prize Laureate for his plays, died in London.

                A Thought for the Day                

community eat dinnerThat the Nazarene did not come forth from a virgin, nor did he enter the world at the wintry solstice of Northern climes, matters little; what of the likely fact that he was mortal and not the son of God?  What he taught, that we are all the progeny of All-That-Is, that we have only to respect and honor ourselves in each other to live primarily in sweet harmony, remains a way forward—even if, on the one hand, the spirit of selfish cynicism beckons from every direction that the rich command, from every cell phone, each TV screen, each bureau of corporate or established governance, but of course only if, on the other hand, we embrace each other and the trust in solidarity that is only possible if we believe in ourselves as, call it what one will, cousins with a cause.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“The atrocity in New York was predictable and inevitable.  It was an act of retaliation against constant and systematic manifestations of state terrorism on the part of the United States over many years, in all parts of the world.  I believe that it will do this not only to take control of Iraqi oil, but also because the American administration is now a blood-thirsty wild animal.

The U.S. is really beyond reason now. It is beyond our imagining to know what they are going to do next and what they are prepared to do. There is only one comparison: Nazi Germany… Nazi Germany wanted total domination of Europe and they nearly did it.  The U.S. wants total domination of the world and is about to consolidate that… .Blair sees himself as a representative of moral rectitude.  He is actually a mass murderer.  But we forget that — we are as much victims of delusions as Americans are.
         (In this vein), (t)he government of the US has no moral authority to elect itself as the judge over human rights in Cuba, where there has not been a single case of disappearance, torture or extra-judicial execution since 1959, and where despite the economic blockade, there are levels of health, education and culture that are internationally recognised.”  Harold Pinter

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SEARCHDAYcivilization OR "human progress" fragility OR tenuous OR "at risk" ecology OR interrelation OR interconnected OR interdependent OR mutuality overlooked OR misunderstood OR ignored = 374,000 Hits.

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                       Top of the Fold                       

SOLIDARITY AGAINST ‘PATRIOTISM’ & THE POTENTIAL FOR PEACE

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/34180-the-christmas-day-that-peace-broke-out – An item from Truthout about which one might find scores of articles and comments and briefings, one of those occurrences “against the grain” that ought to elicit far greater commentary than it does, but does not because in doing so it would deconstruct capital’s addiction to war and division even if it means the slaughtering of innocents or, conceivably, the annihilation of the human project, in the event a report here about a ‘spontaneous’ truce among workers on the ‘Western Front’ whose job was each others’ mutual destruction but whose inclinations on Christmas Eve, 1914, were to play and sing and speak together, an eventuality that so threatened established norms that official policy explicitly outlawed the practice in later years and made any such fraternization punishable by death: “Last Friday night, I went to a small off-Broadway theater to see an engaging, poignant one-man show about the Christmas Truce of 1914.  The title was Our Friends, the Enemy, written and performed by a young British actor named Alex Gwyther.


Maybe our interest in (World War One’s) centennial has seemed lacking so far because we didn’t enter The Great War until 1917.  Or maybe it’s because others’ losses were so much more devastating than our own – we lost more than 53,000 lives but half of all Frenchmen who were between the ages of 20 and 32 died, and more than 35 percent of German men ages 19 to 22.

(On December 24th, warfare had been going on for almost five months, with the devolution to the muck and mire of trench warfare).  On December 7 that year, Pope Benedict XV called for a Christmas Eve truce, ‘that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.’  His plea was rejected.


Few if any of the foot soldiers may have known about that papal imploration, but many of them took it upon themselves to make their own peace, however brief.  On Christmas Eve, German troops along the line raised across the trench tops small Christmas trees lit by candles.  The two sides sang carols to one another, their voices drifting warily across no man’s land.


With daylight on Christmas morning, on each side, men cautiously peered from their trenches and a few ventured out to shake hands with their foes and exchange holiday greetings, followed by more and more.  Artillery fire stopped.”


          TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                        AWARENESS VIDEO             

A LOVELY LECTURE FROM VANCOUVER ABOUT MAGIC MUSHROOMS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzPTn4xemWQ  An hour-long presentation from an hirsute and humorous and Canadian-accented academic mycologist about the interesting cultural, medical, and philosophical dimensions of the impacts on humans of the psilocybe genus of mushrooms and other fungi with similar effects, an apt learning experience on the eve of a holiday that involve reindeer, which humans have long followed for access to another form of ‘shroom that the reindeer imbibe, which also tend to give flight to human fancy.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Now in its 17th year, the Oregon Quarterly Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest welcomes nonfiction, personal essays of up to 1,500 words on any topic related to the Pacific Northwest. Winning essays will be published in Oregon Quarterly magazine and their authors will receive a stipend of $750. In a change from previous years, we hope to publish several winning essays in the print magazine over the course of the 2016 calendar year. This reaffirms our commitment to presenting great writing and to offering our readers a variety of perspectives on the Northwest. The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2016. The judge for 2016 is Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia.

SECOND ANNUAL SHORT FICTION CONTEST

First prize: $350 and publication inthirdspace!
The contest ends on January 6, 2016.

Send us your short fiction stories that center on experience(s) of medical education. Here are some ideas just to get you started, but these are by no means prompts! Be creative! And check out our last year’s winning story here.

High Country News: $1,000+ for News, Essays, Features

High Country News is a non-profit magazine covering the American West. They pay between $.50 and $1.50 a word. Their feature articles can be more than 2,400 words.

They accept article pitches on an ongoing basis. They do not generally accept pre-written articles.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Metro Parent is a regional magazine covering Southwest Michigan. According to their website, their “general goal is to have a good mix of fun and substantive local stories of interest to local parents.” They pay up to $350 for feature articles. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

Linode is a leader in cloud hosting. They’re seeking in-depth guides on a variety of topics, including Linux, game servers, NoSQL databases, and more. They pay $250 per guide (either in cash or Linode credit). To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

This Old House is a nationwide home magazine. They publish stories from readers who have renovated their house themselves. They pay $250 per published article. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

 

ORGLINK

 

The Quiet Revolt

A New York Times opinion piece by an author who has thought about economic and financial issues for many years, and who contextualizes the rise of an important presidential candidate: “In 2003 I wrote in my The New Ruthless Economy that one of the great imponderables of the twenty-first century was how long it would take for the deteriorating economic circumstances of most Americans to become a dominant political issue. It has taken over ten years but it is now happening, and its most dramatic manifestation to date is the rise of Bernie Sanders. While many political commentators seem to have concluded that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee, polls taken as recently as the third week of December show Sanders to be ahead by more than ten points in New Hampshire and within single-figure striking distance of her in Iowa, the other early primary state.”

DCI Richard Helms, in the White House Cabinet Room. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from White House / Wikimedia

Perjury and Murder

A Global Research Centre essay by a thought-provoking writer who discusses one of the most mysterious tragedies in American history, and in so doing providing very plausible answers to the questions that have plagued people for decades: “I wish in this essay to show how Richard Helms first lied to the Warren Commission about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald. I argue that his performance, and that of other CIA officials up to the present, constituted significant obstruction of justice with respect to one of this country’s most important unsolved murder cases.”

Fighting Fascism

A thoughtful Counter Punch piece that discusses the steps that simple folks can take to fight the onslaught of fascism and hate: “The Norwegian Teachers’ Defense of Education offers pearls of strategic wisdom for us as we see a rise of bigotry and hatred in the United States. Resist and organize amongst your professional colleagues. It was not an individual’s action that produced such a successful campaign, but rather collective action through an entire profession, supported by students and parents. As we see a rise of fear and hatred, look carefully at the intersection of your profession and cultural indoctrination. Perhaps this is a place where a line of resistance can form. “

The famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen’s harbor. (News Oresund / Flickr)

Clean Water Civic Pride

A City Lab posting that discusses the successes of environmental policies and simple committments to conservation make waterways in a major metropolis pure, and showing to us what steps we might take if we also want clean water: “If you lived in a metropolis roughly the population of Dallas, would you consider swimming in its waterways? In the United States, the response is likely “not a chance.”

But in Copenhagen—Denmark’s capital of 1.2 million people, crisscrossed by canals and practically surrounded by water—jumping into the harbor that splits the city in half isn’t reserved for the brave few who can stomach sludge. It’s a government-sanctioned, and completely safe, part of everyday life. In 2002 the city opened Islands Brygge, the first of its four “harbor baths,” right in a bustling downtown neighborhood. Now a dip in the harbor (even if it’s an impromptu after-dinner swim in your underwear) is a regular occurrence for many Copenhageners.”

WRISS

typewriter writer writeSmall Publishers Win Big

A Guardian article that discusses the advantages that small publishers have over big ones, and why they are more “Well, we read unsolicited manuscripts. We read more stories. Big publishers only use agents, who have their own economic imperative, and they miss out on a host of brilliant books every day, every month, every year. Like John Murray, part of Hachette, which called Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney “the modern classic that we all missed” when it was shortlisted for the Costa first novel prize this year. They plucked it from Yorkshire publisher Tartarus, secured it a film deal, and it became one of the best-reviewed debuts this year.”

Fast News Fast

A Poynter article that looks at the way the format of news affects the audience, and points to the need for further flexibility of tools: “Even as a politically-minded high school senior, I couldn’t be bothered to read The New York Times or The Washington Post. But my keyboard’s arrows were worn off from playing Emogame, which was not created a news organization but by an artist named Jason Oda.

That was 2004. Eleven years later, the news industry still hasn’t cracked the kind of magic that made a high schooler engage with national politics for hours.”

GENMEDIP

pfunked Deviant Art
pfunked Deviant Art

Great Science Writing

A Columbia Journalism Review post that introduces folks to stellar and impactful recent science writing:From Cecil the Lion and the climate negotiations in Paris to the very first up-close images of Pluto, 2015 was packed with major science news. But peppered among the big stories were some unique pieces of work that told bold tales in challenging ways. As the year comes to a close, here are my picks for great science stories that may have slipped past your radar. Some of the stories on this list brought new light to a familiar area of science; others used science to address a familiar issue in a new way. Taken together, they show the vast breadth of what science journalism can achieve.”

RECEV

Ukrainian Government Subpar

A Counter Currents posting that looks at the failure to create stable, respectable leadership in Ukraine: “On December 23rd, Gallup headlines “Ukrainians Disillusioned With Leadership,” and reports that “nearly nine in 10 Ukrainians (88%) say corruption is widespread in their government, and about eight in 10 (81%) see the same widespread problem in their country’s businesses.” 8% of Ukrainians now say they “have confidence … about the national government.” 17% approve of the job-performance of their President, Petro Poroshenko. While the pre-coup President, Viktor Yanukovych, was in office, 2010-2014, that figure had been averaging about 23%, and was never as low as Poroshenko’s is now.”

GENISS

diversity people society facesSpeaking About Race

A New York Times opinion posting by a writer who invites all readers to check their privilege and visit their blind spots regarding privilege and race: “I have read many of your comments. I have even received some hate mail. In this letter, I ask you to look deep, to look into your souls with silence, to quiet that voice that will speak to you of your white “innocence.” So, as you read this letter, take a deep breath. Make a space for my voice in the deepest part of your psyche. Try to listen, to practice being silent. There are times when you must quiet your own voice to hear from or about those who suffer in ways that you do not.”

 

12.23.2015 Daily Links

                A Thought for the Day               

art light darknessLiving induces from each human participant some particular signal of engagement, a single significant acknowledgement of greeting, a hand offered in meeting or friendship: how paradoxical then that ‘arms’ are weapons, and that ‘to arm’ means to gird for mutual slaughter—but what are we to make of this apparently anomalous duality of design?

                    Quote of the Day                   

“I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition; as it is now the capitalists use your heads and your hands. …Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by misery, watered by tears, and vitalized by agitation be also found, unfurling its class-struggle banner and proclaiming its mission of emancipation. …(Thus, today’s) issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society — we are on the eve of universal change.” Eugene Debs

                  This Day in History                  
radishes-322831_640Today in Oaxaca, Mexico will yield the Night of the Radishes, and in South Sudan is Children’s Day, while secular humanists in the United States mark the Solstice season with the commemoration of Human Light; in North Africa one thousand five hundred thirty-one years ago, Vandal King Gunthamund rose to the throne and ended persecution of Catholics in the realm; in ongoing conflicts between Islamic Arabs and leaders of the Byzantine empire four hundred seventy-eight years later, in 962, Byzantine-Turkish forces succeeded in storming and holding the city of Aleppo, further East in the Mediterranean in present-day Syria; more or less exactly six hundred ten years subsequently, in 1572, a Lutheran radical preacher in Heidelberg, Johann Sylvan, lost his head because he had affirmed the Unitarian godhead, in a context in which the Lutheran hierarchy and the Catholics had established an uneasy truce that revolved around agreeing that a holy trinity held sway; eight decades past that pass, in 1652, a baby boy entered the world in England who would mature as the fiery Puritan preacher of New England, John Cotton; another centuries, four decades, and a single year onward, in 1793, Royalist forces in France suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of revolutionary fighters; three decades henceforth, in 1823, an anonymous story that some people then—and most people since—have called The 183px-Twas_the_Night_Before_Christmas_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17135Night Before Christmas, first became available to read and perform; precisely eleven years after, in 1834, thinker and writer Thomas Malthus died; a hundred thirty-nine years before the here-and-now, ‘Great Powers’ leaders assembled at the Constantinople Conference in order to iron out protocols for increasing Balkan, particularly Bulgarian, autonomy from Ottoman rule; thirty-two years beyond that instant, in 1908 across the Atlantic along the Mississippi River, American Federation of Labor leaders in St. Louis went to jail for contempt of court for the ‘crime’ of urging a boycott against a predatory employer; five years farther along the temporal arc, in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, establishing a strong if opaque central banking framework for the U.S.; six years later to the day, in 1919, England’s Parliament approved the Removal of most social vote voting election Ballot - Woman's Handdisqualifications on women, including voting, jury service and the right to belong to societies, receive licenses, and much more; seven hundred thirty-one days even closer to the current context, in 1921, U.S. President Warren Harding, with a “Christmas Amnesty,” pardoned dozens of imprisoned pacifists and other anti-war stalwarts, including Socialist Eugene Debs; half a decade afterward, in 1926, a male infant drew his first breath en route to working as a popular psychologist, poet, and author by the name of Robert Bly; a dozen years more down time’s road, in 1938, a male child opened his eyes who would grow up as the computer scientist and inventor of the Transmission Control Protocol, Robert Kahn; a baby male was born two years henceforth, in 1940, who would both grow up as Jorma Kaukonen and write and perform popular songs as a musician with the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna; seven years yet later on, in 1947, Bell Lab scientists in New Jersey successfully demonstrated the operation of transistors; three hundred sixty-six ‘leap’ days thereafter, in 1948, six Japanese whom a war crimes tribunal had convicted, died in Tokyo at the end of ropes for their depredations; another six years afterward, in 1954, two surgeons successfully carried out the first kidney transplant; surgery doctor medical drnine years hence, in 1963, the baby girl came into the world who would grow up to popular and critical acclaim as the author, Donna Tartt, who would write widely distributed and provocative novels and essays and stories; five years still nearer to our day, in 1968, sailors of the U.S.S. Pueblo regained their freedom after having faced almost a year in North Korean jails following their ship’s violation of the Communist country’s territorial waters; eleven years hence, in 1979, Soviet troops first occupied Kabul in the U.S.S.R.’s attempt to control Afghanistan; three years more down the pike, in 1982, around the world in Missouri, the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged that areas near Times Beach were suffering from dangerous levels of Dioxin; Slovenia’s citizenry eight years more proximate to the present, in 1990, voted overwhelmingly to separate from Yugoslavia in order to form a republic; seven years back, Walmart found itself with penalties that equaled or exceeded half a billion dollars for its ongoing plundering of employees’ breaks and overtime as its business SOP; five years subsequent to that momentous occasion, in 1913, the ninety-four year old designer of the world’s standard assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, took his final breath.

book hor2

SEARCHDAYsocialism OR "social democracy" humanity OR "human survival" necessity OR "sine qua non" OR essential OR requisite OR requirement transition OR transformation OR revolution OR "fundamental change" = 828,000 Links.

book hor

                       Top of the Fold                       

RAPE & THE INHERENT VIOLATION OF POLICE STATE PROTOCOLS  http://portside.org/2015-12-11/police-officials-were-investigating-daniel-holtzclaw-final-attack-suit-claimsA report from Portside Labor about the recent criminal conviction for rape of Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who PL’s assessment indicates, as a result of civil action against the police department that has demonstrated the point, was under investigation prior to his trial, one of likely countless items–such as this and this from Salon, and this from Atlantic Magazine–about this hideous incident of a vastly underreported type of predatory activity against minority and poor women who find themselves in the thrall of the injustice system that pervades America today, a contention that fits with the findings of a recent multipart series from The Guardian that concerns Kern County, California, further echoed by a briefing from DailyKos, all of which merely skims the surface of a sociopolitical context in which rape is practically ubiquitous under many circumstances and yet so sloppily investigated, according to TruthDig, that its criminal outcomes end up victimizing men who are as innocent as the women who were seeking justice in the first place, an overall context moreover in which, as New Yorker reports, neither honest contemplation of sexual assault is possible nor can we, as Vice News makes clear, recollect the countless cases and consequences of mass killings of women because of their gender: “Police officials were investigating a serial rapist among their ranks six weeks before he assaulted his final victim but allowed him to remain on regular duty during the inquiry, according to a lawsuit seen by the Guardian.  A jury convicted former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw on Thursday of raping or sexually assaulting eight women, all black, between late 2013 and 18 June 2014.


