4.26.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

FASCIST AMERICAN POLICE “JUST LIKE IN BURMA
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/how-oklahoma-police-took-dollar53000-from-a-burmese-christian-band-a-church-in-omaha-and-an-orphanage-in-thailand/ar-BBsepqN?li=BBnbfcL – An article about a sideline of the booming $2.5 billion dollar a decade racket that police operate in seizing assets under Federal law, the state form of such Nazi methods, which generate uncounted millions from ‘criminals’ like the Christian pop rocker in this article from MSN News, a piece that has generated coverage all over the web, as in the case of this ActivistPost briefing all of which reporting indicates that the accused here had no drugs, he had valid reasons for having the fifty-three thousand dollars that the Muskogee County Oklahoma Sheriff’s Department stole from him, and that the recipients of those robbed funds were to be mainly poor people and students in Southeast Asia, who with luck will eventually get the cash that the police absconded with like the terrorist racketeers that they apparently are, a characterization that is congruent with the facts and analysis, if not the language, of a recent Institute for Justice publication, Policing for Profit.

                    This Day in History                  

Today in Belarus marks a Day of Remembrance of the Chernobyl Tragedy, while in a passing of hours of critical import to scribes, this date also inscribes World Intellectual Property Day, as, on a lighter and yet also important note, April 26th is Hug a Friend Day; in the South of bustling England four hundred fifty-two years ago, a baptism took place for a boy who would become the bard of the ages, William Shakespeare, even as his birthday eludes the snares of memory; two hundred thirteen years hence, in 1777, a young woman, Sybyl Ludington, rode over forty miles throughout the night along the New York and Connecticut border to warn of advancing British forces;five years thereafter, in 1772, the baby boy entered our midst whose fate was to create the masterpieces of art and thought of John James Audubon;  more here

                A Thought for the Day                

To equate health with medicine makes sense only if, first, sickness has become so prevalent that no one’s life unfolds in wellness, and, second, that rampant combination of disease and dis-ease has come to the forefront from purely natural and random causes and not from people’s own carelessness or churlishness, which is to say that the aforesaid equation of healthiness with medication is nonsensical, if innocent with ignorance, or vicious, if, as is more often the case among snake oil salesmen and their vaunted, well compensated ‘experts,’ the equivalence of vigor with pharmaceuticals and chemistry flows from self-interested and self-righteous profiteering.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold. …
(Along similarly anomalous lines),
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath! …
(Thus, when cases that cry for justice come),
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. …
(Still, ’tis easier said than done).
If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.  It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.”   William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

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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                        

UNLEARNED LESSONS WILL EXACT HARSH RETRIBUTION EVENTUALLY
https://sermcap.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/united-in-blood-against-empire/ – In the context of murder and plunder and gangsterism in Latin America again, all orchestrated from the District of Columbia, an NWU writer’s longform assessment of the homicidal butchery that the United States visited on Chile beginning on September 11, 1973, a series of recollection that will either teach us to be better and to ask forgiveness, or, most certainly, will effectuate an uprising that will sweep away America’s vaunted exceptional delirium of impunity once and for all: “As always, one might present the nub of today’s script simply.  more here

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

AN OVERVIEW OF IMPORT: THE TRAGEDY OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY

https://soundcloud.com/university-of-exeter/richard-toye-and-marc-william –  A marvelous briefing, part of the University of Exeter podcast series, Talking Empire, in which interviewer and historian Richard Toye teams with his frequent partner, Marc William-Palen to discuss and present a briefing about William Appleman Williams masterwork, one of those historical productions around which all subsequent historiography of foreign policy and empire would turn, The Tragedy of American Policy, a monograph that shows how so-called ‘free trade’ was a bludgeon for the productivity and special advantages–slavery, genocide, and theft, essentially–of American agriculture and mining and manufacturing after the ‘closing of the frontier’ and the dawning of ‘an American century.’

JOBSEVENTS

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EVENTS

Conference for writers, readers, and artists.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Panama Summit Residency 

The 2016 Creative Currents Summer Artist Residency is open to emerging and professional Visual, Literary & Performance Artists in all mediums and genres and Scholars and Researchers of all disciplines – both creative and academic – to submit project proposals for work to be developed during the 3 week residency. Keeping in mind that the residency is short, our goal is to support participants in realizing works-in-progress and the production of new, small works.

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Five Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships in the amount of $25,800 each will be awarded to young poets in the U.S. through a national competition sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. Established in 1989 by the Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the fellowships are intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

We’re currently hiring for the position of Director of Programs at Image

The ideal candidate is a serious multi-tasker, brings strong administrative skills to the table, and finds motivation in a fast-paced work environment where a small, dedicated staff manages to produce a disproportionately large amount of goodness.
Priceanomics Request for Articles

Today, we’re publishing some “requests for articles.” If you’re a freelance writer and you find these topics interesting, you can pitch us on taking one on. (You can find more details below; pitching us should not take more than half an hour.)

ORGLINK

The Purpose of Funding Our Passions

A Fusion post that looks at the work of brilliant researchers who see the purpose of encouraging identity passions (IE theater, dance, etc) as a key to helping folks get out of poverty: “Among other factors, they found, the presence of an identity project is a strong marker for where these at-risk youth will end up—either sucked into a street life of crime, violence and drugs, or doing something productive.

Defined by researchers, Identity Projects are “concrete activities to which youth committed themselves” as middle schoolers or high schoolers, which brought “a source of meaning that provided a strong sense of self.””

Surveillance on Kids

A Washington Post article that looks at surveillance tactics being used on kids’ social media, and shows how funding is being used for vigilante activities v. actual education: “The school district says it will pay about $18,000 annually for SnapTrends, the monitoring software used to check students’ activity. It’s the same software used by police in Racine, Wis., to track criminal activity and joins a slew of similar social media monitoring software used by law enforcement to keep an eye on the community.”

Tech as Tool of Oppressive Surveillance

An Ian Welsh look at a post by a thoughtful commentator who contextualizes just what the most important consideration of the tech revolution has been: “What the telecom and infotech revolutions have actually enabled is a vast experiment in de-skilling, surveillance and control, beyond the dreams even of the late 19th century Taylorist movement, with their stopwatches and assembly lines.  Nothing people do, from what they eat, to what entertainment they consume, to when and how well they sleep; let alone everything they do during their working day, is beyond reach.”

WRISSFree Writing Courses

A Study.com post that introduces readers to ten free writing courses they can take for credit or to hone their craft: “See our list of universities that offer free online writing courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that’s right for you.”

Pirate Libraries

A fascinating Atlas Obscura look into the growing, murky world of digital pirate libraries: “All around the world, shadow libraries keep growing, filled with banned materials. But no actual papers trade hands: everything is digital, and the internet-accessible content is not banned for shocking content so much as that modern crime, copyright infringement.”

GENMEDIP

On Journalistic Entrepreneurship

A Poynter look at the ways that journalistic ventures might succeed: “As you manage your journalism business, it’s useful to step back periodically to look at the big picture. Schedule time to look at your overall strategy, how you’re positioning your business, and what your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities are.”

RECEV

Freedom of Information Concerns

A Government Executive post that updates new regulations desired for more openness in government: “Bipartisan bills aimed at strengthening the openness requirements of the Freedom of Information Act are heading into House-Senate negotiations, but not without exposing some long-standing trepidation inside the Obama administration.”

GENISSBaltimore Fights Back

An Atlantic look at one of the cities most hard-hit by poverty and bigotry, and looks at the ways it is fighting back after the sad legacy of Freddie Gray: “The past 12 months have put Baltimore at the center of a tense national conversation over police accountability and the consequences of deeply rooted racial disparity. After Gray’s death, the city was gripped by protests that turned violent at times. Some of the problems that plague Baltimore have grown worse since then. Crime spiked following the unrest, earning 2015 the ominous distinction of being the deadliest year (on a per-capita basis) in the city’s history.”

4.25.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

BUYING OFF PARENTS OF MURDERED CHILDREN
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/us/tamir-rice-family-cleveland-settlement.html – An article that essentially admits wrongdoing and depredation and murder and mayhem on the part of established authorities, with money and thereby in the only way that America’s institutions will countenance, in the brutal slaying of twelve year-old Tamir Rice, whom Cleveland police gunned down over a year ago, a recompense for what is never compensable, the vicious cutting short of a young person’s life, a story that is much present now ‘on the wires’ as it were, as in this supplementary item from TeleSur.

                    This Day in History                  

Portugal today marks Freedom Day as Italy commemorates a different sort of release in Liberation Day, while around the planet celebrants recognize DNA Day, World Malaria Day, Remembrance of Parental Alienation Day and Red Hat Society Day; among contending groups of Greeks two thousand four hundred and twenty years ago, Sparta’s soldiers overwhelmed the Athenians, thus ending the Peloponnesian War on terms unfavorable to even the limited form’s of Athens’ ancient democracy;

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                A Thought for the Day                

Whether in the form of joyous cry of harmony that affirms improbable fantasies of justice and equality or in a package of outraged howl of dissonant fury that insists that justice will be ours come what may, that people will indeed find a way to rise in their own defense, grassroots music in all its guises—rap and folk and country and every possible ethnic and stylistic formulation—provides such spiritual uplift and bracing hope that imagining political transformation without music is akin to positing poetic meaning outside the context of the human voice’s thundering sounds and whimsical whispers.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“Once a rebel, always a rebel.  You can’t help being one.  You can’t deny that.  And it’s best to be a rebel so as to show ’em it don’t pay to try to do you down.  Factories and labour exchanges and insurance offices keep us alive and kicking – so they say – but they’re booby-traps and will suck you under like sinking-sands if you’re not careful.

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SEARCHDAY"public health" OR "clean water" OR "publicly available healthcare" OR nursing longevity OR "life expectancy" OR wellness "sine qua non" OR prerequisite OR foundation OR precursor "prescription drugs" OR "medical equipment" OR "modern hospitals" OR "specialized physicians" "less important" OR "of less consequence" OR overemphasized = 47,500 Linkages.

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                       Top of the Fold                        

STEWING WAR SAUCE IN SPICY CURRENCY CRISES & OILY TRADE DEALS

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/04/25/world-war-iii-has-begun-paul-craig-roberts/ – At the head of a triptych about finance and geopolitics and war, a typically incisive assessment from the crafty veteran of such investigation and policy dissection, PaulCraigRoberts, in the event with a prediction that the fiscal equivalents of warfare are heading ineluctably to another worldwide shooting match, this time–

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              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

sick-banner cancer healthHOLDING CANCER ALL TOO CLOSE ALL TOO OFTEN

http://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/jimmy-gonzalez-1972-2014-andquot-cell-phones-cause-cancerandquot-27632 – From the intrepid, iconoclastic, and eclectic entrepreneurs at Forbidden Knowledge TV, a presentation by a brilliant attorney–a man who joined the Marines and rose through the ranks to a position of power and influence–to the Pembroke Pines City Council in Florida, about the cancer that would all too soon snuff out his life, which without any significant doubt was the result of his eight-to-twelve-hour-per-day cellphone habit, the cause of the multiple malignancies–next to his telephone ear, on the aorta just beneath the pocket where he carried his device, on the nerves of the hand with which he carried his telecommunications lifeline that turned out to be a death sentence–that he speaks about here, from beginning to end with a clear articulation of the central message: “Cell phones cause cancer.”

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Bright Wall/Dark Room is currently accepting unsolicited submissions for its monthly magazine. Essays, criticism, poetry, reportage, interviews, and short humor pieces will all be evaluated and considered.

We are absolutely not looking for formulaic plot-summary “reviews” of any kind. We are far more interested in content that has you interacting, engaging, or wrestling with a film (or film-related topic) in some personal or unique way. Creativity and thinking outside of the box are highly encouraged.

Application Now Open for Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp at Auburn Public Theater June 2 – 5, 2016

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts’ (NYSCA) State & Local Partnerships program is pleased to announce the launch of the Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp, a series of professional development programs for the arts communities in the Catskills, Western and Central New York. This is the first year of a three year commitment to provide Boot Camps throughout New York State. For the coming year, the partner host sites include Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Auburn Public Theater, and Roxbury Arts Group. The Boot Camps will rotate to new host sites and regions in subsequent years.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

  • Atlanta GA The CNN Health team is looking for a Writer who will cover the most pressing or interesting health, wellness and medical stories of the day.
  • This position offers the opportunity to work on enterprise writing projects and develop areas of expertise within the many subject areas the section now includes.

ORGLINK

Claiming Public Space

A Next System article that broaches the subject of access, justice, and the commons: “What are the systemic challenges to democratic and equitable control over public space?  What kind of popular mobilizations can build towards systemic alternatives guaranteeing the human right to housing?  To help answer these questions, we spoke with Tony Romano, Organizing Director for the Right to City Alliance.  Our conversation is below.”

WRISSThoughts on a Great Editor

A Corey Robin post that introduces readers to an apparently ideal iteration of the species known to writers as ‘editor’: “Every time we worked together on a piece, it felt as if an ideal roommate, unobtrusive but scrupulous and attentive, had moved into the apartment. An alter-ego who cared about only one thing: the work (and making it better). But without that hectoring, punishing, censorious inner voice that so often accompanies one’s best efforts.”

GENMEDIP

Media Killed the Media Star

A Media posting that reframes the financial issues of media outlets due to its having outgrown what made it profitable: “What’s The Problem, you ask? The Problem is that we used to have a really neat and tidy version of a media business where very large interests controlled vast swaths of the things we read, watched, and listened to. Because that system was built on the concept of scarcity and locality — the limits of what was physically possible — it was very easy to keep the gates and fill the coffers. Put simply, there were far fewer players in the game with far fewer outlets for their content, so audiences were easy to sell to and easy to come by.”

RECEV

Election Phenomenon

A Portside look at the incredible chaos and drama surrounding this year’s presidential elections, and all the hard choices it has presented: “The U.S. left is not strong enough – not nearly strong enough – to frame its own choices. Every choice that is framed for us by the center and the right will be agonizingly difficult. The key issue is whether the choices we make create the possibility to build our strength and move in the direction of a coherent strategy, or further weaken and marginalize our already fragmented and debilitated forces.”

GENISS

Saudi Involvement in 911

A Common Dreams article that scrutinizes the role of the rogue Arab nation in this nation’s great tragedy: “Confidential and deeply controversial documents said to reveal the support network behind the 9/11 hijackers may soon be made public, according to the Obama administration’s head of national intelligence.”

4.22.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

"Election MG 3455" by Rama - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0-fr via Wikimedia Commons
“Election MG 3455” by Rama – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0-fr via Wikimedia Commons

RIGHTS RESTORED

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/us/governor-terry-mcauliffe-virginia-voting-rights-convicted-felons.html?emc=edit_na_20160422&nlid=66212615&ref=headline –  Demonstrating once again why it can claim the title of ‘paper of record,’ the New York Times‘ with a scoop about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s just-announced decision to permit as many as 200,000 former felons in the Old Dominion to have back their right to a primary component of American citizenship, the franchise to participate as voters in elections, a choice that will surely cause massive outrage among the reactionaries and fascists who are, if not ubiquitous, certainly numerous to the South of the Nation’s capital, an assessment that a new Atlantic blog supplements in a helpful way for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens.

                    This Day in History                  

This date in Serbia is Holocaust Remembrance Day, while Brazil commemorates Discovery Day at the same time that the United States celebrates Earth Day, which the world marks as International Mother Earth Day; more here

                A Thought for the Day                

brain head mentalThe multifaceted complexity of cognition will likely always escape any simple characterization at the same time that the source-waters of cogitation must include streams that pour in capacities to observe and remember, to speak and listen,  to read and write, and in one way and another to reflect about what these rivulets of the raw material of thought carry with them, the outcome of which must in some shape, form, or fashion come down to three things, first, the ability to describe richly and in detail thealways paradoxical and contradictory nuances of what in hell is happening in front of our eyes, second, a facility to tease out the dynamics and connections of how these specific phenomena transpire, and third, some semblance of aptitude in hypothesizing why in the world particular whats and hows have come to predominate instead of others, all of which is only a first, substantial step toward an intellectual effectiveness that, in order not to seem mostly barren and at best frustratingly pointless, must then engage an additional skill set, what we might term a social cognitive quotient that permits one to relate to others so as to transform and improve the world full of woe and travail that has ever been prevalent and now appears nearly inescapable in its ferocious grip on hope for a future that is other than catastrophic.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“I confess I do not believe in time.  I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another.  Let visitors trip.  And the highest enjoyment of timelessness―in a landscape selected at random―is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants.  This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain.  It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love.  A sense of oneness with sun and stone.  A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern―to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.

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SEARCHDAYliterature OR storytelling OR fiction mastery OR greatness OR classic capacity OR ability OR skill acquisition OR acquire OR training OR development craft OR structure history OR origins analysis OR explication "critical thinking" OR criticism "working class" OR proletarian radical OR marxist = 1,250,000 Citations.

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                       Top of the Fold                        

WEB RULERS & THEIR RULES

http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/13/11387934/internet-moderator-history-youtube-facebook-reddit-censorship-free-speech  –  Considering how much of modern human existence flows through mediated channels–and this proportion certainly approaches 100%–a critically important and yet for reasons of complexity and excitement and technical content and more all too often simply overlooked arena of interest, here in the form of an analysis from The Verge about the subtleties and paradoxes of that which permits what we tweet and greet and bleat and meet online every day to come to pass, which is to say the content moderation …

more here

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

CIA’S PROPAGANDIZING RELATIONS WITH HOLLYWOOD ‘FRIENDS’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejcqvxeYyt8&list=TLhKr4jh_yBYYxNTA0MjAxNg   –  In some ways a typical sort of revelation of relationships between the Central Intelligence Agency and monopoly media companies and big budget Hollywood productions, in the form of a briefing from the so-called–in order to dismiss and disregard–‘conspiracy theorist’ Mark Dice, whose capacities as a researcher and documentarian are top-notch, an overview that establishes what other sources have shown to be true as well, that moneyed series and features receive full cooperation from the boys in Langley, often to the extent that they are releasing materials for which whistleblowers receive prison sentences.

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EVENTS

Grub Street Muse and the Marketplace Conference

Boston, Massachusetts
Event Date:  April 29, 2016
Application Deadline: April 25, 2016
E-mail address:

The 15th annual Muse and the Marketplace Conference will be held from April 29 to May 1 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. The conference, designed for fiction and creative nonfiction writers, features craft classes, interactive discussions, and meetings with agents and editors.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

EARTH DAY SHORT FICTION CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE.
Sapiens Plurum’s latest literary challenge is to personalize the consequences of climate change so readers feel as well as know them. But stories must offer hope, at least a possibility, for without hope people rarely act. Your job, as author, is to inspire scientists and states-persons around the world to live up to the promise of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Deadline April 22, 2016. Limited to 1,500 to 3,000 words. Prices are $1,000, $500, and $300.

Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge

Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book Award

April 30, 2016
E-mail address:  margystewart785@gmail.com

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year that “illuminates the heritage of America’s mid-continental prairies.” Authors and publishers may submit two copies of a poetry collection, a short story or essay collection, a novel, or a memoir published in 2015 by April 30. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

TENNESSEE ARTS COMMISSION
This special opportunities grant will provide up to $500 for individual applicants or $1000 for organizational applicants registering a minimum of two or more staff toward travel & registration fees to attend the Tennessee Arts Commission statewide conference. The conference will be held June 7-10, 2016 at Bradley Academy and Patterson Park Community Center in Murfreesboro, TN. Bringing together arts administrators, educators, and artists in a new way, this convening combines the former Create education institute with the biennial statewide arts conference. The deadline for this opportunity is  May 17, 2016, or when all funds are allocated—whichever comes first.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Freelance Opportunity — Japanese Translator/Editor

compensation: Project based.
employment type: contract

Legal Language Services, a leading translation and interpreting company headquartered in NYC, seeks bilingual individuals to join its pool of Independent Contractors. Those interested in working with LLS as a freelancer must have superior English communication skills. Previous translation experience is preferred but not required. Familiarity with medical and or legal terminology is a plus.

Workflow Assistant (Lombard, IL)

compensation: $13-$14/hour, entry-level position
employment type: full-time

DigiStream Investigations, Inc.
Workflow Assistant (Lombard, IL)
Compensation: $13-$14/hour, ENTRY LEVEL POSITION
Schedule: Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:30pm / Full-Time
Position: Workflow Assistant / Non-Exempt
*Health, Dental, Life insurance, and 401(k) pension plan with Company Match offered
Multimedia Journalist/Reporter
United States – Arizona – PhoenixABC15 in Phoenix, Arizona is looking for a qualified multi-media journalist to research, write, capture visual content and edit stories for multiple platforms.

ORGLINK

 

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

Attacked by Drones

A harrowing tale from the Independent by a Pakistani social activist who is being targeted for elimination by drones: “I am in England this week because I decided that if Westerners wanted to kill me without bothering to come to speak with me first, perhaps I should come to speak to them instead. I’ll tell my story so that you can judge for yourselves whether I am the kind of person you want to be murdered.”

Passing the Cuban Torch

A New Yorker look at the life and legacy of the iconic Cuban leader:  “There was a fin-de-siècle feeling to it all: Raúl’s solicitousness toward his older brother, onstage, the images of weeping delegates in the hall, and Fidel’s exhortations to his fellow Cuban communists to carry on with their noble effort on behalf of humankind after he was gone. It has been a decade since Fidel transferred power to his younger brother, who is now a robust-seeming eighty-four. Even as Fidel delivered a possible farewell, Raúl was reëlected to a new five-year term as the First Secretary of the Communist Party, which means he will remain the de-facto leader even after his announced plans to step down from Cuba’s presidency in 2018. (Fidel, for his part, said he thought his brother was doing a magnificent job.)”

palestine israelEndorsing Boycott Against Israel

An In These Times piece that examines a recent boon to the BDS movement: “The 2,000-member Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), part of United Auto Workers Local 2322, passed a resolution endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a global movement pressuring Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians and end its occupation of Palestinian territory. The vote—which organizers say passed with 95 percent approval—comes just months after the UAW International Executive Board (IEB) controversially overturned a similar BDS resolution passed by University of California graduate student workers with UAW Local 2865.”

WRISS

 

 

Nabokov and Literature

A fascinating forum archive discussing a Nabokov treatise on literature, a piece that would be interesting to read for all who are interested in the late writer’s work: I just finished reading Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature, and it is a very mixed bag. At his best, as in the lecture on Madame Bovary, Nabokov gives us insights into the novel that makes one want to re-read it immediately. But at its worst, as in the very disappointing lecture on Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Nabokov does little more than summarise the work: as I was reading this particular section of the book, I found myself saying: “I know, I know … I’ve read the damn thing!””

Copyright v Free Speech

An Atlantic post that discusses the clash of values between the marketplace’s imperatives and constitutional values: “Free speech has remained a quintessential American ideal, even as our society has moved from the ink quill to the touch screen. But as the Internet paves new avenues for speech, Congress seems to be remembering only some of the lessons of our tradition. While lawmakers continues to understand the potential threat from defamation laws, proposed legislation on copyrights shows that many in Congress are willing to overlook threats to free speech similar to those that overzealous defamation laws undoubtedly create.”

GENMEDIP

film movie theaterHollywood Noir

A real story of espionage, bribery, conspiracy, and drugs from Newsmax: “Former CIA lawyer John Rizzo has revealed that a famous actor was willing to become a Hollywood whistleblower for the government as part of his patriotic duty — and $50,000 worth of cocaine.

According to Radar.online, Rizzo writes in “Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA,” that the CIA has developed a strong relationship with the film industry and devotes “considerable attention” to fostering relationships with the “studio executives, producers, directors and big-name actors.””

RECEV

 

 

 

Torture Through CIA

A Law Newz report that looks at the torture inflicted on two CIA detainees: “Plaintiffs Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud say they are suffering from long-term mental and physical harm. The complaint states interrogators used tactics like sleep deprivation, beatings, sensory deprivation, forced nudity, starvation, and water dousing. The plaintiffs’ lawyers at the ACLU also filed the complaint on behalf of Gul Rahman, who they say died from hypothermia caused by CIA tactics.”

GENISS

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

Drug Addiction Alternative

A New York Times article that looks at the unusual, and apparently successful way a Canadian city deals with its heroin problem: “The city started, in 2003, with North America’s first legal injection facility, InSite, which currently serves around 800 people each day. The addicts bring their own drugs, and InSite provides clean needles and medical supervision. The organization has recorded no fatal overdoses on its premises, and said overdoses near the facility have decreased by 35 percent since 2003, compared with a 9 percent decrease throughout Vancouver.”

