2.29.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          


http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/02/teen_holding_broomstick_is_shot_by_police_in_salt_lake_city_sparking_riots.html – Another ‘chronicle of a death foretold,’ a young black man with the temerity to cause a disturbance and fight with someone, who as a result of this ‘heinous crime’ of being youthful and angry and high-spirited faced a firing squad of police officers whose sworn duty is to ‘serve and protect’ even such immigrant youth as he was, but instead shot the young man, unarmed and posing no threat, down in the street, causing what could easily turn out to be mortal injury after three days in critical condition, a savaging that Salt Lake City residents have responded to with protest and some violence, with the threat of more unrest should the young man succumb to his wounds.

                    This Day in History                  

world time watch clockToday of course is leap day, a reflection of an improved capacity to calculate on which much of modern life depends, and, apropos to the relatively unusual occurrence of this date, February 29th is also Rare Disease Day, while infants born today receive the designation, “leaplings,” as one or another variation of the folk tradition of ‘Bachelor’s Day’ also takes at this time, an erstwhile opportunity for a woman to reverse roles and propose marriage to a man; on his final sojourn to the ‘New World,’ Christopher Columbus predicted an eclipse that his knowledge of navigation by the stars permitted him to know would occur, the result of which was a capacity to extort needed supplies from Native Americans with whom he was in contact; precisely two centuries later, in the North American version of Queen Anne’s War in 1704, Deerfield Massachusetts suffered a devastating raid at the hands of French marauders and their Native American allies, who not only killed scores of people but also took over 100 captives; ninety-two years subsequent to that juncture, in 1796, the Jay Treaty took effect and initiated ten years of relatively peaceful trading relations between England and her former colonies; another thirty-two years further along, in 1828, a baby girl was born into the world who would live nine decades as the diarist, Mormon activist, women’s right advocate, journalist, and teacher, Emmeline B. Wells; eight decades thereafter, in 1908,

"Film strip" by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0
“Film strip” by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0

another leap year, another girl child entered our midst who would become the popular historian and thinker, Dee Brown; eight years henceforth, in 1916, South Carolina took the step that the Supreme Court kept disapproving, to require that children younger than fourteen years could not work in factories; twenty-four additional years past that instant in time and space, in 1940, Hattie McDaniel won the first Academy Award given to a Black performer for her role as the maidservant, Mammy, in Gone With the Wind, and up the coast in San Francisco, Lawrence Livermore won a wartime Nobel Prize in physics for his work with particle accelerators; two decades subsequently, in 1960, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the masterful promulgator of tough-love self-help, Tony Robbins; twenty-eight years hence, in 1988, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was one of over 100 clergymen who gladly faced arrest in order to protest the moral and social depredations of Apartheid in their native South Africa; four years afterward, in 1992, La Lupe, the dynamic and beloved and wild songwriter and performer, originally from Cuba, danced her final number; a dozen years further along time’s road, in 2004, Jean Bertrand Aristide confronted a coup, accepted by the United States, that removed him from democratic power in Haiti; fourteen hundred sixty-one days more proximate to the present pass, in 2008, the author of the book, Misha: a Memoire of the Holocaust Years, acknowledged that she had made up the story, which included representations that, upon escaping the Nazis, she had survived by living with a pack of wolves.

                A Thought for the Day                

world space planet The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17The existence of this day represents in several ways a critical aspect of understanding ourselves and the cosmos, at a juncture in which, without such insight, we might very well—unintentionally or on purpose matters little—immolate both ourselves and much of the rest of life on Earth: the first way in which a February 29th is crucial is that it proves that we can improve ourselves, in aggregate immeasurably over past practices; the second fashion in which this particular date is centrally important is that—as did innumerable powerful rulers, who sentenced to death numerous cosmologists who were correct about time and space—in clinging to old ideas and approaches, we can preclude advances on which our survival might depend, not only individually but also collectively, as a group of cousins who have had the good luck and grit and wit to finesse self destruction or ‘natural selection’ up to this juncture; the final case for riotous celebration of this rare twenty-four hour period concerns the desire that so many people have for things to be one way, and never to acknowledge the likelihood, not to mention the necessitythat things will almost always include possibilities outside the standard methodologies, such as for example the notion that “a year has 365 days in it, by God—I know that much for certain!”

                  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. …(even though) (t)o the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature – the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy grades, the water, the soil, the air itself. …The white people were as thick and numerous and aimless as grasshoppers, moving always in a hurry but never seeming to get to whatever place it was they were going to.

(Nevertheless, the European dominance expanded).  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.

I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun.  I was born where there are no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath.  I want to die there and not within walls.  I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas.  I have hunted and lived over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and, like them, I lived happily.
           (To live like that, happily, is possible).  Treat all men alike…. give them all the same law.  Give them all an even chance to live and grow.  You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.  We only ask an even chance to live as other men live.  We ask to be recognized as men.   Let me be a free man…free to travel… free to stop…free to work…free to choose my own teachers…free to follow the religion of my Fathers…free to think and talk and act for myself.”  Dee Brown:Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

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SEARCHDAYawareness OR consciousness element OR component OR cause crucial OR "extremely important" OR "sine qua non" OR central "questioning assumptions" OR skepticism OR doubt OR "in depth" OR "critical thinking" development OR inculcation OR instruction paradox OR contradiction dangerous OR unpopular OR seditious OR rebellious OR treasonous history OR origins analysis "political economy" OR sop radical OR marxist

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http://www.salon.com/2016/02/29/cornel_west_lashes_out_at_civil_rights_icons_after_bernie_sanders_suffers_resounding_south_carolina_defeat/ – An essay about a rant from Cornel West against the essentially establishment leadership of Black voters by so-called civil rights ‘icons,’ who have in no small measure sold out to a politics as usual ‘you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton, who demonstrably has not only not delivered ‘the goods’ to Black members of the working class, but also has actively debauched and debilitated such populations in regard to criminal justice, drug policies, approaches to welfare and labor and minimum wages and more, all of which does not necessarily escape the accusation of sour grapes but which nonetheless offers a solidly reasoned and empirically indisputable critique of ReDemoPubliCratiCan protocols, an assessment that a six part series of video briefings  from DailyMotion, in which Atlanta’s rapper, Killer Mike, lays out the powerful and likely irresistible case for Black voters not to support Hillary and to support Bernie Sanders as the closest thing in politics, ever, to a follower of the radical, as opposed to the milquetoast, Martin Luther King, both of which examinations cast into an interesting light a recent Counterpunch report about the candidacy of Jill Stein of the Green Party: “Cornel West told Vice News last week that he feared many of Clinton’s most prominent African-American supporters had lost their way.  The vocal Sanders supporter singled out Congressmen John Lewis and Jim Clyburn repeatedly.  ‘There’s no doubt that the great John Lewis of 50 years ago is different than the John Lewis today,’ West asserted.  ‘He’s my brother.  I love him, I respect his personhood, but there’s no doubt he’s gone from a high moment of Martin Luther King-like struggle to now [a] neoliberal politician in a system that is characterized more and more by legalized bribery and normalized corruption.  That’s what big money does to politics.  And the Clinton machine is an example of that.’

In the lead up to the Saturday’s vote, the Sanders campaign had amassed an impressive roster of black surrogates and supporters that included West, Spike Lee, former Ohio state senator Nina Turner and the daughter of Eric Garner, Erica.  Additionally, other prominent thinkers of the so-called Black Left like Michelle Alexander and Ta-Nehisi Coates have spoken favorably of Sanders recently.  Still, the arguments of such intellectuals could not outmatch the organization and apparent good will Clinton built in the state, awarding her with a stunning 86 percent of the black vote in South Carolina — outdoing even Obama’s showing in 2008.”—Salon

Bernie Sanders, Cornel West (Credit: AP/John Locher/Richard Drew)
           “Well, it appears that the curtain is about to drop on Act 1 of that quadrennial tragic-comedy, the United States elections.  The pundits tell us that billionaire buffoon Donald Trump will be the Republican (Tweedle Dum) standard-bearer, leading the masses to nothing good with his hatred and bigotry.  On the Democratic (Tweedle Dee) side, those same self-proclaimed experts tell us that, with her razor thin victories in Iowa and Nevada, the nomination of former First Lady and long-term Israeli puppet Hillary Clinton is all but assured.  Her victory in November would mean more war and untold suffering abroad, and more poverty and oppression at home.  This upcoming election doesn’t bode well for the republic.

The news media, of course, depending on its particular view, will fawn all over these reprobates, listening to every word that drops from their lips, as if they were statesmen, worthy of respect, and not opportunists selling out to the highest bidder, and basking in the adulation of people who hate anyone who is ‘different.’  In their efforts to install any of these in the White House, they ignore at least one candidate without a track record of lies, distortion and corruption.   That candidate is Jill Stein.
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           Why is it, this writer wonders, that a candidate who makes so much sense can be ignored.  Ah, he can answer his own question: Money.  Dr. Stein does not accept money from the various political action committees (PAC), so as not to be beholden to anyone but the people.  Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, never met a PAC she didn’t love, as long as its budget exceeded six figures, and there was someone at its head willing to write her name on its checks.  And unlike Mr. Trump, Dr. Stein does not have a huge personal fortune to pour into her own campaign, or the kind of name recognition that one gets from having one’s own reality television show.  Yes, it has come to this: a reality TV show star may become the next president of the United States.

(Stein’s platform nonetheless makes brilliant points and necessary, evidence-based sense).  But is it possible?  Is there any way that a corrupt nation, with grinding poverty on one hand, extreme wealth concentrated on the few, on the other, and a rapidly-shrinking middle class, can, indeed, ever put people over profit?  Is this not too difficult a task, one for which the door of opportunity has long since slammed shut?  One is referred to Dr. Stein’s website to see that it is, in fact, possible.

(All that need transpire is the miracle of majority rule).  In a true democracy, candidates would be provided equal exposure by the press.  Some minimum standard would have to be reached, perhaps a certain number of signatures on a petition.  Certainly, fringe candidates with little following (one is reminded of Vermin Supreme, a performance artist registered as a Democratic candidate in New Hampshire, who promises a free pony to every U.S. citizen, should he be elected president) would not long have that same exposure.  But today, the system is stacked against any but a Republican or Democratic candidate.  With all the major media outlets owned by just a few corporations, and the goal of news to be entertainment rather than information, and business always wanting to increase its profits, Dr. Stein’s candidacy will not be much welcomed by the corporate powers that be.”—Counterpunch

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/02/28/roger-waters-on-why-more-artists-dont-speak-out-against-israel-theyre-terrified/ – A sublimely brilliant juxtaposition from Veterans Today, now taken down but still available on archive (linked) of the distinct divergence between the response of artists and musicians to South Africa’s Apartheid regime, where en masse the substantial majority of popular performers simply refused to appear, and the situation in relation to Israel’s depredations in recent decades against Palestinians, in which an observer can easily count on two hands the prominent singers and acts that have aligned with a boycott of the Jewish State, a disparate response, according to the author, that is simple to explain, since the word is out in no uncertain terms that ‘stars’ who take such a stance today will face a blacklisting which will eliminate their fortunes if not their talents, much of their chance to reach audiences if not the essence of their capacity to perform.


student writing arm


Application Deadlin ts and fiction writers at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, located on the Mediterranean Sea approximately 20 miles from Marseille. Residents are provided with a private apartment and kitchen, and have access to the Camargo campus, including a reference library, gardens, and a theater. Submit three works or excerpts of poetry or fiction of up to three pages each, or one work or excerpt of up to 10 pages; a curriculum vitae; a letter of intent; contact information for two professional references; and a $40 application fee by February 29. E-mail or visit the website for more information.


We are seeking ROMANCE fiction in the following sub-genres: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Historical, LGBTQ+, Multi-cultural, New Adult, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense/Thrillers, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult.

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Malaria No More have launched a new program called “Covering Malaria Elimination in Africa: A Fellowship for U.S. Journalists.” … The reporting fellowship will take place May 8-13, 2016, though participants should set aside additional time for travel to and from Tanzania. During the tour, participants will visit clinics and treatment centers, meet locals who are most affected, attend briefings with health officials and disease experts, hear from organizations that are working to control or eliminate the disease, and talk with local journalists covering the issue.

Bartleby Snopes

Size limit: 1200 words

Send us something we haven’t seen before. Make it 1000 words or less. Make us wish we wrote it first.

Note: An editor will provide a few sentences of feedback for each submission to this category.


pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Every article published on SitePoint should be relevant to the needs of modern web developers, interesting to our target audience, educational for a large percentage of our audience, and technically accurate. Article length should be agreed upon with your editor prior to writing. In general, articles should be no shorter than 800 to 1,200 words; more importantly, an article should cover a single topic in enough depth to be interesting. Pays up to $300.

Ends in 4 days, 11 hours

Detour, “the world’s coolest audio guides,” is coming to Chicago this May. We’re looking for producers with experience in radio, television, and film, to help us create immersive walks through Chicago that show what makes it special.


Working out of our Brooklyn office, the Gaming Editor will be responsible for steering Inverse’s coverage of video games and the people who play them. The successful candidate will have a deep and broad knowledge of the gaming space, an interest in new types of games, and a desire to consider developments in the gaming industry with social progress and technological innovation. The Gaming Editor will be responsible for steering news coverage and assigning enterprise stories aimed at a general audience interested in, but not necessarily obsessed with video games. The ability to connect gaming coverage to broader cultural coverage will be critical, as will the ability to manage writers and make the case for coverage priorities to other editors. The Gaming Editor will be expected to take on additional editorial and management responsibilities as the site expands.


Summit Discussing Economic Breakdown

A Global Research Centre article by an incisive commentator that looks at the fiasco which was the newest economic summit, with its SOP conclusions and lack of accountability: “Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s biggest economies met in Shanghai, China over the weekend to discuss many of the problems for which they alone are responsible. Leading the list of issues, was the steady deceleration in global growth which, to great extent, is the result of experimental monetary policies central banks implemented following the recession in 2009. Surprisingly, the group admitted that their “easing strategies” had failed to produce the durable recovery that they sought, but at the same time,  they made virtually no effort to correct their mistake by making the changes necessary to shore up flagging global output.”

annie oakley wild west gun womenDisrespect for Women’s Rights

A Pacific Standard piece by a thoughtful commentator who looks at the fact that feminism, or equality between genders, has never really received the seriousness or attention it merits, which leads to its breakdown as a consequence: “Feminism is always breaking down. Survey the literature, or read the news, and you’ll learn: It’s needy. It has unending demands. Feminism gets attention mostly when there’s a problem: a generation gap, a schism (and this is just this month). Feminism gets even more attention when feminism is the problem.”

Brilliant Take-Down of The Most Inappropriate Candidate

A work of art, as usual, from John Oliver, who not only manages to make fun of Trump but who also discusses very real and very scary facts about him (including his scary ancestral last name) that would make any aware person think twice about voting for him: ““We have mostly ignored Trump on this show,” Oliver prefaced. “But he has now won three states, has been endorsed by Chris Christie, and polls show him leading most Super Tuesday states, which is a big deal.” Oliver noted that “since 1988, every  candidate who’s won the most states on Super Tuesday went on to become their party’s nominee.”

“At this point, Donald Trump is America’s back mole,” Oliver explained. “It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s gotten frighteningly bigger, it is no longer wise to ignore it.””

Oscar Win with Dictator Memorial

A Tele Sur piece that looks at the brave work of some Chilean artists who were awarded an Oscar for their work on the dictatorship: ““Bear Story,” directed by Gabriel Osorio and produced by Pato Escala, is a sad yet profound 3-D animation that tells the story of a lonely bear who builds a mechanical diorama to try to uncover his past living with his family before being torn away from his wife and son to be caged up in a circus.”

Sun Red Giant - B Jacobs
Sun Red Giant – B Jacobs

Habitat Crush and Species Death

A Aeon posting that looks at the work of tireless researchers who analyze the incipient major extintion event soon coming to a planet near you, and look at what draconian steps are necessary to prevent all our deaths: “Unstanched haemorrhaging has only one end in all biological systems: death for an organism, extinction for a species. Researchers who study the trajectory of biodiversity loss are alarmed that, within the century, an exponentially rising extinction rate might easily wipe out most of the species still surviving at the present time.”

WRISSCommemorating an Iconic Writer

A Chronicle article that looks to commemorate the words and mind of a recently-departed gifted and iconic writer: “Because to produce a work comparable to that still-singular first novel — not to mention its six successors, Foucault’s Pendulum (1988), The Island of the Day Before (1994), Baudolino,(2000), The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (2004), The Prague Cemetery (2010), and Numero Zero (2015) — you needed to be Umberto. That is, impossibly learned. Indefatigably hardworking. Singularly modest and self-critical. Uniquely open to people and culture high, low, and middle. Quick to laugh and joke. Wise to the importance of entertaining readers — with puns, plot, playful Latin, lighthearted examples, exotic hypotheticals — while guiding them.”

Helene Bamberger, Cosmos, Redux

Iconic Writer Manages to Pigeonhole Trump Accurately

A Lit Hub look at the writings of Umberto Eco, and to the way he managed to identify the sort of political animal that Trump is, through his analysis and observation of Mussolini’s fascist state: “In order to make these things clear, I spent more time than anyone should at Trump’s website. What I found was a host of contradictions, endlessly empty rhetoric, and outright fear-mongering. There were times when, reading Trump’s press releases, I began to wonder if anyone on his staff was aware of the basic concept of subject/verb agreement. To be honest, it made me feel dirty, reading it, but in the spirit of intellectual inquiry, here goes.”


Ode to Talented Broadcaster

An LA Progressive piece that looks at the work of a talented TV show hostess and public intellectual: For the four years her show was on the air, an African American woman and a public intellectual led a conversation that elevated the public sphere by bringing in new voices to the conversation that most cable news viewers rarely get to hear.”


nuclear radioactiveDeadly Theft

A Tele Sur post that looks at the alarming development whereby tons of dangerous toxic radioactive materials ended up in the hands of thugs and ne’erdowells: “Mexico’s interior minister has issued an alert for five states after the theft of “potentially dangerous” radioactive materials.

The truck carrying radioactive iridium-192 was stolen on Sunday in the state of Queretaro, an industrial hub located about 200 km from Mexico City.”

GENISSCalling for More Inclusive Development

A City Lab piece that looks at the benefits we could all experience if measurements of prosperity measured actual prosperity at all levels: “U.S. cities and metro regions have long made jobs and financial competitiveness the center of their economic development strategies—usually by recruiting companies, building high-tech clusters, or attracting talent. Now a new report released Monday by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program calls for a paradigm shift in economic development thinking, away from competitiveness and growth, and toward a more inclusive prosperity.”

2.26.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

Thanks to Rolling Stone, the text of some of the motions in Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke, as tawdry and horrific a set of allegations as one can imagine, along with a transcript of the singer’s attorney’s arguments as he spars with the judge in the case, who clearly is skeptical of any inclination to support a Temporary Restraining Order, on grounds that, on the one hand, are hard to dispute as a business matter–basically, Sony doesn’t require that she work with Dr. Luke or have anything to do with him–and, on the other hand, emphasize the fact that Kesha’s current agreement with Dr. Luke took place after she successfully got out of her first partnership with him and, oy vey, signed a “heavily lawyered” second covenant to work with him.

                    This Day in History                  

planets space saturn cosmosTwo thousand seven hundred and sixty-three years ago, mas o menos, based on calculations by one of the first ‘Western’ stargazers, Ptolemy, ancients declared the initiation of the Nabonassar Era, an observation that remains historically and astronomically important; using the calculus that such cognition permits, one thousand nine hundred eighty years later, in 1233, Mongol fighters ended a months-long siege of the Jin-Dynasty capital, Kaifeng, with the city’s capture; just a year past four and a half centuries before the here and now, a baby boy entered the English world who would mature as the celebrated dramatist Christopher Marlowe; two years more than half a century onward from that, in 1616, the Catholic Church furthered its control of what people could think and know by banning Galileo Galilei from teaching or writing about the way that the cosmos worked, despite his being correct in his thinking on these matters; two centuries and six years after that, in 1770, for violinists’ to note, the baroque version of Paginini, Giuseppe Tartini, breathed his last; thirty-two years more toward today, in 1802, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the monumental and famed writer and thinker and storyteller, Victor Hugo; thirteen years hence, also in France in 1815, Napoleon absconded with himself

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

from his exile on Elba; one hundred seventy years back, a male child shouted out who would become the denizen of ‘Wild West shows,’ Buffalo Bill Cody; three decades subsequently, in 1876, Japan effectively annexed Korea with an extraterritoriality treaty that favored Japanese citizens, designated three ports as favoring Japanese entry, and stripped tributary rights away from China’s Qing Dynasty; nine years thereafter, in 1885, the Congress passed the Alien Contract Labor Law, which on paper made illegal any importation of workers who had contracted in advance with particular companies or industries, legislation that in some ways limited the ability of firms to import strikebreakers or other laborers whose sole purpose was to undermine the ability of wage-earners here to find decent employment; eight years further along the temporal arc, in 1893, on one side of the Atlantic a male infant was born who became, as I.A. Richards, the thinker and critic of literature whom many consider a founder of modern practice, while on the other side of the sea, a boy baby entered our midst who, under the adopted name Wallace Fard Muhammad, would proselytize residents of Detroit to adopt the Nation of Islam, a sect that he had himself created; sixteen years later still, in 1909, the general public at the Palace Theatre in London saw the first successful color motion picture process, called Kinemacolor; an additional eight years past that point in time, in 1917, the Original Dixieland Jass Band recorded the first jazz record with a production company in New York; seven hundred thirty days henceforth, in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act of the U.S. Congress establishing most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park; nine years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1928, a male baby gave his first cry en route to a life as the crooner and lyricist, Fats Domino; a brief three hundred sixty-six days onward from there, in 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed legislation to mountain Mormon_row_barn_grand_teton_national_parkcreate a two hundred square mile Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; three more years down the pike, in 1932, the baby boy blinked his eyes at a new world in which he would grow up as the wild country writer and rocker, Johnny Cash; three years more proximate to the present pass, in 1935, Adolf Hitler authorized the reformulation of a German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, in violation of the Versailles treaty, while across the English Channel, Robert Watson-Watt conducted experiments that established the viability of radar to detect aircraft at great distances in flight; half a dozen years past that precise day, in 1941, across the Atlantic in Pennsylvania, workers at Bethlehem Steel went on strike to insist on union recognition for its branch of the United Steelworkers of America; a quarter century afterward to the day, in 1966, a Republic of Korea Army outfit slaughtered over 350 unarmed Vietnamese civilians in the growing Southeast Asia conflict that the United States and its minions had taken over from the French; a thousand ninety-six days even closer to today, in 1969, acclaimed psychoanalyst and theorist of the psyche, Karl Jaspers, made a final exit; two more years along time’s road, in 1971, United Nations Secretary General U Thant declared the Vernal Equinox to be Earth Day; a year hence exactly, in 1972, a slag retaining wall burst in the Buffalo Creek Valley of West Virginia, killing a hundred twenty-five people in the onrushing flood; a decade and a half even nearer to now, in 1987, the Tower

CC BY-SA by joelogon
CC BY-SA by joelogon

Commission formally rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to manage his National Security staff properly, inasmuch as they had committed multiple felonies and hideous human rights violations in relation to the Nicaraguan Contra murderers whom they were financing with drug and arms sales profiteering; six years yet farther along, in 1993, a bomber detonated explosives at the World Trade Center that killed several people and injured hundreds more; two years thereafter, in 1995, an errant trader for the oldest British investment bank lost nearly a billion and a half dollars betting on futures contracts, scuttling the venerable Barings Bank and sending it into receivership; nine years more down the path, in 2004, over seventy thousand retail food workers in California settled a twenty week strike; a year nearer to today, in 2005, the creator of Apple’s Macintosh system, Jef Raskin, played out his final line of code; seven years yet later on, in 2012, a completely innocent seventeen year old, Trayvon Martin, died at the hands of a killer who literally got away with murder, thanks to Florida’s finely tuned fascist law that allowed one to “stand one’s ground.”

                A Thought for the Day                

Always and without exception, every thought, every sentence or longer passage, every concerted effort of people in tandem materializes in twin expressions of context, the words or other actions around the narrative or events in question, on the one hand, and the world that surrounds the ideas or activities under scrutiny, on the other hand, and as in a circumstantial web that permits only a very few possibilities at its center, this emanation of context is supreme in determining, inescapably and simultaneously, both what is possible in the human trek through time and space, and what, no matter our fond fantasies to the contrary, is necessary.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“There is but one way of refusing tomorrow; that is to die. …(Therefore), (l)et us lament as over stomachs, over minds which do not eat.  If there is anything more poignant than a body agonising for want of bread, it is a soul which is dying of hunger for light.
What you fellows call progress moves by two springs, men and events.  But sad to say, from time to time the exceptional is necessary.  For events as well as for men, the stock company is not enough; geniuses are needed among men, and revolutions among events.  Great accidents are the law; the order of things cannot get along without them; and, to see the apparitions of comets, one would be tempted to believe that Heaven itself is in need of star actors.  At the moment you least expect it, God placards a meteor on the wall of the firmament.  Some strange star comes along, underlined by an enormous tail.  And that makes Caesar die.  Brutus strikes him with a knife, and God with a comet
          There was assault after assault.  The horror continued to increase. …To form an idea of this struggle, imagine fire applied to a mass of terrible valour, and that you are witnessing the conflagration.  It was not a combat, it was the interior of a furnace; there mouths breathed flame; there faces were wonderful.  There the human form seemed impossible, the combatants flashed flames, and it was terrible to see going and coming in that lurid smoke these salamanders of the fray.  The successive and simultaneous scenes of this grand slaughter, we decline to paint.

          (When all that followed comes to light), ‘Cosette, do you hear?  that is the way with him!  he begs my pardon, and do you know what he has done for me, Cosette?  he has saved my life.  He has done more.  He has given you to me.  And, after having saved me, and after having given you to me, Cosette, what did he do with himself?  he sacrificed himself.  There is the man.  And, to me the ungrateful, to me the forgetful, to me the pitiless, to me the guilty, he says: Thanks! Cosette, my whole life passed at the feet of this man would be too little.  That barricade, that sewer, that furnace, that cloaca, he went through everything for me, for you, Cosette!  He bore me through death in every form which he put aside from me, and which he accepted for himself.  All courage, all virtue, all heroism, all sanctity, he has it all, Cosette, that man is an angel!

CC BY-NC-ND by Rick Payette

‘Hush! hush!’ said Jean Valjean in a whisper.  ‘Why tell all that?’rect3336 space
‘Why have not you told it?  It is your fault, too.  You save people’s lives, and you hide it from them!  You do more, under pretence of unmasking yourself, you calumniate, yourself.  It is frightful…  The truth is the whole truth; and you did not tell it.  You were Monsieur Madeleine, why not have said so?  You had saved Javert, why not have said so?  I owe my life to you! why not have said so?'”  Victor Hugo: Les Miserables

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SEARCHDAY"free tuition" germany OR europe OR asia OR africa OR "south america" "best practice" OR optimal OR "socially useful" OR "socially necessary" analysis OR documentation OR assessment OR investigation = 44,300

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                       Top of the Fold                        

https://electronicintifada.net/content/ta-nehisi-coates-sings-zionism/15776 – In a context in which bullshit all too often not only predominates but also twists possibilities for social justice into impossible contortions that end up destroying the potential for which advocates purportedly are working, a triptych of essays about diverse issues of diversity and identity, all of which are worth the attention of scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens, not because any of them, or their collective aggregation, speak definitively, let alone dispositively, about these matters, but because they all have interesting and quite partial points to make that need to be part of a discussion about such difficulties of the current pass of seven billion cousins from widely varying cultures, backgrounds, and so forth and so on–in the lead position here, an item from Electric Intifada, about identity’s ‘darling du jour,’ Ta Nehisis Coates, and his perspective on reparations as it applies to matters of Zionism and geopolitics; in the second place, a very standard SOP liberal account of what holds back writers of color in the pale-faced editorial rooms and publishing houses of ‘mainstream’ mediation; and finally, a moving swansong from Al Jazeera about what its folding its tent means in political economic and sociopolitical terms: “Unfortunately, there is a major flaw in his (otherwise creditable and compelling reparations) argument that exposes one of his most glaring political lapses.  Coates presents German reparations to Israel as a successful and moral model, ignoring the horrors Israel inflicted and still inflicts on Palestinians and other people of the region using those funds.  To make matters worse, shortly after the publication of his piece, Coates promoted reparations at a live event with hisAtlantic colleague Jeffrey Goldberg, the former Israeli prison guard and Obama favorite.