At a Friday press conference held by Ligons and another of Hotlzclaw’s victims, Benjamin Crump, their attorney and a prominent civil rights lawyer, promised that a string of new lawsuits would shed light on whether the city acted too slowly.  ‘We understand that there were other women who called before [Ligons], whose calls went unanswered,’ Crump said.  ‘We need to find out how aggressive [investigators] were.  We need to find out, how could this happen so many time and nobody see what was going on? … It’s mind boggling how nobody would catch this. …”


His conviction is a rare moment of accountability for officers who abuse their position: out of the hundreds of police officers terminated for sexual abuse in recent years, an AP investigation found, only a small number faced criminal charges and even fewer were convicted.  Black women are especially liable to be their targets.


Friday’s press conference was also marked by strong rebukes for the media from activists who sought to raise the profile of the case.  The trial did not attract sustained attention from national advocacy groups or media outlets.  On the night the jury returned a verdict, few news networks carried any live coverage.

CC BY-SA by Elvert Barnes
CC BY-SA by Elvert Barnes

‘I am ashamed at the lack of coverage,’ said Tezlyn Figaro, a former Oklahoma City resident and a media consultant who helped raise the profile of the trial.  ‘I don’t want to play a game to make you feel comfortable.  I want to be clear that I am ashamed.'”—Portside Labor

“(In a situation of egregious impunity against women, in which Kern County sought to pay miniscule ‘settlements’ to avoid litigation, legal liability and press coverage nonetheless ensued after multiple instances of rape and insidious sexual misconduct by police and corrections officers). (Karen)Frye sued Lavis, the sheriff’s office, Etcheverry, and detectives involved in the investigation – not just for the sexual battery, but for fraud, conspiracy, negligence and other constitutional violations.  The case was settled for $300,000.

rect3336 space
‘How they tried to buy her off, I think, was egregious,’ said (her attornedy, David) Cohn, a veteran of Bakersfield’s criminal justice circuit.  rect3336 space
(Penny) Harrington, co-founder of the N(ational) C(enter for) W(omen in) P(olicing) and America’s first female police chief of a large metropolitan department, said she had never heard of police departments paying off the victims of sexual attacks at the hands of their own officers.  She described the payments as ‘almost underground,’ (adding), ‘It saves the department the embarrassment, they can brush it under the carpet and of course the community never hears about it and that’s just not OK.’


Following the Frye case in 2009, Sheriff Youngblood vowed to reduce the amount of contact between male officials and female inmates at the Lerdo jail, a sprawling facility that holds over 1,200 male and female inmates on the outskirts of Bakersfield.  But two years later the department settled a $7m class action lawsuit from a group of former inmates who were inappropriately strip-searched by detention deputies between March 2005 and October 2007.”—Guardian

Bob Jagendorf
Bob Jagendorf

“Cops, like journalists and prosecutors, can have an innate skepticism about the people they encounter in their line of work.  That makes some sense, for there are no shortages of liars and criminals.  But it’s important to simply listen to a victim’s story, and then to check it out.  It takes courage for a woman or a man to come forward and tell the police they were raped.  Cops can respect that bravery by not allowing the small minority of people who are fabulists to poison their objectivity or diligence.

rect3336 space
Before charging someone with a false claim of rape, be very sure that you have the evidence to make a case.  There is a good reason for contemplating the prosecution of people who falsely report rape.  Innocent people can be harmed.  Reputations can be ruined.  Precious police resources can be wasted.  But police experts say the cost of routinely filing such charges can also be high.  Women who fear they might be prosecuted if their reports of rape are not deemed believable may be scared off from reporting at all.  Only about one-third of rapes are even reported to police — due in part to the long judicial history of dismissing women’s accusations.  The bottom line in dealing with suspicions of false reporting is to take the charge like any other.  You have to prove that the person invented the story beyond probable cause.  That means collecting evidence, witness statements and all the rest before filing such a charge.”—TruthDig

Bathroom-gender-sign men women sexism
“(This story centers on a case of accusations of sexual assault that eventually did not hold up, a case moreover that elicited a documentary film, The Hunting Ground.  As a report in Slate made clear), ‘what the evidence (including {the accuser,} Willingham’s own testimony) shows is often dramatically at odds with the account presented in the film.’  The evidence reveals that (the accused,) Winston, who was involved in a confused, drunken encounter, was not, as Willingham claims in the film, ‘a rapist’ or ‘a predator’ (Her statement that ‘he is a rapist’ was edited out when the film was broadcast on CNN.)  Harvard officials were not indifferent to Willingham’s complaint; Winston was removed from the law school and investigated by the school, an independent fact-finder, and the local district attorney.  In e-mails to the lawyer for a white female student, who had accused a black college quarterback of rape and ultimately appeared in the film, one of the producers expressed the filmmakers’ intent to ‘ambush’ him, and explained that ‘we don’t operate the same way as journalists’ since the film is ‘very much in the corner of advocacy for victims’ and had no ‘need to get the perpetrator’s side.’  This raised questions about whether fairness and accuracy are even important for an advocacy film, but the filmmakers have continued to insist that ‘the truth is on our side.’


(After heated debate,) the filmmakers did more than understandably disagree with criticism of the film, which has been short-listed for the Academy Award for best documentary.  They wrote, in a statement to the Harvard Crimson, that ‘the very public bias these professors have shown in favor of an assailant contributes to a hostile climate at Harvard Law.’  The words ‘hostile climate’ contain a serious claim.  At Harvard, sexual harassment is ‘unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,’ including verbal conduct that is ‘sufficiently persistent, pervasive, or severe’ so as to create a ‘hostile environment.’  If, as the filmmakers suggest, the professors’ statement about the film has created a hostile environment at the school, then, under Title IX, the professors should be investigated and potentially disciplined.


What could possibly be the logic on which criticism of The Hunting Ground could be said to contribute to a hostile environment, or to cause a student to feel unsafe?  The film features the first-person narratives of individuals who describe their sexual assaults and then go on to describe the insensitivity of campus officials or police who did not vindicate their claims.  At the Sundance festival première, which I attended, when an audience member asked what people could do to join the fight against campus sexual assault, one of the survivors featured in the film responded, simply, ‘Believe us.’  It is a near-religious teaching among many people today that if you are against sexual assault, then you must always believe individuals who say they have been assaulted.  Questioning in a particular instance whether a sexual assault occurred violates that principle.  Examining evidence and concluding that a particular accuser is not indeed a survivor, or a particular accused is not an assailant, is a sin that reveals that one is a rape denier, or biased in favor of perpetrators.


The ironclad principle that you must always believe the accuser comes as a corrective to hundreds of years in which rape victims were systematically disbelieved and painted as liars, sluts, or crazies.  This history, along with the facts that sexual assault is notoriously underreported and that the crime suffers no more false reports than other crimes—and the related idea that only those actually assaulted would take on the burden of coming forward—leads many advocates today to the ‘always believe’ orthodoxy.  We have seen recent high-profile instances in which that article of faith has led to damaging errors, as in Rolling Stone’s reporting of a rape at the University of Virginia, or the prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case.  The extent of the damage comes out of the fact that ‘always believe’ unwittingly renders the stakes of each individual case impossibly high, by linking the veracity of any one claim to the veracity of all claims.  When the core belief is that accusers never lie, if any one accuser has lied, it brings into question the stability of the entire thought system, rendering uncertain all allegations of sexual assault.  But this is neither sensible nor necessary: that a few claims turn out to be false does not mean that all, most, or even many claims are wrongful.  The imperative to act as though every accusation must be true—when we all know some number will not be—harms the over-all credibility of sexual assault claims.”—New Yorker

                      TODAY’S HEART,                             SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO               

https://www.ted.com/talks/e_o_wilson_advice_to_young_scientists?language=en   A TED-talk today, from the estimable genius and continuously transformative E.O. Wilson, author of The Social Conquest of Earth and dozens of other narratives that touch on society, sociobiology, and our common human travails and triumphs, here discoursing about what can attract young people to science and the responsibility of technical departments of life to insure that such engagement takes place, because our survival depends on it.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

Worldcon and North American Science Fiction Convention
When: Annually

Where: Various locations around the world

The World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”) is an annual gathering of the science fiction and fantasy community, held in a different location around the world each year. When Worldcon is held outside of North America, the corresponding NASFC is held in North America.

This five-day international conference is attended by thousands of writers, artists, fans, editors, publishers, academics, and dealers. The event embraces “science fiction in all the forms in which it appears, including film, TV, art, comics, anime and manga, and gaming.”

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

JAAM
Country: New ZealandJAAM (Just Another Art Movement) is a national literary journal and receives funding from Creative NZ/Toi Aotearoa. It has a strong emphasis on promoting the work of younger and emerging Aotearoa/New Zealand writers, while still publishing the work of international writers and established New Zealand authors. Prints fiction, poetry, essays, b/w artworks and reviews. Open for submissions between 1 December and 31 March. Paying market.
 skirt! magazine Needs Women’s Interests Essays – Pays $200/essay skirt! magazine (est. 1994) has posted new editorial themes for 2016 to help freelance writers pitch relevant articles for forthcoming issues. The monthly magazine proclaims itself as “part feminista, part fashionista” because each issue addresses all facets of a women’s personality–their work, their play, their families and their creative thinking. Parent media company Morris Communications distributes skirt! magazine for free throughout the metropolitan Charleston, SC area. The editors solicit two personal essays monthly on subjects identifying with women and women’s interests. The content of skirt! is spirited, individualistic, forthright, serious, whimsical and tongue-in-cheek, sometimes controversial and always heartfelt. Word length: 800-1100 words per essay. Payment: $200 per essay.
The Gambler is accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, experimental writing, and art for their annual House Wins issue.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Writing for The Journal of Adventist Education

The Journal of Adventist Education® is the professional publication for Seventh-day Adventist® teachers and educational administrators, worldwide. Articles submitted for publication should address topics of interest to that group.

The Journal is published five times yearly, with approximately eight articles appearing in each issue. Articles by freelance authors are welcome.  Purchases first North American rights for each article it prints, unless other arrangements are made. Authors are paid upon publication of their articles. Amount varies, depending on length and other factors

 

The Lifted Brow is a publishing organisation. Our flagship publication is a quarterly print literary / arts / culture magazine, likewise titled The Lifted Brow. We also publish this magazine digitally in monthly instalments, and post new and different work on our website too. We make the occasional book, we stage events and host gigs, and do lots more.  Pays from $75 for reviews to $250 for print features.

ORGLINK

 

 

 

Ill Tides for War

A Global Research posting by well-informed researchers whom all interested in the possibilties of global warfare and nuclear annihilation might do well to note: “This war for control of oil, however, promises to be of a scale that will change world politics in a spectacular and highly destructive manner. It is on one level, a Saudi war to redraw the national borders of the infamous Anglo-French Sykes-Picot carve-up of the bankrupt Ottoman Turkish Empire of 1916. This new war has as its foolish goal bringing the oil fields and pipeline routes of Iraq and Syria, and perhaps more of the region, under direct Saudi control, with Qatar and Erdogan’s Turkey as Riyadh’s partners in crime. Unfortunately, as in all wars, there will be no winners.”

The CDC issued a report last year criticizing middle school and high school sex education programs across the U.S. for not teaching all the recommended sexual health topics. Andy Sawyer / Yakima Herald-Republic / AP

Sexy Times in Alabama

An Al Jazeera article by well-thought-out researchers that point to the failed idiocy of hypocritical and ultimately unmanageable ‘abstinence-only’ education: “At the end of this year, the targets set by the United Nations in 2000 for developing countries will expire. In this project, we take those Millennium Development Goals and examine how some communities in the United States measure up. We have applied each goal to the U.S. by looking at an indicator used to measure a country’s development success and interpreting it for a specific community in America. The eight goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development. An indicator for the sixth goal — to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases — is access to comprehensive sex education. In this piece, we look at the ramifications of abstinence-only sex education.”

Miner Struggle

A PBS announcement that looks at the long and conflict-ridden history of miners fighting for their rights: “Go inside the coal miners’ bitter battle for dignity at the dawn of the 20th century with The Mine Wars. The struggle over the material that fueled America led to the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War and turned parts of West Virginia into a bloody war zone. “

CC BY by brendan-c
CC BY by brendan-c

True Election Results

A Rolling Stone article by folks studying the facts of the election candidates, and demonstrating what it is that people really want: “Bernie Sanders would beat Donald Trump 51-38 in a general-election match-up, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University. Or — to put it in the course vernacular that Trump introduced to America this week — the billionaire would get “schlonged” by the democratic socialist. 
“Sen. Bernie Sanders hammers him,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll. Hillary Clinton, the poll suggests, would also put Trump in his place — “Hillary Clinton tops him,” added Malloy — though by a more modest 47-40.”

Keeping Tabs on Police Abuse

A Daily Kos posting that looks at the number of police-induced fatalities in Georgia, an article which draws attention to the ongoing problem that citizens face: “The report also illustrates the fact that people with mental illnesses are more likely to die at the hands of police than other people, and also the fact that officers with serious disciplinary issues are likely to continue campaigns of brutality. These data of course don’t tell us much more than we already knew, but they are useful in policy discussions and in efforts to hold police accountable.”

Maurice Hampton was shot and killed while running from Atlanta police in 2011 – WSBTV screenshot

WRISSTurkish Tensions and Media Backlash

A Committee to Protect Journalists posting that discusses the terrible difficulties encountered by honest media brokers in the broken state of Turkey: “Tensions are high in southeastern Turkey due to the civil war in neighboring Syria, the refugee crisis, and a resurgence of violence since the collapse of peace talks this summer between Turkish security forces and the PKK. In at least one other case, documented by CPJ last month, journalists trying to cover the tensions were rounded up and imprisoned by authorities.