4.21.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

AN FOIA REQUEST TO PIQUE THE INTEREST OF SCRAPPY SCRIBES

http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/attorneys-take-on-doj-for-filing-secret-document-about-clinton-email-investigation/ – From the aggregators at LawNewz, an update on the evolving story about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private-server e-mails, and in particular the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit of Vice News reporter Jason Leopold in this situation, in which the FBI, without permission or prompting filed a top-secret brief with the District Court that has oversight over the FOIA matters, a set of facts that Leopold’s attorneys find doubly distressing, in that the Bureau and the Department of Justice are arguing for summary judgment based on these ‘in camera’ documents, and in that one might reasonably infer from this appeal to secrecy that the Secretary’s e-mails did in fact contain highly sensitive military and other state secrets, as apparently alleged by parties to the investigation.

                    This Day in History                  

fantasy book story tale mythToday Vietnamese people celebrate Vietnam Book Day, Kenyans National Tree Planting Day, Rastafarians Grounation Day, Texans the martial laurels of San Jacinto Day, Mexicans the bitter dregs of defeat of Heroic Defense of Veracruz Day; in the most ancient and murkiest initial period of what we might now recognize as an Italian people, two thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight years ago, the legendary abandoned twin and scion of wolves, Romulus, founded the city of Rome; one and a half millennia, one and a half centuries, and three years later, in 900, halfway round the globe, a local leader of the Kingdom of Tondo in what is now the Philippines issued the first known written inscription from the islands, a debt-forgiveness instrument, a pardon, for another elite family; two hundred forty-two years after that passing day, in 1142, in France, the acclaimed, even beloved teacher, philosopher, and theologian of love and analysis, Peter Abelard, breathed his last; three hundred sixty-four years onward in space and time, in 1506, in Europe once more, a three day slaughter of Jews and suggested Jewish adherents in Lisbon ended with as many as 2,000 or more people dead in the process of the outburst by Portuguese Catholic authorities; two decades hence on the dot, in 1526, Eastward in the Subcontinent, Timur’s grandson, Babur led Islamic forces that brought to bear cannon and musketry in crushing their Lodi empire opponents in the Battle of Panipat, expanding the dominance of Mughal forces and arguably inaugurating a Mughal imperial reign in India; three hundred forty-five years ahead of today’s dawning, a baby boy was born whose life and work would help give birth to the monetary and practical forms of capitalism as the theorist, mathematician, and practical political economist, John Law, a man of profits and bubbles; twenty-eight years past that juncture, in 1699, the esteemed and estimable poet and dramatist and critic, Jean Racine, lived out his final scene; two hundred thirty-four years back, the Thai Buddha, Yodfa Chulaloke, oversaw the founding of what soon became the bustling city of Rattanakosin, which today we call Bangkok; a decade further along time’s road, in 1792, nearly half a world away in Brazil, the now celebrated revolutionary leader, Tiradentes, faced executioners who strung him up and then cut him down to draw and quarter him in public; two dozen years thereafter, in 1816, a baby girl opened her eyes who would rise, briefly, to write and tell stories as the magnificent Charlotte Bronte; another two decades farther along the temporal arc, in 1836, Texan fighters dominated the followers of Santa Anna in battle at San Jacinto; just seven hundred thirty days more proximate to the present pass, in 1838, a male infant entered our midst whom destiny elected to lead an early environmental consciousness in the United States; eighteen years afterward, in 1856, half a planet away in Australian, building trades workers prepared to March in Melbourne on their way to winning an eight hour day;eight years subsequently, in 1864, a male child came along who en route to a life as the path-finding sociologist and theorist, Max Weber; just short of three and a half decades yet later on, in 1898, the United States Navy demonstrated some practical social relations by instituting a blockade of Cuban ports on the cusp of the Spanish American War; a dozen years more in the direction of today, in 1910, an icon of critique and hilarity, Mark Twain, passed from our ranks; fourteen hundred sixty-one days past that passing instant in space and time, in 1914, months prior to the formal initiation of the carnage of World War One, U.S. authorities intercepted a German arms shipment to Mexico near Veracruz; a single year forward toward today, in 1915, a baby boy shouted out whose destiny was to mature as the environmental thinker and leader Garrett Hardin; seven more years in the direction of now, in 1922, a male child looked about for the first time on his way to a life as the master of thrillers and popular adventure novels, Alistair MacLean; a thousand ninety-six days subsequent to that moment, in 1925, reactionary apologists and erstwhile thinkers issued the Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals, which the establishment newspaper Il Mondo featured prominently, thereby publicizing the ideological underpinnings and plans for political hegemony of Benito Mussolini and those around him; an additional seven years nearer to the here and now, in 1932, a little girl bounded into the world who would grow into the feisty writer and creator of scripts, Elaine May; another seven year span down the pike, in 1939, a baby female called out whose fate would be to stand as a moral witness for social justice and elimination of the death penalty as the nun, Sister Helen Prejean; one more seven year period onward, in 1946, the acclaimed political economist John Maynard Keynes, both beloved and despised, took a final breath; two further years en route to today, in 1948, the noted ecologist and champion of wild environments, Aldo Leopold, gave up his ghost; the very first Secretary’s Day, now Administrative Professionals Day, unfolded four years even closer to the current context, in 1952; plus or minus five thousand miles South, eight years later still, in 1960 Brazil, the official opening of a new Capital City, Brasilia, took place; back in the U.S. two years henceforth, in 1962, Seattle inaugurated the first world’s fair in postwar North America; two years after that exact point in time and space, in 1964, a U.S. military satellite’s failure to achieve its optimal orbit resulted in as much as a kilogram of its Plutonium power source’s dispersal in the upper atmosphere; a year beyond that juncture, in 1965, the second season opened of New York’s 1964-65 World’s Fair; across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean an additional two years along time’s path, in 1967, Greek fascist military officers, alluding to ‘Communist influence’ in the electoral process and at least tacitly supported by U.S. intelligence and ‘defense’ operatives, overthrew the democratic government and instituted seven years of repressive, even murderous, rule over their fellow citizens, while, back in New York, Governor Rockefeller oversaw the passage of the Taylor Act, which encouraged public unions but prohibited strikes or other labor actions by them; a quarter century hence, in 1992, astronauts confirmed discovery of planets that circled distant stars; the very next year, in 1993, meanwhile, in a decidedly more terrestrial development, Bolivia’s Supreme Court sentenced the nation’s former dictator to a thirty-year, no parole sentence for murder and other high crimes against justice and the Constitution; four years past that austere and unexpected moment, in 1997, over twelve thousand ‘Yankee’ rubber workers went out on strike against Goodyear over wages, benefits, and job security; another year toward today, in 1998, the important philosopher and theorist of modernism, Jean-Francois Lyotard, had his final scene before exiting; a half decade later, in 2003, the beloved vocalist and lyricist Nina Simone sang her swansong; seven more years on the path to now, in 2010, Russia and Ukraine approved the Kharkiv Pact, which guaranteed Russian natural gas in exchange for naval base rights for Moscow’s ships, an agreement—some say—that played a role in dissolution and coup four years down the road; a pair of years farther on the path to now, in 2012, the biographer, poet, critic, and literary gadfly, Charles Higham, died in Los Angeles.

                A Thought for the Day                

Simultaneously torturing and tantalizing, at once alluring and daunting, life’s vexatious valleys and undulating ridges solicit the sauntering sojourner to sally forth through occurrences and eventualities that represent at one and the same time seas of struggle and oceans of opportunity.

                  Quote of the Day                       
I care for myself.  The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. …The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.

I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you.   You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment.  I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.
          (Nevertheless), I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.
          Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup?  Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?  You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart!  And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.  I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are! …
I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do.  I need not sell my soul to buy bliss.  I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. …
         (To answer the unasked question,) ‘I am not an angel,…and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.  Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me – for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.'”   Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyrehttp://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1036615.Charlotte_Bront_.

book hor2

SEARCHDAYisrael zionism empire OR imperialism project OR plan OR "hidden agenda" OR motivation OR "ulterior motive" history OR origins evolution OR development OR unfolding critique OR objections radical OR marxist = 546,000 Connections.

book hor

                       Top of the Fold                        

BEYOND VOTING & PROTEST, MANIFESTING A MOVEMENT
In the context of SOP electoral politics that apparently are about to deliver a choice between a ‘progressive’ who is actually a fanatical imperialist butcher–e.g., “We Came.  We saw.  He died”–and a ‘populist’ who is really an opportunist who specializes in gambling with other people’s money, a situation, in other words where, perhaps like never before, matters of strategy and conceptual clarity ought to be uppermost in the minds of scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens–not that they are prominently on display, on the contrary, the tired shrug at notions of strategic focus remain ubiquitous–an offering today of a smattering of recent profferals about how to conceive of, create, and win out with something akin to a working class strategy for power, or at least substantive reform of disastrous policies in favor of plutocrats and against mere proletarians–in pride of place, an interview from MRzine with Marxist ecologist John Bellamy Foster; from Counterpunch an essay that insists that the electoral arena per se will likely remain a barren field for developing progressive, let alone socialist, hopes and dreams; from L.A.Progressive, a call for an electoral strategy that goes beyond particular candidacies and an automatic acceptance of winning office as the goal; from Social Europe, a case study  of the French ‘Up-All-Night,’ or Nuit Debout protests as possible exemplification of a movement toward power for workers and innovatively transformative developments: “(As to the query about how to fight empire), (t)he answer I think is obvious, or should be to all those on the left not falling prey to postmodernist despondency and confusion.  Even in the nineteenth century Marx argued that the only way of promoting the struggle was through the creation of an International.  Today, as István Mészáros has argued, and as Hugo Chávez was prepared to argue on a world stage, we need a New International.  The only force that can combat imperialism today is a worldwide struggle of workers (what I like to call an emerging ‘environmental proletariat,’ reflecting the extended material struggles of our time) through which human solidarity is globalized.  In my book Naked Imperialism I argued that the present, ‘potentially most dangerous phase of imperialism’ (as Mészáros calls it) was brought into being by the demise of the Soviet Union, which allowed the United States as the sole remaining superpower — though relying also on NATO — to initiate regime change in parts of the Middle East, Central Asia, northern Africa, parts of Eastern Europe, and elsewhere.  Thus began what the Council of Foreign Relations in the United States (the main think tank of U.S. imperialism) has called a ‘New Thirty Years’ War.’  Any mere standing back and letting this happen without resistance — for example under the delusion that this is simply ‘anti-terrorism’ or ‘humanitarian intervention’ — is to sign over the world to the global forces of destruction.  Local struggles against imperialism will always occur; the global struggle means that the world’s people as a whole must link to these local struggles and come to the aid of them, creating an unbreakable chain.

(As to the reason that my sort of critique receives close to zero ‘coverage’ in the corporate press), (t)he ‘Why’ that you ask here is not very difficult to answer in broad terms.  No class-hierarchical order willingly commits suicide.  So it has to find a way of promoting ideas that reinforce its own existence while marginalizing all others.  ‘The ruling ideas of society,’ Marx and Engels wrote in The German Ideology, ‘are the ideas of the ruling class.’  The reason they gave: the class that controls ‘the material means of production’ also controls the main ‘intellectual means of production.’  Capitalism is a system of power, complete with a supporting ideology, and institutions of control at every level.  It is not a system that readily allows alternative views into the major media, and when it does it generally determines the parameters.  Although radical ideas may have a marginal role in higher education (in which the relatively privileged get some exposure to alternative ideas) it is generally in a way that is unfavorable to radicalism.  Often left academics operate on a level so abstract and convoluted, so removed from any conceivable praxis, as to support the status quo by default.  Public intellectuals on the left are more dangerous, but they are mostly kept out of the mainline media, even if their ideas circulated widely in other ways.  Such organs of the establishment as the New York Times rarely cover a first-rate, uncompromising dissident like Noam Chomsky, despite his extraordinary influence globally.  Nor does he seek out such attention.  He refuses to play the game enforced by the status quo.

(Plagiarism or something similar plays a part too).  Left, and particularly Marxian, ideas are often treated in the United States as officially invisible, not in the sense that they are not present and are not known and even studied, but rather in the sense that they are considered illegitimate, outside the accepted parameters of civil discourse.  Because of this it is deemed perfectly acceptable according to the hegemonic rules of the game to treat ideas developed on the left as non-existent, even as they are being directly appropriated for establishment purposes — unacknowledged and stripped of much of their original radical content.  For example, emeritus Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff has made a big splash recently by coming out with the notion of ‘surveillance capitalism.’  However, Monthly Review had a whole issue entitled ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ and a powerful analysis of the phenomenon, with world-class contributors and a deep theoretical-historical perspective, published in print and posed online in July 2014 — four months before Zuboff wrote her first article on the subject and nine months before her article was published.  The lead article for that issue of Monthly Review, written by me and Robert W. McChesney, was itself entitled ‘Surveillance Capitalism.’  Nevertheless, she did not acknowledge Monthly Review nor has she done so more recently — in her March 2016 article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, she referred simply to ‘what I call surveillance capitalism.’
CC BY by Nick Kenrick.
CC BY by Nick Kenrick.

Consider as well the issue of secular stagnation that has become so big of late.  Its reincarnation is credited to Larry Summers, long associated with Harvard economics.  Summers and the various other liberal economists within the mainstream involved in the promotion of the idea, which was associated with Alvin Hansen at Harvard, pretend that no one has discussed it for more than half a century.  But this is disingenuous.  In Monthly Review there have been some 500 articles published on the tendency to stagnation, with emphasis on the role of monopoly power and the development of financialization as a response — precisely the ideas that are now being picked up, though in a scattered and generally superficial way, in the current stagnation discussion.  Marxian, post-Keynesian, and institutionalist economists, all of whom are to the left of the neoclassical mainstream, have been writing about the stagnation issue for decades.  Many ideas developed with great sophistication on the left are being duplicated in the mainstream discussion with no acknowledgement whatsoever.  In this connection it should be noted that Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy published their Stagnation and the Financial Explosion three decades ago in 1987.Pixabay Image 484386
Take another example: Paul Crutzen is widely credited with having developed the hot, new concept of the Anthropocene in 2000.  Certainly, the concept gained from his prestige.  Yet, few seem to know — and Crutzen himself is not inclined to point out — that the term ‘Anthropocene’ first appeared in English in the early 1970s in a prominent article on ‘The Anthropogenic System’ in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia; and that it goes back to the geologist Aleksei Pavlov in the early 1920s in the Soviet Union, who used it to refer to a new epoch in which human beings have become the leading geological force in the biosphere.  Pavlov was working closely at the time with Vladimir Vernadsky, who developed the modern concept of the biosphere.  The examples could go on and on.  The problem is not that left ideas are not powerful and are not heard, but that minus a truly powerful movement from below (which has to include a commitment to defend its own paradigms) we cannot control the use and misuse of our ideas within the power structure, which presents itself as the sole legitimate voice of public opinion.”—MRzine
transvaal africa colonial

          “Progressives at home and abroad are happy about how far ‘left’ the campaign debates and rhetoric have gone in this year’s Democratic Party presidential primary race.  But five harsh realities suggest that such enthusiasm should be qualified.  (1. Not nearly radical enough; 2. No grassroots organizing to back up talk; 3. Clinton is at best an imperial plutocrat; 4. Sanders focuses largely on domestic issues; 5. Presidents’ sayso in domestic politics ranges from slim to none.)copyright, text, book, grammar, words, dictionary
Thanks to the significant destructive power held by the White House on the global stage, I suppose we have no choice but to care what goes in on the minds of those vying to be the next U.S. president.  Who among the current top four candidates has the scariest mind when it comes to prospects for expanded global war?  It’s a tie between the rabid ‘liberal’ war hawk Hillary Clinton and the maniacal evangelical Christian Crusader Ted Cruz.  And Hillary is the still the smart money favorite to win the White House horse race.vote voting election Ballot - Woman's Hand
However the election season plays out, the global myopia and imperial autism of U.S. political culture on display in the seemingly interminable presidential pageant is chilling to behold.  Unless one wants to seriously and absurdly see the doomed and wacky white nationalist Trump as a peace candidate, the nation’s bipartisan War Party is receiving no challenge whatsoever.  On the not-so leftmost wing of the narrow two-party spectrum, where one might most expect peace sentiment to be audible, the progressive electoral ‘movement’ is focused almost exclusively on the domestic side of the imperial American System and linked to a progressive Democrat who shows little sign of possessing the inclination and/or the courage to question Empire.  And the irony here is that, as (Diane) Johnstone (also) notes, the domestic side is precisely where ‘liberal’ U.S. presidents are least empowered to make policy and history.

"100RSD front" by Original uploader was Meelosh at en.wikipedia.
“100RSD front” by Original uploader was Meelosh at en.wikipedia.

Just how much do we on the Left really want to focus on the endless electoral burlesque?  Real progressive people’s hope has little to do with major party politicians and their electoral dramas, the outcomes of which are largely beyond our sphere of influence.  It rests in the citizenry and the possibility that it will form a great organized social and political movement against capitalism and its evil siblings imperialism, racism, sexism, and ecocide.  The most urgent political task of all is to create and expand such a movement beneath and beyond the hopelessly corrupt electoral spectacle, whatever its outcomes.  That spectacle is simply no place to go looking for justice, much less for revolution.  ‘The really critical thing,’ Howard Zinn once said, ‘isn’t who is sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in–in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories.  Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating–those are the things that determine what happens.'”—Counterpunch

David Wright CC 2.0
David Wright CC 2.0
          “Every electoral cycle gives me the sense of ‘Groundhog Day’ within progressive circles.  It feels as if the same discussion take places over and again.  No matter what has transpired in the intervening years; no matter what mass struggles; no matter what theoretical insights; progressives find themselves debating the relative importance of electoral politics and the pros and cons of specific candidates.  These debates frequently become nothing short of slugfests as charges are thrown around of reformism, sell-outs and purism.  And then, during the next cycle, we are back at it.

A progressive electoral strategy begins with an assumption: that progressives are interested in not only conducting defensive battles, but actually winning power.  This is a complicated assumption because there are many progressives who appear to not be particularly interested in winning power unless winning power means the death of capitalism, i.e., either capitalism dies or we sit back and criticize the system.  Such views end up reinforcing cynicism but also pessimism about the ability to win any change.  Constant defensive battles are demoralizing and disempowering.

A seriousness about winning power means, to borrow from Sun-Tzu, to know your enemy and know yourself.  With respect to the fight for power, this means that we must understand the terrain in which we are operating; the nature of power in the USA; the nature of our enemies; the nature of both our tactical and strategic allies; and the growth and decline of various progressive social movements.  Putting this together helps place progressives on a road towards winning rather than a road towards the glorious and heroic defeats with which too many of us are familiar.”—L.A.Progressive

CC BY-NC-ND by Daveblog
CC BY-NC-ND by Daveblog
          “(In the context of Neoliberal proposals to eviscerate workplace protections and labor rights, France’s) current turmoil began in March, when President François Hollande proposed reworking the country’s labour code.  Known as the ‘El Khomri law’ after the minister responsible, Myriam El Khomri, the reform shares some elements with earlier attempts – including providing companies with more flexibility in hiring and firing – but the results have been the same: widespread resistance.  This started with an online petition that gathered more than a million signatures in two weeks, and has since shifted into the public realm.  Thousands of protestors have occupied the city’s Place de la République with all-night meetings and debates, and the protest is now known as “Nuit Debout” (roughly, “standing up all night”).  The ambition is to create a shared space that allows citizens to exchange stories, express shared outrage, and imagine a better world.   Recently, the movement has spread beyond Paris to Nice, Bordeaux ,and Lyon.

In Nuit Debout key roles have been played by author, filmmaker and activist François Ruffin, whose film Merci Patron! has been a touchstone for the protesters, and economist Frédéric Lordon.  There are echoes of Occupy Wall Street and Spain’sindignados (‘the outraged’) . In Spain, the protest movement gave rise to the political party Podemos, which made significant gains in the December 2015 election and is now playing a key role in the negotiations to form a national government.  And as the protests have grown in France, supporters have gone beyond the initial objective of forcing the withdrawal of the labour law, as happened in 2006, to the idea of launching a wider political movement
. …
What distinguishes social movements from mere protests is that they have a larger purpose, not one specific demand.  From the first meetings of university and high school students on March 9, the El Khomri law served as an opportunity to express general indignation.  In protest leaflets, students called for resistance ‘against government policy’ rather than just this one bill.  During marches, protesters expressed their disappointment with the political left in general and the ruling Socialist Party in particular.  The students denounced the collusion between the country’s political and economic elites, much like the Occupy movements that swept the world in 2011.  They joined many activists, intellectuals, and progressive politicians from the ‘left of the left,’ a political movement that forced a vote of confidence against Prime Minister Manuel Valls in 2014.

With disappointment in the government widespread, and established leftist movements such as the Green Party and the Front de Gauche torn by internal dissent, the only option for progressive citizens has been to express disapproval and build ‘another policy’ from the streets.  In Nuit Debout, as in the Occupy camps, it has all been about ‘getting our act together as citizens’ to question the relevance of representative democracy.  During the events on the Place de la République and on social networks (#OnVautMieuxQueCa, #NuitDebout, #LoiTravail, #32mars), young people express their fears of being ‘deprived of their future.’

(The resonance with past efforts in France and related contemporary uprisings in Spain and elsewhere are real.  Many are the travails of the present, in relation to terror and general socioeconomic crisis).  With France’s recently extended state of emergency, authorities haven’t just targeted potential terrorists.  Muslims and young people are regularly brutalised by the police, and some student demonstrations have been violently suppressed.  The Nuit Debout movement in France will have to find its own way forward, building on both the successes and the limitations of its predecessors.  Without predicting what its future may be, bringing together thousands of citizens of all generations to reaffirm that ‘another world is possible’ – that there are progressive alternatives centred on democracy, social justice and dignity – is already a huge success.”—Social Europe

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

FORGETTING WAR CRIMES, FACILITATING IMPERIAL MAYHEM

https://globalvoices.org/2016/04/11/six-months-on-from-fatal-us-airstrike-anger-fills-the-void-left-by-msfs-kunduz-hospital/ – A difficult to watch and yet strangely compelling brief video, with subtitles from the Afghan, in which a father tells of the attack on the Medecins Sans Frontieres Kunduz hospital that left his daughter with only one leg, an account which proffers an additional element of horror in an article about a surgeon from the Philippines who witnessed the barbaric murder of her patients on that night, a crime for which the denizens of empire in Washington never intend to pay.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

National Poetry Month program

Listening In: Exploring Literary Audio Archives at the Library of Congress,” is scheduled for Thursday, April 28, from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), and will explore the history and content of two major audio archives held by the Library that feature poets and writers reading and discussing their work. More about the program:

In honor of National Poetry Month, join Catalina Gómez of the Hispanic Division as she explores the history of the Library of Congress’s literary audio archives. Curated since 1943 at the Library, these archives consist of audio recordings of prominent contemporary poets and prose writers reading from their work. The Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT) includes poets and prose writers from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America; and the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature (ARPL) is comprised of American poets and prose writers, though some international writers are also included in the collection. Online versions of both archives were launched in 2015. Gómez will discuss the process of digitizing the archives and share several of her favorite recordings, in English and Spanish, with listeners.

Further information about both webinars, including specific times and how to register, follows below. If you have any questions about the programs, please let me know in the comments below.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Writer’s Hotel seeks fiction, nonfiction and poetry applications for a Master Class in NYC from June 1-7.

Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment is calling for fiction and poetry for the 2016 Sweet Corn Contest. Winners receive $500 and publication.

RHYME ON! POETRY WRITING CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE.
Deadline April 15, 2016. No theme. Poems can be inspired by real life, fantasies, nature, adventures, or even horror. Prizes $200/$100/$50. The top three and the honorable mentions will also receive the top poems in a book printed by the Symington Press. Poems need not rhyme.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS
Assistant Editor, Science, Technology, and Health

Mar 22, 2016

United States – District of Columbia – Washington

The Atlantic is seeking an experienced journalist to help edit our Science, Technology, and Health coverage. This person should love every aspect of the editing process, from thinking through a story idea with a writer, to putting the dressing on a piece. He or she will sift out good freelance pitches, see stories through from beginning to end, and help to manage our growing team’s complex workflow. The ideal candidate will be energized by big ideas, with wide-ranging interests in science, technology, and health. Twin enthusiasms for histories and futures are a must.

Associate Editor, Adult Books

United States – Illinois – Chicago

Booklist Publications is seeking an adult books editor for writing quota-driven reviews and feature articles about adult books.

Reporting to the Adult Books Editor, you will assign books for review to freelancers and edit reviews and features in the Adult Books section of the print magazine; plan and participate in webinars, live programs, and additional Booklist Publications activities.