(G)aping holes (appear) in this narrative(of how German funds for Israel atone for its crimes against Jewish people). First, it relies on a total conflation of Israel and Zionism, on the one hand, with Jews, on the other.  And it accepts uncritically the ahistorical claim that Israel and Zionism were the victims of the Nazis, and therefore Israel was the appropriate address for ‘reparations,’ the delivery of which could offer Germans absolution.  It also completely ignores the fact that while other Jews were resisting the Nazis, Zionists infamously made a deal with them, the notorious Transfer Agreement of 1933, to facilitate the transport of German Jews and their property to Palestine and which, as Joseph Massad points out, broke the international Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany started by American Jews.jude jewish holocaust genocide
But even if we set these fundamental questions aside, as a practical matter, from the standpoint of Israel’s victims, German reparations were not used to repair but to destroy.  The billions Germany gave Israel were an enormous contribution to Israel’s military capacity, enabling its colonial expansion, land theft, military invasions and occupations and further ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  Despite people pointing out such concerns to Coates on social media and in person (I tried engaging him on the issue at one of his speaking events, to no avail), he continues to invoke Israel as a model.

Contrary to the fabrications of Israeli leaders, Palestinians played no role in the Holocaust.  Yet they have been made to pay for it with their land and their lives in the name of Western atonement.  Germany has been sacrificing Palestinians to atone for its genocide of millions of European Jews since at least 1952, the year Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed a reparations agreement.

In other words, Germany played a key role in enabling Israeli violence, including the ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Israel’s devastating invasion of Lebanon, including the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.  Germany’s military support for Israel may have gone beyond conventional weaponry.  Last year, Germany’s Welt reported that Adenauer’s government financed Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program in the 1960s to the tune of $500 million, disguised as a development loan – an allegation Israel, which refuses to confirm it has nuclear weapons at all, has denied.”—Electronic Intifada
nuke nuclear explosion holocaust
        “In a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine, much-lauded editor Chris Jackson shone a light on the myriad hoops black writers must jump through to reach a mass audience.  ‘I want to protect the writer, of any race, from the dishonesty of racism, and how it can inflect any kind of work,’ Jackson said.  ‘And, for writers who are trying to challenge the pandering of the white gaze, if you have to go through a series of gatekeepers who are uniformly white, you’re going to end up with something that’s—it’s going to be tough to preserve the integrity in the end.’

CC BY-NC-ND by Chris Devers
CC BY-NC-ND by Chris Devers

ackson, one of a handful of black editors in publishing, has spent years bringing center stage the voices of writers on the fringes, including MacArthur Foundation ‘genius grant’ recipient Ta-Nehisi Coates, whom Jackson first met when Coates worked for the Village Voice in the early 2000s.  But while there may be more black writers in the business, and while the odds of running up against jaw-dropping racism may have fallen, here, Jackson stresses how even without obvious puppetry, there are still strings attached, depending on your skin tone.

This disparity(at a minimum a three-to-one demographic deficiency for writers of color), propped up by economic barriers and minority writers’ galling absence from hiring networks, disrupts the very ambition of writing, namely, presenting a wide variety of experience, insight, and truth telling, by eliding the voices of an ample portion of Americans in shaping the national narrative.  Yet blacks encounter outsized burdens even after getting through the door.  Perhaps one of the biggest frustrations for black writers is feeling pigeonholed, that our merit doesn’t stretch very far beyond being a scribe for some monolithic black community.”—Pacific Standard
         “Al Jazeera America’s pending closure is but one dismal entry in a long-running journalistic dance of the dead.  In the U.K., The Guardian is poised to enact major cutbacks to its editorial shop; the rival Independent has just announced plans to shutter its print operations.  Across the pond, U.S. newspapers continue to hemorrhage revenue and circulation at an appalling clip.  If “Spotlight,” the movie dramatizing The Boston Globe’s landmark investigation into the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal, wins a best picture Oscar and inspires a generation of idealistic kids to pursue a career in daily journalism, as was famously the case with “All the President’s Men,” those enterprising souls will likely land on the dole — or, worse, toil at SEO factories like The Huffington Post or BuzzFeed.

Amid all this glum news about the news business(with magazines and other ‘traditional’ markets faring little better), it’s easy to overlook a no-less-alarming trend: the ways in which the news operations surviving the wretched digital-age shakeout are effectively adapting to new market conditions.  These ambitious shops are steadily blurring the protocols of honest newsgathering and the considerably sneakier ones of data-driven commerce to the point of functional identicality.  In the face of such developments, we should all probably be grateful that (Chris) Hughes failed to find a viable business model for his vanity media acquisition (of New Republic).  {Though this cock-up clearly didn’t occur for lack of trying on his and his lackeys’ part; the company recently announced the launch of a premium advertorial operation, which at least sports the truth-in-advertising moniker Novel.}  Had the Hughes makeover succeeded, The New Republic would have likely become a long-form version of Politico campaign hack Mike Allen’s Playbook — i.e., an open-air bazaar for business-partner osculation masquerading as buzzworthy editorial content {when, that is, it’s not serving as an outright platform for the thuggish political apparatchiks whom Allen tirelessly romances}.smartphone twitter social media vertical
The polite euphemism for such rampant self-prostitution in our brave new digital media world is ‘sponsored content’ — i.e., writing that’s made to look, feel and read like actual journalism while promoting a paid-for commercial agenda.  It’s true that traditional print publications also engage in their own version of this subterfuge, but it’s very difficult to mistake a plainly marked special advertising supplement in your daily paper that is overstuffed with propaganda ginned up by the Chinese or Russian government for real news.  Meanwhile, blandly corrupt listicles and feature pieces gleefully swamp actual journalistic offerings in all manner of online news portals, from Buzzfeed to The Atlantic.

There’s a certain elegant symmetry, then, in the recent job listing by the explainer-journalism empire Vox Media for the company’s first-ever commerce editor.  Vox has been diligently compromising journalistic values all on its own, whether via its rankly disingenuous assaults on Bernie Sanders’ health care proposals or its comically baroque protocols of archive scrubbing.  {The practice was far less laughworthy in last week’s trespass, in which the Vox-owned sports network SB Nation briefly ran and then rapidly deleted a monstrous long-form apologia for convicted cop-rapist and erstwhile college footballer Daniel Holtzclaw.  At the end of the week, the network announced that it would put long-form articles on ice while it conducts a review.}

(The Vox model’s particular methods exemplify what has become of this ‘model’ of reportage).  OK, then: In practical terms, this has to mean the usual cynical bid to massage ad copy into something resembling a news dispatch — or to become the Bobbi Brown of the editing world.  But note that, in a job posting for a commerce editor, zero editing appears to be involved.  You will research, remain abreast, optimize, curate, produce and work closely — and closely track and analyze after all that numbing content plumping is finished.  But you won’t be charged, evidently, with working through the basic structure and sense of a piece, sharpening its diction or shortening its sentences.  There’s no place for editing and even less, it would seem, for independent thought and writing, in Vox’s grand new agora of search-optimized product and content.  In other words, Vox has redefined the media company by curating the journalism right out of it.”—Al Jazeera

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34894-the-empire-s-war-on-the-border – Yet another compelling, not to say brilliant and irresistible, skewering of imperial depredations as U.S. policy from The Empire Files, in the event a delineation of the murderous impunity and police state imprimatur of current border policies with Mexico, a nation, of course, from which Gringos stole half its territory and which, more recently, has faced insuperable economic and trade horrors as a result of dollar diplomacy in its current forms, the unavoidable result of which has been attempts to escape and, by ‘making a living,’ have a chance to survive, not to mention the realities of divided families that seek to unite, an even greater violence and warmongering that have afflicted Central American refugees, and so forth, a must watch experience for scrappy scribes and solid citizens both.


student writing arm


Writers Retreat Workshop 2016
May 12 – 19, 2016
Venue: Oblate Renewal Center, San Antonio, TX

WRITERS RETREAT WORKSHOP is an intensive learning experience for small groups of serious-minded writers who are committed to improving and completing their novels for submission. For those who consider their writing a vital part of their lives, one they wish to develop as fully as possible, WRW provides the ideal experience.


The Current Contest
Short Story Contest #27 launched on December 13, 2015.

CHANGES: One or more character(s) have to deal with some kind of significant change. It can be any kind of change you like, and on any scale, from a change affecting only one person (or one place, or one thing) to something affecting everyone/everything everywhere, or anything between those extremes.

Your challenge: Write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long that clearly uses the contest premise.

Apparently pays for essays on religious life; fee unstated: “First Things is published by the Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and educational 501(c)(3) organization. The Institute was founded in 1990 by Richard John Neuhaus and his colleagues to confront the ideology of secularism, which insists that the public square must be “naked,” and that faith has no place in shaping the public conversation or in shaping public policy.”
Mother Earth News
P. O. Box 685
1503 SW 42nd St.
Topeka, KS 66609-1265
pays $150 for first-person stories of 1,500 to 2,000 words about
sustainable lifestyles of all sorts for the “Firsthand Reports” section.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Essayists, Intellectuals: 10¢ per word to write about robotics

compensation: 10 Cents Per Word, Paid Every Friday
employment type: part-time

We are building an extensive web database of personal robotics products – drones, hoverboards, robotic vacuums – stuff like that. You’re going to be writing editorial reviews of these products.This will be a suitable pastime (and crass, money-spinning opportunity) for a graduate with a liberal arts degree, especially in History, English, or related language arts.We really want postmodern essayists with a bent for economic and technological history — but if you’re just an awesome writer, that should do nicely, too.

Phoenix Home & Garden

The Managing and Copy Editor oversees the daily editorial operations of a monthly magazine, its website, digital edition and special issues, delivering exquisite content to an upscale, design savvy and vibrant audience that loves and lives the Southwest style. The candidate must have strong management and copy editing experience in print, web, digital and social media. The position’s responsibilities include contributing to issue planning and content creation; creating and overseeing schedules, budgets, issue lineups, contracts and guidelines; assigning, editing and producing stories from freelance writers and columnists; copy editing and proofreading; manuscript writing and editing; applying AP style; coordinating production for all products and formats.

Technical Writer (Minneapolis)

compensation: $22.00-$26.00/hour
employment type: contract

PrimeStaff, the leader in the Twin Cities technical staffing industry for over 19 years, has an exciting 4 month contract position in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis for an experienced Technical Writer!! You will edit existing develop S1000D compliant data modules and ICN’s. Component Maintenance Manuals, Overhaul Manuals, Service Bulletins, Service Letters, and other various technical documents used for commercial aviation maintenance.


Clinton and Privilege and Honesty

A Salon piece by an astute political commentator who discusses Clinton’s entitlement, white privilege, and unfit status for representing real people in government: “Hillary Clinton has gone right, and like Reid states, “she’s been hawkish, she’s been sort of the neocon in the party.” In addition to Joy-Ann Reid, leading historians in The New York Times have discussed Hillary Clinton’s neoconservative advisers, in addition to a future “neocon” foreign policy.

Vox states “Hillary Clinton will pull the Democrats — and the country — in a hawkish direction,” yet the same people who believe Dick Cheney is Satan’s spawn could care less. The billions spent on perpetual wars could fund universal healthcare, but again, liberals have evolved on the definition of “pragmatism.”

Relatives of Kennedy Assassin Accused Seek Closure

A Forbidden Knowledge video posting that shows old footage of the daughters of Oswald seeking truth and closure in regards to the things that the people still don’t know about the Kennedy assassination: “The two girls grew up in a small Texas town, sheltered by their parents and grandparents from the truth of their father’s identity but came to understand its implications when they were young adults. Rachel discusses the psychological impact of her realization that her father was accused and seen by many as the killer of one of the most beloved leaders in US History. She then describes having researched the events to the extent that she was convinced that her father was innocent of the assassination. “

Hitler Book Best Seller

A sad piece from Washington Post that looks at the resurgence of the Nazi manifesto in the context of German disenchantment with refugees: “However, the book that is currently topping the German bestseller lists is far different from Hitler’s original version. The new 2,000-page edition is heavily annotated with remarks by experts to help put Hitler’s comments into context.”

Guns, Violence, and Phones

A Medium posting by a very effective and powerful writer who looks at the disparity between appropriate response to the many shooting tragedies in America v. how such things are dealt with in other more rational countries: “Do you know how a properly functioning society would react to an event like San Bernardino? I do — because I’ve had the misfortune of living through such an event. On the 28th of April, 1996, a gunman equipped with an AR-15 assault rifle — the same kind that the San Bernardino shooters used — opened fire in Port Arthur, in Australia. 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded. It remains one of the world’s deadliest shootings by a single person.

Within months, the country’s governing party led a bipartisan effort to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

They didn’t do it by focusing on creating backdoors into phones. This is how a properly functioning society reacts to an event like San Bernardino:

False Consciousness in Media

A Paul Craig Roberts piece that looks at the ways in which Americans live in a false, mediated reality, formed by orchestrated events meant to sway public opinion towards acts and ventures that go against everyone’s best interests, by underinvestigating extraordinary events, orchestrating false-flag events,  and playing on people’s emotions: “The sign of a totalitarian or authoritarian state is a media that feels no responsibility to investigate and to find the truth, accepting the role of propagandist instead. The entire Western media has been in the propaganda mode for a long time. In the US the transformation of journalists into propagandists was completed with the concentration of a diverse and independent media in six mega-corporations that are no longer run by journalists.”

WRISSHistory of English

A Conversation article that looks at the fascinating history of this language of ours through the tracing back of six everyday words: “The English language originates in the dialects spoken by the early Germanic tribes – the Angles, Saxons and Jutes – who began to settle Britain following the departure of the Romans in the fifth century AD. The Angles established themselves in the kingdoms of Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria and it is from them that the word English derives.

Its ultimate origin is the Latin Angli “the people of Angul” – the name given to an area of Northern Germany (now Schleswig-Holstein) where the tribe originated. It was so-called because of the peninsula’s hook-like shape (the same root lies behind angler “fisherman”).”

Egyptian Novelist Condemned

A Global Voices article that looks at the fate of an Egyptian writer who dares violate ‘public decency’ statues, pointing to a very repressive force operating in said country: “A Cairo appeals court sentenced Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji for two years in prison for publishing a chapter containing “sexually explicit” scenes from his novel The Guide of Using Life in a magazine.

Naji, accused of violating public decency, was acquitted in the first trial in December, which the Public Prosecution appealed. His case went to trial after a man complained that he got heart palpitations, a drop in blood pressure and sickness after reading Naji’s material. On Saturday, Naji was arrested from the appeals court, after a judge sentenced him to two years in prison for “destroying social values.””


CC BY-NC by id-iom
CC BY-NC by id-iom

Trump Card

A sobering look into the nitty gritty of why the Trump phenomenon is alive and well, by putting the blame where it is deserved: They don’t get it, and the reason why they don’t get it is because they are rooted in the petit bourgeois technocrat class that aspires to insider status within corrupt cliques of centralized power. The pundit burnishes their credentials with the usual petit bourgeois baubles–advanced degrees from “respected” universities, books published by “respected” New York publishing houses, and fellowships from “respected” poverty-pimp foundations funded by guilt-ridden plunderers and their dilettante offspring.”


Labor Triumph in Vermont

An AFL-CIO article that looks at a recent good development surrounding working people in Vermont: “Last week, the Vermont Legislature gave final approval to a bill that would guarantee working people paid sick days. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) is expected to sign the legislation. With his signature, Vermont will become the fifth state in the country to require paid sick days. An estimated 60,000 workers who don’t currently have access to paid sick leave will now have it. Voices for Vermont’s Children, the Vermont State Labor Council and coalition partners have worked on the bill for a decade.”




Feminism Didn’t Go Far Enough

A Salon piece by a sincere social activist who looks at the schism between the classic feminists who would back ‘the woman candidate’ in spite of actual platform and performance, and at the wise words of one of feminism’s founders who recognized the problem: “At the end of the conversation, Betty was thoughtful. Finally, she commented: “We didn’t challenge the system enough.”

In the context, that wasn’t about male and female. The “system” was an economic system that is rigged and corrupt, that allows powerful money interests to grind down the rest of us.”



2.25.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/world/europe/fighting-in-ukraine-picks-up-sharply.html – Part of a plethora of reports from Ukraine’s conflicted East, in this case from The New York Times, which indicate a sickening uptick in conflict there, and which, of course coming fromThe Times, places the blame for murder and mayhem on the Russians rather than on the fascists whom the U.S. installed two years back, who have participated in a panoply of corruption and self-dealing ever since at the behest of such ruling circles of the ‘West’ as the U.S. Congress, the Vice President’s family, and more.

                    This Day in History                  

By Sun Long (孫隆) and Chen Lu (陳錄)
By Sun Long (孫隆) and Chen Lu (陳錄)

Today, Japan commemorates Kitano Baika-sai or “Plum Blossom Festival;“ in the Italian Peninsula very likely on this day fifteen hundred twenty-three years ago, one Germanic militarist, Theoderic, overthrew the rule of another of his erstwhile ‘allies’ of the Romans, Odoacer, in Ravenna, setting the stage for bloody murder and Theoderic’s imperial reign;sixty-eight decades in advance of today, pagan defenders against Catholic and Teutonic conquest, some 4,000 in number, committed mass collective suicide in one of the bloodiest episodes of the so-called Northern Crusades; more or less four hundred eighty-five years later, in 1821, further to the South in Europe, a ‘great power’ that turned out to be Russia by proclamation came to the aid of Greek independence fighters against Ottoman Turkey; a decade henceforth, in 1831, the largest battle in Europe since Waterloo unfolded outside Warsaw between Russian invaders and Polish forces who were contesting the outcome of the so-called November uprising against the Czar’s rule; five years further along the temporal road, across the Atlantic Samuel Colt garnered a patent for his revolver pistol; half a decade subsequently, in 1841, back across the ocean, a male infant shouted out in France who would mature as the iconic impressionist, Pierre Auguste Renoir

Renoir - La Liseuse
Renoir – La Liseuse

seven years after that, in 1848, throughout France the provisional revolutionary government of Louis Blanc endorsed a motion that guaranteed workers’ rights, to organize and otherwise; eight years onward from there, also in Paris, a conference for peace first met to settle the Crimean conflict; fourteen years yet later on, in 1870, a Mississippi Republican, Hiram Revels, became the first Black member of Congress as the Senator from the just-‘reconstructed’ State; eleven years hence, in 1881, a baby male opened his eyes who would rise as the radical labor organizer and socialist thinker, William Z. Foster; two decades beyond that conjunction, in 1901, J.P. Morgan’s financial empire oversaw the replacement of Carnegie and other steel interests with the formation United States Steel Corporation; fourteen hundred sixty-one days thereafter, in 1905, a male child entered the world who matured as the centrally important thinker of American Studies, Perry Miller; eight years past that moment in the flow of things, in 1913, the Patterson New Jersey strike of 25,000 silk workers opened, orchestrated by the International Workers of the World; another four years forward in time and space, across the wide Atlantic in 1917, a baby boy was born who would become the popularly acclaimed writer and producer and storyteller, Anthony Burgess; seven hundred thirty days afterward, in 1919, back across the ocean and the North American continent, Oregon became the first U.S. jurisdiction to impose a tax, of a single penny, on gasoline; nine years subsequent to that point, in 1928, the Federal Radio Commission issued its first-ever television license to Charles Jenkins Laboratories in the District of Columbia; thirteen years farther on from that instant, in 1941, across the Atlantic in Holland, the city of Amsterdam rose up in a general strike against Nazi depredations, especially against the Jewish population; two years after that, in 1943 across the English Channel, an English laddie first drew breath who would eventually cause many young women to swoon as the singer and lyricist, George Harrison;another eight years more proximate to the present pass, in 1951, seven thousand miles or so to the Southwest, the first installment of the Pan American Games opened in Buenos Aires; five years further down time’s roadway, in 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, the newly inaugurated Ukrainian communist Soviet premier, delivered an important speech, On the Cult of Personality & Its Consequences, that condemned both the acts of and the thinking behind much of the reign of Joseph Stalin; a dozen years more toward the here and now, in 1968,South Korean troops in Vietnam carried out a massacre of well over 130 unarmed civilians in the ‘fight against communism;’ a decade and a half hence from there, half a world away in the U.S. in 1983, the iconic playwright and storyteller Tennessee Williams lived through his final scene; three years yet nearer to now, in 1986, a ‘people power’ revolution rose up in the Philippines and caused Ferdinand Marcos and his family to flee to the protection of the United States, which had long backed and orchestrated the rule of the dictator; a single year onward from that, halfway round the world in North-Central Texas in 1987, the Southern Methodist University football program received a ‘death sentence’ from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for running a professional operation in relation to its student athletes for many years; twelve years even closer to today,

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory flickr
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory flickr

in 1999, the ‘father of the cyclotron’ and Plutonium both, Glenn Seaborg, breathed his last; six years later still, in 2005, on one side of the Atlantic pond, the founder of Amnesty International, Peter Benenson, died, while over the puddle the great producer and songwriter of Gladys Knight and the Pips, Edward Patten, sang his swan song and exited; four years after that exact second, the prolific and beloved science fiction and fantasy writer, Philip Jose Farmer, played out his last chapter; two years past that intersection, in 2011, upwards of 100,000 protesters gathered in Madison, Wisconsin to rail against the predatory capitalism of Scott Walker and the gang of political thugs who had targeted the State’s public employee unions; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 2012, the blues crooner and songwriter known as Louisiana Red exited the stage; an additional two years toward our current context, in 2014, the iconic Spanish songwriter and guitarist, Paco de Lucia, breathed no more.

                A Thought for the Day                

The task that the cast of the music and dance and drama of life face resembles what actors would confront in finding themselves with the laborious travail of playing some leading role—diva or protagonist or antagonist or supporting star as the case may be—in the massive complexity of a cosmic mainstage farcical tragedy, without ever having seen a script or ever having had an opportunity to participate in a single rehearsal, while an audience of everyone and God almighty look on: no wonder, then, that so many people elect to mumble their lines, or even remain mute and hope for the best, despite the fact that their duty and their calling is to speak up, passionately and powerfully and purposefully, about what their characters and their fellow players want and need and seek.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“Such a belief (of infallibility and such) about a man, and specifically about Stalin, was cultivated among us for many years. …At present, we are concerned with a question which has immense importance for the Party now and for the future – with how the cult of the person of Stalin has been gradually growing, the cult which became at a certain specific stage the source of a whole series of exceedingly serious and grave perversions of Party principles, of Party democracy, of revolutionary legality.
Because not all as yet realize fully the practical consequences resulting from the cult of the individual, [or] the great harm caused by violation of the principle of collective Party direction and by the accumulation of immense and limitless power in the hands of one person, the Central Committee considers it absolutely necessary to make material pertaining to this matter available to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  Allow me first of all to remind you how severely the classics of Marxism-Leninism denounced every manifestation of the cult of the individual.
rect3336 space
In a letter to the German political worker Wilhelm Bloss, [Karl] Marx stated: ‘From my antipathy to any cult of the individual, I never made public during the existence of the [1st] International the numerous addresses from various countries which recognized my merits and which annoyed me.  I did not even reply to them, except sometimes to rebuke their authors.  [Fredrich] Engels and I first joined the secret society of Communists on the condition that everything making for superstitious worship of authority would be deleted from its statute.

Sometime later Engels wrote: ‘Both Marx and I have always been against any public manifestation with regard to individuals, with the exception of cases when it had an important purpose.  We most strongly opposed such manifestations which during our lifetime concerned us personally.’Bundesarchiv  Potsdamer_Konferenz,_Churchill,_Truman,_Stalin
         (Later still, about Stalin himself, in a critical document of Soviet history), Vladimir Ilyich said: ‘Stalin is excessively rude, and this defect, which can be freely tolerated in our midst and in contacts among us Communists, becomes a defect which cannot be tolerated in one holding the position of General Secretary.  Because of this, I propose that the comrades consider the method by which Stalin would be removed from this position and by which another man would be selected for it, a man who, above all, would differ from Stalin in only one quality, namely, greater tolerance, greater loyalty, greater kindness and more considerate attitude toward the comrades, a less capricious temper, etc.’rect3336 space
This document of Lenin’s was made known to the delegates at the 13th Party Congress, who discussed the question of transferring Stalin from the position of General Secretary.  The delegates declared themselves in favor of retaining Stalin in this post, hoping that he would heed Vladimir Ilyich’s critical remarks and would be able to overcome the defects which caused Lenin serious anxiety.”  Nikita Khrushchev

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SEARCHDAYhealth OR wellness OR "well being" community OR grassroots OR "local level" "opposite from" OR "in opposition to" OR "distinguishable from" OR "different from medicine OR "medical model" OR medicalization analysis history OR origins = 83,000 Links.

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http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/12/15/18873/indias-nuclear-solution-global-warming-generating-huge-domestic-protests – From India, via a reposting of a two month old Public Integrity article, a vantage point for considering more recent news, in the first case of the way that political and corporate operators rammed a huge nuclear power facility down local throats in the Southern Subcontinent, over grassroots and significant scientific opposition, while, as the second article demonstrates, a volcanic Hindu solar industry has just suffered a huge setback as a result of World Trade Organization attacks on Delhi’s “buy-local” commitments, in which the WTO nakedly asserted that its trade agenda took precedence over any Climate Conference or other ‘clean energy’ mandates, the conjunction of the two of which developments is not only not accidental but also reveals the deeply seated–perhaps unshakable would be a better term–ruling class agenda in favor of the nuclear fuel fool cycle and the H-bombs that inevitably accompany it: “(One local protestor’s) complaints — many of which are backed up by documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity from the country’s nuclear regulator, retired government officials, government auditors, and industry analysts — were echoed in an unprecedented letter sent in May 2013 to India’s prime minister by 60 of the country’s most prominent scientists, most of them pro-nuclear and working for elite state-run institutions.  Their letter called for a moratorium in Kudankulam, while new inquiries were made into allegations of widespread corruption and a fraud associated with the fabrication of the reactor’s components in Russia.

In the vicinity of the Kundankulum reactor, the wives of some fishermen, political novices all, on October 18, 2011, started a rolling hunger strike that has continued for more than four years.  Farmers, herders and shipwrights have several times laid siege to the 2,500-acre park since the reactor plans were announced in 1987.  By 2012, the protests had grown so large and spawned so many others in nearby villages that police lines were reinforced with men bused in from all over India.  Some of the police fired into crowds with live rounds on Sept. 9of that year, killing one, while a second victim, 6 years old, died in the stampede that followed.

(In addition to brutal repression of any open protest, behind the scenes), (t)he police also engaged in a campaign of mass arrests, having issued 227,000 charges against protestors, including those of sedition and assault.  While India’s Supreme Court in May 2013 called for these charges to be set aside, the state government has only partially complied, leaving thousands still facing court appearances for allegedly laying siege to the power station, ringing it with their boats, and of assaulting police officers.  Like Udayakumar, who faces more than 380 charges, many have had their passports confiscated, blocking some of them from reaching jobs they held outside the country.  Internal government documents and interviews conducted by the Center make clear, however, that Delhi’s brook-no-dissent insistence of nuclear expansion in a region framed by palms and crisscrossed by red earth tracks not only has made the local citizenry angrier, but hindered resolution of technical problems that critics depict as a series of calamities-in-waiting.

(In the context of this vicious assault on human rights, the chance to speak openly about safety problems, for example), (t)he Indian government’s confidential plans for responding to public anxieties about the Kudankulam reactors and others like them were put into motion shortly after an earthquake triggered a tsunami off the coast of Japan in March 2011, causing three of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to melt down.  Within six weeks, the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a series of memos containing key elements of a new public relations campaign to the key organizations pushing the Kudankulam project forward: the Atomic Energy Commission, which governs the Department of Atomic Energy that oversees training and research for both the civilian and military sector, and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., which supervises the construction and operation of reactors. Inspectors in charge of safety and security at the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, supposedly an independent organization, received the same memorandums.