“The Turkish government is never going to overcome its many complex challenges by throwing journalists in jail. Silencing news and opinion will only lead to a dangerous information vacuum,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “We call on Turkish authorities to release Beritan Canözer, Deniz Babir, and Zeki Karakuş immediately, drop all charges against them, and allow them to continue reporting on events in southeastern Turkey.””

More than 1,000 people joined in the “March of Resilience” on November 9. (Philipp Arndt Photography)

Minorities and Media 

A Columbia Journalism Review that looks into free speech considerations that inform tensions surrounding the minority experience of being silenced or ignored: “To the aggrieved, that’s absurd. “It’s not a matter of having an intelligent conversation about this over and over again,” Spenst told me. “It’s a matter of, you’re really not getting this very important block of information that you need to understand in order for us to even have that conversation that you want to have. I can’t build that block every single time.””

GENMEDIP

Caucus Notes

A Columbia Journalism Review podcast that views the history and unfolding of an iconic political event: “Noble is justifiably proud of how the podcast, whose 10th and final installment debuted last week, turned out. Three Tickets is deeply reported, reflective, and funny; it’s affectionate but unsentimental about the caucuses; and it features a wealth of revealing interviews with famous and less-famous politicians, journalists, national operatives, and locals who played their part in caucus lore past and present.”

RECEV

Backdoor Resolutions on Syria

A Global Research posting that showcases the resolutions in regards to the Syrian conflict, and some of the political concatenations that seem to dominate: “On December 18, 2015 the International Syria support Group, consisting of seventeen concerned countries, most significantly including Russia, the United States, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, met at 9:30AM at the New York Palace Hotel. As the group was not yet an official United Nations entity, it met in a “private” venue. Entering the Palace Hotel, at 8:30AM, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that a political resolution of the Syria crisis is imperative, and the only solution, and this political agreement should not permit any retreat from this decision, only forward action.”
GENISShwy fr nature path roadThe Perils of Placelessness

A Counterpunch piece that gives readers a look at life for those of us who’ve had to exist within the shiftless, artificial constructs of the American landscape: “The great sadness in our constructed landscape is its expression of contextlessness. The reason why people romanticize San Francisco or small town New England is that there are buildings in those places that have come to seem somehow connected to the landscape they are in. This is not the norm. It never was the intent of US settlements or society as a whole to mesh with the land; we colonials had all come from somewhere else, quite recently, in historical terms. The land was ours before we were the land’s as the poet says, with unintended irony. And particularly since the advent of the automobile, it has been more important to us that our buildings have access to the Road, than connection with the land.

So as a result, what is it that characterizes us most profoundly? Disconnection from place. It creates a distinct set of pathologies.”

 

12.22.2015 Daily Links

                    This Day in History                  

O'Regan, Gerard (2008). A brief history of computing. Springer. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-84800-083-4.
O’Regan, Gerard (2008). A brief history of computing. Springer. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-84800-083-4.

Today is National Mathematics Day in the Subcontinent, and the final twenty-four hours of Solstice Celebrations around the globe; the third Pope who had taken the name Honorious seven hundred ninety-nine years agogave his seal of approval to the Conservative order of priests that we know as Dominican; three hundred twenty-three years hence, in 1639, a baby boy came squalling into the world en route to fame as a poet and playwright whom people knew as Jean Racine; in ongoing fighting between Russians and Ottomans, the second Russo-Turkish War, two hundred twenty-five years before the here and now, Russian armies captured Izmail, a Turkish stronghold, via a frontal assault, proceeding to slaughter nearly 40,000 Muslims in what is now Odessa, Ukraine; seventeen years further along, in 1807, Congress passed a general embargo on foreign trade which sought to force France and England, through economic sanctions, both to stop kidnapping U.S. sailors to work on their fighting ships and to end the general plunder of shipping that was about to ‘trade with the enemy’ of these two European powers; exactly a year further on, in 1808, Beethoven performed two of his piano works in Vienna, after this fifth and sixth symphonies had premiered earlier in the program; a century and sixty-four years prior to the present pass, the first railroad line on the Subcontinent opened in Roorkee, India; William Tecumseh Sherman’s ‘March-to-the-Sea’ ended thirteen years subsequently, in 1864, with the Union’s capture of Savannah; a half decade past that juncture, in 1869, a male child opened his eyes who would rise as the acclaimed poet, Edwin Arlington Robinson; eleven years later, in 1880, trailblazing British novelist and reporter George Eliot drew her final breath; the young French officer Alfred Dreyfus one hundred twenty-one years back faced a trumped-up treason conviction in France, over which years of controversy would follow worldwide; eight years thereafter, in 1902, the influential author and psychiatrist Richard Krafft-Ebing died; ninety-six years in advance of our precise point in space and time, the United States inaugurated a ‘Red Scare’ by deporting more than 250 ‘anarchists’ to Russia, a “Christmas gift to Trotsky,” all of which came to pass in part to defuse and crush the leadership of a strike by well over a quarter million steelworkers; the young Soviet Union, still struggling to war planes Flugzeuge Junkers Ju 87survive an invasion of many of the erstwhile Capitalist enemies and allies from World War One, three hundred sixty-six days subsequent to that moment, in 1920, issued a national plan for electrification that became the model for subsequent five-year-plans in the Soviet economy; seventy-six years ahead of today’s light and air, Muslims in what was then India and now for the most part is Pakistan proclaimed a Day of Deliverance when Islamic members of the Colonial Parliament resigned over Britain’s failure to consult their members over the alignment of India with England in World War Two; a single year down the road, in 1940, bracing and brilliant novelist and screenwriter Nathaniel West breathed his last; two years subsequently, in 1942, and half-a-world away, Adolf Hitler signed the mandate to develop a long-range missile as a flying bomb, and world-renowned anthropologist Franz Boas died; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1943, the beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter’s life came to an end; one year after that, in 1944, a grassroots Vietnamese fighting force emerged in organized form to fight the Japanese, with strong Nationalist and Communist backing; five years nearer to now, in 1949, a set of twin boys entered the scenewho would become the wildly popular rockers and crooners and lyricist Gibb Brothers of the Bee-Gees; just under two decades beyond that juncture, in 1968, around the world in China, edicts of the Cultural Revolution mandated that ‘young intellectuals’ come of age in rural working assignments; a decade henceforth, in 1978, at China’s eleventh Communist Party Congress, the plenum

"China Sputnik 4fen stamp in 1958" by China Post
“China Sputnik 4fen stamp in 1958” by China Post

participants agreed to an extensive economic reform package that ended Mao’s mandates and led to China’s present path of industrial development; another decade afterward to the day, in 1988, a union organizer and environmental activist in Brazil named Chico Mendes died at the hand of assassins; just over a quarter century before this moment, or a year later in 1989, the opening of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate marked the end of four decades of a divided Germany, and the Nobel Laureate poet and writer, Samuel Beckett, breathed his last; three years subsequently, in 1992, an attorney’s file search in Asuncion, Paraguay, uncovered terrorist files that documented plus-or-minus 80,000 killings and disappearances of activists and justice-advocates throughout Southern Latin America, a so-called Archives-of Terror for Operation Condor, a CIA-orchestrated campaign of mayhem and fascism that represented standard operating procedure for U.S. economic interests among its ‘neighbors’ to the South;five years afterward, in 1997, in further evidence of such policies’ persistence, U.S.-supplied drug-baron death squads tortured and killed dozens of human-rights and community activists in the Chiapas village of Acteas; five years hence, in 2002, the drummer and songwriter from the Clash, banged out his final riff; half a dozen years even closer to the current context, in 2008, a coal ash repository in Roane County, Tennessee burst and released over four million cubic meters of toxic slurry into the environment; two years still more proximate to the present, in 2010, the U.S. military rid itself of its ‘Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell’ policy in regard to homosexuality in the ranks; another four years onward, in other words just three hundred sixty-five days backward in 2014, the rocker and writer Joe Cocker died.

                A Thought for the Day                

potato diggers artEvery day, the only way that we have things to eat, places to lay, and money to pay is through our joint efforts; the truism absolutely incontrovertible that nothing worthy of imbibing ourselves or sharing with each other comes from a single mind or heart or set of hands, from the sweat and toil of only one soul’s labors and travails: thus, under these inherent circumstances of inescapable mutuality, one might well inquire why we so doubt, or even reject with an inchoate fury, the notion of finding through solidarity and linked engagement a way to take command of the world for the benefit of the vast, mighty majority who are workers—wage-earners of every imaginable hue, every possible faith or feeling, who speak with all the tongues of humanity’s varieties, who have only to stand together to live well as a species till the sun itself goes out in the sky.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“To be an artist is to fail, as no other dare fail; that failure is his world and the shrink from desertion, art and craft, good housekeeping, living. …(Strangely enough along similar lines), (p)robably nothing in the world arouses more false hopes than the first four hours of a diet. …Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world. …(So saying), I do not feel like spending the rest of my life writing books that no one will read. It is not as though I wanted to write them. …Let me go to hell, that’s all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.” Samuel Beckett

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SEARCHDAY"ionizing radiation" OR radioactivity "low dose" OR "low level" -hormesis harm OR danger OR risk OR cancer effect OR impact OR consequence wing OR richardson OR beir research OR investigation OR analysis = 458,000 results

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                       Top of the Fold                       

VARIETIES OF NUCLEAR DEATH SENTENCE, REDUX

http://media.mcclatchydc.com/static/features/irradiated/#storylink=cpyhttp://media.mcclatchydc.com/static/features/irradiated/%23story    In the context of fatuous nuclear fetishes that plutocratic plunderers advance to ease their concerns about a dearth of investment options, which Counterpunch among multiple other sources has ripped to shreds, an essential series of articles and videos from McClatchy about the hideous and insidious plethora of death that has resulted, and persists, from the U.S.’s devastating commitment to a Nuclear Fuel/Fool Cycle for purposes of both bombs and power, insights that one can confirm all over the place, as in this briefing from Common Dreams and this investigative report from Public Integrity; reportage that takes place in an overall environment that contemporary policies of empire and warmongering that make nuclear war much more likely now than at almost any point in the past other than the U.S. launching of the first atomic attacks that killed plus-or-minus a half a million in Hiroshima and Nagasaki seven decades ago, a current potential for ecocide that the Federation of American Scientists has just talked about in general, while Public Integrity notes worries about India’s plans for a further amplification of its H-bomb arsenal; a linkage from Subcontinent nuclear plans that involves Japan another source of concern now, as in the this essay from Countercurrents, which specializes in Indian news; all of which is percolating to the forefront of those who pay attention to life and death issues of the present pass, as in another presentation  from Public Integrity about India’s cycle of nuclear death, and in a chilling portrayal from Vice of Israel’s hypocritical devotion to mass murdering protocols as it bemoans its victimization by Islamists: “(In relation to a 1975 Savannah River Site nuclear weapons accident in 1975), radiation from the plutonium likely started attacking (Byron Veignur)’s body instantly.  He’d later develop breast cancer and, as a result of his other work as a health inspector at the plant, he’d also contract chronic beryllium disease, a debilitating respiratory condition that can be fatal.

Vaigneur is one of {at least} 107,394 Americans who have been diagnosed with cancers and other diseases after building the nation’s nuclear stockpile over the last seven decades.  For his troubles, he got $350,000 from the federal government in 2009. … from a special fund created in 2001 to compensate those sickened in the construction of America’s nuclear arsenal.

(O)fficials greatly underestimated how sick the U.S. nuclear workforce would become. …(possibly explaining why)fewer than half of those who’ve applied have received any money.  Workers complain that they’re often left in bureaucratic limbo, flummoxed by who gets payments, frustrated by long wait times and overwhelmed by paperwork.

Until the end, (one worker) said he could not understand how the feds could say there was insufficient evidence to approve his claim for compensation.  He said it was particularly perplexing because federal officials first led him to believe that his claim would be accepted, then suddenly ruled against him.

(Like tens of thousands of others, he)said he had no doubt his cancer was the result of his work, including his stint as a reactor operator, getting exposed to radiation right and left.  He said he often climbed into tanker trucks that had carried contaminated water, getting on his hands and knees to wipe them clean, with no protective suit on.  He said he wished he had questioned supervisors who told him that everything was safe…(similar to the institutional SOP response to claims, to wit), ‘delay, deny, until you die.'”—McClatchy
nuke nuclear explosion holocaust
         “(In relation to a Bill Gates ‘investment’ scheme, a reporter’s)suspicions were triggered not only by Gates’ already public commitment to nuclear energy research, but by the name selected for this collection of 28 of the world’s richest people (mainly men.)  The Breakthrough Institute, after all, is the name of the pseudo-green nuclear energy front group whose people promoted and starred in the 2013 nuclear power propaganda film, Pandora’s Promise.  But so far the Breakthrough Institute is lying low on the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, although I suspect not for long.

(After all, BEC touts the need for) ‘new tools to power the world.  That innovation will result from a dramatically scaled up public research pipeline linked to truly patient, flexible investments committed to developing the technologies that will create a new energy mix,’ the Coalition website states.

More research?  More innovation?  Why?  The chump change of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition members could, on a massive scale, deploy wind, solar and geothermal energy, technologies that are not waiting to be invented.  They are ready now and lack only the political willpower to implement.  And it’s deployment we so desperately need.  Why throw more money into ‘patient’ research?  Surely they understand we no longer have the luxury of time?
Doomsday_Clock_minus_3
So who are these guys and what are they really up to?  A review of Coalition members yields a mixed bag full of red flags proudly flying the radiation symbol.  Gates is already squandering part of his wealth on Terra Power LLC,  a nuclear design and engineering company seeking an elusive, expensive and futile so-called Generation IV traveling wave reactor that can never deliver electricity in time.

(And so the story goes among the moneybags here, such as Richard Branson, executive producer of Pandora’s Promise, and many others).  (T)he group’s assertion that ‘the foundation of this program must be large funding commitments for basic and applied research,’ does not provide much reason for optimism.”—Counterpunch
         “(On an important Southern river that flows from Uranium mining operations to the Bay of Bengal, a physics professor, Dr. Dipak Ghosh, set out to disprove ‘myths’ of unhealthy outcomes for those who came in contact with the stream’s flows).  What the professor’s team uncovered was hard evidence of the toxic footprint cast by the country’s secret nuclear mining and fuel fabrication program.  It is now the subject of a potentially powerful legal action, shining an unusual light on India’s nuclear ambitions and placing a cloud over its future reactor operations.

(Though official documents from the case have a shroud of secrecy over them, testimony from affiants is damning).  India’s nuclear chiefs have long maintained that ill health in the region is caused by endemic poverty and and the unsanitary conditions of its tribal people, known locally as Adivasi, or first people.  But the testimony and reports document how nuclear installations, fabrication plants and mines have repeatedly breached international safety standards for the past 20 years.  Doctors and health workers, as well as international radiation experts, say that nuclear chiefs have repeatedly suppressed or rebuffed their warnings.

(Despite protests and promises to the contrary), (p)oor conditions for those who work or live near nuclear facilities have been largely unchanged for decades.  When we drove into Jadugoda, we quickly spotted laborers, barefooted, and without protective clothing, riding trucks laden with uranium ore through villages, their tarpaulins gaping and dust spewing.  Ore was scattered everywhere: on the roads, over the fields and into the rivers and drains.  Uranium tailing ponds that dribbled effluent into neighboring fields were readily accessible, and children played nearby as their parents gathered wood.  Washed clothes hung from tailings pipes carrying irradiated slurry.  Four months after we left, last March, some of these pipes burst, again sending toxic slurry into Chatikocha village, where residents were supposed to have removed, but remain.