 

ORGLINK

CC BY-NC-ND by Daveblog
CC BY-NC-ND by Daveblog

Progressive Electoral Strategy

An LA Progressive post by an insightful writer who accurately analyses the need for a larger election strategy that will allow progressive candidates a place at the table: “A seriousness about winning power means, to borrow from Sun-Tzu, to know your enemy and know yourself. With respect to the fight for power, this means that we must understand the terrain in which we are operating; the nature of power in the USA; the nature of our enemies; the nature of both our tactical and strategic allies; and the growth and decline of various progressive social movements. Putting this together helps place progressives on a road towards winning rather than a road towards the glorious and heroic defeats with which too many of us are familiar.”

Back in the USSR

An Ian Welsh look at a fascinating study by researchers that give lie to the main illusion of the past 20 so in regards to ‘success in destroying the evil empire’: “Of course, much of it is nostalgia by people who have no memory of the USSR, but I still find it interesting that in some of the countries that were Communist people would like to go back.  The number in East Germany was 57% recently.

CC BY by ToGa Wanderings
CC BY by ToGa Wanderings

Looking to the Future

A Truth-Out post that looks at a great initiative by thinkers and educators who are looking to a more sustainable, less insane future: “Teach-ins to address the fundamental question of how to move beyond capitalism will be taking place on campuses as well as in community centers and correctional facilities — most between Earth Day (April 22) and May Day (May 1), following kickoff events this month at the New School and the City University of New York (CUNY) system in New York City; and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The largest teach-in is planned for the University of California, Santa Barbara, between April 26 and 28. Major sessions from that campus will be live-streamed into classrooms, house parties and workplaces across the world.”

Selling a Deathly Regime

A Truth-Out article that explores some of the toxic regimes that PR firms are selling to the US public: “The powerful US-based PR firm Ketchum — which is owned by Omnicom — was paid $421,333 last June for a one-year contract with the Honduran government that continues into the present. One of the largest such agencies in the world, the firm is headquartered in New York and claims to operate in 70 countries on six continents. It describes itself as “a global communications firm that loves to do break through work for clients” and boasts: “we’re just crazy enough to believe you can actually change the world.””

 

WRISS

Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.
Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey.

Overeducated and Underemployed

A sobering look from Atlantic at the employment realities of those seeking higher education: “Liquid courage is a necessity when examining the data on Ph.D.s in the latest NSF report, “The Survey of Earned Doctorates,” which utilized figures from the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center. The report finds that many newly minted Ph.D.s complete school after nearly 10 years of studies with significant debt and without the promise of a job. Yet few people seem to be paying attention to these findings; graduate programs are producing more Ph.D.s than ever before.”

Keeping Journalism Honest

A Poynter post that brings into perspective the role of funding in journalistic ventures: “The American Press Institute — and an axis of the biggest journalism foundations — makes the case in a new study that the nonprofit news sector urgently needs a code of ethics for accepting story-related grants.”

GENMEDIP

Commemorating and Iconic Musician

A Salon look at the life of another recently-departed luminary of music: “The Minneapolis, Minnesota, native won seven Grammy Awards (32 nominations), a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award (Best Original Song Score, “Prince”).”

RECEV

Contradictory Motivations

An incisive post by Paul Craig Roberts that asks a very fine question indeed: “So why is the progressive left helping the One Percent keep the lid on the rest of us? Has the progressive left sold out or is the progressive left putting its emotional needs above the general welfare?.”

GENISS

Paisley Curse

An odd tale from Atlas Obscura relating a bizarre and old tale of collective psychosis and injustice: “In the middle of a busy intersection in Paisley sits a largely unremarkable circle of cobblestones surrounding a steel horseshoe centered within a modest circular bronze plaque. A person almost certainly wouldn’t notice it if they didn’t know it was there, but this unassuming memorial marks the final resting place of seven people convicted and put to death on charges of witchcraft. It all started with a sneaky sip of milk.”

4.20.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

DESPITE GRASSROOTS UPWELLING, DRUG PROHIBITION CONTINUES
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/20/landmark-un-session-falling-short-lofty-goal-end-war-drugs – A journalistic update on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs, which activists report has yielded very little substantive in the way of reforms or even calls for transformation, an outcome that might, just conceivably, lead scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens to contemplate what in the world we need to do if essentially fascist police-state norms are not to continue, even conceivably deepen, in a world little able to absorb more such depredation without explosive outbursts.

                    This Day in History                  

CC BY-NC-ND by MarcusAllenDesigns

The United Nations during this twenty-four hour span marks Chinese Language Day, as many hip sorts around the planet celebrate 4/20 Day in recognition of cannabis’ cultural and medicinal role in human affairs; in Rome of the late Middle Ages, meanwhile, the Pope oversaw the inauguration seven hundred twelve years ago of the Sapienza University of Rome; precisely one and a half centuries henceforth, in 1453, rescue ships with manpower and relief supplies from Genoa and a Byzantine blockade runner forestalled the pending collapse of Constantinople by fighting their way through the cordon of Ottoman ships surrounding the besieged city;eighty-one years onward from that, in 1534, an entirely different realm of imperial ambition opened when Jacques Cartier launched his first trek to explore Eastern Canada; a century and twenty-three years subsequently, in 1657, Jewish residents of New Amsterdam received formal approval of their right to freedom of religion;another hundred twelve years thereafter, in 1769, a leader of Ottowa indigenous peoples in Canada and the ‘old Northwest,’ Pontiac, succumbed to a fellow Native American assassin, as Pontiac’s negotiations with the English became fairly close; across the Atlantic and much of Europe three hundred sixty-five days later, in 1770,the Georgian king led troops who won out over Ottoman opponents despite his Russian ally’s abandonment of the field of battle at Aspindza; twenty-two further years along time’s path, in 1792, France’s newly constituted popular government declared war on Bohemia and Hungary, thereby instigating the art revolution french art-Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peupleFrench Revolutionary Wars; thirty-six years past that precise point, in 1828, Rene Caillie, a French roustabout and explorer and adventurer and advance scout for empire became the first European to enter the urban redoubts of Timbuktu and survive the experience; eight years down the pike from there, seven thousand miles Northwest in 1836 North America, the Wisconsin Territory became a geographical and technological fact; just beyond a quarter century after that, in 1862, Louis Pasteur and collaborators conducted the first experiment that proved the germ theory of decomposition, disease, and so forth;not quite a decade farther on the temporal road, in 1871, back across the Atlantic again, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which remains, obviously, to enforce fully even today, became the putative law of the land in America; half a decade yet later on, in 1876, in Europe now, the April Uprising burst forth in Bulgaria that would lead to large-scale murder of civilians in its suppression and invite Russians to pick a fight with the Turks that would then wrest parts of the Balkans from Ottoman dominance; eight additional years further in the direction of today, in 1884, a thirteenth Pope Leo issued an encyclical that basically excoriated popular mandates, democracy, separation of church and state, and other pernicious practices of ‘Freemasonry;’ nine years hence, in 1893, the baby male cried out who would mature as the modernist genius of painting and ideas, Joan Miro; again, not quite a decade farther along, in nuclear radioactive1902, Pierre and Marie Curie took a key step in the Modern Nuclear Project when they refined Radium Chloride; a decade ever onward toward the here and now, in 1912, plus or minus 10,000 demonstrators in Lawrence, Massachusetts celebrated their union’s victory in achieving better wages and safer working conditions and more, and on the other edge of the Atlantic, the creator of modern vampires, Bram Stoker, breathed his last; seven hundred thirty days afterward, back in North America in 1914, Rockefeller coal company agents orchestrated one of the great crimes against humanity that American firms carried out against their workers, when hired ‘detectives’ near Ludlow, Colorado fired at will into a striking miner camp, killing a score of men, women, and children; a dozen years more proximate to the present pass, in 1926,monopoly media and industry, in the form of Warner Brothers and Western Electric, announced the creation of the Vidaphone process for adding sound to moving film;another thirteen years on time’s march, in 1939, Billie Holiday released what is arguably the first popular civil rights song, “Strange Fruit;” seven more years subsequent to that, in 1946, a different sort of human rights development transpired with the formal transfer of power from the League of Nations to the United Nations; two years still later, in 1948, would be assassins shot and seriously wounded Walter Reuther, an attempt to murder the esteemed leader of the United Autoworkers who died in a plane crash two decades in the future; three years even closer to the current context, in 1951, a Romanian surgeon performed the first successful transplant of an entire human organ, in this initial case

CC BY by pete_weis

the esophagus; a decade thereafter, in 1961, U.S. financed, trained, and directed terrorists failed spectacularly in their attempts to overthrow Cuba’s Communist government with an invasion as the Bay of Pigs; thirty-eight years back, Russian fighters shot down a Korean Airlines jet that had apparently entered Soviet airspace; two years later on, in 1980, United Autoworkers strikers successfully concluded a nearly six month labor action against International Harvester that battled wage and hour cutbacks; three years toward our present point in time and space, in 1983, the popular writer and thinker Archibald MacLeish lived out his final scene; a decade past that conjunction exactly, in 1993,the Mexican performer, producer, and screenwriter whom fans knew as Cantinflas died in Mexico City; six years down the pike, in 1999, two young men who had been taking anti-depressants and otherwise being part and parcel of an alienated civilization of megadeath went to their school at Columbine High after an early morning bowling outing and methodically murdered thirteen and wounded over twenty of their classmates and instructors before they killed themselves; eleven years afterward, in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire and exploded, killing nearly a dozen roughnecks and releasing a catastrophic, months-long oil spill.

                A Thought for the Day                

Perhaps no skill is at once so monumental and so mundane as the capacity to speak in many tongues since the endless game of ‘telephone’ that is translation can never render meaning with as much mastery as the original speaker intended in the original ‘lingua Franca’ even as the expression of that initial thought would, generally speaking, be nothing more than the reflex of consciousness as it stretches to embrace that awareness of joy and sorrow, woe and wonder, that is exactly the automatic arc of understanding that characterizes each waking moment that all human cousins experience, whatever language tradition happens to be encapsulating that instinctive volubility.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“(I passed this note to one of your secretaries at the Organization of American States meeting in Summer, 1961, about the monumental disaster of your recent attempted intervention at the Bay of Pigs).  Thanks for Playa Girón.  Before the invasion, the (Cuban) revolution was weak.  Now it’s stronger than ever. …’Moral missiles’ are such a devastatingly effective weapon that they have become the most important element in determining Cuba’s value. …Cuba, for example, is a vanguard outpost, an outpost which overlooks the extremely broad stretches of the economically distorted world of Latin America.  Cuba’s example is a beacon, a guiding light for all the peoples of America.
        (Well might one ask a central question in this context).  Is it possible or not, given the present conditions in our continent, to achieve it (socialist power, that is) by peaceful means?  We emphatically answer that, in the great majority of cases, this is not possible.  The most that could be achieved would be the formal takeover of the bourgeois superstructure of power and the transition to socialism of that government which, under the established bourgeois legal system, having achieved formal power will still have to wage a very violent struggle against all who attempt, in one way or another, to check its progress toward new social structures.

Power is the sine qua non strategic objective of the revolutionary forces, and everything must be subordinated to this basic endeavor.   But the taking of power, in this world polarized by two forces of extreme disparity and absolutely incompatible in interests, cannot be limited to the boundaries of a single geographic or social unit.  The seizure of power is a worldwide objective of the revolutionary forces.  To conquer the future is the strategic element of revolution; freezing the present is the counterstrategy motivating the forces of world reaction today, for they are on the defensive.

(We anticipate success and fight to win, even when invasion is imminent).  The victory of the Cuban Revolution will be a tangible demonstration before all the Americas that peoples are capable of rising up, that they can rise up by themselves right under the very fangs of the monster. …The enemy soldier in the Cuban example, which we are now considering, is the junior partner of the dictator; he is the man who gets the last crumbs left to him in a long line of profiteers that begins in Wall Street and ends with him.  He is disposed to defend his privileges, but he is disposed to defend them only to the degree that they are important to him.  His salary and pension are worth some suffering and some dangers, but they are never worth his life; if the price of maintaining them will cost it, he is better off giving them up, that is to say, withdrawing from the face of guerrilla danger.
          (We must stand prepared to repulse invasion at any instant).  We have to remind ourselves of this at every moment: that we are in a war, a cold war as they call it; a war where there is no front line, no continuous bombardment, but where the two adversaries — this tiny champion of the Caribbean and the immense imperialist hyena — are face to face and aware that one of them is going to end up dead in the fight.”  Che Guevara, various speeches around the time of the Bay of Pigs coup attempt

book hor2

SEARCHDAYintervention OR invasion OR incursion OR coup cia OR "central intelligence agency" orchestrate OR plan OR finance OR organize OR instigate capitalism OR bankers OR "wall street" empire OR imperialism "latin america" cuba = 450,000 Hits.

book hor

                       Top of the Fold                        

PROLETARIAN DESPERATION’S SOCIAL REALITIES & POLITICAL UPSHOTS
http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/desperate-straits-the-secret-financial-crisis-of-middle-class-americans/ – In the context of a general crisis, a fracturing so deeply broken that ordinary alliances and configurations come to pieces and no longer hold, in the context, in other words, of ‘plans for thermonuclear war’ and fascist candidacies, a posting from a former Reaganaut and staunchly anti-Keynesian and radical conservative at DavidStockman’sContraCorner, via Atlantic Magazine, about the dire straits that literally half or more of the nation’s workers confront every day, in which what amounts to chump change would be impossible to scrounge together, with all that implies about psychic and material deprivation and desperation; an assessment that fits nauseatingly well with the plight that so many workers now confront over housing, as the ChiefOrganizer blog notes in relation to the vast gulf that separates the plus-or-minus a quarter of the populace that can afford going rates and rents and the rest of us, as an examination from The Guardian makes clear in a book review about the noisome profiteering that accompanies the slumlord meccas that American cities have become, as a Salon opinion essay clarifies in delineating how no political spokesperson is addressing the collapse and abandonment that face hundreds of thousands of residents of public housing in a city such as New York; an analysis, moreover, that dovetails with excruciating precision with the bullshit that passes now for jobs and infrastructure policy, as a timely explication by PaulCraigRoberts–another Reaganaut–shows incontrovertibly as regards the fake job growth numbers that only exist to make the growing ‘army of unemployed’ feel responsible for its own travails, and as an Oxfam Report proves  undeniably about the all-too-often empty coffers for maintenance and refurbishing that result from slick, multi-zillion dollar corporations that use the tax laws that their lobbyists wrote to escape most or all liability for the profits that show up in their fancy annual reports–all of which leads to the sort of an inquiry that a commentator for Social Europe makes  about ‘what comes next’ as things fall ineluctably to pieces, and the sum total of which also matches the depth reportage that Counterpunch presents in a transcript of a Chris Hedges interview of Michael Hudson, which makes a point-by-point presentation about the ‘sharecropper’ status that is now the fate of most American workers, and the totality of which ought to make scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens alike take note of what IanWelsh proffers when he envisions a post-capitalist future: “(In a recent Federal Reserve survey of consumer well-being and resilience that mostly presented mundanely obvious results), the answer to one question was astonishing.  The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency.  The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all.  Four hundred dollars!  Who knew?  Well, I knew.  I knew because I am in that 47 percent.

I know what it is like to have to juggle creditors to make it through a week.  I know what it is like to have to swallow my pride and constantly dun people to pay me so that I can pay others.  I know what it is like to have liens slapped on me and to have my bank account levied by creditors.  I know what it is like to be down to my last $5—literally—while I wait for a paycheck to arrive, and I know what it is like to subsist for days on a diet of eggs.  I know what it is like to dread going to the mailbox, because there will always be new bills to pay but seldom a check with which to pay them.  I know what it is like to have to tell my daughter that I didn’t know if I would be able to pay for her wedding; it all depended on whether something good happened.  And I know what it is like to have to borrow money from my adult daughters because my wife and I ran out of heating oil.snow winter cold desolation poverty unemployment depression
You wouldn’t know any of that to look at … . my résumé.  I have had a passably good career as a writer—five books, hundreds of articles published, a number of awards and fellowships, and a small (very small) but respectable reputation.  You wouldn’t even know it to look at my tax return.  I am nowhere near rich, but I have typically made a solid middle- or even, at times, upper-middle-class income, which is about all a writer can expect, even a writer who also teaches and lectures and writes television scripts, as I do.  And you certainly wouldn’t know it to talk to me, because the last thing I would ever do—until now—is admit to financial insecurity or, as I think of it, ‘financial impotence,’ because it has many of the characteristics of sexual impotence, not least of which is the desperate need to mask it and pretend everything is going swimmingly.  In truth, it may be more embarrassing than sexual impotence.  ‘You are more likely to hear from your buddy that he is on Viagra than that he has credit-card problems,’ says Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist who teaches at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and ministers to individuals with financial issues.

So I never spoke about my financial travails, not even with my closest friends—that is, until I came to the realization that what was happening to me was also happening to millions of other Americans, and not just the poorest among us, who, by definition, struggle to make ends meet.  It was, according to that Fed survey and other surveys, happening to middle-class professionals and even to those in the upper class.  It was happening to the soon-to-retire as well as the soon-to-begin.  It was happening to college grads as well as high-school dropouts.  It was happening all across the country, including places where you might least expect to see such problems.  I knew that I wouldn’t have $400 in an emergency.  What I hadn’t known, couldn’t have conceived, was that so many other Americans wouldn’t have the money available to them, either.  My friend and local butcher, Brian, who is one of the only men I know who talks openly about his financial struggles, once told me, ‘If anyone says he’s sailing through, he’s lying.’  That might not be entirely true, but then again, it might not be too far off.

(Y)ou might reckon you’d find greater stability by looking at net worth—the sum of people’s assets, including their retirement accounts and their home equity.  That is precisely what Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University and the author of a forthcoming book on the history of wealth in America, did.  Here’s what he found: There isn’t much net worth to draw on.  Median net worth has declined steeply in the past generation—down 85.3 percent from 1983 to 2013 for the bottom income quintile, down 63.5 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and down 25.8 percent for the third, or middle, quintile.  According to research funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth of the typical household, one at the median point of wealth distribution, was $87,992 in 2003.  By 2013, it had declined to $54,500, a 38 percent drop.  And though the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 certainly contributed to the drop, the decline for the lower quintiles began long before the recession—as early as the mid-1980s, Wolff says.

Certain groups—African Americans, Hispanics, lower-income people—have fewer financial resources than others.  But just so the point isn’t lost: Financial impotence is an equal-opportunity malady, striking across every demographic divide.  The Bankrate survey reported that nearly half of college graduates would not cover that car repair or emergency-room visit through savings, and the study by Lusardi, Tufano, and Schneider found that nearly one-quarter of households making $100,000 to $150,000 a year claim not to be able to raise $2,000 in a month.  A documentary drawing on Lusardi’s work featured interviews with people on the street in Washington, D.C., asking whether they could come up with $2,000.  Lusardi, who was quick to point out that a small number of passerby interviews should not be mistaken for social science, was nonetheless struck by the disjuncture between the appearance of the interviewees and their answers.  ‘You look at these people and they are young professionals,’ Lusardi said.  ‘You expect that people would say, ‘Of course I would come up with it.”  But many of them couldn’t.  In the 1950s and ’60s, American economic growth democratized prosperity.  In the 2010s, we have managed to democratize financial insecurity.”—DavidStockman’s ContraCorner
abandoned gas station south poverty economy depression
           “(Given that previous overall crises have caused volcanic shifts in SOP consumer and fiscal protocols and such, the idea) seemed reasonable to expect the breakdown of deregulated financial capitalism to trigger a fourth seismic change (Capitalism 4.0, I called it in 2010) in both politics and economic thinking.  But if global capitalism really is entering a new evolutionary phase, what are its likely characteristics?  The defining feature of each successive stage of global capitalism has been a shift in the boundary between economics and politics. (from the idealization of ‘distinct spheres’ in the 1800’s to the Keynesian distrust of markets to the Reagan-and-Thatcher distrust of government)

The fourth phase may come to be defined by the recognition that governments and markets can both be catastrophically wrong.  Acknowledging such thoroughgoing fallibility may seem paralyzing – and the current political mood certainly seems to reflect this.  But recognizing fallibility can actually be empowering, because it implies the possibility of improvement in both economics and politics.
money international yuan china trade tpp
If the world is too complex and unpredictable for either markets or governments to achieve social objectives, then new systems of checks and balances must be designed so that political decision-making can constrain economic incentives and vice versa.  If the world is characterized by ambiguity and unpredictability, then the economic theories of the pre-crisis period – rational expectations, efficient markets, and the neutrality of money – must be revised.

CC BY-NC-ND by Spartacus007
CC BY-NC-ND by Spartacus007

Moreover, politicians must reconsider much of the ideological super-structure erected on market fundamentalist assumptions.  This includes not only financial deregulation, but also central bank independence, the separation of monetary and fiscal policies, and the assumption that competitive markets require no government intervention to produce an acceptable income distribution, drive innovation, provide necessary infrastructure, and deliver public goods.


(In such a context, actions that once seemed revolutionary may be essential).  (R)adical policies would mean rejecting the theories that have dominated economics since the 1980s, together with the institutional arrangements based upon them, such as Europe’s Maastricht Treaty.  Few ‘responsible’ people are yet willing to challenge pre-crisis economic orthodoxy.  The message of today’s populist revolts is that politicians must tear up their pre-crisis rulebooks and encourage a revolution in economic thinking.  If responsible politicians refuse, ‘some rough beast, its hour come at last’ will do it for them.”Social Europe
By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons
By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons
           “The key of demagogic politics is to realize that the people who are really backing you are your campaign funders.  Your job as a politician is to say, ‘I can deliver this constituency to your backers.’  Obama was a genius at doing what Donald Trump is trying to do today: taking a constituency.  That’s his column A: a focus group listing everything the constituency wants.  They want debt relief.  They want better jobs.  They want higher minimum wage.

(Of course, Obama did precisely the opposite.  What he did) was what any president today is going to do: A politician’s job is to deliver whoever voted for you to your backers, who are on Wall Street.  Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, but especially if you are a Democrat – that’s really the Wall Street wing of the American political system.  The Republicans are for the corporate monopoly, oil and gas wing of it.

(The response to crisis was classic.  The so-called) Troubled Asset Relief Program. … was supposed to treat banks as if they were troubled.  If you’re a criminal and you’re stealing from people, that was called ‘troubled.’  There’s a lawsuit recently in in the news about a rich boy drove his car and killed four people.  His defense was, ‘It’s not my fault, I have affluenza.  I’m so rich that I don’t have a social sense.  So of course I drove away.  But I’m innocent, because I’m rich.  What do you expect?’  Essentially that’s the Goldman Sachs view of the economy.  You cause collateral damage all over, but that’s what Wall Street does.  You can’t punish them for it.  They’re just doing what a predatory financial institution does.  So Obama said ‘No, I’m not going to do that,’ [meaning write down the mortgage debts as he had promised voters in Column A.  He came in and appointed Wall Street’s main lobbyist, Tim Geithner, as Treasury Secretary.

(Geitner’s role in allowing Citibank to escape criminal accountability was hisjob).  Citibank, along with Countrywide Financial, was making junk mortgages.  These were mortgages called NINJA.  They were called liars’ loans, to people with no income,no jobs and no assets.  You had this movie, The Big Short, as if some genius on Wall Street discovered that the mortgages were all going to go down. …(But all such narrative is bullshit).  The fact is, if everybody on Wall Street called these mortgages liars’ loans, if they knew that they’re made for NINJAs, for people who can’t pay, all of Wall Street knew that it was fraud.money rockefeller fountain wealth privilege elite
The key is that if you’re a really smart criminal, you have to plan to get caught.  The plan is how to beat the rap.  On Wall Street, if you buy garbage assets, how do you make the government bail you out?  That was what the president of the United States is for, whether it was Obama or whether it would have been John McCain …Or whether it would be Hillary today, or Trump.  Their job is to bail out Wall Street and make the people pay, not Wall Street.  Because Wall Street is ‘the people’ who select the politicians – who know where their money is coming from.  If you have a campaign contributor, no matter whether it’s Wall Street, or locally if it’s a real estate developer, you all know who your backers are.”—Counterpunch

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

LAUGHING PAST PAIN & TEARS AT LEAD’S ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/18/its_so_much_worse_than_flint_john_oliver_expose_blows_the_doors_off_another_horrific_lead_scandal/ –  From the ineffable genius of John Oliver, another brilliant analysis of the hideous stupidity and willful viciousness of environmental injustice in relation to lead, about which the U.S. remains a half century or more behind the rest of the world, as always an unexpected and eye-opening experience of engagement and contemplation, which ended with the Muppets from Sesame Street, no less.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

The Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference

New York City, New York
Event Date:
June 1, 2016
Application Deadline:
April 22, 2016
E-mail address:

The 2016 Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference will be held from June 1 to June 7 in New York City at the Bryant Park Hotel, the Library Hotel, and the Algonquin Hotel. The master class offers workshops, craft lectures, panels, and seminars in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, one-on-one meetings with agents, and walking tours of New York City.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Whiting Foundation

Creative Nonfiction Grant

Deadline:
May 1, 2016
E-mail address:

nonfiction@whiting.org

Up to three grants of $35,000 each will be given annually to writers completing a book of creative nonfiction that is currently under contract with a publisher. Writers who signed a contract before May 1, 2014, are eligible. Using the online submission system, submit up to three sample chapters of a memoir, essay collection, or other work of creative nonfiction totaling no more than 25,000 words, the original proposal that led to the book contract, a budget, a schedule for completion, a letter of recommendation from the publisher, and two additional letters of recommendation by May 1. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge

Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book Award

Deadline:
April 30, 2016
E-mail address:

margystewart785@gmail.com

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year that “illuminates the heritage of America’s mid-continental prairies.” Authors and publishers may submit two copies of a poetry collection, a short story or essay collection, a novel, or a memoir published in 2015 by April 30. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Sixfold

Short Story and Poetry Awards

Deadline:
April 23, 2016
Entry Fee:

$5

E-mail address:

sixfold@sixfold.org

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sixfold are given quarterly for a group of poems and a short story. Using the online submission system, submit up to five poems totaling no more than 10 pages or up to 20 pages of prose with a $5 entry fee by April 23. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Writer/Reporter Palm Beach Gardens, FL

LRP Publications, Inc. has been an industry-leading provider of multimedia solutions for business and education professionals for over three decades, offering world-class content and exceptional customer service. LRP’s customers receive the guidance, knowledge and tools they need in the format they want.