(Actual safety issues have either received scant attention or elicited outright lies, as in one so-called ‘safety review.’)  Under a subheading, ‘Tsunami,’ the document states: ‘Not significant.’  Referring to seismic activity, it concludes: ‘No active fault within 5km.’  But M.V. Ramana, a physicist at Princeton University’s Nuclear Futures Laboratory, said these conclusions reminded him of an assertion by the atomic energy department in 1986 that tsunamis did not occur in India.  That was eighteen years before a tsunami, triggered by an earthquake, devastated India’s southern coast, killing an estimated 18,000 people and displacing another 600,000 while inundating homes in Idinthakarai village, twenty minutes from the new atomic park.  Three miles of coastline to the west of Kudankulam were smashed by waves as high as 31 feet.”—Public Integrity
nuke nuclear explosion holocaust

“On the heels of the recent global summit in Paris to tackle climate disruption, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled against an important piece of the climate solution puzzle: India’s ambitious program to create homegrown solar energy.  The ruling shows that decades-old, over-reaching trade rules are out of sync with the global challenge to transition to 100 percent clean energy.

rect3336 space
In just five years, thanks to India’s National Solar Mission, India has gone from having virtually no solar capacity to boasting one of the world’s fastest-growing solar industries.  In just the last year, a parade of leading solar companies has announced plans to establish new factories in India to produce solar cells, the parts of solar panels that use sunlight to produce electricity. India has named the solar program as a core component of its contribution to the Paris agreement to tackle climate change.rect3336 space
But on Wednesday, the WTO released its ruling against India’s National Solar Mission, deciding that India’s efforts to boost local production of solar cells violated WTO rules.  Though India argued that the program helps the country to meet its climate commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the WTO rejected that argument.  Indeed, the ruling boldly states that domestic policies seen as violating WTO rules cannot be justified on the basis that they fulfill UNFCCC or other international climate commitments.  In effect, the WTO has officially asserted that antiquated trade rules trump climate imperatives.”—Common Dreams

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/tackling-the-new-intolerance/18052#.Vsc-EhiBGRs – Almost four hours of panels and audience participation, from England, that Spiked and other radicals have pulled together, in the form of three sessions–so-called ‘safe spaces’ as therapeutic bullshit; the repression inherent in applying these standards in relation to Zionism and Boycott/Divest/Sanction issues; and how, in the context of freedom of expression, hate speech isn’t an inevitable concomitant–about the way that suppressed free speech and censorship are an increasingly widespread result, quite likely intended, of emphasizing ‘safe spaces’ as a practical approach, inherently patronizing, impossible to police, and egregious in their totalizing influence, although a panelist per session, more or less, spoke on behalf of the ‘save-space’ millieu, increasingly fashionable in any event since the 1970’s.


student writing arm


DFW Writers Conference, TX

The DFW Writers Conference, sponsored by DFW Writers Workshop, has grown to be the premier writers conference in the southwest. Our goal is to provide writers
with excellent education, networking,and industry exposure at the best value.

The 2016 DFWcon will be Saturday, April 23-24th at the Fort Worth Convention Center


 Breakwater Review 

Various contests and opportunity submissions from this lit journal.

Thank you for your interest in writing for ESSENCE Magazine. To submit your ideas, please write a query letter that explains your story concept, proposed story length, possible experts (if it is a reported piece) and why this idea would appeal to the Essence reader. Query letters should be no more than one page in length, and should be addressed to the editor whose section interests you at Essence Magazine, 135 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10020. Be sure to include a daytime telephone and an E-mail address.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Politics and Society Editor Atlanta GA 

Do you enjoy working with scholars who are doing cutting edge research in history, political science and sociology? We are looking for an experienced journalist and editor who is able to cover a range of issues – from race relations on campus and gun culture to campaign 2016 — to be part of The Conversation US editorial team.

This job will be based in Atlanta, Georgia.


Editor/Writer (Central NJ)

compensation: TBD
employment type: contract
telecommuting okay

I am for someone to edit a two page blurb and cover letter.In the future I will need someone to re write postings so that the flavor remains the same but the wording is changed.
I’d also like someone who can do research for book proposals
and there would be more projects in the future editing book chapters.
Freelance Equestrian writer Posted Jan 25
Looking for a freelance writer for Above the Rail Magazine in the disciplines of Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, Eventing, Combined Driving, and Reining.
We are a monthly publication with Riders interviews, horses health, training tips, etc
Pay is dependent on length, interviews, photos. Pay from $50 to $150.00

ORGLINKCommemorating Black Lives Matter Warrior

A Truth-Out piece that looks at activists and students who memorialized the life of a tragically fallen hero of the movement:  “We end today’s show remembering Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel. On February 8, he shot himself to death at the entrance to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. MarShawn McCarrel was just 23 years old. MarShawn organized against the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and worked to aid the homeless. He launched the program Feed the Streets after he himself was homeless for three months. Hours before he shot himself, MarShawn wrote on Facebook, “My demons won today. I’m sorry.” Just days before his death, MarShawn was honored as a Hometown Hero at the NAACP Image Awards for his community project Pursuing Our Dreams. On Tuesday, Democracy Now! spoke to a group of students and a teacher who knew MarShawn.”

Camped out in the St Lourde’s Church, in Idinthakarai village, a twenty minute walk from Kudankulam power station, the wives of fishermen, all of them political novices, have mounted a relay hunger strike for five years, calling for its closure. Adrian Levy

Indian Citizens Protesting Nukes

A Public Integrity piece that looks at one particularly motivated citizen who has organized a great resistance movement to fight the nuke and build awareness to their harms: “It’s motivated, he says, by research that sympathetic lawyers and nuclear experts have conducted into the reactor’s problematic construction as well as the checkered safety records of the giant Indian and Russian consortiums that erected it. Although the reactor is now shuttered again for maintenance — due to problems with parts supplied by a Russian company that Moscow authorities have accused of wrongdoing — a second reactor at this vast nuclear park, India’s largest, should be completed soon, after fourteen years of construction and testing, to be followed by two more reactors next year.”

-pro-choice women abortionRight to Choice Disappearing

A Common Dreams article that looks at the alarming rate at which basic reproductive choice is being taken away from women, and also looks at some folks who are still keeping up the good fight: “Driven by to “legislate the industry out of existence,” abortion clinics in the U.S. are closing at a record pace, according to a Bloomberg analysis out Wednesday.

“At no time since before 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, has a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy been more dependent on her zip code or financial resources to travel,” Bloomberg reporter Esmé Deprez wrote.”

Flint Signifies End of Civilization

An AFL-CIO blog post by Union members who looks at the consequences and contextualizations of what the tragic fiasco in Flint signifies for the rest of us: “What is civilization? It’s the assumed fabric that makes our lives safe—all the things we take for granted. That the water comes on when we turn the tap, and that it’s safe to drink. That the traffic lights work and that other drivers will obey them. That the police will come if we call 911, and that they will not extort money from us or shoot us (this is the power of the Black Lives Matter movement—it reveals how civilization is only present for some of us some of the time).”

Human Engineering and the Fate of Humanity

A Washington Post article by a thoughtful observer of science and the human condition who asks us to contemplate the consequences of tinkering with human genetics: “The emerging consensus among scientists and ethicists is that to keep the human germline safe, gene editing must not be conducted on human embryos that are meant to be used for reproduction, because genetic changes made to embryos may be inherited by the resulting children’s own descendants. This is what is meant by “germline modification” — the modification of the germ cells that transmit genetic information from one generation to the next.”

WRISSBot or Not

A Nieman Lab posting that comments on a larger article that looks at the serious implications of using bots in journalism, including their use in personalizing data: “Bots, “[g]enerally speaking these sets of algorithms are responsible for so much on the backend of the Internet,” are used everywhere from sharing up-to-date information on earthquakes to launching a DDoS attack on a news site following publication of an important cover story. They deliver information in Slack, sharing breaking news or helping human editors decide which stories will likely take off on social media. The New York Times’ Election Bot is even helping send 2016 presidential election questions straight to the newsroom.”

More on Bots

A Motherboard article that exhaustively looks at every aspect of bots and how they interact with humans, journalism, or writing: “The work and the legal response raise crucial questions. Who is responsible for the output and actions of bots, both ethically and legally? How does semi-autonomy create ethical constraints that limit the maker of a bot? Similar questions were raised last year, after a semi-random text bot owned by an Amsterdam-based man issued a death threat on Twitter. “Of course since I don’t have any legal knowledge I don’t know who is/should be held responsible (if anyone) but like. kinda scared right now,” the bot’s programmer tweeted. The owner of the bot deleted it.”


Update on Apple v. FBI

A Just Security update and contextualization of the issue between a technology business and intrusive Patriot-Act leftover demands: “I wrote about the FBI’s attempt to force Apple to write an iPhone hacking tool for the bureau over at Time last week — and go read that if you’re getting caught up on the case — but we’ve had some added developments over the weekend worth noting. Apple has explained its position in a bit more detail, while the Justice Department filed a motion to compel Apple’s compliance and FBI Director James Comey penned a brief blog post at Lawfare arguing that the Bureau isn’t looking to “set a precedent” or “send a message” or “break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land” — only provide justice to victims of a horrific shooting. That’s a message the government’s lawyers seek to hammer home at some length in the motion to compel: They don’t want some master key that could be used to unlock any phone. They just want a little bit of code that’s uniquely tethered to this one device and wouldn’t work on any others, which Apple is free to keep in its own headquarters and erase after use. So is Tim Cook just fearmongering when he claims this would require them to create a more generally exploitable tool?”


Bernie Sanders was flanked at Wednesday’s news conference by South Carolina State Reps. Justin Bamberg and Joe Neal. (Photo: Bernie Sanders Campaign)

Politicians Campaigns Lead to Poverty or Wellness

A Common Dreams piece that looks at the policies of various presidential candidates, and highlights who actually has done things that have helped folks, versus perpetuate poverty: ““What welfare reform did in my view was to go after some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in this country,” Sanders said, before highlighting Hillary Clinton’s support (pdf) for the legislation as First Lady.

“During that period, I spoke out against so-called ‘welfare reform’ because I thought it was scapegoating people who were helpless, people who were very, very vulnerable,” he continued. “Secretary Clinton at that time had a very different position on welfare reform. She strongly supported it and worked hard to round up votes for its passage.”


Driving Force Behind Afghanistan Attacks

A Truth-Out post that looks at the driving forces behind all the egregious acts in Afghanistan: “A US State Department spokesman told the Press Trust of India that “The United States congratulates Turkmenistan and its partners on the recent ground-breaking for the construction of the natural gas pipeline to Afghanistan…” Yet, the US media decided that this was news that US citizens did not need to know.

We have been at war in Afghanistan for over 14 years. The preceding sentence answers the first four journalistic questions of who, what, where and when, but it doesn’t answer the most important question – why?”


2.24.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/world/middleeast/us-russia-cease-fire-in-syria-obama-putin.html – Skepticism, go figure, from our ‘paper of record’ about the attempt to achieve a ceasefire in Syria, which will unfold, or perhaps unravel, over the next forty-eight hours or so in the environs of Aleppo and Homs and more, where only Islamic State in Iraq & Syria will remain open for all and sundry to attack after the 27th, the actual text of this agreement available for citizens to peruse, as is the translation of Vladmir Putin’s announcement about these matters to Russians, which all occurs in the context of new WikiLeaks releases about U.S. treachery and subterfuge on every imperial front

                    This Day in History                  

tribe women maoriToday is Women’s Day in Zoroastrian tradition, Engineer’s Day elsewhere in Iran, Flag Day in Mexico, and National Artists Day in Thailand; in the Eastern Roman Empire seventeen hundred thirteen years ago, Emperor Galerius first broadcast an edict that permitted and encouraged persecution of Christians, a situation that continued for nearly a decade; a hundred eighty-one years past that, in 484, meanwhile, the Vandal King Huneric furthered his support for Arian thinking by removing Christian bishops, banishing some to Corsica and martyring others; more or less exactly a thousand and ninety-eight years thereafter, in 1582, a thirteenth Pope Gregory instituted the Gregorian Calendar to catch up with missing leap years; precisely a quarter century further along, in 1607, one of the first operas opened its performances as L’Orfeo, in Mantua, Italy; another century and four years onward, in 1711, a George Frideric Handel opera—the first

Georg Frideric Handel (left) and King George I on the Thames River, 17 July 1717. Painting by Edouard Hamman (1819–88).
Georg Frideric Handel (left) and King George I on the Thames River, 17 July 1717. Painting by Edouard Hamman (1819–88).

Italian show written for an English stage—premiered in London; twenty-eight years yet later on, in 1739, Persia’s ruler led his empire’s forces in a decisive victory at the Battle of Karnal over the Mughal Emperor in India, setting the stage for the sack of Delhi; two hundred thirty years back, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the thinker, writer, folklorist, Wilhelm Grimm; two hundred thirteen years prior to today, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Marbury v. Madison, which established the primacy of judicial review as a ‘court of last appeal’ for issues of law and policy; twenty-eight years past that conjunction, in 1831, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek finalized the ejection of Mississippi’s Choctaw Indians in accordance with the U.S.’s Indian Removal Act; a hundred forty-eight years before the here and now, Andrew Johnson became the first President to face impeachment by the House of Representatives; another thirteen years thereafter, in 1881, China and Russia signed a treaty that settled border and control issues mostly in favor of Qing Dynasty; fourteen years forward from there, in 1895, insurrection began near Santiago, Cuba, leading soon enough to transfer of imperial domination from Spain to the United States; thirteen years hence, in 1908, the Supreme Court upheld an Oregon statute that disallowed forcing women to work longer than ten hour days; four years more on time’s path, in 1912, police in

CC BY-NC by State Library Victoria Collections
CC BY-NC by State Library Victoria Collections

Lawrence, Massachusetts viciously beat children and women who had taken their fathers’ and husbands’ place on the picket line; half a decade past that, in 1917, across the Atlantic in London, the U.S. ambassador received the Zimmermann telegram, in which German authorities promised Mexicans the return of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona if the nation would declare war on the United States; seven hundred thirty days henceforth, in 1919, the U.S. Congress passed another in a long line of laws that criminalized child industrial labor, its predecessor’s having just suffered the fate that all of these laws did, till the end of the New Deal, to wit the Supreme Court found them an unwarranted intrusion of the property rights of the rich; two decades onward, in 1939,the Supreme Court did its part to in a different way to defend ruling class profiteering, finding sit-down strikes illegal interference with property’s imprimatur; three years subsequent to that instant, in 1942, Canada’s war administrator authorized internment of all Japanese residents and citizens; thirteen years nearer to now, in 1955, a male child was born who would mature as the wildly successful Steve Jobs; just three hundred sixty-five days after that moment, in 1956, a baby girl entered our midst who would grow up as the incisive theorist of gender and identity and consciousness, Judith Butler; nine years further along the temporal arc, in 1965, the Service Employees

US flag reflexion on Vietnam Veterans Memorial 12 2011 000124 by Mariordo Mario Roverto Durán Ortiz - Own work
US flag reflexion on Vietnam Veterans Memorial 12 2011 000124 by Mariordo Mario Roverto Durán Ortiz – Own work

International Union, Local 1199 became the first labor organization to condemn the U.S.’s illegal intervention in Vietnam; two years shy of two decades past that exact second, in 1983, the U.S. Congress’ condemnation of placing Japanese in concentration camps four decades before resulted in a final report about these matters; half a dozen years still closer to now, in 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini put up $3 million for the assassin who would murder the author ofThe Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie; just three years less than two decades more proximate to the present pass, in 2006, the magnificent maven of science fiction and novel storytelling, Octavia Butler, closed her eyes for the final time; just two years hence, in 2008, Fidel Castor, after nearly a half century at the helm of Cuba, stepped down from power; four additional years in the direction of now, in 2012, Jay Berenstain, beloved children’s storyteller, breathed his last.

                A Thought for the Day                

The suggestion that something akin to solidarity just might exist, a concept at once no easier to manifest than gallivanting among galaxies and yet as fierce and tangible as an erupting volcano’s rivers of magma, does rest on twin foundations, both of which are empirically indisputable and conceptually potent, first that the overwhelming majority of Earth’s inhabitants are working class lasses and laddies, and second that every single one of those ambling folks is at the very least a cousin to every other sojourning soul.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“The ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty or hunger. …There is often talk of human rights, but it is also necessary to talk of the rights of humanity.  Why should some people walk barefoot, so that others can travel in luxurious cars?  Why should some live for thirty-five years, so that others can live for seventy years?  Why should some be miserably poor, so that others can be hugely rich?  I speak on behalf of the children in the world who do not have a piece of bread.  I speak on the behalf of the sick who have no medicine, of those whose rights to life and human dignity have been denied.

If people call me Christian, not from the standpoint of religion but from the standpoint of social vision, I declare that I am a Christian. …(Q)uality of life lies in knowledge, in culture.  Values are what constitute true quality of life, the supreme quality of life, even above food, shelter and clothing. …I’m not attached to anything. …(Except that, truly), I’m attached to what I feels is my duty, to do my duty.  I think that I will die with the boots on.”  Fidel Castro

book hor2

SEARCHDAYstratification inequality purposeful OR intentional OR inevitable OR structural OR systematic resistance OR rejection OR protest organization OR strategy populism OR grassroots OR "community capacity" OR "community participation" OR solidarity "political economy" analysis history OR origins radical OR marxist OR socialist OR "social democracy" OR "democratic socialism" = 108,000 Connections.

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http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_i_support_dr_jill_stein_for_president_20160221 – From one of the leading lights of thought-provoking and comprehensive critique of the Standard Operating Procedures of plutocracy, via TruthDig, a political endorsement in the upcoming election that will fall utterly flat with most scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens, even as the analysis here–honestly and intelligently conveyed–is hard enough to refute as to deserve the label irrefutable, so that the observers and participants in contemporary politics can see that what is most terrifying at this juncture in our common lives is not falling high rises or mushroom clouds that kill all life or anything of the sort that is all too possible in coming days but instead consists in removing blinders from our eyes that are so comforting that the thought of shedding them is more painful than the notion of mass collective suicide, saying which provides a prelude to asking anyone who is paying attention to take a deep breath and consider what Chris Hedges proffers here, which is a ‘freedom-is-the-art-of-recognizing-necessity’ ratification of the Green Party’s Jill Stein for President of the United States, not because she has a ‘realistic‘ chance of winning, or because she represents any sort of consensus or lesser-of-evils selection, but precisely because she and her party stand for the principles and actions without which the continued plunder of the planet and predatory decimation of the populace must continue, a series of ideas and premises that, if nothing else, will encourage the courageous at least to take a look and think about what’s on the table in this incisive essay: “We are caught between the jaws of the monsters Charybdis and Scylla, and our escape route is narrow and diminishing.  Playing the old political game, attempting reform using the old rules, won’t work.  We must focus exclusively on revolt, on overthrowing corporate power to reclaim our liberty and save the planet from a coup de grâce delivered by the fossil fuel industry. …The battle before us is global.  It is a battle being fought on myriad fronts, including in Greece, Egypt, Spain and Venezuela.  The ravages of climate change, the ruthless exploitation of international finance and the evil of American imperialism and militarism are as present outside our borders as they are at home.  The greatest enemy before us is not radical jihadists, but the forces lurking within our society that threaten to extinguish human liberty and eventually the human species itself.

(Among a vast array of data and reasoning), (t)his is why I support Dr. Jill Stein, who is running to be the Green Party candidate for president after having won her party’s nomination in 2012.  I support Stein because she understands that this is primarily about building a global movement, not about participating in an election.  She, unlike Bernie Sanders, knows that this movement will never be realized within the Democratic Party or by paying deference to the power elites, the Israel lobby or the arms industry and the military establishment.  She grasps that until we name and destroy the evil of militarism and imperialism, genuine social and political reform, indeed democracy, is impossible.  She does not want to work within the corporate establishment.  She wants to dismantle it.  And all the pundits who tell us not to waste our vote miss the point.  It is time to stop playing the game.

“We’re in this kind of magical moment,” Jill Stein says. “It has enormous potential for transformation. The question is which way is it going to go.” (JILL2016)

‘We’re in this kind of magical moment, it’s an existential moment which is very personal and very real,’ Stein said when I interviewed her in Baltimorefor my podcast, Days of Revolt.  ‘It has enormous potential for transformation.  The question is which way is it going to go.  How are we going to make that happen?  How do we optimize what history is going to do?  Because history will mobilize people as the treachery of the system continues to be inflicted on us.  And the question is whether we will mobilize in time to change it.

‘It is extremely corrupt,’ Stein said of the American political system.  ‘It serves the interests of oligarchy. It puts people, planet and peace—it subjugates those critical things—to profit.  We have a political system that is funded and therefore accountable to predatory banks and fossil fuel giants and war profiteers.  Those are the interests it serves.  Those are the policies it creates.  It’s sort of like an amoeba that oozes its way into all aspects of the system. …She called the presidential debates and political carnival around them ‘elaborate, staged events to create the sense that resistance is futile.’ …The greater good here has been lost in the battle between the evils.  ‘The politics of fear has delivered everything we were afraid of,’ she went on. rect3336 space
She, as has Ralph Nader, pointed out that all the reasons liberals and progressives are told they should vote for aDemocratic candidate—Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and now Hillary Clinton—are wrong.  These Democratic politicians have never worked to halt the expanding wars, end the assault on civil liberties, curb the looming ecocide, halt the offshoring of jobs or stop the bailouts to Wall Street—$800 billion under President George W. Bush and $16 trillion under Obama.  The corporate state, with the complicity of the Republican and Democratic party leaderships, continues to ravage the planet and disembowel the country.  ‘You have differences around the margins, but the core stuff is essentially the same,’ Stein said.  ‘The differences are not enough to save your life, to save your job, or to save the planet.'”

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://earthjustice.org/blog/2016-february/south-florida-s-tourist-season-from-hell – From Florida, some seriously pissed-off White people, people who make their livings from fishing and tourism, on view in the middle of a briefing from Earth Justice about the hideous toxicity of effluent from sugar plantations that has unavoidably left Lake Okeechobee because of some of the highest rainfalls on record, but also because the Agriculture Commissioner whom these people are shouting down–and might crucify at the drop of a hat, from the sounds of things–participated in a massive land giveaway, no strings or oversight attached, to huge corporate agricultural outfits that could care less about external diseconomies so long as their bottom lines remain in house, as it were.


student writing arm



Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest

Begin your next writing project in literary legend Ernest Hemingway’s own Key West study … spend up to three weeks in a Studios of Key West residency cottage … and attend Hemingway Days festival events on the subtropical island.  A residency cottage at The Studios of Key West.

Enter the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest to win a three-week Key West residency at the renowned Studios of Key West between July 5 and July 31, 2016.

Various publishing and submission opportunities, low- paying market – accepts art, fiction, etc.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

Health and Medicine Editor Atlanta GA – Do you enjoy working with scholars who are doing cutting edge research in medicine, health policy and medical history? We are looking for an experienced journalist and editor who is able to cover a range of issues – from the emerging link between allergies and antibiotic overuse to Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare — to lead the Health and Medicine desk at The Conversation US.

Grant Writer for Non-Profit (Miami)

compensation: $15 per hour (paid by hour, contract work)
employment type: contract
non-profit organization
telecommuting okay

We are in need of a contract person (1099 contractor) to help us with writing grants, letters to foundations, and various other writing projects. The work will be 10-20 hours per week. Remote work can be allowed (as long as work is focused and progresses forward). But minimum hours must be met. To apply please email your resume, a sample of your writing, also provide a writing sample (500 words max) answering the question “How do we break cycles of brokenness in the inner city and what does that change look like?” Applicant should be self motivated, efficient, focused and have stellar writing skills.

Freelance Writer (Contract)

compensation: Compensation is project-based and will be communicated in writing.
employment type: contract
telecommuting okay


Freelance Writer (Contract)

About Study.comAre you motivated by the mission to help today’s students find the right degree and career? Do you believe that unbiased information is key to keeping people from making decisions that will result in heavy student debt and going-nowhere careers? Do you want to reach millions of students that are trying to decide right this minute what they want to do with their lives? Well, we do too. Help us provide our students with high quality articles that will help them choose a path. Here at Study.com, our quest is to write articles that help our users make smart, informed education and career decisions. Our articles are read by millions of students a month and refreshed every year to ensure their accuracy


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

Black v. White

Yet another contrast from Fusion as to the fates of two identical folks in identical situations, save the colour of one’s skin made him have to die, apparently: “Last week, Christopher R. Laugle, who is white, pointed a toy gun at police officers in Cincinnati. He was arrested and sent to jail.

Just hours later and a few miles away, Paul Gaston, who is black, reached for a toy gun in the waistband of his pants, Cincinnati police said. He was shot and killed.

Filming Police

A City Lab posting that contextualizes a recent judiciary decision that affects everyone’s ability to document what the police does: ““What the judge has said is the act of creating a picture or a video is not itself the equivalent of speech,” says Mary Catherine Roper, an attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and part of Fields’ and Geraci’s legal team. “We think that’s inconsistent with the way people use video in conjunction with police interaction,” she tells CityLab. “People in these situations are recording the police in case something happens that they may want to complain about or talk about later. And what [Kearney] is suggesting is that unless you already know what you’re going to do with your video—that is, to make a complaint against the police—that it’s not considered ‘expressive conduct,’ and therefore, not protected.””

On The Establishment

An Op Ed News piece  by an insightful commentator who contextualizes the role of Clinton in the larger political machine, a position which has made her unpopular with most thinking constituents: “Clinton, in a desperate piece of deflection, resorted to playing the gender card: “Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment.” This fatuous identity politics is meant to distract from her decades-long tenure at the top of the political system and collusion with those who exercise control over it. Of course, as Bernie points out, Hillary most represents and enjoys the support of the Democratic faction of the political establishment.”

Hillary and Henry (image by In These Times blog) DMCA

Digital Divide

A Pacific Standard article that looks at the true realities and costs in equality of the digital divide, an issue that affects many folks: “If you look at the numbers, it doesn’t seem like America has much of a digital divide anymore. Yes, that Pew study from last year states that 15 percent of Americans don’t use the Internet, but if you dip into the researchers’ methodology a bit—they’ve crunched numbers from surveys over the past 15 years—it’s extremely likely that the actual percentage of non-Internet users is much lower. How much? A new survey of low- and moderate-income families shows that 94 percent of them have Internet access. If that’s somewhat indicative of how many Americans truly have access to the Internet, it seems like we’re doing reasonably well in closing the gap.

Except, well, the divide hasn’t actually closed. The pace and necessity of Internet-based technology has simply created other inequities.”

house home brownstone urban cityPredatory Housing Transactions

A Chief Organizer posting by a long-time observer who looks at the true cost of murky, predatory housing purchase transactions: ” Reports indicate that more than three million people have bought houses under “contract for deed” purchases. Since many, if not most, of these kinds of housing purchases are not recorded, who really knows what the real numbers might be. The one thing that can be certain, is that the happy buyers, meaning the precious few that ever actually end up with a deed, are the very rare exceptions proving the rule that this is a gray, desperate part of the housing market founded on predatory practices and discrimination.”

WRISSWriting Anxieties

An Electric Literature posting that looks at the many anxieties involved in writing, by analyzing in a human way we can all understand the myriad tortures of feeling the writers block: “Then it occurred to me: What if in all my years of tracking, I had been keeping track of the wrong thing? What if instead of charting those hours that tangibly resulted in the creation of articles, stories, chapters, essays, what if instead it was more accurate to keep track of the types of writing I do that you will never see but are nonetheless necessary to produce the work that you do see? Isn’t that type of writing more important?

Because, see, writing about not writing is also writing.”

typewriter writer writeImproving Writing

A Book Baby article that looks at some resources that all writers can use: “Not every great author can give equally great writing advice. The following three books offer some of the best advice to improve your writing, from authors who have proven themselves time and again in print.  If you’re serious about taking steps to improve your writing, nothing will help more than the lessons you can learn from these three books. Closely read them; actively underline them; diligently apply what you learn. You’ll be impressed at the improvement that follows.”


Empire, Impunity, and Information Control

An RT interview with a world-famous whistleblower, who shares some views on what is ocurring in the world today: “Afshin Rattansi goes underground with the world’s most wanted publisher – the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. He has just co-authored a book – the WikiLeaks Files, and it paints a picture of systemic US torture and killing as well as the destruction of the lives and livelihoods of billions of people right around the world.”


Replacing Scalia 

A Washington Post piece that looks at one of the prime candidates being considered to replace the defunct member of the Supreme Court: “Sandoval is aligned with Democrats on some key issues, including abortion rights and the environment. As governor, he has moved to implement the Affordable Care Act, and has said he considers same-sex marriage to be a settled issue.