Charting the trail of disease and ill health back to its source, Ghosh’s team learned that the alpha radiation they had recorded came from the mines, mills and fabrication plants of East Singhbhum, a district whose name means the land of the lions, where the state-owned Uranium Corporation of India Ltd is sitting on a mountain of 174,000 tons of raw uranium.  The company, based in Jadugoda, a country town 160 miles west of Kolkata, is the sole source of India’s domestically-mined nuclear reactor fuel, a monopoly that has allowed it to be both combative and secretive.

(In relation to vows of “exemplary” standards and responsibility), (a)round the villages of Jadugoda and out in the flood plain of the Subarnarekha River, however, residents told us repeatedly these words had lost their meaning.  ‘Inside UCIL, they see themselves as under siege, defending the nation, one atom at a time,’ (journalist Ashish) Biruli said, ‘and outside … we are absorbing those atoms and whatever else the corporation spews out from its broken pipes and dams.  We’re drinking it all up, feeding it to our kids, and our wives, if they can conceive, are absorbing them into their blood stream.'”—Public Integrity
364px-Jerusalem_Erlöserkirche_um_1900
         “(In relation to the never-admitted but now incontrovertibly documented Israeli thermonuclear capacity, among its ‘establishment’ supporters), (l)eading the way were the French who, having failed Israel in a pact over the Suez Canal after being pressured by the US administration of President Eisenhower, instead decided to sell the young Jewish state crucial components for developing a bomb, including a nuclear reactor and a reprocessing plant capable of separating plutonium from spent reactor fuel.  Indeed, cooperation between the two countries on the clandestine project went so deep that according to reports by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, during the 1950s more than 2,000 French citizens, including engineers and scientists, were living in the nearby town of Dimona and helping to build the facility.

(The Israeli’s obtained bomb components in various ways, all involving some degree of subterfuge.  However), perhaps the most elaborate ruse of all involved Mossad agents buying uranium ore, a substance needed to produce plutonium, from a Belgian mining company under the front of an Italian business dealing in chemicals.  The shipment, which is the subject of three books, then disappeared into the hands of an Israeli crew at a port in Antwerp with the help of German officials.

(Having discovered Israel’s H-bomb arsenal in spite of all the machinations and coverups, the U.S. had a dilemma).  Fearing that other countries in the Middle East would also seek nuclear weapons, the Americans made a deal aimed at both ensuring regional stability and preventing other governments following suit.  No formal transcript of the agreement or conversations surrounding it have ever been published, but according to Avner Cohen, an Israeli-American historian, in 1969 President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir struck a pact: Israel would not test its nuclear weapons or admit it possessed them, and in exchange America would not pressure Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and would halt its attempt to inspect the Negev facility.

Contacted by VICE News, Uzi Eilam, the retired head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC), which he led for more than a decade, was more than cagey about the issue of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.  ‘This is not a topic for conversation.  It’s better that you forget it,’ Eilam said by telephone before abruptly ending the call.  A request for comment from the IAEC itself was met with a simple reply from a spokesperson that the commission ‘would not help.”
 ..’.
Five decades on from its inception, however, Israel’s nuclear ambitions show no signs of dimming.  In 2014 it was revealed that a four-year series of tests known as the ‘Green Field’ project had been carried out in the Negev to assess the potential impact and damage of ‘dirty bomb’ attack by enemies.  According to information released last year the experiments involved 20 detonations carried out with between 250 grams and 25 kilograms of explosives combined with 99mTc, a common radioactive which substance which is used in the health care field for medical imaging.  Locations of the tests included the desert and a mock shopping mall.”—Vice

TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO

MORE NONE-SO-BLIND EXPLICATION, IF ONE CARES FOR ONCE TO SEE
A ‘speaks for itself’ documentary, right at two hours long from an English filmmaker, that provides copious insight into “the(skipped) history lesson that empires never last,” in relation to 9/11 and the wars and mass-murders that have followed that incident, about which, whatever one believes happened fourteen years and three months ago, any credence to the nonsense and impossible pretense that ‘official’ investigations have presented as explanation ask people to believe in “miracles” or insidious lies, with the evidence overwhelming that, “denial or cognitive dissonance, whatever you want to call it” notwithstanding, corruption and opportunistic murder and not angelic interventions have been at play from 9/11 till now: “you can choose to believe in miracles, or you can be heroes, or cowards.”

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

 
The 2016 Las Vegas Writer’s Conference
April 28 – 30, 2016
Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall
Las Vegas, Nevada
Throughout the weekend, you will be able to meet and socialize with our faculty, pitch to agents and publishers, and learn from experts in fields connected to writing and publishing. With a Keynote Address by “story fixer” Larry Brooks and the faculty rapidly filling up, 2016 has the potential for being our best conference yet!

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

THE RESTLESS BOOKS PRIZE FOR NEW IMMIGRANT WRITING
Fiction submissions accepted September through December, 2015
Nonfiction submissions accepted fall, 2016
Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing [hereafter referred to as “the Prize”] will alternate yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions, beginning with fiction in 2015. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.  Manuscripts must be complete and submitted in English (translations welcome).  Candidates must be first-generation residents of the United States. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated to the U.S., or to American-born residents whose parents were born elsewhere.

Stand There Shining: A Recovery Anthology

We are looking for stories and poems from all points of view. The focus is on recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Family members are encouraged to write about their recovery journey. Our goal in gathering these stories is to allow them to “stand there shining” and show the world the reality of recovery. Other submission opps available.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

 

position application: Fiction Editor (Australia)
Ends on 12/31/2015

We are looking for someone who is:
based in Melbourne, ideally, or at least in Australia,
plugged into diverse local writing networks,
a deep reader of local fiction,
and is interested in boundary-pushing work.
You will be responsible for all the Australian fiction we print in our magazine, working alongside a US-based editor who will be in charge of securing international fiction. For every issue of the magazine you will source potential writers, commission new work, read unsolicited submissions, edit your chosen fiction, and deliver polished final pieces to the editors before deadline.

position application: Online Editor (TLB Review of Books)
Ends on 12/31/2015

We are looking for someone who is:
based in Melbourne, ideally, or at least in Australia,
a huge reader of contemporary literature,
knowledgable about the local and international publishing industry,
self-motivating,
and is very organised.
You will be responsible for the ‘TLB Review of Books’ element of our website. You will liaise with publicists, and commission and edit literary reviews — about one a fortnight. You will be working alongside two other online editors and a website manager.

position application: Digital Editions Manager
Ends on 12/31/2015

We are looking for someone who is:
based in Melbourne,
technologically savvy,
organised,
and is a keen reader, with a sharp eye for erratum.
You will be responsible for overseeing the digitisation of each print issue of The Lifted Brow. Each print issue is converted into three digital instalments that are read all around the world. You will work with our interns, liaise with authors and artists, communicate with our NYC-based mobile magazine publishers, and do some basic marketing work to ensure new territories are aware of our digital editions.

 

ORGLINK

 

 

 

Cop Dire Predictions Do Not Hold Water

A Washington Post article that gives lie to the police-fabricated backlash aimed at restraining the voices that express outrage at police brutality: “At various times over the past 12 months, we heard dire predictions of a “nationwide crime wave,” complete with stats about soaring homicide rates. We’ve also heard incessant chatter this year about a “war on cops” and how it’s never been more dangerous to wear a police uniform. Inevitably, the same people making these claims have then cast blame on police critics, protest movements such as Black Lives Matter, viral videos of police abuse and efforts to hold bad cops accountable.

Well, we’re now at the end of the year. So how do all of those claims stack up? Not well.”police car

Syrian Forces Curtailed

A Global Research Centre posting that discusses developments in the Syrian conflicts, underscoring the ways and methods by which the terrorists benefit from U.S. intervention: “On Dec.20, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies successfully captured the town of Khan Touman and the village of Qarasi in southern Aleppo. On Dec.21, the Syrian forces advanced west of Khan Touman capturing Kalidiyah village and several hundred meters along the Aleppo-Damascus highway. Strategically, this cuts the terrorists’ supplies through the highway. Now it’s useless for militants of the Jaish al-Fateh coalition which includes such groups as al Nusra.

However, this offensive has come at a heavy cost for the SAA as Jaish al-Fateh militants have massively used the US-supplied TOW-missile against government vehicles in the area.”

Tide Turning on Wrongful Convictions

A Crime Report article that highlights the work of brave organizations and individuals who assist in overturning wrongful convictions: “The good news is the tide is starting to shift. Reforms are slowly but steadily emerging to overhaul the five most common causes of wrongful conviction: false confessions, eyewitness misidentification, improper forensic science, false accusations, and government misconduct.

That last one, government misconduct, is too often the Big Bad Wolf where wrongful convictions are concerned. Prosecutorial misconduct includes withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense, destroying evidence and allowing unreliable witnesses or fraudulent experts to testify. Police misconduct includes coercing false confessions, lying on the witness stand, or failing to turn over evidence to prosecutors.”

Damian/cc/flickr
Damian/cc/flickr

Democratization of Economy is Vital

An L.A. Progressive opinion piece by a thought-provoking scholar that points to some of the causes and consequences of vast economic inequalites, and which discuss the ways in which we as a society could benefit from waking up to the need to fight this situation: Will Americans stand up and insist upon sharing their nation’s wealth more equitably? There are signs, such as the popularity of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, that many of them are becoming fed up with economic inequality. Of course, they might be distracted by xenophobia and fear-mongering, which have been promoted assiduously in recent months by pro-corporate politicians. Even so, there are growing indications that Americans favor democracy not only in their politics, but in their economy.”

WRISS

 

Digital Dark Ages

A Counter Punch view on the incipient dark ages possible in regards to losing cultural jewels to data loss, a piece which serves as a cautionary tale for all those who care about humanity’s cultural patrimony: “Of the 80,000 to 90,000 films considered to be in print on DVD in the United States, only a small fraction have made the leap to streaming. For the most part, this is because companies like Netflix can’t or don’t want to buy the rights for movies whose copyright holders want to get real money. The result is, if you want to see such classics as “The Bicycle Thief” or “Marathon Man,” your only hope is to buy an old used DVD on eBay (assuming you still have a DVD player). Of course, each change of format has left films, many of them important, unavailable to cinephiles. Many great films never made it from VHS to DVD.”

Unavailable Films

An Empire posting that lists some important films lost to the format changing race of the past 30 years:  “Plenty of films have yet to make the hi-res journey to Blu-ray, but there are hundreds that never even made it to DVD. Empire has been digging, and we’ve exhumed these 25 movies never officially pressed onto a small, silver disc… to date. If you feel inclined, suggest your own lost treasures in the comments.”

GENMEDIP

pfunked Deviant Art
pfunked Deviant Art

On Quality Journalism

A Center for Public Integrity article that discusses the ins and out of saving the future of quality journalism: “Shining a light on dark corners is what we, and I believe most, quality journalism is supposed to do.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” as US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, said.

So now we must turn to a related but crucial question: what is the business model that will allow quality journalism to not only survive, but thrive as well?”

RECEV

Population Displacement

A Library of Congress posting on a report that reports on population displacement worldwide as a consequence to neoliberal acts: “According to the report, some 59.5 million persons worldwide had been forcibly displaced by the end of 2014, “as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations,” and while a current total figure on global forced displacement was not available at the time the report was written, UNHCR offices had reported that during the first half of 2015 “at least five million individuals were newly displaced,” with 4.2 million newly displaced within their own country and 839,000 displaced beyond their country’s borders. (UNHCR MID-YEAR TRENDS 2015, supra.)  As a result, it is estimated that the total figure of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) around the world (the three major categories of the displaced) is already far above 60 million.”

GENISSDark Election Finances

A Pro Publica article that lists some of the most notorious election funding shenanigans: “The millions of dollars being spent on the presidential race by super PACs, secretive nonprofits and the candidates themselves could again make this election cycle the most expensive to date. Huge sums are also flowing into state and local races. Here, in chronological order, are ten stories from other newsrooms that got behind the cash flow to describe the latest uses and abuses of money in politics.”

 

12.21.2015 Daily Links

                    This Day in History                  

main_solstices_equinoxesIn general, today marks the solstice, the furthest extent of light in the Southern Hemisphere and of the dark in more Northern climes, while Plymouth, Massachusetts commemorates Forefather Day; in Rome, as restiveness and even rebellion threatened a thousand nine hundred and forty-six years ago, the fourth emperor in a year, Vespasian, who had commanded the crushing of the Great Jewish Revolt, assumed command; a mere three years into the future, in 72, the author of the Gospel According to Thomas, died at the hands of persecutors; eight hundred ninety seven years ahead of today, the baby boy first cried out who would rise as the martyr and leader of the British Church, Thomas Beckett; a hundred nineteen years past that conjunction, in 1237, Mongol fighters under Batu Khan, having used catapults to reduce the city’s fortifications, sacked the ancient Rus city of Ryazan and executed almost everyone in it; precisely a hundred twenty-four years later, in 1361, Castilian forces in the midst of ‘reconquering’ Spain from Muslim control emerged victorious in the Battle of Linuesa against the Emirate of Granada; a farther fourteen years down the pike, in 1375, the acclaimed thinker and storyteller, Giovanni Boccaccio drew a final breath; two centuries and twenty-four years subsequently, in 1598, now imperial Spanish forces suffered a crushing defeat in Southern Chile

Coeehajo, Chief, 1837, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Coeehajo, Chief, 1837, Smithsonian American Art Museum

at the hands of Mapuche indigenous battlers at Curalaba; half a decade hence, in 1603, many thousands of miles North, in 1603, a male British infant was born who matured as the leader and popular thinker, Roger Williams; English Pilgrims seventeen years afterward, in 1620, landed at Plymouth Rock; seventeen decades beyond that instant, in 1790 across the Atlantic, Rhode Island’s Slater Mills began operation, in some sense initiating the industrial revolution in the U.S., as often as not a transition that depended on child labor, such that over half of Rhode Island’s textile employees forty years hence were youngsters less than twelve years of age; more or less exactly thirty-six years still later on, in 1826, Gringo settlers in East Texas proclaimed their independence and instituted the Fredonia Rebellion; six years further along the temporal trail, in 1832, Egyptian forces that had plenty of English help triumphed over Ottoman attempts to maintain imperial control in the Nile Delta; another dozen years onward, in 1844, the modern Cooperative Movement began with the formation of the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers; three and a half decades thereafter, in 1879, further East in Denmark, Henrik Ibsen oversaw the world premiere of his liberal feminist classic A Doll’s House; twenty-eight years nearer to now, in 1907, on the same day of the year that the Mapuche rid themselves for a time of Spanish rule three hundred years prior to that, Chilean military forces massacred upwards of 2,000 miners who were organizing as a union in Iquique, far in the nation’s North; a thousand ninety-six days henceforth, in 1910, seven thousand miles Northeast in the coal country of England, nearly three hundred and fifty miners died in a horrific colliery accident that as usual profiteering owners were responsible for causing; a year even closer to the current context, in 1913, The New York World published the first word puzzle, the “word-cross”, the predecessor of today’s crossword riddles; four years even further along, in 1917, a baby German boy took his first breath who would grow up as the Nobel Literary Laureate, Heinrich Boll; two years subsequent to that date, in 1919, the U.S. deported Emma Goldman to the Soviet Union; seven hundred thirty-one days more along the temporal arc, in 1921, the Supreme Court issued a typical holding against the rights of labor, declaring picketing an illegal act, “an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance;” seventy-eight years back, the world’s first full-length feature cartoon film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, premiered in the United States; three years past that juncture, in 1940, F. Scott Fitzgerald lived out his final scenario at age forty-four; seven years thereafter, in 1947, a male baby first opened his eyes in Spain who would adopt the name Paco de Lucia as one of the greatest Flamenco guitarists and songwriters ever; sixteen additional years after that moment in time, in 1963, tensions among ethnic Cypriots exploded in violence that led to the displacement of as many as 25,000 Turks or more; six years hence, in 1969,  the United Nations General Assembly passed its International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; twenty-six years still more proximate to the present, in 1995, Bethlehem temporarily transferred to Israeli to Palestinian control.