PROOFREADER 

Kansas City MO

compensation: BOE.
employment type: full-time

Legal Language Services, a leader in communication and international business support, seeks to fill the position of staff Proofreader. The successful candidate will assist editing and proofreading the work of others. Candidates will need to demonstrate superior writing, proofreading and organizational skills. This is an hourly position (up to 40 hours per week) working daytime Monday through Friday.

ORGLINK

Ending Drug War

A Global Exchange article that looks at organizations fighting to eliminate the harmful war on drugs: “More than a hundred people, from seven nations, with one message: End the War on Drugs.

Our day of speaking truth to UNGASS began in Foley Square, New York City, just steps away from the federal prison.  VOCAL NY, Latino Justice, Make the Road Brooklyn, LEAP, Moms United, Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), Stop the Harm, Drug Policy Alliance and others.”

Financial Tailspin

A harrowing financial tale reposted on Contra Corner that tells the story of a courageous writer unafraid to expose the true condition of his finances “Since 2013, the federal reserve board has conducted a survey to “monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.” Most of the data in the latest survey, frankly, are less than earth-shattering: 49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage; 29 percent of Americans expect to earn a higher income in the coming year; 43 percent of homeowners who have owned their home for at least a year believe its value has increased. But the answer to one question was astonishing. The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. Four hundred dollars! Who knew?”

Alan Reid
Alan Reid

Documenting Voting Fiasco

A cursory look by a fearless commentator who has looked at election fraud and the demise of democracy for years:  “As I look upon the wreckage that was the New York primary, I see the prelude, the test run, for the catastrophic failure, the well-planned failure, of the voting system in November. The purges and votes “spoiled”–the votes not counted—not the voters, may well elect our President.”

Cheating on Education

An Atlantic look at the many ways that students cheat, and a look at ways these issues could be addressed: “But Don McCabe, a retired professor at Rutgers University who led the ICAI student surveys for many years, is hesitant to blame today’s student cheating rates on easy access to the Internet, computers, mobile phones, and more. His survey data shows a more complicated portrait: The percentages of student cheating did begin to increase once the Internet became ubiquitous, but now are actually trending down again, toward pre-Internet levels. But he also sees a diminishing level of student participation in his surveys—fewer responses, and fewer thoughtful responses. His theory is that there’s a growing apathy toward school and cheating at school among today’s students.”

WRISStypewriter writer writeWriting in English

A New York Review of Books article that looks at the intricacies of language choice: “Why not write in a foreign language? If people feel free to choose their profession, their religion, and even, these days, their sex, why not just decide which language you want to write in and go for it? Ever since Jhumpa Lahiri published In Other Words, her small memoir in Italian, people have been asking me, Why don’t you write in Italian, Tim? You’ve been in the country thirty-five years, after all. What keeps you tied to English? Is it just a question of economic convenience? That the market for books in English is bigger? That the world in general gives more attention to books written in English?”

Great Writers in Spanish

A Lit Hub article that looks at the stellar works of two of the most iconic writers of the Spanish tongue, though many centuries separated them from each other: ” “Pierre Menard” is one of Borges’s first texts on Cervantes. It came to be read as a manifesto of postmodernism—for example, in John Barth’s 1967 essay “The Literature of Exhaustion.” Modern individualism overrates originality. Inventing a writer who contributes nothing to the text except putting his own name to it, as Menard does, makes a mockery of the concept of authorship.”

GENMEDIP

Editing Crisis

A Poynter look at a problem plaguing the journalism of today: “For many reasons, journalism organizations have taken editors for granted, and now, we’re in a crisis. I frequently hear from friends and colleagues about how hard it is to find and hire strong editors. Screaming “EDITOR SHORTAGE!” is not a great way to go viral, but in my view, it is the most significant challenge facing newsrooms right now.”

RECEV

[Photo via Pixabay]
Panama Papers

A Jadaliyya  look at the ongoing crisis relating to the Panama Papers: “Among the one hundred media organizations, six are from the Middle East and North Africa, whose investigations have revealed how King Salman of Saudi Arabia to former Emir and Prime Minister of Qatar, and relatives of Bashar al Assaad used secret offshore shell companies.The documents also reveal how 143 politicians, including twelve heads of state have used offshore tax havens to avoid tax and sanctions, fund their wars, and skirt sanctions.”

GENISSOn Death Machines

A Just Security look at the symposium which, to some extent, defines all our fates: “Interestingly, if not oddly, enough, the 2016 meetings are arguably most aptly summed up by reference to Sarah Knuckey’s 2014 recounting of the first such experts meeting, in which she identified “four key forward-looking issues” that remain just as relevant now as then: definitions, human control, accountability, and weapons review. That those issues remain both key and forward-looking some two years later is telling of the state of the discussion about LAWS and the CCW, though of what, exactly, depends on one’s perspective.”

4.19.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

MORE OBVIOUS EVIDENCE OF MURDER & MAYHEM, & FAILURE

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/20/world/asia/kabul-explosion-afghanistan.html  – An as-it-happened release from the ‘paper of record,’ in which the Times presents the facts about this most recent depredation in Afghanistan, from which the promulgators of this decade and a half war–which is to say the citizens of the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’–should recoil in horror as the ‘terrorists’ whom our ‘heroic warriors’ supposedly defeated have inflicted a grievous assault on the forces of order in the center of the Afghan capital of Kabul, a gruesome testimony to the futility and venality of empire to which an Atlantic update also bears witness.

                    This Day in History                  

Venezuela on this date commemorates Beginning of the Independence Movement not quite two centuries back, as, around the planet, everyone has an opportunity to tip their hats to Bicycle Day, truly a technology apropos to the human condition now; in the early and arguably first really venal days of Rome’s imperial sway, two thousand and eighty years ago, a freed slave, Milichus, turned against the plotters with whom he was associating and gave the entire conspiracy to kill Nero away, resulting in an upcoming opportunity to play strings while the city incinerated itself; five hundred ninety-six years subsequently, in 531, Persian fighters in what is now Northern Syria defeated Byzantine troops at the Battle of Callinicum; two years shy of a millennium henceforth, in 1529, a lineal offshoot of that conflict unfolded in Central Europe, as the Protestant Reformation evolved when German nobles protested the recent ban on Lutheranism and the reestablishment of the imprimatur of the Edict of Worms; a single year less than eight decades beyond that conjunction, in 1608,another instance of internecine European mayhem unfolded with religion a central concern, when O’Doherty’s Rebellion began with the burning of Derry; two hundred forty-one years back, America’s Revolutionary War, albeit less a revolution than a switching of rulers, started up with two colonial victories in New England at Lexington and Concord; seven years past that auspicious initiation of carnage, in 1782, the estimable John Adams, also of Massachusetts, garnered the agreement of Dutch leaders to recognize the United States of America, establishing the nation’s first embassy at the Hague in so doing;twenty-eight years further along time’s road, in 1810, Venezuelans ousted Spain’s rule in Caracas and established an independent state; a thousand ninety-six days later, in 1813, the founding father who promoted scientific medicine and who wrote extensively of ‘racial’ equality and against slavery, Benjamin Rush, drew his final breath; eleven years thereafter, in 1824, across the Atlantic, the monumental poet and thinker, Lord Byron, made good his final exit from life’s stage; eight more years in the direction of this instant in space and time, in 1832, a baby boy opened his eyes in Spain who would rise as the writer and bard of Nobel fame, Jose Echegaray; seven years more down the pike, in 1839, North and East in Europe, negotiators in London sorted out the bourgeois and aristocratic forces in play to create a Kingdom of Belgium that the Dutch and French and others could live with; twenty-two farther steps on time’s annual march, in 1861, riotous crowds in Baltimore attacked Federal troops as they paraded through the city, a secessionist threat to the North of the nation’s capital city; four years subsequent to that instant in time, after the conclusion of the brutal conflict in 1865, mourners attended the funeral of Abraham Lincoln, felled days earlier by an assassin’s pistol shot to the back of his head; another decade and seven years toward today, in 1882, iconic English thinker and evolutionist Charles Darwin died; a decade hence, in 1892, Charles Duryea claimed to have taken the country’s first automobile ride in Springfield, Massachusetts; eleven years yet later on, in 1903, thousands of miles away in the Russian Empire, now Moldova, anti-Semitic riots yielded a pogrom that forced tens of thousands of Jews to flee for their lives, most of whom ended up in North America or Palestine; another eleven year period forward in time, in 1914, the mathematician and philosopher and theorist Charles Sanders Peirce shut his eyes for the final time; five additional years after that, in 1919, over 6,000 striking furniture makers in Grand Rapids Michigan initiated a months-long strike for higher pay and better conditions, and an American demonstrated the possibility of using a wearable parachute by jumping from an airplane; eight years afterward, in 1927, the iconic and deeply thoughtful Mae West received a ten day jail sentence for the ‘obscenity’ of writing and overseeing the production of her drama,Sex; a year yet nearer to now, in 1928, the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary released the 125th, and final, section of the monumental work, the last fascicle; fifteen years beyond that passage, in 1943, the chemist and scientist Albert Hoffman ingested the first dose ever of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, or LSD; eight years farther along the temporal arc, in 1951, half a world away, Douglas MacArthur resigned as chief of U.S. forces in the peninsular conflict in Korea, a deeply unpopular move by President Truman; also in Korea nine years hence, in 1960, citizen and student democracy demonstrators inaugurated actions that soon enough forced the resignation of the Korean president who was a favorite of the United States and Japan; half a decade upward and onward, in 1965, a male child cried out en route to a career as the founder of Death Row Records, Suge Knight; half a dozen years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1971, Vietnam Veterans Against the War started up a five day protest, “Operation Dewey Canyon III;” another seven hundred thirty-one days farther down the pike, in 1973, Germany hosted the founding meeting of the Portuguese Socialist Party; two years onward from that, in 1975, India launched its first orbiting satellite into space; a dozen years thereafter, in 1987, a short clip on the Tracey Ullman Show premiered the soon-to-be iconic Simpsons;two extra years nearer to this instant, in 1989, the iconic writer and storyteller Daphne du Maurier sang her swansong; four years later still, in 1993, the standoff in Waco Texas between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Branch Davidian cult ended when incendiary devices started a fire that killed eighty-one people in the compound; two years subsequent to that, in an act of revenge for that event in 1995, domestic terrorists set off a massive truck bomb in front of the Federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, murdering nearly a hundred seventy innocents, many of them women and children; three further years toward our own light and air, in 1998, the magnificent Mexican Nobellist, Octavio Paz, lived out his final scene; six years afterward, in 2004, the activist cofounder of the Guinness Book Records, Norris McWhirter, passed out of this life; seven years hence, in 2011, the Cuban Revolutionary leader Fidel Castro resigned his post as Chair of the Central Committee of Cuba’s Communist Party; a year hence, in 2012, the crooner and rocker and lyricist Levon Helm passed away;the very next year, in 2013, the founding publisher of U.S.A. Today took a final look around and left;two added years along the temporal path, in 2015, Baltimore City Police murdered brutalized and killed the nonviolent Freddie Gray, whom they suspected of having a switchblade knife.

                A Thought for the Day                

The rays of dawn, like mother’s nuzzle or father’s arms, lift us from shoals of slumber to face and shape another day; the noonday sun may illuminate even the valley of the shadow of death; enfolded in moonshine, the darkest seam of night’s passage can seem to glisten: cascading shades in which linger both terror and delight at once, wrap round the cradle and cloak the casket from first light to murkiestmidnight, opening us to stagger, or dance, through the shadowy shimmer of either direst nightmare or sweetest dream.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“”So much hath been said upon the subject of Slave-Keeping, that an Apology may be required for this Address. The only one I shall offer is, that the Evil still continues.  This may in part be owing to the great attachment we have to our own Interest, and in part, to the subject not being fully exhausted.  The design of the following address is to sum up the leading arguments against it, several of which have not been urged by any of those Authors who have written upon it.
J.M.W. Turner, The Slave Ship (1840)
J.M.W. Turner, The Slave Ship (1840)

Without entering into the History of the facts which relate to the Slave Trade, I shall proceed to combat the principal arguments which are used to support it.

"1670 virginia tobacco slaves" by Unknown
“1670 virginia tobacco slaves” by Unknown

I need hardly say any thing in favour of the Intellects of the Negroes, or of their capacities for virtue and happiness, although these have been supposed, by some, to be inferior to those of the inhabitants of Europe.  The accounts which travellers give us of their ingenuity, humanity, and strong attachment to their parents, relations, friends and country, show us that they are equal to the Europeans, when we allow for the diversity of temper and genius which is occasioned by climate.  We have many well-attested anecdotes of as sublime and disinterested virtue among them as ever adorned a Roman or a Christian character.  But we are to distinguish between an African in his own country, and an African in a state of slavery in America.  Slavery is so foreign to the human mind, that the moral faculties, as well as those of the understanding are debased, and rendered torpid by it.  All the vices which are charged upon the Negroes in the southern colonies and the West-Indies, such as Idleness, Treachery, Theft, and the like, are the genuine offspring of slavery, and serve as an argument to prove that they were not intended for it.


(More selfishly), (i)t has been urged by the inhabitants of the Sugar Islands and South Carolina, that it would be impossible to carry on the manufactories of Sugar, Rice, and Indigo, without negro slaves.  No manufactory can ever be of consequence enough to society to admit the least violation of the Laws of justice or humanity. But I am far from thinking the arguments used in favour of employing Negroes for the cultivation of these articles, should have any Weight.  M. Le Poivre, late envoy from the king of France, to the king of Cochin-China, and now intendant of the isles of Bourbon and Mauritius, in his observations upon the manners and arts of the various nations in Africa and Asia, speaking of the culture of sugar in Cochin-China, has the following remarks.  ‘It is worthy observation too, that the sugar cane is there cultivated by freemen, and all the process of preparation and refining, the work of free hands.   Compare then the price of the Cochin-Chinese production with the same commodity which is cultivated and prepared by the wretched slaves of our European colonies, and judge if, to procure sugar from our colonies, it was necessary to authorize by law the slavery of the unhappy Africans transported to America.  From what I have observed at Cochin-China, I cannot entertain a doubt, but that our West-India colonies, had they been distributed, without reservation amongst a free people, would have produced double the quantity that is now procured from the labour of the unfortunate negroes.’…”

(Many are they who dicker about the morality of slavery as primarily a technical matter, much to the diminution of the standing of their ethics).  Christ commands us to look upon all mankind even our Enemies as our neighbours and brethren, and ‘in all things, to do unto them whatever we would wish they should do unto us.’  He tells us further that his ‘Kingdom is not of this World,’ and therefore constantly avoids saying any thing that might interfere directly with the Roman or Jewish Governments: and although he does not call upon masters to emancipate their slaves, or slaves to assert that Liberty wherewith God and Nature had made them free, yet there is scarcely a parable or a sermon in the whole history of his life, but what contains the strongest arguments against Slavery.  Every prohibition of Covetousness—Intemperance—Pride—Uncleanness—Theft—and Murder, which he delivered,—every lesson of meekness, humility, forbearance, Charity, Self-denial, and brotherly-love, which he taught, are levelled against this evil;—for Slavery, while it includes all the former Vices, necessarily excludes the practice of all the latter Virtues, both from the Master and the Slave.—Let such, therefore, who vindicate the traffic of buying and selling Souls, seek some modern System of Religion to support it, and not presume to sanctify their crimes by attempting to reconcile it to the sublime and perfect Religion of the Great Author of Christianity.

slavery racism brutality

There are some amongst us who cannot help allowing the force of our last argument, but plead as a motive for importing and keeping slaves, that they become acquainted with the principles of the religion of our country.  This is like justifying a highway robbery because part of the money acquired in this manner was appropriated to some religious use.  Christianity will never be propagated by any other methods than those employed by Christ and his Apostles.  Slavery is an engine as little fitted for that purpose as Fire or the Sword.  A Christian Slave is a contradiction in terms.  But if we enquire into the methods employed for converting the Negroes to Christianity, we shall find the means suited to the end proposed.  In many places Sunday is appropriated to work for themselves, reading and writing are discouraged among them.  A belief is even inculcated amongst some, that they have no Souls.  In a word, Every attempt to instruct or convert them, has been constantly opposed by their masters.  Nor has the example of their christian masters any tendency to prejudice them in favor of our religion.  How often do they betray, in their sudden transports of anger and resentment, (against which there is no restraint provided towards their Negroes) the most violent degrees of passion and fury!—What luxury—what ingratitude to the supreme being—what impiety in their ordinary conversation do some of them discover in the presence of their slaves!  I say nothing of the dissolution of marriage vows, or the entire abolition of matrimony, which the frequent sale of them introduces, and which are directly contrary to the laws of nature and the principles of Christianity.  Would to Heaven I could here conceal the shocking violations of chastity, which some of them are obliged to undergo without daring to complain.  Husbands have been forced to prostitute their wives, and mothers their daughters to gratify the brutal lust of a master.  This—all—this is practised—Blush—ye impure and hardened wretches, while I repeat it—by men who call themselves Christians!”   Benjamin Rush–An Address to the Inhabitants of British Settlements in America on Slavekeeping, 1773

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SEARCHDAY"folk music" OR "grassroots culture" "social justice" OR solidarity OR unity OR engagement "working class" OR proletariat OR "oppressed groups" power OR struggle history OR origins radical OR marxist OR socialist OR "social democrat" OR "democratic socialist" = 122,000 Links.

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                       Top of the Fold                        

A LATIN SWANSONG, PAST PREDATION, REVOLUTION’S REVIVAL
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/19/fidel-castro-predicting-death-tells-cubans-carry-socialist-ideals – As Fidel Castro looks death in the eye, an inevitable and more or less immediate eventuality, reports about his magnificent speech to Cuba’s seventh Party Congress, in which he vowed undaunted revolutionary spirit, even as the power of the imperialists and warmongers seems almost unstoppable in its potency, as in the ravaging, noted by TruthOut, that Secretary of State Clinton so brutally continued; as in the prediction by The Conversation that Brazil, following the apparently unstoppable impeachment of a progressive and yet corrupt chief executive who rose from the pits of fascist torture to lead her country, will experience ‘years of turmoil;’ but unlike what The Guardian reports as a Spanish trial of Salvadoran death squads aims to fight the ‘culture of impunity’ that has long reigned in the region–all of which and more fits discomfitingly well with a new analysis from PaulCraigRoberts that contends that Washington’s hegemony will force either vast horrific violence or capitulation; and the sum total of which matches the assessment of Counterpunch that U.S. oversight amounts to a wintry chill that will afflict the warm hopes of the hemisphere’s Hispanic peoples and their popular leaders; but the bracing reality of which nonetheless also includes the possibilities for hope, resistance, and redemption that World Socialist Website highlights in a review of a recent German film about the death squads and torture factories that the United States oversaw installing in Chile when an ‘unacceptably socialist President,’ in the form of the murdered Salvador Allende, not only won the country’s highest office but also was putting together truly revolutionary reform: “‘I’ll be 90  years old soon,’ he told party members at the closing ceremony of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).  ‘Soon I’ll be like all the others.  The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without truce to obtain them.’

(While even the Associated Press found elements in Castro’s words to lionize, as well as decry of course), Cuban newspaper Escambray also reported on Castro’s remarks: ‘Why did I become a socialist?  More clearly, why did I become a Communist?,’ he asked, and explained how he acquired his ideology, without a private tutor to help him in the study of Marxism-Leninism, and stressed that another 70 years should not elapse for an event like the Russian revolution to occur, for humanity to have another example of a great social revolution that represented a huge step in the fight against colonialism and its inseparable companion, imperialism.india, temple, hindu
However, he warned that the greatest danger now hovering over Earth derives from the destructive power of modern weaponry, because it could undermine peace in the world and make it impossible for human life on the surface of the earth to exist.  ‘We will set out and will improve what should be improved, with utmost loyalty and united force, like Marti, Maceo, and Gomez, in unstoppable march,’ Castro concluded, referring to historic Cuban icons.”—Common Dreams
fire, catastrophe, holocaust, nuclear, nuke
          “Everyone on Washington’s Latin American list of people to be destroyed is a far better person than anyone in Washington.  Washington’s Latin American targets have far more integrity, are tainted with far less corruption, and are far more committed to those who voted for them than anyone in Washington.

CC BY-SA by theglobalpanorama
CC BY-SA by theglobalpanorama

The danger that these reformers face is due to their innocence.  They naively believe in good will between classes.  They think that the rich elites, who are well connected to Washington, and that Washington itself, will accept democratic outcomes.Pixabay Image 381022
They believe this despite the fact that Washington, using the Spanish elite that Hugo Chavez left unmolested, overthrew Chavez.  Chavez had to be rescued from Venezuela’s Spanish elite, who are agents of the CIA , by the Venzuelan people and military, who secured Chavez’s release and reinstatement before Washington’s Spanish elites could kill him.  Chavez, being a man of good will, did not exact retribution against the Spanish elites who cooperated with the CIA to overthrow him.  Consequently, the elites are now working with the CIA to overthrow Chevez’s successor, who lacks Chavez’s charisma.eurodisney
Lenin did not make this mistake.  Lenin made his power stick by eliminating unreliable elements.  So did Pol Pot.Pixabay Image 159699
Pol Pot is regarded in the West as some crazed figure who emptied entire cities and turned the inhabitants into piles of bones and skulls.  He is seen as a madman, but he was just a good Marxist.  He understood that if he left the elites and the bureaucracies that served them in place, his revolution was history.  The elites would use their media and Washington’s money to overturn the people’s revolution.”PaulCraigRobertscopyright, text, book, grammar, words, dictionary

          “The ‘pink tide’ of electoral victories from Venezuela to Bolivia and upwards to Nicaragua appears to have receded.  The Old Right has rejected the stentorian tones of the military for the mellifluous language of anti-corruption.  Venezuela’s Bolivarians — the current face of its Left — lost the parliamentary elections, while Bolivia’s Evo Morales failed to amend the constitution to give him a fourth presidential term.  Argentina’s electorate rejected the Peronist Left in favour of the Banker’s Right, while Brazil’s government of Dilma Rousseff suffers from the outright hostility of the media conglomerates and the conservative establishment.science chemistry physics lab experiment
Bleakness does not define the continent.  In Peru, Verónika Mendoza of the Broad Front did credibly in the first round of the presidential contest, while in Colombia the Revolutionary Armed Forces prepare to sign a peace agreement and bring their politics to the ballot box.   Institutions set up during the high point of the ‘pink tide,’ such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (a regional trade platform), teleSUR (a regional media network), as well as various energy alliances (such as Petrocaribe and Petrosur), remain alive and reasonably well.  New political currents and these institutional alignments suggest that the ‘pink tide’ is not going to be easy to dismiss.  It has established itself in the imagination of the people of Latin America and through the institutions set up over a decade ago.

(While Iraq distracted America), (a)n attempted coup against Chavez’s government in 2002 had failed as a result of the popular outpouring of support for the Venezuelan government.  Latin America’s Left took advantage of this opening — as well as high commodity prices and demand from China — to build an alternative platform, which they called Bolivarianism.  Named after Simón Bolívar, the liberator of Latin America from Spanish rule, Bolivarianism produced institutions for regional development.  Trade within the region denominated in local currencies allowed the regional states to produce a new ethos.