But Sandoval is not seen as labor-friendly — potentially alienating a swath of the Democratic base. His legal credentials are also lacking compared to some of the other names  under consideration who are mainly sitting federal judges.”



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

Marijuana A Cure For Drug Addiction

A Pacific Standard posting that looks at the possible beneficial role of marijuana, adding to the long roster of things for which this once humble and vilified weed can address more successfully than any of the abominations created by big pharma: “A growing body of research (neatly summarized by the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham) indicates that legalizing marijuana could indeed help put an end to the opioid outbreak ravaging American communities. According to research published in a 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, states that legalized medical marijuana saw a significant drop (24.8 percent) in overdoses, resulting in 1,729 fewer deaths in 2010 alone. While researchers said they couldn’t necessarily draw a causal link between the decline, a 2015 working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that states with marijuana dispensaries also experienced a significant drop in both opioid addiction (as measured by treatment admission) and overdose deaths.”

2.23.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

Students joined teachers at a Pittsburgh school walk-in, part of a national effort of coordinated protests across the country. Photo: Great Public Schools Pittsburgh


http://www.labornotes.org/2016/02/teachers-hold-walk-protests-30-cities – From Labor Notes, an incisive breaking news analysis about the just completed action in nearly a thousand schools in over thirty communities, to protest shoddy conditions, to draw the parallel between such noisome developments and attacks on teachers, and to guarantee that a movement was starting up that would fight like hell for students and teachers and schools and communities against the plunder and plutocracy that are ‘all the rage’ now in corporate education circles.

                    This Day in History                  

Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) - Ancient Rome
Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) – Ancient Rome

On this day, the festival of Terminalia, held in honor of Terminus, occurred in Ancient Rome, and it marked Red Army Day in Soviet Russia; in the Turkish reaches of the Roman Empire one thousand seven hundred and thirteen years ago, Diocletian ordered the destruction of the Christian Church in Nicomedia, inaugurating almost a decade of severe persecution; not quite twenty-three decades subsequently, in 532, Byzantium’s Emperor Justinian called for construction of a new place of worship in nearby Constantinople, which would become the renowned Hagia Sophia; nine hundred twenty-three years later, in 1455, the publication of the Gutenberg Bible first took place, the inaugural Western book printed with movable type; only one year less than an entire century afterward, more or less seven thousand miles Southwest in Spanish Chile in 1554, Mapuche fighters

CC BY-NC-ND by wallyg
CC BY-NC-ND by wallyg

decimated the Spanish at the Battle of Marihueno; three hundred eighty-three years before the here and now, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the administrator and tell-all diarist, Samuel Pepys; a hundred ninety-six years ahead of today, meanwhile, working class and other disaffected plotters who were conspiring to murder the entire British cabinet fell into the hands of the police as a result of an informer in their midst; just three hundred sixty-six days forward from that, in 1821, the renowned English poet John Keats drew his last breath; a decade and a half further along the temporal arc, in 1836 in faraway Texas, the Battle of the Alamo began in San Antonio; eleven years yet later on, in 1847, American troops during the Mexican American War, under future president General Zachary Taylor, defeated Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna, who had commanded the temporary victors at the Alamo; eight additional years toward the present pass, in 1855, the brilliant thinker and physicist Carl Friederich Gauss took a final breath; half a dozen years thereafter, in 1861, Secret Service agents successfully spirited the President-elect through Baltimore and into the District of Columbia, supposedly thwarting would-be assassins in the process; seven years henceforth, in 1868, a male baby was born who would become the radical spokesman for Black people, William Edward Burqhart Dubois; another seven hundred thirty-one days further along, in 1870, Mississippi reentered the Union, an erstwhile ‘Reconstructed’ polity; thirteen years past that point, in 1883, Alabama became the first jurisdiction in the Americas to enact a formal Anti-Trust law, and an infant male called out who would

By Allan Ajifo
By Allan Ajifo

mature as Karl Jaspers, a German psychiatrist and philosopher; two years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1885, French imperial fighters won a key battle over Vietnamese resistance in the Tonkin region of Indochina; another two years later still, in 1887,the Hall siblings, Albert and Julia, first demonstrated the capacity to create pure Aluminum metal; one hundred eighteen years back,  Émile Zola faced imprisonment in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter that condemned the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus; half a decade after that instant in time and space, in 1903, Cuba acceded to U.S. imperial extortion and leased Guantánamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity;’ a single year more in the direction of now, in 1904, the faux journalism of William Randolph Hearst began to ‘investigate’ the sinister aspects of Japanese immigration, with the intention of passing legislation to reduce or exclude such incursions, ‘Open Door’ or not, and the baby male took a first breath who would end up writing and researching history and war as William Shirer; thirteen years yet nearer to now, in 1917, the first demonstrations occurred that culminated in the February Revolution in Saint Petersburg, Russia; a decade afterward,

October Revolution - public domain
October Revolution – public domain

in 1927, German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli, in which he described his uncertainty principle for the first time, and on the other side of the Atlantic, the Radio Act of 1927, a huge gift to monopoly media, started the regulation of broadcasting that put advertising at the center of mass media in America; thirteen years even closer to the current context, in 1940, Woodie Guthrie, fresh from a frost trek hitchhiking and hoboing  across the United States, penned his first draft of the iconic, “This Land Is Your Land;” a single year hence, in 1941, more in keeping with the corporate agendas of power in the land, Glenn Seaborg, who had already  shown the ability to create Plutonium by bombarding Uranium ‘heavy’

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory flickr
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory flickr

Hydrogen, isolated and collected a small sample of the lethal element that almost never occurs naturally; a thousand ninety-five days further down the pike, in 1944, a baby boy shouted out who would grow into the rocker and crooner and songwriter, Johnny Winter; a short year later and close enough to halfway round the globe, in 1945, U.S. troops and Filipino guerillas liberated the infamous Los Banos internment camp and the country’s capital in Manila on the same day; two years farther along time’s path, in 1947, a key actor in modern political economy, the International Organization for Standardization, first came into existence in Geneva;seven more years along the road, in 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh; two decades nearer to now exactly, in 1974, the Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million before it would release kidnap victim, and eventually collaborator, Patty dioxin_times beachHearst; nine extra years past that point, in 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency elected to purchase the community of Times Beach, near St. Louis, because of the level of toxic pollution there; another year onward to the day, in 1984, well-liked author Jessamyn West, Richard Nixon’s Quaker cousin, breathed her last; seven years past that juncture, in 1991, Saudi troops invaded Iraq and inaugurated the ground phase of that brutal, bloody conflict; a dozen years yet later on, in 2003, the sociologist and thinker Thomas K. Merton died; two years subsequently, in 2005, France briefly mandated that teachers instruct their pupils about the “positive values” of colonialism despite a firestorm of protest against such falsification; three years after that exact day, in 2008, Scottish-American union leader Douglas Fraser met his end.

                A Thought for the Day                

Most optimistically, an individual passerby can hope for a single hour of breath and air and some semblance of consciousness, even while dreaming or locked in formless slumber, for roughly every ten to twenty million hours of the universe’s existence—a monumental marker indeed of the magnificence of our capacity even to posit the meaning of anything so huge either as the transit of all that is over such unimaginable distances or the trek that any one of us and related forebears have taken here, in relation to that stupendous vastness, in our out of the way corner of the cosmos.

                  Quote of the Day                       

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said ‘No Trespassing.’
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Woodie Guthrie

book hor2

SEARCHDAYengagement participation democracy politics "more than elections" OR "inadequacy of electoral solutions" OR incompleteness diversion OR distraction OR cooptation OR deflection analysis OR critique history OR origins = 39,000 Hits.

book hor

                       Top of the Fold                        



A posting from a veteran journalist–whose beat has been to expose the connections between drug politics and the Central Intelligence Agency, in which narcotics, black markets, and guns-for-thugs, all of which generate unparalleled, trillion-dollar profiteering–an analysis that TomDispatch has made available for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens who do not fear to face the truth about their corrupt and venal rulers, an assessment of the butchery and murder and horror and pointless carnage that has characterized Afghanistan–where forty years back only eight per cent of the world’s Opium crop emanated and today plus-or-minus ninety percent originates–an argument in favor of peace and legalization and organized workers instead of toeing the line to extinction; instead of allowing the plutocratic depredations of universal imprisonment for such crimes as changing ones mind with flowers; instead of acceding to the divide-and-conquer rule that the rich can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half, an essay, in other words, that sets the stage for liberation if one is willing to study and learn the lessons that it contains: “After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan.  How can this be possible?  How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for 15 years, deploying 100,000 of its finest troops, sacrificing the lives of 2,200 of those soldiers, spending more than a trillion dollars on its military operations, lavishing a record hundred billion more on ‘nation-building’ and ‘reconstruction,’ helping raise, fund, equip, and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies, and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations?  So dismal is the prospect for stability in Afghanistan in 2016 that the Obama White House has recently cancelled a planned further withdrawal of its forces and will leave an estimated 10,000 troops in the country indefinitely.  rect3336 space
Were you to cut through the Gordian knot of complexity that is the Afghan War, you would find that in the American failure there lies the greatest policy paradox of the century: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped dead in its steel tracks by a pink flower, the opium poppy.

"Mohn z06" by Zyance - Own work. cc 2.5
“Mohn z06” by Zyance – Own work. cc 2.5

For more than three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into Central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium, and suffered when they failed to complement it.  The first U.S. intervention there began in 1979.  It succeeded in part because the surrogate war the CIA launched to expel the Soviets from that country coincided with the way its Afghan allies used the country’s swelling drug traffic to sustain their decade-long struggle.rect3336 space
On the other hand, in the almost 15 years of continuous combat since the U.S. invasion of 2001, pacification efforts have failed to curtail the Taliban insurgency largely because the U.S. could not control the swelling surplus from the county’s heroin trade.  As opium production surged from a minimal 180 tons to a monumental 8,200 in the first five years of U.S. occupation, Afghanistan’s soil seemed to have been sown with the dragon’s teeth of ancient Greek myth.  Every poppy harvest yielded a new crop of teenaged fighters for the Taliban’s growing guerrilla army.rect3336 space
At each stage in Afghanistan’s tragic, tumultuous history over the past 40 years — the covert war of the 1980s, the civil war of the 1990s, and the U.S. occupation since 2001 — opium played a surprisingly significant role in shaping the country’s destiny.  In one of history’s bitter twists of fate, the way Afghanistan’s unique ecology converged with American military technology transformed this remote, landlocked nation into the world’s first true narco-state — a country where illicit drugs dominate the economy, define political choices, and determine the fate of foreign interventions.”

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/02/07/online-privacy-video-festival-part-1/ – Another godsend from WhoWhatWhy, here in terms of an easy to follow, technically proficient, and at least fairly comprehensive video series about encryption, back doors, and the capacity actually to have anything be a ‘private message’ for regular electronic device users, say for example, access to checking on one’s pension moneys, which a first installment examines in the greatest detail, a second portion illustrates as a nest of contradictions and partial truths in the form of an exchange between a member of Congress and the Chairman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the third part summarizes with the key overall takeaway message, that any vulnerability that is mandatory means total vulnerability, at the same time that the bugbear of ‘crime fighting’ and ‘public safety’ is, at best a complete “red herring.”


student writing arm


West Virginia Writers Conference

West Virginia Writers holds an annual writing conference the second weekend in June. Save the dates of June 10, 11, & 12, 2016 for our next Summer Conference.


Millay Colony for the Arts

Each year Millay Colony invites 52 visual artists, writers and composers for a colony residency. Residents are chosen anonymously by a panel of jurors in each discipline. The application process is competitive and based solely on on the merit of the artist statement and work sample. Yes application fee, but those invited to The Millay Colony are not required to pay a residency fee. Room, board, and studio space are provided.

 SHARKPACK Poetry Review Annual is calling for poems, flash fiction, and visual art for their upcoming issue. The theme is THE NIGHT.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Meredith Phoenix AZ – General reporting assignments from Executive Producers and Assignment Desk. Provide story narration on or off camera. The role develops and writes stories to our viewers both on-air, on-line and through other digital media.

Part-Time Technical Writer Needed for PR Firm (Torrance)

compensation: $0.40 per word
employment type: part-time

Freelance Technical Feature Article Writer Needed for PR Firm (Torrance)We are a public relations firm that is looking for an freelance technical feature article writer. They need the ability to learn and write about many different technical fields. To see a full list of fields please go to our website www.powerpr.com under “Clients”.

Proofreader (Minneapolis)

compensation: Attractive salary and benefits package to full-time employees
employment type: full-time

Company Description
KJ International Resources is a recognized leader providing language services within regulated industries such as pharmaceutical, life sciences, and financial services. KJI services include translation, localization, desktop publishing, and consulting on regulatory compliance, content management integration, and e-labeling. To learn more, visit http://www.kjinternational.com



Leftist Activist Overdose

A thought-provoking Medium piece by a writer unafraid to tell it how it is in many ways, and who can lead others to properly ponder the role of ideology, existence, and effectiveness: “I’m tired of the cliques, the hierarchies, the policing of others, and the power imbalances that exist between people who claim to be friends and comrades. I am exhausted and saddened by the fact that any type of disagreement or difference of opinion in an activist circle will lead to a fight, which sometimes includes abandonment of certain people, deeming them “unsafe” as well as public shaming and slander. It is disgusting that we claim to be building a new world, a new society, a better way of dealing with social problems — but if a person makes a mistake, says and/or does something wrong, they are not even given a chance to explain their side of what happened because the process of conflict resolution is in itself driven by ideology rather than a willingness to understand facts.”

Toxic Uranium Reality

An Aeon article that looks at the dangers of living in a Uranium toxified place: “The United Nations Climate Change Conference that took place in Paris in 2015 engendered a new global commitment to clean energy and reinvigorated discussion of nuclear power as a solution to climate change. It’s low-carbon. It’s technology we have. And political and economic support can be found among the elite. Yet, this turns a blind eye to nuclear power’s health legacies, seen most clearly in rural uranium communities, where the technology continues to make residents ill well after the Second World War and the Cold War ended. “

Alberto Otero Garcia/Wikipedia

Video Shows Police Testimony as False

A Root article that looks at the mounting video evidence that exonerates police shooting victims and puts blame on the truly guilty: “For police officers, does caught on tape mean caught in a lie?

You know the stories. The officer felt threatened, the suspect charged and the officer, claiming fear for his or her life, had to shoot. But when there’s video, these stories are not as cut-and-dried. In fact, in some cases, officers are caught flat out lying about what really transpired.

Below are five videos that proved police officers were lying in high-profile police-brutality cases.”


WRISSCheap Employer Fires Writer

A Fusion tale that harrowingly explains what it means to be an emerging freelance writer in the hyper-inflated and no-longer-fit-for-human-consumption Bay Area culture – which serves as a macrocosm for all that is failing and ailing in America: “So here I am, 25 years old, balancing all sorts of debt and trying to pave a life for myself that doesn’t involve crying in the bathtub every week. Every single one of my coworkers is struggling. They’re taking side jobs, they’re living at home. One of them started a GoFundMe because she couldn’t pay her rent. She ended up leaving the company and moving east, somewhere the minimum wage could double as a living wage. Another wrote on those neat whiteboards we’ve got on every floor begging for help because he was bound to be homeless in two weeks. Fortunately, someone helped him out. At least, I think they did. I actually haven’t seen him in the past few months. Do you think he’s okay?

Anna Dostoyevskaya by Laura Callaghan from The Who, the What, and the When

Love and Literature

A touching Brain Pickings posting that documents the true love between a literature luminary and his wife who helped him in all things: “Fyodor and Anna were married on February 15, 1867, and remained besotted with one another until Dostoyevsky’s death fourteen years later. Although they suffered financial hardship and tremendous tragedy, including the death of two of their children, they buoyed each other with love. Anna took it upon herself to lift the family out of debt by making her husband Russia’s first self-published author. She studied the book market meticulously, researched vendors, masterminded distribution plans, and turned Dostoyevsky into a national brand. Today, many consider her Russia’s first true businesswoman. But beneath her business acumen was the same tender, enormous heart that had made loving room within itself for a brilliant man with all of his demons. “


Apple Privacy Notice

A Medium follow-up of the letter posted yesterday, that further contextualizes the struggle between privacy and technology raging at Apple: “Today Apple has posted something I believe to be unpreceded, it is an open letter and appeal to its users (and in reality everyone else) stating that the government is trying to force Apple to create a backdoor in their software that would give Apple access to data on any iPhone when forced/requested by law. “


Death of a Literary Luminary

A New York Times commemoration of a brilliant, iconic writer: “As a semiotician, Mr. Eco sought to interpret cultures through their signs and symbols — words, religious icons, banners, clothing, musical scores, even cartoons — and published more than 20 nonfiction books on these subjects while teaching at the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest university.

But rather than segregate his academic life from his popular fiction, Mr. Eco infused his seven novels with many of his scholarly preoccupations.”

GENISSEvil Death Empire Strikes Back

A Paul Craig Roberts post that looks at the dire state of the world as a direct effect of the terrible people who run it, by giving example after dispiriting example of how foreign policy has eviscerated whole nations and the worldwide environment: “Perkins has a guilty conscience and still suffers from his role as a Hit Man for the evil empire, which has now turned to the plunder of American citizens. He has done everything he can to make amends, but he reports that the system of exploitation has multiplied many times and is now so commonplace that it no longer has to be hidden.”


2.22.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

From Venezuela’s TeleSur, reportage so clearly accurate and incisive as to command its own performance universally, which probably explains why such coverage has failed to materialize in The Times or The Post, even as democracy’s participants worldwide need the lessons that Bolivia’s referendum on extending Presidential terms is offering as this final week in February is unfolding.

                    This Day in History                  

Based on a father-daughter team, both of whom shared February 22nd as a birthday, today is Founders Day for various incarnations of ‘boy-scouts,’ and World Thinking Day for the associations around the globe that have followed the imprimatur of the original Girl Guide, Olave Baden-Powell; in the Chinese capital thirteen hundred eleven years ago, the sole female head of state in 4,000

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

years of imperial China abdicated her position and thereby restored the fifteen year hiatus to the Tang Dynasty; eight hundred eleven years subsequent to that moment, in 1316 in Europe, internecine struggles over the control of Greece—between Portuguese and Hanoverian interlopers—erupted into the Battle of Picotin, a pyrrhic victory for Ferdinand of Majorca; three hundred sixteen years later on, in 1632, Galileo first published his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which firmly supported a more or less correct modification of the apparently accurate yet fatuous notion that everything in the cosmos revolved around the Earth; a hundred fifty-six years hence precisely, in 1788, a baby boy was born who would mature as the philosopher and writer and theorist, Arthur Schopenhauer; a hundred ninety-seven years ahead of today, Spain agreed to accept five million dollars for the purchase of Florida, and the male child entered our midst who would write verses as James Russell Lowell; at the Western edge of a restive Europe one hundred sixty-eight years back, a rebellion in France began that would inaugurate the Second Republic; half a decade thereafter, in 1853, the St. Louis institution that would become Washington University held its first

Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.
Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.

classes; seven hundred thirty days past that point in time, in 1855, further East, Pennsylvania State University came on the scene; another year onward from that, in 1856, the first national meeting of the U.S. Republican Party took place in nearby Pittsburgh; another three hundred sixty-six days still later, in 1857, the boy child shouted out who would come to lead the scouting movement as Robert Baden-Powell, while across the English Channel the little boy opened his eyes who would rise as the renowned physicist and natural philosopher, Heinrich Hertz; fifteen years henceforth, back across the Atlantic in 1872, the first national meeting of the Prohibition Party took place; seventeen years afterward, in 1889, the scout movement’s founder and his mate ushered a girl into the world who, as Olave Baden-Powell, would inaugurate the Girl Guide’s movement; three years still further along time’s road, in 1892, back across the Atlantic again, a baby male took a first breath who would grow to become the critically acclaimed poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and in St. Louis, the founding convention took place of the Peoples Party, backed by the Knights of Labor, United Mineworkers, and other farmer and populist groups;seven years more in the direction of today, in 1899, half a world away in the Philippines, local fighters for the first time rose up against the fraud of U.S. liberation from the Spanish, though they failed, in the event to liberate Manila from the Americanos; another decade further onward, in 1909, the Great White Fleet of fifteen battleships and other engines of death completed its round the world voyage to announce the arrival of the U.S.A. as imperial force to be reckoned with; half a dozen years nearer still to the now, in 1915, German belligerents announced the start of unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic; nine years on the dot after that, in 1924,Calvin Coolidge became the first President to broadcast a radio message to the nation from the White House; a single year more proximate to our own light and air, in 1925, the male child came bouncing into our midst who would draw and create verse as the weirdly gothic and compelling Edward Gorey; thirteen years even closer to the current context, in 1938, the baby boy entered the world in standard fashion who would become the estimable poet and fierce thinker of freedom, Ishmael Reed; five years subsequently, in 1943, over the wide Atlantic’s sea, three brave activists lost their heads to Nazi Germany’s mobile guillotine for the crime of organizing against the State, and over the English Channel, a boy opened his mouth to cry for the first time en route to his life as the thinker and activist Terry Eagleton; a year hence precisely, in 1944, the male child was born who would grow up as the popular filmmaker and screenwriter, Jonathon Demme; fourteen hundred sixty-one days past that precise point in time and space, in 1948, Czechoslovakia became a communist state; USSR_Emblem_1936 russia sovietanother ten years further along, in 1958, Syria and Egypt formally created the United Arab Republic; another four years even more proximate to the present moment in the flow of things, in 1962, the wild child boy came along who would come to amaze the world with his derring-do as wildlife biologist and television personality Steve Irwin; eleven years on the nose later, in 1973, Richard Nixon’s visit  to the world’s most populous nation allowed for America and China to establish liaison offices for trade and other relations to ‘thaw;’ a year still more in the direction of today, in 1974, the Organisation of the Islamic Summit conference, attended by delegates from 37 nations, opened in Lahore Pakistan; two decades farther down the road of life, in 1994, Aldrich Ames, a thirty-one year Central Intelligence Agency employee, faced charges which ultimately proved true that he had been spying for Russia since at least the mid 1980’s; ten hundred ninety-six days still more proximate to the present, in 1997, Scottish biologists confirmed that they had cloned Dolly, a female sheep, and the tough-minded leader of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker, breathed his last; five years even farther down time’s path, in 2002, six thousand or so miles Southeast in Angola, the fascist mass murdered, Jonas Savimbi, met his end at the hands of opposing soldiers in a firefight; twelve years yet later on, in 2014, a formal impeachment against Viktor Yanukovych issued from the Ukrainian legislature.

                A Thought for the Day                

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

In life’s ongoing series of gambles, the ‘house’—which always wins, capisce?—must appear as none other than the reaper, albeit as often as not wearing some version of a mad rictus grin instead of anything remotely grim, a fact that, notwithstanding its ineluctable veracity, cannot impede a stalwart or otherwise intrepid player from grasping for that combination of joy and meaning and impact that are what the brave and the strong always seek from their days on Earth, no matter that, in the scheme of things, of course, those plus or minus 75,000 circadian circuitous rotations while our globe spins round the sun are less than the briefest of flames that we might elicit from a match that almost instantly gutters and dies.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“It is encouraging,anyway, that in a postmodern age in which meaning, like everything else, is expected to be instantly consumable, there are those who have found the labour of acquiring new ways of speaking of literature to be worthwhile. …What is truly elitist in literary studies is the idea that works of literature can only be appreciated by those with a particular sort of cultural breeding.  There are those who have ‘literary values’ in their bones, and those who languish in the outer darkness.  One important reason for the growth of literary theory since the 1960s was the gradual breakdown of this assumption, under the impact of new kinds of students entering higher education from supposedly ‘uncultivated’ backgrounds.

If one wanted to put a date on the beginnings of the transformation which has overtaken literary theory in this century, one could do worse than settle on 1917, the year in which the young Russian Formalist Viktor Shklovsky published his pioneering essay ‘Art as Device.’  Since then, and especially over the past two decades, there has been a striking proliferation of literary theory: the very meaning of ‘literature’, ‘reading,’ and ‘criticism’ has undergone deep alteration.  But not much of this theoretical revolution has yet spread beyond a circle of specialists and enthusiasts: it has still to make its full impact on the student of literature and the general reader.

The economist J. M. Keynes once remarked that those economists who disliked theory, or claimed to get along better without it, were simply in the grip of an older theory.  This is also true of literary students and critics.  There are some who complain that literary theory is impossibly esoteric – who suspect it as an arcane, elitist enclave somewhat akin to nuclear physics.  It is true that a ‘literary education’ does not exactly encourage analytical thought; but literary theory is in fact no more difficult than many theoretical enquiries, and a good deal easier than some.  I hope the book may help to demystify those who fear that the subject is beyond their reach.  Some students and critics also protest that literary theory ‘gets in between the reader and the work.’  The simple response to this is that without some kind of theory, however unreflective and implicit, we would not know what a ‘literary work’ was in the first place, or how we were to read it.  Hostility to theory usually means an opposition to other people’s theories and an oblivion of one’s own.  One purpose of this book is to lift that repression and allow us to remember.”  Terry Eagleton, from the Preface of Literary Theory: an Introduction

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SEARCHDAY"public safety" myth OR mythos OR bullshit "red herring" OR excuse encryption secrecy surveillance intelligence OR nsa OR cia analysis = 34,500 Hits.

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                       Top of the Fold                        


http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/02/17/hitlers-legacy-part-1/ – An investigation into the now-resurgent visage of Nazism from WhoWhatWhy, as simple as part one, above, which deals with the general connection among upper class Islamists and fascist operatives over the past century or so; part two, which concerns primarily the extrication of Nazis from Europe in the 1940’s and their spread around the planet in strategic locations with plenty of ties to resources and rulers at the center of things; and part three, which examines the World War One aftermath and the roots of the rise of National Socialism as such and variants outside of Germany as a result of imperial depredation that followed the Entente’s ‘victory’ over the Kaiser in spite of Bolshevik treachery and so forth and so on, all of which results from the research and excerpts that are available from the monograph, The Hitler Legacy: The Nazi Cult in Diaspora: How it was Organized, How it was Funded, and Why it Remains a Threat to Global Security in the Age of Terrorism, by a talented researcher and thinker who has written on these matters for many years: “(Jorg Haider’s) followers have floated various theories that he might have been killed by his enemies in the Deutsche Bank or the Mossad.  It stands to reason that Haider would have liked that — and also that the site of his accident(from an intoxicated encounter at high speed with a retaining wall) has become a place of pilgrimage for Austrian right wingers.

rect3336 space
What he undoubtedly would not have liked, however, are the revelations that have come to light since his death.  Notebooks in his handwriting show that Haider received huge sums of money from Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.  The latter paid him $45 million while the Iraqi dictator funneled $5 million to the Austrian politician.  What this money was supposed to buy is not yet known.

(This data caught Peter Gavenda’s attention, who, for his book, Ratlines, was showing the extent of Nazi escape routes to Indonesia and elsewhere). Since then I have seen documentation that proves beyond any doubt that networks existed after the war to assist Nazi war criminals in their escape and survival, and that these networks were far more pervasive than even the fantasies of Frederick Forsyth and Ira Levin would have us believe.  More to the point, the evidence that there existed (and still exists) a strong relationship between underground Nazi organizations and underground ‘Islamist’ organizations is strong, incontrovertible, and deeply troubling.

In addition, documentation has become available—some of it recently declassified—to show that these networks were relegated not only to Latin American dictatorships and ‘banana republics’ but to nations in the Middle East, Asia, and North America.  The number of Nazis who ‘converted’ to Islam after the war is astounding.  The number of Americans who participated in the Nazi underground is even more astounding.