                A Thought for the Day                

The Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope image of a huge, handle-shaped prominence of the sun was taken on 14 September 1999.
The Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope image of a huge, handle-shaped prominence of the sun was taken on 14 September 1999.

The alternative to necessity looms ahead, ever clearer and seemingly more certain on the horizon, an extinguishing scythe that could descend in a thermonuclear rush or, a decade or so hence, in the unleashing of waves of more or less implacable machinations of mechanical murder, artificially ‘intelligent’ devices to harvest humanity so that those in charge do not have to share: most anyone who considers things more closely than a vague desire for the next sit-com laugh-track knows that frightful, monstrous times lie ahead, the only option apparently, since people cannot find a way to empower themselves as a collective so as to dismantle the rule of capital and replace it with something at once more democratically engaged and grassrootsily participatory—no matter how romantic the appearance of such a basic preference, its manifestation the original requisite to which the only plausible juxtaposition, more and more definite, is extinction of most of our kind on Earth.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“I spent the last months of the war here in the western part of Germany before I became a prisoner of the Americans, and I observed that houses where a white flag had been put out were often shot at by the Germans.  With the advance of the American army, villages and small towns between the fronts waited for the American army, and raised the white flag; that was prohibited, prohibited on penalty of death.  Naturally, with the shifting of the fronts, the occupation of some villages changed; those houses with white flags hanging out were fired on by the German army or at least by certain units.  Therefore, the white flag had a personal significance for me; possibly… the thought of being killed at the last moment …  .It happened to a lot of people.  Here in the Rhineland there was a whole wave of executions of deserters, about which very little is known even yet.  They were hanged from trees; they were shot to death on the spot.  There was a kind of arbitrary jurisdiction.  I believe there was a mandate by Hitler that anyone could shoot anyone else whom he considered a deserter from the colors.

On a visit to Cologne in March 1945, after a heavy bombing I met hundreds and hundreds of deserters who were squatting in the rubble, many in the deep cellars left from Roman times.  They had been hiding there after the retreat from France.  They lived by selling cigarettes on the black market, by bartering, and so on.  People like these, who fled the war and were nevertheless killed at the last moment, are indeed significant.  The white flag is a very important motif.  I still remember keeping my father from putting out the white flag too early.  He always had his handkerchief and a broomstick ready and, long before the Americans came, he wanted to put them out; and we said: ‘Now watch it, that could turn out bad, don’t do that too soon.’  So you can see what the white flag means to me.

The threat posed by those in power, the Nazis, was always that of having to leave…(of becoming a refugee or worse).  You could be arrested, you could be taken away.  Also the economics of the time meant that we moved around a lot.  The fear of not being able to pay the rent was deeply lodged, very deeply.  Just imagine a boy of ten or twelve who has no clear concept of economic matters but knows only: ‘Oh, God, I hope we can pay the rent or we’ll be thrown out.’  All of that is related.  My father owned several houses—we had one that he had to sell because of the Depression.  The deluge came a year later when a bank failed.  We had to get out of our house.  It was auctioned off.  And with that the fear began: ‘Do you have a place to live?  Do you have a bed?’ Later, with my own sons, it has always been my main concern to have a home for them, and a bed, and a blanket.  It’s all connected with that.  A train station is not a home, you know.  Nor is a waiting room, and least of all the army barracks.”  Heinrich Boll: Paris Review interview, 1983

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SEARCHDAYforgetfulness OR "memory loss" OR "lack of recall" -alzheimer's -dementia war OR holocaust recurrence cause OR inducement OR correlation annihilation OR extinction OR armageddon wmd's OR "weapons of mass destruction" OR thermonuclear danger OR risk OR possibility analysis OR explication OR assessment = 16,000 Citations.

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                       Top of the Fold                       

FREDDIE GRAY’S PREDATORY CAPITAL, POLICE-STATE BLUES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/19/why-you-should-know-what-happened-in-freddie-grays-life-long-before-his-death/?wpisrc=nl_rainbow
A brilliant and incisive reconstruction of the life of Freddie Gray, from lead-poisoning settlements as primary reliable income to shoddy, hideous, repressive schools the purpose of which was to cycle humans as so much waste, and beyond, that a Washington Post reporter created who deserves both big prizes and a huge audience as she praises personal responsibility but irrefutably documents the essential need for collective accountability in regard to police and so-called ‘deviance,’ one of hundreds of accounts of the first of Gray’s Black killers’ hung jury, such as this item from Atlantic Magazine; the leading narrative here an indictment of both a predatory society and the murderous policing policies that it induces, which a recent Tom Dispatch essay skewers in painful detail and with painstaking analysis; a contextualization that multiple recent reports examine in terms of the human and fiscal costs of such a system of oppression and venal violence, such as either this one  about Walter Scott, where North Charleston taxpayers will be responsible for $5.5 million of a six and a half million dollar settlement for that poor immigrants brutal slaying from bullets in the back, or this one from TheNew York Times that notes the tens of millions that Chicago police have paid out in settlements while less than a paltry handful of officers have faced meaningful punishment; an ongoing depiction of the violation of human rights by United States policing practice–including judicially sanctioned murders of the innocent, as in this note into California’s execution of an innocent White man that helped to spare the actual murderer’s life; part of the current deluge of explication of the U.S. turn toward a police state, despite such assessments of police prevarication and opportunism as this briefing from Salon, and this interview from TruthOut that concerns an Alabama project to take back justice from the hands of those who systematically promulgate injustice as both a matter of profit and convenience: “(Despite Gray’s undeniable role in his own difficulties, his)is also a life altered and quite likely distorted by the net effects of where and how the wealthy country into which he was born and its voters have decided to distribute its resources.  Freddie Gray was an American failed more often by his country than served by it.  And yet again this week, after a mistrial was declared in the first of six cases against police officers in whose custody Gray died, only the details of his death have become the subject of any real and sustained public discussion.

In the area where Gray lived, … . the unemployment rate averaged a stunning 51.8 percent between 2008 and 2012, according toa Justice Policy Institute report published in February.  More than 30 percent of those who are fortunate enough to have jobs must travel 45 minutes or more to get to them.  The median household income hovers just over $24,000 a year, and in 2012, there were roughly 19 deaths for every 1,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24.

(The quarter or more of kids who’ve spend time in ‘juvenile’ lockup) is also roughly equal to the share of kids in these communities who are likely to graduate from high school.  And more than 7 percent of these same children have levels of lead in their blood — impulse-control and academic-ability-damaging lead — that meet or exceed the state standard for poisoning.  Average life expectancy is 68.8 years.  And the immediate area where Gray lived does not have a single grocery store or even a fast food restaurant.

A 26-year-old man who spent his entire childhood in Baltimore earns about 28 percent less each year than he would if he had grown up in 100 other major cities, (an Annie E. Casey) study found.  In summation, Baltimore — and particularly Gray’s West Baltimore — is not an easy place for a poor and black child to grow up and get an education or a job.

By AERWIN   via Wikimedia Commons
By AERWIN via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps most telling of all, though, is this.  Almost every disadvantage, challenge and public spending decision described in the paragraphs above had a direct and real effect on Gray’s short life.  Arguably, they also had something to do with his death and the heated political debate about policing and Black Lives Matter in which the country is now engaged.”Washington Post

          “Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, (about a purported ‘Ferguson Effect’ that is hurting and endangering police work), quite a different reality presents itself.  In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police.  Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide.  In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

Indeed, a closer look at law enforcement arguments against commonsense reforms like independently investigating police violence, demilitarizing police forces, or ending ‘for-profit policing’ reveals a striking disregard for concerns of just about any sort when it comes to brutality and abuse.  What this ‘debate’ has revealed, in fact, is a mainstream policing mindset ready to manufacture fear without evidence and promote the belief that American civil rights and liberties are actually an impediment to public safety.  In the end, such law enforcement arguments subvert the very idea that the police are there to serve the community and should be under civilian control. police car
And that, when you come right down to it, is the logic of the police state. …(Police leaders, in fact, have) put forward a legal standard for officers accused of wrongdoing that (they) would never support for the average citizen — and in a situation in which cops already get what former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson calls ‘a super presumption of innocence.’  In addition, police unions in many states have aggressively pushed for their own bills of rights, which make it nearly impossible for police officers to be fired, much less charged with crimes when they violate an individual’s civil rights and liberties.

(The overall context, of militarization and impunity and a threat of civil war in response, has not brought change).  Even the idea that the police shouldn’t sport the look of an occupying army in local communities has, however, been met with fierce resistance.  Read, for example, the online petition started by the National Sheriffs’ Association and you could be excused for thinking that the Obama administration was aggressively moving to stop the flow of military-grade equipment to local and state police agencies. (It isn’t.)  The message that tops the petition is as simple as it is misleading: ‘Don’t strip law enforcement of the gear they need to keep us safe.’

(In addition, the police now consistently and without regard to human rights steal from those whom they stop, whether those vicious arrests lead to criminal convictions or not).  Currently, only one state, New Mexico,has done away with civil asset forfeiture entirely, while also severely restricting state and local law enforcement from profiting off similar national laws when they work with the feds. (The police in Albuquerque are, however, actively defying the new law, demonstrating yet again the way in which police departments believe the rules don’t apply to them.) That no other state has done so is hardly surprising.  Police departments have become so reliant on civil asset forfeiture to pad their budgets and acquire ‘little goodies’ that reforming, much less repealing, such laws are a tough sell.”—Tom Dispatch
          “Judges themselves are well aware how common it is for police to lie on the stand.  Federal Judge Alex Kozinski stated publicly: ‘It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers.’  And only one of 27 Chicago judges interviewed by Temple University professor Nicole Van Cleve for her new book Crook County said police perjury didn’t occur.  Twenty willingly admitted it, and the rest didn’t respond at all.

This is an especially acute problem in police brutality cases.  In the swearing contest between cop and alleged victim, the cop is sure to win nearly every time.  The result is that cops have virtually a blank check to engage in acts of brutality and corruption, knowing the courts will turn a blind eye.  As an infamous Chicago police commander named John Burge said to a suspect he was torturing, ‘No court and no State are going to take your word against a lieutenant’s word.’  And he was proved right on multiple occasions.

(In addition to the many practical reasons for police and judiciary to cozy up to each other, the ideological rationale for trusting coppers)was perfectly captured by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, who explained in a case where police perjury was alleged: ‘It would be a dismal reflection on society to say that when the guardians of its security are called to testify in court under oath, their testimony must be viewed with suspicion.’  In other words, the police officer isn’t an individual with a particular job to do.  She represents all of us.  Or to put it another way, to question one cop is to smear them all, and in impugning our public servants, we sully ourselves.”—Salon
          “Free Alabama Movement is a prisoner’s comrade’s solidarity organization which advocates the self-addressing of our struggle of human rights dignity and respect while serving a debt to society in Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC).  Our motto is to ‘Educate, to Elevate, to Liberate.’  We pride ourselves in presenting our activism work in a peaceful & non-violent manner.  Our organizing planning tactics and style of implementing strategies for effective protest, work stoppages, and shutdowns have been radical and successful thus far in our work.

Realizing that there were literally thousands of ‘InnocentManMelvinRays’ out there – the most poignant one that I ran across that stays in my mind is Davontae Sandford’s case – I started asking myself how can I bring these collectives together?  That question sprung the concept of ‘Free Alabama’ into my mind.

(After leaving lengthy solitary confinement for seeking justice), I went to work.  I started talking to leaders, explaining the philosophy, taking pictures, filming living conditions and interviewing.  I also started writing a manifesto.  But in the process of all of this, the final thing that happened was that I read Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.

Alabama’s modern day climate of for-profit slavery is inhumane.  Inmates are broken by the a surreal experience which many will never recover from and some will never see the likes of home because of loss of their lives.
Damian/cc/flickr
Damian/cc/flickr

Alabama has balanced the state’s budget for years based on the 200% overcrowing of inmates into a total of 15 facilities designed to hold 14,000 persons, yet housing over 28,000 inmates.  The state of Alabama robs its taxpayers by the disservice of not providing life skills service and empowerment tools which are essential for rehabilitation.   Families of inmates pay double, due to the fact that their tax dollars already fund the ADOC, then because their loved ones are not compensated for their labor, they are forced to support them.  And in the end these families are victimized by having to make a choice to support their incarcerated love one(s) or maintaining their household’s budget.”—TruthOut

TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO

IDEOLOGICAL & SOCIAL ROOTS OF TERROR & ‘WARS’ AGAINST IT
https://archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares-Episode1BabyItsColdOutside The introductory installment of a three-part series from the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Channel 2, that examines in clinical detail–though lacking except by implicit acknowledgement the political economic and class goals of the effort–the intellectual and organizational wellsprings of both neoconservative imprimatur among capital’s reactionary cream in the United States and Jihadi-Islamic potency among an upper-crust Muslim “vanguard” that stretched from Northern Africa through Southwest Asia into Oceania and South, Southeast, and Central Asia, the upshot of which was an in the end apparently predestined consummation of what can only appear as a fascist agenda for the twenty-first century and beyond.

 

   more links tomorrow!!!   

12.18.2015 Daily Links

                A Thought for the Day                

ballooon 2A thinker might summarize an approach to reading and writing and thinking in English with five ideas: first, that neither words nor sentences in English appear as, respectively, a series of letters or a series of words, but instead show up as component pieces that a practitioner assembles according to certain strictures; second, that the key to English is metaphor, calling things what they are not so as to see or understand what they are; third, and in common with all language use, that imagination serves as the central fulcrum around which creation and comprehension both turn; fourth, that both phrasing and clause construction in English operate so as to permit scribes, on the one hand, or analysts, on the other hand, either to delineate or to deconstruct all the intricate concatenation of complexity that reality proffers to life’s sojourners; and fifth, that in both its forms context is king when one seeks to analyze any passage, at once as the text that surrounds words in question and as the wider and wider circles of the world that surround any narrative that either writers might want to compose or readers might wish accurately to apprehend.

                   Quote of the Day                    

“We can’t float through life.  We can’t be incidental or accidental.  We must fix our gaze on a guiding star as soon as one comes upon the horizon and once we have attached ourselves to that star we must keep our eyes on it and our hands upon the plow.  It is the consistency of the pursuit of the highest possible vision that you can find in front of you that gives you the constancy, that gives you the encouragement, that gives you the way to understand where you are and why it’s important for you to do what you can do.