(However), (t)he financial crisis of 2007-08 dented China’s economy and saw the slow deterioration of commodity prices.  It took a few years for the economic impact to strike Latin America with ferocity.  A sharp tumble in oil prices in the summer of 2008 put the brakes on many of the social programmes that had become essential to the Bolivarian dynamic.  It signalled the weakness in the experiment against Western domination.

When the funds dried up, the social welfare schemes suffered.  Few alternative sources of revenue remained.  Turning to the international financial markets put these countries in a situation of dependency which has its own political impact.  Old elites of Latin America maintained their authority throughout the period of the Leftist ascendancy.  They are closely linked to the military and to U.S. embassies.  U.S. State Department cables — released by WikiLeaks — provide a window into the intrigue inside the embassies.  In Bolivia, a U.S. diplomat met with opposition strategist Javier Flores and opposition leader Branko Marinkovic, both of whom talked about blowing up gas lines and engineering violence to destabilise the government of Mr. Morales.  To help the Right-wing opposition in Nicaragua, the U.S. embassy hoped to encourage ‘funds to flow in the right direction.’  These conspiracies built up the confidence of the elites and their associates.  They waited to strike.

No wonder, then, that veteran Leftist leader and National Senator Lucía Topolansky of Uruguay’s Broad Front warns of ‘a destablising operation’ underway in Latin America.  ‘Our countries have lived through very dark years of dictatorship, followed by the neo-liberal wave which also hurt people a lot,’ she says.  Senator Topolansky notes, ‘Now that democratic processes are beginning to consolidate, a destabilising wave appears.’  Left leaders and activists from Mexico to Chile share this sentiment.  They feel the chill wind from the North conjoined with the ambitions of their old elites.”—Counterpunch
children, kids, art, sun
          “Colonia takes place during and after the US-backed Chilean military coup in September 1973.  Lufthansa flight attendant Lena (Emma Watson) is in Santiago to visit her boyfriend, Daniel (Daniel Brühl), a militant supporter of Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government.  When Allende is overthrown, General Augusto Pinochet’s forces round up thousands of people.  Daniel and Lena, who are caught taking photos of the brutal sweep, are among those picked up.

(After Lena’s release, Daniel is shipped out to a torture center in the South called Colonia Dignidad).  Colonia’s underground tunnels and chambers are used to interrogate and torture dissidents like Daniel, who is brutalized and then handed over to(psychotic chief warden) Schäfer.  Pretending to be brain damaged, Daniel is under less scrutiny and therefore able to figure out how to escape.  Unbeknownst to him, Lena has traveled to Colonia and joined the cult in order to rescue him.  For some 130 days, Daniel and Lena, who finally meet up, must endure the tyranny and perversions of Schäfer.  Even if an escape is possible from the electric fenced-in, dog-guarded Colonia, there are vested interests, from Pinochet to the Germany embassy, determined to prevent Schäfer’s hellhole from being exposed.

CC BY-NC-ND by dog97209
CC BY-NC-ND by dog97209

A fictionalized version of actual events, Colonia brings to light the appalling story of Schäfer, who was born in Germany in 1921 and eventually joined the Hitler youth movement (and reportedly attempted to volunteer for the SS).  After the war, he set up a religious-based orphanage until he was charged with molesting two children.  He fled Germany in 1959 and ultimately emigrated to Chile with a group of his supporters, where he set up the Colonia.  After the end of the Pinochet era, his crimes were gradually revealed.  Schäfer was jailed for child sexual abuse in 2006 and died four years later.


A lengthy September 2008 article, by Bruce Falconer, in the American Scholar, ‘The Torture Colony,’ provides many grisly and revealing details.  Falconer first notes that in the months following the September 1973 coup in Chile, some 45,000 people were arrested and taken to detention centers for interrogation.  At least 1,500 were summarily executed.  In June 1974 Pinochet created the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), a secret police force, ‘designed to hunt down and eliminate his political enemies.  DINA agents routinely kidnapped regime opponents and delivered them to secret torture and execution centers located throughout Chile—including Colonia Dignidad.’ wage money retail
According to Falconer, Schäfer’s principal contribution to Pinochet’s operations ‘came in the instruction of DINA agents in the science of torture.’  One survivor, Luis Peebles, described Schäfer’s participation in and supervision of his agonizing torture by electric wires attached to every part of his body.  Based on the testimony of Peebles and other survivors, Amnesty International produced a 60-page report in 1977, Colonia Dignidad: A German Community in Chile––A Torture Camp for the DINA.  Schäfer’s legal efforts managed to block the release of the report until 1997.”—World Socialist Website

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

ICONIC MUSICAL MESSAGES OF INCLUSION & JUSTICE
From Vermont’s home team advantage to Sanders, in the form of Signal Kitchen, an absolutely sublime version of Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” a rendition that might easily bring chills of awe to scrappy scribes and tears of releasing joy to stalwart citizens, a presentation that notes the social democratic Senator’s past, which included a 1987 stint as folk music producer that this diverse blend of voices and instruments celebrates as an elevation of the notion that “nobody living can ever stop me from walking that freedom highway…from California to the New York Island.”

ORGLINK

Bathroom-gender-sign men women sexismDenouncing Institutionalized Bigotry

A Rolling Stone article that looks at a speech delivered by yet another iconic band choosing to lose fans through a boycott than uphold a tyrannical law: “”So we apologize to those in Raleigh, we apologize to those who are going to Raleigh, we apologize to the locals who probably believe in the same things that we do,” Vedder said. “They have a reason to be pissed, and we’re pissed off too. But we gotta be pissed off at the right people and get them to change their minds because they made a mistake, a big mistake and they can fix it.””

A New World

A Truth Out interview with the iconic thinker and linguist Noam Chomsky who voices words we all need to hear, as we contemplate a more viable world than the one that waits for us if we continue along this path: “Philosopher, linguist, and social critic Noam Chomsky recently spoke about his experiences in campus activism and his vision of a just society to help inaugurate the Next System Project’s ambitious new teach-ins initiative taking place across the country. An initial signatory to the Next System statement, Chomsky explores the connections between culture, mass movements, and economic experiments — which in “mutually reinforcing” interaction, may build toward a next system more quickly than you may think.

Building Ecology into the Economy

A Global Research Centre article by a thoughtful wriprofessor that analyses the possibility of a more sustainable, ecologically sound approach to life and the economy: “Ecological and social science research increasingly demonstrate that ‘globalization’ is not what it seems. It does not produce more prosperity and reduce poverty for the world, but just the opposite. Ever more powerful transnational corporate money sequences multiply through organic, social and ecological life hosts looting and polluting them.   

But what can the social alternative be?”

 

WRISS

"S&g1" by User:Kosmopolitat -
“S&g1” by User:Kosmopolitat –

Aiding Writers and Journalists

A useful Poynter article that outlines best practices for journalistic and coaching teams who wish to produce stellar work efficiently: “When the reporter and coach work together during the writing process, you’ll see that investing a little time early saves a lot of time later. Two minutes invested in the idea step can cut reporting time in half. Two minutes invested in the organize step sends the reporter into the draft and revise steps knowing what to say and how, saving considerable writing time. Add it up: two minutes plus two minutes saves hours.”

GENMEDIP

Elegy to Iconic Musician

A Rolling Stone piece that contextualizes a fond adieu for a time-honored recently-passed musician: “Growing up around San Diego, California, Tom Waits was drawn to the far-away sounds of the Delta blues, Motown, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra. But another artist from closer to home also made a mark on the singer-songwriter: Merle Haggard, who passed away on April 6th, his 79th birthday, due to complications from pneumonia. In the exclusive tribute below, which will be included in Rolling Stone’s Haggard cover story package, Waits remembers the impact the country great had on his early years and looks back on Haggard’s legacy.”

RECEV

Alan Reid
Alan Reid

How an Honest Election Could Still Be Won

In what will probably be the last optimistic article that it will be possible to write about the heroic Sanders presidential campaign, this L A Progressive writer still points a path to victory: “Despite nearly a year of false delegate counts that included unpledged super-delegates as though they were pledged — thus scaring off Democratic challengers and, later, potential Sanders voters — and a news media that has given her surrogates a voice in the daily news cycle that Sanders’ people have never enjoyed, Clinton won’t be able to close the deal exclusively through an appeal to the people who matter most: voters.”

GENISSOn Lies and Distortions

A Quillette post that looks at the many clever and sneaky ways that scientists and researchers, for any number of motivations, succeed in publishing and legitimizing false and harmful conclusions: “But there is one example I have only recently come across, and of which I have not yet seen any serious discussion. I am referring to a certain sustained, long-term publication strategy, apparently deliberately carried out (although motivations can be hard to pin down), that results in a stupefying, and in my view dangerous, paper-pile of scientific bullshit. It can be hard to detect, at first, with an untrained eye—you have to know your specific area of research extremely well to begin to see it—but once you do catch on, it becomes impossible to un-see.”

 

 

 

 

4.18.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

SYRIA’S EXERCISE OF DEMOCRACY IN ELECTIONS

An incisive report from Information Clearinghouse, whose protean publisher has worked himself into ill health of late, emphasizing how massive a loss of Tom Feely’s efforts would be, in the form here of a breaking news analysis of the just-finished Syrian elections, in which the participation rate shames that of the United States–no doubt in large part because here reactionary and even fascist ‘authorities’ disallow the exercise of the franchise–in which tens of thousands of participants traveled from Turkey to cast a ballot, in which the ‘hated’ regime of Basher Assad was part of the winning party’s tally of well over fifty percent, all of which, in the form of “a word to the wise is sufficient,” is worth close attention by scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens stateside.

                    This Day in History                  

Pixabay Image 188083This date in Japan marks the celebration of Invention Day while around the globe, today is International Day for Monuments and Sites; in Central Europe, as the Diet of Worms approached its conclusion four hundred and ninety-five years ago, Martin Luther refused to recant his Protestant protest against the practices of Catholicism, despite the threat of excommunication and civil strife; in a precursor of the city’s rebellious attitude in the next century, three hundred and twenty-seven years ahead of today,Bostonians rose up in revolt against the Royal Governor, the hard-to-take Sir Edmund Andros; forty-nine years subsequent to that juncture, in 1738, across the Atlantic in Madrid, Spaniards created the Royal Academy of History; thirty-four years in the future from that, in 1772, the male infant cried out who would mature as the estimable political economist David Ricardo; just short of six decades later, in 1831, back in North America, Alabama started up its flagship university on seized Indian lands in Tuscaloosa;seventeen years beyond that moment in time, in 1848, a United States victory over the Mexicans at the Battle of Cerro Gordo set the stage for an American invasion and conquest church mexico desertand seizure of more than half of Mexico’s territory; not quite a decade after, in 1857, back across the ocean again, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the masterful defender of justice and litigator extraordinaire, Clarence Darrow; seven years hence, in 1864, back in Europe, Prussia joined with Austria at the beginning of the consolidation of the German nation to seize key parts of Denmark for Germany, and once again over the sea, a male child took a first breath en route to a life as the author and poet Richard Harding Davis; twenty-four years past that point in time, in 1888, stalwart women textile workers in Minneapolis went on strike for higher wages and better conditions, inspiring women to believe in the possibility of power through union; nine years yet later on, in 1897, once again across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean, an omen of World War One occurred as Greece and the Ottoman Empire briefly and bloodily went to war; nine years subsequently, in 1906, San Francisco endured a destructive earthquake many orders of magnitude smaller than what is seven decades overdue for the pacific Northwest; seven hundred thirty-one days henceforth, in 1908, the International Workers of the World released the first sheet music for the iconic song of the working class, “We Have Fed You All for 1000 Years;” in a not-altogether-unrelated development, a short year past that, in 1909, the Catholic Church beatified the

Joan of arc miniature graded by Miniature from the 15th century - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Joan of arc miniature graded by Miniature from the 15th century – Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

revolutionary female leader of the French peasantry; Joan of Arc; in a completely connected occurrence, three years afterward, in 1912,  back in the United States, West Virginia’s rulers called forth the official butchery of the National Guard to suppress a minor strike in one of the most violent labor stoppages in labor history; half a dozen years yet later on, in 1918, the baby boy entered the world who would mature as the ‘savior’ of generations of students, Clifton Hillegass, whose Notes made reading and thinking less an essential part of successful grades; another six years on the road to today, in 1924,  the publisher Simon & Schuster issued the first booklet of crossword puzzles, and the male infant called out who would become the crooner and lyricist Clarence Gatemouth Brown; seventeen years after that exact instant, in 1941,Harlem’s champion, Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., led a boycott of New York’s transit companies that led various firms to hire an aggregate of hundreds of Black mechanics and drivers; three hundred sixty five days nearer to now, in 1942 and the early stages of World War Two for the U.S., American flyers and crew led a bombing raid against Japan that was a warning of the carnage to come; three more years in the direction of today’s light and air, in 1945, beloved war correspondent Ernie Pyle died of his wounds during the invasion of Okinawa, while around the world, one of the creators of vacuum tubes, John A. Fleming, breathed his last in England; a year hence, in 1946,a first ‘Boomer Baby’ came squalling into the world who would grow up as the lyricist and rocker, Skip Spence, and the inaugural session of the International Court of Justice also transpired in the Hague; just slightly less than a decade down the pike, in 1955, twenty-nine nations gathered in a first formal African-Asian meeting, the Bandung Conference, a key

CC BY by ToGa Wanderings
CC BY by ToGa Wanderings

get-together for making the world safe for globalization; a thousand ninety-six days even closer to the current context, in 1958, a Federal judge directed that Ezra Pound serve not another day in a ‘mental hospital;’ another year forward in time, in 1959, a baby girl opened her eyes who would rise as the stalwart scribe of class justice in America, Susan Faludi; a central reform in diplomatic protocols occurred seven hundred thirty-one days thereafter, in 1961, when signatories in the denominated city adopted the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and, South across Mediterranean waters, in Casablanca, revolutionary groups in the struggle against Portugal’s African colonies formed Conferência das Organizações Nacionalistas das Colónias Portuguesas, or the Conference of Nationalist Organizations of the Portuguese Colonies; three further years down time’s path, in 1964, the prolific and popular writer and dramatist Ben Hecht, both Zionist and civil rights icon, drew a final breath; fourteen hundred sixty-one days still more proximate to the present pass, in 1968, plus-or-minus

zen Sutherland flickr
zen Sutherland flickr

200,000 Communications Workers of America went on strike against the Bell Telephone Companies, winning both substantial wage and benefit increases for themselves; fifteen years additionally onward in time, in 1983, suicide bombers destroyed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing over sixty people; half a decade subsequently, in 1988, the U.S. attacked Iranian naval forces after a mine nearly sunk an American missile frigate in the Persian Gulf, resulting in an overwhelming United States ‘victory,’ followed a month later by a U.S. cruiser’s downing of an Iranian commercial jet that killed almost three hundred passengers and crew; eight further years in the general direction of today, in 1996, Israeli Defense Forces bombarded a United Nations compound in Lebanon in which close to a thousand civilians had taken refuge, killing upwards of a hundred non-belligerents, men, women, and children; eleven years more on the road to the here and now, in 2007, the United States Supreme Court upheld the restrictions on women’s pregnancy termination choices that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act contained.

                A Thought for the Day                

Grotesque distortion and chicanery, absurd accusations against dissent, and sanctimonious subterfuge in support of ‘scientific’ profiteering, predominate almost every arena of contention these days, perhaps in no case with more vitriol and bullshit than is characterizing the denunciation of the correct analysis that documentarians have been producing about the congruence of the rise of Autism diagnoses with expanded infant vaccination protocols—not that the contentions of the scientists who have produced investigative reports is incontrovertibly correct in these matters, but that the assertion that their very rigorous scrutiny in this regard is uninformed or fraudulent, or even both, is itself at best a nauseating instance of ignorant ignominy that citizens with half a brain should greet with a furious condemnation on behalf of both themselves and any principle of honest exploration of thorny and complicated issues of public health and public policy.

                  Quote of the Day                       

“We have fed you all for a thousand years                                             

And you hail us still unfed,

Though there’s never a dollar of all your wealth

But marks the workers dead.

We have yielded our best to give you rest

And you lie on crimson wool.

And if blood be the price of all your wealth,

Good God! We have paid it in full!

There is never a mine blown skyward now,

But we’re buried alive for you.

There’s never a wreck drifts shore ward now

But we are its ghastly crew.

Go reckon our dead by the forges red,

And the factories where we spin.

If blood be the price of your cursed wealth

Good God! We have paid it in.

We have fed you all for a thousand years,

For that was our doom, you know.

From the days when you chained us in your fields,

To the strike of a week ago.

You have taken our lives, and our babies and wives,

And we’re told it’s your legal share.

But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth,

Good God! We have bought it fair.”    “We Have Fed You All for a 1000 Years,” by an “unknown proletarian” in The Little Red Songbook

book hor2

SEARCHDAYvaccinations infants OR babies protocols OR regulations OR schedules OR requirements international OR multinational OR "different countries" comparison analysis OR investigation OR research = 1,070,000 Citations.

book hor

                       Top of the Fold                        

VICIOUS STUPID HYPOCRISY FOR PROFIT, RUINING YOUNG LIVES

https://www.laprogressive.com/children-should-hate-us/ – A frightening and yet staunch assessment of the current state of science, technology, and society in relation to vaccinations, especially as concerns the explosion of autism and so-called ‘autism-spectrum-disorder’ diagnoses among young children, a masterful marshaling of evidence and argument for the use of scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens who are up to the task of actually considering facts and evaluating hypotheses, an examination that portrays purportedly the most dispassionate and credible denizens of corporate monopoly capitalism–the establishment’s experts and scientific authorities–as all too prone to abuse and overreaching and more than occasionally guilty of corruption and fraud, a tragedy that would be laughable–as John Oliver skillfully demonstrates in one of last year’s outstanding presentations on Last Week Tonight-but for the lives at stake and the vicious hypocrisy with which these erstwhile know-it-alls accuse heroic defenders of knowledge of being ‘science hating’ ignoramuses or worse, an overview and briefing from L.A. Progressive in the form of a review and analysis ofVaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe, a particularly pertinent piece of mediation in light of a little-studied, apparently, bit of honestly probing, peer-reviewed science from the pages of Human & Experimental Toxicology–one of the National Institutes for Health and National Library of Medicine publications that are accessible via the National Center for Biotechnology Information–a summary of the authors’ effort that simply presents the obvious and statistically powerful correlation between Infant Mortality Rates(IMR) and the number of scheduled vaccinations that nations require, in which the position of the United States is scarily close to a perfect predictor of outcomes, higher than any other country–often by double the amount–in required shots for babies, worse than all other countries, again often enough by a factor of two, in IMR: “(This Film should serve as a catalyst for discussion about influence-peddling and children’s health).  What is equally disturbing, however, is that the film represents another in a cascade of documented allegations calling to task not only the corruption of government regulatory agencies but the corruption of science and scientific method itself.  And to the extent that the current Presidential election contest has sparked virulent dissatisfaction with our elected leadership and the institutions of government we must take this opportunity to seriously question what many had taken for granted: namely, that government has as its most solemn mission the protection of public health, safety and welfare.  The film carefully documents decisions by the Centers for Disease Control that lend credence to systemic corruption.vaccine medicine
As a father of two millennials, I have been bombarded with what has turned out to be a warranted cynicism, criticism, and rejection of government.  As one who devoted nearly 40 years to the promotion of public service and government, I have come to reassess my initial reluctance to such criticisms.  The kids have every right to be cynical and critical and as hard as it is for parents to accept it, probably know more than we do.


(This kind of skullduggery, the use of ‘science’ as a club to stifle protest or inquiry, covers the gamut, from climate change and energy to food and toxic chemicals and beyond).  I have worked in numerous governmental agencies at senior levels where I attempted to defer to the scientific expertise when contemplating major policy decisions affecting millions of people.  To see the systemic corruption that is occurring in government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services including the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration not only makes me sad but it (also) makes me mad.331px-Fluzone_vaccine_extracting
There has always been an attempt in this nation to balance out the avarice of the private sector with a regulatory framework in the public sector that protects those most vulnerable in society.  That balance has been totally upended and as the latest effort on behalf of those involved in Vaxxed shows we as a society can no longer depend upon our government leaders and institutions to protect us.Drug Disposal fentanyl oxy
We must begin by electing leaders who will restore the balance that is needed to protect at the very least our children.  If we do not our legacy to our children will be one punctuated by scorn and anger.  In this instance our kids actually know us better than we know ourselves.  What a sad commentary on the state of affairs of the human race.”—L.A. Progressive
drugs medication pills

“(None of the countries with the best performance on Infant Mortality are poor, with the exception of Cuba.  Of those nations, the U.S. ranks dead last in IMR).  Despite the United States spending more per capita on health care than any other country, 33 nations have better IMRs.  Some countries have IMRs that are less than half the US rate: Singapore, Sweden, and Japan are below 2.80.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘The relative position of the United States in comparison to countries with the lowest infant mortality rates appears to be worsening.’


Nations differ in their immunization requirements for infants aged less than 1 year.  In 2009, five of the 34 nations with the best IMRs required 12 vaccine doses, the least amount, while the United States required 26 vaccine doses, the most of any nation.  To explore the correlation between vaccine doses that nations routinely give to their infants and their infant mortality rates, a linear regression analysis was performed.

A scatter plot of each of the 30 nation’s IMR versus vaccine doses yielded a linear relationship with a correlation coefficient of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.46–0.85) and p < 0.0001 providing evidence of a positive correlation: IMR and vaccine doses tend to increase together.  The F statistic applied to the slope [0.148 (95% CI, 0.090–0.206)] is significantly non-zero, with F = 27.2 (p < 0.0001)… .The one-way ANOVA using the Tukey-Kramer test yielded F = 650 with p = 0.001, indicating the five mean IMRs corresponding to the five defined dose categories are significantly different (r 2 = 0.510).  Tukey’s multiple comparison test found statistical significance in the differences between the mean IMRs of those nations giving 12–14 vaccine doses and (a) those giving 21–23 doses (1.61, 95% CI, 0.457–2.75) and (b) those giving 24–26 doses (1.83, 95% CI, 0.542–3.11).


Many nations adhere to an agreed upon International Classification of Diseases (ICD) for grouping infant deaths into 130 categories.  Among the 34 nations analyzed, those that require the most vaccines tend to have the worst IMRs.  Thus, we must ask important questions: is it possible that some nations are requiring too many vaccines for their infants and the additional vaccines are a toxic burden on their health?  Are some deaths that are listed within the 130 infant mortality death categories really deaths that are associated with over-vaccination?  Are some vaccine-related deaths hidden within the death tables?


Prior to contemporary vaccination programs, ‘Crib death’ was so infrequent that it was not mentioned in infant mortality statistics.  (Explosive growth of this problem showed up, however, at approximately the same time as the inoculation schedules that we associate with ‘advanced practice’ now)  This led to the characterization of a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS), which medical experts and scientists managed to lower after several decades). …A closer inspection of the more recent period from 1999 to 2001 reveals that the US postneonatal SIDS rate continued to decline, but there was no significant change in the total postneonatal mortality rate.  During this period, the number of deaths attributed to ‘suffocation in bed’ and ‘unknown causes,’ increased significantly.  According to Malloy and MacDorman, ‘If death-certifier preference has shifted such that previously classified SIDS deaths are now classified as ‘suffocation,’ the inclusion of these suffocation deaths and unknown or unspecified deaths with SIDS deaths then accounts for about 90 percent of the decline in the SIDS rate observed between 1999 and 2001 and results in a non-significant decline in SIDS’

… .
Although some studies were unable to find correlations between SIDS and vaccines, there is some evidence that a subset of infants may be more susceptible to SIDS shortly after being vaccinated.  For example, Torch found that two-thirds of babies who had died from SIDS had been vaccinated against DPT (diphtheria–pertussis–tetanus toxoid) prior to death.  Of these, 6.5% died within 12 hours of vaccination; 13% within 24 hours; 26% within 3 days; and 37%, 61%, and 70% within 1, 2, and 3 weeks, respectively.  Torch also found that unvaccinated babies who died of SIDS did so most often in the fall or winter while vaccinated babies died most often at 2 and 4 months—the same ages when initial doses of DPT were given to infants.  He concluded that DPT ‘may be a generally unrecognized major cause of sudden infant and early childhood death, and that the risks of immunization may outweigh its potential benefits.  A need for re-evaluation and possible modification of current vaccination procedures is indicated by this study.’  Walker et al. found ‘the SIDS mortality rate in the period zero to three days following DPT to be 7.3 times that in the period beginning 30 days after immunization.’  Fine and Chen reported that babies died at a rate nearly eight times greater than normalwithin 3 days after getting a DPT vaccination.”—Human & Experimental Toxicology

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

Another magnificent interlude in the campaign of the grandfather from Vermont, who has in this case a few things to say to the Pope and assembled dignitaries, while he sat next to the thoroughgoing radical leader of Bolivia, Evo Morales–whose expression of amazement while he listened to the scruffy Gringo grandpa was priceless–a delivery that does not break new ground for the simple reason that the message of Bernie Sanders must be relentless–that socioeconomic inequality and police state protocols and eternal warfare and vicious plutocratic depredation are ubiquitous–because human survival depends on people’s hearing and understanding and taking action about these simple and accurate portrayals of contemporary reality.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

The Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference

New York City, New York
Event Date: June 1, 2016
Application Deadline: April 22, 2016
E-mail address: editors@writershotel.com

The 2016 Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference will be held from June 1 to June 7 in New York City at the Bryant Park Hotel, the Library Hotel, and the Algonquin Hotel. The master class offers workshops, craft lectures, panels, and seminars in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, one-on-one meetings with agents, and walking tours of New York City.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

 Popular Science

1. Popular Science publishes articles on “new and emerging technology” in a variety of fields, including science, the environment, electronics, and more. They accept queries (through postal mail) for pieces that thoroughly address new technology, such as product reviews or features. The magazine requires that writers submit any illustrations or photographs along with the story. They don’t list their pay, but expect it to be highly competitive.