This is the Hitler Legacy.  From terror bombings in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, to assassinations of political leaders around the world, to drug-running and arms smuggling, to Operation Condor, and all the way to the events of September 11, 2001, what we have to confront is the possibility that our governments and our intelligence agencies have become Sorcerer’s Apprentices.  Like the Disney movie, our Mickey Mouse savants and spies have clumsily summoned forces beyond their control.  What began as an effort to contain the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China has become the template for a campaign of global terrorism directed at us.”—Part One

CC BY by Gwydion M. Williams
CC BY by Gwydion M. Williams

“(From Austria, where Hitler grew up, recruiters), and specifically the offices of the Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) of the US Army (sought out) men like Klaus Barbie, the ‘Butcher of Lyon,’ (who) were hired to work for American intelligence — before they were aided in their escape to Latin America.  Kaltenbrunner, Skorzeny, Hanna Reitsch: these and many other celebrities of the Reich were either captured in Austria, or worked for a time for the CIC in Austria, or both.  Travel through the Tyrol to the Italian border was relatively easy and many refugees made it to the Italian town of Bolzano (Bozen), where they awaited papers and funds to make it the rest of the way to Rome or to Genoa, and from there to the ships that would take them to safety.rect3336 space
One of the most famous Nazis to have survived the war relatively intact was General Otto Remer, (who after he rounded up Hitler’s would-be assassins and had them shot in 1944), went on to become involved in post-war Austrian politics for various extreme right-wing parties and was suspected of being involved in a plot to resurrect the Nazi apparatus during the Naumann Affair.  He became a sought-after speaker at various ODESSA-like events in Europe, and was even an invited guest at a conference held by Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby in the United States, (a)n event at which former Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan was in attendance. rect3336 space
Otto Remer is one of the links in the chain that connects the Nazis of the Second World War to the right-wing underground in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and Latin America after the war.  He, along with Otto Skorzeny and Hans-Ulrich Rudel, was one of the most visible and unapologetic members of the Reich in the post-war period.  His role — and that of his colleagues — is one of the reasons I resist calling this movement ‘neoNazi.’  So many actual Nazis who held rank and privilege during the war were involved in helping the Party apparatus survive after the war; there is nothing ‘neo’ about ‘neo-Nazism.’

(Most people, if they know about such things at all, consider them as esoteric and very rare plots and plans by a few weirdos).  But there were other, lesser known, individuals in America who were part of a quiet ODESSA of their own, men and women who believed in the Nazi ideal and who idolized its heroes.  Some of these were revealed when an address book belonging to one of the leaders of the real ODESSA was recently declassified (possibly in error, since some of the names in that book are of individuals still alive as this is being written).  What is important to understand is that this was not a new, perverse sort of hero-worship that only began when Germany was defeated.  Rather it had roots in America long before the war began.rect3336 space
It is easier to understand the post-war Nazi underground if we realize the extent to which there was a pre-war Nazi underground: not only in Europe (principally Germany and Austria) but also in North America, South America, the Middle East and Asia.  Many individuals, groups, corporations and politicians were sympathetic not only to Germany’s situation in the aftermath of World War One and the punitive Treaty of Versailles, but also to Germany’s intellectual contribution to discussions (and policy positions) on race, eugenics, and Social Darwinism.  The Russian Revolution took place a year before the end of World War One, and the perceived threat of a global Communist movement mobilized right-wing elements across the globe even as it inspired many others.”—Part Two

CC BY-SA by joelogon
CC BY-SA by joelogon

“(In the context of a Russian Revolution and end of the German attempt to control Europe, in the shambles after 1918), (r)eturning German soldiers were bringing the Communist message back to their homeland.  Various German states were in danger of having Socialist or Communist governments.  The German Navy raised the red flag of Communism over its ships in the port city of Kiel; Berlin had a Socialist leader; and in Munich the Bavarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed.  The German Revolution had begun.

(An early target of radical reds was the Thule Society, led by a mystical, Nordic thinker who had fought for Ottoman Turkey.  An early opponent of Bolshevism in Germany was the National Socialist German Workers Party, the Nazis).  The memberships of these two organizations — the Thule Society with its milky gaze fixed on the legendary origin of the Nordic race, Thule (a kind of Teutonic Atlantis), and the Nazi Party (a collection of thugs, unemployed laborers, and bitter ex-soldiers) — often overlapped.  The young Adolf Hitler, a corporal in the defeated German army, was sent to infiltrate the suspiciously nomenclatured German Workers Party and report back on what he found.  Instead, he took it over and made it the vehicle for his own mission: trendy socialist-sounding sentiments masking an anti-internationalist, racist, and hegemonic platform to restore Germany’s greatness and wreak vengeance on those whom he felt betrayed the nation: the Jews, the Communists, and the liberal elite.rect3336 space
At the same time, the Middle East was reeling from various European decisions that had been made, either without consulting its leaders or through ignoring promises that were made and then summarily broken.  The Balfour Declaration of 1917 — which made Palestine a Jewish homeland — was one of these, entered into without a thought to discussing it with the Arab leaders who had thrown in their lot with the Allies against the Ottoman Turks (thereby defying the Caliph’s fatwa that called all Muslims to jihad against the Triple Entente).rect3336 space
There was also the Sykes-Picot Agreement (which essentially carved up the former Ottoman Empire in the Middle East between France and Great Britain, redrawing the map of the region completely — again without consulting the indigenous populations).  Declassified correspondence reveals the extent of the British and French double-cross where the Arab Revolt was concerned.  It is a trail of deception worthy of comparison to the hundreds of peace treaties signed by the US government with the Native American populations

… .
Thus, the experience of Germans in the 1920s ran oddly parallel to that of the average Arab citizen in the Middle East at the same time.  Rightly or wrongly, both felt victimized and betrayed by the Allied powers, especially Great Britain and France and to some extent Russia.  Both began to see the Jews as symbolic of the sinister forces at work in the world: Germany, because it believed that Communism was a Jewish invention to enslave the world, and the Middle East, because suddenly there would be a Jewish homeland — administered by England — in the middle of  its  territory, thus proving there was, indeed, a conspiracy of Jews and European Christians against Islam.  In both cases religion and race were made to be seen at the heart of the problem, rather than the more intellectually demanding and complex forces of politics and economics.”—Part Three

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://fktv.is/messenger-of-iraqi-children-to-america-and-the-world-27563 – Whatever the flaws, possibly lethal ones, that attend relying on the ‘wonders of social media’ to orient citizens to the world, the nature of reality now–widespread access to communications tools in a context of hideous corporate malfeasance in delivering real messages from the grassroots–means that all manner of socially mediated expression will in fact engage listeners, viewers, and readers to material that would otherwise only be the province of the privileged few, along with the spooks and other ‘agents’ of empire whom the powers-that-be pay to observe, in today’s case, first an at once thrilling and chilling delivery from an eleven year old Iraqi boy who basically wonders, “Are you happy now?” with how America has left his nation, which he identifies classically as Mesopotamia; and second, an English octogenarian singer-songwriter’s performance of a song, simultaneously maudlin and as punchy as a sledgehammer, that juxtaposes a young Jewish victim of the holocaust with a Palestinian youth’s ‘execution.’


student writing arm


 Show & Grow Your Prose

Hosted by the Hampton Roads Writers Group in Virginia, once or twice a month in various locations, : “Don’t miss this opportunity to read ten minutes of your prose** (short story, memoir, or novel chapter ONLY) to the audience, followed by a brief professional critique by our guest critiquer. 3 – 4 readings per session for the dinner meetings and 4 – 5 readings at the Muse Writers Center.

All events are FREE and open to the public, but, with regard to the dinner meeting Show and Grow events, if you wish to eat dinner, you must purchase your own food. It’s perfectly fine to arrive a few minutes prior to seven and not eat dinner at the venue.”


The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Now in its 15th year, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2000 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world.

The contest opens each year April 1 – May 15 and winners are published in the following fall issue in October.

High School Scholarship Contest

A Virginia Writers Club offering to high school students; $1000 prize, free to enter. Subject: ““Looking at the current trends, how do you foresee the future as it relates to written works, and how will this affect you as a writer?””  Through May 1st.

Escape Pod is calling for flash science fiction no longer than 500 words for their Flash Fiction Contest.


pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Senior Editor (Fort Lauderdale) 

Write Stuff Enterprises, LLC, an award-winning independent publisher located in Fort Lauderdale, is currently seeking an experienced senior editor. This is a full-time, M-F position that involves managing long-term nonfiction book projects while working closely with the author, the subject, and freelance researchers. Great work environment for a responsible and detail-oriented team player. The ideal candidate will be organized and adaptable to changing situations.

is looking for aExperienced Health/Fitness Expert to Write For Branded Company Blog
Category: Blog Networks
We are looking for a high-quality writer with a lot of experience in the Health/Fitness niche to bring on board and build a relationship with. This job comes with an Author Profile in which you can include your picture and bio along with a Google friendly contact link such as a social profile/ your personal blog / or email. (Unless you do not find value in this, in which case it will not be necessary to provide us with this info).


compensation: pay dependent on experience
employment type: contract

I am in need of a blog writer for my company–must be familiar with the advertising/brand world. Mostly blogs will be posted to Linkdin I will provide all of the content and structure just need it crafted by a professional–will pay dependent on experience–please reply to this with a link to representative writing samples for consideration–must meet strict deadlines



Deconstructing Police Brutality

A Daily Kos look at a study by careful analysts that disprove some of the myths and purported resolutions of police brutality: “Since the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the issue of the unjustified shooting of unarmed persons of color has become a heated topic. Most often it’s argued that these shootings are prime examples of lingering deep-seated racism in our society in general and among police, but a new study of 259 shooting cases in the city of Chicago between 2006 and 2014 seems to indicate that these incidents are not necessarily motivated by the animus of white officers against black victims. Rather, the data shows that the race of officers involved in these shootings largely matches the general demographics of the departments themselves, but the shooting victims are far more likely to be black and/or to live in neighborhoods that are far less diverse and affluent.”

via Rawstory

Saudi Arabia Nukes

A You Tube posting by a useful analyst who looks at the unfortunate circumstance surrounding Saudi Arabia and its purported nuclear arsenal, a fact that should give the citizens of the world pause: “CIA Operations Director confirms Saudis have up to Seven Nukes deliverable by missile or plane.”

Sickening Medicine in Rivers

A Vice report by intrepid reporters that takes a look at the huge environmental and health crisis in India, a situation exacerbated by overflowing antibiotics contamination and lax regulation: “India is one of the world’s largest producers of antibiotics. The billion-dollar industry helps make affordable drugs for millions of people — but it comes at a steep price.

VICE News travels to Hyderabad, India’s pharma capital, to see how the pollution from pharmaceutical factories is contributing to antibiotic resistance, which makes common illnesses increasingly hard to treat and risks giving rise to the next “superbug.””

Faces of Admissions Changing

A Fusion article that looks at the fact that some colleges are overlooking standardized testing in admissions processes, showing the ironies of the inevitable result of decades-long approach of eviscerating education so as to ‘teach to the test’ : “Last month, the University of Delaware decided to make the SAT and ACT an optional part of its admissions requirements.

It’s a move that’s becoming increasingly common among American schools. At last count, more than 850 colleges and universities in the U.S. are now “test optional,” according to an analysis by the non-profit group FairTest. Among the best-known schools that have made the SAT and ACT optional are Wake Forest and NYU.”


racism bigotry kkk ku klux klanHistory of a Group of Idiots

A Pacific Standard glimpse into a historical tome that presents to readers the actual history of the Klan, from its clownish, idiotic beginnings through its career as a reactionary, violent horde of murdering bigots: “Menacing and attacking former slaves was a Southern white pastime for as long as there had been former slaves. Frank McCord had himself led a failed anti-freedman mob but couldn’t convince his neighbors to join. (This was before he formed the Klan.) Parsons makes a convincing case that white supremacy and politics in general were not foundational motivations for the Pulaski Klan; within a year, though, freedmen and their Republican allies would become the Klan’s targets. The book is careful not to draw some artificial line between the Klan as some bros just kidding around and the Klan as a vicious terrorist organization. For a Ku Klux, the two were one and the same.”

WRISSScholars and Writing

A Chronicle of Higher Education interview that looks at the ouvre and gifts of a talented academic writer: “To be called a popularizer can be the kiss of death to an academic, young or old — if such a denigration is directed toward writing that is cheapened by a conscious effort to appeal to the lowest common denominator. In my opinion, however, good historical writing based on sound scholarship can and should be accessible and meaningful to an expert as well as a popular audience, so long as the canons of accuracy and sound interpretation are not violated. If this kind of accessibility is “popularizing,” I consider it a badge of honor rather than shame.”

Umberto Eco in front of the bookshelf in his library which contains books he has written and translations. Milano, May 9th, 2011. ( Martin Grüner Larsen)

Umberto Eco

An archived interview from Medium that, in wake of his sudden death, discusses the process and thoughts of an iconic writer in the contexts of his most recent novel: “Baudolino is able to speak every language. This is not just my dream, but the dream of humanity. Ever since the fall of the Babel Tower, when all the languages were mixed up and multiplied, people have dreamed of finding an aboriginal or common language. So, Baudolino is our ideal of being able to communicate. It was also a dirty trick on my part. Baudolino travels all around the world, and I couldn’t make people speak in their different languages. It was impossible — I would have had to use subtitles like in movies — so I was obliged to make Baudolino able to learn rapidly every language.”


mac-Apple_Lisa computerData Security and iPhone

An open letter from Apple to all its customers in regards to the trials it faces from FBI insistence on interventions to its technology: “The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. 

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.”


Alt-Presidential Candidate

A Truth-Dig opinion piece that voices approval of a little-known independent presidential candidate: ” I support Stein because she understands that this is primarily about building a global movement, not about participating in an election. She, unlike Bernie Sanders, knows that this movement will never be realized within the Democratic Party or by paying deference to the power elites, the Israel lobby or the arms industry and the military establishment. She grasps that until we name and destroy the evil of militarism and imperialism, genuine social and political reform, indeed democracy, is impossible. She does not want to work within the corporate establishment. She wants to dismantle it. And all the pundits who tell us not to waste our vote miss the point. It is time to stop playing the game.”

GENISSDestruction of Syria 

A Global Research article that looks at the unfortunate actions and the unfortunate consequences of these actions that have unfolded in Syria in the past century: ““I want to go on record as saying that this is the stupidest, most irresponsible action a diplomatic mission like ours could get itself involved in, and that we’ve started a series of these things that will never end.” Dean Hinton, US State Department official pertaining  to planned CIA coup against Syria in 1949 (1)

The following is a timeline of US and allied interventions over the past 100 years. (1916-2016)”


2.19.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

Breaking news and analysis here, from Mashable, about the so-far successful police state enforcement of a guaranteed way to access even the most sophisticated mass market devices, something that has long existed in relation to computers and their communications capacity, a la the National Security Agency’s massive sucking up of all the data that is for many years now, but which those with the means to purchase and pay for the services on an I-phone or similarly pricey device did not have to worry about confronting, an eventuality that Mashable’s reporter, and many a scrappy scribe and concerned citizen, will see as a disaster for many reasons in all sorts of scenarios.

                    This Day in History                  

Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) - Ancient Rome
Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) – Ancient Rome

One thousand eight hundred and nineteen years back, two contenders to rule the Roman Empire led huge armies into the bloodiest internecine warfare in Roman history, so as to determine which faction would rule the chieftains of loot in charge of Rome; sixteen hundred sixty years ahead of today, the second Emperor Constantius ordered all pagan shrines in the entire empire to close; a thousand one hundred seventeen years later, in 1473, a baby boy cried out who would mature as the giant of science and thinking, Nicolaus Copernicus; three hundred sixty-seven years before the here and now, Holland’s hopes of colonizing part of Brazil ended with the defeat of Dutch forces at the Second Battle of Guararapes; a quarter century subsequently, in 1674, roughly a century in advance of their next colonial dust-up, England and the Netherlands settled the Third Anglo-Dutch War, in part by transferring New Amsterdam and Manhattan to British rule; in Wakefield, Alabama a hundred thirty-three years subsequently, in 1807, Vice President Aaron Burr faced arrest for treason and confinement at Fort Stoddert; in Switzerland, a single year more than a quarter century hence, in 1833, a baby boy came into the world who would grow up to be a journalist, peace activist, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient named Ellie Dullomun; thirteen years farther down time’s road, in 1846, Texas officially formed a State government to which the Alamo_Entrance texasRepublic of Texas transferred power, permitting the Lone Star’s entry into the U.S. firmament; a decade and a half later, in 1861, Russian rulers ordered the abolition of serfdom; a hundred thirty-eight years prior to the present pass, Thomas Edison successfully presented his patent for the phonograph; nine years thereafter, in 1887, the popular journalist and anti-imperial writer who called himself Multatuli died; seven years later to the day, in 1896, a male baby was born in France who would go on to become acclaimed poet Andre Breton; half a dozen years onward in time and space, in 1902, a little girl opened her eyes who would rise as the author and critic, Kay Boyle; seven years henceforth, in 1909, the American Federation of Labor chartered its Railroad Employees Department; three hundred sixty-five days down the pike from that, in 1910, Philadelphia’s ‘rapid transit’ service laid off over a hundred union members and sympathizers, which quickly led to a general strike; two years more proximate to the present point in time, in 1912, police savagely beat hundreds of women picketers at the ‘Bread and Roses’ strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, causing several women to miscarry their pregnancies; five years afterward, in 1917, a baby girl uttered her first cry en route to life as author and storyteller Carson McCullers; twenty-three years later on to guitar music art performancethe day, in 1940, two male infants bounced in to the world, both of whom would grow up as ‘Miracles’ at singing and performing, one as Smokey Robinson, the other as Bobby Rogers; two years subsequent to that juncture, in 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that permitted placing Japanese Americans in concentration camps; six years still more in proximity to the present day, in 1948, a widely attended student conference began in Calcutta, India that helped to foster widespread nationalist and communist resistance and rebellion in different parts of Southern and Southeast Asia, and half a world away in England, a male infant took a breath who would rock and roll and write lyrics as Tony Iommi for Black Sabbath, while across the Atlantic International Workers of the World organizer and working class battler Joe Ettor closed his eyes a final time; also in the United States and three hundred sixty-six days afterward, in 1949, Ezra Pound received the Bollingen Poetry Prize from Yale University;two years later, in 1951, Nobel laureate and thinker Andre Gide breathed his last; a year hence exactly, more or less six thousand miles West in 1952, a baby girl entered the world who would become popular author Amy Tan; a year down the road on the dot, in 1953, Georgia became the fire chaos disaster propertyfirst U.S. State to empower a Censorship Board to censor school and other official books in its jurisdiction; seven hundred thirty days hence, in 1955, the male child was born who would mature as playwright and popular actor, Jeff Daniels; a thousand ninety six days past that instant, meanwhile, a little girl took her first breath on the other side of the Atlantic on the way to her life as the wildly popular author, Helen Fielding; three hundred sixty-six days subsequently, in 1959, Cyprus gained its independence from English rule; another year further down the road, in 1960, China launched its first sub-orbital research rocket; three years even closer to now, in 1963, Betty Friedan published her ‘middle-class’ feminist ‘manifesto,’ The Feminine Mystique; forty-one years ago, in a semi-miraculous decision, the Supreme Court agreed with the Retail Clerks Union and the National Labor Relations Board that a union member could request the presence of a union steward any time that he or she were facing disciplinary action from an employer; another years more proximate to the present pass, in 1976, President Ford rescinded the Japanese internment camp order of FDR in 1942; exactly two years after that juncture, in 1978, Egyptian commandos sought surreptitiously to intervene in a Cypriot airport hijacking that involved Egyptian planes and nationals, leading to a firefight that resulted in the destruction of the aircraft and the death of at least fifteen special forces fighters; seven years after that, in 1985, the British Broadcasting System let loose its wildly popular serial show, Eastenders; another orbit of the Earth round the sun, in 1986, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee signed an solidarityagreement that ended its nearly seven year boycott of Campbell Soup; eleven years further along the temporal path, in 1997, supporters of striking musicians in Seattle, over 1,500 of them, picketed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, forcing the premier’s cancellation; five years henceforth, in 2002, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Mars Odyssey probe began its mapping of the surface of the Red Planet; another years past that junction, in 2003, the iconic country crooner, Johnny Paycheck, sang his swan song and made a final exit; three years still more proximate to today’s light and air, in 2006, nearly seventy Mexican miners died when a methane leak exploded as they worked at the coal face; five years beyond that exact conjunction, in 2011, Singapore opened an exhibition that contained Tang Dynasty artifacts that explorers and scientists had recovered from an ancient shipwreck.

                A Thought for the Day                

While a tendency in relation to conflict either to fight or to fly is perfectly understandable—one’s particular response in a given instance as much reflex and instinct as training and will—any writer who hopes to advance beyond “Jack and Jill” storytelling chops eventually needs to think more deeply about discord: not only does unraveling contrariety, with all its contradictions and seemingly random tensions, stand at the center of any capacity to plot above the level of Thomas the Tank Engine, but the discernment about ourselves and those whom we love and hate, insights upon which the only foundations rest that permit building credible characters, also depend on this ability to deconstruct dissension and dig to the bloody root of antagonism, none of which means, necessarily, that one must forego joy or forestall delight, merely, instead, that one has little choice but to recognize that enjoyment in the midst of struggle is our duty and fate.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“The only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own.  There is no other way. …American housewives have not had their brains shot away, nor are they schizophrenic in the clinical sense.  But if … the fundamental human drive is not the urge for pleasure or the satisfaction of biological needs, but the need to grow and to realize one’s full potential, their comfortable, empty, purposeless days are indeed cause for a nameless terror.
 annie oakley wild west gun women       (In some ways, therefore, for women of a certain class), (w)hat had really caused the women’s movement was the additional years of human life.  At the turn of the century women’s life expectancy was forty-six; now it was nearly eighty.  Our groping sense that we couldn’t live all those years in terms of motherhood alone was ‘the problem that had no name.’  Realizing that it was not some freakish personal fault but our common problem as women had enabled us to take the first steps to change our lives.

The problem that has no name (which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities) is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease. …Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

When women take their education and their abilities seriously and put them to use, ultimately they have to compete with men.  It is better for a woman to compete impersonally in society, as men do, than to compete for dominance in her own home with her husband, compete with her neighbors for empty status, and so smother her son that he cannot compete at all.”  Betty Friedan

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SEARCHDAYinterdisciplinary OR multidisciplinary OR interrelated OR interconnected learning OR knowledge OR analysis OR understanding consciousness OR awareness OR perspective OR "point of view" versus compartmentalized OR atomized OR divided analysis OR investigation philosophy OR sts OR "history of science" OR "history of technology" theory OR hypothesis "political economy" OR socialization radical OR marxist = 494,000 Items.

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                       Top of the Fold                        

A weekly amalgam of a handful of the countless items that could conceivably represent some interesting corner of the mediated, creative universe, in other words the realm of scrappy scribes, in this case material that explores, or explicates directly, aspects of storytelling particularly or creativity generally, with, in the lead position, a mysterious Guardian article that interviews a now internationally renowned author whose identity still, only a few people know, none of whom are breaking silence at this point–an almost chilling sort of setup that the Intercept follows marvelously with an installment of prison genius’ story-of-the-moment, which ought to be required reading for all citizens not in comas; that, as well, one of BrainPickings predictably enchanting narratives beautifully complements, with an assessment of John Dewey’s work in aesthetics, especially Art As Experience; that in much more general fashion an essay from The Conversation also dovetails with quite nicely, examining the fatuous idiocy that passes for an education policy that wants innovative workers who’venever taken a course in the arts and humanities; that a fascinating briefing from Fusion also matches, in an assessment of how bilingual brains could in fact be stronger cognitive engines, as it were; and with which a second piece from The Guardian interestingly meshes, in offering an at least plausibly reassuring notion that telling AI Robots stories might keep the superior beings from culling our meat-based intelligence from the herd, all of which simmers up a richly intriguing stew that might percolate useful or at least fun fancies among those who take a look:  “Elena Ferrante is a pseudonym.  Elena Ferrante does not exist.  Which makes the acclaimed Italian novelist, whoever she may be, quite difficult to interview.  For her fans, this is tantalising.  Ferrante’s novels, particularly the quartet set in her hometown of Naples, have an autobiographical feel, and the author has done little to discourage that impression.  One of the two women whose lives the books trace is called Elena, and is a writer, after all.
         (Instead of ‘a somewhat mysterious person…who exists inside{my} head’), ‘Elena Ferrante is the author of several novels.  There is nothing mysterious about her, given how she manifests herself – perhaps even too much – in her own writing, the place where her creative life transpires in absolute fullness.  What I mean is that the author is the sum of the expressive strategies that shape an invented world, a concrete world that is populated with people and events.  The rest is ordinary private life.’

‘I don’t have any special passion for politics, it being a never-ending merry-go-round of bosses big and small, all generally mediocre.  I actually find it boring.  I confuse names, minor events, their political positions.  But I have always paid careful attention to social and economic conflicts, to the dialectic – if we can call it that – between high and low.  Maybe it’s because I was not born or brought up in affluence.  Climbing the economic ladder has been very hard for me, and I still feel a great deal of guilt towards those I left behind.  I also had to discover very quickly that class origins cannot be erased, regardless of whether we climb up or down the sociocultural ladder.  Even when our circumstances improve, it’s like the colour that inevitably rises to one’s cheeks after a strong emotion… I believe there is no story, however small, that can ignore that colouring.’
         (In a slightly different vein from Phillip Roth, when he said, ‘discretion is, unfortunately, not for novelists), I prefer to call it illicit appropriation rather than indiscretion.  Writing for me is a dragnet that carries everything away with it: expressions and figures of speech, postures, feelings, thoughts, troubles. In short, the lives of others.  Not to mention the ransacking of the enormous warehouse that is literary tradition.rect3336 space
         ‘Using the name Elena helped only to reinforce the truth of the story I was telling.  Even those who write need that ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ as Coleridge called it.  The fictional treatment of biographical material – a treatment that for me is essential – is full of traps.  Saying ‘Elena’ has helped to tie myself down to the truth.'”—The Guardian
fantasy book story tale
         “(In the midst of my busy social schedule in prison), I did manage to get in some much-needed reading time when someone lent me a copy of Five Families, a history of the American mafia by the veteran New York Times crime reporter Selwyn Raab.  I’ve never had much interest in organized crime of the non-governmental sort, but ever since 2009 when I read through the bulk of Thomas Friedman’s past columns in the course of researching a book on the subject of incompetence, I’ve been fascinated by the extent to which a fellow can be a bit of a dummy, with questionable writing abilities and a penchant for making demonstrably erroneous attacks on others, and still find regular employment with the nation’s most prestigious newspaper (though in fairness to the Times, they did eventually get rid of William Kristol).

Luckily, this is the sort of book from which one can extract the most telling instances of Gray Lady-caliber foolishness just by skimming around.  At some point Raab seems to decide that the writers of The Sopranos must be punished for humanizing the mafia in the course of writing a drama about human beings who are in the mafia.  And so, more in sadness than in anger, but more in confusion than either, he sets out to debunk the show’s fictional plotline by way of his own fictional journalistic expertise: ‘Genuine capos and wiseguys would never emulate Tony’s behavior. … No top-tier mobster would last long if he behaved like Tony Soprano, who defies basic Mafioso caution by exposing himself as a ripe target, to be easily mowed down by rivals.  He drives without a bodyguard; sips espresso in daylight at a sidewalk café.’  This comes just a few chapters after we’re told the following about a real-life top-tier mobster: ‘Shunning bodyguards and bullet-proof limousines, the sixty-six-year-old godfather met with his Mafia associates in restaurants and travelled about Manhattan in taxis like any ordinary businessman.’

Even had the author not been so sporting as to provide us with comically perfect counterexamples by which to disprove his various inane objections, one could have also pointed out that Tony Soprano’s decision to see a psychiatrist does in fact prove to be a ‘mistake’ insomuch as it directly leads to a rupture in his organization culminating in a botched assassination attempt in the very first season, so this objection wouldn’t have made any sense even had it gotten past that crucial directly-contradicted-by-your-own-fucking-book hurdle that seems to be giving Raab so much trouble.  Now take a moment to reflect on the fact that this is the guy the New York Times assigned to report on one of the nation’s most complex and insidious criminal conspiracies — this plodding hyphen addict who cannot seem to follow a television show or even his own manuscript.  One supposes that there is some alternate universe in which this might be considered a problem and where Ross Douthat manages a furniture store and everyone knows his place.

(Being in a medium security lock-up involves more than reviewing books, of course.  When I came here from half-the-time solitary in maximum security, I went to a several day ‘orientation’).  Today, however, the chief attraction was to be our warden, Norbal Vazquez, a longtime BOP functionary from Puerto Rico who is proverbial for his deranged monologues as well as for being regarded with great contempt by staff and inmates alike.  Here are some actual quotes from his exquisitely demented half-hour orientation talk, during which he waddled back and forth, wagging his finger in admonishment when appropriate and sometimes when not: ‘I am here because I earned it.’ …Probably in some of your minds, (control rests with) inmates!  But you are wrong! …’Don’t come complain to me about your meals.  Because there are children with nothing!’