It is necessary to stay on the march, to be on the journey, to work for peace wherever we are at all times, because the liberty we cherish, which we would share with the world, demands eternal vigilance. …(In that vein), (a)ny form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change. It can not only move us, it makes us move. …(Still), (o)ne of the things I appreciate more was how important struggle was as the instrument that helped to keep us knit together.”   Ossie Davis

                 This Day in History                   
"May Day Immigration March LA37" by Jonathan McIntosh
“May Day Immigration March LA37” by Jonathan McIntosh

Today, how apropos to the plight of so many on our wandering orb just now, is International Migrants Day; North African fighters two thousand two hundred and thirty-three years ago, under the leadership of Carthage’s great general, Hannibal, as they invaded the Italian Peninsula near Rome during the Second Punic War, badly battered Roman troops at the Battle of Trebia; Kublai Khan seven hundred forty-four years prior to the present pass changed the designation of a part of the vast empire over which he ruled, now in Mongolia and most of China, calling it Yuan and initiating the dynasty of the same name; just a year past three and a half centuries henceforth, in 1622, Portuguese invaders, having hired displaced Africans as mercenaries, broke their treaties with the Kingdom of Kongo and successfully sacked Mbumbi in what is now Angola, in the process cannibalizing the dead and making slaves out of survivors; thirty-three years subsequently, in 1655, Britain closed the Whitehall Conference with an announcement that the banishment of Jews from the British Isles for more than 350 years was no longer the rule of law; eighty-two years afterward, in 1737, the renowned Italian instrument maker, Antonio Stradiveri, played out his final stanza; VIOLINfamed biologist and scholar Jean-Baptiste Lamarck spent his last moments on Earth a hundred eighty-six years ahead of today; twenty-seven years later, in 1856, a male infant opened his eyes on his way to a life as maven of physics and nuclear matters, J.J. Thomson; non quite a decade more on the temporal arc, in 1865, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward pronounced that the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery or involuntary servitude in most cases, had become the law of the land; a passenger train running from Cleveland to Buffalo seven hundred thirty days past that conjunction, in 1867, operating on tracks of different gauges and hurrying to make up a delayed run had two of its cars derail, in one of which all the passengers but one burned to death when the stoves that provided heat incinerated those on board; eleven years hence, in 1878, in another instance of capital’s placing profit above human rights, the final so-called ‘Molly Maguire’ died at the end of a rope after Pinkerton Detective Agency spies testified against miners who often wanted only a safer workplace that they believed only unions would give them the leverage to provide, and, five thousand miles East and South, the clan network that had already maintained great power on the Arabian Peninsula, the Al-Thani family, became hereditary rulers of Qatar from then till now; a dozen years hence, in 1890, the male child first shouted out who in a short lifetime, as Edwin Armstrong, would theorize and design the first Frequency Modulation radio devices; two years later still, in 1892, St. Petersburg’s orchestra performed Tchaikovsky’s

gabriel saldana - flickr
gabriel saldana – flickr

Nutcracker Suite for the first time; inaugurating nearly a century of black-markets and ‘substance-wars,’ a quarter century further along, in 1917, Congress ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing alcohol’s distribution, and a baby boy was born en route to a long life as a performer and champion of human rights by the name of Ossie Davis; seventy-two years before now, a male baby drew first breath who would grow up as the legendary musician, crooner, and songwriter, Keith Richards; the infant male who grew up to become Steven Spielberg took his first breath three years after that instant in time, in 1946, and the baby boy who became the anti-Apartheid leader Steve Biko uttered his first cry seven thousand miles to the Southeast; Japan joined the United Nations a decade thereafter, in 1956, ending completely its period of isolation that resulted from world war; precisely two years after, in 1958, the world’s first solely communications satellite went into orbit as a U.S. attempt to obtain parity after the Soviet’s Sputnik program; fourteen years subsequent to that moment, in 1972, after peace talks ground to a halt, Richard Nixon announced that the U.S. would conduct Christmas bombing operations against North Vietnam; just three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1973, the Arab Development Bank opened for business and made its first loans; talented programmer Larry Wall twenty-eight years back released the first version of the nearly-natural-language  Perl computer programming tool; two years hence, in 1989, the SovietUSSR_Emblem_1936 russia sovietUnion and the European Economic Community strengthened trade ties and made technology transfer to and capital investment in Russia much easier; in an unfortunately much less salubrious development in the United States two years more proximate to the present day, in 1991, General Motors announced firm plans to close over a score of North American plants, which in aggregate employed tens of thousands of unionized wage-earners; six years more along time’s path, in 1997, version 4.0 of Hyper-Text Mark-up Language became available for web developers;another couple of years onward, in 1999, French filmmaker and screenwriter Robert Bresson died, and the National Aeronautics & Space Administration launched its multi-part Terra satellite platform to monitor Earth’s climate and environment in five separate ways; seven years even closer to the current context, in 2006, Joseph Barbera, the cofounder of Hanna-Barbera studios died; another year beyond that point, in 2007,the nearly hundred year old multi-modal literary, musical, and political genius Richard Strauss lived out his final day; yet four years nearer to now, in 2011, Czech writer, thinker, and politician Vaclav Havel drew his last breath.

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SEARCHDAY"cultural work" OR "cultural production" OR art OR literature "social support" OR "government support" necessity OR "sine qua non" OR crucial OR central marketplace OR "private property" OR "copyright protection" OR "intellectual property rights" inadequate OR incomplete "political economy" OR analysis history OR origins radical OR socialist OR "social democracy" OR marxist = 240,000 Linkages.

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                       Top of the Fold                       

FORM & FUNCTION, FORMULAS VERSUS ‘FREEDOM,’ & MEANING

An absolutely essential read for any scrappy scribe who hopes to navigate the complicated straits that, metaphorically, the act of inscription now mirrors, a speech by the annual Orwell Prize winner this year, who has examined the unexpectedly similar fashion in which the ferocious journalist and moralist Thomas Merton and Sir George himself followed similar paths and articulated related points about the evisceration of meaning by power politics and class interest; an assessment that fits powerfully, if not quite seamlessly, with this year’s Nobel presentation by Literary Laureate Svetlana Alexievich, a potency that is critical to contemplate even as–indeed, in some senses because–the ideological aspects of her work and its reception resonate so palpably; a pair of gems, in turn, that almost call forth the more political economic analysis from Atlantic Magazine that deconstructs both what is plain and hidden in academic publishing these days where lurks, willy-nilly, both what should remain most public and what the average reader cannot easily access; all three of which almost point to a mandate from Spiked to rejuvenate, if we hope to survive, a deep hunger, almost a desperate longing, for the reading that our societies and relationships and ecological intersections need so that we manage to sustain the human project–the entirety of which doesn’t even dent the onrushing phalanx of mediated meaning about media’s purposes and needs and crises, and the way that it feeds us, as in this set of predictions about the coming year from NiemanLab or in this list of 2015’s most important books from The Millions; or in the item from J-Stor that delved the intersection of poetry and metaphor and life; or in this investigation from the ‘paper of record’ about at once the plutocratic Adelson family’s purchase of the Las Vegas Review Journal, and what this sale means; or in some of the innumerable briefings about the omnipresent interconnection between writing and technology now, such as this material from The Conversation about creating robo-editors for the likes of Wikipedia, this piece fromRadio Survivor about a point-of-view that ponders podcasting’s origins, this humorous brief from New Yorker about the way that the wealth and imprimatur of ‘unicorns’ impacts media, even as the creatures are dying in droves, this deeply contextualized report–another from The Times–about wealthy investors who are not altogether sanguine about any further laissez faire evolution of so-called ‘artificial intelligence;’ or, more whimsically, in a couple of ways of contemplating critical aspects of the expressive endeavor, as with this Priceonomics article about revolutionary statistics and how this could affect our data-driven media models, and as with a more linguistic meandering  that another Conversation nexus makes available, concerning the joke and its possible unlocking of language skills on a case-by-case basis; the complete litany of which returns a reader to what media must accomplish in the current context if humankind is to thrive, perhaps survive, to wit an unraveling of pretense and a recounting of happenstance that permits curious citizens an opportunity to figure out what is up and what must go down, sooner rather than later: “Merton relished the comment of an American commander in Vietnam: ‘In order to save the village, it became necessary to destroy it’, and memorably summed up the philosophy of many supporters of the Vietnam intervention: ‘The Asian whose future we are about to decide is either a bad guy or a good guy.  If he is a bad guy, he obviously has to be killed.  If he is a good guy, he is on our side and he ought to be ready to die for freedom.  We will provide an opportunity for him to do so: we will kill him to prevent him falling under the tyranny of a demonic enemy.’

The trouble with what Merton characterises as ‘double-talk, tautology, ambiguous cliché, self-righteous and doctrinaire pomposity and pseudoscientific jargon’ is not just an aesthetic problem.  It renders dialogue impossible; and rendering dialogue impossible is the ultimately desirable goal for those who want to exercise absolute power.  Merton was deeply struck by the accounts of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and by Hannah Arendt’s discussions of the ‘banality’ of evil.

Readers of Orwell will by now have felt, I imagine, more than a flicker of recognition. …Bad or confused metaphor (Orwell has some choice examples of which my favourite is ‘The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song’) presents us with something we can’t visualise; good metaphor makes us more aware, aware in unexpected ways, of what we see or sense.  So bad metaphor is about concealing or ignoring; and language that sets out to conceal or ignore and make others ignore is language that wants to shrink the limits of the world to what can be dealt with in the speaker’s terms alone.

(Unlike Orwell’s insistence on simplicity, however), (t)he paradox that Merton is asserting is that in order to be honest the writer sometimes has to be difficult; and the problem facing any writer who acknowledges this is how to distinguish between necessary or salutary difficulty and self-serving obfuscation of the kind both he and Orwell identify as a tool of power.  I doubt whether there is a neat answer to this.  But I suspect that the essential criterion is to do with whether a writer’s language – ‘straightforward’ or not – invites response.

         Whether Orwell might have accepted at least Merton’s conclusion is impossible to say.  But the Orwell who so stubbornly resisted the instrumentalising of language for political ends would have fought ultimately on the same side.  Uttering the unacceptable in prose and exploring the elusive, not-yet-captured depth of things in poetry have in common the crucial recognition that we shan’t learn about ourselves or our world – including our political world – if we are prevented from hearing things to argue with and things that leave us frustrated and (in every sense) wondering.”—Orwell Lecture

Laura Loveday flickr
Laura Loveday flickr
         “I do not stand alone at this podium … There are voices around me, hundreds of voices. They have always been with me, since childhood. …(when, even in war and carnage), the women talked about love, not death.

‘We lived near the Chernobyl nuclear plant.  I was working at a bakery, making pasties.  My husband was a fireman.  We had just gotten married, and we held hands even when we went to the store.  The day the reactor exploded, my husband was on duty at the firе station.  They responded to the call in their shirtsleeves, in regular clothes – there was an explosion at the nuclear power station, but they weren’t given any special clothing.  That’s just the way we lived … You know … They worked all night putting out the fire, and received doses of radiation incompatible with life.

(Despite his guardians’ warnings of even entering his room, because he was so hot with what he had ‘received’), I kept telling myself the same thing over and over: I love, I love … At night, I would climb up the fire escape to see him … Or I’d ask the night janitors … I paid them money so they’d let me in … I didn’t abandon him, I was with him until the end … A few months after his death, I gave birth to a little girl, but she lived only a few days.  She … We were so excited about her, and I killed her … She saved me, she absorbed all the radiation herself.  She was so little … teeny-tiny … But I loved them both.  Can you really kill with love?  Why are love and death so close? They always come together. Who can explain it? A t the grave I go down on my knees …’

Flaubert called himself a human pen; I would say that I am a human ear.  When I walk down the street and catch words, phrases, and exclamations, I always think – how many novels disappear without a trace!  Disappear into darkness.  We haven’t been able to capture the conversational side of human life for literature.  We don’t appreciate it, we aren’t surprised or delighted by it.  But it fascinates me, and has made me its captive.  I love how humans talk … I love the lone human voice.  It is my greatest love and passion.

Varlam Shalamov once wrote: ‘I was a participant in the colossal battle, a battle that was lost, for the genuine renewal of humanity.’  I reconstruct the history of that battle, its victories and its defeats.  The history of how people wanted to build the Heavenly Kingdom on earth. Paradise!  The City of the Sun!  In the end, all that remained was a sea of blood, millions of ruined human lives.  There was a time, however, when no political idea of the 20th century was comparable to communism (or the October Revolution as its symbol), a time when nothing attracted Western intellectuals and people all around the world more powerfully or emotionally.  Raymond Aron called the Russian Revolution the ‘opium of intellectuals.’  But the idea of communism is at least two thousand years old.  We can find it in Plato’s teachings about an ideal, correct state; in Aristophanes’ dreams about a time when ‘everything will belong to everyone.’ … In Thomas More and Tommaso Campanella …  Later in Saint-Simon, Fourier and Robert Owen.  There is something in the Russian spirit that compels it to try to turn these dreams into reality.”—Nobel Lecture
diego rivera work labor art
         “After finishing his DPhil (the English equivalent of a Ph.D.), (Richard)Price raised venture capital in London and moved to San Francisco to start Academia.edu in 2008.  On this site—which includes a social-networking function and allows users (to) ‘follow’ others with similar interests—academics post drafts of papers, lecture notes, conference speeches, and published articles.  With roughly 30 million registered users, 8 million uploaded papers, and 36 million unique monthly visitors, it has become the one of the most widely used websites to read academic research for free.

(W)hile there is a growing commitment to open-access research, there’s little consensus about the best way to achieve that goal.  Traditionally,most of the research produced at American universities hasn’t been accessible to the general public.  To read a scholarly paper on leukemia or political theory or Jane Austen, you needed a university ID card or you had to pay roughly $10 to $30, even if that paper was directly or indirectly funded with taxpayers dollars.  Those paywalls essentially siloed research in the Ivory Tower.
The convoluted profit model behind academic publishing frustrates many within higher education, too.  Subsidized by their universities, professors write, evaluate, and edit scholarly research—work that they largely do for free but can be essential for job security and promotions.  And under that profit model, those same universities often pay publishers and database companies billions for access to the very research that their faculty produced.  As I wrote in The Atlantic in 2012, this is not a rational process.  While new, online journals (like the American Political Science Association’s proposed open-access publication) circumvent the traditional publishers, the most prestigious periodicals for the most part still use this model.

For Price, opening up research to the general public and the entire world is a moral obligation.  While most of the audience at Academia.edu is American, a large number come from overseas, and in some countries, universities can’t afford the subscription fees to American journals.   Price said he talked to a scientist from the University of Nairobi, for example, who conducted research for years without proper access to American work, until he joined Academia.edu.