We Need Diverse Books, in conjunction with the Library of Congress, is pleased to announce a Master Class on writing and publishing for children and young adults. Applicants are now welcome to apply for this class, which will cover a range of introductory topics from writing children’s books to the role of literary agents and to pursuing a career in publishing. Applications close on May 13, 2016.

POETRY PROSE AND PLAYS COMPETITION
ENTRY FEES VARY.
Poetry (now in its 10th year); 1st prize £300. Short stories; 1st prize £300. Vignettes; Winner: £50. One-act plays; Winner: £100. Deadline June 15, 2016.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Associate Editor, Adult Books

Booklist Publications is seeking an adult books editor for writing quota-driven reviews and feature articles about adult books.

Reporting to the Adult Books Editor, you will assign books for review to freelancers and edit reviews and features in the Adult Books section of the print magazine; plan and participate in webinars, live programs, and additional Booklist Publications activities.

Assistant Editor, Science, Technology, and Health

United States – District of Columbia – Washington

The Atlantic is seeking an experienced journalist to help edit our Science, Technology, and Health coverage. This person should love every aspect of the editing process, from thinking through a story idea with a writer, to putting the dressing on a piece. He or she will sift out good freelance pitches, see stories through from beginning to end, and help to manage our growing team’s complex workflow. The ideal candidate will be energized by big ideas, with wide-ranging interests in science, technology, and health. Twin enthusiasms for histories and futures are a must.

Digital Video Writer

WebMD (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the most recognized and trusted brand of health information and the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers and health plans through our public and private online portals and WebMD the Magazine. The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicine, RxList, theheart.org and Medscape Education.  Our consumer portals and mobile health applications provide engaging, relevant and credible health and wellness information, personalized health assessment tools and access to online communities.

ORGLINK

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

Fair Critique of Democratic Candidates’ Gross Oversight

A Salon post by an insightful writer who looks at one area in which Bernie, not to mention the Wall Street Queen, dropped the ball in regards to issues and campaign: “O’Donnell asked the rhetorical question why, as of April 13, when he presented the NYCHA segment, neither of Democratic presidential candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had accepted the invitation of local officials and public housing advocates to visit one of the projects.”

Democratic Candidates and Latin America

A useful Portside guide by a thorough researcher that contextualizes in particular one Democratic candidate’s record in the violent imperial neoliberal interventions to our neighbors to the South: There’s been too little discussion of Latin American through the Democratic primary, including at last night’s debate, which didn’t touch on it. One candidate, Bernie Sanders, doesn’t have much of a track record to examine, although his broad rejection of neoliberalism and interventionism bode well for turning a page on US policy in the region. The other, Hillary Clinton, has accumulated a deep record, both before and during her tenure as secretary of state, which is worth examining in depth. So, in the interest of helping New Yorkers decide as they head to the polls on Tuesday, here’s a brief guide.

5.-King-Abdullah-Bin-Abdulaziz-Al-Saud-e1340178464285Dangerous and Hateful Tyrants

A Counter Currents post that points to some of the horrible Faustian bargains that American leaders have chosen to accept for the dubious privilege of having a very harmful and hateful group of tyrants on their side: Saudi Arabia, owned by the Saud family, are telling the U.S. Government, they’ll wreck the U.S. economy, if a bill in the U.S. Congress that would remove the unique and exclusive immunity the royal owners of that country enjoy in the United States, against their being prosecuted for their having financed the 9/11 attacks, passes in Congress, and becomes U.S. law.”

Learning and Discomfort

A fascinating Chronicle piece by a powerful and empathetic educator that contextualizes the role of pushing one’s boundaries and experiencing discomfort in actually learning new information: “What we should not do is shelter our students. There is so much talk about “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” in academe today. Many suggest that a classroom should be devoid of anything that could make students feel uncomfortable or unsettled. But history is unsettling. The present is unsettling. It unsettles with its crimes against humanity, its wars, its sex trafficking, even its presidential debates. There should be more being said about the power of discomfort.”

Murder and Mayhem with Imperial Consent

An Information Clearing House post by a watchful observer that looks at the terrible things happening in one of the most besiegued and abused areas of the world: “It is hard to imagine that anything worse could befall Fallujah after the war crimes and criminal assaults by the US military in 2004. At the time, one correspondent wrote: “There has been nothing like the attack on Fallujah since the Nazi invasion and occupation of much of the European continent – the shelling and bombing of Warsaw in September 1939, the terror bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940.””

WRISS

pfunked Deviant Art
pfunked Deviant Art

Negotiating Pay Hike for Writers

A Poynter article that looks at a successful bit by writers to increase their compensation for solid journalistic work: “The deal involves about 70 VICE workers and the Writers Guild of America, East. The union has now signed up editorial employees at VICE, Gawker Media and Salon. It has roughly 4,000 dues-paying members who write for TV, film and the internet, including writers at “The Daily Show,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Law & Order SVU” and the ABC and CBS broadcast news and public TV shows such as “Sesame Street.””

Science Fiction is a Human Future

A fascinating science fiction analysis from Literary Hub that shows us why the genre is so fundamentally important to our development, both personally and in terms of the larger culture: “But why do we imagine investing consciousness into things? Why is the desire to have the non-human world speak to us a primary theme of speculative fiction? Our fascination may owe as much to an instinct to anthropomorphize the world—or to test the world for human consciousness—as it does to any benefits that might result from specific technical achievements. If so, the idea has a conceptual lineage in fiction that passes through the myth of the golem and the story of Pinocchio. Technology and literature are both expressions of the human heart and mind. Can our rich literary history also help us understand the forces that are setting direction for technical innovation?”

GENMEDIP

Addressing Eroding Trust in Media

An AP analysis of the sad circumstances that have led most folks growing mistrust in the inherent bias present in media: “Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions. In this presidential campaign year, Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents.”

RECEV

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

Discussing Economic Injustice

A Truth Dig post that looks at Bernie Sanders recent visit to the Vatican, and analyses the things there discussed, things which took other presidential figures by surprise: “We need a political analysis as well as a moral and anthropological analysis to understand what has happened since 1991. We can say that with unregulated globalization, a world market economy built on speculative finance burst through the legal, political, and moral constraints that had once served to protect the common good. In my country, home of the world’s largest financial markets, globalization was used as a pretext to deregulate the banks, ending decades of legal protections for working people and small businesses.”

GENISSExploited and Jailed

A heartbreaking post from Salon that examines the thankless life of one of the many folks predated on for cheap labor but then denied even basic human rights: “What we should not do is shelter our students. There is so much talk about “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” in academe today. Many suggest that a classroom should be devoid of anything that could make students feel uncomfortable or unsettled. But history is unsettling. The present is unsettling. It unsettles with its crimes against humanity, its wars, its sex trafficking, even its presidential debates. There should be more being said about the power of discomfort.”

4.15.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

SANDERS AT THE VATICAN: DEVELOP A ‘MORAL ECONOMIC’ APPROACH
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Bernie-Sanders-Calls-for-a-Moral-Economy-at-the-Vatican-20160415-0016.html
In relation to a powerful and arguably courageous move, attending and speaking at a Vatican conference, media coverage of Bernie Sanders’ burgeoning campaign as it crosses the ocean and enters the inner sanctum of Catholicism in Rome, calling for economics based on social justice and morality, governmental action that addresses the woeful depredations of poverty and inequality, beginning as necessary in the heart of empire where he is running for the highest office in the land, an event that millions of entries have covered, including an overview from Salon and a briefing from Time Magazine that includes a transcript of the Vermont Senator’s remarks.

                    This Day in History                  

This point in the calendar represents an ancient passage of sacrifice, Fordicidia, in which Romans ritually slaughtered a pregnant cow to ensure the Earth’s fertility in the coming season, while more proximate to the here and now, today is both World Art Day and a Universal Day of Culture, simultaneously as in the United States, what is normally Tax Day is also Jackie Robinson Day; at the Roman Lateran Council twelve hundred and forty-seven years ago, attendees considered the fifth Byzantine Constantine’s oversight of the earlier Hierian gathering’s rejection of the use of mediating images in eighth century culture, rejecting in turn practically all of what the former convocation had abjured about much of what was then—and now—possible to accomplish in representation; three centuries and two years subsequently, in 1071, in a more tangible manifestation of Eastern-Western Roman imperial contention, the Byzantines gave up all claim to Bari, their last secure holding in Southern Italy; another three hundred twenty-four years onward in space and time, in 1395, in internecine rivalries among Mongol leaders, the forces of Timur crushed the armies of Tokhtamysh of the Golden Horde and forced their leader’s absconding with himself to Lithuania; a half century and half a decade henceforth, in 1450, France wound down the Hundred Years’ War, another case of internecine rivalry, with a devastating victory over the British, forever ending English pretensions of dominion over Northern France; seven hundred thirty days after that moment in time and

Leonardo da Vinci – The Babe in the Womb, 1511
Leonardo da Vinci – The Babe in the Womb, 1511

space, in 1452, an Italian baby boy came squealing into the world who would grow to become the redoubtable genius, Leonardo da Vinci; three hundred and one years ahead of today’s light and air, in Carolina, the murder of four colonial intermediators at Pocotaligo instigated the two year Yamasee War, the bloodiest early battle between British colonists and indigenous peoples; exactly four decades beyond that conjunction, across the Atlantic in 1755, Samuel Johnson published the first edition of A Dictionary of the English Language in London; twenty-eight years later, in 1783, the new United States and the United Kingdom both ratified initial agreements to end the American war for independence; just one year short of two centuries back, Thomas H. Gallaudet and collaborators in Hartford, Connecticutt oversaw the foundation of the first college for the deaf; just a year past a quarter-century thereafter, in 1843, an New York male child was born whose destiny was to compose strange tales as the acclaimed writer Henry James; a decade and a half later still, in 1858, a baby boy came along on the other side of the Atlantic to cry out as the child who would mature as renowned sociologist and theorist, Emile Durkheim; a thousand ninety-six days farther along time’s path, in 1861, Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 civil war history dixie southvolunteers to assist the Union’s military forces in quelling the insurrection of the Southern Confederate States; four short years thereafter, in 1865, Lincoln expired from an assassins wounds that he received the day before while he was watching a play; just twenty-four years thereafter, in 1889, two U.S. baby boys entered our midst who would grow up as working class stalwart A. Phillip Randolph, on the one hand, and upper crust painterly genius, Thomas Hart Benton, on the other hand;just three years hence, in 1892, in a consolidation that foretold the coming depression, General Electric first existed as a corporate ‘person;’ eight years after that moment, in 1900 on the other side of the world Filipino rebels rose up to reject U.S. oversight, laying siege to American troops for the first time at Catubig; fifteen years subsequently, in 1915, the International Workers of the World formed its Agricultural Workers Organization to pull together farm workers; another year afterward, in 1916, public school instructors in New York created the American Federation of Teachers; still three years yet later on, in 1919, New England telegraph operators carried out the first successful women’s workers strike; a single year on the dot closer to now, in 1920, two security guards died in a shootout and robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts, for which deaths the anarchists Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco eventually faced electrocution from State-sanctioned homicide, and across the ocean and part of the European landmass in Hungary, a baby boy took an initial breath on his way to a life as radical psychiatrist and social critic Thomas Szasz; another year along the

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

pike, in 1921, English mine owners announced draconian wage and benefit cuts, bringing to the fore of Britain’s mines the necessity of a strike for their lives; a year after that, in 1922, Wyoming’s U.S. Senator introduced a resolution that called for an investigation of corruption at the Teapot Dome oil fields, and back in the United States a male infant cried out who would eventually lead Chicago as Mayor Harold Washington; three hundred sixty-five days after that conjunction, in 1923, insulin first became the treatment of choice for diabetes; another year further onward, in 1924, Rand McNally published its first road atlas; seven years past that instant in time, in 1931, a Swedish baby boy entered our midst who would go on to great acclaim for his poetry, up to his 1911 Nobel Prize as Tomas Transtromer, just over a year deceased; three years later, in 1934, drivers and other workers in local logistics jobs created the Transport Workers Union; another three hundred sixty-five days still later, in the District of Columbia in 1935, the members of the Pan American Union signed the Roerich Pact, a little known yet influential agreement for the protection of scientific research and cultural production and historical artifacts in the signatory countries; another leap year subsequently, in 1936, across the Atlantic in the Eastern Mediterranean, Palestinian Arabs rose up in civil war against Jewish immigration to Mandatory

(Photo: London Palestine Action)
(Photo: London Palestine Action)

Palestine, intense region-wide combat that ultimately failed to forestall the coming of Israel but about which very few contemporary citizens are even aware; nine years after the initiation of that four years of carnage, in 1945, British troops liberated the handfuls of survivors of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp; two more peaceful years after that point, in 1947, Jackie Robinson ‘broke the color line’ and debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers; eight years henceforth, in 1955, the first McDonald’s ‘fast-food’ establishment opened in Illinois, a harbinger nutritionally and economically for the evolution of the ‘American way;’ fourteen hundred sixty-one days past that crossroads, in 1959, a female child opened her eyes who would rise as the performer and screenwriter, Emma Thompson; one short year farther down time’s path, in 1960, at historically Black Shaw University, Ella Baker oversaw a conference that led to the formation of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee; not quite a decade after that point, in 1969, North Korean interceptors shot down a transport plane that had entered its coastal airspace on a training exercise, killing 31 American soldiers; the very next year, in 1970, South across the Chinese Pacific, hundreds and hundreds of brutalized bodies floated down the Mekong River from Cambodia, where Vietnamese minorities faced summary execution at the hands of rebels that U.S. intervention had fueled; another ten year period along time’s arrow, in France in 1980, the both beloved and despised Nobel Laureate, Jean Paul Sartre, breathed his last; around the world three years hence, in 1983, the Disney Corporation epcot disney mickey mouseopened its Japanese facility in the vicinity of Tokyo; near Rome an additional year still more proximate to the present pass, in 1984, the first World Youth Day took place in Vatican City; two more additional years on the route to this time of ours, in 1986, back in France, working class hero and writer of multiple genres, Jean Genet, lived out his final scene; another eight years forward in space and time, in 1994, the eighth round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in Uruguay, formally inaugurated the corporate oversight that the World Trade Organization embodied; half a dozen years even closer to the current context, in 2000, acclaimed illustrator and poet and critic Edward Gorey died; thirteen years subsequent to that, in 1913, the Boston Marathon underwent a bombing that instituted martial law and has resulted in a just-completed trial of the Chechen immigrant convicted of responsibility for that carnage.

                A Thought for the Day                

Behind the idiomatic expression of any tongue, common speech related via idiocy to the common foolishness that is our common lot, lies a process of informal inculcation and routine grassroots practice that adds up to the social substrate for the linguistic learning that, however one characterizes such a thing, must be instinctual, inasmuch as elements of grammar and diction and all aspects of correct, in other words comprehensible, language use have a basis in the brain that both predates rules and their making and supersedes any particular manifestation of French or Chinese or Russian or Hindi or whatever else stabs at the Babel of babbling that people might gab.

                  Quote of the Day                       
“Oppressed people, whatever their level of formal education, have the ability to understand and interpret the world around them, to see the world for what it is, and move to transform it. …(That is one reason why) (y)ou didn’t see me on television, you didn’t see news stories about me.  The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders. …
In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed… It means facing a system that does not lend its self to your needs and devising means by which you change that system. …(In the end), (u)ntil the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.
         (To make such transformation occur, really to) see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must (also) understand where we have been. …(In that vein, too, we must always) (r)emember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone, but for the freedom of the human spirit a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.
         (Overwhelmingly), (t)he major job was getting people to understand that they had something within their power that they could use, and it could only be used if they understood what was happening and how group action could counter violence. …(Still, always,) (t)here is also the danger in our culture that because a person is called upon to give public statements and is acclaimed by the establishment, such a person gets to the point of believing that he is the movement.”  Ella Baker

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SEARCHDAYstory OR narrative OR storytelling audience OR listeners OR readers filters OR mediation OR gatekeepers manipulation OR distraction OR diversion OR cooptation authenticity OR "socially real" OR impactful engagement OR outreach OR acquisition grassroots OR populist OR "down to earth" OR "working class" OR proletarian history OR origins OR background analysis OR explication OR investigation OR assessment = 235,000 Connections.

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                       Top of the Fold                        

The New Propaganda War

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

A PALPABLY POPULIST & PROGRESSIVE RESPONSE ON REPARATIONS

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Video-Bernie-Answers-An-A-by-Rob-Kall-Bernie-Sanders-2016-Presidential-Candidate_Reparation_Slavery-160407-6.html – In a first arguably as historic as a Black genius’ ascension to the White House, a video that shows a wildly popular Presidential candidate, a Brooklyn Jewish fellow by the name of Sanders, arguing that the United States must address the conditions that make reparations for slavery a legitimate demand on the part of African Americans, and must do this diligently, systematically, and unflinchingly.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

From the Catbird Seat is pleased to announce a new poetry display at the Library launched to coincide with National Poetry Month. The display, titled Poetry on High: 80 Years of Poets Laureate, is designed to celebrate and commemorate the history and 80th anniversary of the position of U.S. Poet Laureate. It can be viewed in the North Gallery of the Library’s Great Hall.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is Seeking Prose and Poetry – Pays $50/submission – The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts has opened its reading period to accept submissions of concisely-written poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. For this reading period, the editors want to publish authors who have not previously been published in the journal.

‘The Suburban Review’ Raises Rates and Seeks Prose and Poetry – Pays up to $150 The Suburban Review (est. 2013), a quarterly literary journal based in Melbourne, Australia, is accepting prose and poetry for volume 7. This issue is identified as “Writers of Colour.” The editor invites submissions from writers of color who want to share their voices, aesthetics, experiences, and stories. All forms of creativity are open.

Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction – $10,000 Prize – Free to Enter Wilfrid Laurier University is encouraging Canadian authors to enter this year’s Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction (est. 1991). The author of the best creative nonfiction book or ebook receives a cash prize of $10,000.

Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Broadcast Producer Manager (Weekend Host) KJZZ, Phoenix, AZ

KJZZ in Phoenix is hiring a Broadcast Producer Manager who will host weekend programs and produce audio content.  Host will deliver on-air content and technical continuity among all segments of programming.

Content Manager Colorado Springs CO – Become a part of a world class team! Outreach, Inc., just named a “Best Christian Workplace, 2016”, is looking for a highly motivated, productive individual to help Outreach serve thousands of Churches to reach their communities. If you are a highly effective digital and social media marketing professional, we hope you will join our marketing team and help drive campaigns, build new relationships, and engage more churches to utilize our products and services in order to fulfill our mission and vision.

Copywriter – Content Strategy Washington DC

Hanley Wood, www.hanleywood.com, is currently seeking a Copywriter to join the Strategic Marketing Services (SMS) group. The Copywriter will develop, write and implement a wide variety of projects including case studies, whitepapers, brochures, print and web materials, scripts, proposals, and related collateral that supports numerous marketing campaigns throughout the year.

ORGLINK

Holocaust Administration

A Consortium News article by an incisive commentator that questions many of the more bellicose and frightening decisions which our political establishment tends towards: “The last 15 years have seen a series of initiatives that defy reason and good sense. The pattern is so well established that on the very rare occasions when a President follows a policy that is eminently logical – like Barack Obama’s decision not to bomb Iran – it is met with shock and awe.

Against this backdrop, the program to spend $1 trillion on developing an upgraded arsenal of nuclear weapons with expanded capabilities suggests a return to “normal” – that is, the bizarre. Yet this vast expenditure for no apparent strategic purpose has generated little debate whether within the Obama administration, political circles or the public.”

Feminist Critique

A Spiked video posting that shares with the world the bon mots of a redoubtable iconic feminist philosopher: “In our era of ‘You Can’t Say That!’, when conformism is preferred over controversy, daring thinkers are in short supply. Which is why Camille Paglia can be so refreshing. Never afraid to say what she thinks, even when it grates against the moral and political consensus, Paglia has carved out a role for herself as one of America’s most provocative thinkers. And in this new video interview with spiked, conducted by Ella Whelan in Philadelphia, Paglia doesn’t hold back. Watch it below, and be sure to share it.”

A protester covered by the Venezuelan flag lies on the ground during a protest against violence outside the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Undermining Democracy 

A Mint Press News post by brave journalists who document the tyrannical backlash against those who have established equality and democracy in Venezuela: “The sad reality of Venezuela is that it is the Bolivarian Revolution that is being undermined, targeted, and destabilized. It is the Socialist Party, its leftist supporters (and critics), Chavista activists and journalists, and assorted forces on the Left that are being victimized by an opposition whose singular goal is power. This opposition, now in the majority in the National Assembly, uses the sacrosanct terminology of “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights” to conceal the inescapable fact that it has committed, and continues to commit, grave crimes against the people of Venezuela in the service of its iniquitous agenda, shaped and guided, as always, by its patrons in the United States.”world space planet The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17

Future of the Planet

An Ecowatch video posting that those interested in science, technology, and climate change are sure to find rewarding: “Watch this never-before-seen interview as the two discuss “spider goats,” old cell phone technology, plummeting renewable energy prices, how technology will continue to change the world and why good science teachers are key to our climate future.”

Class Power Beyond Politics

A fascinating Salon look by an astute commentator that contextualizes why Bernie’s campaign has been so singularly powerful, regardless of election outcomes: “Moving through the crowd, I was struck once again by what I first noticed in New Hampshire: Hillary Clinton is a political candidate; Bernie Sanders has galvanized a mass movement. As Clinton’s supporters will tell you, she has attracted more votes than Sanders, and may well do so again on Tuesday. But could she pull a crowd of 27,000 in Washington Square? She wouldn’t even try. Sanders represents the emergence of something that goes beyond winning or losing elections, a collective awareness that once upon a time would have been called “class consciousness.””

WRISScrossword puzzle newspaperSaving College Publication

An SPLC  post that looks at the great work of a student who believes in preserving journalistic legacy in a context of diminishing funds to education and the uncertain fate of media: “On April 6, communications instructor Julie Akins received an email that may define the future of the SOU Siskiyou. The email informed Akins and her students that the class producing the student publication would be dropped after the term due to “low enrollment” — eight students are currently enrolled.

But instead of accepting that fate, Akins said the students are fighting to keep their publication alive.”

Hope Through Bleakness

A Lit Hub interview with Karl Ove Knausgaard, a powerful literary voice, vis a vis his newest ouvre: “You asked, what kind of… Yeah. [long pause] Yeah, I don’t know. I wanted this to be a really, really bleak book, you know, because that period in my life was terrible. It was like there was no hope. I couldn’t see any hope. But there is a certain romanticism in the book anyway. . . a celebration of being free without knowing that you are. That’s the thing I don’t like about the book. It’s not true in that sense.”

GENMEDIP

Leaks and Propaganda

An RT analysis of the true meaning and purpose of the Panama Papers, and what they reveal about Western journalism: “For those who have been able to stomach the ongoing spectacle of Western reporters climbing over themselves to produce the most hyperbolic, fear-mongering drivel on Russia, it should come as no surprise which world leader featured prominently in this latest hatchet job.”

RECEV

Regarding A Moral Economy

A Tele Sur look at Sanders visit to the Vatican: “In a short address to a small gathering of journalists and supporters before the conference, the Vermont senator touched on the “devastating” environmental problems caused by fossil fuel use and said the world is “wealthy enough and has enough know-how” to tackle global warming by finding cleaner sources of energy.”