All in all, it was an informative speech in spite of itself, even aside from the fellow’s suspicious insistence on his own competence and self-reliance and entirely meritocratic ascension to the top spot.  There was quite a bit of talk, for instance, about how the gangs aren’t in control of the prison, something that obviously wouldn’t need so much triumphant emphasis were such a state of affairs not at least a possibility.

As is the case with the country at large, the rules within each federal prison are such that a large portion of everyday activity actually violates those rules — and in both cases, 99 percent of the violations go unpunished, while anyone who proves inconvenient to the powers that be can be singled out for retaliation.  Technically it’s against the rules to give anything to another inmate, for instance, or to sell or trade or lend for that matter, but of course this is done all day without a second thought, often in plain view of the guards, not a single one of whom would consider objecting.  There are other rules that are almost universally disregarded but can be invoked at whim; there is also a catch-all violation, ‘Anything Unauthorized,’ on hand as a last resort.  But rabble-rousers can usually be dispensed with via more specific regulations such as those barring the signing of petitions or holding of demonstrations. [I myself was thrown in the hole for months due to my supposed leadership role in one such demonstration against an abusive guard who’d just threatened an elderly man.]”—The Intercept
books library history research
         “In the opening essay, titled ‘The Live Creature,’ Dewey argues that by reducing works of art to material products — paintings, buildings, books, music albums — we forget that ‘the actual work of art is what the product does with and in experience.’ …’When artistic objects are separated from both conditions of origin and operation in experience, a wall is built around them that renders almost opaque their general significance… Art is remitted to a separate realm, where it is cut off from that association with the materials and aims of every other form of human effort, undergoing, and achievement.’
(Today, this connection between art and experience is at risk or even nonexistent).  What severed this intimate relationship between art and experience, Dewey argues, is the rise of capitalism, which removed art from life by making it a commodity of class, status, or taste.  He writes: ‘Objects that were in the past valid and significant because of their place in the life of a community now function in isolation from the conditions of their origin.  By that fact they are also set apart from common experience, and serve as insignia of taste and certificates of special culture.’

Art in its proper form, Dewey suggests, transmutes the common activities of human life into matters of aesthetic value.  Any theory seeking an understanding of art must therefore be concerned with understanding the larger ecosystem of experience from which art springs.  In a sentiment that calls to mind Richard Feynman’s memorable “ode to a flower”—a parallel that exposes the common ground between true science and true art — Dewey observes: ‘Flowers can be enjoyed without knowing about the interactions of soil, air, moisture, and seeds of which they are the result.  But they cannot be understood without taking just these interactions into account — and theory is a matter of understanding.’

(Without theorizing and such deep imagining, life is at best lacking).  Dewey’s most salient point — a point that applies not only to art but to our deepest sense of ourselves as agents of aliveness — deals precisely with this question of completeness.  Life, like art, is never complete without what he so poetically calls ‘all the rhythmic crises that punctuate the stream of living.’  Our creaturely destiny is intimately entwined with the realities of nature, and nature is forever oscillating between mutually necessary highs and lows.  Echoing Nietzsche’s immortal wisdom, (he writes about) why a fulfilling life requires embracing rather than running from difficulty
… .
(In nature, of course, homeostasis and energy exchange are always basic). ‘These biological commonplaces are something more than that; they reach to the roots of the esthetic in experience.  The world is full of things that are indifferent and even hostile to life; the very processes by which life is maintained tend to throw it out of gear with its surroundings.  Nevertheless, if life continues and if in continuing it expands, there is an overcoming of factors of opposition and conflict; there is a transformation of them into differentiated aspects of a higher power and more significant life… Here in germ are balance and harmony attained through rhythm.  Equilibrium comes about not mechanically and inertly but out of, and because of, tension… Changes interlock and sustain one another.  Wherever there is this coherence there is endurance.”—BrainPickings
SPINDOCMTN-BANNER books education students
“(The context of cutbacks ascendant crushes the potential for inspired invention.  Our schools enforce that our children are born that way.)  Successive departments for education since then have tried to find the best way to fill in the gaps left by the very circumstances of birth.  But there is compelling evidence in the work of organisations such as Arts Council England, the Higher Education Funding Council and others that we are once again slipping back into a situation where our educational and professional fates are sealed at birth.  The Sutton Trust has also stressed the importance of disadvantaged young people developing advanced cognitive skills to enable them to bridge educational gaps – both in terms of progress in school and admission to ‘high status universities.’

In a 2015 report into the future of cultural value in Britain, The Warwick Commission cited the depressing statistic that children born into low-income families with low levels of qualifications are the least likely to be employed and to succeed in the cultural and creative industries.  At the same time, the government estimates that the global gross value added to the economy by the creative and cultural industries is over £76.9 billion.  While Osborne clearly recognises and values this sector of the economy as a key part of the government’s forward planning, the Department for Education’s current reform agenda seems to be turning its back on the job of nurturing the next generation of creative practitioners and thinkers. …
It would be a terrible mistake to allow culture and creativity to become only accessible to those who can pay for it.  During times of austerity, it is shortsighted to limit people’s career paths. Instead, we should provide all young people with the confidence, potential and aspiration to achieve whatever future direction they choose to take – this is how we future proof the UK.”—The Conversation

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/02/brain-food-here-are-15-smart-people-talking-for-5-minutes-each-about-journalisms-future/  –  From fifteen creditable practitioners, views about how to shape and enhance journalism in the context of ‘disruptive’ changes in the field, all made available via NiemanLab, everything from teamwork to coding to solutions-approaches to community engagement and much, much more, especially for those whose orientation to every problem is to find a business model methodology for addressing it.


student writing arm


The Atlanta Writing Workshop

February 20, 2016–The staff behind the organization and instruction of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop are excited to announce The Atlanta Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference in Atlanta, GA on February 20, 2016.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (100 total).


Great Wall of Oakland is calling for submissions of digital art, moving image, video, and new media work to be screened on their 100×100 foot urban projection space in downtown Oakland, California.

Fugue Journal – various submitting opportunities, including some contests, available here.


pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

English II – Argumentative Essay Tutor (Kokomo)

 compensation: Hourly

employment type: part-time

Current English II student looking for experienced English II tutor to help get me through this class! Email me and give me a bid on hourly rate.

Senior Content Editor (Las Vegas)

compensation: Commensurate with experience
employment type: full-time

Content Editor (Las Vegas)A local online content-writing company is looking for a senior level editor.  We operate in a casual work environment where cooperation and teamwork are highly valued and employees are encouraged to work autonomously.You will be proofreading, restructuring and rating articles using a star system at our Las Vegas office. Editors are responsible for maintaining quality control and providing feedback to our freelance authors. You will also be involved with new projects that will include assessing customers’ needs, creating briefings for authors and ensuring excellent quality before submitting articles to the clients. You will be involved with gathering client feedback and incorporating it into the project.

Seeking Automotive Experts for How-to Maintenance Articles

compensation: TBD
employment type: contract

Our website is looking for automobile maintenance writers with excellent research, writing, and editing skills. Ideal candidates will be able to write quickly, clearly, and engagingly on a variety of repair and maintenance topics.The job will require you write and edit helpful, accurate, and actionable how-to articles, making automotive content accessible to readers without your expertise.


abandoned gas station south poverty economy depressionSpeaking of the Thing Most Dare Not Name

A powerful Fusion essay by a very honest writer who dares document her rare and disconcerting class jump – from Appalachian poor to fancy LA rich – in an essay all who seek to ignore or gloss over class issues should at least contemplate: “I can’t ever shake the formative identity of poverty, no matter how far I come. Even my Twitter handle is @iusedtobepoor, and people often ask me whether I “really” mean it—or do I just mean spiritually poor or something? This is a comedy routine I’ve set myself up for. Being asked whether I was “really” poor forces me to trot out my best poverty bonafides, the parameters that signal yes, really, actually, truly, definitely poor. Yes, I really was. No, didn’t see a dentist until I was 13, a doctor until I was 19. Yes, I wore socks and sandals in the winter.”

Secret Intelligence Armies

An Information Clearing House piece by a writer who points out the many ways that American imperial imprimateur has damaged existence throughout, through the copious use of secret operatives: “As more and more evidence mounts that the US government was secretly assisting the Islamic State, it might be time to point out a few instances when the Central Intelligence Agency created secret armies. The current theory suggests the US secretly supported the Islamic State so the Islamists would destabilize the government of Syrian President Assad. If that seems out of the question, remember the CIA once started a war over bananas… literal bananas.”

Julian Stratenchulte – European Pressphoto Agency

Beauty in Stellar Physics

A lyrical New York Times posting by a dedicated scientist who describes an amazing discovery in cosmology, and who wishes to impart to people the incredible effects of such discoveries: “Too often people ask, what’s the use of science like this, if it doesn’t produce faster cars or better toasters. But people rarely ask the same question about a Picasso painting or a Mozart symphony. Such pinnacles of human creativity change our perspective of our place in the universe. Science, like art, music and literature, has the capacity to amaze and excite, dazzle and bewilder. I would argue that it is that aspect of science — its cultural contribution, its humanity — that is perhaps its most important feature.”

Resurgence of Hate

An alarming Salon piece that documents the growth of various hate groups, a phenomenon which indicates the direction this society is going, unless class solidarity commences soon: “Hate groups flourished last year — from 784 in 2014 to 892 in 2015. 

The 14 percent increase was due to worsening income inequality, the rise of left-wing movements like Black Lives Matter, major advances for LGBT people and growing numbers of refugees and undocumented workers that have angered Republicans and white people, according to a report released by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

DSM photo - Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious flickr
DSM photo – Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious flickr

The Mental Illness Trap

A very necessary Spiked essay by a courageous if abrasive writer who takes to task the ease with which folks slip into a mental illness category, the government and institutions that seek to put us there, and who reminds us all to maintain some critical distance so as not to lose our humanity: “To my mind, it speaks to today’s therapeutic shift, to the cynical transformation of people from citizens into patients, from autonomous adults to be engaged with at the level of ideas and policy to mind-screwed, hapless creatures to be sympathised with and cared for. It’s an alarmingly disempowering dynamic, reimagining the public as bereft of robustness and in dire need of mind-massaging from on high. How apt that NHS England’s five-year plan for mental health should describe itself as a ‘brave new vision’, for a key theme of Huxley’s Brave New World is the drugging of the presumed-to-be unwell populace in order to subdue their ‘malice and bad tempers’.”

WRISSLoss of Iconic Writer

A great obituary and biography from the New York Times about our recent loss of a literary luminary whose book helped define many generations: “Harper Lee, whose first novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about racial injustice in a small Alabama town, sold more than 40 million copies and became one of the most beloved and most taught works of fiction ever written by an American, died on Friday in Monroeville, Ala., where she lived. She was 89.”

diversity people society facesDiversity in Literature as the Last Frontier

A Salon posting that looks at a possible and possibly promising call for literature that moves beyond the static and stultifying world of privileged Westerners: “The critique of institutional whiteness is everywhere now. However reluctantly, there is a growing awareness that it’s not just one professional venue but an entire cultural system that’s softly seeding doubt bombs in broody crevices where dark thoughts coalesce and swirl. A glass ceiling would be an improvement on this feeling of running everywhere into invisible electrical fences shrugged off as paranoid delusions by those who aren’t shocked every time they attempt pass through them. We regret that your manuscript is not a good fit. Of course we welcome the work of diverse writers, but please don’t revise and resubmit. We’re sorry, we already have one Black writer on our list. You’re Ojibwe? But we already have one Black writer on our list. How many times must I repeat this?”



More Business-As-Usual Obscurantism from Conventional Media

A Portside piece that looks at the huge distortions that mainstream media is willing to perpetuate so as to shed misinformation regarding the candidate that the public most respects: “While there are undoubtedly many left of center economists who have serious objections to the proposals Sanders has put forward, there are also many who have publicly indicated support for them. Remarkably, none of those economists were referenced in this article. In fact, to make its case on left of center economists’ views, the NYT even presented the comments of Ezra Klein, who is neither an economist nor a liberal, by his own identification. “


The Truth About Iraq

Readers will never be the same after viewing this powerful, affecting video from Forbidden Knowledge TV by an Iraqi child who finds a way to powerfully articulate both the rage and pain of what has been done to his culture: “11-year-old Ali asks the question that he says millions of Iraqi children want to ask, “Are you satisfied with an end like this for your mission in Iraq?…I don’t want to waste your time or mine…but I want to speak to you about Iraqi Children and I want you to hear me – you have to hear me, because everything that’s happening in my country is happening because of you.”

GENISSAgeing Cities

A New Geography article that looks at the cities with the largest aging population, and states reasons why: “The picture is very different when we begin to look at where the share of seniors in the population has been growing the fastest. This reflects not so much better weather, per se, or the prevalence of older, declining industries, but the biggest migration pattern of the past 40 years: the movement of massive numbers of people to lower-cost, usually growing states.”


2.18.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/world/americas/pope-francis-ciudad-juarez.html  – A powerfully narrated breaking news story from The New York Times about Pope Francis’ visit to and witness at the United States and Mexican border, his speaking and giving blessings there tangibly and symbolically a stinging indictment of bigoted and supremacist thinking and exclusionary actions, which our ‘paper of record’ accompanied with an editorial message congruent with what the Pope himself articulated in his native Spanish about the importance of being open to stories and families and real people, and the conjunction of human life generally, a message which, as he flew back to Italy, he opined to a Washington Post correspondent was essentially a Christian missive, unlike anyone whose response to such eventualities was to build walls or seek general separation or exclusion, timely and moving ideas that CNN has also amplified in an up-to-date release.

                    This Day in History                  

CC BY-NC by Nick in exsilio
CC BY-NC by Nick in exsilio

In the Sixth Crusade seven hundred eighty-seven years ago, the second Holy Roman Emperor who bore the name, Frederick, negotiated a decade-long truce by which Christians regained control of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem without fighting; a century and three years thereafter, in 1332,Ethiopia’s Emperor Amda Seyon led an expansion of Ethiopian and Christian culture and power against Islam throughout much of Africa’s Horn; five hundred thirty-eight years before this moment, British rulers executed King Edward IV’s brother for treason against his sibling; sixty-eight years henceforth, in 1546, the reformer and protestant Martin Luther died; eighteen years hence, in 1564, artist and thinker Michelangelo breathed his last; two centuries and seventy-one years ahead of today, a baby boy was born who would grow up to electrify humankind as Alessandro Volta; twenty-one years after that, in 1766, a slave ship’s ‘chattel cargo’ rose up and destroyed the vessel, with survivors then facing

J.M.W. Turner, The Slave Ship (1840)
J.M.W. Turner, The Slave Ship (1840)

recapture in South Africa; a decade and a half subsequent to that conjunction, in 1781, England initiated a war of colonial expansion against Dutch rule in West Africa; another ten years onward, in 1791, the U.S. Congress recognized in law what had for years already been established fact, the sovereignty of the State of Vermont; six years later, in 1797, English forces used France’s revolutionary upsurge as an excuse further to expand Britain’s colonial reach with an invasion of Trinidad; a hundred eighty-two years back, a briefly lived labor press came into existence that published for a penny a newssheet called, The Man; twenty-seven years further along, in 1861, Jefferson Davis assumed command as President of the Confederate States of America, and across the Atlantic, the second Victor Emmanuel took charge of a nearly unified Italy as king; a thousand four hundred and sixty days past that point in time and space, on their march to the sea, Union troops under William Sherman’s generalship capped their sacking of Columbia by burning the South Carolina capitol building; eight years more down the pike, across the sea and much of Europe, in 1873,Ottoman authorities hung a Bulgarian freedom fighter in Sofia for opposing their rule; another decade hence, in 1883, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as philosopher and acclaimed novelist Nikos Kazantzakis; two years yet later on to the day, in 1885, Samuel Clemons, under his Mark Twain moniker, first

CC BY by Boston Public Library
CC BY by Boston Public Library

published a yarn about a Zorba-like character, Huckleberry Finn; one hundred seven years prior to this juncture, a male infant entered the world who would grow up as writer and historian Wallace Stegner; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1910, the firebrand abolitionist Lucy Stanton spent her last day alive; one year subsequently, in 1911, a French competitive pilot made the world’s first air mail delivery in India, taking some six-to-seven thousand letters a distance of six to seven miles in his biplane;more or less seven years later, in 1918, overworked—84 hour weeks—and underpaid—29 cents an hour—firefighters formally inaugurated their union as a standard for all their fellows, the International Association of Firefighters; four years more in the direction of now, in 1922, a baby girl uttered a first cry on her way to a long life as feminist, writer, and publisher Helen Gurley Brown;seven years nearer to now, in 1929, a British male infant shouted out who would mature as the historian and writer, Len Deighton; seven hundred thirty days farther down time’s path, across the Atlantic in 1931, a female child entered our midst who would become the redoubtable cultural force, Toni Morrison; another year after that, in 1932, Japan’s imperial rulers declared Manchuria separate from China and hence open for annexing or other exploitation as Japanese hegemons saw fit, and a baby boy drew his first breath on his way to a career as filmmaker and screenwriter Milos Forman; one more year afterward, in 1933, a Japanese girl came along whom fate had

CC BY-NC by hto2008

designated to write and sing and marry a Beatle; another cycle of the Earth around the sun along time’s ambit, in 1934, the female infant drew breath who would mature as the poet and fierce activist, Audre Lorde; two years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1936, a little baby girl bounced into the world who would grow up to write as Jean Auel; in grim news seven hundred thirty-one days after that, Japanese forces in Nanking eviscerated the safe space for refugees and thereby amplified the imperial carnage there; another four years subsequently, in 1942, Japanese authorities in newly captured Singapore began systematically to murder Chinese Nationals whom the invaders suspected of anti-Japanese tendencies; Nazi police in another fascist depredation around the globe a year more on time’s path, in 1943, arrested top partisans of Germany’s White Rose Society, which had called for active resistance to Hitler and his cronies, and Friedrich Goebbels delivered his “total war” speech at the Sport Palast in Berlin; three years after precisely, in 1946, sailors of Britain’s Royal Indian Navy mutinied in Bombay, a resistance movement that spread throughout the country and involved almost eighty ships; another three hundred sixty-five days further on, in 1947, French troops temporarily gained complete control of Hanoi in the First Indochina War; three years afterward to the day, in 1950, a male infant came along who would become acclaimed filmmaker and screenwriter John Hughes; half a decade hence, in 1955, the first of many of the Teapot Series nuclear weapons nuke nuclear explosion holocaustatmospheric tests in Nevada took place; more or less eight thousand miles Southeast two years past that juncture, in 1957, British colonial authorities executed the Kenyan freedom fighter, Dedan Kimathi; eight years hence, in 1965, a male child cried out who would come straight out of Compton as Dr. Dre; two years further along the temporal arc, in 1967, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer drew his final breath; three years thereafter, in 1970, a jury in Chicago acquitted the so-called ‘Chicago Seven’ of the charges against them for conspiracy and more; four years more on time’s road, in 1974, a girl child came into the world who would grow up as environmental activist and ‘tree-sitter’ Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill; twenty-seven years onward toward today, in 2001,Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Robert Hannsen faced arrest on charges of spying for Russia; a decade henceforth, in 2011, people’s poet and writer Victor Martinez died; three years down the road, just two years past in 2014, the Maidan murders in Kiev reached their peak in the overthrow of the elected and corrupt President of Ukraine.

                A Thought for the Day                

In the end, all the long-odds disasters will balance out, and similar unexpected and unlikely serendipity will come along: unfortunately, of course, fortune’s favorable turn might well apply to someone else, inasmuch as the dice have no memory, and life is short—anyone who disputes that blind, dumb luck is ultimately the strongest force in the universe, with the possible exception of arrogant hubris, should have a spirited spiritual chat with the ghosts of the dinosaurs, one minute burping at the top of the food chain, and farting out fifty million years of predominance, and the next instant, making way for the ratty little critters with warm blood and sneaky little brains that would eventually evolve into us.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“We were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved.  We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life.  We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth.
       All paradises, all utopias, are defined by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in. …There is really nothing more to say – except why.  But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how. …We die.  That may be the meaning of life.  We language.  That may be the measure of our lives.

I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio.  I never asked [James] Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin.  Never.  And I don’t know why I should be asked to explain your life to you … If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water.”  Toni Morrison

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https://theintercept.com/2016/02/16/greatest-threat-to-free-speech-in-the-west-criminalizing-activism-against-israeli-occupation/ – From the intrepid crew at The Intercept, a hard-hitting analysis of the creep toward even greater Nazification of ‘liberal,’ ‘Western’ societies, with–as is often enough the case in such situations–contention about Israel at the center of such things, in the event a deconstruction of England’s and the U.S.’s taking steps not only to attack or otherwise delegitimize moves to sanction or boycott Israel for its horrific depredations against Palestinians and others, but also actually to make support for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in regard to Israel illegal, both a fundamental violation of free speech and a sign of the terror that the terrorists-in-chief of the world feel at the increasingly disciplined and well-organized resistance to imperial imprimatur and predatory capital’s insatiable thirst for the blood of still more people from which to such surplus value: “This may sound like an extreme infringement of free speech and political activism — and, of course, it is — but it is far from unusual in the West.  The opposite is now true.  There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS — modeled after the 1980s campaign that brought down the Israel-allied apartheid regime in South Africa — is succeeding.

This trend to outlaw activism against the decades-long Israeli occupation — particularly though not only through boycotts against Israel — has permeated multiple Western nations and countless institutions within them.  In October, we reported on the criminal convictions in France of 12 activists ‘for the ‘crime’ of advocating sanctions and a boycott against Israel as a means of ending the decadeslong military occupation of Palestine,’ convictions upheld by France’s highest court.   They were literally arrested and prosecuted for ‘wearing shirts emblazoned with the words ‘Long live Palestine, boycott Israel’’ and because ‘they also handed out fliers that said that ‘buying Israeli products means legitimizing crimes in Gaza.’’

The real purpose of this new(U.S.) law, as (Eyal)Press explains it, is to force American companies to treat settlements in the West Bank — which virtually the entire world views as illegal — as a valid part of Israel, by outlawing any behavior that would be deemed cooperative with a boycott of companies occupying the West Bank.  U.S. companies would be forced to pretend that products produced in the occupied territories are actually produced in ‘Israel.’  The White House announced that it will sign the bill despite its opposition to the AIPAC-backed pro-settlement provision.

(Among cases of fines against U.S. endeavors), (i)n 2010, G M Daewoo Auto & Technology Company, a Korean firm owned by General Motors,was fined $88,500 by the Office of Antiboycott Compliance for 59 anti-boycott violations, including the ‘crime’ of declaring on a customs form: ‘We hereby state that the carrying vessel … is allowed to enter the Libya ports [sic].’  At the time, Libyan law did not allow Israeli goods or ships that had previously stopped in Israel to enter Libyan ports, and the company’s seemingly banal declaration that it was complying with Libyan law was deemed by the U.S. government to constitute support for a boycott of Israel, and it was thus fined. …

(Moreover, and in some ways most insidiously), (a)s we reported in September, the University of California — the largest academic system in the country — has been debating proposals to literally outlaw BDS activism by formally equating it with ‘anti-semitism:’ as though opposition to Israeli government oppression (opposition shared by many Jews) is somehow the equivalent of, or is inherently driven by, animosity toward Jews.  If anything, what is actually ‘anti-Semitic’ is to conflate the Israeli government with Jews generally (an ugly anti-semitic trope with a long history).  Yet that is the Orwellian tactic being used to justify the criminalization of anti-occupation activism, as it converts that activism into ‘anti-semitism’ or ‘hate speech’ and then bans it on that basis.”

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


From Atlanta this last Tuesday further evidence–here in another, grassroots, portal; here with further photography and spliced production–of an actual organizing political strategy from a Presidential political candidate, in the event a vociferous and enthusiastic gathering at Morehouse College in the Atlanta University Center where a parade of Black thinkers and heartfelt citizens and young people set the stage for a Bernie Sanders stump speech that has to make even the disinclined-to-believe admit the possibility of a President Sanders, replete with passionate and tough-minded staff who find themselves ‘profiled’ by Secret Service agents, all in all a premiere performance by a politician with more credibility and authenticity than anyone on the campaign trail, ever, quite possibly.


student writing arm


GWA’s Annual Writers Conference

The Red Clay Writers Conference is the annual conference of the Georgia Writers Association. Red Clay has been hosted since 2009 to encourage and inspire writers across Georgia through a full day of panels and workshops that focus on the art and craft of writing. Speakers include authors, editors, publishers, agents, and marketing specialists who provide attendees with useable resources to strengthen their craft.  The Red Clay Writers Conference will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the KSU Continuing Education Center in Kennesaw.


Submit a Proposal

If you are interest in speaking at the 2016 Red Clay Writers Conference to be held on Saturday, May 7, at the KSU Center, please submit the following form. There are three workshop categories:

  1. Genre-Specific: Topics relating to a specific genre, i.e. memoir writing, using research in fiction, common conflicts in young adult fiction, etc.
  2. Craft of Writing: Topics relating to plot, character development, conflict, or any element of a written work. These topics can generally be applied to both fiction and nonfiction.
  3. Business of Writing: Topics relating to the writing career. Examples include finding an agent or editor, writing a query letter, book marketing and promotion, etc.
 Makers’ Mill is calling for applications for a new Fellows program at their makerspace in North Adams, Massachusetts. Fellows will create their own work in the space and support other maker members. Applicants should work in print, fiber, drawing, and/or painting.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Full-time News Writer – Austin Sentinel (Austin)

compensation: DOE
employment type: full-time

Employer: The Austin Sentinel is an online local newspaper that provides readers with the information they deserve to make educated decisions about their community. Our publication focuses on local and statewide news, politics, government, corporatism, technology, health, environment, art and music, and more.
Job Summary: We have an exciting opportunity for an in-house News Writer! If you consider yourself a news junkie who loves to stay up-to-date on trending topics, this position is for you. Responsibilities include producing daily content for our local online newspaper, pursuing original story leads, networking, conducting thorough research on a wide range of topics, and orchestrating interviews over the phone and in the field.

Sr. Technical Writer (Las Vegas)

compensation: DOE
employment type: full-time

American Homes 4 Rent is focused on acquiring, renovating, leasing, and operating residential homes. We are a primary leader in the home rental market by aggregating a diversified portfolio of quality properties in our target markets. We are providing high levels of satisfaction to our residents and becoming respected members of our communities.As a Sr. Technical Writer for American Homes 4 Rent in Las Vegas, NV your primary focus will be to support the initiatives of our Corporate Learning & Development Department.



Drug Disposal“Medication”- Induced Neurological Damage

A great resource from Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders of use to all researching about mental illness, the pharma industry, and illness: “Medication-induced movement disorder occurs due to treatment with antipsychotic medications. Most medication-induced movement disorders are caused by medications that block the action of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that allows communication between two neurons to take place and that is necessary for coordination of movements of different parts of the body. When the receptor where dopamine is supposed to bind is blocked, certain movement-related side effects occur. All of the medications that block dopamine receptors are called neuroleptics.”

Renting Realities in America

A City Lab posting by an author who well understands the plight of folks simply looking for a place to live: “The housing cost squeeze faced by the poorest households is deeply disturbing. The share of income devoted to rent by the lowest income households increased from an already whopping 55.7 percent to a staggering 62.5 percent. No other income group spends more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Lower middle-class households saw their rent burdens grow from 27.4 percent to 30 percent. Upper middle-class households went from 18.5 percent to 20 percent, and the richest households from 12.5 percent to 13.5 percent.”

Cash Ban

A very important Daily Bell article by a thoughtful analyst that all people should read, as it holds a clue both to what’s happening in the larger economy, and how it can personally affect everyone in a very direct way: “The natural side effect of negative interest rates is pushing people to hold money outside of the banking system.

Yet it’s clear that a surge of withdrawal requests would bring down that system.

Banks don’t want that to happen. Governments don’t want that to happen.

But since central banks have no other choice than to continue imposing negative interest rates, the only logical option is to ban cash and force consumers to hold their money within the banking system.”