(Despite these lofty, and laudable objectives, many onlookers cry, ‘Beware!’  Venture capital roots can ultimately poison the best intentions).  Scholars should think seriously about Academia.edu’s business model and consider other options, (Kathleen) Fitzpatrick (of the Modern Language Association) argued, acknowledging the website’s large audience and other positive aspects.  ‘Networks like MLA Common and Core are managed by scholars for scholars,’ she said.  ‘[They’re] governed by [their] members rather than investors’ goals.'”—Atlantic Magazine
pfunked Deviant Art
pfunked Deviant Art
         “(Reading and writing have always had critics, who saw their risks).  Writing in the 4th century BC, Plato, ventriloquising through Socrates, was already warning of the dangers of literacy.  He said writing was a drug –pharmakon – and argued that it removed from individuals the responsibility to remember things.  More concerning still for Plato was the freedom reading might grant the individual.  Rather than listening and possibly engaging in a real-world dialogue with authoritative interlocutors, the reader would be able ‘to roam… about everywhere’, thinking for himself and forming his own judgements – which was deemed dangerous.  ‘Socrates’ disapproval of the written text’, writes (Frank) Furedi, ‘was based in part on a conviction that the pursuit of the truth was so demanding that only a few Athenian citizens could be trusted with its undertaking’.rect3336 spaceThis sense that reading and writing threatened extant authority by granting people excessive freedom, cultivating a consciousness of alternative, future possibilities, actually affirms Furedi’s belief in the power of reading, its ability to allow us ‘to reimagine our circumstances, to test our personality and our ideas’.  ‘Before writing was really invented’, Furedi tells me, ‘reading was criticised for confusing people, for disorienting society, for creating a variety of medical problems, such as making you lose your memory, as Socrates famously argued.  What’s very interesting is that these early critics of writing, almost semi-consciously, picked up on the fact that reading provides people with a gateway to a different moral world, where alternatives can be countenanced.  And therefore reading always poses a threat to the prevailing order.’
..
(These worries not only continued, but they also intensified, as modern techniques of mediation offered more and more people chances to read).  As Furedi explains, it’s not difficult to see a parallel between anxiety over Werther Fever(about Goethe’s novel) and contemporary anxiety over violent computer games.  ‘The media-effects theory always kicks in’, he tells me.  … These media reactions will recur in relation to newspapers, to the cinema, and to television.  I think what distinguishes the early modern and the 18th-century reactions to the media is that there wasn’t simply a concern about the moral disorder created by reading; there was also a fear that reading would encourage subversion, radical revolutionary ideas.  In this sense, the anxieties that were raised then are a little bit different and more intense than the issues raised today with television or the internet, where people are principally concerned with anti-social or immoral behaviour.’

(From ‘the Enlightenment’ to the mid twentieth century, these fears of ‘reading-as-subversion’ seemed all too likely.  A shift has taken place, however).  What’s striking about the contemporary situation is the extent to which that humanist ‘love of reading’ has receded.  Few today defend reading on the grounds that it allows for the development of subjectivity, that it is essential to the cultivation of selfhood.  As Furedi sees it, reading lacks a strong cultural affirmation.  ‘This is a tragic development’, he says.  ‘As the authority of the book, of reading, is contested and called into question, increasingly what is being taught in schools is literacy skills.  This is different to teaching reading, which involves learning how to read between the lines, to find meaning and to interpret.’

(Despite such conundrums), Furedi remains upbeat.  ‘Contrary to the criticisms of the internet, I’m not particularly worried about the decline of the book or of literature.  My only concern is that a lot of people have switched off to the challenge of giving a meaning to their experience of writing and reading.  But that is an important task: to cultivate a love of reading among a younger generation.  That’s why I wrote this book – we need to develop a 21st-century language through which the love of reading can be expressed.’”—Spiked

             TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                 AWARENESS VIDEO               

SIX SANDERS INTERVIEWS WITH KILLER MIKE: A REAL WHITE MAN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLkRT6sInhvHVb96gl-uxn2LxBqEL4Iv9A&v=LCnrQZbqIQU   A chance to see how, as the rapper Killer Mike states the case, “You aredifferent,” in regard to Bernie Sanders’ actual grassroots authenticity, insistence on inclusion of those that every other politician excludes, in aggregate a bit more than half an hour of conversation that will convince anyone other than fascists and fetishists that at least one political campaign in the next eleven months is worth following, possibly endorsing.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

Jentel Artist Residency Program

Banner, Wyoming
Event Date: May 15, 2016
Application Deadline: January 15, 2016

The Jentel Foundation offers four-week residencies from mid-May to mid-December to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on a cattle ranch in the Lower Piney Creek Valley, 20 miles east of Sheridan, Wyoming. Each residency includes a private room, a separate work space, access to a common living area, and a $400 stipend. Writers who are U.S. citizens living anywhere in the world or non-U.S. citizens living in the United States, at least 25 years old, and not matriculated students are eligible. For residencies from May 15 to December 13, using the online submission system submit 10 pages of poetry or up to 20 pages of prose and contact information for three references with a $23 application fee by January 15. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Website: http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com
E-mail address: beforecolumbusfoundation@gmail.com
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year that make contributions to American multicultural literature. Submit two copies of a book or galley published in 2015 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines.

 Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Two prizes of $65,000 Canadian (approximately $48,750) each are given annually for poetry collections by a Canadian poet or translator and by an international poet or translator. Alice Oswald, Tracy K. Smith, and Adam Sol will judge. Publishers may submit four copies of a book of at least 48 pages published in 2015 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines
The Chicago Park District is calling for short and feature-length films with a significant link to Chicago for their Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase. Selected works will be featured in the 2016 Movies in the Parks summer season and will each receive an honorarium of up to $500.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Us Weekly
Industry Magazine Publishing
Benefits Dental, Health
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location New York, NY
Job Requirements UsMagazine.com seeks an energetic, creative News Writer to join its growing editorial team.  Candidate should have at least 2-3 years of experience writing for a high-volume news site, excellent, fast writing ability, a web-friendly news metabolism and a passion for the Us Weekly brand.

Crain Communications
Industry B2B Publishing, Editorial, Magazine Publishing
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Tampa, FL
Job Requirements Crain’s is looking for talented, motivated editors who know their communities and business beats. Candidates should be media-savvy, voracious consumers of media and can work early morning hours in a fast-paced, continually evolving environment. This position will be based out of Tampa.
CREATIVE SPECIALIST/EDITOR

Industry Internet/Online/New Media, Magazine Publishing, Marketing
Salary Hourly
Benefits Bonuses, Flexible Hours, Telecommute Policy
Job Duration Part Time
Job Location Arlington, TX
Job Requirements madison/miles media (www.madisonmilesmedia.com), a content marketing and inbound marketing agency in Arlington, Texas, is looking for a part-time Creative Specialist/Editor — part journalist, part marketer, and completely comfortable in both digital and print. (Flexible hours; some offsite/remote work is acceptable.)

 

ORGLINK

 

Fighting Extreme Militarism

A Truth Out posting that demonstrates alarming developments in Japan, and highlights some of the organizations bent on challenging it: “Given their experiences of World War Two, Okinawans are painfully aware of the dangers posed by PM Abe’s resurgent militarism. More than a quarter of the island’s population died in the spring of 1945 – sacrificed by Tokyo to delay a US invasion of the mainland. Between 1945 and 1972, the island was a US military colony and the storehouse of perhaps the planet’s largest concentration of weapons of mass destruction – approximately 1200 nuclear warheads, thousands of tons of nerve gas and Agent Orange.”

Two Okinawan women demonstrate against the construction of a new US Marine Corps base in Henoko district. (Photo: Jon Mitchell)

Campaigning in the Heartland

A Nation piece that discusses the ins & outs of campaigning in depressed, manufacturing areas that have been politically disempowered for many years: “ This was never going to be a fair fight. When Sanders tells audiences “We have got to transform the Democratic party,” they cheer. But do they understand what he means? To win—not just Iowa, but the nomination—Sanders will have to do more than draw big crowds and raise tens of millions of dollars (though he’ll have to do that, too). His supporters will have to do more than light up Twitter and Facebook and put up cool websites.

They’ll have to fight state parties packed with office holders who—no matter how decent their politics—owe their places to the current system. They’ll have to train organizers, and mobilize voters, and overwhelm the party machinery—starting here in Iowa.

How much chance is there of that?”

russia church religion orthodox st petersburgThe Russian Soul

An interesting Counter Currents piece by a writer who contextualizes Russia’s place in the world in a fascinating way: “Fate selected Russia to struggle for the entire world. If you don’t believe in “fate”, you will never understand the “Russian soul”. It is not about religion – Russia is mainly anarchic and “atheist”. But it believes in and accepts fate.

Moreover, most of the time Russia has really no choice. It has been faced either with the victory or the end of humanity. And when the world and its survival have been threatened, Russia has always stood up: outraged, frightening but also extremely beautiful in its wrath and determination. It has fought with each pore, each speck of its land, and each heart of its people. It has almost always won, but at a horrific price, burying millions of its sons and daughters, stricken afterwards by indescribable sorrow and pain.”

Sustainable Food Practices

An EcoWatch posting that discusses the great practices of a wonderful sustainable technology available in South America: “A walipini, meaning “place of warmth” from the Amaraya Indian language, is an underground greenhouse with a transparent (usually plastic) covering that stays warm by passively soaking up the sun’s heat and absorbing the earth’s thermal energy.

This underground greenhouse collects the sun’s rays and earth’s heat to grow food Photo credit: schweibenalp.ch

Fruits and vegetables can be grown year-round, making it ideal for communities in colder locations that can’t usually grow their own fresh and local produce during certain parts of the year.”

This underground greenhouse collects the sun’s rays and earth’s heat to grow food Photo credit: schweibenalp.ch

Labor Candidate in Peril

A Spiked posting that discusses some of the larger issues sabotaging a true labor leader’s chances to actually do good: “here’s a dark, twisted irony to the anti-Corbyn lobby’s claim that Jeremy Corbyn is destroying the Labour Party. Which is that these bitter Blairites, Labour moderates, right-leaning commentators and others who come out in hives at the mere sight of Corbyn’s countenance are a far greater threat to the health and future of Labour than Corbyn could ever be. In fact, it has become clear in recent weeks that Corbyn’s loathers aren’t only polluting Labour with their infighting, backstabbing and incessant bitching about Corbyn; they threaten to undermine the exercise of open, free politics in Britain more broadly.”

WRISS

 

 

In Depth Reporting

A Columbia Journalism Review posting that looks at the magnificent work of a very hard-hitting and effective newsteam in the Midwest: “Gannett’s I-team in Wisconsin was founded in January 2012, inspired by a successful push into enterprise reporting at the state’s largest paper, the then-locally-owned Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Working from separate newsrooms—Madison, Sheboygan, Appleton, and, until recently, Wausau—its members make up the only statewide investigative unit in the company’s portfolio. They provide deep-dive journalism, searchable databases, and shorter watchdog pieces to 10 Gannett publications in the state, mostly smaller papers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to pursue that sort of coverage.”

typewriter writer writeLiterature Post Nature

A Flavor Wire article that outlines some of the most interesting literary offerings of the past year: “It’s a worthwhile, even imposing question. What do you write about when you no longer put stock in the idea — the narrative — that nature exists objectively and independently of our stories about it? It’s so overwhelming a question, in fact, that it will take Knausgaard many decades and no shortage of living to answer it — by struggling to compose his self over five volumes. When nature no longer exists beyond our construction of it, in other words, when it no longer has the weight and force of a thing that governs who and what we may become, the writer can find solace in doing that work himself. But the questions remains: what comes after the self?”
GENMEDIP

WAR plane russiaSneakily Advocating for War

A World Socialist Web Site posting that views the false ‘position’ that films that glorify war and warriors are actually not in favor or against, and that show the actual reality: “Despite his reticence, Gross’s positions are of course revealed in the film. In any event, everyone should know by now that those who claim not to be taking a position on the Iraq or Afghanistan war but merely “supporting our troops” are, in fact, always endorsing the entire enterprise. This is the case with Gross and his Hyena Road.”

RECEV

Magnate Buys Media

A Salon article that documents the media outfit that will now be compromised through being owned by some Vegas clown with too much money on his hands: “Now, thanks to mounting public pressure and some dogged reporting by the Review-Journal, we know that the family of casino magnate and multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson has purchased the title for $140 million. The deal was hammered out by Adelson’s son-in-law, who, with Adelson’s money, created the company which bought the Review-Journal. With that secret detail now out in the open, it’s time for the world to pray for the people who work for the Review-Journal. They have just been plunged into a situation no journalist would ever wish for.”

GENISSAmerican Anger

A New York Times opinion piece that contextualizes the angry xenophobic rhetoric that informs a lot of American politics: “From that earlier set of founding fathers — the men who settled 17th century Massachusetts — came the first dark words about dark powers. No matter that they sailed to these shores in search of religious freedom. Once established, they pulled up the gangplank behind them. The city on a hill was an exclusively Puritan sanctuary. The sense of exceptionalism — “we are surely the Lord’s firstborn in this wilderness,” the Massachusetts minister William Stoughton observed in an influential 1668 address — bound itself up from the start with prejudice. If you are the pure, someone else needs to be impure.”

 

12.17.2015 Daily Links

                    Quote of the Day                   

You may well ask why I write. And yet my reasons are quite many.  For it is not unusual in human beings who have witnessed the sack of a city or the falling to pieces of a people to set down what they have witnessed for the benefit of unknown heirs or of generations infinitely remote; or, if you please, just to get the sight out of their heads.

It is a queer and fantastic world.  Why can’t people have what they want?  The things were all there to content everybody; yet everybody has got the wrong thing.  Perhaps you can make head or tail of it; it is beyond me.
Desk - Bright Meadow Flickr
Desk – Bright Meadow Flickr
Is there any terrestrial paradise where, amidst the whispering of the olive-leaves, people can be with whom they like and have what they like and take their ease in shadows and in coolness?  Or are all men’s lives like the lives of us good people — like the lives of (almost everyone we know) — broken, tumultuous, agonized, and unromantic lives, periods punctuated by screams, by imbecilities, by deaths, by agonies?  Who the devil knows?

Mind, I am not preaching anything contrary to accepted morality.  I am not advocating free love in this or any other case.  Society must go on, I suppose, and society can only exist if the normal, if the virtuous, and the slightly deceitful flourish, and if the passionate, the headstrong, and the too-truthful are condemned to suicide and to madness.

Yes, society must go on; it must breed, like rabbits.  That is what we are here for.  But then, I don’t like society — much.”   Ford Madox Ford: primarily from The Good Soldier
              A Thought for the Day               

 

The paradox of human existence, at once bitter and sweet, might in sum come down to this: to make tomorrow anything other than a sentence of gruesome execution for the species, in other words to create a possible human future, we must manifest such seemingly impossible eventualities as solidarity among all workers, mutual respect among all cultures and backgrounds, and the processes of learning and consciousness that make such union and mutuality achievable.