GENISSPost Mortem of Democratic Debate

A Corey Robin post that wonders about the viability of the Clinton machine even as it acknowledges the changing dimensions of the Democratic party that have things in a state of flux at the moment: “Though I’m obviously pleased if Sanders beat Clinton in the debate, it’s the other two victories that are most important to me. For those of us who are Sanders supporters, the issue has never really been Hillary Clinton but always the politics that she stands for. Even if Sanders ultimately loses the nomination, the fact that this may be the last one or two election cycles in which Clinton-style politics stands a chance: that for us is the real point of this whole thing.”

4.14.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

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NEW YORK ON THE LINE, THE GLOVES COME OFF IN DEBATE

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/276394-sanders-hits-clinton-at-debate-i-do-question-her-judgment – As the Empire State’s primary creeps closer, a breaking news update from the candidates’ debate in Brooklyn, where Sanders was born and indicated that the ‘judgment’ of former Secretary of State and Senator Clinton was iffy at best, and she responded that his recent interview with New York Daily News indicated that Bernie’s plans in regard to banks were at best rudimentary, a briefing that fits well with a recently released article from Hollywood Reporter about a Spike Lee interview with his fellow Brooklynite, whom he has endorsed, and that also complements nicely a video and precis from Salon about Candidate Sanders’ walking the picket lines with Verizon workers in their strike against an employer that Sanders characterizes as a tax-avoiding, offshoring, profiteering adjunct to plutocracy.

                    This Day in History                  

mark antony romeTwo thousand fifty-nine years ago, more or less to the day, Mark Antony defeated the forces of one of Caesar’s assassins and lost out to the other, as the empire followed its imperial pathway toward carnage and chaos; a century and thirteen years later, in 70, current era, the son of Emperor Vespasian led four legions to surround Jerusalem in the ongoing struggles of that place that continue to this day; just four years short of nine centuries thereafter, in 966, a Polish ruler first converted to Christianity from his pagan beliefs and laid the foundations for a modern Polish state; one hundred sixty years henceforth, in 1126, a baby boy entered the world in the usual fashion on the Iberian Peninsula on his way to a life as the still legendary Spanish thinker and writer, Averroes; a single year shy of eight decades beyond that point, in 1205, Crusaders battled in the Bulgarian Balkans at the Battle of Adrianople; just shy of nine decades hence, in 1294, on the other side of the world, Kublai Khan’s grandson Temur rose to the imperial throne of China; three hundred eighty-seven years prior to the present pass, a baby boy was born who would mature as the renowned mathematical thinker and natural philosopher, Christian Huygens; seventy years yet later on, in 1699 on the other side of the planet, adherents of a Brotherhood of Warrior Saints constituted themselves for the first time as representatives of Sikh religion and culture; exactly sixteen years further along, in 1715, in South Carolina, colonial English began the war that overturned Yamasee Native American culture in the Southern piedmont and Appalachian foothills; forty-four years subsequent to that, in 1759, the great composer George Friedrich Handel has his swan song; sixteen years henceforth, in 1775 in Philadelphia, two Benjamins—

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).

Rush and Franklin—constituted the first American society to abolish chattel slavery; just over four decades beyond that, in 1816, the killing of a slave who led a rebellion in British Barbados leads to his martyrdom as the island nation’s first heroic figure; a dozen years subsequently, back stateside in 1828, Noah Webster published the first edition of his eponymous Dictionary; eighteen years farther down the pike, in 1846, the ill-fated Donner party departed Illinois in what they hoped would be a relatively straightforward cross-country trek to California, that unfortunately evolved into freezing, starvation, and cannibalism; a hundred fifty-six years back, the initial Pony Express delivery arrived from the East in San Francisco; half a decade past that moment, across the continent to the East in 1865, reactionary defenders of slavery cut down Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s first ‘corporate’ President; almost but not quite a quarter century thereafter, in 1889, across the Atlantic the baby boy cried out for the first time who would grow up as establishment historical voice, Arnold Toynbee; just three hundred sixty-five days beyond that, in 1890, across the Atlantic in Washington, the predecessor to a century-long corruption of democracy started with the U.S. imperial Pan-American Union, which now has the title Organization of American States and has even shown a little gumption in regard to resisting the toeing of Washington’s line; four years later, up the East Coast in New York in 1894, the first commercial moving picture gallery opened its doors; eleven years beyond that conjunction, in 1905, a baby male first shouted out en route to a long life as the thinker, writer, and activist, Jean Pierre Bloch; three hundred sixty-five days farther along time’s road, in 1906, a revival took place in Los Angeles at which the foundation of Pentecostalism first formed; three years still farther down the road, in 1909, across the Atlantic and along the Mediterranean, Ottoman fighting forces slaughtered as many as 20,000 or so Armenians in the Cilicia region of Southeastern Turkey; another three years later, in 1912, the unsinkable Titanic settled at the bottom of the icy North Atlantic after an iceberg ripped its hull; seven hundred thirty days nearer to now, in 1914, the cofounder of the petty bourgeois Fabian Socialists, Herbert Bland, breathed his last;an additional three years in the direction of our own light and air, in 1917, L.L. Zamenhof, who originated Esperanto, uttered his final clauses;thirteen years still later, in 1930, delegated authorities in California arrested upwards of a hundred farmworkers for the solidaritySyndicalist ‘crime’ of advocating a union, and the prolific and renowned Russian avant-garde and Soviet writer and producer and performer Vladmir Mayakovsky breathed his last; a year subsequently, in 1931, on the other side of Europe a popularly constituted Spanish Cortes overthrew the King, leading to the founding of the Republic and civil war against fascists; a leap year more proximate to the present pass, in 1932, the baby girl came along who would mature as the songwriter and iconic Country Music singer, Loretta Lynn; another year even closer to the current context, in 1933, back in the Soviet Union, a male infant opened his eyes who would rise as the iconic storyteller and popular gadfly, Boris Strugatsky; one more year along the path to the current juncture, back in North America in 1934, a male infant took his initial breath on the path to a life as Marxist thinker and literary maven, Frederic Jameson; a bundle of three hundred sixty-five days onward in space and time, in 1935, a massive dust storm unfolded in central North America, perhaps an early correspondence between climate and desperate political economic circumstances; another single year hence, in 1936, a baby male was born who would go on to become a different sort of working class hero, a police officer named Frank Serpico, who struggled against New York’s official corruption and nearly died for his troubles; three years beyond that moment in time, in 1939, John Steinbeck first released his iconic

CC BY by Nick Kenrick.

tale of social struggle, The Grapes of Wrath; six years precisely past that juncture, in 1945, a little baby boy took his first breath who would become the rocker and lyricist Ritchie Blackmore; nine years afterward, in 1954, a male child came along who would become the acclaimed science-fiction interlocutor, Bruce Sterling; two years hence, in 1956, the first demonstration of videotape technology occurred in Chicago;another seven hundred thirty days on the approach to today, in 1958,the first spacecraft to carry life beyond Earth’s atmosphere fell from its more than five month flight with the carcass of the dog that had advanced Russian and human knowledge about what would happen to mammals in orbit; six years after that exactly, in 1964, beloved environmental thinker and writer Rachel Carson breathed no more; fourteen years afterward, in 1978, thousands of residents of Tbilisi took to the streets to protest a diminution of the status of the Georgian language; eight years closer yet to now, in 1986, Ronald Reagan, in response to attacks in Berlin that killed two U.S. soldiers, ordered an erstwhile ‘retaliatory’ bombing of Libya that killed scores, and brilliant feminist theorist, Simone de Beauvoir, lived out her final scene; seven further years along the temporal arc, in 1995, mellifluous crooner and estimable songwriter Burl Ives died; another five years upward and onward toward today, in 2000, one of the inventors of the zip-file format, Phil Katz, gazed one last time on the world; seven hundred thirty days even later, in 2002, Hugo Chavez returned to power after a U.S. orchestrated officers’ coup fell apart in Venezuela; a year further along the path to today, in 2003, the human genome project announced a nearly complete sequencing of Homo Sapiens DNA; four more years in the general direction of the here and now, in 2007, as many as a million and a half Turkish citizens rallied against Islamist policies that served as the platform of Recep Erdogan; seven years later still, in 2014, Boko Haram militants abducted well over two hundred schoolgirls from their classrooms in Nigeria’s Northern interior, few if any of whom have ever returned to kith and kin.

                A Thought for the Day                

Perhaps the most obvious obstacle to knowledge is that so many people think that certain things are true which, most generously, represent a partial and powerfully manipulated conception of reality, something in other words that serves not to understand what is but to keep things chugging along as they are, a dynamic of delusion and deleterious engagement that will continue till a person has the courage or luck or perspicacity or all these qualities together to grapple with the gritty grime and intricate complexity of a world that makes sense but only if one is willing both to delve well below the surface and to cast aside most or even all the preconceptions that society at every turn panders as palpable fact instead of as the poisonous nonsense that it actually is.

                  Quote of the Day                       

“He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. …Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.  The more of it one has the more one wants. …(Understandably, therefore), I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.money dollar capitalism Benjamin-Franklin-U.S.-$100-bill

        (A just State is a good example).  There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.  (In such a vein), (t)hose who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects.  The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion. …(Well might we inquire, along those lines), (w)hen will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?  (Still), (r)ebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.

An 1865 political cartoon depicting Benedict Arnold and Jefferson Davis in Hell.
An 1865 political cartoon depicting Benedict Arnold and Jefferson Davis in Hell.

(Such circumstances guarantee controversy and strife, of course).  (Thereby), (i)f all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.  (This means, of course, that) (t)he doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.  (Thus), (a)n investment in knowledge pays the best interest.  (Or, said a bit differently), (i)f a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.  (Similarly), (i)f you would not be forgotten as soon as you’re dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.  (For myself), I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first.”  Benjamin Franklin

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SEARCHDAYfamily children poverty OR inequality OR struggle OR disparities "social determinants" OR causes OR influences OR effects "social equality" OR "women's rights" OR feminism chauvinism OR sexism history OR origins analysis OR explication OR deconstruction "feminist approach" OR "feminist thought" OR radical OR marxist = 458,000 Linkages.

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                       Top of the Fold                        

FIGURING OUT THE REAL DEAL ABOUT PANAMA’S ‘PAPERS
For scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens alike, a smattering of slightly-more-incisive-than-SOP assessments of the recent trope-of-the-month, which is to say the Panama Papers corruption-and-tax-avoidance revelations that actually don’treveal a single new trend even as a few names appear who are near the top of lists of U.S. Government ‘usual suspects,’ which is to say Vladimir and Bashar and myriad less pronounceable Chinamen and A-rab terrorist sorts, a pushback from other-than-monopoly-media outlets that begins with an item from RT that slickly and authoritatively notes–using similar ‘guilt-by-association’ tactics as its opponents in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists–opinions and facts that connect the ‘leaks’ in Panama to U.S. agencies and ‘intelligence’ operations; a take on things that an investigator for Intrepid Reports documents is a ‘signature’ sort of operation of Central Intelligence Agency efforts from the past; a view about the matter that Global Research, via TeleSur, echoes, citing some of the same reasoning and data that has appeared among WikiLeaks staff of late; a perspective on the situation that parallels a new Common Dreams opinion analysis that relies on a former United Bank of Switzerland documentarian, who sees clear ‘CIA fingerprints’ all over the Panama Papers; a viewpoint about these events that dovetails with a scattershot ramble that an OpEdNews essayist takes on the matter at hand, arguing that too much is in the shadows and unexplained to make a case for anything useful from the ‘largest leak in history;’ all of which melds quite well with a Salon examination that predicts that solving the ‘mystery’ of the Panama Papers will result from explaining how they happened and who did the leaking and has done the ‘splaining both; an overall context that undoubtedly invites speculation about hidden agendas, one sample of which emanates from the estimable attorney and advocate of public banking, Ellen Brown, whose Web of Debt Blog piece came to the fore in L.A. Progressive; an expression of things in this realm that juxtaposes with the just-released stories from Vice and Atlantic  about the Panamanian Police’s raid on the Mossack-Fonseca offices, which works in tandem with the rudimentary but serviceable guide that has emanated of late from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center’s Journalist Resource materials–not a single one of which ongoing outpouring of hand-wringing and speculation on this occurrence has had the common sense to pose a series of historical inquiries that simply must in the scheme of how the world works be part of the nexus of investigation, to wit, “What are the connections with Panama’s troubled founding, i.e., the U.S. theft of the entire country from Columbia, in order to build its canal and all that that has carried in its train?” “What are the connections with such U.S. firms as Sullivan Cromwell, whose CIA-director and Secretary-of-State brothers, Allen and John Foster Dulles were both partners there who did plenty of dirty business in both Panama specifically and Central America generally?” “What were the relations between the principals who later formulated Mossack-Fonseca and the School of Americas, which operated in the Isthmus from 1946-1983?” “What ties existed between these same ‘future law-firm partners’ and CIA super-agent, Panamanian ‘strongman,’ major drug-runner, and now lifelong prisoner Manuel Noriega, himself a genius at money-laundering and such?” “What is the meaning of the interesting confluence of the founding of Mossack-Fonseca and the initial hammering out of returning the Panama Canal Zone to the country where it exists, in the event in 1977?” all interrogatories that no erstwhile ‘progressive’ source has yet seen fit to delve, a deficiency that, if it continues, those here at Daily Links might take up the challenge to dig into and deliver to readers: “On Wednesday, the international whistleblowing organization(WikiLeaks) said on Twitter that the Panama Papers data leak was produced by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), ‘which targets Russia and [the] former USSR.’  The ‘Putin attack‘ was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and American hedge fund billionaire George Soros, WikiLeaks added, saying that the US government’s funding of such an attack is a serious blow to its integrity. …In a later tweet, WikiLeaks said that that the idea that the whole Panama Papers ordeal was aimed against Russia would be ‘nonsense,’ but still blamed the US for titling media coverage in a way that would put Moscow in the line of fire.

Organizations belonging to Soros have been proclaimed to be ‘undesirable‘ in Russia.  Last year, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office recognized Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.  Prosecutors then said the activities of the institute and its assistance foundation were a threat to the basis of Russia’s constitutional order and national security.  Earlier this year, the billionaire US investor alleged that Putin is ‘no ally‘ to US and EU leaders, and that he aims ‘to gain considerable economic benefits from dividing Europe.’

Earlier this week, the head of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which worked on the Panama Papers, said that Putin is not the target of the leak, but rather that the revelations aimed to shed light on murky offshore practices internationally.  ‘It wasn’t a story about Russia.  It was a story about the offshore world,’ ICIJ head Gerard Ryle told TASS.  His statement came in stark contrast to international media coverage of the “‘argest leak in offshore history.’  Although neither Vladimir Putin nor any members of his family are directly mentioned in the papers, many mainstream media outlets chose the Russian president’s photo when breaking the story.”—RT

By World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons
By World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons
           “The US Central Intelligence Agency, rather than attempt to deter massive leaks of sensitive documents, including classified US government materials, has figured out it is much more advantageous to ‘cherry pick’ certain information and then release it as ‘major news’ to a corporate media eager and willing to run with what they are handed.  Such has been the case with the so-called ‘Panama Papers.’rect3336 space
A so-called non-profit entity, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), cherry-picking information from a purported leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.  In turn, the findings of this consortium were provided to a network of over 100 media partners, including some of the largest newspapers in the world.  What was not reported by the newspapers, all too eager to stenographically report what they were provided by the consortium, is that ICIJ is financially supported by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the Central Intelligence Agency-directed US Agency for International Development (USAID).

And, of course, (in addition to seeking to undermine Putin), the ICIJ, Soros, and USAID could not help themselves from linking, again indirectly, Mossack Fonseca to the impeachment charges against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the investigation of her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.  Also hyped by ICIJ and their co-conspirators, Soros and USAID, are fuzzy indirect links to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the Panama Papers.  There was also a failed attempt by the cherry pickers to implicate former Argentine presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband Nestor Kirchner.  A mere mention of individuals’ names in an interrogatory letter do not constitute prima facie evidence of wrongdoing.  That is, of course, unless one is engaged in CIA cherry picking for psychological warfare and information operations purposes. rect3336 space
The ICIJ runs an entity called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).  The OCCRP, in turn, is operated under the aegis of the Journalism Development Network (JDN) based in Washington, DC and which maintains a European affiliate in Bucharest.  Not surprisingly, the OCCRP and JDN employ propagandists, not journalists, with experience at the US government-funded and Soros-directed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty / Radio Free Asia.  The OCCRP and JDN have focused their efforts on undermining leaders who do not follow the dictates of Washington.  The role of these two organizations in the dubious Magnitsky case, a lame attempt to discredit the Russian government, is a case in point.  The US was able to use some of the ‘yellow journalism’ produced by OCCRP and JDN to implement sanctions against Russian individuals and institutions.  OCCRP and JDN partner with Soros-linked ‘independent’ journalism entities throughout the Balkans, including Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania, as well as Latvia, Armenia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Moldova, all countries heavy with the unmistakable stench of Soros’s subterfuge and political troublemaking.

In 2008, the same global media that finds the Mossack Fonseca documents so newsworthy barely raised an eyebrow when documents leaked from the Luxembourg bank Clearstream were made public.  After French intelligence managed to alter the original Clearstream documents, the entire matter was shelved.  The reason was that Clearstream was a pass-through entity for paying bribes to a number of world leaders by the CIA and Mossad.  At the time of the Clearstream revelations, these leaders were friendly to the George W. Bush administration and Israel. …(such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy for such services as selling warships to Taiwan).  Banks and companies with Clearstream accounts included the defunct CIA-linked Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Bank Menatep run by Russian criminal oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Banco Ambrosiano (also known as the Vatican Bank), Bahrain International Bank (with reported links to Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda), and Bush family-connected Carlyle Group.  The global corporate media failed to do its job on the Clearstream matter because it stood to embarrass not America’s opponents, but the American president’s father.  Clearstream banker Ernest Backes revealed that he was in charge of the transfer of $7 million from Citibank and Chase Manhattan to pay Iran for the release of the US diplomatic hostages in Tehran.  The transfer occurred on January 16, 1981, four days before Ronald Reagan’s swearing in as president.”—Intrepid Report
money_flying-transparent
           “Contrast (what happened in this case) with what we know about several of the previous big leaks.  Before the bulk of the documents Chelsea Manning leaked to WikiLeaks were published, she had reached out to several people, including hacker Adrian Lamo.  In chats that Wired published in June 2010 (again, before the bulk of the documents were leaked), Manning told Lamo that she was ‘an army intelligence analyst, deployed to eastern [B]aghdad, pending discharge for ‘adjustment disorder’.’  (The full chats, published in 2011, would make it clearer she was talking about being transgender.)  She admitted sending files to Assange, and hoped they would elicit ‘worldwide discussion, debates, and reform.’rect3336 space
Likewise, within days of the first Edward Snowden leak, he appeared on a video admitting he was the source.  ‘My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,’ he explained.  That video and an accompanying story reviewed a great deal of his biography, providing some details on how he could have access to the NSA’s crown jewels.  Those details have led to an incessant debate about whether Snowden accurately described his motives — or whether he had outside help from a foreign intelligence service like Russia.  While that debate often deviates pretty wildly from known facts, at least some details are out there to debate.

{This pattern of at least putative transparency has characterized many other cases too}.  Readers of Panama Papers have just that one opening line — ‘I want to make these crimes public’ — to explain the source’s motive, although as Sueddeutsche Zeitung and other outlets reporting on the story are required to explain, some uses for offshore accounts are perfectly legal; and, as many outlets have noted, Mossack Fonseca is just one cog in a giant industry supporting tax havens, key parts of which are in the United States.  Mossack Fonseca would like readers to believe this came from an email hack.  The company informed its customers (in a message posted to WikiLeaks suggesting not all of them had been compromised) that its email server had been compromised.  ‘We rule out an inside job.  This is not a leak.  This is a hack,’ one of the founders of the firm, Ramon Fonseca, told Reuters.  ‘We have a theory and we are following it.’  The firm also reported a crime to authorities.rect3336 space
However, there are good reasons to doubt that this was just an email server hack.  While Mossack Fonseca’s emails appear not to have been encrypted, there is far more to the leak than emails.  It includes scanned passports and some database excerpts, suggesting that, however the files were obtained, it went beyond what got sent via email.  Moreover, multiple outlets have identified outdated code and other configuration problems in Mossack Fonseca’s public website.  So it seems probable that the firm’s trove of customer data has been exposed far more than MF wants to admit.

To be sure, none of these questions diminish the importance of the Panama Papers project, which has already led to the resignation of some key figures exposed by the stories.  Even if there were less noble motives behind this leak, there would still be tremendous value in exposing the problems and pervasiveness of tax havens.  But these questions should be part of the discussion about what we’re seeing.  We’ve been given a giant snapshot of one really important part of a really damaging part of global finance.  The snapshot is important and the reporting on it is crucial.  But we might want to ask, why are we getting this particular snapshot?”—Salon

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

A LIBERAL ICON, SEXUAL PREDATION, & AMERICAN EMPIRE

http://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/scandals-revealed-jfk-s-women-27622 – A must view item from Forbidden Knowledge TV for either any idolizer of JFK or any citizen with an interest in the ineffable and yet ineluctable intersection of sex and politics, in the event most of an hour long documentary about John Kennedy’s career-spanning affairs with spies, reds, mob-molls, and assorted professional escorts and call-girls, many of which came close to causing him real trouble in an era when the erotic peccadilloes of the powerful and the well-connected did not cause nearly the stir that it does today, despite J. Edgar Hoover’s fastidious collections of ‘dirt’ on anybody who was anybody, including the former sailor, son of a fabulously wealthy bootlegger and stock-jobber, Senator from Massachusetts, and President of the United States.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

Norman Mailer Writers Colony

Palm Springs, California
Application Deadline:
April 18, 2016

The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony offers weeklong workshops from mid-July to mid-August for six poets, six fiction writers, and six nonfiction writers in Palm Springs, California. In addition, six writers will be chosen for a three-week residency program in rural Wyoming. The residencies offer time to write as well as opportunities to meet with other residents, faculty mentors, and visiting writers and editors. The faculty for both the workshops and the residency includes poets Meena Alexander and Quincy Troupe; fiction writer Jeffery Renard Allen; and creative nonfiction writer Kevin Oderman. Residents are provided with lodging and work space. Submit 5 to 13 pages of poetry or up to 40 pages of prose with a short bio, a résumé, a publication list, and a project description by April 18. The application fee is $75. Visit the website for more information.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Ledbury Poetry Festival

Poetry Competition

A prize £1,000 (approximately $1,430) and a course at Ty Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre of Wales, is given annually for a poem. The winner is also invited to read at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2017 in Ledbury, England. Imtiaz Dharker will judge. Submit a poem of up to 40 lines with a £5 (approximately $7) entry fee (£3.50, or approximately $5, for each additional poem) by July 7. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.

Comstock Review

Muriel Craft Bailey Award

Deadline: July 1, 2016
Entry Fee:  $5

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Comstock Review is given annually for a poem. Marge Piercy will judge. Submit a poem of up to 40 lines with a $5 entry fee by July 1. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Coffee-House Poetry

Troubadour International Poetry Prize

Deadline: June 21, 2016
Entry Fee: $8
E-mail address:

coffpoetry@aol.com

A prize of £5,000 (approximately $7,150) is given annually for a poem. A second-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,430) is also given. Both winners receive publication on the Coffee-House Poetry website and an invitation to give a reading at the Troubadour in London in October. Glyn Maxwell and Jane Yeh will judge. Submit any number of poems of up to 45 lines each with a $8 entry fee per poem by June 21. E-mail or visit the website for complete guidelines.

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

FREELANCE COPYWRITER (NORTH MIAMI/AVENTURA)

compensation: Per Article
employment type: contract

The Copywriter is responsible for the editorial development of marketing campaigns and customer news. This includes writing collateral, promotions, ad copy, keyword rich and marketable titles, descriptions, Web content, blogs, articles, product news and tips.

German Translator — Staff Position Available

compensation: BOE.
employment type: full-time

Legal Language Services, a leading translation and interpreting company headquartered in NYC seeks bilingual individuals to join our in-house staff of translators. Those interested in working with LLS must have superior English communication skills. Previous translation experience is preferred but not required. Familiarity with medical and or legal terminology is a plus.

WRITER

 on: Compensation will be based on education and experience
employment type: full-time
We are a looking for a motivated, dedicated person to maintain and create various company documents, training manuals and standard operating procedures. Our office is located north of the river by I-29 and Barry Road. If you meet the below requirements and are interested in learning more about this position, respond to this ad with your resume and salary requirements.

ORGLINK

 

sick-banner healthcareDiagnosing America

A Truth-out video piece highlighting the words of a too-little-heard-of politiciand and presidential hopeful who offers alternative and powerful ways of thinking about and addressing the systemic problems that rule this land: “The Green Party, running Dr. Jill Stein for president, has been totally ignored by the establishment.