A page from Thomas Jefferson’s record book, (dated 1795) listing the names of his slaves over the years. They numbered roughly 600 in his lifetime, though he only employed about 120 at any one given time. | Creative Commons Public Domain This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: “http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Why-I-Teach-White-History-Month-in-February-20160217-0004.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

White History Month

A great tongue-in-cheek but truthful Tele Sur piece that analyses what taking a closer look at ‘white heritage’ exposes: “I have taken it upon myself to help them. It’s sad really, seeing all these white racists yelling about America being the home of freedom, democracy, and opportunity. What depths of cognitive dissonance must they suffer from, to assert that their founding fathers were freedom loving enslavers?”

Puerto Rican Troubles

A Counter Current posting by a thoughtful commentator that discusses the troubled economy and troubling consequences of U.S. colonial and economically predatory practices in Puerto Rico: “Outside a beachfront restaurant in Aguada, I noticed an SUV with a bumper sticker that summed up the feelings of many Puerto Ricans. “The debt is not ours, it belongs to the Empire,” it read. Many people may believe this represents Puerto Ricans failing to take responsibility for running up a tab they now can’t pay. But this would falsely assume that Puerto Rico exercises independent control over the conditions that created the debt. In reality, Puerto Rico is a colony whose political and economic structures are determined by the dictates of the empire they belong to.”

The La Perla neighborhood of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico


WRISSSocial Communications, ‘Old School’

A Media Shift posting that looks at the brave resurgence of an almost – old and often reviled technology that yet has found its stride as the veneer wears off social media: “For Weekman, email allows her to go beyond the 140-character limit or the whims of the Facebook algorithm and write more freely and openly in a longer format.

“I love the idea of breaking down and presenting news in a fun and relatable voice,” she said. “Newsletters allow us to plug what stories we think are the most important, deliver them directly to people and use a voice we know students will enjoy.”

But the appeal of email isn’t just limited to a retro novelty, like the vinyl records of digital distribution tools. It makes a real difference in the site’s metrics.”desk media computer journalism

Writing Emails Worthy of Response

A Washington Post primer as to how best to take advantage of email communications: “Before we all panic about the dumbing down of society, however, it’s worth taking an extra moment to think about why you would want to write in a way that a 9-year-old can grasp. Email gets a bad rap these days — in fact, its death has been declared quite a few times — and is often criticized for being inefficient and clunky. Sure enough, looking at more email-writing tips from Boomerang, the key to making your messages better is to keep a focus on simplicity.”


Sci Fi and Tech

A New York Times article that looks at the role of science fiction in forging the technology of tomorrow: ““Like many other people working in the tech space, I’m not a creative person,” said Palmer Luckey, 23, a co-founder of Oculus, which was bought by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. “It’s nice that science fiction exists because these are really creative people figuring out what the ultimate use of any technology might be. They come up with a lot of incredible ideas.””


North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District

Judge and Jerrymandering

A Think Progress posting that looks at the unfolding drama in North Carolina where the incumbent party pursues to consolidate power by disenfranchising the opposition, and discussing the role that the death of Scalia has in the imbroglio: ““Our intent is to use the political data we have to our partisan advantage,” Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) told the Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting on Tuesday. “I acknowledge freely that this would be a political gerrymander which is not against the law.”

He’s right. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2004, states are free to use gerrymandering to entrench the political power of the majority party.”




Role of Federal Reserve in Global Fracture

A Counter Punch interview that outlines the role of the international banking establishment, and whored-to-Wall-Street  policies, in creating and maintaining financial precariousness for all: “The Fed uses only one policy: influencing interest rates by creating bank reserves at low give-away charges. It enables banks too make easy gains simply by borrowing from it and leaving the money on deposit to earn interest (which has been paid since the 2008 crisis to help subsidize the banks, mainly the largest ones). The effect is to fund the asset markets – bonds, stocks and real estate – not the economy at large. Banks also are heavy arbitrage players in foreign exchange markets. But this doesn’t help the economy recover, any more than the ZIRP (Zero Interest-Rate Policy) since 2001 has done for Japan. Financial markets are the liabilities side of the economy’s balance sheet, not the asset side.”


02.17.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.
Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.


http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2016/02/_5_things_to_know_about_that_student_loan_arrest_and_how_to_make_sure_you.html  – A briefing from The Root about the arrest of Black man in Houston, one of plus or minus thirty such who have recently found themselves imprisoned in East Texas for the ‘crime’ of refusing to ‘answer’ for their college debt, a problem that the article makes clear may not lead to a formal reestablishment of incarceration for failure to pay loans, but which is nonetheless one of a ‘bag of dirty tricks’ that those who buy such obligations for a discount, and occasionally those who are the original financiers themselves, use against the poor and often nearly destitute debtors who in good faith sought to improve their lives by going to college, only to discover that the entire process of life in modern America constituted a rigged game in which most of those who did not start with assets would quickly lose their asses;

                    This Day in History                  

Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) - Ancient Rome
Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome) – Ancient Rome

Sixteen hundred fifty-two years ago, on the Eastern fringes of imperial Rome, Emperor Jovian mysteriously died in his tent, after an eight month reign that restored the rights of Christian and abandoned much of the earlier conquests of Rome to the Sassanid Persians in what is now Iraq and Iran; a thousand six years later on, in 1370, invading Danes, Swedes, and other ‘Viking’ or Teutonic Europeans continued their campaigns against pagan locals in the Baltic region, in what historians now term the Northern Crusades; two hundred thirty years subsequent to that, in 1600, Catholic inquisitors in Rome oversaw the immolation of philosopher Giordano Bruno for heresy; three hundred forty-three years before this exact point, the acclaimed dramatist and thinker, Moliere, breathed his last; the House of Representatives a hundred twenty-eight years afterward, in 1801, decided an Electoral College tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr in Jefferson’s favor, leaving Burr as Vice President; another eighteen years onward, in 1819, the same political body first passed the Missouri compromise to permit a continued dual development of the United States as half slave and half free; just shy of two decades later, in 1838, more or less a quarter of the world away in Southern Africa, hundreds of Dutch migrants met their end in a battle on the Zulu attackgutt africaBlaukraans River in what is now Natal Province of South Africa, when indigenous Zulus massacred them; sixteen years further along the temporal road, in 1854, thirty years ahead of Europe’s plundering ‘Scramble for Africa,’ England exercised its already considerable dominion on the Continent by recognizing the Dutch rights to ‘sovereignty,’ also obviously far from home, over the Orange Free State; just seven hundred thirty days past that moment in time, in 1856, the acclaimed German poet Heinrich Heine died; in Geneva, seven years past that point in time, in 1863, a group of bourgeois citizens founded the organization that would become the International Red Cross; two years henceforth, in 1865 across the Atlantic, South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, largely burned down at the hands of advancing union troops; Prussian troops half a dozen years thereafter, in 1871, marched in martial glory through the streets of a conquered Paris after their brutal victory in the brief Franco-Prussian War; a hundred twelve years back, a baby boy took his first breath on his way to a peripatetic life as philosopher and political theorist Hans Morgenthau; two more years in the direction of today, across the North American continent in 1906, authorities kidnapped ‘Big Bill’ Haywood in order falsely to charge him with the

CC BY-SA by jwyg

murder of Idaho’s governor and thereby justify his legal lynching, a process that Clarence Darrow helped to forestall; three years later, in 1909, the brilliant Native American leader Geronimo drew his last breath; four years subsequently, in 1913, the Armory Show opened in New York with works of American artists who would for decades be critical taste-makers; six years more down the pike, in 1919, Ukraine’s Peoples Republic appealed to the Entente and the United States for assistance in fighting the Bolsheviks, a case if ever one occurred of ‘past as prologue;’ a half decade forward in time, in 1924, Bess Truman brought a baby girl entered the world who would grow up in politics and end up as popular writer, Margaret Truman; a further five years beyond that point, in 1929, a baby boy uttered his first shout en route to a life as a rabbi, thinker, and writer, Chaim Potok; three additional years along time’s arc, in 1932, the iconic champion of women’s and labor and civil rights, Florence Kelley, took a final break; three hundred sixty-six days hence exactly, in 1933, the Blaine Act ended the disaster of U.S. prohibition of alcohol, and the first issue of Newsweek went on sale; four years yet nearer to now, in 1937, a few score sit-down strikers in Chicago fled tear gas and fire hoses and temporarily gave up their strike for Steelworker recognition; five years after that exact conjunction, in 1942, a baby boy was born who would grow up to face official murder as leader and writer Huey Newton; seven years down the road, in 1949, Chaim Weizman became Israel’s first President; half a dozen years even closer to the current context, in 1955, a Chinese baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the writer and storyteller who would win Nobel Laureates for China as Mo Yan; seven hundred guitar music art performancethirty-one days later still, half a world away in 1957, a female infant cried out who would grow up as the crooner and lyricist, Loreena McKennitt; two more years toward today, in 1959, the U.S. launched the world’s first weather satellite, Vanguard II; five years past that, in 1964, the Supreme Court finally acceded to the fundamental fact of representative democracy, that districts needed to consist of roughly equal populations; one year after on the dot, in 1965, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched Ranger 8, which would map out the landing sites for the first manned mission to the moon; five years further on, in 1970, the Ukrainian-Israeli Nobel literary laureate Schmuel Yosef Agnon had his last day on Earth; the Chinese went to war with Vietnam exactly nine years more proximate to the present pass, in 1979; the great teacher and spiritual master Jiddu Krishnamurti seven years subsequently, in 1986, passed on from this plain of existence entirely; another half dozen years in the general direction of now, in 1992, Yale University’s campus unions carried out a sympathy strike in solidarity with the organizing of the teachers assistants; chess champion Gary Kasparov fended off International Business Machines computer, Deep Blue, four years further forward in time and space, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the NEAR Shoemaker rocket with the first spacecraft that NASA intended to land on an asteroid.

                A Thought for the Day                

At a certain stage in life, a friend who’s not been in touch for a while may have taken the long ride to eternity; or she might have started fainting and need to do general anesthesia to get a tooth filled; or he might have started passing blood, and when the medical team was taking out a piece of his gut, they also noted that tumor on the kidney, so now he’s only got one; or she might have found out that that cyst was Stage Three, metastasized to the liver, and maintaining a positive attitude is her best chance for survival: and, one knows, one of these days, one’s own turn will come, and the best that is possible to imagine is that, when the time arrives, one can sigh in satisfaction that one’s given it a whirl, taken a shot, sought to make a difference and leave a mark when even the petrified forest doesn’t last forever, for Christ’s sake, but hey, what can one say, in the end, after all?

                  Quote of the Day                       
“No one whose intellectual parts are in working order believes that the industrial world will go back to an unorganized individualistic production and distribution of wealth.  No one whose moral sense is awake desires to see the chief means of production owned and controlled by a small number of monstrously wealthy men,
however great their ability or good their intentions.  Nevertheless, most persons of moral sense and normal mentality are disturbed when one suggests in so many words that if industry cannot henceforth be individualistic and should not be owned and controlled by the Big Few, it will, apparently, have to be owned and controlled by the Many.  This paradoxical psychology possibly indicates that we queer human beings do our real thinking and perform our occasional feats of moral self-examination in lucid intervals, alternating with states of mind — and conscience — which were better not described in non-technical language.

(In this regard, in fits and starts), (a)n immense revolution, a wonderful revolution, is opening in the mind of the human race; a new driving force is taking hold of the souls of men — the devotion to the welfare of the whole; a new sense, with all the intensity of a new-born feeling, is emerging in the consciousness of men— the sense that one cannot himself be healthy or happy unless the race is happy and healthy.  A hundred theories appearing here and there, a thousand organizations springing up, a million acts of individuals everywhere, attest each day the presence and the growing power of this vast solidarizing movement.

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

Among these manifestations throughout the world, the most pronounced and the most clearly defined is that compact, fiercely vital organization known as the international Socialist party.  Yet the Socialist party is not the movement, any more than the cresting billow is the torrent.  It is an imperatively necessary element; but the movement itself is vastly broader and deeper than any manifestation of it.  An uncounted multitude in all lands are gradually becoming conscious of this sweeping tendency and of their own part in it — a multitude as yet not bearing any specific title.  Out of these a considerable number are fully conscious of the movement, and are willing partakers.  These we might call solidarists, in token of their conviction that the goal ought to be and will be an economic solidarity.  But of even these it is only a part who are distinctively to be called Socialists, only those who have perceived two certain mighty facts: first, that men’s mass relations in the process of making a living are fundamental to their other relations, to their opinions and motives, and to all revolutions; and, second, that the chief agency in bringing about changes in the great affairs of the human race has always been and continues to be the pressure and clash between enduring masses of men animated by opposite economic interests.  The Socialist is one who sees these social and historic facts and whose action is guided by such sight; the non- Socialist solidarist is one who, though animated by the socializing impulses, has not yet perceived these two most weighty facts.”  From the Introduction to Twentieth Century Socialism: What It Is, What It Is Not, & How It May Come, edited by Edmund Kelley and Florence Kelley, his redoubtable daughter

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http://portside.org/2016-02-16/issue-not-hillary-clintons-wall-st-links-her-partys-core-dogmas – In the realm of the unfolding ‘horse race’ of another U.S. Presidential election year, not quite a handful of analytical essays about that process, all of which decidedly ‘march to a different drummer’ from what corporate media’s self-important and pretentiously serious take on these shenanigans are, in the first place an analysis from Thomas Frank, in Portside Labor via The Guardian, that ferociously deconstructs the Democratic Party as a ‘people’s organization;’ in the second place, an examination by Daily Kos of the Trump/Sanders populist tropes as proof positive of the lie of America’s favorite Horatio Alger mythos; in the third place, an installment from the London radicals of Roar Magazine, with a powerful take on ‘occupying’ the Democratic Party, come what may in the primary personality fight; in the fourth place, a scathingly humorous item from ClubOrlov that calls for a ‘pox on all their houses’ and an upsurge of organizing and consciousness from below that actually challenges ourselves to comprehend and transform the system instead of betting on the outcome of a ‘Kentucky Derby’ contest among the horseflesh in competition electorally, the overall impact of which might be a call to reflect and act in ways that scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens have generally not heretofore considered, altogether in more radical and participatory, not to say revolutionary, fashion: “(Hillary Clinton’s promises that she is the candidate to ‘get things done’ represent) noble sentiments.  rect3336 spaceUnfortunately, what voters are rejecting is not Hillary the Capable; it is the party whose leadership faction she represents as well as the direction in which our modern Democrats have been travelling for decades.

rect3336 space          In my younger days, the Democratic party seemed always to be grappling with its identity, arguing over who they were and what they stood for all through the 1970s, the 1980s and into the 1990s.  What Democrats had to turn away from, reformers of all stripes said in those days, was the supposedly obsolete legacy of the New Deal, with its fixation on working-class people.  What had to be embraced, the party’s reformers agreed, was the emerging post-industrial economy and in particular the winners of this new order: the highly educated professionals who populated its clean and innovative knowledge industries. rect3336 space
The figure that brought triumphant closure to that last internecine war was President Bill Clinton, who installed a new kind of Democratic administration in Washington.  Rather than paying homage to the politics of Franklin Roosevelt, Clinton passed trade deals that defied and even injured the labor movement, once his party’s leading constituency; he signed off on a measure that basically ended the federal welfare program; and he performed singular favors for the financial industry, the New Deal’s great nemesis.

That Clintonian consensus, which slouches on in the bank bailouts and trade deals of recent years, is what deserves to be on the table in 2016, under the bright lights of public scrutiny at last.  As we slide ever deeper into the abyss of inequality, it is beginning to dawn on us that sinking the New Deal consensus wasn’t the best idea after all.

In truth, our affluent, establishment Democrats can no more be budged from their core dogmas – that education is the solution to all problems, that professionals deserve to lead, that the downfall of the working class is the inevitable price we pay for globalization – than creationists can be wooed away from the tenets of ‘intelligent design.’  The dogmas are simply too essential to their identity.  Changing what the Democratic party stands for may ultimately require nothing less than what a certain Vermonter is calling a ‘political revolution.'”—Portside Labor/The Guardian
CC BY-NC-ND by Daveblog
CC BY-NC-ND by Daveblog
         “While their base of support is very different, these ‘outsider’ candidates are both attracting voters who are feeling alienated by a political and economic system which they perceive as unfair and rigged against average Americans.  Ultimately, ‘Feel the Bern’ and ‘Trumpmania’ are populist uprisings inspired by protecting the American Dream and its foundational promise that with enough hard work, intelligence, and chutzpah anyone can enjoy upward class mobility in the United States.  A complication: The progressive and forward-thinking dreamers who support Bernie Sanders want to expand those opportunities to all Americans.  The nightmare-channeling fearmongers and authoritarians who are Trump’s base want to protect what they have by denying opportunities to others. …
To identify with the success of the rich, and subsequently using it as a decision-rule for one’s own politics (as well as the broader economy and one’s own personal economic circumstances) is the worst type of false consciousness.  The Horatio Alger Myth is a lie.  The greatest predicator o(f) intergenerational class mobility is the economic and social standing of a person’s parents.  Hard work has little to do with it. …The myth of individualism is also a deception.  People are born into social networks.  These communities provide opportunities and resources.

Despite these facts, the Horatio Alger Myth and the Myth of Individualism remain cornerstones of American culture.  They are so persistent and stalwart that even in an enduring economic downturn that exploded with the Great Recession in 2008 and continues today, has been decades in the making with stagnant wages for at least 40 years, and rife with grotesque wealth inequality that mirrors the Gilded Age, said mythologies still hold sway.  The United States is drunk on absurdist political theater and the politics of disorientation.  A society in crisis, where people are unmoored and confused, often turns inward on itself.  Unfortunately, in that moment the poor, working classes and struggling middle classes often look at their peers as constituting ‘the enemy.’

(Gender and color and language and culture all ‘handicap’ people, according to the ‘chauvinism du jour.’  An energy at once ideological and spiritual justifies such false divisions).  America of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is typified by how too many of its citizens and elites conflate capitalism and wealth as a sign of ‘God’s’ pleasure and approval, and poverty as an indication of ‘God’s’ disapproval.  Right-wing authoritarianism, theocratic yearnings, and Christian Dominionism are not ‘just’ moral or pseudo-ethical systems.  No.  They are religion as a way of making sense of the world and how resources ought to be allocated in it—and to whom.  The ‘saved’ and ‘elect’ receive the money and the power.  The ‘sinful’ deserve their station in life(no matter that), (i)n reality, the rich are more likely to lie, cheat, and steal than the poor and working classes. …
These dynamics have a profound impact on the United States’ political culture.  In many ways America’s politics are broken because too many citizens have internalized lies as truths—because the basic facts are too horrible to accept.  This is political madness as a substitute for rational political decision-making.  The question now becomes, how will Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—the populist candidates of the left and right, respectively—communicate these facts to their voters and transform painful truths into political action?”—DailyKos
Alan Reid
Alan Reid
         “The hard questions involve how, exactly, the left conceives of political change and what we are willing to do to bring it about.  The hard questions involve the relations between principle and practice.  The more we uphold left principles, the less likely we are to have the capacity to implement them.  Our principles become barriers to their own realization.  Conversely, the more we get our hands dirty by engaging in the processes that might bring about significant political change, the less left and less significant these changes are likely to be.  We will have had to compromise, water down, rank, and involve ourselves with strange bedfellows.  The dilemma of left politics is that we appear stuck between beautiful souls and dirty hands.rect3336 space
Politics involves knots of principle, compromise, tactics and opportunity.  Their push and pull against one another accounts for much of what many dislike about politics: banal rhetoric, betrayals, splits.  Finding a candidate or party with which one fully agrees is impossible.  Something is always missing, always off.

The institutions through and in which we might intervene are also split.   They are not uniform or self-identical.  There is disagreement between members and flanks, between candidates and platform, between aspirations and actions.  No institution is a uniform whole.  It’s always divided, the site of myriad conflicts and struggles always threatening to tear it apart.

(Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter recently exemplify these fractious and opportunistic tendencies).  How do we extend the force of the movements?  How do we make them endure?  One way is to occupy institutions that have the capacity to realize movement aims.  Party and state institutions can be tools and terrains that we seize in order to push our ends.  The party isn’t opposed to the movement.  It’s a terrain that the movement can occupy.

The Sanders campaign extends the fight to the terrain of the Democratic Party.  Since Bill Clinton’s co-creation and occupation of the Democratic Leadership Council in the 1980s, the Democratic Party has shifted ever rightward, jettisoning any commitment to the working class it might once have had, courting the finance sector and other elements of the corporate elite, and adorning itself with just enough cultural politics to placate its base.  No wonder most of the left left the party.  Like the other institutions of extreme capitalism, the Democratic Party is not for us.  But we can treat it as a site of struggle.  Black Lives Matter activists have recognized this crucial fact.  The Sanders campaign is forcing a split in the Democratic Party.  Sanders is confronting the Democrats’ claim to democracy with the party’s practice as an instrument of oligarchic political control.  He is doing this with the language of social democracy, reintroducing socialism into a political setting based on its disavowal.”—Roar Magazinecropped-media-papers-newspaper.jpg
         “So far I have mostly tried to ignore the US presidential race.  It’s a distraction from doing things that are either pleasant or useful—of which it is neither.  I haven’t always tried to completely ignore these torrents of nonsense that erupt every four years like a gushing sewer, but, in general, I was never interested in the outcome, because in all but one case I genuinely disliked all of the candidates. … I wouldn’t want to breathe the same air with any of the others—all lizard-brained miscreants who have left a slimy trail through the White House.rect3336 space
As I understand it, the way this system is supposed to work is as follows.  There is just one good, solid reason to vote for the Democratic candidate: to keep out the Republicans, who are so much worse than the Democrats.  And there is just one good, solid reason to vote for the Republican candidate: to keep out the Democrats, who are so much worse than the Republicans.  Now, you may ask yourself, How is it possible for both sides to be worse at the same time?  Well, you are right, that’s not possible.  Obviously, they have to take turns at becoming the worst.   Whoever happens to be in office adds another turn to the downward spiral.

This seems like a good, solid arrangement—if the goal is to produce the most bloated, corrupt, criminal, warmongering, terrorist-coddling, bankrupt government the Earth has ever known—it is, indeed, all of these things.  But it has just one tiny flaw: getting people to vote for you by teaching them to hate the other side is effective, but it’s purely negative.  To introduce a positive, aspirational element, it is necessary to somehow make people feel that it is possible to bring about political change by voting for someone within the Democratic or the Republican party.  Of course, this is sheer nonsense, because the only people pulling the strings are the ones who write the checks, and you don’t get to vote for any of them.  But people don’t want to believe that they are completely powerless, and the same people who fell for it in thinking that they could bring about change by voting for Obama are now falling for it again, thinking that they can bring about change by voting for Bernie.  No, you can’t possibly ever change things by voting for the Democratic/Republican duopoly.  Oh, and you can’t possibly ever change things by voting against it either.  Sorry, Jill Stein.

On the Democratic side, we have Hillary the Giant Flying Lizard, but she seems rather impaired by just about everything she has ever done, some of which was so illegal that it will be hard to keep her from being indicted prior to the election.  She seems only popular in the sense that, if she were stuffed and mounted and put on display, lots of folks would pay good money to take turns throwing things at her.  And then we have Bernie, the pied piper for the ‘I can’t believe I can’t change things by voting’ crowd.  He seems to be doing a good job of it—as if that mattered.  On the Republican side we have Donald and the Seven Dwarfs.

Not that any of this matters, of course, because the country’s trajectory is all set.  And no matter who gets elected—Bernie or Donald—on their first day at the White House they will be shown a short video which will explain to them what exactly they need to do to avoid being assassinated.  But I won’t be around to see any of that.  I’ve seen enough.  This summer I am sailing off: out Port Royal Sound, then across the Gulf Stream and over to the Abacos, then a series of pleasant day-sails down the Bahamas chain with breaks for fishing, snorkeling and partying with other sailors (I know, life is so hard!), then through the Windward Passage, a stop at Port Antonio in Jamaica, and then onward across the Caribbean to an undisclosed location.  Please let me know if you want to crew.  I guarantee that there will be absolutely no election coverage aboard the boat.”—ClubOrlov

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  


From the indefatigable curators at Information Clearinghouse an interview on Loud and Clear in which the peace movement’s and activist radio’s Brian Becker talks with the redoubtable and venerable John Pilger, an Anglo-Australian film production and narrative gift to human consciousness who can dissect the hideous inequities and ‘Groundhog Day moments’ and other depredations that characterize contemporary existence, especially in the United States, all the while remaining optimistic about the potential, even at this late date, of humanity’s prevailing against its demons and daunting prospects.


student writing arm


Poetry at Tech

Event date:
Thursday, February 25, 2016 – 7:30pm

WHO: Andrew Motion & Niilas Holmberg
WHAT: Poetry at Tech
WHEN: Thursday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Kress Auditorium on the Georgia Tech Campus


Poetry at Tech was created to ensure that in a highly specialized and technological environment, students’ aptitudes in the humanities would be nurtured and supported as a foundation for life-longing learning. It was made possible by gifts to the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture and the Ivan Allen College by Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. and H. Bruce McEver. Nationally acclaimed poet and poetry instructor Thomas Lux holds the Bourne Chair and continues to make Poetry at Tech possible.


Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is accepting applications from visual artists, writers, ceramicists, and composers for their Artist in Residence Program in upstate New York, surrounded by the Catskill Mountains.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr



ZeroChaos, Inc. is recruiting temporary part-time telecommuters with fluency in one of these languages and an in-depth knowledge of their culture to help with Ads Quality Rating for websites for our client, a leading search engine company. We are looking for average internet users to help improve the accuracy/relevancy of the ads that are placed with search results and on websites.

Cover32 provides a great opportunity for aspiring sports writers to express their opinions on their favorite NFL team.

We are looking for dedicated, consistent and responsible writers to join our staff. Our writers are given an outlet to develop their sports writing skills by creating content they are passionate about.

More importantly, we are looking for the most die-hard of fans, who think about the NFL day in and day out.

If you have an excess of sports-related emotions you need to get off your chest, then this is the perfect place for you to build your daily online presence as a sports writer.


Demonstrating for Schools

A Common Dreams article that looks at actions by teacher organizations to draw attention to the plight of public education: “Thousands of people are taking part in the first-ever nationwide “school walk-in” action on Wednesday, rallying at more than 800 public schools in 30 cities to protest budget cuts, state takeovers of education, and high-stakes standardized testing.”

Thousands of people are taking part in the first-ever nationwide school walk-in action on Wednesday. (Photo: Education Votes)

Dying US Economy

An Institute for Political Economy look at the chronic issues facing the economy, and, through stringent analysis, looks at why these cannot be easily resolved : “As an economist, it is a mystery to me how any economist can think that a population that does not produce the larger part of the goods that it consumes can afford to purchase the goods that it consumes. Where does the income come from to pay for imports when imports are swollen by the products of offshored production?”

What Unemployment Rate Really Measures

A posting by a very clever analyst that elucidates what the true purpose of the unemployment statistic is meant to measure, and the fact that this measure has nothing to do with working people’s reality: “Western policy makers became obsessed with inflation.  It was considered enemy number 1. They decided that the worst cause of inflation was wage increases and called this “wage push inflation”.

To track this they created a turned to a statistic called the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU).  NAIRU was the rate below which the unemployment rate was assumed to cause inflation.”

Overpriced Water

A Salon piece that discusses the fact that privatization means people pay more for water, and that the arrangement benefits only those who stole the water to resell: ““More and more cities and towns are seeing that water is more efficiently and affordably delivered when it is controlled by a not-for-profit entity,” the Food & Water Watch executive director added. “Without shareholders expecting profits, public systems are less likely to cut corners on service, and excess funds are invested back into systems, not sent out of communities as dividend checks.”water river lake drip drop

Epic Reading Project

A New Yorker look at the long-term work of a man who has set about reviewing as many books as he can possibly get his hands on: “Orthofer’s project has the self-swallowing pattern of a Borges story: if you set out to read the world, how can you stop? Though the site calls itself a “survey of books old and new,” it is driven by an antiquarian zeal for record-keeping, with titles under review indexed by nationality, genre, and several other categories. It is as if Orthofer is building a snow sculpture or wunderkammer of literature on par with the completist masterpieces he admires. He reads not just wide but also deep, engaging again and again with such literary giants as Naguib Mahfouz, Juan Goytisolo, and A. S. Byatt. To curl up inside the Complete Review is to feel comfortable with world literature—to not feel it as a foreign.”

WRISSThe Economics of Being a Young Writer

A fun Billfold interview that brings to light the complex, interconnected financial and economic issues that young folks have to contend with: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year: “the time of year where I stress out for weeks about my taxes because I had two jobs in 2015 with two different sets of paperwork and I don’t know if I should fork over the money to go to an accountant or just do my taxes myself.”