               This Day in History                 
Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) - Ancient Rome
Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) – Ancient Rome

Today, for those who follow such things, is the beginning of Saturnalia, a Roman holiday in many ways paralleling Christmas ‘cheer;’ via a home base near Crimea, one thousand four hundred sixty-nine years ago, peoples whom we now refer to as Ostrogoths rifled Rome after they bribed elements of the Byzantine soldiers whose task was the city’s protection; the legendary Persian poet and philosopher Rumi died more or less seven hundred forty-two years before this instant;Tamerlane’s legions a century and a quarter henceforth, in 1398, defeated Delhi’s sultan’s armies and paved the path for conquering the Subcontinent; one hundred forty years later, more or less precisely, in 1538, the third Catholic Pope Paul excommunicated England’s Henry VIII and established the basis for a Church of England; France two hundred thirty-eight years before the here-and-now formally recognized the United States of America; three decades subsequently to the day, in 1807, France under Napoleon’s rule issued sanctions

"David - Napoleon crossing the Alps
“David – Napoleon crossing the Alps

against the British, a so-called Continental Blockade, that ended up undermining imperial French power, and the male infant who would write poetry and anti-slavery tracts as John Greenleaf Whittier was born; a dozen years past that point, in 1819, Simon Bolivar first declared the independence of Gran Colombia in what is now Ciudad Bolivar in Venezuela; eleven years after that happened, in 1830, the great Bolivar’s life came to an end; Ulysses Grant issued an order thirty-two years subsequently to the day, in 1862, that expelled all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi on the theory that Jewish traders were profiteering off of black-market cotton, which, true or not, did not stop the decree’s rescission less than a month later; precisely eleven years later, in 1873, the British baby boy was born who would grow up as novelist and literary critic Ford Maddox Ford; Vogue magazine published its inaugural issue just short of two decades later, in 1892; a boy child came into the world eleven years thereafter on the dot, in 1903, who would write to great acclaim as Erskine Caldwell, and

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

in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright demonstrated the first successful heavier-than-air flying machine; a boy baby emerged from the womb eighty-six years back who would go on to editorialize and write articles and compose essays as William Safire; just three hundred and sixty-five days beyond that juncture, in 1930, another male child was born whose fate was textual impact as the publisher of Penthouse, Bob Guccione; Otto Hahn, who had just helped his born-Jewish assistant Lise Meitner escape from Germany, eight years subsequent to that moment, in 1938, led the experiment which he soon interpreted correctly as demonstrating nuclear fission via neutron capture, results of note among bomb theorists around the world; five years further along, in 1943, the United States overturned the statutory basis of Chinese Exclusion, meaning that Chinese Americans could again become citizens;four years yet nearer to now, in 1947, the Boeing Corporation’s first nuclear-weapons long range delivery bomber, the B-47, flew its maiden mission; four years afterward, in 1951, the Civil Rights Congress presented to the United Nations “We Charge Genocide,” a document that detailed innumerable racism bigotry instances of legal lynching of Blacks and other depredations of the United States Government in relation not only to African Americans but also in regard to other ethnic minorities and Communists as well; the U.S. successfully tested the world’s first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile a half dozen years onward in time, in 1957; Helsinki, Finland hosted the first round of the initial Strategic Arms Limitation Talks just a dozen years closer to the current context, in 1969, and the United States Air Force ended its study of UFO’s, Project Blue Book; another twelve years later, in 1981, a U.S. general became a hostage of Italian Red Guards who kept him captive for two months before his rescue without a single casualty by Italian special forces; eight years still more proximate to our present pass, in 1989, Brazil held its first democratic elections in over thirty years, and The Simpsons aired its inaugural episode; exactly a decade after that, in 1999, legendary historian of the South, C. Vann Woodward died; six years henceforth, in 2005, investigative journalist Jack Anderson drew his final breath, and protests in Hong Kong erupted in violence against the World Trade Organization; five years hence, in 2010, a Tunisian street vendor set himself ablaze to protest ill treatment by corrupt authorities, in so doing helping to bring about the so-called Arab Spring uprisings; four years afterward, just a year prior to the present, in 2014, a half century of blockade against stalwart Cuba, by the most powerful nation in history, came to an end with a mutual exchange of ambassadors in Havana and Washington.

book hor2

SEARCHDAYherbs OR "traditional medicine" versus pharmaceuticals OR "prescription drugs" history OR origins "political economy" analysis profit OR profiteering OR monopoly OR "monopolistic enterprise" = 29,400 Results.

book hor

                      Top of the Fold                     

PREDATORY PHARMACEUTICALS’ POLICE STATE PROTOCOLS IN CRIBS

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/11/us/psychiatric-drugs-are-being-prescribed-to-infants.html?emc=edit_ee_20151211&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=66212615
In the annals of the inculcation of noisome nonsense, a truly lovely item from the paper of record, noteworthy in the teeth of how crucial drug-company ads are to corporate media’s vaunted ‘bottom line,’ an article that presents at least a balanced account of the horrific practices–they makeBrave New World’s enforced depredations seem tame by comparison–of forcing toxic, even lethal, psychiatric ‘medicines’ on toddlers, even infants,with at best ill-defined and indefensible clinical guidelines, but a guaranteed boost to pharmaceutical profits, an assessment that fits perfectly both with the finally demonstrated–by both Newswise and The Washington Post and long suspected hypothesis that anti-depressants were ill-advised or worse in pregnancy, and with hundreds of thousands of logical and yet rarely-if-ever financed arguments against the ubiquity of addictive and poisonous ‘behavioral medicines’ in youths, as in the case especially of compounds–reported in Medium–to treat the fatuous diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, prescriptions which plenty of research–here documented by Pacific Standard–has long suggested don’t work that well anyway, which materials, as they focus attention on the self-righteous insanity of dosing children with noxious toxins for profit, in turn point to an entire corporate medical care model that rams anti-depressants and other drugs down our throats with deleterious consequences, as noted in a recent Op-Ed News investigation into one Selective-Serotonin-Reuptake-Inhibitor’s longstanding harms as well as in another Pacific Standard report about the link between opiate prescriptions and heroin addiction, an overarching contextualization that might go on and on, as in a recent Daily Kos item that reveals the wealthy privilege to drink while pot lands poor kids in jail or in a new briefing from The Conversation about the effectiveness of counseling instead of drugs among depressed youngsters in England, in sum an overall deconstruction of health and profiteering that we ignore at our most mortal peril: “(After a not-even-two-year-old child received an antipsychotic), (w)hen Andrew screamed in his sleep and seemed to interact with people and objects that were not there, his frightened mother researched Risperdal and discovered that the drug was not approved, and had never even been studied, in children anywhere near as young as Andrew.  ‘It was just ‘Take this, no big deal,’ like they were Tic Tacs. …
         (One firm was issuing well over a hundred thousand such scrips a year).  The company’s data does not indicate how many children received these prescriptions (many children receive several prescriptions a year), but previous studies suggest that the number is at least 10,000.

The data did not indicate the condition for which these prescriptions were written.  Doctors are generally free to prescribe any medication for any purpose they see fit, so some drugs can occasionally be used in unproven and debatable ways.  But the volume and rapid rise in psychotropics such as antipsychotics and antidepressants in children 2 and younger suggest a trend.

But Dr. (Margaret) Gleason…a child psychiatrist from Tulane, said that children with ages measured in months had brains whose neurological inner workings were developing too rapidly, and in still unknown ways, to risk using medications that can profoundly influence that growth.  She said the medications had never been subject to formal clinical trials in infants and toddlers largely because of those dangers.

The use of Risperdal for children has been hotly debated among child psychiatrists, with some experts — many financially backed by the pharmaceutical industry — citing positive effects among suffering young people, and others criticizing their use as shortsighted responses to complex problems. …Many experts say that the rise in the use of all psychotropics in children of all ages derives from the scarcity of child psychiatrists — only 8,350 practice in the United States, many of them with long waiting lists and higher cost than a family’s established pediatrician.  Those pediatricians receive little training in child psychiatry but are then asked to practice it.”—The New York Times
 
“Using antidepressants during pregnancy greatly increases the risk of autism, Professor Anick Bérard of the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital revealed today.  Prof. Bérard, an internationally renowned expert in the fields of pharmaceutical safety during pregnancy, came to her conclusions after reviewing data covering 145,456 pregnancies.

The findings are hugely important as six to ten percent of pregnant women are currently being treated for depression with antidepressants.   In the current study, 1,054 children were diagnosed with autism (0.72% of the children in the study), on average at 4.5 years of age.  Moreover, the prevalence of autism amongst children has increased from 4 in 10,000 children in 1966 to 100 in 10,000 today.  While that increase can be attributed to both better detection and widening criteria for diagnosis, researchers believe that environmental factors are also playing a part.
‘It is biologically plausible that anti-depressants are causing autism if used at the time of brain development in the womb, as serotonin is involved in numerous pre- and postnatal developmental processes, including cell division, the migration of neuros, cell differentiation and synaptogenesis – the creation of links between brain cells,’ Prof. Bérard explained.  ‘Some classes of anti-depressants work by inhibiting serotonin (SSRIs and some other antidepressant classes), which will have a negative impact on the ability of the brain to fully develop and adapt in-utero'”Newswise
 Addictiondependence1
         “(A)ddiction is not concerned with memories or bonds.  Addiction cannot look at photographs and gaze into a loved one’s eyes.  It is black tar that covers all good things and suffocates, burns, bubbles and congeals until whatever is vital gasps fruitlessly for just-out-of-reach breath.  When John started using meth, the ghastly darkness overwhelmed our makeshift family.  And then it killed it. …
(I)n the kind of exploitative work environment where the idea of ‘work-life balance’ was a literal joke among colleagues. …John petitioned our doctor for an Adderall prescription.  I say ‘our’ because at least half-a-dozen of our friends go to her.  Her Rx pad is as liberal as a Unitarian church in Vermont, and we knew that whether we wanted Xanax, Ambien or Valium she’d offer a helping hand.  She’s not a monster, mind you, she’s just naive and doesn’t understand that she’s basically pedaling fancy street drugs in her heels and pearls.

She’s also not alone.  More than 18 million people are getting Adderall prescriptions — and not for ADHD as the drug was intended, but as a weight loss technique, study aid and all manner of uses.  It’s gotten so common that pharmacies can’t even keep up with the demand.  This is startling considering the mounting evidence that Adderall is basically meth.  As far as how it acts in a person’s brain and body, Adderall isn’t just basically meth … it is meth.

In the beginning, Adderall seemed to be a godsend to John as well.  He was always a little thick around the waist, and the drug tamped his appetite and got him back into fighting shape.  He seemed to be excelling at work despite the insane demands.  His temperament was a bit more gentle.  Then, at one of our family dinners, he told me that he couldn’t even feel the Adderall much anymore.  In fact, now he simply felt like shit without it, but it didn’t give him the productivity and high it once did.  Just like meth, the rewards diminish while the need intensifies.”Medium
"Adderallrx" by FtWashGuy
“Adderallrx” by FtWashGuy
         “(Big-time ‘miracle drugs’ often turn out to have evil, even horrifying or deadly, side effects).  Big Pharma always insists it only knows about such safety risks after a wide swath of the population uses the drugs and ‘safety signals’ emerge.  But the story of the antidepressant Paxil shows otherwise.

Paxil (paroxetine) was a top selling SSRI antidepressant drug for GSK–during the ‘happy pill’ craze that also included pills like Prozac and Zoloft.  But soon after its approval, there were, (on the one hand), questions about the research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry known as ‘study 329’ and, (on the other hand), charges that the drug’s true suicide risks in young adults had been buried.

(Amid indications of fraud and proof of widespread conflict of interest), (t)en years later, questions from reporters, psychiatrists, researchers and professors had not died down.  In 2014, two members of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Edmund Levin and George Stewart, asked the editor of the Academy’s journal why the discredited paper has not been retracted.  This year the British Medical Journal (BMJ) took the step of publishing a reanalysis of Paxil that amounted to a reversal of the controversial 2001 study.  It showed that Paxil indeed increases risks of suicide in young people and adolescents.

The researchers who reviewed Paxil’s safety in the British Medical Journal should be commended for their perseverance. But how many other drugs the public is taking are not as safe as they seem?”OpEd News

             TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                           AWARENESS VIDEO               

BUTCHERY, RAPE, TORTURE: PAID, TRAINED, DIRECTED BY THE U.S.A.
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34021-the-us-school-that-trains-dictators-and-death-squads A brilliantly written and produced documentary work about U.S. extermination of civilians–women and children and elderly–throughout Latin America, especially in Central America, relentlessly honest in its portrayals of United States rulers’ backing for literally hundreds of thousands or even millions of vicious murders of doctors, nuns, teachers, community organizers, small farmers, anyone who stood up for reform or ending poverty or who could merit a label of ‘communist’ because of the ferocious, insane commitment of property to maintain profits and power no matter what, without a single move in opposition, all under the rubric of ‘teaching’ military officers counterinsurgency at Fort Benning’s Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation, what for decades operated as the School of the Americans, which, under its nickname, suggests what it really is: a School of Assassins.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

Hambidge Creative Residency Program

Type: Residency
Location: Rabun Gap, Georgia
Application Deadline:
January 15, 2016

Hambidge offers residencies of two weeks to two months to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on 600 wooded acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia. The residency includes a private cottage with a bedroom, studio space, kitchen, and bathroom. The cost of the residency is $200 per week, which includes some meals. Scholarships are available. For residencies from May through August, using the online application system submit five to eight poems or up to 30 pages of prose, a 300-word biography, a one-page project description, and a résumé with a $30 application fee by January 15. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Cosmopolitan Magazine wants essays about a “a memorable, crazy, hilarious, or touching college experience.” They pay $100 per essay, to be published on their website. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

 AARP: The Magazine accepts submission from freelance writers on a variety of topics, including personal essays. They want “thoughtful, timely, new takes on matters of importance to people over 50.” According to our sources, they pay up to $1 a word. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

The Modern Quilt Guild is looking for experienced instructors to teach techniques to modern quilters at Quiltcon 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. They’re accepting both workshop and lecture proposals and will cover travel expenses. Also writing on quilting sought.

Web News Writer
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Location: Washington, D.C.
Communications, Editorial

The Chronicle of Higher Education is looking for a smart, digitally savvy web news writer to join our award-winning newsroom. The Chronicle is the premier source for news and information about higher education, and you’ll be part of our daily news team. Your core duties all relate to the daily flow of news and information. You’ll provide engaged, in-the-moment, and intelligent coverage of developing news on chronicle.com and through our social-media channels. You’ll devise and execute strategies to help our content reach readers through Facebook, Twitter, and other communities. And you’ll flag news for our daily-news editors and reporters, act as a point person for our Ticker blog and some email newsletters, and work to ensure that The Chronicle “owns” important stories in the first news cycle.

 

ORGLINK

 

 

Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.
Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.

Conflicts in University Over Freedoms and Politics

A Portside posting that contextualizes the difficulties that university organizations have with political needs versus actual free speech: “Universities giant and small, public and private, bring African-American men to campus at grotesque levels to earn the school millions in football and basketball revenues. Stories about academic freedom and free speech have been appearing in newspapers more frequently over the last few weeks. And curiously enough political actors on and off campus who traditionally have been least likely to be concerned about these subjects are becoming its major advocates. ”

WRISSRandom Word Generator

A fun online tool to spark creativity, and other writerly needs: “This is an online brainstorming tool I made that generates random words.

It should help spark your creative imagination if you’re looking to think up a domain name, a band name, a project name or whatever.

Right now it generates 6 random words by default but you can change that to generate anywhere from two to ten words.”

GENMEDIP

money_flying-transparentPaywalls and Compromised Education

An Atlantic posting that discusses the unintended consequences of academic research being behind paywalls: “But lately, some have questioned whether academics should entrust their research to this for-profit website. And while there is a growing commitment to open-access research, there’s little consensus about the best way to achieve that goal. Traditionally, most of the research produced at American universities hasn’t been accessible to the general public. To read a scholarly paper on leukemia or political theory or Jane Austen, you needed a university ID card or you had to pay roughly $10 to $30, even if that paper was directly or indirectly funded with taxpayers dollars. Those paywalls essentially siloed research in the Ivory Tower.”

RECEV

Endorsement of Candidate

A Common Dreams article that discusses the recent endorsement that marks a need and desire for true political change: “The Communications Workers of America (CWA) on Thursday endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president in the 2016 election, citing the need for a candidate who will “break with politics-as-usual and fight for America’s working people.”

The endorsement comes after a three-month voting period, with tens of thousands of the union’s 700,000 members casting ballots. Its former president, Larry Cohen, is an adviser to Sanders’ campaign. It also comes hours after his chief rival for the nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, picked up the endorsement of billionaire Warren Buffett.”

GENISS

Damian/cc/flickr
Damian/cc/flickr

Broken Systems and Damaged Institutions

A Common Dreams article that discusses the woeful future that will befall humanity if our broken institutions remain broken: “It’s time for the media, which usually goes along with the “bad apple” explanation, to expand its consciousness. Lucifer haunts the corridors of power. Ordinary, decent people can turn into monsters — rapists, murderers — when given unlimited power over others. It happens with eerie frequency, especially when, in the era of the cellphone video, such crimes are not so easily covered up.”