Abby Martin sits down with Dr. Stein to look at how her career in medicine helped her diagnose the United States’ “multi-organ failure,” and why her ideas pose such a threat to Empire.”

Misspent Resources to Evade Responsibility

A Think Progress piece geared at folks following the many iterations of police brutality, the authors discuss a university’s awkward attempt to avoid acknowledging police abuse occurring on its campus: “It is troubling that the administration chose to spend scarce public dollars and to nearly double its PR budget when tuition soared, course offerings were slashed and California resident students were being shut out,” McCarty, who is running for Congress, wrote on Facebook. “These findings just raise more questions about university priorities.””

Reconciliation Act for Racism’s Ills

A Portside article that discusses actions taken by governments and organizations to address the long-standing grievances of those directly affected by the institution of chattel slavery and all the many social, economic, and even health ills it forced onto all its descendants: “For other countries with racist histories, like South Africa and Canada, healing has involved national Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, public hearings that openly acknowledge what happened and begin the process of resolution. The United States has had only one, which took place in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 2004 to 2006, but nothing of the kind has taken place at the national level. This year, that began to change.”

Spike Lee and Bernie Sanders

A Hollywood Reporter look at an interview by a legendary filmmaker of a now-iconic presidential hopeful: ” For THR’s New York Issue, the Hollywood director and the senator from Vermont he supports for president — both of whom hail from Brooklyn — meet for the first time to talk free education, guns, a certain “demagogue” (you get one guess) and Obama’s legacy on the eve of the crucial New York primary.”

CC BY-NC-ND by Environmental Illness Network

Cell Phones and Cancer

A Forbidden Knowledge TV look at the work of a controversial yet possibly knowledgeable researcher who forces us to reconsider the role of the ubiquitous communication tool in our lives: “Attorney Jimmy Gonzalez, a former Marine here addresses his city council in 2012 to warn about the dangers of cellphones.

Two years later, he succumbed to a Stage Four glioblastoma multiform brain cancer next to his left ear, where he used his cell phone. He also developed a tumor in his heart, next to where he kept his cellphone in his suit pocket, as well as a nerve tumor on the palm of his hand, from which he held his phone. This father of two young children was killed by his cellphone at age 42.”

WRISSAwkward Culture Wars in Newsrooms

A Politico post that examines the generalized disruption caused by he-said, she-said instances between colleagues, whose interactions are clouded over by unstated biases and resentments: ““[Baquet] saw the story as Gay being disrespectful of Nikole. … I think Styles saw this as a very historical moment when a New Journalist is basically confronting a new, new world. And Dean saw it differently,” the person at the meeting said. “They sort of agreed to disagree to on that.””

Media Future

A Nieman article that discusses the financial uncertainties that all media outlets face at a time in which legacy media seems on its way out and new media finds its footing:  “I often contrasted that increase with the great losses suffered by the local and regional newspaper industry. Those losses now stand at more than 25,000 across the country, with more jobs lost (though unreported by parent companies due to publisher edict and editorial fear) every week.

Now, if the new news companies join their legacy peers in searching for sustainable business models — just as would-be Yahoo suitors talk about the compan”

GENMEDIP

Marcelo Graciolli flickr
Marcelo Graciolli flickr

Internet and Free Speech

A fascinating Benton brief that looks at the hidden dimensions of censorship and content moderation that occur online:  “Their stories reveal how the boundaries of free speech were drawn during a period of explosive growth for a high-stakes public domain, one that did not exist for most of human history. As law professor Jeffrey Rosen first said many years ago of Facebook, these platforms have “more power in determining who can speak and who can be heard around the globe than any Supreme Court justice, any king or any president.””

RECEV

Calling Out Israel

In an unusual move for the establishment, a Times of Israel article talks of criticism Israel has received by the current administration due to predatory, violent practices – things that activists and observers have been saying for years: “The annual report by the State Department into human rights abuses around the world accused Israeli forces of “excessive use of force” in the Palestinian territories, and “arbitrary arrest and associated torture and abuse, often with impunity,” by the IDF, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. “

GENISSStudent Debt Amnesty

A Pro Publica post that gives hope to all students laboring under an oppressive, unmovable student loan burden: “Starting April 18, loan forgiveness letters will go out to approximately 387,000 borrowers who have been identified as totally and permanently disabled by the Social Security Administration, allowing them to sign and file a simplified application form to have their debt forgiven. “

4.13.2016 Daily Links

          BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW          

BRAZIL IN THE MIDST OF FIGHT FOR IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT
An overview, from TeleSur, about the impeachment procedures that are unfolding over the next few days in Brazil, where a popular working-class President, once tortured by U.S.-backed thugs, may lose her seat as a Brazilian Congress awash in corruption ‘calls her kettle black’ and ushers in yet another example of coup by creative rule-making at fiscal and imperial behest.

                    This Day in History                  

Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800Today in the United States is a celebration of the birth of President, slaveholder, and true-genius ‘founding father,’ Thomas Jefferson, while Burmese and related cultures begin to celebrate a ‘New Year’ with the Thingyan Festival, which commemorates a Brahmin king’s decapitation to fulfill a wager; in Constantinople eight hundred twelve years ago, members of the Fourth Crusade overthrew and temporarily ended the Byzantine Empire; three centuries and sixty-six years beyond that instant, in 1570, the male child first looked around who would grow up as the critic and conspirator and hero of anarchists everywhere, Guy Fawkes; twenty-eight additional years in the future from that, in 1598, Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, which instituted a form of freedom of religion of the Huguenots; fifteen years subsequently, in 1613, the English leader in Virginia orchestrated the capture of Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas in order to gain leverage for the release of British prisoners; two hundred seventy-four years before the here and now, the epic Messiah of George Frideric Handel premiered in Dublin; a single year farther along, in 1743,  the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as an erstwhile champion of liberty and slavery at the same time, by the name of Thomas Jefferson; eight decades and six years on the nose henceforth, in 1829, Britain lifted its nearly two-century ban on Catholics’ serving in Parliament or other high office; a quarter of the distance more along time’s path towards now, in 1849, Hungary participated in a certain sort of European revolution and became a republic; a dozen years after that, in 1861, the Union garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, surrendered under threat of continued Confederate bombardment; five years later, in 1866, a male baby came along who would become criminal mastermind Butch Cassidy; four years yet later on, in 1870, New York City founded the metropolitan Museum of Art; three years after that fact, in 1873, in Colfax, Louisiana, a slaughter of sixty African American men defined the contradictions and hypocrisy of the politics of so-called Reconstruction; twelve years later exactly, in 1885, a male child was born in Hungary who would grow into Marxist thinker and genius theoretician Georg Luckacz; one short year later, in 1886, the life of John Noyes ended, near the time that the complicated social structure which he founded as the Oneida Community also came to an end; eight years nearer to now, in 1894, the railroad union leader Eugene Debs led a strike that across the Northern Pacific route won wage increases, work improvements, and massive increases in labor’s ranks; five years thereafter, in 1899,  the little baby boy entered our midst who would endear himself to wordsmiths everywhere with the invention of Scrabble as Alfred Mosher Butts; seven hundred thirty days afterward, in 1901, across the Atlantic in France, a male infant took a modernist breath on his fated path to become psychiatrist and deconstructionist Jacques Lacan; half a decade beyond that point, in 1906, a baby boy both French and Irish gave an initial cry on his way to a life as Nobel Prize wining playwright and critic Samuel Beckett; three years later, in 1909,  on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a baby girl started out on the road to life as acclaimed writer

CC BY by cdrummbks

Eudora Welty; a decade closer to today’s sunrise, in 1919, the Republic of Korea first formed, and in a different expression of imperial hegemony, 2000 miles south and west, British troops murdered scores of unarmed civilians and injured thousands of others at Amritsar, and on the other side of the world, Eugene Debs went to U.S. Federal prison for the crime of raising his voice against the barbarism of the conscription for World War One’s slaughterhouse, and, moreover, a female child came into the world in the usual way who would mature as atheist instigator Madalyn Murray O’Hare; eighty-six years back, a youthful Jimmy Hoffa led his co-workers on a highly-leveraged strawberry strike against the Kroger company that won wage increases and relief in draconian work rules for him and his fellows; three hundred and sixty-five days farther down the pike, in 1931, in France, a little boy took his first breath who would become the Academy Award filmmaker Robert Enrico; a year later, three hundred sixty-six days as a result of the Leap Year, in 1932, in Chile, a baby boy uttered his first cry on his way to a brief life as justice-oriented economist Orlando Letelier; an additional six years on the road to today, in 1938,the British man who had acculturated as an Ojibwe Indian in Great Lakes Canada, under the name Grey Owl, in which capacity he moved millions with his thinking on conservation and commodification, spent his final day among the beavers and birds; one year on the dot after that, in 1939, an Irish boy entered the world who would grow up as Nobel prose winning poet and author Seamus Heaney; another year further on, in 1940, across the English Channel, another baby boy entered the world who would go onto Nobel fame as writer and educator J.M.G. Le Clézio, ; around the world still another year closer to today, in 1941, Japan and the Soviet Union agreed to neutrality, despite the fact that the one’s mortal enemy and the other’s fast friend was Nazi Germany; seven hundred and thirty days henceforth, in 1943, the United States dedicated the Jefferson Memorial on his 200th birthday; a year later still, in 1944,  way down under, New Zealand established diplomatic relations with Communist Russia; four years down the road from that point, in 1948, scores of noncombatant Jewish medical personnel died at Hadassah at the hands of Arabic fighters; a year closer to now, in 1949, a male infant uttered his first cry en route to a life as journalist and critic Christopher Hitchens; fourteen hundred sixty-one days beyond that exact conjunction, in 1953, Allen Dulles, Catholic neo-Nazi CIA director, inaugurated the MKULTRA CIA mind control operation, which included dosing clueless civilians with LSD; another four years beyond that moment, in a 1957 counterpoint to Dulles’ perfidy, a baby girl entered the world who would mature as the journalist-for-progress Amy Goodman; a single year past that precise point in space and time, in 1958 Moscow, a high point in ‘Cold War Cultural Cooperation’ transpired when Van Cliburn won the top prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition; two more years even closer to the current context, in 1960, the United States launched Transit 1 B, the world’s first satellite navigation system; three years hence, in 1963, in Russia, a baby boy was born who became the chess genius and political leader Gary Kasparov; one leap year after that, in 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor; an extra eight years more proximate to the present pass, in 1972, the Universal Postal Union came to grips with reality in recognizing the People’s Republic of China as the only ‘Chinese Nation,’ replacing

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

Taiwan’s place at that designated position; two years more proximate to today, in 1974, Western Union and Hughes Aircraft collaborated with the National Aeronautics & Space Administration in launching TelStar-I, the world’s first commercial geosynchronous communications orbiter; a year shy decade hence precisely, in 1984, India extended its dominion over more territory in the disputed regions of Kashmir, furthering the so-called Line of Control over parts of the Siachen Glacier; three years thereafter, in 1987, Portugal and the People’s Republic of China agreed to Macao’s return to Chinese control twelve years down the road, in 1999; six years beyond the original agreement, in 1993, the historian and critic and thinker Wallace Stegner died; ten years ahead of this juncture, the complex and brilliant British writer, Muriel Spark, breathed her last; eight years after that, to the day, in 2014, the investigator and thinker Michael Ruppert killed himself; onward and upward another year toward the now, in 2015, two masterful thinkers and writers breathed their last, in Ecuador, Eduardo Galeano and over the wide ocean in Germany, the novelist and storyteller and Nobel Prize winner, Gunter Grass.

                A Thought for the Day                

I am drawn to those who seek the truth, but I flee as from a diseased demon that would infect me with noisome death from all those who assert with certainty that they have discovered any final answer to what is true, for such a one cannot be other than, at best, delusional or lying.

                  Quote of the Day                       

“With every drop of his honest blood he hated slavery, and in his early manhood he resolved to lay his life on Freedom’s alter in wiping out that insufferable affliction.  He never faltered.  So God-like was his unconquerable soul that he dared to face the world alone.

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

He did not reckon the overwhelming numbers against him, nor the paltry few that were on his side.  This grosser aspect of the issue found no lodgment in his mind or heart.  He was right and Jehovah was with him.  His was not to reckon consequences, but to strike the immortal blow and step from the gallows to the throne of God.
Not for earthly glory did John Brown wage his holy warfare; not for any recognition or reward the people had it in their power to bestow.  His great heart was set upon a higher goal, animated by a loftier ambition.  His grand soul was illumined by a sublimer ideal.  A race of human beings, lowly and despised, were in chains, and this festering crime was eating out the heart of civilization.
In the presence of this awful plague logic was silent, reason dumb, pity dead.rect3336 space
The wrath of retributive justice, long asleep, awakened at last and hurled its lurid bolt.  Old John Brown struck the blow and the storm broke.  That hour chattel slavery was dead.slavery racism brutality
In the first frightful convulsion the slave power seized the grand old liberator by the throat, put him in irons and threw him into a dungeon to await execution.rect3336 space
Alas! it was too late.  His work was done.  All Virginia could do was to furnish the crown for his martyrdom.rect3336 space
Victor Hugo exclaimed in a burst of reverential passion: ‘John Brown is grander than George Washington !’  History may be searched in vain for an example of noble heroism and sublime self-sacrifice equal to that of Old John Brown.rect3336 space
From the beginning of his career to its close he had but one idea and one ideal, and that was to destroy chattel slavery; and in that cause he sealed bis devotion with his noble blood.  Realizing that bis work was done, he passed serenely, almost with joy, from the scenes of men.

"Slave dance to banjo, 1780s" by Anonymous -
“Slave dance to banjo, 1780s” by Anonymous –

His calmness upou the gallows was awe-inspiring; his exaltation supreme.rect3336 space
Old John Brown is not dead.  His soul still marches on, and each passing year weaves new garlands for his brow and adds fresh lustre to his deathless glory.rect3336 space
Who shall be the John Brown of Wage-Slavery?”  Eugene Debs: “John Brown, History’s Greatest Hero”

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                       Top of the Fold                        

HERESY NECESSARY TO SURVIVAL: OVERTURNING OWNERSHIP OF EARTH

https://aeon.co/essays/is-it-time-to-upend-the-idea-that-land-is-private-property  –  A forthright and irresistible argument that deconstructs a conceit dearly and closely held, that a test of maturity and power and worth is ownership of land and home and other important stuff that, objectively and materially, cannot exist in such a relationship–in that all of nature depends on ecosystems that are commonly held, in that all products of human labor are commonly produced, in that all personal property is meaningless outside of networks of mutuality and interdependency–in the form of a powerful essay from Aeon that ought to be at the top of the reading list of every scrappy scribe and every stalwart citizen who inhabits this planet that–like it or not–we all share in common: “For people like my great-great-grandparents and so many others who had lived under the yoke of tenuous tenancy rights in Europe, the US’s 1862 Homestead Act promised a sense of freedom that these days is almost unimaginable: the freedom to own the land that you worked on, the farm that sustained you, the riverbank where you stood to catch your dinner, the trees that shaded your house. You could lose it through bankruptcy or by giving up – pioneer life was less the delightful, rich adventure depicted in Little House on the Prairie than a stark, cold, lonely, and harsh life that drove many off the land within a few short years – but no capricious lord or absentee owner could take it from you or demand a percentage of your labour. White Americans who benefited from the opening of the West and the brutal, deeply unjust Indian Removal Act, would never again be subject to the equivalent of the Highland Clearances. …

(Whatever private property’s seductive qualities, however useful it has been and still is), (t)he ranch my mother was born on was not built solely by her family’s labour.  It relied on water aquifers deep beneath the surface, the health of soil on plains and hills beyond their borders, on hundreds – perhaps thousands – of years of care by the Blackfoot tribe whose land it should have remained, the weather over which they had no control, the sun, seeds, and a community who knew in their bones that nobody could do this alone.  These things comprised an ecosystem that was vital to their survival, and the same holds true today.  These are our shared natural resources, or what was once known as ‘the commons.’ no trespassing sign capitalim
We live on and in the commons, even if we don’t recognise it as such.  Every time we take a breath, we’re drawing from the commons.  Every time we walk down a road we’re using the commons.  Every time we sit in the sunshine or shelter from the rain, listen to birdsong or shut our windows against the stench from a nearby oil refinery, we are engaging with the commons.  But we have forgotten the critical role that the commons play in our existence.  The commons make life possible.  Beyond that, they make private property possible.  When the commons become degraded or destroyed, enjoyment and use of private property become untenable.  A Montana rancher could own ten thousand acres and still be dependent on the health of the commons.  Neither a gated community nor high-rise penthouse apartments can close a human being from the wider world that we all rely on.BooLake nature water landscape reflection mirror
We have been able to ignore and damage the commons without acknowledging the consequences for far too long.  But now, the press of human population and the rise of industrialism make the question urgent: how will we own our shared resources?  How will we protect them for the benefit of all?  There are no more frontiers to run away to, and no more pretending that what we do on one piece of property has no effect not only on neighbours next door but on ecosystems hundreds of miles away.   In my great-great-grandparents’ time, a driving question for European immigrants or descendants was how to gain the freedom granted by private property.  For our future, it’s not just a question of who owns the earth, but how.


Benjamin Franklin, too, believed that any property not required for subsistence was ‘the property of the public, who by their laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the welfare of the public shall demand such disposition.’  The point was for an individual or family to gain the means for an independent life, not to grow rich from land ownership or to take the resources of the commons out of the public realm.  This idea extended to limiting trespassing laws.  Hunting on another’s unenclosed land was perfectly legal, as was – in keeping with the Charter of the Forest – foraging.”

money dollar capitalism Benjamin-Franklin-U.S.-$100-bill

The land itself, not just the resources it contained, was part of the commons.  Consider the implications of this thinking for our times: if access to the means for self-sustenance were truly the right of all, if both public resources and public land could never be taken away or sold, then how much power could the wealthy, a government, or corporations have over everyday human lives?  (Partial and self-serving critiques of the commons notwithstanding, joint ownership and management need not end up in anarchy or depletion, as multiple real-life examples prove).


Preservation of the commons has not, then, been completely forgotten.  But it has come close.  The commons are, essentially, antithetical both to capitalism and to limitless private profit, and have therefore been denigrated and abandoned in many parts of the world for nearly two centuries. …(Industry and corporate plunder have become the norm).  This recognition of private profit as a public good increased globally throughout the 20th century with dizzying speed, leading to extensive loss of the public commons into the 21st century.  Just in the past 10 years, Chinese oil companies have been given rights to drill in the last pristine Ecuadoran jungle over the objections of the native people whose home it has been for time out of mind.  Decisions in Britain that allowed continued drainage on farmland and grouse-hunting estates put downstream villages at high risk of flooding, while a Cumbrian nuclear plant has contaminated shellfish in Scotland hundreds of miles away.  There are more stories than I can count of the right to property use and profit destroying the lives, livelihoods, health, or homes of neighbours near and far.  The common thread is in how they ignore, almost completely, the necessity of keeping the commons healthy and stable.”

              TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, &                                  AWARENESS VIDEO                  

CONTEXTUALIZING EFFICIENCY FOR PEOPLE INSTEAD OF PROFIT

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35558-economic-update-efficiency-capitalist-vs-human –  A riveting audio file in which down-to-earth democratic socialist advocate and crackerjack technical economist Richard Wolff delineates the contradictions and possibilities for progress in the current context in such a way as both to get very real and to open up the conversation about what and how and why working people need to engage in order to save their own asses and humanity’s future.

JOBSEVENTS

student writing arm

EVENTS

Do the Write Thing: Building a Career in Writing and Publishing Children’s and YA Literature

Location: Library of Congress, Washington, DC

We Need Diverse Books, in conjunction with the Library of Congress, is pleased to announce a Master Class on writing and publishing for children and young adults. Applicants are now welcome to apply for this class, which will cover a range of introductory topics from writing children’s books to the role of literary agents and to pursuing a career in publishing. Applications close on May 13, 2016.

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

Gulf Coast is accepting entries for their annual prizes in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The judges are Rick Barot, Ayana Mathis, and David Shields, respectively. Each winner gets $1500 and publication.
The University of Arizona Poetry Center is accepting applications for their Summer 2016 residency contest. The 2-week residency in Tucson includes a $500 stipend, round-trip domestic airfare, and apartment housing. The contest judge is Natalie Diaz.
Sadie Girl Press is calling for poetry, flash prose, and art on the topic of mental and emotional health for their Incandescent Mind journal series.
pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

Technical Writer/Editor/Copywriter

compensation: Hourly/Competitive
employment type: contract

A Troy-based company is seeking a technical writer/editor/copywriter to organize material and complete technical writing assignments according to set standards, clarity, conciseness, and terminology. The ideal candidate is also responsible for selecting photographs, drawings, diagrams, and charts to illustrate material as needed. The candidate will also be responsible for maintaining records, files of work and revisions of each project.

Social Scene reporter/photographer

compensation: Weekly flat rate
employment type: contract

Established newsmagazine group in Oakland County seeking reporter for future position covering the non-profit social party scene in metro Detroit. Write copy and shoot photos. Writing about event is equally important to shooting photos of the event. Work from home; freelance position. Your work will be posted online on a weekly basis and in our monthly newsmagazines.

ORGLINK

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

Civil Disobedience

A Truth Dig video repost that looks at the brave acts of both regular citizens and media hosts who face jail for being in defiance to disenfranchisement and corruption in politics: “A Democracy Spring rally was held Monday in Washington, D.C., and Cenk Uygur, host of “The Young Turks,” was one of more than 400 people arrested.

The planned act of civil obedience was designed to call attention to government corruption, get money out of politics and restore free and fair elections. More Democracy Spring protests are scheduled through the week.”

Drug Disposal fentanyl oxyA Catalog of Mental Disturbances and Their Drugs

A Medium post by a writer who seeks to open up a dialog on the rampant use of psychiatric medication to equip most humans to live in a less-than-human world, by touching on the reasons people are drawn to them, the many side effects attending them, and the medical establishment’s role: “The scary thing about doctors not talking about side effects is, a friend of mine also went on Effexor, and she had a terrible experience  — everyone reacts differently to medications, which is partially why I used to be so hesitant, and retain some of that hesitance still.”

I Started a Joke

A Salon look by a comedic talk show host with insightful things to say about the current political candidates’ shenanigans: ““You know you’re not a good joke-teller,” he continued in his authentic voice. “And you’re in the midst of a controversy involving comments made about black people. And still you choose to make that joke? That’s like if the governor of Michigan was going around Flint telling water jokes.”

WRISSNew Book by Dynamic Writer

A New Yorker profile that introduces readers to the many-faceted work of a gifted storyteller whose prose bespeaks of the concerns of a certain section of postmodern consciousness:  “Sara Marcus, in an elegant and concise review of “The Argonauts,” for the Los Angeles Times, notes the way that Nelson circles “away and back again to central questions about deviance and normalcy, family-making and love.” What Nelson is asking, throughout the book, Marcus says, is “How does anyone decide what’s normal and what’s radical? What kinds of experience do we close ourselves off to when we think we already know?””

pfunked Deviant Art
pfunked Deviant Art

Ghost Writing

A Priceonomics look at the wonderful, hidden world of ghostwriting: “In academia, professors come up with research ideas and analyze results, but research assistants and graduate students write the actual paper describing the outcome. Business executives drive the direction of projects but leave underlings to research and write reports that bear the executives’ names. Marketplaces called content mills allow companies to cheaply fill their websites with ghostwritten articles published under the name of a staff member. And nearly every book authored by a celebrity or politician is ghostwritten by a professional writer.

GENMEDIP

“Neither master nor slave.” Photo: Feminist Library / Facebook

Feminist Portal

A Global Village look at a thriving social media community that seeks to provide both literature and a venue for Hispanic women to become empowered against machismo culture: “Global Voices spoke with the community’s two administrators, discussing feminists and feminism, the need for solid information, and the importance of responsibly sharing this information. In a country like Mexico, where the frequency of femicide and gender-based abuse is alarming, projects like Feminist Library are trying to raise awareness about a problem with strong roots in culture and conventions.”

RECEV

Raiding Criminals

A Vice News posting that looks at the recent raid of the offices highlighted in the Panama Papers scandal: “Police offers and patrol cars began gathering around the company’s building in the afternoon under the command of prosecutor Javier Caravallo, who specializes in organized crime and money laundering. Searches will also take place at subsidiaries of the firm.”

GENISSAnti Worker Law Unconstitutional

A Daily Kos posting that looks at legislation that will succeed in halting some of the more egregious anti-worker legislations: “This judgement, calling the law unconstitutional on the grounds that it is an “existential threat,” could have some far-reaching ramifications in the many Republican-backed legislatures that really want to put the screws to the working folk of this country. The importance of this ruling also means that there will be further appeals.”