To make myself feel better, I interviewed a friend whose financial situation is more complex than mine. She didn’t want her identity known, so let’s just call her “Haley Mlotek,” former editor of The Hairpin.”

Great Movie

A Washington Post article that looks at Moore’s great new movie, and the way it develops dialog between people about issues through the use of humor: “Depending on whom you ask, Michael Moore’s latest documentary either “shows off his kinder, gentler side” or shows that he is “angrier than ever.” Headlines have alternately described “Where to Invade Next,” released in theaters nationwide last week, as “lighthearted and optimistic,” “radical,” Moore’s “funniest film in years” and his “most subversive.” It is, in other words, Moore at his best. “


When Copyright Must Be Violated

A fascinating Tech Dirt piece that tells the epic saga of a multi-million-dollar-grossing film that could only be produced by violating a draconian term of copyright preventing the release of the characters: “Sure, leaking test footage isn’t like leaking an entire film, but without that happening, nothing else does. The movie is never made and Fox doesn’t have almost three times the budget grossed within the first four days of ticket sales. But because this leak happened, the studio is likely in control of a promising franchise, provided it can keep the lightning bottled and push forward without discarding everything that makes Deadpool Deadpool. And everyone involved can thank the unnamed person they won’t rat out for shrugging off the insular “power” of copyright and mobilizing a fan base that is now making good on its promise to support the movie.”


nuclear radioactiveNuclear Fire

A Washington Post article that tells the alarming tale of the underground fire consuming itself perilously close to a nuke waste dump, and tells of the allegedly in-charge agency’s unheroic efforts to deal with the problem: ““A burning radioactive waste dump requires the government to act with urgency, but EPA seems unable to move forward with a meaningful solution,” State Attorney General Chris Koster wrote last week in an angry letter to members of the delegation, in which he called for the Army corps’ intervention.”

GENISSThe Debt that Never Dies

A useful Truth-Out post in a context of an alarm-raising story regarding someone allegedly jailed for failing to pay a student loan, that puts the whole situation into perspective: “News of the story went viral and light hysteria ensued as people with outstanding student loan debt went into mild panic. Relax. The news isn’t as bad as it first sounded, but here is what we know about Aker’s case and student loan arrests nationwide.”


2.16.2015 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/34848-florida-legislators-quietly-vote-to-strip-state-funding-from-groups-associated-with-bds – A report from TruthOut about a situation that, with almost no monopoly media oversight or comment, will permit the Florida legislature to crush the will and voice of a substantial majority of students at the University of South Florida, where by roughly three-to-one margins matriculants’ representatives voted to divest the institution of investments with corporations that do business with Israel, and by extension endorse a boycott by campus businesses, activities, and facilities of any engagement with Israel, given the brutality and impunity of the Jewish State’s internationally recognized and condemned viciousness against Palestinians, a behind-the-scenes coup that is happening now, and that will continue, unless stalwart citizens and scrappy scribes organize themselves to foster a different outcome.

                    This Day in History                  

Exactly nineteen centuries years ago, if we can trust the calendar, the Roman Emperor Trajan’s conquests in present-day Iraq and Armenia officially, in the form of announcements to the Senate, expanded Rome’s territorial extent to its greatest limits; eleven hundred thirty-three years later, in 1249, Louis IX sent a French

By Sun Long (孫隆) and Chen Lu (陳錄)
By Sun Long (孫隆) and Chen Lu (陳錄)

representative to parlay with Mongol leaders who seemed conceivably poised to overrun parts or even all of Europe; three hundred eighty-six years before the here and now, Holland’s troops expanded the parameters of Dutch Brazil with the capture of Olinda from the Portuguese; just short of a century and three quarters after that, in 1804, Steven Decatur led a surprise attack on the recently captured U.S.S. Philadelphia, burning it and denying it to Libyan pirates in the First Barbary War; one hundred seventy-eight years back, a baby boy was born into a prosperous and prominent New England family who would grow up as the author Henry Adams; fifteen years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1853, the brothers Studebaker established the eponymous wagon company that would become the iconic automobile brand decades later; seventeen years henceforth, in 1870, a little baby girl first cried out en route to factory work at eleven, joining the Knights of Labor at sixteen and cofounding the Women’s Trade Union League as Leonora O’Reilly; in England, half a dozen years onward from that, in 1876, a male infant came into the world who would grow up as the ‘liberal’ historian and thinker G.M. Trevelyan; seven more years in the direction of today, in 1883, in Illinois, a typical case of profit-before-safety led to a horrific mine collapse in the Southern

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

part of the State that claimed the lives of almost four score colliers; three short years past that point in time precisely, in 1886, a male child was born who would mature as the iconic critic and chronicler of American literature, Van Wyck Brooks; soon enough thereafter, a hundred twelve years ahead of this instant, another boy child took his first breath en route to a life as the influential analyst and writer George Kennan; three years hence, in 1907, Italy’s first Nobel literary laureate, the anti-clerical poet Giosue Carducci, took his final breath; a decade later, in 1917, the French anarcho-liberal poet, playwright, and thinker Octave Mirbeau died; three hundred sixty-five days onward from that, in 1918, Lithuanian leaders unanimously declared their country’s independence; eight years farther along the temporal arc, in 1926, a general strike of sorts began in New York City that engaged Jewish furriers and their Greek and African American allies in what would be a four month battle for a five day, forty hour week; a year subsequently, in 1927, a baby boy uttered his first cry on the way to a life as acclaimed historian of slavery and more, David Brion Davis; seven years more

CC BY-SA by joelogon
CC BY-SA by joelogon

down the pike, in 1934, the Austrian Civil War ended with the defeat of Social Democratic and parliamentary partisans; two years hence, in 1936, Spain’s Popular Front took power after electoral victories briefly handed the socialist and communist and anarchist and populist party the reins of rule, and rubber workers in Akron initiated a sit-down strike to demand the recognition of their union in Akron, Ohio; rolling along another three hundred sixty-six days, in 1937, Wallace Carothers revolutionized multiple fields as he received the first patent for nylon; seven years yet nearer to now, in 1944, the male newborn came along who would grow up as ‘accidental novelist’ of middle America, Richard Ford; thirteen years forward from that exact point-in-time, in 1957, England’s televised carriers no longer had to follow a “toddlers’ truce” that ended all broadcast from six to seven P.M. so that young ones could go to bed without travail; a year past that, back across the Atlantic in 1958, a little girl was born who would grow up as popular and critically lauded science writer Natalie Angier; just a year afterward, in 1959, Fidel Castro came to power as a revolutionary leader in Cuba; two years further on, in 1961, Chicago’s DuSable Museum opened as the first institution that focused on African American history and culture; also in Chicago thirty-eight years ahead of our light and air, the first computer Bulletin Board System came into operation; seven years more in the direction of now, in 1985,Hezbollah came into existence; a half dozen years even closer to the current context, in 1991, Enrique Bermudez, the Nicaraguan fascist, died

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

from assassins bullets in Managua; a year thereafter, in 1992, roughly five thousand miles Northwest across the wide sea, the notable, fierce, critically acclaimed writer and storyteller and feminist, Angela Carter, drew her final breath; after the arrest of one of their key leaders in Turkey seven years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1999, Kurdish militants seized embassies and held hostages in protest all over Europe; two years afterward, in 2001, sexologist and thinker William Masters died; and four years hence from that point, in 2005, the Kyoto Global Warming Protocols took effect after their prior ratification in 1997; just ten hundred ninety-five days before this instant, Russian thinker and philosopher, as well as famed Soviet dissident, Grigory Pomerants took his last breath.

                A Thought for the Day                

Whether they arrive too early, through an opportunistic, medically induced haze, almost a month late with a head now grown nearly too large safely to join our midst, or right on time in a rush of sweat and blood and fear and onrushing joyous hope, babies take their mothers—and with them all of human society—to the brink of doom in coming to squall and suck and babble and stare and amaze all and sundry as the future of our kind on Earth.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“The life of a child is indeed that of a chameleon.  Who forbade us then to live many lives which had no resemblance to each other?  By what magic was it given us then to see that nothing contradicts anything else?  We threw off the solemn weight of consistency and in a winter’s afternoon, without stirring from the four walls of a room, experienced all the modes of being.  And if in later years we feel that then we were above all natural, can we doubt that the destiny of man is to experience the whole of life?  Or shall we conclude that a golden age was given us, not as a vision to which life can be made to conform, but as a consolation for what it cannot be?Pixabay Image 741164
But in youth a fact confronts us.  A man has actually to be something, and therefore he cannot be other things as well.  And again, to be something implies that one has to do something.  The social world opens before us and requires of us an economy of morals, a singleness of aim.  We possess qualities that cannot exist together in a human being.  What selection is to be made?  What is to be kept, encouraged, fostered in ourselves?

CC BY-NC by duncan
CC BY-NC by duncan

Everything we do is the realization of something we have thought or of something our ancestors have thought for us.  And our life is the projection of all those thoughts that have the special kind of vitality required for visible existence.  They are few indeed beside the multitudinous thoughts which have a different vitality, — those which cannot express themselves because they are framed for a different set of circumstances than that in which they find themselves.  Every thought that is born in the heart begs to be allowed to live, to share our life.  If we deny it life it will die, and is it well to carry within us things that are dead?  One thought is born as a kiss, one as an empire, one as an act of mercy.  These are thoughts that life can contain because there are those to kiss, those to conquer, and those to pity.  But not less real than these are thoughts that we call happiness, love, and truth.snow winter cold desolation poverty unemployment depression
Does life contain these things, throw back to us these mysteries, laid bare of all they contain which torments us?  Life can offer us nothing but a multitude of objects upon which we can expend ourselves and in doing so forget that we desire all, all, all.  Perhaps we should be less fortunate if life allowed us a wider latitude.  It would then be a sleep in which we should expend ourselves in the way that nature seems to intend, unconsciously, as if in deep weariness after one eternity and as if in preparation for the second eternity to which only death shall open our eyes.”  Van Wyck Brooks: The Soul: An Essay Towards a Point of Viewhttps://archive.org/stream/soulanessaytowa00broogoog/soulanessaytowa00broogoog_djvu.txt.

book hor2

SEARCHDAYparadox OR contradiction OR anomaly necessity OR inevitable OR mandatory awareness OR consciousness OR comprehension essential OR "sine qua non" aspect history OR origins analysis OR explication radical OR socialist OR marxist = 90,090,000 Citations.

book hor

                       Top of the Fold                        

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-peace-talks-and-an-empire-running-amok/5508112  – Among the plus or minus a hundred thousand reports and briefings a day now that touch on peace prospects in Syria, some cool-headed and bone-chilling analysis about what likely lies ahead and what definitely has recently transpired–from Global Research, a deeply reported contextualization of what ‘peace’ can mean in the imperial realm; from Counterpunch an essay about the geopolitical and ‘stakeholder’ bets on the table and the bloody results of a showdown on this particular hand; from Information Clearinghouse, via Russia Insider, an up-to-the-minute item of reportage about what the Russian Intelligence services have recently revealed about U.S. ‘networking’ with, and plans for the conquests of, the supposedly demonized Islamic State in Iraq & Syria; and from Washington Times, an opinion piece, under the byline of a fierce opponent of empire who also manages to be a champion of a certain reading of Turkish history, an article that lays out clearly the bigotry and self-serving hypocrisy that underlies every page of the current chapters of U.S. empire and the Military-Industrial-Terrorism-Complex: “Mr. Assad and his secular Arab Socialist Ba’ath party is indeed not convenient for the neo-colonial interests of the west.  Never mind that he had been re-elected with a more than 80% majority by Syrians, just about 20 months ago. Mr. Gadhafi, who intended with the riches of Libya to free Africa from the continuous economic oppression of the west, was also a socialist at heart and very inconvenient for the fascist capitalist west.  Frankly, what Swiss news are portraying is worse than Fox and CNN together and doesn’t make for neutral grounds amenable for peace talks.

(As anti-Russian screeds continue unabated, and the hope for Saudi and Turkish ‘regrouping’ grow), Washington will never let go – of its objective of regime change in Syria.  It is not in their game plan; it’s not in the cards, it’s not part of the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century) which is still highly valid and being followed almost to the letter.  The PNAC pursues total submission of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – and ultimately full spectrum dominance and world supremacy, control of all the globe’s resources and of all the globe’s people.  A dispensable army of slaves.  In fact, this massive army of serfs is much too large for the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon empire’s taste.  These people cost too much; they eat too much; they use too many resources.

(Various conspiratorial scenarios, even involving unparalleled mass murder, seem all too plausible).  (Meanwhile), (t)he EU is so subjugated to the nefarious White House – Pentagon – FED-cum-Wall Street ‘troika’ – for reasons which are difficult to comprehend – that they keep obeying orders for ‘sanctioning’ Russia, like pathetic masochists.  These sanctions hurt Europe much more than they hurt Russia.  We are made to believe that Russia’s economy suffers tremendously, that Russians become increasingly unhappy with their government, that Russia is at the brink of breaking down with social upheavals.  This is far from correct.  Maybe that would be the case, if Russia were still to depend on the west, as she did when Gorbachev and Yeltsin sold out the Russian Federation to Washington in the 1990s.  But Russia is no longer dependent on the west.  Russia and China have forged a new alliance with the remaining BRICS (Brazil, India and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and Iran.  The truth is that Mr. Putin still has an approval rating of close to 80%.

(Paradoxically, in this regard, Russia still ‘hopes’ for an amicable solution.  Mediated reports speak in glowing terms of rapprochement, which one may say with some certainty are both poorly-placed prayers, at best).  Then there is the illusion that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed and therefore in force and being implemented.  Do you realize, Mr. Medvedev, that the United States never honors any agreement that does not serve them and has absolutely no intention, never had, to implement this or any other arms reduction treaty?  To the country.  You must be aware that Washington and the Pentagon just a few days ago announced with big fanfare to quadruplicate the military budget for NATO in Europe, putting more men and tanks and missiles closer to the Russian border.  This is not exactly an arms reduction – wouldn’t you say?

If the US is calling the shots on Syria peace talks, whenever and wherever they may take place, with the legitimate government of Syria not even present, there is no hope for Syria.  Russia must be firm.   Regime change is not on the table.  The people of the sovereign nation of Syria are the only ones to elect their president.  This principle must be upheld, not only for Syria’s sake, but it must set a precedent for other cases to follow.”—Global Research

CC BY-SA by joelogon
CC BY-SA by joelogon
          “The success being enjoyed by (Syrian) government forces and its allies on the ground is a testament to their remarkable morale and tenacity despite the battering they have endured over five years of unremitting conflict.  Key to this reinvigoration and success in routing opposition forces – forces which only a few months ago were in the ascendancy – has of course Russian air, communications, and logistical support.  Moscow’s decision to intervene at the end of September last year may have been pregnant with risk, but so far it has been validated, and perhaps even beyond initial expectations.

(Nevertheless), at this stage in the Syrian conflict neither the Russians nor anybody else with a vested interest in the country’s survival as a non-sectarian state will be prepared to predict victory.  Not with the noises coming out of Ankara and Riyadh over the possibility of both countries sending in ground troops.

(Tangible cues from both capitals have shown the seriousness of these threats, despite Washington ‘promises’ otherwise).  The days when an American president could pick up the phone to Washington’s allies in the Middle East and have his bidding done have passed.  The impotence of the Obama administration in the face of these developments has arrived as the culmination of a decade and half of disastrous overreach in Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving US power and credibility severely weakened.  Even if the President wished to follow a vigorous and assertive policy towards the region and the conflict in Syria, the cost not just in money but political and public support at home negates it as a serious proposition. In Washington what was once known as the Vietnam Syndrome is now the Iraq Syndrome.

(Russia right now is exercising considerable power by contrast).  Proof of this comes with the outcome of the most recent talks on the conflict in Munich.  Russia, in the person of Lavrov, arrived with its air campaign proceeding at full tilt, and left again having reached an agreement that it should continue at full tilt.  The speed with which the narrative promulgated by the US and its allies has unravelled as a consequence of Russia’s presence is measured in the way they cling on to the fiction of ‘moderate rebels’.  The most grievous example involved British Prime Minister David Cameron during last year’s Commons debate on British participation in the conflict.  His claim there were 70,000 of these moderates in Syria, just waiting to install a nice and cuddly liberal democracy in Damascus the morning after Assad is forced out, met with howls of laughter everywhere apart from Syria, where Cameron’s ‘moderates’ have turned a large swathe of the country into a living hell.

(Of course, Turks and Saudis may yet seek to up the ante even more, whatever the murderous insanity of such moves).  With Russia’s military presence in and around Syria entrenched, and with the US increasingly disenchanted with Erdogan’s Janus-faced role in the conflict in Syria, not to mention the bellicosity of its Saudi client over Iran and a human rights record that makes every utterance in support for the kingdom a howl of hypocrisy, we are at the absolute tipping point when it comes not only to Syria’s future but the future of the region.  The stakes involved leave no doubt that the mounting threat of a Saudi-led invasion of Syria speeds the hour when Iran and Russia commit their own ground troops in significant number.”—Counterpunch
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         “(According to Russia’s British Ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko), ‘Last summer we were told by our Western partners that in October Damascus would fall to IS (ie. the Islamic State).  What they were planning to do next we don’t know.  Probably, they would have ended up painting the extremists white and accepting them as a Sunni state straddling Iraq and Syria.’

         The summer – when these conversations between the Western powers and the Russians allegedly took place – was the time when the US was in discussions with Turkey and Jordan about setting up a no-fly zone and safe havens in Syria.  I discussed in (a different) article how ‘no-fly zone’ is today simply a euphemism for a US bombing campaign.

Russia Insider has previously explained that it was to stop the US proclaiming a no-fly zone – i.e. commencing a bombing campaign aimed at overthrowing the Syrian government – that Russia intervened in Syria.  The fact Yakovenko says the US told the Russians this would result in the Islamic State capturing Damascus by October explains why the Russians felt they had to act as they did.  Is Yakovenko however telling the truth?  The first thing to say is that the British and US governments have not denied what he is saying.

(To some extent all such analysis is speculative, but it could easily have resulted from U.S. overreach and imperial overconfidence).  Probably what the US expected was that the threat of a bombing campaign leading to the seizure of Damascus by the Islamic State would terrify Moscow and persuade the Russians to force Assad to stand down, which has been the US objective all along.  In that case the US seriously underestimated the Russians’ resolve and their willingness to act to prevent what the US was threatening from coming to pass.  Overall Yakovenko’s disclosure makes sense, and is therefore probably true.  What it shows is how reckless the US’s Syrian policy had become.

The families of US victims of jihadi terror would surely feel betrayed if they were ever find out about (U.S. plans to facilitate an IS ‘victory’), whilst it is not difficult to imagine the consternation and recriminations in Washington when the Russians unexpectedly pre-empted the US strategy by intervening in the way they did.  As for the people of Damascus – spared not just US bombing but rule by the Islamic State – and the people of Europe – who would have faced a far bigger refugee flood if what Washington was telling the Russians had come to pass – they both have reason to be grateful to the Russians for making sure that things turned out otherwise.”—Information Clearinghouse
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“What stuns(about the Military-Industrial-Terrorism Complex) is not the modus operandi.  All organizations covet expansion for the sake of expansion.  What amazes is the willingness of the President, Congress, and the American people to feed a failed enterprise.  Russia, China, Libya,Iraq, Afghanistan, and ISIS are six current examples.rect3336 space
The Cold War ended with the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.   The United States then confronted no existential threats.  Our military power dwarfed rivals as an oak dwarfs an acorn.   We should have dissolved NATO, ended our troop presence in Europe, and embraced a foreign policy worthy of our democratic dispensation and the sacrifices of Valley Forge: ‘HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS FOR SELF-DEFENSE, BUT NOT ONE CENT FOR EMPIRE.’rect3336 space
The MITC trembled at the thought.  It wept at the prospect of losing gold-plated cost-plus contracts, multi-million dollar executive salaries, rich consulting fees, and the status and celebrity that constant conflict or warfare bring.  Thus was born a new and counter-constitutional conception of foreign pol icy.  The United States must bestride the world like a colossus to ensure that no other nation or non-state actor attains the capability of doing anything we oppose. As others had sallied forth under a banner of ‘master race,’ we must march under a banner of ‘American exceptionalism.’

(In this context), NATO expansion …worked perfectly.   It had created conflict with Russia, which provided cover to maintain troops in Europe and to enhance military sales to nations vulnerable to Russia’s ambitions.   Most recently, the Pentagon announced plans to increase the deployment of heavy weapons, armored vehicles and other equipment to NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe.  The White House contemplates paying for the anti-Putin gambit with a budget request exceeding $3.4 billion to support military spending in Europe for 2017.  The weapons and equipment will be used to insure that a full armored combat brigade can be fielded in the region by American and NATO forces at all times.

(Afghanistan, as well as Russia, gobbled up golden nuggets of military goodies.  Meanwhile, back in Southwest Asia), (a)fter giving birth to ISIS through the pulverization of Iraq and support for repressive Middle East states and statelets, the MITC bugled for military force to degrade and destroy its own malevolent offspring in Iraq, Syria, and anywhere on the globe.  To rally popular support and spiraling congressional funding, the MITC inflated the danger of radical Islam to an existential threat.  More than 9,000 airstrikes against ISIS have accomplished nothing militarily significant.  The MITC is now clamoring for boots on the ground in Syria or Iraq indefinitely, a throwback to General William Westmoreland’s demand for 200,000 more troops in Vietnam after the1968 Tet Offensive.”—Washington Times

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/65939  – Inside an essay that is a worthy political assessment in its own right, from one of the regulars at The Smirking Chimp, a five minute mediated interlude from Bill Moyers and Company in which Elizabeth Warren first acknowledges how Hillary Clinton once stood for something other than serving plutocracy, but then demonstrates that such a time is–especially in political terms–a long gone episode for which no evidence whatsoever exists that such feelings, and more importantly such actions, will ever again emanate from the former Senator and Secretary of State and poor little rich girl Goldwater Republican who would become the first woman President of the United States of America.


student writing arm


The Dahlonega Literary Festival is an annual celebration of books. The next festival will take place March 12-13, 2016. Situated in Historic Downtown Dahlonega, the festival continues to grow and become more and more entertaining as the years go on. We promise it will delight anyone who is a lover of books and reading. All festival events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.


Literary Events Grant of Georgia


Literary Events Grant of Georgia (LEGG) supports writers’ fees for literary events in underserved communities across the state. Literary events include readings, workshops, presentations, and performances.

We provide grants of $50-$250 for a literary event. We strongly encourage organizations to match our payments to writers, but this requirement may be waived if there are extenuating circumstances. To support as many literary events as possible, we generally grant no more than $500 to organizations during the course of our fiscal year (July 1-June 30).

 fresh Inc invites composers, musicians, and ensembles to apply to train and perform in their June 2016 chamber music festival in Chicago and Wisconsin.

Poetry Series $300 prize
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr


Atlanta Radio Theatre Company

The Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC / www.artc.org), founded in 1984, is seeking writers to create radio plays to be performed live at events such as Dragon*Con, recorded for broadcast, and also sold in digital formats. ARTC specializes in genre stories–including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and horror, as well as some mystery and romance–that are dialog-driven and do not rely on extensive narration. If you are interested in writing for ARTC, they recommend starting with a 5-10-minute radio play that you can workshop with them, doing a reading and receiving critiques, before advancing to longer scripts. Foley technicians who do the sound effects for productions also are needed. ARTC meets most Wednesday evenings at 7:30 in Stone Mountain. To schedule a date to workshop your radio play, or to sit in on a rehearsal of a current production, please contact info@artc.org.

English II – Argumentative Essay Tutor (Kokomo)

compensation: Hourly
employment type: part-time

Current English II student looking for experienced English II tutor to help get me through this class! Email me and give me a bid on hourly rate.

Public Relations Assistant (Louisville)

compensation: $15/hr to start
employment type: contract
telecommuting okay

Small marketing agency needs a Public Relations Assistant with desire and/or experience:
– Researching editorial calendars
– Pitching stories to journalists
– Editing articles


Investigating Solitary Confinement

A New Yorker piece that looks at the journalist who has cared enough to document the plight of prisoners: “I wrote about Browderfor this magazine in the fall of 2014, but there may be no reporter in the United States who has collected more stories of solitary-confinement prisoners than the veteran investigative reporter James Ridgeway. Since it is virtually impossible for a reporter to gain access to a solitary-confinement unit, Ridgeway came up with another strategy. “I wanted to use the prisoners themselves as reporters,” he told me. “Of course, that’s taboo in the mainstream press, since we all know they’re liars and double dealers and escape artists.” He chuckled. But breaking that taboo “didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “My position was: all we want to do here is, we want to know what is going on inside.””

Plant Medicine in Proper Context

A thought-provoking High Existence piece by a wisdom seeker who shares a personal experience that contextualizes the appropriate expectations – as well as potential harm encountered – on the path to seeking enlightenment through ayahuasca and other psychedelic/vision seeking ceremonies: “Visionary plants can heal, but the most fundamental agent of healing and transformation is the sharp blade of the present, and this can be found regardless of the path we pursue, gods we worship, or plants we work with. The exploration of visionary realms is fascinating and necessary, but let us do so with our feet firmly grounded in everyday reality and common sense. Jung wondered, “You have not finished with the conscious side yet. Why should you expect more from the unconscious?””

Primary Sources and Historical Scrutiny

A Library of Congress posting that looks at the wealth and depth and complexity of history when seen from the viewpoint of primary sources:  “How can primary sources help us examine one cultural or ethnic group’s exploration of the United States as a new home and the ensuing encounters and exchanges with those already living here? This political cartoon published in Puck magazine in 1880 offers one starting place.”


Magic Realism in Indonesia

An Electric Lit posting that discusses the latest work of an Indonesian writer: “Eka Kurniawan’s debut novel Beauty is a Wound (New Directions, 2015) begins with Dewi Ayu, a stunning Dutch-Indonesian brothel madam, walking out of her grave twenty-one years after her demise. The novel proceeds with a series of “and thens” and macabre twists that rival those concocted by Scheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights. Up to the book’s very end, where Dewi Ayu’s dysfunctional descendants tie up the family’s saga, Kurniawan dazzles with his looping plots, biting humor, and skewering take on Indonesia’s history.”

Identity and Craft in Musician

A Rolling Stone interview of an awesome musician who shares with readers some of her process and inspiration: “I have a certain Southern Gothic sensibility. I related to Flannery O’Connor at a young age. My mother’s father was a fire-and-brimstone Methodist preacher. I saw a lot of that kind of thing growing up, and I read about it in O’Connor. Her writing was really dark but also ironic and humorous. It informs a lot of my songs.”


The Internet as a Troubling Platform

A troubling brief from Internet 2016 that shows the bizarre, tragic distorted views that our potential lawmakers and nation leaders have about the technology that everyone uses everyday, from simple personal expression to lifesaving contexts: “Whether you’re one of the more than 10 million people whoprotested congressional efforts to pass Internet-censoring copyright legislation or one of the millions who urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt real Net Neutrality protections, you’re part of a growing political base that expects our elected leaders to support our rights to connect and communicate.

That’s a good thing, right? Here’s the problem. Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle haven’t caught up with the rest of us. When facing intelligent questions about their views on important Internet issues, they just plain get it wrong most of the time.”


Changing the Democratic Party

A New Yorker post that looks at the seachange that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy has had on the entire ethos of the Democratic party: “At eleven-forty-five, Sanders addressed his supporters, who were cheering even more wildly than Clinton’s crowd had been. “Iowa, thank you,” he began, his voice hoarse. “Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state. We had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America. And, tonight, while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie.”

That history explains why Sanders emerged as the big winner of the night on the Democratic side. Not only has he pulled off a rags-to-riches story, he has done it on the basis of a message that is more radical than anything Presidential politics has seen in decades—a message that he repeats with such regularity and relentlessness that his stump speech has become familiar to many Americans.”




Situation in Syria

A Global Research article that discusses the role that America is taking in intervening in the situation in Syria, so as to create unrest which will ultimately purportedly benefit its aims: ““McGurk was accompanied by a number of French and British officials,” Kurdish sources said Sunday, adding that the Western delegation held talks with members of the Kurdish-Arab alliance fighting ISIL, that is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), where McGurk defended “Kurdish autonomy.””